PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino makes Lionel Messi promise as club close in on Barcelona legend

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Mauricio Pochettino insists his club are ‘aware’ of Lionel Messi’s situation – but will not sell Kylian Mbappe to fund a deal to sign the Argentine.

Speaking in a press conference, Poch said: “I have not spoken with [Messi]. And [any move] would not mean that Kylian would leave.

“A player of Messi’s calibre, that is what is interesting to me. The club are working on several options, but we must focus on the game with Troyes [on Saturday].

“We know about what happened yesterday.

“The club is working on the transfer window and on the elements that could come in to improve the team and allow us to achieve our goals.”

Paris Saint-Germain are on the brink of signing Lionel Messi after he chose to join the French giants following his seismic departure from boyhood club Barcelona, according to reports.

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi was said to have personally contacted Pochettino following the bombshell announcement on Thursday evening that he would be leaving Barca, and it’s now claimed the Ligue 1 heavyweights could complete the signing during decisive talks with his father, Jorge, on Saturday.

Messi is ready to sign an initial deal two-year deal with the option of a third, RMC Sport has said.

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Pep Guardiola confirms Manchester City interest in Harry Kane, rules out move for Lionel Messi

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City’s interest in Harry Kane, admitting that the Premier League champions are waiting for encouragement to negotiate with Tottenham for the striker.

The City manager broke his habit of retaining silence on transfer targets by confirming that Kane is of interest to the Premier League champions.

City want to ascertain whether it is possible to land Kane after breaking the British transfer record to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100million. Daniel Levy values Kane at £150m.

The Spanish boss claimed striking a deal for Tottenham ace Kane is now their priority, not Messi.

On Messi, Guardiola said: “It was a surprise for everyone, me included.

“Of course, I wish him the best in the last years of his career.

“We have spent £40m on Jack Grealish – £100m we pay and £60m we won last year (in transfer sales).

“He’ll have the No10 because we were incredibly convinced with Jack Grealish and were convinced that Leo would continue at Barcelona.

“Right now (a move for Messi is) not in our thoughts, absolutely not.”

Guardiola has revealed City are still keen on a move for Kane – but are growing weary with Tottenham’s refusal to negotiate.

The England captain, 28, is desperately trying to force a move to the Etihad – where he would link up with Three Lions pal Grealish after his move.

Tottenham are furious with Kane after he refused to turn up for training and instead extended his holiday from the Bahamas to Florida.

On the possibility of signing Kane, Guardiola revealed: “He’s a player for Tottenham.

“If Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it’s finished.

“If they are open to negotiate, I think not just Man City but many clubs in the world want to try to sign him – we are not an exception – but it depends on Tottenham.

“Harry Kane is an exceptional, extraordinary striker – no doubts about that, of course we are interested.

“But he is a Tottenham player and if they don’t want to negotiate there is nothing more to say. If they want to, we will try.”

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Jack Grealish reveals how his England national teammates persuaded him to join Manchester City

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Jack Grealish revealed his England team-mates persuaded him to accept the record-breaking Manchester City transfer.

And Grealish was particularly keen to link up with his ‘little brother’ Phil Foden at club level as well as on the international stage.

City trio John Stones, Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling all helped to convince the Aston Villa skipper that the Etihad was the right move for him during their time together at Euro 2020.

Asked about his Three Lions pals, Grealish said: “That helps massively. We speak anyway when we are away with England about our own clubs.

“The likes of Stones, Raz, Phil and Walks had nothing but good words to say whenever it has been mentioned.

“When we are away with England I get on so well with Phil. He makes me laugh, he is like my little brother. I just can’t wait to play with him regularly, week in, week out.

“I feel like sometimes, when you have a connection with someone off the pitch, you can transfer that onto the pitch as well.

“That is what me and Phil used to do in training when we were with England and I can’t wait to do that here.”

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Romelu Lukaku’s agent promises to explain rationale behind Chelsea move amid protest, insults

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Romelu Lukaku’s agent has sent out a message amid the Chelsea speculation and protests against Inter. ‘You’ll hear our reasons soon, whatever happens.’

The negotiations continue, with reports the Nerazzurri are prepared to accept €130m in cash.

It is also suggested that Lukaku has asked Inter to leave for a return to one of his first clubs, fuelling irritation from the fans.

Some aimed abuse at Pastorello on Instagram and one apologised to the representative for the insults.

“Thank you for your words,” he wrote in response.

“You will be able to hear our reasons soon, whatever happens in the end.”

La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia claim this evening that Chelsea will make another bid worth €120m in cash plus a player, probably not Marcos Alonso, with a telephone conversation set for tomorrow.

The pressure is building meanwhile on Inter President Steven Zhang to reject all proposals and keep the top scorer who led them to the Scudetto.

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Official: Jack Grealish joins Manchester City

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Manchester City have announced the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

Grealish moves to the Etihad after City reached a whopping £100million deal with Villa.

This marks the priciest transfer in British football history.

The England international passed his medical earlier today and is set to link up with Pep Guardiola’s men.

Manchester United were also previously interested in the forward but he ultimately joined rivals City.

The new Manchester City signing is happy to have joined the “best team in the country”.

Grealish said: “I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City. City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world – it’s a dream come true to be part of this club.

“Over the past 10 seasons, they have won major trophies consistently. Pep [Guardiola] coming here has taken them to the next level and the football this team plays is the most exciting in Europe.

“To play for Pep and learn from him is going to be special and it’s something any top footballer would want.

“The facilities are amazing, and I honestly can’t wait to get started, meet everyone and get playing”

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Romelu Lukaku: Inter “still owe Manchester United €55m”

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports in England that Inter still owe Manchester United circa €55m and a percentage of the transfer fee they’ll get from Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku.

A deal would appear to be imminent for the Belgium international, setting a new record for the sale of a Serie A player at €130m.

However, if the reports in the Daily Express are to be believed, very little of that will go to Inter as profit.

That’s because the Nerazzurri still owe Manchester United a large chunk of the €74m plus bonuses that they agreed to purchase Lukaku in 2019.

Specifically, the Express, Sun Sport and Sportitalia maintain there’s still €55m outstanding.

On top of that, it’s claimed that Inter also owe Manchester United a percentage of the future transfer fee, believed to be around five per cent.

That would all still be a lot of money, cutting into the sum that Inter will eventually pocket from Lukaku’s sale.

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Inter fans intensify protest against Lukaku’s potential sale to Chelsea, mount another banner outside club’s headquarters

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Inter fans intensify their protest against President Steven Zhang for considering Romelu Lukaku’s sale to Chelsea, while reports grow that the club’s own directors are protesting the move.

A deal is not done yet, but many assume that Inter will give the all-clear once Chelsea provide a proposal worth €130m in cash (£110.8m).

The fans are furious and more signs appeared outside the club headquarters in Milan today, including a large banner from the Curva Nord that was written in English, so that their President could fully understand it. ‘Zhang: The time is over.’

There was also a note from the Curva Nord: “Coach and players, you have our support, we expect union, sweat and effort from you. Ausilio and Marotta, we are with you for the good of Inter.”

Other signs warned Inter ‘are not a washing machine company’ – referencing owners Suning’s main business – and calling for Zhang to resign immediately.

A supporter had even left his new 2021-22 Inter jersey on a railing outside the HQ, no longer wanting to wear it.

Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport claim that directors Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio are ready to resign in protest if Lukaku is sold, although that would only happen at the end of the transfer window.

According to Calciomercato.com, their concerns are not just that the top scorer will be sold, but above all that any funds raised by the sale will not be reinvested in new signings.

Instead, the cash would balance the books and bolster their liquidity, leaving the squad badly weakened after already selling Achraf Hakimi to PSG.

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West Ham boss reveals why it won’t be easy for Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United

August 6th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Paul Pogba may not find it easy to leave Manchester United during the summer despite Paris Saint-Germain’s interest in the midfielder.

That is according to former United boss David Moyes’ old warning about the Glazers and their exit policy.

Moyes previously said: “I have to say I learnt a lesson a little bit from the owners of Manchester United at that time.

“I think Wayne [Rooney] eventually put a transfer request in, and the owners of Manchester United turned around and said, ‘You don’t think we listen to transfer requests? We’ve had far better players, many better players put in transfer requests. We tell them when we want them to leave Manchester United’”

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Telegraph, Pogba is likely to start the season with Manchester United but could still move to Paris Saint-Germain during the summer summer.

The midfielder has entered the final year of his Old Trafford contract.

And although the France international hasn’t officially turned down the Red Devils’ extension offer he will take his time before deciding where his future lies.

The 28-year-old will make a decision before the European transfer window shuts next month but will be available for selection when United host Leeds on August 14.

The former Juventus star linked up with his team-mates at pre-season training in Scotland on Tuesday.

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