Messi LEAVING Barcelona, Lukaku 'to join Chelsea in 48 hours', Grealish completes Man City medical – transfer news live

LIONEL MESSI will LEAVE Barcelona after contract talks with the Catalan giants broke down.

The club confirmed in a statement that 'economic and structural obstacles' had prevented a deal being struck.

Messi leaves Barcelona having scored 672 times in 778 games, having made his debut back in 2003.

Meanwhile Jack Grealish is on the cusp of securing a £100m move to Manchester City.

The future of Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku is also to be decided, with the Inter star potentially set to move to Stamford Bridge this weekend.

JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)

⚽️Dream Team 2021/22 – pick a team now for the chance to win £100k!⚽️

Follow ALL of the latest news and updates below…

  • Kostas Lianos

    GREAL SWEETHEART

    Former Aston Villa ace Marcus Allback described Jack Grealish as one of the club's biggest "sweethearts" and suggested leaving for Manchester City must have been a hard decision for him.

    Allback told Rekatochklart: "It would be nice if he stayed and it would have been a hard decision to leave.

    "He's grown up with Villa and he has a lot of emotions for the club and city, so for him to move to Manchester City is hard. He'll always be one of Villa's sweethearts.

    "It would be cool if he resisted the offer and stayed at Villa as they brought players in and really tried to go for it"

  • Kostas Lianos

    CITY ON MESSI

    Manchester City confirmed last year that they would be in a position to move for Lionel Messi Messi if he became available.

    City's Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada told Manchester Evening News last October: "He's an amazing talent , he's somebody that can make a significant impact at any club in the world on and off the pitch immediately.

    "He's the best player in the world, he's the best player of his generation. I think any club in the world would like to explore the possibility of him joining their team. The fact that it was commented that he wanted to come to play for City just shows you how far the team has come over the last years where the best talent of his generation and potentially saying he wants to come and play for us.

    "It's hard to guess what could happen. If you think back to those two weeks where everything played out at Barcelona, it's almost impossible to guess what will happen next summer. Messi is a generational talent, he's the best player in the world and probably an exception to potential investments that we'd do out of the ordinary but our planning has been done with this current squad and it is being considered with the current opportunities that we have.

    "For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but at the same time I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment [in a striker] when required.

    "That's what puts us in a position where we feel comfortable that we'll be able to take the right decision because it also doesn't mean that we'll have to rush into anything – first because Sergio [Aguero] and Gabriel [Jesus] are performing very well, they are two of the best strikers in the world right now, and when we do decide to bring in potentially someone else, whether it is next season or the one after that then we will be in a financial position to do it for the right price"

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI ANNOUNCEMENT

    Barcelona announced that Lionel Messi's departure comes down to "financial and structural obstacles".

    A statement from Barca read: "Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

    "As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

    "FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life"

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI OUT

    Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi will be leaving the club this summer.

    Barca announced that Messi is set to roll credits on his stunning 17-year stint at the Nou Camp.

    At first it looked like the two sides reached an agreement over a new five-year deal that would see the star forward taking a 50 per cent salary cut.

    However, talks fell through during a recent meeting on Thursday and thus the Argentina international is now officially up for grabs.

    Manchester City showed interest in Messi last year before he signed a one-year extension…

  • Kostas Lianos

    LAUT OF HOPE

    Arsenal are still confident of landing Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez despite Romelu Lukaku’s imminent move to Chelsea.

    According to The Done Deal Show, Inter would much rather maintain Lukaku and sell Lautaro.

    That is why the Gunners are still alive in their chase for the star striker during this transfer window.

    However, if Lukaku does return to Stamford Bridge then the Italian champions are highly unlikely to also offload the Argentina international

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI OUT?

    Lionel Messi may not extend his stay at Barcelona after all…

    That is according to Marca, who claim that Barca officials and Messi's representatives actually failed to reach a renewal agreement during a recent meeting on Thursday.

    The same report suggests that the forward is now closer to an exit than everand a deal is almost impossible.

    One of the reasons why the two sides didn't shake hands is because the Catalans seem to have failed to land the Argentina international's compatriot Cristian Romero, who is heading to Tottenham.

    Barcelona have been offloading players in their bid to afford Messi's new contract and abide by LaLiga's salary rules but their strategy might have to change soon

  • Kostas Lianos

    NOT CHO SURE

    Liverpool hero John Barnes is not sure Jadon Sancho is the answer to Manchester United’s problems.

    Barnes told BonusCodeBets.co.uk: “Sancho’s a great player and it’s good to have a young English player for the future. But I don’t think it’s a position they needed to strengthen. Is he going to play instead of [Marcus] Rashford or [Mason] Greenwood?

    “Harry Kane to United would probably have made more sense than anything else but he’s not going there. They needed a defensive midfielder or a defender and [Raphael] Varane is a good signing.

    “Alongside [Harry] Maguire, they will look much more secure than they have in the past”

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    MAD MAN

    Arsenal look set to offer Leicester a cash-only deal for James Maddison.

    That is according to Sky Sports, who report that the Gunners are giving up on their bid to strike a swap deal with the Foxes.

    The north Londoners had been trying to add Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah or Ainsley Maitland-Niles to reduce the release clause.

    But now the Emirates outfit could concede the only way to secure Maddison’s signature is cash-only.

    Leicester want a fee in the region of £60million for the 24-year-old, but Arsenal will have to free up some funds before making their move.

    Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Willian, Nelson and Nketiah are all reportedly available for transfer

  • Kostas Lianos

    HOLDING AOUT

    Lyon star midfielder Houssem Aouar is still holding out for a move to Arsenal, reports SunSport’s Jordan Davies.

    Aouar has been linked with the Gunners for the past two years and the north Londoners have held talks with the French giants in the last few weeks.

    However, SunSport understands that the midfielder’s representatives have been stunned by the club’s recent progress in their bid to sign Leicester star James Maddison.

    Maddison is reportedly interested in a potential move to Arsenal but the Foxes are holding out for at least £60m.

    The France international, whose own contract expires in 2023, would cost significantly less than the England international as Lyon look to offload names and build up their own kitty.

    The23-year-old’s camp are still hopeful that Arsenal’s pursuit of Maddison will fall flat, leaving the Gunners to resort back to Lyon’s playmaker.

    Aouar, though, has also been linked with a move to Liverpool

  • Kostas Lianos

    AOUAR BOOST

    Lyon star Houssem Aouar could leave the Groupama Stadium during the summer transfer window.

    That is according to the Ligue 1 outfit’s manager Peter Bosz, who has given a boost to Arsenal and Liverpool amid their bid to sign Aouar.

    Bosz told butfootball.fr: “Aouar? He can leave, this is modern football.

    “Up until the last moment, he can leave”

  • Kostas Lianos

    RODGERS REACTS

    Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers expects James Maddison to stay at King Power Stadium.

    Arsenal are keeping tabs on Maddison, who is reportedly open on moving to the Emirates.

    Rodgers said when asked if the England international will stay: “I believe so. I haven’t been told anything different.

    “James is a very important member of our squad”

  • Kostas Lianos

    POG-BACK

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

    Pogba has been heavily linked with a transfer to PSG but is likely to feature in United’s Premier League opener against Leeds before any transfer takes place.

    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

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    VARANE RECAP

    Raphael Varane is flying over to England to complete his deal with Manchester United.

    Varane arrives a week later than initially planned as his move was held up due to visa restrictions that have been imposed after Brexit.

    The ex-Real Madrid star will land in the country today and have a medical before signing his contract.

    The France international is expected to team up with Harry Maguire at centre-back this season

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI LATEST

    Barcelona's bid to register Lionel Messi's new contract with LaLiga has been boosted after the Spainsh league announced a cash injection of €2.7billion (£2.3bn).

    According to ESPN, The Spanish top flight has agreed in principle to sell 10 per cent of a newly-formed company housing most of its business to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

    The sale has been approved by the league's executive committee, which includes representatives from Atletico Madrid Villarreal, Real Sociedad and others.

    LaLiga clubs will vote at a general assembly which will be held as soon as possible and within the next few weeks.

    Around 90 per cent of the cash will go directly to Spanish clubs, including women's , semi-professional and non-professional football.

    A source suggested Barca and Real Madrid will receive over €250million (£212m) each as a result of that deal

  • Kostas Lianos

    GREALISH PASSES MEDICAL

    Jack Grealish has completed his medical at Manchester City.

    Grealish is now set to put pen to paper on a contract with City.

    The Citizens have reached a whopping £100million deal with Aston Villa earlier in the summer.

    The England international is set to become the most expensive British player and the priciest transfer in Premier League history

  • Kostas Lianos

    48 HOURS

    Chelsea are aiming to complete Romelu Lukaku's return to Stamford Bridge within 48 hours, according to transfer expert Kristof Terreur.

    Lukaku has been linked with a whopping £100million move to the Blues and the star striker has instructed Inter Milan to accept a sufficient offer.

    In fact, the Belgium international could be present for the west Londoners in the Super Cup against Villarreal on August 11.

    Thomas Tuchel is trying to sign a centre-forward following Timo Werner's hapless debut season

  • Etienne Fermie

    OUT OF LUK

    Romelu Lukaku's potential £100million switch back to Chelsea has reportedly infuriated Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi.

    The 28-year-old striker, who failed to score in any of his 15 games for the Blues between 2011-2014, is believed to be keen to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

    According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, his impending move is said to have left new Inter boss Inzaghi furious.

    His anger is towards Inter's owners – Suning and the Zhang family – who have forced the Nerazzurri's directors to sell Lukaku.

    The owners are desperate to to cut the wage bill by 20 per cent, with Achraf Hakimi's sale to Paris Saint-Germain not enough to balance the books.

    Inzaghi is said to have been ensured that only Hakimi would be sold this transfer window, not his star striker who spearheaded Inter to the Scudetto title last term.

    And it's not just Inzaghi that is furious by Lukaku's probable exit, with directors Beppe Marotta, Piero Ausilio and Dario Baccin all considering their future at Inter.

  • Etienne Fermie

    JESS GIVE UP

    West Ham are lining up a Brazilian wonderkid dubbed the 'new Kaka' as a transfer alternative to Jesse Lingard.

    The Hammers have set their sights on 22-year-old Sao Paulo star Igor Gomes as a Plan B, according to reports.

    They deem Gomes as a suitable alternative, however, and could turn to the Brazil U23 international to add to their attacking options following the departure of Felipe Anderson to Lazio for £2.7m.

    Gomes, who would cost around £13million, has made 56 first-team appearances for Sao Paulo since his debut in 2018, earning himself comparisons to former Brazil international Kaka.

  • Etienne Fermie

    CASH & NAB

    Liverpool are reportedly open to getting rid of Naby Keita for the right price this summer.

    The 26-year-old is allegedly among several stars Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is willing to sell as he plans a squad revamp, according to ESPN.

    They claim the midfielder's on Klopp's chop list alongside Anfield team-mates Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin and Loris Karius.

    Keita could be one of the several stars to be sold by Klopp for the right price
  • Etienne Fermie

    RAM RAIDS

    Exclusive by Alan Nixon

    Wayne Rooney is frantically trying to sign a handful of players by midday on Friday to let Derby County put out a full team – and avoid a massive crisis.

    In a day of remarkable drama Derby's owner Mel Morris handed contracts to a group of trialists but only with their names on them and NO figures.

    The would-be Rams signings met Morris for crisis talks after fearing they would ALL be released following remarks made by the chairman to a fans forum on Wednesday night.

    The group asked Rooney for an answer, but he told Morris to give them an update – and the surprise was that Derby are trying to take them all on deals.

    Now Morris is trying to confirm the number and what wages they can be offered in talks with the EFL before the opener with Huddersfield.

    Rams were unhappy to be restricted to just FOUR new players, arguing they were being treated more harshly than rivals in similar difficulties over offences.

    However the EFL also want more confirmation from Morris that he will pay bills and fund the club, which he needs to provide in a hurry.

    Derby have only been able to offer £4,500-a-week to players so far, but now they may be able to increase that to attract the men they want.

    Veteran centre half Curtis Davies is set to sign, but will also join the coaching staff.

    The others include Ravel Morrison, Phil Jagielka, Richard Stearman, Sone Aluko, Tom Carroll, Ryan Allsop and Sam Baldock.

    Wayne Rooney's Derby are trying to bring in eight free transfers by Friday at noon
  • Etienne Fermie

    TAM TOO MUCH

    Southampton have asked Chelsea for Tammy Abraham on loan – but were told he is only available on a permanent transfer.

    Unless that stance changes, that is likely to kill off any hopes Ralph Hasenhuttl has of replacing Danny Ings with fellow England star Abraham.

    The Blues value Abraham, 23, at £40million but are yet to have any takers at that price.

    Hasenhuttl wanted a new forward anyway but signing a striker is now a major priority after Wednesday night’s shock sale of Ings to Aston Villa.

    Dean Smith bagged Ings in a deal that could rise up to £30m as Saints decided to cash in on their star man.

    Ings, 29, only had a year left on his contract and was refusing to sign a new one.

    Blackburn forward Adam Armstrong, 24, has long been on Saints’ radar but Rovers’ £25m valuation is too high.

    Tammy Abraham has been in pre-season action for Chelsea
  • Giacomo Pisa

    NO THANK DOU

    Arsenal and Wolves has both turned down the chance to sign Amadou Diawara of Roma, according to reports.

    Siamo La Roma suggest the 24-year-old Diawara has been offered to the Premier League clubs for around £14million, but neither the Gunners nor Wolves are interested.

    Roma reportedly tries to include Diawara in a deal that included Granit Xhaka moving the other way, as well as part of the deal that saw Rui Patricio move to Rome.

    What is clear is that neither club were interested, and for now Diawara remains a Roma player.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    KANE ON THE AGENDA

    Manchester City are ready to turn their attention to the signing of Harry Kane, once the Jack Grealish deal becomes official.

    According to the Manchester Evening News the Premier League champions will press ahead with their pursuit of Kane, despite spending £100million on Grealish.

    The report suggests Pep Guardiola and Co. are willing to wait until the closing days of the transfer window, with outgoings likely to be needed before a move can be sanctioned.

    What's clear though is City are prepared to be patient, and with Kane publicly stating that he wants to leave Spurs, this one could drag on right up until the end of the transfer window.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    NO DEAL

    Carlo Ancelotti has decided to keep Martin Odegaard at Real Madrid and will block any attempted transfer attempt by Arsenal.

    That's according to Cuarto, who report that an injury to Toni Kroos means Ancelotti is keen to keep Odegaard at the Bernabeu.

    The 22-year-old has been linked with a £35million permanent move to the Emirates in the last week or so after the Norwegian international impressed Mikel Arteta during his loan spell in North London last season.

    Arteta is desperate for a long-term successor to Mesut Ozil at Arsenal, but an injury to Kroos means a deal for Odegaard seems to be off the table with Ancelotti preparing to use the Norwegian youngster as midfield cover.

  • Giacomo Pisa

    ONE OR THE OTHER

    The Gunners have been handed a boost in the pursuit of Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

    The Nerazzurri are short of cash with one of Lukaku or Martinez destined to leave this summer.

    The Serie A champions would much rather let Martinez leave than Lukaku, which is welcome news to Gunners chiefs.

    A reported £70million would be enough to secure the 23-year-old Argentinian's services, with caughtoffside suggesting the Gunners are still 'hopeful' of landing a deal, with Inter reluctant to let Lukaku leave.

    Source: Read Full Article