Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

Lionel Messi breaks down in tears as he says final goodbye to FC Barcelona

The transfer window is hotting up as we approach the start of the new Premier League season on Friday when Arsenal travel across London to face newboys Brentford.

But there is plenty of business to be done in the window, with Lionel Messi dominating headlines and moving closer to joining a new club after he waved goodbye to Barcelona at an emotional press conference on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain are primed to make a move shortly, but may have to sell players to balance the books.

There are whispers from Spain though that Barcelona may attempt one final attempt to bring Messi back to the Nou Camp, despite the Argentine publicly confirming his departure.

While Chelsea move a step closer to to re-signing Romelu Lukaku for a club record fee, and they could raise funds for that move by selling Tammy Abraham, with Jose Mourinho’s Roma thought to be rivalling Atalanta and Arsenal for the England striker.

Tottenham are still hoping to retain Harry Kane, too, with the England striker a target for Manchester City. The Premier League champions unveiled Jack Grealish at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, having splashed out £100m to bring him from Aston Villa.

Follow all the latest news and rumours ahead of the opening weekend of the new Premier League season:

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John Stones signs on dotted line

The 27-year-old’s previous City contract was set to expire at the end of the season.

Yet after playing a key part in City’s Premier League title-winning 2020-21 campaign, Stones has committed himself to the club until 2026.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I love being part of this squad. There are so many quality players here and I know we can continue winning trophies, which is my main focus.

“Working with the manager is a dream – he has taught me so much about the game and I feel like I learn something new every single day.

Lawrence Ostlere10 August 2021 10:02

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Done deal! Brighton sign Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma

Brighton have confirmed the signing of Japan international Kaoru Mitoma on a four-year-contract, on undisclosed terms from J1 League team Kawasaki Frontale.

He will spend the 2021/22 season on loan with Belgian first division side Royal Union Saint-Gilloise, and will link up with the Brussels based side after a break following the Olympics in Tokyo.

The 24-year-old has represented his country up to under-23 level, and was part of the squad which missed out on bronze in their final match against Mexico, after a good tournament on home soil.

Technical director Dan Ashworth said: “We’re delighted be able to sign Kaoru, who arrives off the back of a couple of really strong seasons in Japan.

“As part of his development we have decided to loan him to Union Saint-Gilloise, to help him become accustomed to European football, and test himself in a different environment.

“He’s one we have tracked for a while, so we are looking forward to seeing how he progresses in the next year and we will be watching him closely during his time in Belgium.”

Japan’s forward Kaoru Mitoma (C) runs to celebrate after scoring a goal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s bronze medal football match

(AFP via Getty Images)

Lawrence Ostlere10 August 2021 09:35

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Southampton loan Chelsea youngster Broja

Southampton have completed a season-long loan deal for Chelsea striker Armando Broja.

Broja, 19, follows in the footsteps of his former Chelsea teammate Tino Livramento in moving to St Mary’s this summer, representing another of the brightest emerging talents from the European champions’ academy.

Already capped six times at senior level by Albania, Broja spent last season on loan at Vitesse, netting 11 goals in 34 appearances, making him one of the top-scoring teenagers across Europe’s leading divisions, as he helped the Dutch side to a fourth-place finish in the Eredivisie as well as the final of the KNVB Cup.

That followed a 2019/20 campaign in which the Slough-born youngster scored 20 times at academy level, while also making his first-team debut in a 4-0 home win over Everton in March 2020.

Broja signed a new five-year contract at Chelsea this summer and has also impressed during pre-season while featuring for Thomas Tuchel’s first-team, scoring on a number of occasions.

Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “Armando is a very talented player who we were impressed by last season. He is young, but he comes now with a full season of experience in senior football with a good team, and he brings a lot of qualities that can help us.

“He is a strong, quick player with a good instinct and this makes him a good fit for the way we like to play. I know how highly regarded he is by Chelsea, and I think this will be a good place for him to continue his own development as well.”

Armando Broja said: “They’ve got a good history and they play in the best league in the world, so it’s amazing for a young player to experience it, be in and around a Premier League team, and learn and develop from the older players, the staff and everyone here. It’s a very good opportunity.”

Lawrence Ostlere10 August 2021 09:02

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Stones ready to sign new deal

John Stones is on the verge of signing a new five-year deal at Manchester City worth £250,000 per week, according to Sky Sports.

Stones enjoyed a great season in 2020-21 forming a strong partnership with Ruben Dias which helped steer City to the title and the Champions League final.

And he continued that form into the Euros with a series of calm performances as England reached the final and lost to Italy on penalties.

Lawrence Ostlere10 August 2021 09:00

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Messi deal close…

PSG are pushing for the deal with Lionel Messi to be agreed as soon as possible, reports Fabrizio Romano. The transfer journalist says negotiations are ongoing with clauses still to be ironed out. But it sounds like things are moving in the right direction.

Lawrence Ostlere10 August 2021 08:52

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Leicester eye Jesse Lingard if James Maddison leaves for Arsenal

Leicester have identified Jesse Lingard as a potential replacement for James Maddison, should Arsenal move for the midfielder.

Football London report that the Foxes would target the Manchester United midfielder, following his exceptional loan spell at West Ham last season,

The Foxes want £60 million for Maddison, who fell down the pecking order under Brendan Rodgers towards the end of last season.

Jack Rathborn10 August 2021 08:24

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Lionel Messi latest: Argentine paper reports player will be in Paris on Tuesday

While reports out of Argentina state that Lionel Messi will be in Paris on Tuesday to sign for Paris Saint-Germain.

Expect plenty of reports to pick up today as Messi’s future becomes more clear…

Jack Rathborn10 August 2021 08:10

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Barcelona attempt ‘miracle’ offer to keep Lionel Messi

Barcelona are making one last proposal to keep Lionel Messi at the club, according to Spanish programme La Porteria.

The club’s CEO Ferran Reverter will attempt to negotiate what Mundo Deportivo describe as a “miracle”.

The club and player were “negotiating through the night”, adds the report.

Jack Rathborn10 August 2021 08:07

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Jack Grealish: Manchester City’s £100m man embraces his record price tag

Jack Grealish has earned a reputation for being something of a maverick presence on the pitch and the same is true of his approach to media duties.

His official unveiling as Manchester City’s new £100m signing and the most expensive player in English football’s history on Monday evening brought an inevitable question: on whether that price tag invites pressure.

No player would ever say “yeah, you’re right, I’m terrified”, of course. But most would admit that certain expectations come with such an eye-watering fee and at least hint at the burden that their new employers have inadvertently placed on their shoulders.

“No, it doesn’t put no pressure on me whatsoever,” Grealish replied. “I take that as a compliment. I actually like it.”

Jack Rathborn10 August 2021 07:55

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Roma ‘near £34m deal to sign Tammy Abraham’ as Chelsea raise funds to sign Romelu Lukaku

Sky Sport in Italy report that Chelsea are close to agreeing a £34m deal with Roma to send Tammy Abraham to Serie A with Jose Mourinho.

The Giallorossi, with Jose Mourinho now in charge, could beat out Atalanta and Arsenal for the England forward.

Jack Rathborn10 August 2021 07:50

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Wizadclick | WAC MAG 2021