Latest rumours: Messi on his way to China?
Lionel Messi is a target for big-spending Hebei China Fortune in what would be a landmark transfer for the Chinese Super League, reports Mundo Deportivo.
Despite Messi’s initial refusal to entertain a move to the Far East last summer, Hebei Fortune apparently remain undeterred in their quest to sign the Barcelona superstar.
Managed by former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, the Super League side recently added Javier Mascherano to their ranks, which also includes Ezequiel Lavezzi. The hope is that the Argentine’s compatriots will help convince him to seek a new challenge at the end of the season.
The only issue, of course, is that Messi’s new contract — which runs until 2021 — contains a €700 million release clause. New rules in Chinese football mean any deal would cost Hebei a staggering €1.4billion (£1.2billion)
Real Madrid playmaker Isco was the man of the moment earlier on in the season but Zinedine Zidane is prepared to sell him during the summer window, and Premier League clubs are on high alert. He remains to be a Liverpool transfer target, while Arsenal and Manchester City have been long-term admirers. However, Juventus and Bayern Munich are believed to be rivals for his signature.
Robert Lewandowski wants to move to Real Madrid. The Bayern Munich striker has been tentatively linked with Real over recent years but he and his agent, Cezary Kucharski, believe now it’s now or never as he approaches his 30th birthday. Bayern Munich have said they will not keep anybody at the club against their wishes. Zidane may see him as the man to spearhead his new-look attack.
Bayern Munich are in the market for wingers. Both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are in the twilight of their careers and, though they have Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman waiting in the wings, the bosses in Bavaria believe they need more. Christian Pulisic, a Manchester United transfer target, and Leon Bailey, subject to Chelsea transfer rumours during winter, are two players who interest the Bundesliga leaders.
Juventus’ Paulo Dybala may be on the move this summer. The Argentine playmaker has not renewed the lease on his luxury house in Turin which comes to an end in July. He is believed to be a Barcelona transfer target but after the arrival of Philippe Coutinho and the fact they continue to court Antoine Griezmann, it now looks unlikely. There is a belief La Liga rivals Real Madrid could make a move to keep pace with Barcelona.
Roma are looking to bring Mateo Kovacic, a one-time Tottenham Hotspur transfer target, back to Serie A. The former Inter Milan midfielder is having a tough time breaking into the Real Madrid starting XI on a regular basis and may move in order to increase his chances of first-team football. Monchi is hopeful he will swap Madrid for Rome.
Amin Younes could be in hot water if he reneges on the deal he signed with Napoli. The German-born midfielder caught the eye while playing for Ajax and agreed to join the Serie A leaders in the summer. The deal is official and the contract is signed. However, in a recent interview the player implied his future is undecided, forcing Napoli to release a statement: “If Amin Younes takes different paths he will assume all the responsibilities in the economic and disciplinary field.”
Zidane could soon replace Didier Deschamps as the manager of the France national team. Florentino Perez has reportedly settled on Joachim Low to replace Zidane in Madrid, freeing him up to replace Deschamps who, despite having an impressive pool of players to choose from, has failed to capture the imagination of the country with his choice of football.
Paris Saint-Germain are battling it out with Real Madrid for the signature of Thibaut Courtois. The Chelsea goalkeeper is stalling on a new deal with the Premier League champions and is believed to want to return to Spain to be closer to his family. However, PSG believe they can put together a package that will convince him that Paris is the play for him to continue his careers.