Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) receives the player of the month trophy from Barcelona's former Spanish midfielder Xavi before the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona o
The Sun newspaper reports that Lionel Messi is currently expected to leave Barcelona at the end of his contract in 2021, and that might spark a bidding war this summer as the Spanish club consider selling him now in order to avoid losing him for nothing. However, the paper claims that if Xavi were appointed as boss to replace Quique Setien, it might convince Messi to stay.
Paper Round’s view: Messi has unsurprisingly lost his patience with the set-up at Barcelona if recent reports are to be believed, and he might wish to experience football in another country and in new surroundings before the end of his career. A move to Italy, the Premier League or perhaps to Paris Saint-Germain might give him the spark to keep him at the top for years more.
Could Lionel Messi really leave Barcelona? – Euro Papers
Bayern ready to sell Thiago
Bayern Munich are ready to let their 29-year-old midfielder Thiago leave this summer, so that they don’t lose him on a free transfer when his contract expires in 2021, according to a story in the Mirror. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "He's a great guy on and off the pitch. We negotiated with him and met all of his wishes. But he wants to leave. It looks like he may want to do something new at the end of his career."
Paper Round’s view: The Spaniard is a wonderful player and would be an upgrade on each of the three midfielders that Jurgen Klopp usually favours in his current Liverpool line-up. If he has just a year left on his contract and is still physically fit, then it might be worth striking a deal despite his relatively advanced age - Bayern have been astute sellers of their players, historically.
Chelsea are the latest club to show an interest in Villarreal defender Pau Torres. The 23-year-old Spaniard is for at around £45 million due to a release clause, and he has already been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona. Frank Lampard wants to bolster a defence that has conceded 44 goals in the league already this season.
Paper Round’s view: Lampard’s performance as Chelsea manager has been relatively impressive, especially given the restrictions placed upon him in the transfer market. Bringing in a new defender would allow him to strengthen at the back after already bringing in Timo Werner in attack, in what looks a well-planned transfer strategy so far.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti will not entertain the sale of left-back Lucas Digne. The Telegraph quotes the Italian boss saying of the 26-year-old Frenchman: “At this moment, there are a lot of rumours. Lucas Digne is an important player for us, so there is no way that he can leave.” Everton are also keen on Southampton’s Pierre Emile Hojbjerg.
Paper Round’s view: Everton look positive for the first time in years after many false starts, so keeping their best players is essential if they are not to lose their momentum. Next season could see Spurs, Manchester City and Arsenal still out of the running for the Champions League, so this is a rare opportunity for the club.