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Lionel Messi would only sign new Barca deal if Xavi is appointed boss - Paper Round

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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

Image credit: Getty Images

ByAlexander Netherton
04/07/2020 at 07:23 | Updated 04/07/2020 at 08:25

Barcelona need to appoint Xavi as boss, Thiago to leave Bayern Munich, Chelsea want Pau Torres, and Everton will not sell Lucas Digne.

Xavi could be key to Messi stay

Transfers

Gareth Bale refuses to leave Real Madrid as he holds out for £60m payoff - Paper Round

08/08/2020 AT 22:24

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.

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Could Lionel Messi really leave Barcelona? – Euro Papers

00:01:37

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.

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Chelsea join race for Torres

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.

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Everton will not sell Digne

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.

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Champions League

Frank Lampard: Chelsea 'will be back' after crushing defeat to Bayern Munich

08/08/2020 AT 21:25
Champions League

Lionel Messi magic helps Barcelona beat Napoli and set up Bayern Munich quarter-final

08/08/2020 AT 19:57
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