Man City to tempt Messi?

Manchester City could look to tempt Lionel Messi with a pre-contract offer in January given the forward is not planning to discuss his Barcelona future until later in the season, the Telegraph reports. With the 33-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of the current campaign, the transfer saga looks set for another chapter after the Argentine reluctantly stayed at the club this past summer. City had looked the most likely destination for Messi, and now the Premier League club must crunch the numbers should they want to bring the six-time Ballon d’Or winner over to England.

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Lionel Messi (l) and Ronald Koeman (r)

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: There’ll be no clause in the way come 2021, but where will Barca be by then? Who will be the head coach? And the president? Certainly not Josep Maria Bartomeu after the current president announced he is resigning. Meanwihile, given Barca are down in 12th in La Liga – plus the fact frontrunner for the presidential role Victor Font wants Xavi and even Pep Guardiola back at the club – Ronald Koeman will unlikely last the season. What shape Barca are in come May or June will dictate whether Messi stays or goes, but the City option come January adds an intriguing layer to this story.

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No Alli talks – yet

Jose Mourinho is yet to sit down with Dele Alli and discuss the Tottenham midfielder’s future, the Telegraph reports. Alli started the first Premier League match of the season but has since made just one appearance off the bench, while he has not made the squad on the other five occasions. He was one of four players brought off at half-time in last week’s Europa League defeat to Antwerp, but he is yet to fully understand why he is being overlooked after a loan to PSG was blocked. A January loan move could be on the cards if he fails to win Mourinho over.

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur with Jose Mourinho head coach of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Europa League play-off match between Tottenham Hotspur and Maccabi Haifa

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: Those who watched All or Nothing will know what Mourinho makes of Alli’s effort in training, but there was seemingly a connection there given Jose’s liking for the player’s undoubted talent. Who knows what’s going on this season – it is difficult to really know what is going on behind the scenes, when the cameras aren’t there, anyway.

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PL clubs to back Championship clubs

The Times is reporting that the Premier League has made another bailout offer to the English Football League and has pledged not to let any Championship club go out of business. A previous £50m offer was rejected as it only concerned League One and League Two clubs, but now the Premier League are pledging to provide that sum to the third and fourth tiers as well as ensuring any Championship club struggling amid the Coronavirus pandemic will not go bust.

Paper Round’s view: A pledge that you never really want to see come to light, but one that could well occur so long as supporters remain away from grounds. £50m is still lower than what the EFL wanted, let’s see what they make of it when meeting later this week.

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Barca still after Garcia

Barcelona will make a final bid of £7m for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January, the Daily Mail reports. The Spanish club have long been linked with the teenager, but their summer approach for the centre-back was rebuffed by City, who risk losing Garcia for free when his contract expires at the end of the season.

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Paper Round’s view: One of those ongoing transfer rumours which makes you wonder what one club sees in a player that another club can’t. Barca seem very keen on Garcia, but the 19-year-old is struggling to hold down a starting spot at City.

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