Transfer rumours: Mourinho, Aguero, Messi, Cavani, Pulisic, Giroud, Sancho, Konsa, Henry


Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants to wait until the end of the season before determining Jose Mourinho’s fate as head coach. (ESPN)external-link

Argentina forward Sergio Aguero, 32, has admitted he has no idea whether this season will be his last at Manchester City. (Times)external-link

Barcelona and Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi, 33, has not decided where he will be playing next season and his representatives have yet to hold talks with other clubs. (ESPN)external-link

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed he will hold talks with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, 34, over extending his contract at Manchester United. (Sky Sports)external-link

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel wants USA winger Christian Pulisic, 22, to remain at Stamford Bridge, but says no decisions have been made for the summer. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Tuchel insists it is “too soon” to make a decision on Olivier Giroud’s future despite the 34-year-old French striker entering the final months of his deal at Chelsea. (Mirror)external-link

Chelsea’s Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, 26, claims he never wanted to leave the club and is not afraid of the battle to win his place back. (Star)external-link

Borussia Dortmund would prefer to sell England forward Jadon Sancho, 20, and keep hold of Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, 20, this summer. (Bild – in German)external-link

Dortmund could earn in excess of £250m for Sancho and Haaland, with Sancho accounting for about £104m. (TalkSport)external-link

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has dismissed speculation linking English defender Ezri Konsa, 23, with Liverpool and Tottenham. (Birmingham Mail)external-link

AC Milan’s Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 21, wants to become the highest paid goalkeeper in the world. His current deal expires at the end of the season and PSG and Chelsea are interested. (90min)external-link

Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik, 26, has a 12m euro (£10.3m) buy-out clause included in his Marseille contract. (Calciomercato – in Italian)external-link

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry is close to becoming the new manager of Bournemouth after the Championship side requested permission to open talks from his current club Montreal Impact. (TalkSport)external-link

Former swimming champion and now French Minister of Sport Roxana Maracineanu has urged France striker Kylian Mbappe, 22, to stay with Paris St-Germain, amid continual links with Real Madrid. (AS)external-link

Huddersfield have confirmed that they are considering signing former West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison on a free transfer. The 28-year-old Englishman is currently searching for his 12th club after leaving Dutch side ADO Den Haag in January. (Sun)external-link

The 13-year-old son of former Everton and England defender Phil Jagielka has signed for Merseyside rivals Liverpool. (Mail)external-link

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti believes he can add the right players to the Goodison Park club in the next two summer transfer windows without spending big. (Liverpool Echo)external-link

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Lionel Messi: Barcelona forward breaks Pele scoring record in win over Real Valladolid


Lionel Messi’s 644th Barcelona goal came in the 65th minute of their win over Real Valladolid

Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona during his side’s victory over Real Valladolid to break Pele’s record of the most goals for one club.

Argentina forward Messi, 33, scored Barca’s third when he collected Pedri’s backheel, took a touch then slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip.

Messi created the first goal when his cross was headed in by Clement Lenglet and started the move for the second, finished off by Martin Braithwaite.

Messi also hit the post in injury time.

Brazil great Pele scored 643 goals in 19 seasons for Santos in his homeland between 1956 and 1974.

Messi, who scored his first goal for Barca in 2005 and has gone on to win 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues, is out of contract at the end of the season and able to talk to other clubs from January.

In August, he said he wanted to exercise a clause in his deal which he said allowed him to leave on a free transfer, but Barcelona refused, saying his 700m euro (£624m) release clause had to be met.

Earlier this week, Messi said the incident caused him to have “a very bad time in the summer”, although he was in superb form against Valladolid on Tuesday, inspiring a win that took Barcelona back up to fifth, eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Barca could have scored more goals but Masip made a number of fine saves and substitute Philippe Coutinho also hit the woodwork late on.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen made two one-handed saves to deny Fabian Orellana and Kike Perez, preserving Barcelona’s clean sheet.

Earlier on Tuesday, Atletico beat third-placed Real Sociedad 2-0 thanks to goals from Mario Hermoso and Marcos Llorente to go three points clear of Real Madrid, who play Granada at home on Wednesday (18:45 GMT).

Line-ups

Real Valladolid

  • 1Masip
  • 11Hervías
  • 24FernándezBooked at 77mins
  • 5Sánchez de FelipeSubstituted forGuardiola Navarroat 79′minutes
  • 22Martínez García
  • 40Neves FilipeSubstituted forOrellanaat 57′minutes
  • 21Herrero JavaloyasSubstituted forMesaat 57′minutes
  • 14Alcaraz
  • 10PlanoSubstituted forPérezat 57′minutes
  • 9Weissman
  • 16de Sousa MendonçaSubstituted forVilla Suárezat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Pérez
  • 3García
  • 6González
  • 7Guardiola Navarro
  • 8Pérez
  • 12Orellana
  • 13Jiménez
  • 15El Yamiq
  • 17Mesa
  • 19Villa Suárez
  • 20San Emeterio Díaz
  • 23Rubio

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 28Mingueza
  • 4AraujoSubstituted forUmtitiat 71′minutes
  • 15Lenglet
  • 2Dest
  • 8Pjanic
  • 21de JongBooked at 68minsSubstituted forBusquetsat 71′minutes
  • 18AlbaBooked at 62minsSubstituted forFirpoat 71′minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 16GonzálezSubstituted forCoutinhoat 81′minutes
  • 9Braithwaite

Substitutes

  • 5Busquets
  • 6Aleñá
  • 7Griezmann
  • 12Puig
  • 13Murara Neto
  • 14Coutinho
  • 17Machado Trincão
  • 23Umtiti
  • 24Firpo
  • 26Peña

Referee:
Mario Melero López

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Lionel Messi equals Pelé’s record of 643 goals for a single club after scoring for Barcelona


Lionel Messi has equalled Pelé’s all-time club scoring tally in a 2-2 draw with Valencia.

His 643rd career goal for Barcelona since his 2004 debut matched Pelé’s 1957-74 tally for Santos.

Messi is Barcelona’s and the Spanish league’s all-time leading scorer.

In January 2018, he became the most prolific scorer among Europe’s top leagues when he reached 366 league goals, surpassing Gerd Müller’s Bundesliga mark of 365.

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Messi had already surpassed Müller’s single-year goal mark by scoring 86 times in 2012.

Pelé congratulated the Argentina forward on social media

“Like you, I know what it’s like to love wearing the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing better than the place we feel at home,” he said.

“Congratulations on your historic record, Lionel.

“But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career at Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately will be increasingly rare in football.”

Pelé’s comments went right to the heart of Messi’s uncertain situation at Barcelona.

Messi has yet to recant on his announcement last summer that he wanted to leave the club, which is no longer the dominant force that he had done so much to forge over the past two decades.

His contract expires in June, and he will be free to negotiate with other clubs come January.

The latest setback by Barcelona left Ronald Koeman’s team in fifth place and eight points adrift of league leader Atlético Madrid, which got two goals by Luis Suárez to beat Elche 3-1.

Ronaldo closes on another Pelé record

Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo has competed throughout his career with Messi for the status of the best player in the world.(AP: Massimo Paolone)

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo responded to recent criticism with two goals to help Juventus win at Parma 4-0 in Serie A.

That meant he has moved to within one goal of Pelé’s overall record of 757 official goals.

Pelé has put his goal tally at 1,283 goals, but many of those came in unofficial friendlies and tour games.



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Transfer rumours: Messi, Neymar, Mbappe, Bilic, Musiala, Ozil, Depay, Tomori, Seedorf


Paris St-Germain and Manchester City’s hopes of signing Lionel Messi have been given a boost as Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud said the Argentine’s salary “is unsustainable” for the Spanish club, beyond the end of his contract next summer. (AS – in Spanish)external-link

Rousaud wants to reunite Messi with Paris St-Germain’s Brazil forward Neymar at the Spanish giants but says Barca cannot afford to sign the 28-year-old before his contract expires in 2022. (AS – in Spanish)external-link

Ex-Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta says the Premier League club is “the best place” for Messi if his former Argentina team-mate leaves Barca. (Stadium Astro, via Sun)external-link

There is “a real possibility” Messi will leave Barca to join PSG next summer, with France forward Kylian Mbappe, 21, leaving the French champions for Real Madrid. (TalkSport)external-link

West Brom are set to sack manager Slaven Bilic and replace him with former England boss Sam Allardyce. (TalkSport)external-link

Bayern Munich are ready to hand attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala, 17, a new deal worth more than £100,000 a week amid mounting Premier League interest in the England U21 international. (Mail)external-link

Mesut Ozil’s agent says that the German midfielder, 32, wants to stay at Arsenal and see out the final six months of his contract – despite the club wanting him to leave in January. (Tuttomercato – in Italian)external-link

Paris St-Germain are ready to negotiate a deal for Lyon’s 22-year-old France winger Houssem Aouar, who was an Arsenal target last summer. (RMC Sport, via Sun)external-link

Former Barcelona target Memphis Depay, 26, is yet to make a decision about his future, with the Netherlands forward’s Lyon contract expiring next summer. (Goal)external-link

Leeds United are keeping tabs on Chelsea’s England defender Fikayo Tomori, 22, with a view to a move for him in the January transfer window. (Football Insider)external-link

Arsenal and Marseille are interested in signing Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira, 20, from Porto. (Record – in Portuguese)external-link

Brighton striker Glenn Murray, 37, could end his season-long loan at Watford early having made just one league start with the Championship club. (Football Insider)external-link

Stoke City and Reading have set their sights on signing Motherwell’s 22-year-old Dutch winger Sherwin Seedorf. (Football Insider)external-link

French clubs are facing a financial abyss after the collapse of Ligue 1’s huge television deal. (Guardian)external-link

The Professional Footballers’ Association has taken action to prevent unwanted players being made to train alone or with youth players. (Telegraph – subscription required)external-link

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Transfer rumours: Hudson-Odoi, Haaland, Szoboszlai, Messi, Grealish, Wijnaldum


Bayern Munich will not chase Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi in the January transfer window, but the European champions continue to look at the 20-year-old Englishman as a long-term transfer target. (Goal)external-link

Manchester City and Manchester United are both expected to express an interest in signing Borussia Dortmund’s Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haaland, 20, over the coming months. (Mail)external-link

Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, whose contract with the club expires next summer, is keen to move to Real Madrid but the Spanish side face competition from Chelsea and Paris St-Germain for the 28-year-old Austria international’s signature. (Marca) external-link

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks, 24, is ready to speak to club chairman Daniel Levy about concerns over his future and England place for next summer’s European Championships. (Telegraph – subscription required) external-link

Red Bull Salzburg’s Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, 20, is set to turn his back on a move to Arsenal and instead join RB Leipzig in the January transfer window. (Sky Germany via Sky Sports)external-link

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has told England Under-21 winger Demarai Gray he has no future at the Foxes. (Mail)external-link

Dean Smith says Aston Villa must match Jack Grealish’s ambitions to play in Europe or face losing the 25-year-old England midfielder. (Birmingham Mail)external-link

Atletico Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Koke, 28, has spoken about how he would love to persuade Argentine striker Lionel Messi, 33 to join from Barcelona, but admitted it would be difficult “for him to get out of there”. (As)external-link

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman remains keen on signing Liverpool’s 30-year-old Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. (Mundo Deportivo – in Spanish)external-link

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, 33, turned down both Juventus and Inter Milan to join Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer. (Sun)external-link

Leicester and West Ham are on alert with reports Guinean midfielder Amadou Diawara, 23, could be sold by Roma. (Leicester Mercury)external-link

Leeds winger Raphinha, 23, admits he was disappointed by Rennes’ decision to sell him to the Premier League side without the Brazilian’s prior knowledge. (ESPN Brazil via Goal)external-link

West Ham manager David Moyes has no plans to hand Declan Rice the captaincy on a permanent basis and Mark Noble will retain the armband despite his lack of game time. (Standard)external-link

Former striker Louis Saha believes Arsenal should consider re-signing 34-year-old French frontman Olivier Giroud from Chelsea during the January transfer window. (Metro)external-link

The £200m takeover of Premier League side Burnley by an American sports investment firm is set to signed off next week. (Mail) external-link

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Transfer rumours: Neymar, Mbappe, Alaba, Pogba, Messi, De Jong, Hulk


Brazil forward Neymar, 28, says that leaving Paris St-Germain “does not cross my mind”. (L’Equipe – in French)external-link

Chelsea are one of four potential destinations David Alaba’s agent has identified for the Austria defender, 28, if he leaves Bayern Munich next summer. The others are Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG. (Bild, via Sun)external-link

Manchester United have doubts about whether Real Madrid or Juventus can afford to sign their France midfielder Paul Pogba, 27. (ESPN)external-link

Argentine forward Lionel Messi would threaten the financial balance at Paris St-Germain if the 33-year-old joined from Barcelona, says former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. (Goal)external-link

Jordi Farre says that if he wins the Barcelona presidential election on 24 January, Messi will sign a contract renewal the next day. (Sport – in Spanish)external-link

Bayern Munich are preparing a move for Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, 23. (Mundo Deportivo – in Spanish)external-link

Brazil striker Hulk, 34, is willing to take a 90% pay cut to seal a free transfer to the Premier League after ending his four-year spell with Shanghai SIPG. (Record, via Sun)external-link

Wolves have been offered the chance to sign Hulk as a replacement for injured Mexico striker Raul Jimenez. (Football Insider)external-link

Arsenal and Wolves are among a number of clubs watching developments with Valencia and Uruguay striker Maxi Gomez. The 24-year-old could be sold next year as the Spanish club look to raise funds. (Mail)external-link

Scouts from Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and Manchester United will watch Jamaica winger Leon Bailey, 23, in Bayer Leverkusen’s Europa League tie with Slavia Prague on Thursday. (Mail)external-link

PSV Eindhoven’s Netherlands forward Donyell Malen, 21, is at the top of Borussia Dortmund’s list to replace Jadon Sancho if they sell the English winger, 20, next year. (Bild – in German)external-link

Benfica have decided to send on-loan French defender Jean-Clair Todibo, 20, back to Barcelona in January. (Record – in Portuguese)external-link

Benfica are also interested in signing French midfielder Boubakary Soumare, 21, from Lille. (A Bola – in Portuguese)external-link

Dutch forward Sydney van Hooijdonk, 20, could join his father Pierre’s former club Nottingham Forest as his NAC Breda contract has a clause which allows him a free transfer in January. Forest’s Championship rivals Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday are also interested. (Sun)external-link

Wolves and Burnley are interested in Stoke City’s English striker Tyrese Campbell, but the Championship side have already told Rangers that the 20-year-old is not for sale in January. (Football Insider)external-link

MLS side Toronto FC are interviewing former France internationals Laurent Blanc, 55, and Patrick Vieira, 44, for their head coaching vacancy. (Boston Globe)external-link

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Lionel Messi fined for Maradona tribute celebration


Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been fined a combined 780 euros ($A1051) after the player was shown a yellow card for lifting his shirt to pay tribute to the late Diego Maradona following his goal in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Osasuna.

Messi, who was fined 600 euros while his club were fined 180, paid homage to his late compatriot by taking off his Barca shirt to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys shirt belonging to Maradona, a gesture that was praised around the world.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring their sides fourth goal while wearing a Newell’s Old Boys shirt with the number 10 on the back in memory of former footballer, Diego Maradona.Credit:Getty Images

Yet the Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee showed little sympathy when upholding the rules, rejecting Barca’s protests against the punishment and their suggestion it should be waived as the gesture was a tribute to Maradona.

The committee’s statement said that while it accepted the gesture was a tribute, article 93 of the disciplinary code states that a player should be punished for removing their shirt when celebrating, irrespective of the motive.



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Football world reacts, tributes, Pele, Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo, Twitter, Instagram


The football world united to pay tribute to one of the game’s greatest-ever players after Argentine legend Diego Maradona died at the age of 60 on Thursday.

Renowned for inspiring Argentina to win the World Cup in 1986, he was most loved at club level for his spells with Boca Juniors in his homeland and Napoli in Italy, where he won the club’s only two Serie A titles.

Many of the world’s best players, including modern stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, hailed Maradona as a true icon.

“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius,” Ronaldo tweeted. “One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”

Messi, who took his mantle as Argentina’s leading player, posted on Instagram. “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal,” Messi wrote. “I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I wanted to take the opportunity to send my condolences to all his family and friends.”

His former teams added their voice.

“You are eternal in every heart in world football,” the Twitter account of the Argentina national team posted alongside a picture of Maradona holding the World Cup.

Napoli’s Twitter feed said: “Always in our hearts, Ciao Diego.” Boca posted: “Eternal thanks. Eternal Diego.”

Maradona also played for Barcelona and Sevilla in Europe and Argentinos Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina before embarking on a far less successful managerial career.

“Thank you for everything Diego. FC Barcelona expresses its deepest condolences regarding the death of Diego Armando Maradona, a player for our club (1982-84) and an icon of world football,” Barcelona said in a statement.

Maradona is remembered for his masterly composure on the ball, but he was also famous for his frequent lack of control both on the field and off.

He struggled with addiction, notably to cocaine, and with his weight, in contrast to the more clean-cut image of Brazilian legend and three-time World Cup winner Pele.

“What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend,” Pele tweeted. “One day, I hope we play soccer together in the sky.”

Ex-Tottenham and Argentina midfielder Ossie Ardiles said: “Thank dear Dieguito for your friendship, for your football, sublime, without comparison. Simply, the best football player in the history of football. So many enjoyable moments together. Impossible to say which one was the best. RIP my dear friend.”

Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar posted a photo of him as a youngster with Maradona, calling the Argentine a “legend of football”.

The pinnacle of Maradona’s playing career came in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, where his two iconic goals defeated England 2-1.

Both goals reflected Maradona’s larger-than-life character.

For the first he punched the ball into the net for a goal he named “Hand of God”, while for the second he showed incredible skill by dancing round the England team from inside his own half.

“By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time,” said Gary Lineker, who scored England’s goal in that match.

“After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego.”

Sprint king Usain Bolt and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar were among the greats from other sports to pay tribute.

“Football and the world of sports has lost one of its greatest players today,” Tendulkar wrote. “Rest in Peace Diego Maradona! You shall be missed.”

– AFP



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Transfer gossip: Szoboszlai, Sanchez, Messi, Willian, Isco, Khedira


Arsenal are exploring ways to structure a deal for Hungary midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, 20, who has a £23m release clause at RB Salzburg. (Mirror)external-link

Tottenham are likely to make further signings in January and could be in line for a new central defender, with Colombia international Davinson Sanchez, 24, a possible departure. (Football Insider)external-link

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman remains convinced that Lionel Messi will stay at the club and has refused to be drawn into a debate regarding the 33-year-old Argentine playmaker’s future. (Goal)external-link

Brazilian midfielder Willian, 32, has been ‘dealt with internally’ by Arsenal after his break in Dubai during the international fortnight – with Mikel Arteta insisting the issue is ‘resolved’. (Sun)external-link

Jurgen Klopp insists he has no idea if Premier League champions Liverpool will target a new defender in the January transfer window. (Goal)external-link

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has played down rumours of moves for two of his former players; Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Isco, 28, and Juventus and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira, 33. (Liverpool Echo)external-link

West Ham have also been linked with former World Cup winner Khedira. (Sport Mediaset, via Team Talk)external-link

Khedira is not expected to move to the American MLS. (Bild)external-link

Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez has denied reports he was involved in a changing room fracas on international duty. The Everton midfielder was reported to have been involved in a clash with international colleagues Jefferson Lerma, 26, of Bournemouth and Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez, 24. (Star)external-link

USA midfielder Giovanni Reyna, 18, has signed a new long-term contract with Borussia Dortmund just months after being linked with Liverpool. (Team Talk)external-link

Erling Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, the former Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City midfielder, admits his Norway international striker son, 20, is attracted to the Premier League but is focused on winning trophies with current club, Borussia Dortmund. (Sport 1, via Mirror)external-link

Former Manchester City midfielder Trevor Sinclair, believes the arrival of Barcelona playmaker Lionel Messi, 33, at the Etihad is ‘inevitable’ following City boss Pep Guardiola’s contract extension. (Talksport)external-link

Chris Smalling has criticised Manchester United for offering him little clarity on his future before his initial move to Roma last year, but the 30-year-old ex-England defender says he is relishing his time in Italy. (Telegraph – subscription required)external-link

The iconic ‘Wembley Way’ has been demolished to make way for a new approach to the national stadium. (Sun)external-link

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has revealed he nearly appeared in ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ – and has not ruled out a future stint on the ITV programme. (Mail)external-link

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