MESSI HEADED TO ENGLAND. OR NOT.
Do you want the good news or the bad news first, Arsenal fans?
Well, Lionel Messi wants to join you. But he wants a weekly wage of £600,000 before tax, and has a buy-out clause in excess of £175million.
So says the Daily Star, whose EXCLUSIVE reveals that the Barcelona forward is open to a move to England due to his current ordeal with the tax authorities in Spain. Arsenal are thought to be his favoured club if he lands on these shores, but, you know, money. A lot of money. Too much money. No chance.
OZIL SET FOR NEW DEAL
Some better news for Arsenal fans without the kicker is that Mesut Ozil looks set to continue nicking a living at the club.
The Sunday Mirror’s Steve Stammers reports that Arsenal are ready to offer the lazy German a new deal in reward for his terrible performances this season, with his current contract set to expire in 2018. Plenty of time left then, but the Gunners are seemingly keen to extend the deal at least another year to 2019.
Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have already extended their deals at the Emirates Stadium this season, and Stammers claims the club are keen to repeat that feat with both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez (who needs to stop losing the ball so much).
RONALDO COULD LEAVE REAL
Manchester United’s continued pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo is seen by some as rather ’embarrassing’, but it could well conclude with the Portuguese forward returning to Old Trafford.
That’s the conclusion from Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail, with the Spain-based journalist reporting that Ronaldo ‘will play his last home league Clasico next Saturday with his slow divorce from Real Madrid coming to an inevitable conclusion next May’.
Jenson claims that sources close to the club have claimed the relationship between Ronaldo and Real is near breaking point, with the club ‘snubbing’ the London premiere of his film last Monday. Ouch.
Other misdeeds on the Ronaldo charge sheet include publicly backing Carlo Ancelotti before his sacking earlier this summer, his relationship with new manager Rafael Benitez, and Real’s desire to ‘rebuild’ their squad with the windfall generated from a Ronaldo sale. While they have shown public displeasure at Ronaldo’s non-committal stance regarding his future, they are secretly hopeful of selling Ronaldo for close to the £80million they signed him for from United back in 2009.
The Sun adds that United and Chelsea are the favourites to sign the 30-year-old. Of course.
FALCAO ON HIS WAY OUT
More good news for Chelsea now: Radamel Falcao could be leaving.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror claims Chelsea are keen to terminate Falcao’s loan deal in order to allow the Colombian to take his hefty wages over to La Liga side Valencia. Reports claimed on Sunday that the club are keen to bring in two new strikers in January, with Costa the other on his way out.
Falcao has scored just one goal in 11 appearances for Jose Mourinho’s side so far this season, meaning his record in England stands at five goals in 40 appearances over two seasons. It hasn’t worked.
AND THE REST
Manchester United scouts have been keeping tabs on Leeds United starlet Lewis Cook…West Brom’s Saido Berahino and QPR’s Charlie Austin are among the players interesting Newcastle boss Steve McClaren…New Blackburn manager Paul Lambert will not be forced to sell star striker Jordan Rhodes.