Barcelona have encountered a major stumbling block in their attempt to register Lionel Messi’s new contract – ESPN’s insider notebook has the latest. PLUS: An ex-Man United star wanted by Chelsea.
Jump to: Romero a Chelsea, Juve goal after United exit | Premier League clubs are concerned about COVID | Barca leave H&M collaboration | Vieira’s youth mission targets Man City’s rising star | Bale’s World Cup hopes are facing a disruption
Messi deal: Barcelona struggle to fund the deal
Barcelona‘s drive to reduce their labor costs has encountered a significant obstacle as they struggle to make room for their signings to be registered and Lionel MessiThe new contract, various sources told ESPN. The club needs to cut its spending to ensure it meets La Liga spending limits for the next season. If that is not possible, they run the risk of not being able to register Messi’s new contract or signings Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.
Barca have until the end of the August 31st transfer window to present Messi’s contract and La Liga signings but internally they want everything to be sorted out before August 15th when they start their league season at home Real Sociedad. League president Javier Tebas said he will not relax the rules for Barcelona and a failure to put their finances in order could see Messi when he signs the five-year deal revealed by ESPN last week, can’t play until at least January as happened to Getafe Midfielder Pedro Leon in 2014.
Barca managed to switch several youngsters and fringe players earlier in the transfer window, including United States International Moved from Konrad de la Fuente to Marseillebut they are struggling to get rid of the big earners. The club has also not agreed on a salary cut with long-time players Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto. Sources said football director Mateu Alemany spoke to the trio’s agents but none have shown any desire to cut their earnings to help the club. Busquets earns around 16 million euros per year at the club, Alba 13 million euros and Roberto 10.5 million euros.
ESPN previously stated that the fastest way to get these savings is through Antoine Griezmann, but speaks for the striker to return to Atletico Madrid have stalled. Barca and Atletico had negotiated a swap deal that would result in midfielder Saul Niguez moving the other way at Camp Nou, but they cannot agree on player ratings.
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Griezmann, who, according to ESPN sources, would like to move to Atletico for a move to the Premier League, does not want to detract from his salary of around € 35m per year, which means that Barca may have to add to his salary to push any deal through . They did something similar when Luis Suarez joined Atletico Madrid last summer.
Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti they have been told they have no future at the club, but neither of them is about to leave. Like Griezmann, Pjanic, who took the interest of Italy, does not want to accept a wage cut. Sources say none of the clubs that want the Bosnian midfielder can match his earnings.
Philippe Coutinho, who earns around 24 million euros annually, and Neto (6.5 million euros) are two other candidates who will leave this summer but they could stay in the end. Barca don’t want to take a huge blow with the £ 142million they paid Liverpool in 2018 for Coutinho, ESPN revealed, and manager Ronald Koeman is cautious about letting Neto go with the goalkeeper of choice Marc-André ter Stegen hurt off. – Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens
Chelsea and Juventus are keen on ex-Man Utd goalkeeper Romero
The goalkeeper has trained in Argentina while planning his next move after leaving Old Trafford this summer at the end of his contract. The 34-year-old has played 61 games in six years at Old Trafford.
European heavyweights Chelsea and Juventus are among a number of clubs that have expressed an interest in the Argentina international. Spanish side Granada also monitor his situation.
Contrary to rumors, sources told ESPN that there was no contact with them. has given Leeds United, while a possible move to Everton is seen as unlikely after signing the 34-year-old Asmir Begovic with a free transfer from Bournemouth.
Despite Romero’s departure, United still have four senior goalkeepers on their books. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the arrival of Tom Heaton this summer when passing Lee Grant a new annual contract. Last season, David De Gea and Dean Henderson competed for the # 1 shirt. –Rob Dawson
Craig Burley and Jan Aage Fjortoft predict Manchester United will drop to fourth in the Premier League unless they make significant additions to the roster.
Premier League clubs fear COVID chaos
A number of top Premier League clubs fear the COVID-19 mayhem ahead of the new season, sources told ESPN.
Almost all coronavirus restrictions in the UK were lifted on July 19th – Freedom Day – despite a sustained surge in the number of infections.
Premier League players are still being tested twice a week so that infections – asymptomatic or otherwise – are detected immediately, and clubs fear pre-season preparations could be hampered if players are forced to isolate. You could also play games with exhausted squads when the new Premier League season kicks off on August 14th.
More than 600,000 people use the National Health Service’s COVID-19 app in England and Wales self-isolation warnings were sent out last week. The self-isolation for people who have been fully vaccinated and warned by the app, as close contacts of a positive test are to be discontinued by August 16. The government registers around 40,000 new coronavirus cases every day.
arsenal have already been forced to do so cancel their pre-season trip to Florida because of a “small number” of positive cases within their roster. Manchester city also had to play a friendly game Troy because of new government rules about returning to Great Britain France. The game was scheduled to be played on July 31, but was canceled after City was told that players and staff would have to be quarantined for 10 days upon their return to Manchester.
There is only one game left for Pep Guardiola’s side – on July 27th against championship team Preston North End – before their Community Shield takes on Leicester on August 7th at Wembley. Rob Dawson
Alejandro Moreno warns clubs when it comes to which players could hit the market in the summer of 2022.
Barcelona pulls out of H&M deal
Barcelona have pulled out of a deal with clothing retailer H&M amid concerns that a partnership could damage their reputation in China, a source confirmed to ESPN. Talks about a collaboration where H&M would have supplied casual wear for Barca first-team players while traveling to games were at an advanced stage.
However, as Diario ARA first revealed, Barca pulled out of the negotiations when a member of their Hong Kong office raised concerns about the impact the cooperation could have in China.
H & M’s sales in China have declined and the share price fell sharply in March as the company raised concerns about alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Province, along with other major apparel brands such as Nike, Burberry and Adidas. H&M, a Swedish company, said it would not source any products from Xinjiang, a cotton region, for this reason.
Asia is considered an important market for Barca. The main sponsor of the club is the Japanese company Rakuten, and there is also a partnership with the China Taiping Insurance Group. In 2014, the Catalan club opened an office in Hong Kong to help the club grow across the continent. – Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens
The Vieira Revolution takes shape in the Palace
Patrick Vieira’s intention to breathe new life into the Crystal Palace has led him to target rising Manchester City star Morgan Rogers, sources told ESPN.
Former New York City FC Coach Vieira replaced Roy Hodgson this summer and has set out to lower the age of the Palace squad he has inherited. Data compiled by the CIES Football Observatory last season found Palace had the oldest squad in the Premier League, with a median age of 29.2.
Vieira has responded with two noticeable signings – highly rated defender Marc Guehi (21) of Chelsea for around £ 18m and midfielders Michael Olise (18) from the Reading Championship site. 18-year-old could be next Manchester city Striker Rogers, who impressed Lincoln City on a League One loan last season. Rogers has scored six goals in the third division and could be difficult to find chances at City in the coming years Aston Villa‘s Jack Grealish.
In the meantime, City will not sign a left-back Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon this summer, sources told ESPN. The city has been strongly associated with the 19-year-old Portugal, but privately, the Premier League champion has vigorously denied that he is interested at all. Sources added that their goal this summer is to step up their attack. –Rob Dawson
The bomb threat casts shadows over Bale’s World Cup plans
Gareth Bale‘s hopes for a World Cup farewell with Wales at the Qatar 2022 faces interruptions in the next qualifying round as qualifying rivals Belarus will be forced to play their home games in a neutral country. The World Cup next year could be Bale’s last hope of being in the tournament real Madrid Winger 33 next year.
Wales, who need to finish in the top two in Group E to either qualify directly or reach the playoffs, will continue their qualifying campaign against Belarus on September 5 in Minsk. However, the Welsh Football Association is still awaiting confirmation from a venue as all flights into Belarusian airspace were banned by the United Kingdom and the European Union following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk in May when Belarusian authorities faced a bomb threat against the plane warned before arresting opposition activist who was traveling by plane when it was on the ground.
Belarus welcomes Wales and Belgium in Minsk during the next round of international games, but sources told ESPN that the games will be moved to a neutral location if the flight ban is not lifted in the coming weeks.
UEFA has forced Belarusian champions Shakhtyor Soligorsk to play their home game in the first Champions League qualifying round against Bulgarian team Ludogorets in Belgrade. Serbia, Earlier this month based on the current situation, and sources have said there is little optimism that the political landscape will change in time for Belarus to face Wales and Belgium in Minsk. – Mark Ogden