Lionel Messi's Barcelona contract is making headlines.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed Messi has a get-out clause in his deal.

Now, a move across the pond could be on the cards for the Argentina superstar…

 

TOP STORY – MESSI CONSIDERING MLS

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi could leave Camp Nou for MLS, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Messi has an annual exit option in his deal and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner could swap Spain for the United States.

It comes as the Catalan giants look to offer Messi – who has been linked to David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise – a lifetime contract.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is set to sign a new contract, reports Il Messaggero. The Serbia international midfielder – contracted until 2023 – was linked to Manchester United, Inter, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window. However, Lazio are looking to include a release clause of at least €100million.

- Tuttosport, meanwhile, says Inter are targeting Milinkovic-Savic and Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa.

- According to AS, Real Madrid are lining up Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for the 2020-21 season. Van de Beek was heavily linked to Madrid prior to the transfer deadline but a move did not materialise.

Manchester City continue to be linked to Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar. Tuttosport says Pep Guardiola wants to sign the star defender in January following Aymeric Laporte's knee injury.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Dries Mertens could move to China, Belgium or the USA on a free transfer when his Napoli contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to the Daily Star, Adidas played a crucial role in keeping Paul Pogba at Manchester United. Reports linked Pogba to Real Madrid and Juventus but the Frenchman remained at Old Trafford.

Virgil van Dijk is set to remain with Liverpool until the end of 2025.

Netherlands international Van Dijk, 28, headed to Anfield from Southampton for a reported £75million in January 2018, signing a deal until 2023.

But the superstar centre-back is rumoured to be ready to recommit to the reigning European champions.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DIJK AGREES SIX-YEAR LIVERPOOL DEAL

Van Dijk has agreed a new contract with Liverpool, according to the Mirror.

The defender will earn close to £200,000 per week with his new deal, up from his current £125,000 per week wages, the report says.

It comes just a month after Van Dijk lost his title as the world's most expensive defender when Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City for a reported £80m.

ROUND-UP

- David de Gea could be set to leave Manchester United. Coming out of contract at the end of the season, the goalkeeper has told friends he is willing to turn down a deal from the Premier League club, according to The Sun. The Express reports Serie A giants Juventus want to sign De Gea on a free transfer at the end of the season.

- Paulo Dybala almost left Juventus in the close season and the playmaker is set to be at the centre of talk again in January. Paris Saint-Germain want to beat Tottenham to the signing of Dybala when the transfer window reopens, according to the Express.

- Edwin van der Sar could be set for a return to Old Trafford. The Mirror reports the former Netherlands goalkeeper and Ajax chief executive is on Manchester United's list as they search for a director of football.

- Staying at Old Trafford, Manchester United's stars are happy Alexis Sanchez has left on loan to Inter, according to The Sun.

- After the emergence of 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati, Barcelona have set up a plan to look after the teenager. Sport reports the LaLiga champions consider Fati a first-team player and want to protect him as he gains plenty of attention.

Juan Cuadrado says he is set to hold talks with Juventus over his future at the club.

The winger has only played 19 minutes of the 2019-20 Serie A season under new coach Maurizio Sarri.

Cuadrado is reportedly set to be used as a right-back following the sale of Joao Cancelo to Manchester City.

But Danilo moved in the opposite direction and Juve also have Mattia De Sciglio as an option in that position.

Cuadrado's opportunities to play as a wide attacker could also be limited with Juve boasting Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi in their squad.

The 31-year-old's contract is expiring and Cuadrado confirmed he will sit down with the club after the international break.

"I'm very happy and grateful, I have one year left with Juventus," he told reporters. 

"As soon as I return we have a meeting to see what happens. I'm in the hands of God to make the best decision."

Cuadrado started for Colombia as they earned a 2-2 draw with Brazil in Miami on Friday.

 

With Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines, Manchester City are looking for reinforcements.

Laporte's knee injury has left City with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as their only recognised centre-backs.

Could a star defender from Serie A be the answer in January?

 

TOP STORY – CITY LOOK TO SKRINIAR

Pep Guardiola wants defensive reinforcements in January and Manchester City are set to target Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to CalcioMercato.

Aymeric Laporte is set for a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury, depleting City's options as they eye a third consecutive Premier League title.

Inter star Skriniar has emerged as an option for City, though the Italian side are not keen on losing the 24-year-old – who was linked to Manchester United in the off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Real Madrid will try to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe at the end of the season. Madrid were linked with Neymar prior to the transfer deadline but now appear set to target his PSG team-mate.

- According to Aksam, Liverpool will monitor the form of Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir throughout the season.

- Tuttomercatoweb says Napoli are ready to re-sign Arkadiusz Milik, Piotr Zielinski and Nikola Maksimovic, while a contract extension for Gianluigi Donnarumma is AC Milan's priority.

- Former AC Milan forward Jeremy Menez wants to return to Serie A via Sampdoria, according to CalcioMercato. The 32-year-old former France international is a free agent after leaving Mexican side Club America.

- Serie A champions Juventus are eyeing a double swoop for Tottenham stars Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, says the Daily Mail. Eriksen and Alderweireld are set to become free agents at the end of the season and Inter are also reportedly monitoring the situation.

- Valencia are determined to tie down Carlos Soler and Ferran Torres to new deals, reports SuperDeportes.

Inter will forever be Mauro Icardi's first choice in Italy despite the club having tried to force him out, according to his wife and agent Wanda Nara.

Argentina striker Icardi brought an end to a turbulent six months when he secured a season-long loan switch to Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day.

The Ligue 1 champions can make the move permanent for a reported €70million fee but Nara, whose husband signed a one-year contract extension before leaving San Siro, insists his Inter departure is "not a divorce".

That is despite the Serie A side's rumoured willingness to complete a deal that would have sent Icardi to Juventus in a part-exchange for Gonzalo Higuain, who spent part of last season on loan at AC Milan.

The 26-year-old's future became even more uncertain the following month when he was stripped of the captaincy amid a standstill in contract talks.

"Inter needed to sell Icardi. As captain, Mauro would never have left the club. It was a strategy to sell him," Nara told Corriere della Sera.

"In January, he refused to transfer to another team. I won't tell the team's name. The other player, however, came to Milan, but not to Inter...

"[Icardi] replied: 'I am the captain and I will not leave this team'. That's when the relationship broke. They had another idea."

Despite the rift, Nara claims Icardi still views the Nerazzurri as his preferred Serie A home.

"He likes playing in Italy, he knows the league well," she said.

"I think he will come back. I don't know where and how. Inter will always be the priority.

"[There have been] many misunderstandings, but the desire to play for Inter and the love of the fans remains.

"There are crises in a long relationship. In the end we leave each other with a repaired relationship, without any betrayal."

The ex-Sampdoria star spent almost two months out of Inter's first team last season before Luciano Spalletti ended the exile in April.

However, he was compelled to accept PSG's offer of a fresh escape route after being told he did not figure in new boss Antonio Conte's plans.

"You can't say no to PSG," Nara said. "They have everything needed to win, it's a club full of stars and Mauro is honoured to be part of it.

"At the end of the season we will choose whatever is best. I work for him; the choices are his."

Lionel Messi will get to decide his Barcelona future, regardless of when the star is contracted until.

Messi, 32, re-signed with the LaLiga champions two years ago, extending his contract until 2021.

But such extensions may not matter when it comes to arguably the world's best player.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI CAN LEAVE BARCELONA AT THE END OF ANY SEASON

Messi can choose to leave Barcelona at the conclusion of any campaign regardless of his contract, according to El Pais.

The Argentina superstar made his debut for the club in late 2004, and his future is seemingly in his own hands.

It remains to be seen when, or if, Messi decides to depart Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Philippe Coutinho eventually left Barcelona for Bayern Munich on loan, but it could have been different for the playmaker. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola rejected the chance to sign the 27-year-old, according to Marca.

- Left out of Juventus' Champions League squad, Mario Mandzukic is eyeing a January exit, according to Calciomercato.com. The striker was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the transfer window.

- Staying in Turin, Juventus could have signed Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng in the close season. Calciomercato.com reports Maurizio Sarri rejected a move for the centre-back.

- Ousmane Dembele was reportedly wanted by Paris Saint-Germain while they were in talks with Barcelona over a move for Neymar. But the attacker refused to leave because he is at his dream club at Barcelona, according to L'Equipe.

- Former Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is reportedly in talks with Monaco, but the 55-time Italy international turned down a move to Scottish giants Rangers, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Left out of the England squad, Manchester City defender Kyle Walker is worried he has no international future under Gareth Southgate, the Daily Star reports.

Virgil van Dijk backed Netherlands team-mate Matthijs de Ligt to be unaffected by a shaky Serie A debut for Juventus.

Former Ajax defender De Ligt received criticism for his performance in Juve's dramatic 4-3 victory over Napoli on Saturday.

The 20-year-old played alongside Leonardo Bonucci due to Giorgio Chiellini's anterior cruciate ligament injury but struggled to cope with Napoli's rampant attack in the second half and was partly at fault for all three goals Juve conceded.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has defended the €75million centre-back, however, and Liverpool star Van Dijk echoed those sentiments.

"I saw Matthijs arrive very normally. Nothing was wrong," UEFA Men's Player of the Year Van Dijk told a news conference ahead of Netherlands' Euro 2020 qualifier with Germany.

"Everybody that knows him also knows that he always stays calm in these kind of situations.

"Of course, I spoke to him. But we don't need to tell each other a lot. I think it's also something you only talk about when you see each other for the first time again.

"After that, the focus is on the future and the match in front of us as a pairing. So that's what we did."

De Ligt's former club-mate Frenkie de Jong also switched to a European heavyweight in the off season by joining LaLiga champions Barcelona, though the midfielder has been used in a slightly different role to the one he played for Ajax and typically occupies for the Netherlands.

"No, not at all. Those guys are amazing, they know that and we do too," Van Dijk said when asked if extra work was required to accommodate the duo in Netherlands' system.

"I think they will show why they are so important to us once again."

Koeman, meanwhile, refuted the suggestion Netherlands will be feeling extra pressure following their 3-2 home defeat to Germany in March.

"There's always pressure on us. Especially now against Germany," Koeman said. "From the outside, it may seem as though we have some pressure on our shoulders, because of our most recent meeting.

"We still have some spare games. I believe we can take a big leap with a good result against Germany tomorrow. In that case, the rest of the qualification will be a bit easier. If not, reaching the Euros should still be our main target, of course."

Blaise Matuidi has called for meaningful action to be taken after Inter striker Romelu Lukaku became the latest player to be racially abused in a game at Cagliari.

Lukaku appeared to be the subject of monkey chants from the stands at Sardegna Arena on Sunday as he scored from the penalty spot in his side's 2-1 Serie A win.

It was the fourth high-profile incident involving Cagliari fans in just over two years, with Juve midfielder Matuidi previously targeted, along with Moise Kean and Sulley Muntari.

The Italian Football Federation and FIFA were quick to condemn the crowd's conduct, but Matuidi has urged the governing bodies to take firm action against the minority responsible.

"Racism in Italy? I already had this problem," the France international said at a news conference on Thursday. "There was the Lukaku problem. It was also in the same stadium.

"I think there must be some measures [taken]. It has no place in football. And in all sports even - and even in life. We don't like to see that. 

"This is not a good example for the young people, for our children. We will do everything so that it is no longer the case, even if it is difficult because it concerns a minority. 

"But this minority of people has no place in the stadiums. We have bodies that are there to make decisions and I think it's up to them to make the right decisions."

Matuidi was strongly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window but, having started Juve's opening two Serie A matches, he dismissed rumours he was ever close to leaving.

"I always declared that I was comfortable at Juventus, one of the best clubs in the world," he said.

"Paris will always have a place in my heart. I have supported PSG since I was a child and wearing their jersey was a dream. But now I'm proud to be at Juve."

The 32-year-old is part of France's squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra.

Aymeric Laporte and Paul Pogba have withdrawn from the initial squad, while Tanguy Ndombele and N'Golo Kante were not considered for selection due to fitness concerns, but Matuidi insisted others can step up for the world champions.

"We are lucky to have a huge pool, with a lot of high-quality players," he said. "There are important players who are absent, but there are others who are there and who have proved for their club that they can bring a lot. 

"We have great confidence in this group and we are able to win despite absences.

"[The absentees] should not be an excuse. We have 23 players and must be successful and win these two games, especially at home. When we wear the jersey of the French team, we always play to win."

The transfer window may be closed but the rumours do not stop!

Christian Eriksen was unable to secure a move away from Tottenham prior to Monday's deadline.

Since then, the likes of Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Inter have been linked to the Spurs star.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO PREPARING JANUARY MOVE FOR ERIKSEN

Atletico Madrid are set to return for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen in January, according to AS.

Eriksen was linked to the likes of Atletico, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United but a move did not materialise.

Now, Atletico, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly monitoring the situation as Eriksen prepares to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to the Mirror, Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic is set to be offered a chance to move to the Premier League. The Croatian veteran was linked to Manchester United but a move failed to transpire prior to the transfer window closing.

- LaLiga pair Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao are keeping tabs on Chelsea and Spain full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, reports the Mirror. It comes amid concerns the Spaniard could lose his spot in the Chelsea XI to Reece James.

- Brazilian side Flamengo are interested in signing free agent Claudio Marchisio, says Gazzetta dello Sport. Former Juventus star Marchisio is without a club since leaving Zenit. Flamengo were also close to luring Mario Balotelli before he opted for Brescia.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants to sign a new defender in January. The report comes after Aymeric Laporte's knee injury left City with just two fit centre-backs – John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami are set to sign River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, according to TNT Sports. The expansion franchise – who are backed by the former Manchester United star and will enter MLS in 2020 – have also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez.

Maurizio Sarri has returned to the training field with Juventus following a bout of pneumonia.

The 60-year-old was diagnosed in mid-August and forced to stay away from Juve's opening two games of the Serie A season – a 1-0 victory at Parma and a thrilling 4-3 triumph over his former club Napoli.

Ex-Chelsea boss Sarri led part of Juve's training session at Continassa on Wednesday.

Gonzalo Higuain and Douglas Costa will not resume work with those of their team-mates not on international duty until Friday, having been prescribed extra rest by Sarri following their exertions against Napoli.

Juve are back in action at Fiorentina on September 14 before opening their Champions League group stage campaign away to Atletico Madrid four days later.

Emre Can says he is still committed to Juventus after an initial angry reaction to being left out of the club's squad for the group stage of the Champions League.

The midfielder and Mario Mandzukic were notable absentees from Maurizio Sarri's group, with new signings Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey among those preferred.

Before training with Germany on Wednesday, Can confirmed he had held talks with Rabiot's former club Paris Saint-Germain over a transfer to the Ligue 1 champions before Monday's deadline.

The 25-year-old said he was "extremely shocked" at being omitted by Juve, adding: "I got a call yesterday. The phone call was not even one minute long."

However, Can appears to regret making those comments as he used social media to clarify the situation later in the day.

"I will always be grateful to Juventus and how they supported and stood by me since I am part of the club, particularly during my time of illness," he posted on Twitter.

"Out of respect to Juventus and my team-mates, whose success has always been my first priority, I won't say anything more and will continue fighting on the pitch."

Can, who has only played 30 minutes in Serie A this term, made six Champions League appearances for Juve last term.

Juve have been drawn in Group D alongside LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Niklas Sule has backed Germany team-mate Emre Can to bounce back following his surprise omission from Juventus' Champions League squad.

Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri criticised a transfer policy that left him with a bloated squad during the close season, and Can and Mario Mandzukic were the odd men out when the Serie A champions named their party for Europe's premier club competition on Tuesday.

Can told reporters he was "extremely shocked" by the decision and claimed he was given assurances to the contrary by Sarri, which persuaded him against seeking a transfer away from Turin.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Germany's Euro 2020 qualifier against Netherlands in Hamburg, Bayern Munich defender Sule stated he expects the former Liverpool midfielder's focus to be unwavering.

"Emre is a guy you don't really have to build up," he said. "He is a consistently positive boy.

"I've known him since the under-13s, where we played together for Eintracht Frankfurt. 

"I'm not involved in this topic and don't know what the coach at Juventus was thinking. But I think Emre knows that well.

"He won't let it get to him and he's an outstanding player - that's without question.

"You can't always influence everything in football. There are decisions, there are other cases.

"We are not in an individual sport here. In golf you can always decide for yourself what you want to do. We are dependent on the coach.

"If he thinks that's the case, then you have to accept that. Nevertheless, I think [Can] won't let it get to him and is fully focused here on the two games."

Sule is relishing meeting one of his most celebrated contemporaries at Volksparkstadion on Friday.

Liverpool and Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk was named UEFA Player of the Year last week and a fellow member of the defenders' union is certainly an admirer of the 28-year-old's qualities at both ends of the field.

"I've played him a few times now. He has an incredible physical presence," Sule said.

"I always had to cover him in the national team at set-pieces. That's when I realised what a guy he is. I'm not exactly skinny either!

"I can see a lot from his offensive headers. He does that really well. He also scored an important goal for Liverpool against us at Bayern.

"We definitely have to deal with how we defend that. He played an outstanding season.

"He is also rightly in contention [for the Ballon d'Or]. That's also nice for a defender, to see that a defensive player could win it."

Emre Can has accused Juventus of breaking a promise by leaving him out of their Champions League squad.

The German midfielder was not included on the 22-player list submitted by Juventus to UEFA, meaning he can play no part in the group stage.

Can claims that conflicts with what he was promised just days ago and insisted he "must and will" play in the competition, an indication he could push for a move in January.

The selection setback comes after former Liverpool player Can held talks with Paris Saint-Germain, only to decide to remain with the Italian champions.

"I had a talk with the club [PSG]. In the end I decided with the club [Juventus] that I would stay. And as you can see, I'm not in the squad for the Champions League," Can said, before training with Germany on Wednesday.

"I was extremely shocked yesterday because I was promised something else last week. They told me something else.

"If I had drawn my own conclusions, I honestly wouldn't have stayed. Because for me it was a condition to play in the Champions League.

"The shock is extremely deep in me. I can't explain it to myself. I have no idea why, because last year I played very well, especially in the Champions League. There has also been no justification until now."

Head coach Maurizio Sarri picked close-season signings Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey ahead of Can in his midfield ranks for the European games, with Juventus due to play Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.

"I got a call yesterday. The phone call was not even one minute long," said 25-year-old Can. "And I was simply told that I was not there. Although they told me last week that I will play 100 per cent in the Champions League.

"I must and will play in the Champions League. I will talk to the club when I come back. And I will see what happens."

Juventus have left Emre Can and Mario Mandzukic out of their Champions League squad.

Midfielder Can, who joined from Liverpool on a free transfer in 2018, has been overlooked in favour of Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and new signings Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot.

Mandzukic, who scored in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in 2017, misses out in favour of Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi in attack.

Experienced defender Giorgio Chiellini has also been left out as he is expected to be sidelined for approximately six months following surgery on a damaged anterior cruciate ligament.

Head coach Maurizio Sarri expressed concern last month that he would be forced to omit senior players from the 22-man list for the group stage given the size of his squad.

He branded the club's transfer policy "embarrassing" as Juve struggled to offload stars to accommodate the arrivals of several new players, including Rabiot, Ramsey, Matthijs de Ligt, Danilo, Luca Pellegrini, Merih Demiral and Gianluigi Buffon.

"We have to cut six players from the Champions League squad," he said. "If we don't, the choices we have are crazy.

"The last 20 days of the [transfer] market will be difficult for us. It's a difficult, embarrassing situation, because we risk leaving top players out of the squad list.

"It's a situation we have to resolve, and it's not strictly connected to the choices of the coach or club."

Juve are in Group D of the Champions League alongside Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.

They begin their campaign against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano on September 18.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has been ruled out for around six months after having surgery on a damaged anterior cruciate ligament.

The experienced centre-back injured the ligament in his right knee during a training session last Friday.

The Serie A champions said in a statement on Tuesday: "This afternoon, Giorgio Chiellini underwent surgery to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee.

"The intervention, performed at the Hochrum clinic in Innsbruck by Professor Christian Fink in the presence of the Juventus Club Doctor, Dr. Tzouroudis, was perfectly successful.

"The expected recovery time is around six months."

Chiellini is likely to return in March, meaning he could be fit for the Champions League quarter-finals should, Juve reach that stage.

The 35-year-old has made 384 league appearances since joining Juve from Roma in 2005.

An eight-time Serie A champion, he was a key part of the defence under former coach Massimiliano Allegri, although muscle problems restricted him to just 22 league starts last season.

In April, the Italy international told DAZN he expected to play "for another year or two" and then take up a backroom role at Allianz Stadium.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.