Rumour Has It: Barca eyeing Haaland as Messi successor, Man City convinced De Bruyne will re-sign

By Sports Desk March 28, 2021

Another day, another Erling Haaland rumour.

Haaland's future is dominating headlines amid widespread interest in Europe.

Barcelona are reportedly interested in the Borussia Dortmund sensation.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI OUT, HAALAND IN?

Barcelona have identified Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland as a top transfer priority if Lionel Messi leaves at the end of the season, according to Diario AS.

Messi is out of contract at season's end and the superstar Barca captain has been tipped to join either Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City.

Should Messi depart, Haaland is wanted by Barca and head coach Ronald Koeman, though all eyes will be on Lyon forward Memphis Depay if the former remains at Camp Nou.

Haaland has also been linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool and City.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims City are convinced Kevin De Bruyne will sign a new contract with the club. Raheem Sterling's contract is also on the agenda, while soon-to-be free agent Sergio Aguero will decide his future in the coming weeks. Aguero has been linked with Inter, Barca and Chelsea.

United are set to challenge Madrid in the chase to sign Villarreal defender Pau Torres, reports The Mirror. United are keen to bolster their defence amid links with Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Sevilla's Jules Kounde and RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate.

- Calciomercato says Inter will reject any offers for star Romelu Lukaku. It comes as Chelsea and Barca reportedly eye the in-form Belgian.

Barca are monitoring the future of Valencia star Jose Luis Gaya, according to Diario AS. The captain is negotiating a new contract with Valencia.

- Napoli and Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz is wanted by LaLiga trip Barca, Madrid and Atletico Madrid, claims Diario Sport.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Arsenal are considering a move for Real Betis star Nabil Fekir amid doubts over loanees Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos.

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    The 34-year-old moved across London to join the Gunners from Chelsea in August 2019.

    He has played 73 times in all competitions, scoring on four occasions and contributing to 18 clean sheets.

    Arsenal have won 32 of the 69 games he has started during that time – a win percentage of 46.4 per cent – but Arteta and David Luiz mutually agreed to a parting of the ways when his contract expires at the end of his season.

    "David and I, we discussed it on a few occasions and the other day we made the final decision on that," he said ahead of Wednesday's trip to Crystal Palace, which will be Roy Hodgson's final home game in charge of the Eagles.

    "He's won everything in football and he has earned every right to do so because of who he is as a player and a person. I had the privilege of working with him for 18 months.

    "I really enjoyed working with him, we had some great moments together and he's been really helpful. He's someone we really like and appreciate so much.

    "Just to say thank you to him and wish him the best of luck in his next chapter. Knowing David, he will have many more to come – as a player and also in the future, somehow related to the game."

    David Luiz's countryman and fellow former Chelsea player Willian has endured a difficult maiden season at Arsenal.

    The 32-year-old belatedly scored his first Premier League goal for the Gunners in the 3-1 win over West Brom earlier this month, while five assists in the top flight is below the return from each of his last three seasons at Stamford Bridge.

    Inter Miami have been linked to a move for Willian, but Arteta expects him to remain at Arsenal and will work to improve his output.

    "He's a player with an incredible talent and a proven performance level in this league," he said.

    "This season has been difficult and I take full responsibility because I have to be getting the best out of him.

    "We had moments, but not to the level like he did before.

    "These are the assessments that we are going to do individually with the players and as well, obviously, with [director of football] Edu, the board and the ownership to make the right decisions for the future.

    "Every player that is under contract is very likely to be here with us next season."

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    The 73-year-old is nearing the end of his fourth season with Palace and has kept them clear of the relegation places in each of those campaigns.

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    With Hodgson's contract due to expire, former Chelsea boss Lampard has long been linked with taking over as his replacement having been sacked by the Blues in January.

    "After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace," Hodgson confirmed in a statement to the Palace website.

    "It's been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. 

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    "I have had so much support from my wife and family throughout my career and I have been contemplating this decision for some time, and now I believe the time is right to consider them and to see what the future holds for me.  

    "I have really enjoyed my time at Palace, I have been privileged to work with an outstanding group of professional and dedicated players, most of whom have been with me throughout the four years."

    Palace have finished 11th, 12th and 14th under Hodgson. This season they sit 13th after a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa last time out.

    Chairman Steve Parish said: "It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy, who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager. 

    "I know how much it has meant to Roy managing the club he supported as a child, adding to his distinguished and unparalleled career in football management. 

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    Assistant manager Ray Lewington will also leave with Hodgson.

    Palace have a host of players out of contract at the end of the season too, so there will be significant changes throughout the club in 2021-22.

    They face Arsenal on Wednesday and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta paid tribute to the veteran Hodgson.

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    "To keep doing it for so long with the way he has always conducted himself, it's a great example as a young coach of someone I admire.

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