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Lionel Messi considering a ‘fresh start’ at Manchester City next summer amid Barcelona unrest

LIONEL MESSI is seriously considering a ‘fresh start’ at Manchester City next summer. Barca’s ace confided in Argentina team-mates about his future during the international break. And Messi is torn over signing a new contract at the Nou Camp or beginning a new chapter in his career in Manchester. Negotiations with Barca have been ongoing […]

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LIONEL MESSI is seriously considering a ‘fresh start’ at Manchester City next summer.

Barca’s ace confided in Argentina team-mates about his future during the international break.

Lionel Messi is considering moving to Manchester City when his Barcelona contract expires next summer
Getty Images
The Ecuador defence fail to prevent Messi slamming home a second
Messi was the hero again for Argentina when he scored a hat-trick against Ecuador this week
Getty

And Messi is torn over signing a new contract at the Nou Camp or beginning a new chapter in his career in Manchester.

Negotiations with Barca have been ongoing for 18 months but the deal remains unsigned.

City officials have met with Messi’s representatives on several occasions — making it clear they want him.

The 30-year-old is out of contract at Barca next summer and could sign for City in January and join for free in July.

Lionel Messi's buy-out clause stands at £267m, with nine other La Liga stars valued at more
Lionel Messi has agreed terms on a new deal with Barcelona but has yet to sign a contract
Reuters
But he faces competition from Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona
Messi is not convinced by new Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde
AFP

City are understood to have offered a £40million signing-on fee and a five-year deal worth over £500,000 per week.

Messi has told friends he is unconvinced about Barca’s long-term plan after Neymar’s exit and the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as coach.

Political upheaval in Catalonia which followed the recent unofficial referendum vote has also forced Messi to consider his next career move.

It is understood that he is uncomfortable with the common assumption that he should champion the cause for Catalonian independence even though he’s not a Spanish citizen.

Pep Guardiola seems to have won the Manager of the Month award
Pep Guardiola has been desperate to sign Messi for Man City and the club have been in talks with the star
Reuters

Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, is believed to have agreed commercial and image rights contracts but they’re not binding unless Leo signs a new playing contract.

Pep Guardiola and City’s hierarchy expect Messi to sign up to finish his career at the Nou Camp.

However there is also a feeling that if he was to move City could pull off arguably the biggest transfer of all time by recruiting Messi for free next summer.

Lionel Messi Sergio Aguero
Man City's Sergio Aguero is keen to for his Argentina team-mate Messi to join him at the Etihad
Reuters

And City hero Sergio Aguero says he would love to team up with his pal Messi at the Etihad.

Aguero said: “Money isn’t a problem here.

“I would love to have Leo on my team but it also seems quite complicated. Messi is like Ronaldo — they are players who are symbols of their clubs and it’s difficult for them to leave.”

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‘Ronaldo vs Neymar’: Real Madrid draw PSG in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs go head-to-head… and Twitter loves it

REAL MADRID will play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs were drawn against each other. The reigning European champions will now need to go up against fearsome trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani after Friday’s exciting draw. Elsewhere, Chelsea will face Barcelona, Liverpool take on Porto, Manchester […]

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REAL MADRID will play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs were drawn against each other.

The reigning European champions will now need to go up against fearsome trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani after Friday’s exciting draw.

Holders Real Madrid will go up against PSG in the Champions League last-16
Uefa

Elsewhere, Chelsea will face Barcelona, Liverpool take on Porto, Manchester City draw Basel, Manchester United go up against Shakhtar Donetsk and Tottenham set to play Juventus.

Real Madrid were always set to face a tougher draw than they’re used to, after slipping to second in their group.

Zinedine Zidane’s Los Blancos finished behind Tottenham in Group H, after dropping EIGHT points on the way.

Meanwhile, PSG edged Bayern Munich to top spot in Group B, both of whom earned 15 points out of a possible 18.

Real Madrid were drawn against PSG in a thriller of a last-16 tie
Real Madrid were drawn against PSG in a thriller of a last-16 tie
BT Sport
PSG will be optimistic of denting the reigning champions' chances
PSG will be optimistic of denting the reigning champions’ chances
AFP

Real Madrid vs PSG looks set to be an astonishing tie, after the Ligue 1 giants set the new record for goals in a group stage, with 25.

The draw now means one of the tournament favourites will be going home early, opening the door for one of England’s FIVE clubs to go all the way.


AU’S THAT? Inside the extravagant world of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang… set to bring his talent, and ‘Batmobile’, to Chelsea


However, it was the worst possible morning for Chelsea, who – after slumping to second in their group – ended up drawing Barcelona in the last-16.

Liverpool and Manchester City enjoyed seemingly favourable draws though – going up against Porto and Basel respectively.

PSG will go up against holders Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16
PSG will go up against holders Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16
BT Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will hope to improve on their shaky form against PSG
Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will hope to improve on their shaky form against PSG
REUTERS

Tottenham meanwhile face a tricky tie against Italian giants Juventus.

Manchester United will go up against Sevilla, who finished second in their group, behind Liverpool.

Full Champions League last-16 draw

The Champions League draw appears favourable for most Premier League sides
The Champions League draw appears favourable for most Premier League sides
AFP

Juventus vs TOTTENHAM

Basel vs MAN CITY

Porto vs LIVERPOOL

Sevilla vs MAN UNITED

Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma

CHELSEA vs Barcelona

Bayern Munich vs Besiktas

The clash is 'lready being tipped as a "Neymar vs Cristiano Ronaldo' battle
The clash is ‘lready being tipped as a “Neymar vs Cristiano Ronaldo’ battle
PA:Empics Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo will go up against Neymar in a clash of the titans
Cristiano Ronaldo will go up against Neymar in a clash of the titans
Getty

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Europa League

Europa League draw: Live stream, TV channel, start time, seedings and Arsenal and Celtic’s possible knockout stage opponents

ARSENAL secured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade over a month ago. And now the Arsene Wenger’s side will finally find out their last 32 opponents. A wide range of opponents are available to the Gunners, from an intimidating trip to Dortmund to […]

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ARSENAL secured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade over a month ago.

And now the Arsene Wenger’s side will finally find out their last 32 opponents.

Arsenal have qualified for the Europa League last 32
Getty - Contributor

A wide range of opponents are available to the Gunners, from an intimidating trip to Dortmund to a match against minnows Ostersund or Ludogorets.

They will also be joined by Celtic, who finished a distant third behind PSG and Bayern Munich in arguably the Champions League’s toughest group.

When is the Europa League draw?

The Europa League draw will take place on Monday, December 11 at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

It will commence at 12pm UK time, or 1pm CET.

What TV channel is the Europa League draw on?

The Europa League draw will be live on BT Sport.

Who could Arsenal and Celtic face in the last 32?

This season’s Europa League is set to be a lot tougher than the tournament won by Manchester United last year.

Arsenal can face any of the second placed teams from the 12 Europa League groups (apart from Red Star Belgrade) or the worst four third placed teams in the Champions League group stage.

Conversely, Celtic can play any of the first placed teams from the 12 Europa League groups or any of the best four third placed teams in the Champions League group stage.

Who are the seeded and unseeded teams for the Europa League draw?

Seeded

Villarreal

Dynamo Kiev

Braga

AC Milan

Atalanta

Lokomotiv Moscow

Viktoria Plzen

ARSENAL

Red Bull Salzburg

Athletic Bilbao

Lazio

Zenit St Petersburg

CSKA Moscow

Atletico Madrid

RB Leipzig

Sporting CP

Unseeded

Astana

Partizan

Ludogorets

AEK Athens

Lyon

Copenhagan

FCSB

Red Star Belgrade

Ostersund

Marseille

Nice

Real Sociedad

Napoli

Spartak Moscow

CELTIC

Borussia Dortmund

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Mikel Arteta covers his face on way to training after being hurt in Manchester derby tunnel bust-up

MIKEL ARTETA arrived for training with Manchster City covering his injured face. The City coach allegedly had a bottle thrown at him in the tunnel after yesterday’s Manchester derby. Arteta was ‘left with blood pouring down his face’ after City’s 2-1 win. More follows  

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MIKEL ARTETA arrived for training with Manchster City covering his injured face.

The City coach allegedly had a bottle thrown at him in the tunnel after yesterday’s Manchester derby.

Mikel Arteta covers his face as he arrives at the Etihad campus
Cavendish Press

Arteta was ‘left with blood pouring down his face’ after City’s 2-1 win.

More follows

 

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