Messi next club latest, Grealish to Man City COMPLETE, Lukaku 'to join Chelsea in 48 hours' – transfer news live

Messi next club latest, Grealish to Man City COMPLETE, Lukaku 'to join Chelsea in 48 hours' – transfer news live

LIONEL MESSI has LEFT Barcelona after failing to agree a new contract with the La Liga giants.

The club confirmed in a statement that 'economic and structural obstacles' had prevented a deal being ratified by LaLiga.

Messi remains a free agent and leaves Barcelona having scored 672 times in 778 games, with his debut back in 2003.

Meanwhile Jack Grealish has officially sealed his British-record £100m transfer to Manchester City.

The England star signs a six-year deal at the Etihad, taking the No10 shirt vacated by Sergio Aguero.

Meanwhile the future of Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku is also to be decided, with the Inter star potentially set to move to Stamford Bridge this weekend.

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Follow ALL of the latest news and updates below…

  • Giacomo Pisa

    GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL FANS

    What an incredible day of drama yesterday was in the footballing world. 

    Jack Grealish was officially unveiled as a Manchester City player as he became the most expensive Englishman of all time in a Premier League record £100million deal. 

    But it’s the news that followed that sent shockwaves through the sport. 

    Lionel Messi WILL leave Barcelona this summer.

    After 17 years in the Barcelona first team the Argentinian will leave Camp Nou after contract talks between him and the Catalan club broke down. 

    We’ll keep you right up to date with who is leading the race for the 34-year-olds signature. 

    And Inter Milan are reportedly set to accept a bid from Chelsea for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku. 

    The Nerazzurri rejected an offer of £85million plus Marcos Alonso from the Blues, but another bid in the region of £100-110million is expected. 

    And Lukaku has told Inter he’d like to leave, with the 28-year-old eager to right some wrongs from his previous spell at Stamford Bridge. 

    Argentinian centre-back Cristian Romero is expected to be unveiled as a Spurs player today after a £43million plus add-ons move from Atalanta. 

    The 23-year-old joins the North London club fresh from winning the Copa America with his country and comes in to replace Toby Alderweireld in the heart of defence. 

  • Alex Terrell

    MESSI STATS

    Here are Lionel Messi's numbers for Barcelona last season in LaLiga.

    He didn't know it at the time but those will be the last stats in the famous colours of the Nou Camp club.

  • Alex Terrell

    MESSI'S NEXT STOP: PSG?

    Paris Saint-Germain have already put in some hard yards on the Lionel Messi transfer, making the Barcelona legend an offer.

    But Messi has been determined to stay at the Nou Camp, according to Fabrizio Romano.

    However, the club's financial troubles and LaLiga putting their foot down have scuppered any hope of Messi staying at the club he has stayed at his entire career.

    Other potential suitors include Manchester City and Chelsea.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Fabrizio Romano (@fabriziorom)

  • Alex Terrell

    CHELSEA 'CONFIDENT' ON ROM

    The Blues are growing increasingly assured that they can do a deal for former striker Romelu Lukaku to return to Stamford Bridge.

    The Belgian, 28, is expected to be part of an Inter Milan exodus following Nerazzurri's Serie A win last season.

    Sky Sport Italia's Angelo Mangiante says Chelsea are progressing talks with Inter over the striker.

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI CONTACTS BEGIN

    Paris Saint-Germain have already made direct contact with Lionel Messi following his Barcelona exit.

    Barca announced that Messi will be leaving the club following 17 stunning years at the Nou Camp.

    According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, PSG have already put the wheels in motion with the hope of signing the Argentina international.

    Here's what Romano posted:

  • Kostas Lianos

    ART OF PERSUASION

    Jack Grealish revealed his England team-mates persuaded him to accept the record-breaking Manchester City transfer.

    And Grealish was particularly keen to link up with his ‘little brother’ Phil Foden at club level as well as on the international stage.

    City trio John Stones, Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling all helped to convince the Aston Villa skipper that the Etihad was the right move for him during their time together at Euro 2020.

    Asked about his Three Lions pals, Grealish said: “That helps massively. We speak anyway when we are away with England about our own clubs.

    “The likes of Stones, Raz, Phil and Walks had nothing but good words to say whenever it has been mentioned.

    “When we are away with England I get on so well with Phil. He makes me laugh, he is like my little brother. I just can’t wait to play with him regularly, week in, week out.

    “I feel like sometimes, when you have a connection with someone off the pitch, you can transfer that onto the pitch as well.

    “That is what me and Phil used to do in training when we were with England and I can’t wait to do that here.”

  • Kostas Lianos

    G-REALLY LONG WAY

    Manchester City signing Jack Grealish has come a long way to become the most expensive transfer in British football history.

    The whopping £100million move caps a remarkable journey for Grealish, who has been at Villa for almost 19 years, writes SunSport's Jon Boon.

    The versatile forward was born in 1995 and raised in Solihull by parents Kevin and Karen, who have Irish roots.

    After joining his boyhood club aged six, the playmaker toughened up by playing Gaelic football on the side – something his father says has helped him in anticipating tackles.

    The 25-year-old has also followed in the footsteps of his great-great grandfather by representing the England national team – after controversially switching his allegiance from Ireland six years ago.

    It's easy to forget Grealish was a late bloomer in international football – and didn't make his full England debut until two days before he turned 25.

    And he could quite easily have been sat at home watching the Euros in his plush Barnt Green, Worcestershire home had he not snubbed Republic of Ireland at the eleventh hour in 2015.

    Off the pitch, the classy midfielder is generous with his time and money as he is renowned for his charity work in and around the Birmingham community

  • Kostas Lianos

    CAN CITY AFFORD MESSI?

    Manchester City could make a move for Lionel Messi after Barcelona confirmed their legendary talisman will no longer play for them.

    But can City afford Messi? According to SunSport's Kealan Hughes they have a shot.

    The star forward reportedly agreed a deal in principle with Barca to reduce his wages by 50 per cent, which means the Citizens may be able to afford his wages – unlike the Blaugrana.

    But circumstances have changed with the Premier League champions having just announced their British record £100million signing of Jack Grealish.

    If the Manchester giants do move for the Argentina international they could be rivalled by Paris Saint-Germain, who are believed to have offered him a lucrative contract.

  • Kostas Lianos

    VILLA FAREWELL

    Aston Villa bid farewell to Jack Grealish, who joined Manchester City.

    Grealish moved to City following a whopping £100million deal between the two clubs.

    The forward shared an emotional message to Villa following his departure.

    And the club thanked him for the memories

  • Kostas Lianos

    G-REALLY EMOTIONAL

    Jack Grealish issued an emotional message to Aston Villa following his move to Manchester City.

    City officially announced that Grealish has joined their ranks following a record-breaking £100million deal.

    The forward looked back at his 19-year stint at Villa Park and said he remains a Villa fan.

    Here's what the England international posted:

  • Kostas Lianos

    TXIKI REACTS

    Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain has praised the club's most recent signing Jack Grealish.

    Begiristain said: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Jack Grealish to Manchester City. He is an incredible talent.

    “Jack’s development over the past few seasons both for club and country has been plain for everybody to see. His natural talent together with his commitment to improve as a player, has seen him become one of the most exciting attacking players in world football today.

    “I am certain that the fans are going to love seeing him in our team. Pep [Guardiola] loves the way he plays, and we all feel he is an ideal fit for Manchester City. Our style and his style are a perfect match. I’m excited to watch him over the coming years”

  • Kostas Lianos

    GREALISH REACTS

    Manchester City signing Jack Grealish is excited to have joined the "best team in the country".

    Grealish said: “I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City. City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world – it’s a dream come true to be part of this club.

    “Over the past 10 seasons, they have won major trophies consistently. Pep [Guardiola] coming here has taken them to the next level and the football this team plays is the most exciting in Europe.

    "To play for Pep and learn from him is going to be special and it’s something any top footballer would want.

    “The facilities are amazing, and I honestly can’t wait to get started, meet everyone and get playing”

  • Kostas Lianos

    CITY CONFIRM

    Manchester City confirmed Jack Grealish's arrival by saying they are "delighted" to welcome a player who has shone for his club and country.

    A City statement read: "Manchester City is delighted to announce the signing of Jack Grealish on a six-year deal.

    "The 25-year-old midfielder joins from Aston Villa, having made 213 appearances over the course of eight seasons, scoring 32 goals and assisting 43.

    "In addition to widespread admiration for his domestic performances, Jack also received plaudits for his impressive individual and team contribution to the England squad, as the national team reached the final of the Euro 2020 competition in a truly memorable summer for fans all over the country"

  • Kostas Lianos

    GREALISH JOINS CITY

    Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

    Grealish moves to the Etihad after City reached a staggering £100million deal with Villa.

    This marks the most expensive transfer in British football history.

    The England international passed his medical earlier today and is now set to link up with Pep Guardiola's men

  • Kostas Lianos

    GREAL SWEETHEART

    Former Aston Villa ace Marcus Allback described Jack Grealish as one of the club's biggest "sweethearts" and suggested leaving for Manchester City must have been a hard decision for him.

    Allback told Rekatochklart: "It would be nice if he stayed and it would have been a hard decision to leave.

    "He's grown up with Villa and he has a lot of emotions for the club and city, so for him to move to Manchester City is hard. He'll always be one of Villa's sweethearts.

    "It would be cool if he resisted the offer and stayed at Villa as they brought players in and really tried to go for it"

  • Kostas Lianos

    CITY ON MESSI

    Manchester City confirmed last year that they would be in a position to move for Lionel Messi Messi if he became available.

    City's Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada told Manchester Evening News last October: "He's an amazing talent , he's somebody that can make a significant impact at any club in the world on and off the pitch immediately.

    "He's the best player in the world, he's the best player of his generation. I think any club in the world would like to explore the possibility of him joining their team. The fact that it was commented that he wanted to come to play for City just shows you how far the team has come over the last years where the best talent of his generation and potentially saying he wants to come and play for us.

    "It's hard to guess what could happen. If you think back to those two weeks where everything played out at Barcelona, it's almost impossible to guess what will happen next summer. Messi is a generational talent, he's the best player in the world and probably an exception to potential investments that we'd do out of the ordinary but our planning has been done with this current squad and it is being considered with the current opportunities that we have.

    "For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but at the same time I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment [in a striker] when required.

    "That's what puts us in a position where we feel comfortable that we'll be able to take the right decision because it also doesn't mean that we'll have to rush into anything – first because Sergio [Aguero] and Gabriel [Jesus] are performing very well, they are two of the best strikers in the world right now, and when we do decide to bring in potentially someone else, whether it is next season or the one after that then we will be in a financial position to do it for the right price"

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI ANNOUNCEMENT

    Barcelona announced that Lionel Messi's departure comes down to "financial and structural obstacles".

    A statement from Barca read: "Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

    "As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

    "FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life"

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI OUT

    Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi will be leaving the club this summer.

    Barca announced that Messi is set to roll credits on his stunning 17-year stint at the Nou Camp.

    At first it looked like the two sides reached an agreement over a new five-year deal that would see the star forward taking a 50 per cent salary cut.

    However, talks fell through during a recent meeting on Thursday and thus the Argentina international is now officially up for grabs.

    Manchester City showed interest in Messi last year before he signed a one-year extension…

  • Kostas Lianos

    LAUT OF HOPE

    Arsenal are still confident of landing Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez despite Romelu Lukaku’s imminent move to Chelsea.

    According to The Done Deal Show, Inter would much rather maintain Lukaku and sell Lautaro.

    That is why the Gunners are still alive in their chase for the star striker during this transfer window.

    However, if Lukaku does return to Stamford Bridge then the Italian champions are highly unlikely to also offload the Argentina international

  • Kostas Lianos

    MESSI OUT?

    Lionel Messi may not extend his stay at Barcelona after all…

    That is according to Marca, who claim that Barca officials and Messi's representatives actually failed to reach a renewal agreement during a recent meeting on Thursday.

    The same report suggests that the forward is now closer to an exit than everand a deal is almost impossible.

    One of the reasons why the two sides didn't shake hands is because the Catalans seem to have failed to land the Argentina international's compatriot Cristian Romero, who is heading to Tottenham.

    Barcelona have been offloading players in their bid to afford Messi's new contract and abide by LaLiga's salary rules but their strategy might have to change soon

  • Kostas Lianos

    NOT CHO SURE

    Liverpool hero John Barnes is not sure Jadon Sancho is the answer to Manchester United’s problems.

    Barnes told BonusCodeBets.co.uk: “Sancho’s a great player and it’s good to have a young English player for the future. But I don’t think it’s a position they needed to strengthen. Is he going to play instead of [Marcus] Rashford or [Mason] Greenwood?

    “Harry Kane to United would probably have made more sense than anything else but he’s not going there. They needed a defensive midfielder or a defender and [Raphael] Varane is a good signing.

    “Alongside [Harry] Maguire, they will look much more secure than they have in the past”

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    MAD MAN

    Arsenal look set to offer Leicester a cash-only deal for James Maddison.

    That is according to Sky Sports, who report that the Gunners are giving up on their bid to strike a swap deal with the Foxes.

    The north Londoners had been trying to add Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah or Ainsley Maitland-Niles to reduce the release clause.

    But now the Emirates outfit could concede the only way to secure Maddison’s signature is cash-only.

    Leicester want a fee in the region of £60million for the 24-year-old, but Arsenal will have to free up some funds before making their move.

    Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Willian, Nelson and Nketiah are all reportedly available for transfer

  • Kostas Lianos

    HOLDING AOUT

    Lyon star midfielder Houssem Aouar is still holding out for a move to Arsenal, reports SunSport’s Jordan Davies.

    Aouar has been linked with the Gunners for the past two years and the north Londoners have held talks with the French giants in the last few weeks.

    However, SunSport understands that the midfielder’s representatives have been stunned by the club’s recent progress in their bid to sign Leicester star James Maddison.

    Maddison is reportedly interested in a potential move to Arsenal but the Foxes are holding out for at least £60m.

    The France international, whose own contract expires in 2023, would cost significantly less than the England international as Lyon look to offload names and build up their own kitty.

    The23-year-old’s camp are still hopeful that Arsenal’s pursuit of Maddison will fall flat, leaving the Gunners to resort back to Lyon’s playmaker.

    Aouar, though, has also been linked with a move to Liverpool

  • Kostas Lianos

    AOUAR BOOST

    Lyon star Houssem Aouar could leave the Groupama Stadium during the summer transfer window.

    That is according to the Ligue 1 outfit’s manager Peter Bosz, who has given a boost to Arsenal and Liverpool amid their bid to sign Aouar.

    Bosz told butfootball.fr: “Aouar? He can leave, this is modern football.

    “Up until the last moment, he can leave”

  • Kostas Lianos

    RODGERS REACTS

    Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers expects James Maddison to stay at King Power Stadium.

    Arsenal are keeping tabs on Maddison, who is reportedly open on moving to the Emirates.

    Rodgers said when asked if the England international will stay: “I believe so. I haven’t been told anything different.

    “James is a very important member of our squad”

    Source: Read Full Article