Willian and Ángel Di María to Barcelona? | Eden Hazard off to Real Madrid? | Eliaquim Mangala to join Inter on loan?
As Barcelona continue their increasingly unseemly and as yet unsuccessful pursuit of one or all of Nice’s Jean Seri, Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembélé and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Camp Nou natives are becoming ever more restless. Their mood will not be improved by reports from Spain that Lionel Messi’s father has begun talks with Manchester City with a view to negotiating a move for his son to the Etihad Stadium next summer. Now in the final year of his contract at Barcelona with an extension resolutely unsigned, the Argentinian will be free to discuss his future with other clubs in January or leave on a free transfer next summer. It’s a sorry state of affairs for Barcelona, who had previously misled supporters by telling them Messi had agreed and signed a new deal.
“Quite apart from the situation with Messi and what happens next, they lied,” said Sid Lowe, the Guardian’s man in Spain in an interview with ESPN. “They lied to their fans and that is really problematic. It puts Messi in a position where he must be thinking: ‘What on earth is going on? Why has this been said when it simply isn’t true?’” Señor Sid went on to say he doesn’t think Messi will leave Barcelona but did speculate the player will bide his time before inking a new deal in order to see if a currently bad situation at the Spanish club gets better or worse. In other news pertaining to Barcelona, France Football reports they are interested in luring Willian away from Chelsea, while Sport says they have agreed a €50m deal with Paris Saint-Germain to sign Messi’s compatriot Ángel Di María.
As Roberto Martínez mulls over whether or not to include Eden Hazard in his Belgium squad for the internationals against Gibraltar and Greece, the Chelsea midfielder is being linked with a move to Real Madrid. Not quite fully fit after breaking his ankle while on international duty earlier this summer, Hazard has missed Chelsea’s opening games of the season and reports from Spain suggest he has been in contact with the Real manager, Zinedine Zidane, to say he would be amenable to a move if the Spanish champions make Chelsea a decent offer.
Having spent £32m to bring Eliaquim Mangala to the Etihad on loan from Porto three years ago, Manchester City are preparing to ship the French central defender out on loan to Inter. City are also ready to up their bid for the considerably less erratic West Brom defender Jonny Evans, who looks a certainty to leave The Hawthorns before the transfer window shuts next week. The Baggies manager, Tony Pulis, will use whatever windfall lands in his lap to bring in Kevin Wimmer and Vincent Janssen from Spurs. Meanwhile at Old Trafford, José Mourinho plans to put the kibosh on Valencia’s attempts to take the midfielder Andreas Pereira on a season-long loan. The Brazilian, born in Belgium, spent last season on loan at Granada and has yet to feature in Mourinho’s first-team squad this season.
And finally, the Sunderland Echo says West Ham are hoping to sign the midfielder Didier Ndong from Sunderland, whose attempts to give the Hammers midfielder Robert Snodgrass a new home considerably closer to his native Scotland could be thwarted by Aston Villa.