Jorge Sampaoli: ‘Lionel Messi can not be compared’
Lionel Messi has been Barcelona's superhero for over a decade now. Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli believes that the Argentinian is on a different level. Messi finished second to Christiano Ronaldo in Ballon d'Or and FIFA's The Best awards, but has been widely regarded as the best footballer who has ever lived. Sampaoli said: 'Equating Messi with anyone else is like comparing a police man with Batman.' in an interview with BeIN Sports. Sevilla are currently 2nd in La Liga 1 point ahead of 3rd place Barcelona.
Rakitic confirms his desire to renew his contract
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has confirmed his desire to renew his contract at the Camp Nou. The Croatia international has been a key figure for Barca since joining them from Sevilla in 2014. However, there has been speculation over his future in recent weeks as he has been in and out of Luis Enrique’s starting XI. “I am looking forward to sitting down with people from club because I want to renew my contract and stay here for many years,” Rakitic toldSport. Note, that the 28-year-old's current deal at the Camp Nou expires in 2019.
Rivaldo advice Coutinho to join Barcelona
Brazilian legend Rivaldo has tipped Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho to follow in his footsteps by joining Barcelona. Rivaldo told Sky Sports News HQ: "In my opinion, he's a great player and a player who knows Neymar well. I think they are both friends - players who stand out. "I think that this transfer might happen because Barcelona is always going to attract the best, isn't it? "He is one of the players who stands out and I believe that this transfer - if he goes to Barcelona - would be a good thing for Barcelona for sure. "He is a player who would definitely help Barcelona. Of course, Barcelona is a big club, but with a player like him, it would definitely be a big help."
2017/18 3rd kits leaked, including Real Madrid and Man Utd
Months before the official presentation, a leak happened from Adidas to reveal the 3rd kits for some European giants in the coming season. Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich shirts are now disclosed.
Benzema has no interest in a move to China
Real Madrid attacker Karim Benzema has declared he has no interest in a move to China. Tianjin Quanjian have confirmed they want to sign the 29-year-old striker. Nonetheless, Benzema insists he's happy where he is, stating: "Thank you, but for now, I do not listen to offers." Note, that Benzema has scored 10 goals during this season.
Leicester striker on La Liga club radar
According to Sky Sports, La Liga side Alaves has made an approach to Leicester City for striker Leonardo Ulloa. The Argentinian is considering handing in a transfer request, after making just one Premier League start this season. Claudio Ranieri though wants to keep him, and talks are ongoing between the club and Ulloa's representatives.
Barcelona set Arda Turan price tag
Barcelona would not consider letting Arda Turan leave for less than €30m, reports AS. Turan, according to recent reports in Spain and Turkey, is a target for Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande, who are willing to offer him a lucrative salary. Barca coach Luis Enrique is a big fan of the Turkey playmaker and does not want him to leave, but club officials could be tempted to cash in on Turan if they receive a big bid. According to AS, the La Liga champions, who secured his services for €42m in 2015, would not contemplate selling Turan for less than €30m.
Messi commits his future to Barcelona
Lionel Messi wants to stay at Barcelona “for as long as they want me”. The Argentine has 18 months remaining on his contract and is yet to sign an extension. Barca CEO Oscar Grau recently hinted the club may struggle to meet Messi’s wage demands, prompting speculation he could move on. But speaking to Coach magazine, Messi said: “I have always said that Barcelona has given me everything and I am here for as long as they want me to be.” On his former coach Pep Guardiola, who is now manager at Man City, Messi added: “It is a very competitive league, last season showed that, so it makes it very difficult to predict. “Of course Pep is a very successful coach, he will be adjusting to the league, but I am sure that he will be successful.”
Barcelona not in hurry with Messi renewal
Barcelona are yet to formally offer Lionel Messi a new contract, reports Sport. Messi’s current deal expires in the summer of 2018 and the apparent uncertainty over his long-term future has reportedly prompted strong interest from other clubs, including Manchester City. Barca have not yet offered the Argentinian a new deal, while club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has not held a meeting with the player’s father Jorge Messi, who also acts as the forward’s agent. Bartomeu and Jorge Messi have held telephone conversations and, according to Sport, both parties have indicated their determination to reach an agreement. The first meeting between Bartomeu and Messi’s father could take place in mid-February.
Man Utd want to sign Griezmann next summer
Manchester United are expected to sign Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann next summer, according to The Independent. Atletico are planning to bring back Chelsea striker Diego Costa - and if they can re-sign their former player they will sanction the sale of Griezmann. Man Utd will have to pay up to £100m to sign Griezmann, who is good friends with France team-mate Paul Pogba.