Lionel Messi might be too expensive for Barca; Chicharito may leave Bayer

Stewart Robson says he’s seen enough of Real Madrid this season to convince him Barcelona cannot catch them in La Liga.

The transfer window might be shut, but don’t think the wheeling and dealing won’t continue! Check out all the latest deals here.

Messi no lock for Barca stay

Could there come a day when Lionel Messi outgrows Barcelona? It may not be too far away, according to Marca, who claim that although the Catalan side plan to offer their star man a “contract for life” that will run beyond the end of his playing career, they may find it difficult to afford the Argentina international’s demands.

Messi, a reported target for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, is said to be happy to continue at Barca, but a pay increase in line with his status as the world’s best player could be hard for the Blaugrana to stretch to.

The 29-year-old’s current deal runs until 2018 with Marca reporting that although negotiations are underway for an extension “it’ll be some time until a final agreement is reached.”

Chicharito drawing Prem, La Liga looks

Rumoured interest from Valencia in Chicharito has Prem teams on alert as well.

A new striker is not thought to be top of the Liverpool and Tottenham shopping lists in the January transfer window, but Valencia’s interest in Javier Hernandez could force the Premier League duo into making a move for the former Manchester United man.

It is hard not to be impressed by Hernandez’s strike rate since leaving Old Trafford in 2014. The Mexico international scored 26 goals for Bayer Leverkusen last season and already has nine to his name this term — although he is in the midst of a bit of a goals drought.

And the Mirror reckons that his form has caught the eye of struggling La Liga side Valencia as well as Liverpool and Spurs with a three-way tussle set to kick off next month.

The 28-year-old reportedly has a £33.5 million buyout clause, a considerable mark up on the figure of £8.75m Leverkusen were said to have paid United when they signed him on a three-year deal.

Auba going nowhere

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has denied a Marca report that he met Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to discuss the transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and James Rodriguez among others.

Marca claimed that Dortmund would give Madrid first refusal on star striker Aubameyang, and highly rated youngsters Julian Weigl and Ousmane Dembele if they ever decided to sell. It was also said the Bundesliga side hold an interest in Los Blancos duo Casemiro and Rodriguez.

But, in quotes from Bild, Watzke said no such discussion took place. He said: “It’s right that I had lunch with Florentino Perez and we sat next to each other in the stadium, but we did not spend one second talking about players of Borussia Dortmund. There’s no agreement.”

The agents of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are thought to be working together to secure their clients top money.


– The Daily Mail claims the agents of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are working together to get the best deal for their respective clients, amid ongoing contract talks with Arsenal. It has been reported the Gunners will have to break their wage structure to keep their two star men in North London.

Matteo Darmian is free to leave Manchester United in January, according to the Sun, but firm interest in the Italy international is yet to be received. Darmian, a reported target for Juventus and Inter Milan, joined United on a four-year contract from Torino in 2015 but has failed to hold down a regular place in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI.

– West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic appeared to distance himself from a move for Daniel Sturridge when he questioned the Liverpool striker’s record with injury. The Hammers take on Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Premier League this weekend, but Sturridge will miss out because of a calf problem.

Robin van Persie is interested in returning to Netherlands to end his career. The Sun quotes the 33-year-old former Arsenal and Manchester United striker, whose Fenerbahce contract runs until the end of the current season, as saying: “Coming back to Netherlands is becoming an increasingly more serious option. And then only at Feyenoord or Excelsior.”

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