LIVE: Man City circle with Leo Messi ‘seriously considering’ Barca exit

Barcelona’s two first-half goals were enough to see off Real Betis and start the new La Liga campaign with three points.
Barcelona’s two first-half goals were enough to see off Real Betis and start the new La Liga campaign with three points.
Barca took a two-goal lead in the first half and held off Real Betis for a home win to kick off the new La Liga season.

The football world is awash with gossip. Transfer Talk is monitoring the whispers ahead of all the summer moves. Check out the latest deals and potential deals here.

TOP STORY: City ready to move for Messi

Pep Guardiola has said he would be happy with the Manchester City squad as it is — but what if he had the chance to add Lionel Messi to the ranks?

Unlikely but not impossible, according to the Mirror, which reports that “City have met Messi’s representatives to discuss the possibility of bringing the Argentina star to the Premier League.”

It claims talks were held last week amid Messi’s “growing dissatisfaction with the state of the Barcelona squad” following the world-record departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Although Messi agreed terms on a new contract earlier in the summer, that deal remains unsigned and the Mirror says “City’s interest is long-standing and they are understood to be prepared to use his £275 million release clause to sign him if the possibility presents itself.”

It quotes Barcelona sources as saying Messi “is seriously considering leaving” — and so, as they say, watch this space.

Reports have emerged that Leo Messi has become disenfranchised with life in Barcelona.


20.08 BST: Leeds have made a £6m bid for Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede in the wake of Chris Wood’s £11m departure to Burnely, reports the Mirror.

19.45 BST: Alaves, Crystal Palace, Deportivo La Coruna, Roma and Sampdoria are all tracking Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi, who’s said to be ready to leave the Catalan club in search of first-team football, TalkSport cites Mundo Deportivo as reporting.

19.29 BST: Valencia director Mateu Alemany has confirmed his club’s interest in Manchester United’s 21-year-old attacker Andreas Pereira and Paris Saint-Germain’s 20-year-old forward Goncalo Gueves, according to quotes in Super Deporte.

19.13 BST: Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer has ruled his side out of the running for Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho, calling the 25-year-old French centre-back “much too expensive for the club,” reports the Mail.

18.56 BST: Tottenham are preparing a £20m bid for Everton’s injured midfielder Ross Barkley, according to the Telegraph, but will face competition from Chelsea for the England international’s signature.

18.40 BST: DONE DEAL Paraguay international forward Juan Iturbe has joined Liga MX side Tijuana on a yearlong loan with an obligation to purchase.

18.24 BST: Chelsea are preparing for a mad final 10 days of the transfer window, but the Blues are playing it cool with Virgil van Dijk, according to the Telegraph. The Premier League champions have informed Southampton that they hold interest in the centre-back, and have asked to be alerted should he become available, and Chelsea are hopeful that in the wake of Liverpool’s clumsy courtship, Saints could be more willing to do business with the Londoners.

18.02 BSTL DONE DEAL Brighton Hove Albion have reached agreement with FC Zurich for 21-year-old Ghana international striker Raphael Dwamena, subject to a medical. Full story.

17.15 BST: DONE DEAL Valencia have signed Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia on a season-long loan deal that will include an option to buy.

17.10 BST: Arsenal midfielder Jon Toral is in line to join Hull City on loan, sources close to the Championship club have told ESPN FC.

Hull boss Leonid Slutsky is determined to bolster his squad before the close of the transfer window and has identified Toral as one of his top targets.

17.00 BST: DONE DEAL Millwall have loaned central defender Sid Nelson to League Two side Yeovil until Jan. 1.

16.45 BST: DONE DEAL Arsenal have sold academy midfielder Ismael Bennacer to Italian club Empoli for an undisclosed fee.

Bennacer, a 19-year-old Morocco international, joined the Gunners in 2015 and played in the 3-0 League Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday that year.

16.30 BST: Burnley have spent a record fee to land Leeds striker Chris Wood, but boss Sean Dyche says they are not resting on their laurels. He told a news conference: “We are in the market for a number of different positions. I like the squad we have got, but if certain situations arise we will act on them.”

16.15 BST: If Hull’s Sam Clucas ends up moving to Swansea, Swans defender Stephen Kingsley will be heading in the opposite direction, Sky Sports reports.

16.00 BST: Virgil van Dijk from Southampton to Liverpool could still happen, says the Liverpool Echo — but only if the south coast club’s stance changes during the final 10 days of the transfer window.

The Echo says that if Liverpool are unable to “secure the services of the £60m-rated Dutch centre-back, then Jurgen Klopp is highly unlikely to sign an alternative.”

15.40 BST: Huddersfield Town are ready to listen to offers for striker Nahki Wells, who has slipped down the pecking order following the arrivals of Steve Mounie, Tom Ince and Laurent Depoitre, manager David Wagner has said.

15.30 BST: Stoke winger Moha El Ouriachi is poised to join Espanyol on a season-long loan deal.

15.20 BST: Southampton striker Sam Gallagher is a man in demand in the Midlands, with a trio of Championship clubs vying to sign him on loan. But the Express and Star reports that Birmingham City (yes, them again) will emerge victorious, thwarting the hopes of both Wolves and Aston Villa.

14.57 BST: Gianluca Di Marzio reports that teenage Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer is set to join Empoli.

14.39 BST: Manchester United are keen to sign Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham, according to Sky Sports.

They claim Fulham are determined to keep hold of the 17-year-old left-back, even if United offered £25m and sent him back to Craven Cottage on loan.

14.20 BST: Huddersfield will entertain offers for Nahki Wells because manager David Wagner is satisfied with his other attacking options.”Is he on the market? Yes, he is. Will he move? I don’t know. The window is open so we will see what happens.

“Nahki is totally aware about his situation, I had an honest conversation with him regarding his future at the football club, what my thoughts are, what the club’s thoughts are, now we will see which serious offers will come on the table then we have to decide.”

14.00 BST: Andres Iniesta has warned Barcelona that he could walk away when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Iniesta, 33, has spent his whole career at Barca and said new coach Ernesto Valverde had told him he would continue to have an important role this season. However, that has not prevented him from thinking about a move away from the club he first played for as an 18-year-old in 2002.

13.45 BST: Here’s what Chris Wood has to say about his move to Turf Moor: “My ambition has been to play in the Premier League for years.

“I’ve had tastes of being in there but I’ve never had the chance to give it a proper bash. I’ve still got a lot of good years ahead of me. I’ve got lots of ambitions to achieve in the future. I’ve got goals and dreams that I want to achieve, and it starts here.”

13.32 BST: DONE DEAL Burnley have announced the arrival of Leeds United striker Chris Wood, with reports over the weekend suggesting that they would pay £15m for the New Zealand international. The Clarets have confirmed that they have paid a club-record fee for him.

13.30 BST: Swansea City might not be wasting much time in spending some of the money they got from Everton for Gylfi Sigurdsson, with reports suggesting they have had a bid for Hull City’s Sam Clucas accepted.

13.15 BST: DONE DEAL Manchester City’s Samir Nasri has, as increasingly expected, joined Turkish side Antalyaspor in a permanent move.

13.00 BST: Could happy Huddersfield boss David Wagner be looking to add another new face despite his team’s superb haul of six Premier League points out of six? He told a news conference: “This is only the start. We have to improve and have a lot of work to do, but at the minute we are happy.”

12.20 BST: Tottenham striker Harry Kane has backed proposals to close the transfer window before the start of the season, saying the fact that it runs until Aug. 31 means some players find it hard to concentrate.

The window closes almost three weeks after the start of the Premier League campaign, but clubs will vote on potential changes — including closing it before the season — on Sept. 7.

11.55 BST: More Messi: Barcelona have maintained that he will sign his contract extension despite Joan Laporta’s suggestion that he could leave if president Josep Maria Bartomeu is not removed from his position.

Messi’s current deal expires next summer but Barca announced in July that an agreement had been reached for a new four-year deal, running until 2021. However, the new terms have not yet been signed.

11.50 BST: Reports in Turkey suggest that Everton striker Oumar Niasse could soon be on his way to Fenerbahce.

11.30 BST: DONE DEAL That Birmingham double deal is done — along come Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall from Arsenal on season-long loan deals.

11.20 BST: More, inevitably, on Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho — and Sport reports that both Barcelona and the player “are still fully confident that a deal will be done,” with Barcelona “having reiterated to the player’s representatives that the transfer is still their top priority.”

11.05 BST: Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is to have a medical at Valencia on Monday ahead of a proposed season-long loan move.

Kondogbia arrived at Valencia on Sunday and told reporters: “I’m delighted to be here.”

10.50 BST: More on Birmingham City and Harry Redknapp now — the Blues boss is reported to be interested in Oxford United winger Marvin Johnson.

10.40 BST: Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has three key transfer targets in the days before the window closes, with loan moves for West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass, Aston Villa’s Ross McCormack and Grant Leadbitter of Middlesbrough the deals in his sights, according to the Northern Echo.

10.30 BST: PSG midfielder Javier Pastore has strongly denied he will be joining Monaco.

The Argentina international has featured in all three of PSG’s league matches this season but started just one, with Neymar’s arrival limiting him to a bit-part role.

10.15 BST: Sky Sports reports that Southampton are willing to sell midfielder Jordy Clasie, who joined from Feyenoord in 2015, and have told him he is surplus to requirements.

10.05 BST: And staying with Arsenal, the Mirror tells us that Scottish champions Celtic and Championship side Leeds “are locked in a battle to sign striker Chuba Akpom on a permanent deal.

09.55 BST: Good news for transfer window favourite Harry Redknapp — sources have told ESPN FC that he is set to add Arsenal defenders Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall to his Birmingham City squad on season-long loan deals.

09.35 BST: Brighton boss Chris Hughton is pretty pleased with new signing Jose Izquierdotelling the club’s official website: “He’s a very exciting player to watch, and along with that excitement he will bring pace and creativity to the team. He also has an excellent goal-scoring record.”

09.20 BST: And staying on Merseyside, Liverpool winger Ryan Kent, who impressed on loan at Barnsley last season, is interesting Middlesbrough, according to reports.

09.10 BST: Nikola Kalinic will undergo a medical after AC Milan all but confirmed his signing from Fiorentina on Sunday.

Milan published a tweet on Sunday bearing the initials NK with the background changing from Fiorentina’s colours to black and red, accompanied by the words “Welcome to AC Milan,” while the player told Milan News: “I’m happy to be here” as he arrived at La Madonnina clinic.

08.40 BST: Everton have made more than a few signings this summer, and they may not be done yet — the Liverpool Echo reports that they could move for Bristol City midfielder Bobby Reid, who is also interesting Leicester City and Middlesbrough.

08.29 BST: Aside from rounding up the weekend’s results in Serie A, the Gazzetta dello Sport has plenty of transfer gossip too.

Inter Milan are said to be close to completing a deal for Valencia right-back Joao Cancelo. Once that is done they will turn their attention to Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala and possibly even Suso from rivals AC Milan. 

Meanwhile, Juve are linked with Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches, who has also been linked with Milan.

08.01 BST: Welcome to Monday morning’s Transfer Talk live blog. We’ll kick off with a story from the Daily Star that Arsenal are pushing to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain amid reports of interest from Chelsea.

Arsenal will offer England international Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is in the final year of his current deal, a new four-year contract worth £125,000-a-week

Sakho could yet get Palace switch

For a while, it appeared Crystal Palace had given up on signing defender Mamadou Sakho, who starred for them on loan last season, because Liverpool wanted too much money.

But although new manager Frank de Boer has said the Merseysiders’ £30m asking price for the France international is “much too expensive” he has not abandoned all hope of bringing him back to Selhurst Park, says the Guardian.

Palace have lost both league games this season, conceding four goals and scoring none, and Liverpool “are believed to be willing to accept a deal inclusive of add-ons to achieve the £30m figure before the deadline.”

The Eagles could face competition from former Palace boss Tony Pulis, now at West Bromwich Albion, but 27-year-old Sakho “would prefer a return to Selhurst Park” over a move to The Hawthorns.

Although there is also interest from West Ham, the paper says negotiations between Liverpool and Palace “are expected to resume with 11 days to go before the transfer deadline.”

Hammers near Carvalho capture

Talking of West Ham, Sky Sports reports that they “are close to signing William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon and will pay his £40m release clause.”

However, it adds that “there is an awareness the deal needs to be done soon because other clubs have been alerted to his availability.”

The Hammers have been linked with a move for Carvalho throughout the window, having reportedly already had an offer turned down.

The 25-year-old came through the ranks at Sporting and was part of Portugal’s Euro 2016-winning squad.

Will Portugal international William Carvalho add some much-needed steel to the West Ham midfield?


Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has said he believes the arrival of Jese Rodriguez on loan from Paris Saint-Germain shows that the club can now bring in high-calibre names.

Jese scored the winner against Arsenal on Saturday, and the Independent says Hughes feels that “is a sign that Stoke can now attract more players of his pedigree.”

– Leicester stars have urged playmaker Riyad Mahrez to stay after his dazzling performance helped the Foxes to victory over Brighton on Saturday.

Mahrez, the subject of bids from Roma, has long been thought likely to move — but the Leicester Mercury reports that the squad have told him not to go after his “Maradona moments” against the Seagulls.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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