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    Antoine Griezmann wins Atletico Madrid Player of the Month despite only starting ONE MATCH as Barcelona spat continues

    ANTOINE GRIEZMANN won Atletico Madrid’s Player of the Month despite starting just ONE MATCH, with the transfer spat with Barcelona still ongoing. The Frenchman, 31, rejoined Atletico from Barca on a two-year loan deal following an unsuccessful two years at the Nou Camp.
    Griezmann won Atletico’s Player of the Month awardCredit: Rex
    Despite Barca paying over £100million for Griezmann in 2019, they inserted a cut-price fee of £35m in his Atletico loan.
    However, that will only be triggered if the World Cup winner plays a certain amount of games.
    And to avoid triggering the buy option, Atletico have only played Griezmann for less than 30 minutes per match – which is under the threshold to be counted as a game in the terms.
    A new deal could be negotiated for around £22m to end the stalemate and give Griezmann the game time he deserves ahead of France’s world title defence in Qatar later this year.
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    Barca have threatened legal action against Atletico regarding their seeming exploitation of this loophole, and unless a deal is hashed out before January to sort it Griezmann may be recalled.
    Griezmann won Atletico’s Player of the Month for September, despite starting just ONE MATCH, paying testament to his bench cameos.
    He got a goal and an assist across all competitions in the month, including a last-gasp Champions League winner over Porto.
    Whether Atletico and Barca come to an agreement is yet to be seen.
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    But other clubs are starting to sniff around Griezmann.
    Premier League giants Manchester United, as well as Serie A title-chasing Juventus are said to be keen. More

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    Lionel Messi to decide future after World Cup with PSG contract expiring next summer… but has no current transfer offers

    LIONEL MESSI will decide his future after the World Cup – but has so far had no offers from any club. The Argentine hero signed a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
    Lionel Messi’s current PSG contract expires in the summer and his future is unclearCredit: AP
    The Argentina icon hopes to lead his country to World Cup glory in QatarCredit: Getty
    But with that contract expiring next summer, it remains unclear where he will be playing his football in the 2023-24 season. 
    And SunSport can reveal the Argentine hero currently has no concrete options.
    Despite suggestions PSG want to offer him a one-year extension, the French giants are yet to table that deal. 
    Messi, 35, has not been sent any contracts from elsewhere, either, which as it stands would make him a free agent again in nine months.
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    However, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is focused on the World Cup as he looks to lead Argentina to glory.
    Lionel Scaloni’s side face Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in November’s group stages and they will be desperate to go one better than their runner-up finish in 2014 by lifting the iconic trophy in Doha on December 18. 
    After the tournament finishes, Messi will then sit down to make a call on his club career.  
    Despite rumours of a transfer return, former club Barcelona have made zero contact with the player directly since his emotional exit in August 2021. 
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    Messi left his boyhood club when his contract expired last year and the club could not afford to give him a new deal. 
    The player was willing to take a huge pay cut to stay but employment law in Spain combined with LaLiga financial regulations prevented any extension from being possible.
    Messi joined PSG on a free transfer, forming a deadly strike force with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe but endured a tough first season at the Parc des Princes – despite winning the title.
    He scored just six league goals in his lowest tally since becoming a Barcelona regular in 2005-06. 
    But the ex-Barca captain has already managed four in eight appearances this term as Christophe Galtier’s men sit two points clear at the top of the table.
    After scoring a sublime chip on international duty last weekend, Messi revealed he was finally enjoying his football again after his struggles.
    He said: “I feel good, I feel different from last year. I knew it was going to be like this.
    “I’m more comfortable with the club, the dressing room, my team-mates, the game.
    “I feel very good again, so I’m starting to enjoy it again.”
    Messi left Barcelona in emotional scenes when his contract could not be renewedCredit: Getty
    He joined PSG as a free agent on a two-year deal until 2023Credit: Getty
    After struggling for goals last season, he has started the new campaign in red-hot formCredit: AFP More

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    Liverpool looking to land Memphis Depay in shock swap transfer with Roberto Firmino joining Barcelona

    LIVERPOOL are eyeing an audacious swap deal to land Barcelona star Memphis Depay, reports suggest.Depay, 28, was heavily linked with a Barcelona exit over the summer.
    Memphis Depay was in action for the Netherlands over the international breakCredit: AFP
    Roberto Firmino playing for Liverpool in the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    But with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving to join Chelsea instead, the Dutchman ended up staying at Barcelona to play second fiddle to Robert Lewandowski.
    However, this has not stopped rumours about his future at the Camp Nou.
    And the latest reports from Sport indicate there could be movement in the January window between him and Liverpool.
    The Reds are said to be plotting a swap deal for Depay with cult hero Roberto Firmino.
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    Firmino, 30, joined Liverpool in 2015, scoring 101 goals and registering 77 assists since.
    With less than a year left on his current deal though, they are keen to try and move him on.
    He has fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Darwin Nunez and established stars such as Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.
    Both Depay and Firmino share a similar player profile, and a swap deal in January could benefit all parties – as opposed to both clubs losing their respective players for nothing next summer.
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    Of course, Depay’s history as a former Manchester United player could mean his welcome from the crowd is less than warm.
    Firmino stepped into the starting XI brilliantly this season against Bournemouth, scoring twice and adding three assists.
    He then scored the equaliser one week later against Newcastle at Anfield.
    Depay has made the most of his rare starts, scoring in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Elche, albeit after starting on the left wing.
    Liverpool have also been eyeing up midfield reinforcements, with Jude Bellingham and Mosies Caicedo earmarked as their first choice transfer targets to rejuvenate their midfield. More

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    Shakira and Gerard Pique watch son play baseball but pair keep awkward distance after bitter split

    POP SENSATION Shakira and her ex-footie star fella Gerard Pique were spotted watching their son play baseball – but kept well away from each other.The former couple both showed up to watch nine-year-old Milan in action on Saturday in Barcelona.
    Shakira kept a lengthy distance from her ex-Gerard Pique as they watched their son play baseballCredit: Splash
    The Barcelona defender was spotted with his mother watching the gameCredit: Splash
    Spanish World Cup winner Pique was decked out in a cap and denim jacketCredit: Splash
    The former partners stood at separate ends of the pitchCredit: Splash
    Barca defender Pique, 35, and the Colombian broke up this summer after 12 years together and are now finalising their bitter split.
    And the tension seemed to be in the air two days ago as they headed out to support their boy.
    Pique was spotted sat with his mother in one of the stands at the baseball venue, while Shakira attended the game with her own mom and some pals, who sat either side of her.
    She was then also even spotted sitting in the team’s dug-out.
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    The pair remained several metres apart throughout the afternoon and allegedly hardly looked at each other throughout the baseball game, according to TMZ Sport.
    And it was not until their other son Shasa, aged seven, went to say goodbye to Shakira that the ex-lovers went anywhere near each other.
    The singer, 45, has been rocked by Gerard’s new relationship with PR girl Clara Chia Marti, 23, who is believed to have met him while working on events at his sports investment firm Kosmos.
    Hips Don’t Lie hitmaker Shakira, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, has recently opened up about her break-up.
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    She spoke about their children Milan and Sasha being her “medicine” and said writing music is like her “therapy” during her “darkest hours”.
    Shakira met Gerard after he featured in the video to her song Waka Waka, released for the 2010 World Cup.
    The pair split in June, with the Colombian singer confirming a separation by releasing a statement.
    It was alleged by the Spanish media that Pique cheated on Shakira, although that has never been confirmed.
    But months after they went their separate ways, the ex-Man Utd star went public with his new relationship with student Clara – and was seen kissing her at the Summerfest Cerdanya festival in Catalonia.
    Meanwhile, Shakira is said to face up to eight years in jail if she is found guilty of an alleged £12million tax fraud.
    She has been accused of defrauding the Spanish treasury from 2012-2014.
    Shakira even took some time for herself as she sat in the dug-outCredit: Splash
    Shakira was at the game with her motherCredit: Splash
    Pique’s other son Shasa was also in attendance to watch his brother MilanCredit: Splash
    The couple before their bitter splitCredit: Getty More

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    I was offered a ten-year contract by Barcelona, but now I’m looking for a new club after being released by Doncaster

    FORMER wonderkid John Bostock, who was offered a 10-year contract by Barcelona, is now a free agent looking for his 15TH club.Bostock burst onto the scene at the tender age of 14 while starting out at boyhood club Crystal Palace and was so good he often played above his age group.
    John Bostock was offered a 10-year-old deal by Barcelona when he was a teenagerCredit: Getty
    The midfielder’s stunning development caught Barca’s attention who got in touch and offered him a deal that would see him joining their ranks for a decade.
    The Blaugrana were so keen to have him they even sent him a signed poster by then superstar Ronaldinho after finding out he was Bostock’s favourite player.
    According to Sport, however, the now 30-year-old turned down a move to the Nou Camp because his parents wanted him to continue his development in London.
    The ex-England youth international was also approached by other major clubs – including Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea – but rejected them all in favour of the team he grew up supporting.
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    Bostock told the BBC two years ago: “When I was 14, Barcelona offered me a 10-year contract.
    “Ronaldinho was my favourite player at the time so they sent me a signed poster from him.
    “I’ve still got it at my house in London. It said: ‘To John from Ronaldinho’.
    “You name the club, I had interest from them. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter [Milan], Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool – the who’s who of European football.”
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    However, the youngster, who was dubbed the next big thing, didn’t get the career many expected he would have.
    Bostock left Crystal Palace for Tottenham in a dramatic move that saw the two clubs going to a tribunal in 2008.
    But he never managed to play in the Premier League as he was offloaded on loan to Brentford, Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon and Toronto until his departure in 2013.
    Bostock’s nomadic career extended abroad with spells at Royal Antwerp, Leuven, Lens, Bursaspor and Toulouse, who loaned him out to Nottingham Forest.
    The versatile midfielder joined Doncaster Rovers in 2021 but left in June following the club’s relegation from League One.
    And so the young talent, who could have ended up playing alongside Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique at Barcelona, is once more a free agent.
    John Bostock is now a free agent and looking for his 15th clubCredit: Getty Images – Getty More

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    Man Utd joined by Juventus in Antoine Griezmann transfer chase as move from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid stalls

    MANCHESTER UNITED have been joined in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann by Juventus, according to reports. Griezmann, 31, is free to leave Barcelona after flopping at the club and is currently on loan at rivals Atletico Madrid.
    Antoine Griezmann is wanted by Man United and Juventus if Atletico do not sign him permanentlyCredit: Rex
    Griezmann captained France in their 2-0 loss to DenmarkCredit: AFP
    There is an clause in his loan deal which could see him sign permanently for Atletico for a cut-price fee of £35million, although recent reports suggest it could be as low as £22m.
    However, the clause inserted into the deal means the full transfer is only triggered if the Frenchman plays a certain amount of games.
    And to avoid triggering the buy option Atletico have only played Griezmann for less than 30 minutes per match – which is under the threshold to be counted as a game in the terms.
    If Atletico continue to do this, he won’t automatically become their player, which would allow interested parties such as United and Juventus to sign him.
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    Barcelona have threatened legal action against Atletico regarding their seeming exploitation of this loophole, and unless a deal is hashed out before January to sort it Griezmann may be recalled.
    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus are keeping an eye on the situation and are alert to any changes ahead of a potential transfer.
    Massimiliano Allegri’s side have struggled in Serie A this season and are way off the pace of getting close to winning a Scudetto.
    Consequently, they are already looking at reinforcements in January and next summer.
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    The likes of Marco Asensio and Christian Pulisic are among their targets who are at a reduced price, with Griezmann the latest addition to the list.
    Man Utd’s interest dates back to the summer, but the 2018 World Cup winner was not entertaining moves away from Madrid and snubbed a potential move.
    However, the current situation is leaving all parties frustrated and could end with United making an approach in January. More

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    Lionel Messi says he ‘feels very good’ as he enjoys football again following tough first season at PSG

    LIONEL MESSI insists he is feeling “very good” as he continues to return to top form for both club and country.The legendary 35-year-old shocked the world in the summer of 2021 when he left Barcelona following 21 years at the Nou Camp to join Paris Saint-Germain.
    Lionel Messi says he is now ‘feeling very good’ with life at PSGCredit: AFP
    Despite his incredible goal record for the LaLiga side, he struggled to replicate those numbers for PSG during his first campaign in France.
    Messi scored just six times in 26 appearances in Ligue 1, with 17 assists, in an underwhelming season.
    However, the veteran seems to now be hitting top gear at the right time with the Qatar World Cup just weeks away.
    He already has six goals and eight assists in just 11 games for PSG this term and is continuing to break records.
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    Messi’s goal against Lyon last week was his 672nd from open play, which puts him one ahead of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.
    Last night he scored two for Argentina, including a sublime chip, against Honduras to take his international tally to 88 in 163 caps.
    And afterwards he admitted that he feels a lot more at home in the French capital this year.
    According to Fabrizio Romano, Messi said: “I feel good, I feel different from last year. I knew it was going to be like this.
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    “I’m more comfortable with the club, the dressing room, my teammates, the game.
    “I feel very good again, so I’m starting to enjoy it again.”
    PSG are currently two points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and have won both their two Champions League group matches so far.
    Messi is likely to be back in action for Argentina in Wednesday’s friendly with Jamaica before the nation’s focus switches to the World Cup in November.
    The South American and his side will face Saudi arabia, Mexico and Poland in Group C in Qatar. More

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    David Beckham in Inter Miami transfer blow as Xavi demands Barcelona hand captain Sergio Busquets new contract

    DAVID Beckham might fail in his attempts to bring Barcelona star Sergio Busquets to Inter Miami.That’s because Barca manager Xavi wants to keep the midfielder beyond the expiration of his current deal next summer, according to Culemani.
    Busquets’ current Barca deal runs out in 2023Credit: AFP
    Despite turning 34 earlier this summer, Busquets remains a key player in midfield for Barcelona.
    After all, the Spain international is captain of the club and has already made five starts this season.
    And Xavi will know all about Busquets’ qualities first-hand after playing alongside him for seven years prior to his move to Qatar.
    The pair won five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues together, with Andres Iniesta the other part of what was a memorable midfield trio.
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    And Busquets now looks set to continue what has been an incredible career at the Nou Camp.
    He has made almost 700 appearances for Barcelona, winning more than 25 trophies across a career spanning more than 14 years.
    But a contract extension would come as a blow for Beckham, who was reportedly trying to bring Busquets to Miami.
    Miami are currently inside the play-offs in the Eastern Conference after beating Wayne Rooney’s DC United 3-2 last weekend.
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    Beckham is still looking for reinforcements, though, with Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain his most high-profile signing to date.
    But with Busquets likely to remain with his boyhood club, Beckham will have to look elsewhere if he wants to sign another footballing giant.
    Busquets played alongside his current manager for seven yearsCredit: Getty – Contributor More