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    Inter Milan reveal they DID speak with Lionel Messi over sensational transfer.. but couldn’t compete with PSG millions

    INTER MILAN have revealed they attempted to land Lionel Messi when he left Barcelona – but could not compete with PSG’s financial muscle. Europe’s biggest clubs were put on high alert during the summer of 2021 as one of football’s greatest players suddenly became available.
    After an incredible World Cup, Messi is looking to end his club season on a highCredit: Getty
    Barcelona’s financial issues left Messi with no choice but to leave the Nou Camp, leading to the star giving a teary press conference as he confirmed his departure.
    PSG quickly emerged as the favourite – but other teams had been eyeing the Argentine.
    Italian giants Inter were among the those clubs and even held talks with Messi. But Inter legend and club vice-president Javier Zanetti told DAZN that ultimately they could not compete with their European rivals.
    He said: “I was surprised when he [Messi] left Barcelona.
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    “Realistically, we cannot compete with PSG or Premier League clubs, but due to our rapport, we spoke when there was a chance.”
    It quickly became clear that Messi’s was bound for the Parc de Princes to link up with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
    The 35-year-old fell short of his very high standards in his opening season at Paris Saint-Germain.
    He scored six goals and registered 14 assists in 26 league games.
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    But this season has seen the forward return to his irresistible best and he is already in double figures for both goals and assists.
    Whatever he achieves at PSG this season, it is unlikely to top Messi’s incredible feat in Qatar.
    Going into the 2022 World Cup knowing it was going to be his last chance to win football’s most coveted trophy, he was consistently brilliant and dragged Argentina into the final.
    He was then the difference maker in a bonkers final as the South American side saw off France on penalties.
    Messi is currently in discussions with PSG over a new contract with his deal running out in the summer. More

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    Ronaldinho’s son Joao Mendes, 17, signs for Barcelona as he follows in legendary dad’s footsteps

    THE son of Barcelona legend Ronaldinho has followed in his father’s footsteps and signed for the club. Joao de Assis Moreira, known as Joao Mendes, has joined the Catalan giants after being on trial since January.
    Joao Mendes has joined Barcelona, where his father Ronaldinho starredCredit: Instagram
    Ronaldinho’s son is a strikerCredit: Instagram
    Ronaldinho is a legend at Barca and says he’ll now be ‘more present than ever’Credit: AP:Associated Press
    The 17-year-old was previously at Brazilian side Cruzerio before his contract was terminated.
    He supposedly possesses some of the same silky skills his dad was famous for, but he is a striker rather than an attacking midfielder.
    On his son’s move, Ronaldinho said via Marca: “Yes he is coming now.
    “I’m never out of the club. Barcelona is part of life. Wherever I go I take Barcelona with me.
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    “With the arrival of my son at Barca I’ll be more present than ever.”
    Mendes will now join the iconic La Masia academy, which is responsible for nurturing talent like Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gavi and current manager Xavi.
    Ronaldinho currently works as an ambassador for the club
    The 42-year-old has legendary status at the Nou Camp after an incredible five season stay.
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    Ronaldinho played 207 times, netting 94 goals and registering 70 assists.
    The Brazil icon helped the team win two LaLiga titles and one Champions League trophy.
    He was also crowned the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner while at Barca. More

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    Frenkie de Jong’s girlfriend hilariously trolls Man Utd fans over failed transfer ahead of Barcelona Europa League clash

    FRENKIE DE JONG’S girlfriend had a hilarious response for Manchester United fans desperate to get an update on the Barcelona midfielder. De Jong was at the centre of a long-running transfer saga in the summer as the Red Devils desperately tried to spring him from the Nou Camp.
    Mikky Kiemeney is the glamorous girlfriend of Barca midfielder de JongCredit: Instagram / @mikkykiemeney
    But the deal could not be done and the star now faces playing United twice in the Europa League this month.
    Girlfriend of de Jong, Mikky Kiemeney, couldn’t help but have fun with United fans still pining over a potential move.
    One asked her on Instagram: “when’s Frenkie coming to Manchester?”
    Kiemeney replied by uploading a picture of Barcelona’s upcoming fixtures, pinpointing the European second-leg at Old Trafford on February 23, before a deadpan response of: “23-2 I guess.”
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    Despite the transfer speculation and a row over wages, de Jong has settled back into the Barca team and appeared in all but two league games this season.
    He is fighting to get into a talented midfield which includes young Spain stars Pedri and Gavi and veteran Sergio Busquets, who went off injured in the weekend win over Sevilla.
    Barcelona are a side fit and firing at the moment as they look to win their first league title under Xavi.
    Real Madrid’s loss at Mallorca over the weekend means the Catalan club now have an eight point lead in the La Liga race.
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    It should be a titanic Europa League tussle with a Man United side who are in devastating form of their own.
    Erik ten Hag’s team have only lost one of their last 15 games and have won 12 home matches on the bounce in all competitions.
    With de Jong not joining, United instead swooped for Christian Eriksen and Casemiro who have both boosted the club’s midfield.
    But Eriksen is set to be out until April with injury while Casemiro will be suspended for United’s next three domestic games.
    Marcel Sabitzer was also recruited on transfer deadline day and made his debut off the bench in Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace. More

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    Diogo Dalot ‘on verge of signing new long-term Man Utd contract’ as Barcelona give up on transfer

    DIOGO DALOT is set to sign a new contract as Barcelona prepare to give up hope of landing the full-back, reports suggest.The defender is enjoying his best season at Old Trafford so far and has been thriving under Erik ten Hag.
    Dalot returned to the United bench on Saturday after weeks on the sidelinesCredit: AFP
    Dalot was one of four Manchester United players to have a one year extension clause triggered in December, meaning his current deal now runs until the summer of 2024.
    But the Red Devils are now looking towards the long-term and are hoping to tie the 23-year-old to a new contract.
    Mundo Deportivo report that a deal is close with Dalot on the brink of putting pen to paper.
    They say that United have been pursuing a new deal since the Portuguese international returned from the World Cup.
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    And in a big boost to the Premier League side, the report adds that Barcelona are beginning to see a move for the right-back as “unfeasible”.
    The Catalan giants had long been linked to Dalot but he has proven to be increasingly important to ten Hag’s side.
    He was a regular starter before the World Cup and successfully managed to keep Aaron Wan-Bissaka out the team.
    But Dalot’s season has been hampered by injury in recent weeks after he limped off with a knock in a Carabao Cup clash with Charlton last month.
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    But the star did return to the bench in the weekend win over Crystal Palace.
    Dalot arrived at Man United in 2018 but initially struggled to cement the right-back spot permanently.
    But this season he has gone from strength to strength and regularly plays alongside Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw in what appears to be ten Hag’s first-choice back four. More

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    Man Utd ‘lead race’ for Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati but he has a €1BILLION release clause

    MANCHESTER UNITED lead the way for a sensational swoop for Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati, reports suggest.However, Fati, 20, carries a world record €1billion (£898million) release clause and Barca are not keen to let their young star go.
    Manchester United are keeping tabs on Barcelona’s €1billion star Ansu FatiCredit: Getty
    Manchester United lead the way for Barcelona star Ansu FatiCredit: Rex
    According to Sport, United understand the Blaugrana’s position but have still expressed an interest in case the exit door creaks open.
    This comes at a time when the winger is becoming increasingly unsettled at the Nou Camp due to the lack of minutes.
    The Spain international was considered the next rising star when he made his senior debut at the tender age of 17 in 2020.
    However, persistent knee problems have hampered Fati’s development.
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    Although the Spaniard has already played 30 times this season, he has only started nine times and completed a full match just twice.
    As a result, United and other Premier League clubs are keeping tabs on the forward.
    In fact, the Red Devils pose as the likeliest candidate to complete a potential deal.
    The Manchester giants are hoping Barcelona’s financial problems would help their cause and dramatically reduce his astronomical release clause.
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    United are still searching for a top attacker to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
    Erik ten Hag’s side is also keeping tabs on Napoli superstar Victor Osimhen, who has registered a whopping total of 15 goals and four assists in 20 appearances this season.
    But the Red Devils are facing intense competition from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. More

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    Barcelona 18 SECONDS late to submit paperwork for LA Galaxy star and face nervous wait to see if they can sign him

    BARCELONA reportedly face missing out on a transfer for a Major League Soccer prodigy after submitting the paperwork for the transfer 18 SECONDS late.LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo, 21, was set to join Barcelona Atletic – the club’s B team – on deadline day in a £3.2million ($4m) transfer.
    Julian Araujo is awaiting a verdict on whether he can join BarcelonaCredit: Getty
    Barcelona football director Mateu Alemany revealed the 18 second paperwork discrepancy cost see the deal collapseCredit: Getty
    However, a computer error meant the necessary paperwork to complete the deal was not submitted until 18 seconds after the deadline had passed.
    Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany explained the situation ahead of the team’s clash with Real Betis.
    He said: “It is true that it could not be done due to a system error. It was for 18 seconds, we will see what FIFA says.”
    Mexican journalist Kery Ruiz added context to the situation on Twitter: “Right now, Julian Araujo is a player for the LA Galaxy. They took a long time yesterday to start the paperwork.
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    “They wanted to sell Bellerín first. They entered documents and allege that the system did not let them upload files.
    “That’s why he’s a few seconds late. This is explained to Fifa today.”
    He later added that while the club are hopeful of a deal going through, the club’s board expect to be left disappointed due to exceptions rarely being made.
    Araujo is an American-born Mexican international who plays at right-back for Galaxy.
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    He made 33 MLS appearances last season, registering five assists as their season ended in the quarter-final play-offs against eventual winners LAFC.
    Gareth Bale, who recently retired, scored in the play-off final and the shootout to help the club win the trophy, though he did not feature in the clash against Galaxy due to a leg injury. More

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    TV viewers left absolutely baffled as Barcelona star Araujo ‘DISAPPEARS’ after being tackled mid-game against Real Betis

    BARCELONA defender Ronald Araujo DISAPPEARED after being tackled mid-game against Real Betis.The Catalan giants are having an incredible domestic campaign, where they are sitting pretty at the top of LaLiga after 19 games.
    Ronald Araujo held off the challenge of Willian Jose before being bundled overCredit: Twitter / @OptusSport
    The Barcelona ace fell in front of the digital advertising boardCredit: Twitter / @OptusSport
    Araujo’s body started to fadeCredit: Twitter / @OptusSport
    The ref stoof over the 23-year-old, who couldn’t be seen on TV at this pointCredit: Twitter / @OptusSport
    Xavi’s men are eight points clear of defending Spanish and European champions Real Madrid, although Los Blancos do have a game in hand.
    Barca extended their lead at the top of the Spanish top flight with a 2-1 away win over Real Betis.
    Ex-Leeds ace Raphinha opened the scoring and Robert Lewandowski doubled Barca’s lead ten minutes from time.
    Betis did pull a goal back with an own goal through Jules Kounde, but a William Carvalho red card in added-time secured the three points for the visitors.

    In the game, a funny moment occurred where Barca defender Araujo DISAPPEARED after being tackled bey Betis forward Willian Jose in the 80th minute.
    The 23-year-old Uruguay international took a tumble in front of the advertising board and his body flickered before going invisible, leaving TV viewers baffled.
    One fan said on the moment: “He kinda phased in and out at first… and then disappeared completely. What the heck.”
    Another said: “Nah i’m pretty sure Araujo got deleted mid-game.”
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    The reasoning behind Araujo vanishing is because of technology.
    Asked in the Reddit thread if the ad panels are green screen, used to show different ads to viewers based on country or region, a user explained: “The theory is more or less correct.
    “But these are virtual overlays placed on the TV feed and then it shows a targeted ad depending on the region the game is being broadcasted to.
    “There’s no green screen trickery going on though. People in the stadium can still see the ads on the led boards.”
    A similar incident happened in Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-1 draw with Reims recently.
    Sergio Ramos temporarily lost his head while stood near the goal and in front of the advertising boards. More

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    Erling Haaland’s agent admits she ‘can’t say no to Barcelona’ as she teases £1BILLION transfer to La Liga from Man City

    ERLING HAALAND’S agent has admitted that she “can’t say no to Barcelona” as she teased a future £1BILLION transfer.The Norwegian hotshot, 22, has taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival at Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
    Rafaela Pimenta took over super-agent Mino Raiola’s business empireCredit: Twitter
    She has teased Erling Haaland moving to Barcelona in the futureCredit: Getty
    He has scored 31 goals in 27 appearances for the Cityzens already and is one of the most-sought after strikers on the planet.
    Haaland and a host of other footballing stars were rocked in May 2022 when their super-agent Mino Raiola passed away aged 54.
    But before the Italian died, he had asked his close ally, Brazilian lawyer Rafaela Pimenta, to take over the reins of his business.
    Now she is the one who looks after the best interests of Haaland and the rest of the iconic names the company has on-board.
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    This week she sat down with Spanish publication AS to discuss the future of the hotshot – and she could not help hinting at a future to switch to LaLiga as she highlighted her and Raiola’s good relationship with Barcelona and their president Joan Laporta.
    Pimenta said: “I always say that Laporta can’t ask me for anything in football, he’s not fair, because he knows I’m going to say ‘yes’.
    She did move to quickly ease the fears of City fans as she insisted that he is “married” to the club, whom he is under contract to until 2027.
    And then she revealed what she thought Haaland’s transfer value was, and with so many additional aspects including fans, digital content, notoriety and sponsors, she believes it tops the £1BN mark.
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    Primenta added: “I know that nobody is going to pay 700 million for a player, but I am very clear that the value that Erling adds when he arrives at a club is immense, at least 1,000 million.”
    For 18 years, Pimenta was Raiola’s right-hand woman – working by his side and learning the ropes.
    She was entrusted as a vital cog in his affairs, as well as a brain to lean on for advice.
    Their paths first crossed in around 1998 at launch event for a small Sao Paulo club called Guaratingueta, which she helped set up with Brazilian legends Rivaldo and Cesar Sampaio.
    At the time, she was also a university professor of international law when she was lured into the world of football.
    While before that, Pimenta worked for an antitrust team set up by Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
    But the chance meeting between Pimenta and Raiola was the beginning of a fruitful relationship – and they would go on to work for 18 years together, before his untimely death. More