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    Lionel Messi set for showdown talks with PSG ‘in next few weeks’ with French giants desperate to end transfer fears

    LIONEL MESSI will sit down with the PSG hierarchy for talks over a new contract this month, according to reports.The World Cup winner has been in sensational form for the Ligue 1 leaders this season, but his deal in the French capital runs out this summer.
    Lionel Messi is set for talks over a new contract at PSGCredit: Rex
    Although PSG are desperate to get him to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes.
    Messi has been directly involved in 29 goals in 24 games in all competitions this season.
    And he scored another crucial winner against Toulouse this weekend.
    He sits top of the assist charts, while only eight other players have scored more in Ligue 1.
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    And with no signs of Messi slowing down despite turning 36 at the end of the campaign, PSG want him to sign an extension.
    PSG director Luis Campos told Telefoot: “We are in talks with Leo Messi as we want to extend his contract.”
    “I’d like to keep him in this project.
    “We are talking now to achieve this goal and continue to have Messi with us.”
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    And Fabrizio Romano claims that crunch talks are set to take place in February.
    PSG are said to want to get Messi to sign his new contract “as soon as possible.” More

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    Watch Lionel Messi score stunner for PSG as French champs come from behind to beat Toulouse

    PSG star Lionel Messi scored a stunning goal as he helped his side to beat Toulouse.The effort completed the French giants’ comeback as they went on to win the clash 2-1.

    Lionel Messi scored a brilliant goal for PSG against ToulouseCredit: Alamy
    He curled the ball into the corner of the goal from outside of the boxCredit: BT Sport
    Messi latched on to a loose ball following Achraf Hakimi’s darting run with the ball.
    He hit the ball first time with his left foot and curled it into the bottom corner with goalkeeper Maxime Dupe nowhere near it.
    Fans went crazy on social media for the goal as one fan tweeted: “Didn’t see the game… But what a goal that was my Leo Messi.”
    A second wrote: “Brilliant finish.”
    A third commented: “Absolute freak of a footballer.”
    A fourth said: “Undisputed 🐐.”
    A fifth added: “When someone is great at what they do, they deserve full credit. What a player (STILL).”
    PSG had gone behind in the game in the 20th minute as Branco van den Boomen fired the visitors ahead.
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    Hakimi managed to net the equaliser in the 38th minute to give Messi the chance to score the winner.
    The goal is the latest in Messi’s fine season in which he has already found the net ten times in 18 league games.
    He has also been able to provide ten assists for his team-mates in the same competition.
    PSG are keen to keep hold of the Argentine star with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
    Messi is wanted by clubs in Saudi Arabia as well as MLS side Inter Miami. More

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    ‘Pass better than finish’ – Watch PSG star Fabian Ruiz’s assist of season to set up sublime Lionel Messi goal

    PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN forward Fabian Ruiz produced a sensational pass for Lionel Messi to score in their 3-1 win over Montpellier.The Argentine, 35, bagged his 14th goal of the season for the Ligue 1 champions on Wednesday night as they opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table.
    Fabian Ruiz picked out Lionel Messi with a sensational passCredit: BT Sport

    Messi raced onto the ball and controlled it with consummate easeCredit: BT Sport
    The Argentine then coolly slotted home with a delicate left-footed finishCredit: BT Sport
    Messi celebrated his goal with Ruiz, right, after the Spaniard’s sublime passCredit: Getty
    But it was the assist which caught the eye more than the finish.
    Hugo Ekitike found Spaniard Ruiz, 26, on the edge of the box and he slid a delightful ball through the eye of a needle for Messi.
    The pass took three Montpellier players out of the game, before the Barcelona legend took one touch and slotted it home to give PSG a 2-0 lead.
    Reacting to the goal on BT Sport’s social media, one person said: “Messi having the time of his life but no one’s talking about the brilliant pass”
    Another added: “The pass was way better! That should be the headline”.
    And a third replied: “Can we talk about that pass from Fabian Ruiz tho? 😮‍💨”.
    Ruiz, who joined PSG from Napoli for £19million in the summer, also scored the opening goal of the game to set PSG on their way to a comfortable win.
    And their evening was rounded off by 16-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery scoring his first goal for the club.
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    The win saw PSG extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to five points after Lens were beaten 1-0 at home by Nice.
    The defeat sees Lens drop down to third, with Marseille moving up to second place.
    PSG are looking to clinch a ninth league title in 11 seasons and also have one eye on the Champions League.
    The French giants are keen to claim a first European crown, but face a tough last-16 tie against Bayern Munich.
    The first leg of the blockbuster Champions League clash takes place in Paris on February 14, before the return leg in Munich on March 8. More

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    Watch as Mbappe has penalty saved then awarded retake that he crashes against post before spooning rebound over bar

    KYLIAN MBAPPE saw a penalty saved which was awarded for a retake that he also MISSED.The PSG ace then blazed over from the rebound in what was a quite incredible phase of play.
    Incredible scenes in PSG’s game at Montpellier! 🤯Kylian Mbappé’s first penalty attempt is saved, VAR rules he’s allowed a retake, his second attempt hits the post and then he blasts the rebound over the bar! 😳— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 1, 2023

    Kylian Mbappe had a bad night as he missed two penaltiesCredit: Reuters
    And he was then forced off through injuryCredit: AFP
    It’s just nine days since the superstar became the first player in the club’s history to score five goals in a single game.
    But this was the start of what proved to be a night to forget for Mbappe.
    His first penalty was saved by Montpellier stopper Benjamin Lecomte, who impressively leapt across to keep the ball out.
    But the keeper came off his line, which meant the spot kick was retaken.
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    Mbappe once again stepped up and despite going the other way, Lecomte performed further heroics to push the ball onto the post.
    The rebound did fall straight to the 24-year-old’s feet, but he somehow failed to convert from six-yards.
    Instead, he fired miles over the bar in what was his THIRD big chance to score in a matter of minutes.
    Earlier this season, Mbappe and Neymar were involved in a spat over penalties.
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    On that occasion, Mbappe also missed from 12-yards with the Brazilian taking a second spot kick that PSG won later in the game.
    Mbappe confronted his team-mate as he is the club’s designated penalty taker, but Neymar went ahead and scored.
    That was the Frenchman’s last miss though, with the forward scoring his previous three before tonight.
    He also famously scored THREE penalties in France’s World Cup final defeat to Argentina – two during the game and one in the shootout.
    But he couldn’t find the net tonight and his evening went from bad to worse on the 20-minute mark when he was forced off with an injury.
    Fortunately for the French champs, manager Christophe Galtier said the injury “does not seem very serious” with PSG hosting Bayern Munich in the Champions League in 13 days’ time. More

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    PSG ‘try to open talks with Real Madrid to sign three-time Champions League winner’ but face Premier League competition

    PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN are trying to open talks to sign Marco Asensio, according to reports. The French giants want to bolster their squad before the transfer window closes tonight.
    Marco Asensio is struggling for game time at Real Madrid and is wanted by PSGCredit: Alamy
    Asensio, 27, is out of contract at the Bernabeu at the end of the season, meaning he will become a free agent in the summer unless a new contract is signed.
    But according to Spanish outlet Relevo, PSG are willing to stump up the cash to get a deal over the line for the three-time Champions League winner this month.
    They want to steal a march on clubs in the Premier League – including Arsenal and Manchester United – Serie A and even arch-rivals Barcelona with a last-ditch swoop.
    However, Real Madrid are refusing to even enter negotiations with PSG and have no intention of selling the attacker they signed from Mallorca in 2014.
    Los Blancos instead want to renew Asensio’s contract with Carlo Ancelotti insisting the 35-cap Spanish playmaker is a key member of his squad.
    Asensio has made 24 Real Madrid appearances this season – but just six of those have come as a starter.
    Real have a crunch few weeks coming up with the Club World Cup, Liverpool in the Champions League, a Madrid derby against Atletico and Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
    But with the player not getting the game time he wants, he’s reportedly asked agent Jorge Mendes to address the issue with the Real Madrid board – who will not budge on their stance.
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    Contract negotiations for Asensio did start over the World Cup break but are yet to yield an agreement.
    Now talks are said to have stalled, leaving Asensio uncertain over his future.
    PSG are also set to land Hakim Ziyech on loan from Chelsea.
    The Morocco World Cup star has dropped even further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the arrivals of Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Joao Felix. More

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    Tottenham and Rennes ‘close to agreement’ over Djed Spence joining team-mate Joe Rodon at French club on loan transfer

    DJED SPENCE is reportedly “close” to joining Tottenham teammate Joe Rodon on loan at Rennes.The right-back, 22, joined the north London side from Middlesbrough for £20m in the summer.
    Djed Spence is reportedly heading to Rennes on loanCredit: Getty
    But boss Antonio Conte made clear it was a deal struck by the club and not one he was demanding.
    And since then England U21 international Spence has been restricted to just six appearances off the bench for Spurs.
    A host of clubs, including Leicester, Brentford and Crystal Palace are all keen on a loan deal this month.
    But we exclusively revealed how his exit was being held up due to Spurs’ refusal to include an option to buy.
    Spurs do not want to risk losing Spence for good at the end of the season, especially with Conte’s future in doubt.
    And chief Daniel Levy is not currently entertaining permanent deals or any loan offers with an option or obligation to buy.
    That has caused negotiations to drag, but now there seems to have been a breakthrough regarding the ex-Fulham trainee.
    However, now Sky Sports News are claiming that Spence “is set to join Stade Rennais on loan for the remainder of the season”.
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    Should he move to the Ligue 1 club, then Spence will link-up with fellow Spurs loanee Joe Rodon.
    The 25-year-old Welsh international centre-back headed there last summer for the 2022/23 campaign.
    He has made 16 appearances for Rennes, who are currently fifth in the French top-flight, so far in all competitions. More

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    Arsenal loanee Balogun reveals he copied Thierry Henry’s celebration after chatting to icon before Reim’s draw with PSG

    ON-LOAN Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun copied Thierry Henry’s celebration following his latest strike for Reims – after a chat with the legend.The 21-year-old pounced in the sixth minute of additional time to earn the Ligue 1 club a draw at the home of reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain.
    Folarin Balogun produced this celebration after his equaliser at PSGCredit: Twitter
    He spoke with French legend Thierry Henry before the game and decided to honour himCredit: Getty
    He then raced towards the corner flag and recreated one of Henry’s iconic celebrations from his time playing for France.
    Balogun took to social media after the game to share a twin-up of both his and Henry’s pose.
    And he captioned it with: “Spoke to Titi before the game! Only right I show my respect.”
    Balogun, who has scored seven in 13 caps for England U21s but is also eligible for both the USA and Nigeria at international level, joined Arsenal’s academy way back in 2008.
    He has struggled to make the breakthrough at the Emirates at senior level, playing just twice in the Premier League.
    The forward spent the second half of last season in the Championship on loan at Middlesbrough and found the net three times.
    But after agreeing to spend the current campaign in France with Reims, he has discovered his goalscoring touch with 11 in 19 Ligue 1 appearances.
    After the game, Balogun’s manager William Still said of the ace: “He is a super complete striker, he is able to play with his back to goal, in depth. It is technically very clean. He scores, he is decisive.”
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    Premier League leaders Arsenal could certainly do with Balogun in their ranks at the moment.
    Despite being five points clear of Manchester City, they are without first-choice forward Gabriel Jesus through injury.
    That has left fellow youngster Eddie Nketiah, 23, to lead the line but he has been in fine form himself with seven goals in his last eight matches. More

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    Lyon keen to replace Chelsea-bound Malo Gusto with transfer for ex-Blues ace Tariq Lamptey from Brighton

    LYON are reportedly looking to replace Chelsea-bound Malo Gusto with Brighton’s ex-Blue Tariq Lamptey.Gusto, 19, is one of Chelsea’s top targets ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
    Lyon are ready to pounce for Brighton star Tariq LampteyCredit: Getty
    Lamptey could arrive as a replacement for Chelsea target Malo GustoCredit: Getty
    And Todd Boehly is hopeful of finally securing a deal for the right-back after having an initial bid rejected.
    A move is starting to look inevitable after Gusto agreed personal terms on a six-and-a-half year contract.
    Yet Lyon continue to resist as they hold out for around £30million.
    Even so, Fabrizio Romano claims the French side are already scouring the market for a replacement.
    And their top target to replace Gusto is Lamptey.
    The 22-year-old joined Brighton from Chelsea three years ago, having been rated as one of England’s top young defenders.
    However, a series of unfortunate injuries have limited him to 35 league starts in that time.
    And Roberto de Zerbi is open to selling Lamptey this month as he targets a deal for Mykola Matviyenko.
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    It’s reckoned numerous European clubs are keeping tabs on the Ghana international.
    But Lyon appear to be leading the race as they continue discussing Gusto’s potential move to Chelsea.
    Lamptey isn’t the only player who could depart Brighton before deadline day, with Chelsea also keen on midfielder Moises Caicedo.
    Should he depart, Brighton could make a stunning move for Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. More