Lionel Messi will be offered £500,000-a-week to stay at Barcelona

Striker’s £80m bonus to be funded by selling the Camp Nou naming rights


It’s amazing what a hat-trick can do for a player’s career. Last month The Sunreported that Lionel Messi was being linked with a £357million move to Manchester City, but according to the Daily Mail the Argentine striker is “set to sign a record-breaking new contract with an £80m bonus”.

 

Messi single-handedly revived his country’s World Cup fortunes on Tuesday, scoring all of Argentina’s goals in the 3-1 win against Ecuador that secured their place in next year’s tournament.

That seems to have spurred Barcelona into action with reports in Spain suggesting that Messi will commit his future to the Catalan club with an eye-watering new contract when his existing deal expires in June.

How much will the eyes water? To the tune of £500,000-a-week, and that’s after he pockets an £80m signing-on bonus.

Not surprisingly, the bonus will be the highest in football history and Barca will fund the deal by selling the naming rights to the Camp Nou.

 

Catalan newspaper L’Ara reported earlier in the week that the club’s wage bill is now in excess of £430m, which is 84 per cent of their revenue. Although chief executive Oscar Grau boasted on Wednesday that “the club is in a very solvent, positive position. We are doing things sensibly”.

Their solvency will likely be increased shortly with reports stating that the club are close to agreeing a sponsorship deal with sports giant Nike.

It’s believed that Barcelona have hired sports business experts Van Wagner to help them sell the naming rights, with reports stating that they will demand £180m in return.

 

The prospect of putting one’s name to one of the most iconic sports stadiums in the world will be all the more attractive given that Barcelona are set to embark on a major renovation of the Camp Nou.

The refurbishment, which will start in 2019 and take around two years, is expected to cost close to £500m and will include a new roof, HD scoreboards, luxurious corporate facilities and an increase in capacity from 99,000 to 105,000.

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Chelsea ‘to offer Real Madrid target Eden Hazard new contract worth £300,000 a week’

Chelsea are reportedly set to offer Eden Hazard a brand new deal to ward of potential interest from Real Madrid.

The 26-year Belgian forward sees his present contract with the English champions expire in June 2020.

However, according to the Daily Mail, the powers that be at Stamford Bridge want to increase his weekly salary to £300,000.

Hazard is unquestionably one of Chelsea’s preeminent figures and was strongly linked with a move to the 12-time European champions across the summer.

Since relocating from Ligue 1 outfit Lille in the summer of 2012 he’s gone on to represent the Blues on no fewer than 256 occasions and has played a pivotal role in their last two championship winning seasons (2016/17 and 2014/15).

Nominally a wide-forward he’s capable of playing behind the centre-forward and to date been involved in 137 goals.

Of those, the 78-time capped Belgian international registered 72 himself whilst creating a further 65 for his teammates.
So far this season he’s featured eight times under manager Antonio Conte, having missed the start due to a troublesome ankle injury, and is yet to get on the scoresheet.

 

Barcelona and Neymar summoned to court on Tuesday, €30m+ lawsuit mess to be sorted

Barcelona and former superstar Neymar will be in court next Tuesday to sort out their various claims and lawsuits after their messy break-up last month.

The Brazilian international completed his £200m move to Paris Saint-Germain in August, as per BBC Sport, but the fall-out from his time with Barcelona continued.

Firstly, the Catalan giants filed a lawsuit against Neymar on August 11 for forcing his transfer to PSG through, as per Mundo Deportivo, while they also expressed unhappiness with a loyalty bonus and claimed €8.5m in damages plus a further 10 percent for the delay.

Neymar responded by counter-suing Barcelona as he looks to receive the second instalment of his renewal premium from his last contract with the club which is believed to be worth €26m.

In turn, it was quite a tumultuous break-up between the two parties after such a successful stint together, and they will now go to court next week to reconcile and reach an agreement to finally put the matter behind them.

Although losing a player of the quality of the 25-year-old is always a great disappointment, Barcelona have started the new campaign in positive fashion to move on from their former star forward.

Similarly, Neymar has taken to life in the French capital well, scoring six goals and providing six assists in seven appearances in all competitions. While they’ve seemingly moved on on the pitch, it could be an opportunity to do so off it too in court on Tuesday as both have had plenty to say through the media over the past few weeks too.

 

 

 

Can Ronaldo end goal ‘drought’?

MADRID – Two games without a goal is run of the mill for most footballers, but for Cristiano Ronaldo it constitutes a drought.

Ronaldo will be looking to forget his early season struggles as Real Madrid aim to lay down a marker in their quest for a third consecutive Champions League at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

The Portuguese remains the strong favourite to match Lionel Messi’s record of five Ballon d’Or wins for his starring role in guiding Madrid to a first La Liga and Champions League double in 59 years.

However, Messi’s sensational form for Barcelona and the attention garnered by Neymar’s €222 million world record move to Paris Saint-Germain last month has starved Ronaldo of the attention he craves.

All three were named as the finalists for Fifa’s Men’s Player Award for 2017 last week.

It is Ronaldo, though, who has so far failed to hit his stratospherically high standards this season as Real have fallen seven points behind Barca in the La Liga title race.

A five-game suspension for pushing a referee after being sent-off in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup has been the principle cause.

Ronaldo described the ban as “persecution” on the part of the Spanish federation.

But the punishment didn’t end with the ban, as a rusty Ronaldo misfired badly as Real’s run of scoring in 73 straight games was ended in a shock 1-0 defeat to Real Betis last midweek.

Ronaldo also fired a blank as Madrid edged past bottom-of-the-table Alaves on Saturday despite having 18 shots across his last two games.

“Cristiano is like he always is. When he doesn’t score, you ask me about him, but he is calm,” insisted Real boss Zinedine Zidane.

“He wanted to score, which is normal, but it’s a long season and he always ends up making the difference.”

It would take something extraordinary to deny Ronaldo the Ballon d’Or after scoring 10 times from the Champions League quarter-finals on against a calibre of opposition such as Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Juventus.

Yet, Messi’s reaction to Neymar’s decision to forge pastures new at PSG has been a telling demonstration of who is really the irreplaceable figure at the Camp Nou.

Messi has helped guide Barca to six wins from six in La Liga and a 3-0 thumping of Juventus in the Champions League, scoring 12 goals in nine appearances in all competitions.

Indeed, at club level, Messi now has 43 goals in 2017 to Ronaldo’s 29.

Neymar’s numbers are far more modest despite five goals in six games for PSG as he has adapted well to his new surroundings and new stature as the world’s most expensive player.

One of the Brazilian’s motives for leaving the lure of Messi and Barcelona behind was reportedly his desire to win the Ballon d’Or.

But at 25, his time is more likely to come in future years if Messi (30) and Ronaldo (32) begin to wane.

Neymar will need to live up to the hype of his record price tag not just in Ligue 1, but at Champions League level to be crowned the world’s best, and the visit of Bayern Munich to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday is his greatest opportunity to make an impact before January’s award ceremonies.

Yet, despite the individual nature of the award, it is trophies that tend to tilt the balance of the Ballon d’Or and, having beaten his competitors to La Liga and the Champions League, Ronaldo remains the man to beat.

 

Neymar left Barcelona ‘because of Messi’

Former Barcelona star Jeremy Mathieu knows both Neymar and Lionel Messi very well as he had been playing with the Argentinean and the Brazilian star for many years at the Nou Camp. Mathieu joined Sporting CP in the summer and interviewed by SFR Sport he revealed why Neymar left Barcelona.

“Nobody expected he could leave but his choice must be respected”, the Frenchman said.

“I think he left Barcelona because he was the second choice of Messi. He wants to win the Ballon d’Or and it’s complicated with Barcelona because there is Messi there.”

“He will have more chances to win the Ballon d’Or in Paris. He is the main man and Psg and he must help his new club to win the Champions League.”

Neymar became the most expensive player in the history of football last summer as he joined Psg from Barcelona for € 222 million.
The Brazilian scored 105 goals and registered 80 assists in 186 appearances with the La Liga giants.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happened in PSG’s dressing room after Neymar and Edinson Cavani’s feud vs Lyon

 

Part of the reason why Neymar flourished at Barcelona was because he had a teammate in Lionel Messi who only ever wanted him to be happy.

We’ve seen in recent weeks just how much Neymar values individual glory; first in his decision to join Paris Saint-Germain, fuelled in part by a desire to win the Ballon d’Or, and then when he clashed with Edinson Cavani in Sunday’s win over Lyon.

While Messi was willing to hand Neymar a penalty when Barcelona beat Cordoba in 2015, Cavani wasn’t quite so generous.

Neymar received a firm no when he asked the Uruguayan to take a penalty against Lyon and was left to sulk about it.

It’s left PSG boss Unai Emery in the unenviable position of having to resolve a feud between two of his most important players.

Real Madrid star Marcelo names Cristiano Ronaldo as the best he’s ever played alongside

The left-back made his choice at the announcement of his contract extension with Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s flying wing-back Marcelo has played alongside some of the best footballers of this generation.

Indeed, with both Brazil and Real, the 29-year-old has laid on assists for the likes of Ronaldinho and Raul, so picking the best player he’s ever lined up with is no easy feat.

The defender signed a new deal to remain at the Bernabeu until 2022, extending a long and glorious career with Los Blancos which began after he was signed from Brazilian club Fluminense in 2007.

At his press conference to announce his contract extension, Marcelo highlighted some of the best he’s played alongside.

“I played with greats like Ronaldo (de Lima), Ronaldinho, and Ruud van Nistelrooy,” he said, according to Marca.

“But because I’ve been training with him for a long time, giving him passes and celebrating goals, I’ll say Cristiano (is the best).”

Marcelo’s contract extension came hot on the heels of news his two-match ban for kicking Levante’s Jefferson Lerma had been downgraded to one game.

The left-back now only misses Sunday’s clash against Real Sociedad and will be available for next Wednesday’s La Liga fixture with Real Betis.