?Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is said to be ready to listen to an offer from Spanish giants Barcelona.
The German midfielder will be out of contract next summer and will be free to speak to other clubs as a result and according to ?The Sun, he has his heart set on a return to Spain.
Paris Saint-Germain are also thought to be interested, as they are one of the few clubs able to match the £330,000-a-week wage demands that would accompany the free transfer. But Manchester United and Fenerbahce are also monitoring things and should approach the player with an offer at the beginning of next year.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, though, has confirmed that ?Ozil has not agreed anything with Barcelona as things stand, but admits that he has no control over the situation.
Asked if the player had already pledged his future to the Catalan side, Wenger replied:
“What kind of control can I have over that? All these people have agents who can talk to anybody. That doesn’t disturb people, that happens all through their career.
“Nobody knows what will happen when the players [Ozil and Alexis Sanchez] reach the end of their contracts. Our worry is to perform on Sunday, that’s it.
“They want to turn up and put in good performances. I have no concerns. I am more concerned about the team performance.
“Ozil and Alexis are praised when the team is doing well because of them, and when the team doesn’t do well they get more criticism. I’m more concerned that the team focuses on strong performances.”
Members of the Barcelona squad have thrown their backing behind former teammate Neymar’s ?Charity project for underprivileged Sao Paulo kids.
The now-Paris Saint-Germain attacker heads the Instituto Projeto Neymar Junior in his native Brazil. And the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique will be lending their support at an annual gala for the foundation in December.
Neymar, who grew up in Sao Paulo, began the project in 2014. Kids now live and study there.
“I lived two blocks from here and I know how it was in my childhood,” he said.
“I knew we didn’t have opportunities. So this (the institute) is a giant door for us to give opportunities to the people here.
“For me it is a pleasure for the FCB Foundation to be involved with this social project which is a personal one for me.
“I enjoy helping the boys and girls in the neighbourhood where I grew up. I know that people have been waiting for this project for a long time.”
Per r?ecent reports, the Brazilian is said to be disenchanted with his his new team and doesn’t believe that he should play every match.
He has since denied said reports, but the rumours of his unhappiness in Paris keep mounting.
Fresh from putting pen to paper on a new deal, ?Lionel Messi has expressed his delight at extending his time with the club he calls ‘home,’ reaffirming his desire to finish his career as a one-club player.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been part of a long-winded saga which has surrounded his commitment to the Spanish side, but his new contract – which contains a €700m buyout clause – has expelled all suggestions that he was set to leave Camp Nou.
After signing his new deal on Saturday, Messi told the ?club’s website: “I’m happy to continue with the Club, which is my home.
“My dream was to finish my career at Barça and we are moving down that path.
“The objective is to continue achieving things, fill the club’s trophy cases, and keep making history at Barça. We’ve been lucky enough to have won a great many things and I hope there will be more in the future.”
The 30-year-old joined Barcelona as a fresh-faced 13-year-old and the club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu is delighted that Messi has committed his career to the club.
He said: “It’s a great contract for the best player in football history. It fills me with pride to see him with us renewing his love for the Club.
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“It’s a new contract that we have signed today, because although the one we signed in June was up to par with his greatness as a player, the new one is more in line with the current situation in the ever-changing world of football.
“The buyout clause had to be modified, and it has gone from €300m to €700m,” he added.
?Lionel Messi is without a doubt one of the greatest of all time to have ever stepped foot on a pitch and his record in the last decade proves it.
With nine La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and five Ballon d’Or trophies all while playing for Barcelona, the 30-year-old forward has recently signed a new deal with the club, keeping him at the Nou Camp until 2021.
In an exclusive interview with Spanish outlet ?Marca, the Argentine revealed things about his football career as well as his personal life.
Having trained with the Blaugrana for many years on strict diets and regimes, Messi revealed one temptation that has stuck with him since childhood – his love of chocolate.
“Chocolate, it’s the hardest thing for me, even now,” he explained. “I occasionally sin with chocolate.”
Many have heard the story of how Messi became the goalscorer he is now due to a little conditioning at Newell’s Old Boys by his youth coach at the time, Carlos Marconi.
According to the New York Times, Marconi took advantage of the little wizard’s love of alfajores (chocolate cookies) by telling the youngster that he would get one for every goal he scored.
After a while, Marconi promised young Messi that he would give him two cookies per goal if they were headed in.
Decades later and Messi has become one of the most decorated players in world football having scored 584 goals over his career.
Lionel Messi has admitted that future Ballon d’Or contests won’t be decided between two superstar footballers like they have been between himself and rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Barcelona megastar penned a new four-and-a-half year deal with the Catalan giants on Saturday to end speculation over his future, but before doing so scooped up his fourth European Golden Shoe award on Friday.
In an interview conducted with ?Marca after the lavish bash in Spain, Messi was quizzed over who he felt would go on to dominate at the prestigious awards event in the coming seasons.
However, the 30-year-old forward claimed that the gong would be shared around in the near future with a number of stars across Europe’s top five leagues who are capable of winning it.
He said: “There are many great players around today who can win the Ballon d’Or. In recent years there have just been two, but now players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Luis Suarez can compete for that award.”
Messi was also questioned on his relationship with his Real Madrid rival Ronaldo, and in particular whether the pair could ever be friendly outside of football once they both retire.
The Argentina international stated that the duo didn’t talk outside of lavish ceremonies such as the Ballon d’Or, though, and failed to state if such a scenario could ever occur.
He said: “I don’t know if we will be friends (once we both retire). Friendship is built through spending time together and getting to know each other.
“We have no relationship, mainly because we only see each other at awards ceremonies and that’s the only time we speak. Everything is fine, but our lives don’t cross over very often.”