Barcelona transfer news: Messi's future decided, tug of war for German star and more - 26th November 2017
Lionel Messi finally set to stay until 2021
One of the biggest news of the recent few months was the delay in Messi's contract renewal. Despite a deal being agreed in the summer, the 30-year old did not officially sign the contract, leading to transfer speculations. The Argentine was reportedly disappointed with the replacements brought in for Neymar and hence was contemplating a move away from Camp Nou.
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho was the top target but the club ended up signing only Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele. Further, Messi's contract was set to expire next summer, implying he could negotiate with foreign clubs in January. However, the club can finally breathe comfortably with the superstar signing a new deal to keep him at the club till 2021. The club's statement read:
“FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi signed on Saturday morning a new contract that will keep the Argentinian superstar at the Club through the 2020/21 season. The buyout clause was set at 700 million euros. Thus, by the time the new deal expires, the 30-year-old striker will have spent 17 years with the first team."
Messi spoke about finishing his dream of finishing his career at Barcelona and said:
“The objective is to continue achieving things and making history. We’ve been lucky enough to have won a great many things and I hope there will be more in the future. I’m happy to continue with the club, which is my home. My dream was to finish my career at Barca and we are moving down that path.”
Undoubtedly, retaining Messi is the biggest deal Barcelona could complete this season.
European heavyweights set to clash for Leon Goretzka
The Schalke midfielder is set to leave the Bundesliga club at the end of the summer with his contract expiring. The 22-year old starred for Germany in the FIFA Confederations Cup during the summer and is now one of the key players for both club and country. No wonder, almost every top club in Europe are looking to sign the dynamic midfielder either in January or for free in the summer.
Now, Tuttosport reports that Barcelona have to fend off interest from the likes of Juventus, Manchester United and Arsenal. Each of those clubs have already contacted the player's agent as per the report. Apart from them, Bayern Munich and AC Milan are also linked with Goretzka, who will improve any team he chooses to join.
Thus, a huge bidding war is set for 2018 with clubs looking to sign him either in January or for free in the summer. Barcelona might have to offer a starting place for the German international to join them, which could mean the Catalan club can sign only one of Goretzka or Coutinho.
Barcelona's director of football to join Arsenal
The London side have recently completed a transfer coup by signing Borussia Dortmund's chief scout, Sven Mislintat. The German is credited for the signings of Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele. In a market where the prices are soaring with every passing transfer window, Mislintat is expected to prove to be a gamechanger for Arsenal.
However, the restructuring is set to continue with another high-profile name on the cards. This time, it could be at Barcelona's expense with the club director Raul Sanllehi on Arsenal's radar, as per Mail. After decades of Wenger being in charge of transfers, he will have to work as a team now with Sanllehi tipped to become the new Director of Football.
Sanllehi was initially expected to join Manchester City but Arsenal looks to have moved ahead in the queue. This will imply Barcelona should look for a new person to take the post while Arsenal are set to benefit from the deal, if it goes through.