Premier League - Paper Round: Messi wanted Premier League move

Lionel Messi asked for a move to the Premier League; Liverpool hope to steal Arsenal target whilst the Gunners have given up on Sami Khedira and are turning their attention elsewhere – plus the other top stories from the papers.

Premier League - Paper Round: Messi wanted Premier League move

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Lionel Messi and Barcelona in 2014

Arsenal approached by Messi : According to the Daily Mail, the football world could have been shocked last season as Lionel Messi approached Arsenal about a potential move to the Emirates Stadium. During discussions over a new contract with the La Liga giants, Messi was said to be unhappy with the terms laid down by Barcelona and reportedly sounded out Arsen Wenger’s men for a potential move. The Mail report that top Spanish website Vozpopuli claims that the Argentina star asked then teammate Cesc Fabregas to talk to his agent Darren Dein about a potential move to Arsenal.

Paper round’s view: The Mail were most certainly right in what they said (with one thing, anyway) – the football world would have been shocked had Messi moved to Arsenal. Of course, the striker eventually put pen to paper on a new deal in May 2014, though it is believed that snag in negotiations was regarding Messi’s wage demands. The Barca star earns £16 million-per-year in wages, but the stand-off reportedly revolved around him wanting to become the highest paid player in the world. Whether there is any truth in the story or not, it certainly makes for some good reading.

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Liverpool swoop for Arsenal target Manquillo: Brendan Rodgers is keen on securing the services of Atletico Madrid full-back Javier Manquillo on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old has been linked with Arsenal, but the Liverpool boss is hoping to acquire the youngster’s signature to provide competition for England right-back Glen Johnson. Manquillo has featured just six times in the league for Atleti in the past two seasons – often playing understudy to Juanfran – but Rodgers has been impressed by the youngster and is reportedly willing to take a chance on the defender.

Paper round’s view: Having come up just short in their bid for Premier League glory last season, Liverpool have made a number of impressing signings in the transfer window thus far, and if Rodgers can bring in Manquillo then that would add even more strength in depth. Despite the young defender’s inexperience, he is regarded as one for the future. Rodgers would be looking to acquire his services on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal which would be a smart bit of business – providing that Arsenal don’t get there first.

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Arsenal want Carvalho instead of Khedira: According to the Daily Star, Arsenal have turned their attention to Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho after talks with Real Madrid’s World Cup winner Sami Khedira stalled. Portuguese media claim that Arsene Wenger has rekindled his interest in Carvalho after initially having a £24 million bid rejected. However, the Sporting Lisbon star has a £37m release clause and it is believed that the Portuguese outfit are holding out for a price nearer to that figure. There had also been interest from Manchester United, though it is believed Louis van Gaal’s outfit have turned their attention elsewhere after refusing to pay the asking price for the midfielder. The Daily Star report that Arsenal are also unwilling to stretch to that amount.

Paper round’s view: William Carvalho has excited during his time in the capital city, so it comes as no surprise that a number of top European teams are vying for his signature. However, Wenger is very unlikely to pay £37 million for his second choice target. The Gunners boss is still hopeful of bringing in Sami Khedira, but the negotiations have apparently hit a snag as the German international is demanding three times the amount of his £50,000-per-week wages at Real Madrid. Wenger is unwilling to pay Khedira any more than current top earners Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who take hope a pretty impressive £135,000-per-week. If Khedira refuses to budge on his wage demands then the Gunners boss will certainly look elsewhere, with Mourinho next on his list.

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Hernandez heading for United exit door: Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is a target for Serie A giants Inter Milan, according to The Sun. Inter are in the market for a new front man and after being told that Manchester City’s Stefan Jovetic is not for sale, the Italian side are now looking at City’s neighbours in the hope of sourcing a striker. The Mexican international still has two years left on his current deal at Old Trafford, but the Serie A side are quietly confident of landing their man, with reports indicating that United will listen to offers for the striker.

Paper round’s view: New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has said that he will wait three to four weeks to have a look at his current crop of players before dealing in the transfer market – which that would indicate that he will give each and every member of the squad a fair crack at the whip before allowing anybody to leave. However, with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney certain to lead the United line – and Danny Welbeck close behind – it could be another frustrating season for Chicharito, which may force him to look elsewhere.

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