Gossip: Messi ‘more likely’ to leave; Man Utd to gazump Arsenal

Koeman’s got a job persuading messi, Arsenal gazumped and swapping…

With the horror of Barcelona’s 8-2 mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich still hot on his mind, Lionel Messi cut shot his holiday for a sit down meeting with new boss Ronald Koeman, reportedly informing him that he is ‘more likely to leave the Nou Camp than stay’.

Koeman was hoping to talk to Messi about the direction of the club going forward, with the Argentina international leading the project. But now the Dutchman is faced with having to persuade the Barcelona legend to stay at the club before he can think about the areas of his squad that need to be strengthened, according to Catalan radio station RAC1.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the clubs thought to be able and willing to offer Messi an escape route, as he mulls over his options.

Reports on Thursday claimed Gabriel Magalhaes was set for a medical at Arsenal, after the Gunners agreed a €30million deal with Lille. But he is now reportedly delaying his final decision, as he expects Manchester United to come in with a late bid, reports The Telegraph.

The 22-year-old centre-back is much sought after having played in 24 of Lille’s 28 matches in a curtailed 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign. So much so that both Manchester City and PSG could also table last gasp bids for the Brazilian, according to the Daily Mail.

Both outlets claim Arsenal are still favourites to sign Gabriel, but he looks set to let them sweat it out for a little longer yet.

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Mikel Arteta is also looking to make changes in the forward positions, with Arsenal and Juventus reportedly discussing a swap deal that would see Alexandre Lacazette move to Turin, with Federico Bernardeschi coming in the other direction, according the Daily Star.

The report claims it’s ‘possible’ – as are all transfers…

It would be far from a straight swap, with Bernardeschi operating in a wide or central attacking midfield position. But with Juventus chasing a goalscorer and Arsenal keen to ramp up their creativity from midfield, this could be a deal that suits both clubs.

The French striker has had a lean time of it of late, scoring just ten goals in the Premier League this season; he’s never quite lived up to the hype his obvious talent deserves.

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Arsenal are unlikely to sanction any deal involving Lacazette before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang makes a decision on his future, as losing both of them would leave them very short up front.

United must pay £40m for Brooks… Leeds target Rodrigo… Villa prepare Watkins bid… United back off Costa deal… Spurs move for Maitland-Niles… PSG monitor Dalot… Deeney to stick it out at Watford… Real Betis want Montoya… Smalling desperate for Roma return.

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