Thomas Meunier

Messi new contract
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Transfer news: Bellingham to Dortmund, Messi will have out-clause(s)

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Monday’s transfer rumor mill involves a one-club Ballon d’Or winner likely not going anywhere, as well as a few players possible finding new homes.

[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Burnley ]

We’ll start with the former, as Lionel Messi’s new Barcelona deal looks close to being inked for three years, with a hitch.


Messi (back) to Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s new contract with Barcelona could keep him with the La Liga side through the 2022-23 season.

The world’s best player is reportedly close to signing a new three-year deal with Barcelona that will give him the chance to exit the deal after every season.

So, yeah, that doesn’t exactly feel like a multi-year deal inasmuch as the privilege given to one of the greatest to ever strap on a pair of boots in any uniform.

From Marca:

This term is non-negotiable for Messi as he doesn’t want to be tied down to a contract, and wants to be able to decide at the end of every season whether or not he is physically fit to continue competing at the top level, and for this reason there will always be a clause allowing him to leave if he sees it appropriate.

Messi has discussed playing for boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys and Americans fans have dreamed of a possible MLS move.

Those would be options if Messi opted to leave Barcelona, because he doesn’t seem the type to skitter away to another European address. And there’s precedence within Barca’s quasi- one club set of his generation, as players like Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez have left for lesser leagues and Carles Puyol retired as a one-club man.

The 32-year-old Messi is having another sensational year and is one goal away from 700 for his career between Barcelona and Argentina.

Meunier to Dortmund
Bellingham to Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund have won the race to add one of the world’s premier free agents, according to Sky Sports Germany. They’ll also scoop up a sought-after British talent, too, says the BBC.

Thomas Meunier will leave Paris Saint-Germain for the club it knocked out of the Champions League, agreeing to a four-year deal with BVB.

Meunier had been linked with Tottenham amongst other destinations but has found favor with the Bundesliga runners-up.

The 28-year-old Belgian right back has been with PSG since 2016 when he came from Club Brugge. Meunier has been capped 40 times by Belgium, scoring seven goals.

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As for the young Belgian, the BBC says BVB has won the race to sign Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City.

Still 16 for one more week, Bellingham is said to cost approximately $25 million and has been chased by Manchester United and others for some time.

But it’s BVB’s track record with young players including fellow English youngster Jadon Sancho that may win the day with Bellingham.

The center midfielder has played 36 times for the Blues, scoring four times with three assists.

Transfer news: Werner to Chelsea update; Meunier to Tottenham

Werner
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In transfer news there’s a Timo Werner Chelsea update, while Thomas Meunier has been linked with a move to Tottenham.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule

Firstly, we start in west London with a Timo Werner Chelsea update as he is edging closer to completing his move. A report from the London Evening Standard says that Werner’s move from Leipzig will be announced this week.

Chelsea will activate Werner’s $66 million release clause and the 24-year-old has reportedly told Leipzig he will not be a part of their UEFA Champions League squad for the quarterfinals and beyond in August.

This is a massive coup for Chelsea as Werner was wanted by Liverpool, Bayern Munich and many others across Europe but the German striker has chosen to sign for the Blues.

In terms of how he will fit into the Chelsea team, he will start over Tammy Abraham up top and could partner the England international, as well as play off the left. With Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech the supporting acts for Werner next season, he will get plenty of quality service and his clinical finishing will be key as only Man City have created more chances than Chelsea so far this season.

With Willian and Pedro set to leave, plus Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi surplus to requirements, Frank Lampard will spruce up his attack and continues to be linked with Kai Havertz and others to provide Werner with chances.

Meunier
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Switching to north London, Tottenham are reportedly the frontrunners to sign right back Thomas Meunier on a free transfer this summer.

Meunier, 28, is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain and the Belgium international has been a long-term target for Tottenham, Man United and Liverpool. Given the fact that free agents are now like gold dust and Daniel Levy is set to give Mourinho very limited transfer funds, this deal makes sense for everyone.

According to the Daily Express, Meunier is a player Jose Mourinho likes and wants to bring in to strengthen his defense. Spurs have an ace up their sleeve too, with Toby Alderweireld a close friend of Meunier and they hope that brings him to north London.

Meunier is an attacking right back who is versatile and Mourinho could really use a solid, dependable defender to help shore up his defense. Going forward we know Spurs are the business with Kane, Son, Alli, Bergwijn and Moura, among others, so dangerous. Meunier would be a great addition to try and sort out their defense.

Transfer rumor roundup: Meunier to Spurs, Newcastle linked with trio

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Soon-to-be free agent Thomas Meunier is being linked with a move to North London.

The sought-after Belgian defender, 28, has been with Paris Saint-Germain since a 2016 move from Club Brugge.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Meunier has been linked to Manchester United and Everton since the start of 2019, but Spurs are said to be leading the race according to Le Parisien.

Also carrying 40 Belgian caps with seven goals, Meunier is a third-place finisher at the World Cup and has won three Ligue 1 crowns.

Separate reports have added Chelsea and Juventus to Meunier’s list of suitors, as transfer fee-free players could be all the rage this summer as teams monitor their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.


Newcastle United continues to be linked with nearly every player under the sun.

James Rodriguez is the latest, the Colombian star looking for a home away from Real Madrid.

James will cost around $34 million, and has also been linked with a bevy of clubs including MLS new boys Inter Miami CF.

And while Manchester United fans wait to see whether Shanghai Shenhua will allow Odion Ighalo to extend his loan, Newcastle is said to be open to meeting the Chinese Super League side’s $23 million asking price for a permanent deal.

Ighalo, who turns 31 in June, has fit the bill as a fill-in striker for the Red Devils, who had lost Marcus Rashford to injury. He has four goals in eight appearances for United after 46 goals in three seasons abroad.

The Magpies have a star goalkeeper in Martin Dubravka, but they are also being linked with a massive $56 million bid for Benfica star Odysseas Vlachodimos.

The 26-year-old Greek backstop has 16 clean sheets this season and six caps for his national team.

Transfer news: James to Everton; Meunier to Man United

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The latest transfer news continues across the Premier League and here’s a look at some of the juiciest rumors.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, Everton are said to be interested in signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. The Colombian star previously played for Carlo Ancelotti at Real and Bayern Munich, as he helped the former win the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16 and 2016-17 after arriving from Monaco following a sensational 2014 World Cup.

According to Marca, James is keen on a move to England and Real want to sell him this summer as he has just one year left on his contract. Per the report Ancelotti tried to sign James last summer when he was in charge at Napoli and although Arsenal and Wolves are also interested, Everton are the frontrunners.

James spent two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich before returning to Real for 2019-20 where he has been a bit-part player for Zinedine Zidane.

His quality on the ball is undoubted and at the age of 28 he is hitting his prime and Ancelotti certainly knows how to get the best out of James, who put up his best numbers at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2014-15 (17 goals in 46 games in all competitions) under the Italian coach.

Where would he slot in at Everton? Probably as the second striker or No. 10 which would mean stiff competition for Gylfi Sigurdsson who has become the chief creator for Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has not been shy in splashing the cash and Ancelotti has had a huge impact during his first few months in charge of the Toffees, strengthening his case to be given money to spend in the next transfer window to improve his young, raw squad.

Time to add the duo of Ancelotti-James to Mourinho-Matic, Redknapp-Defoe and Moyes-Fellaini manager-player partnerships.


Switching the focus from Merseyside to Manchester, another piece of transfer news has been reported that Man United are keen on signing Belgium international Thomas Meunier.

Meunier, 28, has yet to sign a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain and according to French outlet Le Foot, the Red Devils have joined AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund in ‘keeping a lookout’ on the right-sided player who becomes a free agent this summer.

An attacking right back, Meunier is just as comfortable playing as an out-and-out winger and his arrival would not only give them cover at right back for Aaron Wan-Bissaka but also give them an option at right wing. His experience with Belgium and PSG is undoubted and his quality passing and crossing from wide areas will surely provide Man United’s star attackers plenty of service. Meunier previously said his main aim is to stay at PSG, where he’s been since arriving from Club Brugge in 2016 as he’s won eight domestic trophies with the reigning French champions.

Meunier has also previously stated in the Belgian media that he is a fan of Man United, so perhaps that gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side the edge. He would fill a need and a free transfer would certainly be welcome after splashing out over $280 million to sign Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Wan-Bissaka over the last 12 months.

Early Euro qualifiers: Belgium, Netherlands, Russia all win

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In the early slate of Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers, there were little surprises as Belgium, Russia, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Scotland all found the winner’s column.

Liverpool midfielder Giorginio Wijnaldum bagged a first-half brace, including an absolute rocket, as the Netherlands held on for a 2-1 win over Belarus. BATE Borisov midfielder Stanislav Dragun grabbed one back for Belarus soon after halftime, but the visitors held on in Minsk.

[ WATCH: Wijnaldum scores ripper for Netherlands ]

Virgil Van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt partnered in defense yet again, as they have for 17 of the last 19 Netherlands games, conceding just 17 goals in those 17 matches. Thanks in part to that stellar partnership, Jasper Cillessen had little to do, with Dragun’s headed goal the only shot on target for Belarus in the match, while the Netherlands put seven of their 21 shots on frame.

Michy Batshuayi and Thomas Meunier both found the back of the net as Belgium topped Kazakhstan 2-0 in Astana to remain perfect in qualifying action and keep pace with Russia in Group I. Batshuayi was filling in for an injured Romelu Lukaku, and he latched onto a low back-post cross from Dennis Praet for the opener 21 minutes in. Meunier’s 53rd minute poke came off an absolutely stunning long delivery from Eden Hazard to the far post placed perfectly over the head of the defender. Belgium held 66% possession throughout the match, and while they were only able to put three shots on target, they scored on two of them and held the hosts to just one. Belgium has now scored 30 goals in Euro qualification while conceding just one.

Russia also continued to surge ahead in Group I play one game back of Belgium with a 5-0 demolition of Cyprus in Nicosia. Denis Cheryshev struck nine minutes in to put Russia ahead as he pilfered the ball off the Cyprus back line. The hosts lost Standard Liege defender Konstantinos Laifis to a straight red card, and the rest was elementary. Magomed Ozdoev, Artem Dzyuba, and Aleksandr Golovin all found the back of the net before Cheryshev finished it off with his second of the game in stoppage time. Russia and Belgium have both qualified for the finals, with Russia sitting in second three points behind the perfect group leaders.

Hungary scored 10 minutes in and hung on for a 1-0 victory at home over Azerbaijan. 30-year-old Mihaly Korhut struck a long-distance ripper from well outside the box that appeared to catch goalkeeper Emil Balayev off guard, and the Hungary defense did the rest. RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban and Sporting Kansas City defender Botond Barath held Azerbaijan to just four total shots, including two on target. Meanwhile, despite splitting the possession nearly halfway, Hungary ripped off 23 shots, putting six on target.

Scotland hammered San Marino at home 6-0 behind a first-half hat-trick from Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn. In the pouring rain in Glasgow, McGinn opened the scoring 12 minutes in for his second international goal on a simple cutback and shot from Ryan Christie which clipped McGinn on its way inside the far post. He hit for a second just before the half-hour mark as he poked home a cross by Scott McTominay that was saved into no-man’s land by a diving San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Junior Simoncini. The third featured the highest degree of difficulty as a set-piece delivery into the box was headed by Stuart Findlay towards the far post and McGinn ripped it home on the doorstep under pressure. Lawrence Shankland, Findlay, and Stuart Armstrong finished off the scoreline in the second half, although Scotland has still long been eliminated from qualification in the top-heavy Group I.