LIONEL MESSI could make a sensational return to Barcelona next July – at 36.
She posted on Twitter: “On July 1, 2023, Lionel Messi will be a Barcelona player.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea are leading the race to sign AC Milan star Rafael Leao, according to reports.
Leao is being monitored by a number of top clubs as he enjoys yet another fantastic season in Serie A.
In a double transfer boost for Chelsea, the club have signed a pre-contract agreement with RB Leipzig for star striker Christopher Nkunku, according to reports.
It’s been said the Blues are willing to pay £52million for the Frenchman’s services up front.
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League 1 and 2 Results
Burton Albion 0-1 Fleetwood Town
Cheltenham Town 1-0 Bolton
Ipswich Town 3-0 Cambridge United
Plymouth Argyle 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Hartlepool 2-1 Doncaster Rovers
Stevenage 3-0 Sutton United
Swindon 1-0 Newport County
Walsall 1-0 Northampton Town
League 1 and 2 Round-Up
Plymouth’s grip of the top of League 1 almost came loose but they found a late goal to beat fellow promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday 2-1.
While Ipswich kept up the pace with a 3-0 win over Cambridge United, with Mark Bonner’s side now losing four of their last 5.
Bolton’s winning run is over as they lost 1-0 at Cheltenham, while Fleetwood won 0-1 at Burton Albion.
In League 2 the shock of the night came at the Bescot Stadium as Walsall beat Northampton. It’s their first win in nine and Northampton’s first defeat since late August.
Stevenage have now jumped ahead of them in the table with a 3-0 win over Sutton, while Hartlepool finally have their first league win of the season at their 12th attempt as they beat Doncaster Rovers.
Champions League Round-Up
Liverpool beat Rangers 2-0 in the sides’ first ever competitive meeting as a goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold and a penalty from Mo Salah sealed three crucial points.
Elsewhere in Liverpool’s group, the result of the night came in Amsterdam as Napoli demolished Ajax 1-6.
Eintracht Frankfurt and Tottenham fought hard but neither could find a breakthrough, and it ended 0-0 in Germany.
Ajax 1-6 Napoli
Liverpool 2-0 Rangers
Club Bruges 2-0 Atletico Madrid
Porto 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzen
Inter Milan 1-0 Barcelona
Marseille 4-1 Sporting Lisbon
Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham
QPR have claimed the biggest win of their season as they won at league leaders Sheffield United to make it five wins in seven.
Norwich have gone level on points with the Blades as they drew away at Reading, with the two remaining second and third.
Game of the night came at Kenilworth Road as Luton and Huddersfield played out a 3-3 draw.
Sunderland have drawn 0-0 for a second time four days as they and Blackpool ended goalless, also 0-0 between Bristol City and Coventry and Mark Hudson won for the first time as interim boss of Cardiff as they beat Blackburn.
Bristol City 0-0 Coventry City
Luton 3-3 Huddersfield Town
Sheffield United 0-1 QPR
Sunderland 0-0 Blackpool
Cardiff 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
Reading 1-1 Norwich City
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly been told he will have a limited budget next summer – even if they do sell Cristiano Ronaldo in January.
And that will make the Dutchman reluctant to let his unsettled Portugal superstar go, according to ESPN.
It looks increasingly likely Red Devils legend Ronaldo will leave the club again after losing his starting spot under Ten Hag this season.
The star, who has 142 goals for the Prem giants, looked a forlorn figure as an unused sub in Sunday’s 6-3 defeat at Manchester City.
Sources have told ESPN he will be itching to find a new club in January if he cannot force his way back into the side.
Champions League Half-Time Scores
A stunning free-kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold gave Liverpool the lead against Rangers – but they have failed to capitalise on their advantage.
The Reds have been dominant and created many chances but only lead 1-0 at the break with Rangers keeper Allan McGregor making multiple saves.
And it’s Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham with both teams having chances.
Earlier, Bayern Munich hammered Viktoria Plzen 5-0 and Marseille beat 10-man Sporting Lisbon 4-1.
Elsewhere, at half-time – Ajax 1-3 Napoli, Club Bruges 1-0 Atletico Madrid, Porto 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen and Inter Milan 1-0 Barcelona.
EFL Half-Time Scores
Bristol City 0-0 Coventry City
Luton Town 3-2 Huddersfield Town
Sheffield United 0-0 QPR
Sunderland 0-0 Blackpool
Cardiff 0-0 Blackburn Rovers (L)
Reading 0-0 Norwich City (L)
Burton Albion 0-1 Fleetwood Town
Cheltenham Town 0-0 Bolton
Ipswich Town 0-0 Cambridge United (L)
Plymouth 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Hartlepool United 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
Stevenage 1-0 Sutton United
Swindon Town 0-0 Newport County
Walsall 1-0 Northampton Town
Potts of Cash
Chelsea boss Graham Potter has hailed AC Milan’s Rafael Leao as a “top player” amid transfer speculation.
The Blues are set for another big spending spree in 2023 under new owner Todd Boehly.
Chelsea are said to be closing in on RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku for next summer.
But the spending spree might not stop there, as according to Corriere Della Serra, Chelsea are “ahead of everyone” in the race for Milan forward Leao.
Potter says “top player” Leao has the “capability” to play in the Premier League.
He said: “I’ve been really impressed with Rafael Leao whenever I’ve watched Milan games, he’s a top player.
“In terms of what happens in the future, who knows whether he can do this in Premier League or not.
“He’s got the capability, for sure.”
Leicester City are plotting a January move for Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek, according to reports.
The midfielder returned to Old Trafford over the summer having spent the second half of last season on loan at Everton.
Van de Beek’s arrival back in Manchester saw him reunite with old Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and looked like giving him a new lease of life at the Theatre of Dreams.
But the Dutchman’s international’s struggles have continued during the early months of the season.
Reports claim Leicester are interested and that he could come in as a replacement for Youri Tielemans, who could leave in January, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.
The Foxes are being linked with a loan deal with a £13m option to buy the Dutchman.
League 1 and League 2 round-up
There are eight games across League 1 and 2 this evening.
In the third-tier, League 1 leaders Plymouth face a difficult test at home as they host Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday, who sit 3rd and have won three of their last four.
If the Pilgrims slip up, then Ipswich could nick top spot if they can beat Cambridge at Portman Road (8pm kick off instead of 7.45pm due to congestion in the city).
Cheltenham host in-form Bolton and Scott Brown’s Fleetwood go to Burton Albion.
In League 2, Northampton will go top if they win at Walsall while 3rd-place Stevenage can make up ground on the leaders if they beat Sutton at home.
Winless Hartlepool host Doncaster and Newport County go to Swindon.
Same XI for Spurs
Antonio Conte has stuck to the same first VI who lost 3-1 at Arsenal on the weekend against Eintract Frankfurt.
It’s a big Champions League night for Spurs who are looking to bounce back from their loss against Sporting Lisbon.
Spurs Line-Up – Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Richarlison, Son, Kane
Jurgen Klopp has made big attacking changes ahead of tonight’s big Champions League clash against Rangers.
The Liverpool boss has made three alterations to the team that drew 3-3 with Brighton, as Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Fabio Carvalho make way for Diego Jota, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz.
It looks like there could also potentially be a change of shape on the cards with Henderson and Thiago the sole midfielders, potentially making it a 4-2-3-1.
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Diaz; Nunez
Champions League so far
Early in the second-half and Bayern Munich have a 5-0 lead against Viktoria Plzen in one of the two Champions League games that kicked off early tonight.
All the goalscorers are ex-Premier League stars, with Leroy Sane grabbing a brace and Sadio Mane, Serge Gnabry and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scoring as well.
It’s half-time in a bizarre game in France, where Marseille lead Sporting Lisbon 3-1. The Lisbon goalkeeper Antonio Adan has a nightmare half – being culpable for Marseille’s first two goals before being sent-off.
There are six games in the Championship tonight and the most intriguing fixture comes in Berkshire where Reading host Norwich.
Paul Ince’s side have stunned naysayers this season and find themselves 3rd, only three points off the top of the table. But they face their toughest challenge of the season as they host the 2nd-placed Canaries, who have won 7 of their last 8.
Meanwhile league leaders Sheffield United host QPR. The Blades surprisingly drew with Birmingham on the weekend but are looking to bounce back against Michael Beale’s in-form side, with Chris Willock one of the stars of the Championship season so far.
Elsewhere, out-of-form Blackpool go to Sunderland, Cardiff host Blackburn, bottom-of-the-table Coventry go to a Bristol City side who have lost their last three, and Luton play Huddersfield at Kenilworth Road.
Forest Fire Squad
Nottingham Forest are preparing to get rid of high-ranking staff amid speculation over Steve Cooper’s future, according to reports.
The club’s chief executive and head of recruitment and scouting could face the axe after the team’s poor start to the season.
The Telegraph report club owner Evangelos Marinakis is set to take drastic action after the club’s £150m summer splurge failed to produce results.
Forest are bottom of the Premier League after eight games and the manager Steve Cooper also finds himself in an uncertain position following last night’s defeat at Leicester.
Champions League preview and team news
Two games are 10 minutes away from kicking off in the Champions League early evening fixtures.
Bayern Munich are hosting Viktoria Plzen in a game the German champions will be expected to win. They have already beaten Inter Milan and Barcelona to go into this game with a 100% record.
Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich both tested positive for Covid-19 are missing from the squad
In Tottenham’s group, Marseille host Sporting Lisbon with the French side realistically needing a victory to rescue their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
Spurs and Liverpool kick off at 8pm against Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers respectively.
Millers get their man
Rotherham have announced that they have poached Matt Taylor as their new manager.
The Championship club were rocked last week when long-serving boss Paul Warne left for League 1 Derby County.
But they have moved quickly to grab Matt Taylor from Exeter.
Their new boss guided the Grecians to League 2 promotion last season.
He will now be tasked with keeping Rotherham in the Championship, which even Warne could not achieve.
Exeter will be paid compensation from the Millers as they begin their search for a new boss.
Lionel Messi could make a stunning return to Barcelona next summer – at 36.
Rumours of a move back to Catalonia for the South American star have grown in recent weeks with Messi already in the final year of his two-season deal at PSG.
Messi is understood to be committed until the end of this campaign, with PSG’s Qatari owners determined to keep him until after the World Cup and for the second half of the season.
Barca coach and former team-mate Xavi fuelled the speculation as he refused to dismiss the concept, only stating: “Let’s see how it goes but this is not the time to talk about Leo.
“We love him very much but we wouldn’t be doing him any favours to talk about it. We have to let him enjoy Paris now.”
Read the full Sun story here
Leandro Trossard has not closed the door to a move to Arsenal or Chelsea amid speculation on his future.
The Belgian hit a sensational hat-trick at Anfield to help Brighton to a point.
It continues his trend of impressive performances at Brighton, and led some to believe he could be of interest to bigger clubs.
And the 27-year-old has not shut down the chances of a move.
He told the BBC’s Monday Night Club: “It’s difficult to say anything about that now, it completely depends on which club would come. If I feel good and things are good on a private level… but I also know how good I am at Brighton, also with new coach Roberto De Zerbi it looks promising.”
Keeping a Koul head
Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly has insisted he is not concerned about his lack of game time under the new Blues manager.
Graham Potter has kept the summer signing on the bench for his first two games in charge of the club.
But Koulibaly, 31, says he is keeping his head down.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s huge Champions League clash against, he said: “It is true I haven’t played under the new manager. But I’m easy. My time will come.
“When I don’t play I put all my energy on the work. I am trying to give my best in training to see how him he can use me on the pitch.”
‘He walked so we could run’
As part of Black History Month, Manchester United’s Ethan Laird has paid tribute to trailblazer Viv Anderson.
The full-back, enjoying an impressive loan spell at QPR, reflects on the importance of Anderson for black players in England.
‘We don’t care’
RB Leipzig boss Marco Rose has batted away speculation over the future of his forward Christopher Nkunku.
The explosive forward has been repeatedly linked to Chelsea in recent days – with some reports even suggesting a deal is all but done.
But Rose, who replaced Domenico Tedesco as Leipzig boss last month, refused to be drawn on the topic.
He said: “It’s speculation, we don’t comment on it. We don’t care, we don’t care.”
Leipzig host Celtic tomorrow as they look to get their Champions League campaign off the ground. The German side have lost both group games so far.
Walker to miss Copenhagen clash
Kyle Walker is expected to miss Manchester City’s Champions League game against FC Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The England defender was forced off with a knock in the first half of City’s 6-3 derby destruction of Manchester United on Sunday.
The substitution looked a precautionary move with City 3-0 up at the time, but it’s now unlikely that the right-back will recover for the midweek match.
However, there was better news for manager Pep Guardiola regarding Rodri, who missed the weekend’s Manchester derby.
“Rodri is better, but I think Kyle is out. We will see in training later,” the City boss told reporters this lunchtime.
United still ‘desperate’ for De Jong
Manchester United have not been put off their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong by this summer’s transfer saga – and are willing to do it all over again come the new year.
In fact, the Old Trafford outfit have been described as being ‘desperate’ to land the Dutch midfielder – despite landing Casemiro for £80m.
Spanish outlet Fichajes report that the Red Devils remain determined to land the player that previously started for Erik ten Hag at Ajax.
The 25-year-old rejected a move to the Premier League to remain with Barcelona, but there is speculation that he will move on before long.
Forest’s Cooper in ‘crisis talks’
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper is currently locked in talks with the club’s hierarchy regarding his immediate future.
MailSport also report that City Ground chief executive Dane Murphy and his recruitment team are also facing the axe.
Furious owner Evangelos Marinakis feels it is time to take action with the East Midlands outfit rooted to the bottom of the Premier League despite spending £150m on 22 players.
Last night’s 4-0 thrashing at Leicester City was their fifth defeat on the trot.