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Koeman: Barcelona will do everything to keep Messi

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FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman said the club would do everything they can to convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club following meetings with new president Joan Laporta to plan for the next season.

Koeman met with Laporta, who was re-elected in march after having been president of Barcelona from 2003-2010, during the international break to discuss Messi’s future and the possible summer signings. Laporta met with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and his father, Alf-Inge Håland.

The 33 year old Messi’s contract expires in june and he has yet to decide on his next move. At the end of the last season he expressed his strong desire to leave the club under the previous regime, but with the return of Laporta as the President and improved performance on the pitch, there is renewed hope that he will opt to stay at the club.

“It is a really important issue and we will do everything we can for Leo to spend many more years at this club,” Koeman said in a news conference yesterday when asked if the club would set Messi a deadline.

“But, at the moment, it’s not about next season, it’s about [Monday’s] game against Real Valladolid. The president and his people can deal with the future.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we took advantage of the international break to have a meeting with the president and the board to speak about this season and next season. It happens at all clubs in the world, but the players and I are focused on our upcoming games” said Koeman.

 

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Napoli and Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen breaks Cristiano Ronaldo’s record

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Victor Osimhen

Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has become Serie A’s jump-king after setting a new record during Napoli’s brilliant 3-0 win away to Spezia on Sunday.

The Nigerian International achieved the feat when netting his first goal – Napoli’s second of the day – against the Little Eagles at the Stadio Alberto Picco.

After a goalless first half, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia handed Napoli the advantage from the penalty spot before Osimhen added the game’s second in the 68th minute with a stunning effort.

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Osimhen, with that jump, according to Corriere dello Sport, climbed to a height of 2.58 metres – a mark typical of elite NBA stars.

In doing that, Osimhen set a new Italian Serie A record, rubbing off the previous 2.56 metres mark set by Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus against Sampdoria in 2019.

It is also a new personal career high for Osimhen whose previous mark was at 2.52m set against Torino at the Diego Maradona Stadium last season.

The world record of 2.62m set by Ugandan defender Bevis Mugabi in the Scottish Championship in January 2021, however, remains intact.

Osimhen currently leads the Serie A goal chart with 16 goals.

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Chelsea, Man U willing to pay €120m for Osimhen

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Victor Osimhen

Chelsea and Manchester United want to sign Victor Osimhen at the end of the season. And they are ready to invest €120 million for the 24-year-old Napoli striker, according to a report from Gazzetta dello Sport, as relayed by Sport Witness.

Osimhen has been in fantastic form this season, scoring 15 goals across all competitions. There is no doubt that the 24-year-old would be a quality long-term acquisition for both Premier League clubs. And it remains to be seen who ends up signing him eventually. He has been linked with PSG as well.

Manchester United needs to add goals to its attack, and Osimhen could be the ideal partner for Marcus Rashford next season. The Nigerian could lead the line for the Red Devils, allowing Rashford to operate as a wide forward.

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Meanwhile, Chelsea is severely lacking in goals right now. The team has improved its midfield and defence with a number of additions this season but needs to bring in a reliable goal scorer. And along with Manchester United, the team is ready to break the bank to sign the 24-year-old. So it is not surprising that the club is open to paying €120 million to land him.

Osimhen will certainly add some much-needed cutting edge in the final third. And his arrival could help Chelsea challenge for the Premier League title next season. The 24-year-old has the technical and physical attributes to succeed in English football, and he has the talent to justify the reported asking price as well.

It will be interesting to see whether the two English clubs can agree on a fee with Napoli now. The Serie A giants have a reputation for being difficult negotiators, and they will want to recoup as much as possible for their prized asset. The opportunity to move to the Premier League will be an exciting one for the striker, and he will look to showcase his qualities at a higher level next season.

Managers like Erik ten Hag and Graham Potter have a proven track record of improving young players. And they could help the 24-year-old improve further and fulfill his potential. Osimhen has already proven himself in Serie A and he should look to take the next step in his career now. A move to Manchester United or Chelsea would be ideal.

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Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu joins EPL club Southampton

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Super Eagles striker, Paul Onuachu, has joined an English Premier League club Southampton on a permanent deal.

Onuachu who left Genk signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Premier League side.

The South Coast club beat Bundesliga side, Eintracht Frankfurt to the forward.

Onuachu is coming to the St Mary’s Stadium with huge reputation having scored 17 goals in 22 appearances for Genk this season.

In total, he departs with 85 goals in 134 games for the club, which he joined in 2019 from Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Southampton manager Nathan Jones said, “Paul is a significant signing for us and completes what has been an extremely positive month in terms of recruitment.

“He’s a handful to play against, has got a tremendous record throughout his career and he’s also someone who brings great experience with him, so he’ll be a really positive addition to the squad.”

 

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