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Football rumours from the media

Could one of the world’s best be leaving Barcelona for the north of England?

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Will Lionel Messi (left) leave Barcelona for Manchester? (Nick Potts/Adam Davy/PA)

Will Lionel Messi (left) leave Barcelona for Manchester? (Nick Potts/Adam Davy/PA)

Will Lionel Messi (left) leave Barcelona for Manchester? (Nick Potts/Adam Davy/PA)

Manchester City believe they are <strong>Lionel</strong> <strong>Messi’s</strong> first choice as a new club if the Argentinian leaves Barcelona at the end of the season, according to the Manchester Evening News. The 32-year-old has reportedly fallen out with Nou Camp sporting director Eric Abidal and may be looking elsewhere to continue his illustrious career. The forward is close friends with City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and football director Txiki Begiristain, and Sky Blues boss Pep Guardiola knows the player well from their time together at Barcelona.

What the papers say

Manchester United and Chelsea kept a keen eye on Jadon Sancho in January but had to walk away due to a lack of available funds. The Sun reports both clubs are interested in securing the 19-year-old’s signature at the end of the current Bundesliga campaign, during which he has scored six goals for Borussia Dortmund.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Slovan Bratislava – UEFA Europa League – Group K – Molineux
Wolves’ Adama Traore (left) started his career with Barcelona (Nick Potts/PA)

Wide forwards are expected to be in demand during the summer window, with Wolves reportedly bracing for heavy interest in Adama Traore. The Daily Telegraph says “record-breaking bids” are predicted for the 24-year-old Spaniard, who has lit up Molineux after spells with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. He started his career with Barcelona and LaLiga clubs now want to snare him back.

The race for Moussa Dembele‘s signature is heating up with Manchester United and Chelsea in contention. The French striker could leave Lyon in the summer and Frank Lampard has been given a war chest from Chelsea management to secure the versatile 23-year-old striker, while Old Trafford are also interested, according to the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mirror reports Abidal has hinted Barcelona could attempt to sign Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the summer. The Gunners and Gabon captain was previously linked with a move to the Catalan side, and Abidal expressed his interest in quotes carried by the paper. He said of the 30-year-old striker: “It is good to bring this profile of player who can be in the market and can help you. We’ll see what will happen.”

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Adrian: The Daily Mail reports the 33-year-old Spaniard’s former club Real Betis are interested in the Liverpool custodian.

Manchester City v Cardiff City – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane has changed agents, frustrating plans to keep him in the north (Martin Rickett/PA)

Leroy Sane: City’s plans to re-sign the 24-year-old Germany international have been delayed after the winger changed agents, the Telegraph says.

PA