Laporta identifies Messi’s replacement, Smalling slams Man Utd and Solskjaer makes Pogba prediction


The 33-year-old Argentina superstar looks set to leave the Camp Nou after the expiry of his contract following the end of this campaign.

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta wants to replace Lionel Messi with Jadon Sancho, according to Don Balon.

Messi was on the verge of leaving Barca last summer before the club's decision not to let him leave on a free transfer pulled the plug on his potential departure. But the Argentina superstar is free to strike a pre-contract agreement with other clubs in January, unless he signs a new deal with the Camp Nou outfit.

That looks highly unlikely as Messi has time and again indicated his displeasure over the 'project' at the Camp Nou outfit and how he's blamed for everything wrong at the club. His outbursts have continued even after Josep Bartomeu, blamed by many for Barca's troubles, left the club last month.

And the man who's favorite to replace Bartomeu after next year's presidential elections has reportedly made up his mind to replace the Argentina international with the Borussia Dortmund superstar, with Sancho's age, experience and pedigree all making him an attractable proposition.

Laporta identifies Messi's replacement
Sancho also remains on the transfer wish-list of Manchester United (Image Copyright: imago images / Team 2)

Top News 2: Smalling slams Man Utd over handling of Roma move

Smalling slams Man Utd
The 30-year-old centre-back left United to join Roma on a permanent transfer this summer (Image Copyright: imago images / sportphoto24 / xMarcoxCanonierox)
After spending the 2019/20 season on loan at the Serie A outfit, Smalling completed a permanent move to the Eternal City this summer.

Chris Smalling has taken Manchester United to the task for the way his transfer to Roma was handled this summer.

The 30-year-old centre-back completed a permanent switch to Paulo Fonseca's side after the completion of his successful loan spell last season. But the manner in which United's hierarchy handled his move left a bitter taste in the mouth of the England international.

'I was just a bit frustrated. One, I would like to have been told earlier and then, secondly, I was only able to go with just a day left of the Italian window being open,' Smalling told the Telegraph during an interview.

'The English window had shut. I was left in a very s*** situation. In an ideal situation I would have known early in the summer,' said the former United centre-back who has earned rave reviews following his loan stint in Serie A last season.

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Top News 3: Solskjaer makes Pogba prediction

Although the French World Cup winner has been in and out of the United team this season, the Red Devils' manager continues to insist that he remains a 'very important player'.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed out-of-form Paul Pogba to return to his best in the coming weeks, insisting that he remains a 'very important player'.

The Red Devils' manager was speaking to the press ahead of his side's Saturday's home clash with West Bromwich Albion. He admitted during the presser that Pogba had a difficult campaign last term but asserted that the player now 'feels stronger'.

Solskjaer was also unequivocal about the importance of Pogba for the Old Trafford outfit, claiming that it is 'vital for us' to have the 27-year-old in form.

Pogba was one of the best players for France during the recently-concluded international break and will now be hoping to replicate his form for the national side for his club.

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