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I never tried to force Neymar deal, says Lionel Messi

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Barcelona captain Lionel Messi would be “thrilled” if Neymar returned to the Catalan side but insisted they could still win trophies without the Brazilian.

In an interview with the Catalan newspaper Sport this week, Messi denied reports he had used his influence to try and force the Barcelona board to push through the deal.

“Here, it is not me that gives the orders,” he said.

“We never said that he had to be brought in. We didn’t make any demands.

“I don’t know if the club (Barcelona) wanted it to happen. What I do know is that Neymar really wanted it. But I understand it is very difficult to negotiate with PSG.”

Messi said the return of Neymar, who was at Barca from 2013 and 2017 when he left for Paris Saint-Germain, could only strengthen the Spanish champions.

“I would be thrilled if Neymar came back,” said the Argentine.

“I understand that not everyone agrees. That’s normal after everything that happened around Neymar, the way in which he left, the way he abandoned us.

“But when you look at the sporting angle, for me Neymar is one of the best players in the world and obviously would improve our chances of getting the results we want.”

The summer transfer window saw an on-off soap opera surrounding the 27-year-old’s apparent desire to leave PSG, who paid a world record 222 million euros ($264 million at the time) in 2017, with Barcelona and Real Madrid both linked.

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Ultimately he stayed in the French capital, at least for the time being.

“I am not disappointed,” said Messi.

“I would have liked it if he had come and been with us but, as I have said, we have an exceptional squad to challenge for every title, even without him.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Friday Neymar “did everything” to force through a return to the Camp Nou in the close season, but his club could “not meet” the French champions’ demands.

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Ronaldo snubs C. Ronaldo names Messi as number one

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Brazil football legend, Delima Ronaldo in a recent statement has snubbed Portugal international, Cristiano Ronaldo as he lists the top five football players he loves watching.

Ronaldo named Argentine star Lionel Messi as his number one while adding that he loves to watch the likes of Mohamed Sallah, Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard and Neymar.

“Messi, of course, he is number one, it is a talent that we will take 20 or 30 years to see something similar.

“I also like Salah, Hazard, Neymar, that I love watching him play, of course Mbappe,” Ronaldo Delima explained according to AS.

The debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to go on even after they retire from football.

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The two players have won many titles in their careers, however, the World Cup is the only trophy any of them is yet to win.

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Tyson may die in the ring against Fury- Dillian Whyte warns WBC president

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Tyson may die in the ring against Fury- Dillian Whyte warns WBC president

WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman has warned British professional boxer, Dillian Whyte that former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, may die in the ring.

Sulaiman had publicly backed Tyson’s proposed comeback and even said he would support the 53-year-old making a run for British fighter, Tyson Fury’s heavyweight title belt.

Tyson has been posting training videos recently, with reports suggesting the American could return to the ring in a series of exhibition fights in Australia.

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READ ALSO: Ighalo to remain in Man Utd till 2021

But according to Whyte, it is silly for Sulaiman to be encouraging Tyson to challenge the reigning heavyweight champion, Fury.

“It’s silly. If they cannot sanction a fight with me for three years, why the hell are they going to sanction a fight with a 53-year-old man and a 31-year-old man?

“It makes no sense. That is silly. Mauricio and I are cool, but it is a very silly thing to say.

“He should not be encouraging it.

“What if he comes back and dies in the ring? What is going to happen then?

“We have already got enough darkness and enough mud thrown on the sport as it is, we do not need anymore,” Whyte told talkSPORT.

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Ighalo to remain in Man Utd till 2021

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Odion Ighalo

Nigerian international, Odion Ighalo has secured a move to stay at Manchester United till next year.

Odion Ighalo has “agreed” a loan extension with Manchester United until end of January 2021 with the transfer awaiting FA approval.

The agreement with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua officially expired on Sunday night, and it appeared as though United had failed in a bid to keep the striker at the club.

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But according to The Telegraph, both sides have now come to an agreement for the 30-year-old to stay in Manchester until the new year.

The deal is said to be awaiting confirmation with FA for registration.

It is claimed Ighalo will then discuss a new contract with Shanghai Shenhua once he returns in 2021.

The news comes after his agent Atta Aneke confirmed talks were in place for the ex-Watford man to remain at Old Trafford.

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Aneke told Nettavisen:

“We are nearing an agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.

“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”

Ighalo swapped the Chinese Super League for the Premier League in a shock deadline day loan deal back in January.

And it is understood Ighalo took a 40 per cent pay-cut on his £300,000-a-week wages in China to make his dream switch happen.

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He scored four goals in eight games before the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic – leaving his loan contract to the run-up.

The Nigerian made a personal plea to Shanghai Shenhua to let him finish the season at Old Trafford, before returning to China, and it appears his wishes have been met.

Sun UK.

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