Transfer Talk: Lionel Messi to go on loan at Barcelona if Miami keep struggling

The summer transfer window has closed throughout most of Europe, but there are still moves in the works and plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Barcelona plot Lionel Messi return for proper send-off

Lionel Messi could make a sensational return to Barcelona in the January transfer window, if Inter Miami don’t make the Eastern Conference playoffs.

That’s according to Spanish outlet AS, who have suggested that the 36-year-old World Cup-winner could head back to Camp Nou in January on loan for a proper send-off at the club where he spent 17 years.

Messi has been keen to return to Camp Nou since his departure to Paris Saint Germain in 2021. Before his move to Inter Miami, Messi admitted he had been in discussions with his former club in Spain, but financial restrictions made a move too complicated.

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Inter Miami are currently seven spots adrift of playoffs line in the standings with only three matches left, though they do have at least one game in hand over the teams they need to leapfrog up the table. The MLS regular season ends on Oct. 21, at which point Messi’s season would be over if Miami miss playoffs.

Moreover, Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas even hinted that he wouldn’t stand in the Argentine World Cup winner’s way if there was a possibility Messi could seal his dream return to Spain.

The Argentine skipper is contracted to Miami until 2025 but he has already stated he has no interest in extending his stay in the MLS any further beyond that date, per reports. Messi has also recently been linked with a move to his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys when his stay in the U.S. comes to an end.


Manchester City are hoping to fend off interest from Real Madrid in star striker Erling Haaland by holding contract talks soon, according to the Telegraph. Haaland has scored eight goals in 10 games this season after scoring 52 last time around, which is why City are hoping to extend his contract. Reports of Real Madrid’s interest in the 23-year-old have been persistent, but it won’t be an easy sell — he is playing for the current European champions and is in excellent form. Los Blancos were hoping to sign one of Kylian Mbappé or Haaland in 2024, and for now neither move seems likely.

Newcastle United are preparing to battle it out with Liverpool and Juventus for Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram, according to Tuttomercatoweb. The 22-year-old central midfielder has been in sensational form for the fourth-place side and number of top clubs take interest. Thuram is contracted to the club until 2025 but could be available for around €40 million. Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are also interested.

– Juventus continue to scour the market for rising stars, and the latest name linked with the Italian club is Shakhtar Donetsk‘s Georgiy Sudakov, per Tuttosport. The Bianconeri have been monitoring the 21-year-old midfielder for the last two seasons, and believe he has the attacking capabilities to offer them something different. Sudakov is seen as a possible target for the January transfer window, and Juve scouts went to Belgium to watch him in Champions League action against Royal Antwerp on Wednesday, where he starred in the No. 10 role in a 3-2 victory.

Michael Kayode has seized his opportunity at Fiorentina this season following an cruciate ligament injury to teammate Dodô, attracting the interest of Arsenal, according to Calciomercato. The 19-year-old, who three years ago was playing in Serie D, has impressed on the right flank, and his efforts have prompted Fiorentina officials to try and extend his contract beyond its current end date in 2025. Arsenal have been monitoring his progress since first watching him at the U-19 European Championship, in which he scored the winning goal in the final.

Nico Williams has been a man in demand since the summer, but he could disappoint any potential suitors by extending his contract at current club Athletic Club Bilbao, per Sport. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly on the verge of conceding defeat in their pursuit of the 21-year-old winger. Williams’ current deal is set to finish at the end of this season, but Bilbao are confident he’ll extend his contract before the end of the year.

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