EPL Pre-season update + Messi latest

10th August 2021

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Just 33 days has been the difference between England playing in the final of the European Championships and the beginning of the new Premier League season. It seems that football rarely stops to take a breath and players will have to be hitting their marks right off the bat to compete in what should be an absorbing and very competitive season as the Premier League celebrates its 30th championship.

Manchester City are the favourites to once again win the title and the champions have just added Jack Grealish to their armoury. But the real talking point in the league actually started at the back end of last season when Tottenham's Harry Kane asked to leave the club. His favoured destination is City and that would make sense given the trophies the club have won over the last decade and the fact that they will be in with a genuine shout of winning any competition they enter this season. Kane of course despite his name, despite the finals and despite the plethora of goals has yet to win silverware. It feels very understandable that having spent 12 years at the club that at 28 he deserves the bigger move and to be fighting for a league title and be involved in the Champions League.

However Tottenham owner Daniel Levy does not yield so easy and of course he wants the England captain to stay, well at least he wants City to offer more than the £100m which has been put on the table. The problem for Levy is that he has a very good player who is not at his disposal - Kane clearly wants out, and usually the player gets what they want. Because the transfer has not been dealt with earlier (though Euro 2020 did not help matters) Tottenham could lose Kane and see the window closing too quick to be able to reinvest.

The 2020 champions Liverpool have been relatively quiet in the transfer market so far buying just 1 player in Ibarima Konate from RB Leipzig for a reported £36m. The defender is just 22 and is being compared to Virgil van Dijk. As for van Dijk the player is back after missing most of last season through injury and that will feel like a new signing for the Reds. After a miserable title defending campaign for the club it will be fascinating to see how they react this time round.

Chelsea are looking back to their best and the Champions League holders will want to firmly establish themselves once more in the league. They look strong in every department except perhaps up front but that could be rectified as the Blues are the favourites to land Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan. The deal will cost them £100m but Lukaku has simply been superb in Serie A and looks in his prime, and would surely be a huge success under Thomas Tuchel.

The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday when newcomers Brentford welcome Arsenal in what should be a cracking game of football.

Premier League winner 2021/22: Manchester City 1.62, Chelsea 6.00, Liverpool 6.00, Manchester United 9.00, Tottenham 61.00

 

European football has been dominated by the news that Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona and unlike last season this time it is for real. A year ago it was Messi who put in a request to leave the club, this time Barca in theory are kicking their main star out. It all comes down to budget and new La Liga rules and the fact that Barca overspent on too many players who didn't perform and now they can't sell them. At this time it looks like Messi will join PSG in Ligue 1. It feels slightly at odds that such a player will ply his trade in the French league, hardly the strongest in Europe but of course PSG have incredible ambitions. Who is not frothing at the mouth of witnessing Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the same team? Interesting times ahead in Ligue 1 for sure where if Messi does sign the whole world will be more invested in the league.

Lionel Messi's next team: PSG 1.05,  To stay at Barcelona 10.00, Manchester City 15.00, Atletico Madrid 26.00, Inter Miami 31.00



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