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“I want Messi to stay at Barcelona”- Pep Guardiola dismisses transfer rumors linking him with the soccer star

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola says he wants Lionel Messi to finish his career at Barcelona.

Guardiola signed a two-year contract extension with City on Thursday November 19, with reports stating that he will try to sign Messi, who came close to leaving Barcelona last summer.

Messi’s contract ends next summer and he could sign pre-contract terms with any club outside Spain from 1 January.

Messi had looked set to join City after putting in a transfer request in August, only for Barcelona’s then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu to block the transfer citing legal issues if Messi tries to force it.

Bartomeu then resigned in October but Messi’s future is uncertain.

Guardiola said: “Messi is a Barcelona player. I said it a thousand times. As a fan, I want Leo to finish there.”

“His contract finishes this year [season] and I don’t know what will happen in his mind,” Guardiola said.

“I have huge gratitude for Barcelona and what they have done for me,” said Guardiola, who worked with Messi when managing Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.

“In the academy, as a player and a manager, they gave me absolutely everything. Right now Messi is a Barcelona player and the transfer market is in June and July.

“We have incredible games and targets and things we would like to achieve. That is the only thing in our mind. The rest, I cannot say anything.”

Guardiola’s new deal will take him to 2023 but despite the obvious interest in him, the 49-year-old tactician says he had no interest in moving anywhere else.

“I didn’t think about anywhere else, just to stay here,” he said.

“The decision was not just mine, it was the club’s as well. If we had felt it was enough, I would have taken a break.

“But we have the feeling we still have many things to do together. We want to continue what we have done in the previous seasons.”

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Just In: Hakim Ziyech inspired by Eden Hazard as he fires Liverpool and Spurs warning

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Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech has revealed how he has learned a lot from club legend Eden Hazard after calling him an inspiration.

The technically gifted Morocco international became the first signing under Frank Lampard after Chelsea agreed a fee with Ajax back in February.

A move was hastened after the Blues boss saw first-hand the skills Hakim Ziyech possessed in the Champions League.

And the 27-year-old winger has already been flaunting his talents at Stamford Bridge this season, scoring one goal and contributed three assists in six Premier League appearances but his deliveries from the right-wing have looked quality in recent times.

Frank Lampard had been desperate for creativity from his squad after a tough season breaking teams down last campaign.

The Blues have lacked a player with a touch of magic since Hazard, who used to be able to turn a game on its head on his own.

The Belgian captain left for Real Madrid before Frank Lampard arrived as manager while the club could not replace him due to a transfer ban.

And though Ziyech and Hazard are very different players, some comparisons have been made and It has led to the Ex-Ajax playmaker stating that he has been inspired by the Belgian and revealing he has been learning a lot by watching his style of play.

He said: ‘Eden is a world-class player.

‘You always take inspiration from that, how he plays the game and you always look at the small things, how he does stuff and I can learn a lot from him.

‘I’m happy, I feel good. I feel at home and those things are the most important when you perform on the pitch.

‘I always know what I’m capable of doing. I always trust in myself, I’m calm in my head. Peaceful. And all the other things will come by themselves.’

Despite the frustration of Sunday, Ziyech insists that Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad are convinced they can be title challengers this season.

He added: ‘Of course we can make a challenge.

‘You always have to believe in it. It starts from believing in it and then working every day harder. At the need of the day we will see what it brings.

‘But you have to believe it is possible and that is what we are doing. We believe it.’

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Update: Football legend, Diego Maradona fell and hit his head before he died and was then left alone ‘without help’ for 3 days, his nurse claims

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Football legend, Diego Maradona reportedly suffered a head injury after a fall at his home a week before he died from a heart attack but was never taken to the hospital.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica claim that the Argentine icon who had only recently had surgery on his brain to remove a blood clot, was not taken for a scan after falling and hitting his head at home.

A lawyer representing a nurse who worked for Maradona is reported to have said: ‘Maradona fell to the ground seven days before his death. He fell and hit his head but they didn’t take him to the hospital for an MRI or a CT scan.’

The shocking revelation comes as Maradona’s personal doctor Leopoldo Luque is being probed over medical negligence as police launch an investigation into his death.

The report also confirmed speculation that Maradona was alone in his house in Buenos Aires when he died from a heart attack aged 60.

An autopsy report said he died in his sleep after suffering heart failure. Medics also detected dilated cardiomyopathy, a medical condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

The same nurse’s lawyer also said that she had spoken with Maradona on the Friday before his death but was fired on Saturday.

According to her lawyer, she remained at the request of Maradona’s entourage to administer his medication but was no longer taking his blood pressure or controlling him.

On Sunday, police raided the home of Maradona’s physician Luque and investigators are looking into all the medical staff involved with his care after his daughters Dalma and Giannina gave statements questioning whether the medication their father was receiving was appropriate.

Repubblica are also reporting that documents have emerged showing that Dr. Cosachov had requested 24-hour specialist and nursing assistance for the former Argentina star before his death but Luque didn’t not arranged for that to happen.

On Monday Luque addressed these claims and told reporters that Maradona was ‘unmanageable’ and should have been sent to rehab.

He said: ‘I was shocked when police turned up at my door. I’m going to co-operate fully.

‘I know what I did and what I did was for Diego’s benefit until the last moment. I did the best I could.

‘I feel terrible because a friend died. I don’t blame myself for anything. It’s very unfair what’s happening.

‘I didn’t see Diego’s daughters a lot but the rest of his family, his siblings and his nephews adore me.

‘Someone is trying to find a scapegoat here when I don’t see one anywhere.

‘We all did the best we could with Diego.’

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So talented: Watch Video of How Saliba showcase ball-playing talent in buildup to superb team goal for Arsenal’s U23s

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A wonderfully-worked team goal on the part of Arsenal’s U23 side last weekend saw William Saliba’s impressive talents on the ball take centre stage.

Steve Bould’s side welcomed Derby Count to Meadow Park on Saturday evening, for a Premier League 2 clash.

The north London club headed into proceedings with their tails up, on the back of much-needed upturn in form of late.

After securing just two points from their opening 7 outings of the season, Gunners’ Academy side looked early candidates for relegation, alongside the likes of Southampton and West Ham.

The last couple of weeks, with the help of a number of former first first-team regulars, however, saw the Gunners secure a pair of back-to-back wins, over Blackburn and Everton.

The the vast improvement being enjoyed by Steve Bould’s men continued versus Derby Count over the weekend.

An entertaining affair eventually saw the north London side emerged with a 3-1 victory, guiding them to 9th in the Premier League 2 table in the process.

Ben Cottrell opened the scoring, slotting home from the penalty spot inside the opening quarter of an hour after Taylor-Hart’s foul inside box.

The visitor, levelled things up with 42 minutes on the clock, to send the sides into the break with the score-line locked at a goal apiece.

The highly-regarded Nikolaj Moller, who has impressed since making the move to Emirates stadium during the summer, then put Steve Bould’s men back in front early in the 2nd-half, after being afforded too much space in the visitors’ box.

It was the Arsenal’s 3rd and final goal of the evening on Saturday, however, which has since taken centre stage in the post-match chatter.

This comes with Kido Taylor-Hart’s eventual finish having come at the end of a sumptuous team move on the part of the capital giants.

And it will no doubt come as music to the ears of the Gunners faithful to hear that William Saliba, who struggled for first-team spot have been widely documented of late – proved the catalyst in setting his side’s result-clinching strike in motion.

After picking the ball up on the edge on his own box, Frenchman Saliba surged forward with equal pace and poise, bursting past a part of Derby stars, before laying a simple pass into midfield.

From here, the ball was moved from out wide back in to the edge of the away side’s box, eventually resulting in a series of sleek passes teeing up Taylor-Hart fl find the find from far corner.

William Saliba buildup team goal against Derby Count

Full Highlight of match below

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