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Barcelona open door for Lionel Messi return, Manchester United face competition for Joao Felix - Paper Talk

Plus: Brazil have fears Neymar could miss the whole of the World Cup, Liverpool's owners remain committed to investing in the team and outgoing Belgium boss Roberto Martinez plans a return to club management after stepping down

Paper talk

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Friday's newspapers...

​​THE SUN

Barcelona are talking up the possibility of Lionel Messi returning to the club, with sporting director Jordi Cruyff saying: "Barca and Messi have to be together again one day. This is clear."

Lionel Messi
Image: Lionel Messi had a tearful exit from Barcelona last year

Brazil are reportedly concerned Neymar could be out for the entire World Cup after he was forced off in their opening game with an ankle injury.

Jack Grealish has broken his silence on his controversial dig at Newcastle's Miguel Almiron to apologise for his actions in Man City's title celebrations last season.

England star Declan Rice hinted at an imminent West Ham exit after admitting he is "100 per cent" hungry to win titles.

DAILY MIRROR

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Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly received a proposal from Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal to rival an earlier bid made by their domestic rivals Al Nassr.

Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group are still putting recruitment high on their agenda amid apparent changes to their takeover plan, which may not see them sell their whole stake in the club after all.

South Korea boss Paulo Bento blasted English referee Anthony Taylor for showing "a deep lack of common sense" when issuing him with his World Cup red card.

Former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left staff members 'in tears' by sending them a surprise Christmas hamper just weeks after his sacking, it has been revealed.

DAILY MAIL

Manchester United will reportedly face competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in a bid to land Joao Felix in January - with Atletico Madrid 'ready to sell' for €100million (£86m).

Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix runs with the ball
Image: Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix scored in Portugal's opening win over Ghana at the World Cup

England are considering RFU director of performance Conor O'Shea as an interim coaching option with Warren Gatland also in the frame as Eddie Jones' future looks increasingly uncertain.

Borussia Dortmund's managing director Carsten Cramer has warned Liverpool not to expect any 'gifts' in their pursuit of England star Jude Bellingham.

FIFA have privately backed Danny Makkelie's decision to award Argentina the penalty that Lionel Messi missed against Poland on Wednesday.

Hansi Flick quashed Bastian Schweinsteiger's assessment of his Germany side's performance against Costa Rica on Thursday night, calling it 'absolute nonsense'.

Graeme Souness has hit out at Kevin De Bruyne's pre-tournament quotes claiming that Belgium's squad were 'too old' to compete for the World Cup.

THE TIMES

Google has been accused of profiting from "rogue" online ticket touts by advertising seats for England's World Cup game against Senegal for up to £4,000.

FIFA is working hard to repair the pitch for England's World Cup round-of-16 match against Senegal on Sunday after concerns were raised about the playing surface at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Aiden McGeady could return from a four-month injury lay-off to feature for Hibs in next week's friendly against FC Edinburgh.

THE GUARDIAN

World Cup organisers are increasingly open to discarding the new three-team group format for the 2026 tournament in the US, Mexico and Canada. It comes after concerns that too many dead rubbers in the last round of matches could dilute the expanded 48-team event.

DAILY EXPRESS

England international Luke Shaw admits that Manchester City players in the England camp stand out because of their love of playing football.

In mind-blowing fashion, one of England's standout performers at the World Cup - Harry Maguire - has been ridiculed inside the Parliament of Ghana during crazy viral footage that has surfaced online.

England are using sports psychologist Ian Mitchell to ensure that they are ready for the possibility of a penalty shootout in the World Cup knockout stages. The FA's head of performance psychology, who joined England from Wales four years ago, is working with the squad at their Al-Wakrah base to prepare them for the stress of spot-kick drama.

Liverpool have received a huge boost in their quest to sign Jude Bellingham after Borussia Dortmund's managing director Carsten Cramer admitted the Reds would be his 'preferred' destination should the England international leave the club.

Rice also spoke highly of new central midfield partner Jude Bellingham (middle)
Image: Jude Bellingham has been in fine form for England at the World Cup

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Roberto Martinez will pursue options in club management after tearful scenes in the Belgium dressing room as he stood down following the nation's World Cup exit.

Declan Rice has signalled his intention to play in the Champions League as clubs intensify their interest in the England and West Ham United midfielder.

DAILY RECORD

Celtic have been joined by Ferencvaros in the chase for South Korea World Cup star Cho Gue-sung. The Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors striker is attracting interest from across Europe with Parkhead boss Ange Postecoglou amongst the interested parties.

Canada boss John Herdman has dropped the latest clue that Alistair Johnston is imminently set to move to Celtic following their World Cup exit.

Queens Park Rangers interim boss Paul Hall has shot down the chances of Leon Balogun rejoining Rangers after Michael Beale's move back to Ibrox sparked Loftus Road fan concerns.

Maccabi Tel Aviv reportedly have a release clause in wonderkid Oscar Gloukh's contract with a host of clubs lining up to sign the midfielder in January.

SCOTTISH SUN

Rangers have announced the latest addition to Michael Beale's staff at Ibrox. The new Light Blues boss has brought in Jack Ade from Liverpool as the newest member of his backroom team.

Liam Henderson could be set to play for his fifth Italian club with Spezia interested in signing him next month.

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