All the top stories and transfer rumours from Thursday’s newspapers…


Neymar holds the trophy as he celebrate with Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has made a fine start to the season

Barcelona vice president Eduard Romeu believes it would be “economically viable” for the club to secure Lionel Messi’s return on a free transfer next summer.

Arsenal will make a further approach for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz in January, but at a significantly lower price with their target’s contract winding down.

Chelsea are unlikely to have a sporting director in place in time for the World Cup with a number of candidates remaining of interest as Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali’s search continues.

Al-Hilal president Fahad ben Nafel claims Cristiano Ronaldo was open to a move to the Saudi club over the summer but a £210m deal, including a £25m fee to Manchester United, was scuppered by a transfer ban.

Former Everton player Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is among thousands of Russians to be called up by Vladimir Putin to fight on the Ukraine frontline.

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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard says Douglas Luiz will respect and understand the club’s decision to turn down bids from Arsenal and not to let him leave.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and his fiancée Perrie Edwards were left shaken after a terrifying burglary at their £3.5m home in Cheshire earlier this week.


Bill Foley’s £150m takeover of Bournemouth could be completed in the next week and he could be in charge by the end of October once he passes the Premier League’s ownership tests.

Everton forward Anthony Gordon is one of a number of young players who could gatecrash England’s World Cup squad with good performances over the next few weeks.

Tottenham will have to pay around £31m for Dejan Kulusevski at the end of the season if they finish in the Champions League positions with the obligation becoming an option if they fail to make the top four.

England’s World Cup kit manufacturer Nike are under growing pressure to follow Hummel’s example and make a stand against Qatar’s human rights record.

Antonio Cassano believes Cristiano Ronaldo would be better off retiring than trying to extend his top-flight career, with the risk that the latter days of it will be spent mainly on the bench for club and country.


Chelsea are ready to join a long line of Premier League clubs in making an attempt to sign Borussia Dortmund and England star Jude Bellingham.

Long-time Football League player Ryan Cresswell has opened up on his dependency on sleeping tablets during his time in the professional game and says the crisis has hit the sport “at all levels”.

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Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham continues to be linked with a move to one of the Premier League giants at the end of this season.

Newcastle United are still paying more than £100,000 a week to players, including the likes of Dwight Gayle and Isaac Hayden, who are no longer with the club because of loan moves.

Yorkshire are subject of a High Court claim from former England physio Wayne Morton over the details about his dismissal and a string of shocking accusations made against him during Lord Patel’s purge of the club.


Ibrahima Konate is closing on a return to the Liverpool squad after two months out with a knee injury.


Manchester United could make a move for Napoli winger Hirving Lozano in January but it might depend on them moving one of their current players who occupy a similar position.

Chelsea will have the chance to re-sign striker Tammy Abraham from AS Roma next summer thanks to a “discreet” buy-back clause that activates in 2023.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister Katia Aveiro has accused Portugal fans of “spitting on the plate they eat from” after fierce criticism of his performances for the national team and calls for him to be dropped.


Tottenham are ready to make a move for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak as the long-term successor for Hugo Lloris, although they will likely face competition from Manchester United.


Rangers were one of the teams in attendance on a busy Tuesday night for scouts in Velje, where Denmark’s U21 side faced their Croatian counterparts in front of representatives from almost 40 clubs.

St Johnstone are worried about David Wotherspoon’s return to first-team action after he was hurt in a bounce game at Falkirk – Wotherspoon has been out with a knee injury for nearly a year.

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