World Football Gossip Roundup: Demba Ba, Claudio Marchisio, Lionel Messi
On the pitch, Demba Ba can't stop scoring for Newcastle United.
Off the pitch, the gossip pages won't stop linking him with a move away from the club.
Ba, the prolific Senegalese striker, and his latest potential transfer destination lead this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup.
Inside, we have updates on Claudio Marchisio, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Premier League refs and Lionel Messi's most important goals.
Read on for all the details.
Liverpool Want Demba Ba?
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Liverpool are interested in signing Newcastle forward Demba Ba in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.
Ba, a 27-year-old Senegalese international, leads the English Premier League with six goals this season. He signed with Newcastle from West Ham in 2011 and reportedly has a £7.5 million buyout clause in his contract.
Liverpool and first-year manager Brendan Rodgers failed to reinforce the squad with a new forward after allowing England international Andy Carroll to join West Ham on loan near the summer transfer deadline.
Ba is thought to be seeking an increase on his current £50,000-per-week wages.
Claudio Marchisio: Juventus for Life?
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Claudio Marchisio says he wants to stay with Juventus for the rest of his career (Tuttosport via Goal.com).
Marchisio, a 26-year-old midfielder, graduated from Juve's youth program. Apart from a season-long loan with Empoli in 2007-08, he has spent his entire career with the Turin-based club.
I am feeling very young and I have an ongoing contract with Juventus. My dream is that when my contract expires in 2016, Juve offer me another five-year deal to keep me here until 2021. People have likened me to [Liverpool midfielder] Steven Gerrard, and I would love to be identified with only one team just like him.
Marchisio has earned 27 caps with Italy.
Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole to Be Offered 1-Year Deals?
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Midfielder Frank Lampard and defender Ashley Cole could leave Chelsea in January after owner Roman Abramovich revealed neither would receive a contract offer of more than one year (via Daily Mail).
Lampard, 34, joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2001. Cole, 31, joined from Arsenal in 2006. Lampard has been linked with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, while Cole has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.
Sergio Aguero: EPL Refs Favor English Players
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Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero says English Premier League referees favor British players when making decisions (via ESPN FC).
Aguero, a 24-year-old Argentine international, made his comments after Fulham converted a controversial penalty against City on Saturday. City won the match 2-1.
"It happens everywhere," Aguero said. "There is a little bit of privilege with players who come from that country, but that is normal. We just play our game, and the referee's job is to know who is tricking him and who is not."
Aguero also said he did not think nationality was a factor in Saturday's penalty decision.
Lionel Messi More Concerned with Being Good Person
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Three-time World Player of the Year award winner Lionel Messi says he is more concerned with being a good person than being the world's best footballer (via The Independent).
Messi made his remarks to Spanish newspaper El Pais:
I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else. I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with?
When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy. I like to score goals but I also like to have friends among the people I have played with.
Messi, 25, scored 73 goals in all competitions last season.