World Football Gossip Roundup: Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, Jose Mourinho
As the world holds its breath over Lionel Messi's hamstring, the rumor mill continues to grind out stories.
Zinedine Zidane, a World Cup winner with France and legendary midfielder in all respects, is reportedly impressed with Gareth Bale. Meanwhile, Didier Drogba seems to think his former boss has "unfinished business" at their former club.
All those stories and more appear in this Wednesday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Keep reading for all the details.
Barcelona: Lionel Messi Has 'Small' Hamstring Problem
Lionel Messi has only a "small hamstring problem," according to FC Barcelona assistant Jordi Roura (via Daily Telegraph).
Messi, 25, left Barcelona's 2-2 draw against PSG on Tuesday at halftime after scoring in the first half. The Argentine's status is unclear for next week's second leg in Barcelona.
"Messi has a small hamstring problem," said Roura after the match. "We will find out more about the injury on Wednesday."
According to ESPN.co.uk, Messi has been ruled out of Barca's league match against Mallorca this weekend.
Zinedine Zidane Impressed with Gareth Bale?
Real Madrid director of football Zinedine Zidane says Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale is the player who has impressed him most this season, according to The Sun.
Bale, a 23-year-old Welsh midfielder, has been linked with Real Madrid in the past. His current contract runs until 2016, according to the Daily Mail.
The Sun quotes Zidane, a World Cup winner with France, as saying: “This year the player who’s impressed me most is not actually playing in the Champions League. He’s playing in 'the other cup' (the Europa League), and that’s Bale. He’s unique."
Didier Drogba: Jose Mourinho Has 'Unfinished Business' at Chelsea
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba says former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has "unfinished business" with the club (via BBC Sport).
The 35-year-old Ivorian striker played for Chelsea from 2004 to 2012 before joining Shanghai Shenhua last summer. He transferred to Galatasaray in January.
Mourinho, 50, managed Chelsea from 2004 to 2007, winning two Premier League titles and one FA Cup.
"When he came, he brought success," said Drogba. "We won league titles back-to-back with some great football and the only thing he didn't win was the Champions League. Maybe that is one of the reasons why he might want to come back. It is unfinished business."
Sebastien Corchia Could Leave Sochaux This Summer?
French defender Sebastien Corchia says he could leave Sochaux at the end of the season (via talkSPORT).
Corchia, 22, has represented France at the Under-21 level. This season, he has made 27 appearances for Sochaux in Ligue 1, scoring once.
"For now I am thinking about Sochaux and want to save the club from relegation," Corchia told L'Equipe. "After that my dream is to go to a big club. We will wait and see what happens at the end of the season."
Arsenal and Tottenham are thought to be interested.
Serie A club Cagliari have abandoned their home ground, Is Arenas, due to safety issues (Associated Press).
Britain's most dedicated fan, 67-year-old Stuart Astill, missed a Nottingham Forest match on Monday for the first time in 40 years. He has seen 1,786 consecutive matches (via Daily Mail).
Pressure is increasing on Sunderland and new manager Paolo Di Canio to clarify his fascist political views (via Daily Telegraph).
Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle and Monaco will compete to sign £6 million-rated Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou (via talkSPORT).
Manchester United are tracking Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic, who formerly played for Chelsea (via talkSPORT).
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he expects goalkeeper Pepe Reina to stay this summer amid rumored interest from Barcelona (via ESPN FC).
Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku will ask Chelsea to loan him out again next season, but instead of West Brom, he wants to join a team playing in Europe (via The Sun).
Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez has been sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to six driving offenses (via ESPN.co.uk).
Napoli's Hugo Campagnaro says he is in talks to join Inter Milan (via Sky Sports).