Paper Gossip: Lionel Messi Agrees Barcelona Deal, Qatar 'Mistake', Suarez Stays

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMay 17, 2014

Paper Gossip: Lionel Messi Agrees Barcelona Deal, Qatar 'Mistake', Suarez Stays

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    Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

    Lionel Messi is the main topic of conversation on Saturday's back pages after he reached agreement with Barcelona over a new contract.

    The future of the Argentina international at the Camp Nou had been the subject of some debate, but Messi has now reached a conclusion in negotiations over a new contract.

    Arsene Wenger will sign a new deal with Arsenal, regardless of whether the Gunners defeat Hull City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

    And Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has no intention of leaving Anfield, according to reports.

    But who else is making the headlines on Saturday? Read on to find out more.

Lionel Messi Agrees '£144m' Deal with Barcelona

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Lionel Messi has agreed a new deal with Barcelona, which will make him the highest-paid footballer in the world, reports Antony Kastrinakis of the Sun (subscription required).

    The Argentina international will earn an astonishing £36 million per year from the new contract, which will run until 2018, claims the article.

    Kastrinakis notes that the revised contract is no different in length to his old one and still has a £200 million get-out clause inserted.

Arsene Wenger Will Sign New Arsenal Deal Regardless of FA Cup Final Result

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Arsene Wenger will remain as Arsenal manager even if the Gunners do not end their trophy drought in the FA Cup final against Hull City on Saturday, reports Mark Irwin of the Sun (subscription required).

    The Arsenal boss will put pen to paper on a new £8 million per year deal after the Wembley showpiece, as the Emirates Stadium club chase their first trophy since 2005, claims the article.

    Wenger is quoted as saying:

    Will I be manager next season? Yes, normally.

    It’s not completely finalised yet but it should happen.

    And when I’ve been part of a club for 18 years, it would be a bit ridiculous to base my decision on one single match, don’t you think?

    Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has told team-mates he will be joining Manchester City in the summer, reports Paul Gorst of the Mirror.

Luis Suarez Staying at Liverpool, as Reds Target Lallana, Lovren Double Swoop

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has told the Anfield supporters he is staying at the club, reports the Guardian.

    The Uruguay international had been linked with a move to Real Madrid, notes the article, but he has voiced his desire to remain with the Merseyside club.

    Suarez is quoted as saying:

    I signed the contract because I love it here and I'm so happy here. If you're not happy here you don't sign any contract.

    Liverpool's team for me is one of the best in the world because nobody here in the dressing room thinks I am better than another and the people here inside Melwood work very well.

    I love it here and this mentality I like because maybe in some other dressing rooms I am bigger than you and another bigger, it's difficult for the team-mates to play together on the pitch in something like that.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with a transfer move for Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, according to David Maddock of the Mirror.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Admits Awarding World Cup to Qatar a 'Mistake'

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    Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar might have been a mistake, reports Ed Malyon of the Mirror.

    The controversial choice of the Gulf state has been the subject of discussion ever since Qatar was handed the elite tournament, notes the article.

    Summer temperatures in the country reach 50 degrees centigrade, and when asked if giving Qatar the 2022 finals was a mistake, Blatter is quoted as telling a Swiss television station RTS: "Yes, of course. You know, everyone makes mistakes in life."

Manchester City Hit with Fine and Champions League Squad Cut for FFP Breach

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Manchester City have been given a £49 million fine and had their Champions League squad cut to 21 players by UEFA over a breach in Financial Fair Play regulations, reports Neil Rowlands of the Mirror.

    City were crowned Premier League champions last weekend but are now facing a reduction in squad numbers for next season's Champions League, notes the article.

    But the Etihad Stadium club could receive two-thirds of their fine back if they comply with UEFA regulations on FFP, adds Rowlands.

Barcelona Offer Alex Song to Chelsea as Part of David Luiz Transfer

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Barcelona will offer midfielder Alex Song to Chelsea as part of the deal to take David Luiz to the Camp Nou, reports Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph.

    The article claims Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in taking the Brazil international from Stamford Bridge.

    But Barcelona are prepared to add former Arsenal man Song to the deal to help smooth the deal with Chelsea and Jose Mourinho, claims Law.

    Meanwhile, Frank Lampard wants his future sorted at the club before the World Cup, reports the Daily Express.