Paper Gossip: Messi Signs Barcelona Deal, Van Gaal, Enrique Transfer Targets

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 20, 2014

Paper Gossip: Messi Signs Barcelona Deal, Van Gaal, Enrique Transfer Targets

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Newspapers sometimes struggle to fill their pages once the seasons have ended, but that certainly isn't the case on Tuesday after a day of major headline stories in world football.

    Lionel Messi signed his new Barcelona deal moments before Luis Enrique was unveiled at the new head coach at the Camp Nou.

    Louis van Gaal was confirmed as Manchester United manager, while his new assistant Ryan Giggs announced his retirement from the game.

    Attention has now turned to who will be the first signings at the two European powerhouses under their new managers.

    Elsewhere, Yaya Toure has been linked with a move away from Manchester City and Ashley Cole has admitted his time at Chelsea is at an end.

    But who else is making the headlines in Tuesday's papers? Read on to find out more.

Lionel Messi Signs Revised Barcelona Deal to Become World's Best-Paid Player

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    Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

    Lionel Messi has signed his revised contract at Barcelona, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

    The Argentina international agreed the new contract last week, but he put pen to paper at the Camp Nou on Monday.

    The restructured deal will make the 26-year-old the world's highest-paid player, claims Jones.

    A Barcelona statement read:

    FC Barcelona would like to announce that Leo Messi and the club signed a revised contract this afternoon.

    The signing took place in the presence of Leo Messi, his father Jorge Messi and the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as the sporting vice-president Jordi Mestre and the club CEO, Antoni Rossich.

    During the signing, which was made in the presidential box at the Camp Nou, Leo Messi repeatedly expressed his excitement about the new deal.

New Barcelona Head Coach Luis Enrique Targets Luiz, Pogba, Kompany Transfers

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    New Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique completed his move from Celta Vigo on Monday, and his focus has now turned to transfer targets for the new season.

    Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail reports that Chelsea defender David Luiz, Juventus star Paul Pogba and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany are high on his radar.

    Jenson also claims that Dani Alves and Cesc Fabregas will be allowed to leave the La Liga giants this summer.

    Former Barcelona midfielder Enrique has signed a two-year deal at the club, and the signing of goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach was completed on the same day as the new manager's appointment.

Louis Van Gaal Eyes Hummels, Kroos, Robben, Mueller for Man Utd Rebuild

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    Peter Dejong/Associated Press

    Louis van Gaal has already put together his wanted list of transfer targets after being confirmed as Manchester United manager on Monday, reports John Edwards of the Daily Mail.

    Edwards claims that the new Old Trafford boss will be handed a £200 million transfer fund for rebuilding the squad in preparation for the new season.

    And the article reports that Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Cesc Fabregas, Luke Shaw and Mario Mandzukic are being considered for a move to United under Van Gaal.

    Ian Herbert of The Independent claims that Thomas Mueller of Bayern Munich is also a potential target.

    Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani will also feature highly on Van Gaal's list of summer targets, says Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph.

    Meanwhile, Van Gaal revealed that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the first person to text him after his appointment, according to Paul Collins of the Daily Mail.

    Van Gaal is quoted as saying:

    Mourinho congratulated me.

    He was the first one I texted and he was the first one to text me back.

    He said he was jealous of my list of clubs.

    Meanwhile, Dave Kidd of the Daily Mirror believes that the appointment of Van Gaal could mean bad news for Wayne Rooney.

Ryan Giggs Retires to Become Assistant to Van Gaal at Manchester United

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    As news of Louis van Gaal's appointment broke, the announcement of Ryan Giggs' retirement from playing for Manchester United was also confirmed.

    The 40-year-old has quit playing to take over as assistant manager to the Dutchman at Old Trafford.

    There were so many highlights during the former Wales international's career, but former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes he should have stopped one occurring.

    The ex-Gunners star was playing in the FA Cup semi-final replay when Giggs scored his stunning goal at Villa Park in 1999.

    Keown said in his column for the Daily Mail:

    People always ask me about that goal Giggs scored against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park. 

    What people never notice is the great decoy run made by Andy Cole, which I had to follow. That run gave Giggs the room to weave his magic. 

    It was a great goal, but I probably should still have stopped it!

Ashley Cole Confirms Exit from Chelsea

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    Before Ashley Cole officially announced his departure from Chelsea via his Twitter account, Rob Beasley of The Sun (subscription required) was already on the case.

    The former England defender, who announced his international retirement after being omitted from the World Cup squad, will leave Stamford Bridge after eight years at the club, noted the article.

    But Beasley claims that Cole could now be a target for Liverpool and Inter Milan, but he also reports that the departure of the defender leaves Jose Mourinho with no recognised left-backs.

    Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain have again been linked with a transfer move for Eden Hazard, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

Yaya Toure Could Leave Manchester City After Club 'Forgets Birthday'

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure could be on the verge of leaving the Etihad Stadium, reports Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).

    The Ivory Coast international was left disappointed that the club did not mark his birthday at the same time as they celebrated the Premier League title in Abu Dhabi, claims the article.

    Toure's agent Dimitry Seluk is quoted as saying:

    Yaya gives everything to his club and is probably the best player in the team — and the club do not protect him anywhere.

    What happened at his birthday meant the club don’t care about him. It was proof.

    They can say whatever they want, ‘Oh we like him but we forgot’. Forgot? About Yaya? The player who helped you to be two-times Premier League champions? The guy who helped you win the FA Cup and the League Cup?

    His birthday can be on a normal day and, in a normal team, his team-mates and club would at least give him good wishes.

    But when you win the title on May 11, a day later you go to Abu Dhabi and on May 13 you have a big party to celebrate the title and nobody comes to Yaya to say, ‘Happy birthday’, what more do you want?

    They can say everything with words. But what we see in action is nothing. It’s proof they don’t care about him.

Pele Brands Brazil a 'Disgrace' for Failing to Prepare Fully as World Cup Hosts

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    Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

    Brazil legend Pele has branded his country "a disgrace" for failing to prepare properly to stage the World Cup finals, reports Carl Long of The Sun (subscription required).

    The 72-year-old believes corruption and theft have been responsible for the delays in stadia construction for the finals.

    Pele is quoted as saying:

    There has been sufficient time to get the stadiums finished.

    The situation is unacceptable—it is a disgrace. The political situation is difficult.

    Our team has nothing to do with the ongoing corruption that has delayed construction of the stadiums.

    It’s not a problem for the players but the situation worries me a great deal. The evil people who have stolen all the money are to blame.

    Protests against corruption are understandable—but not the use of force.

Gareth Bale Thanks Cristiano Ronaldo Ahead of Champions League Final

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Gareth Bale has thanked Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo for making him a better player ahead of the Champions League final, reports Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail.

    The Wales international is on the verge of helping Los Blancos complete La Decima, their 10th European Cup win, with Atletico Madrid representing the opposition in Lisbon on Saturday.

    Bale is quoted as saying:

    Cristiano has been very supportive.

    From the first day I came in, he has been there for me. On day one he gave me advice on the best areas to live and stuff like that. We talk a lot; have a good relationship on and off the pitch.

    I’ve learned a bit of everything from him. The way he plays and gets himself into certain positions; it’s a chance to learn off one of the best players in the world. Hopefully, that will improve me as a player.