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Lionel Messi issues Barcelona denial as Chelsea miss out on another defender

Lionel Messi is not in talks to return to Barcelona and Chelsea are set to miss out on another centre-back in the summer transfer market.

And Bayern Munich have moved to shut down any chances of Manchester United signing a former Manchester City star. While the Italian press has claimed that Juventus will have to raise their offer to sign a former Chelsea striker.

Here is a roundup of the stories from around Europe today.

Messi’s future back in the news

The Argentine star started the Ligue 1 season with two goals this weekend but rumours of a possible return to the Camp Nou have continued in Catalonia. Barca president Joan Laporta has not hidden his desire to re-sign Messi when his PSG contract expires in June 2023 and Catalunya Radio has claimed today that negotiations have already started.

But a source close to Messi has told Mundo Deportivo: "There has been no approach from Laporta towards anyone in Leo Messi's camp or vice versa. And whoever says that is lying"

Paris Saint-Germain to carry on spending

Chelsea have looked at Inter Milan central defender Milan Skriniar but have yet to make an offer, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. But the Italian sports daily claims the French champions have had a €50m bid rejected and are prepared to go closer to Inter’s €70m asking price. Inter, who conceded four goals in a weekend friendly, have lined up Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji as a replacement.

Qatari-owned PSG have already agreed a deal for Renato Sanchez and L’Equipe reports today that they have agreed terms with Napoli’s midfielder Fabian Ruiz. The Spaniard had been linked with Manchester United.

Martin Skriniar is a target for PSG and Chelsea (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

And Alonso is finally close to a departure

Cesar Azpilicueta has agreed to stay at Stamford Bridge but his fellow full-back Marcos Alonso is close to finally joining Barcelona, accord to Sport.

The Catalan sports daily claims that the Spaniard’s agent Fali Ramadani is in Barcelona to complete the €10m deal.

No Manchester return for Leroy Sane

The Germany winger has been linked with Manchester United but Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has insisted he is not leaving.

He told Sky Germany: "It's an unfounded rumour. Leroy is an important player for us, so there's absolutely nothing to say about it."

Sane is under contract until 2025 after signing from Manchester City for an initial £40.9m last summer.

(Getty Images)

And Juventus will need to pay to re-sign Alvaro Morata.

The former Chelsea striker has spent the last two seasons on loan with Juventus but return to Turin to score a hat-trick in a pre-season friendly for Atletico Madrid this weekend.

Boss Max Allegri is seeking reinforcements before the start of the Serie A season on Saturday while new signing Moise Kean was left in the stands for “disciplinary reasons”.

But Gazzetta dello Sport reports that talks between the two clubs over Morata returning to Italy were “inconclusive” as Atletico have ruled out another loan deal for a player out of contract in 2024. They want €25m for a permanent transfer.

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