Sports Burst – The Last Temptation Of Messi


By Tim Stannard


1) Messi ponders millionaire move to China  

Weddings are expensive. Those mini-hangover cures post party gifts for guests don’t come cheap. Marriage is pricey too with all sorts of grown-up purchases required like leaf blowers and extra shelving. All these monetary matters might well be hanging heavy on Leo Messi’s mind as the footballer battles the ever-present question of the footballer’s contract renewal.

The Argentinean’s deal is set to expire in 2018 and the news is reverberating on Friday over a reported offer from Chinese Super League club, Hebei China Fortune, that would see Messi clearing $100m a year for five-years. That’s a good $65m more than Barcelona are offering, by most accounts. Food for thought on a day when Luis Suarez will be putting pen to paper on a contract renewal to 2021, with a buyout clause of $200m for the 29-year-old.


2) Wenger tires of Alexis Sanchez China talk

A former Barcelona forward was the main topic of conversation ahead of Arsenal’s rather tasty Premier League clash with Manchester City. Alexis Sanchez has just 18-months left on his deal with the Gunners and the Chilean forward is also being linked with a move to Hebei China Fortune – quite the theme this week, with Chelsea’s Oscar reportedly close to a move to the Chinese Super League.

The reports are that talks have stalled on the renewal of Sanchez with the footballer weighing up his options. Arsene Wenger, though, was somewhat dismissive of the responding probe from the media. “If people want to go to China, they go to China. You can understand that I have completely different worries than China today ahead of the Manchester City game.

Tune into the XTRA from 7PM ET / 4PM PT as the show previews the Premier League weekend.


3) Mourinho backs Premier League Brits

Jose Mourinho has come out in support of British coaches feeling that they don’t get enough opportunities in England’s top two divisions. The Manchester United man was speaking just days after Championship side, Birmingham City, fired the perfectly good Gary Rowett and replaced him with the perfectly glamorous Gianfranco Zola.

“You have lots of good coaches. The only thing I can say is that, in my previous time here and now again, you have good managers, no doubt about it,” said a sympathetic Mourinho ahead of Manchester United match-up with West Bromwich Albion. 


4) It’s bus-stop Blatter after FIFA perk lost

A cheery story for a Friday in these troubled times. Sepp Blatter has reportedly lost his chauffeur-driven Mercedes that was available to him in his status as former FIFA president. It was this decision from the Court of Arbitration in Sport on Monday that saw his appeal against a six-year ban from football activity ending up with this particular perk curtailed. Tears will be shed, bus time-tables will be sought.


5) Payet bans Ronaldo’s name from family

And a pleasing story from the Dimitri Payet household. After France’s Euro 2018 final defeat to Portugal, West Ham’s French midfielder said that the name of CR7 is banned. "They love Ronaldo and Messi. Since Euro 2016, though, they have no right to pronounce the name of Ronaldo!"



The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. SB is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.