Sports Burst - Messi's Secret Retirement Plan

Reuters

By Tim Stannard

 

Barcelona delegation arrives in Paris to try to seal the deal on Neymar's return to Barcelona and Messi's retirement 

 

Well, this is all changing rather quickly. 

On Monday, Sports Burst was tooting and trumpeting that Neymar wasn't going anyway on the logical grounds that PSG couldn't afford to let the Brazilian go - in sporting and financial terms - and Barcelona didn't really need the return of the Brazilian footballer. 

The arrival of a serious group of Barcelona bigwigs in Paris to talk Neymar turkey with PSG suggests that we are back on track for a Ne-exit before PSG's self-imposed deadline of 31st August to have the matter done and dusted. 

All this is despite the fact that Barcelona are fairly cash-strapped and PSG are currently missing the sidelined Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani

One big factor appears to have changed Barcelona's approach. 

Leo Messi and Luis Suarez seemed to quite enjoy sitting in the stands with their children allowing others to do the work for once on the pitch. That's quite understandable for two gentlemen in their thirties who have over a thousand matches between them in their respective South American legs. 

With Ousmane Dembele perpetually injured, the arrival and goals of Griezmann is not enough for Messi and Suarez to guarantee a more leisurely later life at the Camp Nou. Neymar is now a must-have. 

However, there is still a lot of negotiating to be done. PSG need enough cash (and players) to make the sale of Neymar work in the club's favor and potentially fund a double swoop for Paulo Dybala and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace.

Find out how much further this deal has progressed at midday ET on the Sports Burst live show. 

 

Lyon look to continue flying start to Ligue 1 season 

 

Something else to occupy PSG's collective hive mind on Tuesday is the Ligue 1 standings. 

It's quite possible that a flying start from Lyon will continue in a league clash against Montpelier that is live on beIN SPORTS today at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. A victory will put Lyon on top with three wins from three. Timothy Weah's Lille are in action on Wednesday. 

The Copa Libertadores continues on Tuesday night with the start of the second leg of the quarterfinals. The action gets underway with an all-Brazilian affair as Palmeiras, coached by Big Phil Scolari, host Gremio holding a 1-0 lead. That match is live on beIN SPORTS at 8:20PM ET / 5:20PM PT

Looking ahead to Wednesday and Thursday's games and Boca Juniors and River Plate are in pole position to wrap up their respective clashes to set up a Super Clasico double-header in the semis in September. 

 

Serena crushes Sharapova to continue winning streak 

 

Monday night saw another showdown between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in the first round of the US Open in Flushing Meadows and the battle ended like so many contests before it - with minimal Russian interference. 

The 6-1 6-1 victory in a 59-minute long contest was Serena's 19th in a row against the 87th ranked Sharapova in a streak that stretches back to 2005. 

 

Roger Federer was mildly flustered in his Monday night contest by losing the first set to qualifier Sumit Nagal. The Swiss legend recovered and went on to win the next three sets. 

The first round action continues on Tuesday with women's number one seed and defending champion, Naomi Osaka, in action. Coco Gauff will also be a top draw in her first round game. Rafa Nadal makes his debut in the men's bracket. 

Elsewhere in the US of A, current players have been continuing to back Andrew Luck who received a barrage of boos and general meanness from Indianapolis Colts fans after announcing his retirement from the NFL to selfishly pursue a life that doesn't consist of constant pain when loading the dishwasher or brushing his teeth. 

"I thought it was pretty disgusting," declared Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback on reaction from unimpressed Colts supporters, " I salute him for choosing quality of life."

Messi would wholeheartedly agree.