Sports Burst - Is Messi The New Neymar?

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by Tim Stannard

 

Messi can walk from Barcelona for free next summer after release clause revealed in Barcelona contract 

 

Just in time to save Sports Burst from having to write in detail about Friday's portfolio of international soccer matches, a Leo Messi contract extension / transfer rumor story comes along to save the day. 

Friday has the Barcelona press in a fluster after revelations let fly that Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona for free next summer. 

Although the Argentinean has a deal with the Camp Nou club until 2021, there is a termination clause which kicked in when Messi turned 32. Technically speaking Messi could speak to anyone he wants after 1st January in the kind of transfer speculation that could make that whole Neymar to Barcelona affair look distinctly 'straight-to-Netflix movie' in comparison in terms of quality and grandeur. 

The chances of Messi going anywhere are slim to none though and Gerard Pique knows this. The Barcelona captain was quizzed on the topic while taking a time-out for some tennis duty in New York and said that he knew about the clause but was "not concerned at all."

Friday also sees Neymar partaking in an activity that most forgot he does - playing football. The PSG man is back on the pitch in action for Brazil, 93 days after injuring himself in a match against Qatar to miss Copa America. The newly-crowned South American champions are taking on Colombia in Miami. 

 

PSG get early taste of Icardi's Wanda-wall 

 

From Neymar to the other giant personality in the PSG locker room, Mauro Icardi

The French club is already getting a taste of what it will mean to double down on the trouble of bringing in the Argentinean striker on loan from Inter

Icardi's wife / agent, Wanda Nara, is also a regular fixture on Italian sports TV which means PSG can expect weekly moans and groans about her husband's life at PSG, something that caused a rift or two in the Inter locker room. 

Wanda Nara has been talking up three different future career paths for her client saying that Juventus remains an option next season, as does a return for Inter - a relationship time-out, not a divorce apparently - and also a permanent stay at PSG. 

Nara had initially been cold on the move to Ligue Un because it was the most inconvenient for her and her children but had to backtrack a little by saying that although it was the worst option for her, PSG were "the best option" for Mauro. 

 

Sensational Serena swoops in US Open final 

 

Everything seems to be just fine on Planet Serena. 

Williams was in imperious form on Thursday evening in a dominant defeat of Elina Svitolina in the semis of the US Open. The 6-3, 6-1 victory even saw Serena leaving the baseline to play some serve and volley tennis. The 37-year-old joked that this was likely to never happen again in her career.

 

Once again, Serena will be in a Grand Slam final as she looks for her first win since giving birth in September 2017, a win that will give her a record-equalling 24 Grand Slam victories. Although she will be a significant favorite over her opponent, Canada's Bianca Andreescu, who is just 19, memories of last year's stormy and tearful final against Naomi Osaka may not be too far from the surface. 

Rafa Nadal is also in history-making mode. The Spaniard is in action in a semifinal against Matteo Berrettini. A US Open victory would see Nadal move to just one behind Roger Federer who currently has 20 Grand Slam titles. Grigor Dimitrov takes on Daniil Medvedev in Friday's second semifinal. 

 

The start of 100th NFL season did not exactly set the pulses racing with a 'defences on top' affair which saw the Green Bay Packers coming on top against the Chicago Bears in a 10-3 victory. 

The Sports Burst live show will dip its toes into the new season and touch on everything else going on out there. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.