Chelsea 'cleared to sign Lionel Messi'

Messi is 'unsettled' at Barcelona, reports suggest – and Chelsea are poised to swoop

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The Premier League's finest will be dismayed to hear that Barcelona have got their beady eye on Paul Pogba, but is that because Chelsea are poised to deprive the Spanish giants of Lionel Messi in the summer? Transfer Talk dishes the dirt on the latest tittle-tattle.

• If Metro has its facts correct then Chelsea "have been cleared to sign Lionel Messi" at the end of the season. The paper claims that the Barcelona goal machine is weighing up his options after allegedly becoming unsettled at the Camp Nou, and then mentions the sum of £200m as the likely transfer fee for the Argentine ace. It's believed that Messi wants to take up the challenge of playing in the Premier League and Chelsea are prepared to pay the astronomical sum "all up front" in order to secure his signature.

• Barcelona will have their sporting director Ariedo Braida in Germany tonight to watch Paul Pogba in action for Juventus against Borussia Dortmund. That comes as a blow to Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea, who were apparently all keen to sign the French star. The same three clubs have also been frustrated in their efforts to lure Mauro Icardi away from Inter Milan, the Daily Express reports. He will now remain in Italy.

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• Former Dutch international Ruud Gullit says compatriot Louis van Gaal is "crazy" about Mats Hummels and wants to sign the Borussia Dortmund defender in the summer. Reporting the revelation, the Manchester Evening News claims that the United manager missed out on landing the 26-year-old Hummels last summer but will "launch a new bid" in June. According to Gullit, van Gaal has made it his "priority" to sign a rock solid central defender for next season and he wants no one more than he wants Hummels.

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Bill Mann is a football correspondent for The, scouring the world's football press daily for the popular Transfer Talk column.