Wednesday Kickoff: Messi asks Barca for Aguero; Rodgers to remain at Liverpool; and more

Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Lionel Messi’s representatives are far along in contract negotiations with Barcelona, but a new bump in the road has appeared.

Multiple reports in Spain and Argentina are stating on Wednesday that Messi has asked for Barcelona to sign forward Sergio Aguero from Manchester City and to give goalkeeper Pinto a new contract as well. Aguero and Messi are teammates on the Argentine National Team and both are expected to start together at this summer’s World Cup.

Valued at €45 million, signing Aguero would a tough ask for Barcelona after they spent reportedly more than €100 million to acquire Neymar last summer.

Messi’s new contract would be the same length as his most recent one, ending in 2018 with a release clause of €250 million, but he’ll see an increase in wages to a reported €20 million per year after taxes plus an additional €3 million in incentives. Reports say that the potential contract would make Messi the highest-paid player in the world.

Here are some more stories to start your day:

RODGERS AGREES NEW CONTRACT

Brendan Rodgers may fail to lead Liverpool to the English Premier League title this season, but the club are rewarding him for his success nonetheless.

Reports in England state that Rodgers has “agreed in principle” on a contract extension through 2018 with Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group. Rodgers will reportedly sign the deal following the last game of the season on Sunday.

Rodgers, 41, signed a three-year contract in 2012 when he first took over at Liverpool and after guiding them to seventh place in 2013, he has Liverpool in the top three for the first time since the 2008/2009 season.

OBI MIKEL, YOBO HEADLINE NIGERIA PROVISIONAL WORLD CUP SQUAD

Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi named his provisional 30-man World Cup roster on Wednesday and it includes a mostly young and inexperienced side.

The team is lead by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, defender Joseph Yobo, midfielder John Obi Mikel, and Peter Odemwingie, but other than Shola Ameobi, everyone on the squad is under 30-years old. Almost the entirety of the squad is based abroad, as well.

One of the young guns to keep an eye on is Ahmed Musa, who has played in 34 matches for Nigeria and scored five goals at the age of 21.

Keshi did make a few surprises, leaving off forwards Brown Ideye and Obafemi Martins from his World Cup squad.

ARANGO HEADED FOR MEXICO?

Club Tijuana could be on the verge of making a big summer splash.

Former Venezuelan international Juan Arango has decided to leave Borussia Mönchengladbach at the end of the season when his contract expires, and German publication BILD believes he’ll head to Tijuana, where he’ll reunite with Cesar Farias, former Venezuela National Team head coach.

Arango would bring experience but also a much-needed goal-scoring presence for Xolos, who have struggled to score goals consistently since Duvier Riascos left the club last summer. The 33-year-old Arango has a cannon of a left foot and would also be dangerous on free kicks or shots from the top of the box.

QUICK KICKS

French Ligue 2 side Clermont have appointed Helena Costa as the first team manager, making her the first woman manager of a professional soccer club in France. (REPORT)

The Spanish National Team has scheduled two post-World Cup friendlies against France in Paris on Sept. 4 and Germany in Vigo on November 18. (REPORT)

Villarreal has been fined just €12,000 for the actions of the fan who threw a banana at Dani Alves during a recent match between Villarreal and Barcelona. (REPORT)

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers has been selected to officiate the UEFA Champions League final. (REPORT)

Former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is the latest coach to be linked with the Eintracht Frankfurt job. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Aguero moving to Barcelona this summer? Think that Rodgers deserves the new contract? How do you feel about Clermont hiring a woman manager?

Share your thoughts below.

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31 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Messi asks Barca for Aguero; Rodgers to remain at Liverpool; and more

  1. Nate Dollars says:

    if i were messi, i’d ask for a goddam defender, but that’s just me.

  2. Chris says:

    If I were Messi I’d shut my hobbit mouth and stop requesting my team to spend millions of dollars.

  3. reignman says:

    Brazil’s WC squad was just announced. The big absences are Miranda, Filipe Luis, and Diego Alves. Alves has never been called up under this coach which doesn’t make a ton of sense, he’s probably the best Brazilian goalie playing right now

    • Maykol says:

      Hmm he brought maxwell over felipe luis? Strange, Felipe has been a monster this season

      • reignman says:

        My thoughts as well, plus I don’t really rate Maxwell even on his best days. Obviously neither will play if Marcelo can stay healthy but it really should have been Filipe to me.

    • John says:

      There forward line is awful as well.

      Hulk and Neymar are legit but Jo?

      • Increase says:

        They brought Jo? He isn’t even tearing it up in Brazil… he is just… there. He is basically the Brazilian Brek Shea.

        Fred isn’t a stand out name but lordy has he been effective for Brazil. You can’t argue with his production or the way he lets Neymar score.

        The midfield lacks something. Those are all very good players but no one who can just carry a team… hmmm. Guess that is up to Neymar.

  4. PSU says:

    How can a team that isn’t allowed to sign players sign players? Or, is this transfer ban thing just a show that will never actually go into effect?

  5. John says:

    Helena Costa is the first female coach ever in any male top two division league in Europe. Maybe even the World.

    • DCGooner says:

      plus shes a looker

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        …said no one….ever.

        • Michael says:

          And in 8 words, Internet Guys demonstrate one of the many reasons feminism remains relevant in the 21st-century

          • Increase says:

            Hmm, dunno if it justifies all of feminism but it certainly highlights that certain professions are still boys clubs.

            What I’m saying is that noticing whether or not a woman is attractive doesn’t support feminism. Her attractiveness being the only this you care about does however.

          • John Lowe says:

            @ Michael
            I think Alex Morgan is one hell of an athlete. I would like her no matter what. She sure is nice to look at too, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to say so. They would not make Helena Costa head coach if they didn’t think she could do the job no matter how hot she is. It really should be ok to point out someone is attractive.

        • patrick says:

          you’re kidding right? Shes beautiful

    • Colonel Angus says:

      Imagine if she does really well and we could get to see this headline:

      “Costa rumored to be in line for Brest job”