Mauricio Pochettino moves ahead of Raul in battle for Real Madrid job, Neymar want Lionel Messi reunion

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is ahead of Raul in the race to replace Zinedine Zidane, Neymar want Lionel Messi reunion, and Aston Villa now value captain Jack Grealish at £100 million.

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is leading the race to take over from Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The first candidate under consideration is Raul, who currently manages Real’s reserve team, however the club do not want to appoint him so soon into his managerial career and would find it easy to conclude a deal with Pochettino having almost appointed him manager to take over from Rafael Benitez.

***: Pochettino has made it clear that he wants back into management and will soon start to suffer if he does not get another job. The longer you are away, the quicker you go stale. While he prefers to stay in England with his family, Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world and so it is hard to see him turning down the chance for both these reasons.

Neymar want Lionel Messi reunion

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has said he wants to play with former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi again next season.

Messi, 33, is out of contract at Camp Nou next summer and is free to talk to other clubs from January onwards.

Neymar, who formed part of a potent front three with Messi and Luis Suarez during four years with Barca, has been constantly linked with a move back to the Camp Nou since leaving for PSG in a world record €222 million transfer in 2017.

What I want most of all is to play with Messi again, to be able to enjoy him once again on the pitch, Neymar said after PSG's 3-1 Champions League win against Manchester United on Wednesday when asked about the Argentine superstar joining him in Paris.
He can play in my place, I have no problem with that! But I want to play with him next year, for sure. We have to do it next season.

Neymar's comments will increase speculation that Messi could join him in the French capital in 2021.

Messi wanted to leave Barca in August after the 8-2 Champions League elimination to Bayern and sources told ESPN at the time that Manchester City led the chase to sign him.

However, PSG were also monitoring the situation and coach Thomas Tuchel has said that the Argentine would be "very welcome" in Paris.

Barca hope to be able to convince Messi to sign a new contract with the club, but talks over a renewal are on hold until a new president is elected on Jan. 24.

The new president's first task will be to sit down with Messi and his father and agent, Jorge, and sell him his vision for the club to convince him to stay.

Neymar and Messi could also be reunited at Barca. The Blaugrana tried to re-sign the Brazil star in 2019, but failed to strike an agreement with PSG over a fee.

Barca were considering making a renewed attempt to bring him back this year, too, until the coronavirus pandemic hit their transfer plans.

Neymar also made a brief comment about fellow South American Diego Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on Nov. 25: 

Life is sometimes very complicated because people who had to be eternal leave and Diego had to be an eternal figure.

Aston Villa want £100m for Grealish

Aston Villa have decided that Jack Grealish is worth £100 million. The 25-year-old Villa captain was valued at around £70 million in the last transfer window but has since signed a new deal at Villa Park, and no serious bid came in this summer, meaning he will have four years left on his contract at the end of the season. His move into the England team has also increased the valuation.

Alaba set to leave for nothing

Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is likely to leave the German and European champions for nothing, according to the Daily Mail. The 28-year-old Austrian international wants £22.5 million a year and Bayern offered £9.9m with further bonuses of £5.4m. With his deal up in the summer, he is attracting attention from Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus, who would all be keen to sign him for nothing.

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