In brief

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football -

Chelsea are clos­ing in on the record £90 mil­lion sign­ing of Kai Havertz af­ter Bayer Lev­erkusen man­ager Peter Bosz said he did not ex­pect the player to train with them again. Havertz is set to com­plete his pro­tracted move next week when he re­turns from in­ter­na­tional duty with Ger­many, to take Frank Lampard’s spend­ing this year over £220 mil­lion.

Eng­land women will play their first match for seven months when they face Ger­many in Wies­baden on Oct 27. Eng­land have not played since their 1-0 de­feat by Spain at the SheBelieve­s

Cup, just over a week be­fore the coun­try went into lock­down be­cause of coro­n­avirus. The be­hind-closed­doors au­tumn friendly will be a re­match of last Novem­ber’s 2-1 win for Ger­many at Wem­b­ley.

Tot­ten­ham will play Bul­gar­ian side Loko­mo­tiv Plov­div

Mar­tial in the sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing round of the Europa League. Mother­well visit Col­eraine, Rangers travel to Gi­bral­tar to play Lin­coln Red Imps and Aberdeen are away to Vik­ing of Nor­way. Sham­rock Rovers host Ital­ian gi­ants AC Mi­lan and Welsh team Bala Town host Stan­dard Liege. All the ties will be played as sin­gle-leg games be­hind closed doors on Thurs­day, Sept 17.

For­mer Manch­ester City mid­fielder David Silva has tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19. The 34-year-old, who joined Real So­ciedad on a free last month, gave a pos­i­tive test af­ter ar­riv­ing in San Se­bas­tian.

Lionel Messi failed to turn up to Barcelona’s first train­ing ses­sion of the new sea­son ahead of show­down talks be­tween his fa­ther and the club this week.

Messi’s ab­sence fol­lowed his re­fusal to re­port for a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion at the week­end.

Talks be­tween Jorge Messi and Josep Maria Bar­tomeu, the Barcelona pres­i­dent, could be de­ci­sive for the player’s fu­ture, with the 33-year-old still hop­ing to leave the club on a free trans­fer.

As re­vealed by The Tele­graph, se­nior fig­ures at Barcelona ex­pect Messi to join Manch­ester City and re­unite with Pep Guardi­ola, his for­mer man­ager at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona and La Liga dis­pute that a clause in his con­tract al­lows the player to leave for free.

Messi’s 19-year as­so­ci­a­tion with Barcelona ap­pears in­creas­ingly likely to be set­tled by a le­gal dis­pute, with his lawyers look­ing to in­voke a clause in his con­tract that would have al­lowed him to leave for noth­ing if he had re­quested it by June 10.

That date was sup­posed to be the end of the sea­son, be­fore the coro­n­avirus pan­demic caused foot­ball’s sus­pen­sion, so his lawyers will ar­gue the cut-off date had been ren­dered ir­rel­e­vant.

Re­ports in Spain sug­gest Messi could be heav­ily fined by the club for re­fus­ing to re­port for train­ing. Such an ac­tion would not help Barcelona’s at­tempts to find an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion to the sit­u­a­tion.

Barcelona are des­per­ate to re­ceive a fee for Messi be­cause of their own fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties. Their losses from the pan­demic are es­ti­mated at £137mil­lion.

Matic/Fred Rash­ford Pogba/Fer­nan­des Matic/Fred Pogba Wan-Bis­saka Matic/Fred Pogba

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