Sunday, 16 December 2012

Lionel Messi is set to be rewarded for his sizzling form at Barcelona

It would be foolish for any club to try and land Lionel Messi from Barcelona, but the Spanish giants are taking no chances with the Argentine reportedly undergoing contract negotiations that will see him remain at the Catalan club until he is at least 31. According to the Daily Mail, Messi's base salary could rise to as much as £12.5 million - that's before goalscoring and match bonuses, which will set Barcelona back a long way if his form in front of goal continues. Under the terms, Messi's annual pay packet, including bonuses, would automatically be matched the following year. While his base salary won't rival the £16 million Samuel Eto'o earns at Anzhi Makachkala, the 25-year-old will go streets ahead as the highest earning footballer in the world. Expect Cristiano Ronaldo to chime in for a similar deal at Real Madrid.

From a money maker to a money shaker, now. Mario Balotelli is set to contest a whopping fine of £340,000 handed to him by Manchester City, according to the Mirror. Although the Italian earns that money in a fortnight, he believes the fine for a number of "disciplinary breaches" is unfair and he will now face an independent panel in a bid to get it overturned. If unsuccessful, though, Balotelli will bear the brunt of significant court costs in addition to the fine. The 22-year-old was omitted from City's trip to Newcastle on Saturday with Roberto Mancini simply acknowledging that "his form is not good enough to play". Taking on the City board is not an ideal way to work his way back into favour.

Burak Yilmaz could return to haunt Manchester United with the Galatasaray striker in consideration for a move to Anfield. Yilmaz scored the only goal as the Turkish side claimed a vital 1-0 win over United in the Champions League last month and the Sun says the Reds are on a mission to bring him to the Premier League. With six Champions League goals and a further 11 in the Turkish league already this season, it's understandable that Liverpool spies will be watching Yilmaz in action for Sunday's derby against Fenerbahce.



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