In Brief

Premier League: Lionel Messi tips Chelsea’s Mason Mount to be ‘one of the best’

Liverpool have ‘zero interest’ in bringing Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield

Messi’s high praise for Mount

Chelsea youngster Mason Mount has been backed to become a star by arguably the biggest star of all, Lionel Messi.

After spending last season on loan at Championship club Derby County, 21-year-old Mount has enjoyed a breakthrough year under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge. 

He has scored six goals in 41 games for the Blues and also won six international senior caps for England.

Football.London reports that Barcelona and Argentina captain Messi has partnered with Topps to produce an exclusive set of Champions League “Greatest Moments” football cards.

One category of card is “youth of the rise” and this is where Mount is featured. 

Messi gives his comments on each player and on Mount’s card he gives the young midfielder the highest of praise. 

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi said of the Chelsea man: “Having watched him play he has the potential to be one of the best.” 

Premier League has ‘ambitious’ plan to resume season in May

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Inter set to reject Alexis loan extension

The Daily Telegraph reports that Alexis Sanchez’s loan spell at Inter Milan will come to an end. 

Alexis has been a “popular” figure in the changing room at the San Siro but injuries have plagued his time in Italy.

Inter are poised to reject the chance to extend Alexis’s loan deal and the 31-year-old is likely to return to parent club Manchester United. 

Alexis’s future at Old Trafford is a “problem” for United. The Chilean forward earns a reported £500,000-a-week and has two years left on his contract.

The Telegraph says the huge wage means there is “little chance of another club looking to cover his salary on a loan”.

No Reds return for Coutinho

According to the Daily Mirror Liverpool have “zero interest” in bringing Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield.

Brazilian Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January 2018 but has struggled to make an impact at the Camp Nou. He is currently on loan at Bayern Munich and recent reports suggest he could return to the Premier League. 

Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with the playmaker but Liverpool are out of the running. 

The Mirror says this “is a blow to the 27-year-old, who has admitted to friends that he made a big mistake in forcing his way out of the Merseyside club to join Barca”.

Today’s back pages

‘Covidiot’ Jack Grealish is fined by Aston Villa

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