England chances on the slide for Henderson with no timeline for return

Klopp not prepared to pencil in training comeback for Reds midfielder; Messi indecision.

SOCCER: Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he still doesn't know when skipper Jordan Henderson will be back in training.

Henderson has been out since surgery on a serious groin injury he suffered in February.

When asked about his return, Klopp was non-committal, saying: "Don't know. He is not in training yet, I think we can say that. All the rest we can see.

"I don't want to comment too much and give a running commentary. He looks good, that is the good news but not in training yet."

The Daily Mirror state that Henderson is now unlikely to be back for the Reds until after their clash with Manchester United on May 1.

That they say would leave only four matches for him to prove his fitness before Gareth Southgate names his squad for the Euros.

Once seen as a certainty to start England's opening Euros clash on June 13, Henderson has now drifted out to 2/1 with Paddy Power.

Leeds' Kalvin Phillips has been the main beneficiary, with the holding midfielder now as short as 5/4 to line-up for the Three Lions against Croatia.

Messi talks are just talk

SOCCER: The Sun is reporting that Barcelona face crunch talks over Lionel Messi's contract situation after the player's father arrived in the city.

However, it turns out that there aren't expected to be talks between Messi and Barcelona in the near future because the club is currently assessing their accounts.

Until their finances are in order, Barcelona won't be able to sit down and discuss a new contract for Messi, whose current deal expires in June.

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That is according to Marca, who confirmed that Jorge Messi was actually in Barcelona to take in a Barcelona B match. Konrad de la Fuente is represented by the company of Lionel Messi's brother Rodrigo.

Jorge will then fly out to Italy to attend some personal business.

The last time Messi's father was in Barcelona was in September, when he held showdown talks with former president Josep Maria Bartomeu after Lionel had handed in a transfer request.

Current Barcelona president Joan Laporta commented on the contract talks after Saturday's Copa del Rey final, saying: "The extension is progressing adequately."

However, the lack of a contract offer has seen the odds on moves to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both shorten.

The duo are both 2/1 with Sky Bet to sign the Argentine in the summer.

A switch to MLS is a 16/1 shot.

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Blades striving to be more Norwich than Sunderland

SOCCER: Sheffield United are plotting a 'Norwich approach' to promotion next season after their relegation was confirmed.

Caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom says the club are determined not to follow the examples of Sunderland, Hull and Huddersfield and sink to the bottom of the Championship next year.

And, he believes the success of Norwich, who clinched promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, shows that with the right strategy the Blades can bounce back.

"I wholeheartedly agree with Norwich's approach," said Heckingbottom in the Daily Mail. "That's good management and a good strategy. Every club can do that, maybe not as well, but that's got to be the aim."

Of course, United have already failed on one front, with the Canaries having been rewarded for sticking by Daniel Farke.

The managerial continuity was lost at United when they parted ways with Chris Wilder and Heckingbottom seems unlikely to be in charge when they kick-off their 2021/22 campaign.

Former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is seen as the favourite to take on the role full-time, with Sky Bet pricing the Serb at 5/2.

Alexander Blessin is 4/1, with John Terry 6/1 and Heckingbottom having drifted to 10/1 on the back of five straight losses from his five games.

Wilder, meanwhile, is the 7/4 favourite to take over from Steve Bruce at Newcastle United.

* All odds correct at time of publication

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