Could Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland move to Real Madrid in the same window?

Mbappe and Haaland are highly coveted by Zinedine Zidane and Madrid's hierarchy.

Zidane is reportedly keen on pairing Mbappe and Haaland with Eden Hazard in the Spanish capital.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYEING STAR DUO

Real Madrid will wait until 2021 to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, according to the front page of Diario AS.

Madrid have been continually linked with moves for Mbappe and Haaland, though previous reports have claimed Los Blancos would target the former next year.

However, Monday's edition of Diario AS says Madrid are prepared to hold off until 2021 to ensure both players arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu.

ROUND-UP

- The Sunday Times says Juventus are interested in signing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez. The Mexico international is also reportedly wanted by Manchester United.

Barcelona and Juventus have verbally struck a deal on a multi-player transfer, reports Sport. Miralem Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio plus €25million will move to Barca in exchange for Nelson Semedo. However, Sky Sport Italia claims Pjanic will only join Barca if Arthur moves the other way to Juve.

Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli is set to sign a contract renewal, according to Calciomercato. The Italy international defender's current deal is due to expire in 2022.

Liverpool are eyeing Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente, reports La Razon. The 26-year-old is also wanted by Ligue 1's Monaco.

- FC Inter 1908 claims Inter are favourites to sign Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The midfielder has also been linked to Juventus, Manchester City and Barca.

Arsenal are looking at signing Amiens forward Serhou Guirassy, says the Daily Mail. West Ham and Bournemouth are also said to be interested.

- Le10Sport claims Paris Saint-Germain have joined the list of admirers of Lyon's Houssem Aouar, who has also been linked to United, City and Juve.

Sergino Dest is a player in demand. Mundo Deportivo says PSG are also interested in Ajax's 19-year-old United States star. Bayern Munich and Barca have been linked.

Have Barcelona found their new Dani Alves?

According to reports in Spain, the Blagurana have identified Ajax teenager Sergino Dest as the long-term solution to their problematic right-back spot.

Despite his inexperience, it seems the 19-year-old could command a sizeable eight-figure sum.

 

TOP STORY – DEST THE BEST FOR BARCA

Nelson Semedo's proposed move to either Manchester City or Juventus looks set to pave the way for Barca to bring in a highly rated new right-back.

And the Catalan club know exactly what it will take to land their preferred target: €20million.

That is the fee Spanish newspaper Sport suggests will be enough to secure United States defender Dest when the transfer window reopens.

The Dutch-born full-back, who spurned Netherlands' interest in his international future, only recently graduated from Ajax's youth setup, making 15 Eredivisie starts before the coronavirus pandemic curtailed his breakthrough 2019-20 campaign.

 

ROUND-UP

- AC Milan are interested in Freiburg centre-back Robin Koch but the Rossoneri could face competition from Serie A rivals Napoli, claims CalcioMercato.

- Heading across town and Inter appear more interested in attacking reinforcements amid the uncertainty surrounding Lautaro Martinez. La Repubblica suggests the Nerazzurri are on the cusp of agreeing personal terms with Napoli forward Dries Mertens, who will become a free agent on June 30.

- Is a transfer battle brewing in Manchester? The Sun claims City boss Pep Guardiola wants to beat crosstown rivals United to Argentine attacking midfielder Thiago Almada, the promising Velez product said to be viewed as the successor to David Silva.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United could encounter more transfer frustration if Aston Villa continue to stand firm over their Jack Grealish valuation. According to the Mirror, relegation-threatened Villa are not prepared to budge on their £80m asking price.

- Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain could move for experienced former Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy, now of Saint-Etienne, to replace the out-of-contract Thomas Meunier, reports Le10Sport.

Liverpool being denied a first Premier League title by the coronavirus pandemic would be "extremely harsh", according to former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Jurgen Klopp's men had opened up a 25-point lead on closest challengers Manchester City when the season was brought to a halt by COVID-19 in March.

The Reds require just two more victories from their remaining nine matches to seal top spot, but it remains to be seen if the campaign will be played out in full.

Some nations have already confirmed an end to their top-flight campaigns, including the Netherlands, where Van der Sar serves as CEO for Eredivisie giants Ajax.

Despite leading AZ Alkmaar on goal difference, Ajax were not awarded the championship, but Van der Sar expects to see a different outcome if the Premier League season is curtailed.

"In my view, with the type of football they played and the points they are ahead, it would be extremely harsh," he told CNN Sport.

"The Premier League is a well-run league and of course there are big interests on the financial side, the commercial sides.

"But I'm sure they will make a wise decision if they keep on playing or if the league stops, what the results will be depending for Champions League places, relegation or awarding a title to Liverpool.

"If the league doesn't resume, I presume everybody will be okay if Liverpool wins the title."

Van der Sar's former club United are down in fifth and 37 points behind the runaway leaders, despite an upturn in form prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

Despite the big gap to bitter rivals Liverpool, the iconic keeper believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side can challenge for the title next term by investing wisely in their squad.

"The honeymoon period [under Solskjaer] was great. Then they hit a rocky patch and I think the last seven, eight, nine weeks, they've been playing better football," he said.

"The points were coming in. They had some good results against good teams also. Of course, for them, I hope that the league is going to resume because they probably will need those Champions League places.

"I think the main thing for them is to focus on the next season and hopefully, with two or three additions, they'll be competitive again to Liverpool and Manchester City."

Questions remain over the future of Paul Pogba ahead of the next transfer window, but, in the view of Van der Sar, United already boast a talented spine.

"Maybe they can solve what's going to happen with Paul, is he going to stay?" he said.

"I'm sure that with [David] de Gea, with [Harry] Maguire, with [Bruno] Fernandes, with [Marcus] Rashford, with [Anthony] Martial, they have a good line, I think, in the middle.

"And besides that, they've also a lot of young players developing as always at United. So in that way I'm positive for next season for them."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and the Gabon international is no closer to signing a new Arsenal deal.

The former Borussia Dortmund star is not short of suitors amid uncertainty over his future in London.

And Real Madrid are reportedly making their move.

 

T OP STORY – MADRID TELL ARSENAL TO DECIDE OVER AUBA

Real Madrid have set Arsenal a deadline as they look to sign star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to The Mirror.

Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and the Gabon international has been tipped to leave Arsenal.

Madrid reportedly want Arsenal to make a decision on Aubameyang's future by June 15 as the likes of Inter and Paris Saint-Germain also circle.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Barcelona are on the brink of signing Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The LaLiga giants are close to agreeing a four-year deal with the Bosnia-Herzegovina international.

- Pjanic had been mentioned in a possible swap deal with Barca's Arthur, who has previously dismissed an exit. However, Tuttosport claims Juventus have not given up on signing Arthur.

- Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick is set to become head coach of Milan, reports Calciomercato.

- The Express says Manchester United have identified Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as a top transfer target. Van de Beek has also been linked to Madrid and Juve.

Madrid want Casemiro to continue at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Mundo Deportivo reports the futures of captain Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez are up in the air.

- According to The Sun, Borussia Dortmund want to sign Chelsea teenager Charlie Webster.

Inter have set their sights on Freiburg centre-back Robin Koch, reports Tuttomercatoweb. Koch has also been linked to Napoli and Benfica.

United are keeping tabs on Swansea City defender Joe Rodon, says The Mirror. The Red Devils have already raided Swansea previously, signing Welshman Daniel James ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Gustavo Poyet thinks it was bizarre for Chelsea to make no January signings and then announce a deal for Hakim Ziyech days later.

Frank Lampard's side confirmed in February that Ajax star Ziyech would be moving to Stamford Bridge after the 2019-20 season for a fee that could reach €44million.

While Poyet believes the Morocco star could prove an exciting addition to the Premier League, the former Chelsea midfielder could not understand why the move was announced so soon after the club failed to make any signings during the transfer window.

A transfer embargo prevented Chelsea from bringing in fresh faces before the start of the season but, despite Lampard stressing the need for reinforcements, no new players were signed once the ban was lifted at the start of January.

When asked for his opinion on Ziyech, Poyet, who spent four years with Chelsea and won the FA Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup, told Stats Perform: "A very good player, very interesting player."

He continued: "I didn't understand – and I'm not criticising anyone – why Chelsea, after all that went on in the summer, not being able to sign players, get to January with the possibility of signing players, they didn't, and then three days later, four days later, they announce they sign a player for next year. It's not normal, okay?

"I'm not saying it's bad, but I lost it a little bit because you complain a lot about not being able to buy, then you have the chance to buy and you don't, and then when the transfer window is closed you announce that you bought one.

"Leaving that aside, I think they got the quality of a player the fans will enjoy watching. Obviously, there's going to be a period of adaptation, and it all depends on where you came from, your character, and how they can perform, but if he adapts himself to the strength and power of the Premier League, I think he's going to be a player you're going to go and enjoy watching play.

"Plenty of skill, technically gifted, can score goals, and he can produce things for the team."

Former Italy and Milan centre-back Franco Baresi, widely regarded as one of the finest defenders of all time, celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday.

As well as being an imperious performer at the heart of one of the best backlines European football has ever seen alongside Mauro Tassotti, Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini, Baresi was also a celebrated leader.

Of the six Serie A titles he won during a Milan career spanning three decades, five came as captain.

The Rossoneri's exploits on the European stage under Arrigo Sacchi and then Fabio Capello were also exceptional.

During a spell of seven years, Milan led by Baresi reached five finals in the European Cup and Champions League, winning three. Here we look back at how those showpieces unfolded.

 

1989 – MILAN 4-0 STEAUA BUCHAREST

Twenty years on from their second, Milan had a third European title courtesy of their Dutch masters at Camp Nou.

Close-range finishes from Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten established a 2-0 lead inside half an hour. A wonderful touch and strike from the edge of the box by Gullit made it 3-0 before the interval, and Van Basten latched on to a measured throughball from Frank Rijkaard to complete the rout shortly after half-time.

1990 – MILAN 1-0 BENFICA

It was a case of roles reversed as Sacchi's men found the going tougher a year later in Vienna, with Van Basten's cute pass releasing Rijkaard to score the decisive goal in the 68th minute.

Baresi and his defensive colleagues saw out the win with another clean sheet, with Milan the last team to manage back-to-back triumphs in the Europe's top competition until Real Madrid embarked on their run of three in a row between 2016 and 2018.

1993 – MARSEILLE 1-0 MILAN

In a far less memorable final moment for Rijkaard, Basil Boli rose above him to glance in a 43rd-minute corner at Munich's Olympiastadion.

Milan, now under Capello, won Serie A that season only losing twice, having gone a top-flight season unbeaten in 1991-92. But they were unable to find a response in the final of the newly rebranded Champions League.

1994 – MILAN 4-0 BARCELONA

Without the suspended Baresi and Costacurta, while also having to omit Florin Raducioiu, Jean-Pierre Papin and Brian Laudrup due to the three non-nations rule in UEFA competitions at that time, few gave Milan a chance against Johan Cruyff's star-studded Barcelona. Van Basten and record signing Gigi Lentini were also nursing serious injuries.

However, Daniele Massaro snaffled a first-half brace before the mercurial Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly scored magnificent goals to complete a thrashing that marked the end of the road for Barca's fabled Dream Team.

1995 – AJAX 1-0 MILAN

As the previous year's final showed, all dynasties must come to an end at some point. And in Baresi's last Champions League final, Louis van Gaal's vibrant young Ajax side pinched glory.

Teenager Patrick Kluivert came off the bench to net the winner five minutes from time, giving Rijkaard – an experienced head among the young stars – glory at the expense of his former employers.

One could argue Manchester United have still not recovered from the departure of the great Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson quit after leading United to the 2012-13 Premier League title, the 13th of his reign and their 20th in total. He won the Champions League twice, too.

United have toiled in the intervening years, unable to replace one of sport's all-time finest leaders.

The announcement of Ferguson's exit came on May 8, 2013, allowing us to reflect on that news among other notable sporting events on this day.
 

2004 - Controversy as Marquez makes recovery

Few boxers are able to recover from the sort of first-round barrage Manny Pacquiao inflicted upon Juan Manuel Marquez in their 2004 featherweight title fight.

And, as it turned out, Marquez should not have been able to either.

The Mexican was sent to the canvas three times before the first round was up and, although he subsequently outboxed Pacquiao, Marquez would have narrowly lost but for a scoring error.

Burt Clements judged the bout 113-113, prompting a draw as Guy Jutras and John Stewart went 115-110 each way. But Clements scored the opening round 10-7 to Pacquiao, rather than 10-6, and later acknowledged: "I screwed up."

Pacquiao had to wait almost four years to defeat Marquez - again by split decision - before another disputed verdict went in his favour in 2011. A year later in their fourth encounter, Marquez took the judges out of the equation with a brutal sixth-round knockout of his great rival.
 

2013 - Ferguson leaves a champion

Having suffered final-day pain at the hands of rivals Manchester City in 2011-12, Ferguson made sure to bow out on a high with the 2012-13 Premier League crown.

After 26 years at the helm, the Scot confirmed his departure on May 8 - this time not backtracking on this decision as he had in 2001.

David Moyes and Jose Mourinho were among the early favourites to replace Ferguson, with the former appointed on the outgoing manager's recommendation.

Moyes' stint was short and unsuccessful, though, and neither Louis van Gaal, Mourinho nor now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been able to add to United's tally of 20 top-flight championships.
 

2014 - Beckham and Donald arrive in NFL

It is six years since some of the most prominent names in the NFL were drafted, with Odell Beckham Jr and Aaron Donald both selected in 2014.

Beckham went to the New York Giants with the 12th pick, establishing himself as a star at wide receiver before moving on to the Cleveland Browns last year.

Donald is now a two-time Defensive Player of the Year but then followed one pick after Beckham, going to the St Louis Rams. Khalil Mack was another standout at number five.

But the first overall pick was used by the Houston Texans to secure Jadeveon Clowney. Traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, the defensive end is now a free agent looking to put persistent injury troubles behind him.
 

2019 - Another Champions League classic

Just 24 hours after Liverpool stunned Barcelona with a 4-3 aggregate semi-final win, the 2018-19 Champions League was at it again.

Tottenham looked down and out when Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech netted for Ajax to add to their 1-0 first-leg lead, with Mauricio Pochettino's men needing three goals in Amsterdam.

However, Lucas Moura netted twice in the space of five second-half minutes, and Spurs kept pushing deep into stoppage time.

With 96 minutes on the clock, Moura struck once more to seal his hat-trick and Tottenham's place alongside Liverpool in the final, leaving a previously inspired young Ajax side bruised and beaten on the turf.

The Champions League delivered drama in droves last season.

With the 2019-20 competition on hold for now, it is the perfect opportunity to remember just how crazy Europe's premier competition became 12 months ago.

In a run of games from early March to early May, the Champions League churned out a succession of classic contests that will live long in the memory.

Here we look back at three months where Europe's grown-up football tournament started behaving like a devil-may-care teenager and was all the better for it.

March 5, 2019: Real Madrid 1 Ajax 4 (3-5 agg)

Ajax's team of fearless young stars produced one of the great Champions League campaigns.

Despite their impressive display in a 2-1 first-leg defeat, nobody really seemed to think Erik ten Hag's side could turn things around in the last 16 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Sergio Ramos certainly did not – he earned a booking to avoid the risk of a quarter-final ban, earning an extra game suspension from UEFA in the process.

In the absence of their captain, Madrid completely capitulated to their fearless and thrilling opponents.

Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put the visitors 2-0 up after only 18 minutes and it was 3-0 just after the hour mark thanks to the inspired Dusan Tadic.

Marco Asensio got a goal back, but Lasse Schone's free-kick beat Thibaut Courtois and sent Madrid crashing out. It was the first time they had ever been knocked out after winning the first leg of a Champions League tie.

March 6, 2019: Paris Saint-Germain 1 Manchester United 3 (3-3 agg, United won on away goals)

A day on from Ajax's thrashing of Madrid, Manchester United made history at the Parc des Princes.

No side had ever won a knockout tie after trailing 2-0 from a first leg at home and with 10 senior players missing, including the banned Paul Pogba, United's chances looked slim.

Romelu Lukaku scored just two minutes in, though, and despite Juan Bernat's equaliser on the night, Lukaku struck again after a Gianluigi Buffon error to make it 2-1.

As the game crept towards second-half injury time, Diogo Dalot's shot struck Presnel Kimpembe's arm and the referee awarded a penalty after a lengthy VAR review. Marcus Rashford scored it, United progressed, and the clamour for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be given the permanent manager's job grew louder.

April 17, 2019: Manchester City 4 Tottenham 3 (4-4 agg, Spurs win on away goals)

Tottenham scored through Son Heung-min in a tense, frenetic first leg. Crucially, as it turned out, City did not. They were not about to make the same mistake as Raheem Sterling thrashed an early opener past Hugo Lloris at the Eithad Stadium.

Son responded with two superb finishes of his own, leaving Pep Guardiola's side with a mountain to climb. They duly began to scale it. Bernardo Silva scored, Sterling scored again. There had only been 21 minutes played.

Something faintly resembling a normal football match broke out and Sergio Aguero finished emphatically to give City the lead in the tie for the first time in the 59th minute.

In a sight Ajax are now familiar with, Spurs looked spent until Fernando Llorente bundled them back into the lead on away goals. That advantage ultimately remained, but only after Sterling thought he had completed his hat-trick. Bedlam ensued until VAR showed Aguero was fractionally offside during the build-up.

May 7, 2019: Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0 (4-3 agg)

Fresh from netting a late winner at Newcastle United the weekend before, Divock Origi allowed the Liverpool faithful to dream by poaching his maiden Champions League goal in the seventh minute. Still, overturning the 3-0 advantage Barca had brought to Merseyside looked a tall order.

Jurgen Klopp needed Alisson to be on form as he saved from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, before another unlikely hero emerged.

Andy Robertson's injury forced James Milner to left-back and Georginio Wijnaldum into the fray at half-time. By the hour, the Dutch midfielder had Liverpool level thanks to two goals in 122 delirious seconds.

Origi had the final word thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold's quick thinking from a 79th-minute corner, leaving Barcelona and Messi crestfallen.

May 8, Ajax 2 Tottenham 3 (3-3 agg, Spurs win on away goals)

As they did at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Ajax made a smooth start and led through their inspirational captain Matthijs de Ligt in the fifth minute.

Ziyech emphatically made it 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate, but Lucas changed the complexion of the contest as he was supported by Dele Alli's intelligent running from midfield and Llorente's robust accompaniment in attack.

Ziyech hit the post and Spurs centre-back Jan Vertonghen hit the bar. Amsterdam held its breath and Lucas proved to be the coolest man in the stadium in the 96th minute, sending his side through to face Liverpool in Madrid, where the Reds ultimately prevailed.

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag wants his players to "feel like professional footballers again" after they returned to training on Wednesday.

The Eredivisie season ended last week due to the coronavirus pandemic with no champions declared, Ajax and AZ having sat level on points at the top with nine games to go.

Despite the season being over, Ajax have returned to training in small groups as they begin the process of getting ready for the 2020-21 campaign.

Players worked in small position groups overseen by separate coaches.

"We thought about the ideal way to get back to training and we've combined players based on their positions," Ten Hag told Ajax Media.

"This is just how we are starting out. We've grouped these particular players, so we can work on some position-specific things. We hope to get their technical levels up again and stimulate them once again. 

"That's how we will do it from now on, and we will make sure that they keep busy at home too. 

"We need them to keep their focus and we need to make them feel like professional footballers again. It's important they keep that mindset."

Ten Hag acknowledged it was strange to start seeing colleagues in person after a prolonged period in lockdown.

"It's nice [to be back], we've been 'out of order' for such a long time, everybody sat at home in their own surroundings," he added.

"Even though we have to take some measures, we can start training again. You see that everybody is very enthusiastic. 

"It's been such a strange situation, not just for us, but for the entire society. All of a sudden, you don't see each other anymore. 

"Luckily, we still kept in touch: there's a lot of technology that helped us, but to see each other in the flesh again, that's just really great.

"We are hoping we can start playing football again in September. Of course, we're all living in uncertainty and nobody knows for sure if we can start playing again at that time. 

"The players have trained individually almost every day. Now the next step: training in small groups with the ball. You can see they are really happy to play with the ball again. It's been a while.

"This is just a small start but we have returned to the pitch, which makes us all very happy. It's just a start, however it's nice to have a bit of a look to the future."

Andre Onana confirmed he wanted to leave Ajax, saying he was ready "to take a step" amid links with a move to Barcelona.

Onana, 24, has starred during the past four seasons with the Eredivisie giants, where he arrived from Barca in 2015.

The Cameroon goalkeeper has attracted interest from across Europe, with Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham among the clubs linked with a move for the shot-stopper.

Onana, who is contracted at Ajax until 2022, said he was ready to make a move.

"Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with Ajax and I am very grateful to the club," he told AD on Tuesday.

"It was five great years here, but now my time has come to take a step. We made that appointment last year.

"I don't yet know what will happen, but my ambitions and agreements are clear."

Matthijs de Ligt's decision to join Juventus rather than a club like Barcelona or Manchester City took his former youth team coach Ronald de Boer by surprise.

De Ligt came through Ajax's famed academy and enjoyed a rise to prominence at a very young age, earning a promotion to the first-team squad soon after his 17th birthday.

He then became the club's youngest captain as an 18-year-old and last season played a pivotal role in Ajax's journey to the semi-finals of the Champions League, before they were eventually eliminated in dramatic fashion by Tottenham.

An impressive physical specimen but also technically gifted for a centre-back, De Ligt appeared to have a litany of clubs vying for his signature last year, with Barca – who signed his Ajax team-mate Frenkie de Jong – seemingly the ideal fit.

But Juve made their move to inject developing talent into their aging backline, and De Boer concedes Turin was not the destination he had in mind for De Ligt.

"Clubs closest to the Ajax system like, Man City and Barcelona were interested," De Boer told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It would have been easier to adapt. I thought he would have made a different choice, but I respect the decision very much."

Despite making a choice that might have taken De Ligt out of his comfort zone, De Boer remains confident he will be an era-defining defender.

"I was working in the academy of Ajax, I immediately liked his character: serious, intelligent, kind, he never complains, he works hard and learns," De Boer said

"And then he always had the skills of the great defender. He understood where the danger was coming... I remember him at under-14 level, when he returned from the following year 30 centimetres taller. He will be one of the best of this era, sure."

Federico Chiesa is a player in demand.

While Fiorentina would prefer to keep Chiesa, the Viola could cash-in on the Italy star.

Europe's elite from England and Italy are reportedly chasing Chiesa.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BATTLE FOR CHIESA

Manchester United are among the clubs trying to sign Fiorentina attacker Federico Chiesa, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

United, Premier League rivals Chelsea and Serie A duo Juventus and Inter are vying for Chiesa's signature.

The 22-year-old has also reportedly been offered a new bumper contract by Fiorentina.

 

ROUND-UP

- A reunion with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic? Luka Jovic has struggled since swapping Eintracht for Real Madrid at the start of the season. Calciomercato claims Milan are interested in bringing Jovic to San Siro, where Rebic is on loan and reportedly set to make the move permanent. It comes amid doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future.

- RMC Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who has been linked to Arsenal.

Barcelona have made an approach to Ajax for goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to De Telegraaf. Onana spent five years in Barca's youth system before leaving in 2015 but the Cameroon international has been linked with a return. LaLiga champions Barca have reportedly offered Neto, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado or Carles Alena in a possible deal for Onana.

Donny van de Beek is free to choose his next step following the cancellation of the Eredivisie season. Mundo Deportivo reports the Ajax star is still being targeted by Madrid, while United and Juve are also monitoring the Netherlands international.

- According to The Sun, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could be sold as part of a massive squad overhaul. The England international has been linked to Chelsea.

RB Leipzig are facing a difficult decision regarding star defender Dayot Upamecano, says BildThe centre-back has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Barca and Bayern Munich but the coronavirus crisis is set to impact the transfer market and fees.

Neymar appears likely to remain at Paris Saint-Germain for another season, while Newcastle United have big plans.

Linked again with a return to Barcelona, Neymar could yet stay in Paris, where he is contracted 2022.

Meanwhile, Newcastle – reportedly on the verge of being taken over – are considering some big names.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SET FOR PSG STAY AMID BARCELONA LINKS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and troubles at Barcelona, Neymar looks set to stay at PSG for another season, according to Marca.

It also reported that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is struggling to find the financial formula to sign the Brazil forward.

Neymar only arrived at PSG from Barca in a world-record €222million move in 2017.

ROUND-UP

- Newcastle could have money to spend if their proposed takeover goes through. Mundo Deportivo reports the club are looking at Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho, who it says is also a target for Everton. Foot Mercato claims Newcastle are eyeing PSG striker Edinson Cavani, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Real Betis forward Nabil Fekir.

- Like they are struggling with Neymar, Barcelona are battling to find a deal for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez, according to Sky Sport Italia, which says the LaLiga side are struggling to meet the Argentina international's €111m release clause.

- Paul Pogba's future remains a talking point. Tuttosport says Manchester United are open to an exchange deal with Juventus, with Aaron Ramsey and Douglas Costa among the players linked with a move to Old Trafford.

- Barcelona are still a long way off reaching an agreement with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to Sport. Ter Stegen is contracted at Barca until 2022. Meanwhile, Sport reports Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is prioritising a move to Barcelona if he leaves the Eredivisie giants.

- Perhaps Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal after all. Sport reports the forward, whose deal ends in 2021, will renew with the Premier League club. Staying at Arsenal and the Daily Express says Arsenal are considering a move for Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele.

- A youth product who has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, Sergi Roberto has gone from untouchable to transferable, according to Marca.

Saturday should have seen Barcelona host Atletico Madrid in LaLiga and pit Antoine Griezmann against his old club once more.

Griezmann left Atleti for Camp Nou in the second most expensive transfer of the previous close season, his €120million move eclipsed only by Joao Felix, the man bought to replace him.

Neither player has exactly enjoyed a resoundingly triumphant season, which is an affliction to hit many of the top 10 most expensive transfers of 2019.

We look at each of those players and whether their signings have, until now, been a hit or a miss...

 

JOAO FELIX: Benfica to Atletico Madrid (€126m)

Benfica and Portugal's golden boy scored in pre-season victories over Juventus and Real Madrid to give Atleti fans reason to believe the post-Griezmann future was bright.

However, just six goals in 28 competitive appearances later, doubts have been growing as to whether the 20-year-old forward will ever truly suit Diego Simeone's system.

VERDICT: MISS

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN: Atletico Madrid to Barcelona (€120m)

Griezmann vowed to stay at Atletico in 2018 only to change his mind a year later, and his performances for Barca are in keeping with a man not quite at ease in his surroundings.

Only Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez better his goal involvements for the Blaugrana in LaLiga this term (eight goals and four assists), while he is second only to Messi for chances created (26), but fans were entitled to expect more from the club's latest mega-money forward.

VERDICT: MISS

EDEN HAZARD: Chelsea to Real Madrid (€100m)

Chelsea fans feared the worst when their star man was lost during a transfer embargo, but things have hardly gone swimmingly for Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Injury problems have restricted him to just nine starts and a solitary goal and assist in LaLiga. He has also only created 14 chances, as many as James Rodriguez (who has started just four league games) and Lucas Vazquez (who has started six).

VERDICT: MISS

HARRY MAGUIRE: Leicester City to Manchester United (€87m)

The world's most expensive central defender might not be thought of as the world's best, but that should not detract from his impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

He leads the way for duels won, aerial duels won, blocks and interceptions among United defenders in the Premier League this season, helping them to eight clean sheets. Oh, and he's already been made club captain.

VERDICT: HIT

MATTHIJS DE LIGT: Ajax to Juventus (€85m)

The most coveted centre-back of the window after Ajax's remarkable Champions League run, De Ligt delivered a dreadful performance on his Juventus debut in a 4-3 win over Napoli.

He has won the most aerial duels and has the pass success rate of any Juve defender to feature more than five times in Serie A this term, but there are already doubts about his long-term suitability to Maurizio Sarri's side.

VERDICT: MISS

LUCAS HERNANDEZ: Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich (€80m)

Bayern smashed their transfer record to sign defender Hernandez, but injuries have made it difficult to assess whether the money will prove to be well-spent.

A knee problem in September was followed by a serious ankle injury that kept him out for nearly four months, meaning he has started only nine games in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions.

VERDICT: MISS

NICOLAS PEPE: Lille to Arsenal (€80m)

Pepe was something of a symbol of Unai Emery's problematic final few weeks in charge as he struggled badly to find form for the Gunners.

He has certainly shown signs of improvement in 2020 – only Mesut Ozil (38) has created more chances in the league than Pepe (34) for Arsenal – but fans will have hoped for more from their record signing.

VERDICT: MISS

FRENKIE DE JONG: Ajax to Barcelona (€75m)

Another Ajax star who became coveted by clubs across Europe last year, De Jong opted for Barca and immediately became a regular in midfield.

He has not quite adapted to life in LaLiga - Ernesto Valverde's exit and Quique Setien's arrival as coach did not help - but, in turbulent times for the club, he looks to be a safe bet as the beating heart of Barca for years to come: he had created more chances (24) than any other Barca midfielder this term and only Sergio Busquets has more recoveries and interceptions.

VERDICT: HIT

RODRI: Atletico Madrid to Manchester City (€70m)

Manchester City's record signing has proved a smart bit of a business given midfield-anchor supreme Fernandinho has spent much of this season in defence.

Rodri has attempted more passes (1,996), recorded a better passing accuracy (92 per cent) and more recoveries (181) than any other City midfielder in 2019-20. He looks very much at home in Pep Guardiola's system.

VERDICT: HIT

ROMELU LUKAKU: Manchester United to Inter (€65m)

Lukaku's move to Inter seems to have been that rarity in modern-day transfers: a deal that has worked out well for everyone concerned.

United's attack is taking the more fluid shape Solskjaer wants, Antonio Conte at last got the forward he tried to bring to Juventus and Chelsea, and Lukaku has looked in the form of his career, with 17 goals and two assists in Serie A as part of a fearsome partnership with Lautaro Martinez.

VERDICT: HIT

Hakim Ziyech slammed the decision not to crown Ajax as Eredivisie champions as "b*******" after the season was ended.

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced on Friday its intention not to continue with the campaign, with no champions, relegation or promotion.

Ajax were top of the table on goal difference ahead of AZ when the season was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ziyech, who is moving to Chelsea next season, was unhappy with the decision not to award Ajax a 35th Eredivisie title.

"Come on, what nonsense I have heard. We are at the top anyway," he told AD.

"All those stories that AZ deserved more because they won twice against us. So the goal difference, as it always is, doesn't count now? B*******, of course. How did PSV become champion in 2007? Exactly, on one goal.

"That we are not official champions, well, of course I would also have preferred to have won that on the field, but if you have to choose one club as champion then that would be Ajax to me."

Ajax suffered five Eredivisie losses this season, with two of those coming against AZ.

Dusan Tadic, the captain of the Dutch giants, felt like he had been denied a trophy.

"It is what you agree on. The goal difference would count in a tie," he said.

"If you had agreed that the head-to-head result would count then AZ would have been the champion for me.

"I am a pro and want to win every trophy. That's what I do it for. Now I have lost a prize, that's how it feels."

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