Mario Balotelli looks to have no hope of a move to Besiktas after club president Ahmet Nur Cebi said the Italian is not wanted by coach Sergen Yalcin.

The Turkish Super Lig giants were reported to have offered Balotelli a lucrative contract, with the striker likely to be on the move again after a turbulent first season with Brescia.

Brescia president Massimo Cellino revealed in May he expected Balotelli to leave his hometown club at the end of the season as the 30-year-old "no longer has his head with us".

Cellino's comments came following reports the former Italy frontman failed to attend training, claims which were denied by Balotellli before Brescia suffered relegation from Serie A.

Cebi suggested Balotelli's name cropped up when transfer targets were discussed, but Yalcin does not want to take the former Manchester City man to Istanbul.

Cebi, quoted widely by Turkish media, said: "Sergen Yalcin does not consider Mario Balotelli as one of his options for the striker position. He told me that.

"Executives usually have initial talks with players and listen to them. This doesn't mean that a move is bound to happen.

"We will make the signings Sergen Yalcin has asked of us but, I want to put it frankly, we will not compromise our financial situation."

As well as Cellino's criticism of Balotelli, the Italy international was reported to have clashed with former head coach Fabio Grosso at Brescia's training ground in November.

He was given permission to leave the club in January, only to stay put before the coronavirus pandemic caused the suspension of the season in March.

Celtic have confirmed the signing of striker Albian Ajeti from West Ham on a four-year contract.

The 23-year-old signed for West Ham from Basel in 2019 but managed just nine Premier League appearances last term – none of which were starts.

Ajeti has now left London Stadium without a goal to his name in any competition, with the Switzerland international joining Scottish champions Celtic.

Although the fee is undisclosed, media reports suggest it is £4.5million, almost half what West Ham paid for him a year ago.

He links up with his former Basel team-mate Mohamed Elyounoussi, who is spending a second season loan at Celtic from Southampton.

"We are delighted to bring Albian to Celtic. He is a tremendous player, an international with real quality and I know he is really determined to do all he can to bring more success to our supporters," Neil Lennon said.

"I have admired him for long time as he is a really intelligent footballer, well balanced and a really good finisher. We are so pleased to make him a Celtic player and we hope he has a long and prosperous career with us."

Arsenal must promise Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang they will sign world-class players if they want to convince him to say, says Robin van Persie.

Prolific attacker Aubameyang is in the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium and was unwilling to comment on his future after a match-winning double in the FA Cup final against Chelsea on August 2.

The club captain had been linked with a move away but is reportedly willing to extend his stay in north London following Mikel Arteta's appointment as head coach.

An agreement is yet to be reached and former Arsenal striker Van Persie says the club must convince Aubameyang they will build a squad capable of challenge for Premier League and Champions League glory.

Van Persie told Stats Perform News: "Arsenal would like for him to stay, he hasn't really come out yet with his opinion. He got asked the question after the FA Cup final and he didn't answer so I don't know.

"I don't know what he thinks, I don't know what Arsenal have offered him and I'm not really talking about money, I'm more talking about players because players like him want to play with world-class players. He is a world-class player in my opinion, and he wants to be surrounded by world-class players.

"And then you have to ask him, and it's up to him, if he thinks that he can win the Premier League at Arsenal. Because winning the FA Cup was very nice but these types of players, and Arsenal Football Club, want to compete for the Premier League and the Champions League. That is the big goal. You want to compete with the best teams that there are.

"I can't really judge from the outside but you have to just put it in place. Arsenal need to make their mind up and Aubameyang as well and find each other or not.

"That's how it is and in the end … part of it now is business and he will calculate that for himself and the club will do as well."

 

Robin van Persie is working with UEFA Europa League partner Enterprise Rent-A-Car. To discover more and to enjoy special rates on car hire across Europe, visit www.enterprise.co.uk

Willian's agent Kia Joorabchian claims he already knows which club the Brazilian will join following his departure from Chelsea, with persistent reports suggesting he is Arsenal-bound.

The 32-year-old winger became a free agent on Sunday when his Chelsea contract expired – the two parties unable to come to an agreement on fresh terms.

Chelsea were reported to have offered him a new two-year deal, but media speculation claims Willian was hoping for an extra 12 months.

The Brazil international had never made a secret of his desire to remain in London regardless of staying at Chelsea, and Arsenal have been linked as a potential destination for many months.

Confirmation of a move to Arsenal is said to be close, as it is even claimed he has undergone a medical, though Joorabchian kept his cards close to his chest when discussing Willian on Thursday.

"He is a free player. He had a fantastic seven years at Chelsea," he said during an appearance on TalkSPORT.

"He has been under various managers, he has won multiple trophies. He had a fantastic relationship with Frank [Lampard] and he respected Frank a lot.

"But like every cycle, I think that particular cycle has come to a moment where it is a good moment to leave.

"At the moment, just for now, I can't say where he is going to go. It won't be long before we announce it. We know where he is going."

Joorabchian's relationship with Arsenal has come under scrutiny particularly in the past year, with the highly influential agent seen in the directors' box at their Emirates Stadium and having played a role in several of their transfer dealings.

Additionally, Joorabchian has also taken to speaking openly about Arsenal's recruitment policies, and he did so again, this time taking aim at former sporting director Sven Mislintat, who left in February 2019.

"People forget about the previous guy, Sven," he said. "He made a bunch of, I don't like to use the word, but, c***-ups with players he brought in at very, very large numbers."

One player Joorabchian insists he is not taking to Arsenal is Joelson Fernandes, however. The young Sporting CP winger has reportedly attracted interest from the Gunners, but the agent dismissed those links.

"He is a young phenomenal talent, but we have never, ever spoken to him about Arsenal," Joorabchian continued.

"I have probably seen 25 articles about him and Arsenal. It is so untrue because Arsenal have never even spoken about him. We haven't even mentioned him to Arsenal."

Blaise Matuidi has completed his move to MLS side Inter Miami on a free transfer from Juventus.

France midfielder Matuidi, who played a key role as Didier Deschamps' team won the 2018 World Cup, left Juve on Wednesday after three years with the Serie A giants.

The 33-year-old, who joined Juve from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, helped the Bianconeri to three successive Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia crown.

Matuidi had another season left to run on his deal with Juve, but the Italian champions agreed to terminate the remainder of his contract.

On Thursday, Miami officially revealed Matuidi as their new player.

"I couldn't be happier to welcome my friend Blaise to Inter Miami. He is an exciting and gifted player and a great person," said Miami co-owner David Beckham, who played alongside Matuidi at PSG.

"To have a World Cup winner of Blaise's quality in our new team is such a proud moment – for us as owners and for our fans.

"For me personally, to have a former team-mate joining our club is very special and I can't wait to welcome him and his beautiful family to south Florida."

Mesut Ozil has confirmed he intends to remain at Arsenal until his contract expires next year.

World Cup winner Ozil was reported to be considering an exit from Emirates Stadium after failing to make an appearance for the Gunners following lockdown.

Arsenal last week announced plans to make 55 staff redundant because of the coronavirus pandemic and are reported to be keen to get Ozil's salary – claimed to be £350,000 per week – off the wage bill.

However, the 31-year-old playmaker insists he will remain at the club and give his all during the coming season.

"My position is clear. I'm here through to the last day of our agreement and I'll give everything I have for this club," Ozil told The Athletic.

"Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger. I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again."

Regarding reports Arsenal were contemplating buying Ozil out of the last year of his contract, he said: "I'll decide when I go, not other people. I didn't sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone."

Ozil's latest deal was a three-and-a-half-year agreement announced in February 2018.

He said: "Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club - the real people, those I've been with for a long time - and I love London, it's my home."

He claims he could have earned "far more money" as a free agent but had agreed to extend his Arsenal contract because of his commitment to the club, saying that head coach Mikel Arteta "knows my quality".

"I'm not going into pre-season thinking, 'Final year, I can chill - I know I don't play'," Ozil added. "These are not easy times for Arsenal and I want to help. I still have a lot to offer and I train as hard as I can, whether I'm in the squad or not."

Jan Oblak will only consider his Atletico Madrid future once their Champions League run is over.

The Slovenian goalkeeper has been touted as a possible target for Chelsea after impressing over six seasons with Atletico.

Ahead of their clash with RB Leipzig on Thursday, Oblak said all his focus was on that quarter-final as Diego Simeone's side attempt to become champions of Europe for the first time.

Winning the Europa League two years ago strengthened Atletico's resolve to go on and win the Champions League, the competition in which they were runners-up in 2013-14 and 2015-16.

"This is not the time for that, now it's Leipzig," he told AS when asked about rumoured Chelsea interest.

"I reflect on the season when the last game is over and hopefully we have three left. Then there will be time to talk. But first, Leipzig. I really want to get through.

"All of us who are here [in Lisbon] deserve it, but I hope our moment has come. It's difficult to think beyond this game, you have to beat Leipzig and then look at other things.

"But I couldn't be happier for me, for the team and for all at Atletico if we win this Champions League."

Atletico's preparations for the game have been disrupted by the positive COVID-19 tests of two players, forward Angel Correa and defender Sime Vrsaljko.

Oblak said everyone had been "a bit stressed by the tests", adding it was "a shame" that Correa and Vrsaljko had to stay behind in Madrid.

"I have not spoken much with them, but I have messaged them and they are fine, they do not have any symptoms or any problems," Oblak said.

The Atletico keeper may be privately glad that Leipzig will be without Timo Werner, the striker who has moved on to Chelsea.

But he was not willing to say as much, instead suggesting the Bundesliga outfit can find ways to compensate for the loss of the former attacking spearhead.

"Leipzig with and without Werner are a slightly different team, but they are neither better nor worse," Oblak said. "They have many options, a lot of quality and this year throughout the season they have shown it in the German league and in the Champions League."

Liverpool look set to have some major competition in their bid to sign Thiago Alcantara.

Out of contract at Bayern Munich next year, Thiago has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League champions.

However, two big-spending European giants are reportedly joining the race for the midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY, PSG EYE LIVERPOOL TARGET THIAGO

Manchester City and PSG are interested in reported Liverpool target Thiago, according to Le 10 Sport.

Sport Bild says Liverpool are prepared to pay £27.1million (€30m) for the midfielder, an offer which could be enough for Bayern.

However, it also reports the champions are worried a club like City may trump their bid.

ROUND-UP

- While it looks like Jadon Sancho may remain at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United are not giving up on the star attacker. The Mirror reports the Premier League club have put other moves on hold as they chase Sancho.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Paul Pogba's future is yet to be sorted. Sky Sports reports the midfielder, who is contracted until 2021 with the club holding an option to extend it for a further year, is expecting talks over a new deal after United's Europa League campaign ends.

- After crashing out of the Champions League in the last 16, Real Madrid have been expected to strengthen. However, Marca reports Madrid have told players there will be no new signings.

- With Ismaila Sarr linked to Liverpool, Watford are seemingly holding firm. The Evening Standard reports Watford are demanding £40m for Sarr, who has also been linked to Wolves and Crystal Palace.

- Arsenal and Roma could be close to a swap deal. Nicolo Schira reports the clubs are in advanced talks about a deal that would send Lucas Torreira to the Serie A club and Amadou Diawara to Arsenal.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will stay at Paris Saint-Germain, according to president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

The stars helped PSG to an incredible come-from-behind 2-1 win over Atalanta in the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Contracted at PSG until 2022, Neymar and Mbappe have both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions.

However, Al-Khelaifi said the pair would stay at PSG as he lauded their class.

"Ney, with Kylian, he's one of the best players in the world. He's in the top three," he told RMC Sport, via L'Equipe.

"Ney was the man of the match [against Atalanta]. He had a great match. He and Kylian are not going to leave. They are going to stay."

Behind to a Mario Pasalic goal, PSG left it late to overcome Atalanta, Marquinhos equalising in the 90th minute before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting netted the winner three minutes later.

Al-Khelaifi was proud of PSG, who are aiming to win their first Champions League title and face either RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage.

"It's a very special day for us, it's magnificent. It's something special, we need that to change mentalities," he said. 

"I am very proud, I thank the players, the staff. It was not easy after stopping the Championship [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. 

"We showed a great mentality, great players. I am very happy. 

"This is the first time that we have reached the semi-finals [since Qatar Sports Investments took over in 2011]. It's historic."

Ismaila Sarr says any player would be interested in playing for Liverpool and wants to join a team challenging for silverware should he leave Watford.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League champions following Watford's relegation to the Championship.

He scored five top-flight goals in the 2019-20 campaign, including a brace in his side's shock 3-0 win over Liverpool in February, and set up four more.

But while the Senegal international is open to a move to Anfield, he is not actively seeking a transfer from Watford during the close season.

"Liverpool are a really great team, everyone would love to play there," he told Senegalese publication Sans Limites.

"They won the Premier League this year and the Champions League last year, but also there are great teams in the English league. 

"Frankly, I have yet to make a choice. If that were to happen, I just wish they are a good team. At the moment, there are only guesses."

He added: "I still have years left on my contract with Watford; another four years.

"If Watford want me to stay, I'll play in the Championship. A departure depends on them as well as me. This is normal.

"Personally, our relegation hurt me a lot. I didn't think we would come to this. I told myself that we had to do everything not to go down to the Championship."

Asked if he would aim for a higher level than Watford if he moves on in the coming weeks, Sarr said: "Yes, of course, everyone who works is looking for advancement. 

"Maybe if Watford frees me one day I could go and play for a bigger team. Go and showcase my talent elsewhere and then win trophies."

Southampton have completed the signing of centre-back Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid for a reported £10.9million (€12m).

The 21-year-old, who made 32 appearances for Valladolid in all competitions in 2019-20, has signed a four-year deal at St Mary's Stadium.

Salisu is Southampton's second signing of the close season following the arrival of Kyle Walker-Peters from Tottenham on Tuesday.

Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid were all linked with the highly rated defender, but he is pleased to have joined Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

"It is a very good feeling to be a Southampton player. I am very happy to be part of the club and I am looking forward to starting here," Salisu said in a Southampton statement.

"Southampton is a club with a very rich history in developing young players, so it is a very good club for me to develop my skills and to learn a lot as a young player.

"I know that the team expects a lot from me and I'm going to try to give all I can to help the team."

Southampton finished 11th in the Premier League last season and are looking to rebuild, having also sold midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to Tottenham for £20m.

Hasenhuttl is pleased with his latest capture and is expecting Salisu to slot straight into the side. 

"This is an important signing for us, Mohammed is a player who fits our profile well," the Austrian said.

"He is young and has a great amount of potential, but he is also someone who has the qualities to come in and help the team as soon as he is up to speed with our way of playing.

"I like what I have seen of him so far in his games with Valladolid. He is strong defensively, is calm with the ball - something that is important in our team - and he has good speed too.

"I think he will fit in well with us and that this will be a good place for him to develop his game further. We have some good centre-backs here and this will be another strong option for us."

Real Sociedad have confirmed midfielder Martin Odegaard has been recalled by Real Madrid ahead of the new LaLiga season.

Odegaard joined Sociedad last year on a deal that ran for two seasons, although the second had to be ratified this year due to Spanish football regulations.

It was reported by ESPN that Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane decided he wanted the player at his disposal for 2020-21 following their Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester City.

Sociedad announced on Wednesday that the Norway star will be heading back to the Santiago Bernabeu after an "unforgettable season" in the Basque country.

"His goals, his football, his character, his effort and his humility have ensured Martin will be remembered with immense affection by all the Real family," the club said in a statement.

Odegaard said he had been "made to feel like just like a player from the youth team" during a hugely encouraging spell with the club.

The 21-year-old was one of the standout performers for La Real during their challenge for a Champions League place, although a poor run of results after the season resumed in June saw them finish sixth in LaLiga.

Odegaard scored four goals and assisted a further six in 31 league appearances in 2019-20.

Zidane is thought to be eager to bolster his midfield options for next term, but Madrid are not expected to make many signings in the off-season due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Blaise Matuidi has left Juventus ahead of an expected move to MLS side Inter Miami.

Matuidi joined Juve from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, with the 2018 World Cup winner going on to help the Turin giants to three successive Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia triumph.

The French midfielder had another season left to run on his deal with Juve, but the Italian champions have agreed to terminate the remainder of his contract in order for the 33-year-old to join Miami on a free contract.

Matuidi made over 130 appearances for Juve, scoring eight goals.

"With our colours on his back, he fought and played his heart out in every single game; placing constant pressure on the opponents, tearing apart the run of play and ever so eloquently relaunching the ball into action," Juve said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Blaise is someone who will always be in our hearts and we wish him all the very best for the future."

Miami, part-owned by Matuidi's former PSG team-mate Beckham, have lost all of their competitive fixtures so far this season. 

Dani Parejo has joined Villarreal on a four-year contract, leaving rivals Valencia where he was captain.

The transfer became the second between the two clubs to go through on Wednesday, with Parejo following Francis Coquelin to El Madrigal - reportedly for a cut-price combined fee of just €13million.

Valencia have already sold Ferran Torres to Manchester City in recent weeks and pressure appears to be building on owner Peter Lim.

Club great Santiago Canizares questioned "the sale of your two best midfielders", with new head coach Javi Gracia yet to take charge of a competitive fixture.

Parejo played 383 times for Valencia since signing from Getafe in 2011 and had spoken of wanting to retire at the club despite reports of his looming departure.

However, Torres, following his move to City, said Parejo "wasn't a good captain with me".

"He's a great player but I never had a relationship with him," winger Torres said of the 31-year-old.

Valencia released a short statement as Parejo's departure was confirmed, thanking the player for "all his effort and commitment", echoing the response to Coquelin's move.

Villarreal have completed the signing of Francis Coquelin from rivals Valencia, with Dani Parejo seemingly set to follow.

Former Arsenal midfielder Coquelin has signed a four-year deal with Villarreal, having spent two and a half seasons with Valencia, winning the 2018-19 Copa del Rey.

It is anticipated Parejo, the Valencia skipper, will join his team-mate in making the short trip to El Madrigal.

Parejo had previously spoken of retiring at Valencia but was subsequently criticised by new Manchester City signing Ferran Torres.

Page 1 of 112
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.