Milan have completed the signing of French defender Pierre Kalulu on a five-year deal. 

The 20-year-old was a free agent after letting his contract run down at Lyon, where he did not feature for the first team. 

Kalulu reportedly recently underwent his medical with the Rossoneri, who confirmed the right-back's arrival via a short statement on Wednesday. 

"AC Milan announces the signing of Pierre Kalulu, on a permanent transfer," it read. 

"The contract of the French player expires on June 30, 2025." 

The France Under-20 international featured 16 times for Lyon in the UEFA Youth League over the past two seasons.

Alexis Sanchez will officially become an Inter player on a permanent basis on Thursday, according to the club's chief executive Giuseppe Marotta.

Sanchez has spent 2019-20 on loan at Inter from Manchester United, scoring four goals and providing eight assists across 22 Serie A appearances as Antonio Conte's side finished second behind Juventus.

Reports emerged this week suggesting United would terminate the Chilean's contract at Old Trafford, which was believed to be worth £500,000 per week.

These claims were confirmed on Wednesday, with Marotta revealing the 31-year-old had agreed a three-year deal with Inter.

"Unofficially - we'll make it official tomorrow morning - the player is entirely owned by Inter," he told Sky Italia ahead of Inter's Europa League clash with Getafe in Germany.

"We have a contract with him for three seasons. We believe in him, that he can be a strong part of this squad, and are happy to have concluded this deal."

Sanchez was named on the bench against Getafe for what had been set to be the final match of his loan spell.

The forward has enjoyed a resurgence in Italy following a desperate 18-month stint at Old Trafford.

After staring for Arsenal, January 2018 signing Sanchez failed to impress for United and scored just five goals in all competitions.

News of Sanchez's signing comes after head coach Conte hit out at Inter's hierarchy for not protecting his squad enough this season.

However, Marotta revealed Inter's chiefs have held discussions with Conte amid doubts over his future.

"We are all concentrated on this evening, which is an important match," he added. "Conte gave a very clear statement yesterday and we refer you to that.

"Anyone in the football world knows that these dynamics exist and we have to live with this way of doing things. This is an important evening for the future of Inter.

"The owners spoke to Conte yesterday and we all want the same thing, which is to achieve great objectives and make the fans happy."

Manchester City have completed the signing of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for a reported fee of £41million.

Pep Guardiola has been searching for another option at centre-back since Vincent Kompany's departure in May 2019.

Aymeric Laporte endured injury issues in the 2019-20 campaign, though the Frenchman was a regular following the restart of the Premier League season in June, while doubts remain over the futures of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

Youngster Eric Garcia put in some impressive displays, but City – who have also been linked with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly – have now moved to bolster their defensive ranks by bringing in Ake.

The Netherlands international, who Bournemouth signed permanently from Chelsea for £20m in 2017, has signed a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

"City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade," Ake told his new club's website.

"Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.

"Pep is a manager admired across the world - what he's done in the game speaks for itself. The success he's had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.

"I know I'm going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that's what I'm here to do. I'll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware."

After featuring in every Premier League match for the Cherries in 2017-18 and 2018-19, injuries restricted Ake to 29 league appearances as Eddie Howe's side dropped out of the top flight.

The 25-year-old becomes City's second signing since the conclusion of the Premier League season, quickly following on from Tuesday's announcement of Ferran Torres' arrival from Valencia.

A Spain Under-21 international who scored four goals and provided five assists in 34 LaLiga appearances, Torres is also on a deal that runs through until 2025.

Alexis Sanchez will officially become an Inter player on a permanent basis on Thursday, according to the club's chief executive Giuseppe Marotta.

Nathan Ake has the intelligence to succeed at Manchester City despite his diminutive stature, according to Kolo Toure.

City have sealed a £41million deal to bolster their defensive options by bringing in Netherlands international Ake from relegated Bournemouth.

The 25-year-old stands at 5ft 11ins, meaning he is not an obviously dominant presence in the air for an already diminutive City side.

But Toure, who won Premier League titles as a centre-back at City and Arsenal despite himself being under six feet, believes Ake has shown himself to have the skillset to negotiate this disadvantage.

"You have to be really intelligent. You have to anticipate things quicker," he told Stats Perform News when discussing the demands placed upon shorter central defenders.

"When you want to jump, you have to make sure that you read the ball very well and attack at the right time.

"He's got that. You can see he's a very intelligent player, because the difficulty in the Premier League is the long balls. But if you time your jump well, you can win the ball.

"As well, what is crucial is players around you. They have to make sure that the players around you think that you might lose an aerial battle. It won't be a problem for him."

One of the players around Ake will be City's leading centre-back Aymeric Laporte.

Ake's initial role in Pep Guardiola's squad is expected to be as an understudy to the ball-playing Frenchman, with moves for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly or Sevilla's Diego Carlos also mooted in a defensive overhaul.

The prospect of Ake and Laporte playing alongside each other in a defensive pairing is an unusual one, given both are left-footed, but Toure does not see why it cannot work.

"It's very unusual to have two left-foot players. But why not if you have two with right feet?" he added. "As long as they are intelligent and can use their right foot as well.

"I can understand the point - when you don't see something often you always doubt it a little bit. But the boy is a good player."

Manchester City have completed the signing of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for a reported fee of £41million.

Pep Guardiola has been in search of another centre-back since Vincent Kompany's departure last May.

Aymeric Laporte endured an injury hit campaign in 2019-20, though the Frenchman was a regular following the restart of the Premier League season in June, while doubts remain over the futures of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

Youngster Eric Garcia put in some impressive displays towards the end of the season, but City – who have also been linked with Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly – have now moved to bolster their defensive ranks, with Ake joining from relegated Bournemouth.

The 25-year-old Netherlands international, who Bournemouth signed permanently from Chelsea for £20m in 2017, has penned a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

"City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade," he told his new club's website.

"Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.

"Pep is a manager admired across the world – what he’s done in the game speaks for itself. The success he’s had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.

"I know I’m going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that’s what I’m here to do. I’ll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware."

After featuring in every Premier League match for the Cherries in 2017-18 and 2018-19, injury restricted Ake to 29 league appearances last season as Eddie Howe's side dropped out of the top flight.

Lionel Messi will retire as a Barcelona player in "three or four years", according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has a contract at Camp Nou until the end of the 2020-21 season, but Bartomeu last month said he expects the superstar forward to sign an extension.

The 33-year-old has been linked with a return to boyhood club Newell's Old Boys before hanging up his boots.

However, Bartomeu has no doubt Barca's all-time leading goalscorer Messi will end his career with the Catalan giants, which could happen by 2023.

"It's not just me who says it. Messi says it himself, that he wants to finish his professional playing career at Barcelona and it's the only club for him," Bartomeu told beIN SPORTS.

"I don't have any doubt that when he finishes his football career in three or four years that it will be here in Barcelona.

"Messi has it very clear. He's been here since he was a kid. He knows the colours and he's a part of the club's history.

"He's the best player in the world. Not just right now, but in the history of the game. He's at Barcelona and has made clear he wants to stay here."

Another priority for Bartomeu is tying goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen down to a new contract, as his existing deal has just two years left on it.

"Marc is an excellent player and person, he has always shown that as a goalkeeper," said Bartomeu.

"With the current situation with COVID-19, he said, 'Let's hope everything is calmer to talk about it in the future.' But his future is to renew with Barca.

"We have a goalkeeper for many years because he is young. When everything passes, we will talk with Marc to finalise his renewal."

Despite being yet to play a game for Barca, Francisco Trincao and Pedri have been linked with exits from Camp Nou.

Trincao is reportedly a target for Leicester City, while Bayern Munich are said to have an interest in Pedri.

Bartomeu has no plans to sell either player as Barca prepare for the future with a new generation of talent.

"Trincao and Pedri are not for sale," he said. "Young players are coming who will be the stars in a few years."

Giacomo Bonaventura has said goodbye to Milan after spending six seasons with the Rossoneri.

The 30-year-old midfielder is leaving the club after seeing his contract expire at the end of the 2019-20 Serie A season.

Bonaventura had been a regular at San Siro after joining from Atalanta for a reported €6million fee, but he only started 21 league games over the past two seasons.

"I've lived a dream. The years spent at Milan have been an unforgettable experience," he wrote on Instagram.

"I want to thank all the people with whom I shared this fantastic adventure: presidents, managers, coaches, team-mates, doctors and physiotherapists.

"Thank you to all those who work 'behind the scenes' at Milanello, they are the real engine of Milan, thanks to them every day we feel at home, in a family.

"Thank you to the Milan fans, who have always supported us, in the best and toughest moments: the roar of San Siro is something special, which I will never forget.

"You will always be in my heart!"

Bonaventura won the 2016-17 Supercoppa Italiana, a rare triumph during a largely barren decade for Milan.

Stefano Pioli's side finished sixth in the table in 2019-20 after going unbeaten in their 12 league games following the season's restart in June.

Reported Chelsea target Kai Havertz is "100 per cent still fighting" for Bayer Leverkusen and will play against Rangers in the Europa League, says head coach Peter Bosz.

Germany attacking midfielder Havertz has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea thought to be keen on a deal that will see them pay £70million up front with an additional £20m in performance-based add-ons.

The Blues have acted swiftly in the market, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already on board – the latter opting not to finish RB Leipzig's Champions League campaign.

But Havertz will be involved on Thursday when Leverkusen return to Europa League action for the second leg of their last-16 tie against Rangers at the BayArena, where the Bundesliga side will start with a 3-1 aggregate lead.

"I will answer these questions [about Havertz] very shortly," Bosz told a pre-match news conference. 

"Yes, he will play and yes I'm convinced he's 100 per cent still fighting for Leverkusen."

Following the completion of the round of 16, the Europa League – which was halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic – will be concluded with a knockout-style tournament in Germany.

But Bosz warned his side not to look further than their date with Rangers.

"We can only win the tournament if we win against Rangers. It doesn't make any sense to dream ahead to the upcoming matches," he added.

"I've tried to convey this to the players that they see it that way.

"We want to progress. If I need players tomorrow who may be at risk of being suspended, they will still play. Our focus is only on progressing."

Will Manchester United sign Jadon Sancho or not?

That is the question dominating headlines as United reportedly negotiate with Borussia Dortmund.

This transfer saga is one to watch.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO END SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are threatening to walk away from a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to reports in England.

Sancho has been tipped to swap Dortmund for United, with Bild claiming a lucrative five-year contract has been agreed as the Bundesliga outfit insist on a €120million (£108m) fee.

But Goal, Sky Sports and The Mirror say United are ready to pursue alternatives of Dortmund do not lower their demands.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian reports Leicester City are trying to sign Francisco Trincao from Barcelona. Leicester have proposed a two-season loan deal with an obligation to buy for £45m (€50m). Trincao is preparing to link up with Barca after the LaLiga giants signed the 20-year-old from Braga in January.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are eyeing a move for Norwich City left-back  Jamal Lewis, says The Mirror. Lewis impressed in 2019-20 as Norwich were relegated and Liverpool are looking to wrap up a £10m deal.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier is open to joining Serie A side Milan.

- According to Tuttomercatoweb, Juventus are lining up possible replacements for under-fire head coach Maurizio Sarri. Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini and Luciano Spalletti have all been linked.

-  Aston Villa are aiming to keep star captain and rumoured United target Jack Grealish by offering a new contract, reports The Sun.

- Linked with United , Everton and Napoli, France Bleu Nord claims Arsenal are leading the race for Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.

- Is Federico Chiesa set for Old Trafford? La Nazione reports United have made a €55m (£49m) offer for the Fiorentina forward, who has also been linked to Inter, Juve and Chelsea .

- Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake is poised to complete his move to Manchester City. Fabrizio Romano reports there is a total agreement and a medical will take place in the next couple of days.

When Ferran Torres scored the fourth and final goal of Valencia's 4-1 Champions League win over Lille in November, he further enhanced his burgeoning reputation and announced himself to another mass of admirers.

While the goal mattered little in the grand scheme of the match, and it was hardly a contest likely to draw in all of the indecisive neutrals, it gave him his own slice of history, becoming the first player born in 2000 to net a Champions League goal for a Spanish club.

His cool, top-corner finish after an incisive run into the box will have been met with nods of approval from those being alerted to Torres' potential.

While the skilful and direct winger wasn't exactly an unknown quantity at that point, it was an early landmark in a career that looks set for many, and now he is headed for the glamour of the Premier League and Manchester City.

CITY'S DECISIVE SWOOP

Torres and his sister Arantxa have a tattoo in common. "An anchor. It was a reminder for us not to let ourselves be sunk by anything or anyone," she told OTRO last year.

Perhaps that should have served as a portentous warning to Valencia during their ultimately unsuccessful contract negotiations, with Torres' future long dominating headlines in the local media – he was due to become a free agent in 2021.

That, in a nutshell, is how City have managed to pull off such a coup with respect to paying a reported initial fee of £21.1million (€23m). Even with variables, the most they'll pay is thought to be in the region of £32.2m (€35m), a massive reduction on his €100m (£92m) release clause.

Local sports paper Super Deporte had remained optimistic for a while, some might say naively so, but with Champions League qualification proving well beyond Valencia, a departure long seemed unavoidable.

Even a club run as poorly as Valencia could not risk losing such an asset for nothing, yet City will certainly consider themselves to have struck a brilliant deal.

With Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Juventus all noted as keen admirers of Torres, City officials will be patting themselves on the back – it did not take them long to fill the space left by Leroy Sane.

THE EXPLOSION

Despite only being 20, 2019-20 was Torres' third season in the Valencia first-team squad and he already has 71 LaLiga appearances to his name – 26 of which were as a starter in the campaign just finished.

He had only played 12 times for Valencia's B team in the third tier before Marcelino Garcia Toral promoted him permanently to the senior side in December 2017, his LaLiga debut as the fifth-youngest player in the club's history a rare ray of sunlight as he came off the bench in the rain during a 2-1 defeat at Eibar.

"All of us within the club were sure that we were looking at a very high-level footballer," Marcelino told Panenka magazine. "It was only a matter of time before he exploded, because it was clear this player had to play. He still has a significant margin for improvement, but along with [Martin] Odegaard, for me, he is one of the revelations of the season."

His form for Spain Under-19s during last year's European Championship further highlighted his potential as he scored both goals in the 2-0 final win over Portugal to earn a spot in the Team of the Tournament.

He then established himself in Valencia's starting XI, taking full advantage of Goncalo Guedes' injury absence. While still somewhat raw, Torres has been a joy to behold with his fast dribbling and direct style.

NOT THE FINISHED ARTICLE

There's no doubting the ability Torres has to excite – after all, only five midfielders in LaLiga attempted more dribbles in 2019-20 than his 112, and when in full-flight, his combination of pace and upper-body strength make the leggy winger a formidable weapon.

Similarly, Torres is nimble and very agile, capable of jinking out of situations that appear one-sided in the defence's favour.

But he certainly hasn't hit his ceiling. Torres has many areas in which he can improve, particularly with respect to increasing his chance creation frequency.

His record of 25 opportunities crafted this term is not particularly great and is way behind Lionel Messi (89), Sergio Canales (80) and Jose Campana (73) out in front in LaLiga.

His dribble map suggests a potential reason for this, highlighting that many of his ball carry attempts are made outside of the pitch's final third.

The greater awareness he requires should come with experience. After all, it would be a bigger problem if he was struggling to ever find dangerous positions, and that simply is not the case.

He has touched the ball more times (64) in the opposing area than any of his midfield team-mates in 2019-20.

And while nine goal involvements (four goals, five assists) may not sound remarkable, that is only one fewer than Martin Odegaard – a standout performer until his injury – and no one with more than nine is younger than Torres.

He may need a little time to settle in the Premier League, but the potential is undoubtedly there and he shouldn't be plagued with suggestions of being too small, like David Silva was when he made the same move 10 years ago.

Whether Torres can have a similar impact to Silva is another matter, but the 34-year-old's success at least sets a strong precedent for talented Valencia-developed technicians leaving their mark at City.

Manchester City have signed highly rated 20-year-old winger Ferran Torres from Valencia.

Stats Perform News understands the Spain Under-21 international will cost City £21.1million (€23m), plus further add-ons.

City were linked to several young wingers after Leroy Sane's move to Bayern Munich was confirmed at the start of July, with Torres ultimately emerging from the pack to pen a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

While perhaps not a like-for-like replacement, Pep Guardiola and City will believe they have got themselves a bargain and pulled off a significant coup in landing Torres, who had also attracted interest from Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

"I am so happy to be joining City," Torres said. "Every player wants to be involved in attacking teams and Manchester City are one of the most attacking in world football.

"Pep encourages a really open, aggressive style, which I love, and he is a manager with a proven track record of improving players. To have him overseeing my development is a dream."

Torres is considered one of Spain's most promising young players, having come through Valencia's academy and made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2017.

A talented and direct winger capable of playing on either flank, though preferring to operate from the right, he enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019-20.

Having made 24 LaLiga appearances in 2018-19, Torres had even greater exposure to first-team football this term due to injuries, taking full advantage of Goncalo Guedes' long-term absence as he featured 34 times domestically.

He scored four goals and set up another five in LaLiga, while his Champions League strike against Lille in November made him the first player born in 2000 to net in the competition for a Spanish club.

Torres' contract with Valencia was said to contain a €100m release clause, but he had stalled on signing fresh terms, meaning Los Che were never likely to hold out for such a fee given his deal was due to expire next year.

With Valencia failing to qualify for European football next season after a disappointing 2019-20, their final bargaining chip was essentially lost and City have moved swiftly to secure the youngster's future.

Manchester City have signed highly rated 20-year-old winger Ferran Torres from Valencia.

Stats Perform News understands the Spain Under-21 international will cost City £21.1million (€23m), plus further add-ons.

City were linked to several young wingers after Leroy Sane's move to Bayern Munich was confirmed at the start of July, with Torres ultimately emerging from the pack to pen a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

While perhaps not a like-for-like replacement, Pep Guardiola and City will believe they have got themselves a bargain and pulled off a significant coup in landing Torres, who had also attracted interest from Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

"I am so happy to be joining City," Torres said. "Every player wants to be involved in attacking teams and Manchester City are one of the most attacking in world football.

"Pep encourages a really open, aggressive style, which I love, and he is a manager with a proven track record of improving players. To have him overseeing my development is a dream."

Torres is considered one of Spain's most promising young players, having come through Valencia's academy and made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2017.

A talented and direct winger capable of playing on either flank, though preferring to operate from the right, he enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019-20.

Having made 24 LaLiga appearances in 2018-19, Torres had even greater exposure to first-team football this term due to injuries, taking full advantage of Goncalo Guedes' long-term absence as he featured 34 times domestically.

He scored four goals and set up another five in LaLiga, while his Champions League strike against Lille in November made him the first player born in 2000 to net in the competition for a Spanish club.

Torres' contract with Valencia was said to contain a €100m release clause, but he had stalled on signing fresh terms, meaning Los Che were never likely to hold out for such a fee given his deal was due to expire next year.

With Valencia failing to qualify for European football next season after a disappointing 2019-20, their final bargaining chip was essentially lost and City have moved swiftly to secure the youngster's future.

Angel Gomes explained the time had come to close a "beautiful chapter" in his life after ending his long association with Manchester United.

The talented 19-year-old is out of contract and is reportedly set to join Lille, although he will be loaned out to Portuguese club Boavista from the Ligue 1 outfit for the 2020-21 season.

Gomes came through United's youth system and was handed his first-team debut by Jose Mourinho in May 2017, coming on as a late substitute against Crystal Palace.

However, opportunities have been limited for the England youth international since - his only three starts in the 2019-20 campaign came in the Europa League - and he has opted to move on to further his career.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had already confirmed the Red Devils had failed to reach an agreement over a new deal, with Gomes publishing a farewell message on his Instagram account on Tuesday.

"Sadly the time has come to end a beautiful chapter that has been my life for 14 years," Gomes wrote to accompany a video montage of his time at United. 

"Being from Salford, Manchester United is all I have ever known. I went from playing on my estate, pretending to be Wayne Rooney, to being in the academy and doing the same. May 21, 2017, I made my Premier League debut for the club of my dreams aged 16, replacing the legend himself Wayne Rooney.

"I want to thank every single individual at the club for the help and encouragement I received, from the very first time I signed at the club. I want to thank all the coaches from every age group that looked after me from six to now."

Gomes also added his appreciation for both the club staff and United fans after confirming the time was right to make the "next step" in his career, signing off: "Once a RED always a RED".

Lille are yet to officially confirm the signing of the versatile playmaker, though French media claim Gomes will join on a five-year deal. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to be drawn on Manchester United's progress in the transfer market on Tuesday amid reports they are closing in on Jadon Sancho. 

United are said to be close to agreeing terms on a deal, with Borussia Dortmund prepared to receive a reduced initial fee so long as further instalments ensure they receive €120m (£108m) for the England winger.

Solskjaer gave nothing away when asked if United were looking to get their business done early in the transfer window.

"This transfer window is a long one. Every transfer takes its course. It is what it is, so if there is any news we will update you," said the United manager.

Solskjaer revealed he plans to field a similar team for the second leg of the Europa League last-16 clash with LASK on Wednesday to the one that hammered the Austrian side 5-0 in the first leg.

Defenders Luke Shaw (ankle) and Axel Tuanzebe (foot) will not feature in the encounter at Old Trafford.

"Axel started getting niggles and had to have an operation in his foot. He'll be back early September. Same with Luke, should be ready for when the [2020-21] league season starts." said the United manager.

"Jesse [Lingard] will be starting tomorrow, but the team won’t be too different from LASK in March.”

Europa League matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be staged in Germany and United will stay over there for as long as they are in the tournament.

"There has been a discussion to how tournament pans out. At the moment we are staying, so we will be staying in Germany." Solskjaer added.

United will face Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen in the last eight barring an unlikely turnaround.

Page 6 of 112
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.