Crystal Palace were willing to part with Wilfried Zaha but did not receive an appropriate offer from a big enough club, according to Roy Hodgson.

Ivory Coast winger Zaha was heavily linked with Arsenal during the close season before Everton launched an audacious bid late in the transfer window.

The Toffees reportedly offered around £70million plus two players for the 26-year-old, who was said to have submitted a transfer request.

Palace stood firm and Zaha has since featured in each of the club's four Premier League games this term.

"With Wilf, I don't think anyone was thinking we definitely must block him because we want our best player still with us," Hodgson said.

"We understood that if a really big offer comes his way and a much bigger club than Crystal Palace want him, and he is desperate to go, we are going to have to try and do some kind of deal."

Quoted in the Mirror, Hodgson said: "The unfortunate thing for Wilf is that offer did not come his way from the sort of club that he would want.

"I think [Palace chairman] Steve Parish has made that clear to Wilf and they've thrashed that side of it out.

"As a result it is not a major problem for me with Wilf coming back, having accepted the situation. The way he works here is just the same as it was. Since the first day he has been mature about it."

Zaha, now reportedly on Paris Saint-Germain's radar, featured as substitute against Everton on the opening weekend before returning to the starting XI for Palace's past three league fixtures.

Hodgson's men travel to north London to face Tottenham on Saturday.

When it came to Paul Pogba during the transfer window, Real Madrid and Juventus were the teams on everyone's lips.

Manchester United star Pogba was reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford in search of a new challenge.

However, another team were apparently poised to lure Pogba from the Theatre of Dreams…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR STOPPED PSG FROM SIGNING POGBA

Neymar prevented Manchester United midfielder Pogba from moving to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Calciomercato.it.

PSG and United reportedly had an agreement in place for the transfer of Pogba, however, the Ligue 1 champions and their inability to offload Barcelona target Neymar stopped the deal.

The report says PSG were ready to pay €150million (£134m) for Pogba, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-record fee of €105m (£89m).

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid have an agreement with Chelsea for midfielder N'Golo Kante. DefensaCentral claims Los Blancos have the first chance to buy the France star should he be made available at Stamford Bridge.

- In-demand Dinamo Zagreb star Dani Olmo wants to leave the Croatian club in January or at the end of the season, according to Fichajes.net. The 21-year-old was linked with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Valencia during the transfer window.

Juventus have not given up on signing Fiorentina and Italy forward Federico Chiesa, according to Calciomercato.it. The Serie A champions were keen to bring in Chiesa during the off-season but were unable to lure him from Florence.

- Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are beginning their remodelling job, with Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani facing uncertain futures. Silva and Cavani – who has been linked to incoming MLS outfit Inter Miami – are out of contract at the end of the season and are no guarantees to renew their contracts. Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingThomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa are available at the right price in January.

- Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has turned down a move to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Mandzukic was linked to Manchester United prior to the transfer window closing.

Inaki Williams revealed he had contact from Manchester United before signing a new long-term contract with Athletic Bilbao.

Williams emerged as a target for United during the closing days of the Premier League transfer window, with Romelu Lukaku heading to Inter.

The 25-year-old Williams, though, remained at Athletic and signed a nine-year extension with a €135million release clause.

Reflecting on the August speculation, the Spain forward told Cadena Ser: "I had contact from Manchester United but I cannot tell you who it was.

"My number one option has always been to stay at Athletic Club and to retire here.

"Joining Real Sociedad? No, I could never go there – 100 per cent."

Williams made his Athletic debut in 2014 and he has since scored more than 45 goals in all competitions.

The one-cap Spain international enjoyed his best scoring season in LaLiga last term, netting 13 times in 38 matches.

Williams has already scored once this term for Athletic, who are unbeaten after three matches and two points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.

Athletic travel to newly promoted Mallorca following the international break on Friday.

Barcelona director Javier Bordas said the LaLiga champions will do what they can to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou.

Neymar wanted to leave Paris Saint-Germain prior to the transfer deadline and was reportedly desperate for a Barca return, though a move did not materialise.

It came just two years after Neymar left Barca for Ligue 1 giants PSG in a world-record €222million deal.

Neymar's father and agent has already claimed negotiations between Barca and PSG are not over amid ongoing speculation.

Bordas kept the door open, telling EFE: "While he wants to come, we will do what we can to bring him back.

"What happens will happen, everything is constantly changing in football, but Neymar is Neymar.

"The case of Neymar is a special one. He's an exceptional player and he wants to come to Barcelona; he hasn't adapted to Paris; he was wrong to go there, and even he has said that."

The future of Barcelona's superstar captain Lionel Messi has also dominated headlines.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed reports that Messi has the option to leave the club at the end of the season.

Messi signed his latest contract in 2017, with the deal running until the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with a move to MLS via David Beckham's incoming franchise Inter Miami but Bordas said: "I don't see him at another club. There are few people more connected to Barcelona than Messi.

"Messi is from Barcelona [having moved as a child and spent most of his life there]. Messi is Barcelona.

"People are worried about his contract clause, but Messi will stay because he is at home here, he feels it; he comes from La Masia, you only have to look at him when a match has been lost."

Barca vice-president Jordi Cardoner, meanwhile, added: "We are calm and there is a lot of positivity, especially in the dressing room.

"Leo will do what he thinks is fit, but Leo's contract is very special because he is who he is. It's a concession made to him and other players who deserve it. He can enter and leave the club when he sees fit. I'd love for him to stay for as long as he wants to play for our team."

Paolo Di Canio said he is not surprised by Mauro Icardi's move to Paris Saint-Germain as the Ligue 1 champions are "the natural home of undisciplined players".

Former Inter captain Icardi joined PSG on an initial loan deal on transfer deadline day after being frozen out by Nerazzurri head coach Antonio Conte.

PSG have the option to buy Icardi – who was linked to Napoli and Juventus prior to the deadline – for a reported €70million at the end of the season.

Former Lazio, Juve, Napoli and AC Milan forward Di Canio hit out at Icardi following his switch to the French capital.

Di Canio told Il Mattino: "Why did Carlo Ancelotti want someone like Icardi at Napoli? Someone unable to apologise to his team-mates for the words of his wife-agent?

"Besides which, Maurito only scores goals from crosses at the byline. For the rest, he is incapable of anything a modern striker should be able to do.

"I am not remotely surprised he went to Paris Saint-Germain, the natural home of undisciplined players."

Icardi, who arrived at Inter from Sampdoria in 2013, scored 111 Serie A goals and 124 goals in all competitions to be eighth on the club's all-time list.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez admitted the LaLiga giants have chased Robert Lewandowski and Paul Pogba.

Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski has been linked to Madrid previously, while they have also targeted Manchester United star Pogba.

Speaking on Wednesday, Perez said Madrid had chased Lewandowski and were experiencing similar in their pursuit of Pogba.

"There are players who do not sell," he said, via Spanish media.

"For Lewandowski, we have gone for several years for him and nothing because he has no clause and they don't sell him.

"There is no way and that has happened to us with Pogba. When certain players are sold, we can go for them."

Another player Madrid have been linked to is 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Perez was coy when asked about the France international, who is widely regarded as the best young talent in the world.

"Of course we like a Frenchman that they say out there and we'll go for him," he said. "But they don't sell him."

Lautaro Martinez's agent Alberto Yaque said it would be wonderful to see the Inter forward playing alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

Martinez put himself in the headlines with a stunning first-half hat-trick as Argentina routed Mexico 4-0 in the absence of suspended captain Messi on Tuesday.

Yaque confirmed LaLiga champions Barca's interest in Martinez in July and he talked up a potential move to Camp Nou again.

"It'd be wonderful to see him play with Leo Messi at Barcelona," Yaque told TyC Sports, with Inter set to face Barca in the Champions League group stages.

"It's great to see him play like that, so relaxed and happy.

"He has remarkable control in his first touch and that makes it very difficult for defenders to catch him."

Martinez – who was linked with a €112million move to Barca, just one season after joining Inter from Racing Club – scored in the 2-1 Serie A win over Cagliari prior to the international break.

The 22-year-old finished with six league goals last season and nine across all competitions for Inter.

"Lautaro is very humble. When I went to meet him at Bahia Blanca, it wasn't easy to take him with me, as he was very close to his family and felt homesick. Fortunately, his parents trusted me," Yaque said.

"Before going to Inter, I told him he wouldn't struggle to settle in, because I know that whatever Lautaro puts into his head, he achieves. It's no mean feat to waltz into San Siro and play as if it's your backyard."

Antonio Conte's Inter welcome Udinese to San Siro on Saturday, seeking to preserve their perfect start to the season.

Lionel Messi said he does not know if Barcelona did everything possible to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou as he appeared to take aim at the LaLiga giants.

Neymar wanted to leave Paris Saint-Germain prior to the transfer deadline and was reportedly desperate for a Barca return, though a move did not materialise.

It came just two years after Neymar left Barca for Ligue 1 giants PSG in a world-record €222million deal.

Barca captain Messi was asked about the transfer pursuit and he told SPORT: "I don't know if Barca did everything possible for his return.

"But it is true that negotiating with PSG is not easy."

"I would have loved for Neymar to return," Messi added. "He is one of the best players in the world and at the image level and sponsors we would have taken a leap that would have given us stability."

Amid reports Messi and his team-mates asked for Barca to re-sign Neymar, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said: "In the locker room we never asked for Ney's signing.

"We gave our opinion, but it has become clear that despite what they say, I do not command."

Neymar – who has three years remaining on his PSG contract – is yet to feature for Thomas Tuchel's side this season.

The 27-year-old, however, made his first appearance of the campaign for Brazil during the international break.

Neymar made a goalscoring return in Brazil's 2-2 draw with Colombia last week, while he came off the bench in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Peru in Los Angeles.

PSG return to Ligue 1 action at home to Strasbourg on Saturday, while Messi's Barcelona host Valencia on the same day.

Ajax chief executive officer Edwin van der Sar has rejected speculation linking him with a return to Manchester United.

The former United goalkeeper is reportedly a target for the Premier League club as they seek to appoint their first sporting director.

United have struggled in the transfer market since the 2013 retirement of managerial great Alex Ferguson, under whom Van der Sar played.

Van der Sar has helped mastermind stunning success for Ajax, who won the domestic double last term as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

But a move back to the Premier League does not appear to be on the cards for the 48-year-old, who was asked about the links to United after playing in Vincent Kompany's Manchester City testimonial on Wednesday.

"No, I'm focused on my job as chief executive at Ajax," Van der Sar told reporters.

"We had a fantastic year in Europe last year, also won the league in Holland.

"We want Ajax at a higher European level and making sure we get back to the elite. That's what we're working on.

"I'm enjoying my time at Ajax. We touched the top level last year and we have to make sure we have the best opportunity to stay there."

United have only won one of their opening four Premier League matches this season following a 1-1 draw at Southampton prior to the international break.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United welcome unbeaten Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ousmane Dembele is "still like a child" and needs guidance in order to fulfil his potential, according to former Barcelona team-mate Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Boateng spent the latter part of the 2018-19 season playing alongside Dembele at Camp Nou while on loan from Sassuolo and he opened up about the France international's temperament in an interview with Bild.

Dembele has earned a reputation for his poor timekeeping having been suspended for Barcelona's defeat to Real Betis last season after missing a training session and France coach Didier Deschamps publicly lambasted him, saying: "I know about his excuses when he turns up late."

Barcelona stuck by the 22-year-old in the face of speculation that he might leave the club, for whom he scored eight goals in 29 LaLiga appearances last season, but Boateng urged the Blaugrana to nurture his talent.

"He is very calm, and does not talk much," Boateng told Bild.

"He is still like a child to me. You have to take him as he is and it may be that he arrives late.

"There are players who do that in defiance, but that's different with him. He's just like a little boy – one who earns a lot of money, one who is extremely public."

Boateng's stay with the LaLiga champions was short-lived and he made just three league appearances during a five-month spell at the club.

In contrast, Dembele is someone Barca coach Ernesto Valverde and president Josep Maria Bartomeu seem keen to keep hold of as he embarks upon his third season in Catalonia.

Boateng warned Barcelona: "You have to point him in the right direction. If he does not learn then it is his fault.

"For me, he's still a little boy who was thrown into this huge pool, suddenly costing 150 million euros overnight and somehow does not even know how everything works – because he just wants to play football."

Mauro Icardi's decision to turn down Napoli and join Paris Saint-Germain was a move the Italian club's president Aurelio De Laurentiis found understandable.

Icardi joined PSG on an initial loan deal ahead of the closure of the transfer window, having become a fringe figure at Inter following the arrival of coach Antonio Conte, who signed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

The Argentina striker had previously endured frosty relations with the Nerazzurri, too, and his departure always seemed likely.

De Laurentiis confirmed he made a move for Icardi, yet he had no issue with the player opting to join the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani at PSG instead.

"To buy [Icardi], I came to Inter with an offer of €60million, plus bonuses for a total of €65million," he told Corriere dello Sport. "For Wanda Nara, for her husband's contract, I proposed a gross of about €12million.

"Icardi is not stupid and perhaps he understood that to re-launch himself at European level, it was the best choice to go to a team like PSG, where he can stand out more easily than at Napoli."

Napoli instead signed Fernando Llorente following his release from Tottenham.

And De Laurentiis revealed head coach Carlo Ancelotti had made Llorente his preferred option all along.

"Llorente wasn't my idea but rather Ancelotti's," he said. "No-one would have turned their back on a top player like Icardi but, from the first moment, Ancelotti wanted Llorente.

"He argued that, in attack, we were already heavily stocked and only needed a champion to play in the last 30 minutes of games that required unlocking."

Therefore, with Arkadiusz Milik another option, De Laurentiis has no regrets about the failed transfer.

"I never regret in life. The arrival of Icardi would have prevented the purchase of Llorente, of whom I am as convinced as Ancelotti," he said.

"Above all, he would have overshadowed Milik, who I continue to consider the true big star of the Napoli attack."

David Beckham and Inter Miami have set their sights on Lionel Messi.

Messi, 32, has regularly been linked with one day switching to MLS and it appears Inter are making their move.

Beckham seems to be trying his best to land the Barcelona superstar.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM IN TALKS WITH MESSI OVER INTER MIAMI MOVE

Beckham has spoken to Messi about joining Inter Miami, according to Catalunya Radio.

It comes in the wake of reports the forward can leave Barcelona at the end of any season, regardless of when his contract runs until.

The economic bid for Messi would be "brutal", the report said, as Inter look to sign the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter Miami may not stop there. The MLS club, due to begin playing in 2020, are also eyeing Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, according to AS. Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has previously said he is open to coaching Inter Miami.

- After the latest transfer saga ended with Neymar staying at Paris Saint-Germain, it is set to come back to life in January. PSG sporting director Leonardo wants the Brazil international to leave the Ligue 1 champions, according to Tuttosport, and a move could happen in January, with Barcelona and Real Madrid sure to again be linked.

- Barcelona are already looking ahead and are set to track Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz throughout this season, Mundo Deportivo reports. Fabian joined the Serie A side from Real Betis for a reported €30million in July last year.

- Expecting their transfer ban to be cut, Chelsea have identified Nice defender Youcef Atal as a target, according to The Sun. The Algeria international is also wanted by Valencia, Calciomercato.com reports.

- AC Milan have identified Stade Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga as a player to follow, according to Calciomercato.com. The 16-year-old made seven Ligue 1 appearances last season.

- Gonzalo Higuain is continuing to turn around his career at Juventus. Calciomercato.com says the forward – linked with a move away throughout the close season – will start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo when the Serie A champions face Fiorentina on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona may yet seal a deal for Neymar as negotiations are not over, according to the forward's father and agent.

Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Camp Nou before the European transfer window closed this month.

The Brazil superstar was said to be keen to go back to Barca two years after controversially leaving for a world-record €222million.

PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed Neymar wanted to leave the club and was available for transfer if the right offer was made.

But Barca and PSG were unable to come to an agreement, with LaLiga giants Real Madrid also reportedly seeing offers rejected.

Neymar, who has three years remaining on his PSG contract, has yet to play for the Ligue 1 champions this term.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said he would not select the 27-year-old until his future was resolved.

Neymar Sr, though, has cast fresh doubt on his son's long-term future in the French capital.

"The negotiations between clubs are not over," he said in an appearance at Edinburgh Sports Conference. 

"A Brazilian just wants to be where he is happy and he was very happy at Barcelona. When his friends asked him if he want to go back, it upset him."

Barca reportedly made cash-plus-players bids to PSG in a bid to force a move through, with Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic among those said to have been offered.

"As an agent, you feel weak when there is no structure that allows you to come and go," added Neymar's father.

"There was no release clause in his contract and this makes things very difficult.

"We fought to find an agreement. We gave the best of ourselves for him."

Nabil Fekir claims lies told about his knee gave Liverpool an excuse to abort his expected transfer from Lyon last year.

France international Fekir appeared certain to join the Premier League club ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

The attacker underwent a medical but Liverpool backed out at the last moment, reportedly due to concerns over knee problems dating back to 2015.

Fekir's former agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes, described the knee issue as "part" of the reason the move collapsed.

The pair ended their professional relationship in April.

"Lots of lies were told and that affected me," Fekir told L'Equipe.

"Especially those claimed about my family. It hurt both them and me. Especially when you know that what's being said is false.

"When you are a good person in life you always end up being happy and at peace, and today I am happy and at peace. Others are not, but let's not go into detail.

"My knee is good. I had a quick medical check at Clairefontaine, my knee wasn't even mentioned.

"If my knee had been in such a bad state, why would [Lyon president Jean-Michel] Aulas have made an offer [of a new contract]?"

Fekir continued: "You want the truth? Even I don't know, I assure you!

"I did my medical and then [Liverpool] decided not to sign me. At some point they wanted to have me believe it was because of my knee, but an excuse needed to be found because the medical tests that I did at Clairefontaine were very clear.

"My knee is perfectly fine and I feel fine. There are no issues at all with my knee."

Fekir spent the 2018-19 season at Lyon before leaving for LaLiga side Real Betis, for whom he has scored two goals in three games.

Christian Eriksen – the name that will not go away, even with the transfer window closed.

Eriksen wanted to leave Tottenham for a new challenge as Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter reportedly circled.

A move did not materialise, much to his disappointment, but a transfer could be on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID LOOK TO ERIKSEN AMID POGBA DOUBTS

Sky Sports News claims Real Madrid will make a move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen at the end of the season if Paul Pogba extends his Manchester United deal.

Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to reinforce his midfield, with Tottenham's Eriksen, Pogba and Ajax sensation Donny van de Beek linked to the Santiago Bernabeu.

While Los Blancos remain keen on Pogba, they are eyeing a move for Eriksen – whose contract expires at the end of the campaign.

 

ROUND-UP:

- According to Tuttosport, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham are set to go head-to-head for Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala in January. Both clubs were reportedly interested in signing Dybala prior to the transfer deadline, and with Dybala set to struggle for regular game time PSG and Spurs are poised to fight it out.

- Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is close to finally signing a new £290,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford, claims The Guardian.

Inter are keeping tabs on Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze, says Welt. Gotze is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations over a new deal are reportedly not progressing.

- The Serie A side, meanwhile, will not sell star defender Milan Skriniar in January. That is according to Tuttosport amid growing speculation Manchester City are targeting the Inter centre-back.

- According to Sky Sports News, Wolves are still interested in signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie. Wolves tried to prise Kessie from Milan before the transfer window shut, but the 22-year-old knocked back the move.

Arsenal could make another attempt to sign Belgium international Yannick Carrasco from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, reports The Sun. The Gunners have long been linked with Carrasco and Dalian's supposed interest in Napoli star Dries Mertens could make a deal possible.

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