Barcelona are in no rush in their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Neymar, 27, is set to be fined by the Ligue 1 champions after failing to turn up for the first day of pre-season training.

With sporting director Leonardo confirming the Brazil forward can leave for the right price, Barca think they are in a strong position, and the Catalan giants are ready to play a waiting game.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA IN NO RUSH OVER NEYMAR

Barcelona are prepared to wait and see if PSG blink first over Neymar, according to a report from AS.

Neymar left Camp Nou for PSG in a world-record €222million move two years ago and it has now become clear he wants an exit from Parc des Princes.

In a strong position, Barca are remaining patient in their pursuit of the Brazil star, who has also been linked with their rivals Real Madrid.

Marca also report Barcelona are willing to wait, with PSG's asking price sure to continue dropping as the skilful forward continues to show his desire to leave.

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- Juventus are ready to give in to Ajax's demands over Matthijs de Ligt. Sport report the Serie A champions are planning to present the star defender on Saturday, having apparently agreed to pay the Eredivisie club €75m for the centre-back.

- Manchester United are increasingly confident about signing Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. The Daily Mail claim the Red Devils are hoping to land the centre-back for £75m, which is short of Leicester's reported £85m valuation.

- West Ham have begun searching for someone to replace Marko Arnautovic, who left for China. The Sun say the Premier League club have been offered the chance to sign free agent Mario Balotelli, while Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Hammers have also shown an interest in Juve forward Gonzalo Higuain.

- Mario Mandzukic could be set for a surprise return to Bayern Munich. Bild report the Juve striker has been discussed as a possible back-up for Robert Lewandowski and another wide option for head coach Niko Kovac.

- Everton continue to be linked with forwards and the Telegraph say the Premier League club expressed an interest in Lille's Nicolas Pepe, who is said to have been a target of rivals Liverpool. Meanwhile, the Sun claim Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is prepared to talk to the Toffees.

- Newcastle United seem close to finding their replacement for Rafael Benitez. According to the Daily Mail, Sam Allardyce has rejected a return to the club, with Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce now the favourite.

AC Milan must harness the bitter experience of missing out on a top-four finish last season and focus on making amends in 2019-20, according to Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Goalkeeper Donnarumma was injured in Milan's 3-2 victory over SPAL on the final day of the 2018-19 campaign, a result that was not quite good enough to see them pip rivals Inter to fourth place.

The Rossoneri will not play in Europe at all in the upcoming season, the club reaching an agreement with UEFA to serve a ban after breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

However, Donnarumma had underlined his commitment to the cause as Milan attempt to reclaim their place at Europe's top table under new coach Marco Giampaolo.

"I was upset to leave the field early in Ferrara [against SPAL] but I'm eager to begin the new season," Donnarumma told Milan TV.

"It's upsetting that we won't be in Europe this year but as our coach and director said, we can now focus on returning to the Champions League, where the club deserves to be.

"We were qualified for the Champions League with just 10 minutes to go but we all know how it ended.

"We were all disappointed but it has to be a boost for us to achieve our goal this year."

Donnarumma - who has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain during the close season - is vastly experienced despite being only 20, though he still suffers pre-season nerves.

"The first day of training is always a flurry of emotions," he said.

"It always feels like my first time at Milanello and I'm excited. I'm keen to begin training and give my all. We have to give our best in order to return to where we deserve to be, which is in Europe.

"I'm more mature even though I'm just 20 years old but I feel more like a man now, which is also thanks to AC Milan, and I feel the same way on the pitch.

"I have greatly improved in many aspects, but I still have to improve a lot, because it is never enough – you always have to give your best in every training session in order to constantly improve."

Eder Militao vowed to give his all to make history with Real Madrid following his arrival from Porto.

Madrid confirmed in March an agreement was in place to sign Militao after reportedly triggering his €50million release clause.

And following the conclusion of his Copa America commitments with tournament hosts and champions Brazil, the 21-year-old was presented to the media on Wednesday.

Militao, who made one substitute appearance in Brazil, said joining Los Blancos has always been his dream.

"I'm very happy to play for the best club in the world," the youngster said at a news conference that was cut short after he complained of feeling dizzy.

"Since I was a kid I wanted to play for the biggest club in the world and I want to thank the president and all the Madrid fans for their confidence.

"They can rest assured that I will give everything for this jersey. I hope to have a great season here and make history with this club."

Capable of playing at centre-back or right-back, Militao is expected to immediately challenge for a regular spot in Madrid's back four.

"I am a versatile player, who always plays for the love of what he does," he said. "I do not like to lose and I always expect the most from myself. I am very competitive and very competent.

"I think it's going to be a very good fight [for a starting place]. I've come to do my job - it will not be easy, but I'm going to listen to what the coach says."

Militao was the first signing of head coach Zinedine Zidane's second spell and he has since been joined in making the switch to the Spanish capital by Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy.

Madrid president Florentino Perez welcomed the youngster's arrival and described him as one of the best defenders around after seeing off competition from rival clubs.

"Winning is part of this club's DNA and nobody surrenders here," he told reporters. "Today is an important day for us as we welcome one of the great defenders in world football.

"He arrives at just 21, he's adapted quickly to European football and for five months he was part of the best defensive set-up in Portuguese football with Porto.

"His courage and attitude will help him to succeed, as will the millions of fans we have around the world.

"Now you [Militao] will face the biggest challenge of your entire professional career. You arrive at Real Madrid because you have chosen this club ahead of all the big clubs that wanted to have you in their ranks. 

"Here you will demonstrate everything you have shown. Your courage and your love for this badge will help you succeed. And our supporters from all over the world will also help you."

Mario Balotelli has left Marseille following the expiration of his contract, club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud confirmed.

Balotelli joined Marseille from Nice in January on a short-term contract and enjoyed a solid end to the season, scoring eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances.

Marseille had been keen on keeping him at the club, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League has forced them to lower their wage budget.

Lucas Ocampos has already left for Sevilla, while Kevin Strootman, Adil Rami, Luiz Gustavo and their highest-earning players are being linked with moves.

Balotelli's exit has now been confirmed, opening the door for the striker to return to either Italy or England, having been linked with Napoli and West Ham.

"At the moment we are [working] on two or three areas to adapt if there are unexpected departures and that we would have to replace," Eyraud told L'Equipe.

"The attacking position has to be filled, since Mario Balotelli will not continue with Marseille. We are looking beyond the position of attacker, however, including centre-back."

Eyraud is hopeful highly rated 19-year-old centre-back Boubacar Kamara signs a new deal, while he also denied reports Marseille have told Rami – a World Cup winner with France last year – to look for a new club.

"I respect my players, I rub shoulders with them every day and I see how much pressure they are under," he added. "I am very surprised by the media coverage that claims Rami has already left.

"What is certain, for me, is that Adil Rami must question himself, deeply, about his status, about his job as a professional footballer, about his rights and duties as a player, and moreover a world champion.

"With Adil I am very frank, very direct, as always, and I will make a decision at the end of this discussion.

"I cannot wait to have it [the discussion with Rami], and to have this exchange with him, which will take place this week."

Rumoured Manchester United target Mario Lemina has confirmed he is seeking a move away from Southampton and would prefer to remain in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old has been left out of the Saints' squad for their pre-season training camp in Austria amid reports that United have been given permission to speak to him.

Arsenal and Leicester City are also said to have made contact with Lemina, who arrived at St Mary's Stadium from Juventus two years ago in a reported £15.4million deal that could potentially rise to £18.1m.

But the Gabon international has made it clear he wants to further his career elsewhere, with a move to another English club his priority.

"I am physically preparing myself at the training centre, with a few other players including Charlie Austin and Jordy Clasie," he told France Football. 

"I did not accompany the team in training in agreement with the coach [Ralph Hasenhuttl]. He wants to build his group with the players who want to stay at the club, so he left me out.

"The best option for me would be to stay [in the Premier League], but I do not close the door to any club, no country. I aspire to play for the biggest clubs.

"I had chosen to leave Juventus for Southampton to have more playing time - I got it. I have made a good impression in England."

Lemina missed four months of last season with an abdominal injury, but he insisted the problem is behind him and he is now fully fit.

"As early as last year, I had set my conditions: I wanted to go elsewhere this summer," he said. "I was also very frustrated by my injury that lasted four months, so I really want to discover something else.

"I'm not afraid. I made a choice and I take it to the end. I stand by my plan. I decided to tell the leaders that I wanted to leave, there is no turning back. 

"There is a risk, of course, but I know what I'm capable of. I'm 100 per cent fit and I'm going to prove that I can get back to my best. 

"Some clubs may be more cautious, but they already know me. Today I am fully recovered, I have worked a lot. I am ready to move on. The injury is a very hard one to handle and it requires a lot of work. I did it and now I'm doing very well physically."

Lemina has emerged as a rumoured target for United after impressing across his 52 appearances for Southampton.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have already lost midfielders Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini over the last five months, while Paul Pogba's future also remains uncertain. 

And after spending two years with Juventus, Lemina is hopeful that he can play for another big club.

"I'm trying to regain consistency and to become an important player in a team with high goals," he said. "I need to play. That's really my priority. I want to show everyone what I can do. 

"Everything depends on the project that is proposed to me... There are many unknowns. I'm waiting, even if I already had some approaches. I really hope that it will be done quickly, to be able to be part of a team before the resumption of the league."

Fenerbahce have distanced themselves from reports linking them with Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, adamant they cannot afford the playmaker.

Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013, and although he has been a key player for much of that time, he has also polarised opinion among the club's supporters.

After an underwhelming season under Unai Emery last term, media speculation had suggested Arsenal are willing to offload Ozil in order to lighten their wage bill, but Fenerbahce insist rumours of a loan move are wide of the mark.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains optimistic David de Gea will sign an extension at Manchester United rather than run down his contract.

The Spain international joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and, after a shaky start, has developed into arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.

Since the start of the 2013-14 season, De Gea has been the undisputed first choice at Old Trafford, putting in some remarkable performances.

A return to Spain has regularly been mooted, with Real Madrid long-time admirers having previously attempted to sign him, and his future remains uncertain.

De Gea's contract expires in 2020 and prolonged negotiations have failed to yield an agreement, posing the risk United could lose one of their most valuable assets for free, but Solskjaer is not resigned to losing the 28-year-old.

"I'm positive, of course, with David. I've said many times how lucky I am and happy we are to have him in goal," Solskjaer told reporters in Perth ahead of Saturday's friendly with Perth Glory.

"David has had a close-season where he has been negotiating and we hope we can get it sorted. I am positive. We hope he stays here for many years."

Following a disappointing 2018-19 campaign that saw United finish sixth in the Premier League, Solskjaer and the club's hierarchy have been tasked with making considerable changes to the squad.

Although only Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have arrived, Solskjaer is confident more will follow, but stressed they will not be making rash decisions.

"Doing business in the football market is not a quick fix overnight," Solskjaer added.

"We have players I trust and who I know are going to be successful at this club and we've signed two, Dan and Aaron, with speed, hunger and quality, to be part of that.

"We know last year was disappointing and what we have to aim for this year. We've got to close the gap.

"We ended up sixth in a very competitive league and that's what Manchester United is all about - bouncing back after a season.

"When the league starts I'm sure we'll have a good team, a Manchester United team that is going to challenge.

"We're still in the market looking to do some business, but we're patient, we're Manchester United, we don't have to sell and don't have to overpay.

"You have to have the right players at the right price and if you look at the squad we've got now, there are so many good players, and the ones working here want to improve."

Romelu Lukaku is on the other side of the globe and his future is still up in the air.

In Australia for Manchester United's pre-season tour, Lukaku remains a Red Devils player but he is reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford.

Linked to Inter, this could drag on for a while…

 

TOP STORY – INTER STEP UP LUKAKU CHASE

Inter will travel to England to try to complete a transfer for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, Sky Sports reports.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, €80million-rated Lukaku wants to leave and Inter have emerged as frontrunners to sign the 26-year-old.

Serie A champions Juventus are also reportedly interested but Inter head coach Antonio Conte, who missed out on signing Lukaku during his time as Chelsea boss in 2017, is desperate to bring him to Milan.

 

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Paris Saint-Germain are willing to part with Neymar for €150m, according to El Pais. Neymar – linked with a return to Camp Nou and Real Madrid – arrived from Barcelona in a world-record €222m transfer in 2017.

Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United amid doubts over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's ability to deliver silverware at Old Trafford, according to The Sun. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and Juventus.

- According to the front page of Corriere dello Sport, Napoli are stepping up their pursuit of Valencia forward Rodrigo. The 28-year-old is valued at €70m by the LaLiga club. Meanwhile, Sport Mediaset reports Napoli are poised to sign Eljif Elmas with the Fenerbahce midfielder set to undergo a medical.

- The Suns says Arsenal are planning to hijack Premier League rivals Everton's move for Barcelona winger Malcom. The Brazilian, who struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou last season, has emerged as a target for the Gunners – who look to have moved on from pursuing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

Roma have met with the agent of Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Mariano only returned to the Santiago Bernabeu last season, having left for Lyon in 2017.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Leicester City have entered the race to sign Arsenal and Valencia target Dennis Praet from Sampdoria.

Atletico Madrid striker and former Chelsea star Diego Costa has an agreement with Wolves, reports Globo Esporte.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed the Premier League giants were yet to receive bids for any of their players, including Paul Pogba.

Pogba, 26, is expected to leave Old Trafford this close season, his agent Mino Raiola having recently said the midfielder wants an exit.

The France international is heavily linked with Real Madrid, while Romelu Lukaku is also reportedly set to leave United, with Inter apparently interested in the striker.

However, speaking at a news conference in Perth on Wednesday, Solskjaer said United were yet to receive bids for any of their players.

"There has been loads of talks and speculations about many of our players, both ins and outs. For me, it's business as usual," he said.

"When you're at Man United, you expect all these things to pop up in the summer and of course I've been in touch with Paul, spoken to Paul, spoken to Rom, spoken to Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Jesse [Lingard], spoken to all the players more or less over the summer as you do, you keep in touch with them.

"As far as I'm aware and up until now, we don't have any bids for any of our players... Paul, or most of our players, [have] got long contracts. We are Man United, we don't have to sell players."

Pogba, who is contracted until 2021, was reported to have had a bust-up with Lingard after an exchange between the pair on Tuesday.

Solskjaer was unhappy with those reports, accusing the media of having an "agenda" against Pogba.

"It looks like there is an agenda against Paul. He's a top, top bloke. He's a great, great professional, he's never been any problems, he's got a heart of gold," the Norwegian said.

"For example, Jesse and Paul yesterday walking around, and it's been portrayed as it's a fight between the two boys. I know you're here to sell papers and sell stories, but there's no problem between the boys at all.

"They are all professional and pre-season has been very, very good so far."

Manchester United will face A-League premiers Perth Glory in a friendly on Saturday.

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful James Rodriguez will sign for the Serie A club.

James has emerged as a transfer target for Napoli, who want to reunite the Colombia star with former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich boss Ancelotti.

The 27-year-old's future is uncertain after Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich opted not to take up a permanent transfer following a two-year loan deal from Madrid.

Amid ongoing speculation over James, Ancelotti told reporters: "I don't know if he'll come, but we hope so.

"I know him very well, he can play in all the midfield positions. I used him as a left winger, as a number 10 and or even on the right.

"His position on the pitch isn't a problem. He's adaptable, he can play in many positions.

"As for the number 10 shirt, the important thing is that he puts on the Azzurri jersey. His number isn't important. However, he needs time and patience."

Napoli are reportedly interested in taking James on loan, though Madrid want a permanent sale and €42million as they look to raise funds amid a busy transfer window.

While Napoli are favourites to sign James, LaLiga's Atletico Madrid are believed to be monitoring the situation.

Manchester United should sell wantaway star Paul Pogba, according to former midfielder Kleberson.

Pogba is eyeing a move away from United, with the France World Cup winner linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and a return to Serie A champions Juventus.

The 26-year-old – who arrived at Old Trafford in an £89million deal in 2016 – is in Australia for the start of United's pre-season tour.

Kleberson spent two underwhelming years in Manchester after winning the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and the 40-year-old believes the time is right for United to cash in.

"It is the right move to sell Paul Pogba, he's a great player and his talent is unbelievable," Kleberson told Manchester Evening News via YourPromotionalCodes. "But his style is a little bit different, and not particularly what Man United need.

"He could use this opportunity now to leave and get a fresh start, play in a different atmosphere, and embrace a new challenge.

"Sometimes it's hard to come to Manchester United and adapt to play a particular style. It doesn't mean he's not a good player with great quality. There's a lot of criticism around the players, sometimes it doesn't always go well.

"You work hard, you want to perform for the team, but some things go wrong, and these can be out of your control."

Kleberson added: "He could use this opportunity now to leave and get a fresh start, play in a different atmosphere, and embrace a new challenge.

"Paul Pogba had played a lot more games, more opportunities than me when I was at Man United.

"I had many injuries in the time when I was there. He's played well since being there but not to the level we should expect from him. When he plays for France, we see it, he was a massive part of them winning the World Cup. He's the heartbeat of the France team."

AC Milan chief football officer Zvonimir Boban believes goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will remain with the Serie A giants.

Donnarumma, 20, has been linked with a move away from San Siro, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in the shot-stopper.

But Boban suggested the Italy international would stay in Milan, although accepted the situation could also change.

"[Paolo] Maldini said that we are happy to have probably the best goalkeeper in the world, surely the best talent in the world in that role," Boban said on Tuesday, via CalcioMercato.

"For the moment, he remains. He can change but it is not said that he will leave."

Donnarumma joined Milan as a 14-year-old in 2013 and has already made 164 first-team appearances.

Leonardo said he cannot promise Kylian Mbappe will sign a new contract with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe has continually been linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid since hinting he could be ready for a "new project".

The 20-year-old star enjoyed a stellar season in 2018-19, leading PSG to another Ligue 1 crown thanks to 33 goals in 29 games, and sporting director Leonardo discussed Mbappe's future.

"I don't make promises," Leonardo told Le Parisien when asked whether Mbappe would renew his contract in the French capital.

"For two reasons. Firstly, because I don't represent everyone at the club and secondly because I don't make promises without being sure I can fulfil them.

"The only thing that interests me is the present, the now."

Leonardo said: "It's not a question of knowing whether [his contract] is a priority or not. Mbappe is here. He's very important for the club and there's no debate [over his importance].

"He's returned to training with a super-positive attitude, with a smile. He's charismatic. People really like him and it's important to have a player like him in your team."

Asked if PSG's future should be built around Mbappe, Leonardo replied: "He is a great player. Yes, a great player."

Mbappe has been deployed on the flanks for PSG, with Edinson Cavani occupying the central attacking position when fit.

"If you look at the careers of some of the greats, you see that they've played in various positions," Leonardo added.

"It was the case with [Zinedine] Zidane, Cristiano [Ronaldo] played on the left, on the right and up front. Ronaldinho played in various positions.

"A player like Mbappe can do what he wants. Play in whatever position. He has lots of qualities, he's agile, quick and technically gifted. He's a good goalscorer, he's intelligent... he has it all."

Luca Zidane has completed a loan switch from Real Madrid to Racing Santander for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 21-year-old featured once for Madrid at first-team level last season after being handed a surprise start by his father Zinedine Zidane for the 3-2 win over Huesca in March.

He is far down the goalkeeping pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and Andriy Lunin - back from his loan spell with Leganes - all in front of him.

Following Zidane's loan exit to Segunda Division side Racing, it has been reported Navas could follow him out the door in a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain.

That would leave highly-rated Ukrainian keeper Lunin to provide back-up for Courtois, who joined from Chelsea last August.

As well as featuring once for the first team, Zidane appeared 30 times for Castilla in 2018-19.

Villarreal have announced the signing of Alberto Moreno on a five-year deal.

Moreno was a free agent having been released by Liverpool at the end of his contract.

He made only two Premier League appearances last season after falling out of favour at Anfield.

And the former Sevilla defender is returning to LaLiga with Javier Calleja's side, who finished 14th in 2018-19.

"The Andalusian footballer is a complete full-back with a great ability to get forward in attack," said a Villarreal statement on Tuesday.

"As well as adding width to his team, Moreno is a great assister of goals."

Villarreal also confirmed former Italy defender Daniele Bonera has opted to retire at the age of 38.

"After nearly 20 years as a professional footballer, I have decided to end this incredible era of my life," Bonera wrote on Villarreal's website.

"It has been a real privilege to play for clubs like Brescia, Parma, AC Milan and, in these last four years, Villarreal.

"I've grown both on a professional and personal level, and today I have the chance to face a new project with trust and certainty."

Bonera, who spent nine years at San Siro before joining Villarreal in 2015, has been named an assistant to new AC Milan coach Marco Giampaolo.

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