James Rodriguez could yet be staying in Madrid – by moving to Atletico.

James, 27, is set to leave Real Madrid after Bayern Munich opted against exercising their purchase option for the playmaker at the conclusion of his two-year loan deal.

It seemed the Colombia international was likely to move to Napoli, but interest from Atletico has, at least, slowed down that potential switch.

 

TOP STORY – JAMES PREFERS ATLETICO SWITCH OVER NAPOLI

According to Gol Caracol, James is enjoying the interest from Atletico Madrid.

The report says Atletico would be ready to invest the €120million they are expected to receive from Barcelona for Antoine Griezmann on James.

With Joao Felix having already arrived at the Wanda Metropolitano, Diego Simeone could have plenty of attacking talent to work with next season.

 

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- Griezmann is set for a fine. AS report the forward, expected to join Barcelona, did not report for the start of Atletico Madrid's pre-season and could face a fine. The France international is reportedly in Ibiza on holiday.

- Paul Pogba will join Manchester United on their pre-season tour despite wanting a move from Old Trafford. The Mirror report Real Madrid – who are eyeing the midfielder – told Pogba to make the trip, unwilling to risk upsetting the United hierarchy.

- Inter are still trying, unsuccessfully, to find a deal for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku. La Repubblica report Inter offered either Mauro Icardi or Radja Nainggolan as part of a deal for Lukaku, but that was rejected.

- Tottenham are eager to bring in Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. Corriere dello Sport report Spurs have offered £20.6m (€23m) plus defender Toby Alderweireld for Zaniolo, a deal which was apparently well received. Juventus are also interested in the 20-year-old Italy international.

- Just as it looked like his Valencia deal was just about done, Celta Vigo forward Maxi Gomez may have had a change of heart. West Ham have offered to meet Gomez's £44.9m (€50.1m) release clause, according to Sky Sports, who say the Premier League club – who sold Marko Arnautovic to Shanghai SIPG – want to pay in instalments.

- Liverpool could be signing another young talent. The Telegraph report the European champions are set to sign England Under-17 midfielder Harvey Elliott, the 16-year-old having left Fulham and decided to head to Anfield over several European giants. Liverpool have already added 17-year-old Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg this close season.

Manchester United's pursuit of a new centre-back sounds like it is becoming quite expensive.

Not only have Leicester City reportedly quoted them £90million plus for Harry Maguire, the Red Devils are also being expected to make the England man their third-highest-paid player.

Little wonder Manchester City have apparently stepped away from the race to sign him.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED TO OFFER MAGUIRE HUGE WAGE

The Daily Star claim Manchester United are to offer Harry Maguire a wage of £250,000 a week to tempt him to Old Trafford.

That is said to be three times as much as he earns at Leicester City and would make him the third-highest earner at the Red Devils, behind Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.

Perhaps he is worth the money, though. According to the Manchester Evening News, Alex Ferguson has given the signing of Maguire his seal of approval.

 

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- Manchester United do not know if Paul Pogba will be on the plane to Australia for the start of their pre-season training camp, according to the Mirror. Pogba is determined to leave Old Trafford amid links to Real Madrid and former club Juventus.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo wants to join Juventus despite interest from Champions League runners-up Tottenham. Spurs have reportedly offered €23million plus defender Toby Alderweireld, while Juve are prepared to offload Gonzalo Higuain and cash for the 20-year-old.

- The Star reports Arsenal want Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser if they are not able to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. The Gunners are also favourites to sign Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney ahead of Napoli, according to CalcioNapoli24.

- According to Sport Mediaset, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's agent is in London to hold talks with Manchester United about the Lazio midfielder. Milinkovic-Savic emerged as a target for United at the start of 2018-19 and with the Red Devils needing to reinforce their midfield amid doubts over Paul Pogba, the Serbia international could be available for €80million.

Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann has informed Atletico Madrid that he will not report for the start of pre-season training, Marca says. Griezmann has already made clear his desire to leave Atletico after five years, with LaLiga champions Barca the favourites to sign the France star.

- Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is keen to make a 'statement signing' and has identified Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, claims the Daily Mail.

- The Sun says Atletico Madrid could be forced to sell Saul Niguez amid speculation linking the Spain international midfielder to Manchester United. According to reports, Quality Sports Investments own 40 per cent of Saul's transfer rights and would be owned that percentage if the player – who has a €150million release clause – leaves Madrid.

Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake has emerged as a target for Premier League champions Manchester City, who are refusing to meet Leicester City's valuation of Harry Maguire.

Romelu Lukaku has been strongly linked with Inter, but it appears Juventus are also interested in the Manchester United striker.

Lukaku, 26, looks set to leave Old Trafford this close season, having struggled to have the same impact at United as he did at Everton.

Inter seemed set to be the Belgium international's most likely destination, but Juve are interested, or likely at least driving up the price for their rivals.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS MAKE LUKAKU APPROACH

According to Sky Sport Italia, Juventus have approached Manchester United about Lukaku.

Such a move would be a blow to Inter, who looked favourites to sign Lukaku, with an exit seemingly looming for Mauro Icardi.

Gianluca Di Marzio reports there is uncertainty over how serious Juventus are about a move for Lukaku.

 

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- Juventus are also linked with Icardi, who is a reported target for Napoli. La Gazzetta dello Sport report Napoli are ready to offer €60million for the forward.

- Atletico Madrid are ready to complete a deal for Alvaro Morata. The forward joined the LaLiga club in January on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea, but Atletico are reported to have a purchase option. Sport say they are ready to pay €55m (£49.3m) for Morata, potentially as soon as this close season.

- Arsenal need to strengthen but it seems any movement from the Emirates Stadium is happening slowly. AS report the Premier League club are in negotiations with Real Madrid over Lucas Vazquez, prepared to pay £31.4m (€35m) for the attacker. Arsenal may finally find an exit for Mesut Ozil, with TRT Spor reporting Turkish giants Fenerbahce could take the playmaker on loan.

- Staying in London, Tottenham could be set to sign Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos on loan. AS report Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino spoke to Ceballos about a move, and Sport say any deal would be a one-year loan agreement as the 22-year-old is eager to prove himself at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Spurs are also reportedly interested in Real Madrid's Mariano. Tottenham have enquired about Mariano, according to AS, while Roma are also interested in the 25-year-old forward.

- Forget Manchester United and Tottenham, Youri Tielemans has chosen Leicester City. Having spent the second half of last season on loan at Leicester from Monaco, Tielemans is close to finalising a permanent move to the King Power Stadium, according to The Sun.

Juventus have won the Serie A title for an eighth successive season after a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina on Saturday.

Massimiliano Allegri's men have been dominant pacesetters for much of the campaign and a dramatic triumph over AC Milan earlier in April put them on the brink.

Napoli's subsequent draw at home to Genoa delayed the Bianconeri's celebrations by another week, while a defeat at SPAL that saw Allegri rest players for their Champions League quarter-final with Ajax - which Juve lost 3-2 on aggregate - extended the wait.

And it looked as though the party would be spoiled once again when La Viola took an early lead through Nikola Milenkovic at the Allianz Stadium, before Juve turned the match around via Alex Sandro and German Pezzella's own goal.

The draw for the Europa League quarter-finals is:

Arsenal v Napoli

Villarreal v Valencia

Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt

Slavia Prague v Chelsea


The first legs are due to take place on April 11, with the return matches a week later.

 

The draw for the semi-finals is:

Arsenal/Napoli v Villarreal/Valencia

Benfica/Eintracht Frankfurt v Slavia Prague/Chelsea


The first legs are due to take place on May 2, with the return matches a week later. The final of the competition takes place at the Olympic Stadium in Baku on May 29.

Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was allegedly subjected to racist chants during his side's Boxing Day defeat at Inter.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti said after Napoli's 1-0 loss that they tried to get the game suspended three times because of offensive chants.

Koulibaly, who was sent off during the game, addressed the issue on social media after the match, which was won by Lautoro Martinez's late goal, writing: "I'm sorry for the defeat and above all for having left my brothers! But I'm proud of the colour of my skin. Of being French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: man."

And Ronaldo offered support to Koulibaly with a social media post accompanied with a snap of himself with the defender.

"I always want education and respect in life and football," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. "No to racism or any other type of offence and discrimination!!!"

Mayor of Milan Beppe Sala, who supports Inter, also condemned the abuse as he issued a public apology to Koulibaly via a Facebook post.

"I went to the stadium yesterday, following that passion which was passed on to me by my father," Sala wrote on Facebook. "I celebrated Inter's win but I came home crestfallen.

"Those 'boos' to Koulibaly were disgraceful. It was a disgraceful act aimed at a serious sportsman like him, who shows pride in the colour of his skin.

"Inter will do what they feel is the right thing to do, but I would like it if they gave the captain's armband to [Kwadwo] Asamoah for the Empoli game.

"In the meantime, I would like to apologise to Kalidou Koulibaly in my own name and in the name of the decent city of Milan."

Carlo Ancelotti was delighted to secure the initiative in Group C after a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain took Napoli closer to Champions League progression.

The Serie A side came from a goal down at

Napoli came close to tipping the balance in Serie A last season, but Juventus will move into a completely different league by signing Cristiano Ronaldo. 

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