Steven Nzonzi is to join Galatasaray on an initial season-long loan, Roma have confirmed.

The Turkish Super Lig champions have the option to sign the World Cup-winning midfielder for €16million before June 30 next year.

They can also extend the loan by another season for €500,000, after which they will retain a purchase option of €13m valid until June 30, 2021.

"The club would like to wish Steven the best of luck for the future," Roma said in a statement.

Nzonzi joined Roma from Sevilla for an initial fee of €26.65m last year, a month after his World Cup triumph with France in Russia.

He made 30 appearances in Serie A last season, scoring once, as the Giallorossi finished sixth.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been named in Brazil's squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru.

The 27-year-old returns for his national side after missing out on selection for the 2019 Copa America through injury.

Neymar ruptured ligaments in his ankle in a pre-tournament friendly against Qatar on June 5 and has not featured for club or country since, but Brazil coped well in his absence as they lifted the trophy on home soil.

PSG sporting director Leonardo revealed on Thursday the forward's injury has "completely healed", however, and a return to action appears imminent, even if speculation over his future persists amid links to Real Madrid and former club Barcelona.

 

Neymar is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by uncapped Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior, who was overlooked for Copa America selection by Tite due to an ankle injury, while Flamengo's Bruno Henrique is in line to make his senior debut.

There is no place for injured Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, with Ivan being called up to provide cover for Ederson and Weverton.

Santos left-back Jorge is also included for the games with Colombia on September 6 and Peru on September 10, as is Udinese's Samir, while Madrid defender Marcelo is among the absentees.


Brazil squad in full:

Ederson (Manchester City), Ivan (Ponte Preta), Weverton (Palmeiras); Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Fagner (Corinthians), Jorge (Santos), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Samir (Udinese), Alex Sandro (Juventus); Allan (Napoli), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona); Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Bruno Henrique (Flamengo), David Neres (Ajax), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid). 

Liverpool will again be without the injured Naby Keita when they visit Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Guinea international Keita has not recovered in time from a hip muscle strain suffered before the UEFA Super Cup victory over Chelsea.

The midfielder was an unused substitute during last Friday's league win against Norwich City at Anfield and manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed there is no timescale for his return.

"[He's] not available. It's a muscle thing," Klopp said when asked about the 24-year-old at his pre-match news conference.

"We don't know exactly how long it will take, but he's not available."

Keita is not Liverpool's only fitness concern, with goalkeeper Adrian potentially set to join Alisson on the sidelines.

The Spaniard was left nursing a swollen ankle after a fan slipped and collided with him amid the on-pitch celebrations in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Klopp will have to carefully assess his troops ahead of a third game in eight days, a schedule that does not sit comfortably with the German.

"My plan when I heard about the fixtures was to win on Wednesday, to win on Saturday, then speak about it after that," he said.

"If you speak about it earlier it sounds like you're looking for excuses. I don't, we don't [want to make excuses].

"Was it right that we played on Friday and Chelsea on Sunday? No. That's the situation, we cannot change these things.

"We have no power. We can only accept it. Now we don't think about it, we don't think about Wednesday night, we think about Saturday.

"That's what we have to do - find a way to win the game. That's the reason why we go there and that's possible, so that's what we will try."

Paul Pogba could still join Real Madrid but he is not worth the reported €200million asking price, according to the Manchester United midfielder's brother.

Mathias Pogba, who plays in the fourth tier of Spanish football, thinks his younger sibling might yet leave Old Trafford despite United's apparent insistence on a huge sum.

The Premier League club reportedly want close to the world-record €222m fee that saw Neymar move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

United would not be able to sign a replacement as the transfer window has closed to English clubs, but Mathias advised Madrid to listen to the desires of head coach Zinedine Zidane.

"Zidane is one of the greats and I think that if the club give him what he wants he won't have a problem," Mathias told El Chiringuito.

"But if they don't give it to him, he's going to have a hard time because what he wants is not going to happen.

"Zidane is missing my brother and another midfielder on top of that, I think.

"Of course, Florentino [Perez, club president] can still bring him to Madrid, nothing is impossible. Until September 2, anything can happen."

However, he added: "My brother isn't worth €200m, but that's just the way the transfer market is these days.

"Manchester United are going to ask for a lot of money, I'm sure, but he's not worth €200m."

Madrid commence their LaLiga campaign away to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid broke their transfer record and Real Madrid spent a huge amount to freshen up their squad, but Barcelona will still be the team to beat in LaLiga's title tussle.

Barca have finished top in eight of the last 11 years, including the past two, and they head into the 2019-20 season as favourites to retain their crown.

The reigning champions accrued 11 points more than runners-up Atletico last time out and have strengthened during the close season with the additions of Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Junior Firpo.

But with Zinedine Zidane at the Madrid helm and long-term target Eden Hazard in place, not to mention the signings of Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes, there is hope Madrid can bridge the 19-point gap from last season.

Across the city at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico replaced Griezmann with €126million sensation Joao Felix and refreshed some key areas in the squad following the exits of Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, Juanfran and several others.

Ahead of the new season commencing on Friday, we used Opta data to look at which records and landmarks LaLiga's three heavyweights are targeting over the next nine months.

The #PrimeraIberdrola gets underway on September 8th!

Who will be the 2019/20 champions? pic.twitter.com/FyzvJxjEps

— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) August 14, 2019

 

Messi has more records in sight at Barcelona

⦁ With Cristiano Ronaldo no longer in the picture, Lionel Messi is closing in on the ex-Madrid forward's hat-tricks record in the Spanish top flight. One more treble will draw him level with Ronaldo on 34; two more will take him outright top.

⦁ Messi, unsurprisingly, leads the way at the top of Barca's all-time scoring charts in LaLiga with 419 goals to his name. Team-mate Luis Suarez has the chance to move up to third in the list, requiring one more goal to overtake Ladislao Kubala (131).

⦁ Barcelona could become the second team to score more than 6,100 goals in LaLiga history. They go into the season on 6,089, 15 fewer than Real Madrid.

⦁ Messi is also high on the list of the Catalan giants' all-time appearance-makers, featuring 684 times in all competitions to leave him second to Xavi Hernandez (767). Gerard Pique has some catching up to do, but he has a landmark in sight, as he is two outings short of 500 in a Barca shirt.

⦁ In the dugout, Ernesto Valverde is on course to become the 10th manager to reach 450 LaLiga games. The Spaniard, whose future was called into question during the close season, is 26 matches short of that impressive figure.

 

Simeone closing in on milestone Atletico victory

⦁ Retaining the services of boss Diego Simeone was key for Atletico during the close season. The Argentine coach remains and he could become the second manager to reach 200 LaLiga wins with a single team after Miguel Munoz for Real Madrid (257). He heads into the weekend on 180.

⦁ Since Radamel Falcao got the Simeone era up and running with goal number one in 2012, Atletico have gone on to add another 484 in LaLiga, meaning the 500 landmark is within touching distance.

⦁ Atletico have become more synonymous with the defensive side of the game under Simeone and boast one of the world's best goalkeepers in Jan Oblak. The Slovenia international is on 88 LaLiga clean sheets and is aiming to become the third keeper to reach triple figures in the 21st century after Victor Valdes (171) and Iker Casillas (160).

⦁ In new signing Joao Felix, Atletico boast one of the hottest properties in world football. Aged 19, he could become one of the youngest players to score for the club - a record held by Ignacio Camacho (17 years and 364 days when he scored against Recreativo Huelva in 2008).

⦁ Joao Felix will hope to have a long and prosperous career at the Wanda Metropolitano, much in the way team-mate Koke has. The academy product has made 285 league appearances for Atletico and will expected to become only the sixth player to reach 300 this term.

 

 Numancia
 Chivas
 Real Madrid
 MLS All-Stars
 @AtletideSanLuis
 Juventus

 100% win rate in pre-season! #AúpaAtleti #AtletiSummerTour pic.twitter.com/k007cDdLQk

— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 10, 2019

 

Familiar faces out to make history for Madrid

⦁ They may have fallen well off the pace last season, but no team has won more matches in LaLiga than Real Madrid's 1690 victories, 55 more than next best Barca. They could therefore become the first team to reach 1,700 victories in the competition.

⦁ Karim Benzema hit a good patch of form towards the end of last season to go sixth on the club's list of all-time leading scorers in all competitions with 222 goals. That leaves him just 20 short of fifth-place Ferenc Puskas, but still a whopping 228 adrift of leading marksman Ronaldo.

⦁ The Frenchman will hope to retain his place up top this term, especially with Hazard now providing the ammunition from out wide. The Belgian is looking to become the eighth current player to reach 100 assists in the top five European leagues. He goes into the season on 89 from his time with Lille and Chelsea.

⦁ Zidane was brought back to Madrid in March, 10 months after stepping down, and he is closing in on 200 games for Los Blancos. The 47-year-old has taken charge of 160 matches in all competitions, leaving him behind five others, including Jose Mourinho (178).

⦁ Players and managers come and go but one thing remains constant - Sergio Ramos marshalling the Madrid defence. The Spanish skipper has made 419 LaLiga appearances in the famous white strip, although he is only seventh on the list of record appearances makers, with Paco Gento (427) the next player in his sights.

Halfway through last season, Borussia Dortmund were in pole position to dethrone Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

The new year saw Lucien Favre's bright young side falter just enough for Bayern's know how to tell, with Niko Kovac's men claiming a seventh successive top-flight crown.

But it means the anticipation is for a memorable tussle once again this time around, with the processions of recent campaigns hopefully a thing of the past. Throw in an ambitious chasing pack and you have quite a spectacle.

Before the first ball is kicked, five Omnisport journalists have put their necks on the line with some top-four predictions.

We totted up the overall scores and here's what we came up with. Apologies in advance to all at Signal Iduna Park…

 

1st – Borussia Dortmund

Unlike our near-unanimous choice for Manchester City to be Premier League champions, the panel was understandably split down the middle over who will prevail out of Dortmund and Bayern. BVB just got the edge.

STRENGTHS: Wonderful attacking quality, expertly coached by Favre, which is now bolstered by the arrivals of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. The returning Mats Hummels – alongside the likes of the talismanic Marco Reus and Axel Witsel – ensures a pleasing blend between experience and future stars.

WEAKNESSES: Can they handle the pressure better than last time around? Hummels is a fine addition but has a significant job on his hands to shore up a vulnerable defence in front of the gifted but error-prone Roman Burki.

2nd – Bayern Munich

Despite an unconvincing close season in the transfer market, defined by the unseemly Leroy Sane saga, it remains hard to back against the Bundesliga's dominant force. But we have!

STRENGTHS: Supreme title-winning pedigree and, although lacking some of the depth they would like, the best collection of individual players in the league. Robert Lewandowski is going for a fifth Torjagerkanone, while there are signs Manuel Neuer might be back to his best.

WEAKNESSES: Light in attack after the departures of club greats Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Significant doubts remain over whether Kovac is the right man from the job, seemingly from the terraces to boardroom level. As such, Uli Hoeness' mooted departure as chairman could lead to turmoil.

3rd – RB Leipzig

German football's new kids on the block were the only other a unanimous choice to finish inside the top four.

STRENGTHS: Julian Nagelsmann has cast himself as a generational coaching talent and should be the man to take last season's beaten DFB-Pokal finalists on to the next level. They have bought shrewdly by bringing in the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Ademola Lookman.

WEAKNESSES: The distraction of star forward Timo Werner entering the final year of his contract. Adapting to Nagelsmann's detailed pressing system is likely to be a challenge.

4th – Bayer Leverkusen

Peter Bosz's time in charge of Dortmund might have ended abruptly but he is doing plenty to convince with a vibrant Leverkusen side.

STRENGTHS: Kai Havertz scored 20 goals in all competitions last season and is a superstar-in-waiting. They have bought well, with Moussa Diaby an exciting replacement for Brandt. The arrival of Hoffenheim duo Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri also strengthens Bosz's hand significantly.

WEAKNESSES: The coach's system is always likely to lead to defensive vulnerability and there is a lack of quality cover for Jonathan Tah and Sven Bender at centre-back.

Manchester United were made to wait but they got their man in Harry Maguire, who left Leicester City in an £80million deal.

The focus on the huge fee was then eased by the defender's excellent debut in a 4-0 win over Chelsea.

And United fans will be even more delighted to read reports Maguire turned down their city rivals and a massive contract offer in order to head to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – CITY OFFERED MAGUIRE CONTRACT WORTH £70M

The Premier League transfer window has closed but the talk does not stop.

According to the Daily Star, England defender Maguire was offered £278,000 per week by City – worth £70m over five years – but opted instead to sign for United.

The deal would have made the former Leicester man the best paid defender in world football, whereas his contract at Old Trafford is said to be worth almost £100,000 less per week.

Maguire reportedly rejected the deal because he had already decided to join United – news that will only further endear him to Red Devils supporters.

ROUND-UP 

- United may not have needed to match City's Maguire offer, but the Daily Mail report Alexis Sanchez is on £560,000 per week, having opted for the red half of Manchester. These wages explain just why United have not been able to get rid of the Chilean in this transfer window. Neither Juventus, Inter nor Napoli can afford Sanchez.

- Meanwhile, details continue to emerge from Barcelona's meeting with Paris Saint-Germain regarding Neymar. According to Le Parisien, Arturo Vidal formed part of the Blaugrana's offer - but PSG were not impressed by a package including the former Bayern Munich man, Philippe Coutinho and less than €60m.

 

- While some of Europe's top clubs could yet make late moves, it appears Nice will be one of the busier outfits. L'Equipe believe they are looking to bring in both Jean-Kevin Augustin from RB Leipzig and Adam Ounas from Napoli. The former would cost €20m, while the latter deal would be a loan with an option for the same amount.

Virgil van Dijk talked up the importance of Liverpool's win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

The European champions claimed the trophy with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win in Istanbul, where the Premier League clubs drew 2-2 on Wednesday.

The significance of the trophy has been questioned, but Van Dijk said winning silverware was crucial for Liverpool's progress.

"It's incredibly important," the star defender said, via the Mirror.

"I do think it's really important – for the progress of the team, for our development. Winning a trophy is important for your mentality. We did it the hard way."

Sadio Mane cancelled out Olivier Giroud's opener and also put Liverpool ahead in extra time, only for a Jorginho penalty to lead to the shoot-out.

Adrian, on his first Liverpool start, was the hero, making the only save from Tammy Abraham to see Jurgen Klopp's men to victory.

"It was definitely a dream – a dream to win trophies," Van Dijk said. "And I think before I joined, in my decision I set my goals, and these things were part of my goals – winning trophies was part of my decision.

"You take every opportunity you have to win a trophy. That is always the goal, and winning makes it a little bit easier the next time.

"We would have liked to have done it easier, we wanted to do it like we did better in the second half, but the winning is the important thing at the end. It is good to have that mentality."

Liverpool will be aiming for their second straight win to start the Premier League season when they visit Southampton on Saturday.

Pedro Neto scored on his debut as Wolves brushed Pyunik aside 4-0 at Molineux to secure an 8-0 aggregate victory and a place in the Europa League play-off round.

Nuno Espirito Santo's men were already virtually guaranteed of progression but ensured they moved two games away from the group stage in style, although Serie A side Torino are next up in the competition.

Neto's opening goal for the club came early in the second half and he was quickly involved again, setting up Morgan Gibbs-White.

Ruben Vinagre added Wolves' third and they completed the scoring in stunning fashion thanks to an acrobatic finish from Diogo Jota.

Wolves had established a dominant position in the tie thanks to last week's 4-0 win at the Republican Stadium, where Raul Jimenez scored twice.

Having handed debuts to Jesus Vallejo and Neto in the return fixture, they almost took an early lead when the latter fired wide from outside the box, while Patrick Cutrone wasted two chances before half-time.

Andrija Dragojevic stayed big to deny Gibbs-White after the restart but Neto struck the opener from close range in the 54th minute, tucking in a Cutrone cross.

Confidence was then flowing for the 19-year-old as he darted into space on the left and put the ball on a plate for the arriving Gibbs-White to net his first senior goal.

Pyunik were cut open on the right flank again in the 64th minute when Adama Traore set up Vinagre for his second Europa League strike of the season.

The pick of the goals was still to come with three minutes left, however, a fine team move seeing Wolves find Jimenez in space and his scooped pass over the Pyunik defence was met by Jota's wonderful overhead kick.

Torino will likely provide a far sterner test, but Wolves continue to enjoy their first taste of European football since the 1980-81 campaign.

Sadio Mane feels Roberto Firmino deserves the credit for Liverpool's UEFA Super Cup triumph, although it was the Senegal star who struck twice.

Olivier Giroud gave Chelsea the lead in Istanbul on Wednesday in what was the first all-English Super Cup clash.

But after Firmino came off the bench for the start of the second half, he provided two assists for Mane to turn the tie around before Jorginho made it 2-2 with a penalty.

Adrian, deputising for Alisson, was then the hero by denying Blues striker Tammy Abraham to give the Reds a 5-4 victory on penalties.

Even though Mane is Liverpool's top scorer in 2019 with 18 goals in all competitions, he is more than happy to share the limelight.

"To be honest, I think I was just a lucky boy," Mane told UEFA.

"I think all the credit should go to my team-mates, especially Bobby [Firmino] – he could have scored but he preferred to give it to me.

"I think this is how we play at Liverpool. We play for each other and we always enjoy playing for each other and to give each other passes. I think that makes us strong."

Liverpool, who won their Premier League opener 4-1 at home to Norwich City last week, are back in action away to Mane's old club Southampton on Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini is happy to see Adrian making an immediate impact at Liverpool but would have liked to have kept the goalkeeper at West Ham.

Adrian left London Stadium as a free agent at the end of last season and signed for European champions Liverpool, replacing Simon Mignolet as Alisson's back-up.

But an injury to Alisson in the Premier League opener against Norwich City saw Adrian quickly thrust into the action at Anfield.

And on just his first start for Liverpool, the Spaniard proved their UEFA Super Cup final hero with a decisive penalty shoot-out save from Chelsea's Tammy Abraham on Wednesday.

Adrian had been restricted to cup appearances last season, with Lukasz Fabianski the West Ham number one, but Pellegrini still sought to keep the 32-year-old.

"I'm happy for him because he played a lot of years here at West Ham," Pellegrini told a news conference, reflecting on Adrian's display against Chelsea. "He's a very good goalkeeper.

"For different reasons, he couldn't find an arrangement to continue here. We wanted him here because not only is he a good goalkeeper, he's a good player for the squad also.

"He had some problems at the start of the season, so signing for Liverpool and having this performance, I'm very happy for him."

Adrian spent six years at West Ham, largely operating as the club's first choice prior to Fabianski's 2018 arrival.

The former Real Betis man is set to continue in the Liverpool goal against Southampton this weekend, with Alisson out for "the next few weeks" - as confirmed by Jurgen Klopp.

Vahid Halilhodzic has been named as Morocco's new head coach, replacing Herve Renard at the helm for the Atlas Lions.

Morocco had been on the lookout for a coach since the resignation last month of Renard, who has since taken over the Saudi Arabia national team.

Renard quit following Morocco's shock Africa Cup of Nations last-16 defeat to Benin.

The vastly experienced Halilhodzic has arrived in his place, having most recently coached Nantes in Ligue 1, where he previously led Paris Saint-Germain from 2003 to 2005.

Halilhodzic boasts a varied background on his international CV, having guided Ivory Coast, Algeria and Japan to World Cup qualification.

Upon his appointment, confirmed by the Moroccan FA on Thursday, the 67-year-old said: "Coaching Morocco is a big responsibility and an honour.

"My first objective is to qualify for the World Cup. I will try to qualify a fourth consecutive national team."

The Moroccan FA said on its website that Halilhodzic has signed a four-year contract.

One of Halilhodzic's first coaching roles saw him in charge at Raja Casablanca, one of Morocco's biggest clubs, as they won the CAF Champions League in 1997.

Lionel Messi is not in the Barcelona squad for the first game of their LaLiga title defence.

Barca go to Athletic Bilbao on Friday to open the 2019-20 season but they will be without their inspirational captain.

Messi has not featured during pre-season due to a calf injury and he was not present in the open section of Barca's training session on Thursday.

Ahead of the workout, former Athletic head coach Valverde had suggested Messi would not be able to take his place in the squad.

"We're not going to take risks with players and certainly not with him," Valverde told a news conference ahead of his return to San Mames.

"He's not trained with the team since they came back and it's different to train in isolation. We'll wait a little to see how his recovery goes, it's going well I understand, but we have to wait and see."

Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic are included in the travelling squad despite reports they could leave Barca as part of a deal with Paris Saint-Germain for the potential return of Neymar.

Antoine Griezmann is in line to make his league debut for Barcelona after joining from Atletico Madrid, with fellow new arrivals Frenkie de Jong and Junior Firpo also included, but midfielder Arthur misses out.

Mario Balotelli will not be moving to Brazil with Flamengo after the Rio de Janeiro club confirmed the end of negotiations.

Balotelli is a free agent following the expiry of a short-term deal with Marseille last season, during which he netted an impressive eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 matches.

The former Inter and Manchester City star is now considering his options for the new season and a move to Flamengo was mooted.

However, the Brazilian outfit said on Thursday in a short statement that negotiations had concluded without a positive outcome, with a return to Italy with Brescia now reportedly an option.

Flamengo's statement read: "Flamengo, athlete Mario Balotelli and their representatives decide, by mutual agreement and after two days of cordial meetings in Monaco, to close on this date negotiations involving the possible hiring of the athlete."

Having started his top-flight career at Inter before a big-money move to City, Balotelli has bounced around Europe, turning out for AC Milan, Liverpool, Nice and, most recently, Marseille.

A three-year deal with newly-promoted Serie A side Brescia is reported to have been proposed to the striker.

Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard pledged support to Tammy Abraham after he was subjected to online racist abuse after the UEFA Super Cup.

Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in Istanbul on Wednesday, with Abraham's effort in the shoot-out saved by stand-in goalkeeper Adrian.

Kick it Out later received reports of racism directed at the England international on social media, which the anti-discrimination body condemned as "disgusting".

England colleagues Rashford and Lingard have backed up their international team-mate.

"Keep your head held high @tammyabraham," Rashford posted on Twitter, referencing the reports of abuse.

"We've all had them saved, that’s football. We should be celebrating young English talent not this..."

Rashford's Manchester United colleague Lingard added: "Head up brother stand strong stand proud."

Abraham retweeted the messages from Rashford and Lingard but is yet to comment publicly on the alleged abuse, although he posted on Instagram about the game.

"Wasn't able to get my first trophy for the club but we fought hard until the end," Abraham said. "Love this team. Thanks for the warming messages."

Abraham's Chelsea team-mate Christian Pulisic, who impressed on his full debut for the Blues, backed the striker to bounce back from his penalty disappointment.

"We said to him, 'It's penalties, man – somebody has to miss'," Pulisic told Standard Sport. "He's going to get his head up. Obviously it's tough but penalties are like that.

"He can deal with it and he'll be fine. He'll move on, he'll score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten. We're there for him."

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