Mohamed Salah out and Nicolas Pepe in at Liverpool?

Liverpool are reportedly willing to sell star forward Salah in order to bring Lille's Pepe to Anfield.

Salah is coming off a memorable Champions League triumph with the Reds but could be heading out the door.

 

TOP STORY – SALAH COULD MAKE WAY FOR PEPE

According to le10sport, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is prepared to sacrifice Salah to sign Lille forward Pepe.

Pepe took Ligue 1 by storm with 22 goals as Lille qualified for the Champions League and Liverpool are believed to be among the Ivory Coast international's admirers.

The Reds are so keen apparently that they are prepared to sell top scorer Salah, who reportedly has a complicated relationship with Klopp.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Maurizio Sarri saga appears to be reaching its conclusion, with Sky Italy reporting Chelsea and Juventus have reached a deal to allow the Italian to move to the Serie A champions. The former Napoli coach's return to Italy is set to pave the way for ex-Chelsea star and Derby County manager Frank Lampard to take over at Stamford Bridge.

- According to AS, LaLiga champions Barcelona are making back-up plans should they miss out on Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, who is the subject of interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Juve.

- Premier League title-holders Manchester City have been put off by a £90million price tag on Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, according to The Daily Mail. Pep Guardiola is reportedly eyeing the England international as a replacement for Vincent Kompany, while neighbours United are also interested.

- Liverpool are not interested in making another move for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, The Independent reports. The Champions League winners came close to signing the France international last year but pulled out amid reported concerns over his knee.

- Carlo Ancelotti is still determined to bring Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez to Napoli, says AS. James' future is up in the air after Bayern Munich opted against signing the Colombia international permanently following a two-year loan spell.

- Cadena SER claims Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is ready to sell Ivan Rakitic amid reported interest from United. The same station also says Marco Asensio is among the players on the market at Madrid following the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes.

- United and rumoured Madrid target Paul Pogba has no intention of remaining at Old Trafford in 2019-20, according to L'Equipe.

Miralem Pjanic is happy to stay at Juventus amid speculation he could leave the Serie A champions.

Clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Manchester City are all reportedly keen on the midfielder.

Speaking last month, Pjanic described PSG as a "club where all players are ready to go".

The 29-year-old has won the league in each of his three seasons at Juve since joining from Roma.

Despite rumours he could move on, the Bosnia-Herzegovina international is in no rush to leave Juve.

"I am calm, I still have a four-year contract with Juventus and we love each other," he told reporters.

"I feel good in Turin, I am at a serious club and I can still give a lot.

"I am also very happy with the fans and I repeat I am in a club that is great."

Juve are yet to appoint a replacement for departed head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Maurizio Sarri is reportedly the Bianconeri's top target but the former Napoli boss is yet to be released by Chelsea.

 

One of the most in-demand players this off-season, Matthijs de Ligt's future could be about to come clearer.

A reported target for Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain are right in the mix to lure the Ajax captain to the French capital.

It is set to be a busy couple of weeks for agent Mino Raiola…

 

TOP STORY – PSG JUMP AHEAD IN DE LIGT RACE

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain are in "advanced talks" for Matthijs de Ligt's signature.

After helping Netherlands reach the Nations League final, De Ligt is believed to be close to swapping Ajax for Paris - where PSG are craving Champions League success.

The report claims a deal could be finalised "shortly" after the looming return of director Leonardo from AC Milan, with LaLiga champions Barcelona the only other team in the mix.

 

ROUND-UP

- Premier League champions Manchester City and their rivals Manchester United could be pipped to the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Felix by Atletico Madrid, according to The Mirror.

- Tuttosport's front page features Mauro Icardi and fellow Argentine star Paulo Dybala. The story claims Juventus are the only team capable of signing Icardi from Serie A rivals Inter following Antonio Conte's arrival, with Dybala reportedly included in the potential deal.

- According to Tuttomercatoweb, Inter winger Ivan Perisic is a target for Premier League side Leicester City. The 30-year-old Croatia international has also been linked to Arsenal and Manchester United.

Napoli are preparing a €50million bid for PSV star Hirving Lozano, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The Italian side, who have also been linked to Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez following a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, tracked the Mexico international throughout the 2018-19 campaign.

Tottenham are set to make a new offer for Real Betis and Argentina star Giovani Lo Celso, according to The Mirror. Spurs – who are looking to invest following an unexpected Champions League final berth – reportedly had a £53m bid knocked back for the midfielder.

- According to The Sun, Manchester United target Aaron Wan-Bissaka has asked Crystal Palace to grant him a move to the Red Devils. United – who are also reportedly eyeing Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire – have already had an offer turned down. Moving further up the field and Sport claims Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have made contact with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic following their sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

Matthijs de Ligt insists he is yet to decide which club he will join in the coming months, although he will not allow kind words from Cristiano Ronaldo or Frenkie de Jong to sway him.

The Ajax star is one of the most sought-after talents in world football following an outstanding season in which he helped his club to the Champions League semi-finals.

Several of Europe's elite clubs are said to be chasing De Ligt, with Ronaldo encouraging the 19-year-old to join Juventus while former team-mate De Jong talked up a move to Barcelona.

But De Ligt has not yet made his decision and plans to take his time, telling Mundo Deportivo: "I still do not know what my heart says, I have been concentrated all the time on Ajax and the national team.

"Now, on my holidays, I will be able to think about it and decide what I am going to do with my future.

"For me, the most important thing is to know that in the team where I go I can have prominence and play many games. I do not know when I'll have it resolved, but I'm going to take my time."

Discussing the pitches from Ronaldo and De Jong, De Ligt continued: "Of course it would be nice [to be reunited with De Jong], but I must also look at what is best for me.

"I do not pay attention to anyone, I have to choose my own path."

Responding to suggestions Barca might not be able to match financial deals elsewhere, he added: "Money is not the problem.

"Maybe it's not the time yet. It's something I have to think about and decide during my holidays - nothing more."

Blaise Matuidi opted against leaving the pitch in protest when Juventus team-mate Moise Kean allegedly suffered racist abuse at Cagliari because it would have meant those purportedly involved "won".

Kean was said to be the subject of abuse from a section of fans in the Cagliari crowd when he scored Juve's second goal in a 2-0 win on April 2.

Matuidi, who previously said he had suffered similarly at the same stadium in 2018, appeared to indicate to coach Massimiliano Allegri that the Bianconeri should leave the pitch. No action was taken against Cagliari by Serie A on either occasion.

The midfielder is glad the team did not head town the tunnel, believing it was the right response to continue playing after Kean's 85th-minute strike.

"Leaving the field crossed my mind this season in Cagliari," Matuidi told France Football. "But I did not want to give up on my team-mates, we had a game to play.

"And, in hindsight, I was right, it's not the best solution. It's my point of view, we do not all have the same. When I left, I would have proved them right. That would mean they won.

"This fight is for us, the good people, who must win it, not them."

Matuidi expressed that racism is something that needs tacking on a much larger scale than just within football.

"I have never felt hatred for anyone. It's mostly anger," he added. "It has nothing to do with football stadiums and, unfortunately, it happens frequently around the world, in life too.

"At the moment, you feel disgusted. Football is not that. It's going to a stadium and getting positive emotion, with joys and sorrows because you win or you lose a match.

"But it stops there. For the rest, we are all equal. That's why we can experience sadness and disgust at times."

A Manchester United fan could soon be their next goalkeeper.

Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak – a boyhood supporter of the Red Devils – is reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford.

Talk of Oblak comes at a good time, with uncertainty continuing to hang over David de Gea's future at United.

 

TOP STORY – OBLAK EYES UNITED

Atletico's exodus could continue, with ESPN FC claiming Jan Oblak wants to leave LaLiga's runners-up following broken promises over his future.

Oblak is apparently keener on Premier League side United than Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Antoine Griezmann prepares to leave after the departures of captain Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Juanfran and Filipe Luis.

The 26-year-old only signed a new Atletico deal until 2023 earlier this year. The report is music to the ears of United fans, with David de Gea no closer to signing a new contract amid reported interest from PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are preparing a second bid, reportedly worth £50million, for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka according to Sky Sports after their initial offer was turned down.

- Marko Grujic could make a permanent move to Germany. After a successful loan spell at Hertha Berlin from Liverpool. Goal reports that Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt could use the money from Luka Jovic's sale to buy the 23-year-old. Champions League holders Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to accept anything less than £25m.

- Sticking with the Germany-Liverpool theme and the Reds have ruled out signing Werder Bremen striker Max Kruse, says the Liverpool Echo.

- According to Sky Sports, Tottenham could sign Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai if Kieran Trippier leaves Spurs.

PSG are confident of signing Ajax's in-demand captain Matthijs de Ligt, per The Independent. The French giants are reportedly offering the 19-year-old centre-back the biggest financial package amid interest from Barcelona and United.

United are refusing to entertain offers for Real Madrid target Paul Pogba, AS reports. It comes as La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Juan Cuadrado, Joao Cancelo and Mattia Perin could be sold by Juventus to fund a move for their former midfielder.

Arsenal must raise their bid for Sampdoria pair Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet after having a €48m offer rejected by the Serie A side, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic expects the Serie A champions to appoint a "great" coach amid links to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri has reportedly been granted a release by Premier League side Chelsea so he can replace Massimiliano Allegri on a three-year deal in Turin.

Allegri guided Juve to five successive Serie A titles before parting ways with the Italian giants at the end of 2018-19 and Pjanic has no concerns about the club's future.

"We are not worried at all, Juventus will be strong as always," Pjanic told reporters ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Euro 2020 qualifier against Italy on Tuesday.

"I'm really happy to play against Italy in Turin. I think my red card against Greece was not fair, fortunately they removed my ban because I wanted to play against Italy in my stadium so badly.

"I repeat, I'm not worried about Juventus. They'll announce the new manager soon. As everyone is saying, our new manager will be a great one, for sure."

Juve's Allianz Stadium will be the location for the qualifier between Italy and Bosnia, who will be boosted by the return of Pjanic.

Pjanic was sent off in Bosnia's 2-2 draw at home to Greece in March, having given the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Italy top Group J with three wins from as many games, five points clear of third-placed Bosnia.

"It was not simple [for Italy] to come back. It was possible thanks to the experience of [head coach Roberto] Mancini but also to the leaders of this group," Pjanic said.

"Great professional that helped a lot even the young players after a bad moment for the national team. It's very unusual a World Cup without Italy. They are playing great football, people like watching them playing. It wasn't easy. We know that they are the favourite of the group, we'll try to stop them. It will be a difficult match because they have lot of great players."

Juventus and AC Milan have been told to give up their pursuits for highly rated Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali by the club's president and owner Massimo Cellino.

Tonali, 19, is one of Italy's brightest prospects, having broken into Brescia's first-team picture at the age of 17.

A technically gifted deep-lying playmaker who is often likened to Azzurri and Milan great Andrea Pirlo, Tonali was first called up to the senior Italy side in November 2018, though he is yet to be capped.

He played 34 league games last season as Brescia were crowned Serie B champions and earned promotion back to the top flight, with many expecting the midfielder to be snapped up by a bigger club in the close season.

But Cellino is adamant Tonali is going nowhere having signed a new three-year deal just last August.

"We need to reinforce ourselves, but I believe we already have a competitive team, so we don't sell anyone," he told reporters on Monday.

"Offers for Tonali haven't arrived. I have no e-mail address, I don't have any offers. They [interested clubs] can send me carrier pigeons, but if I don't sell, I don't sell.

"Tonali is non-transferable. We need footballers, if we sell them what are we going to do? I won't sell him even for a crazy offer.

"Money does not play football, it is used to pay debts for those who have to sell players because they have spent too much. I have spent well and I can afford to keep him."

Cellino also reacted negatively to the idea of a deal that included Tonali being loaned back to Brescia for a season.

"I have been in football for 30 years and made my share of errors and I won't do them again. I have already done that c**p," he added.

.

Ajax and Netherlands star Matthijs de Ligt revealed Cristiano Ronaldo asked him if he would join Juventus next season.

De Ligt, 19, is expected to make a big-money move from Ajax in the close season, with Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona reportedly his most likely destinations.

But Juve star Ronaldo wasted no time trying to get the defender to Turin after Portugal edged Netherlands 1-0 in the Nations League final on Sunday.

Asked if Ronaldo had questioned if he would be his team-mate at Juventus, De Ligt told NOS: "That could be true, yes.

"I didn't understand him at first. I was a little shocked, so I laughed, but I didn't say anything.

"Shortly after the game you are not at all concerned with it, you are disappointed you have lost and that is the only thing you are thinking about."

Manchester United and Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the centre-back, who enjoyed a stellar 2018-19 as Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals.

But De Ligt is looking forward to a break before his future is decided, saying: "I will first go on a nice vacation and rest.

"I will let it happen and then I will see."

The outcome of an anticipated titanic battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk is likely to have a huge say in whether Portugal or Netherlands win the inaugural Nations League.

A stunning hat-trick from Ronaldo saw hosts Portugal to a 3-1 semi-final win over Switzerland, while Van Dijk played with typical composure in a game otherwise laced with defensive errors in Guimaraes – the Netherlands coming from behind to beat England 3-1 in extra time.

Van Dijk was named the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year on account of his imperious form for Liverpool and scooped man-of-the-match honours as Jurgen Klopp's side won the Champions League final against Tottenham last weekend.

As such there is an increasing clamour for the 27-year-old to be in contention for the Ballon d'Or, but, at Estadio do Dragao on Sunday, a five-time winner of the award will be doing everything to ensure Van Dijk's excellent season ends on a low note.

Using Opta data, we have a look two phenomenal campaigns that will collide and conclude in Porto.

Ronaldo – Hitting the ground running in Italy

21 – On his debut season at Juventus, Ronaldo struck 21 times in Serie A. Of that haul, 16 came after half-time. No player in the division scored more second-half goals.

18 – Those goals carried a decisive weight and were worth 18 points to Juve, who won an eighth consecutive Scudetto.

14 – Ronaldo's goals came against 14 different teams. Only John Charles (1957-58) and Brazil great Ronaldo (1997-98) scored against more teams in their first Serie A campaigns (both 15).

177 – Across Europe's top five leagues in 2018-19, no player attempted more shots than Ronaldo.

85 – But this did not come to the detriment of his team-mates. Ronaldo's 85 successful lay-offs were the most in Italy's top flight this term.

Van Dijk – Get past him if you can

64 – No player has successfully dribbled past Van Dijk in 64 games across all competitions for Liverpool. This run includes all 38 of his Premier League appearances this season and stretches back to 47 league games – a streak that began in March last year.

20 – No outfield player kept more clean sheets in Europe's top five leagues.

30 – Similarly, no outfield player won more games in those competitions than Van Dijk this season.

76.3 – The Dutchman boasts the highest percentage success rate of any player in the Premier League contesting more than 50 duels. Of 321, he won 245.

182 – Van Dijk won 182 of 243 aerial duels (74.9 per cent). Only Diogo Dalot and Harry Maguire won a higher percentage of players to have contested 25 or more.

2,724 – In terms of successful passes among Premier League defenders, Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte (2,768) is the only player to have completed more than Van Dijk.

First it was Daniel James, now is Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the verge of joining Manchester United?

After agreeing to sign Swansea City winger James, United have reportedly made an offer to prise Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

It is set to be a busy close-season at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to overhaul the struggling Red Devils.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BID FOR WAN-BISSAKA

A "substantial bid" has been made by Manchester United to secure the services of Crystal Palace right-back Wan-Bissaka, according to Sky Sports.

While 20-year-old Diogo Dalot only arrived from Porto last season, Solskjaer wants to address the right side of his defence following the departure of veteran Antonio Valencia.

And with Solskjaer determined to sign the best young British talent – highlighted by James' arrival – the 21-year-old fits the bill as United look to improve on their sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Gianluigi Buffon finish his career where it started? La Gazzetta dello Sport claim the 41-year-old goalkeeper is in talks with former club Parma after leaving Paris Saint-Germain. Buffon, who only spent one season in Paris, debuted as a 17-year-old for Parma in 1995 before joining Serie A rivals Juventus for a then-world record fee of €52million in 2001.

- According to The Sun, Manchester United and Real Madrid have opened talks over a transfer for Paul Pogba. Zinedine Zidane wants to add the France star to his squad after signing Eden Hazard and officials from Madrid and United reportedly met last week. It comes as The Mirror claim United are planning an attempt to take Gareth Bale from Madrid on loan as the Wales international faces an uncertain future in the Spanish capital.

Madrid are not the only club interested in Pogba, with the Express claiming Juve want to re-sign the World Cup winner from United. The 26-year-old left Turin for a return to Manchester in 2016 after Juve pocketed £89m.

- With Madrid seemingly set to complete the signing of Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy, Marca report long-serving star Marcelo is free to decide his own future, having been linked to Serie A champions Juventus in the past.

- Is Jose Mourinho about to take over at United… Newcastle United, that is? According to The Mirror, Mourinho – who was sacked by Manchester United in December – is willing to talk to the Premier League side if billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan completes his takeover.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are willing to sanction Harry Wilson's exit for £21m, claim The Mirror. The 22-year-old impressed as Derby County reached the Championship play-off final, and he has attracted interest from Bundesliga duo Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.

Jorginho has "no idea" if Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri will continue at Stamford Bridge as he continues to be linked with Juventus.

Sarri is reportedly set to sign a three-year deal to replace Massimiliano Allegri in Turin after just one season in charge of Premier League side Chelsea.

Jorginho followed Sarri from Serie A outfit Napoli to Chelsea ahead of the 2018-19 campaign but the Italy midfielder does not know what the future holds for the 60-year-old.

"I don't know, we'll see what he chooses," Jorginho told Rai Sport following Italy's 3-0 win over Greece in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

"I have no idea what he'll do, to be honest, as I am focused on Italy right now."

In his first season at Chelsea, Sarri guided the Blues to third in the Premier League and Europa League glory.

Jorginho, who arrived in a reported £50million transfer, made 54 appearances and scored two goals across all competitions for Chelsea.

Juventus are closing in on Massimiliano Allegri's successor.

According to the Guardian, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is poised to sign a contract with the Serie A champions.

Former Napoli head coach Sarri has been linked with a return to Italy after just one season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

 

TOP STORY – TURIN BECKONS FOR SARRI

Look away Napoli fans… Sarri is set to sign a three-year contract to become Juventus coach.

Sarri spent three years in charge of Italian rivals Napoli before replacing Antonio Conte at Chelsea in 2018-19.

However, the lure of Juve and a return to Italy has seemingly proved too strong for Sarri after Europa League success with Chelsea.

The 60-year-old has reportedly been granted a release and is free to leave the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- With the future of Ajax captain and in-demand centre-back Matthijs de Ligt up in the air amid links to Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United have reportedly turned to Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly. One of their initial defensive targets as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to bolster United's defence, Corriere dello Sport claim the Red Devils have offered €95million for the Senegal international.

- The end is near for Mauro Icardi at Inter. Despite wanting to remain in Milan, where he was stripped of the captaincy by former boss Luciano Spalletti in 2018-19, Icardi is not in Antonio Conte's plans, according to Sky Sport Italia. Inter are believed to be trying to force the Argentina striker to leave as they near a €13m deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko, a fee reported by Calciomercato.com. Radja Nainggolan could also be on the chopping block, with SportItalia claiming the Belgian midfielder could return to Roma after just one season.

- Eden Hazard in at Real Madrid and Paul Pogba to follow? According to the Mirror, Zinedine Zidane is ready to offer Gareth Bale to Manchester United to persuade the Premier League side to sell Pogba to the Spanish giants.

- Tottenham are preparing for a busy transfer window as they try to keep hold of manager Mauricio Pochettino following a remarkable run to the Champions League final. And if they are unable to sign Celta Vigo star Giovani Lo Celso, the Mirror reports Spurs could turn to Sporting CP sensation Bruno Fernandes.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed he will not leave Manchester City for Juventus, stating: "I am a blue shirt, I am one of yours." 

Guardiola has been strongly linked with the Serie A champions following the departure of Massimiliano Allegri.

Juve denied making an approach for Guardiola, who led City to a domestic clean sweep in 2018-19, yet reports in Italy continued to suggest the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was a target.

Guardiola, though, has ended the speculation by insisting he sees his future in the Premier League due to the strong backing he receives from City's fans.

"There is no better place to play in the world than in England. Or to do your job as a manager here in England," Guardiola said in an extensive interview on City's official website.

"I can compare it with Spain and in Germany, I have not been in other countries, but they would be quite similar. If I went to Italy it would be quite similar to Spain.

"There is no better place. In other places, fans boo you if you don't win or don't play good, but here they always support you.

"I am a blue shirt, I am one of yours."

City failed to win a trophy in Guardiola's first season in Manchester and the former Spain international - who has two years left on his contract - confirmed the faith shown in him during that spell is key to his decision to stay.

"I remember the first year was difficult, after Monaco we were out of the Champions League and the Premier League was not good, and we were understanding that the people support you," Guardiola continued. 

"Respect during the week, there's no media during the week, you work, calm, it is the ideal. It's the perfect place to work, especially, I don't know at other clubs, but here. I felt that in the first season when we didn't win one title, how they support me, but in this situation I don't forget it.

"Now it's easy to be close to me, for people to say how good you are, and I know how it was with this job. In that moment when it doesn't work so well like we expected in the first year, everybody needs time - all of us, we all need time - how they support me.

"The chairman first of all, Khaldoon [Al Mubarak], I cannot forget his messages after the defeats and the bad moments. And of course I cannot forget [sporting director] Txiki [Begiristain], all the backroom staff and how close we are.

"To sit with calm and to discuss what we need to improve, especially the team, and that's why I am happy to reward the confidence they have to me, with my players, for the next two seasons."

Guardiola added: "The best is yet to come!"

UEFA's strongest sides must consider reforms to the Champions League to help address the imbalances with the current system, according to the European Clubs Association (ECA).

The ECA, spearheaded by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, is pushing to revamp the structure of continental club competitions, with proposed changes reportedly including promotion and relegation.

Preliminary discussions with UEFA have taken place but the ECA's attempted overhaul has been met with considerable opposition.

LaLiga and the Premier League have made clear their disapproval at the plan, while the European Leagues - a representative body - claim only a "few rich and dominant clubs" would see the benefits.

However, ECA vice-chairman Aki Riihilahti disputed that view.

"The current system doesn't work for most sides, and if we want to keep professional and grassroots football alive, we have to take into consideration the different local situations, whilst at the same time developing it at higher levels," said Riihilahti.

"Playing in more relevant competitions would help the growth of minor leagues."

Chairman Agnelli insisted that changes are a long way from coming to fruition, yet he claimed to have "swept away the concerns" of some clubs who attended a two-day summit in Malta.

"There are several problems for which we must find a solution and to do so we must put ourselves in the shoes of others and have an overall vision of European football," Agnelli said.

"We are at the beginning of a long process, but what matters is that the clubs have shown a willingness to engage positively and with intellectual honesty, in order to address the reform of European football in the best way.

"In September, in Nyon, we will share our points of view and many things will still need to be discussed, but we are open to a transparent conversation and we want the satisfaction of all European football, not just some clubs."

Former Manchester United goalkeeper and Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar added: "Not everyone was born in Manchester or London.

"We must also find a way for those who come from leagues, such as Poland, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Holland to grow at a European level."

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