Paris Saint-Germain will take "appropriate action" against Neymar after he failed to report for training on Monday.

The Ligue 1 champions welcomed players back for the start of pre-season ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, but Brazil star Neymar was absent.

Neymar has been linked with a return to former club Barcelona and now faces a sanction from PSG.

"On Monday July 8, Neymar was due to return to pre-season activities with the Paris Saint-Germain senior squad," said a club statement.

"Paris Saint-Germain notes that Neymar Jr was not in attendance at the agreed time and place. This was without the club's prior authorisation.

"The club regrets this situation and will therefore take appropriate action."

Neymar missed the Copa America with an ankle injury but was expected to be fit for the start of the new season. He was in attendance at the Maracana as Brazil overcame Peru 3-1 in the final on Sunday.

Failing to report for training casts doubt on his future in the French capital, with Real Madrid also having long had a reported interest in the 27-year-old.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in June stated "celebrity behaviour" will no longer be tolerated at the club in comments they were widely believed to be aimed at Neymar.

"Players will have to assume their responsibilities even more than before," he told France Football. "It must be completely different.

"They will have to do more, work more. They are not there to please themselves. And if they do not agree, the doors are open. Ciao! I do not want to have any celebrity behaviour anymore."

Neymar has scored 34 Ligue 1 goals in two seasons since leaving Barca for PSG in a world-record €222million move, but injuries have hampered his efforts to help the club win their first Champions League crown.

There have been regular reports he has failed to settle in Paris, with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu claiming this month Neymar is seeking an exit from the Parc des Princes.

"We know that Neymar wants to leave PSG, but we also know that PSG don't want him to go, so there is no case for signing him," Bartomeu said.

"I don't speak about other teams' players. We have the maximum respect as an institution. There is nothing we can do."

Paris Saint-Germain's recruitment drive has continued with the signing of Dutch defender Mitchel Bakker from Ajax on a free transfer.

Bakker, 19, has put pen to paper on a four-year contract at Parc des Princes to become the Ligue 1 side's fourth new arrival in less than a week.

Ander Herrera and Marcin Bulka joined on frees after leaving Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, while PSG reportedly paid €18million to secure Pablo Sarabia from Sevilla.

Netherlands Under-19 international Bakker made two first-team appearances for Eredivisie champions Ajax, both during the KNVB Beker in 2018.

The left-back was named on the bench for a pair of Champions League matches last term as Erik ten Hag's team went on to reach the semi-finals.

PSG's pre-season schedule begins with a friendly away to German outfit Dynamo Dresden on July 16.

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.

 

ROUND-UP

- 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.

Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of Marcin Bulka from Chelsea on a free transfer.

The 19-year-old has agreed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 champions after spending three seasons at Stamford Bridge.

"I am really pleased and honoured to join Paris Saint-Germain," he told PSG's website. "Not only is this club a great reference in France and Europe, but it is also renowned for allowing many young players to express their potential in recent years.

"After my experience in England, I will do my best to continue my progress here with a fantastic squad and especially with top-level goalkeepers. I can't wait to join training next Monday."

Bulka enjoyed success with Chelsea Under-18s and played in the UEFA Youth League, although he did not make a senior appearance.

The Poland youth international suggested this year in an interview with TVP Sport that he had chosen to run down his Chelsea deal because promises had not been kept at the club.

Olivier Ntcham wants to leave Celtic and thinks a move to Marseille would elevate his game to another level.

Scottish champions Celtic rebuffed interest from Porto before the start of last season but it appears their resolve will again be tested after midfielder Ntcham outlined his desire for a new challenge.

The 23-year-old former Manchester City man named France, Germany and Spain as desirable destinations following two seasons in Glasgow.

Marseille appear to be the frontrunners for his signature, with Ligue 1 rivals Lyon also linked.

"Celtic have given me a lot, but it's the best solution for my development," Ntcham told L'Equipe.

"We can play as many matches as we want but, with all due respect for my team-mates, if the level of opposition is not high, you do not develop.

"I was disappointed I didn't go to Porto last summer.

"The interest of Marseille is flattering. It is a very big club with very big support. If I went to Marseille I would blossom."

According to reports, Lyon will have to pay upwards of €15million for the France Under-21 international.

Ntcham joined the club in 2017 and boasts eight goals in 49 Scottish Premiership appearances.

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.

 

ROUND-UP

- 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.

Lille forward Nicolas Pepe has held talks with Liverpool, according to the Ligue 1 club's president Gerard Lopez.

Pepe, 24, has been linked with a move to the European champions after enjoying a fine 2018-19 season, scoring 23 goals in 41 games in all competitions.

Lopez confirmed the Ivory Coast international had spoken to the Premier League giants, who were yet to make contact with Lille.

"I know there have been discussions with the player, not with us as a club," he told RMC Sport on Friday.

"Liverpool have players in those positions and I read that maybe there were players who leave, or not.

"I am not particularly focused on Liverpool, but it is true that there have been discussions with agents."

Lopez revealed Lille had received two offers for Pepe before the Africa Cup of Nations, where Ivory Coast are into the last 16, but have opted to wait until the end of the tournament.

Barcelona are keeping tabs on Neymar but insist there is "no case" to re-sign the forward because Paris Saint-Germain do not want to sell him, even though he "wants to leave" the club.

After two years at the Parc des Princes, Neymar appears to have become unsettled in Paris and is reportedly hankering after a return to Camp Nou.

The 27-year-old cost PSG a world-record sum when he joined them from Barcelona, a release clause of around €222million sealing the eye-catching deal.

PSG signed him in a bid to make a major push for Champions League glory, and in an apparent effort to broaden the club's worldwide appeal.

A return to Barcelona looks the most likely move for Neymar if PSG let him leave, but there is no indication of the French giants shifting their stance.

Speaking on Friday, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said: "We know that Neymar wants to leave PSG but we also know that PSG don't want him to go, so there is no case for signing him."

When asked further if Barcelona wanted Neymar, Bartomeu added: "I don’t speak about other teams' players. We have the maximum respect as an institution. There is nothing we can do."

It was far from saying Barcelona have no interest, and was all Bartomeu could effectively offer in the face of PSG's intransigence.

He firmly denied reports that the departure of vice-president Jordi Mestre this week was in any way linked to speculation surrounding Neymar.

Bartomeu said: "Jordi Mestre’s leaving has nothing to do with Neymar. It is normal that in a board of directors, with a lot of people, sometimes there are disagreements for different things.

"In this case, there were disagreements in this sport area, so Jordi Mestre, for this and many other things, he decided to leave his position.

"I said before, he is a good friend, and I thank him what he did for the last nine years. I am so grateful for the job he has done."

Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of Pablo Sarabia from Sevilla on a five-year deal.

The Ligue 1 champions triggered the reported €18million release clause in the 27-year-old's contract earlier this week and he officially became a PSG player on Friday.

Sarabia is coming off the back of an impressive campaign with Sevilla that saw him score 12 goals and assist a further 13 in LaLiga.

He is reported to have turned down the offer of a new contract at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, leading to speculation over his future.

And he has now joined Ander Herrera in signing for PSG by putting pen to paper on a contract that will run to the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

"I’m really excited to sign for Paris Saint-Germain," he told the club's official website. "After eight seasons in LaLiga, [joining] PSG now gives me the opportunity to take a very important step in my career. 

"The club has gained an impressive international reputation in recent years and I am honoured to be part of PSG’s next major challenge, in France and in Europe. I am now looking forward to starting this adventure with this talented and ambitious team."

Sarabia came through Real Madrid's academy ranks but failed to make the grade at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Abdou Diallo has been flattered by reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain and conceded he is unsure over his place at Borussia Dortmund.

Diallo joined Dortmund from Mainz in June 2018, and had an impressive season at Signal Iduna Park, making 28 league appearances as Lucien Favre's side finished second in the Bundesliga.

His performances are rumoured to have peaked the interest of PSG, coached by former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel.

And with Mats Hummels' return having cast his chances of a regular first-team spot into doubt, Diallo acknowledged he will have to hold talks with Dortmund about his future.

"A young player in Europe who tells you that PSG's project is not interesting is not credible, it's a nice project," Diallo told L'Equipe.

"It's a form of acknowledging my accomplishment to hear that, but without wanting to resort to the worn-out phrases of footballers, I have a contract.

"So far I have not been told that I have to go. I don't want to make a big fuss. We have to see if the vision is the same.

"And once we are all on the same wavelength, we make a decision. I am waiting to see, to hear what the people have to say to me, what they think of me."

Despite Hummels' arrival potentially decreasing Diallo's chances of starting in Dortmund's defence, the 23-year-old is keen to challenge the former Bayern Munich man if he remains at the club.

"He is a historical player of the club, the country and he will bring us experience," Diallo said.

"In addition, I think he is another serious competitor. You have to see it as a challenge."

Rafinha hopes Neymar returns to Barcelona to reestablish the "pure magic" of his combination with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Neymar, 27, is heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou, two years after his €222million move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Rafinha would welcome the Brazil international, who scored 105 goals during his four seasons at Barca, combining with Messi and Suarez during three of those, back to the club.

"I hope Neymar comes back. He is a great player that would be really good for Barcelona," the midfielder said on Thursday, via Spanish media.

"I have never seen anything like the Messi-Ney-Suarez trident, pure magic. And I hope [Antoine] Griezmann comes, too."

With Griezmann and Neymar potentially arriving, several players – including Rafinha – are linked with moves away from Camp Nou.

Rafinha, who is contracted at Barca until 2020, is a reported target for Valencia, but the 26-year-old wants to stay with the LaLiga champions.

"I see myself in Barcelona next season and I will fight to continue," he said.

"I want to play football and Barcelona is my home, I have a contract with the club and I have a lot of confidence."

Gianluigi Buffon thanked Juventus for giving him the "splendid gift" of being able to play in the same team as Cristiano Ronaldo following the goalkeeper's return to the club.

Buffon left Juve last year and spent a season at Paris Saint-Germain, before turning down the opportunity to remain in Ligue 1.

It soon became clear Buffon's next destination was to be Turin once again, having spent the best 17 years of his career with the Old Lady.

The 41-year-old signed a contract that will expire in 2020 and he is particularly excited about the chance to call Ronaldo his team-mate.

"It's beautiful," he told reporters when asked about playing with the former Real Madrid star.

"At the end of my career I was able to play with Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe thanks to Paris Saint-Germain, now it will happen with Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to Juventus.

"I think that for players with my experience and with my history, to be able to end the career in such a way is a splendid gift."

In his last spell at Juve, Buffon was captain following the departure of Alessandro Del Piero in 2012, while he also donned the number one jersey.

He was offered both of those by respective incumbents Giorgio Chiellini and Wojciech Szczesny, but Buffon gratefully declined, adamant he is not back in Turin to step on anyone's toes.

"I would like to thank Szczesny and Chiellini, who offered me the number one jersey and the captain's armband," he added.

"I am here to contribute as I have always done, not to take anything away from someone. The first-choice goalkeeper of Juve must have the number one and Giorgio, who is my brother, must be captain.

"I took number 77, which is in my history and in the history of Parma. That was the shirt that took me to Juventus and it was something that inspired me."

Paris Saint-Germain have completed the free transfer of Ander Herrera following his Manchester United departure.

Herrera, 29, ran down his contract at Old Trafford and has subsequently signed a five-year deal in Paris.

United struggled to challenge for major honours on a regular basis during Herrera's time at the club, and he highlighted PSG's recent record of winning titles as a major reason for choosing them.

"Paris Saint-Germain are the greatest club in France," he told PSG's website. "They keep on improving and compete to win every possible title.

"I was looking forward to coming to Paris and to wearing those colours. I hope to continue to make history with the club. Joining this club is an amazing feeling.

"I also love the city. Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. I promise three things: work, professionalism and passion.

"I also promise to improve my French because I think that the language is very important for the team's communication."

United had been eager to extend Herrera's stay at the club, having joined from Athletic Bilbao in 2014.

However, the Red Devils are reported to have baulked at his salary demands, allowing PSG to complete a deal once Herrera's departure was confirmed in April.

Spain international Herrera provides much-needed midfield reinforcements for PSG, after they found themselves short of numbers in the centre last term.

Following the departures of Lassana Diarra and Adrien Rabiot, he becomes only PSG's third senior central midfielder alongside Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes, who had been linked with a move after an unimpressive first few months at the club.

Herrera is PSG's second signing of the close-season, following compatriot Pablo Sarabia to the Parc des Princes after his reported €20million move from Sevilla.

Gianluigi Buffon is back at Juventus following a year away with Paris Saint-Germain, returning to the club where he established himself as a modern great.

He previously spent 17 years with the Old Lady before his brief spell at PSG, winning a host of titles and enjoying sustained excellence.

Such has been the 41-year-old's longevity, the former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout his time, forming part of World Cup, Ligue 1 and Serie A-winning sides.

With Buffon securing another big move, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until November 2017, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

 

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

 

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the Jules Rimet trophy together in 2006.

 

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

 

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, is the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran Juve goalkeeper – though Buffon will likely surpass Maldini's 647 record next term as he is just seven matches behind.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti. 

 

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: FRANCESCO TOTTI

Buffon said it would have been "ruining a masterpiece" to have kept out some of the goals the talismanic Totti scored against him for Roma.

They were certainly on the same page in the international arena, helping their country conquer the world in 2006.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, remaining team-mates until Baggio retired in 2004.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal to Buffon in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the artistic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced the top prize of winning the World Cup together.

 

STRIKER: KYLIAN MBAPPE

Although David Trezeguet enjoyed 10 prolific seasons at the opposite end of the Juve team to Buffon, Mbappe gets the nod in attack for the remarkable nature of his 2018-19 campaign.

The France international scored an astonishing 33 Ligue 1 goals from 29 appearances and took the lead role after Neymar's injury, becoming the face of the team and a leader despite his tender age of 20. While Trezeguet was a fine player, Mbappe is on the trajectory to becoming an all-time great.

Gianluigi Buffon has completed a return to Juventus, a year after leaving the club for Paris Saint-Germain.

Buffon departed Juve for PSG, ending a 17-year stay, but was unable to dislodge Alphonse Areola as the club's regular first-choice goalkeeper.

And after turning down a second season in the French capital, the former Italy goalkeeper is heading back to Juve.

Buffon has agreed a one-year deal with the Serie A champions, which will take him past his 42nd birthday.

A return to the Bianconeri had been mooted for several weeks, with second-choice goalkeeper Mattia Perin reportedly set for a move, and club great Buffon has joined up with Juve again to compete with Wojciech Szczesny for the starting spot.

A Juve statement read: "After a year away from Turin, Gianluigi Buffon has returned to Juventus, penning a one-year contract which will tie him to the club until 30 June 2020.

"It was May 19, 2018. That was the day when there were tears in everyone's eyes - when Gigi said goodbye to Juventus, it's fans and vice-versa. It was the bidding of a farewell to someone who was more than just a captain, but a legend and a symbol of the club.

"Probably each of us hoped, and in the end, knew that the yarn that united us for so many years was not destined to break. And that was the case.

"After a year with Paris Saint-Germain, Gigi has officially returned to Juventus."

Buffon added: "I wanted to greet you once again, I am happy to have returned home and to have the opportunity to again embrace you and to be embraced by you.

"This is one of the most beautiful and happiest days of my life. Today I received the confirmation that life is incredible and it's always worth dreaming."

During his single year in Paris, Buffon won a Ligue 1 title but failed in his quest to claim Champions League glory as PSG were knocked out by Manchester United.

He made 17 league appearances as he and Areola shared responsibilities between the posts, yet the 41-year-old was unable to make himself the undisputed first choice.

Buffon returns to Juve 18 years after his first move to the club from Parma set a new record – at the time – for the most expensive goalkeeper ever, costing €51million.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.