Matthijs de Ligt arrived in Turin on Tuesday as the highly-coveted defender's move from Ajax to Juventus nears a conclusion.

The Serie A champions posted pictures and videos on social media of the 19-year-old Netherlands international landing ahead of a rumoured medical on Wednesday.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain were all heavily linked with the centre-back, but the Ajax captain looks set to put the finishing touches on his switch to Juventus.

"Hello Bianconeri, this is Matthijs. I'm really happy to be here," De Ligt said in a video posted on Juve's Twitter account.

Juventus will be known as Piemonte Calcio on FIFA 20 due to the Italian's club's new exclusive partnership with Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), EA Sports has confirmed.

The Old Lady jersey was used on the front cover of FIFA 19 with Cristiano Ronaldo, but Konami now have use of official trademarks and intellectual property for the new PES game.

Instead, a club called Piemonte Calcio shall be created in their place on FIFA, using a custom badge and kits across all game modes.

The fictious club will, however, still include Juve's real-world players in FIFA 20 and FIFA Ultimate Team

EA Sports' loss is a result of PES' gain, with the game striking an exclusive "long-term" deal with Juve that will see the club's players recreated via a "full-body 3D scan in order to recreate their likeness in the game as accurately as possible".

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020, the next edition's official title, will also boast a link-up with Barcelona, whose players have featured on the covers of the past three PES titles, albeit the deal with the Blaugrana is not exclusive.

Among the other PES "partnered clubs" that will be fully licensed - though not exclusive - in the game are: Manchester United, Arsenal, River Plate, Palmeiras, Boca Juniors, Bayern Munich, Flamengo, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Vasco Da Gama and Colo Colo.

It is not all bad news for EA Sports, however.

Champions League winners Liverpool have struck a "long-term" deal of their own with the FIFA developers, who will become the Reds' "official football simulation game partner".

Real Madrid potentially have an avenue to sell Gareth Bale and it would see the attacker return to familiar surroundings.

Bale is reportedly set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this close season, although the Wales international's agent has repeatedly said the 30-year-old wants to stay.

Now, it seems a return to Tottenham is a possibility.

 

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM INTERESTED IN BALE

Tottenham have told Real Madrid they are ready to pay between £45million (€50m) and £55m (€60m) for Bale, according to Marca.

Bale spent six seasons at Spurs before his move to Madrid, twice named the PFA Players' Player of the Year.

However, the report also says Tottenham are unable to afford Bale's £15.3m (€17m) net wages per season.

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- David de Gea is ready to sign a new deal with Manchester United. Reports in United Kingdom say the Premier League giants are confident the goalkeeper, who is out of contract next year, will re-sign, The Mirror saying De Gea will become the world's highest paid shot-stopper with a £375,000-per-week deal.

- Unsurprisingly, Neymar still wants out of Paris Saint-Germain. According to Le Parisien, the Brazil star – linked with a return to Barcelona – met with Leonardo and told the sporting director he wanted to leave the Ligue 1 champions.

- Just as it looked like Manchester United had done a deal for Harry Maguire, it seems they still have work to do. Citing unnamed sources, ESPN FC say United are "miles away" from meeting Leicester City's £80m valuation for the defender. According to the Mirror, United are reluctant to pay more than the £75m Liverpool needed to land Virgil van Dijk last year.

- Staying at Old Trafford, it seems Manchester United are preparing a bid for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. The Independent say United will put in a concrete bid for Fernandes in the next three weeks.

- A move that appears close to getting done is Matthijs de Ligt's switch from Ajax to Juventus. The Serie A champions have agreed a €75m deal, including bonuses, with the Eredivisie side, according to Sky Sport.

- Romelu Lukaku is still a reported target for Inter, but any progress between the Serie A outfit and Manchester United seems to be slow. Sky Sport say Inter are not confident about reaching an agreement, with United wanting €87.8m (£79m) for the striker.

"He is probably the best left-footed player in the world, in the history of football." Savo Milosevic lauded Sinisa Mihajlovic as he rallied around his former team-mate following the Bologna head coach's cancer diagnosis.

Serbian great Mihajlovic is set to undergo treatment after revealing his battle with leukaemia on Saturday, sparking an outpour of well-wishes from players – past and present – and supporters.

Milosevic played alongside Mihajlovic at international level, the pair representing Serbia – when they were known as the former republic of Yugoslavia – at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

And Milosevic hailed ex-Serbia boss Mihajlovic, who earned a reputation as a free-kick specialist during his playing days with Red Star Belgrade, Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter.

"It is very difficult to talk about him because I'm very close with Sinisa," Milosevic told Omnisport. "We have a special relationship aside from playing football together.

"I have no words for what happened but all I can say is I know his character, I know he will beat this. He always fought through many things… wars, lot of tragedies and difficulties and he managed to survive. I'm positive in this situation. I believe he will win this battle also."

"Sinisa is probably the best left-footed player in the world, in the history of football," Milosevic continued. "There are so many players who can take free-kicks well but not one like him.

"What he could do with the ball, it's impossible to explain. People need to watch videos to see part of the picture. It was a privilege to be on the pitch with him. He is not just a great player, but a great person."

Like countryman Mihajlovic, Milosevic has turned to coaching, albeit only recently via Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade.

Up until March, Milosevic had never worked as a head coach however the 45-year-old is now in charge of his boyhood club, with a piece of silverware already under his belt.

While Partizan finished third behind Red Star Belgrade in the SuperLiga last season, Milosevic's men did not end the campaign emptyhanded, winning the Serbian Cup against their bitter city rivals.

As eight-time SuperLiga champions Partizan prepare to open their league campaign on Sunday, Milosevic said: "For my confidence and the confidence of the team, it was very important to win that final against Red Star Belgrade.

"After that game, the players started to believe more in themselves. Also for me, it was important to start well after three, four months.

"Long term, it's not a big deal to win the Serbian Cup but for this moment, it's important for me, the players and the club. We didn't have a good season in 2018-19, so it's always important for big clubs to win trophies."

After some words of encouragement from Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson convinced Milosevic to take up coaching, the former Aston Villa and Parma striker eventually replaced Zoran Mirkovic late in 2018-19.

Reflecting on his work at Partizan so far, Milosevic said: "It was very difficult and tough time, not because I started as a coach but the situation at the club was very difficult with the team. The amount of job we had to do to finish the season well was enormous.

"But on the other hand, it was good because the experiences I've had in the last three months it would take maybe one or two years at another club. It was difficult to survive, but it was good to get through that as a first-time coach."

Milosevic, who scored 37 goals in 102 international appearances, enjoyed success as a player with two league titles and a cup for Partizan before joining Villa for a then-club record fee of £3.5million in 1995 – claiming the League Cup winners' medal in his first season.

However, he is facing a big task at Partizan, who won six successive league titles from 2007 to 2013 but have not triumphed since 2016-17, finishing 18 points behind Red Star in the championship round.

"Not just in Partizan but Serbian football, I want to try to bring the quality of football closer to Europe because we're now far behind," Milosevic continued when asked what legacy he wants to leave. "I know exactly where football is today around Europe and the world.

"It will be difficult, but I believe I can do that. The people I'm working with, we know what to do to move things forward. It won't be easy but it's possible. That's the main thing I want to try to do… not the biggest club in Europe but a serious club."

Dries Mertens said Napoli must buy new and "top level" players if they want to dethrone Serie A champions Juventus.

Napoli have been linked to Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez throughout the transfer window as they look to eclipse back-to-back runners-up finishes.

Colombia star James is wanted by head coach Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli, though a deal with the LaLiga giants is yet to be completed.

As the season edges closer, Napoli – who finished 11 points adrift of Juve last term – need to reinforce their squad, according to veteran forward Mertens.

"I just want to say that I see other teams are buying a lot, we've signed Kostas [Manolas]," the 32-year-old Belgium international, who has been linked to the Chinese Super League, said during a Q&A.

"All those we buy must be at the top level and therefore someone like James would be welcome to aim even higher. He could make the difference.

"I think we need to buy great players to raise the level of the team. We already have a strong squad, but if we want to win something, we need to buy in order to raise the level. That is clear."

Napoli have already boosted their defence with the signing of Greece international Manolas from Italian rivals Roma.

Manolas is set to form one of the best centre-back pairings in Serie A alongside Kalidou Koulibaly following his €36million arrival.

"I found a very good atmosphere and a warm welcome," Manolas said. "I won't tell you the reason I left Roma, as it's personal. The first call I received about Napoli was from my agent, then the director and the coach.

"They made me feel secure about my decision and it was clear straight away that they really wanted me in this team. I never had doubts, that's why I chose Napoli and I am sure I made the right decision.

"I liked watching the way Napoli played and was eager to become a part of it. I'd give anything to win the Scudetto here.

"Carlo Ancelotti is unique for what he's won throughout his career. I promise that I'll do everything I can to help the team achieve their targets and aim as high as possible."

Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne reiterated that Maurizio Sarri betrayed the club by joining Serie A champions Juventus, while the captain said he wants to retire at Stadio San Paolo.

Former Napoli head coach Sarri angered players and fans in Naples when he swapped Premier League outfit Chelsea for rivals Juventus last month.

Sarri guided Napoli to three consecutive top-three finishes during his time at the club before leaving for Chelsea in 2018.

Insigne was vocal at the time, warning a move to Juve would represent "a betrayal" of Napoli and the club icon stood by his comments on Monday.

"I said it and I say it again, for us Neapolitans, that was a betrayal," Insigne said during a Q&A session.

"Now we have to focus on ourselves and try to beat him. The Scudetto is a dream for all of us and we will try once more."

Insigne's future has been the subject of speculation as he waits to sign a new deal with Napoli.

The 28-year-old – who emerged from the youth team of his boyhood club in 2010 – is contracted to Napoli until 2022.

Insigne has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool previously, and when asked if he could move abroad the Italy international added: "No. I'm still young, I'm happy in Naples and want to stay here for the rest of my career.

"Scoring that goal against Real Madrid gave me such strong sensations and I hope other young Neapolitan lads can feel the same way in future.

"It is the dream of all Neapolitan boys and I am very proud to be in this position."

Insigne made 28 Serie A appearances last season, scoring 10 goals as Napoli finished runners-up to Juventus.

Matthijs de Ligt's transfer to Juventus is nearing its conclusion, according to Ajax's director of football Marc Overmars.

De Ligt's move away from Ajax is set to be one of the biggest deals of the transfer window, with the 19-year-old having been linked to a number of Europe's biggest clubs.

Serie A champions Juve are the team who look set to secure the 19-year-old centre-back, however, for a reported fee of €66million.

Ajax confirmed on Sunday that De Ligt had been left out of their travelling squad for a pre-season trip to Austria, and Overmars believes the transfer is all but done, with the player expected in Turin to undergo a medical on Tuesday.

"The end of the transfer of De Ligt is near," Overmars told reporters.

"We're awaiting bank guarantees, because we are very strict with this at Ajax. Hopefully things will progress, but I think there will be no further obstructions. They are Italians."

De Ligt will leave a big void in Ajax's defence, with the youngster having been instrumental in leading Erik ten Hag's side to the Champions League semi-finals last term.

Mexico international Edson Alvarez could act as De Ligt's replacement, though Overmars insists the Club America centre-back would have been a target regardless.

"This transfer is not depending on the development of De Ligt's transfer," Overmars added.

"Edson is a player we think is good, so he might come to us. He is a good age, 21, and plays on a regular basis in the national team of Mexico and we know him very well because we scouted him over a longer period.

"He has progressed very well, and he can play in many positions."

New Juventus signing Aaron Ramsey believes he has secured a "dream" move and insists he paid offers from other clubs no mind once he heard of the Old Lady's interest.

Ramsey left Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of the 2018-19 season, with the two parties failing to agree a new contract.

Juve are reported to have struck a deal with the Wales international in January, with their agreement being made official a month later.

It brought an 11-year association with the Gunners to an end, but also ensured he is able to return to the top of the European game, with Serie A champions Juve in the Champions League, unlike Arsenal.

It had been clear since the start of the season that it was to be Ramsey's final campaign at Emirates Stadium and numerous Italian clubs were linked with him, but there was only one place he wanted to be.

When asked in his presentation news conference if he ever considered another Italian side, Ramsey said: "As soon as I knew Juve were in for me, there was no question about where I was going to go. You can't turn down that opportunity.

"I'm so excited to be here and hopefully I can be a part of a new history. There were other clubs, but this is the right club for me.

"When I knew Juve were interested, I couldn't refuse them. It's a great club, one of the biggest. To have the opportunity to come here, play for them, is a dream to play at the top level.

"It's a challenge for myself as well, to come here, experience a different way of life, different culture. I'll take that in and embrace it.

"Hopefully it goes nicely over here. I know how hard it's going to be, but I've prepared myself for that and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Ramsey is not the only new recruit Juve have picked up from the Premier League, as coach Maurizio Sarri traded Stamford Bridge for Turin.

The Wales midfielder is familiar with the Italian and was impressed with his solitary campaign in England.

"From what I saw last season, he had a very good season for Chelsea," Ramsey said. "He got to two finals [the EFL Cup and Europa League], won one of them, and finished in the top four.

"That's not easy to do, so it was definitely a success. Hopefully he can bring his philosophy to this team, winning and playing good football, that's the ideal situation.

"Hopefully this will be something we can do, being really successful doing it."

After Antoine Griezmann's long-awaited move to Barcelona, another transfer saga appears close to completion.

Leicester City and England centre-back Harry Maguire is reportedly poised for Manchester.

The red half will be happy…

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AGREE £80M DEAL FOR MAGUIRE

Manchester United have agreed to pay a world-record fee for a defender to sign Maguire from Leicester City, according to The Sun.

United will reportedly fork out £60million with an additional £20m available in add-ons, to see the England centre-back surpass Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk as the most expensive defender.

Premier League champions Manchester City were also linked to Maguire, however, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to get his man as he overhauls the Red Devils' defence following last season's sixth-place finish.

 

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Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt will complete his transfer to Juventus by Monday, Gazzetta dello Sport says. Gianluca Di Marzio, meanwhile, reports that a medical should take place on Tuesday.

- Paris Saint-Germain are set to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Abdou Diallo, according to ESPN FC. The Ligue 1 champions will pay €32m for the France Under-21 international, who only joined Dortmund from Mainz in 2018.

- Tuttosport reports Torino have rejected a €60m offer from West Ham for star striker Andrea Belotti. The Hammers are desperate to sign a forward following Marko Arnautovic's move to China.

- Scottish champions Celtic have rejected Arsenal's latest bid – believed to be £25m – for left-back Kieran Tierney, according to Sky Sports.

Neymar's future with Paris Saint-Germain could be decided in talks in Paris this week, the Daily Mail says. The Brazil star has been linked with a stunning return to LaLiga holders Barcelona.

- According to L'Equipe, Spanish trio Real Betis, Sevilla and Valencia are all interested in signing Lyon captain Nabil Fekir.

Flamengo are looking to sign Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, according to ESPN Brazil. The former Chelsea star has also been linked to Premier League duo Everton and Wolves.

- According to Marca, Tottenham and AC Milan target Dani Ceballos could be set to stay at Real Madrid. The LaLiga giants feel they cannot find better players than Ceballos at a reasonable price.

Stefan de Vrij insisted Inter are not thinking about ongoing speculation over Mauro Icardi's future with the Serie A club.

Icardi is set to leave after being told he can depart Inter, with the former captain not wanted by new head coach Antonio Conte.

The 26-year-old star endured a turbulent 2018-19 campaign after he was stripped of the captaincy amid conflicting views of an apparent knee injury and internal disagreements with the club's hierarchy.

Icardi continues to dominate headlines, with the Argentina international reportedly prepared to see out the final two years of his contract but Inter defender De Vrij told Sportitalia: "The Icardi issue doesn't concern us. We're only thinking about what we have to do."

De Vrij was speaking after Inter opened the Conte era with a 2-1 win over Lugano in their first pre-season fixture on Sunday.

Stefano Sensi and Marcelo Brozovic scored for the Nerazzurri, who took to the field for the first time since Conte replaced Luciano Spalletti.

"It was a good start," said De Vrij. "It's always great to be back out on the pitch. We've worked incredibly hard this week but it was necessary to start getting minutes in the legs.

"These matches are needed to help us understand what the coach wants, and how we want to play. It went well, it was important to get off to a start like this."

On Conte, De Vrij added: "I like his approach, he’s always positive and he explains well what he wants."

Sensi – who swapped Sassuolo for Inter on an initial loan deal with the option to buy – opened the scoring in the 25th minute before Brozovic doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Speaking after his first outing, Sensi told Inter TV: "We're especially pleased because we tried to demonstrate the coach's methods out on the pitch.

"My goal? I'm happy with it, it's always important to start on the right foot and I believe that I've done so."

Jose Mourinho believes Inter must win the Scudetto under Antonio Conte as the former Manchester United manager revealed he is studying German.

Inter are among the favourites to dethrone Italian champions Juventus following the arrival of head coach Conte for the 2019-20 season.

The Nerazzurri have already signed Diego Godin, Nicolo Barella, Stefano Sensi and Valentino Lazaro, while Conte is determined to prise Romelu Lukaku from United.

Mourinho spent two years at Inter – winning back-to-back Serie A titles and the Champions League – and the club great told Gazzetta dello Sport: "The Nerazzurri have to win Serie A this season. I'm sure they will."

Inter finished fourth last season, 21 points adrift of Juve under former boss Luciano Spalletti.

Mourinho, meanwhile, hinted at a future move to the Bundesliga as the Portuguese remains out of work.

After two and a half years at Old Trafford, Mourinho was sacked by United in December amid a bad run of form and reports of dressing-room unrest.

Mourinho has been linked with numerous jobs since leaving United, with Benfica, Lyon and most recently Newcastle United said to have been interested.

Asked about his future, Mourinho said: "I really miss football. I miss the adrenaline, the field, my job. Football is football.

"Right now, I am studying German. Bundesliga? Now, I'm studying German because I miss the language. I speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. But I do not exclude anything, not even Germany."

Andriy Shevchenko has backed fellow legends Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban to put AC Milan "back where it used to be" after they were given key roles at the club.

Former Rossoneri captain Maldini was appointed technical director in June while Boban, who won four Serie A titles and the Champions League during his spell at Milan, is now their chief football officer.

Shevchenko, who played alongside Maldini and Boban at San Siro, is confident the pair can help turn Milan's fortunes around after a disappointing 2018-19 season in which the club finished fifth in Serie A, missing out on a place in the Champions League.

"Maldini and Boban will guarantee that the club mentality does not change," Shevchenko told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"They will do well. Paolo is growing as a manager.

"The expectations are high, but I believe that Paolo and 'Zvone' will bring Milan back where they used to be."

Marco Giampaolo was appointed head coach in June and Shevchenko has been impressed by the former Sampdoria and Empoli boss.

"He seems like a guy with strong ideas, like these managers [Maldini and Boban]," said Shevchenko.

"Giampaolo is a coach who can achieve great results through play. He gives the impression he is prepared: I believe it was a good choice."

Shevchenko also has high hopes for striker Krzysztof Piatek, who scored nine goals in 18 Serie A appearances for the club in the second half of last season.

Piatek is set to wear the iconic number nine shirt, following on from such names as Filippo Inzaghi, Marco van Basten and George Weah, and Shevchenko said the Poland international is a worthy successor.

"The way he entered Milan, the naturalness, the important goals he scored, it was a great impact and now it is right that Kris also takes responsibility for such an important shirt," said Shevchenko.

"It's not just about wearing certain shirts. Milan's story itself is both beautiful and difficult to wear on the skin.

"This is demonstrated by the attachment of the fans: in recent times the results have not been the same, yet I have seen that at Milanello for the first day of training there were thousands of people."

Romelu Lukaku is "not afraid" to seek a transfer in order to find a club where he feels wanted, according to former Belgium coach Georges Leekens, who backed the striker to "take a little bit of revenge" by leaving Manchester United.

Inter are reportedly keen to take Lukaku to San Siro and the 26-year-old told reporters they would "know something next week" after United's friendly win over Perth Glory on Saturday.

Lukaku did not play against Perth but is expected to feature when the Red Devils face Leeds United on Tuesday, and Solskjaer said the club have not received any acceptable bids for the Belgium international.

Leekens said he feels Solskjaer's arrival as manager in December 2018 was the start of the end for Lukaku at United, telling The Mirror: "He's a fantastic footballer, but the change of coach at Manchester hasn't worked well for him.

"He looked released when he played for Belgium and you saw that in the way he played and scored in the recent qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Scotland.

"He needs confidence, he needs to feel wanted. When you hesitate over picking him, he feels it and he doesn't forget it.

"The moment he feels there's a doubt over him, he won't hesitate to do what he thinks is best."

Leekens is not the first to recommend that Lukaku moves on, with current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez having already opined that "it would be a good thing for both parties" if the former Everton target man secures a switch.

Lukaku cost United £76million (€84.7m) in July 2017 and he scored 16 Premier League goals in his first season at Old Trafford, followed by 12 league strikes last season.

The United board are thought to be unmoved by Inter's reported offer of €70million (£63m) – comprising of a two-year loan and a €60m obligation to buy, but Leekens insisted a transfer to Serie A would be the best outcome.

"Now I think it's the right moment for him to go to Italy, to a country where the football is more tactical," said the 70-year-old, who coached Belgium from 2010 to 2012.

"He will like to take a little bit of revenge – and show Manchester United what they have been missing.

"He has shown in the past that he's not afraid to leave a club."

The future of James Rodriguez has dominated headlines this off-season.

Napoli have been tipped to sign James after Bayern Munich opted not to take up their permanent option to sign the Real Madrid midfielder.

However, James could be set to remain in the Spanish capital.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO SET FOR SHOCK SWOOP

Atletico Madrid are close to completing the signing of James Rodriguez from LaLiga rivals Real Madrid, according to Marca.

Napoli have been favourites to lure James to Italy, with the Serie A side keen to reunite the Colombia star and head coach Carlo Ancelotti.

However, negotiations have dragged on and James – who spent the past two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich – is reportedly keen to make the switch across town.

 

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- According to le10sport, Barcelona have offered Philippe Coutinho in a straight swap for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar. LaLiga champions Barca reportedly do not have money to spend after paying Antoine Griezmann's release clause.

- Sky Sports reports Arsenal have made an improved £25million offer for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. Meanwhile, BBC Sport claims the Gunners have not submitted a bid for Lille forward Nicolas Pepe as they cannot afford the €80m-rated star.

- Harry Maguire has told Leicester City he wants to leave amid growing speculation he will join Manchester United, says the Daily Mail.

- According to the Daily Mail, Bayern Munich have not given up on signing Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Bundesliga champions are reportedly set to make a £45million offer. Bayern are also interested in Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier, Sky Sports understands.

Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin is close to moving to Portuguese champions Benfica, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Perin is looking for regular football following Gianluigi Buffon's return to Turin, where Wojciech Szczesny is the number one.

- The Mirror says Liverpool have joined Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov.

Juventus could use Moise Kean in a deal to sign Inter outcast Mauro Icardi, according to FCInterNews.it. Rai Sport has also claimed Juve could take Icardi on loan with an option to buy for €40million.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta said he is "optimistic about everything" amid the club's ongoing battle to sign Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku revealed that he expects an update on his future next week as Inter try to prise the Belgium star from Old Trafford, where Marcus Rashford has become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-choice striker.

Antonio Conte's Inter have made no secret of their interest in the 26-year-old, but the Serie A side's reported offer of €70million (£63m) – comprising of a two-year loan and a €60m obligation to buy – has apparently fallen short of United's €83m asking price.

Asked if he was optimistic about Lukaku following speculation Inter could turn to Eintracht Frankfurt's Ante Rebic, CEO Marotta told reporters: "Yes, I am optimistic about everything."

Lukaku was not included in the squad for United's 2-0 win over Perth Glory in their opening pre-season fixture in Australia on Saturday.

The former Chelsea striker – contracted to the Red Devils until 2022 with the option of a further year – joined United from Everton for £75m in 2017.

Lukaku, who has acknowledged a desire to play in Italy and hinted his future could be away from Manchester, scored 12 Premier League goals last season.

He scored 15 goals across all competitions as United finished sixth in the Premier League and lost to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

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