Juventus have completed the €26million signing of Genoa defender Cristian Romero and loaned the 21-year-old back to the Rossoblu.

A deal for Romero looked to be edging closer when Juve confirmed he was to have a medical on Tuesday, and he signed a five-year contract three days later.

The former Argentina Under-20 international only joined Genoa from boyhood club Belgrano last year for a reported €1.7m, but in his 27 Serie A appearances he sufficiently impressed to earn a big move.

He becomes the second young centre-back after Merih Demiral – also 21 – to sign for Juve during this transfer window, but Romero will return to Genoa in a season-long loan.

A Juve statement read: "Juventus announces that the agreement with Genoa for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Cristian Romero has been finalised for a consideration of €26million payable in three financial years.

"Juventus and the player have signed a five-year contract of employment until June 30, 2024.

"At the same time, Juventus has reached an agreement with Genoa for the free loan until June 30, 2020 of the registration rights of the same player and bonuses of up to €5.3m will be paid to Genoa on achieving specific sports performances."

Juve are also expected to soon complete the signing of highly rated Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, as they continue to prepare for a future without the ageing Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Lyon have announced the signing of Joachim Andersen, who joins the club from Sampdoria.

Andersen was unveiled at a news conference on Friday, where Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed the fee could reach up to €30million.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Joachim," Aulas told reporters. "He was one of our recruitment priorities.

"We are very happy for his arrival and he has signed a five-year contract.

"The amount of the transfer is €24million with €6million bonuses, we want to go through a certain number of steps."

Andersen, 23, is yet to make a senior appearance for Denmark but has been capped at youth levels and included in full squads.

"It's a price between the two clubs, I just want to play and fulfil the ambitions of the club, it's the perfect environment to grow and grow," the defender said of his fee.

"I am very happy to be here at Lyon. I'm really looking forward to playing in my new colours. It's a fantastic club. I can't wait to see the city and the fans.

"I'm going to take a step back in my career here, it's a fantastic club, I wanted to play in the Champions League, I want to win titles too."

Antoine Griezmann's proposed move to Barcelona appears close to completion.

Griezmann has been tipped to join Barca after notifying Atletico Madrid of his desire to leave following five years in the Spanish capital.

And after months of speculation, a big-money transfer to LaLiga's champions is looming large.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA PAY FOR GRIEZMANN

According to L'Equipe, Barcelona have paid the €120million release clause to sign Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

Tensions between the two LaLiga clubs have been high after Atletico claimed Barca and Griezmann secretly negotiated a transfer in February.

Griezmann has been available for €120m since his release clause dropped from €200m on July 1.

While Barca and Atletico have reportedly denied the sum has been paid, the French World Cup winner seems destined for Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

- Roma will sign Atalanta defender Gianluca Mancini instead of Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. After losing Kostas Manolas to Serie A rivals Napoli, Roma identified Alderweireld due to his £25m release clause, which lasts until August. However, his contract demands have reportedly proved excessive.

- According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain have relaunched their bid to sign Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. PSG wanted to sign Gueye in January, but they were unsuccessful.

Inter will look to sign Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic if they are unable to prise Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, per Gianluca Di Marzio.

Manchester United have been quoted £50m to sign Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff, The Telegraph reports. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to bolster his midfield, having lost Ander Herrera and amid doubts over futures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. The Red Devils are also said to be confident a compromise can be reached with Leicester City over centre-back Harry Maguire, who is valued at £90m by the Foxes.

- After missing out on Maxi Gomez to Valencia and losing Marko Arnautovic to the Chinese Super League, The Sun says West Ham will turn to Colombia forward Duvan Zapata – who spent last season on loan at Atalanta from Sampdoria – in a £40m deal.

- According to Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport, Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa wants to join Juventus.

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio confirmed the Serie A club have made an "official approach" to Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku.

United striker Lukaku has emerged as a transfer target for Inter, who sent officials to England to try to reach a deal for the Belgium international.

Lukaku – contracted to the Red Devils until 2022 with the option of a further year – joined United from Everton for £75million in 2017 and the Premier League giants want to recoup that fee as Inter push for an initial loan deal.

Ausilio arrived back in Milan on Thursday and he told reporters: "We had a meeting with Manchester United for Lukaku.

"It was an official approach between two important clubs. We'll see what happens.

"All the players we're following are targets we've agreed with Antonio Conte. We want to satisfy his request within certain financial parameters."

Lukaku, who has acknowledged a desire to play in Italy and hinted his future could be away from Old Trafford with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, scored 12 Premier League goals last season.

The 26-year-old – in Australia for the club's pre-season tour – scored 15 goals across all competitions as United finished sixth in the Premier League and lost to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

 

Lautaro Martinez's agent Alberto Yaque confirmed LaLiga champions Barcelona are interested in signing the Inter forward.

Martinez, 21, has been linked with a €112million move to Barca, just one season after joining Inter from Racing Club.

The Argentina international scored nine goals in all competitions – six in Serie A – last term and emerged as the focal point of Inter's attack amid the fallout between Mauro Icardi and the club.

Asked about speculation linking Martinez to Barca, Yaque told Ole: "Talk of Barcelona's interest is true.

"No-one's called us, but we know that they've been looking at him strongly. It's true that Barcelona like him."

Inter have been busy in the transfer market following Antonio Conte's appointment as head coach in place of Luciano Spalletti.

The Nerazzurri have signed Diego Godin, Valentino Lazaro and Stefano Sensi, while they are reportedly poised to announce the arrival of Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella amid ongoing talks with Manchester United over Romelu Lukaku.

Meanwhile, Barca have lured Frenkie de Jong and Neto to the club as they also look to sign Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

 

Milan Skriniar has reiterated his commitment to Inter as the Nerazzurri aim to challenge in Serie A under new coach Antonio Conte.

Skriniar signed a new long-term contract with Inter in May amid reported interest from a number of Europe's major clubs.

Former Inter boss Luciano Spalletti, however, did not stay on at San Siro, with the club choosing to replace him with former Juventus and Italy coach Conte.

Inter - who finished fourth last term - are undergoing something of a rebuild, with Radja Nainggolan, a regular under Spalletti, and Mauro Icardi both likely to leave the club, while Romelu Lukaku is a reported target.

But Skriniar insists he has no plans to move on and is instead focusing on helping Inter test Juve's domestic dominance.

"I've always said I wanted to stay here, I'm happy to be here," Skriniar told Sky Italia.

"With the new coach, there could be a new system so we also have to work for this, to always do better.

"There is a great desire to work to improve. It is working hard and well, and it is important. We knew what was waiting for us with the new coach and he has been himself immediately since the first training session.

"What we know is that we have to work from the first day to the maximum because our goal is to fight for the top places."

Ivan Marcano has returned to Porto just one season after leaving for Serie A side Roma.

Marcano left Porto in May 2018 on a free transfer following four years with the Primeira Liga team, signing a three-year contract with the Giallorossi.

However, the centre-back managed just 13 appearances across all competitions in 2018-19, and has now returned to Portugal, with Roma receiving a €3million fee.

The 32-year-old has agreed a four-year deal with Porto - who sold defender Felipe to Atletico Madrid earlier in the off-season - keeping him at Estadio do Dragao until 2023.

Marcano's departure leaves Roma short of options in central defence, with Kostas Manolas having joined Serie A rivals Napoli.

Toby Alderweireld, who has one year left on his current Tottenham contract, is reportedly a target for Roma, who on Wednesday signed goalkeeper Pau Lopez from Real Betis, having already brought in Leonardo Spinazzola and Amadou Diawara.

James Rodriguez's potential move to Napoli is being held up by Real Madrid's unreasonable asking price, according to Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

LaLiga giants Madrid reportedly want more than €40million for playmaker James, who has spent the past two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti is eager to be reunited with the player he coached in Spain and Germany, but a stalemate in negotiations is said to have alerted Atletico Madrid.

Napoli are remaining calm, with De Laurentiis confident the Colombia international favours a switch to Stadio San Paolo.

"Carlo likes him very much and we're waiting for a more reasonable demand," De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport.

"The obstacle is Real Madrid, who are asking for too much in our opinion.

"But James wants to come to Napoli."

Mauro Icardi is one player who will not be joining Ancelotti's side, despite the striker being told he can leave Inter.

De Laurentiis acknowledged he enquired about the Argentina international, but found him to be set on joining Serie A champions Juventus, and the Napoli chief will not entertain a swap deal involving Lorenzo Insigne.

"[Icardi] will always want to go to Juventus," he said.

"Anyway, I prefer Insigne, because we need him, and then we have [Arkadiusz] Milik and [Dries] Mertens.

"We can't ignore Icardi's talent, he's a very strong player, but we've talked about him so much now that he looks older than 26."

Barcelona are in no rush in their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Neymar, 27, is set to be fined by the Ligue 1 champions after failing to turn up for the first day of pre-season training.

With sporting director Leonardo confirming the Brazil forward can leave for the right price, Barca think they are in a strong position, and the Catalan giants are ready to play a waiting game.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA IN NO RUSH OVER NEYMAR

Barcelona are prepared to wait and see if PSG blink first over Neymar, according to a report from AS.

Neymar left Camp Nou for PSG in a world-record €222million move two years ago and it has now become clear he wants an exit from Parc des Princes.

In a strong position, Barca are remaining patient in their pursuit of the Brazil star, who has also been linked with their rivals Real Madrid.

Marca also report Barcelona are willing to wait, with PSG's asking price sure to continue dropping as the skilful forward continues to show his desire to leave.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus are ready to give in to Ajax's demands over Matthijs de Ligt. Sport report the Serie A champions are planning to present the star defender on Saturday, having apparently agreed to pay the Eredivisie club €75m for the centre-back.

- Manchester United are increasingly confident about signing Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. The Daily Mail claim the Red Devils are hoping to land the centre-back for £75m, which is short of Leicester's reported £85m valuation.

- West Ham have begun searching for someone to replace Marko Arnautovic, who left for China. The Sun say the Premier League club have been offered the chance to sign free agent Mario Balotelli, while Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Hammers have also shown an interest in Juve forward Gonzalo Higuain.

- Mario Mandzukic could be set for a surprise return to Bayern Munich. Bild report the Juve striker has been discussed as a possible back-up for Robert Lewandowski and another wide option for head coach Niko Kovac.

- Everton continue to be linked with forwards and the Telegraph say the Premier League club expressed an interest in Lille's Nicolas Pepe, who is said to have been a target of rivals Liverpool. Meanwhile, the Sun claim Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is prepared to talk to the Toffees.

- Newcastle United seem close to finding their replacement for Rafael Benitez. According to the Daily Mail, Sam Allardyce has rejected a return to the club, with Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce now the favourite.

AC Milan must harness the bitter experience of missing out on a top-four finish last season and focus on making amends in 2019-20, according to Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Goalkeeper Donnarumma was injured in Milan's 3-2 victory over SPAL on the final day of the 2018-19 campaign, a result that was not quite good enough to see them pip rivals Inter to fourth place.

The Rossoneri will not play in Europe at all in the upcoming season, the club reaching an agreement with UEFA to serve a ban after breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

However, Donnarumma had underlined his commitment to the cause as Milan attempt to reclaim their place at Europe's top table under new coach Marco Giampaolo.

"I was upset to leave the field early in Ferrara [against SPAL] but I'm eager to begin the new season," Donnarumma told Milan TV.

"It's upsetting that we won't be in Europe this year but as our coach and director said, we can now focus on returning to the Champions League, where the club deserves to be.

"We were qualified for the Champions League with just 10 minutes to go but we all know how it ended.

"We were all disappointed but it has to be a boost for us to achieve our goal this year."

Donnarumma - who has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain during the close season - is vastly experienced despite being only 20, though he still suffers pre-season nerves.

"The first day of training is always a flurry of emotions," he said.

"It always feels like my first time at Milanello and I'm excited. I'm keen to begin training and give my all. We have to give our best in order to return to where we deserve to be, which is in Europe.

"I'm more mature even though I'm just 20 years old but I feel more like a man now, which is also thanks to AC Milan, and I feel the same way on the pitch.

"I have greatly improved in many aspects, but I still have to improve a lot, because it is never enough – you always have to give your best in every training session in order to constantly improve."

AC Milan and Inter have taken the first official steps to replacing their existing San Siro ground with a new 60,000-seater stadium after filing a proposal with local authorities.

Commonly known as San Siro for the district of Milan in which it is situated, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is one of the most iconic grounds in European football, having hosted 1990 World Cup matches and four European Cup/Champions League finals.

But it has long needed significant regeneration and Rossoneri president Paolo Scaroni in June revealed plans to demolish the stadium and replace it with a state-of-the-art arena.

Milan and Inter confirmed they initiated the process on Wednesday in a joint statement, with their new home set to hold approximately 60,000 people.

The release read: "AC Milan and Inter filed with the municipality of Milan the technical and economic feasibility study for the new Milan stadium and its multifunctional district.

"The proposal to the local institutions marks a first official step by the clubs, beginning a shared journey together with the municipality towards constructing a modern, sustainable and accessible urban district in the San Siro area, built around a new world-class stadium.

"The documentation submitted by the clubs consists of a detailed technical and engineering study which does not yet include an architectural component."

The clubs expect to create an estimated 3,500 jobs as part of a regeneration project in the entire San Siro area that is predicted to cost €1.2billion.

Mario Balotelli has left Marseille following the expiration of his contract, club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud confirmed.

Balotelli joined Marseille from Nice in January on a short-term contract and enjoyed a solid end to the season, scoring eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances.

Marseille had been keen on keeping him at the club, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League has forced them to lower their wage budget.

Lucas Ocampos has already left for Sevilla, while Kevin Strootman, Adil Rami, Luiz Gustavo and their highest-earning players are being linked with moves.

Balotelli's exit has now been confirmed, opening the door for the striker to return to either Italy or England, having been linked with Napoli and West Ham.

"At the moment we are [working] on two or three areas to adapt if there are unexpected departures and that we would have to replace," Eyraud told L'Equipe.

"The attacking position has to be filled, since Mario Balotelli will not continue with Marseille. We are looking beyond the position of attacker, however, including centre-back."

Eyraud is hopeful highly rated 19-year-old centre-back Boubacar Kamara signs a new deal, while he also denied reports Marseille have told Rami – a World Cup winner with France last year – to look for a new club.

"I respect my players, I rub shoulders with them every day and I see how much pressure they are under," he added. "I am very surprised by the media coverage that claims Rami has already left.

"What is certain, for me, is that Adil Rami must question himself, deeply, about his status, about his job as a professional footballer, about his rights and duties as a player, and moreover a world champion.

"With Adil I am very frank, very direct, as always, and I will make a decision at the end of this discussion.

"I cannot wait to have it [the discussion with Rami], and to have this exchange with him, which will take place this week."

Romelu Lukaku is on the other side of the globe and his future is still up in the air.

In Australia for Manchester United's pre-season tour, Lukaku remains a Red Devils player but he is reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford.

Linked to Inter, this could drag on for a while…

 

TOP STORY – INTER STEP UP LUKAKU CHASE

Inter will travel to England to try to complete a transfer for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, Sky Sports reports.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, €80million-rated Lukaku wants to leave and Inter have emerged as frontrunners to sign the 26-year-old.

Serie A champions Juventus are also reportedly interested but Inter head coach Antonio Conte, who missed out on signing Lukaku during his time as Chelsea boss in 2017, is desperate to bring him to Milan.

 

ROUND-UP

Paris Saint-Germain are willing to part with Neymar for €150m, according to El Pais. Neymar – linked with a return to Camp Nou and Real Madrid – arrived from Barcelona in a world-record €222m transfer in 2017.

Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United amid doubts over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's ability to deliver silverware at Old Trafford, according to The Sun. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and Juventus.

- According to the front page of Corriere dello Sport, Napoli are stepping up their pursuit of Valencia forward Rodrigo. The 28-year-old is valued at €70m by the LaLiga club. Meanwhile, Sport Mediaset reports Napoli are poised to sign Eljif Elmas with the Fenerbahce midfielder set to undergo a medical.

- The Suns says Arsenal are planning to hijack Premier League rivals Everton's move for Barcelona winger Malcom. The Brazilian, who struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou last season, has emerged as a target for the Gunners – who look to have moved on from pursuing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

Roma have met with the agent of Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Mariano only returned to the Santiago Bernabeu last season, having left for Lyon in 2017.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Leicester City have entered the race to sign Arsenal and Valencia target Dennis Praet from Sampdoria.

Atletico Madrid striker and former Chelsea star Diego Costa has an agreement with Wolves, reports Globo Esporte.

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful James Rodriguez will sign for the Serie A club.

James has emerged as a transfer target for Napoli, who want to reunite the Colombia star with former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich boss Ancelotti.

The 27-year-old's future is uncertain after Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich opted not to take up a permanent transfer following a two-year loan deal from Madrid.

Amid ongoing speculation over James, Ancelotti told reporters: "I don't know if he'll come, but we hope so.

"I know him very well, he can play in all the midfield positions. I used him as a left winger, as a number 10 and or even on the right.

"His position on the pitch isn't a problem. He's adaptable, he can play in many positions.

"As for the number 10 shirt, the important thing is that he puts on the Azzurri jersey. His number isn't important. However, he needs time and patience."

Napoli are reportedly interested in taking James on loan, though Madrid want a permanent sale and €42million as they look to raise funds amid a busy transfer window.

While Napoli are favourites to sign James, LaLiga's Atletico Madrid are believed to be monitoring the situation.

AC Milan chief football officer Zvonimir Boban believes goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will remain with the Serie A giants.

Donnarumma, 20, has been linked with a move away from San Siro, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in the shot-stopper.

But Boban suggested the Italy international would stay in Milan, although accepted the situation could also change.

"[Paolo] Maldini said that we are happy to have probably the best goalkeeper in the world, surely the best talent in the world in that role," Boban said on Tuesday, via CalcioMercato.

"For the moment, he remains. He can change but it is not said that he will leave."

Donnarumma joined Milan as a 14-year-old in 2013 and has already made 164 first-team appearances.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.