Real Madrid lead the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, while Barcelona are optimistic.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave Ligue 1 champions PSG before the transfer window closes on September 2, with either Barca or Madrid his likely destination.

It remains to be seen just where the Brazil forward ends up, but Madrid have apparently moved ahead of their rivals in the race.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID LEAD BARCELONA IN RACE FOR NEYMAR

Contacts intensified between the parties involved in getting Neymar from PSG to Real Madrid, according to AS.

However, the cover of Sport says Barcelona are "optimistic" about signing the star they sold to PSG for €222million two years ago.

They also report that PSG are making constant calls to the LaLiga champions as they try to find an agreement.

 

ROUND-UP

- Napoli appear to be growing tired of waiting for Mauro Icardi, who is unwanted at Inter. According to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli want an answer from the forward regarding a potential switch by Saturday.

- One more time? Real Madrid are set to make a final push to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United, according to The Times, who say the Premier League club are expected to reject any offers for the France international.

- A player set for an exit from Old Trafford is Alexis Sanchez and more details are emerging about his move from Manchester United to Inter. Fabrizio Romano reports Inter are in talks with United to sign Sanchez on a season-long loan with an option to buy for €15m (£13.7m), with United to pay part of the Chilean's wages.

- Could Emre Can leave Juventus after just one season in Turin? Bayern Munich and PSG are interested in the former Liverpool star, according to Tuttosport, with the Serie A champions set to let a midfielder leave after the arrivals of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot. PSG are also set to meet with Paulo Dybala's representatives on Tuesday, reports in Italy say.

- Amid fresh rumours PSG are chasing Gianluigi Donnarumma, the goalkeeper has reiterated his desire to stay at AC Milan, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Daniel Sturridge could be close to making a decision on his future. The Daily Express report the former Liverpool forward is in talks with Turkish side Trabzonspor, while Ligue 1 outfit Monaco could also make Sturridge an offer if Radamel Falcao departs.

Thomas Tuchel admitted Paris Saint-Germain missed Neymar in their shock defeat to Rennes and ruled out an exit for the Brazil star unless an adequate replacement is brought in.

Neymar's prolonged absence from the PSG squad continued on Sunday as the Ligue 1 champions fell to a 2-1 loss at Rennes in their first away outing of the new campaign.

The 27-year-old Neymar has been recovering from an ankle injury that has ruled him out of action since early June, while questions remain over his future amid strong links with Real Madrid and former club Barcelona.

After seeing his side struggle for creativity at Roazhon Park, however, head coach Tuchel stood firm on his stance that PSG must keep hold of the player.

"He will not leave without recruitment, it is not possible," Tuchel said at his post-match news conference. "It's clear - if he stays, we will have a player who will help us win. 

"We lacked capacity for acceleration. There were small situations where space opened but we were not decisive."

Tuchel told Canal +: "I always say the same thing, the transfer window is open even more than 10 days and you think it will be settled tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?

"What I think is not important. Today my player cannot play because he has not done any training like the others. This is the situation, and nothing has changed."

Edinson Cavani was gifted a 36th-minute goal by Rennes following an error from Damien Da Silva, but PSG managed just one further shot on target and were made to pay by the side that also beat them in April's Coupe de France final.

Goals either side of half-time from M'Baye Niang and Romain Del Castillo handed Rennes all three points, but Tuchel downplayed the magnitude of the defeat so early in the season.

"It was a difficult match, but we expected it," he said. "We do not have everyone available. Some players only participated in two weeks of training. 

"These situations are normal in August. We are not at our best. Against a physical team like Rennes, who gives everything, whose players run like crazy, in a match in prime time, it's normal that it was complicated for us. 

"We scored the first goal, we controlled the match and made mistakes. We had to close the match after the first goal. We were not able to do it. 

"We conceded a goal with a two against one in the area. We got very close to the Rennes area, but we lacked tenacity to win against some offensive. 

"In these conditions, it was difficult to create opportunities. We can lose a match like that, but we could win it too."

Despite a run of five away defeats in six league matches stretching into last season, Tuchel insisted he does not fear the sack and called for some patience.

"I'm a very happy man," he said. "There is no one who is putting more pressure on myself than me. It's the same for every coach."

"We can play better than today. Things are not easy - everyone has improved in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. It's time to be patient and to keep your confidence. We cannot question everything after a bad result."

Neymar will not take part in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 meeting with Rennes on Sunday, but Thomas Tuchel still has hope of keeping the Brazil star at the club.

Doubt remains over Neymar's future at PSG, with Barcelona and Real Madrid having reportedly had bids rejected for the wantaway forward.

Neymar has been returning to full fitness from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America, but he was included in Tite's Brazil squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru, while PSG sporting director Leonardo has claimed the problem has "completely healed."

Neymar was left out of PSG's opening fixture against Nimes, and the 27-year-old will again be absent when the champions travel to Rennes, although head coach Tuchel insists there has been no change in the situation regarding a possible transfer.

"He started the training session with us, but finished individually," Tuchel told a news conference. "It's a little too early [for him] to start in a match, especially at Rennes' home.

"He is my player and when I think of a strong team, it includes him. If there is no solution for him, he will stay with us.

"For now, nothing has changed. Neymar has three years left on his contract.

"He is sensitive, so I will always protect him. He needs to train with us and raise his intensity.

"I want to see him play at his best level for 90 minutes, with aggression and lots of dribbling."

While Neymar will not feature against Rennes, Idrissa Gueye is set to travel, though Tuchel suggested the former Everton midfielder would not be fit to start.

"Integration is easy with Idrissa: he can talk with everyone, he is very polite, humble," said Tuchel, who will also be without Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer and Layvin Kurzawa.

"He has to adapt to our style of play, to our principles. It's a little early for him, but he's going to make the trip with us.

"He's a player who can play at [number] six or eight but, for me, he's better at six. That's what we expect from him."

Luis Suarez is out for an indefinite period after injuring his right calf in Barcelona's LaLiga loss to Athletic Bilbao on Friday, the club have confirmed.

The 32-year-old striker had to be replaced before half-time at San Mames after receiving treatment following a shot that hit the post.

Lionel Messi missed the match with a calf issue of his own suffered shortly before Barca travelled to the United States for two friendly matches against Napoli last week.

Their absences were felt as Ernesto Valverde's men succumbed to a stunning late winner from Athletic veteran Aritz Aduriz.

"Tests carried out on Saturday morning have confirmed Luis Suarez has an injured right calf," Barca said in a statement.

"His recovery will dictate his return to action."

Suarez's early withdrawal was the first time he has been substituted in the first half of a LaLiga game since he joined Barca from Liverpool in 2014.

The champions suddenly look light on forwards, with Philippe Coutinho set to join Bayern Munich on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

Antoine Griezmann debuted against Athletic, but Suarez's injury and Coutinho's departure could see Barca ramp up their interest in former player Neymar, who looks increasingly likely to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Brazil coach Tite says star player Neymar would never be left out of one of his squads as long as he was fit to feature.

Neymar was not involved for Paris Saint-Germain in their opening Ligue 1 fixture of the season against Nimes as speculation continues over his future.

Barcelona have long been linked with a move for their former forward, with reports this week claiming PSG have turned down a bid from the Catalan giants, as well as their LaLiga rivals Real Madrid.

PSG paid a world record €222million to sign Neymar from Barca in 2017 but his time in Paris has been blighted by injuries while team-mate Kylian Mbappe has become a key figure for Thomas Tuchel's side.

Neymar suffered a blow at the end of last season when, after recovering from a foot problem, he sustained an ankle injury which kept him out of the Copa America – a tournament Brazil won on home soil in his absence.

But the 27-year-old, whose injury has "completely healed" according to PSG sporting director Leonardo, features in Tite's squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Copa America finalists Peru.

"What I will say is that, concerning to a player with such a level and quality as Neymar, we would never leave him out of this group," Tite told a news conference on Friday.

"We talked about three aspects that we can make public, not all the conversation but these things we can. Firstly, his moment and how he felt. He said he was happy, feeling okay and he had been working normally.

"I asked about his emotional situation because this influences the athlete's performance. He said he was calm, that he knew things were taking their way and that he was waiting for PSG to give a definition of his situation.

"The third aspect we talked about was how he felt about playing before our matches, because there's an optimal time to play as long as he's available."

Philippe Coutinho was reportedly included in Barca's offer to PSG for Neymar, and though the playmaker has struggled to cement a place at Camp Nou, Tite is confident he will soon rediscover his best form for club and country.

"He's had highs and lows," Tite added. "He started the Copa America, more precisely the first two matches, being the star of it.

"And then he drops a bit, but gets back to his level. He's a great player and hopefully he'll get back to that pattern from Liverpool.

"But it's normal, sometimes, when you change clubs. I'm sure that getting back to his former level is his goal and ours too."

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


Brazil squad in full:

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

Zinedine Zidane is surprised Gareth Bale remains a Real Madrid player but has vowed to use the Welshman regularly this season.

Bale saw a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning collapse in July and looks set to stay at the Bernabeu, despite tenuous links to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain refusing to go away.

With the European transfer window still open and amid rumours of a falling-out with Zidane, the 30-year-old forward missed Madrid's previous three friendlies before coming on as a substitute in last weekend's defeat on penalties to Roma.

Ahead of Saturday's LaLiga opener with Celta Vigo, Zidane gave Bale his backing and challenged the forward to "make things difficult" for him in terms of his squad selection.

"It seemed that he was going, but now he is with us," the Frenchman said at his pre-match news conference on Friday.

"Things change and now I will be using him as much as the other players in the squad. I'm going to use all the players I've got.

"He is registered with us and he is a good player. I hope all the players here want to make things difficult for me."

James Rodriguez is another player facing an uncertain future in the Spanish capital, having yet to feature for Madrid since returning from a two-year loan spell with Bayern Munich.

Like Bale, though, Zidane will give rumoured Napoli and Atletico Madrid target James an opportunity to prove himself.

"James is fit and we are happy to have him in the squad," Zidane said. "I'll repeat what I said before - I have a big squad and I'll use all the players. They're all happy to be here."

Zidane was brought back to the Bernabeu for a second spell in charge in March and has been heavily backed during the close season with the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy.

The transfer window remains open for Spanish clubs until September 2 and there are continued links with Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.

But Zidane was in no mood to entertain speculation regarding further incoming players.

"Neymar is not a Real Madrid player," he said. "The important thing is the players that are here.

"Paul is a player who plays for Manchester United, you must respect that.

"I'm happy with the players I've got. I'm just focused on the game tomorrow, nothing else.

"We are ready and want to play a good game. I've got the best players, I've always said that. All I'm worried about is what we are going to do tomorrow."

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

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

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

 

TOP STORY – CITY OFFERED MAGUIRE CONTRACT WORTH £70M

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

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

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

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

ROUND-UP 

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

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

 

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

Neymar has not been removed from the Paris Saint-Germain squad and is "completely healed", according to the club's sporting director Leonardo.

The Brazil international, who missed the Copa America due to injury, was absent for last week's Ligue 1 opener against Nimes, during which some supporters protested against the forward.

Neymar reported late for pre-season training and Leonardo has previously confirmed the 27-year-old wants to leave Paris, two years after he joined from Barcelona for a world-record €222million.

A return to Camp Nou has been mooted for Neymar, although Barca coach Ernesto Valverde was unwilling to discuss the prospect at a news conference on Thursday.

And Leonardo has denied reports Neymar remains injured and has been left out of Thomas Tuchel's group as a result.

"Things are simple," Leonardo said to RMC Sport.

"Neymar was monitored by several great doctors and surgeons early in the season and his fracture line is fully consolidated at the fifth metatarsal. Neymar's injury is completely healed.

"It's false. He is not removed from the group. He follows his personalised rehabilitation programme."

Neymar's future remains unresolved, though, with Barca and Real Madrid having reportedly failed with offers, and Leonardo has suggested the attacker may miss Sunday's trip to Rennes.

"He is a player of Paris Saint-Germain, there is still three years of his contract in Paris, we must not forget," Leonardo added.

"We must analyse everything, we must fix everything before he can play again.

"Neymar made mistakes. You know, I didn't know him. As the days go by, I get to know him.

"And I honestly think he's a good boy with a very good background. And on the pitch, he's an amazing player.

"There are discussions for his future, as you know it today, but nothing advanced."

Ernesto Valverde has refused to speak about the possibility of Barcelona bringing back Neymar, who is unsettled at Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the French club will listen to offers for the Brazil international, who left Barca in a world-record €222million deal two years ago.

Neymar is reported to favour a switch to Camp Nou, where Lionel Messi is said to be pushing for his return, but LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also rumoured to be interested in the 27-year-old.

Reports have claimed Barca and Madrid have both had offers rejected by PSG, whose fans displayed banners criticising Neymar during their first Ligue 1 game of the season, against Nimes last Sunday.

But Valverde, who has led Barca to the LaLiga title in each of his two seasons in charge, is unwilling to allow the ongoing saga to act as a distraction ahead of the new campaign.

"I'm outside all these matters and focusing on coaching the team, I have enough to think about ahead of the game without thinking about players from other teams," Valverde told reporters on Thursday. 

"We need to respect players that play for other clubs, he belongs to Paris Saint-Germain right now so no, I have nothing to comment on right now.

"I have a squad to consider and I think about them for tomorrow, what happens after that is a problem for the future.

"I'm very happy with the squad and I have no reason to talk about players in other teams.

"I'm the coach, my job is to adapt to the players I've got. At a club like this there are always mixed opinions."

It has been suggested Barca have offered Ivan Rakitic as a makeweight in a potential deal, but Valverde hopes the Croatia midfielder remains in Spain.

"He's a very important player for us, he has been for my two years here," he added. "I hope he will continue doing so."

Despite Barcelona's season getting under way at Athletic Bilbao on Friday, LaLiga's transfer window remains open. Valverde admits he would rather be sure of his squad ahead of the big kick-off.

"Yes it [the transfer window] is a problem, it's not logical," he said. "We had a similar situation last season, you want to know your squad when you start the league.

"It's not a sensible situation that the market is still open when the league is starting. The team that starts the league might not finish it and we have 15 days of uncertainty ahead.

"But anyway, I have to concentrate on the squad I have. It would be nice if it was definitive, but I don't know yet."

Neymar would be a threat to Barcelona's squad harmony if he returned to the club from Paris Saint-Germain, according to Blaugrana great Hristo Stoichkov.

Brazil star Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222million move in 2017, as the Ligue 1 side paid the forward's release clause.

Neymar's split from Barca was ugly – the club criticising PSG's conduct and disputing the player's loyalty bonus.

But, according to media reports, that has not stopped Neymar and Barca working behind the scenes in recent weeks in order to facilitate a move.

Neymar's position at PSG looks untenable after the club's ultras sang offensive chants about him during their Ligue 1 opener, while Barca are said to have offered multiple players and a transfer fee to secure his return.

But Stoichkov, who spent seven years at Barca across two spells, is adamant Neymar is more trouble than he is worth.

"He would be a bomb inside the locker room," Stoichkov told Univision. "Barcelona don't need Neymar. He would have no space to play because they already have very important players.

"There are [Ousmane] Dembele, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Luis] Suarez, [Lionel] Messi. Where would he play? For my part, I don't want him to come back.

"I'm sure there are players who want to come back and ask the president for his effort, but Barca isn't going to move a single Euro to get him back. Barca doesn't have the money to pay PSG.

"There are [swap] options, but the players Barca is offering to PSG is disrespectful [to the players]. Firstly, because Ivan Rakitic is a great worker, a very humble lad who has never let his guard down and has always defenders the interests of Barcelona.

"And [Philippe] Coutinho cost a lot of money, but he has a lot of ability and I defend him, and hopefully no Barca player leaves."

If Real Madrid want to sign Neymar, they may have to part with one of their young stars.

Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain and a return to Barcelona has been mooted for the world's most expensive footballer.

Madrid, however, are also eyeing Neymar but PSG have identified one Los Blancos Brazilian to replace their wantaway star.

 

TOP STORY – PSG ASK FOR VINICIUS AS PART OF NEYMAR DEAL

According to Spanish media, Paris Saint-Germain have asked for Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior to be included in any deal to send Neymar to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Neymar has been linked to former club Barcelona and fellow LaLiga giants Madrid as he looks to leave Paris.

PSG and Barca are yet to strike a deal, though talks are ongoing. In the meantime, sporting director Leonardo requested Brazilian youngster Vinicius in a potential deal with Madrid but it was swiftly rejected by Los Blancos, reports AS.

Marca, meanwhile, says PSG are keen for Vinicius and Luka Modric to be involved.

 

ROUND-UP 

- New signing Luka Jovic will not be leaving Real Madrid on loan, Bild says. Reports emerged on Wednesday that Jovic had failed to impress Zinedine Zidane following his €60million arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt. However, the Serbia forward is not set for a short-term move away.

- Inter want €80million for former captain and outcast Mauro Icardi, according to Tuttosport. Icardi has been deemed surplus to requirements at Inter following Romelu Lukaku's club-record arrival and the Argentina striker reportedly wants to join Juventus, while Roma and Napoli are believed to be interested.

- According to the Daily Mail, Alexis Sanchez is ready to quit Manchester United amid interest from Serie A. Having struggled to make an impact since his big-money arrival from Arsenal, Sanchez has been linked to AC Milan, Napoli, Juventus and Napoli.

- Staying at Old Trafford and the Mirror claims Victor Lindelof is set for a massive new Manchester United deal. Linked to Barcelona during the off-season, Lindelof is reportedly in line for a three-year extension. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail says United scouts passed on signing Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

- The Washington Post claims Mesut Ozil's agent was in Washington to meet with DC United on Wednesday. The MLS side have identified the Arsenal playmaker as a replacement for Wayne Rooney, who has agreed to join Derby County as a player-coach in January.

- AC Milan will resist offers for Suso and Franck Kessie as they want to keep the pair, reports Sky Sport Italia. Suso has been linked to Lyon, Sevilla and Roma, while Kessie rejected a move to Wolves.

Neymar leaving Paris Saint-Germain would not be good for Ligue 1, Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas believes.

PSG star Neymar has been linked to former club Barcelona and Real Madrid before the LaLiga transfer window shuts on September 2.

Neymar reportedly wants to return to Barca after his world-record €222million exit in 2017, while Madrid are also an option.

Asked about Brazil international forward Neymar, Villas-Boas said: "This type of player has an important image in football, a bit like when Ronaldinho was here in Paris.

"There's this attractiveness, the football world wants to watch these kinds of players. I don't know what's going to happen, I can't comment on the separation because I'm not the PSG coach.

"He is an important player in the world of football. For me, it was the player who could succeed [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi for the Ballon d'Or. But he did not recover all the qualities he had shown in Barcelona.

"For Ligue 1, it's not good if he leaves. But we have other good players and clubs like OM, with an international reputation, who will always make Ligue 1 attractive."

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.

In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for PSG – who opened their title defence with a 3-0 win over Nimes in the absence of the 27-year-old.

Juventus, Roma, Napoli, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.

Where will Inter outcast Mauro Icardi end up before the transfer window shuts on September 2?

The Ligue 1 champions are reportedly interested in the former Inter captain.

 

TOP STORY – PSG WANT ICARDI IF NEYMAR LEAVES

According to journalist Tancredi Palmeri, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Inter forward Icardi.

Icardi is not wanted at Inter, where he has been deemed surplus to requirements by head coach Antonio Conte.

And Icardi has reportedly been offered to PSG by Inter, who apparently want to block Paulo Dybala moving to Paris from Juventus.

Palmeri's column for Tuttomercatoweb insists Icardi's transfer to PSG depends on Neymar's departure, with Barcelona and Real Madrid eyeing the Brazilian.

 

ROUND-UP 

- The Neymar saga is ongoing as Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona try to strike a deal. Barca reportedly offered €80million plus Philippe Coutinho to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, two years after his €222m departure. According to ESPN FC, Barca are willing to part with Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic as well as a fee.

Alexis Sanchez could be sent to Manchester United's reserves if he is not sold before the European window's closure, claims The Sun. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly desperate to move on Sanchez, who has been linked to Roma.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter and Juventus will go head-to-head to sign Fiorentina and Italy star Federico Chiesa at the end of 2019-20. Chiesa is a wanted man but new Viola owner Rocco Commisso is unwilling to sell his prized €70m asset.

Roma are preparing a bid to bring in Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi. That is according to Sky Sport Italia, regardless of whether Edin Dzeko is sold to Inter. Batshuayi spent time on loan with Valencia and Crystal Palace last season.

Monaco have approached Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, claims Goal. Roma have also been linked to Rugani, however, reports in England say Liverpool's Dejan Lovren is the Giallorossi's first choice.

- According to Marca, Valencia want AC Milan striker Andre Silva to replace outgoing forward Rodrigo Moreno. Rodrigo is poised to join LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid and Silva is behind Krzysztof Piatek and Rafael Leao in Milan's pecking order. It comes as Milan try to wrap up a deal for Atletico forward Angel Correa.

Real Madrid would be among the favourites for this season's Champions League if they signed Neymar, according to Gheorghe Hagi.

The Brazil superstar has been linked to the LaLiga giants, as well as former club Barcelona, and he was absent as Paris Saint-Germain opened their Ligue 1 title defence with a 3-0 win over Nimes on Sunday.

PSG's sporting director Leonardo hinted Neymar – who cost a world-record €222million from Barca in 2017 – could be close to leaving the French capital.

Madrid have already signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea during the off-season and Hagi – who played for Los Blancos between 1990 and 1992 – says the addition of Neymar would make them a formidable force in the 2019-20 campaign.

"They can win easier," he told Super Deportivo Radio. "Without a doubt. If they sign Neymar and with the Hazard signing, they can win the Champions League again.

"[Zinedine] Zidane will then have to find a place for each one, but it's the best thing that can happen to a coach. You just have to motivate them."

Neymar has struggled to hit the heights of his time at Barca following his move to France, but Hagi is confident that he would rekindle his best form back in Spain.

"There are times that he is good and sometimes he is not," he added. "The value of the player is the same. He is a player who would do well for all the teams in the world."

Hagi was also drawn on the age-old debate of whether he prefers Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, with the 54-year-old opting for the Barca star.

"I would love to be his coach, but I confess that I choose Messi because I have a small weakness for him being left-footed," he explained.

"I was a left-footed footballer myself. I can't choose another one, it's my style." 

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