Neymar seems eager for a return to Barcelona – and he is reportedly prepared to show just how keen he is.

The Brazil international has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, where he left for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million move in 2017.

But amid doubts over whether Barca could get a deal done, it seems Neymar is ready to make a huge sacrifice.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR PREPARED TO CUT SALARY IN HALF FOR BARCELONA RETURN

Neymar would cut his salary in half to return to Barcelona but wants guarantees, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says Neymar has rejected a renewal offer from Paris Saint-Germain as he eyes a return to the LaLiga giants.

Neymar scored 18 goals in 22 games for PSG this season when the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Ligue 1 later called off.

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- Real Madrid are making their move. The cover of AS says Madrid have made their first approach for Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, the 17-year-old they reportedly see as a substitute for Casemiro.

- Linked with a stunning move to Liverpool, Kalidou Koulibaly could find it hard to leave Napoli. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli are unwilling to negotiate a lower price for the star defender, who is also said to be a target for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal. Napoli have been reported to want £90m (€102.4m) for the defender.

- Luka Jovic has struggled in his first season at Real Madrid, leading to transfer talk. But Mundo Deportivo reports Madrid are maintaining confidence in the forward for at least one more season despite links to Newcastle United.

- With Thiago Silva seemingly set to leave, Paris Saint-Germain are targeting Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti as his replacement, according to Sport. Silva is out of contract at the end of the season and Umtiti has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou.

- A player linked to Barcelona is Tanguy Ndombele. However, The Telegraph reports the midfielder is determined to stay at Tottenham despite the LaLiga giants' interest.

- There could be plenty of movement at Barcelona, but Sport reports the club want to keep Carles Alena, 22, while Riqui Puig, 20, is set to get his chance with the first team.

Unai Emery hit out at referee Deniz Aytekin, Barcelona forward Luis Suarez and an un-named Paris Saint-Germain player as he reflected on the 6-1 Champions League collapse suffered at Camp Nou in 2017.

PSG, then coached by Emery, romped to a 4-0 win in the first leg of their last-16 tie, but on March 8, a day Emery remembers as the worst of his career, Barca recorded an unbelievable second-leg comeback.

Leading 3-1 on the night but still trailing 5-3 on aggregate after 88 minutes, Barca were on the brink of elimination.

However, they managed to score three times in a dramatic finale to seal the largest comeback in Champions League history, with future PSG star Neymar scoring twice for Luis Enrique's hosts.

Reflecting on the devastating loss more than three years later, Emery hit out at the performance of Turkish official Aytekin.

He also discussed his belief Suarez kept going down easily in the box and suggested there was a PSG player who was "hiding" as he explained the other circumstances that worked against his team.

"There are lots of details in that game that can be scrutinised," Emery said, per EFE, in a discussion with his former Sevilla assistant Diego Martinez, who now coaches Granada.

"But if I start from the end, I'd change the referee and that's it. I watched a repeat of the game the other day because I found it while I was zapping through channels. I watched it from the 50th minute to the 82nd minute.

"We were 3-0 down, we scored to make it 3-1 and we had a one-on-one that Edinson Cavani hit at the goalkeeper to make it 3-2; a clear penalty on Angel Di Maria that wasn't given; and in the 82nd minute, Di Maria fouled Neymar for the goal. That's when I stopped watching.

"In that section of the game, I saw that one of our important players, who had had injury problems during the season, was hiding in the result. Maybe I would substitute him now. 

"They are details, circumstances that escape you in a game.

"Then there are other key circumstances: the Barcelona players, especially Suarez, going down in the box continuously, pressuring the referee until he fell into their trap."

Barca were knocked out in the by eventual finalists Juventus in the last eight.

Barcelona are reportedly looking at Jadon Sancho as an alternative if they cannot land Neymar.

Neymar is linked with a return to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain, where he arrived from Barcelona for a world-record €222million in 2017.

But the LaLiga giants have options.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO AN ALTERNATIVE TO NEYMAR FOR BARCELONA

Borussia Dortmund star Sancho is an alternative to Neymar for Barcelona, according to Sport.

The cover of the Spanish daily says Barca are thinking of Sancho if they are unable to bring Neymar back to the club.

Sancho was enjoying an incredible season with 14 goals and 15 assists in 23 Bundesliga games when the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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- Linked with a move for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner, Liverpool may not be trying to sign the forward. The Mirror reports the Premier League leaders look almost certain not to do any transfer spending in the close season.

- Lyon forward Moussa Dembele has enjoyed another good season with the Ligue 1 club. The Manchester Evening News reports Dembele would find it hard to turn down a move to Manchester United in the next transfer window.

- Miralem Pjanic could be set for a Juventus exit. Marca reports the pieces are falling into place for the midfielder to join Barcelona. It says another player could enter the deal if Arthur does not agree to leave the LaLiga giants.

- Staying at Barcelona and Sport reports the door is open for the club to land Layvin Kurzawa on a free at season's end with Porto's Alex Telles seemingly nearing a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

- Gianluigi Donnarumma is out of contract at Milan in 2021, but La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the goalkeeper could extend his deal by a year and plan a path forward, with the coronavirus pandemic likely to impact the upcoming transfer window.

- Rayan Cherki, 16, scored three goals in 12 games for Lyon this season, seemingly leading to some interest. AS reports the teenage forward is being watched by Real Madrid.

Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland said Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is an inspiration.

Haaland has been a revelation in 2019-20, his exploits already linking him with a move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

The 19-year-old striker scored 28 goals in all competitions for Salzburg this term before joining Dortmund in January, netting another 12 in just 11 appearances prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

And Haaland said five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has been an inspirational figure.

"You could just see it in Ronaldo's face that 'today I'm the man' and 'today, I will score goals' and that's what he did," Haaland told ESPN, having watched Ronaldo growing up.

"That's what I like the best, how dedicated and hungry they are to succeed and to be the man in the moment."

On his incredible start to life at Bundesliga outfit Dortmund, Haaland added: "It's been a very good start and from my debut I've been enjoying it a lot and smiling a lot and these kind of things and that's what's the most important about my life, to smile a lot and these kind of things. So, yeah, that's what I try to do the most.

"I feel I'm Improving every day and now that I play with even better team-mates than what I played with in Salzburg – all respect to Salzburg – but yeah, they can find me in even better situations and this, so yeah it's been good. It's been a good first months."

Haaland was mocked by Neymar and the Paris Saint-Germain squad after Dortmund lost to the Ligue 1 holders in the Champions League last 16.

A first-leg brace from Haaland gave Dortmund a 2-1 win over PSG before the French champions rallied to prevail 2-0 and 3-2 on aggregate in March.

Haaland celebrated his two goals in the opening leg by sitting cross-legged and pretending to meditate – a celebration Neymar mimicked at the Parc des Princes, where PSG team-mates followed post-game.

"I think they helped me a lot to get meditation out in the world and to show the whole world that meditation is an important thing so I'm thankful that they helped me with that," Haaland said.

Paris Saint-Germain have dedicated their Ligue 1 title triumph to healthcare workers and "everyday heroes" who have made such sacrifices during the coronavirus crisis.

PSG were declared champions on Thursday after the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed final standings will be decided on a points-per-game basis.

The announcement came two days after French prime minister Edouard Philippe said there would be no professional sporting events in the country before September, bringing the 2019-20 campaign to an end.

Thomas Tuchel's side were 12 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand when the season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 24,000 people have died in France after contracting the virus and PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has paid tribute to those working on the frontline.

He said: "We would like to dedicate this 2019-2020 Ligue 1 title to healthcare staff and to all the everyday heroes on the frontline whose commitment and self-sacrifice over many weeks have earned our deepest admiration.

"We understand, respect and support the decisions taken by the French government to end the championship. Health, as the government has always said, must be everyone's priority.

"I would like to thank the players, the coach, the technical and medical staff as well as all the club's employees for their tremendous work. This trophy is a reward for their hard work every day.

"In these difficult times, I hope that this trophy will bring a little happiness and hope to all our supporters, and I am grateful to them for their unwavering support which helps drive Paris Saint-Germain forward.

"I would also like to also thank all our partners for their loyalty throughout, and I look forward to being able to celebrate this title with all the PSG family when the conditions allow."

While PSG can look forward to celebrating being crowned French champions for a ninth time, Toulouse and Amiens were consigned to relegation, with Lens and Lorient replacing them in the top flight.

Marseille and Rennes will join PSG in the Champions League, while Reims and Nice are expected to follow Lille into the Europa League if the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France cannot go ahead.

Paris Saint-Germain have been declared Ligue 1 champions after the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed final standings will be decided on a points-per-game basis.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday said the 2019-20 football season could not restart as he banned any sporting events taking place before September, leaving the LFP to decide the "sporting and economic consequences" for the top two tiers.

Following Thursday's meeting, the LFP opted for the final league standings to be determined by points won per match, leaving PSG – who were 12 clear at the top before the campaign was halted – as champions.

"We have decided to work hard to find solutions. We still have difficulties ahead of us. We are in an environment where there is a lot of sporting tension," Nathalie Boy de la Tour, LFP president, said at a news conference.

"We had worked on recovery scenarios for mid-June. We worked on the economy and treasury for the clubs: sponsorship and ticketing. We had worked behind the scenes. I don't like to talk to say nothing – I'm coming to you with concrete things.

"We have marked the end of the 2019-2020 season, and we have awarded the title of champions to PSG in Ligue 1 and Lorient in Ligue 2."

LFP executive director general Didier Quillot confirmed the final standings were allocated on a points-per-game ratio, before adding only the bottom two teams will be relegated to Ligue 2, with no play-off taking place to determine if a third team from the second tier also goes up.

It means Toulouse and Amiens will be relegated and Lens will be promoted along with Lorient.

"The rankings were allocated according to a performance index and a criterion of the points-per-matches-played ratio at the end of the 28th matchday. It is the same rule adopted by the FFF [French Football Federation]," he said.

"There will be two promotions and two relegations between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. There will be no play-offs."

The LFP published the final classification shortly after the announcement, confirming Marseille and Rennes will join PSG in the Champions League places, while Reims and Nice are expected to follow Lille into the Europa League if the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France cannot go ahead.

The victors of both competitions will take up Europa League spots as normal if, as Quillot desires, they are allowed to play the two finals in August.

"If the government allows us to play behind closed doors from August, we will think about the possibility of playing the finals of the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue in early August," he said. "We will need the green light from UEFA.

"If the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France take place in early August, the places for the Europa League will be allocated to their winners, if the winner is not PSG. The rule does not change."

PSG will face Lyon and Saint-Etienne in the respective Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France finales.

Paris Saint-Germain have been declared Ligue 1 champions after the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed final standings will be decided on a points-per-game basis.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday said the 2019-20 football season could not restart as he banned any sporting events taking place before September, leaving the LFP to decide the "sporting and economic consequences" for the top two tiers.

Following Thursday's meeting, the LFP opted for the final league standings to be determined by points won per match, leaving PSG – who were 12 clear at the top before the campaign was halted – as champions.

"We have decided to work hard to find solutions. We still have difficulties ahead of us. We are in an environment where there is a lot of sporting tension," Nathalie Boy de la Tour, LFP president, said at a news conference.

"We had worked on recovery scenarios for mid-June. We worked on the economy and treasury for the clubs: sponsorship and ticketing. We had worked behind the scenes. I don't like to talk to say nothing – I'm coming to you with concrete things.

"We have marked the end of the 2019-2020 season, and we have awarded the title of champions to PSG in Ligue 1 and Lorient in Ligue 2."

LFP executive director general Didier Quillot confirmed the final standings were allocated on a points-per-game ratio, before adding only the bottom two teams will be relegated to Ligue 2, with no play-off taking place to determine if a third team from the second tier also goes up.

It means Toulouse and Amiens will be relegated and Lens will be promoted along with Lorient.

"The rankings were allocated according to a performance index and a criterion of the points-per-matches-played ratio at the end of the 28th matchday. It is the same rule adopted by the FFF [French Football Federation]," he said.

"There will be two promotions and two relegations between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. There will be no play-offs."

The LFP published the final classification shortly after the announcement, confirming Marseille and Rennes will join PSG in the Champions League places, while Reims and Nice are expected to follow Lille into the Europa League if the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France cannot go ahead.

The victors of both competitions will take up Europa League spots as normal if, as Quillot desires, they are allowed to play the two finals in August.

"If the government allows us to play behind closed doors from August, we will think about the possibility of playing the finals of the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue in early August," he said. "We will need the green light from UEFA.

"If the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France take place in early August, the places for the Europa League will be allocated to their winners, if the winner is not PSG. The rule does not change."

PSG will face Lyon and Saint-Etienne in the respective Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France finales.

Timo Werner does not have a shortage of suitors.

The RB Leipzig forward and Germany international is reportedly wanted in his homeland, England, Spain and Italy.

However, Werner reportedly only has his eyes on one team in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – WERNER WANTS TO JOIN LIVERPOOL

Timo Werner is not interested in joining Bayern Munich as the RB Leipzig star wants to team up with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, according to BILD.

Werner is wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern, who have targeted the Germany international previously.

But Werner – also linked to Barcelona, Manchester United and Inter – is prioritising a Liverpool transfer.

ROUND-UP

United have offered Jadon Sancho the famous number seven jersey as they try to prise the Borussia Dortmund sensation to Old Trafford, reports The Mirror. Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid have also been linked to the England international.

- Calciomercato says Juventus and Barca are continuing to negotiate a deal that would see Miralem Pjanic and Arthur swap clubs.

Barca and Manchester City are in advanced talks over a swap deal. SPORT says the two clubs are close to reaching an agreement that would see Nelson Semedo join City, with Joao Cancelo moving in the opposite direction.

Milan are dreaming of signing Brescia star Sandro Tonali, according to Calciomercato. With Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura set to leave, the Rossoneri are eyeing Tonali – who has been linked to the likes of Barca, United, City, Juve and Inter. Rennes midfielder and Madrid target Eduardo Camavinga and Arsenal's Lucas Torreira are also on the list.

- Will Lautaro Martinez make the move to Barca? SportMediaset claims Inter want €90million plus two players – Arturo Vidal permanently and Antoine Griezmann on loan.

Lionel Messi will "have no trouble" signing a contract extension at Barcelona, according to the club's former president Joan Laporta.

Messi's future at Camp Nou has been a talking point amid turmoil at Barcelona, where the star is contracted until 2021.

The Argentina international can leave the LaLiga giants for free at the end of any season, sparking even further speculation over his future.

But former Barca president Laporta, who is expected to run again next year, said it would be easy for Messi to re-sign.

"[Messi] will have no trouble renewing his contract," he told Deportes Cuatro on Wednesday.

A player linked with a reunion with Messi at Barcelona is Neymar, who left the club for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Laporta said he would bring the Brazil international back to Camp Nou, where he starred for four seasons before his departure.

"They were not clear with him," he said.

"I would bring him back for sure."

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe said "everybody is talking but nobody knows" amid growing links to Real Madrid.

The 2019-20 Ligue 1 season has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic but Mbappe's future continues to dominate headlines.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for Mbappe, who is highly coveted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mbappe – who is contracted to PSG until 2022 but yet to sign a new deal – appeared to post a tweet in favour of the French champions on Wednesday.

"Everyone is talking, but nobody knows… MISS MY TEAM… @PSG_Inside," Mbappe wrote via Twitter.

Prior to coronavirus halting Ligue 1 and sport across the world, Mbappe had scored 18 league goals and 30 across all competitions for PSG in 2019-20.

The 21-year-old has added to his haul of honours since swapping Monaco for PSG in 2017 – initially on loan – winning two Ligue 1 titles and the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophee des Champions.

Barcelona's Arthur is reportedly heading to Juventus, while Liverpool are targeting a forward.

Arthur has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants, and it seems that could be getting closer.

Enter the Serie A champions.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, JUVENTUS IN TALKS OVER ARTHUR

Barcelona and Juventus are in advanced negotiations for Arthur, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says Juve coach Maurizio Sarri wants Arthur, while Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Bernardeschi are linked with moves in the opposite direction.

Arthur, 23, joined Barcelona from Gremio in 2018.

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- Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a forward. Le 10 Sport reports the Premier League leaders are interested in Lille's Victor Osimhen and talks have already begun between the parties.

- Philippe Coutinho's future remains uncertain. Sport reports Barcelona are considering keeping the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich, beyond this season.

- Could James Rodriguez and Carlo Ancelotti be reunited? Sport says the Everton manager has asked the Premier League club to sign the attacker, with the duo having worked together at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

- Out of contract next year, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is linked with a move away from Arsenal. The Sun reports the Premier League club are looking to sell the forward for just £30million.

- Edinson Cavani is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his deal expires at the end of the season. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the striker has offered himself to Inter, who have been linked with moves for a forward amid speculation over Lautaro Martinez's future.

Federico Chiesa is a player in demand.

While Fiorentina would prefer to keep Chiesa, the Viola could cash-in on the Italy star.

Europe's elite from England and Italy are reportedly chasing Chiesa.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BATTLE FOR CHIESA

Manchester United are among the clubs trying to sign Fiorentina attacker Federico Chiesa, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

United, Premier League rivals Chelsea and Serie A duo Juventus and Inter are vying for Chiesa's signature.

The 22-year-old has also reportedly been offered a new bumper contract by Fiorentina.

 

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- A reunion with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic? Luka Jovic has struggled since swapping Eintracht for Real Madrid at the start of the season. Calciomercato claims Milan are interested in bringing Jovic to San Siro, where Rebic is on loan and reportedly set to make the move permanent. It comes amid doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future.

- RMC Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who has been linked to Arsenal.

Barcelona have made an approach to Ajax for goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to De Telegraaf. Onana spent five years in Barca's youth system before leaving in 2015 but the Cameroon international has been linked with a return. LaLiga champions Barca have reportedly offered Neto, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado or Carles Alena in a possible deal for Onana.

Donny van de Beek is free to choose his next step following the cancellation of the Eredivisie season. Mundo Deportivo reports the Ajax star is still being targeted by Madrid, while United and Juve are also monitoring the Netherlands international.

- According to The Sun, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could be sold as part of a massive squad overhaul. The England international has been linked to Chelsea.

RB Leipzig are facing a difficult decision regarding star defender Dayot Upamecano, says BildThe centre-back has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Barca and Bayern Munich but the coronavirus crisis is set to impact the transfer market and fees.

Neymar appears likely to remain at Paris Saint-Germain for another season, while Newcastle United have big plans.

Linked again with a return to Barcelona, Neymar could yet stay in Paris, where he is contracted 2022.

Meanwhile, Newcastle – reportedly on the verge of being taken over – are considering some big names.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SET FOR PSG STAY AMID BARCELONA LINKS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and troubles at Barcelona, Neymar looks set to stay at PSG for another season, according to Marca.

It also reported that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is struggling to find the financial formula to sign the Brazil forward.

Neymar only arrived at PSG from Barca in a world-record €222million move in 2017.

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- Newcastle could have money to spend if their proposed takeover goes through. Mundo Deportivo reports the club are looking at Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho, who it says is also a target for Everton. Foot Mercato claims Newcastle are eyeing PSG striker Edinson Cavani, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Real Betis forward Nabil Fekir.

- Like they are struggling with Neymar, Barcelona are battling to find a deal for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez, according to Sky Sport Italia, which says the LaLiga side are struggling to meet the Argentina international's €111m release clause.

- Paul Pogba's future remains a talking point. Tuttosport says Manchester United are open to an exchange deal with Juventus, with Aaron Ramsey and Douglas Costa among the players linked with a move to Old Trafford.

- Barcelona are still a long way off reaching an agreement with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to Sport. Ter Stegen is contracted at Barca until 2022. Meanwhile, Sport reports Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is prioritising a move to Barcelona if he leaves the Eredivisie giants.

- Perhaps Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal after all. Sport reports the forward, whose deal ends in 2021, will renew with the Premier League club. Staying at Arsenal and the Daily Express says Arsenal are considering a move for Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele.

- A youth product who has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, Sergi Roberto has gone from untouchable to transferable, according to Marca.

Kylian Mbappe has been tipped to join fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

Madrid head coach Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for Mbappe.

However, Liverpool are reportedly launching an audacious bid for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL CONTACT MBAPPE'S DAD

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken to Kylian Mbappe's father about bringing the Paris Saint-Germain star to Anfield, according to Le10 Sport.

Mbappe has been tipped to join LaLiga giants Real Madrid in 2021 as PSG struggle to agree a new contract with the France forward.

Despite strong links to the Santiago Bernabeu, Champions League holders Liverpool are still chasing the 21-year-old.

 

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Cristiano Ronaldo does not want to leave Juventus, says Tuttosport. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked to PSG, as well as former clubs Madrid and Manchester United.

Paulo Dybala to Inter? The Argentina star was linked to the Nerazzurri at the start of the season but remained at Juventus, where he has starred. However, Calciomercato says Inter are still interested in Dybala.

- The Mirror claims Borussia Dortmund have set their sights on Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka. The 18-year-old has also been linked to Liverpool and United.

Barcelona and Manchester City are eyeing Benfica defender Ruben Dias, reports Record. The 22-year-old has been offered to Barca as a possible long-term replacement for Samuel Umtiti, the report adds.

- Mundo Deportivo says Juve are pressing to sign in-demand Barca midfielder Arthur, who has been the subject of interest from Inter and Tottenham.

Arsenal have given up on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang re-signing with the Premier League club, according to the Daily Express. Inter are said to be the favourites to sign the Gabon forward.

- Real Madrid's Luka Jovic has emerged as an option for Milan amid doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future, says Calciomercato.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has expressed a long-standing desire to take Neymar to the Santiago Bernabeu, the Brazilian forward's former agent has claimed.

Agent Wagner Ribeiro spoke to ESPN's 'Canal do Nicola' show, where he said the Paris Saint-Germain and former Barcelona star had appealed to the Spanish capital giants for many years.

According to Ribeiro, he and Perez have spoken several times about Neymar, including in a meeting as recently as last year.

Ribeiro has been involved in deals to take several Brazilian players to Madrid, but Neymar has remained out of reach to the 13-time European champions.

It has been several years since Ribeiro represented 28-year-old Neymar, who has been managed by his father for much of the last decade.

Ribeiro and Neymar were together when Chelsea came after the then Santos forward in 2010, and Ribeiro claimed Bayern Munich and Juventus also showed strong interest before Neymar moved to Camp Nou.

"I went to Madrid several times, because Florentino had the dream of taking Neymar," Ribeiro said.

"Last year I was with him, in May, in his office, and he even told me that he still dreams of signing Neymar."

Neymar could now be bought from PSG for €164million, according to Ribeiro, who said he rates him more highly than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He is much better," Ribeiro said. "I have never seen Neymar play badly. Every game he plays well."

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