Could Chelsea gazump their Premier League rivals in the race for Jadon Sancho?

According to reports, the Blues are working on a club-record deal for the Borussia Dortmund winger.

Frank Lampard was among Sancho's idols growing up and the Chelsea boss has been open about his desire to bring in a replacement for Eden Hazard.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO SET FOR STAMFORD BRIDGE?

Chelsea could celebrate the end of their transfer ban by splashing out £120million to secure Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho, according to The Sun.

The huge price tag attached to one of Europe's brightest prospects has reportedly quashed Liverpool's interest and Manchester United are also said to be at risk of missing out on a long-term target.

The Sun claims Chelsea head coach Lampard believes Sancho, 19, can be the man to fill the attacking void left by Hazard's close-season departure to Real Madrid.

Sancho has scored nine Bundesliga goals this season and hit eight in seven games across all competitions prior to Dortmund's 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on Friday.

 

ROUND-UP

- LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Premier League champions Manchester City are monitoring Marquinhos' contract impasse at Paris Saint-Germain, writes Le 10 Sport. The Ligue 1 leaders are reportedly unwilling to meet the Brazilian's financial demands as they seek to extend his deal beyond 2022.

- There is a "big question mark" hanging over Paco Alcacer's future at Dortmund as the striker struggles to carve out a regular Bundesliga starting spot, reports Ruhr Nachrichten.

- Tottenham have opened talks over a January move for Flamengo midfielder Gerson, says 90min. The 22-year-old started for Flamengo in their Club World Cup final loss to Liverpool on Saturday.

- Barcelona included Arturo Vidal in their starting XI against Deportivo Alaves on Sunday and are now seemingly determined to block his expected Camp Nou exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, the Chilean's agent has met with club executives in a bid to secure a mid-season switch to Serie A, where Inter are rumoured to be his strongest suitors, but €20m will not be enough to do a deal.

- The Nerazzurri's city rivals might have more success in making a midfield acquisition. La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Stefano Pioli's Milan are interested in United outcast Nemanja Matic, who has been linked to Inter.

Kylian Mbappe scored for the seventh successive match across all competitions as his brace led the way in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-1 Ligue 1 defeat of Amiens.

The France star, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday, was in lethal form as he took his Ligue 1 tally to 11 for the season, with PSG's star-studded unit of attackers causing struggling Amiens no end of problems and ensuring the champions remain seven points clear of Marseille at the summit heading into the winter break.

PSG's particularly reliable combination of Neymar and Mbappe linked up to great effect early on when the latter opened the scoring in what was a lively first-half display from the former Monaco talent.

Neymar then found the net for the fifth game in a row early in the second half and Mbappe's second of the day put a result beyond the visitors, who did at least manage to pull one back via John Stiven Mendoza, though Mauro Icardi wrapped up a comfortable win late on.

Amiens' resistance held up only until the 10th minute as they were hit on the break from their own corner – Icardi flicking a clearance on to Neymar, who fed Mbappe through on goal and he beat Regis Gurtner with a delicate chip.

It took less than a minute after the restart for PSG to double their advantage – Neymar tapping in after a brilliant run and pass from Icardi.

Bakaye Dibassy nearly pulled one back for Amiens soon after, but his flick-on from Mendoza's delivery came back off the crossbar, and PSG effectively finished them off in the 65th minute.

Angel Di Maria released Mbappe into the right side of the box and his shot was too powerful for Gurtner to keep out.

Amiens did register through Mendoza following Fousseni Diabate's deep left-wing cross five minutes later, but it had no impact on the outcome, as Icardi turned in Juan Bernat's delivery late on.

While there were no further goals, one young PSG fan did have a final reason to celebrate, as he successfully got Mbappe to sign a book after invading the pitch in the latter stages.

 

What does it mean? PSG in charge at Christmas

That is it for PSG's Ligue 1 exploits in 2019, and they go into the new year in complete control at the top of the table.

Although Marseille also won on Saturday to ensure they did not fall any further behind, another Ligue 1 title already looks a formality for PSG, particularly when Neymar, Icardi and Mbappe are in this kind of mood.

Mbappe unplayable

Amiens' defence had no answer to Mbappe here. The Frenchman's pace, ball control and finishing made him an absolute terror, and his brace was the least he deserved for his efforts.

Lefort taught a lesson

It was a difficult day for Amiens centre-back Jordan Lefort. Mbappe and Neymar ran rings around him for much of the match and his frustration boiled over towards the end in a spat with the Brazilian. He will want to forget this one quickly.

What's next?

With France's winter break now commencing, PSG are not in action again until January 5 when they go to Linas-Montlhery in the Coupe de France.

Three days later they host Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de la Ligue, before returning to Ligue 1 action on January 12 when Monaco visit the Parc des Princes.

Amiens' next league game is the day before at home to Montpellier, which also comes after a pair of cup outings.

Everton have completed a major coup in appointing Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Ancelotti, who previously managed in the Premier League with Chelsea, returns to England after he was sacked by Napoli on December 10, despite guiding the Serie A club to the Champions League knockout stages.

He replaces Marco Silva, who was dismissed on December 5 following a 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, with Duncan Ferguson having been in temporary charge since then.

The Italian – the first coach from his nation to win the Premier League – has had a glittering career, taking charge of 735 top-flight matches in total thanks to spells at Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli.

As Ancelotti takes over at Goodison, we have used Opta data to take a look at his glittering career in numbers.

 

Parma

33 - Of his 68 league matches at the helm at Parma between 1996 and 1998, Ancelotti won 33 times, suffering 14 defeats.

2 - Parma finished second in Serie A in their first season under Ancelotti, though could only manage a sixth-place finish in the following campaign.


Juventus

61 - Ancelotti took charge of 82 top-flight games in Turin, managing 50 wins – giving him a 61 per cent win ratio. 

0 - Across 23 seasons in management, Ancelotti has never finished outside of the top seven in any domestic league, coming seventh only once, with Juve in 1998-99.


Milan

282 - Ancelotti's longest spell at one club came at Milan, where he spent eight seasons, managing the Rossoneri in 282 league fixtures.

1 - His first league title came in 2003-04, when Milan finished top of Serie with 82 points.

3 - Milan's Serie A success came on the back of glory in the Champions League in 2002-03. Ancelotti has won Europe's biggest prize on three occasions, with only Zinedine Zidane and former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley able to match that total. 


Chelsea

4 - Only four coaches to have managed 30 or more games in the Premier League have a higher win percentage than Ancelotti's 63.2 – Jurgen Klopp, Alex Ferguson, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola.

103 - Chelsea set a Premier League goals record for a single season when they netted 103 times under Ancelotti during 2009-10. It is a record which was only surpassed by Manchester City in 2017-18.

172 - In total, Chelsea scored 172 goals in 76 league fixtures while Ancelotti was in charge at Stamford Bridge.


Paris Saint-Germain

47.4 - Fixing Everton's leaky defence will be a top priority for Ancelotti, who during his time at PSG had a clean sheet percentage of 47.4, with the Ligue 1 giants not conceding in 27 out of 57 matches.

297 - In total during his two seasons at Parc des Princes, PSG had 297 shots on target. That was, however, significantly fewer than Ancelotti's Chelsea (532) or Madrid (583) sides managed.


Real Madrid

1428 - Los Blancos had almost 1500 shots during Ancelotti's time at the club.

867 - However, they were also the most open at the back when compared to Chelsea, PSG, Bayern and Napoli, allowing 867 attempts at their own goal.

1 - Spain is the only country in which Ancelotti has not won a league title. He also won his third Champions League crown with Madrid, in 2014.


Bayern Munich

68.6 - Having taken over from Guardiola, it is no surprise to see that possession was the order of the day for Ancelotti at Bayern, who averaged 68.6 per cent of the ball under his tutelage.

89 - In Ancelotti's only full campaign at Bayern, they scored 89 Bundesliga goals, conceding just 22 in return.


Napoli

29 - From 53 matches in charge of Napoli in Serie A, Ancelotti claimed 29 victories. His record in 2019-20 was a comparatively poor one, however, with four defeats and six draws from 15 games.

735 - After leaving Napoli, Ancelotti has taken charge of 735 top-tier league fixtures, with a win percentage of 60.5.

998 - Napoli had just under 1000 shots at goal during Ancelotti's spell.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is coveted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His French connection with Zinedine Zidane means there is constant speculation.

However, Pogba is set to remain at United for the time being.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID GIVE UP ON POGBA… FOR NOW

LaLiga giants Real Madrid will not sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba in January, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Pogba – still recovering from injury – continues to be linked with Madrid amid doubts over his United future.

Madrid, however, recognise there is "no chance" of prising the Frenchman from Old Trafford in the New Year.

 

ROUND-UP

- A return to Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake looks likely, claims Bleacher Report. Chelsea have a £40million buyback clause for Ake, who left Stamford Bridge permanently in 2017. Manchester City have also been linked to the 24-year-old defender.

- Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo has turned down a move to Milan, reports RMC. The 19-year-old has also been linked to Ligue 1 outfit Monaco and Premier League giants Manchester United.

- Qatari outfit Al Rayyan have re-opened talks with Juventus regarding the transfer of out-of-favour striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. United and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in the veteran Croatian.

Napoli have offered Dries Mertens a two-year contract extension, says Sky Sport Italia. The Belgian, who is out of contract at season's end, has been the subject of reported interest from Dortmund.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want to swap Leandro Paredes for Juventus midfielder Emre Can, reports the Daily Mail.

- La Nazione says Fiorentina are looking to bring former Milan striker Patrick Cutrone back to Serie A. The Italian left San Siro for Premier League side Wolves at the start of the season.

- Former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is in talks to join Javier Mascherano at Argentine outfit Estudiantes. Iniesta currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, however, TNT Sports claims the 35-year-old midfielder could move in 2020.

Kylian Mbappe will continue to develop if he steers clear of injuries, according to Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel.

The France international scored for a sixth successive match in PSG's 4-1 Coupe de la Ligue win at Le Mans on Wednesday - the best such run of his career.

He has spent time on the sidelines this season with hamstring and other niggling issues, but Tuchel is hopeful the young striker, who turned 21 on Friday, can stay free of injury in 2020.

"Being without injuries is the best thing for him," Tuchel said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"He will grow and improve in physical capacity. He is a force for us, there is no doubt about that."

Mbappe has already scored 90 Ligue 1 and Champions League goals.

The former Monaco star's workload could increase next year as he is considering representing France in the Olympics, something Tuchel will leave him to discuss with sporting director Leonardo.

"We talked about this topic a few months ago," Tuchel said. "He has to talk about it with Leonardo. It is not between me and Kylian."

PSG are in action for the final time this calendar year on Saturday with a Ligue 1 clash against Amiens at the Parc des Princes.

Reflecting on a mixed 2019 for the Ligue 1 champions, Tuchel did not hesitate when asked to pick his lowest point of the past 12 months - a 3-1 home loss against Manchester United to exit last season's Champions League last 16 on away goals.

"That's an easy one - the second leg against United," he said. "There are many good moments, too. I am always thinking about the future.

"We are through to the last 16 of the Champions League after a good group phase, played well in the Coupe de la Ligue and are first in Ligue 1.

"I have the feeling we have grown. We are a good team and we have to continue this way, that is the challenge."

Mikel Arteta looks to be on his way out of Manchester City, and it may not be long before he is followed by Pep Guardiola.

That is if reports linking Paris Saint-Germain with a move for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach are to be believed.

Meanwhile, Arteta is not the only big managerial appointment expected imminently in the Premier League, with Carlo Ancelotti close to being confirmed as Everton boss, and reports suggest a big-name could be in line to follow the Italian to Goodison Park.

 

TOP STORY – GUARDIOLA LINED UP BY PSG

According to Le10 Sport, Paris Saint-Germain will look to swap Thomas Tuchel with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola next season.

Guardiola is currently under contract with City until 2021, though has said he is open to extending his deal. However, these reports claim PSG will aim to bring in the Spaniard, along with former Barca star Xavi, who will act as his number two.

While City are 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, PSG are top of Ligue 1 and will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Mauricio Pochettino is holding off on making any commitment to Real Madrid as he waits to see how Guardiola's situation at Manchester City plays out.

- According to The Telegraph, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is open to linking up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton. Ancelotti is reportedly set to be appointed by the Toffees and Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to Milan and Napoli – could follow him to Merseyside.

Mesut Ozil is close to securing a loan move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce in January, according to Turkish newspaper Fotomac.

- Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. has been linked with a move to the Premier League. El Desmarque reports Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves are all interested in the Brazilian.

- Another potential outgoing from Arsenal could be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with The Mirror saying one of Arteta's first tasks will be to convince the Gunners' captain to stay put.

- Sky Sports reports Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are all monitoring Lille forward Victor Osimhen, who has scored nine Ligue 1 goals this term.

- Inter great Dejan Stankovic is poised to become head coach of Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade. After Vladan Milojevic stepped down on Thursday, reports in Serbia claim the former Red Star midfielder will be unveiled on Friday. This is set to be Stankovic's first senior job.

Tottenham are considering a January move for Leicester City full-back Ricardo Pereira, says Het Nieuwsblad.

Jose Mourinho looks set to play the waiting game at Tottenham despite the looming threat of key player departures.

According to reports, Mourinho will not be spooked into a January spending spree even as Spurs consider selling out-of-contract stars to Premier League rivals.

The head coach does, however, have two England Under-19 internationals in his sights.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO TREATING TRANSFERS WITH CAUTION

Tottenham will make transfer funds available in January but Mourinho is set to put his squad overhaul on hold, according to the Daily Mail.

Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen can all walk out on the club at the end of the season and chairman Daniel Levy has said he is prepared to make deals with other Premier League teams.

The state of flux has reportedly motivated Mourinho to leave his rebuilding efforts until the campaign is complete, although the former Manchester United and Real Madrid boss remains open to sensible short-term spending.

Spurs are said to have scouted Norwich City right-back Max Aarons and West Brom's Nathan Ferguson as they look for a challenger to Serge Aurier.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool should announce the capture of Salzburg winger Takumi Minamino before the weekend, writes the the Independent.

- Mikel Arteta appears set to take charge of Arsenal and Manchester City, where he has worked as an assistant since 2016, are "furious" with the Gunners' lack of communication, according to The Guardian.

- Managerial movements are happening elsewhere in the Premier League. The Mirror claims ex-Milan and Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal worth £11.5million per season with Everton.

- Europe's top clubs are monitoring Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Marquinhos amid a breakdown in negotiations over a contract extension with the Ligue 1 leaders, says Le 10 Sport.

- Bayern Munich are now considering whether to bring forward their planned close-season bid for Leroy Sane after the City winger expressed a desire to join the Bundesliga giants in January, reports Bild.

- Fenerbahce have expressed interest in rumoured Napoli and Schalke target Ricardo Rodriguez, claims CalcioMercato. The Switzerland left-back has started four times for Milan in Serie A this season.

Thomas Tuchel declared himself pleased after Paris Saint-Germain were drawn against Saint-Etienne in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

PSG saw off second-tier opponents Le Mans 4-1 in Wednesday's last-16 tie at MMArena to remain on course for a record-extending ninth success in the competition.

The Ligue 1 champions thrashed Saint-Etienne 4-0 in last weekend's league clash and head coach Tuchel had no complaints about being paired with Claude Puel's men in the domestic cup.

"It's a good draw because the match will be played at home," he told Canal+. "It's good that we don't have to travel.

"The main thing is playing at home, which is easier to organise and easier for the players. We have a lot of travelling in January and February so it's good to play at home."

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kylian Mbappe gave PSG a 3-0 half-time lead against Le Mans, who pulled one back through Harrison Manzala early in the second half.

Angel Di Maria ensured a safe passage through to the last eight with his strike from range, but Tuchel felt PSG could have added more goals to their tally.

"We played players who have lacked rhythm, so I did not expect too much from them," he said. "We could have scored five or six, but we lost pace in the second half.

"We are now into the quarter-finals and there were no injuries, which was essential."

Choupo-Moting was brought into the side as one of eight changes and was on the scoresheet with his close-range finish shortly before half-time.

"When you win 4-1, it's important to be positive," he said. "We played in a good stadium with a good atmosphere.

"We were effective in the first period with three goals that made the game easy, but we must be even more dangerous."

Le Mans were the final remaining team from outside of Ligue 1 after eliminating Nice in the previous round, and coach Richard Dezire took positives from the run to the last 16.

"It's a match that will serve us well for the future," he said. "We beat the stadium attendance record today. Three or four years ago, we played at La Pincenardiere. 

"Today, we sold out the stadium to face PSG and we could have filled it three times. We are progressing at all levels. We know we still have gaps but we are working to correct them. The fundamental objective is to stay up this season."

Paris Saint-Germain will face Saint-Etienne in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria were on target as a much-changed PSG line-up secured a 4-1 victory over Le Mans in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Thomas Tuchel's side were eliminated by Guingamp in the quarter-finals last season and will hope to go one step further when they entertain Saint-Etienne.

Reigning champions Strasbourg were handed a trip to Reims after Nuno Da Costa's 78th-minute goal clinched a 1-0 victory over Nantes.

Lyon beat Toulouse 4-1 in the absence of Memphis Depay and will take on Brest at Groupama Stadium, while Lille's reward for overcoming Monaco is a home encounter with Amiens.

The matches are scheduled to be played on January 7 or 8.

Kylian Mbappe scored for a sixth game running as Paris Saint-Germain eased into the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue with a 4-1 win over Ligue 2 side Le Mans at MMArena on Wednesday.

The Ligue 1 champions made eight changes from their 4-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday but proved too strong for Le Mans, who were the last remaining team from outside the top flight in the competition.

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mbappe were all on target in the first half for PSG, who added a fourth goal through Angel Di Maria in the 47th minute.

Substitute Harrison Manzala pulled one back for the hosts, but Thomas Tuchel's men - record eight-time winners of the competition - saw things through to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.

Sarabia timed his run well to get on the end of Di Maria's left-sided cross and fire PSG ahead, with Pierre Patron getting two hands to the ball but failing to keep it out.

Le Mans eliminated Nice in the last round but their hopes of causing another upset took a hit when Mbappe squared the ball to Choupo-Moting after being played in by Marco Verratti's quick free-kick.

Mbappe added a third for the visitors 87 seconds later by taking Verratti's pass in his stride, holding off Pierre Lemonnier and beating Patron to extend his scoring run.

Some slack defending and goalkeeping early in the second half gifted PSG a fourth goal, Di Maria's attempt from range squirming through Patron's grasp.

Manzala cut inside and guided a shot away from Sergio Rico to give Le Mans something to celebrate, but it was plain sailing for the Ligue 1 giants in a quiet end to the match.

 

What does it mean? Much-changed PSG cruise through

Marquinhos, Di Maria and Mbappe were the only three survivors from the win over Saint-Etienne at the weekend as PSG boss Tuchel heavily rotated his side.

Despite the mass changes, the visitors eased through and will now be looking to improve on last season's shock quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual runners-up Guingamp.

Verratti at the heart of everything

Verratti caught out Le Mans with his quick thinking for PSG's second goal, which Choupo-Moting rounded off following some unselfish play from Mbappe.

The Ligue 2 strugglers were still coming to terms with that strike when Verratti again showed his quality by picking out Mbappe with a ball over the top for his side's third goal.

Poor performance from Patron

Keeping the likes of Mbappe and Di Maria quiet is difficult on a normal day, never mind when your goalkeeper gifts the opposition a couple of goals. 

Patron was caught out by Sarabia and Di Maria on their goals, making his only two saves of the match in second-half stoppage time.

What's next?

PSG return to Ligue 1 action with a home match against Amiens on Saturday, the same day Le Mans travel to the French capital to face Paris FC in their next Ligue 2 outing.

Mauro Icardi will not be joining Juventus next year, his agent and wife Wanda Nara said.

Icardi, 26, is enjoying a fine spell at Paris Saint-Germain, where he is on loan from Inter, scoring 13 goals in 16 games in all competitions.

But amid talk he could join Juve in the future, Nara denied Icardi would head to the Serie A champions next year.

"No, no. The present of Mauro is in Paris, he is very well there and is realising some crazy goals as he always did," she told Rete 4.

"The only thing that interests me is his happiness and he is very happy at PSG."

Icardi starred across six seasons for Inter, where he is contracted until June 2022.

Nara paid tribute to the Serie A giants, saying he decided to join PSG as to not betray Inter.

"I have wonderful memories of San Siro and the Interisti. And as I always say, the real heartfelt Interisti know that we have always been on the team's side," she said.

"And this choice to go to Paris was also made so as not to betray the Nerazzurri.

"We left each other without betrayal, Mauro went to a club that he couldn't say no to and even for Inter it went well."

Neymar appears to be happy to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, just months after attempting to force through a move away from the Ligue 1 champions.

The Brazil international was heavily linked with a return to Spain in the previous transfer window but a deal to go back to Barcelona or join Real Madrid failed to materialise.

Despite admitting he had wanted to leave and being jeered by PSG fans upon his return from injury against Strasbourg in September, Neymar has performed well for Thomas Tuchel's side in 2019-20, registering nine goals and five assists in 11 appearances in all competitions.

The 27-year-old has now suggested he has no reason to try to engineer an exit from Parc des Princes, where he moved for a world-record €222million fee two years ago.

"Why would I want to leave? I still have two years on my contract, the team continues to progress," he told France Football.

"We have to stay focused on this season to do things well and win as many trophies as possible.

"This season, the goal is the Champions League. And my priority is PSG, with maximum effort each week. The goal is always to win the next game."

While sometimes accused of selfishness on the pitch, Neymar insists few people truly know his personality and is adamant he is not in the sport purely for personal accolades.

"I never play to be the number one. I just play because I love football. I just feel happy when I play. And, every time I'm on the pitch, I give 100 per cent," he said.

"Do you think perfection exists? Only God is perfect. Everyone has their small faults. A leader is someone who must help the team to win, lead them victory. They could be the captain, or the goalscorer. Everyone has their own way of being a leader, and possesses their own virtues.

"Few people really know the real Neymar. Just my parents and my friends. What people see is something completely different. And, in the end, they don't see much!

"The real Neymar is very calm, very happy. He is someone who enjoys staying with family and friends."

Pep Guardiola will renew rivalries with Real Madrid after Manchester City were drawn to face Los Blancos in a blockbuster Champions League last-16 tie.

With City 14 points adrift of leaders Liverpool in the Premier League, success in Europe is likely to be Guardiola's main priority this season.

But their hopes of glory in the continent's premier club competition were not helped by a daunting clash with LaLiga giants Madrid, who have triumphed in four of the past six editions.

Guardiola is no stranger to Madrid having spent four years in charge of their fierce Clasico rivals Barcelona, while he was Bayern Munich coach when they were defeated 5-0 over two legs in the 2013-14 Champions League semi-finals.

Madrid have previous against City in the competition, too, coming out on top in a last-four clash in the 2015-16 campaign.

Holders Liverpool face Atletico Madrid – runners-up in 2013-14 and 2015-16 – in a return to the Wanda Metropolitano, the scene of the Reds' 2-0 win over Tottenham in last season's final as they became European champions for a sixth time.

Jurgen Klopp's side finished top of Group E by a solitary point from Napoli, who have the unenvious task of facing LaLiga champions Barcelona – aiming to get their hands on European football's most coveted prize for the first time since 2014-15.

In a draw brimming with sub-plots, Thomas Tuchel will return to Borussia Dortmund with his Paris Saint-Germain side, while Chelsea and Bayern Munich – the only team to win all six of their group-stage games – face off in what is a rematch of the 2011-2012 final.

Tottenham, aiming to beat their runners-up finish last term, go head-to-head with an RB Leipzig side playing in the knockout stages for the first time.

Juventus will start as favourites in their tie against Lyon, while fellow Serie A side Atalanta – who made the last 16 in their first endeavour into the Champions League – go up against Valencia for a place in the quarter-finals.

The first-leg matches will take place on February 18, 19, 25 and 26, with the return fixtures played on March 10, 11, 17 and 18.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo praised the desire of Neymar amid ongoing speculation linking him with an exit from the Ligue 1 champions.

Neymar was desperate to leave PSG during the previous transfer window, however, a return to former club Barcelona did not materialise.

There continue to be doubts over the PSG superstar's future in Paris ahead of the January transfer window.

Leonardo was asked about Neymar after the Brazil international supplied two assists and missed a second-half penalty in Sunday's 4-0 Ligue 1 rout of Saint-Etienne.

"I think Neymar is making a lot of effort in every way and also in terms of state of mind," Leonardo told reporters.

"I think the story we have lived is real, it happened a short time ago, but I see a lot of effort on his part.

"The system also forces him to go back, ditto for Kylian [Mbappe], [Mauro] Icardi too, [Edinson] Cavani always did and Pablo Sarabia and [Angel] Di Maria ... they make themselves available and we also have a balance behind that we are forced to have.

"Coming back to Neymar, he still has a lot to do, but I see a real desire on his part to make himself available."

With the transfer market set to reopen in January, PSG have been linked to Juventus outcast Emre Can – who could swap places with Leandro Paredes.

As speculation intensifies, Leonardo urged for Thomas Tuchel to be left alone over transfers.

"I think I'm going to ask you not to ask the coach questions about the transfer window," he said. "The transfer window is a club issue. I have been in football for a long time, I know the limit of the role of the coach, the president, the communication director and that everyone does their job.

"You have to stop with the coach, leave him alone, talk to him about the technical side of the team. The transfer window is a question of opportunity. This group there, for me, it is complete.

"What is also positive is that we managed to play in Ligue 1 two young kids, [Adil] Aouchiche and [Tanguy] Kouassi and that is nice. In addition I think that these are two players who will complement the workforce with their qualities."

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel backed Neymar to score his next penalty, saying the forward was "sad" about his miss against Saint-Etienne.

Neymar hit the post with a second-half penalty in PSG's 4-0 victory in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

It came just days after the Brazilian handed spot-kick duties to Edinson Cavani during a Champions League thrashing of Galatasaray.

But Tuchel still believes in Neymar, who provided two assists in the comfortable league win, from the spot.

"I'm always a little nervous as a coach, that's normal," he told a news conference.

"When he shoots, normally, I'm pretty sure he scores. He's sad because he still wants to score, it was a great opportunity for him.

"But he's going to kick the next penalty, and I'm sure he'll score again."

Already behind to Leandro Paredes' opener, Saint-Etienne were reduced to 10 men when Jean-Eudes Aholou saw red in the 25th minute.

Kylian Mbappe, set up twice by Neymar, scored a brace either side of Mauro Icardi's goal as PSG claimed a fifth straight Ligue 1 win.

"We have defended very well, with great intensity, always together," Tuchel said.

"This is a good time for us, victory is deserved. We had a lot of chances to score. We recovered a lot of balls high up in the opposing field.

"We never stopped defending, even after the red card. It was good, I'm happy. Congratulations to the team."

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