Rumour Has It: PSG & Man Utd eye Aubameyang, Barca join Liverpool in Camavinga race

By Sports Desk March 20, 2020

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  • Ibrahimovic shows he's a champion when Milan are at their best – Pioli Ibrahimovic shows he's a champion when Milan are at their best – Pioli

    Stefano Pioli praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his brace against Bologna and said the forward could star when Milan are at their best.

    Ibrahimovic, 38, scored a brace as Milan started their Serie A season with a 2-0 victory at San Siro, where Bologna's Mitchell Dijks was sent off late on Monday.

    Pioli lauded the forward, but said Ibrahimovic could only shine if Milan were functioning well.

    "When the team works, the individuals are exalted and we have great individuality, then Zlatan is a champion and confirms it every time," the Milan coach told Sky Sport.

    "The team has confidence, he knows how to play even in difficulties. He knows how to sacrifice himself.

    "Then the technical qualities are there and I'm happy that we are able to exploit them."

    Milan battled to a sixth-place finish in Serie A last season and are preparing to face Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League third qualifying round on Thursday.

    Pioli hopes his team can improve on that finish, saying: "We have to be ambitious.

    "Our goal is to continue to grow and improve the position of the last championship.

    "We want to return to Europe, we have a difficult preliminary and then we will prepare the championship at its best."

  • Juventus welcome Morata back to Turin ahead of forward's expected move Juventus welcome Morata back to Turin ahead of forward's expected move

    Juventus welcomed Alvaro Morata back to Turin ahead of the forward's expected return to the Serie A champions.

    Morata is reportedly set to join Juve on loan from Atletico Madrid in a deal that will cost €9million and the Italian club will also apparently have an option to buy the 27-year-old for €45m.

    Juventus, who have been searching for a forward, welcomed Morata back as he landed in Turin.

    "@AlvaroMorata is back in town!" the club wrote on Twitter alongside a picture of the forward.

    Morata is set for his second spell at Juve, where he scored 27 goals in 93 games across two seasons between 2014 and 2016.

    He then returned to Real Madrid for a season before joining Chelsea and later Atletico, where he netted 12 LaLiga goals in 34 games last season.

    With Gonzalo Higuain having left to join Inter Miami, Juve had been linked with the likes of Barcelona's Luis Suarez and Roma's Edin Dzeko.

    Morata's move could pave the way for Suarez, 33, to join Atletico.

    Juve have won nine consecutive Serie A titles and opened their campaign under Andrea Pirlo with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

  • 'Incredible' De Bruyne the perfect cure for Pep's patched-up City 'Incredible' De Bruyne the perfect cure for Pep's patched-up City

    Pep Guardiola hailed Kevin De Bruyne's influence upon an injury-ravaged Manchester City squad after he starred in Monday's 3-1 win over Wolves.

    Guardiola headed to Molineux with seven senior players unavailable but his team turned in a sparkling display against opponents who beat them twice last season.

    De Bruyne was City's star man, winning and converting a 20th-minute penalty before having a hand in goals for Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

    "Since we came back after the games for the national teams, every training session he has incredible commitment," Guardiola, who saw Raul Jimenez briefly reduce the deficit in the 78th-minute, told a post-match news conference.

    "Right now he is an incredibly important player for us. He always was, but in the situation we are in right now, it is so important.

    "He took an incredible penalty, he took it perfectly. Then there is the amount of assists, how he runs. He played really well, like all the team.

    "He likes to play football, he doesn't feel the pressure and likes to compete at a high standard."

    Ilkay Gundogan's positive test for coronavirus compounded Guardiola's selection problems heading into City's opening Premier League game of the season, with Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eric Garcia all injury absentees.

    Aymeric Laporte only returned to training last Friday following his own COVID-19 positive, although John Stones and new signing Nathan Ake were assured for the most part in the centre of defence.

    Guardiola confirmed a team predominantly made up of academy players will launch City's bid for a fourth consecutive EFL Cup against Bournemouth on Thursday, with Leicester City up next in the Premier League on Sunday.

    "Most of them are for after the [October] international break," he said when considering when asked when the injured players might return. "After that they’ll be ready.

    "Laporte is not injured but he had just one training session in two months. Eric Garcia had 16 stitches, that is why he is not here but maybe for the next game he will be fit.

    "The others I think after the international break – Joao, Bernardo, Oleks and Sergio will be longer.

    "This is the situation. Maybe in the next days it will change a little bit."

    The strain of those considerations appeared to be weighing upon Guardiola during a largely terse briefing, but he still found time to praise Foden, who made a goalscoring return to club action after being banished from the England squad earlier this month for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland.

    "He played really well," he added.

    "Apart from scoring the goal, in the first half he was not much involved. In the second half he played incredibly well.

    "Since day one he trained really well. In all the time he played with us, if we decide to play five minutes or 90 minutes it doesn’t matter.

    "He has a big impact and makes great contributions to the team. Today was not an exception."

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