Zinedine Zidane named Gareth Bale in his squad for the first time in four matches, but there was still no place for James Rodriguez as Real Madrid flew to Italy ahead of their clash with Roma.

Bale's last appearance for Madrid came as a substitute in the second half of a 7-3 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup on July 27, shortly before a proposed transfer away from the Spanish club fell through.

The Wales international had been expected to join Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning but the deal collapsed, with reports suggesting Madrid were unhappy with the transfer fee being offered.

There was also speculation that Bale rejected the move over family reasons.

Bale did not feature in friendlies against Tottenham, Fenerbahce and Salzburg, but was named in the squad to face Roma along with fellow forwards Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic and Vinicius Junior.

The absence of James from the Madrid squad means the Colombia international's future remains unclear, with Napoli and Atletico Madrid both reportedly interested in signing him.

James has not featured for Madrid this pre-season following his return from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, a hamstring injury keeps close-season signing Ferland Mendy on the sidelines as Madrid play their last pre-season fixture before Saturday's LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo.

Barcelona are trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou – without paying a cent.

With Real Madrid reportedly emerging as frontrunners to sign the star forward, Paris Saint-Germain confirmed on Saturday they were in "advanced" talks regarding a deal for the Brazilian.

It remains to be seen as to which of the LaLiga giants Neymar ends up at, but Barcelona are struggling to find a deal, looking to complete one in which they pay with players only.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA DON'T WANT TO PAY EVEN €1 FOR NEYMAR

Barcelona are looking to secure a deal for Neymar that would see them give up only players, according to Marca and Le Parisien.

The French daily reports that kind of deal is "unimaginable" for PSG, who are looking for at least €200million for Neymar – which would see them make a €22m loss.

Meanwhile, AS say PSG and Real Madrid have opened talks regarding a move for Neymar, including the option of a one-year loan deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Mauro Icardi no longer wanted at Inter, a possible switch to Napoli has been mooted. Corriere dello Sport say Icardi is willing to make the move to Napoli, who are looking to sign a forward. Icardi has also been linked to Juventus.

- That comes as Napoli seemingly stop their pursuit of Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez. The Serie A club have given up on signing James and will instead focus on PSV forward Hirving Lozano, according to AS.

- David de Gea looked certain to extend his contract at Manchester United just last month. However, the Mirror reports the Premier League club are yet to reach an agreement with the goalkeeper, casting fresh doubt over the Spain international's future at Old Trafford.

- With previous target Leroy Sane suffering a serious knee injury, Bayern Munich are turning their attentions elsewhere as they still look to sign replacements for departed stars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. The Bundesliga champions have reached an agreement with Inter to sign Ivan Perisic, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Radamel Falcao is nearing a Monaco exit. The forward is set to sign a three-year deal worth €6m per season with Galatasaray, according to AS. However, the Ligue 1 club want to sign a replacement before letting Falcao leave, and are expecting to land Wissam Ben Yedder from Sevilla.

- Dani Olmo is expected to make a move from Dinamo Zagreb to one of Europe's biggest clubs during this transfer window. Sportske Novosti report Bayern Munich and Everton offered €28m for the Spain youth international and Manchester United put in a bid of €25m to land Olmo. However, Dinamo Zagreb are hoping Olmo can help them reach the Champions League group stage before selling the 21-year-old.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said Manchester United signing Harry Maguire is only worth €25million as he valued star defender Kalidou Koulibaly at €250m.

United made Maguire the most expensive defender in history after reportedly paying Leicester City a world-record £80m (€86m) for the England international centre-back.

The Red Devils had been linked to Napoli's Koulibaly at the start of the transfer window, while De Laurentiis revealed in January that the Serie A club had rejected a €105m offer from an unnamed team.

Discussing the transfer market and Maguire's move to Old Trafford, De Laurentiis told ESPN: "The problem of the cost of players is from England because they gross the most amount of money, more than Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

"If a club grosses £800m, he has no problem to offer £80-90m for one player. There is not a real and fair competition between England and other countries."

"Koulibaly has a release clause of €150m," De Laurentiis added.

"In England, you know, they can spend €93m on a player that I would pay a maximum of €25-30m for. So, if Maguire costs €93m, then Koulibaly is worth €250m?"

Napoli – who finished runners-up to Juventus last season – have been linked to PSV's Hirving Lozano and Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

Lozano is reportedly close to joining Napoli, who are still trying to negotiate a deal with Madrid for James as LaLiga side Atletico Madrid circle.

"We've been following Lozano since last January," De Laurentiis said. "We know very well that he can be a good buy for Napoli. We've also been following James and others, like the Brazilian Everton [Soares].

"What I like about Lozano is that he's still young, unlike James who has more experience and has played under [head coach Carlo] Ancelotti twice.

"For that reason, he offers guarantees. We must consider who can help the team the most."

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez were both left out of Real Madrid's squad for Los Blancos' friendly against Salzburg on Wednesday.

Unsettled forward Bale was on the verge of a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning last month, but the proposed deal collapsed.

Bale did not feature in Madrid's last pre-season friendly – a 5-3 win over Fenerbahce on July 31 – having been left out of their squad for the Audi Cup due to illness.

The 30-year-old was spotted golfing, however, while Madrid were in action against his former club Tottenham a day earlier.

It does not appear a transfer is imminent for Bale, with agent Jonathan Barnett previously telling Omnisport his client will remain at Santiago Bernabeu despite a clear breakdown in his relationship with Zinedine Zidane.

Although seemingly being fit for selection, Bale has not been included in Madrid's 20-man squad for the meeting with Austrian champions Salzburg.

Bale is not the only big name to miss out, with James – who has not featured at all in Madrid's pre-season after two campaigns on loan at Bayern Munich – also not included.

Napoli and Atletico Madrid have both declared their interest in the Colombia playmaker, though no breakthrough has yet been made in a deal with either club.

Close-season signings Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Eder Militao do feature, though Ferland Mendy is out with a hamstring injury.

Manchester United look set to miss out on Paulo Dybala, but they had a chance to sign another playmaker as the Premier League giants rejected a bid for Paul Pogba.

Juventus midfielder Dybala was reportedly set to be part of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, but the Argentina international now seems likely to remain in Turin.

While United appear eager to strengthen before the transfer window closes, they received – and rejected – a bid for Pogba that included James Rodriguez from Real Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED REJECT POGBA, JAMES DEAL WITH DYBALA SET TO STAY AT JUVE

Manchester United rejected a bid of €30million (£27.4m) plus James from Real Madrid for Pogba, according to The Times.

The report says the LaLiga giants are unable to work out a deal approaching the €164.1m (£150m) United reportedly want for France star Pogba.

Now, it seems Juventus could bid for Pogba to return to Turin, with Tuttosport reporting they will offer Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi for the midfielder.

Meanwhile, and also reported by the BBC, Manchester United have ended talks with Dybala because of the attacker's wage demands and amid uncertainty over whether the 25-year-old wanted a move to Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- Suddenly, Inter are back in the race to sign Lukaku. Sky Sports News report the Serie A side are set to launch a new bid for the Belgium striker in the coming days.

- With United's pursuit of Dybala seemingly off, Corriere dello Sport claim Paris Saint-Germain could be an option for the former Palermo attacker.

- Could Philippe Coutinho be set for a return to the Premier League? Arsenal could make a move for the Barcelona playmaker and former Liverpool star in an audacious loan bid, according to the Mirror.

- Napoli are perhaps ready to give up on signing James. Amid what have been fruitless talks with Madrid, the Serie A side are again expressing an interest in PSV star Hirving Lozano, according to Voetbal International, with the Mexico international's release clause at €40m.

- Andy Carroll's future is unclear, but a return to Newcastle United appears off. The Mirror say the injury riddled striker, who is a free agent after being released by West Ham at the end of 2018-19, will not be heading back to the Premier League club.

Atletico Madrid captain Koke praised James Rodriguez and said the Real Madrid playmaker would be welcomed at the Wanda Metropolitano.

James, 28, is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this off-season, with Atletico and Napoli heavily linked with the Colombia international.

Koke would seemingly like to see James join Atletico, talking up the former Bayern Munich midfielder's talent.

"He is a Madrid player," he told Cadena SER.

"He is a great player and we don't know what will happen. If he comes, he is welcome and if not, I wish him luck in the team he is at."

Atletico have gone through a rebuild in the close season, including signing Joao Felix for a reported €126million – a club-record fee – from Benfica.

The 19-year-old attacker scored once and assisted two others in Atletico's 7-3 thrashing of Real Madrid at the International Champions Cup on Friday, but Koke called for patience with Joao Felix.

"He is a great footballer and you have to be patient, you have to keep working and you see good things," he said.

"He gave two assists, scored and hopefully continues to this level. The boy is excited and you don't have to put pressure on him.

"Let him listen to his team-mates and coach."

James Rodriguez's agent Jorge Mendes does not know what the future holds for the Real Madrid playmaker, though he just wants the best for the player and LaLiga club.

Linked to Atletico Madrid and Napoli, James took part in Madrid's 2019-20 pre-season training for the first time on Monday.

LaLiga rivals Atletico and Serie A side Napoli are reportedly vying for James' signature after the Colombia star spent the past two seasons on loan with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Asked about James' future, Mendes told Marca: "You'll have to ask the president [Florentino Perez] who is here next to me.

"I just want the best for the player and the best for the club."

James – who represented Colombia at the Copa America in June – scored seven league goals in each of his two seasons at Bayern.

The 28-year-old finished with 15 goals for Bayern, who opted against making his stay permanent in Bavaria.

James Rodriguez's hopes for another chance at Real Madrid have been boosted after he took part in the club's 2019-20 pre-season training for the first time on Tuesday.

After spending the past two seasons on loan in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, James had looked set for a permanent departure from the LaLiga giants during the off-season, with Napoli and Atletico Madrid heavily linked with moves for the 28-year-old.

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti has been open about his desire to sign James, with whom he has worked during previous spells in charge of both Bayern and Madrid.

However, a long-term injury to Marco Asensio and a thumping 7-3 friendly defeat to Atleti on Saturday appear to have convinced Zinedine Zidane to keep the Colombia international at Madrid.

James missed Los Blancos' tour of the United States after featuring at the Copa America but played a full part in training, while Gareth Bale worked separately from his team-mates.

The Wales international's proposed move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning collapsed on Sunday and he now looks set to stay in Madrid, unless a deal can be done elsewhere.

Madrid also confirmed striker Luka Jovic trained indoors after his collision with Jan Oblak during the defeat to their city rivals.

The 21-year-old, who has joined from Eintracht Frankfurt, was forced off after 30 minutes but has seemingly not sustained any lasting damage.

New left-back Ferland Mendy and Brahim Diaz were Madrid's other injury absentees along with Asensio, who is expected to miss much of the coming campaign having ruptured his knee ligaments.

The contract still needs signing but Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is poised to make the biggest move of his career… if you believe reports.

Linked with Europe's biggest clubs last season, Lazio star Milinkovic-Savic is once again in demand heading into 2019-20.

And the Serbia international's future is reportedly already decided.

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC GIVES UNITED HIS WORD

Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic has a verbal agreement to join Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

With Paul Pogba's future at Old Trafford uncertain amid links to Real Madrid, Milinkovic-Savic has emerged as a transfer target for the Red Devils.

And Serbia international Milinkovic-Savic – who is reportedly rated at £80million – has agreed in principal to make the switch to Manchester as the world waits on Pogba's next move.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United are closing in on Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes. SPORT claims United are readying a £63m (€70m) offer for the 24-year-old Portugal midfielder. It comes after the Red Devils tried to continue their Portuguese pursuit with a move for Benfica defender Ruben Dias as an alternative to Leicester City star Harry Maguire but the club were unsuccessful, according to O Jogo.

- According to RMC, Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal is not a done deal. Lille star Pepe has been tipped to join the Gunners, however, Liverpool and Inter are reportedly still in the running to sign the Ivory Coast international.

Juventus are in pole position to sign Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku ahead of Serie A rivals Inter. That is according to Tuttosport, who say the possibility of a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala has put Juve at the front of the queue. Dybala is also wanted by Tottenham.

- Marca reports Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen is interested in a move to Juventus. The Spanish newspaper says Eriksen – who has no intention of re-signing with Spurs – also likes Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, having been previously linked to Real Madrid.

- Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye is set to undergo a medical with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on Monday ahead of his €32m (£28.7m) transfer, reports the Guardian. Everton, meanwhile, reportedly had a £52m bid for Wilfried Zaha rejected by Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.

- According to Turkish newspaper Star, Besiktas will make another attempt to sign Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala. The Frenchman has struggled to make an impact since arriving in 2014.

- Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning are unwilling to pay the transfer fee that Real Madrid are demanding for Gareth Bale, according to Marca. Bale was reportedly set for China but that move appears off… for now.

Atletico Madrid are growing pessimistic in their pursuit of Real Madrid's James Rodriguez. Atletico have emerged as frontrunners for James ahead of Napoli, however, negotiations with Madrid are proving difficult, reports Marca.

Gareth Bale appears to be on the brink of leaving Real Madrid for the Chinese Super League.

It is reported the Wales star has agreed a deal with Jiangsu Suning, who must now finalise matters with Madrid.

Bale will apparently double his salary by swapping LaLiga for the CSL.

 

TOP STORY - BALE ON BRINK OF CHINA MOVE

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is close to moving to Jiangsu Suning of the Chinese Super League, according to Marca and AS.

The Wales international will reportedly earn €22million a season if he completes a move to the club, which is owned by Inter majority shareholders Suning Holdings Group.

Jiangsu must now finalise terms with Madrid before they can announce Bale as the biggest star yet to head to the CSL.

ROUND-UP

- James Rodriguez will now stay at Real Madrid as the LaLiga giants want cover for the injured Marco Asensio, reports El Chiringuito. Asensio suffered a serious knee injury in the International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal, while James has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Napoli.

Manchester United have agreed a fee in the region of €70million with Sporting CP for midfielder Bruno Fernandes, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Fernandes could end up replacing Paul Pogba, with ESPN claiming Real Madrid are confident they will strike a deal to sign the France star from Manchester United.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha could be tempted to join Everton, who are ready to offer £60m for the player, Sky Sports claim. Zaha has also been linked to Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.

- AC Milan are to sign Rafael Leao from Lille for €35m, with Tiago Djalo heading the other way for €5m, RMC Sport believe.

Dani Alves, who has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester City, called Barcelona to discuss a return to the club, according to Sport.

Tottenham's hopes of a stunning deal for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala could hinge on the departures of Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen, Sky Sports News say. Rose has been linked to Juve, while Eriksen is reportedly a target for Manchester United and Real Madrid.

- However, Sky also say Dybala could be offered to Manchester United as part of a Juventus bid to sign Romelu Lukaku, who is also wanted by Inter.

Zinedine Zidane insisted talk about James Rodriguez's Real Madrid future was not his concern amid claims the playmaker has no interest in staying.

James, 28, is linked with Napoli and Atletico Madrid after returning to the Santiago Bernabeu from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich.

Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin told ESPN on Thursday that James did not want to continue at Madrid, nor did the LaLiga giants want him to.

Asked about those comments, Zidane said the Colombia international's future was not something for him to worry about.

"It is a matter for the club," he told a news conference ahead of Madrid's International Champions Cup clash against Atletico on Friday.

"It is something between them – the presidents – not me."

Zidane was seemingly tired of answering questions about Gareth Bale, who is expected to leave the club, and reported transfer target and Manchester United star Paul Pogba.

And while midfielder Marco Asensio could be set to miss the entire season due to a serious knee injury, Zidane said nothing changed in regards to Madrid's plans.

"We are working with the players here. We think about the first league match," he said.

"Nothing changes. I don't think about that, who will replace Marco, no. We are touched by the injury, but there is a game tomorrow. We will see later."

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Napoli are in negotiations to sign Lille forward Nicolas Pepe.

The Ivory Coast international hit 22 Ligue 1 goals last term to announce himself among Europe's most in-demand talents.

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with Pepe, as well as Champions League winners Liverpool.

And Napoli are also in the race after Pepe's representative arrived in Italy to begin talks over the 24-year-old's future.

"If his agents are here it is obvious we're interested," Ancelotti told reporters on Thursday. "Negotiations are ongoing, anything can happen."

A deal for James Rodriguez appears no closer to completion but Ancelotti seems confident of Napoli signing a player he previously coached at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

"I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic, he is among the players who we are interested in," the Italian added.

"Let's see what happens. There is the will of Real to sell and of Napoli to take him."

Napoli have also been linked with a move for Mauro Icardi, who has been told he is not part of Inter's project.

Icardi is reportedly keen on joining Serie A champions Juventus instead, but Ancelotti indicated it would not mean Arkadiusz Milik leaves Napoli if the Argentina attacker signs for the Partenopei.

"None of our players are currently on the market," Ancelotti added. "All the players are here because we intend to keep them. Of course, if someone wants to try a new experience, we're here to listen."

After two consecutive windows without a signing, Tottenham are keen to make a splash in the transfer market.

Tottenham purchased Tanguy Ndombele in a club-record deal, while Spurs are also reportedly interested in Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso.

Now Tottenham could break the bank to prise an Argentina forward from Turin…

 

TOP STORY – SPURS EYE DYBALA

Tottenham have approached Juventus over the possibility of signing star Paulo Dybala.

That is according to the Evening Standard and reports in United Kingdom as Dybala faces an uncertain future at the Serie A champions.

Spurs have already spent £55million on Ndombele and the Champions League runners-up would need to break their transfer record again to sign the £80m (€90m)-rated Dybala, who has also been linked to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are eyeing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as part of a possible exchange deal involving striker Moise Kean, says Sky Sport Italia. Wolves are also reportedly in talks for Juve veteran Sami Khedira, who is not wanted by Maurizio Sarri.

- According to the Daily Mail, Everton are ready to hijack Arsenal's move for Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. The Toffees are reportedly ready to offer £50m.

- Sportitalia claims Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez has been offered to AC Milan for €42m. Napoli only want to sign James on an initial loan deal, with Atletico Madrid now favourites to sign the Colombia international. However, agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly proposed James to Milan.

Manchester United have been asked to be kept updated on Christian Eriksen's future as they eye a move for the Tottenham midfielder, reports the Daily Mail. Eriksen – who is out of contract at the end of 2019-20 – has been linked to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

- Staying at Old Trafford and as Manchester United reportedly pursue Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, Red Devils centre-back Eric Bailly fears for his future. The Metro claims Bailly feels he could be sacrificed should United sign Maguire.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Inter have reopened talks with Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku.

Carlo Ancelotti said he has always had great strikers as Napoli continue to be linked with Inter outcast Mauro Icardi.

Icardi – absent from Inter's pre-season tour – is not wanted by new head coach Antonio Conte as the Serie A club try to sell their former captain.

Napoli and Italian champions Juventus are reportedly vying for Icardi's signature ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Asked about Icardi as Napoli also try to negotiate a deal with Real Madrid for James Rodriguez, Ancelotti told TV Luna following Wednesday's 3-3 draw against Cremonese: "A player in the James role can certainly help us in our finishing or in through balls for the strikers.

"I always had great centre-forwards in my career, from Pippo Inzaghi to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Icardi is a great centre-forward, as is Arkadiusz Milik.

"The Pole is perhaps a more complete player, even if the Argentine is a stronger finisher in the box.

"Talking about Icardi now would be undermining Milik's qualities, but I am sure we'll all be happy with the squad at our disposal come August 31."

It has been a busy off-season for Napoli, who finished second behind Juve in the race for the Scudetto last term.

Napoli have signed star defender Kostas Manolas from Roma and Fenerbahce's Eljif Elmas, while Amadou Diawara, Marko Rog and Raul Albiol have departed.

Arsenal's quiet transfer window seems to be about to spark into life.

Widespread reports on Monday claimed Dani Ceballos is on the verge of joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

William Saliba could follow him to Emirates Stadium by the end of the week, too.

 

TOP STORY - CEBALLOS BOUND FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal are close to completing the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

AS report the midfielder could head to London on Tuesday for a medical, with Marca saying the 21-year-old is excited about the prospect of spending a season under Unai Emery.

Various UK media outlets have also stated Ceballos is not far from finalising a deal, while the BBC's David Ornstein says Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba could follow him to north London before the week is out.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Barcelona are to open talks with Lionel Messi to try to extend his contract beyond 2021, according to ESPN.

Jiangsu Suning have joined Chinese rivals Beijing Guoan in the race for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale but must offer wages of £1million per week, reports the Telegraph.

- Fotosport in Turkey say Galatasaray have made an approach to sign Fred on loan from Manchester United.

- Inter are still eager to sign Romelu Lukaku and have offered Manchester United a choice of €78m or €55m plus winger Ivan Perisic, FCInternews.it suggests.

Ademola Lookman is expected to arrive in Germany in the next 36 hours to finalise a transfer from Everton to RB Leipzig, say Sky Sports.

- Marca claim Atletico Madrid would prefer to sign Real Madrid's James Rodriguez than Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

- Atletico Madrid are likely to earn a total of €57m when Angel Correa finalises his move to AC Milan, Sky Sport Italia say.

- Corriere dello Sport claim Napoli are pushing to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter, with James Rodriguez poised for Atletico Madrid.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing the Serie A champions to sign Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, according to the Daily Mail.

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