Juventus are closing in on Massimiliano Allegri's successor.

According to the Guardian, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is poised to sign a contract with the Serie A champions.

Former Napoli head coach Sarri has been linked with a return to Italy after just one season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

 

TOP STORY – TURIN BECKONS FOR SARRI

Look away Napoli fans… Sarri is set to sign a three-year contract to become Juventus coach.

Sarri spent three years in charge of Italian rivals Napoli before replacing Antonio Conte at Chelsea in 2018-19.

However, the lure of Juve and a return to Italy has seemingly proved too strong for Sarri after Europa League success with Chelsea.

The 60-year-old has reportedly been granted a release and is free to leave the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- With the future of Ajax captain and in-demand centre-back Matthijs de Ligt up in the air amid links to Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United have reportedly turned to Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly. One of their initial defensive targets as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to bolster United's defence, Corriere dello Sport claim the Red Devils have offered €95million for the Senegal international.

- The end is near for Mauro Icardi at Inter. Despite wanting to remain in Milan, where he was stripped of the captaincy by former boss Luciano Spalletti in 2018-19, Icardi is not in Antonio Conte's plans, according to Sky Sport Italia. Inter are believed to be trying to force the Argentina striker to leave as they near a €13m deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko, a fee reported by Calciomercato.com. Radja Nainggolan could also be on the chopping block, with SportItalia claiming the Belgian midfielder could return to Roma after just one season.

- Eden Hazard in at Real Madrid and Paul Pogba to follow? According to the Mirror, Zinedine Zidane is ready to offer Gareth Bale to Manchester United to persuade the Premier League side to sell Pogba to the Spanish giants.

- Tottenham are preparing for a busy transfer window as they try to keep hold of manager Mauricio Pochettino following a remarkable run to the Champions League final. And if they are unable to sign Celta Vigo star Giovani Lo Celso, the Mirror reports Spurs could turn to Sporting CP sensation Bruno Fernandes.

"Welcome to the best club in the world". That was Thibaut Courtois' message after Eden Hazard's move to Real Madrid.

Hazard joined LaLiga giants Madrid from Chelsea on a five-year deal on Friday for a fee that could reportedly rise to €140million.

The Belgium international attacker won two Premier League titles and as many Europa League crowns during his time at Chelsea, where he played alongside Courtois before the star goalkeeper left for Madrid in 2018-19.

And Courtois welcomed Hazard to the Santiago Bernabeu via social media as the Belgian duo prepare to reunite in Madrid.

"Welcome to the best club in the world!!! @hazardeden10 @realmadrid," Courtois wrote on Twitter.

Hazard – who led Chelsea to Europa League glory this season – is the fourth new arrival at Zinedine Zidane's Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 28-year-old follows Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo Goes to the Spanish capital club, with Madrid also reportedly eyeing Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy, Manchester United star Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar.

Eden Hazard says leaving Chelsea was the toughest decision of his career, insisting Real Madrid were the only club he would join.

Madrid have signed Hazard on a five-year deal for a fee that could rise to €140million, although the deal is subject to the Belgium star passing a medical.

Hazard has long been linked with Madrid but confirmed his intention to leave the Blues after scoring twice as they beat Arsenal in last month's Europa League final.

And in a lengthy farewell posted to social media, Hazard explained it was a wrench to depart Stamford Bridge after seven years with Chelsea.

"To my Chelsea friends and family, you now know that I will be joining Real Madrid," Hazard wrote on Facebook.

"It's no secret that it was my dream to play for them since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal. I have tried my very best not to distract myself or the team through this difficult period of speculation and media attention, especially the last six months.

"Now the clubs have reached an agreement I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams. Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date.

"Now it's in the open I would like to put on record one thing was always clear to me, I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for any other club.

"I was only 21 when I joined, so I have grown up as a man and a player with all of you, you have helped me become captain of the Belgium national team after all. There have of course been tough times, for the team as a whole and for me personally, this is professional football.

"However, football to me is about having a ball at my feet, playing games and enjoying every moment, we are lucky to play the beautiful game and this is always my advice to those who ask for a coaching tip! Play football and have fun!

"Even when we were not playing well, I tried to do my best and this has been thanks to your amazing support. That fighting spirit, desire and the refusal to ever give up is part of the culture here at Chelsea and it comes directly from you."

Hazard won a brace of Premier League titles with Chelsea, as well as one EFL Cup and one FA Cup.

He becomes the fourth new arrival at Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 season, following Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo Goes to the club.

Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy is widely expected to join Zinedine Zidane's squad rebuild at the Santiago Bernabeu, while stars including Paul Pogba and Neymar have also been linked.

Real Madrid announced the arrival of Chelsea forward Eden Hazard on Friday to bring an end to the long-running transfer saga - and potentially spell the end of Gareth Bale's time at the club.

Los Blancos have handed over a reported initial fee of €100million for the 28-year-old, who outlined his intention to leave the London club after scoring a brace in the Europa League final win over Arsenal.

The Belgium international joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012 and swiftly adapted, before becoming undoubtedly one of the English top-flight’s best players.

Hazard will be remembered as one of the club's true icons alongside John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, such is the impact he has had in his seven years.

And his arrival at the Bernabeu could push Bale further down the pecking order, with the Welshman seemingly out of the picture under Zinedine Zidane.

Bale made just 21 league starts in 2018-19, though his agent has indicated the player is happy to stick around in the Spanish capital for the remainder of his contract.

Madrid will seemingly be getting an upgrade in Hazard, though, as the following Opta data shows...

BEST OF THE BLUES

191 – Across his 352 appearances for Chelsea, Hazard scored 110 times and provided 81 assists for a combined 191 goal involvements.

21 – The 2018-19 season was his best in terms of goals for Chelsea, netting 21 times across all competitions.

19 – Hazard's best campaign for assists was 2012-13, when he created 19 goals. In his last Chelsea season he laid on 17, with 15 coming in the Premier League to make him the most creative player across Europe's top five leagues.

 

85 – A haul of 85 Premier League goals makes Hazard Chelsea's third all-time leading scorer in the division, behind only Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

595 – Since moving to the Premier League, Hazard has created more chances than anyone else. David Silva is second to him with 566.

102 – In 2018-19, Hazard averaged a goal or assist every 102 minutes, making it easily his most productive campaign at the club, improving on his record of a goal involvement every 128.6 minutes from the previous season.

 

 

MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN BALE

11 - Hazard has managed 55 goals over the past three seasons, in comparison to 44 for Bale in all competitions over the same period.

248 - His tally of 371 chances created since the start of 2016-17 is 248 more than Bale has managed.

598 - The Belgian completed 598 dribbles over that same three-season timeframe - 484 more than Bale (114).

824 - The big-money signing from Chelsea is also more involved in the game high up the pitch, touching the ball 824 times in the opposition box in the last three seasons, compared to Bale's 454 touches.

Eden Hazard's arrival from Chelsea is likely to pave the way for more big money moves to be completed by Real Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Zinedine Zidane has signalled he wants a squad overhaul in a bid to close the gap to LaLiga rivals Barcelona, with Hazard the first 'Galactico' signing of the Frenchman's second spell in charge.

Eder Militao and Luka Jovic have already sealed deals with Los Blancos and Ferland Mendy is widely expected to be next, arriving from Ligue 1 side Lyon.

There will be high-profile departures too, so how could Madrid's squad look ahead of the 2019-20 season? Omnisport takes a look at their likely ins and outs.

IN: Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen, Neymar?

Militao boosts an increasingly leaky defence that shipped 46 league goals last term. Serbia striker Jovic is set to provide competition for Karim Benzema, while Hazard looks a possible heir to Cristiano Ronaldo. Rodrygo Goes is also joining from Santos.

Former coach Fabio Capello has said Madrid have €500million to spend, so Zidane can still afford to be ambitious with his targets despite those three new faces having already arrived. Lyon defender Mendy is expected to complete a move worth a reported €50m in the coming days too.

Pogba has long been linked with the club and despite being Manchester United's top goalscorer in the Premier League in 2018-19, he could be allowed to leave, while Eriksen - who has a year left on his Tottenham contract - has suggested he is ready for a new challenge. 

Mbappe would be a classic Madrid 'Galactico' signing and he signalled he would be open to leaving Paris Saint-Germain when he collected both the Ligue 1 Best Player and Best Young Player of the Year prizes at the National Union of Professional Footballers' awards. Mbappe would likely cost a world-record fee, with Neymar another top-tier player potentially on the move.

The former Barca forward has reportedly failed to settle in the French capital but the signing of Hazard could scupper a Neymar switch. Even with a vast amount of cash to splash, it is hard to see Madrid bringing in four new attackers in Hazard, Jovic, Mbappe and Neymar, while PSG - regardless of doubts over their financial situation - would surely not allow both of their forwards to leave in the same transfer window.


OUT: James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas, Isco, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Luka Modric?

The level of further spending at Madrid during the close-season will partly depend on who they can sell, with Bale a prime candidate to be moved on. Zidane's lack of trust in the Wales forward is no secret, even though Bale scored twice in last year's Champions League final defeat of Liverpool in Kiev. Bale cost what was then a world record £85m when he joined from Tottenham but his huge wages, coupled with a short list of potential suitors, could be a problem. Reports in Spain have indicated Bale is willing to see out the remaining three years of his contract.

Another key member of the Madrid team that won three Champions League titles in a row in Zidane's first spell, goalkeeper Navas is expected to be sold after last year's arrival of Thibaut Courtois, with the boss said to be keen to make son Luca his number two option with the gloves.

James Rodriguez will not sign permanently for Bayern Munich after his two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga giants expired, so Madrid have to decide whether they try and reincorporate him in their squad or find a buyer for the Colombia international. Isco seemed certain to depart when he was out of favour before Santiago Solari's sacking, while Marcelo could also be allowed to leave due Mendy's imminent signing, coupled with the breakthrough season enjoyed by left-back Sergio Reguilon.

But Toni Kroos is staying put after signing a new four-year deal with the club. PSG were linked with a treble swoop for Kroos, Isco and Bale, so the latter two players could be used as potential makeweights in a deal for either Mbappe or Neymar. Raphael Varane, who was linked with Juventus, has said he will not leave while captain Sergio Ramos denied he wanted to move to the Chinese Super League in a recent news conference. Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric was previously linked with Inter and had a poor second half of the season.

 

@realmadrid #TeamVarane pic.twitter.com/YiwSQlq8tp

— Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) May 17, 2019

POTENTIAL MADRID XI FOR 2019-20

Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Paul Pogba; Kylian Mbappe, Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard.

Eden Hazard has completed his highly anticipated move to Real Madrid from Chelsea.

The Spanish giants confirmed the signing of the Belgium international on a five-year deal on Friday.

Hazard has been a long-term target for Madrid and hinted after last year's World Cup he planned to leave Chelsea.

But the 28-year-old stayed at Stamford Bridge for another season, helping them to Europa League glory with a brace in the 4-1 final victory over Arsenal in Baku before revealing his intention to move on in the immediate aftermath.

The former Lille star won two Premier League titles and the Europa League twice with Chelsea, as well as an EFL Cup and FA Cup during his seven-year stint.

He joins Madrid as part of a squad overhaul by Zinedine Zidane that has already seen Rodrygo Goes, Eder Militao and Luka Jovic move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Chelsea said the move is subject to Hazard passing a medical with Madrid but wished the forward well on his move.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "Although it is with sadness we say goodbye to Eden and we made it absolutely clear to him the club wished him to stay, we respect the decision he has made to take on a new challenge in a different country and follow his childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid.

"The memories he leaves us with will not fade. He provided all who watched Chelsea play with great entertainment and many match-winning contributions, and for that we thank Eden enormously.

"He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club, a wonderful individual to have around and a joy to work with. We look forward to welcoming him back to Stamford Bridge in the future."

Eden Hazard's typically brilliant display in Chelsea's 4-1 Europa League final win against Arsenal last week proved to be his last game for the club.

The Belgian forward suggested after the match in Baku he wanted to start a new adventure elsewhere and Real Madrid confirmed on Friday, nine days on from those comments, that an agreement, which is subject to him passing a medical, had been reached with the Blues.

During his seven years at Stamford Bridge, Hazard transformed from a promising talent signed from Lille to one of the Premier League's all-time greats.

Here, we look back at some of the goals that defined the 28-year-old's time at Chelsea and tempted Madrid into paying a reported initial fee of €100millon for his services.

 

Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4 – January 12, 2013

Chelsea were already leading 3-0 when Hazard received the ball in a central area 40 yards from goal. He made light work of turning inside Glenn Whelan, who appeared to be running on rails, and then unleashed a fierce left-footed effort that swerved beyond Asmir Begovic and into the top-left corner.

Chelsea 2 Tottenham 2 – May 2, 2016

There was little for Chelsea fans to cheer in a dismal 2015-16 season that saw them suffer a dramatic fall from grace after clinching the Premier League title in the previous campaign. However, half-time substitute Hazard sent them into raptures when he finished a move he initiated inside his own half by curling a first-time finish into the top-right corner, ending rivals Tottenham's challenge to unlikely champions Leicester City.

Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1 – February 4, 2017

Pouncing on a loose ball in the centre circle, Hazard shuffled past Laurent Koscielny and sent Francis Coquelin spinning as he headed diagonally towards the touchline. Free of the terrier-like Coquelin, the Belgian angled his run towards the box, turned Koscielny inside out and got his shot away before Shkodran Mustafi could get a block in. The victory sent eventual champions Chelsea nine points clear at the top of the Premier League and opened up a 12-point cushion to the third-placed Gunners.

Liverpool 1 Chelsea 2 – September 26, 2018

Hazard looked destined to lose the ball when he shifted away from Jordan Henderson and towards Fabinho, who he turned away from and into Roberto Firmino. However, he slipped a pass to Cesar Azpilicueta between Firmino's legs and followed it out to the right wing. His change of pace and shielding of the ball enabled him to get around Naby Keita and into the box, where he switched direction by nutmegging Alberto Moreno before rifling a stunning finish across Simon Mignolet to seal a late win in the third round of the EFL Cup.

Chelsea 2 West Ham 0 – April 8, 2019

One thing you cannot afford Hazard is space to run into, and West Ham did exactly that in this Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge. He breezed past Mark Noble and proved too quick for the recovering Declan Rice as he surged towards the box. Two sensational, rapid touches saw him evade the challenge of Fabian Balbuena and leave the Paraguayan's centre-back partner Angelo Ogbonna rooted to the spot. Hazard followed it up by stabbing into the bottom-right corner from 12 yards for another sensational solo goal as Ryan Fredericks lunged in from the left.

Chelsea 4 Arsenal 1 – May 29, 2019

While it may not have been a 30-yard screamer or a stunning solo effort, his final Chelsea goal was well-worked and deserves inclusion for its significance in delivering a European trophy. The winger seized upon a loose ball, darted forward and fed Olivier Giroud into the left side of the box. He continued his run and received the Frenchman's chipped pass, sweeping home with aplomb and signing off in style.

 

Eden Hazard has completed his highly anticipated move to Real Madrid from Chelsea. 

Gareth Bale and Keylor Navas have been used to promote Real Madrid's new home kit for next season, despite both being heavily linked with a move away from the club.

Zinedine Zidane's men are undergoing a major rebuild following a poor 2018-19 campaign, with more than €100million already being spent to bring in Eder Militao and Luka Jovic.

More big-name signings are expected to follow in the coming weeks, including Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, but others - such as Bale and Navas - could be on their way out of the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale played no part in Madrid's final three matches of last season, while goalkeeper Navas featured more regularly in the closing weeks of the campaign but has still been tipped to find a new club.

But both players featured prominently in the Los Blancos' kit launch, perhaps suggesting they still have a part to play under Zidane.

Madrid are rumoured to have delayed the unveiling of their iconic white jersey until Friday in the hope that Hazard would feature in the promotional clip, but that was not the case.

Despite an official agreement with Chelsea yet to have been reached, images have emerged on social media of shirts with his name on the back being sold in Madrid's club shop.

The pictures indicate Hazard has been given the number seven shirt, which was previously worn by Cristiano Ronaldo and has since been held by Mariano Diaz.

Kevin De Bruyne does not expect Belgium team-mate Eden Hazard to finalise a switch to Real Madrid until next week at the earliest.

The Chelsea forward hinted after scoring a brace in last week's Europa League final win over Arsenal that he had played his final game for the club.

And rumours surfaced on Thursday suggesting that an agreement had been reached between Madrid and Chelsea worth an initial £88million, with confirmation soon to follow.

Hazard is currently away on international duty with Belgium, however, with a couple of Euro 2020 qualifiers to come at home to Kazakhstan and Scotland over the next four days, and De Bruyne believes the 28-year-old's full focus is on the Red Devils. 

"First and foremost, Eden is still the same," he said at a media conference on Friday. "We are all professional here. Everyone has played with transfer problems. He is not the first and will not be the last. We are not busy with his transfer.

"He knows what to do. He has to work for a few more days and then he also has a vacation. Then he has enough time to arrange everything. 

"If the transfer comes, it won't be in the next four or five days. Why would he do that? Why would he take that risk? Now everyone is watching him."

Opening up on his own switch from Wolfsburg to Manchester City in 2015, De Bruyne added: "We worked on it for months, but I waited until I was free to go there. That will happen now. 

"Not much is played, so the journalists have a lot of time for Eden Hazard. He is now the story, so he will wait a while." 

Hazard is coming off the back of his most productive campaign in seven seasons at Chelsea as he scored 21 times in all competitions and laid on 17 assists – form that has led to talk he could be in contention to win this year's Ballon d'Or award.

But De Bruyne does not necessarily see the Hazard's chances of winning the individual accolade improving should he leave Stamford Bridge. 

"I do not know if he will be a leader [at Madrid] immediately," he said. "There are other leaders there already, so he will not immediately become a captain. 

"His Ballon d'Or hopes remain the same. Real Madrid is a bigger name than Chelsea, but if he plays like this season, he has a chance."

Neymar has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid but the star has rejected that possibility.

The Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward, ruled out of the Copa America due to an ankle injury, was reportedly a target for the LaLiga giants just two years after leaving bitter rivals Barcelona.

But Neymar has dismissed any chance of that move, as Zinedine Zidane tries to rebuild Madrid following a tough 2018-19 season.

Still, maybe a return to Camp Nou is possible.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR REJECTS MADRID, OPEN TO BARCA RETURN

Neymar has rejected any possibility of a move to Real Madrid, according to Sport.

According to the report, Madrid wanted Neymar as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus last year.

But the club's struggles in 2018-19 – they finished third in LaLiga, 19 points behind Barca – have seen Neymar turn down a possible transfer.

Sport report Neymar could be lured back to Barcelona, where he spent four seasons before joining PSG, as he maintains a friendship with stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham star Christian Eriksen wants a new challenge and Inter have joined the race for the reported Madrid target, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Times report Spurs want €113million for the midfielder.

- Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt appears closer to deciding his future. The in-demand defender, linked with numerous European heavyweights, is now deciding between just two clubs – Barcelona or PSG – according to RMC Sport. ESPN report that PSG are favourites to sign the centre-back.

- With Gianluigi Buffon leaving PSG, the Ligue 1 champions are set to make a bid for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, according to The Times. That could see the Premier League club turn their attentions to AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Likely before the situation around their starting goalkeeper unfolds, Manchester United could land Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. A Bola report United have requested a meeting with Sporting to wrap up a deal – reportedly worth around €78m – for the Portugal international.

- AC Milan appear to have found their replacement for Gennaro Gattuso. According to CalcioMercato, Marco Giampaolo will leave Sampdoria to head to San Siro on a two-year deal.

- Manchester City are looking to sign Joao Cancelo, with Goal reporting the Premier League champions are in talks with Juventus over a €50m move for the Portugal full-back.

Gareth Bale appears almost certain to leave Real Madrid this close season and his next move could be something of a surprise.

The star attacker has fallen out of favour at the Santiago Bernabeu and he has emerged as a reported target for Inter.

Antonio Conte is looking to rebuild the Serie A side and Bale would surely be the headline act in attack if he were to move to San Siro.

Inter have been linked with multiple players lately and there was also news on their pursuit of a striker.

 

TOP STORY – BALE WANTED AT INTER

A four-time Champions League winner with Madrid, Bale is wanted by Conte at Inter, according to El Chiringuito de Jugones.

Bale has already proven himself in the Premier League and LaLiga, and Serie A may yet be his next test.

Inter are also looking for a striker, but exchanging Mauro Icardi for Romelu Lukaku was rejected by Manchester United, according to Sky Sport Italia.

The club's first signing could be Granit Xhaka from Arsenal, with RSI reporting a possible move has accelerated since Conte was named coach.

 

ROUND-UP

- The move which seems certain is Eden Hazard's switch to Real Madrid. Jugones reports that a €100million deal has been agreed between the LaLiga giants and Chelsea.

- While Pep Guardiola has been mentioned, Maurizio Sarri is the most widely linked with the Juventus job, but Sky Sport Italia say the move has stalled as Chelsea demand the head coach's £5.3m release clause be met.

- Juventus are moving towards replacing the retired Andrea Barzagli by targeting Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez, according to Don Balon.

- While Spurs may lose Madrid target Christian Eriksen, CalcioMercato report Tottenham are ready to bid €45m for Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.

- It was announced Gianluigi Buffon would be leaving Paris Saint-Germain, but they already have a replacement lined up. Marca report conversations have already begun for PSG to sign Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

- Amid talk he could win the Ballon d'Or, Virgil van Dijk is ready to re-sign with Liverpool. The centre-back is contracted until 2023, but ESPN reports Van Dijk wants a new contract with the European champions.

Real Madrid have been urged to sign one of Lionel Messi's children by Alvaro Arbeloa after the Barcelona superstar revealed his son Mateo cheers for their LaLiga rivals.

Messi claimed another LaLiga title this season but Champions League and Copa del Rey defeats to Liverpool and Valencia respectively has seen the five-time Ballon d'Or winner ruthlessly trolled by his own son.

"Thiago never misses a match," Lionel Messi told TyC Sports. "Mateo loves football, he wears all the shirts.

"We were playing at home and he said to me, 'I'm Liverpool, who beat you'; 'Valencia won, eh - I'm Valencia'.

"The TV is there, and he cheers Madrid's goals to annoy his brother. He's the one who is a Madrid fan."

Messi's comments caught the attention of former Madrid full-back Arbeloa, who won LaLiga and two Champions League trophies during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Let's get him [Mateo] signed," ex-Spain international and World Cup winner Arbeloa tweeted on Wednesday.

Messi – preparing for the Copa America with Argentina – scored a LaLiga-high 36 goals in 2018-19 as he claimed his sixth European Golden Shoe.

The 31-year-old finished the season with 51 goals in all competitions as Barca reached the Champions League semi-final and Copa del Rey decider.

Luka Jovic said his dream has come true after leaving Eintracht Frankfurt for LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

Jovic swapped Bundesliga side Eintracht for Madrid on a five-year contract, with the transfer fee reportedly worth €60million.

The 21-year-old Serbia striker took Europe by storm in 2018-19, scoring 17 Bundesliga goals and another 10 in Eintracht's memorable run to the Europa League semi-finals.

Jovic, who arrived from Benfica on a two-year loan deal in 2017 before Eintracht triggered the purchase option in April, bid farewell to the German team on Wednesday.

In an Instagram post, Jovic wrote: "Dear Eintracht fans, as you have already read, I will move to Real Madrid. Of course, I would like to take this opportunity to contact you here again with a few words.

"I really enjoyed the last two years at Eintracht Frankfurt. I met a lot of great people and played in a fantastic club, which was also made by the fans to something very special.

"We can be proud of our achievements. I will never forget this Europa League season with you! The highlight was of course the DFB Cup win 2017-2018 in Berlin! That's why it's not easy for me to leave Frankfurt. 

"However, Real Madrid opens a huge door for me to become an even bigger footballer. Every child has this dream of playing at such a club. My dream comes true now.

"I would like to thank the whole club and the great fans. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to develop my personality! Thank you for your support! You will always have a place in my heart! Your Luka."

Lionel Messi insists he has not yet given up on the dream of winning the World Cup despite the "terrible" defeat in the 2014 final.

The Barcelona star was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player at the tournament in Brazil five years ago after inspiring his side to the final, where they faced Germany.

However, the main prize eluded Messi and Argentina at the Maracana, as Mario Gotze's extra-time strike secured a 1-0 win for Joachim Low's side.

Argentina were again beaten by the eventual winners four years later, with France knocking them out 4-3 at the last-16 stage en route to winning the 2018 tournament in Russia.

But Messi is not discounting the idea of getting his hands on international football's top prize, even though he will be 35 by the time the 2022 finals get underway in Qatar.

"God will say if we look at it or not," he told TyC Sports when asked about his hopes of lifting the World Cup trophy. "It would be the ultimate. It's the biggest dream I have yet to fulfil.

"Being so close to that World Cup [in 2014] was terrible, because we deserved to be able to lift it.

"It was the ultimate moment for that generation. We had an impressive group. It's getting tougher; nobody gives you anything and not conceding goals is so important."

Messi says his sons Thiago, six, and Mateo, three, are now old enough to watch him play for Argentina or Barca.

However, it seems Mateo has been happy to tease his father about defeats to Liverpool and Valencia in the Champions League and Copa del Rey in the past month - and even show support for Real Madrid.

"Thiago never misses a match," he said. "Mateo loves football, he wears all the shirts.

"We were playing at home and he said to me, 'I'm Liverpool, who beat you'; 'Valencia won, eh - I'm Valencia'.

"The TV is there, and he cheers Madrid's goals to annoy his brother. He's the one who is a Madrid fan."

Messi admits it is becoming increasingly difficult to leave his young family to join up with the national team, adding: "It's hard to leave them, more and more so. The call-ups are more difficult for me every time. I suffer being so far away from them."

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