Lautaro Martinez has impressed at the Copa America and the forward could end up being team-mates with Lionel Messi at more than just international level.

Martinez, 21, has scored in back-to-back games to lead Argentina into a semi-final against rivals and hosts Brazil at the Copa.

The Inter forward seems to have caught the eye of Barcelona, who have enquired about his services.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA LOOKING AT MARTINEZ

According to Radio La Red, Barcelona have contacted Martinez's agent to express their interest.

A move would see Martinez team up with Messi – who is yet to hit top form at the Copa America – at club level.

But Barca are also linked with moves for Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and PSG forward Neymar, so Martinez may just be a back-up option.

 

ROUND-UP

- Neymar is heavily linked with a return to Barcelona , but it seems Paris Saint-Germain may not let the star go so easily. Telefoot report PSG are still unwilling to let Neymar go. Meanwhile, Marca say Kylian Mbappe wants Neymar alongside him at the Parc des Princes.

- Real Madrid are expected to sign another midfielder heading into 2019-20, with Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen linked. But AS report Madrid have made an offer to Ajax star Donny van de Beek, who apparently has eight proposals from top European clubs.

- Tottenham may finally get their man. The Daily Mail reports Spurs are close to an agreement to sign midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon in a deal worth up to £64million (€71.7m).

- Manchester United appear to be leading the race for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. Liverpool and Spurs have distanced themselves from the Portugal international, according to the Daily Express, and La Gazzetta dello Sport say United have had a £35m (€39.2m) bid rejected.

- Leonardo Bonucci continues to be linked with a Juventus exit ahead of the Serie A champions' expected signing of Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt. An apparent target for PSG, Bonucci has also become an option for Manchester City, according to The Sun.

Wayne Rooney says Louis van Gaal is the best coach he has worked with in his career, rather than Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson.

Rooney and Ferguson did not always have the smoothest relationship at Old Trafford, although the striker became the world's most expensive teenager when the Scot signed him for United in 2004.

England captain Rooney won five Premier League titles under Ferguson, as well as the 2007-08 Champions League.

Ferguson retired in 2013 after winning his 13th Premier League title, with Van Gaal soon arriving as David Moyes' successor, the former Everton manager failing to complete a single season.

And although Van Gaal only had an FA Cup crown to show for his two years with a rebuilding United, Rooney surprisingly credits the Dutchman as the biggest influence on his career.

"Van Gaal is by far the best coach I have worked with - 100 per cent," DC United striker Rooney, who became England's record goalscorer, told De Telegraaf.

"His tactical skills, his way of preparing and his attention to the finest of details, I found amazing. I admired that in him. I had never looked at stuff like that before.

"Van Gaal knows that the way he works is tough for players. I made him aware of that at the time and we talked about this very well together.

"I regret how it all ended, yet I know one thing for sure - I have learnt a lot from him and I am definitely going to use those lessons for when I am a manager."

Ferguson was perhaps considered more of a man-manager than a hands-on coach, the Scot having delegated training sessions to assistants such as Steve McClaren and Carlos Quieroz during his latter years at Old Trafford.

Rooney, meanwhile, is thriving after ending a second spell at boyhood club Everton to join MLS side DC, but he is already planning to follow former international team-mates Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard into management.

"It is great to see that Frank and Steve have been given these chances at big clubs," said Rooney, 33. 

"That gives me hope too because I do think about these things. But for the time being, I am enjoying my life as footballer. I want to win more trophies.

"Physically, I feel good and I am still ambitious. But once my career is over, I am going to consider all the ­options."

Neymar's return to Barcelona may be getting closer as Paris Saint-Germain seemingly accept the star is set to leave.

Neymar, 27, is heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou, two years after his world-record €222million move to PSG.

PSG reportedly set an asking price of €300m for Neymar, but that has apparently continued to reduce, increasing the chances of the Brazil star heading back to Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – PSG'S ASKING PRICE FOR NEYMAR KEEPS DROPPING

From €300m to €222m to €130m plus two Barcelona players?

Le Parisien report PSG would be willing to accept the latter offer for Neymar as they continue to soften their demands.

The report says PSG would settle for somewhere between €130m and €150m plus two players, with Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti all talked about.

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid have apparently opted not to pursue Neymar due to some interest in Kylian Mbappe. In some good news for the LaLiga giants, Marca report Mbappe is not working on a new deal with PSG. Still, the superstar forward is contracted at Parc des Princes until 2022.

- Paul Pogba wants out of Old Trafford. The Sun report the midfielder, a reported target for Real Madrid and Juventus, will make a plea to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to let him leave Manchester United.

- Perhaps Christian Eriksen's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid will become a reality. Marca report Spurs chairman Daniel Levy called Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez to offer the midfielder, who is out of contract next year.

- Real Madrid still seem to want Liverpool star Sadio Mane. The Express reports Madrid are set to offer Marco Asensio to the European champions to secure a deal for star attacker Mane.

- Manchester United have slowly strengthened their squad this close season and there is apparently more to come. The Sun report United are set to bid for Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who will cost £50million. The newspaper also reports United are not giving up on Antoine Griezmann despite the Atletico Madrid star apparently being set for Barcelona.

- PSG might be likely to miss out on Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus, but they have other plans. La Gazzetta dello Sport report PSG have spoken to Leonardo Bonucci's agent about a possible move from Turin to Paris.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka thanked Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson for his "faith and trust" after completing a reported £50million move to Manchester United.

United confirmed the capture of the 21-year-old on Saturday following lengthy negotiations with Palace.

Wan-Bissaka made his Eagles debut against Tottenham in February 2018, making a further six appearances during the final months of that campaign.

Hodgson saw enough to make the England Under-21 international his first choice right-back for the 2018-19 season and he did not disappoint, swiftly establishing himself as one of the most promising defenders in the Premier League.

Following his switch to Old Trafford, Wan-Bissaka saluted Hodgson for giving him an opportunity in the senior ranks.

"I would like to thank the youth coaching staff and first-team staff for helping me massively to develop into the player I am today," he wrote on Instagram.

"Most importantly, I would like to thank Roy Hodgson for giving me the opportunity I have always dreamed of, which was to play in the Premier League.

"The faith and trust he had in me led me to have the chance to take my development to a next level."

Palace chairman Steve Parish was quick to praise Wan-Bissaka, telling the club's official website: "He is a really fantastic young man and we have all enjoyed having him as part of the club for the past 10 years.

"He is a shining example of what south London is about and I wish him the very best for the future journey with Manchester United and England."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the model for a new brand of Manchester United signing after splashing a reported £50million on the right-back.

United confirmed the capture of 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka on Saturday following protracted negotiations with Crystal Palace that reportedly began earlier this month.

He becomes the club's second arrival of the close-season after Wales winger Daniel James, also 21, as manager Solskjaer recalibrates a transfer policy that in recent years has favoured experienced heads like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez.

Early opportunities are expected to be forthcoming with Wan-Bissaka tipped to dislodge Ashley Young at right-back and prove Antonio Valencia's long-term successor.

"Aaron is one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League," Solskjaer said.

"He has the right work ethic, talent and mentality to play for Manchester United and he fits exactly the type of player that we are looking to bring into the squad to help us improve and push on further.

"Aaron is a young, hungry player and eager to learn and that's important at his age.

"I am delighted he has signed with us and we look forward to continuing his tremendous development so far."

Wan-Bissaka made 42 Premier League appearances in total for Palace, including 35 starts last term.

The Londoner will hope his move to Old Trafford leads to a full international debut on the right side of England's defence, where Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier are in competition.

"It's an unbelievable feeling and an honour to call myself a Manchester United player and something I know that only a small number of players have the privilege to say," Wan-Bissaka said.

"I can't wait to get going and integrated into the squad.

"I will have a short break now after the [Under-21] European Championships but I'm looking forward to starting training with the manager and my new team-mates on the pre-season tour."

United's pre-season schedule begins with two friendlies in Australia in July, against A-League club Perth Glory and traditional rivals Leeds United.

Juventus are set to sign "a phenomenon" if they complete a deal to bring Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt to Turin, according to former Bianconeri boss Marcello Lippi.

The Netherlands international has been strongly linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain but reports suggest the Italian champions are close to finalising a deal that will earn the 19-year-old €12million per year for the next five years.

Lippi, who guided Juventus to five Scudetti and the Champions League during two trophy-laden spells as head coach, said De Ligt's performances for Ajax over the last three years have put him on course to emulate legendary Italian defenders like Alessandro Nesta, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini if he opts to play in Serie A.

"From Nesta to Baresi, from Maldini to [Ciro] Ferrara, from [Fabio] Cannavaro to [Marco] Materazzi, I have seen so many exceptional defenders, but never one like this in relation to age," Lippi told Tuttosport.

"Yes, he can make the difference."

Lippi said he was close to a return to Serie A himself after Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked by Roma in March, but revealed he opted to remain in charge of the China national team.

The 71-year-old is in his second spell as China coach following his reappointment in May, and intends to end his coaching career with Team Dragon.

"I was close to Roma several times in my career, including recently," said Lippi.

"I was about to go there when Eusebio Di Francesco was fired.

"They called me and asked if I was available to be the coach of Roma, but I said no. I thanked them, saying that my time in club football is over.

"After China, I am going to retire."

Manchester United have completed the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for a reported £50million.

The 21-year-old has become United's second signing of the close-season, following former Swansea City winger Daniel James to Old Trafford, with the Red Devils confirming he has signed a five-year deal with the option of an additional 12 months.

England Under-21 international Wan-Bissaka, who is yet to appear for the Three Lions' senior team, came through Palace's youth academy and enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Selhurst Park last term.

He made 129 tackles in the Premier League in 2018-19, the most of any defender across Europe's top five divisions.

A new right-back was a priority for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Ashley Young advancing in years and captain Antonio Valencia departing after the club opted against triggering a contract extension.

Tottenham's Kieran Trippier, Norwich City youngster Max Aarons and the more experienced Thomas Meunier of Paris Saint-Germain were all mentioned as possible solutions.

However, United identified the talented Wan-Bissaka as their primary target and are believed to have eventually doubled their opening offer in order to force Palace's hand.

Wan-Bissaka is expected to slot straight in as first choice on the right side of defence as Solskjaer rebuilds a squad that limped to sixth last term.

The windfall could strengthen Palace's stance against the sale of former Red Devils winger Wilfried Zaha, who is reportedly keen to join London rivals Arsenal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka's move from Crystal Palace to Manchester United is complete following the announcement of the reported £50million switch and the Red Devils are getting a fine defender for their money.

The 21-year-old broke into the Palace first-team squad when United-owned defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah was on loan at Selhurst Park in 2017-18, with the two battling it out for a starting spot in the second half of the campaign.

With Fosu-Mensah returning to United and then heading out to Fulham, Wan-Bissaka had a free run at the right-back position the following campaign and swiftly made it his own, establishing himself as one of the most promising defenders in England.

Right-back was highlighted as a problem area throughout last season for United; converted winger Ashley Young looked short of the required ability, Antonio Valencia struggled for fitness and Diogo Dalot appeared far more effective further forward.

Wan-Bissaka looks set to solve a major issue for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Opta data shows he is getting a hot prospect who is already a formidable defender.

 

One of European football's best tacklers

Wan-Bissaka's tackling record in the Premier League last season was excellent, having completed 129.

No other defender in Europe's top five leagues managed more, with Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City (118) and Real Valladolid's Nacho (110) the closest to Wan-Bissaka.

Only midfielders Idrissa Gueye and Wilfred Ndidi (both 142) made a greater amount of tackles than the Palace right-back across the continent's best divisions.

The England Under-21 international averaged 3.7 tackles per Premier League match – the United full-back with the best such record was Matteo Darmian (2.8 from just six games).

 

Strong anticipation

Wan-Bissaka was also the most effective defender in the Premier League in terms of interceptions, making 84, three more than Cardiff City duo Sol Bamba and Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Dijon's Wesley Lautoa and Armando Izzo of Torino (both 87) led the way among all players across Europe, with Wan-Bissaka producing the fifth-best haul.

Nevertheless, the presence of relegated Cardiff defenders Bamba and Ecuele Manga highlights that such data can favour players of smaller clubs, given the time they spend on the back foot.

 

Creativity lacking

Despite Wan-Bissaka's obvious defensive strengths and potential, he is by no means the finished article.

An area he will be expected to improve quickly at Old Trafford is his impact in the final third, as he created just 14 chances from 35 Premier League outings last term.

By contrast, Young (39) and Luke Shaw (33) crafted far more openings from fewer matches, while Dalot laid on 17 opportunities despite making just 16 top-flight appearances.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka represents the latest big-money recruit for Manchester United.

The England Under-21 international has completed a switch to Old Trafford - for a reported fee of £50million - having starred in a breakthrough campaign for Crystal Palace in 2018-19.

However, United's recent high-profile acquisitions have failed to live up to the hype, with the club having a poor record in the transfer market since long-term manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Right-back Wan-Bissaka will be the sixth most expensive signing of the post-Ferguson era and here we look at how the five men who cost more have fared.

 

PAUL POGBA - £89.3m

That United had to pay a world-record fee to bring back Pogba is perhaps a sign of the club's muddled thinking in the transfer market in recent years, the Frenchman having left to join Juventus four years previously after failing to break through under Ferguson.

The jury is still out when it comes to Pogba's second stint at the club, though he was their top scorer in the Premier League last season and also earned selection in the PFA Team of the Year.

A World Cup winner in 2018, there have been flashes of the brilliance he has shown for France, but those have been fleeting and United fans have become frustrated with his inconsistency. His recent declaration that "it could be a good time for a new challenge" suggests he may soon depart.

ROMELU LUKAKU - £75m

Jose Mourinho's desire for a new attacking fulcrum led United to sign Everton striker Lukaku in 2017, despite interest from the Belgium forward's former club Chelsea.

Lukaku had reached double figures in each of his previous five Premier League campaigns and he hit the ground running at United, scoring seven goals in his first seven league appearances.

However, he was unable to maintain that momentum and his failure to frequently fire in the biggest games has led to many questioning whether he is good enough for United, who could be swayed to sell him if reported interest from Inter is firmed up.

 

ANGEL DI MARIA - £59.7m

After Louis van Gaal replaced David Moyes in 2014, United's board opened the cheque book, bringing Real Madrid's Di Maria to the Premier League for a then-British record £59.7m fee.

Despite a promising start, Di Maria was an unquestionable failure in England. The Argentinian lasted a single season before heading to Paris Saint-Germain having struggled to adapt to life in England.

The Ligue 1 giants paid £44.3m to sign Di Maria, meaning United made a significant loss.

ANTHONY MARTIAL - £54m

One British tabloid labelled Martial a "waste of money" before the French forward had even kicked a ball at United after it was revealed the fee paid to Monaco could rise to almost £60m depending on various add-ons.

A debut goal against Liverpool at Old Trafford 21 minutes after coming on endeared him to United fans and he scored four in his first four games in all competitions.

The magic moments have not been frequent, though, and after signing a new contract on January 31, he scored just twice more last term.

FRED - £53m

United's failure to sign a centre-back before the 2018-19 season disappointed Mourinho, and the club must have been unimpressed with how Fred, their major acquisition in that transfer window, fared in his debut campaign.

A midfielder reportedly courted by Manchester City, Brazil international Fred made just 13 Premier League starts for United and even failed to make the bench on occasions.

Like Alexis Sanchez, a free signing from Arsenal who has struggled mightily at Old Trafford, Fred has to be considered another flop at this stage of his Red Devils career.

Barcelona have started talks to sign Antoine Griezmann and landing the Atletico Madrid star looks set to be easier than bringing in Neymar.

Griezmann announced last month he would be leaving Atletico, with LaLiga champions Barcelona long expected to be his next destination.

Barca have reportedly taken steps to make it happen, while their bid to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain is shaping as more difficult.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, ATLETICO BEGIN GRIEZMANN TALKS

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have started negotiations regarding Griezmann, according to Sport and L'Equipe.

Sport report Barca will agree to pay €126million for Griezmann, slightly above the forward's release clause of €120m, which will come into effect next month, and the same amount Atletico are set to sign Joao Felix for from Benfica.

Like Atletico want to do with Joao Felix, Barcelona would pay the fee in instalments, opening up their potential move for Neymar.

While PSG initially set a €300m asking price for Neymar, Le Parisien report the Ligue 1 champions would accept €222m – the same amount they paid Barca to sign the Brazil star two years ago.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid are no longer as interested in signing Neymar, according to Goal, who report the LaLiga giants are considering several factors, including a possible move for another PSG star, Kylian Mbappe, in the future.

- Zinedine Zidane is well and truly rebuilding Madrid and they are reportedly next eyeing a midfielder. While they want Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen is also a target, with Danish newspaper Fyens reporting the Tottenham midfielder's family has been in Madrid looking for a house. Sport says Ajax's Donny van de Beek is plan D for Madrid, behind Pogba, Eriksen and Lyon's Tanguy Ndombele.

- Inter are still looking to strengthen and are eyeing Gareth Bale. Sport Mediaset report the Serie A giants met with the Real Madrid forward's agency to discuss a possible loan deal. Staying at San Siro, The Sun says Inter are set to sell Joao Mario and Dalbert to raise funds for a move for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who is apparently valued at £75m.

- AC Milan have set their price for goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. According to CalcioMercato, Milan want €50m up front for the shot-stopper, who is linked with PSG and Manchester United. PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola would not be involved in a move, according to L'Equipe and Eurosport.

- Manchester United want Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Sport says. The report claims the Premier League giants contacted Barca about the Croatia midfielder once more, having also initially been interested in defender Samuel Umtiti. United have finally completed the signing of Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to Sky Sports and the BBC.

- Juventus apparently want to extend Gonzalo Higuain's contract. Yes, you read that right. But, CalcioMercato report the Serie A champions are aiming to extend his deal – which runs until 2021 – by a year for Financial Fair Play reasons. However, Repubblica report Juve could sell the forward to Roma.

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has returned to Ecuador, joining LDU Quito.

The capital club announced the arrival of Valencia on Friday with the Ecuador international signing a two-year deal that includes the option for a third season.

Valencia won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a Europa League crown during his 10 years at Old Trafford after joining from Wigan Athletic in 2009.

But his contract was not renewed at the end of the 2018-19 season and Valencia has opted to return to his homeland for the latter years of his career.

Valencia, who started his career at Quito club El Nacional, made three appearances at the Copa America, including starting in a 4-0 loss to Uruguay, as Ecuador failed to qualify from the group stage.

His long-term replacement at United is likely to be Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the Crystal Palace defender reportedly on the brink of a deal worth £50million.

Mats Hummels has completed a move from Bayern Munich to Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund and will join the list of players to have returned to their former club after a spell away.

The 30-year-old joined Dortmund from Bayern in 2008 and made 309 appearances for the club, before returning to the Bavarian giants for a three-year stint at the Allianz Arena.

But Hummels will wear the famous yellow strip of Dortmund once again next season and he will be hoping for a positive reaction from BVB supporters.

That is not always the case, of course, with many failing to match their previous highs when returning to a former side.

Here we look at six examples of players going back home in recent seasons, with varying degrees of success.

Mario Gotze - Borussia Dortmund

Hummels is not the first player to swap Bayern for Dortmund in the last few years, with Gotze doing likewise in 2016. The player best remembered for his extra-time winner in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina struggled to assert himself in Bavaria and has not had quite the same impact in his second spell with BVB. But he has slowly forced his way back into the side after battling back from a rare metabolic illness, ending last season with seven goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga.

Diego Costa - Atletico Madrid

Costa's dream return to Atletico, where he spent four years before joining Chelsea in 2014 and moving back again three-and-a-half years later, has turned into a bit of a nightmare. The Brazilian-born Spain international, well known for being an explosive character, scored a respectable seven goals in his first half-season back, including the winning goal in Atleti's Europa League semi-final win against Arsenal. But he went on a long scoreless run in 2018-19 and did not feature in the final month of the season after being given an eight-match ban for insulting referee Gil Manzano.

Wayne Rooney - Everton

Rooney's talents were on the wane long before he re-signed for boyhood club Everton in July 2017. He ended his first campaign back at Goodison Park as the Toffees' top scorer, but he opted to join Major League Soccer side DC United just a year after returning to Goodison Park and has somewhat revived his career Stateside with 21 goals in 38 league outings to date.

Paul Pogba - Manchester United

United splashed out a world-record sum at the time to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford from Juventus, where he spent four years between spells with the Red Devils. Pogba won eight honours in Turin, including four Serie A titles, but he has had far less success since making the return move in 2016. Despite a positive goal return in a trophyless 2018-19, Pogba often came in for criticism and he admitted earlier this month he is considering a move away from United.

Carlos Tevez - Boca Juniors

This one falls into the 'romantic' category as Tevez was lured back to the Argentinian giants from Juventus in 2015, 11 years after leaving his boyhood club. The much-travelled striker enjoyed a trophy-laden spell in Europe with Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus, scoring 20 Serie A goals in his final season with the latter. Despite links with the likes of Liverpool, Atletico and Paris Saint-Germain, he stated his desire to sign for the club where he started his career and got his wish. It was not quite the dream return initially, with Tevez soon persuaded to head to the Far East for a 12-month spell with Shanghai Shenhua, but he is now back at Boca for a third stint.

Thierry Henry - Arsenal

Henry could not say no to a second crack in the Premier League with Arsenal in 2012, signing on a two-month loan deal some five years after bidding an emotional farewell to join Barcelona and then MLS side New York Red Bulls. The highlight of his second coming arguably came in his first game back when scoring the only goal of the game in an FA Cup third-round tie against Leeds United as a substitute, which he added to with a late decider against Sunderland - his final Premier League game for Arsenal and an appropriate way to bring down the curtain on an incredible career.

Real Madrid seem to have settled on their goalkeeping situation for next season, and it is good news for Manchester United.

For all the talk about Keylor Navas leaving the Santiago Bernabeu and David de Gea potentially joining, it appears the LaLiga giants are content with what they have.

That will be music to the ears of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with De Gea set to remain at Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – DE GEA SET TO STAY PUT AS MADRID MAKE DECISION

Navas, continually linked with a move away from Real Madrid, will stay at the club, according to AS.

The Spanish outlet report that Paris Saint-Germain and United are no longer looking for a goalkeeper, although the former have been linked with a move for AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Recent reports have said De Gea is set to re-sign with Manchester United and, with Madrid seemingly happy with Thibaut Courtois and Navas, that appears an increasing possibility.

ROUND-UP

- Talks between PSG and Barcelona appeared to start slowly, but Neymar seems pretty confident about a return to Camp Nou. Sport report the Brazil international's mother and sister are in Barcelona working out logistics, and a place to live, for the star forward.

- Inter seemingly want Romelu Lukaku, but they will have to work out a different deal for the Manchester United striker. The Telegraph report United are "likely" to reject the Serie A outfit's proposal to first loan and then buy the Belgium international.

- Mesut Ozil is going nowhere fast. The Mirror claim Arsenal want to see the playmaker depart, but no bids have come in for Ozil, whose reported salary of £350,000 per week is putting off potential suitors.

- Joao Felix's move to Atletico Madrid from Benfica is close to completion and the teenage attacker is set for a blockbuster contract. Goal report he will sign a five-year deal worth €3.5m per season.

- Tottenham appeared to be closing in on Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, but a potential move may yet take some time. The Sun report the Ligue 1 side have demanded £72m for the France international, almost double Spurs' opening bid of £40m.

- Hakim Ziyech could be the next to move on after helping Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals. De Telegraaf report Ziyech has an agreement with the Eredivisie champions to leave for €30m, and they say Sevilla are best placed to sign the playmaker.

Liverpool enjoyed a superb season in 2018-19, pushing Manchester City all the way in the Premier League before triumphing in the Champions League.

As a result, the values of their squad members soared, and four of the Reds' team are included in this most valuable XI, put together by Football Benchmark.

Lionel Messi was in top form for Barcelona throughout the campaign, while Paris Saint-Germain duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar complete a fearsome front three, though that means there is no place for Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo.

But, who else features in the team? Read on to find out.

GOALKEEPER

Alisson – Liverpool (€96m)

Eyebrows may have been raised when Liverpool paid Roma a reported £56million – at the time a record fee for a goalkeeper – to secure Alisson's services, but the Brazil shot-stopper cast any doubts over the move aside with a marvellous first season on Merseyside.

Alisson appeared in every Premier League game, conceding a league-low 22 goals as the Reds finished a close second behind Manchester City, while also playing a starring role in their Champions League triumph.

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool (€81m)

The second Liverpool player to feature is right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who enjoyed another stellar campaign.

While solid defensively, Alexander-Arnold really came into his own going forward, amassing 16 assists across 40 appearances in all competitions, taking his value up to €81m.

Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool (€98m)

Undoubtedly one of the performers of the season, PFA Players' Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk was in extraordinary form for Liverpool last campaign, with the Reds paying a reported £75million for his signing in January 2018.

Van Dijk was a towering presence in Liverpool's defence, and also scored six goals as his value soared by an additional €30m. The former Celtic and Southampton star also led Netherlands to the Nations League final, where they lost out to Portugal.

Raphael Varane – Real Madrid (€86m)

Fresh from helping France to a World Cup triumph, Raphael Varane did not manage to replicate his international form for Real Madrid, who endured a hugely difficult season by their standards.

Varane still put in some accomplished displays at the heart of their defence, and despite Madrid's struggles, he is still the second-highest valued centre-back in world football.

Andy Robertson – Liverpool (€66m)

A fourth and final Liverpool player in this side is Andy Robertson, who like his opposite full-back Alexander-Arnold was in magnificent form for Jurgen Klopp's side all season.

Attacking has always been a strength of Robertson's, and though he is dogged defensively, it was no surprise to see him have such an impact higher up the field, with the Scotland left-back providing 13 assists from his 48 appearances across all competitions.

MIDFIELDERS

Paul Pogba – Manchester United (€127m)

Paul Pogba may well have come under criticism for his performances at Manchester United, while doubt remains over his future at Old Trafford, but that has not stopped his value staying way up above €100m.

The France star scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists in all competitions for his club last season, with Juventus and Real Madrid reportedly battling it out to sign the 26-year-old.

N'Golo Kante – Chelsea (€90m)

Maurizio Sarri decided to use N'Golo Kante in a more advanced role during his time at Chelsea last season, and it is safe to say that switch was not always a success – it is easy to feel that one of the best, if not the best, defensive midfielders in the world had been wasted playing further forward.

Nevertheless, Kante is valued as the third most expensive midfielder, and kept up his run of winning a title in every campaign during his time in England as he helped Chelsea to a Europa League triumph.

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City (€120m)

Manchester City's midfield maestro had a season derailed by injuries in 2018-19, yet still featured enough to play a key role in each of Pep Guardiola's side's domestic triumphs.

De Bruyne scored six goals and added 10 assists from 32 appearances in all competitions, and turned in a scintillating performance in City's thrashing of Watford in the FA Cup final.

FORWARDS

Lionel Messi – Barcelona (€190m)

Messi seems to just keep getting better. Barca's mercurial forward – who turned 32 on Monday – scored a remarkable 51 times for Barcelona last term, surpassing the landmark of 600 club goals, a milestone he reached with a sensational free-kick against Liverpool at Camp Nou.

However, Messi cannot carry an entire team all of the time, and though Barca did retain their LaLiga title, they crashed out of the Champions League at Anfield, before then losing to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final – a match in which Messi scored.

Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain (€225m)

The most valuable player in this side, Mbappe's rise continues at pace. After playing a pivotal role in France's World Cup glory, Mbappe scored 39 goals in total for Paris Saint-Germain in 2018-19, and recently netted his 100th career goal in France's win over Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying.

At 20, Mbappe's value is way above €200m, and is surely only going to keep rising if the forward continues his sensational form.

Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain (€195m)

Rumours persist over Neymar's future at Paris Saint-Germain, with the Brazil star – who has suffered a batch of injuries at crucial points in both of his seasons in France – having failed to live up to expectations since his £200m switch in 2017.

But while PSG have not been led to Champions League glory by Neymar, his value is the second highest in this side, behind his club team-mate Mbappe.

Adrien Rabiot has not been offered a new contract by Paris Saint-Germain, according to the France international's mother and agent.

Rabiot's contract with PSG ends on June 30, with the midfielder to become a free agent after spending seven seasons in the Ligue 1 club's first team.

The 24-year-old has not played since December amid a dispute with PSG following his refusal to sign a new deal.

Serie A club Juventus are rumoured to be leading the chase to sign Rabiot, but reports on Wednesday suggested PSG's new sporting director Leonardo had been in touch with a renewed offer which was subsequently refused.

But Rabiot's mother Veronique - who also acts as his agent - has refuted the claims, insisting her son will be leaving Paris.

"I want to issue a formal denial," she told broadcaster RTL.

"I've read that Adrien didn't show up for a meeting with Leonardo or that he refused an extension.

"It's absolutely false, there was no conversation between Leonardo and I. I've spoken to him on the phone once since he came back and we said goodbye politely.

"There was no offer before, there isn't one now and there won't be one. There hasn't been even a slight change."

Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed the club's interest in Rabiot during a news conference to present Maurizio Sarri on June 20.

Rabiot's mother, however, did not offer up any further detail on a potential move to Italy, with her son having also been linked to Manchester United.

"You know, in football we're very superstitious," she added. "It's better to say as little as possible while nothing is done."

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