Mario Gotze has held discussions with Borussia Dortmund about extending his contract but revealed he is open to a move abroad.

Attacking midfielder Gotze has one year left on his deal at Signal Iduna Park and has reportedly attracted the interest of Arsenal.

The World Cup winner is considering the potential of joining a club outside Germany despite being in talks over a renewal at Dortmund.

"I am now going into my 10th Bundesliga season, so it's logical foreign countries sometimes play a role in your thoughts," Gotze told Bild.

"As a footballer, you have the privilege of being able to work in almost every country in the world.

"There have already been one or two conversations with BVB. I have one more year on my contract and I am totally relaxed in every aspect."

Dortmund are believed to have spent more than €100million to sign Mats Hummels, Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt ahead of the 2019-20 season.

However, Gotze warned such expenditure alone will not be enough to overthrow Bayern Munich, who won a seventh straight Bundesliga title last term.

"In the end, what it looks like after the 34th matchday is all that counts. And many new additions do not necessarily mean success," said Gotze.

"If you have ambitions and big goals, you have to buy quality to get better. Money alone, however, is no guarantee of a title."

On his reunion with Hummels, he added: "Mats and I have been through a lot of great things together, things we'll never forget; we've won a World Cup together, celebrated Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles.

"But today things are a little different than they were back then. We have a different coach and the team is completely different."

Bayern's only major moves in the transfer market have been to bring in Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, but Gotze does not think that means they can be discounted as title favourites.

"They are still Bayern Munich. It should not be forgotten that even without a load of new signings, they have a top squad with whom they won two titles last season," he said.

Jasper Cillessen had grown tired of sitting on the bench at Barcelona and does not view his move to Valencia as a backward step.

Valencia shelled out €35million in June to sign Cillessen, who spent three seasons at Barca acting as back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The 30-year-old Netherlands international made just 12 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants last season and believes the transfer is a positive move for him at this stage of his career.

"I have not had problems with Barcelona or with any team. For me, the most important thing is to play. It's the only reason I'm here," Cillessen told Marca.

"For me to come to Valencia is not a step back. Between being on the bench of Barcelona or playing at Valencia, playing at Valencia is much better. It is easy. It is not a step back.

"When I arrived at Barcelona, Ter Stegen was on a different level than now. And after three years he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"I think we both improved, but it was time for me to leave."

Valencia are reportedly interested in Barca midfielder Rafinha and Cillessen hopes the Brazilian, who has been out of action since November due to a serious left knee injury, follows him in heading to Mestalla.

The Dutchman said of Rafinha: "He is a very good player, he has had very bad luck with injuries. But he is a great player, it would be very important here with this system and for the coach.

"He is my friend and I want him to come here."

Paul Pogba is a positive influence on his Manchester United team-mates and should remain at the club, says Juan Mata.

World Cup winner Pogba announced his desire for a "new challenge somewhere else" in June and has been heavily linked with a transfer to former club Juventus and Real Madrid.

The Frenchman has struggled to live up to expectations since arriving at Old Trafford from Juve in August 2016 for £89million, then a world-record fee.

Pogba was still included in United's squad for their pre-season tour to Australia and Asia, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopeful of retaining his services.

Mata also wants Pogba to stay put and help unify the team.

"We all know Paul and he is a fantastic midfielder, and a very good guy, very positive, and a good influence for everyone," said Mata.

"I think he is happy and brings everyone together, but I cannot speak for other people - I speak for myself.

"As a team-mate and a friend I would like him to stay and be happy because he is a very good player for us."

David de Gea looks set to continue his career at United, as he is reportedly ready to sign a six-year contract extension.

"David is the best goalkeeper in the world and one of my best friends so I want him to stay," said Mata.

"On a professional level, it would be great if he stays because he will give us many points over the next season, so I'm very happy if he stays."

Neymar and Gareth Bale have been locked in something of a transfer impasse in recent weeks - but it appears there could be a solution.

According to the Independent, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar's representatives are trying to push through a deal that would see the Brazil star move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with Bale and money moving the other way.

Manchester United are not thought to be interested in either player, but their pursuit of Harry Maguire may, at last, be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY - NEYMAR AND BALE PROPOSED IN SWAP DEAL

Neymar is said to be "desperate" to leave Paris Saint-Germain and ideally return to Spain, but his options have so far seemed limited, with Barcelona and Real Madrid either unable or unwilling to stump up for the transfer.

Meanwhile, Gareth Bale has been told by head coach Zinedine Zidane that it would be best for him to leave, but suitors appear hard to come by for the Wales international.

The Independent claims this has prompted some of Neymar's camp to explore the prospect of the forward joining Madrid in a deal involving money and Bale heading to PSG.

The idea is that it would solve some of the concerns around transfer fees that have stalled moves for each player and allow the two teams to sign ready-made stars to replace the ones they are losing.

ROUND-UP:

Manchester United's chase for a centre-back could nearly be over, with the Independent claiming a deal to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City is "imminent".

Manchester City could yet intervene but, according to the Sun, they would have to sell Nicolas Otamendi or Eliaquim Mangala to afford England international Maguire.

- If Bale does not become part of a Neymar swap deal, he could end up in China – the Mirror claim he has been offered a contract worth £1million per week to join Beijing Guoan.

- Having agreed personal terms, Andre Silva is close to moving to Monaco, which would free up AC Milan to sign Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa, both Sky Sport Italia and Sport Mediaset claim.

Napoli have been chasing James Rodriguez but might now go instead for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, according to RMC Sport and L'Equipe.

- Another Madrid player tipped for an exit, Dani Ceballos, has been told to choose between Arsenal and Tottenham for his season-long loan, AS say.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus could sell either Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani following Matthijs de Ligt's arrival. Demiral, who only just arrived from Sassuolo, has been linked to AC Milan. Roma are reportedly interested in Rugani.

Filipe Luis said he hopes Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar returns to LaLiga champions Barcelona for the good of Brazilian football.

Neymar wants to leave Ligue 1 holders PSG, with a move back to former club Barca on the cards two years on from his world-record €222million exit.

Real Madrid are another possible destination for Neymar, whose future is dominating headlines during the off-season.

While Filipe Luis would like to see his Brazil team-mate return to Camp Nou, the former Atletico Madrid full-back acknowledged it will not be easy.

"I want him to finish in Barcelona," Filipe Luis told Cope's Tiempo de Juego program.

"At Barca, Neymar is happy. I want him to enjoy and play next to [Lionel] Messi.

"I hope, for the good of Brazilian football, that Neymar returns to Barca, but I think it will not be easy."

Filipe Luis was speaking having confirmed his departure from Atletico following eight seasons with the LaLiga side.

The 33-year-old – who started his career at Figueirense – is reportedly set to return to Brazil via Flamengo on a free transfer.

It has been a busy off-season for Atletico, who have lost Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri and Diego Godin but signed Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Marcos Llorente, Kieran Trippier, Felipe and Renan Lodi.

Atletico have also been linked with Real Madrid and Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez, who is wanted by Serie A side Napoli.

Filipe Luis added: "Having a player like James at Atletico would be very interesting, it would not be bad. Whoever comes will help but signing James would be spectacular."

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri expects the Serie A champions to make more signings before the transfer window closes.

It has been a busy off-season for Juve, who have signed Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Luca Pellegrini, Merih Demiral and Gianluigi Buffon.

Juve have also been linked with former midfielder and Manchester United star Paul Pogba, as well as Inter outcast Mauro Icardi.

There is also uncertainty over the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi and Mario Mandzukic, and Sarri provided a transfer update following Sunday's International Champions Cup loss to Tottenham.

"I don't want to occupy myself too much on the market because I think that's the right thing to do and because I keep much less of an eye on it than those who are in charge," said Sarri, whose team lost 3-2 to Spurs.

"Maybe there are leagues and players I don't know about. Therefore, it's better to leave it to those who are in charge.

"We have lots of players in certain positions and less in others, but we're talking about a situation where I have seven players in Turin carrying injuries and five who have yet to return from international commitments.

"I think the club, between now and the end of the transfer window, will do something in terms of incomings, but we'll also have to do something in terms of outgoings.

"We have so many players right now that we'll have to keep two or three out of our Champions League squad. We certainly have to do something."

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target at the National Stadium in Singapore, where the five-time Ballon d'Or winner put Juve ahead four minutes after Higuain cancelled out Erik Lamela's opener.

Tottenham, however, stormed back thanks to Lucas Moura and Harry Kane's stunning long-range effort in the 93rd minute.

Discussing Ronaldo, Sarri said: "Cristiano's the best player in this team. Therefore, we must set up the other 10 well defensively. He can play anywhere on the field. He's the best and it's important for him to be free on the pitch."

James Milner's future at Liverpool is uncertain as the veteran revealed he was still waiting to hear about possible contract talks.

Milner is out of contract at the end of the season and could be set for an exit from Anfield, where he arrived on a free transfer in 2015.

The versatile 33-year-old, who helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season, said he had not heard back from the club regarding a possible new deal.

"As it stands, last year we spoke to the club and asked them if they wanted to do something and they said not at that time," Milner told UK media.

"We haven't heard anything since, so that's where we are at.

"All I can do is concentrate on my football and do what I can, but in terms of where I am with my contract, that's what has happened up until now and I haven't heard anything from the club."

Milner has made at least 40 appearances in all competitions in each of his four seasons at Liverpool, including playing 45 times in 2018-19.

The former England international, who has regularly been praised by manager Jurgen Klopp, hopes he can continue performing.

"Everyone pipes on about my age and stuff [and] I understand you are going to get that," Milner said.

"There are three things to it – availability, fitness and performance level. Hopefully I am delivering all three."

Carlo Ancelotti said Napoli are still negotiating a deal to prise James Rodriguez from Real Madrid as Atletico Madrid reportedly circle.

James has been linked with Napoli throughout the transfer window, but a deal reuniting the Colombia star and head coach Ancelotti is yet to materialise.

Atletico have emerged as a possible destination for James amid a deadlock in talks between Napoli and LaLiga giants Madrid.

Asked about Napoli's pursuit of James, Ancelotti told TV Luna: "I'm not aware of a deal with Atletico.

"We're still talking for James, a player that I really like. I'm very attached to James, I rate him very highly and he can certainly improve our team.

"He doesn't need to re-announce himself, he's a great player. But he's not the only player we're openly negotiating for. We're assessing many players."

While negotiations for James drag on, Napoli are close to signing Fenerbahce and Macedonia midfielder Eljif Elmas.

With Amadou Diawara now at Roma and Marko Rog poised for Cagliari, Napoli have turned to the 19-year-old Elmas as Ancelotti's men look to dethrone Serie A champions Juventus in 2019-20.

"We're very close and I hope a deal closes quickly. He's a very interesting player and we're defining the final details," Ancelotti added. "I hope he arrives before we leave Dimaro.

"We were looking for a player skilled at playing between the lines, and Elmas has a lot of quality.

"The squad is already very complete. We have to take a little step at a time. We're very close to the top.

"We'll be happy as of August 31. Napoli are working and nothing is impossible, but then there are the wants of the players or problems with the clubs or agents."

Lucas Moura expects Leonardo to do right by Paris Saint-Germain amid the uncertainty surrounding the future of Neymar. 

Brazil star Neymar is keen to leave Parc des Princes, with a return to Spain via Barcelona or Real Madrid considered his most likely escape route. 

Despite the forward's apparent eagerness for a transfer, sporting director Leonardo says they have yet to receive a concrete offer for a player who only joined two years ago for a world-record fee of €222million. 

Tottenham forward Lucas left Brazil for PSG in 2013 after Leonardo helped to broker a deal with Sao Paulo for the much-coveted winger. 

The 26-year-old has never forgotten Leonardo's impact on his career and believes his return to PSG will be a huge boost to the club, although he does not know what the future will hold for Brazil team-mate Neymar. 

"It's amazing," he said of Leonardo returning. "He is a friend who helped me a lot. He is an incredible person; he is very smart. I am sure he will do good things for the club." 

On Neymar, he added: "I don't know, it's difficult. He is a great player. I'm sure PSG want to keep Neymar. But I don't know what will happen. We will see in the next days." 

Lucas was speaking after Tottenham beat Juventus 3-2 in an International Champions Cup meeting in Singapore, in which he scored his side's second goal and set up Harry Kane to net an incredible winner from near the halfway line. 

"It was a very difficult game, with the heat," he said. "But I am very happy. We played very well, we worked very well. It's important to start like that, with a success against a great team. We have to keep going. I'm very happy." 

Lucas reserved praise for Tanguy Ndombele, who marked his first appearance for the club with an assist for the Brazilian's goal. 

"He is a great player," Lucas added. "He will help us a lot. I am happy for him. He is a young player with a great [football] culture. It's a good thing to have him with us in Tottenham." 

Matthijs de Ligt was left bemused by transfer stories circulating about him before his move to Juventus, particularly one concerning Manchester United and fears about his weight.

The Netherlands international completed a move to Juventus on Thursday in a deal that could cost the Serie A champions €85.5million.

De Ligt, 19, had been one of the most in-demand young players in the world following his exceptional performances as captain of Ajax, who won the Eredivisie and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He was linked with a possible move to United until a story emerged in the Daily Mirror suggesting a scout had warned the Red Devils off making a bid as De Ligt would be susceptible to gaining weight as he got older, like his father.

De Ligt says such claims left him truly baffled, even amid the persistent speculation over where he would be playing football next season.

"Every day, there was something new," he told Voetbal International. "Suddenly, even my father was too fat and that's why one of the clubs wouldn't want me. That makes you go, 'Come on, man...'"

There was another rumour De Ligt turned down Paris Saint-Germain because he wanted a higher wage than Kylian Mbappe, something he previously told Algemeen Dagblad was "insane".

"Money played no role at all in my choice for a new club," he said. "Everyone who knows me, knows that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I will respect that, but some people were saying things like that [PSG story] very easily."

De Ligt is the latest high-profile player to secure a big-money transfer through the hugely successful agent Mino Raiola, who counts Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti among his clients.

"He has a lot of experience," De Ligt said of Raiola. "I think there may be a certain negative image of him in Holland, but I certainly don't experience it that way.

"I think if you ask all of his players if Mino does a good job for them, everyone would say yes. That's the most important thing. It's not about what other people say about him, it's about what he can do for me."

Anthony Knockaert has completed a loan move to Fulham from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 27-year-old has agreed a 12-month deal, with the move expected to be made permanent for an agreed undisclosed fee at the end of 2019-20.

Brighton boss Graham Potter suggested the winger would not have been part of his plans had he stayed at the Amex.

"The move is a good one for the club and Anthony. The wide positions are areas in which we have a lot of competition within the squad," he said via Brighton's website.

"I've only worked with Anthony for a short period of time, but that's been a pleasure and he's been very professional and hardworking throughout pre-season. On behalf of the club, I would like to wish him well with Fulham."

Knockaert joined from Standard Liege in January 2016 and was named the Championship Player of the Year as Brighton won promotion the following year.

He scored two goals in 30 Premier League appearances last term as Brighton narrowly avoided relegation.

"It feels amazing to be here. I feel really welcome already. It just feels great to get this done and for me to be a Fulham player," he said.

"The goal is to get back to the Premier League where Fulham belongs. I have come here with the clear intention to get promoted and I want to help in any way that I can."

Mauricio Pochettino does not know if Tottenham have made a bid to sign their former player Gareth Bale from Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane revealed on Sunday that Madrid are working on selling the Wales international after omitting him from the squad that lost to Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup (ICC) on Saturday.

Zidane seemed to indicate the club were in negotiations with a particular club, saying: "We are working on his transfer to a new team."

Newspaper reports on Sunday have suggested that Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a swap deal involving Neymar, while Pochettino – speaking after his side's 3-2 ICC win over Juventus – refused to rule out if his chairman Daniel Levy has tabled an offer for the 30-year-old.

"I saw the reports in the media but I don't know which club is trying to sign him," he told reporters.

"I don't have any information from my chairman; I don't know if it's us or another club. It's the job of my chairman."

Harry Kane struck a sensational stoppage-time winner from the halfway line as Pochettino's side opened up their pre-season campaign with a win over Juve in Singapore.

Alex Iwobi has described as "fake news" suggestions he could quit Arsenal as a direct consequence of the club signing Wilfried Zaha.

Nigeria winger Iwobi was quoted by The Sun as saying Zaha's hypothetical arrival from Crystal Palace "would add more stress" in his battle for first-team minutes at Emirates Stadium.

Iwobi added: "I am up for the fight but the only time I would consider leaving is if I am not playing as much as I would like to."

Another British newspaper interpreted the comment as a warning to Arsenal, a claim the 23-year-old dismissed in a post to social media.

"Fake news and click bait! I don't know why some newspapers enjoy twisting words," Iwobi wrote on Twitter.

"I hope we sign world-class players and Arsenal progress as a team. I'm looking forward to the new season. Happy Sunday."

Arsenal reportedly submitted an unsuccessful £40million bid for Zaha earlier this month.

The Eagles star and attacker Iwobi would likely compete for similar positions as Unai Emery seeks to boost his options, but Zaha is said to be valued at £80m by Palace.

Gareth Bale's days at Real Madrid appear to be numbered after head coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed the club are working on a transfer for the forward.

Zidane was billed a "disgrace" by Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett, who has previously confirmed the coach and player have a fraught relationship, with the Frenchman seemingly not valuing Bale's ability despite his contribution to three consecutive Champions League titles.

It was Bale's double that sealed Madrid's last European crown a year ago, a stunning overhead kick contributing to a 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in Kiev that proved Zidane's last match in charge - soon after he announced his shock resignation.

But Zidane is back and seemingly set on selling Bale, so what are the options available to the Wales international now the Madrid coach has clearly signalled he has no place for him?

 

TOTTENHAM

The romantic option, a return to Tottenham would enable Bale to play first-team football and slot back into a club where he became a global superstar. Finances would surely scupper a permanent move although Spurs have smashed their club record to buy Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and are reportedly considering doing so again to sign Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis. An initial loan has been mooted but Madrid would still likely have to cover a large portion of Bale's massive wages - how desperate are they to move him on? Bale would certainly improve Mauricio Pochettino's forward options and a front three of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Bale looks incredibly strong on paper.


MANCHESTER UNITED

Bale has long been linked with United, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League does not make them an attractive option for top-level players right now although they remain among the world's biggest clubs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also indicated he is willing to put his faith in young players such as the talented teenager Mason Greenwood, who has impressed in pre-season to force his way into first-team contention at Old Trafford despite being just 17. Bale would be an upgrade on United's wing options but they seem to be going in a different direction with the arrivals of Dan James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka signalling a long-needed change in transfer policy. Madrid's reported interest in Paul Pogba could see Bale offered to United as part of a potential deal, though.


PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

If PSG lose Neymar - the club confirmed recently he wants to leave - they will have room for another elite talent and Bale might just fit the bill. Whether moving to what is essentially a one-team league due to PSG's financial firepower is attractive to the Welshman is unclear, but teaming up with a thrilling talent like Kylian Mbappe could be persuasive. PSG are also one of a very small number of teams who could pay Bale the wages he has become accustomed to earning in Madrid and he has plenty of experience of winning the Champions League, which remains PSG's goal.


CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE

According to the bookmakers, Bale's most likely next destination is the Chinese Super League. Finances are again the key here, although CSL clubs have shown a reduced willingness over the last 12 months to pursue the most expensive players on the market due to a change in the league's regulations, which means they must pay considerable taxes on top of large transfer fees. Bale has been unable - or perhaps unwilling - to learn Spanish while in Madrid so it would be interesting to see how he would fare with the culture clash in China.


STAY AT REAL MADRID

Reports in Spain previously claimed Bale is happy to see out his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, which still has three years to run. It would be a tempting option given no other clubs are likely to match his pay packet, while the lack of stability in the dugout could play in his favour. Zidane was Madrid's third permanent head coach last term and failed to inspire any significant improvement in the latter weeks of the 2018-19 campaign. Although the Frenchman has considerable credit from his trio of consecutive Champions League titles, it is not impossible to see Madrid starting the season poorly and president Florentino Perez opting for yet another change of head coach. Another man in charge could see Bale as an asset so the 30-year-old may choose to stay put for now.

Filipe Luis has confirmed his departure from Atletico Madrid after eight seasons with the LaLiga club.

The Brazil international delayed a decision on his club future until after the Copa America and both parties have now agreed not to extend his contract, which expired at the end of June.

Atleti have overhauled their squad since the end of last season and though he had been open to the prospect of another campaign under Diego Simeone, Filipe Luis agreed the time has come for a change.

"We had a conversation and decided this is best for the club and for me," Filipe Luis said at his farewell announcement on Sunday.

"The relationship is great, the doors are open. We waited for the right moment to announce it. We both have a clear conscience.

"I made myself available for whatever was needed. We decided that it was best to go our separate paths."

The left-back praised his successor and compatriot, Renan Lodi, as the best Brazil had to offer in his position.

After more than a decade in Europe, which included a season at Chelsea in between his two stints with Atleti, Filipe Luis now appears set to return to his homeland.

Flamengo are reportedly in pole position to secure the 33-year-old's signature.

"I have not signed any contract," he said. "I will make the decision in the next few days.

"I have been a Flamenguista since I was young. Leaving Atletico is not an easy decision to make, but I want to end my career in Brazil

"Some things are missing. We are conversing. You always have to listen to Flamengo."

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