Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale is close to leaving Real Madrid after he was left out of Saturday's International Champions Cup clash against Bayern Munich.

Bale has been deemed surplus to requirements by head coach Zidane and the Welsh star was absent as Madrid lost 3-1 to Bayern in Houston.

The 30-year-old, who has three seasons remaining on his contract, has been linked to former club Tottenham, Manchester United and Bayern.

And Bale's future is close to being resolved, with Zidane determined to sell the Wales international sooner rather than later.

Asked why Bale was left out of the squad on Saturday, Zidane told reporters: "Bale did not play because he is very close to leaving.

"We hope he leaves soon, it would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team."

"I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done, I have to make decisions, we have to change," he added.

"The exit is the coach's decision, and also of the player, who knows the situation.

"The situation will change, I do not know if in 24 or 48 hours, but it will, and it's a good thing for everyone."

Lazio will not stop Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from moving on to fulfil his ambitions at one of Europe's biggest clubs but the Serie A side have not received a concrete offer, according to president Claudio Lotito.

Milinkovic-Savic, 24, has been linked to Premier League giants Manchester United and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Lazio are reportedly refusing to consider bids under €80million for star midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, who was the subject of strong interest prior to the 2018-19 season.

Amid ongoing speculation over Serbia international Milinkovic-Savic, Lotito told Sky Sport Italia: "The important thing is that we have today built a club that is no longer just a stepping stone to bigger things, but many players dream of coming here.

"Last year, I fought hard to ensure Milinkovic-Savic didn't leave. This season, I certainly have fewer weapons to call upon if the situation should arise again.

"That doesn't mean the club is working actively to sell him. Certainly, Milinkovic-Savic on a personal level has other ambitions and that seems fair, so we won't clip his wings.

"We understand it's important for a player to step up to one of the biggest clubs in the world. However, a player only has a price-tag when he is for sale and the transfer market is dictated by action, not words.

"When a concrete proposal arrives, we'll examine it and see what the conditions are, whether they satisfy the club and the decisions we'll then make."

Milinkovic-Savic scored seven goals in all competitions last season as Lazio won the Coppa Italia and finished eighth in Serie A.

 

Antoine Griezmann said he cried tears of joy after his transfer to LaLiga champions Barcelona was finalised.

Griezmann left Atletico Madrid for Barca after the Spanish giants triggered the French World Cup winner's €120million release clause.

The transfer ended months of speculation following Griezmann's announcement that he was departing Atletico after five years.

Reflecting on his move to Barca, Griezmann told Marca: "I called my father and I started to cry with happiness because I was there, everything was done.

"I was with my friends, my wife and my children and it was an incredible moment."

"I just wanted to end my holiday and start this new challenge," he said. "The dressing room have welcomed me very well: players, coaching staff and doctors.

"For the moment, I'm enjoying it and let's hope I can get enough confidence to speak, be myself and enjoy."

Griezmann will link up with Barca superstar and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.

Messi led the way for Barca in 2018-19, scoring 51 goals in all competitions as Ernesto Valverde's side retained their LaLiga crown ahead of Griezmann's Atletico.

"It will be amazing [to play alongside him]," Griezmann added. "I'm excited to see what he's like day to day, what he's like in training, [I want to] catch him doing things in training that I will try to repeat or do in my own way and get to know him on and off the pitch.

"I can't wait for him to arrive. I will be ready to do whatever it takes: for him, for the club and for the players."

Paris Saint-Germain have not received a "concrete offer" for Neymar, the club's sporting director Leonardo said.

The Brazilian forward has been heavily linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 champions during the close season, with his former club Barcelona looking the most likely destination.

Neymar has yet to feature for PSG so far during pre-season and was again absent as Thomas Tuchel's side laboured to a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg on Saturday.

Leonardo has previously said the 27-year-old can leave for the right price, but he told reporters after the game in Germany that no offers have been tabled for him.

"Honestly, there is nothing different from the last time we talked," he said, according to Le Parisien. "Nothing at all.

"It has not moved. There is no concrete offer for Neymar, he is with us. He is a player for Paris Saint-Germain.

"I repeat, there is no concrete offer. It's been the same situation for 10 days."

Tuchel refused to be drawn on where Neymar's future lies, two years after becoming a world-record buy, insisting he remains part of the French club's squad.

"The situation between Neymar and me is clear; it's now something between him and the club," the PSG boss said.

"He is part of the dressing room and will train with us tomorrow."

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has denied talks were opened with Antoine Griezmann in March, as has been claimed by Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann completed his long-awaited switch to Camp Nou last week and is expected to make his Barca debut on their pre-season tour of Japan.

Barca paid €120m for Griezmann but Atletico argue the fee they received should have been €200m as they claim the Catalan club were in talks with the striker before his release clause fell on July 1.

Griezmann announced his intention to leave Atletico in a social media video posted before the end of the LaLiga season, but the Rojiblancos say his move to Barca had been agreed some weeks earlier.

Reports in Spain have claimed the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has opened proceedings against Barcelona over the club's move for Griezmann but, in an interview with Le Parisien, Abidal said the move for the France forward was above board.

He said: "The president [Josep Maria] Bartomeu got in touch with Atletico Madrid to discuss the terms of a transfer for Griezmann and to inform them, if negotiations weren't possible, that Barca would pay his €120m buyout clause. It was €200m in March and €120m in July..

"Atletico are defending their interests and we are defending Barca's. We never had a prior agreement with the player. We got in contact with his lawyer after Griezmann announced he wanted to leave the club.

"We can always talk about interest. We can like a player because our sporting department says they'd fit the profile of what we are looking for. But this interest only became concrete when the player expressed his wish to join Barca.

"He was a very important player for Atletico Madrid. He can make a difference in the big matches and is capable of playing in various positions. He's still a great goalscorer and Barca need players like him."

Despite adding Griezmann to a forward line already containing Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Malcom and Philippe Coutinho, Barca have been linked with making a sensational move for Neymar.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the Brazil forward wants to leave the French capital with a return to Camp Nou two years after his world-record move said to be Neymar's preferred option.

Barca are reported to have offered PSG a choice of six players - including Coutinho, Dembele and Malcom - as makeweights but Abidal suggested the club's work in the transfer market could be complete.

"We needed six attacking players and, with Griezmann, we have those six," he added. "After that, it's the coach [Ernesto Valverde] who makes the decisions."

Messi is reportedly pushing for Neymar's return with the Barca captain said to be underwhelmed by Griezmann's arrival.

"That isn't Messi's role," Abidal added. "If he gives his opinion on someone who players for another team, it's disrespectful to his current team-mates. I believe that's why Leo didn't want to talk about Antoine."

New Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has welcomed speculation that Neymar could make a dramatic return to the LaLiga champions.

De Jong, 22, was signed by Barca from Ajax in January for a reported €75million, but only made the move at the end of the season.

Neymar has reportedly told Paris Saint-Germain that he wants to leave the club during the close season, two years after his world-record €222million transfer from Barca.

The Catalan club appear to be keen on bringing the Brazilian superstar back to Camp Nou and De Jong says he would relish the opportunity to play alongside him.

"Of course I would like to play with Neymar," he told Sport. "I think he's a really good player but it isn't up to me to decide if he comes to Barcelona or not."

De Jong will be tasked with supplying a mouth-watering attack in the 2019-20 season, led by Lionel Messi, and the Netherlands international is looking forward to teaming up with a player he considers to be the very best.

"I think he's the best player in the world," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing with all the guys, not only with Messi."

Barca were linked with a move for De Jong's former Ajax team-mate, Matthijs de Ligt, but the 19-year-old opted to join Serie A champions Juventus.

De Jong says he would have loved De Ligt to have joined him at Barca but believes he has made a positive move.

Asked if he was disappointed by De Ligt's decision, De Jong said: "No, I'm not disappointed. Not at all. Of course, I'd be happier if he had decided to join Barcelona, but it's his decision and he made it with his family, his agent and girlfriend.

"I'm happy for him. He's made a great move. I would rather see him at Barcelona but Juventus is a good move for him."

Antonio Conte says it is his "will and hope" that Inter sign Romelu Lukaku but concedes a potential transfer is out of his hands.

Lukaku missed Manchester United's 1-0 win over Inter on Saturday, just hours after widespread reports that the Red Devils had turned down a £54million bid from the Serie A side for the Belgium international.

Inter look set to sell Mauro Icardi during the close season and Conte has made no secret of his desire to bring Lukaku to San Siro.

Speaking after the defeat to United in Singapore, Conte again revealed his desire to link up with the 26-year-old.

"He is a United player and for this reason we must show great respect for the club, for the player and also for my own players," he told a media conference.

"Lukaku is a player that I like because I consider him a player that could improve our team. On one side is my hope and my will and on the other side we will see what we find with the club."

Conte, meanwhile, has suggested that Ivan Perisic does not fit into the system that he wants to play at Inter.

The Croatia star was introduced as a half-time substitute against United but Conte was not impressed with his contribution, believing it fell short of the standard set by Dalbert on the left flank.

"We are working but the answers are not positive," the Inter boss said of Perisic. "I don't think he is adapting to the role that I asked him to do.

"The only place he can play right now is as a striker. On the other hand, I saw Dalbert applying himself greatly in this match.

"We have to improve so much from all points of view. We have a lot of work to do and we will do it."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is impressed with how Manchester United are performing without the injured Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium international is yet to feature for United in pre-season, with Solskjaer citing fitness issues for his continued absence from the team.

Lukaku missed United's 1-0 International Champions Cup win over Inter on Saturday, with reports circulating before kick-off that the Serie A side had seen a £54million bid turned down for the 26-year-old.

Young striker Mason Greenwood scored the decisive goal against Antonio Conte's men and Solskjaer says he is pleased with how his side is shaping up ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

"I think we have done really well without Romelu, but we all know he is one of the top, top strikers in the world," he told a media conference.

"We played a different way, maybe, with Anthony [Martial], Marcus [Rashford] and Mason.

"As a coach you adapt to the players that are available. We're looking forward to the game against Tottenham [on Thursday] and let's see who is available for that game."

Solskjaer was unable to put a timescale on Lukaku's return to fitness and says the striker will be "concerned" about his lack of time on the pitch.

"If you're a player and you don't manage to train for a week, and he's missed three games now, I think he'll be concerned," the manager added.

"He's working to get back on the pitch and we'll see how long that takes."

Roma have announced the signing of Jordan Veretout from Fiorentina, the midfielder initially joining on loan.

Veretout will cost Roma a €1million loan fee with the deal including an obligation for the Giallorossi to make the move permanent for €16m next year.

The transfer for the 26-year-old also includes a potential €2m of add-ons to be paid to Fiorentina.

Veretout, who has agreed a contract to 2024 with Roma, previously played for Nantes, Aston Villa and Saint-Etienne.

"I am very happy to play for this great club, with so many great players," Veretout told Roma's official club website.

"I am looking forward to sharing a great new phase of my career with some fantastic team-mates."

Veretout is the latest new arrival for Roma, who have also signed Leonardo Spinazzola, Amadou Diawara, Bryan Cristante and Pau Lopez but allowed club legend Daniele De Rossi to depart.

"I am really pleased to be able to bring Jordan to the club,” said Gianluca Petrachi, Roma's sporting director.

"From the very start of negotiations I recognised his eagerness to come here and wear the club's colours. I am certain that his desire and technical qualities will prove a vital part of the side we are building."

Maurizio Sarri has hinted he would like Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United and join Juventus.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has confirmed the midfielder wants to leave Old Trafford, three years after he returned for a second spell.

The France midfielder was nevertheless named in United's starting line-up for Saturday's International Champions Cup clash with Inter.

But Juve's new head coach Sarri, speaking ahead of their ICC game against Tottenham, opened the door to a potential transfer.

"I like him very much, but he's a Manchester United player," Sarri told a news conference. 

"I'm not the technical director [Fabio Paratici] so I don't know the situation."

Pogba, who played for Juve between 2012 and 2016, started renewed speculation over his future by saying he wanted a "new challenge" last month.

The World Cup winner has been linked with LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as Juve.

Niko Kovac says Renato Sanches' future is at Bayern Munich, with the coach ruling out a move for Gareth Bale.

Sanches has struggled to break through since joining Bayern from Benfica in 2016, the 21-year-old midfielder starting four Bundesliga games last term.

But the Portugal international still has a future with the German champions despite his problems, according to Kovac.

"We've told Renato that we'd like him to stay," Kovac said ahead of Saturday's International Champions Cup clash with Real Madrid.

"He's obviously been considering his options after last season, but we explained the reasons behind his limited game time and he understood them. He sees his future with us."

Bayern are seeking attacking reinforcements after the departures of veteran wing duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Leroy Sane and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been confirmed as targets by the club but Kovac flatly denied a move for Madrid misfit Bale is possible.

Asked by a reporter if there was a place for the Wales forward in his squad, Kovac replied: "No."

He added: "I would like my German colleagues [journalists] to listen carefully to what I have to say. He [Bale] is a great player, like other players who are also great players.

"I can't tell you whether he really can play somewhere else apart from Real Madrid and if he will even succeed at other clubs. This is something that I don't know and I can't really predict."

Wilfried Zaha has not asked Crystal Palace for a transfer and should be at the club next season, says Roy Hodgson.

Reports have claimed Zaha is determined to leave Selhurst Park five years after he returned to the club from Manchester United, initially on loan.

Zaha struck 10 Premier League goals last term and has been linked with Arsenal and Everton, but Palace reportedly value their star man at £80million having already lost young full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to United for £50m.

Hodgson, though, is not expecting Zaha - who helped Ivory Coast reach the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations - to be sold by Palace.

"He has not spoken to me. I don't know if he's spoken to the club [about leaving]," Hodgson told reporters.

"As far as I'm concerned, he is coming back, he is our player and I've been given no information that the club is interested in selling him at the moment.

"I'm just expecting him back, looking forward to working with him and seeing some of the things he can do for us.

"I think he has got another 10 days or another week of holiday. I think he is back after we play Bristol City [on July 27] and before we play Hertha Berlin [on August 3] - that gives him his three weeks off.

"If he wants to come back earlier we will be very happy to see him."

After reports emerged claiming the 26-year-old had asked to leave Palace, Zaha posted a cryptic message on Twitter that read: "Whatever happened to speaking facts?

"It's sad and annoying how anyone will just open their mouth and speak on things or situations they know absolutely nothing about."

However, Zaha's brother Judicael told Sky Sports it was the forward's "dream" to play for Arsenal, urging Palace to sell their prized asset.

Hodgson's side open their 2019-20 Premier League campaign at home to Everton on August 10.

Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale's reluctance to leave Real Madrid is causing no consternation at the LaLiga club.

Reports of Madrid wanting to sell Wales winger Bale have been amplified since Zidane's return as head coach in March.

The pair are said to share an uneasy relationship, a view given legitimacy when the player's agent, Jonathan Barnett, publicly questioned whether Zidane wished to keep the four-time Champions League winner.

But with three seasons left to run on his contract, and a wage unlikely to be matched elsewhere, Bale appears destined to remain in the Spanish capital for a seventh season.

"Him staying is not a problem," Zidane said ahead of the International Champions Cup clash against Bayern Munich.

"I can't say that the player is a problem. He has a contract, he is here and what I can say is that anything could happen.

"I have to respect all the players, he is with us and he is a Real Madrid player.

"We will see what will happen. His role has not changed compared to in June."

Bale is part of the squad that has travelled to the United States for the start of pre-season, along with new signings Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy.

There may yet be more arrivals before the real campaign begins with Madrid believed to be closely monitoring wantaway Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

When asked about the France international, Zidane replied: "We know with the club what we want to do and we are working on what we want to do.

"What I'm looking forward to is tomorrow's match and working bit by bit.

"We have time for the rest and we'll see what will happen."

The Neymar saga has dominated the narrative at Paris Saint-Germain in recent days, with his future yet to be settled.

But the Ligue 1 champions still have moves to make themselves in the remaining weeks of the transfer market.

And PSG might back themselves to tempt an out-of-favour Juventus star to make the switch to France.

 

TOP STORY – PSG MAKE APPROACH FOR DYBALA

If Neymar does leave Paris, Paulo Dybala would represent a fine replacement. He is an option, according to RMC Sport.

It is reported PSG have approached Dybala's camp, with any deal quite separate from Neymar's future.

A fee of less than €50million could be enough to see Juventus sell, with Dybala no longer a vital cog following Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival last year.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dybala might not be the only Juventus player heading to Ligue 1, though. Le Parisien have reported PSG interest in Blaise Matuidi, who Sky Sport Italia say is also a target for Monaco.

- Further movement in Serie A could see Suso heading off. According to Calcio Mercato, the AC Milan star is a target for Roma. The Rossoneri will ask for close to €40m despite the midfielder appearing to be out of favour.

- Working rather harder to keep a key man are Tottenham. They will offer Christian Eriksen £200,000 a week to keep Real Madrid at bay, according to the Daily Mail.

- With Laurent Koscielny's future at Arsenal uncertain, Unai Emery's captaincy group will look quite different next season. According to the Mail, Rob Holding or Calum Chambers could be in line to be skipper.

- Their London neighbours Chelsea, meanwhile, are set to temporarily part ways with Ethan Ampadu. The teenager is on the brink of joining RB Leipzig on loan, according to the Guardian, and could be joined at the Bundesliga club by Ademola Lookman of Everton.

- But as one young prospect arrives in Germany, another might be on the way out. Bild say Barcelona are keen on Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, who is also said to be in the sights of Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

Dimitar Berbatov feels criticism of Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku is unfair and hopes the Belgian stays at Old Trafford.

Lukaku joined United from Everton in a £75million deal in 2017, scoring 28 goals in 66 Premier League games since then, but his performances have been much maligned.

The former Chelsea man has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes up his United squad ahead of the new season.

But Berbatov, who played under Alex Ferguson for four years at United, would prefer to see Lukaku remain at the club.

"I hope Lukaku is staying because he's a good player and the criticism he's facing is not fair," he told the Straits Times.

However, Berbatov believes United would have the firepower to cope with Lukaku's departure, backing Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford for big seasons.

"I am calm because I like Martial a lot," he said. "I used to play with him in Monaco a lot and I know that he is really good and that he can be even better.

"I like Rashford as well; he can develop and become even better."

Page 4 of 144
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.