Gonzalo Higuain has been named in the Juventus team for their Serie A opener against Parma, with Paulo Dybala on the bench.

Higuain's future at Juve appeared bleak when he spent last season enduring unsuccessful loans with AC Milan and Chelsea.

But the appointment of Maurizio Sarri, under whom he thrived at Napoli - scoring 36 league goals in the 2015-16 season - appears to have given the striker a fresh chance with the Serie A champions.

Higuain, 31, will lead a three-pronged attack on Saturday with support from Cristiano Ronaldo and Douglas Costa, who starts on the right in place of Federico Bernardeschi.

New signings Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Danilo are all on the bench along with the returning Gianluigi Buffon, with Wojciech Szczesny preferred in goal. Aaron Ramsey and Daniele Rugani did not make the squad.

Sarri will not be in the dugout at Stadio Ennio Tardini as he is recovering from pneumonia, with the coach also set to miss next week's visit of his old club Napoli.

Neymar is very close to full fitness but will not play for Paris Saint-Germain until there is clarity on his future, head coach Thomas Tuchel says.

It is claimed that talks between PSG and interested parties Barcelona and Real Madrid have continued this week, but there has been no breakthrough over a possible deal for the Brazil star.

Neymar has not played for the Ligue 1 champions since the 2-1 win at Angers in May, having sat out their pre-season matches and all three competitive games in 2019-20 due to an ankle injury that saw him miss the Copa America.

The forward trained with the first team this week and appeared to be in good spirits with his team-mates, leading to suggestions he could yet decide to stay at Parc des Princes.

Tuchel says the former Barca player could feature as soon as Sunday, when PSG face Toulouse, but only if his future has become clearer.

"Neymar is in good shape," he told a news conference. "He has had a good week with his team-mates. However, the club's position is clear: while his situation is unclear, he cannot play.

"If Neymar's situation became clear tomorrow, then he could play.

"The situation with Neymar is unsettling. It helps nobody. Everyone is used to this sort of situation around Neymar. The same thing happened when he was injured. It is normal with the biggest stars."

Midfielder Marco Verratti equally hopes his team-mate stays in the French capital beyond the transfer deadline of September 2.

"Neymar and I are close. However, I don't like speaking with him about his future," he said. "Obviously, I want him to stay. I would like it to be September 2 tomorrow."

Christian Eriksen remains focused on his job even as transfer rumours persist, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Denmark international Eriksen continues to be linked with a move amid rumoured interest from clubs including Juventus and Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and was only a substitute for the opening-weekend win over Aston Villa, before returning to the starting XI in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

Pochettino admits the uncertainty is far from ideal but insists Eriksen can still perform while his future is in limbo.

"I always tell the player to not be affected by the rumours," the Spurs boss said.

"In this situation, there is nothing to say, because still we have one more year on his contract. It's not the best situation for him, for everyone.

"He's acting naturally. You cannot put a finger on the problem. You need to try to help.

"I understand the club, I understand the player. You try to minimise the problem, try to treat the situation.

"This is an important player who needs to help the team with his performances to get positive results."

In June, midfielder Eriksen publicly confirmed his appetite to "try something new" after six seasons at Spurs.

"Christian has a personality and a character that... he's involved, and he's not affected by the rumours or situation surrounding him," Pochettino said.

Tottenham face Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Leicester City midfielder Adrien Silva has returned to Monaco on loan.

Silva signed for Leicester in 2017 but has featured just 21 times for the Foxes in his spell at the King Power Stadium.

He spent the second half of last season on loan at Monaco and will return to the Stade Louis II for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.

The move sees Silva link up again with Islam Slimani, who joined Monaco in a temporary deal on Wednesday.

Silva helped Monaco remain in Ligue 1 last season and goes back to the club with Leonardo Jardim's men having endured an awful start to the season.

Monaco have suffered successive 3-0 defeats to Lyon and Metz, having a man sent off in each of those games.

Renato Sanches has completed a reported €25million move to Lille days after bemoaning Bayern Munich's apparent refusal to sell him.

Portugal international Sanches looked one of world football's most exciting talents when he starred on the big stage at Euro 2016, earning a lucrative transfer from Benfica to Bayern.

But the 22-year-old failed to impress in Germany, also enduring with an unsuccessful loan in the Premier League with Swansea City, and appeared set to depart in this transfer window.

Sanches suggested he was happy to stay during the close season but repeated his desire for more minutes and then aired frustrations when he came off the bench for five minutes in the Bundesliga opener against Hertha Berlin.

The midfielder said Bayern twice prevented him from leaving, yet he has now been allowed to move on, signing for Lille on a five-year contract after arriving in France on Friday.

"Renato Sanches asked us to transfer because he wanted to join a club where he would like more games," said Bayern's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"Unfortunately, we could not guarantee him this at Bayern. Match practice is also important to him because he wants to claim his place in the Portuguese national team for Euro 2020.

"I would like to thank Renato for his achievements and wish him all the best for his future on behalf of Bayern."

Lille finished second in Ligue 1 last season, qualifying for the Champions League, but lost star man Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal.

"My wish was to join Lille so I'm really happy to be here," Sanches told Lille's official website. "I was very well received and I hope everything will be fine for me.

"I have been in contact with [sporting director] Luis Campos for a long time already. His words and the project they carry with [president] Gerard Lopez convinced me, as did the confidence they show in me.

"I talked a lot with Jose Fonte, I always got on well with him. I do not know all my other team-mates well, but I cannot wait to meet them all. Go LOSC!"

Former Everton defender Ashley Williams has joined Bristol City on a short-term deal.

Williams, who was left out of the Wales squad this week, had been without a club since being released by Everton at the end of last season.

Bristol City have the option to extend the deal if the centre-back impresses at Ashton Gate before January.

"I'd like to offer Ashley a very warm welcome," head coach Lee Johnson told the club's website. "His experience will be invaluable, both on and off the pitch, and we're all looking forward to getting to work with him."

Williams, who turned 35 on Friday, could be in the squad for Saturday's Championship game against Hull City, although he admits he is unlikely to be fully fit until next month.

"I need a bit of work after missing pre-season," he said. "I haven't played since the internationals [in June], but we've got a plan and I'll be working on that over the next couple of weeks.

"There's a good set of players, nice guys first and foremost with a very organised manager who sets the weeks up brilliantly."

Mauro Icardi has been given the number seven shirt for Inter this season as it grows increasingly likely he will stay at the club.

The Argentina international saw his number nine jersey given to new signing Romelu Lukaku as talks over a transfer away from San Siro continued.

However, with an exit beginning to look unlikely, the striker has been given a new squad number for the 2019-20 Serie A season, which starts this weekend.

Icardi was told to look for a new club by chief executive Giuseppe Marotta in July and was excluded from the club's pre-season tour of Asia.

The 26-year-old, who was stripped of the club captaincy last season, was tipped to move to Juventus in a part-exchange deal involving Paulo Dybala, but no such agreement has been reached.

Most recently, he was linked with Ligue 1 side Monaco, only for wife and agent Wanda Nara to rule out such a transfer.

Nara seemed to hint at Icardi staying at Inter with a tweet on Friday showing her photographed with other wives and girlfriends of Nerazzurri players, captioned 'another year together'.

Antonio Conte's side begin their Serie A season at home to Lecce on Monday.

Aaron Ramsey will miss the chance to make his competitive Juventus debut in their opening Serie A game against Parma.

The Wales midfielder, who left Arsenal as a free agent to join the Italian champions, is absent from Juve's 23-man squad.

Daniele Rugani, who has been linked with a move away from the club, is also missing but new signing Matthijs de Ligt could feature.

Fellow fresh faces Adrien Rabiot, Danilo and Merih Demiral are also included, along with former Parma goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after his return from Paris Saint-Germain.

Juve's new head coach Maurizio Sarri will not make the trip to Stadio Ennio Tardini as he is recovering from pneumonia.

The club confirmed in a statement released on Thursday that former Chelsea boss Sarri would also be absent from the bench for the visit of his old club Napoli next weekend.

Paulo Dybala's presence is no hindrance to Juventus' ongoing search for new signings, according to the club's vice-president Pavel Nedved.

The Serie A champions head into Saturday's season opener against Parma with a host of new signings at their disposal, including Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey and right-back Danilo.

Argentina forward Dybala seemed set to make way amid the influx with Manchester United, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain all linked at various stages.

None of those proposed moves have transpired and the 25-year-old is still standing at Allianz Stadium, a situation that sits comfortably with Nedved.

"Dybala will never be a problem for us because he is a great player," the former Bianconeri midfielder said on Friday, sitting in at a pre-match news conference as head coach Maurizio Sarri continues his recovery from a bout of pneumonia.

"Maurizio is using him as a false nine and I believe he is playing the role very well. He had a great pre-season."

Nedved dodged questions about Inter outcast and rumoured Juve target Mauro Icardi but revealed there could yet be further new arrivals.

"[Sporting director] Fabio Paratici has had done extraordinary things, some beautiful and important deals," he said.

"The transfer window is still open and we will see if there are opportunities we can seize.

"We are not forced to do anything. If there are possibilities, we will do something. Otherwise we will remain as we are."

Juve will, however, have to do without the guidance of head coach Sarri for their first two Serie A fixtures as he recuperates.

The former Chelsea boss is to return to work after the international break, Nedved confirmed.

He said: "Pneumonia is not a simple thing. Sarri would like to be out the training pitch and in the office every day because he is a great professional, but he needs time. He is getting better.

"Obviously there are difficulties for us, but we have managed them before."

Zinedine Zidane is desperate to see the end of the transfer window after growing tired of the circus surrounding rumoured Real Madrid target Neymar.

LaLiga giants Madrid and fierce rivals Barcelona are believed to be battling for Neymar's signature as Paris Saint-Germain listen to offers for the Brazil international.

The 27-year-old was a topic of interest at Zidane's news conference on Friday, which occurred amid speculation in Spain that Keylor Navas could head in the opposite direction.

Head coach Zidane made clear his preference for Navas to remain in Madrid but was less forthcoming with his views on a potential deal for Neymar.

"I'm working with the players I have at my disposal and we have a game on Saturday," Zidane said ahead of the clash with Real Valladolid.

"Anything can happen until September 2, when the transfer window closes.

"Some might come, some might leave. I want September 2 to come as soon as possible so there will be no more questions.

"I am looking ahead to Saturday's game, that's what I'm concerned about right now."

Costa Rica international Navas watched from the bench as Madrid beat Celta Vigo 3-1 in their season opener last weekend but, despite PSG's apparent interest, the 32-year-old could well stay in the Spanish capital.

That is, at least, if head coach Zidane gets his way.

"Keylor is here with us and wants to be here with us," the Frenchman said.

"He has always been a great professional. We will have many games and I will count on him. Keylor is our player and an important player for us."

Alexis Sanchez is not certain to leave Manchester United even though there are ongoing transfer talks with interested clubs, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Chile forward Sanchez was not in the matchday squad for United's first two Premier League games of the season with Chelsea and Wolves, having not taken part in any pre-season fixtures following his efforts at the Copa America.

The 30-year-old has been heavily linked with Inter, who have already signed Romelu Lukaku from United in this transfer window and are said to be interested in a loan deal.

It is claimed Sanchez's wage demands are proving a problem for the Nerazzurri, though, with Italy's transfer deadline just 10 days away.

Solskjaer appears unsure of what will happen with Sanchez, but he was pleased with his efforts in a behind-closed-doors friendly match against Sheffield United this week and does not seem desperate to see the player go.

"There's still talks with some clubs, but he played in that game and played well," Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. "So, as I've said, he's working hard and let's see in September what's going to happen."

Lukaku caused a stir this week when a podcast apparently recorded while he was still a United player was published, in which the striker accused United of effectively nudging him out of the club by failing to protect him from public criticism and transfer speculation.

Solskjaer refused to become embroiled in the matter, saying: "I'm not going to dive into that one. That interview was made before the summer, wasn't it? When he was a Man United player? So, I think I'd rather not."

United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday after taking four points from their first two league matches of the season at home to Chelsea and away to Wolves.

Solskjaer has been encouraged by the fitness displayed in those performances, having been concerned by the way his players allowed their intensity to drop in matches towards the end of last season.

"The team spirt is great, we've got loads of energy and passion. You can see that with the way we went about the game with Wolverhampton," he said.

"I thought our pressing was excellent. We gave them five minutes in the second half and that was it, really, when they had the ball and pushed us back but, apart from that, the engine looks so much better.

"Everyone's fit and when you're physically fit it's easier to be mentally strong as well.

"[Palace] are a very organised team. They've got pace up front for counter-attacks, strong on set-pieces, so, of course, we know we have to do all parts of the game.

"We have to attack well, we have to win the ball back when we're losing it and we've got to be strong on set plays."

Solskjaer also confirmed that full-back Diogo Dalot is likely to be out of action until after the international break next month due to injury.

Napoli have completed the signing of Mexico forward Hirving Lozano from PSV in a deal reportedly worth €40million.

Lozano spent two seasons in the Eredivisie, scoring 34 league goals for PSV across the two campaigns, and impressed in the Champions League last term.

The 24-year-old winger also starred for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup, scoring a memorable goal in a 1-0 win over Germany in the group stage.

Lozano, who had also been linked with Manchester United, has now swapped the Eredivisie for Serie A, with Napoli reportedly paying a club-record transfer fee reported to be €38m plus bonuses.

Prior to the club's official announcement on Friday, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had shared a photo of Lozano signing his contract on his official Twitter account.

Napoli kick off their Serie A campaign against Fiorentina on Saturday.

Unai Emery has suggested Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny are free to leave Arsenal as they are not part of his plans.

Mustafi dramatically lost form last term and has not been included in Emery's squad so far in 2019-20, with Elneny also omitted against both Newcastle United and Burnley.

The European transfer window closes on September 2 and Emery suggested both players should secure themselves moves prior to the deadline.

"We have some players, they know their situation," Emery told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Liverpool, who also have maximum points from two league fixtures.

"For example, Elneny and Mustafi know their position in the squad and really I want the players to be happy here, I want the players to be protagonists here.

"Last year with Mustafi and Mo, when they didn't play they weren't happy. I spoke with them a lot of times last year and this pre-season and I think it is positive for them to leave and sign for another team where they can be protagonists and be happy and continue their careers."

Arsenal signing centre-back David Luiz from Chelsea and midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid has pushed Mustafi and Elneny further down the pecking order at their respective positions.

"They are very big players," Emery added of the duo. "But for one circumstance or another, they are going to have less chances to show their capacity or to be happy with us and the minutes they play in matches.

"But they know the situation and really, really I am wishing the best for them and I think now the best for them is to be protagonists in another team and sign to get another challenge.

"We respect them, they are training with us, but they know their situation and only I am wishing the best for them."

Celtic have signed their former goalkeeper Fraser Forster on loan from Southampton.

Forster played for the Glasgow giants between 2011 and 2014, initially on loan from Newcastle United, before leaving for the Saints.

The 31-year-old initially thrived at St. Mary's but lost the gloves during the 2018-19 campaign.

With Angus Gunn now installed as Southampton's number one, Forster has been allowed to rejoin Celtic on a season-long loan.

The goalkeeper, who has six England caps, will wear the number 67 during his time back at Celtic Park.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be here, it feels like I'm coming home and I'm buzzing to be back at this great club," Forster told Celtic's official website.

"Obviously, I know what the number 67 means to this great club. It’s an honour to wear the shirt and an even bigger honour to wear this number.

"I loved my time here before and I felt like it was the right number for me, I'm really proud to wear it, and I want to do my absolute best for this club.

"The gaffer [Neil Lennon] has always been brilliant with me, and when the opportunity came up to come back and work with him again, it was one that was too good to turn down."

It's been all change in Serie A ahead of the 2019-20 season, with five of last season's top six changing their head coach.

As such, an action-packed close season in the transfer market followed.

Champions Juventus have done big business, but could any of the chasing pack - including Antonio Conte's Inter - catch them after a busy window?

Although Italian clubs can buy until September 2, we take a look at five of the best signings in Serie A before the action gets underway.

 

5. Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)

Juventus are the masters of the free transfer and nothing changed this year, with two huge midfield signings arriving without a fee. Adrien Rabiot is a massive talent who will improve Maurizio Sarri's options, but Ramsey may well prove the real star.

In an Arsenal team where big wages and large fees were spent on the likes of Mesut Ozil, Ramsey was perhaps their most consistent performer, playing a key role in their FA Cup successes.

The Gunners will likely rue the expiration of Ramsey's contract and the Welshman already looks like he will settle quickly in Turin, after giving an introductory statement to the media in Italian.

4. Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari)

Nainggolan was one of Europe's dominant midfielders just a couple of years ago, so it seems incredible that he is on loan at Cagliari at the age of 31.

But after falling out of favour with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, Nainggolan had a stop-start first season at Inter - although his form picked up towards the end of the campaign - and Conte has seemingly decided he does not need the former Roma man.

All of this works out wonderfully for Cagliari, though, who had Nainggolan for four years earlier in his career and will welcome him back with open arms. His midfield alliance with Nahitan Nandez, an exciting acquisition from Boca Juniors, will be a must watch.

3. Diego Godin (Inter)

Godin has perhaps been Europe's best centre-back in recent seasons and so, even at 33, his expiring Atletico Madrid contract would have made him a target for many top sides.

But this move to Inter was long mooted and he should form a formidable three-man defence alongside Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar.

If Conte's reign at the Nerazzurri is to be a success, they will need to deliver at both ends of the field. It is on Romelu Lukaku's shoulders to provide the goals, while Godin will surely perform at the back, even if he endured a rocky campaign last time out.

2. Kostas Manolas (Napoli)

This list might be dominated by centre-backs and Serie A, to many the home of defending, will see some of the very best in action again next season. Manolas is certainly among them.

The Greece international might be best remembered for his Champions League goalscoring exploits at Roma, but he was a consistent star in defence over five seasons in the capital.

Quick and strong enough to mix it with Serie A's very best attackers, Manolas will leave a big hole in the Roma back line and instantly find a home at Napoli alongside Kalidou Koulibaly.

1. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)

It is an obvious answer, but every club on the planet would have loved to have brought in former Ajax captain De Ligt.

He was inspirational both on and off the pitch for the Dutch giants last season, as well as starring for Netherlands. Brilliant at the back and a threat in attack, De Ligt is still just 20, too, and will only get better.

That he cost a relatively reasonable €75million, considering the reported £80million spent on Harry Maguire, is merely a bonus. Juve should be set for years to come.

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