Manchester United's problems in the transfer window have reportedly continued as they target Federico Chiesa and Alex Telles.

The Premier League giants have had a tough window so far, with only Donny van de Beek arriving from Ajax.

That is their only inclusion despite links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Telles, and their progress is still seemingly slow ahead of the window closing on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD'S CHIESA BID REJECTED, SNUBBED OVER TELLES

Manchester United had a loan enquiry for Fiorentina attacker Chiesa turned down, according to The Telegraph.

As they struggle to land a deal for Sancho, United have been linked with Chiesa and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele.

Chiesa, a 22-year-old Italy international, has made a fine start to this season, scoring once and providing an assist in two Serie A games.

United seemed closer to bringing in Telles, but O Jogo reports Porto did not even respond to their first bid for the left-back – believed to be around £11.8million (€13m) – as the Portuguese giants see it as unrealistic.

 

ROUND-UP

- After Luis Suarez's arrival at Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa is linked with a move away. AS reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for the forward, and it adds Atletico could look to replace him with free agent Edinson Cavani.

- Manchester City's transfer business in this window could be done. The Sun reports any plans for the Premier League side to bring in a left-back – either Bayern Munich's David Alaba or Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico – are reliant on a late bid being received for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

- Are Bayern Munich looking for a back-up for star Robert Lewandowski? Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sign Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric. The Croatia international scored twice against Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday and is up to seven goals in three games in 2020-21.

- Tottenham are reportedly looking at Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius. Football.London says Spurs are hoping to loan the striker with an option to buy for £36.3m (€40m). Carlos Vinicius scored 24 goals in 47 games in all competitions last season.

- Staying at Spurs and Sky Sports reports Celtic have made an approach for Tottenham left-back Ryan Sessegnon. However, it says finances are problematic, while multiple Premier League clubs are also keeping an eye on Sessegnon.

- Andreas Pereira is set to leave Manchester United. Fabrizio Romano reports a deal between United and Lazio has been signed for a loan with option to buy for €27m (£24.5m).

Ruben Dias believes Manchester City's brand of football suits his game and is confident he can develop after signing a six-year deal with the Premier League club.

After Benfica confirmed Dias' departure on Sunday, City formalised the arrival of the Portugal defender on Tuesday, with Nicolas Otamendi going the other way.

City will hope Dias can help to solve the defensive issues that undermined their title defence last season, as they finished 18 points behind champions Liverpool.

And Dias feels the marriage of his and City's styles will allow him to succeed and live up to the billing at the Etihad Stadium.

"To have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester City is a fantastic opportunity for me and one I couldn't turn down," Dias said.

"Their success speaks for itself. They have been the dominant team in England over the last few years, playing an attacking brand of football which I feel suits my own game.

"It is really exciting to be part of such a talented squad and to play for a world-class manager like Pep Guardiola, who has a proven track record of developing young players like myself.

"I believe I can improve here, at a club whose ambitions match my own and I will give everything to be successful and win titles."

City's director of football Txiki Begiristain added: "Ruben is a player we have admired for some time and we have been impressed with how he has progressed at Benfica.

"He has developed into a real leader and as a defender, he has all the attributes we are looking for. He is strong in the air, good in one-v-one situations and technically, he is very good, so we are confident he can thrive in our system.

"He is young but has experience playing for a top European club in Benfica and we're really pleased we've been able to sign him.

"He is another talented addition to the squad and someone who is only going to get better working under Pep."

Ruben Dias is the latest player Pep Guardiola is turning to in a bid to address Manchester City's defensive concerns.

Such worries were laid bare in a 5-2 demolition at home to Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday, marking the first time a Guardiola team had conceded five times in a single game.

Nathan Ake was already brought in from Bournemouth earlier in the window but another centre-back, probably to partner Aymeric Laporte long term, was always likely to be a priority.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Jules Kounde of Sevilla emerged as targets but it was Benfica's Dias who Guardiola eventually plumped for, with City agreeing an initial fee of £62million and sending Nicolas Otamendi in the opposite direction.

But is Dias the right answer for Guardiola? Using Opta's league data going back to August 2019, we compare the Portugal international against Laporte, Otamendi, John Stones and Eric Garcia, as well as Koulibaly and Kounde to try to answer that question.


The case for the defence…

In terms of the basics expected for a defender, Dias – who has the most appearances in our timespan with 35 – compares pretty favourably against our selected players.

His 45 tackles is only beaten by Koulibaly's 55, and the 1.3 tackles made per 90 minutes is better than Garcia (0.8), Kounde (0.9), Laporte (1.1) and the same as Stones. Both Otamendi (1.5) and Koulibaly (2.2) score better.

When it comes to interceptions, it is again Koulibaly who registers highest in direct numbers with 33, three more than Dias on 30.

Assessing the same area over 90 minutes sees Garcia (2.1), Laporte (1.6), Koulibaly (1.3) and Otamendi (1.2) all make more than Dias (0.9), while Kounde has the same and Stones is at 0.7.

Koulibaly is also the leader in blocks made (19) and blocks made per 90 (0.7) but Dias is second with 17 and 0.5 – Otamendi also scoring 0.5 in the latter measurement.

Dias has made the most clearances at 102 but when measured over the course of a game, Otamendi (3.8), Kounde (3.4) and Garcia (3.3) all rank higher than his 2.9.


More physicality needed?

There is a long-standing stereotype that the Premier League is more physical than its European counterparts.

If such an admittedly cliched notion is indeed true then Dias may have to get used to more physicality. His 88 aerial balls won is fewer only than Kounde's, but a 60 per cent aerial success rate is better only than Koulibaly (55) and Garcia (32).

Indeed, per 90 minutes, Kounde (3.7), Otamendi and Stones (both 3.3) each won more aerial balls than Dias (2.5).

For duel success, Dias is bang in the middle, with his 60 per cent lower than Stones (70), Kounde and Laporte (both 63) but higher than Koulibaly, Otamendi (both 57) and Garcia (42).

Encouragingly, Dias made no errors leading to goals in this period (and only one leading to a shot). The only players making a mistake that did result in a goal were Koulibaly and Otamendi (both one).

Kounde, Otamendi and Stones all made two errors that led to the opposition having a shot on goal.

Dias conceded one penalty in our time frame, as did Kounde, Koulibaly and Garcia. He gave away on average 1.1 fouls per game, with only Koulibaly (1.5) averaging more.


Capable of building from the back

Of course, to succeed as a defender under Guardiola, you must be as adept on the ball as you are off it and Dias has plenty to provide encouragement here.

In the 2019-20 season, Dias was involved in 104 open play sequences that led to a shot on goal and started 23 such passages. Only Koulibaly (120 and 30) was involved in more.

Dias is comfortably the best scorer in terms of involvements in open play sequences that led to a goal with 20. Otamendi scored next highest with 12 in this metric. The Portuguese was also responsible for starting three open play sequences that led to a goal – with Stones and Garcia beginning two.

Since August 2019, Dias has a pass success rate of 89 per cent, with only Kounde's 86 coming in lower. But it is not unreasonable to expect this to improve under Guardiola with Stones, Garcia (both 94), Laporte (93) and Otamendi (92) all scoring well.

Dias will quickly learn he is in a team that will spend plenty of time in possession and his 66.3 passes per 90 minutes are likely to go up when you look at the numbers for Laporte (93.6), Garcia (84.3), Stones (82.6) and Otamendi (80.6) in this regard.


Verdict: So, we asked is Dias the solution for Guardiola's defensive concerns? Well, and excuse the unashamed fence-sitting, the numbers suggest the jury is out. Let's not forget the 23-year-old is moving to a new league, which brings its own unique challenges. But that is not to say there are not causes for optimism for City fans. His numbers for involvements in open play sequences leading to shots and goals are impressive, while his defensive stats stack up well against the others. There may need to be improvement physically but, given time, Dias can be a great addition to City's backline.

Pep Guardiola and defenders. It's been an expensive exercise for Manchester City.

Still trying to fill the glaring void left by long-serving captain Vincent Kompany in 2019, and reeling after a stunning 5-2 Premier League drubbing at the hands of Leicester City, Manchester City have turned to Ruben Dias.

Benfica and Portugal centre-back Dias will cost City an initial £62million (€68m), plus £2.1m (€3.6m) in add-ons should the 23-year-old trigger various performance-related clauses.

Sunday's announcement, with Nicolas Otamendi set to move in the opposite direction, takes Guardiola's spending as City manager on defenders to in excess of £410m (€451m) since 2016.

While City have won two Premier League titles under Guardiola, the team's defence remains an Achilles heel, especially in pursuit of European glory.

As City welcome Dias to Manchester, we look at Guardiola's previous defender signings while in the Citizens dugout.

 

Ruben Dias €68m (£62m)

He is Guardiola's latest big-money defensive signing. Previously linked to the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham, Dias arrives having emerged from Benfica's academy ahead of the 2017-18 season. He helped Benfica to Primeira Liga glory in 2018-19.

Joao Cancelo €65m (£59m)

The full-back position is a complex area for Guardiola, whose formation often centres on inverted full-backs and overloads. City splashed the cash on Cancelo last year but question marks remain over the 26-year-old Portugal international.

Aymeric Laporte €65m (£59m)

Of all of Guardiola's recruits in central defence, Laporte is the only one to truly convince. However, Laporte's fitness has proven a problem since being prised away from Athletic Bilbao two years ago.

Benjamin Mendy €57.5m (£52m)

A key member in Monaco's memorable run to the 2016-17 Champions League semi-finals and triumphant Ligue 1 campaign, Mendy arrived amid much fanfare in 2017. Mendy's off-field activities and his knee issues have prevented City from seeing the best of the France international left-back week in, week out.

John Stones €55.6m (£50m)

Identified as the ideal ball-playing centre-back to fit into Guardiola's system, it has not gone according to plan for Stones, who left Everton in 2016. After a promising start to life, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss appears to have lost faith in the often-injured Englishman.

Kyle Walker €52.7m (£48m)

Walker has served well under Guardiola, having joined as one of the best players in the league in 2017. Aside from a couple of dips in form and questionable off-field choices, the ex-Tottenham full-back remains important to what Pep is trying to achieve in Manchester.

Nathan Ake €45.3m (£41m)

Ake was the first defender through the door ahead of the 2020-21 season after City were dethroned by Liverpool last term. Lured away from relegated Bournemouth, the left-footed centre-back has started both of City's Premier League fixtures, scoring in the humbling defeat to Leicester.

Danilo €30m (£27m)

The Brazilian full-back is no longer a City player. Part of the deal that saw Cancelo swap Juventus for City in 2019, Danilo arrived as a LaLiga champion and two-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid. But the 29-year-old never really convinced in a City shirt.

Angelino €12m (£10.9m)

Part of City's youth team from 2013, Angelino eventually left for Dutch giants PSV five years later. After impressing in Eindhoven, City triggered their buy-back clause to re-sign the Spaniard in July 2019. Angelino made 12 appearances before being loaned out to RB Leipzig in the second half of last season. Despite interest from Barca, he is back on loan in Leipzig.

Oleksandr Zinchenko €2m (£1.8m)

The 23-year-old left-back was plucked from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2016. Following a couple of loan spells, Guardiola has often called on Zinchenko, who played 19 Premier League matches in 2019-20.

Manchester City have signed centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica in a transfer worth an initial £62million (€68m) with Nicolas Otamendi heading the opposite way in a separate deal.

Portugal international Dias, 23, has been a regular for Primeira Liga side Benfica since emerging through the academy ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

Dias has been linked with a number of big-name clubs around Europe, including Manchester United, but rivals City have now reached an agreement with Benfica.

The Portuguese side confirmed the news on their official website on Sunday, shortly before announcing a €15m (£13.67m) deal is in place for Otamendi, who must now undergo a medical.

City will pay an additional €3.6m (£2.1m) in add-ons for Dias should he trigger various performance-related clauses.

Dias captained Benfica in Saturday's victory over Moreirense and hugged his team-mates and sporting director Rui Costa as he left the field at full-time.

"It was a special moment [with Costa] and I think everyone already knows why," Dias said after the game. "Obviously, people leave their mark on you, and the club also.

"Without a doubt, it was very special for me. I am very happy. It was very important to consecrate this game with a goal, it was very special for me."

Dias' arrival ends City manager Pep Guardiola's search for a right-sided centre-back, 16 months after long-serving Vincent Kompany departed the Etihad Stadium for Anderlecht.

Otamendi – who played for Benfica's Portuguese rivals Porto between 2010 and 2014 – spent five years with City and started 31 games in all competitions last term.

The 32-year-old won two Premier League titles, four EFL Cup trophies, two Community Shields and the FA Cup during his time in Manchester, having arrived from Valencia in 2015.

Manchester City have signed centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica in a transfer worth an initial £62million (€68m) with Nicolas Otamendi heading the opposite way in a separate deal.

Portugal international Dias, 23, has been a regular for Primeira Liga side Benfica since emerging through the academy ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

Dias has been linked with a number of big-name clubs around Europe, including Manchester United, but rivals City have now reached an agreement with Benfica.

The Portuguese side confirmed the news on their official website on Sunday, shortly before announcing a €15m (£13.67m) deal is in place for Otamendi.

Ruben Dias is on the verge of leaving Benfica.

The Portugal international is wanted by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

Could he help City dethrone Premier League champions Liverpool?

 

TOP STORY – DIAS SET FOR CITY

Benfica defender Ruben Dias will join Manchester City, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Pep Guardiola has been eyeing defensive reinforcements following Nathan Ake's arrival from Bournemouth, and now Dias is set to swap Benfica for City.

As part of the deal, veteran centre-back Nicolas Otamendi will move in the opposite direction.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Barcelona rejected a €150million offer for teenage sensation Ansu Fati from an unnamed club. Manchester United have been linked previously.

Sergino Dest will travel to Camp Nou to complete his move to Barca, reports RAC1. The Ajax full-back is also wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Milan and Roma are both interested in signing Norwich City right-back Max Aarons, says Sky Sports. The Englishman has previously been linked to Barca and Bayern.

- According to Sportitalia, West Ham are in talks with Serie A holders Juventus for defender Daniele Rugani.

- Lyon want €50million (£46m) for in-demand star Houssem Aouar amid interest from Arsenal, claims RMC Sport. Paris Saint-Germain, City and Chelsea have also been linked.

Benfica defender Ruben Dias appears set to join Manchester City after the Portuguese giants' coach Jorge Jesus confirmed Saturday's 2-0 win over Moreirense was "almost certainly" the centre-back's final outing in Portugal.

Dias, 23, came through Benfica's academy and has been a regular in the club's senior side since the 2017-18 campaign.

In that time he has reportedly been tracked by many of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United, but it appears his next move will see him wear blue instead of red.

City are said to have offered €55million (£50m) and Nicolas Otamendi to Benfica for the highly rated Dias, who is also a regular at international level with Portugal.

Dias scored the opening goal in Saturday's victory and also wore the captain's armband, while he was shown sharing emotional embraces with Benfica icon Rui Costa and other members of the club's hierarchy at full-time.

Jesus then effectively confirmed Dias' exit as he spoke to the media.

"I would like to be absolutely sure, but it was almost certainly the last game he played," Jesus told reporters.

"In football you never know, sometimes everything changes in the last second, but I think that will not happen. He is a player we are sorry to see leave. He's a great player.

"But I also have some fault for the departure, this has to do with the elimination from the Champions League [qualifiers] and there are things that have to be balanced.

"He is the only player who has a high market value. He is already a good player and will be a beautiful player."

Jesus also briefly discussed the chance of Otamandi joining from City, suggesting it will not be a swift adaptation period for the former Porto man.

"Of course, Ruben has had seven weeks with me. It was not easy at first for all of them to adapt to my idea of ​​the game," he said.

"And when he [Otamendi] arrives, he will realise that my ideas are different from those of Manchester City. This is if the Manchester City player comes.

"There is also talk of Ruben Semedo. It will be weeks of adaptation."

A visibly emotional Dias savoured his moment with Costa and was thrilled to seemingly close the Benfica chapter of career in such a manner.

"It was a special moment [with Costa] and I think everyone already knows why," he said. "Obviously, people leave their mark on you, and the club also. Without a doubt, it was very special for me.

"I am very happy. It was very important to consecrate this game with a goal, it was very special for me."

Memphis Depay remains Barcelona's preferred transfer option, while Manchester United want Jadon Sancho and Alex Telles in this window.

LaLiga giants Barca have been linked with numerous attackers as they rebuild under Ronald Koeman.

Depay has seemingly been the favourite to join, and it appears nothing has changed.

 

TOP STORY – DEPAY THE FAVOURITE TO JOIN BARCELONA

Depay is in pole position to join Barcelona from Lyon, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says Depay, 26, fits the profile and salary expectations at Barca.

Depay and Koeman worked together while the latter was in charge of the Netherlands between 2018 and 2020.

ROUND-UP

- United are still hoping for two signings this transfer window. The Sun says the Red Devils are looking to land Borussia Dortmund star Sancho and Porto left-back Telles .

- Arsenal could be close to strengthening by signing Houssem Aouar . Telefoot says the attacker has agreed to join the club, with Lyon and Arsenal set for talks over a fee.

- As they continue their search for a defender, Manchester City may be close to making a decision. Goal reports the Premier League club are in talks with Benfica over Ruben Dias , in a deal that could see Nicolas Otamendi  go the other way. Meanwhile, ESPN says Sevilla are expecting an improved bid from City for Jules Kounde after an initial £50.2million (€55m) offer was rejected.

- Chelsea may not be done spending just yet. The Mirror reports they want to make another move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice , and it could lead to Jorginho joining Arsenal .

- Sergino Dest is expected to join Barcelona and Guillem Balague claims the Ajax right-back should officially join them next week. Barcelona sold Nelson Semedo to Wolves this week.

- Could there be late movement in the transfer window for Tottenham ? The Sun reports Spurs are in talks to sign Inter defender Milan Skriniar and are prepared to pay between £25m (€27.4m) and £30m (€32.9m), which is well below Inter's valuation.

Pep Guardiola seems desperate to reinforce his centre-back options before the transfer deadline early next month, and it appears his primary targets are Ruben Dias of Benfica and Sevilla's Jules Kounde.

Media reports on Friday suggested that City have offered approximately €55million, plus Nicolas Otamendi, for Dias having apparently had a similar offer turned down for Kounde last week.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi confirmed the club had received an offer for the talented Frenchman, though he did not reveal the club that bid – which was rejected – came from.

City had previously seemed focused on Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, while Kounde's partner at Sevilla, Diego Carlos, was also said to have been considered.

But with no progress on those deals, City have identified younger options, with Dias 23 years old and Kounde not due to turn 22 for another two months.

With Dias and Kounde looking the likeliest to bolster Guardiola's defensive ranks, we used Opta data to compare the two players.

Adapting to City's style

Given he is a year-and-a-half older than Kounde, it's fair to suggest Dias is slightly further ahead in his development than Kounde, while he is also playing for one of the top teams in a less competitive league than LaLiga.

But there is a lot to like about the Portugal international's game and he does look well-suited to City's possession-based style of play.

He completed 1,934 of his 2,184 passes last term, and though that statistic in isolation doesn't prove a huge amount – many will have been simple and under no pressure – it does show he is used to seeing a lot of the ball.

Of those, 927 were in the opposing half and 81 per cent found a team-mate, whereas Kounde attempted 491 in the attacking half and completed 76.6 per cent.

It's a similar story with regards to passes ending in the final third, where play is likely to be more congested. Dias made 364 passes into such an area and was accurate 68.4 per cent of the time, while Kounde found a team-mate in the attacking third with 66.3 per cent accuracy from 160 passes.

As a base for comparison, City's current centre-backs are reflected much better by the data in this area – Otamendi's passing accuracy in the opposing half is 87.9 per cent, Aymeric Laporte's is 90 per cent, while in the final third their respective figures are 76.8 per cent and 84.6 per cent.

With respect to Kounde, it is worth bearing in mind that Sevilla play far more direct than either of the other two teams in question. They played 2,594 long balls in the league last term, while City registered 1,978 and Benfica attempted 1,581.

Where Kounde does come out on top, however, thus proving his ability on the ball and ease at bringing it out from the back, is the fact he attempted 22 dribbles and completed 81.2 per cent of them – of the defenders (that's centre-backs and full-backs) in LaLiga to try 20 or more dribbles, only one had a better success rate.

Dependable defenders?

As possession-oriented as City are, even a team like that has to do a bit of defending now and again – and although they only conceded two more goals than Liverpool in 2019-20, it was widely felt the centre of defence was their biggest issue.

Otamendi proved unreliable, Fernandinho isn't a natural centre-back, John Stones was unconvincing when fit and Laporte – undoubtedly their best option – missed a chunk of the season with an ACL injury.

The hole left by Laporte and Vincent Kompany's departure to Anderlecht was gaping and resulted in City looking flimsy, particularly when put under pressure – seven of their nine defeats were away from home.

Dependable, hard-working centre-backs capable of playing with the ball at their feet are seemingly what Guardiola is after, and both Dias and Kounde proved to be just that for their respective teams.

Kounde was a standout performer as recently as Thursday for Sevilla, impressing in spite of a 2-1 UEFA Super Cup defeat to Bayern Munich. He made three tackles and nine clearances, also winning each of his six aerial duels.

In a straight comparison between Dias and Kounde with regards to standard defensive metrics, the former does generally come out on top, as he won possession back more times (175 to 108) than the Frenchman, and bested him in terms of interceptions (30 to 23), overall clearances (101 to 88), tackles (44 to 23) and duels (254 to 229).

But Kounde, though less of a domineering physical specimen than Dias in appearance, does tend to be more effective aerially, suggesting his stats against Bayern were no fluke.

Despite playing four fewer matches than Dias, he made more headed clearances (56 to 50), engaged in a greater number of aerial duels (149 to 141) and won more as well (94 to 86).

The verdict

Both players fit the general mould of centre-backs that Guardiola likes, but to suggest either is the finished article or a world-class player yet would be premature.

Kounde did very well in his first season in LaLiga, but he only truly found consistency in his performances at the start of 2020 – a talent, certainly, with his ceiling seemingly very high, but prising him away could cost City well over £60m.

Dias appears the easier to sign given he will likely be slightly cheaper than Kounde, while in most cases in this statistical comparison, he has the edge.

But, with Victor Lindelof impressing for Benfica but struggling to convince with Manchester United, City may want to take note of a warning from across town.

Bayern Munich or Barcelona?

Two of the world's biggest clubs are going head-to-head for Ajax sensation Sergino Dest.

And the club from LaLiga are reportedly favourites to land the teenager.

 

TOP STORY – DEST WANTS BARCA

Ajax full-back Sergino Dest has pushed aside an offer from Bundesliga and Champions League holders Bayern Munich as he looks to join Barcelona, according to Sport.

Bayern and LaLiga giants Barca are both interested in the 19-year-old United States international.

But Dest has his heart set on Barca, where a principle agreement is reportedly in place between the player and Ajax.

 

ROUND-UP

Tottenham and Inter are in talks regarding centre-back Milan Skriniar, reports Sky Sport Italia. Skriniar is wanted by Jose Mourinho's Spurs but the Premier League club are unwilling to match Inter's £55million (€60m) valuation. Benfica's Ruben Dias remains a serious alternative.

- Diario AS claims Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez is wanted by Serie A trio Napoli, Roma and Milan.

- The same outlet also reports that Manchester United and Arsenal are two possible destinations for out-of-favour Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. Former club Lyon, Rennes and Inter have also been linked.

Aston Villa are eyeing Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on loan, according to the Telegraph. Barkley is down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

- Kicker says Barca and Roma have joined Paris Saint-Germain in looking at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who looks set to leave London.

Manchester City are still pursuing Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez, says the Daily Star. An alternative to Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, City's interest in Gimenez could be scuppered as the Uruguay international isolates and recovers from coronavirus.

- Despite already signing Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, Le10 Sport claims David Beckham's Inter Miami remain keen on free agent Edinson Cavani. However, the former PSG forward is still hoping to remain in Europe.

First Juventus, now Atletico Madrid.

For so long, Luis Suarez appeared set to leave Spain for Italy.

But a proposed move to Juve did not materialise as the Barcelona forward stands on the cusp of uniting with Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ TO JOIN ATLETICO

Luis Suarez will swap Barcelona for LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Suarez had been tipped to join Serie A champions Juventus after being told he could leave Camp Nou.

But the 33-year-old Uruguay international forward will now sign a two-year deal with Atletico as he dominates the front pages of Wednesday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have progressed talks with Barca regarding forward Ousmane Dembele, Record Sport reports. Having so far failed to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, United are eyeing an initial loan move for Dembele.

- Esport3 claims Barca are set to sign Ajax right-back Sergino Dest, who was also wanted by Bayern Munich.

Milan have offered €20million for Nikola Milenkovic but Fiorentina have said no, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer and Schalke centre-back Matija Nastasic are also options for the Rossoneri.

- Tuttosport claims Wolves are circling Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who has also been linked to United.

Fulham and Newcastle United have entered the race to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Tottenham have also been linked to the Poland international, while Roma are believed to be in talks as Milik enters the final year of his Napoli contract.

- Sky Sport Italia says Tottenham have opened talks for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, while Benfica's Ruben Dias is another option for Spurs.

- Torino are battling Atletico for Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira, according to Sportitalia. The former Sampdoria star has also been linked to Milan.

- Telefoot says Paris Saint-Germain are in talks with Chelsea over the possible signing of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Discussions with Milan over a return have become complicated and PSG are now eyeing an initial loan deal for the former Monaco star.

Mauricio Pochettino said he did not receive an offer to coach LaLiga giants Barcelona, while the former Tottenham boss insisted leading Real Madrid is his dream.

Pochettino was linked with Barca following Quique Setien's sacking before the embattled Spanish powerhouse opted for Ronald Koeman after a trophy-less 2019-20 campaign.

Argentine manager Pochettino, who departed Tottenham in November last year, was asked about the Barca speculation.

"They didn't offer me to coach Barca," he told Cope and Marca. "I didn't see myself with [president Josep Maria] Bartomeu.

"I did eat with Ramon Planes because we have a friendship for many years, since 2009 when he signed for Espanyol."

Pochettino had opened the door to potentially coaching Barca, having previously suggested he would not take charge at Camp Nou due to his links with rivals Espanyol.

"I was ironic then," Pochettino reflected. "It was my first news conference at Tottenham and they asked me about the Barca rumours. Then I answered with my irony and I think I went too far, I said what I said.

"It sounds very nice for the radical Espanyol fan but I did not want to speak for that radical fan. Nor do I have to justify any statement because no one can question my love for Espanyol."

Pochettino has also been linked with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A champions Juventus and Inter heading into the 2020-21 season.

Thomas Tuchel remains in charge of PSG, Juve turned to Andrea Pirlo and Inter have opted to continue with Antonio Conte.

"Neither PSG, nor Juventus, nor Inter Milan [made offers in the off-season]," Pochettino added. "I did have a call from Benfica and Monaco. I have no need to lie."

Pochettino shunned Madrid in 2018, deciding to honour his contract with Premier League side Tottenham at the time.

Madrid attempted to hire Pochettino as Zinedine Zidane's successor and asked about Los Blancos again, the 48-year-old said: "I don't know if I'll ever coach Madrid, but of course it's my dream.

"If it's not the best it's one of the best clubs in the world. I'm no different, everyone has it on their dream list."

Benfica will take on PAOK in the third round of qualifying for the 2020-21 Champions League.

Jorge Jesus' side will head to Thessaloniki on September 15 or 16 to face the team that knocked out Turkish club Besiktas in the previous round.

Eredivisie side AZ face a visit to Dynamo Kiev, while Ferencvaros, who beat Celtic in round two, will host Dinamo Zagreb.

Gent will play Rapid Vienna, Qarabag take on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's former side Molde, Red Star Belgrade visit Omonia Nicosia and Maccabi Tel-Aviv host Dinamo Brest.

Swiss champions Young Boys head to Denmark to face Midtjylland.

This year, all the ties will be one-off matches played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The winners will progress to the play-off round, while the losing sides will drop into the Europa League, either into the play-offs or straight into the group stage.

Real Madrid claimed the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday following an entertaining 3-2 win over Benfica in Nyon. 

Madrid – led by Los Blancos icon Raul – went ahead in the 26th minute when Pablo Rodriguez headed home Sergio Arribas' teasing cross from six yards. 

Rodriguez hobbled off soon after but it did little to quell Madrid's attacking threat, the Spanish side doubling their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Henrique Jocu turned Arribas' cross into his own net. 

Benfica pulled one back in the 49th minute, Goncalo Ramos netting from close range, but Madrid restored their two-goal advantage just a minute later courtesy of Miguel Gutierrez's low finish at the back post. 

Ramos headed home from a corner in the 57th minute to reduce the deficit once again.

The Portuguese side were handed a golden opportunity to draw level in the 68th minute but Madrid goalkeeper Luis Lopez pawed away Tiago Dantas' penalty, ensuring the title went back to Spain. 

Page 2 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.