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. 

Premier League giants Chelsea and Arsenal appear close to strengthening their defences.

After conceding more league goals than any other side that finished in the top eight in 2019-20, the two clubs have been linked to defensive reinforcements.

It seems both are close to making additions.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA CLOSE TO SIGNING SILVA

Chelsea are close to signing Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva on a one-year deal, according to Sky Sports.

Silva, 35, confirmed after Sunday's Champions League final loss to Bayern Munich that he had played his last game for the Ligue 1 giants.

The Brazil defender has been linked to Chelsea and Fiorentina, but looks set to join the former.

 

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- Chelsea's rivals Arsenal have almost landed a centre-back of their own. RMC Sport reports a deal taking Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes to the club is done, with the sides agreeing a £27million (€30m) fee and the 22-year-old opting for Arsenal over Napoli and Everton.

- On the outer at Real Madrid, just whether Gareth Bale leaves this close season remains to be seen. AS claims there have been no offers for the attacker and MLS seems the only way out due to his salary.

Lionel Messi reportedly has Barcelona in "suspense" amid talk over his future.

Messi, 33, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants amid chaos at the club following their capitulation in the Champions League.

Contracted until 2021, Messi's future has become a major talking point.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA IN 'SUSPENSE' OVER MESSI FUTURE

Barcelona are in suspense amid uncertainty over Messi's future, according to Marca.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Tuesday he expected Messi to lead the club into the future under Ronald Koeman.

TuttoMercatoWeb reports only Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain or Inter would be able to afford the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

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- Staying at Barcelona and Mundo Deportivo reports Koeman wants a two-year deal at the club and Henrik Larsson as one of his assistants at Camp Nou.

- Chelsea continue to chase Kai Havertz. Sport Bild claims negotiations between the Premier League club and Bayer Leverkusen started last week and Havertz will become the most expensive German player of all-time.

- Will Kalidou Koulibaly leave Napoli? The Mirror reports City are being invited to make a £60million (€66.6m) move for the defender, who Napoli want to replace with Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes. ESPN says Arsenal are hopeful of sealing a deal for Gabriel for around £22m (€24.4m).

- Leeds United could be preparing to strengthen on their return to the Premier League. The Evening Standard reports Leeds are interested in Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.

- Benfica could be nearing two big signings. Gianluca Di Marzio says the Portuguese giants want Inter midfielder Joao Mario, while Record reports Benfica are close to completing a deal for former Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani.

- Having signed Blaise Matuidi, Inter Miami may add some firepower. DIRECTV Peru says the MLS club have started talks to sign former PSV and Schalke forward Jefferson Farfan.

Benfica have confirmed the signings of Jan Vertonghen, Everton Soares and Luca Waldschmidt.

In an announcement on Friday, Benfica revealed the three additions to coach Jorge Jesus' squad.

Vertonghen, who will wear the number five shirt, arrives as a free agent after the experienced Belgium defender left Tottenham at the end of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Meanwhile, Everton – who was also linked with the English club of the same name – has joined for an undisclosed fee from Gremio.

The 24-year-old winger has made 14 appearances for Brazil, scoring three goals.

Waldschmidt arrives from Bundesliga club Freiburg, having netted seven league goals to help his former side finish eighth in 2019-20.

A three-time Germany international, Waldschmidt will wear the number 10 jersey.

Benfica finished second in Portugal's Primeira Liga last term, five points behind champions Porto.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Jan Vertonghen is among the best players he has ever worked with and wished the defender well ahead of his imminent move to Benfica. 

Belgium international Vertonghen confirmed his Tottenham exit last month following eight seasons with the club. 

The 33-year-old made over 300 appearances for the Premier League side and finished his Spurs career under Mourinho. He is expected to complete a free transfer to Benfica in the near future. 

Mourinho has wished the centre-back well in Portugal with Benfica, who have confirmed the return of head coach Jorge Jesus ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. 

"He will be a great man to play in the Portuguese League. A big professional, a silent leader, an example in a work group," Mourinho told Portuguese newspaper Record.

"Fortunately I've met many throughout my career, but Jan is certainly among the best.  

"As a player, everyone knows him and the Benfica coach, as well as his structure, certainly analysed everything he can bring to the team.  

"I wish him to be very happy in my country. At Spurs we'll all be behind a person who is very dear to us."

Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future has dominated headlines.

With Aubameyang due to become a free agent in 2021, Arsenal have been desperate to re-sign the Gabon international.

Now, it looks like the 31-year-old will remain at Emirates Stadium for an extended period.

 

TOP STORY – AUBAMEYANG TO SIGN NEW DEAL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to signing a new three-year contract with Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

Aubameyang's current deal is due to expire next year and the Arsenal star has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona, as well as Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

But Aubameyang is set to sign a deal that will run until 2023, a two-year extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano claims it is only a matter of time before Willian signs a contract with Arsenal until 2023. Chelsea midfielder Willian is free to talk to clubs as his deal at Stamford Bridge expires. The Gunners are also eyeing Thomas Partey but Atletico Madrid insist the midfielder will not leave unless his £45million (€50m) release clause is paid.

Paul Pogba is happy at Manchester United and is ready to sign a new contract, reports Romano. Pogba has been previously linked to former club Juventus and LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford, and The Guardian claims United will listen to offers for Jesse Lingard as they try to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. United and Dortmund are still negotiating a transfer for Sancho, according to widespread reports.

Edinson Cavani could be poised to join Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro, reports Globo Esporte. The 33-year-old Uruguay international is a free agent after leaving PSG. Cavani has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica, newly promoted Premier League team Leeds United, MLS outfit Inter Miami, Atletico and Inter.

Everton are interested in signing Atletico's Thomas Lemar, says Le10Sport. Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are also hoping to bring United full-back Diego Dalot to Goodison Park, reports The Mirror.

- According to The Athletic, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is set to join Tottenham from Southampton. Spurs will pay £19m for the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

Liverpool will have to pay close to £20m for Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis after the Premier League champions had a £10m offer rejected, says The Guardian.

David Silva looks set to move to Lazio. According to Sky Sport Italia, the Manchester City midfielder – a free agent – will swap the Premier League for Serie A following the club's Champions League campaign.

Jadon Sancho has long been linked with a move to Manchester United.

The former Manchester City youngster is reportedly ready to return to his native England after starring in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund.

With United's Champions League status confirmed, the Red Devils are ready to strike a deal.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STEPPING UP SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho as they cool on Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to Sky Sports.

United are determined to bring Sancho to Old Trafford after securing Champions League qualification, though both clubs are yet to come to agreement on a transfer fee – Dortmund are reportedly holding out for €120m (£109m).

England international Sancho has previously been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea.

It now looks unlikely that United will pursue Villa star Grealish, who is valued in excess of £80m by the Premier League side, with doubts over where he would fit into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

 

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- Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell will demand he wants to leave the club in order to force a move to Chelsea, reports The Mirror. Chilwell has also been linked to Manchester City and Manchester United.

Everton want to sign Lazio star Ciro Immobile, says 90min. Immobile has scored a Serie A-high 34 goals for Lazio this season.

- According to Diario AS, Lazio are in talks to sign Manchester City great David Silva. The Spanish star is set to become a free agent following the Champions League campaign.

- Calciomercato claims Tottenham are eyeing Inter outcast Ivan Perisic. The Croatia international, who was linked to United during Jose Mourinho's time in Manchester, spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Milan are interested in signing Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 22-year-old has also been linked to the likes of Napoli and United.

- Edinson Cavani has emerged as a possible understudy for Bayern star Robert Lewandowski, says Le10Sport. Cavani is a free agent since leaving Paris Saint-Germain and has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica.

- According to Cadena Cope, Barcelona have contacted Villarreal to discuss defender Pau Torres, who has a €50m release clause.

- Qatari side Al Gharafa are interested in Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas, claims France Football.

Kai Havertz's reported move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea should speed up, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set for a Milan stay.

Chelsea recorded a 2-0 win over Wolves on Sunday to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and a spot in next season's Champions League.

That result should open the door for the arrival of Havertz – and soon.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ TO CHELSEA SET TO SPEED UP

Chelsea's qualification for the Champions League should see a deal for Leverkusen star Havertz speed up, according to Sport Bild.

Leverkusen are in the Europa League last 16, but reportedly do not insist on keeping the Germany international for the rest of the tournament.

Havertz, 21, has scored 17 goals and provided nine assists in 43 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Coming out of contract at Milan, Ibrahimovic could be set to extend his stay. CalcioMercato reports the 38-year-old forward is open to accepting a deal worth around €4million, lower than his initial demand of €6m. The report also says Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose deal expires next year, could renew until 2023.

- What's next for Philippe Coutinho? The cover of Sport says the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, is considering options to join Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester City.

- Brescia star Sandro Tonali is linked with a big-money move. CalcioMercato says Inter have agreed terms with the Italy international midfielder and are nearing a €35m agreement with Brescia, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the 20-year-old.

- With Dejan Lovren reportedly set for an exit, Liverpool may have found a replacement. Sport Bild reports the Premier League champions have started talks with Schalke to sign 20-year-old centre-back Ozan Kabak.

- With uncertainty over Kepa Arrizabalaga's future at Chelsea, the Premier League club are said to be looking for a new goalkeeper. Voetbal International reports Chelsea and Leverkusen have strong interest in Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

- Edinson Cavani may be close to deciding his future. Todofichajes reports the former Paris Saint-Germain striker is close to agreeing a deal with Benfica.

Jorge Jesus has been appointed head coach of Benfica for a second time after leaving Brazilian and South American champions Flamengo.

Benfica have turned to veteran Portuguese boss Jesus after they were dethroned by bitter rivals Porto in Primeira Liga this season, it was announced on Friday.

Flamengo had been hopeful of keeping Jesus, who led the club to Campeonato Brasileiro, Copa Libertadores and Recopa Sudamericana glory following his arrival last year.

However, Jesus has re-joined Benfica, where he previously spent six years and won three league trophies among other honours in Lisbon.

"Despite regretting the loss of their victorious coach, Flamengo respects this personal decision," Flamengo said in a statement.

"On behalf of the entire board and the 42 million red-blacks who make up the biggest fan club in the world, our greatest thanks to him and all his technical committee for everything that has been done and our wish that they continue to maintain the enormous success as had with us.

"Flamengo, following what its anthem advocates - and which Jorge Jesus represented so well - will continue in its usual goal: Win, win, win!"

After winning a second Libertadores title and first since 1981 in November, Flamengo were crowned Brazilian champions for the seventh time last year, having not claimed the Campeonato Brasileiro since 2009.

Flamengo then added the Recopa – which pits the Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana champions against each other – to their collection in February.

Rio de Janeiro giants Flamengo also wrapped up the Carioca state championship title against Fluminense on Wednesday.

Jesus, 65, wrote via Instagram: "It was 13 months of perfect union, a time when I was very happy, I felt at home, we had unforgettable achievements. But today we met with the Flamengo board and decided that it was time to end our relationship, without hurting, resentment.

"A break that will leave no scars, only memories of victories and titles, emotions that I will carry for life. End of a cycle, the time has come to return to Portugal. Flamengo, I am sure, will follow its victorious trajectory because it has a cast and structure that matches its greatness.

"To the club, its board and its employees, to this fantastic group of players, to the fans of Flamengo, my eternal gratitude, you will remain forever in my heart."

Flamengo are hoping Jorge Jesus remains their head coach amid a growing expectation in Portugal he could be heading back to Benfica.

Club president Rodolfo Landim said Jesus would be back at work next week, after Rio de Janeiro giants Flamengo wrapped up the Carioca state championship title.

The 65-year-old Portuguese coach previously spent six years in charge of Benfica, leading the Lisbon giants from 2009 to 2015, before then spending three seasons with their bitter rivals Sporting CP.

Jesus has enjoyed a spectacular 13-month reign to date at Flamengo, with the Copa Libertadores and Brasileiro titles among the successes he has brought to the Maracana.

Reports in Portugal claim negotiations between Benfica and Jesus have already begun.

However, Landim said he had received no indication Jesus - who agreed a new contract until at least 2021 last month - wanted to move back to his homeland.

"On Monday, he'll be training the team," Landim said. "Everyone is free to go today, and everyone trains on Monday."

Quoted by Globo Esporte, Landim added: "We are expecting him there on Monday, that's what I said to him now in the dressing room. Everyone has the right [to have a break], you know, they won a title. Let's take a few days off."

Landim said Jesus had given no hint of an approach from another club.

"He did not mention anything, of course not," the president said.

Porto captured their 29th Primeira Liga title following the stunning capitulation of Portuguese rivals Benfica.

Boasting former Real Madrid defender Pepe, Porto celebrated a second league trophy in three seasons thanks to Wednesday's 2-0 victory over fierce foes Sporting CP.

Danilo Pereira and Moussa Marega scored in the second half to ensure Porto dethroned defending champions Benfica midweek with two matches remaining as iconic goalkeeper Iker Casillas heads into retirement.

Porto have been almost flawless since the season resumed in June following the coronavirus-enforced break in March, winning six of their eight matches, including five in a row.

Benfica, meanwhile, have only managed three victories since returning to action last month and just four wins from 13 league games since February to slip eight points adrift of Porto.

"The team is to be congratulated for what we did, and not only in this game," Pepe said. "Sporting were in very good form but we knew how to cancel out their strong points. This is down to the hard work and sacrifice our squad put in, we never stopped, not even during the confinement.

"What made us champions? Above all, the togetherness we had. We know we represent a very important region of the country and we all identify with this region. When things get tough we use this strength to overcome adversities. If I'm not mistaken, in the first game of the season against Gil Vicente [a defeat] I said we lose together and we win together, and today is proof of that. Not only us the players, but the entire club and all the fans.

"We didn't have holidays, we were always working, striving for perfection. It's difficult, but we were always striving for it. The spirit we had, the belief in our coach, he always believed. Today, here, we see the result."

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao added: "We won one of the most important titles in Porto's history. I'd like to dedicate this title to my family, who suffer a lot, my wife and my children and my parents."

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has no interest in leaving the LaLiga giants.

Speculation over the France international's future has increased amid his, and Barca's, struggles.

But the 29-year-old seemingly wants more than one season at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN NOT INTERESTED IN BARCELONA EXIT

Griezmann has no interest in leaving Barcelona, according to Le Parisien.

Since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million, Griezmann has managed just 14 goals in 43 games this season.

Griezmann was introduced as a 90th-minute substitute in Barca's 2-2 draw with his former club on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Camp Nou and Quique Setien's future as Barcelona head coach remains a talking point after one win in four games. AS reports Setien is not in immediate danger but is far from safe, while Sport says his future is uncertain, although the club are hoping to keep him at the helm until the end of the season.

- Manchester City look set for a rebuild in the close season. The Guardian claims Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, who is out of contract next year, is a target for the Premier League giants.

- After making a stellar start to the season with Lyon before suffering a serious knee injury, Memphis Depay has been linked with a move. Le 10 Sport reports Arsenal want the attacker, who has 14 goals in 18 games this season.

- Carlos Tevez's future remains uncertain. Ole says the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward, 36, could retire as he struggles to agree to a new contract with Boca Juniors.

- With Bruno Lage on his way out as Benfica coach, the Portuguese giants are searching for a new boss. According to A Bola, Benfica have looked at the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Ernesto Valverde and Laurent Blanc, but are now considering former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal coach Unai Emery.

- Tottenham defender Serge Aurier could be set for a move. Sky Sports reports Monaco are interested in the Ivory Coast right-back.

Real Madrid or Manchester United? 

The two European giants appear to be the likeliest options for Jadon Sancho, who continues to be linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund. 

Sancho has been tipped to make the move to Old Trafford but the England international could be set to grace the Santiago Bernabeu instead. 

 

TOP STORY – MADRID AND UNITED FIGHTING OVER SANCHO

Real Madrid and Manchester United are going head-to-head to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho has been tipped to leave Dortmund for United, though Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all emerged as possible destinations.

Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants to bring Sancho to Madrid as Dortmund demand a huge fee.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Sergio Aguero and Milan Skriniar be set to swap clubs? Calciomercato reports Inter are eyeing Manchester City star Aguero in a deal that would see Nerazzurri defender Skriniar move in the opposite direction. Inter could be in the market for a forward as Barca eye Lautaro Martinez, while Pep Guardiola's City are desperate to bolster their defence.

- There has been no decision on David Alaba's future, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Bayern Munich star has been linked to City, Juventus, Chelsea and PSG.

Mauricio Pochettino is in talks to take over Portuguese giants Benfica, Record says. Pochettino has been out of work since he was sacked by Tottenham in November.

- Calciomercato claims Milan's hierarchy will confront Mino Raiola in the next 48 hours to try to finalise a new contract for star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Arsenal have made an offer for Levante midfielder Enis Bardhi, reports Onda Cero. Fiorentina and an unnamed Bundesliga club are also interested.

Barca and Juve are expected to announce the swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic on Monday after undergoing medicals, according to widespread speculation. Arthur will join Juve, while Pjanic is set to replace the Brazilian at Barca.

Lisbon is supposedly being considered as a potential location for all remaining 2019-20 Champions League matches and Portugal great Nuno Gomes believes the city would be a "good solution".

The coronavirus pandemic brought top-level sport in Europe to a halt, with the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League pushed back indefinitely.

UEFA wants to complete both competitions once domestic leagues have been concluded, meaning the remaining fixtures could potentially resume in August.

Last week, reports began to emerge suggesting Istanbul would be unable to cover the cost of hosting the Champions League final without supporters being allowed to attend, and now UEFA are said to be considering alternative plans.

One apparent idea is for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to be played at neutral venues in a single city and Lisbon is reportedly considered to be the strongest option, given Portugal's low coronavirus infection rate and the facilities of Benfica and Sporting CP.

Gomes agrees Lisbon would be an effective host, telling Stats Perform News: "For us Portuguese, I believe it is a good thing.

"After a lot of meetings they [UEFA] understood it's maybe better to do it in one place rather than everybody travelling around Europe.

"[Lisbon] is a good option, and I'm not sure if they already decided a final decision, but it's true a lot of views and conversations are being held in order to maybe give Lisbon the final eight of the Champions League.

"I think it's good for football to find a solution in order to finish the games that are missing because everybody is waiting for Champions League games."

Both the Europa League and Champions League were suspended in March during the round-of-16.

Benfica have vowed to help authorities find the perpetrators who stoned the team's bus in an attack that left Julian Weigl and Andrija Zivkovic requiring hospital treatment.

The vehicle was targeted when travelling down a major motorway following Benfica's goalless draw with Tondela at Estadio da Luz on Thursday.

It was a game that marked the team's resumption in the Primeira Liga following the suspension of domestic football in Portugal due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Supporters had earlier gathered outside the stadium in Lisbon as games are being played behind closed doors due to protocols being put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Benfica said midfielder Weigl and winger Zivkovic were taken to hospital as a precaution and condemned the actions of those involved.

A club statement read: "Benfica repudiates and regrets the criminal stoning that the players' bus suffered, when it was heading to the Seixal Training Centre [Benfica's training headquarters], at the end of the game against Tondela, held on Thursday night at the Estadio da Luz.

"We inform that, as a matter of precaution, players Julian Weigl and Zivkovic were immediately taken to Hospital da Luz to be observed, following the shrapnel that hit them.

"Benfica guarantees full collaboration with the authorities, to whom it calls for the greatest effort to be made, in order to identify the offenders responsible for these criminal acts."

The draw means Benfica are level on points with rivals Porto on 60 points after 25 games.

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