Milan kept alive their faint hopes of Serie A title glory as Hakan Calhanoglu's fine strike sealed a pulsating 3-2 win over Fiorentina on Sunday. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had put them ahead after nine minutes to become the oldest player to reach 15 goals in a single Serie A season, aged 39 years and 169 days, but Erick Pulgar restored parity soon after.

Fiorentina took the lead shortly after the break thanks to a cool finish from Franck Ribery, yet Milan powered back thanks to Brahim Diaz and Calhanoglu's winner 19 minutes from full-time. 

The result means Milan move to within six points of leaders Inter, whose game against Sassuolo this weekend was called off after a COVID-19 outbreak at the club.

Fikayo Tomori cleared Martin Caceres' header off the line after five minutes as the hosts started brightly, but it was Milan who struck first. 

Simon Kjaer's clipped ball over the top found Ibrahimovic and the Sweden international struck past an exposed Bartlomiej Dragowski. 

That lead was cancelled out after 17 minutes, though, when Pulgar whipped a free-kick into Gianluigi Donnarumma's top-right corner from 20 yards. 

Both sides struck the crossbar before half-time, German Pezzella denied after an inventive flick from Valentin Eysseric's corner, while Ibrahimovic clipped against the frame of the goal after being played in by Calhanoglu.

La Viola went ahead six minutes after the restart, Ribery stroking home his second top-flight goal of the season from 15 yards after he had been teed up by Dusan Vlahovic.

The Rossoneri drew level in the 57th minute, however, when Diaz reacted quickest to poke home Kjaer's knockdown from a corner. 

Ibrahimovic struck the post with a cross before Calhanoglu slotted into substitute goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano's bottom-left corner from just inside the penalty area to ensure neighbours Inter cannot relax just yet.

 

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic can make the difference for Milan in the Serie A title race after returning from injury, according to team-mate Brahim Diaz.

Ibrahimovic scored 10 goals in six league games to help the Rossoneri make a fast start to the 2020-21 season, but injuries have hampered him since late November.

Milan have continued to prosper without the talismanic striker, yet Diaz believes the Swede can now play a pivotal role - and not just on the pitch - after making his comeback on Saturday.

The 39-year-old came off the bench in the closing stages of a 2-0 win over Torino, Stefano Pioli's side bouncing back impressively after Juventus had put an end to their unbeaten record in midweek.

"Ibrahimovic is a player who makes the difference," Diaz said in an interview with Sky Sport Italia.

“He transfers his great experience to us. Now that he is back, we will do great things.

"He has a winning mentality and forces you to always give your best, he wants the best of ourselves every day."

Diaz made his eighth league start of the campaign against Torino, playing a pivotal role in helping his team claim three points.

The Spaniard set up Rafael Leao for the home side's opening goal, then won the penalty that allowed Franck Kessie to double the advantage before half-time.

The victory moved Milan four points clear at the summit and with nearest rivals Inter only able to draw on Sunday, hopes are high they can be crowned champions of Italy for the first time in a decade.

"We are Milan, this word is enough to understand that we always want to win, then we'll see," said Diaz, who is on loan from Real Madrid.

"We can dream. We are a very united group and we want to do great things together. The best is yet to come, we are all fine and also I feel great.

"I am happy for the penalty which I won, for the assist and for the three points against Torino. If we continue like this, little by little we will be able to do more and more."

Stefano Pioli praised Milan's resilience as his side came from two goals down to beat Celtic 4-2 and qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League.  

Tomas Rogic and Odsonne Edouard put the Scottish team 2-0 up inside 14 minutes, but Milan stormed back through goals from Hakan Calhanoglu, Samu Castillejo, Jens Petter Hauge and Brahim Diaz.  

The result, combined with Lille's dramatic 2-1 win over Sparta Prague in Group H's other game, means Milan have sealed their spot in the knockout stages.  

Pioli – back in the dugout after missing three games with COVID-19 – lost experienced defender Simon Kjaer to injury in between Celtic's goals, and the Milan boss was pleased with how his young side overcame those early setbacks.  

"The lads wanted to put me to the test, to see if I'd fully recovered!" Pioli joked on Sky Sport Italia. 

"We had started well, but those two distractions caused problems. It can be a teachable moment to help us grow. Even when 2-0 down, we have to keep playing as a team, which is what we did today.

"I am glad that even without Kjaer, and with such a young line-up, we didn't lose our heads at 2-0 down. Celtic proved they wanted to get an important result and make a good impression at San Siro." 

Daniele Bonera was in charge of the first team while Pioli self-isolated after testing positive for COVID-19, with the former Fiorentina boss admitting his time from the club was difficult. 

"Those two weeks felt like an eternity," he added. "Aside from the games, it is a genuine pleasure to spend time with these players and my staff. We want to continue like this and be ambitious." 

Diaz took his tally in this season's competition to three goals, then admitted Pioli's return to the sidelines give Milan's players extra impetus for the game.  

"Pioli's return was very positive," he said. "His staff allowed us to work well, too, but his presence gives us an extra boost. We are satisfied with the performance." 

The on-loan Real Madrid forward has been limited to just six starts across all competitions this season, yet he insists he is happy at the Serie A leaders. 

"I am very happy to be here, as I feel really good at such a big club as Milan," he said. 

"I play wherever the coach wants me to. I know that I have to improve and I'm very happy to be doing it at this club."

Gianluigi Donnarumma's future could become clearer soon.

The Milan goalkeeper is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move amid apparent interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Donnarumma could be set for a new deal at San Siro.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN IN FRESH TALKS OVER DONNARUMMA CONTRACT

Donnarumma's agent Mino Raiola was set for talks with Milan over an extension for the Italy international, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It remains to be seen whether a deal will be done, but the report says the Rossoneri have expressed optimism about a renewal in recent weeks.

Milan are unbeaten through five Serie A games this season and hold a two-point lead at the top.

Donnarumma has played in four of those games, making 11 saves and holding a 90.9 save percentage. His best save percentage in a Serie A season came in 2016-17 (76.4).

ROUND-UP

- Staying in Milan and the city's two rivals could be set for a transfer battle. CalcioMercato reports Inter and Milan may be interested in Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- Inter could be busy in January. The Serie A giants may make a move for Parma attacker Gervinho, according to CalcioMercato.

- Could Kieran Trippier leave Atletico Madrid after less than two seasons? Todofichajes says the club are prepared to listen to offers for the England full-back, who could be worth around €28million.

- Brahim Diaz is impressing on loan at Milan from Real Madrid. The Serie A club want to keep the forward beyond his loan spell for 2020-21, according to CalcioMercato.

Milan did not not let Zlatan Ibrahimovic's penalty miss derail them as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Sparta Prague in their Europa League Group H match on Thursday. 

Stefano Pioli’s side – who beat Celtic 3-1 in their group opener last week – were sharp from the outset and went ahead after 24 minutes courtesy of Brahim Diaz's smart finish. 

Milan talisman Ibrahimovic struck the crossbar from 12 yards nine minutes before the interval, but his half-time replacement Rafael Leao doubled the Rossoneri's advantage in the 57th minute.

On-loan Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot then scored his first goal for the club as Milan wrapped up all three points at a canter.

Ibrahimovic twice went close with headers in the early stages as Milan started brightly. 

The Swede then played a pivotal role in Milan's opener after 24 minutes, sliding the ball across goal for Diaz – who had started the move by stealing possession on the halfway line – to cut inside and fire underneath Milan Heca for his third goal of the season. 

Heca raced off his line to deny Rade Krunic moments later before Ibrahimovic wasted a golden opportunity to extend Milan's lead, clipping his spot-kick against the crossbar after he had been pulled back inside the area by David Lischka.

Ibrahimovic was replaced at half-time by Leao, who was denied four minutes into the second period by Heca after being played through by Sandro Tonali.

Leao got the better of the Sparta goalkeeper shortly before the hour mark, though, stroking home from close range following Dalot's sumptuous low ball across the penalty area with the outside of his foot.

Dalot added a third in the 66th minute with a deflected strike from 20 yards that crept inside Heca's right-hand post to seal Milan's routine victory. 

Rade Krunic opened his Milan goalscoring account as the in-form Serie A giants won 3-1 at Celtic in their Europa League Group H opener.

Bosnian midfielder Krunic headed the first and Brahim Diaz scored a neat second for the Rossoneri, before Jens Hauge added a late third, as they produced an efficient performance in Glasgow against the Scottish champions.

With Celtic reeling from a derby defeat to Rangers and weakened by a string of injuries, this match always looked unlikely to provide the succour for which they were hoping.

Milan were so in charge that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could effectively stroll through 65 minutes before being replaced, but they were hanging on after Mohamed Elyounoussi's header gave the hosts a surprise foothold, until Hauge made sure.

Celtic wanted an early penalty when Albian Ajeti's shot hit Alessio Romagnoli, but it did not look to strike the Milan captain's hand, and Olivier Ntcham's follow-up strike was tame.

It was downhill from there for the hosts, with Milan snatching a 14th-minute lead when Samu Castillejo sent in a teasing cross from the right and former Empoli man Krunic headed beyond the dive of goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas, finding the left corner.

Jeremie Frimpong was at times lively for Celtic on the right, but Milan are eager to make their presence felt in this competition, despite having only edged into the group stage after beating Rio Ave 9-8 on penalties in their play-off.

Diaz got the second goal for Stefano Pioli's men in the 42nd minute, taking a pass from Theo Hernandez and showing nimble footwork before burying a low shot into the left corner.

Uruguayan winger Diego Laxalt sent a shot a yard over the Milan crossbar early in the second half as Celtic searched for a way back into the game.

Ryan Christie's corner was nodded in by fellow substitute Elyounoussi in the 76th minute to give the hosts hope, but Milan were in no mood to be denied and Hauge finished well from Alexis Saelemaekers' pass in stoppage time.

Brahim Diaz scored his first goal for Milan as they claimed a 2-0 Serie A win away to Crotone on Sunday.

Franck Kessie opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half before Brahim struck early in the second to secure a fourth win in four games in all competitions in 2020-21.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was again absent after testing positive for coronavirus on Thursday, but Stefano Pioli's men were in control throughout at Stadio Ezio Scida as they stretched their unbeaten Serie A run to 14 matches.

There was a blow for Milan, though, who saw Ante Rebic leave the pitch in the second half with a nasty arm injury sustained after he tripped and fell.

Milan's early control of possession yielded little in terms of chances, although a header from Simon Kjaer bounced off the turf and then the crossbar from Hakan Calhanoglu's corner.

As the half moved into injury time, Rebic was felled by Luca Marrone in the penalty area and, after the forward escaped a possible handball following a VAR check, Kessie made no mistake with an emphatic finish from the spot.

Milan doubled their advantage just five minutes into the second half, Brahim finishing low on the turn after the ball fell kindly to him in the six-yard box at the end of a swift break involving Alexis Saelemaekers and Calhanoglu.

Crotone did not lack endeavour but Gianluigi Donnarumma's goal was rarely threatened as the Serie A newcomers slipped to a second successive defeat.

What does it mean? No Zlatan, no problem for Rossoneri

While the 3-2 win over Bodo/Glimt on Thursday was a little closer than Milan would have liked, this was an assured and controlled outing in Calabria.

Crotone did not manage a shot on target as the visitors eased to another victory and clean sheet and a fifth league game without defeat against this opposition.

Brahim building bridges

Not only did he score one of his two shots on target, Brahim also completed all but one of his 23 attempted passes, 15 of which were in the final third.

The Real Madrid loanee might have been on the fringes of things in the Spanish capital, but he is already at the heart of things in the Milan attack.

Can I be blunt?

Crotone's starting attacking pair of Simy and Denis Dragus managed not one shot or chance created between them. Crotone will not last long in the top flight if they cannot start at least threatening a goal.

What's next?

Milan head to Rio Ave in the Europa League play-offs on Thursday before hosting Spezia in Serie A three days later. Crotone head to Sassuolo next Saturday.

Brahim Diaz has joined Milan on loan from Real Madrid for the 2020-21 season, the Serie A club confirmed.

The 21-year-old forward signed for Madrid in January 2019 but has struggled for first-team football since making a €15million switch from Manchester City.

Diaz featured just six times in LaLiga last term, with none of those appearances as a starter, and had been strongly linked with a transfer.

HIs agent confirmed talks with Milan earlier in the week, criticising Madrid for not giving Diaz the "required space and above all the confidence he needed".

Despite seemingly not being part of Zinedine Zidane's plans, Diaz has not secured a permanent move, and reports indicate Milan do not have a purchase option in the deal.

A Milan statement read: "Milan is delighted to announce the signing of the Spanish footballer Brahim Diaz from Real Madrid on loan until June 30, 2021."

Diaz, a technically gifted and skilful attacker, joined City in 2015 after showing promise in Malaga's youth ranks.

Although he was regarded as one of City's best prospects alongside Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden, Diaz followed the former in leaving the club in search of more opportunities.

While that has not been forthcoming at Madrid, he will be expected to see more action in San Siro, with Milan aiming to improve on their sixth-place finish in 2019-20.

Brahim Diaz's agent Pedro Gonzalez says Real Madrid failed to get the most out of the young midfielder and has backed his client to succeed on loan at Milan.

The 21-year-old joined Madrid in January 2019 after six years at Manchester City but has made just five LaLiga starts since then, with only substitute appearances in the top flight last season.

He previously vowed to win over head coach Zinedine Zidane, but the Spaniard is now on the verge of linking up with Milan for the 2020-21 season after flying into Malpensa airport on Wednesday.

Diaz declared himself "ready for this challenge" ahead of undergoing a medical and his representative Gonzalez is confident the ex-Man City product can become a key player at San Siro, having been underused by Zidane at Madrid.

"Brahim returned to Spain in January 2019, but in Madrid they didn't give him the required space and above all the confidence he needed," he told Tuttomercatoweb.

"He's a young player and he needs to play continuously to bring out his full potential.

"I'm convinced of the Rossoneri choice. Brahim has already lived abroad and will therefore adapt quickly to his new reality.

"His future team-mate Samu Castillejo, another great player I brought to Malaga, will help him. I say this with great pride.

"If Brahim Diaz has chosen Milan, it means he already knows he can help the team by carving out a leading role.

"I have no doubts about this. As soon as he has finished his growth path, we will talk about an absolute champion and not a promising youngster anymore."

Spain Under-21s international Diaz has scored two goals in 21 appearances for Madrid in all competitions during his 20 months at the club.

Lionel Messi looks set to leave Barcelona and a select few clubs are preparing to make a move.

Manchester City? Paris Saint-Germain? Inter?

Keep an eye on this saga…

 

TOP STORY – PSG TALKING TO MESSI

Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with wantaway Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, according to Ole.

Messi has handed in a transfer request at Barca, and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has already been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United, Inter, Juventus and PSG.

The frontpage of Thursday's Mundo Deportivo claims City are circling to bring Messi to the Premier League with the 33-year-old believed to be keen on reuniting with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola. Meanwhile, Marca claims City have offered a three-year deal.

However, Ligue 1 champions PSG are also eyeing Messi as they look to add him to a squad that already boasts former team-mate Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano reports Inter have re-opened talks with Barca for midfielder Arturo Vidal. Antonio Conte, who will remain Inter head coach in 2020-21, wants to bring the Chilean to San Siro.

- It comes as Gazzetta dello Sport reports Inter have struck a deal to sign Brescia star Sandro Tonali. Milan have also been eyeing the Italy midfielder.

- Serie A champions Juventus are set to sign Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, says Sky Sport Italia. The United States international is poised to arrive on loan with the option to buy. Juve have also been linked with Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli.

Manchester United are still chasing Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to the Daily Mail. Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho has been United's top priority, though the Red Devils remain in contact with Villa over a potential transfer.

- Sport Bild says Liverpool will make an approach for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara in the coming days.

Milan are poised to sign Real Madrid's Brahim Diaz on loan, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Brahim has struggled for game time since arriving from City in 2019.

- Signing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is a priority for PSG, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbia international has previously been linked with Madrid, United, Juve, Inter and Chelsea.

Manchester City are reportedly looking at signing Lionel Messi, while Barcelona's rebuild does not include Luis Suarez.

Messi, 33, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants after a trophy-less 2019-20 season.

Barca are preparing for a rebuild and while Messi is part of their plans, Suarez is seemingly not.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MESSI MOVE

Manchester City are working out if they would be able to sign Barcelona star Messi without breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, according to ESPN.

The report says the Premier League giants are preparing should Messi become available.

Messi is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, but has been linked with a move.

ROUND-UP

- Also at Barcelona, Ronald Koeman is preparing his rebuild. Mundo Deportivo reports the club no longer want Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal or Samuel Umtiti, but have plans for Philippe Coutinho, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. The report also says Suarez's departure will open up a move for Inter star Lautaro Martinez.

- Ansu Fati is seemingly close to committing his future to Barcelona. The 17-year-old forward, who has been linked to Manchester United, will sign a new deal that will include a €400million release clause, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- A former Bianconeri striker could help Juventus land Edin Dzeko. Tuttosport reports Mario Mandzukic could join Roma as a replacement for Dzeko, who is being linked to Juve.

- Milan are reportedly looking at Brahim Diaz. Fabrizio Romano reports the Serie A giants have opened talks with Real Madrid about a loan move, with an option to buy, for Brahim.

- Hector Bellerin has been linked with a move away from Arsenal. RMC Sport reports the defender has been offered to Paris Saint-Germain.

- Also at PSG, Leandro Paredes could make a move. Gianluca Di Marzio says Juventus are interested in the midfielder.

Manchester City's preparations for their eagerly awaited Champions League showdown against Real Madrid have been thrown into flux by the news teenage centre-back Eric Garcia will not sign a new contract at the club.

Garcia has established himself as Pep Guardiola's first-choice central defensive partner for Aymeric Laporte since the Premier League resumed.

However, the 19-year-old has been heavily linked with a return to boyhood club Barcelona and Camp Nou looks increasingly likely to be his next destination following Guardiola's shock disclosure on Thursday.

Garcia is far from the first bright young thing to look beyond the environs of the Etihad Campus. Here, we look at how those next moves panned out, as Phil Foden's impressive first-team breakthrough increasingly looks like the exception to the rule.

ERIC GARCIA

Garcia's defection feels like it will cut Guardiola deep – the City boss having lavished praise upon "a guy who doesn't make mistakes", making for a pointed contrast with the out-of-favour Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones. Plenty of City youngsters have had a strong argument in terms of having no obvious pathway to the first team but, even allowing for the arrival of Nathan Ake and further reinforcements being sought at centre-back, this in not really a case Garcia can make.

He made seven of his 13 Premier League appearances after lockdown this term. It seems a simple case of Barcelona's allure being too strong to ignore.

BRAHIM DIAZ

Brahim is back in Manchester this week with Real Madrid, meaning his reasons for departing have common ground with the Garcia situation. The forward was similarly offered fresh terms at the Etihad Stadium but, despite 15 appearances and two goals across all competitions, the plethora of attacking options at Guardiola's disposal undoubtedly came into his thinking. Madrid paid €17million for Brahim last January and have not shown a great deal more inclination to give him a run at the highest level.

RABBI MATONDO

Another attacking player who assessed the star-studded cast ahead of him and decided he would be better off elsewhere. The curious thing about Matondo's €9m move to Schalke in the same month Brahim left is he had not troubled Guardiola's first-team squad, even if he had made the breakthrough with Wales at international level. Eighteen months on, he has 27 Bundesliga appearances and two goals to his name. It is nevertheless difficult to imagine Matondo taking the course of action he did without another man blazing a trail...

JADON SANCHO

Sancho was set for a place on City's 2017-18 pre-season tour alongside Foden. But while his fellow England youth international went on to enjoy a sparkling debut against Manchester United in the International Champions Cup, Sancho kicked his heels at home. Contract negotiations and, as a result, relations with City had broken down. In the bigger picture was the club looking to add Alexis Sanchez to their already considerable forward line.

Sancho sensed his career would be allowed to flourish at Borussia Dortmund and, as he reportedly moves towards a return to England at Manchester United having established himself as one of the most lethal attackers in Europe, it is impossible to argue he was proved anything other than emphatically correct. If he steps out at Old Trafford next season, it will sting on the blue side of Manchester.

JASON DENAYER

Denayer's tale is arguably one that came into the thinking of Sancho and others when considering their future prospects at the Etihad Stadium. Having impressed on loan at Celtic in 2014-15, City gave the Belgium defender a five-year contract. They then signed Nicolas Otamendi for £32m and loaned the youngster to Galatasaray, where he returned in 2017-18 after a season with Sunderland. Denayer will also play in the Champions League last-16 this week with Lyon, who he joined in 2018 for €10m having never managed a competitive appearance for City.

MARCOS 'RONY' LOPES

In the same month Denayer received wildly mixed messages about his future, Portuguese winger Lopes moved to Monaco for €12m after spending the previous season in Ligue 1 at Lille. He produced a handful of exciting cameos while on the fringes of Manuel Pellegrini's City squad, having become the club's youngest ever goalscorer at 17 years and eight days in a January 2013 FA Cup win over Watford. Even then, Lopes – who recently joined Nice on loan from Sevilla – saw the writing on the wall.

"I knew it wouldn't change anything because I knew the players at City at the time, I knew the money involved," he told The Athletic earlier this year. "I knew in my head that to play more, I would have to leave."

Kylian Mbappe could be prepared to agree a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain – on one condition.

The France star has been linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid, although he is contracted in Paris until 2022.

Mbappe could also reportedly re-sign with PSG and it seems it is a possibility, although only if it includes a clause.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS REAL MADRID CLAUSE IN NEW PSG DEAL

Mbappe wants a clause in his PSG contract that allows him to leave for Real Madrid or another great club for a certain fee, according to AS.

The report compares the buyout clause to the one Neymar had in his deal before leaving Barcelona for PSG for a world-record €222million in 2017.

It says Real Madrid would prefer Mbappe did not re-sign as they would chase the attacker next year.

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are reportedly still pursuing Inter star Lautaro Martinez. But ESPN claims the LaLiga giants fear interest from Real Madrid, Manchester United and PSG could drive up the forward's price.

- James Rodriguez is seemingly still attracting interest from Atletico Madrid. El Universal reports the Colombia international is ready to make the move from Real Madrid and join Atletico.

- Again linked with a move, Nabil Fekir may be prepared to wait. AS says the Real Betis attacker is ready to wait for an offer from Barca or Real Madrid to emerge, amid apparent interest from Arsenal, Milan and Newcastle United.

- The chase is on for Aster Vranckx. The Mirror reports Manchester City and Liverpool will go head-to-head for the 17-year-old Mechelen midfielder, who is a Belgium youth international. It comes as The Mirror reports Liverpool are changing their transfer plans to focus on young talent.

- Brahim Diaz is yet to make an impression at Real Madrid and could make a move. Mundo Deportivo claims Betis are interested in the midfielder, who joined Madrid from Manchester City last year.

- Coming out of contract, Angel Gomes' future at Manchester United is unclear. The Sun reports United have made a last-ditch offer to Gomes, who has been linked with Chelsea and other Premier League clubs.

Real Madrid have seemingly set their sights on Eduardo Camavinga, and it may be one of several changes at the LaLiga club.

Camavinga, 17, has been linked to several European giants after impressing for Rennes.

The teenage midfielder is a target for Madrid, who could be set for sweeping changes in the close season.

 

TOP STORY – CAMAVINGA THE PREFERENCE FOR REAL MADRID

Camavinga is the preference for Real Madrid as it is likely to prove tough to land Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Marca.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is also keen to avoid becoming too reliant on Casemiro, the report says.

Camavinga has made 25 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes this season, including 24 starts.

ROUND-UP

- It may be just one of several changes at Real Madrid. AS reports there must be exits if players are to come in, with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez and Mariano Diaz potentially leaving. The futures of Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Brahim Diaz are also uncertain.

- Staying at Real Madrid and AS reports the coronavirus pandemic may impact what the club do with Martin Odegaard. The Norway international was expected to spend another season on loan at Real Sociedad but could return ahead of the next campaign as clubs become stricter with their finances.

- Diego Costa has scored just twice in 19 games for Atletico Madrid this season and could be set for a move. Sport reports Roma are interested in the 31-year-old forward.

- Achraf Hakimi appears likely to return to Real Madrid from his loan at Borussia Dortmund. However, the Mirror reports Chelsea have enquired about the defender.

- After impressing with Wolves in the Premier League, Raul Jimenez is attracting interest. Sport reports the Mexico forward could return to LaLiga, with Real Madrid and former club Atletico Madrid interested.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Pedro is poised to leave Chelsea. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Lazio are interested in the attacker.

Zinedine Zidane sought to avoid discussing mooted Real Madrid target Paul Pogba, wishing the Manchester United midfielder well in his recovery from injury.

Pogba has repeatedly been linked with a move to Madrid to link up with compatriot and head coach Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Zidane was asked about the player on Friday, with the January transfer window now open, but he appeared keen not to upset United.

Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed earlier this week Pogba would likely have surgery to fix an ongoing ankle issue, and this injury was the focus of Zidane's response.

"How can I reply to this? I'm not going to reply with anything really," Zidane told a news conference. "Paul is a player of another team.

"The important thing for him, because he's injured, is to get back playing, and that's it. I wish the best for him.

"The most important thing for us is the players that I have and to think about the game tomorrow."

Brahim Diaz and Mariano Diaz have each been linked with loan moves away from Madrid in the window, but Zidane was again cagey when asked if their departures could prompt incomings.

"The important thing is to speak to each one of the players - that's what I'm doing," he said. "There are players who haven't been playing minutes, and that could be a problem.

"We'll talk about it, as always. They're all here, they're all training, trying to train well. Until January 31, anything could happen, a lot of things could happen. We'll see."

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