Jadon Sancho looks set to leave Borussia Dortmund sooner rather than later.

Sancho has established himself as one of the best young players in Europe since leaving Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017.

However, the 19-year-old's stay in Germany appears to be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND READY TO PART WITH SANCHO

Dortmund are ready to do business and sell in-demand star Sancho, according to the Independent.

The teenager is wanted by Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona after starring since arriving in the Bundesliga.

But Dortmund are willing to let the England international leave as soon as January due to a breakdown in relationships.

The winger was benched for the midweek Champions League defeat at Barcelona, having felt humiliated by his first-half withdrawal in the Klassiker rout to Bayern Munich.

 

ROUND-UP

- La Nazione says Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool are interested in Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa. The 22-year-old has sparkled in Florence, leading to links with Serie A champions Juventus and Inter.

- Could Everton be set for a South American triple swoop? According to the Liverpool Echo, the Merseyside club are keen on signing Inter forward Gabriel Barbosa – on loan at Flamengo – and River Plate's Rafael Santos Borre. It comes as the Toffees have reportedly identified Flamengo head coach Jorge Jesus as a possible candidate to succeed Marco Silva following his Copa Libertadores and domestic success.

- Marca claims James Rodriguez has turned down a move to Arsenal. According to reports in England, the Gunners want James in January. However, the Madrid playmaker wants to stay in the Spanish capital.

- High-flying Inter are eager to sign Atalanta full-back Robin Gosens, reports Calciomercato.

Milan are targeting Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Turkey international has struggled for game time following his arrival in Turin this season.

- As Flamengo struggle to secure a permanent deal for loan star Barbosa, Goal says the Copa Libertadores champions are in talks to sign Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

Manchester City have set their sights on Brescia and Italy sensation Sandro Tonali, says Fichajes. The 19-year-old is attracting interest from all over Europe.

Brescia have moved to diffuse comments made by president Massimo Cellino, in which he appears to make a racist remark about striker Mario Balotelli.

Cellino suggested Balotelli, who was left out of the squad for Sunday's Serie A clash with Roma after a training-ground spat with coach Fabio Grosso, is "black and is working on lightening up, but he is facing troubles".

The word 'nero' in Italian means black but can also be used for 'gloomy', as in a person's state of mind.

A club statement read: "Concerning the declarations released this afternoon by president Massimo Cellino, referring to our player Mario Balotelli, Brescia Calcio evidently deals with a paradoxical joke, clearly misunderstood, released in an attempt to defuse excessive media exposure and with intent to protect the player himself."

Balotelli has scored twice in seven Serie A appearances since joining his hometown club in August and was recently subjected to racist abuse during a match at Hellas Verona.

Cellino suggested Grosso should have handled the situation with Balotelli better but also believes the former Liverpool and Manchester City frontman needs to do his talking on the pitch.

He added: "My manager made a mistake last week. He spoke about Balotelli and not about the team. I am not the manager and this is not a press conference but I see I have to answer. 

"I signed Balotelli at the end of the transfer market. I didn't sign him for annual subscriptions or publicity. I thought he could be added value but due to this over-exposition we made him become a liability. So if you want to keep talking about Balotelli, you want to hurt him and ourselves.

"Maybe Balotelli gives more importance to social media than his own values. As a sportsman and a man. I haven't signed him for his social media, I did because he is 1.90 metre, he is an animal and still young enough to have a say in football. 

"If and when he will do it, he will on the pitch. He has to learn how to answer on the pitch. In that moment he will be a footballer again. In this moment he is far from it. I signed him dreaming he could be an added value, but I never thought he had to be the one saving our club. 

"I told him as I am telling you. It is too easy to use him as a scapegoat and this is why I sacked the previous coach. Because in this moment since he has arrived, Balotelli needed us to help him more than we needed him to help us.

"We should have done it before as now we are weaker and it will be harder to help him."

Mario Balotelli has been left out of Brescia's squad for Sunday's Serie A meeting with Roma after the former Manchester City striker was involved in a training-ground argument with coach Fabio Grosso.

Balotelli signed for his hometown club Brescia - who sit bottom of Serie A - in August and has scored two goals in seven league appearances so far.

However, he reportedly stormed out of a Brescia training session on Thursday following a disagreement with Grosso, who hinted in a news conference on Saturday the ex-Inter forward would not be included in his squad.

"What happened with Balotelli is something I'd already experienced in the past. I demand great intensity and a high tempo in my training sessions. When that doesn't happen, I prefer to change and make the session tougher," Grosso said.

"He didn't do that and was set to one side. I don't want to minimise the incident, nor blow it out of proportion. It will be crucial for me to use everyone at my disposal, but I can only do so much. At a certain point, he has to help himself.

"You will know of disciplinary action, but I prefer to communicate these things to the players first myself. It'll be for the good of the team. I don't deny what I said about Mario, because I still really want to use his characteristics for the side."

Balotelli's omission was subsequently confirmed as Brescia confirmed their 20-man squad for Sunday's trip to Stadio Olimpico.

With Barcelona and Real Madrid keen to strengthen their defences, one Inter star is attracting interest.

Milan Skriniar is reportedly wanted by LaLiga champions Barca and Spanish rivals Madrid.

Will Inter be able to retain the centre-back?

 

TOP STORY – SKRINIAR WANTED BY LALIGA GIANTS

Barcelona and Real Madrid have set their sights on Inter defender Skriniar, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Skriniar – contracted to Inter until June 2023 – has established himself as one of the world's best defenders since moving to Milan from Sampdoria in 2017.

The likes of Manchester City and Manchester United have also been linked to the 24-year-old Slovakia international.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United are desperate to strengthen their squad and ESPN claims the Premier League side have an eight-man shortlist, which includes Leicester City's James Maddison, Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho, Salzburg's goalscoring machine Erling Haaland, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, Lyon forward Moussa Dembele, as well as Aston Villa pair Jack Grealish and John McGinn.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Mirror says United are monitoring Sporting CP's Matheus Pereira, who is on loan at Championship outfit West Brom. It comes as The Sun reports the Red Devils could sign Gareth Bale and send Paul Pogba to Real Madrid.

- Bild says Borussia Monchengladbach have no plans to sell midfielder Denis Zakaria in January. Zakaria has reportedly attracted interest from United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and others.

Manchester City are circling Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi, according to Calciomercato. Sensi moved to Inter on loan from Serie A side Sassuolo and the 24-year-old has starred at San Siro.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are looking at Paris Saint-Germain's Thomas Meunier and Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri amid their injury crisis in Turin.

- Brescia sensation and Italy international Sandro Tonali is being chased by Serie A champions Juve and LaLiga side Atletico Madrid, reports Corriere di Torino.

Manchester United have hatched a plan that could help bring Erling Haaland to Old Trafford.

The Premier League side are reportedly contemplating a compromise that will curry favour with Salzburg, the young star's present employers.

Considered the favourites in that chase, United also appear set to jump the queue for another of Europe's most admired teenage talents.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WILLING TO WAIT FOR HAALAND

Manchester United are prepared to consider loaning Erling Haaland straight back to Salzburg if a deal can be struck in January, such is their determination to land the sought-after striker.

According to ESPN, United could allow Haaland to stay in Austria until the end of the season in an attempt to defuse a potential bidding war.

Spanish newspaper AS suggest the Red Devils are "pushing the hardest" for the 19-year-old, who has been valued at €100million – a figure that might price even Real Madrid out of the market.

 

ROUND-UP

United are unlikely to stop at Haaland when the transfer window reopens. The club are weighing up whether to bring forward a planned end-of-season approach for Jadon Sancho in order to capitalise on uncertainty over the winger's Borussia Dortmund future, reports The Guardian.

Juventus are becoming concerned about the increasing level of interest from Spain and England in highly rated Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A champions could be forced to make a move sooner rather than later as his suitors gain in number and his price tag rises above €40m.

- That sum, Calciomercato claims, is the minimum Juve will demand for out-of-favour defenders Daniele Rugani and Merih Demiral. Both players have been linked to Arsenal.

Boca Juniors are eyeing another showpiece signing. Argentina-based football journalist Martin Castilla told CNN Deportes the South American giants are keen on luring Luis Suarez away from Barcelona. San Lorenzo vice-president Marcelo Tinelli expressed interest in the 32-year-old earlier in the week.

- Returning to Serie A and it looks like Wojciech Szczesny will be staying in Turin. Sky Sport Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio says the Polish goalkeeper has agreed a contract extension with Juve through to 2024.

Sandro Tonali insisted he is "not scared" about his €300million valuation as Europe's elite eye the Brescia and Italy sensation.

Brescia owner and president Massimo Cellino said it would take an offer of €300m for the Serie A side to part with prized asset Tonali.

Tonali – who broke into Brescia's first team at the age of 17 – has been linked to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Inter and Manchester United.

Asked about the price tag ahead of Italy's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 19-year-old playmaker – who made his international debut last month – told Rai Sport: "I love President Cellino very much and he rates me highly.

"He's a great person and I hope to travel down a good road with him.

"After the match against Fiorentina, he said he wouldn't even sell me for €300m, but that doesn't scare me, even if it really is a lot of money.

"I'm confident about what we'll do this season. For now I'm not thinking about the market, I just want to help Brescia stay up."

Tonali came off the bench to make his Italy bow in the country's 5-0 rout of Liechtenstein in Euro 2020 qualifying on October 15.

The Brescia star has been compared to Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Daniele De Rossi – who now plays for Boca Juniors.

On those comparisons, Tonali added: "Being compared to Pirlo doesn't bother me, but I think we're very different because he had indescribable technique and quality.

"I consider myself to be like Gattuso but more technical. He's always been my role model."

Roberto Mancini will not recall Mario Balotelli to the Italy squad just to make an anti-racism statement but is adamant the Brescia striker is still young enough to make an impact for the Azzurri.

Balotelli, 29, was subjected to racist abuse by Hellas Verona fans in a 2-1 defeat this month and threatened to walk off the pitch.

Verona were ordered by Serie A to play a match with a partial stadium closure, while the club banned head ultra Luca Castellini for 11 years after he defended the fans' actions in a radio interview.

Balotelli returned to the Italy fold in 2018 after a four-year absence but has been back in the international wilderness since a 1-1 draw with Poland last September.

Mancini, the coach who gave him his big break at Inter in 2007, insists he is eager to see Balotelli play his way back into the squad, but he will not call up the forward for anything other than his performances.

"Football is a sport and as such it must unite people and not get destroyed by those few who make mistakes," Mancini told reporters.

"I love Mario. I played him when he was a teenager. He is still young enough to give much to the sport, but for me it is important to state that if I am to call him up, it's because he deserves it and can help us.

"Then, after what happened, I could have called him up, as the [Italian Football Federation] president [Gabriele Gravina] said, but I think it's important I call him when he technically deserves it, not to send a message. He still has other chances.

"We are nearly in 2020 and skin colour... It is not very easy for some people to change their attitude, unfortunately.

"We called up some young players [instead] because from now until March we will not have the chance to see them live [for Italy]."

Italy are due to face Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia in their final two Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday and the following Monday, respectively.

The Azzurri are already assured of a place at next year's tournament.

Italy confirmed Marco Verratti, Domenico Berardi and Leonardo Spinazzola have withdrawn from the squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia, but Sandro Tonali has been added to the roster.

Paris Saint-Germain star Verratti played 80 minutes of their 2-1 win at Brest on Saturday but was withdrawn – according to reports in Italy – due to a calf strain.

Similarly, Italy have not confirmed the issue in-form Sassuolo attacker Berardi has sustained, though it is claimed he injured his thigh during the 3-1 defeat of Bologna.

Spinazzola is reported to have suffered a muscular problem in action for Roma on Sunday.

Verratti is the only player to have been replaced, with highly rated 19-year-old Tonali, who has impressed in his debut Serie A season with Brescia, in line to earn his second cap.

Italy have already qualified for Euro 2020. Their two remaining qualifiers see them face Bosnia away on Friday, before hosting Armenia three days later.

Mario Balotelli has been criticised by Italian politician Matteo Salvini after the Brescia striker was racially abused in a Serie A match with Hellas Verona.

Balotelli kicked the ball at the Verona ultras after receiving racial abuse from sections of the home support during Sunday's clash.

The former Manchester City striker subsequently called out "a few idiots," while Verona responded by banning the leader of their ultras for 11 years.

In the week, Salvini - the leader of the party Lega Nord - claimed the abuse of Balotelli was "the least of his concerns," but added the behaviour should be condemned.

Salvini has now hit out at Balotelli again, with the former minister of the interior suggesting Italy has bigger problems to deal with than racism.

"Poor, innocent Balotelli, poor star. A person so staid and polite. I condemn every gesture of violence and racism but I prefer others in the field to Balotelli," he said.

"Italy has other problems."

Jorginho wants Serie A to take a "broader look" at the issue of racism beyond just penalising Hellas Verona following the abuse Mario Balotelli suffered at the weekend.

Brescia striker Balotelli kicked a ball into the stands and threatened to walk off the pitch having heard monkey chants during the match at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday.

Verona's coach Ivan Juric insisted there was no racist chanting, but Serie A punished the club by giving them a one-match partial stadium ban.

There have been other recent incidents of players suffering racist abuse in Italy this season, with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter striker Romelu Lukaku subjected to offensive chants during games, and Jorginho wants Serie A to take a wider look at the problem.

"I am really sorry, because these things shouldn't happen - neither in football nor in the world," the Chelsea and Italy midfielder said.

"Unfortunately, they happen and I am really sorry. I'd like to send my affection to Mario, who doesn't deserve this.

"And if I may, I'd like to ask not to do things like this, because it really hurts these people and it should never happen.

"Unfortunately, it happened, but I don't think this happened only in Verona. It's happening everywhere.

"Therefore, I think we shouldn't penalise or point the finger only on Verona, we should take a broader look, because it didn't happen only in Verona.

"Yes, they made a mistake and it is true that it's not the first time, but how many times [has] it happened in other cities as well? It shouldn't happen, I repeat, and I am really sorry, but we have to take a broader look to all the cities where it happened and not only to Verona."

 

Brescia striker Mario Balotelli has criticised the "idiots" who racially abused him over the weekend but holds no grudges towards Hellas Verona.

Balotelli kicked a ball into the stands and threatened to walk off the pitch after being subjected to monkey noises during the Serie A match at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday.

The referee brought play to a halt and followed protocol, with a prepared statement read over the public address system, as players from both sides persuaded Balotelli to play on.

Serie A has since enforced a one-match partial stadium closure while Verona have banned the leader of their ultras for 11 years, despite head coach Ivan Juric claiming no racist chanting took place.

Balotelli reserved his anger for the individuals responsible for the abuse.

"I didn't accuse Verona, I didn't accuse the Verona curva, I accused the few idiots who did it. I heard them," Balotelli told SportMediaset programme Le Iene.

"It wasn't two or three, because I heard them from the pitch. If I don't react, nothing happens. It's not a mistake, it's a serious matter.

"I tell the truth, the Verona stadium and the Verona fans are also nice to me, with their banter. But if you want to distract a player, you can do it in a thousand ways. Not like this. This is not good."

Balotelli, who scored for Brescia in the 2-1 defeat, said the treatment was particularly hurtful as his daughter had been watching on television.

"It makes it three times worse," he said. "It's already happened to her. You can't insult a child with words like that. Education and respect come from us adults.

"I'm not saying that I am different from the other players who have had the same noises and the same howls, but the problem is that I am Italian, and I want to be back in the national team."

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri says it is "unacceptable" that racism is still an issue in football in 2019 after Mario Balotelli was abused by Hellas Verona fans on Sunday.

Brescia striker Balotelli kicked the ball towards a section of Verona supporters in the second half of their Serie A clash after hearing abuse, then threatened to walk off the pitch.

The referee halted play before following protocol, with a statement read out to the crowd in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Balotelli was persuaded to stay on and see out the game, the former Manchester City and Inter striker scoring a stunning late goal in Brescia's 2-1 defeat.

Serie A confirmed a one-match partial stadium closure for Verona on Tuesday, while the club have banned their head ultra for 11 years after he defended the discriminatory chants.

Speaking ahead of Juve's Champions League meeting with Lokomotiv Moscow on Wednesday, Sarri expressed his frustration that racism continues to plague not just football but also society as a whole.

"It's not like these people come from an isolated world," he told a media conference. "It is people who live in society, which means there is racism everywhere.

"It is unacceptable that in 2019 there is still talk of racism. There is only one race and it is human. We have the technology to identify those responsible and stop them from going into stadiums."

Sarri knows a win in Moscow will secure their place in the knockout stages with two games to spare.

Gonzalo Higuain is pushing for a starting place up front, with Sarri believing the striker has become a more rounded team player this season.

The 31-year-old has managed just three goals in 12 appearances but has generally performed well alongside Cristiano Ronaldo or Paulo Dybala in attack.

"He has improved in making himself available to the team," Sarri explained.

"Before he was more focused on scoring goals; he was more selfish. Now he is more involved in the team play. He is perhaps less dangerous in the penalty area, but he works a lot for the team."

Brescia have appointed Fabio Grosso as their new head coach.

The 41-year-old former Italy international takes charge following the departure of Eugenio Corini, who was sacked after the 2-1 Serie A defeat to rivals Hellas Verona.

Grosso was head coach of Verona last season but was dismissed in May, a month before they secured promotion back to Serie A with a play-off win over Cittadella.

The former Juventus and Inter full-back, who won two Serie A titles and the 2006 World Cup with Italy, was previously coach of Bari.

His first game in charge will be at home to Torino on Saturday, as Brescia look to arrest a run of three consecutive defeats, which has left them 19th in the table.

Last Sunday's 2-1 loss to Verona was marred by an incident of racist abuse in which fans targeted Brescia striker Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch after being subjected to taunts by a section of home supporters, although Hellas head coach Ivan Juric insisted after the match that the abuse was not racist in nature.

On Monday, Serie A announced they had issued the club with a one-match partial stadium ban, specifically targeting the Poltrone Est section of the stand, where the abuse against Balotelli was heard.

Verona have also banned leading ultra Luca Castellini for 11 years after he appeared on radio and claimed the racial element was only "in [Balotelli's] own head", that Balotelli cannot be considered "completely Italian" and the fans' chants were to "make fun" of the striker, rather than racially abuse him.

The club said Castellini's remarks were "expressions seriously contrary to those that distinguish the ethical principles and values of our club".

Serie A has confirmed a one-match partial stadium closure for Hellas Verona after supporters racially abused Brescia's Mario Balotelli, while the club have banned their head ultra for 11 years after defending the discriminatory chants.

Balotelli kicked the ball into the stands and threatened to walk off the pitch in the second half of his side's 2-1 defeat at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday after hearing monkey chants.

The referee brought play to a halt before following protocol, with a statement read out in an attempt to resolve the situation, and Balotelli was persuaded to play on, later scoring Brescia's goal.

But Verona coach Ivan Juric subsequently insisted there was no racist chanting, while the club's president claimed he did not hear any abuse, and Luca Castellini – the head of their ultras – was involved in a controversial radio interview.

In the conversation, Castellini said the racial element was only "in [Balotelli's] own head", that Balotelli cannot be considered "completely Italian" and the fans' chants were to "make fun" of the striker, rather than racially abuse him.

Serie A's disciplinary commission on Tuesday confirmed the closure of the Poltrone Est stand by way of punishment, opting against more severe sanctions because the chants only came from that sector.

The confirmation of the punishment came shortly after Verona released a statement condemning Castellini's comments and barring him from attending matches until June 30, 2030 for "expressions seriously contrary to those that distinguish the ethical principles and values of our club".

Antonio Conte has challenged his Inter side to play with "personality" in Tuesday's mouth-watering Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Inter ran out 2-0 winners over the Bundesliga outfit a fortnight ago to leave both sides on four points in Group F, three points behind leaders Barcelona.

Conte believes Barca are assured of a place in the knockout stages and knows his side will have to stand strong in the face of a red-hot atmosphere at Signal Iduna Park to ensure they join them in the last 16.

"It's an important match as we are on equal points," he told a media conference. "Barcelona have already guaranteed their place. 

"We were good when we beat [Dortmund] at home and we know the difficulties we will face tomorrow. We face a strong and proven club, who have been in the Champions League for many years. 

"The environment will be hot and electric; we know what motivation Dortmund fans can give to their players. It will be important for us to play with personality.

"We want to play offensively everywhere. If it is a defensive game, it will be only because Dortmund have forced us to do it. Our mentality is to always hurt the opponent. We always want to attack."

Meanwhile, Conte had strong words for the Hellas Verona supporters who racially abused Brescia striker Mario Balotelli in Sunday's Serie A clash, describing them as "ignorant" and "morons".

Former Inter star Balotelli kicked the ball angrily towards Verona supporters early in the second half after hearing abuse, before threatening to walk off the pitch.

The referee brought play to a halt before following protocol, with a statement read out to the crowd in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Balotelli was persuaded to stay on and see out the game by team-mates and Verona players, before he scored a stunning late goal in Brescia's 2-1 defeat at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.

"I was not in the stadium, but I believe it is necessary to be very strict and inflexible," Conte said. "We must punish these ignorant people. The morons must be punished. It is absurd that, in 2019, we are still faced with things like this."

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