Cristiano Ronaldo and "many others" will leave if Juventus fail to qualify for the Champions League, according to Christian Vieri.

It has been a forgettable season for Juve, who had their run of nine consecutive Serie A titles snapped by newly crowned champions Inter, amid doubts over Ronaldo and first-year head coach Andrea Pirlo.

Pirlo's position is under intense scrutiny as Juve languish fifth in the table, with Champions League qualification now out of their hands ahead of Saturday's showdown against Inter.

Ronaldo also continues to be linked with a move away from Juve amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United.

Italian great Vieri – who played for both Juve and Inter – warned of a mass exodus if the Bianconeri were absent from Europe's premier club competition for the first time since 2011-12.

"For me, Inter will win in Turin and Juventus won't play the Champions League next season," Vieri said via his Twitch program 'Bobo TV'.

"Without Champions League football, Ronaldo will leave and many others will follow him, Juventus will face a severe financial crisis.

"It will be a dramatic failure and many players will leave."

Juventus have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 13 games in all competitions; they last suffered a longer such run in 1955 (21 games in a row).

After winning 2-0 in the reverse fixture, Inter could claim two consecutive Serie A games against Juve for the first time since 2003-04 under Alberto Zaccheroni, while the Nerazzurri last beat the Bianconeri on the road in the league in 2012.

Ronaldo made his senior debut with Sporting CP against Inter via a Champions League qualifier in August 2002. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored four goals in 10 matches in all competitions against the Nerazzurri (W5 D4 L1).

Cristiano Ronaldo will not join Sporting CP despite his mother's best efforts to convince the Juventus forward to return to the club, according to his agent Jorge Mendes. 

Ronaldo has gone on to become one of the all-time greats since leaving Sporting to join Manchester United for £12.24million as a teenager in 2003.

The Portugal captain was a revelation at Real Madrid after leaving the Red Devils in 2009, breaking the LaLiga giants' all-time scoring record with a staggering tally of 450 goals.

Ronaldo joined Juventus three years ago and, with his contract due to expire in 2022, the 36-year-old's future has been the subject of speculation as Andrea Pirlo's side are in danger of missing out on Champions League football next season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's mother, Dolores, hopes her son can help Sporting add further honours after sealing their first Primeira Liga title in 19 years. 

"I will talk to him and try to convince him to return next year," she was filmed saying by TVI 24. "To the Alvalade Stadium and to wear the colours of Sporting."

However, Mendes has poured cold water on the speculation and said Ronaldo has no plans to return to his homeland just yet. 

"Cristiano is proud of the title won by Sporting, as he has publicly demonstrated," Mendes told Record. "But at the moment his career plans do not go through Portugal."

Ronaldo scored his 100th Juve goal in a 3-1 Serie A victory at Sassuolo on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo's mother could attempt to persuade her superstar son to return to Sporting CP next year.

Ronaldo has gone on to become one of the all-time greats since leaving Sporting to join Manchester United for £12.24million as a teenager in 2003.

The Portugal captain was a revelation at Real Madrid after leaving the Red Devils in 2009, breaking the LaLiga giants' all-time scoring record with a staggering tally of 450 goals.

Ronaldo joined Juventus three years ago and with his contract due to expire in 2022, the 36-year-old's future has been the subject of speculation with Andrea Pirlo's side in danger of missing out on Champions League football next season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's mother, Dolores, has been celebrating Sporting's first Primeira Liga title in 19 years.

And she hopes her son can play a big role in helping the famous Lisbon club add further honours. 

"I will talk to him and try to convince him to return next year," she was filmed by TVI 24 saying. "To the Alvalade Stadium and to wear the colours of Sporting."

Sporting defeated Boavista 1-0 on Tuesday to be crowned champions of Portugal for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Ronaldo scored his 100th Juve goal in a 3-1 Serie A victory at Sassuolo on Wednesday.

Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar said he wants to play with Cristiano Ronaldo amid speculation over the superstar's future at Juventus.

Ronaldo, who reached 100 goals for Juventus during Wednesday's 3-1 win at Sassuolo, has been tipped to leave the struggling Serie A giants at the end of the season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, and former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid.

PSG star Neymar – who has signed a new contract with the Ligue 1 holders – talked up a partnership with Ronaldo, having played alongside Barcelona great Lionel Messi.

"I want to play with Cristiano Ronaldo," the 29-year-old Brazil international told GQ.

"I have already played with great players, like [Lionel] Messi and [Kylian] Mbappe, but I haven't played with Cristiano Ronaldo yet."

Neymar is contracted to PSG until 2025 following his new deal in the French capital.

The forward joined the Ligue 1 champions from Barcelona on a five-year deal at a world-record cost of €222million in August 2017.

Neymar's new terms will reportedly see him earn €30m (£26m) per season in Paris, where he has scored eight Ligue 1 goals this season and 16 across all competitions.

Andrea Pirlo said his Juventus players showed they "can face any situation" after winning 3-1 at Sassuolo to keep their hopes of a top-four Serie A finish alive.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala both scored to take their respective Juventus goal tallies to 100 in all competitions, and Adrien Rabiot was also on the scoresheet as Pirlo's men recovered from a disastrous 3-0 defeat to Milan.

The result leaves the Bianconeri fifth in the table, one point behind Napoli in the final Champions League qualification spot with two games left to play, but their performance at Mapei Stadium gave Pirlo confidence.

"There have been so many games where we quickly let our guard down, which is not enough when wearing that jersey," Pirlo told DAZN.

"If you are focused and have the right mind, you can face any situation, like tonight.

"We are still there, we will believe in it until the end."

Juventus must prepare for the visit of newly crowned Serie A champions Inter to Allianz Stadium on Saturday, before they face Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final and then take on Bologna on the final day of the league season.

Pirlo acknowledged the pressure that has been building on his side across a season marked by inconsistency, in which their nine-year grip on the Scudetto has slipped.

"We struggled in the last few games," said Pirlo, reflecting on a run of two wins in five matches before the victory over Sassuolo.

"That's what annoys me the most, because the weight of the ball at Juve is different: when you miss, you pay.

"We now have to recover our energies for Saturday. Then we will see tactically how we handle this match."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th goal for Juventus to become the first player to reach a century of goals for the Bianconeri inside his first three seasons at the club.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner picked an opportune moment to achieve the landmark, firing the Old Lady into a 2-0 lead in their crucial Serie A clash with Sassuolo – against whom he scored his first Bianconeri goal back in September 2018 – before Paulo Dybala subsequently followed up with a milestone effort of his own.

Evergreen 36-year-old Ronaldo showed he has lost none of his potency as he controlled Adrien Rabiot's header with a fine first touch prior to beating goalkeeper Andrea Consigli with his second, demonstrating the impeccable standards which have characterised his spell in Turin.

Roberto Baggio and Omar Enrique Sivori both needed four seasons to score 100 goals for Juventus, while it took the club's all-time leading scorer Alessandro Del Piero eight seasons to hit a century.

During the period in which Ronaldo plundered his Juventus hundred, only three players in the top five European leagues have scored as many goals in all competitions for their clubs: Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, Lionel Messi and Barcelona, and Kylian Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain.

Before his strike against Sassuolo, Ronaldo had already scored 15 more goals than any other Serie A player after 90 games in the competition, with his 77 league strikes putting him clear of Oliver Bierhoff (77) and Andriy Shevchenko (61).

His strike at Sassuolo drew Ronaldo level with Roberto Baggio and Pietro Anastasi as the joint 10th leading scorer for Juventus in the top flight.

Eager not to be outdone, Dybala then took his tally of Bianconeri strikes to 100 midway through the second half, chipping Consigli after Dejan Kulusevski's pass put him clean through.

Dybala, who has not had it his own way in Turin this season, enduring an injury hit campaign, is the only non-European player to hit 100 goals for Juve.

Fifteen of Dybala's 100 goals have come in the Champions League, and he is only two strikes away from equalling Filippo Inzaghi and Michel Platini (both 17) as the club's joint third-highest scorer in the Champions League/European Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th goal for Juventus to help Andrea Pirlo's side beat Sassuolo 3-1 and keep their hopes of a top-four Serie A finish alive.

It was a night of heroic Juventus veterans at Mapei Stadium, where Gianluigi Buffon saved a first-half Domenico Berardi penalty before Adrien Rabiot scored to give the visitors the lead.

Ronaldo clinched his century just before the interval, becoming the first Juve player to score 100 goals in his first three seasons at the club, and Paulo Dybala matched his feat by netting his 100th for the side in the 66th minute.

The result was vital after Juve's 3-0 defeat at home to Milan, with Napoli one point ahead of them in the table in the coveted fourth Champions League qualifying spot with two games left to play.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th goal for Juventus to become the first player to reach a century of goals for the Bianconeri inside his first three seasons at the club.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner picked an opportune moment to achieve the landmark, firing the Old Lady into a 2-0 lead in their crucial Serie A clash with Sassuolo – against whom he scored his first Bianconeri goal back in September 2018 – before Paulo Dybala subsequently followed up with a milestone effort of his own.

Evergreen 36-year-old Ronaldo showed he has lost none of his potency as he controlled Adrien Rabiot's header with a fine first touch prior to beating goalkeeper Andrea Consigli with his second, demonstrating the impeccable standards which have characterised his spell in Turin.

Roberto Baggio and Omar Enrique Sivori both needed four seasons to score 100 goals for Juventus, while it took the club's all-time leading scorer Alessandro Del Piero eight seasons to hit a century.

During the period in which Ronaldo plundered his Juventus hundred, only three players in the top five European leagues have scored as many goals in all competitions for their clubs: Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, Lionel Messi and Barcelona, and Kylian Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain.

Before his strike against Sassuolo, Ronaldo had already scored 15 more goals than any other Serie A player after 90 games in the competition, with his 77 league strikes putting him clear of Oliver Bierhoff (77) and Andriy Shevchenko (61).

His strike at Sassuolo drew Ronaldo level with Roberto Baggio and Pietro Anastasi as the joint 10th leading scorer for Juventus in the top flight.

Eager not to be outdone, Dybala then took his tally of Bianconeri strikes to 100 midway through the second half, chipping Consigli after Dejan Kulusevski's pass put him clean through.

Dybala, who has not had it his own way in Turin this season, enduring an injury hit campaign, is the only non-European player to hit 100 goals for Juve.

Fifteen of Dybala's 100 goals have come in the Champions League, and he is only two strikes away from equalling Filippo Inzaghi and Michel Platini (both 17) as the club's joint third-highest scorer in the Champions League/European Cup.

Gianluigi Buffon has called time on his second spell at Juventus, concluding a defining playing association with the Serie A giants.

There may only be three clubs on the goalkeeping great's resume but sustained excellence over more than two decades has filled his trophy cabinet with individual and team honours. 

The former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout that time, forming part of Serie A, Ligue 1 and World Cup-winning sides.

In honour of Buffon's stellar career, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

 

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until his retirement in 2018, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the World Cup together in 2006.

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, Maldini was the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran keeper until his Juve return.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti that stretched to nine before being ended by Inter this season as their reunion as player and head coach did not yield similar results.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless on his senior debut for Parma, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, although Buffon would ultimately go one better than the 1993 Ballon d'Or winner, who suffered final heartache against Brazil at USA 94.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the majestic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced World Cup glory together

FORWARD: CRISTIANO RONALDO

Ronaldo joined Juve as Buffon embarked upon his hiatus with Paris Saint-Germain. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was supposed to add Champions League glory to domestic dominance and now Juventus have neither.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo's individual form has remained imperious. In 127 appearances for the Bianconceri, he has 97 goals at a rate of a goal every 113 minutes.

FORWARD: KYLIAN MBAPPE

They were only together for a year but the France phenomenon is a performer to compare with many of the greats to have shared a dressing room with Buffon.

Fresh from 2018 World Cup success with France, Mbappe scored 39 goals in 43 appearances for PSG in 2018-19, averaging 90.25 minutes per goal and boasting a shot conversion rate of 22 per cent.

Lionel Messi scored the 50th free-kick goal of his Barcelona career to fuel hopes of a stunning LaLiga title triumph.

Messi's two goals in a 3-2 victory at Valencia on Sunday took him to 28 league strikes for the season, and that also meant the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner stayed ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in their friendly long-distance rivalry.

Barca captain Messi's seasonal tally is one more than Juventus' former Real Madrid talisman Ronaldo has managed in the current Serie A campaign, after the Portuguese netted twice in a win at Udinese earlier on Sunday.

Both are leading the way in their respective leagues, and only 36-goal Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski has scored more times than Messi in the top five European leagues in the current campaign.

Of Messi's stunning set-piece career haul, 39 of his free-kicks have come in LaLiga but few will have been as important as the curling strike that ultimately made sure of the points at Mestalla, giving Barcelona a 3-1 lead that was trimmed when Carlos Soler hit an excellent consolation.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman was a free-kick specialist himself, but he was absent from the touchline against Valencia.

That was because Koeman received a two-match touchline ban for the remonstrations during Thursday's shock defeat to Granada that saw him sent off.

In his place, Koeman's assistant Alfred Schreuder led the team, and it was down to the former Hoffenheim boss to dampen down excitement about this coming Saturday's clash between Barcelona and current leaders Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

Barcelona would go top of LaLiga by one point, for a little over 24 hours at least, should they win that game.

There are just four rounds of fixtures to come, and next week's games appear highly significant, given Real Madrid and Sevilla, the other two teams in title contention, also go head-to-head.

"We are all close," said Schreuder. "But we are there. We don't look at other teams, only at ourselves. Next week isn't a final, we have four matchdays in which we have to try to win.

"Yes, we trust our players to win LaLiga. We have reduced the gap to Atletico since January. We have competed well in these last three months."

The loss to Granada was a juddering result for Barcelona, but they had enough to fend off Valencia.

Messi missed a penalty but scored seconds later as the ball pinged around the Valencia 18-yard box, while Antoine Griezmann was also on target as Barcelona reacted positively to going behind early in the second half.

"We have shown character," Schreuder said. "We believed in what we were doing."

Andrea Pirlo acknowledged his Juventus players are mentally drained but urged them to secure Champions League football next season "at all costs".

A late double from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juve fight back from a goal down to beat Udinese 2-1 on Sunday as they climbed up to third place in Serie A.

The Bianconeri are level on 69 points with Atalanta in second and Milan in fourth, and two points above fifth-placed Napoli, with four games remaining.

Juve's performance against Udinese lacked intensity but the win eased some of the pressure on Pirlo's position as head coach as he explained the reason behind their struggles.

Pirlo told Sky Italia: "When you are not used to fighting for the Champions League, but you have always been used to the Scudetto, something changes in everyone's mind.

"There is a bit of everything. Tiredness, mental fatigue. But now the goal has changed for a few weeks now and we have to reach Champions League qualification at all costs. 

"It will be tiring, but we must get there. The team knows what it wants, it's united to reach the Champions League goal. That's the most important thing."

No team has won more points from behind than Juventus in Serie A this term (17, alongside Sassuolo) and Pirlo praised his players for their capacity to fight back on the day Inter secured the Serie A title.

"This victory came with difficulty, with pride," he added. "It was also important in view of the results of the afternoon to win. We had complicated our lives for the umpteenth time by giving away a goal with big carelessness.

"But there was a great desire to bring home the result, right up to the end, so this is the most important thing.

"My congratulations to Inter and Antonio Conte – they had a great season and they deserved it.

"For us, a cycle of nine straight league titles comes to an end and another one begins. We want to fight for the Scudetto again."

Ronaldo has scored 16 of his 27 goals so far this season on the road, and no player has scored more away goals in the top-five European leagues.

He has also scored seven goals against Udinese in his Serie A career, and only against Cagliari (eight) has he done better in the competition.

"Ronaldo is a champion, he always wants to improve," Pirlo said of the Portugal forward.

"He gave the team positivity and made good plays. Today we clung to him, but the whole team did well reacting in the best way to get to three big points."

A late Cristiano Ronaldo double gave Juventus a 2-1 win over Udinese in Serie A on Sunday which boosted their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Udinese went into the break ahead when Juve's defence switched off after a free-kick was awarded and Nahuel Molina's low shot found its way beyond Wojciech Szczesny.

Juventus fleetingly showed moments of quality but equalised with an 83rd-minute spot-kick from Ronaldo, awarded after the Portugal forward's free-kick moments earlier struck the arm of Rodrigo de Paul.

Ronaldo added a second with one minute left when he headed in Adrien Rabiot's cross at the back post to secure a dramatic late win for Andrea Pirlo, who raced down the touchline to celebrate with Juve's players.

Old Trafford will not bring Roma many happy memories when they return for their Europa League semi-final first leg against Manchester United on Thursday.

The Giallorossi first made the trip to Manchester in April 2007, having won the home leg of their Champions League last-eight tie.

That had been the sides' first ever meeting and it remains Roma's sole win in six attempts. Three times they have lost at United and the pick of those matches, in 2006-07, saw a remarkable 7-1 humbling.

With the use of Opta data, we look back on that evening and what it meant for those involved.
 

Roma's ruins

This was a major European quarter-final and Roma were set to be far from straightforward opposition for United.

The 2-1 win for the hosts at the Stadio Olimpico meant the Red Devils would have to overturn a first-leg deficit in a continental knockout tie for the first time since 1984 (excluding qualifiers). They certainly did that.

Roma actually had a greater share of possession at Old Trafford (53.7 per cent) and only attempted two shots fewer than United, but Francesco Totti squandered 10 of their 21. He at least teed up Daniele De Rossi for an exquisite consolation.

Although the Giallorossi have since also lost 7-1 to Bayern Munich in 2014 and 6-1 to Barcelona in 2015, they had not been beaten by more than four goals in Europe prior to this match.

For United, it was their biggest European win since 1968 when Waterford United were defeated by the same scoreline. It still fell some way short of their record against foreign opposition, a 10-0 1956 demolition of Anderlecht.

Ronaldo's rise

In a breakout season, this was a breakout performance from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The winger – he was definitely still a winger at that stage – had previously failed to score in his 26 appearances in Europe's premier club competition, although he impressed in Rome in the first leg.

Goals later in the second leg changed the course of Ronaldo's Champions League career, but his early work would be alien to anyone who had only seen the superstar in action for Real Madrid or Juventus in recent seasons, prowling the final third.

As so often at that time, Ronaldo's speed and skill was key in leading United's breaks from deep. He completed eight of nine attempted dribbles in this match and a pass inside from the right found Michael Carrick for the opener.

The United number seven was involved in the third goal for Wayne Rooney, too, driving United forward again, and then put Alex Ferguson's side out of sight.

More clinical than Totti with his own 10 attempts, Ronaldo raced up the right once more to drill in the fourth before half-time, breaking his Champions League duck with the first of a record 134 goals at this level and 67 in knockout matches to date.

He never looked back and the fifth goal was his, too, toeing in Ryan Giggs' low centre to reach 20 for a season for the very first time.

Ronaldo has made that mark in every subsequent campaign and there have since been a further 36 Champions League outings with two or more goals.

Smith's swansong

As Ronaldo took centre stage, there was a final flourish for a previous quarter-final scorer. Alan Smith, a star of Leeds United's 2000-01 run, was handed a rare start.

Smith's time at Old Trafford had not panned out as planned following a controversial move, his mediocre form in front of goal contributing to Ferguson's belief the England striker would be better suited to a battling midfield role.

It was there that he suffered a career-altering leg break against Liverpool in February 2006.

As Ruud van Nistelrooy left for Madrid at the end of that season, Ferguson revealed the recovering Smith was "a player we intend to convert back to centre-forward after a spell in the midfield". But the ex-Leeds favourite found himself firmly behind Rooney, Louis Saha, Henrik Larsson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the pecking order.

By the time Smith was named in the XI – in place of now United manager Solskjaer – against Roma, he had gone 507 days without a goal.

That drought ended with a beautiful right-footed finish, a reminder of what Smith once was, to put United two up, yet this was merely a last hurrah.

Although there was a first Premier League title and an FA Cup final appearance before the end of the campaign, there were no further goals and Smith then left for Newcastle United, where he failed to score once.

When the one-time £7million man finally found the net again, playing for MK Dons in League One in April 2012, 1,838 days had passed since that special Roma strike.

Will Cristiano Ronaldo still be at Juventus next season?

Ronaldo's future appears to depend on Juve's Champions League participation.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain loom large for the Portuguese superstar.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD OR PSG FOR RONALDO?

Cristiano Ronaldo is weighing up whether to return to Manchester United or join Paris Saint-Germain if Juventus fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, according to Tuttosport.

Ronaldo's future has dominated headlines amid speculation the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is set to leave Serie A giants Juve at the end of the current campaign.

Initially linked with Real Madrid, Ronaldo is reportedly eyeing either United or PSG in order to play in the Champions League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano reports RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann is set to replace Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich. Despite interest from Tottenham and other clubs, Nagelsmann has agreed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, who must negotiate a fee with Leipzig.

Raphael Varane wants to leave Madrid amid links with Chelsea, United and PSG, claims Diario AS. The France international defender is contracted to the Santiago Bernabeu until next season but Madrid are believed to be willing to cash in on Varane as they look to fund moves for PSG's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, who has also been linked with Liverpool, United, Manchester City, Juve, Bayern and Barcelona.

- Manchester Evening News says United are interested in Slavia Prague's 21-year-old forward Abdallah Sima.

- The Sun reports England centre-back John Stones is in advanced talks with Premier League leaders City over a new five-year contract.

- Antonio Conte is dreaming of prising Udinese star Rodrigo De Paul to Inter, says Calciomercato. The Argentina international has also been linked with Napoli and Leeds United.

Andrea Pirlo came out bullish when asked about the European Super League, insisting that Juventus are not scared of possible UEFA sanctions.

Juve were one of 12 leading European clubs to announce their intention to form a breakaway, closed-shop competition.

The news caused anger and furore across the continent, with all six English clubs involved electing to withdraw on Tuesday amid mounting pressure from fans, the media, politicians and governing bodies.

Despite the majority of the 12 clubs having pulled out, Juve – whose chairman Andrea Agnelli was one of the major players in the proposals – have not yet done so, while Barcelona and Real Madrid have also stayed in.

Madrid president Florentino Perez has been on the defensive all week, and as recently as Saturday told AS that the Super League teams were giving themselves time to reflect on the proposal.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has again reiterated that if Juve, Barca and Madrid fail to withdraw, then they could face suspension from the Champions League.

However, when asked if Juve were afraid of UEFA's threats, Pirlo – who was previewing Sunday's Serie A meeting with Fiorentina – replied: "We are not scared, we are comfortable that we can end the season pursuing our own objectives. We are okay regardless of the decisions UEFA will make."

Of Agnelli, Pirlo added: "I saw him as being serene. I believe it is normal many people talk about him, but he knows what he has to do and always encourages the team when he visits us during the training sessions. 

"The environment now is positive. We want to finish the season in the best way. After losing the title and the Champions League, our main target is to get a spot in Champions League.

"This is a must. We must be calm, but we must be fully focused for our ultimate objective."

One player certain to be crucial to Juve securing Champions League football is Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 36-year-old has scored 25 times in Serie A this term, while he has netted three goals against Fiorentina during his time with Juve – all of them coming from the spot.

"For me this is the first year [managing Ronaldo], I have a great relationship with him," Pirlo said when asked if it was difficult to handle Ronaldo's ego.

"He is a player who always wants to do well, he gets angry even when he loses minor games.

"When someone always wants to be at his best, I believe it is normal to have these kinds of attitudes. He always wants to win and is keen to help the team at all the time. This is a very positive side of him."

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