UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona have "paralysed themselves" with their commitment to European Super League plans.

Nine of the 12 rebel clubs who signed up to the breakaway competition, announced in April, have withdrawn from the proposals amid a huge external backlash.

Juve, Madrid and Barca alone continue to pursue the idea, insisting football is facing an "inevitable downfall" without reform.

UEFA launched disciplinary proceedings against those three clubs last week after previously agreeing "reintegration measures" with the other nine, who apologised for their part in the plot.

Refuting the suggestion that the ongoing power struggle could cripple the European game, Ceferin told Sky Sport Italia: "They [the three rebel clubs] paralysed themselves with the approach they took.

"It's strange to read press releases that the three clubs out of thousands of clubs think their idea will save football and nobody else likes it."

Ceferin, who could offer no update on the disciplinary case as the committee involved is an independent body, also questioned why Juve, Madrid and Barca would commit to next season's Champions League even while persisting with plans for an alternative competition.

"For me what is strange is that you publish you are still part of the Super League and then you send a letter applying to play in the Champions League. So you are in Super League but play Champions League. It's quite hard to understand what they mean," he said.

"They should call us, send us a letter, ask for a meeting. They just sent some press releases saying they want to have a dialogue. It's quite a strange approach.

"It's really hard to understand what they want. If they say Super League exists – and nobody prevents them from playing Super League, the three of you can play your Super League. But they say they want to play Champions League as well at the same time.

"We are not afraid of those things. If the courts decide one way or another we have to be honest and work for football, which those clubs are not."

Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge?

Lukaku's first taste of English football was with Chelsea between 2011-14.

He could be set for a Chelsea return amid doubts over his Inter future.

 

TOP STORY – TUCHEL WANTS LUKAKU

Chelsea are planning a move for Inter star Romelu Lukaku, according to The Guardian.

Lukaku, who joined the Blues in 2011 before leaving in 2014, is reportedly considering his future after Antonio Conte quit Inter amid the Serie A champions' troubled financial situation.

Inter quartet Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Achraf Hakimi – linked with Paris Saint-Germain – and Alessandro Bastoni could be sold by the Nerazzurri.

Chelsea are now eyeing a reunion with Real Madrid and Barcelona target Lukaku after winning the Champions League, while Tottenham's Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland are also on their radar.

 

ROUND-UP

Gianluigi Donnarumma is prepared to join Juventus on a worse contract than he rejected at Milan, reports Corriere dello Sport. Donnarumma is available on a free transfer and the Italy international has been linked with Barca, Manchester United and PSG. Mundo Deportivo says Barca consider Donnarumma a good market opportunity.

- Bild reports Florian Neuhaus will remain at Borussia Monchengladbach, despite interest from Bayern Munich.

Olivier Giroud will join Milan as a free agent from Chelsea, claims Calciomercato. Giroud is available after his contract was not renewed at Stamford Bridge.

- Lille's Christophe Galtier is the latest candidate to replace head coach Simone Inzaghi at Lazio, joining Maurizio Sarri, Andre Villas-Boas and Sinisa Mihajlovic, according to Tuttomercato. Inzaghi is poised to succeed Conte at Inter.

A stunning move for Cristiano Ronaldo could be in the works.

The Portugal captain may end up back with a former club in a swap deal.

The price for Manchester United would be high.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO SWAP DEAL RUMOURED

If Manchester United want to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, they may have to surrender Paul Pogba.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Juventus would consider using the 36-year-old forward in a swap deal for Pogba, who has a year left on his contract.

The question is whether United would part with the 28-year-old France midfielder in return.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City could land Harry Kane via a cash-plus-swap deal that sends Gabriel Jesus to Tottenham, the Daily Star reports. 

- Arsenal are interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba, according to The Athletic. 

- Barcelona have not given up in their attempts to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, Marca reports.

- Lazio have joined Roma as suitors for veteran centre-back Jerome Boateng with the Germany international set to leave Bayern Munich. 

- Granit Xhaka is a target for Jose Mourinho's Roma, and Arsenal have said they want £17million for the midfielder, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. 

- Pedrinho will leave Benfica before next season, ESPN reports, with Shakhtar Donetsk the likely destination for the 23-year-old Brazilian. 

- Crystal Palace will speak to former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo about replacing Roy Hodgson, The Sun reports. 

Matthijs de Ligt says he has had no contact with Barcelona and is happy at Juventus as he feels like a "fish in water" in Turin.

De Ligt endured a difficult second season at Juve, suffering injuries and spending time on the sidelines after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Netherlands centre-back has been linked with a move after the Bianconeri could only finish fourth in Serie A, resulting in head coach Andrea Pirlo being replaced by Massimiliano Allegri.

Barca are among the clubs reported to keen on De Ligt, but the 21-year-old is not seeking pastures new.

He told ESPN Netherlands: "I am very happy at Juve. I feel like a fish in water.

"Despite the team performances not being as good, I feel good on the field and appreciated. Would they want to let me go? There are plenty of clubs that have money problems, but you should ask the club."

Asked if Barca could be his next club, the former Ajax man said: "I don't know."

He added: "That makes no sense now. It is not important to me. Nobody has contacted me."

De Ligt said in the same interview he had opted against taking a COVID-19 vaccine as he wants to be "in charge" of his body.

He then took to social media on Saturday to state that he will be taking the jab.

He tweeted: "In my recent interview, I was not clear with my response. In order to clear any doubts: I am absolutely in favour of the COVID-19 vaccination and will take it as soon as possible."

In my recent interview, I was not clear with my response. In order to clear any doubts: I am absolutely in favour of the COVID-19 vaccination and will take it as soon as possible.

— Matthijs de Ligt (@mdeligt_04) May 29, 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo has shown his appreciation for ex-Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo, describing it as "an honour" to be coached by the former Italy international.

Pirlo's not-so-surprising departure from Juve was confirmed on Friday, just hours before the Serie A club announced the return of Massimiliano Allegri.

The rookie coach's solitary season in the job saw the Bianconeri fail to claim the league title for the first time since 2011, though they did win both the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia trophies.

They again suffered disappointment in the Champions League, edged out on away goals by Porto at the last-16 stage.

Ronaldo, who scored 29 goals to finish as the leading scorer in Serie A for the 2020-21 campaign, thanked Pirlo via social media.

"Thank you Maestro, it was an honour to be coached by you," he posted on his Instagram stories to accompany a picture of the duo shaking hands.

Pirlo enjoyed a strong finish to the season, a 2-1 final win over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia coming while also securing a top-four finish in Serie A, though an impressive run-in was not enough to keep him in the job.

He departed having won 23 of his 38 league games for a points-per-game average of 2.05, below both the coach he replaced in Maurizio Sarri (2.18) and also Allegri, who managed 2.39 during his first spell in charge.

Still, the only coaches to record more victories than Pirlo in their first season in the competition since 1994-95 are Rudi Garcia (26) and Jose Mourinho (25), with Roma and Inter respectively.

There has been speculation surrounding Ronaldo's future in Turin too, despite another outstanding year on a personal level.

The forward - now preparing for Euro 2020 as part of a Portugal squad looking to retain the trophy - was an unused substitute in the final game under Pirlo, watching on from the bench as his team-mates triumphed 4-1 against Bologna.

What does the future hold for Achraf Hakimi?

In his first season with Inter, the Morocco international claimed the Scudetto.

However, his time in Milan could already be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY – HAKIMI TO PSG?

Paris Saint-Germain want to sign star Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Inter won the Serie A in 2020-21 but find themselves in a tough financial situation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with head coach Antonio Conte already opting to depart.

Hakimi, Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alessandro Bastoni could reportedly be sold to ease some of the economic pressure at San Siro.

PSG are believed to be interested, though Inter are demanding more than €60million for the 22-year-old, who only joined from Real Madrid at the start of the season.

Madrid have the right of first refusal and can match any offer for their former defender, while Bayern Munich and Chelsea have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are plotting a shock bid for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling. The England international found himself out of Pep Guardiola's starting XI at times in 2020-21. Madrid and Barca have been previously linked.

Paul Pogba remains a dream signing for Juventus, reports Calciomercato. Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez have emerged as targets for Juve, though the Bianconeri are still keen on Manchester United star Pogba, though Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul is an alternative.

- Romano says Barca are open to selling Philippe Coutinho, though Arsenal are not interested in the former Liverpool attacker.

Lionel Messi's contract extension is a priority for Barca before any new signings are made, according to the front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo. Barca have been tipped to bring in Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers. Gianluigi Donnarumma – another free agent option as his Milan contract expires – is also a possible recruit.

- According to Romano and widespread reports in Italy, Luciano Spalletti has agreed to replace Gennaro Gattuso as Napoli head coach.

Juventus have confirmed Massimiliano Allegri has returned as their new head coach, taking over from Andrea Pirlo.

Rookie coach Pirlo could only manage a fourth-placed finish in Serie A in 2020-21, and a Coppa Italia triumph was not enough for the club legend to keep his job.

It is Allegri – who guided Juve to five straight Serie A titles and two Champions League finals between 2014 and 2019 – who Juve have turned to.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform analyses the key numbers and statistics from Allegri's first, trophy-laden spell in charge of the Old Lady.

RECORD SETTER

Juve's two highest-scoring seasons dating back as far as 1930 have both come under the stewardship of Allegri.

In fact, Allgeri is responsible three of the seven Juventus seasons during which they have netted 100 goals or more – alongside his predecessor Pirlo, Antonio Conte and Jesse Carver.

Allegri guided Juventus to 26 home wins in 2016-17 – the highest total produced by the club in a single campaign dating back to at least 1930 – while his 2017-18 season (which was also the campaign in which Juve netted 112 goals) saw the Bianconeri record 18 away wins, the most in any season since 1930.

 

TOP OF THE CHARTS

Only one coach in Juve's history, Giovanni Trapattoni, has overseen more league games than Allegri's 190.

Juve amassed 142 victories, giving Allegri a win percentage of 74.74, clear of second-placed Conte (72.81), who managed 83 triumphs from 114 matches.

During his five seasons with Juve, Allegri suffered just 20 league defeats, with his team scoring 380 goals and conceding 125 in return, averaging 2.39 points per game.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ALLEGRI V CONTE

Allegri succeeded Conte at Juve in 2014, with the latter – who has just left Inter having guided the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title in 11 years – taking over as Italy coach.

Conte spent three seasons with Juve, starting their title streak that Allegri and subsequently Maurizio Sarri would go on to continue.

In total, Allegri was in charge of Juve for 271 games in all competitions, overseeing 191 wins (a 70.48 success rate), 43 draws and 37 defeats.

Conte had 151 matches at the helm, recording 102 victories – 67.55 per cent – and 34 draws. However, his Juve team lost on just 15 occasions, at an average of five per season.

Massimiliano Allegri has returned to Juventus for a second spell as head coach after Andrea Pirlo's departure.

Pirlo on Friday left the Turin giants barely nine months after signing a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

The former playmaker failed to live up to expectations as a coach and Juventus brought an abrupt end to his reign. 

The Bianconeri wasted little time in revealing that Allegri has returned as boss of the Serie A giants, who were dethroned as Italian champions by Inter this month.

Allegri, who was linked with Inter and Real Madrid before agreeing to rejoin his former club, had been out of work since ending his hugely successful tenure with Juventus two years ago.

The 53-year-old masterminded five consecutive Scudetto triumphs in his first spell at the club, and his team lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions.

Juve were beaten Champions League finalists with Allegri at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

"Massimiliano Allegri is the Juventus manager once more," the club said in a statement.

"Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals.

"What he achieved in his first adventure at Juventus are engraved in the club’s history: five Scudetti, to the four-consecutive doubles, coupled with the Coppa Italia and to the two Super Cups, reaching two Champions League finals in just three seasons, in what were epic feats both in Italy and in Europe."

The statement on the Juventus website added: "Now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together; with his enormous professionalism, his moral strength, with the brilliant ideas of a coach capable of shuffling the cards, both on and off the pitch.

"With his smile, a sort of 'signature'. With his way of understanding football and life with simplicity, with his desire to play things down and with the commitment to enjoy every beautiful moment that being at Juventus can give and will give."

Massimiliano Allegri has returned to Juventus for a second spell as head coach after Andrea Pirlo's departure.

Pirlo on Friday left the Turin giants barely nine months after signing a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

The former playmaker failed to live up to expectations as a coach and Juventus brought an abrupt end to his reign. 

The Bianconeri wasted little time in revealing that Allegri has returned as boss of the Serie A giants, who were dethroned as Italian champions by Inter this month.

Allegri, who was linked with Inter and Real Madrid before agreeing to rejoin his former club, had been out of work since ending his hugely successful tenure with Juventus two years ago.

The 53-year-old masterminded five consecutive Scudetto triumphs in his first spell at the club, and his team lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions.

Juve were beaten Champions League finalists with Allegri at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Juventus have announced the departure of head coach Andrea Pirlo as Massimiliano Allegri looks set to return to the club as his successor.

Pirlo signed a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri as Bianconeri boss last August, but the 42-year-old rookie boss failed to live up to expectations.

The former Italy playmaker failed to guide Juve to what would have been a 10th consecutive Serie A title and has paid the price after just one season in charge.

Juventus edged into the Champions League for 2021-22 by finishing fourth as Inter won the Scudetto.

The Turin giants tumbled out of this season's Champions League in March at the hands of Porto, losing on away goals at the round-of-16 stage.

Juventus announced Pirlo's departure in a manner that spoke of the esteem in which he is held at the club, and in a way that highlighted achievements over shortcomings.

"Thank you, Andrea," the club statement began. "These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together.

"A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.

"To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one's own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day."

The statement, posted on the club's website, added: "Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the 'other side' of the fence.

"And since in football, what counts are the victories, let's remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo's Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.

"For all this, for the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the maestro, the coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart. As well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one."

Allegri has been out of work since leaving the Turin giants two years ago. He had been linked with Real Madrid before news emerged on Thursday of a likely change at Juventus.

Juventus were champions of Italy in five consecutive seasons under the experienced Allegri, who has the highest Serie A win percentage at the club with 74.74 per cent.

They were beaten Champions League finalists with the 53-year-old at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17, while Allegri's side also lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions during his first stint with Juve.

Pirlo was promoted from a briefly-held role as Juventus under-23 coach, and although he won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, the former midfield maestro is now on the lookout for a new challenge.

Juventus have announced the departure of head coach Andrea Pirlo as Massimiliano Allegri looks set to return to the club as his successor.

Pirlo signed a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri as Bianconeri boss last August, but the 42-year-old rookie boss failed to live up to expectations.

The former Italy playmaker failed to guide Juve to what would have been a 10th consecutive Serie A title and has paid the price after just one season in charge.

Juventus edged into the Champions League for 2021-22 by finishing fourth as Inter won the Scudetto.

The Turin giants tumbled out of this season's Champions League in March at the hands of Porto, losing on away goals at the round-of-16 stage.

Is David de Gea's time at Manchester United coming to an end?

De Gea has spent a decade with the Red Devils but his form has been scrutinised in recent years.

A swap involving Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak could solve United's problems.

 

TOP STORY – DE GEA OUT, OBLAK IN?

Manchester United are lining up a swap deal involving star goalkeeper David de Gea and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak, according to The Sun.

De Gea's future has been uncertain since Dean Henderson signed a long-term contract extension at United, who remain uncertain about the pair.

Spain international De Gea joined United from Atletico in 2011 and the Red Devils are prepared to offer the LaLiga giants a reunion in exchange for star Oblak.

 

ROUND-UP

- TV3 reports Barcelona have offered Lionel Messi a new contract. Messi's current deal is due to expire on June 30 and the superstar captain has been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Saul Niguez is adamant he wants to leave LaLiga champions Atletico and Juventus lead the race to sign the Spaniard, claims Marca. United – long-term admirers – Bayern Munich and PSG are also interested.

- PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, says the front page of Friday's Mundo Deportivo. Zidane has announced his departure. Former Inter boss Antonio Conte, Castilla coach and club great Raul and Xabi Alonso – currently in charge of Real Sociedad's reserve side – are also on the list. Pochettino has also been linked with a sensational return to Tottenham.

Barca have held talks regarding goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, according to Fabrizio Romano. Donnarumma's Milan contract is due to expire and his departure is already confirmed. After talking with agent Mino Raiola, Barca are set to decide whether to sign Donnarumma, who has also been linked with Juve and United.

- Premier League champions City are looking to smash their transfer record to bring in £100million-rated Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, reports the Daily Mail. City are also interested in Tottenham's Harry Kane – a target for rivals United, Chelsea, Madrid and Barca.

- The Telegraph says United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to sign a new three-year contract in Manchester. Solskjaer guided United to a second-placed finish in the Premier League, while the club were stunned by Villarreal in the Europa League final this season.

Barca are close to completing free transfers for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Lyon star Memphis Depay, according to Mundo Deportivo. Ronald Koeman's men are also eyeing City's free agent pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia.

- FootMercato reports PSG have made an approach for star Milan full-back Theo Hernandez.

Chelsea and Tottenham both have strong interest in Borussia Monchengladbach attacker Jonas Hofmann, claims Sport1.

Juventus will part company with head coach Andrea Pirlo and replace him with Massimiliano Allegri, reports in Italy said on Thursday.

Rookie boss Pirlo signed a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri as Bianconeri boss last August, but the 42-year-old failed to live up to expectations.

The former Italy playmaker failed to guide Juve to what would have been a 10th consecutive Serie A title and appears to have paid the price.

Italian sport dailies La Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport both reported an agreement had been reached with Allegri.

Juventus edged into the Champions League for 2021-22 by finishing fourth as Inter won the Scudetto,

They tumbled out of this season's Champions League in March at the hands of Porto, losing on away goals at the round-of-16 stage.

Allegri has been out of work since leaving the Turin giants two years ago, but he had been linked with Real Madrid before news emerged of the likely change at Juventus.

Juventus were champions of Italy in five consecutive seasons under the experienced Allegri.

Juventus have announced that managing director Fabio Paratici is to leave next month after 11 years at the club.

Paratici arrived at the Italian giants from Sampdoria in May 2010 and has taken up a number of boardroom positions, during which time he has helped oversee transfer activity.

However, his contract expires at the end of June and, following talks with president Andrea Agnelli on Wednesday, it has been confirmed the 48-year-old's deal will not be renewed.

Agnelli said in a statement on Juve's official website: "Fabio has written the history of Juventus over the past few years. 

"A growth path characterised by professionalism, perseverance and many successes. 

"Today is the time to thank him for being able to create a strong professional bond, accompanied by a daily passion."

Juve have won 19 domestic trophies during Paratici's time in Turin and pulled off a major transfer coup by signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018.

"They were wonderful years of professional growth and strong emotions," Paratici said of his spell with Juve. 

"Juventus gave me the opportunity to carry out my work with full freedom and without interference in full respect of my role. 

"For this I would like to thank the whole club, my staff, the employees, co-workers, the players, the coaches, the shareholders, and in particular the president, Andrea Agnelli. 

"An important chapter of my career closes, as I await new challenges."

The decision to part ways with Paratici comes on the back of a disappointing 2020-21 campaign for Juventus, head coach Andrea Pirlo's first in charge.

Juve relinquished their grip on the Scudetto for the first time in 10 seasons, with Inter finishing top, though they did salvage their campaign somewhat in the run-in.

They won their final three Serie A games to finish above Napoli in fourth place, as well as beating Atalanta 2-1 in the Coppa Italia final to add to their Supercoppa Italiana triumph back in January.

While Paratici is certainly moving on, the future for Pirlo still remains unclear. Former head coach Massimiliano Allegri has been linked with a return to the Allianz Arena.

Gianluigi Buffon remains undecided on his future after leaving Juventus, suggesting he will not make any decisions until June.

The 43-year-old, who won 176 caps for Italy between 1997 and 2018, recently announced his decision to leave the Bianconeri but has not yet settled on whether he will continue playing or retire.

Buffon re-joined Juve two years ago having spent 2018-19 at Paris Saint-Germain, but over the course of his second spell he was second choice to Wojciech Szczesny.

He made his last appearance for the club in this month's 2-1 Coppa Italia final victory over Atalanta, lifting one last piece of silverware.

Since joining Juventus from Parma in 2001, Buffon has won 10 Serie A titles and made more appearances in Italy's top-flight (657) than any other player.

But he has vowed to take a two-week break to reflect, adamant he has to feel enthusiastic about playing if he is to continue his career into 2021-22.

"I've decided to take a break for 15 days," he told Canale 5.

"I want to think carefully about what to do and in the most appropriate way because if I decide to follow a path, I must have motivation and enthusiasm, otherwise it is better to stop.

"I'm not in a hurry because I'm a serene person. It requires thought. There are certain moments in which you have to take a step back instead of taking one step forward that is too risky.

"It was the right thing and the ending was worth it. I became a man at Juve, even though I was a boy."

Buffon's first club Parma have been mentioned as a potential destination despite their relegation to Serie B.

He came through Parma's academy in the early 1990s and went on to play over 200 games for them across all competitions before Juve made him the world's most expensive goalkeeper at the time in 2001, costing in the region of €52million.

During his six years in the Parma senior team, he helped them win the Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and Supercoppa Italiana.

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