Juventus have qualified for the Champions League on the final day of the Serie A season thanks to beating Bologna 4-1 and rivals Napoli only managing a draw at home to Hellas Verona.

Andrea Pirlo's men went into the weekend in danger of missing out on the Champions League for the first time since finishing seventh in 2010-11, but Verona did them a favour as they held on to a 1-1 draw in Naples, meaning Juve take fourth a point ahead of Napoli.

Juve certainly held up their end of the bargain, dismantling Bologna with consummate ease despite the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, with Adrien Rabiot and Federico Chiesa adding to Alvaro Morata's brace to have them 4-0 up by the 47th minute.

Riccardo Orsolini's late consolation had little bearing – the Bianconeri just had to see what happened elsewhere with Milan also in the hunt with Juve and Napoli, the latter of whom eventually became the team to miss out on the top four.

Juve looked like a team on a mission and were in front within six minutes as Chiesa converted somewhat scrappily after Dejan Kulusevski had caused havoc down the right flank.

It took them a little while to double their advantage but the second goal did arrive with half an hour played, Paulo Dybala doing brilliantly as he left the Bologna defence in knots before a chipped cross found Morata to nod home.

Rabiot then made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time, the Frenchman slotting past Lukasz Skorupski from Kulusevski's lay-off at the end of a lovely flowing move.

Juve quickly picked up where they left off in the second period, Morata producing an exquisite first touch on the spin to bring Wojciech Szczesny's long ball under his spell, then holding off a defender before squeezing a powerful shot under the hands of Skorupski.

Morata nearly got his hat-trick just before the hour when hitting into the side-netting from a Juan Cuadrado cross, though former Juve talent Orsolini did score at the other end with a well-taken finish late on.

Not that it had any major impact on Juve, who never looked like dropping points and that did the job as they ensured they will be at Europe's top table next term.

The Premier League's big-money clubs are circling for Declan Rice.

The England international has been a key figure in West Ham's quest for European football in 2021-22.

Will the Hammers hold on to the defensive midfielder? 

 

TOP STORY - WEST HAM'S RICE IN DEMAND

Interest in 22-year-old Declan Rice is heating up, the Telegraph reports.

Chelsea may be the strongest suitors for the West Ham player, potentially using Tammy Abraham in a swap deal to land him.

Manchester United also are said to be monitoring Rice's status as he could be set to move on from Upton Park in a £90million deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- If Cristiano Ronaldo departs Juventus, La Stampa says Barcelona's France international Antoine Griezmann is being lined up as a potential replacement.

- Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is drawing interest from Everton and Juventus after failing to find regular playing time at Old Trafford, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Lautaro Martinez could be on the move from Italy to Spain as the Inter Milan striker's agent met with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Marca claimed.

- Loanee Dani Ceballos will leave Arsenal this summer as parent club Real Madrid invite permanent offers for the midfielder, Fabrizio Romano reports.

Newcastle are eyeing a move for USA international Cameron Carter-Vickers, who spent the season with Bournemouth on loan from Tottenham, according to SBI Soccer.

Andrea Pirlo still hopes to stay on as Juventus coach and keep Cristiano Ronaldo at the club as he prepares for Sunday's decisive Serie A clash with Bologna.

Juve sit fifth in the table after 37 matches, a point behind Napoli in fourth and Milan in third, and they know they must win to have any chance of finishing in a Champions League spot.

Pirlo's first season in charge has been difficult. The Bianconeri lost their title to Inter and crashed out of the Champions League to Porto at the last-16 stage.

However, they have still claimed two trophies in 2021, winning the Supercoppa Italiana match against Napoli in January before lifting the Coppa Italia this week after defeating Atalanta 2-1 in the final.

Speculation persists that Juve will look to replace Pirlo before next season, while it has also been rumoured they could sanction the sale of Ronaldo, who has scored 36 goals in all competitions this term.

Pirlo, however, appears eager to keep working with Ronaldo at the Allianz Stadium and improve on his first campaign in the dugout.

"We do this job for the adrenaline that it brings," he said on Saturday. "I want to continue working with this team and this club, but I think that's normal.

"The greatest satisfaction of this season has been the relationship with the boys, who have given me a lot, whilst I haven't liked the results and we didn't reach the set goals.

"I was a winner as a player, I want to be a manager, so I think of this year as an opportunity to improve. I don't think that the club will decide my future on the basis of tomorrow. We'll see what happens.  

"After the Milan game [a 3-0 defeat on May 9], we were 'dead'; now, we are still alive. Let's think about ourselves first, and then see what happens elsewhere. We mustn't have any regrets. There is always pressure, but we are calm and there is enthusiasm."

He added on Ronaldo: "I see Cristiano at Juventus and extremely focused, just as I saw him in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday."

One figure who is set to leave Juve after this season is Gianluigi Buffon, with the 43-year-old having announced he will not commit to the club for 2021-22.

Pirlo said of his old team-mate: "With Buffon, Juve is losing a monument of football, both on and off the pitch. It's a sad feeling as we have come a long way together. I admire him very much."

Douglas Costa looks to have played his last match for Juventus – or Bayern Munich for that matter – after agreeing a year-long loan move to Gremio.

The winger is contracted to Juventus through to the end of the 2021-22 sesson but he will spend that time back in his native Brazil, with the club at which he began his career.

Costa, 30, started this season at Juventus but joined another of his former teams, Bayern Munich, on a temporary basis in October and spent the rest of the campaign until now with the Bundesliga giants.

An injury-hit campaign meant Costa was not expected to extend that stay at Bayern, and his loan to the German giants was formally terminated on Friday.

Now the former Brazil international is heading back home, after 11 and a half years in Europe. He was initially acquired by Shakhtar Donetsk from Gremio in January 2010.

Juventus announced on their website: "Douglas Costa has officially signed for Gremio on a free loan from Juventus.

"The Brazilian winger, who joined Juventus back in 2017 and spent this past season on loan at Bayern Munich, will wear the shirt of the Porto Alegre outfit until 30 June 2022."

Costa won a league championship in every season but one of his career in Europe.

He helped Shakhtar win the Ukrainian title every year from 2010 to 2014 before they were denied by Dynamo Kiev in 2015, going on to lift the Bundesliga in 2016, 2017 and 2021 with Bayern, and Serie A in 2018, 2019 and 2020 with Juventus.

Gianni Infantino has denied FIFA colluded with clubs on the controversial Super League but stopped short of saying there had been no talks about the project.

The president of world football's governing body spoke out on Friday after the FIFA congress, describing the Super League attempted breakaway as "a rupture" in the game.

Asked whether FIFA had any involvement in the Super League planning or if it had offered support, Infantino gave a nine-minute response in which he said it was his job to always listen to anybody in the game considering a new format.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas recently accused Infantino of encouraging the Super League, but the FIFA chief rebutted that claim.

"Let me tell you that when we are analysing these questions, we should look at the facts and not rumours or corridor gossip, especially not coming from certain parts," Infantino said.

The proposed new competition was announced and quashed in the space of around 48 hours in April, a breath-taking episode that saw players, coaches, supporter groups, national associations, politicians and even royalty express dismay at the closed-door concept.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham announced they would be taking part, as did Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid from LaLiga, and Serie A giants Juventus, Milan and Inter also signed up. The project, a major threat to the UEFA Champions League, collapsed dramatically, but there are some who expect it to be revived.

"I know many clubs," Infantino told reporters in a conference call. "I speak with clubs for many years, since my days at UEFA, and when speaking to European clubs the Super League topic always is a topic for discussion.

"Everyone in football knows that, so let's not play games here. Everyone in football knows for years clubs have been studying and preparing for this or similar projects.

"In the 16 years I was in UEFA we always managed that, and I can tell you there were projects that were far more advanced than the one we have seen recently.

"At FIFA it is also my responsibility and our responsibility to discuss with football stakeholders. Now to listen to some clubs and to speak with some clubs doesn't certainly mean in any way whatsoever that FIFA was behind, was colluding, was plotting or I don't know what words you used for any Super League project."

Infantino pointed to a FIFA statement issued in January that said a breakaway competition would not be recognised by the world body.

"In that moment, the rupture was of course becoming inevitable and the rupture is never good, it's not good for anyone," Infantino said on Friday. "No war is good – never. We are ready to defend football from projects we know are wrong."

He added: "I don't close the doors to any discussion with anyone – never – about new formats, new ideas, new competitions. I'm ready to listen to everyone.

"This is my job ... the way I live the presidency of FIFA.

"I'm aware some people prefer to spin these discussions in a different way and I can understand that attacking me or FIFA is a good way to divert the attention from real problems that have never been addressed in the last years."

Infantino did not specify his target for that remark, but said: "I hope that as of today we can move to the real issues that football is facing."

Gianluigi Donnarumma's future is dominating headlines.

Milan want to re-sign the Italy international but time is running out.

A blockbuster move to LaLiga could be on the horizon…

 

TOP STORY – DONNARUMMA TO SPAIN?

Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has been offered to Barcelona by his agent Mino Raiola, according to Diario AS.

Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season and the Italy international is yet to re-sign with Milan.

He has been linked with Serie A rivals Juventus, Barca, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Donnarumma's arrival could force Barca to sell star number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS claims Kylian Mbappe's proposed transfer to Real Madrid does not hinge on head coach Zinedine Zidane, who could leave at the end of the season. Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri and Madrid great Raul have emerged as the frontrunners should Zidane leave, but it will not impact Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe's future. Madrid have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Tottenham's Harry Kane.

Sergio Aguero is set to accept a contract offer from Barca until June 2023, reports Fabrizio Romano. Aguero is poised to become a free agent once his deal with Manchester City expires. Lyon captain Memphis Depay is also on the verge of moving to Camp Nou on a free transfer.

- Udinese star Rodrigo De Paul, Atalanta's Josip Ilicic and Roma attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan are potential replacements for Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu, according to Tuttosport. Calhanoglu's contract is expiring at San Siro amid links with Juve, United and clubs in Qatar.

Monza are eyeing Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon, says Gazzetta dello Sport. Monza – owned by former Milan president Silvio Berlusconi – are currently in Serie B and missed out on promotion via the playoffs. Monza also boast Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Buffon has already revealed he will leave Juve at the end of the season.

Gianluigi Buffon has hailed Juventus' supporters for the "infinite affection" they have shown him as the goalkeeper prepares for the curtain to come down on his career with the Turin club.

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

The 43-year-old, who won 176 caps for Italy between 1997 and 2018, recently announced he will leave the Bianconeri at the end of the season but has not yet decided if he will continue playing or retire.

The veteran keeper could make his final appearance for Juventus in Sunday's Serie A clash with Bologna, with Andrea Pirlo's side battling to finish in the top four and secure Champions League football next season.

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

He claimed his fifth Coppa Italia winner's medal after Juve's 2-1 win over Atalanta on Wednesday and posted an emotional tribute to Juve fans on Instagram.

"You were the frame within which I painted my Bianconeri history," Buffon said of the fans.

"In 20 years you never abandoned me, you always supported and encouraged me. Together we sank and together we were reborn.

"Together we experienced infinite joy and together we experienced profound disappointment.

"A simple thank you would never be sufficient to repay the infinite affection you showed me uninterrupted for 20 years."

Andrea Pirlo wants to remain as Juventus head coach next season, but accepts the decision could be taken out of his hands. 

Pirlo has endured a challenging first season in charge of the Bianconeri, but he steered them to a record-extending 14th Coppa Italia title with a 2-1 win over Atalanta on Wednesday.

Federico Chiesa scored the decisive goal 17 minutes from full-time after Ruslan Malinovskiy had earlier cancelled out Dejan Kulusevski's fine strike. 

The triumph meant Pirlo became the fourth Juve boss to win the Coppa Italia as both a player and a coach, after Luis Monti, Carlo Parola and Dino Zoff.

Juve need to beat Bologna on the final day of the season on Sunday and hope one of Napoli or Milan slip up in their respective games against Hellas Verona and Atalanta to qualify for next season's Champions League. 

While Pirlo accepts it has been a difficult season, he insists he has no intention of stepping down from his role at the end of the campaign. 

"We wouldn't be here talking about fifth place and a premature Champions League exit if it had been a totally positive season," he told RAI Sport. "There were ups and downs, these two trophies [Juve also won the Supercoppa Italiana] cannot cancel that out.

"For my first season, I have learned a great deal and then found these satisfactions that are very gratifying.

"Of course I would confirm myself in this role. I've loved football since I was a child and will continue to love it. The club will decide, but I love coaching. I love this club, and we'll see what is decided. I would like to continue."

Pirlo also revealed Chiesa was almost denied his moment of glory, with Paulo Dybala poised to replace him. 

"We were about to take him off when he scored; that's football for you," he said. "Not everyone has scored a decisive goal in a cup final, so it's great for him."

While Juve largely struggled in the first half at the Mapei Stadium, they were a team reborn in the second period. 

They limited Atalanta – who had Rafael Toloi sent off late on after he had already been substituted – to just a single shot on target after the break, with Pirlo attributing their improved display to a few half-time tweaks. 

"It was a wonderful game with two great teams who fought from start to finish," he added. 

"[Juan] Cuadrado was a little too deep in the first half, but I told him to be more ferocious on [Robin] Gosens and [Weston] McKennie to attack their centre-back. We did it in the second half and it all went much better."

Juventus had more than the obvious reasons to rue the miracles worked by Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini as they were made to dig into dwindling reserves during Wednesday's Coppa Italia final.

Most of the way through their utter dominance of Serie A over the past decade, Juve decided winning alone wasn't enough – certainly not if they were to become a preeminent force in Europe.

They needed a superstar and along came Cristiano Ronaldo. That was half the job and, fittingly considering their marque signing, the other part concerned aesthetics.

Increasingly in the modern game, the way in which a team wins marks them out as great. Massimiliano Allegri was certainly no arch practitioner of catenaccio but he was a coach of substance more than style.

Juve did not want pragmatism, they wanted a philosophy. After all, Gasperini's Atalanta – all intricate whirring parts – were compiled on a shoe string and scoring goals by the bucket load. Why couldn't the grand Old Lady have some of that?

And so, Allegri made way for Maurizio Sarri. A ninth consecutive Scudetto arrived via Sarriball but with little of the desired joy. So off he went and in came club great and coaching rookie Andrea Pirlo.

Charged with improving a bankable winning machine, Pirlo headed to the final in Reggio Emilia with Juve's Champions League qualification hopes now out of their hands. Admittedly, his board don't seem too keen on that competition nowadays.

The Bianconeri tried to match Atalanta stride for stride during the opening stages but they coughed up chances and were fortunate to see the best of those fall to lumbering centre-back Jose Luis Palomino – Gianluigi Buffon's early save so crucial to this 2-1 victory and the goalkeeping great riding off into the sunset with one last piece of silverware.

Duvan Zapata fired into the side-netting and made the first half an utterly torrid experience for Matthijs de Ligt. Juve were snapping into challenges and trying to roll with the punches, but much of the first half looked like a team in the season's latest fashion trying to match a catwalk model stride for stride.

 

Then a player reared in the Atalanta style opened the scoring. For Juventus.

Dejan Kulusevski moved to Turin from Bergamo, via an electrifying loan spell with Parma, in deal that could be worth €44million to Atalanta.

Whether that is a price worth paying after the Sweden attacker's goal and assist denied them a first major honour for 58 years is a tantalising question, but selling gems like Kulusevski and Manchester United winger Amad Diallo at huge mark ups is a massive reason why Atalanta head into the final weekend in Serie A guaranteed a Champions League spot for a third consecutive campaign.

They are an impeccably run club, and this defeat to a Juve in shambles will truly sting. The build-up to the 31st-minute opener was as chaotic as the club who scored it, but Kulusevski's curled left-footed finish was an utter delight.

The response to that artistic flourish came via the sledgehammer of Ruslan Malinovskiy's left boot after the brilliant Remo Freuler – who completed more passes (55) and gained possession (nine) more times than any of his team-mates – ransacked Adrien Rabiot.

At that point, it felt like there was only one winner, but Juve regrouped, re-established their lead and Atalanta's discipline unravelled.

There will be a lot of guff spoken about Juventus' DNA and such, although this victory owed everything to the younger more recently attached parts to this Frankenstein's monster of a team.

De Ligt came out the other side of his Zapata ordeal and produced a heroic and painful block to deny Cristian Romero when it was still all square, giving the Dutchman a more grizzled contribution to this win than the wonderfully weathered Giorgio Chiellini alongside him.

Kulusevski drew a sharp reaction stop from Pierluigi Gollini and Ronaldo's deft backheel saw Federico Chiesa hit the post.

Ronaldo seemed happy to play second-fiddle to the bright young things alongside him and they combined for glory, Chiesa coming inside menacingly from the left and exchanging passes with Kulusevski to score emphatically.

It was the sort of sleek goal desired to be a feature of the post-Allegri years and this piece of silverware should help a team in transition, even if the evidence of the season as a whole suggests Pirlo is not the man to lead it.

Buffon lovingly strapped his gloves back on to lift the trophy – the 19th major honour of an incredible senior career at club and international level – but this was a night that belonged to the players who will shape Juve's future. It is a future that aspires stylistically to romantics like Gasperini, however little comfort that might provide for him and his beaten players.

Federico Chiesa scored the decisive goal as Juventus sealed a record-extending 14th Coppa Italia title with a 2-1 win over Atalanta on Wednesday. 

It has been a disappointing first season in charge for Andrea Pirlo, with the Bianconeri knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Porto and their hopes of qualifying for next season's competition hanging by a thread ahead of the final round of Serie A fixtures this weekend. 

And they looked set for more despair when Ruslan Malinovskiy cancelled out Dejan Kulusevski's fine strike before half-time. 

Juve stormed back in the second half, though, and sealed victory in their 20th Coppa Italia final thanks to Chiesa's composed finish with 17 minutes remaining.

Atalanta did most of the pressing in the early stages, with Duvan Zapata and Remo Freuler both flashing efforts narrowly wide of Gianluigi Buffon's goal. 

It was Juve who went ahead, though, Kulusevski superbly whipping past Pierluigi Gollini after being picked out on the right-hand side of the penalty area by Weston McKennie. 

Gian Piero Gasperini's side deservedly pulled level four minutes before the interval when Malinovskiy collected Hans Hateboer's pass and lashed a powerful strike past Buffon from just inside the area.

Gollini got down well shortly before the hour mark to paw away Kulusevski's near-post flick, while Chiesa curled against the post after a slick with involving Cristiano Ronaldo.

Chiesa was not to be denied in the 73rd minute, collecting Kulusevski's pass and then sliding home his 13th goal in all competitions this season. 

Atalanta battled in the closing stages, but they never really came close to finding a goal that would have forced extra time, with Juve holding on to consign last season’s final defeat to Napoli to history.

Hertha Berlin midfielder Sami Khedira has announced his retirement from football at the end of the 2020-21 season. 

The 34-year-old's last game will be against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

Khedira joined Hertha in February after five-and-a-half years with Serie A giants Juventus, where he won five Scudettos and three Coppa Italia titles. 

Prior to that he enjoyed five seasons at Real Madrid, claiming one LaLiga title and the Champions League in 2013-14. 

He made 77 appearances for Germany and was an important part of the squad that won the 2014 World Cup.

Khedira, who won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart in 2006-07, has made just eight appearances for Hertha this season, with only three of those starts. 

"Exactly 14 years ago to the day I was allowed to celebrate the championship with Stuttgart," he told a media conference.

"That was a wonderful day. Today is one that is very difficult for me personally because my football career will be over on Saturday at around 5:15 pm.

"It's a pretty tough step and it's hard for me to talk about, but it's the right decision. Fifteen years in professional football have left their mark and I have to honestly judge what I can and cannot do.

"First of all, I would like to gain some distance and relax. I will stay with football, in what form remains to be seen."

 

Juventus will be without Leonardo Bonucci for the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, Andrea Pirlo has confirmed.

The centre-back missed the weekend's 3-2 win over Serie A champions Inter with a knee injury that keeps him sidelined for Wednesday’s game.

Juve will have Paulo Dybala available, though, and Pirlo admits he is facing some difficult decisions when it comes to the composition of his forward line.

On Bonucci, the Juventus boss said: "[He] has a knee problem and won't be available tomorrow. We have several solutions for tomorrow."

Dybala also failed to appear in that game, remaining rooted to the bench as Juventus secured a much-needed victory despite losing Rodrigo Bentancur to a 55th-minute red card.

However, the Argentina international is fully fit and could come back into the starting XI in Reggio Emilia.

Pirlo added: "[He] is fine. He played a good game against Sassuolo, but there were no conditions for him to enter on Saturday. He is available and ready to play.

"All the attacking players are doing well, so we will then decide who to start from the beginning."

Juventus' two Serie A meetings with Atalanta this season brought them a home draw and an away defeat.

And Pirlo expects another big test from a team who have continued to grow under Gian Piero Gasperini this term.

He continued: "Atalanta forces you to pick up the pace, we know it and we are ready to face it. I don't think it will be a very different match from the other two. 

“We earned the final with two hard-fought matches against Inter. We really want to bring this trophy home.”

Europe's top five leagues all conclude this week and there are still plenty of matters to be resolved – not least who will be crowned champions in Spain and France.

Every division has something riding on the final days of the season, whether it be top spot, European qualification, or relegation.

Ahead of what is set to be a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga campaigns, we look at the state of play in each league.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title with three games to spare, making them the first team in the competition's history to win the title despite being as low as eighth on Christmas Day.

All three relegation places were also decided with three games remaining – a Premier League record – with Fulham joining Sheffield United and West Brom in dropping down a division.

That leaves just the European spots to fight for, and it is shaping up to be an entertaining end to the English top-flight season in that regard. Manchester United are guaranteed a top-four finish, but five other teams – Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham – are in the mix for the two other Champions League berths with two rounds of games to go.

There is also the small matter of the Europa League places for the teams finishing in fifth and sixth, as well as a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League, which goes to the team in seventh, meaning everyone from 10th-placed Leeds United to Leicester in third have something to play for. That includes Arsenal, who have not missed out on European football of some sort in 25 years.

LALIGA 

The Spanish title race appeared to take a dramatic twist on Sunday as Real Madrid leapfrogged Atletico Madrid at the summit for around 20 minutes. However, Atleti scored two late goals to beat Osasuna, meaning they are two points ahead of their city rivals heading into the final round of games.

Atleti, who have led the way at the top for 29 matchdays, now need to match Madrid's result against Villarreal when they travel to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on the final day of the season. It is worth noting that Los Blancos have the superior head-to-head record, so a draw would not be enough for Atleti if Madrid win.

Barcelona are officially out of the title race, meanwhile, but they are assured of a top-four finish along with Sevilla. Real Sociedad and Real Betis occupy the Europa League spots, while Villarreal are in a Europa Conference League berth, though just one point separates the three teams so that could all yet change.

To complicate matters, Villarreal could still qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League final against Manchester United.

At the bottom end of the division, Eibar are already relegated and they will be joined by two of Valladolid, Elche or Huesca. Valladolid must beat Atletico in their final game to have a chance of staying up, while the onus is on Elche to better Huesca's result as they are level on points but have an inferior head-to-head record.

LIGUE 1

The Ligue 1 title battle is also going right down to the wire in a three-way dogfight. After a thrilling race that has lasted the course of the season, underdogs Lille lead heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain by one point with one matchday left.

Monaco have won seven of their previous eight games and are three points off leaders Lille, though they require both Les Dogues and PSG to slip up on the final day, as well as beating Lens. Should it come down to goal difference, PSG hold a big lead over their two title rivals.

Incredibly, PSG are still not yet technically assured of a Champions League place as Lyon in fourth are only three points worse off, although it would take a defeat for the reigning champions and victory for Lyon, plus a goal swing of 16, for them to miss out.

Monaco's opponents Lens, incidentally, also have plenty to play for at the weekend as they are sixth – enough for Europa Conference League qualification – but can still be caught by Rennes in seventh, while they could yet overtake Marseille in fifth if results go their way.

At the opposite end of the table, there may only be one spot left to be settled in the bottom three – Dijon and Nimes are both already down – but six teams are still very much in danger of the drop. Nantes occupy the relegation play-off spot, with Lorient, Brest and Strasbourg just a point better off, and Bordeaux and Reims only two points clear.

SERIE A

With Inter being crowned Scudetto winners for the first time in 11 years at the start of the month, the biggest storyline in Serie A regards Juventus' top-four fate. The dethroned champions, who had finished top nine years running before this season, are currently down in fifth.

Juve are one point behind Napoli and Milan in the two spots directly above them, while Atalanta are three points better off in second and have the better head-to-head record against the Bianconeri.

Andrea Pirlo's side are therefore in need of favours on the final day in what is poised to be a nail-biting finale in terms of those Champions League places. Lazio will finish sixth, so they are assured of Europa League football next term, while Roma hold a two-point advantage over Sassuolo in the Europa Conference League position.

Parma and Crotone are both down already and one of Benevento or Torino will join them, the latter currently three points outside of the relegation zone and with a game in hand to play on Benevento.

BUNDESLIGA

RB Leipzig provided Bayern Munich with some stern competition for a while, but the Bavarian giants' quality eventually told and they are Bundesliga champions for a ninth year running.

It's not only the title race that's done and dusted in Germany, in fact, as RB Leipzig are certain of second place, and both Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will join them in the Champions League next season.

Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, will finish in fifth and sixth respectively regardless of events later this week.

However, Union Berlin have work to do if they are to finish seventh for a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs as Borussia Monchengladbach are a point further back, while Stuttgart and Freiburg are two behind with a game to go.

Seven-time German champions Schalke will be competing in the second tier of German football next season, but Cologne and Werder Bremen are hanging on in there, sitting two and one point behind Arminia Bielefeld respectively in 15th place.

Where will Pau Torres play next season?

The Villarreal defender is reportedly wanted by Premier League giants Manchester United, who are set to face the LaLiga outfit in the Europa League final.

But Napoli are also eyeing the Spain international.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED FACE FIGHT FOR VILLARREAL DEFENDER

Manchester United could face a battle from Napoli to sign Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

United are looking to bolster their defence amid links to Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and team-mate Raphael Varane, as well as Sevilla's Jules Kounde.

Torres has emerged as a serious option, though Napoli are also reportedly interested, with star Kalidou Koulibaly's future uncertain.

 

ROUND-UP

- Lautaro Martinez and Inter have opened dialogue over a contract renewal, says the front page of Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport. Martinez has previously been tipped to join Barcelona, while Madrid have reportedly emerged as suitors.

- L'Equipe claims Lyon captain Memphis Depay will complete his move to Barca in June. It comes as Barca look to seal other free-transfer details for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum. Barca have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and City's soon-to-be free agent Sergio Aguero.

Roma have no interest in signing Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. The Italy great will leave Turin at the end of the season, but it will not be for the Italian capital, reports Calciomercato.

- According to Calciomercato, Mauro Icardi has been tipped to swap Paris Saint-Germain for Juventus. With Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala linked with Juve exits, former Inter captain Icardi could return to Italy.

Atalanta are set to trigger their option to sign Cristian Romero from Juve, claims Fabrizio Romano. The defender has been scouted by United.

Andrea Pirlo claimed Cristiano Ronaldo was happy to be substituted with 20 minutes remaining of Juventus' pulsating 3-2 win over champions Inter in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday. 

The Portuguese superstar – who slotted home the opener after his penalty was saved – was withdrawn for Alvaro Morata with the Bianconeri leading 2-1 after Juan Cuadrado had restored the hosts' lead following Romelu Lukaku's leveller from the spot. 

Rodrigo Bentancur was dismissed for the hosts after just 55 minutes for picking up two yellow cards and intense Inter pressure finally told seven minutes from full-time when Giorgio Chiellini bundled into his own net. 

There was to be one final twist, though, as Cuadrado powered home from the spot in the 88th minute after he had been brought down inside the area by Ivan Perisic. 

The result moved Juve into the top four, although they could be usurped ahead of next weekend's final matchday if Napoli overcome Fiorentina on Sunday.

It was just the third time Ronaldo has been substituted this season, but Pirlo was adamant his talisman took the withdrawal well. 

"I think it was the first time he was happy to be subbed off," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We were one man down, and he'd have been chasing shadows. He was happy and smiling in the dressing room."

It has been a dismal first season in charge for Pirlo, with a Champions League last-16 exit followed by a tepid surrender of their nine-year stranglehold on the Serie A crown to Inter.

It remains to be seen whether he will still in charge for the 2021-22 campaign but, if he stays, Pirlo wants to see more of the spirit shown in the win over Antonio Conte's side next term. 

"We should have had the same determination and desire to fight on every ball also in the other games of the season," he added.

"If we had done so, we would not be fighting for a top-four finish at this point. We made too many mistakes in games that seemed easy on paper.

"We've asked ourselves many times what we've lacked this season. We didn't have the same fire burning inside. We had to turn the light on again to fight the title and a top-four finish. The lads have proved they are up to the task in big games.

"This group has a lot to give, we have many young players, but playing for Juventus means having more responsibility. It takes time to adapt.

"We shouldn't have dropped so many points, but this is a good team, we have room for improvement, there is a good base to work well."

Juve finish their campaign with a trip to Bologna next week.

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