Neymar, Lautaro Martinez or both? Barcelona may have a decision to make this close season.

Neymar has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, while the LaLiga giants are also reportedly interested in Inter star Martinez.

Barcelona could be forced to choose between the two in the next transfer window.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR, MARTINEZ OR BOTH? BARCELONA'S BIG DECISION

Barcelona want both Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Inter's Martinez but know it will be difficult to land the duo, according to Sport.

It reports landing Martinez is shaping to be easier as Inter are willing to accept players as part of a deal.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season, while Neymar has netted 18 times in 22 appearances for PSG.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could be turning to an old target. ESPN reports the Premier League club are prepared to make a bid for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt if the Serie A giants are open to a sale this close season.

- Harry Kane's future at Tottenham seemingly remains unclear. But The Daily Mail says Spurs are confident of keeping the forward, who said on Monday he would not stay at the club just "for the sake of it".

- It looks like Jadon Sancho to Liverpool will not be happening. The Mirror claims the Premier League leaders are not targeting the Borussia Dortmund star, leaving United and Chelsea as the English clubs still in the chase.

- Where will Philippe Coutinho end up next season? Sport reports Leicester City are interested in a loan deal for the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona. Staying at Camp Nou and Sport says Barcelona are considering a move for Layvin Kurzawa, who is out of contract at PSG at season's end, as a back-up to Jordi Alba.

- Edinson Cavani is also out of contract at the end of the season at PSG, but CalcioMercato reports the Uruguayan striker will not be joining Atletico Madrid, the club he has been linked to.

- With Alexis Sanchez set to return to Manchester United from his loan spell at Inter, The Sun reports the club will be forced to pay the attacker a £1.1million loyalty payment.

Mino Raiola believes only one thing has gone wrong for Matthijs de Ligt at Juventus so far, and that is not having Giorgio Chiellini alongside him.

De Ligt signed for Juve from Ajax in a €75million deal in July, though has struggled to recapture the form he showed during his time with the Eredivisie club.

The centre-back has made 24 appearances across all competitions this season, predominantly playing alongside Leonardo Bonucci.

Though there has been some bumps in the road for De Ligt, his agent Raiola believes the 20-year-old's switch to Serie A has been a success.

However, he pointed out the absence of Chiellini, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in August, has not helped.

"It's a great balance. Virtually everything went exactly as we wanted, as we hoped," Raiola told Tuttosport.

"The only thing that didn't go so well is that Chiellini has been hurt. Having this great player next to him, Matthijs could learn even more and the insertion [into the team] could have been more gradual.

"But it is also true that sometimes if you do not dive into the water, you certainly cannot learn to swim, can you?"

De Ligt is not the only Juve player who has struggled to find their best form, with Maurizio Sarri's side embroiled in a tight title race with both Inter and Lazio.

They face Brescia at home on Sunday, with a win enough to - temporarily at least - take them above Inter into first place.

Serie A strikers Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile lead the line in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Lukaku and Immobile are two of the form front men in European football, and the duo have earned recognition following their latest goalscoring exploits.

Inter striker Lukaku grabbed both goals in a 2-0 away win at Udinese on Sunday.

And Immobile matched that haul as Lazio thrashed SPAL 5-1, the Italy international's brace taking his 2019-20 league tally to 25 already.

The duo are far from the only big names in this week's selection, however, with Roberto Firmino, Jadon Sancho and Hugo Lloris also among the new in-form cards.

Find the full squad below.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 89

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) - 87

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) - 87

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 84

CM: Daniel Parejo (Valencia) - 88

RM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 88

CAM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 87

CM: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) - 86

CF: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - 88

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 90

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) - 88

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 83

CB: Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf) - 81

RM: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) - 81

ST: Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo) - 84

RW: Daniel Ginczek (Wolfsburg) - 82

ST: Kasper Dolberg (Nice) - 81

LW: Oussama Idrissi (AZ) - 81

RESERVES

CM: Alexandru Maxim (Gaziantep) - 79

CM: Alexandru Cicaldau (Universitatea Craiova) - 78

LM: Ahmet Engin (Duisburg) - 76

LM: Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) - 74

LW: Said Benrahma (Brentford) - 80

FIFA has revealed a record amount was spent on transfers in 2019, with deals for Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix topping the bill.

A report issued by world football's governing body on Wednesday revealed $7.35billion (£5.6billion) was spent by clubs in the transfer market in 2019, an increase of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.

The study also confirmed that English clubs spent the most, though the total figure of $1.52billion (£1.14billion) was a 22.1 per cent decrease from 2018.

Joao Felix's €126million transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid – who sold Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona for €120m – was the biggest deal of 2019, while Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a deal reportedly worth €100m.

Harry Maguire became the world's most expensive defender with a reported £80m switch from Leicester City to Manchester United, while Ajax sold young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively for an initial €75m each.

There was also a rise of 16.3 per cent in spending in the women's game, with over 800 transfers made in total.

Liverpool dominated the voting for UEFA's Champions League Team of the Year 2019, with five Reds players making the final XI alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to their sixth European title in Madrid in June, with Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi on target in a 2-0 victory over Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Virgil van Dijk was named man of the match and he features alongside Anfield defensive colleagues Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, as well as goalkeeper Alisson.

Sadio Mane is the other Liverpool player in the line-up, part of a front four completed by Messi, Ronaldo and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong earned blockbusting moves to Juventus and Barcelona respectively as they helped Ajax to last season's semi-finals and both make the select side, with the latter partnered in central midfield by Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne.

More than two million votes were cast to select the team via UEFA.com over the course of a six-week period.

A fit and firing Cristiano Ronaldo is "really happy" now his knee problem is behind him, according to Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.

Portugal international Ronaldo started 2020 with a bang on Monday as he netted a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Cagliari to take his tally to eight goals in his past five Serie A appearances.

The 34-year-old appears to have rediscovered his mojo having gone three games without scoring at the start of November, when he was twice substituted by Sarri as he battled a minor knee problem.

There has been no sign of that issue affecting Ronaldo of late, though, with Sarri delighted the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is back to his best.

"Ronaldo has not any more problems with his knee and now he is enjoying his great physical and mental condition," the Juventus head coach told a news conference.

"Finally I can see him really happy because his knee is fine now. He can play at his best now."

Another Bianconeri player who has been troubled by injury issues is defender Matthijs de Ligt.

The former Ajax captain was an unused substitute in the victory against Cagliari having not started a league game in a month due to shoulder and adductor problems.

De Ligt has yet to replicate the type of form which earned him the move to Turin ahead of this season, yet Sarri is convinced he can fulfil his promise.

"The situation of De Ligt is very clear: I'm sure he'll become one of the best - or the best maybe - defenders in the world," Sarri added.

"We need to understand that he was just 19 coming to a club like Juventus and forced to play 23 games in a row.

"He needs to learn a new language and new training technique. In Italy he had to change his way to play and his lifestyle. He had a lot of work to do in the last months.

"He improved a lot, then he had some little injuries. But that's normal."

Star defender Matthijs de Ligt said he hoped to be at Serie A champions Juventus "for a long time".

De Ligt, 20, joined Juve from Ajax for a fee of €75million in July, signing a five-year deal with the club.

The Netherlands international hopes his stay in Turin is a long one, saying he was proud to be at Juventus.

"I'm very happy in Turin, I hope to stay here for a long time," De Ligt told Juventus TV.

"I was really proud of course, when a big club like Juve want you it's a big honour.

"I always liked Juve as a club and now I'm happy and proud to wear this shirt."

De Ligt has started 12 Serie A games for Juventus, who are level on points with Inter through 17 matches.

The centre-back wants to continue improving and is targeting silverware with the club next year.

"The most important thing of all is always want to learn, grow and become a better player," De Ligt said.

"I want to win as many trophies as possible, we want to achieve important goals. If you play for Juventus you must always try to win everything. And that's what I want to do."

Cristiano Ronaldo is "coming back stronger than before", according to Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici, who scoffed at suggestions the veteran forward is "finished" after missing out on the Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo opted not to attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris, where Lionel Messi collected the top prize for the sixth time, choosing instead to appear at the Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan, where the Juve star picked up awards for his achievements in Serie A.

Paratici was asked whether Ronaldo's recent form is a sign the 34-year-old's powers are in decline, following a run of one goal in his past five games for the Bianconeri.

The Juve chief dismissed the suggestion, telling Tuttosport: "Cristiano finished? Don't make me laugh.

"Ronaldo had a knee problem that didn't allow him to perform at his best, but now he's coming back stronger than before."

On the Ballon d'Or, Paratici added: "For me, Ronaldo also deserved it last season, where he scored [13] goals in the Champions League, many of which were decisive.

"Ronaldo also deserved the Ballon d'Or this season. He is a competitive animal. We have made a good investment with him, he has improved all of us.

"We must accept his hunger, it is what distinguishes him from others. Will he remain with Juventus? Of course."

Paratici also took the opportunity to lavish praise on Matthijs de Ligt after he won the Kopa trophy, awarded to the best player under the age of 21.

De Ligt joined Juventus in July in a €75million move from Ajax, and Paratici dubbed the deal one of the club's best.

"The more I see of him, the more I think he is a monster. He's in another category," Paratici said.

"Do you realise what it means to be a starter at a big club at 20 years old? He was immediately thrown into the fray because of the injury to [Giorgio] Chiellini. He immediately took on great responsibilities, it's crazy.

"He's our best young purchase. He will define an era, I'm sure of it."

Matthijs de Ligt set his sights on team success with Juventus after claiming a prestigious individual prize at the Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday.

The Netherlands international was named the 2019 winner of the Kopa Trophy, given annually to the best player in the world aged under 21.

De Ligt described the award as an "honour" and hoped it would not be his last taste of silverware for the season.

Juve, the club he joined from Ajax in July, have long harboured ambitions to win the Champions League and are locked in a Serie A title race with Antonio Conte's Inter.

"Inter will be a difficult challenge because they are a great team with great players," De Ligt told reporters in Paris.

"But the season is long and for us it is all about winning.

"In the league or in the cup? I don't make distinctions, it's all important. We want to win everything.

"At Juve there are world-class defenders who will help me grow and become even stronger."

De Ligt was part of the Juve side that drew 2-2 at home to Sassuolo over the weekend, which allowed Inter to take a one-point lead at the top.

The Bianconeri will look to bounce back away to in-form Lazio on Saturday.

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has been named as the winner of the 2019 Kopa Trophy at this year's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Awarded to the best player in the world under the age of 21, De Ligt inherits the award from France and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

De Ligt has enjoyed a sensational 2019, guiding Ajax to the Eredivise title and the semi-final of the Champions League, where they ultimately suffered a last-gasp defeat to Tottenham.

His stunning form for the Dutch side led to a reported €75million move to Juventus in July, with the Serie A champions seeing off competition from a number of European rivals for his signature.

The 20-year-old has made 15 appearances across all competitions for Maurizio Sarri's side this season, scoring one goal.

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has been named as the winner of the 2019 Kopa Trophy at this year's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Awarded to the best player in the world under the age of 21, De Ligt inherits the award from France and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

De Ligt has enjoyed a sensational 2019, guiding Ajax to the Eredivise title and the semi-final of the Champions League, where they ultimately suffered a last-gasp defeat to Tottenham.

His stunning form for the Dutch side led to a reported €75million move to Juventus in July, with the Serie A champions seeing off competition from a number of European rivals for his signature.

The 20-year-old has made 15 appearances across all competitions for Maurizio Sarri's side this season, scoring one goal.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has been voted 18th in the final list for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, a fall of 15 places from last year.

Griezmann finished behind only Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo 12 months ago after winning the World Cup with France and impressing for Atletico Madrid at club level.

However, an underwhelming end to his Atletico career and a tough start to life at Barcelona - who he joined in a €120million deal in July - has seen him drop down the list.

It marks the second time the 28-year-old has slipped from third to 18th, having done likewise in 2017.

Griezmann's Barcelona team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen finished 24th and Frenkie de Jong, who spent the first half of the year with Champions League semi-finalists Ajax, was voted 11th in the standings.

Three Liverpool players missed out on the top 10, with Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in 26th, 19th and 17th, respectively.

Fellow Premier League side Manchester City were also heavily represented in the 30-11 rankings, as were Dutch champions Ajax following their run to the final four of last season's Champions League.

Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk are the frontrunners to win the most prestigious individual accolade in world football during Monday's ceremony.

Ballon d'Or 30-11 list in full:

=28. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

=28. Donny van de Beek (Ajax)

=28. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

=26. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

=26. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

=24. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

=24. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

22. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

=20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

=20. Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

18. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)

17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

16. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

14. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

12. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

11. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Maurizio Sarri hopes Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo wins his sixth Ballon d'Or, and he also tipped team-mate Paulo Dybala to be recognised as the world's best player in the future.

Ronaldo is up against fellow five-time winner Lionel Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in the running for this year's gong, while Juve defender Matthijs de Ligt is in contention to win the Kopa Trophy awarded to the best performing player under the age of 21.

After watching Ronaldo overcoming a persistent knee injury to play a full 90 minutes in Juve's 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, Sarri said he was impressed with the 34-year-old's recovery.

"Cristiano did well in the last game, even with some resistance," Sarri told reporters. "Now he just has to grow in terms of brilliance.

"I hope that Cristiano wins the Ballon d'Or, de Ligt the Kopa Trophy and that Dybala will one day be a future Ballon d’Or contender."

Serie A leaders Juventus play 14th-placed Sassuolo on Sunday, and Sarri said his deliberation over selecting two from Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Dybala to play in attack is a welcome problem.

But the former Napoli and Chelsea coach warned his players against complacency as they go in search of a fifth consecutive Serie A victory, having beaten Atalanta 3-1 prior to the win over Atletico.

"Tomorrow's game is very dangerous," Sarri said of the Sassuolo clash. "We come into this fixture after two games that took away a lot of our mental energy.

"In addition, Sassuolo is a team that has done well, even on the road, and they have a young and strong coach who I respect a lot.

"Do I get a headache choosing who to play in attack? If anything, the opposition gets the headache.

"Emre Can may be an option for tomorrow. Alex Sandro took part in the full training session with the team yesterday. We need to see if he can play 90 minutes. 

"[Federico] Bernardeschi is doing well, he is a useful player to the team, who has great technical qualities, so we ask him to give more."

Matthijs de Ligt is a doubt for Juventus' clash with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Saturday's 3-1 win over Atalanta.

Team-mate Douglas Costa will be sidelined for the Atletico game because of a thigh strain, Juventus indicated.

Victory in Bergamo was the Bianconeri's fifth in a row in all competitions and they are top of Serie A, one point clear of Inter, but the loss of De Ligt on top of Costa's absence would be a blow to head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Centre-back De Ligt has started 10 of 13 domestic league games this season, with Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury thrusting the €75million signing from Ajax into the spotlight.

Sarri will also monitor the fitness of forward Federico Bernardeschi, who was replaced after 26 minutes against Atalanta having suffered a bruised chest.

A statement on the official Juventus website said: "Following diagnostic tests carried out this morning ... it emerged that Matthjis de Ligt suffered a dislocated right shoulder in yesterday's match and has now began the appropriate therapies and recovery.

"Therapy and recovery also for Federico Bernardeschi, who suffered a bruise to the right hemithorax.

"Douglas Costa suffered a low-grade lesion of the semitendinosus muscle of the right thigh and has started rehabilitation treatment."

Juventus said that in winger Costa's case, it would take around 15 days for him to fully recover.

Matthijs de Ligt feels a degree of regret about choosing Juventus over Barcelona, according to the Catalan club's director of youth football Patrick Kluivert.

Juve beat out strong competition to sign Netherlands international De Ligt from Ajax in June.

The defender had been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barca but opted to sign a five-year deal in Turin after Ajax accepted an offer worth an initial €75million.

De Ligt was thrust into the starting XI after Giorgio Chiellini suffered a serious knee injury and has faced criticism for conceding two penalties – both for handball – in his nine Serie A appearances.

Former Netherlands striker Kluivert believes the 20-year-old may now be second-guessing his transfer choice.

"I would not say I tried to convince him, I could only tell him very good things about both Barcelona the city, as well as the club," Kluivert told Mundo Deportivo when asked about talks he held with De Ligt.

"But in the end it is the player and his agent who decide. Of course De Ligt is a great defender, but in the end he made a choice. I think he is a little sorry, but it is what it is.

"In life you make choices and sometimes you do it well and sometimes badly. You have to learn from your decisions."

Frenkie de Jong, De Ligt's former Ajax team-mate, did make the move to Barca in the close season and has flourished, with Kluivert praising the "very high quality" midfielder.

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman coaches both players at international level and has called the Barca job a "possibility" beyond Euro 2020, after which a clause in his contract would allow him to leave for Camp Nou.

When asked whether Koeman could return to the club as head coach, Kluivert told SPORT: "I don't know, maybe, but I insist, out of respect for Valverde, I don't want to talk about other coaches when there's one in a job at this club."

He added: "I know Ronald very well. Out of respect for Valverde, I don't want to position myself.

"[Koeman] is a very good coach, he's doing really well with the Dutch national team."

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