Napoli have denied their players undergo cryotherapy treatment in dirty rubbish bins.

The Serie A club responded to the suggestion after a photo of players using tall bins for ice baths during a training session was shared on social media.

Napoli insisted it is common practice among elite clubs and, in addition, fulfils the requirements set out in measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

"It's embarrassing how some sections of the media have reported the news that Napoli players have been undergoing cryotherapy in rubbish bins, without at least verifying the reasons behind this initiative and whether it was [head coach Gennaro] Gattuso's idea or a common practice," they posted on Twitter.

"We will do the work which hasn't been done, shall we? Question: why are you using bins? Because there is much more space and the players are submerged up to their waists. Also, bins are in line with the anti-COVID protocols as each player is submerged alone.

"Question: are the bins clean or dirty? Obviously, not only are they clean, but also new, unused and are sanitised three times a day.

"Question: are you the only club to use this method? No, many teams do.

"Question: so it wasn't Gattuso's idea? No."

Napoli finished seventh in Serie A and were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 last season but qualified for the 2020-21 Europa League by winning the Coppa Italia.

With Donny van de Beek set to arrive, are Manchester United targeting another new signing?

RB Leipzig defender and France international Dayot Upamecano is reportedly high on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's list as the United manager eyes a partner for captain Harry Maguire.

It could be a busy transfer window for United.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT UPAMECANO

Manchester United are targeting RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, according to ESPN.

United are poised to complete the signing of star Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek and the Red Devils are now eyeing further recruits.

While United continue to pursue Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, the Premier League giants have made French defender Upamecano – who signed a new deal until 2023 – a top transfer target. Upamecano has also been linked to the likes of Bayern Munich and Arsenal.

 

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Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona but his possible move to Manchester City could prove difficult. Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo claims City will abandon their bid to bring Messi to Manchester if they are forced to pay a transfer fee for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner. Messi feels he is a free agent following the 2019-20 season.

- Fabrizio Romano reports United expect to receive a bid from Roma for defender Chris Smalling, who spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Italian capital. It comes as the Red Devils eye a new centre-back.

- Sky Sport reports Milan are set to complete a one-year loan deal for Real Madrid's Brahim Diaz. The 21-year-old Spaniard has struggled for game time since arriving in 2019. Le10 Sport, meanwhile, says Milan are very interested in Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, who has been previously linked to the likes of United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Madrid.

James Rodriguez is on the cusp of leaving Madrid for Carlo Ancelotti's Everton, according to Romano.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain is in advanced talks to join former team-mate Blaise Matuidi at David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS.

Arturo Vidal wants to terminate his Barca contract, says Sky Sport Italia. Gianluca Di Marzio also reports Inter are already in talks about signing the former Juve midfielder.

- France Football says Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has agreed personal terms with City amid interest from United and PSG.

Piotr Zielinski has signed a new contract at Napoli, keeping him at Stadio San Paolo until 2024.

The Poland international joined Napoli from Udinese in a reported €16million move in 2016 and has since become a mainstay in the Partenopei midfield.

Zielinski, 26, featured in 37 of the club's 38 Serie A games last season, scoring twice.

And he has now committed his future to Napoli, who are set to lose midfield colleague Allan to Everton.

Allan will join Everton, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed.

Brazil international Allan is set to finally depart Napoli in a reported £25million (€27.9m) deal after repeated talk of a move away from the Serie A club in recent years.

A €100m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain was mooted in 2019 when Carlo Ancelotti was in charge of the Partenopei.

But Allan is instead now heading to Merseyside to link up with Ancelotti again at Goodison Park, De Laurentiis says.

He told Radio Kiss Kiss: "We are at the final greetings. Allan will go to Everton."

Allan, 29, joined Napoli from Udinese in 2015 and has since made over 150 Serie A appearances for the club, also winning the Coppa Italia last season.

Everton have also been widely linked with a move for James Rodriguez, another of Ancelotti's former players, from Real Madrid.

Manchester City appear favourites to sign Lionel Messi, should he leave Barcelona.

Messi has sensationally handed in a transfer request at Camp Nou.

City are reportedly stepping up their chase as Pep Guardiola looks to reunite with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

TOP STORY – CITY PREPARE MEGA OFFER FOR MESSI

Manchester City are ready to offer £89million (€100m) plus Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, according to Sport.

Messi wants to end his association with embattled LaLiga giants Barca amid links to City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

The Guardian also claims City are convinced they have a chance of signing the superstar captain.

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- Goal says Barca forward Luis Suarez has been offered to Juventus as the Serie A champions consider a move. Suarez has reportedly been told he is not part of Ronald Koeman's plans.

Barca offered Antoine Griezmann to former club Atletico Madrid in exchange for Joao Felix, reports Marca.

- Gianluca Di Marzio says Milan have made a new bid to sign Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The Italy midfielder has been linked to Inter, though the Nerazzurri are yet to reach any agreement with Brescia as they eye Barca's Arturo Vidal.

Inter, meanwhile, have opened talks with Roma to sign veteran full-back Aleksandar Kolarov, according to Fabrizio Romano. Chelsea's Emerson Palmieri has also been targeted but Inter are refusing to meet their demands.

- The Mirror claims Tottenham are weighing up a move for Atletico striker Diego Costa. Jose Mourinho worked with Costa during the pair's time together at Chelsea. Sky Sport Italia also reports Spurs have had a request for Nicolo Zaniolo rejected by Roma.

City remain in talks to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, says Romano. Negotiations are taking place indirectly following the fallout from Jorginho's switch to Chelsea in 2018, having been set for City.

- Bayern Munich veteran Javi Martinez has turned down a move to Fiorentina as he is close to joining David Silva at Real Sociedad, says La Razon.

- Liverpool star Sadio Mane has been offered to Barca amid uncertainty over Messi's future, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

Mikel Arteta is feeling "pretty positive" about Arsenal's chances of concluding a deal for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes and is excited by the prospect of signing the Brazilian. 

Gabriel, 22, has been strongly linked with Arsenal for several weeks following an impressive season in Ligue 1, with reports suggesting an agreement on a €30million (£27.7m) move is close. 

Arsenal had defensive issues for much of the 2019-20 campaign and always appeared destined to invest in reinforcements – and Gabriel looks certain to be the next new face to arrive at the club. 

Although still somewhat inexperienced, Arteta is thrilled that a switch for the centre-back is close to completion. 

"Regarding Gabriel, we cannot announce anything yet, the deal is not finalised - you all know he is a player that we have followed for a long time and hopefully we can get it done," Arteta told reporters on Thursday ahead of the Community Shield clash with Liverpool. 

"Everything is okay once both parties sign, and the player agrees the terms and he goes through the medical - sometimes that, in the final stages, is not as easy as it looks, but we are pretty positive that we can do it.

"When we get it done, I will be very pleased. He's a player that we've followed and we're very determined that it was the right profile for us to improve our squad. If we are able to finalise it, we will be delighted."

Asked exactly how close the club are to sealing the transfer, Arteta replied: "We are trying to finalise a deal. That's what I can tell you at the moment." 

Arsenal are also keen on securing a return to the club for Dani Ceballos, who spent 2019-20 on loan from Real Madrid and excelled under Arteta towards the end of the season. 

"Well, we had some talks and Dani knows really well what I think about him," Arteta added. 

"He was pretty clear with me as well that his intention was to remain with us, but obviously Real Madrid is involved and I don't know yet what they want to do with the player. 

"But he's a player that we are interested in because we really saw, in the last few months of the season, what he is capable of bringing to us."

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club. The end of an era is, seemingly, in sight and that will usher in a strange new world, for Barca and his next employers.

Unsurprisingly, debates have raged ever since the news came to light on Tuesday, with Barca receiving communication that their talisman, the most iconic player in their modern history, wants out.

In some ways it was predictable. The turmoil engulfing Barca's hierarchy and their decision making in the past few years looked destined to come to a head – there would be major consequences, and Messi leaving was always going to be the worst-case scenario.

Whether he does or not is a different matter. Some believe his request is a power-play to oust president Josep Maria Bartomeu early, and there are plenty calling for his resignation.

But, for arguably the first time, Messi leaving Barca appears a real possibility What will determine his next destination? Romance? Trophies? Vengeance?

If it's the latter, given almost every football club's Twitter account is throwing their hat in the ring, we have a few tongue-in-cheek destinations in mind, however unlikely they may be…

Real Madrid

Imagine the chaos, the hysteria. If Barca's board have angered him so much, what better way to really get his own back on them? Moving to the Santiago Bernabeu would be a remarkable switch, the ultimate act of vengeance. Luis Figo had a pig's head thrown towards him when he returned to Camp Nou after joining Madrid – you can only wonder at what reception would await Messi if he were to commit the cardinal sin of crossing that divide. 

Stoke City

There is a running joke in England that Messi "wouldn't be able to do it on a wet and windy night in Stoke". It derives from pundit Andy Gray, who in 2010 claimed – without a hint of irony – that Messi would "struggle on a cold night at the Britannia Stadium". His comment became embellished, but was regularly used as a stick to beat Messi with by Premier League fans who wanted to accentuate the physicality of England's elite division. Based on the idea Stoke were scrappy and the city sees more than its fair share of bad weather, as well as the stadium's renown for being windy, it was seen as the Premier League's grimmest away trip. After earning millions every season for the past 15 years or so, why not take a modest deal to prove he can in fact do it on a wet and windy night in Stoke?

Napoli

While Manchester City appear to be leading the chase, Inter are also being strongly linked with Messi. But a different Serie A move that would capture the imagination even more would be joining Napoli. Not only would Messi's arrival get one over on long-standing rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who would no longer be the solo big ticket in Serie A, it would give him the chance dispel some other demons. For much of his career Messi has contended with people saying he's not at Diego Maradona's level – maybe it's time to disprove such claims where El Pibe de Oro left his greatest mark…

Borussia Dortmund

For all of Messi's apparent issues with the Barca board, it seems unlikely that he doesn't still love the club – after all, he was signed up as a 12-year-old. The 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich earlier this month will have hurt, particularly as it looks like being his final match for the club. How better to get revenge than to move to Die Roten's arch-rivals Dortmund? He could be the final piece of the puzzle that finally overthrows Bayern's Bundesliga dominance.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said Manchester United, Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain should answer questions regarding star defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Koulibaly has been heavily linked with a move to City, while Premier League rivals United and Ligue 1 champions PSG have also been touted as possible destinations.

The future of the Senegal international has dominated headlines, with Napoli reportedly looking to raise funds in their pursuit of Gabriel Magalhaes, though the Lille defender appears set for Arsenal.

Asked about Koulibaly, De Laurentiis deflected questions on Tuesday.

"You should ask Manchester United, City or PSG this question," he said. "In other words, those who can afford to pay certain amounts."

With midfielder Allan also in demand, De Laurentiis added: "I see many buzzards on the transfers market. You know who they are, they seem to be waiting to swoop in, but we have impenetrable armour and they won't get what they want or at the prices they want."

Koulibaly has established himself as one of the world's best defenders since joining Napoli from Genk in 2014.

The 29-year-old has helped Napoli to Coppa Italia (2019-20) and Supercoppa Italia (2014) glory.

Koulibaly made 25 Serie A appearances as Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli finished seventh in 2019-20, while they trumped Juventus in the Coppa Italia final.

Premier League giants Chelsea and Arsenal appear close to strengthening their defences.

After conceding more league goals than any other side that finished in the top eight in 2019-20, the two clubs have been linked to defensive reinforcements.

It seems both are close to making additions.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA CLOSE TO SIGNING SILVA

Chelsea are close to signing Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva on a one-year deal, according to Sky Sports.

Silva, 35, confirmed after Sunday's Champions League final loss to Bayern Munich that he had played his last game for the Ligue 1 giants.

The Brazil defender has been linked to Chelsea and Fiorentina, but looks set to join the former.

 

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- Chelsea's rivals Arsenal have almost landed a centre-back of their own. RMC Sport reports a deal taking Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes to the club is done, with the sides agreeing a £27million (€30m) fee and the 22-year-old opting for Arsenal over Napoli and Everton.

- On the outer at Real Madrid, just whether Gareth Bale leaves this close season remains to be seen. AS claims there have been no offers for the attacker and MLS seems the only way out due to his salary.

Manchester United have made Jadon Sancho their prime target heading into 2020-21.

However, prising Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund is proving difficult.

United, as a result, could be about to walk away.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SET TO GIVE UP ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to abandon their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Mirror.

United have been unable to agree a fee with Dortmund for England sensation Sancho, who is valued at €120million (£108m).

Now, United are willing to give up on Sancho until next year, which could see the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool enter the fray.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona have re-opened talks with Inter regarding star forward Lautaro Martinez. As Barca look to move on veteran Luis Suarez, the embattled LaLiga giants remain keen on Inter's Martinez, despite links to Lyon star Memphis Depay.

Arsenal have joined Premier League rivals Liverpool in the race to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, reports the Daily Mail. Thiago is eyeing a switch to Liverpool, though the English champions are believed to be unwilling to meet Bayern's demands.

- According to the Mirror, Barca have been quoted £143m (€158.6m) to sign Richarlison from Everton.

- Tuttosport claims former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri is preparing to replace Antonio Conte at Inter. Conte is reportedly set to leave San Siro following one season at the helm.

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, says Fabrizio Romano. Also linked to Napoli, Everton and United, Gabriel will fly to London on Monday to sign a contract until June 2025.

- Romano also claims Chelsea will announce the signing of Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell in the coming days as the Blues also target Paris Saint-Germain veteran Thiago Silva and continue negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen for Kai Havertz.

Leicester are considering Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Chilwell, says the Daily Mail.

- Roma star Edin Dzeko only wants to leave the capital club for Juve, reports Tuttosport. Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly sees Dzeko as the perfect strike partner under Andrea Pirlo.

- As new boss Ronald Koeman oversees a Barca rebuild, Sport reports Ajax would demand €55m for Donny van de Beek. The Netherlands international has also been linked to Madrid and United.

Monaco coach Niko Kovac wants the Ligue 1 side to sign former Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze, according to Le10 Sport. Gotze is a free agent after leaving Dortmund.

Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona is seemingly getting more and more uncertain.

Messi, who is contracted until 2021, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants after their capitulation in the Champions League and trophy-less 2019-20 season.

And the arrival of Ronald Koeman as coach has done little to ease the concerns.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI EXPRESSES DOUBT OVER BARCELONA FUTURE

Messi expressed doubts over his future at Barcelona in his first meeting with Koeman, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Marca reports the six-time Ballon d'Or winner sees himself more out than in at Barca.

According to Mundo Deportivo, however, Messi sees an exit as complicated with his €700million release clause.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Barcelona and Koeman reportedly has his sights set on his first signing. The former Netherlands coach wants to sign Lyon star Memphis Depay, according to RAC1.

- The Jadon Sancho saga appears no closer to ending. The Telegraph reports the star's Borussia Dortmund team-mates are convinced he will stay at the Bundesliga club instead of moving to Manchester United.

- Kai Havertz's expected switch from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea seems to be going more smoothly. The Guardian says Chelsea are closing in on the star attacker with talks moving at an "encouraging pace".

- Juventus may be prepared to let Douglas Costa go. Tuttosport reports the Serie A champions are open to selling the attacker, who has previously been an apparent target for Manchester United. The report says Juve would be willing to sell Costa for just £17.9m (€20m). The Manchester Evening News, meanwhile, reports United have cooled their interest in a possible loan deal for Costa.

- Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes has been linked with a move. While Arsenal seemed ahead of Napoli in the race for the centre-back, Gianluca Di Marzio reports Manchester United are the latest club to make their move.

- Leeds United look set to get a boost ahead of the start of the Premier League season. The Sun says Marcelo Bielsa is finally set to sign a new deal with Leeds – at £8m per year until 2022.

Napoli striker Andrea Petagna has tested positive for coronavirus, the Serie A club have confirmed.

The 25-year-old, whose brother had earlier returned a positive test, is asymptomatic and quarantining at home.

Napoli signed Petagna in January before loaning him back to previous club SPAL for the rest of 2019-20.

Petagna, who has two caps for Italy, has recently been linked with a possible move to Arsenal.

He has scored 28 Serie A goals in the past two seasons.

Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes is likely to decide between Arsenal and Napoli in the next 24 hours, according to club president Gerard Lopez.

The 22-year-old has excelled in Ligue 1 this season and has long been linked with a move to one of Europe's elite sides.

Speculation in England has suggested Arsenal are confident the former Brazil youth international will choose to head to Emirates Stadium for 2020-21.

Lopez expects Gabriel to make a decision soon after suggesting Lille have received at least two satisfactory transfer bids, reportedly in the region of €24million.

When asked about interest from the Gunners, Napoli and Manchester United, Lopez told talkSPORT on Thursday: "That and a couple of more clubs. I think he's narrowed it down.

"I think it's fair to say that Arsenal are a high interest to him, Napoli is a high interest to him.

"We've given him plenty of time to make up his mind. We've always said, 'Look, if we have an agreement with two clubs or three clubs and the agreements are the same then we are not going to create a bidding competition'.

"And that choice, I don't think I'm giving up too much if I tell you that that choice is probably today or tomorrow.

"I'm unable to tell you what that choice is. We've given him some recommendations but we don't like to talk about it in public because we don't want people to feel bad.

"We've talked about where he should go, but at the end of the day he and his environment make a choice and we support that."

Lopez added that he did not want to "speak for the player" about his preferred destination.

Gabriel made 34 appearances in all competitions last season.

The transfer saga that is Jadon Sancho-Manchester United continues to roll on.

Sancho has long been tipped to join United, though Borussia Dortmund are adamant the England star will not return to his homeland this off-season.

United, however, are reportedly not giving up.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED HELD UP BY PERSONAL TERMS

Manchester United remain keen on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho but personal terms and an agent fee are holding up their pursuit, according to ESPN.

Dortmund have insisted Sancho will not be sold, though United continue to target the former Manchester City youngster in a blockbuster transfer.

United have reportedly been given the green light to speak to Sancho and his representative but there has been an impasse with the player's camp over salary demands.

ROUND-UP

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen are still negotiating a deal for star Kai Havertz. While Chelsea are confident, there remains a difference between the two clubs as Leverkusen hope to conclude a deal by the end of the month.

Jack Grealish to United? The Aston Villa captain continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford and ESPN reports United goalkeeper Sergio Romero could be included in a deal to sign Grealish. Romero is United's number two behind David de Gea and the Argentina international's future is unclear, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly keen for Dean Henderson to challenge for the number one spot.

- According to Cadena Ser's El Larguero, Luis Suarez is aiming to stay at Barcelona. Linked with a return to former club Ajax, Suarez is reportedly one of a number of players who could be forced out following Ronald Koeman's arrival. However, Suarez, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto all want to speak to Quique Setien's replacement.

- Amid doubts over Pique's long-term future with Barca, Libero claims newly promoted Premier League side Fulham have made an offer for the Spain international star.

United remain interested in signing Barca teenager Ansu Fati, reports Marca. The 17-year-old reportedly switched agents to Jorge Mendes, having previously been represented by Messi's brother.

- The Telegraph says Chelsea are considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva. The 35-year-old will become a free agent following the Champions League final and he has already been linked with former club Milan and fellow Serie A side Fiorentina.

Juventus are negotiating with United for Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport. The report also says the Serie A champions are speaking to City regarding Alex Sandro, while new boss Andrea Pirlo is eyeing Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

- Tuttosport's frontpage on Thursday suggests a merry-go-round of strikers. Inter have reportedly told Real Madrid that Romelu Lukaku is not for sale, Juve are in talks with Wolves to sign Raul Jimenez and Inter are challenging the Bianconeri for Dzeko. Meanwhile, Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is heading towards Roma.

- The countdown is on for Madrid to sell outcasts Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, according to Marca.

Lionel Messi reportedly has Barcelona in "suspense" amid talk over his future.

Messi, 33, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants amid chaos at the club following their capitulation in the Champions League.

Contracted until 2021, Messi's future has become a major talking point.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA IN 'SUSPENSE' OVER MESSI FUTURE

Barcelona are in suspense amid uncertainty over Messi's future, according to Marca.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Tuesday he expected Messi to lead the club into the future under Ronald Koeman.

TuttoMercatoWeb reports only Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain or Inter would be able to afford the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Barcelona and Mundo Deportivo reports Koeman wants a two-year deal at the club and Henrik Larsson as one of his assistants at Camp Nou.

- Chelsea continue to chase Kai Havertz. Sport Bild claims negotiations between the Premier League club and Bayer Leverkusen started last week and Havertz will become the most expensive German player of all-time.

- Will Kalidou Koulibaly leave Napoli? The Mirror reports City are being invited to make a £60million (€66.6m) move for the defender, who Napoli want to replace with Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes. ESPN says Arsenal are hopeful of sealing a deal for Gabriel for around £22m (€24.4m).

- Leeds United could be preparing to strengthen on their return to the Premier League. The Evening Standard reports Leeds are interested in Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.

- Benfica could be nearing two big signings. Gianluca Di Marzio says the Portuguese giants want Inter midfielder Joao Mario, while Record reports Benfica are close to completing a deal for former Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani.

- Having signed Blaise Matuidi, Inter Miami may add some firepower. DIRECTV Peru says the MLS club have started talks to sign former PSV and Schalke forward Jefferson Farfan.

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