Thiago Silva expressed concern about Brazil's form after a 1-1 draw against Senegal on Thursday left them winless in three matches for the first time since 2013.

Copa America champions Brazil took the lead against Senegal through Roberto Firmino after nine minutes in Singapore, but Famara Diedhiou fired home a penalty before half-time following Marquinhos' foul on Sadio Mane.

The Selecao, who drew with Colombia and lost to Peru in the previous international break, were unable to find a winner in the friendly international – Neymar seeing Alfred Gomis deny him a goal to mark his 100th cap in first-half stoppage time.

It could have been worse for Brazil had Mane's 20-yard effort with five minutes remaining not been kept out by the post, with Silva frustrated by their struggles in the final third.

"If I said I wasn't bothered, I would be lying. Unfortunately, in the last three games we have failed to show our best selves," Silva said in a post-match interview.

"I think we had the best chances but we were lacking a finish. It was a very equal game. We came up short on the last pass.

"We have to try to look at what went wrong and be more clinical with the last ball.

"Our opponents are more focused and studying our team. We have to get out of this rut."

Brazil will return to Singapore's National Stadium on Sunday to face Nigeria. Dani Alves suggested the heat, humidity and time zone played a role in a sluggish performance from the Selecao.

"I don't believe quality was missing. The opponents also played well and have good players," said right-back Alves.

"The circumstances were difficult. We have an 11-hour time difference [between Brazil and Singapore]; it's really hot. It's not an excuse, but it affects you.

"It is never easy to win. We are doing our best, but of course winning makes it easier to keep working."

Brazil were unable to mark Neymar's 100th cap with a win as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Senegal in humid conditions in Singapore on Thursday.

Neymar has scored four goals in his past five matches for Paris Saint-Germain but was unable to continue that form with the Selecao, failing to convert any of the chances that came his way.

Brazil moved ahead early at the National Stadium through Roberto Firmino's cool finish, but Sadio Mane won a penalty that Famara Diedhiou dispatched before the break.

Tite's team struggled to work clear openings in the second half and are now winless in three games – their worst run since 2013.

Brazil took a ninth-minute lead when Gabriel Jesus skipped inside of Racine Coly and slid a throughball into the box that Firmino dinked beyond Alfred Gomis.

A loose touch from Dani Alves' no-look pass enabled Salif Sane to deny Philippe Coutinho a shot at goal, while Mane sent a powerful drive straight at Ederson in Senegal's first real opening.

Mane remained lively and his driving run into the box off the right drew a foul from Marquinhos. Diedhiou slammed the resulting penalty into the bottom-left corner in first-half stoppage time.

Brazil's newest centurion Neymar was unable to finish off a pass from Firmino before half-time and Jesus felt he deserved a penalty when Gomis sent him to ground after he got a shot away in the 53rd minute.

Jesus was disappointed Kalidou Koulibaly was only cautioned for tugging him back as the last man, with Neymar sending the free-kick narrowly over.

Tite brought on Everton and Richarlison in a bid to revitalise Brazil's attack, while midfielder Matheus Henrique replaced Arthur for his senior debut.

Much of the second-half in the energy-sapping conditions was played at a sluggish pace, but Mane went close to an 85th-minute winner when his 20-yard drive crashed against the post.

Neymar had a shot deflected over – though no corner was given – and Richarlison fired wide as Brazil came up short with belated attempts to avoid a draw.

What does it mean? Strife for Tite

Having come from behind to draw 2-2 with Colombia and lost 1-0 to Peru during the previous international break, Brazil's failure to defeat Senegal will no doubt lead to an increase in the pressure on Tite.

The Selecao are without a win since winning the Copa America in July and the coach will be desperate to turn things around as soon as possible.

Mane impresses

While his Liverpool team-mate Firmino opened the scoring, it was Mane who left a greater mark on the game. The Senegal attacker was a consistent threat either side of winning the penalty that got his team back on terms.

Coly exposed

After being beaten so easily by Jesus ahead of the opener, Coly struggled to get back on track. He was guilty of leaving spaces at the back and gave possession away five times.

What's next?

Brazil will remain in Singapore and take on Nigeria on Sunday, while Senegal are in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying action next month.

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Juan Bernat was surprised Neymar remained with the Ligue 1 giants this season despite strong interest from Barcelona.

Brazil star Neymar was a constant subject of speculation in the previous transfer window, with the forward doing little to hush the rumours of a potential return to Camp Nou.

Barca were said to have offered PSG cash and up to three players – reportedly Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele – but the deal did not go through, despite the Catalan club reportedly being confident of getting it over the line.

The strained relationship between the two clubs from when Neymar left Barca for PSG for €222million two years earlier was said to have impacted discussions, though Bernat acknowledged he felt the former Santos talent was more likely to leave than stay.

"Yes, it's true that I saw him more [likely] out of the club than in it for everything that was said in the press," Bernat told Marca.

"Until the transfer window closed, anything could've happened.

"It was the best outcome for us [PSG]. He makes a difference with [Kylian] Mbappe. In the first game, as soon as he returned, he scored a goal.

"Then against Lyon he was also decisive. They [Neymar and Mbappe] are a different level.

"They are very skilled players. They carry the ball and make you suffer. Luckily we have them in our team."

Similarly, Mbappe was also linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes, with Real Madrid said to be eager to sign him.

Bernat is not surprised Mbappe attracts such interest, having seen first-hand in training that the 20-year-old is "practically impossible" to stop.

He said: "In a race Mbappe is unstoppable. If he starts [running], you're lost. When he has space, it is very complicated to slow him down.

"With the power he has it is practically impossible. Either you anticipate or there's nothing you can do. He competes very well, and that's what's going to make him very big.

"It [Madrid's interest] is normal, but he is ours and I hope he will always stay with us. He is in a big club."

Neymar attempted to draw a line under months of transfer speculation by insisting he is "happy and comfortable" and Paris Saint-Germain, for whom he vowed to give his all.

The Brazil forward openly discussed the fact  he wanted to leave the Parc des Princes after two years with the French champions but says he is no longer at odds with the club.

PSG fans booed Neymar when he made his return to action this season, yet he has responded by scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances.

At a news conference on the eve of Brazil's clash with Senegal, in which he is set to win his 100th international cap, Neymar told reporters: "Everyone knows what happened in the summer market and the desire I had to leave.

"Today, I feel happy and comfortable with the club, too. It's not just with the national team that I'm happy. The season started out very well for me.

"I will defend my club tooth and nail. I will give 100 per cent for us to achieve great things.

"It was a long summer for me. I knew that I had to prepare, in all circumstances, for a good season. Thank God, it has started well and I hope it stays that way."

The 27-year-old forward missed three months of the 2018-19 season with a foot injury, similar to an issue he suffered in the previous campaign.

The problems restricted Neymar to 20 Ligue 1 appearances in his first season in France and just 17 in his second, and he has targeted a healthier, more fruitful year for Thomas Tuchel's men in 2019-20.

"There have been more than three months of injury treatment in the last two years," he said. "This gets in the way of any athlete.

"But if you look at all the games and numbers you will see that I never stopped playing football. Unfortunately in an athlete's life, this can occur. You have to have a good head and be prepared to go through it.

"My hope for this season is to stay fit, to hope that nothing bad happens."

Neymar signing for Real Madrid was a prospect Lionel Messi feared was about to become a reality.

The Brazil superstar featured in a lethal front three alongside Messi and Luis Suarez at Camp Nou before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m move two years ago.

Reports of Neymar wishing to return to LaLiga have been frequent since then and an 'MSN' reunion was mooted during the close season.

But with Barcelona unable to put together a package to make the deal happen, Messi worried his old team-mate would end up pulling on the famous white shirt of their sworn rivals.

"I honestly thought that in this market, if he did not come here, he would go to Madrid, because I really thought he wanted to leave," five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi told RAC1.

"He said it, he wanted to change, to leave Paris. I thought that Florentino [Perez, Real Madrid president] and Madrid would do something to take him away."

Barcelona still boast a plethora of elite forward options.

Messi is back to fitness after a calf problem delayed his start to the 2019-20 season, while Suarez came through a period of criticism to score four times in the space of eight days before the international break.

Big-money arrival Antoine Griezmann is still bedding in, although his fellow France international Ousmane Dembele must serve a suspension having been sent off for dissent during the 4-0 victory against Sevilla last time out.

In his report, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz said Dembele told him he was "very bad, you're very bad" in response to Barca youngster Ronald Araujo being red-carded.

Like coach Ernesto Valverde, Messi was perplexed by the incident – mainly due to Dembele's lack of aptitude with the Spanish language – that means the winger is set to miss El Clasico at Camp Nou later this month.

"It is very difficult for him to be able to say that because it is difficult for him to put together sentences and speak well enough to speak clearly," Messi said.

"The coach supported him at a press conference. The truth is we were surprised that [the referee] understood it so clearly because Ousmane has a hard time speaking Spanish – although he makes himself understood and understands everything.

"It's difficult [to accept the referee] understood it so clearly. That's just the way it is."

Neymar is a "really good guy" according to Thomas Tuchel – although the Paris Saint-Germain head coach admits such a label might be a hard sell to outsiders.

The Brazil star saw his stock tumble with PSG fans as speculation over a move back to LaLiga dominated pre-season.

Despite being booed on his return, the 27-year-old has four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances this term and Tuchel is not surprised by the instant returns.

"This guy has a good background. It may be hard to imagine when you see it from the outside but he is really a good guy," the former Borussia Dortmund boss told beIN SPORTS. 

"It's not hard to be close to him and convince him to do the right thing."

Real Madrid and former club Barcelona were both linked to blockbuster moves for Neymar and Tuchel accepts the player's head was turned.

"Between us, not much has changed," he said. "I knew he wanted to leave the club and he knew I was against it, that for me it was neither the right moment nor the right decision to take. 

"He clearly knew that as a coach, I did not want him to leave. But we also knew that it was not my decision or really his either in the end. 

"There was need for a club to set the price. We both agreed that it was not decided at our level and that this should not affect our relationship, because we knew that there was the possibility of continuing to work together. It would have been stupid to ruin everything."

Indeed, Tuchel identified last season's shock Champions League exit against Manchester United as a bigger setback to bounce back from.

PSG shelled a 2-0 first-leg advantage to go out on away goals against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's injury-hit side and proceeded to stagger over the line in Ligue 1, before losing the Coupe de France final on penalties to Rennes.

"For three days I was in a really dark place like never before," Tuchel said.

"I knew what we worked for and I knew how hard it was to reach this point with this team and this club, after the past seasons and what happened.

"I knew how hard we tried to influence the squad and how the squad responded – it was really big work to achieve that kind of level, to beat Liverpool, to win at Red Star Belgrade and to go to Manchester United and be the first French team to win there.

"To make this kind of a performance and crash in the second leg… like you have a car accident, running over the green lights and you get a crash from the side. It felt like this. What did we do wrong? We could feel after that how big that crash was.

"Even between the two games, we could feel everybody in the city believed it was different and we could go through. We did not, we could not hold it. It felt like sand running through our fingers."

He added: "Suddenly a lot of injuries, the mood changes in the dressing room, the mood from outside. The players were not immune to all this and it was very, very hard for us to finish the season with the same spirit.

"It was not possible. The biggest example is the cup final, where we led 2-0 and it was a clear victory for us and we lost in the end.

"I trained myself not to read too much, because who knows more about us than us, but I feel it, I hear it. It was immense."

The relationship between Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and the club's fans is "getting better", according to head coach Thomas Tuchel.

Brazil international Neymar scored his side's fourth goal in their 4-0 Ligue 1 victory over Angers at Parc des Princes on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has four goals in his five league appearances this season, all of which have come since the transfer window closed without him having secured a move away from the club.

Neymar was keen to return to Spain and former club Barcelona, although a transfer never materialised, and has been booed by PSG supporters for a perceived lack of commitment to the Ligue 1 champions.

The attention from the stands led Neymar to admit last month that "it's going to be like playing every game away from home" although he stressed his desire to leave the club was nothing to do with the fanbase.

However, Tuchel thinks his performances are now helping to heal the rift.

"About Neymar, yes, it's getting better, it's easier," he said when asked if he could see some improvement in the relationship.

"I said it's up to us, up to him to show again and again, be decisive, suffer, run to get the ball. It's not necessary to talk.

"He showed a lot of things and tried a lot of dribbles [against Angers]. He scored once again, he could even have scored more goals, but he's still capable of incredible things.

"It's up to him to show it, really, at the end of the day."

Kylian Mbappe missed the match after Tuchel confirmed he had suffered "a reaction between the scar and the nerve" on a hamstring he injured in August.

Tuchel is now waiting to learn whether the forward will be excused international duty over the next two weeks so he can recover.

"I need to ask [sporting director] Leonardo what we're doing with Kylian," he said. "We need to do some treatment. We need to wait for the agreement between the French Football Federation and PSG to know if he goes with the France team."

Mauro Icardi scored his first Ligue 1 goal with Neymar also on target as Paris Saint-Germain earned a routine 4-0 victory over in-form Angers at Parc des Princes. 

Having opened his PSG account with the winner against Galatasaray in the Champions League in midweek, Icardi - who squandered a great chance early on - doubled his tally for the season with a simple finish 37 minutes into his first Ligue 1 start. 

Icardi's effort put PSG 2-0 up, with Pablo Sarabia's neat strike having given Thomas Tuchel's side a 13th-minute lead. 

Idrissa Gueye joined Icardi and Sarabia in getting off the mark in Ligue 1 midway through the second half, before Neymar capped a fine individual display with his fourth goal of the season late on.

Icardi should have made the breakthrough 10 minutes in, only to mishit his shot after rounding Ludovic Butelle. 

But Sarabia made no such mistake, arrowing a low strike beyond Butelle after leaving a glut of defenders in his wake. 

Rachid Alioui should have restored parity when he went through against Keylor Navas, but Angers' top scorer lashed his effort wide. 

PSG duly made Angers pay - Sarabia turning provider with a drilled cross in for Icardi to finish first-time. 

Sarabia had his second assist just before the hour, albeit in rather fortuitous fashion. 

After seeing a volley cleared off the line, Sarabia's sliced follow-up fell to Gueye, who turned home into the left-hand corner. 

Butelle made a terrific save to prevent Neymar adding a fourth but the Brazilian, superb throughout, was not denied again in the 90th minute, coolly slotting in after skipping past Angers' goalkeeper.

 

What does it mean? PSG well on their way

Angers have made a fantastic start to the season and headed into Saturday's contest two points behind Ligue 1 pace-setters PSG, who have suffered two defeats already this term. 

But the gulf in quality was evident from the off and, with Lyon entrenched in mid-table and Lille - who finished second last season - having sold star player Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal, it is hard to see anybody mounting a challenge to their domestic dominance. 


Neymar runs rings around Angers once again

Neymar had been involved in each of PSG's last three goals against Angers in Ligue 1 before Saturday and continued his excellent form against them this time out, rounding off his tremendous performance with a brilliantly taken goal.

 


Alioui fluffs his lines

After scoring three goals in his last two appearances, Alioui would have backed himself to hit the target again when faced with Navas, but with plenty of time to play with, he got his attempt horribly wrong, wasting one of Angers' only clear chances. 


What's next?

Nice are PSG's first opponents after the international break, while Angers host Brest.

Neymar may not have secured his return to Barcelona, but the Paris Saint-Germain star's future continues to make headlines.

The Brazil forward was keen on making a Barca comeback, two years after his world-record transfer to the French capital.

But as Antoine Griezmann struggles to settle in at Camp Nou, the Frenchman could see himself shipped out to make way for Neymar.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR & GRIEZMANN IN SWAP DEAL

Barcelona are considering the possibility of sending Griezmann to Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar, claims Le10Sport.

Neymar was unable to secure a return to Barca during the transfer window following his €222million exit in 2017.

But as Griezmann – who only arrived from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in the off-season – finds it difficult to settle and develop a relationship with Lionel Messi, the Barca recruit is being talked about as a possible makeweight.

 

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City star James Maddison is Tottenham's number one target to replace soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen, according to the Daily Star. Maddison has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Real Madrid could trigger Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak's €120m release clause as Thibaut Courtois struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu, according to ElDesmarque.

- The front page of Corriere dello Sport says Lazio have signed star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to a new contract until 2024. The deal, worked out in secret for another season, appears to end speculation of a move to the likes of InterUnited, Real Madrid, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.

Gennaro Gattuso could make a sensational return to AC Milan, but only in an unlikely scenario. Amid mounting pressure on coach Marco Giampaolo, El Corriere claims Gattuso – who stepped down at the end of 2018-19 – would make his way back to San Siro if directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban quit.

- The Express says Chelsea will offer Willian a new contract amid links to LaLiga champions Barcelona. It comes as the Evening Standard reports the Blues will reward Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori with fresh deals.

- Could Carlo Ancelotti leave Napoli at the end of the season? Corriere dello Sport suggests the Italian head coach could depart if results do not improve. Napoli are already six points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter.

- Marca says Manchester United are keeping an eye on Mexico international Jose Juan Macias. The 20-year-old Leon forward scored his first international goal on debut for El Tri on Wednesday.

- Ernesto Valverde's future as Barcelona boss is far from certain and with that in mind, TNT Sport reports that River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo is the club's first choice.

Mauro Icardi scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain to give them a 1-0 win over Galatasaray in their Champions League Group A clash on Tuesday.

Argentina forward Icardi joined PSG on a season-long loan from Inter last month, and tapped home from close range in the second half after a slick passing move.

In the face of a hostile atmosphere in Istanbul, PSG showed their mettle and would have won by a greater margin but for Angel Di Maria's poor finishing.

PSG's victory moves them four points clear at the top of the group, with Real Madrid five points adrift after being held to a home draw by Club Brugge.

The catcalls and boos from the Galatasaray fans at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium did not knock PSG off their stride early as they swarmed forward in the early stages.

Di Maria had two glorious opportunities to give PSG the lead but a combination of disappointing finishing and fine goalkeeping kept the scoreline goalless.

Argentina international Di Maria first shot straight at Fernando Muslera when clean through, and then saw the Galatasaray goalkeeper produce a brilliant reaction save to push a shot over the bar.

PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas kept out a curling free-kick from Jean Michael Seri early in the second half before Di Maria squandered yet another chance when he broke clear only to fluff his lines as Muslera advanced off his line.

Thomas Tuchel's men took the lead seven minutes after the break as some neat build-up culminated in Pablo Sarabia's low cross for Icardi, who calmly stroked the ball into the net.

Icardi was replaced by fit-again Kylian Mbappe on the hour mark and the France striker tested the reflexes of Muslera with a low angled shot that he blocked at his near post.

Galatasaray sporadically threatened as they sought an equaliser but PSG stood firm with little difficulty.

 

Neymar played down his fractured relationship with Paris Saint-Germain's fans, insisting "it is like with women, sometimes you argue and spend some time without talking".

PSG superstar Neymar has enjoyed a stunning return to the team since his failed return to Barcelona, scoring three goals in four matches.

Neymar's desire to re-join Barca sparked a rift with PSG's fans, who insulted and displayed banners during the Brazilian's comeback against Strasbourg on September 14.

But Neymar has not been affected, scoring the winner in Saturday's 1-0 Ligue 1 victory at Bordeaux and he dismissed the rocky relationship with PSG's supporters.

"It is like with women. Sometimes you argue and spend some time without talking," Neymar told reporters post-match.

"However, with love and affection, you go back to normal. I am here to help PSG and I will give my life on the pitch."

Neymar added to beIN SPORTS: "I'm very happy! I love helping the team, whether it be goals or assists! I'm here for that, and I have every intention of doing that.

"I'm happy when I make the breakthrough in such tight and difficult games. Kylian Mbappe? He returned with his smile, his good mood...and his football!"

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe combined for the 70th-minute winner as PSG bounced back from their shock 2-0 defeat at home to Reims on Wednesday.

"We won this evening by getting back our good feelings in our understanding with each other, linking up, and with quick attacks! It augurs well," Mbappe said.

"My absence? It was long, difficult too. When the team loses, you want to come back as soon as possible, but you can't be hasty. It wasn't easy, but it's over!"

On the relationship between Neymar and Mbappe, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel said: "They have qualities. They like to be together, their personalities go well together. 

"We can feel it, observe it on the field but it should not be too obvious because you have to keep a balance with other players, they must seek others. We always have to make the best decision for the team, to win, to create opportunities. We played like that today."

Titleholders PSG are two points clear atop the Ligue 1 table ahead of Tuesday's Champions League trip to Turkish giants Galatasaray.

"We played well at the end of the game but forgot to score! We created a lot of chances, but the match was close to the end," Tuchel continued. "It's the only negative point, because I'm really very happy with our performance. The team's display was really excellent, with and without the ball. It was a great performance. I'm very happy."

Kylian Mbappe marked his return from injury by teeing up Neymar for the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 triumph at Bordeaux.

Mbappe had not featured since August 25 because of a muscle problem but came off the bench in the second half to make a telling impact for the defending champions.

The France forward was introduced on the hour mark and 10 minutes later he laid on a close-range winner for Neymar.

Victory for Thomas Tuchel's men sees them go two points clear at the top of the table, though surprise package Angers can go back level with them at the summit by beating Amiens.

Pablo Sarabia saw a goal ruled out for offside in the ninth minute, and a frustrating first half for the visitors - beaten at home by Reims in midweek - featured a booking for coach Tuchel after he expressed his disdain at a free-kick given to Bordeaux.

His side dominated throughout and Thomas Meunier dragged an effort wide before Angel Di Maria and Neymar were each denied by Benoit Costil in quick succession.

Neymar then headed wide after more good work down the right from Meunier, with PSG's profligacy forcing Tuchel's hand as Mbappe was summoned to join the action.

He wasted an early opportunity by shooting straight at Costil before Neymar sent another header off target at the far post with the goal at his mercy.

PSG's persistence was finally rewarded, however, when Bordeaux lost the ball in their own half and Mbappe broke free down the right, firing a low cross in for Neymar to tuck into the bottom-left corner.

Mbappe's cameo was arguably worthy of a goal but Costil kept his team in it with another fine save after a break from the World Cup winner, who blasted over the bar shortly after on a day when PSG should have won by a much more convincing margin.

There was controversy late on, though, as Bordeaux had an appeal for a penalty rejected by VAR despite Idrissa Gueye appearing to make contact with Loris Benito, but a point for the hosts would have been scarcely deserved.

Didier Drogba believes Paris Saint-Germain's "exceptional" strikers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will both win the Ballon d'Or during their careers.

The pair have been instrumental in PSG's dominance of French football since linking up at the start of the 2017-18 season, scoring 115 goals between them across all competitions.

Luka Modric broke Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's decade-long stranglehold on the Ballon d'Or last year and former Chelsea and Marseille striker Drogba has no doubt PSG's potent attackers will join that illustrious group.

He told Le Parisien: "Neymar and Mbappe will one day win the Ballon d'Or. They are part of this small group of exceptional players. There are very few in the world."

While Champions League winner Drogba thinks their individual talents will be recognised on the highest stage, he was keen to point out how impressively they work together in tandem.

"Neymar likes to create spaces and Kylian likes to move into those spaces. Neymar creates and Kylian profits. It works very well," Drogba said.

"Just watch them when they are together on the pitch. They are constantly looking for each other. It's almost the first thing they do when they touch the ball. It is obvious that when they are not on the pitch, PSG are not as strong."

Neymar has endured a mixed start to the campaign after an off-season transfer saga during which he reportedly pushed for a return to Barcelona.

He was booed by PSG's own supporters during a home clash with Strasbourg on September 14 before scoring a stunning stoppage-time winner. He followed that up last weekend with another decisive late goal against Lyon.

Drogba believes the Brazilian has been harshly treated and does not think it will not take him long to be accepted by fans again.

"At the moment, it seems like it's fashionable to criticise him for everything that happened [during the off-season]. But once he's on the pitch, who can seriously say they do not take pleasure in watching him play?" Drogba said. 

"The more matches he plays, the more things will change and he will become what he was before.

"I'm sorry, but what happened this summer is what happens in all the big clubs with all the big players. There are some who want to leave and some their clubs want to keep. It's the life of modern football."

Christian Eriksen appears set to leave Tottenham and Manchester United could make it happen in January.

The Denmark international was linked with a move away from Spurs during the close season amid reported interest from Real Madrid, but ended up staying in North London.

However, with his contract expiring at season's end, United are said to be weighing up a deal.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED CONSIDER ERIKSEN MOVE IN JANUARY

Manchester United are considering a January move for Spurs midfielder Eriksen, according to Goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are struggling this season and could look to strengthen to begin 2020.

Madrid are also reportedly still interested in Eriksen, but may want to wait until the end of the season to bring in the Dane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Pictured with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar on Thursday, Arthur may have upset his club Barcelona. The LaLiga champions are unhappy with the midfielder after the night out, according to Marca.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Neymar seems to remain eager for a return to Barcelona. Cadena SER reports the forward would have dropped his lawsuit against the club if they promised to re-sign him next year. Neymar is in court against Barca fighting to be paid a bonus he believes he is owed from his contract signed in 2016.

- Jose Mourinho knows what he wants his next move to be. Having turned down numerous clubs since leaving Old Trafford, Mourinho wants a return to Real Madrid, according to Goal.

- Everton are apparently looking to sign Mario Gotze. The Borussia Dortmund attacker is out of contract at the end of the season and Augsburger Allgemeine says the Premier League club want to sign Gotze on a free transfer.

Barcelona are set to appeal a €300 fine over their approach for Antoine Griezmann, confirmed coach Ernesto Valverde.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Thursday Barca had been found guilty of violating article 126 of its disciplinary code during their pursuit of the Frenchman while he was at Atletico Madrid.

Barca signed Griezmann in July for €120million but Atletico claimed they were owed a further €80m, alleging an agreement between the player and LaLiga's champions being reached before his release clause dropped from €200m

A symbolic monetary penalty was imposed by the RFEF, while Griezmann escaped without sanction. However, Barca are appealing against the fine.

"I don't know the exact ins and outs of this question or how it stands legally," Valverde told a news conference. "I understand the club is appealing."

It has been a busy week off the field for Barca, with Friday seeing the Catalan giants in court with former star Neymar, who alleges he is owed a loyalty bonus from his time at the club.

Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Barca in the close season and reports suggested the Brazil forward was willing to drop the case if the club promised to re-sign him.

"This never stops does it? In August we were waiting for the transfer market to close, but the Neymar matter continues," Valverde added. 

"I've got nothing to say, it's an internal club issue and for the player on a contractual matter, it's not my concern.

"Has there been a press conference without Neymar's name being brought up? Let's try to do it once this season."

Neymar's Brazil team-mate Arthur was seen having dinner with the Paris Saint-Germain forward this week.

Last season the midfielder was criticised for travelling to Paris to attend Neymar's birthday shortly before Barcelona's Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid.  

"I think Arthur learned a lot last season, one of those things was what you're talking about," Valverde added. "I think he's fine at the moment and hope things stay this way.

"It's not up to me to evaluate further than him going out for dinner with a friend. He's fine and I hope he stays that way for the rest of the season."

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