Douglas Costa is set to miss the first leg of Juventus' Champions League last-16 tie against Lyon due to injury.

The winger sustained hamstring damage in Juve's shock 2-1 Serie A defeat to Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Following tests by the club's medical staff, Costa is now expected to be out of action for between 15 and 20 days.

It means the 29-year-old is unlikely to be fit for the trip to Lyon on February 26, while he is also a doubt for the top-of-the-table clash with Inter on March 1.

Costa will also miss Juve's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg with Milan on Thursday, as well as Serie A games at home to Brescia and away to SPAL.

Injuries have blighted much of Costa's time in Turin, the Brazil international having only started five league games under Maurizio Sarri this season.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel said Edinson Cavani is more focused following a failed move away from the French champions during the January transfer window.

Cavani – out of contract at season's end – was tipped to leave PSG last month but a proposed transfer to LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid did not materialise.

With an exit on hold until at least the end of the campaign, Cavani came off the bench and scored within three minutes of his introduction as PSG beat Ligue 1 rivals Lyon 4-2 on Sunday.

"Whenever there's competition it's good. We need all the players. I've always said that," Tuchel told reporters.

"You can feel that Edi [Cavani] is stronger in training at the moment because things are clear after the mercato. It's been like that for a few days now.

"He made a very good entrance [in the game], he put in a very important goal. It's good for him and for us. Because we need all the players with experience and quality like Edi. That's necessary. They are in good shape and that's good."

Cavani – PSG's all-time leading scorer – netted his third Ligue 1 goal of the season but first since August, while the Uruguay international forward has six across all competitions.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo defended Kylian Mbappe following his strop at being substituted early by head coach Thomas Tuchel, insisting the star forward is not a "spoiled child".

Mbappe vocally questioned Tuchel's decision to replace him after 68 minutes with PSG already five goals ahead in last weekend's 5-0 Ligue 1 rout of Montpellier.

Former France international Christophe Dugarry criticised the youngster's reaction and said he has lost respect for his 21-year-old compatriot.

However, Mbappe has since played 90 minutes in back-to-back games for the Ligue 1 champions and Leonardo attempted to further play down the incident amid links to Real Madrid.

"I heard things about Mbappe. On his personality. It makes me feel uncomfortable," he told Canal+. 

"If a player leaves the field, and talks to the coach, okay... he is at fault. We will talk about it and settle this. But to say that he is a spoiled child? I don't accept that. 

"He's an adorable, very committed person and a fantastic player."

Mbappe has formed a formidable partnership with Neymar this term, scoring 38 goals between them in all competitions.

And Leonardo questioned the negativity surrounding PSG, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

"In the top four players in the world, there is one 35 years old, another 32 years old and the other two are 28 and 21 years old," Leonardo said.

"And those two are with us. Let us rejoice. I am a happy sports director. We should take advantage of that. It's the joy of football. We have to stop talking about the problems."

PSG remain on course for a domestic and European quadruple as they prepare for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund later this month.

The French giants have been eliminated at this stage in the past three seasons, but Leonardo vowed his side will take on Bundesliga outfit Dortmund with no fear.

"In recent times, I have taken a step back and I have tried to see how it is going [around the club]," he said. 

"Whenever the knockout round of the Champions League looms, there is the same trial. 

"We're starting to talk too much. We say that this team is not ready, that Ligue 1 is not at the level, that the club does not know how to manage its stars. 

"I want to understand why? Because we have the right to be happy from time to time. The team is first, with a 12-point lead. We have an incredible squad. 

"Our best players are in shape. Why do we have to be worried every time when the last 16 arrives? Why do we have to stress? It won't be a matter of life and death. 

"We're just playing a Champions League match. I think the team is ready. If we win, that's good. Otherwise, too bad, PSG will continue to grow. We have to get out of this."

Substitute Edinson Cavani scored his first Ligue 1 goal since August as Paris Saint-Germain held off a second-half Lyon fightback to win 4-2 on Sunday and open up a 12-point lead at the summit.

The runaway leaders took a two-goal advantage into half-time at the Parc des Princes thanks to strikes from Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe, and Marcal then comically put into his own net to further extend PSG's advantage following the restart.

But Thomas Tuchel's men were in trouble by the time of Cavani's 76th-minute introduction, Martin Terrier and Moussa Dembele scoring in quick succession as Lyon roared back.

PSG held on in tricky, windy conditions, though, and added a fourth through record goalscorer Cavani, with just his second touch, to ensure an eighth win in a row in all competitions and a healthy gap to second-placed Marseille.

Anthony Lopes thwarted Mbappe early on but was soon caught out by Di Maria, the PSG ace cutting inside from the right past Marcal and finding a gap at the near post.

Mauro Icardi then had a delightful chipped finish ruled out for offside, but there was to be no denying Mbappe, who delicately lifted the ball over Lopes when a desperate Marcelo lunge failed to cut out Thomas Meunier's centre.

PSG had another goal disallowed just before half-time, with Icardi again marginally offside before teeing up Mbappe to tap in, but their third arrived 89 seconds into the second half.

Meunier's initial cross was cut out by Thiago Mendes but his second was rifled into the net in farcical fashion by Marcal just inside the six-yard box with no PSG player nearby.

Lyon pulled one back against the run of play as Terrier's shot squirmed under Navas, before Dembele rounded off a slick team move - teed up by influential substitute Karl Toko Ekambi - to leave PSG sweating.

The visitors were without Memphis Depay and Maxwel Cornet but should have been level after 63 minutes, only for Dembele to fire off target from a glorious position.

Cavani made certain of the points three minutes after being introduced from the bench, though, his clinical finish a first goal in all competitions since the January transfer window closed.

Mauro Icardi's recent form is not concerning to Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel, who is also refusing to get worried about the contracts of key players running down.

Argentina striker Icardi joined PSG on loan from Inter at the start of the season and made a strong impact, swiftly taking Edinson Cavani's place in the starting XI.

He scored nine Ligue 1 goals before the mid-season break, but in recent weeks he has been a little less successful in front of goal.

Prior to netting against Nantes on Tuesday, Icardi had not scored in his past six matches across all competitions, despite two of those outings being against lower-league opposition in Lorient and Pau.

Tuchel remains optimistic about Icardi finding himself again, but hinted such struggles could benefit Cavani, who PSG prevented from leaving in the January transfer window.

"I hope he [Icardi] will regain his rhythm, his confidence and that he will score goals again," Tuchel told reporters on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Lyon.

"But he remains an important player and we also see that Edi [Cavani] is also gaining in capacity."

Thomas Meunier and Thiago Silva have played 34 Ligue 1 games between them this season, with Tuchel considering them key components of his back four.

Both have contracts that are due to expire at the end of June, and while Tuchel insists renewals are not in his remit, he reiterated they are seen as vital players.

"I feel the players very confident, very strong," he said. "Thiago is my captain, nothing has changed, it's the same for Thomas.

"I see them as very professional players. Thomas plays a lot, he is super important for us. Both are awesome and I'm glad they're here, I don't think it [the contract situation] bothers [them].

"Contracts are not things that a coach decides. It happens between the agents, the families and the club too. There are several opinions, and for me it doesn't change anything.

"Thiago is my captain, Thomas is my right side right now because he shows that he has the qualities to play."

Tuchel was similarly glowing regarding Pablo Sarabia, who has proven a useful option since joining from Sevilla for a reported €20million.

"He's a guy who does his job well. He is extraordinary, he has the talent to play in our team," Tuchel added. "He is super decisive and brings something different to the team.

"It's good we have players like that. He's important to us and it's good because we need him. A strong team isn't just 11 players. We gained personality with him."

Neymar out of PSG v Lyon

February 08, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain will once again be without Neymar when they face Lyon on Sunday and Juan Bernat also remains sidelined due to illness.

Neymar suffered a rib injury during a 5-0 thrashing of Montpellier last weekend and sat out the 2-1 victory at Nantes on Tuesday, having thrown a lavish party 48 hours earlier to celebrate his 28th birthday.

He trained on Friday, but PSG boss Thomas Tuchel revealed the former Barcelona man will not feature in the Ligue 1 clash with Rudi Garcia's side at the Parc des Princes.

Bernat has recovered from a calf injury, but the full-back misses out after falling ill. 

Thiago Silva is not ready to return from a hip problem, although the centre-back has also been able to resume training this week and the same goes for fellow defenders Marquinhos (calf) and Abdou Diallo (thigh).

Colin Dagba is another player unavailable to Tuchel due to a knee injury as PSG look to extend their unbeaten run to 21 matches in all competitions. 

The champions are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of the table.

Neymar has resumed Paris Saint-Germain training after missing the Ligue 1 win over Nantes with a rib injury.

The Brazil star was hurt during the 5-0 win over Montpellier on February 1 and missed the 2-1 victory at Stade de la Beaujoire, having thrown a lavish party 48 hours earlier to celebrate his 28th birthday.

The forward was pictured training with team-mates on Friday, as the Ligue 1 leaders stepped up preparations for Sunday's showdown with sixth-place Lyon at Parc des Princes.

It is not clear whether Neymar will return to action this weekend or be given extra time to recover, with the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund less than two weeks away.

Thiago Silva was also involved in Friday's session, having been sidelined since the 2-0 win over Lille on January 26 with a hip problem.

PSG are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of the table after 23 matches.

Manchester City are reportedly lining up a move for Lionel Messi in a free transfer amid the star's troubles at Barcelona.

Messi, 32, has been involved in a public disagreement with the club's technical secretary Eric Abidal, leading to immediate questions over his future at Camp Nou.

City, and former boss Pep Guardiola, look ready to make their move.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY EYE MESSI FOR FREE AMID BARCELONA TROUBLES

Manchester City will swoop for Messi for free if the star cannot resolve his problems at Barcelona, according to The Sun.

While Messi is contracted until 2021, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed last year the Argentina international was free to leave after the 2019-20 season.

Messi worked with Guardiola at Barcelona, with the duo winning three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns among numerous other trophies at the club.

ROUND-UP

- There could be major changes coming at Arsenal. The Sun reports Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil are at risk with Arsenal perhaps prepared to sell their stars to finance a spending spree.

- Manchester United and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head in a bid to sign Lyon forward Moussa Dembele at the end of the season, according to The Mirror. Dembele, 23, has scored 12 Ligue 1 goals in 22 matches this season and has been linked with a move to Old Trafford previously.

- Staying in Manchester and City must wait until April to resolve the future of Leroy Sane after the attacker's switch of agent, according to The Telegraph and Bild. Sane is a reported target for Bayern Munich and Manchester City will have to wait to discuss the Germany international's future due to a clause in his deal with his previous agency.

- With Ousmane Dembele facing a long spell on the sidelines, Barcelona are eyeing Girona forward Cristhian Stuani, according to Deportes Cuatro, which reports the 33-year-old Uruguayan has a €20million release clause. Barca would need approval to complete the deal outside the transfer window.

- Could Liverpool have to search for a new back-up goalkeeper? Estadio Deportivo reports Real Betis are considering a move for their former shot-stopper Adrian, who is contracted to the European champions until 2021, with the club holding an option for a further year.

Eric Abidal's interview tipped Lionel Messi over the edge.

Normally quiet, especially on social media, Messi used Instagram to hit out at Barcelona director of football Abidal, who had earlier suggested some players were not working hard enough prior to Ernesto Valverde's sacking.

Barca superstar Messi is reportedly unhappy with how things are unfolding at Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TIRED OF BEING BARCA SCAPEGOAT

Lionel Messi is tired of being held responsible for everything that happens at Barcelona amid doubts over his future, according to COPE and Marca.

Contracted until 2021, captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi snapped back at Barcelona director of football Eric Abidal for bad-mouthing players at the club as he discussed Ernesto Valverde's exit.

It comes amid discontent towards the board and Barca's struggles on the pitch.

Clubs in China, the United States and the Middle East would all be interested should the Argentine opt for a change of scenery.

 

ROUND-UP

- Has Paul Pogba played his last game for Manchester United? The Red Devils are resigned to losing Pogba at the end of the season, reports The Mirror. Linked to Real Madrid and former club Juventus, Pogba has not featured since December due to an ongoing ankle problem.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Mirror says United will prioritise signing Aston Villa star Jack Grealish as fellow midfield target James Maddison nears a new deal with Leicester City.

Atletico Madrid will consider Mauricio Pochettino as their next head coach if they move on from Diego Simeone, reports the Telegraph. Pochettino continues to be linked with United, who are struggling under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

- Standard Sport claims Chelsea will sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele at the end of the season after failing to land the Frenchman in January.

- Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes is a target for Arsenal, reports The Sun. Arsenal enquired about the 22-year-old Brazilian's availability last month.

Milan snubbed the chance to sign Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic in January, says Calciomercato. Matic is out of contract at season's end but is open to extending his time in Manchester.

Liverpool might be cruising towards the title but the runaway Premier League leaders could still face a crucial fight in the near future.

According to a new report, star centre-back Virgil van Dijk has become a top target for Italian giants Juventus.

Could a record-breaking transfer to Turin appeal to the Netherlands international?

 

TOP STORY – JUVE SET SIGHTS ON VAN DIJK

Maurizio Sarri's Juve have identified Reds defender Van Dijk as the man to help achieve their Champions League dream, according to The Sun.

The Bianconeri are said to be preparing a €178.5million (£150m) offer that could force Liverpool to consider parting company with the 28-year-old, who swapped Southampton for Merseyside in a £75m move in January 2018.

The report claims Van Dijk "may be open to a move abroad" if he wins the Premier League this term, which now appears a mere formality.

The proposed fee would eclipse the £80m that saw Harry Maguire leave Leicester City for Manchester United and again make Van Dijk the world's most expensive player in his position.

 

ROUND-UP 

- After signing Maguire, the Red Devils appear to be pining for another expensive defender. The Daily Star suggests the club will ramp up their attempts to capture Kalidou Koulibaly in the close season - although the Napoli centre-back could cost up to £90m.

- Arsenal rejected a deadline-day approach for Mesut Ozil from an unnamed Qatar club, the Mirror states. Ozil, 31, reportedly "would have been willing to listen" to an offer, but the contact came too late for the Gunners to arrange a replacement.

- LaLiga leaders Real Madrid considered signing teenage attacker Amine Gouiri and contacted Lyon before deciding against lodging a formal January bid, according to L'Equipe.

- Their title rivals Barcelona are close to agreeing a deal that will see Chelsea winger Willian arrive on a free at season's end, reports Marca.

- Gouiri is not the only Lyon youngster attracting interest. Milan, already planning for next season, are monitoring the Ligue 1 club's promising right-back Pierre Kalulu, claims CalcioMercato.

Lyon's last-gasp win over Nice means they will face Marseille in a Choc des Olympiques in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

Houssem Aouar's 93rd-minute penalty ensured Lyon's progression on Thursday, with the substitute scoring just four minutes after Adam Ounas had made it 1-1, cancelling out Moussa Dembele's opener.

It means the headline fixture from the last eight will be a derby clash between Lyon and Marseille, who last met in November when Andre Villas-Boas' side won 2-1.

Meanwhile, 12-time winners PSG – who defeated Pau 2-0 in their round of 16 tie – have been handed an away match against Dijon.

Defending champions Rennes will take on fourth-tier Belfort, who defeated Montpellier on penalties in the previous round.

Fellow minnows Epinal also inflicted a shock in the round of 16, defeating Lille, and will face another Ligue 1 side in the form of Saint-Etienne.

The ties will take place on February 11 and 12.

Lyon appear to have finalised the signing of midfielder Bruno Guimaraes from Athletico Paranaense in a deal reportedly worth around €25million.

The Brazilian was pictured holding a Lyon shirt alongside director of football Juninho in images uploaded to Twitter by club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

The official Lyon account replied to the tweet, commenting: "Announce Guimaraes".

Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Benfica had been linked to the 22-year-old, who won the Copa Sudamericana in 2018.

Juninho reportedly travelled to Colombia, where Guimaraes is involved in Olympic Games qualifying with Brazil, to seal the deal.

He will become part of Rudi Garcia's squad at Lyon, who sit fifth in Ligue 1 after 21 games.

Lyon's superstar striker Ada Hegerberg faces a long spell out of action after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in training.

The Norwegian landed the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or in December 2018 to reflect her status as the world's leading player, but now she faces a challenging road to recovery.

Hegerberg announced on Twitter: "So here it is. I ruptured my ACL this weekend. This is a setback for me, but I'm going to work through this with all my heart and my energy. The best is yet to come. YOU'LL SEE ME SOON!"

Lyon confirmed the blow, announcing on their website: "Lyon regret the injury to Ada Hegerberg, victim of a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee, that occurred in training.

"The operation date will be determined in the coming days and the unavailability will be corresponding to the known statistics for this type of injury.

"Lyon will offer Ada the best surgical conditions and post-operation rehabilitation to return her to full strength."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas sent a message to 24-year-old Hegerberg, writing on Twitter: "You are very strong Ada, on and off the pitch! We're all going to work to get you back in the best condition to return even stronger.

"We'll be at your side, the Lyon women will stay at the highest level waiting for your return."

Lyon sit top of the French women's championship with 38 points from 14 games, and Hegerberg has scored 23 goals in 18 matches across all competitions this season.

She controversially missed last year's World Cup, having made herself unavailable to Norway because of her stance over how women's football is treated in her home country.

Hertha Berlin have completed a move for Lucas Tousart, with the midfielder immediately heading back to Lyon on loan.

The 22-year-old has joined the Bundesliga club for a reported €24million for what a Hertha statement described as "the long term".

"I can identify very well with the ambitions of Hertha BSC," said Tousart, who will continue with Lyon for the remainder of the season.

"Something very exciting is happening in Berlin and I want to be part of it.

"At the same time, I am happy and grateful that I can finish my job in Lyon."

Tousart has been a regular fixture in the Lyon first-team squad for the past four seasons, making over 100 appearances in all competitions.

Jurgen Klinsmann's Hertha have already signed Argentina international midfielder Santiago Ascacibar from 2. Bundesliga club Stuttgart and are reportedly in the running to bring in Granit Xhaka from Arsenal.

Hertha sit 13th in the Bundesliga and host Schalke on Friday.

Tousart's next assignment with Lyon could be Thursday's Coupe de France trip to Nice.

The Christian Eriksen saga could reach an end point as soon as Monday.

Reports in Italy indicate the midfielder's move to Inter is all but complete and a medical has been scheduled.

Eriksen's uncertain future has troubled Tottenham since well before Mauricio Pochettino's departure, with the Denmark international due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – ERIKSEN DEAL AGREED

Eriksen, 27, will undergo a medical in Milan at the beginning of next week, according to various reports in Italy.

CalcioMercato claims Tottenham owner Daniel Levy has accepted an offer from Inter worth €15million (£12.6m), plus €5m (£4.2m) in add-ons.

Eriksen's new contract will reportedly run through to 2024 as the playmaker looks for a fresh start after growing stale in the Premier League.

If the move goes ahead, he will become Antonio Conte's third signing of the January transfer window after wing-backs Ashley Young and Victor Moses.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could face frustration in their long-running negotiations for Bruno Fernandes, which The Sun says have "collapsed" due to Sporting CP's valuation.

- United, meanwhile, are considering a shock move to bring Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, 35, back to Old Trafford, claims Tuttosport. The Red Devils are in need of attacking reinforcements after losing Marcus Rashford to injury.

- Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given LaLiga giants Barcelona the green light to begin transfer talks, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- Bayern Munich have commenced "concrete discussions" with Lyon over 19-year-old winger Yaya Soumare, reports L'Equipe. Salzburg and Bayern's Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig are also said to be interested.

- Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta asked Stefano Pioli to be left out of Milan's match against against Brescia because he is keen to leave the club, claims CalcioMercato. Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested.

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