Stefano Pioli will be staying in charge of Milan after signing a contract extension with the Serie A club.

It was expected Pioli would be replaced by Ralf Rangnick, who had been in talks with the Rossoneri about a deal that could have seen him become head coach and effectively sporting director.  

However, Rangnick's representative confirmed on Tuesday that talks had been called off because "it is not the right time at the moment and there is no momentum for working together". Marc Kosicke also pointed to "the good development and results under Pioli" as a reason for the move not taking place.

Milan later confirmed their current coach had agreed to a new contract that would keep him at San Siro until June 2022. 

"I am happy and proud of the trust I have received from AC Milan," Pioli said in a statement.

"I want to thank everyone, including our fans, who we are really missing at the stadium, but are always close and supportive. As I have said many times, our future is today: we must be focused and determined, be united and play as one. We are at the beginning of an extraordinary path. If we keep working this way, we will grow and be more and more competitive."

CEO Ivan Gazidis said: "Stefano has shown he can deliver the vision of football we have for our club - exciting, progressive and passionate.

"This is not a decision based on recent victories, but one based on how Stefano has built team spirit and unity of purpose, the way he has improved the performances of the individual players and the collective team, the way he has embraced our vision and the way he has represented himself and the club's values." 

Pioli had been publicly backed by players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as speculation continued he would be replaced by Rangnick, who was said to be keen on a dual role that would have seen technical director Paolo Maldini likely forced to leave the club. 

There are reports negotiations broke down because Rangnick, who leads Red Bull's sports and development section, was not prepared to accept a new proposal that would have seen him join as a director but with Pioli still in charge of the first team. 

Milan have enjoyed a strong run of form since the season resumed last month, their 2-1 win at Sassuolo on Tuesday making it 10 games unbeaten in all competitions.

The win lifted them to fifth in the Serie A table, a point above Roma and three above Napoli, having played a game more. 

It was also the ninth game in a row Milan had registered at least two goals, their best scoring run in the league since 1964. 

Stefano Pioli will be staying in charge of Milan after signing a contract extension with the Serie A club.

 

Manchester United have had no problem scoring goals amid their 19-match unbeaten streak across all competitions.

However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still desperate to sign Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho.

And Sancho is reportedly ready to make the move to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STEP UP SANCHO CHASE

Manchester United are close to signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho , according to The Sun.

Sancho has been tipped to leave Dortmund for United amid links to Liverpool , Chelsea , Bayern Munich and Real Madrid .

Despite United's ongoing battle for Champions League qualification, Sancho wants to move to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are not only in discussions with Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik as the Serie A holders look to replace Gonzalo Higuain. Calciomercato says Juve have started speaking to the entourage of Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette , who has also been linked to Atletico Madrid .

- Marca reports Manchester City are determined to sign Valencia star Ferran Torres but they are unwilling to pay over the odds. Torres has a release clause of €100million (£90m), which has deterred Real Madrid and Barcelona , though City are only prepared to spend a fixed amount of €35m (£31m).

- According to Kicker, either David Alaba decides to extend his Bayern Munich contract or he will be sold before becoming a free agent in 2021. Alaba has been linked to the likes of City and Paris Saint-Germain .

- Radio Taronja claims Atletico and Sevilla both want to sign Valencia captain Dani Parejo . The 31-year-old midfielder has reportedly been told he can leave Valencia.

- There is a total agreement for Ralf Rangnick to take over from Stefano Pioli as Milan head coach in 2020-21, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. The German will arrive on a three-year deal.

Napoli's pursuit of Lille star Victor Osimhen is proving problematic. Tipped to join Napoli, L'Equipe claims Lille are unwilling to accept Adam Ounas as part of the deal for the Nigeria forward. Now, Il Mattino says United are interested, while SportItalia and Tuttomercatoweb are among the outlets to point to Premier League champions Liverpool .

Lazio have approached Madrid to sign forward Borja Mayoral , says Sky Sport Italia. The 23-year-old has spent the past two years on loan at Levante.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is ready to leave Lazio for a new challenge, claims Tuttosport. PSG have been tipped to sign the Serbia international, while the likes of Chelsea , United , Madrid , Juve and Inter have been previously linked.

Stefano Pioli will not allow talk about Milan's future to distract from the job in hand this season.

The Rossoneri are in a fine run of form, unbeaten in seven Serie A games since the restart having taken 17 points from those fixtures to leave them firmly on course for a place in next term's Europa League.

However, talk of Ralf Rangnick replacing Pioli has persisted throughout, with the German having reportedly already agreed to take charge at San Siro after this campaign.

From Pioli's point of view, what matters is the final five Serie A games, starting with a home clash against Bologna on Saturday.

"The work that we've done is ongoing," he told reporters.

"Naturally this process couldn't produce results immediately. In the past we've produced some excellent results but we weren't able to take all of the chances that we've created. We have become a team. It's taken time, but that's only natural. 

"I think there are a number of different factors that have contributed to the fact that the team are exactly that - with balance, with different positions, with players with different characteristics.

"We've worked very hard, moving towards new ideas, new positions and a new way of setting up.

"Now that we've become a team, we need to stay united, stay together because we're still talking too much about our future, but this, here and now, is still too important."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future is another topic of discussion as the 38-year-old is out of contract following this season.

He played 90 minutes on Wednesday in a 3-1 win over Parma and Pioli will assess the Swede's fitness in Friday and Saturday training sessions before deciding if he can start a fifth successive game. 

"Today's training session as well as tomorrow morning's session will be very important," Pioli added. 

"I don't think we need to ask Zlatan if he's fit because if you ask him you always have a sure answer that he feels fit and firing, but so do all of his team-mates.

"I'll make a decision based on the starting XI and also above all based on the fact that we need to make sure we have quality substitutes available with specific attributes."

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli reiterated that he is not thinking about his future as Ralf Rangnick reportedly prepares to take over at San Siro.

Pioli's 10-man Milan extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions with a 2-2 draw away to Napoli in Serie A action on Sunday amid mounting speculation regarding Rangnick.

Former RB Leipzig boss Rangnick has agreed to replace Pioli – who was only appointed in October – in 2020-21, according to widespread reports.

Pioli, however, is not paying attention to the growing rumours over his future in Milan following the stalemate at Napoli.

"Everyone asks me that, but I am not thinking about the future," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. "I am at a big club, I am training players who are doing so much and the decisions will be made in August.

"It's too important to focus now on ending the season on a high note. It's tough for coaches too with a game every three days, so I cannot be wasting energy on something that is frankly out of my control.

"I prefer to focus on what I can control, so training these lads and preparing for the games."

Franck Kessie's 73rd-minute penalty secured a point for Milan, who had opened the scoring through Theo Hernandez's fine strike after 20 minutes in Naples.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo restored parity 14 minutes later and Dries Mertens put Napoli ahead on the hour-mark before Kessie converted a spot-kick.

Milan substitute Alexis Saelemaekers was sent off with three minutes remaining following two bookings in as many minutes but the Rossoneri held on for a point.

Pioli, whose Milan had beaten leaders Juventus and challengers Lazio heading into the contest, said: "It was tough, really tough, as after Lazio and Juventus, we've had a really difficult run of games against the best teams in the league, but we showed that we were up to the task.

"When you get results and put in strong performances against this kind of opponent, it really boosts your confidence. We scored a great goal to take the lead, we fought back to equalise and a point is a good result."

Coppa Italia champions Napoli remain sixth in Serie A with six matches remaining, two behind Roma and two clear of Milan.

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso faced former club Milan for the first time as a coach and he lamented his team's wastefulness in the final third.

"What I do get angry with is my players for needing six or seven chances to score," Gattuso said. "It's not just the strikers, but also the wide men, the midfielders. We create so many opportunities and don't finish enough of them off. That is where we must improve.

"If we analyse the post-COVID period of the season, we have the chances, but aren't scoring as regularly as we should. That is obvious. It's called a hot zone in the statistics, you can see Milan had very few scoring opportunities and yet they converted both of them.

"Considering what we create, we score too few goals and concede too many. That is happening fairly regularly. If the first press doesn't work after seven or eight seconds, we have to track back and make it solid, which we don't do enough.

"We're trying to do something a little different and we're not perfect yet, as we tend to risk waves of counter-attacks, so we end up four against four, or five against five."

Stefano Pioli refused to be drawn over comparisons to former Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso as he was once again asked about his future at San Siro. 

In-form Milan travel to face Gattuso's Napoli on Sunday in a crucial game for both teams in the fight to finish fifth in Serie A. 

The Rossoneri go on the road looking to maintain their unbeaten run since the season resumed in Italy. They rallied from 2-0 down to stun leaders Juventus in midweek, having also beaten second-placed Lazio last weekend. 

Pioli took charge in October following the departure of Marco Giampaolo, who had been appointed prior to the 2019-20 season after Gattuso left by mutual agreement. 

Milan finished fifth last season - in the process missing out on Champions League football - but the former Italy international is now at the helm with Napoli, winners of this year's Coppa Italia final.

Asked to evaluate his reign so far in contrast to Gattuso's achievements in 2018-19, Pioli told the media: "It is difficult to do it. Gattuso had started the season from the beginning, I didn't. 

"We are talking about a coach [Gattuso] capable of making the teams he trains play well, giving an important mentality.  

"He did it at Milan, he is doing it today at Napoli. And that's what I'm trying to do, too. The numbers can be compared in the end and there is still much to do." 

Pioli arrived with Milan sitting in 13th place in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone. 

While there were ups and downs in the early months, the recent run of results - they have taken 13 points from five games since the restart - offers much promise for the future. 

"We did not immediately have the continuity that is acquired by working together, it takes time to build a game philosophy and get to know the players especially from a character point of view," Pioli said. 

"We must finish the championship well, there are still many points available and many important games. Tomorrow we have a very difficult one, against a great team and a coach who gave them the right mentality, leading to their Coppa Italia victory.  

"We face a team that is doing very well, just as we are doing very well. We need to think only about what we can still do, and not what we could have done before." 

Despite the recent good work, Milan continue to be linked with a move for Ralf Rangnick. For Pioli, however, the only concern is finishing this current campaign strongly, rather than worrying about his job.

"I don't know if the club has already decided," he said on speculation over Rangnick joining the club. "But this is not my concern, nor is it for the players.  

"We are only thinking of doing well. We are reaping the benefits of the work started in October, we and the club have to grow further and close the season satisfied." 

Stefano Pioli was in no mood to ruminate on his Milan future after leading an incredible fightback to defeat Serie A leaders Juventus 4-2 at San Siro.

Milan looked set to become defending champions Juve's latest victims as the Rossoneri trailed to a wonderful individual Adrien Rabiot goal and Cristiano Ronaldo's swift second on Tuesday.

But a remarkable turnaround saw Milan score three times in the space of six minutes through Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Kessie and Rafael Leao, with Ante Rebic then securing the points after an awful Alex Sandro error.

Milan are unbeaten since the season resumed, also beating Juve's title rivals Lazio last week, yet it still appears Pioli will not be at the helm next season.

Widespread reports claim former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick will be installed as both head coach and technical director.

Pioli will not be distracted, though, telling DAZN post-match: "I don't think about what's going to happen on August 3. I'm focused on what we're doing.

"I hope to hit the target I was called for. I don't think about August 3rd; I like to train, I'm fine here. I can't think about the future and situations that don't depend on me."

Pioli, who saw Milan score four goals against Juve for the first time since 1989, added of the win: "I congratulate my players on a great day and a great victory.

"The work done at Milanello was important. The team is doing well, playing well, and I'm happy even if we haven't done anything yet.

"In 20 days, we play for everything. We think of Napoli [next]. There is satisfaction but great concentration. Everything we are doing needs to be improved. The level is high - if you make a mistake then you pay for it.

"The work of the staff was important. We were good at taking advantage of the penalty incident. We did well on the pitch.

"The first half was balanced, we were surprised. The team mentality is making a difference and we must keep going."

Rangnick's mooted dual-role would also impinge on Milan great Paolo Maldini's position at the club.

However, Maldini – the existing technical director – took a similar tone to Pioli as he spoke ahead of the Juve game, insisting his future was not an immediate concern.

"I don't know [about the future]," Maldini told DAZN. "I want to get to the end of this season in August by concentrating on the matches and the goals we have set ourselves."

Already rivals on the field, Manchester United and Manchester City might be set to clash off it.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Milan Skriniar of Inter are both reportedly wanted in Manchester.

An off-season battle may therefore be set to take place between the two foes.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED, CITY EYEING DEFENDERS

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are going head-to-head for centre-backs, according to the Independent.

United and City are both reportedly eyeing defensive reinforcements as they look to catch Premier League champions Liverpool next season.

Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter defender Milan Skriniar – also wanted by Real Madrid – have been strongly linked to the Manchester clubs.

 

ROUND-UP

Ralf Rangnick has agreed a deal to become the head coach of Milan in 2020-21, says The Guardian. Rangnick will replace Stefano Pioli, who was only appointed in October. The German is also set to hold talks about combining the coaching role with that of sporting director – a position held by Milan great Paolo Maldini.

- Qualifying for the Champions League will be the first step of any deal to bring Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho to United, reports the Evening Standard. Sancho has been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea and Madrid.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Paris Saint-Germain are poised to make an €80million offer for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Ligue 1 champions, however, are wary of competition from United, Madrid and Chelsea.

Kai Havertz is aware of interest from Chelsea but the Premier League side are yet to make an offer for the Bayer Leverkusen star, claims Bild's Christian Falk. Liverpool, United, Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have also emerged as possible destinations.

Juventus, Inter and Atletico Madrid are eyeing Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, according to L'Equipe.

- A cross-town move? Gianluca Di Marzio says Inter are continuing to pursue Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

Nathan Ake to United? The Daily Mail claims Bournemouth could be forced to sell some of their stars as they battle to avoid relegation. The defender has previously been linked to City.

Juve are interested in Arkadiusz Milik but Napoli would prefer not to sell to their Serie A rivals, reports Calciomercato. Napoli are said to be prepared to move Milik abroad amid links to Atletico and Tottenham.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said he does not feel like a "sacrificial victim" amid mounting speculation he is set to be replaced by Ralf Rangnick.

A heartbreaking stoppage-time own goal from Francesco Vicari gifted Milan a dramatic equaliser in Wednesday's 2-2 Serie A draw at lowly 10-man SPAL.

Mattia Valoti's goal and stunning long-range strike from 38-year-old striker Sergio Floccari had SPAL ahead 2-0 by the half-hour mark before Milan completed a comeback in the second 45 – the Rossoneri aided by Marco D'Alessandro's 43rd-minute red card.

After Rafael Leao and an own goal salvaged a point for Milan, attention turned to Pioli and ongoing talk regarding Rangnick.

Rangnick, who is now head of sport and development for Red Bull – the group which owns RB Leipzig, is tipped to combine the jobs of head coach and sporting director at Milan in 2020-21.

Asked about his future and the Rangnick rumours post-game, Pioli – who was only appointed in October after Marco Giampaolo's sacking – told Sky Italia: "I am working with passion and professionalism, I love these players, they are giving me a lot.

"I do not have the thought and the shadow of another coach, it will be what it will be.

"There are still many games, at Milanello I am happy, we are working well. The choices will be made in the end.

"I am not anxious and I do not feel like a sacrificial victim, I am proud to train these players."

Milan are seventh in Serie A after 29 matches, two points adrift of sixth-placed Napoli.

Pioli's men are next in action against scudetto hopefuls Lazio in Rome on Saturday.

Add Tottenham to the list of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic admirers.

The Lazio star and Serbia international has teams queuing up for his services, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly tipped to secure his signature.

However, Premier League outfit Spurs are now eyeing Milinkovic-Savic.

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC WANTED BY SPURS

Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Tottenham, according to Foot Mercato.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, having been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea.

While a move for Milinkovic-Savic appears out of reach for Spurs, Jose Mourinho is still dreaming.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Milinkovic-Savic is a dream for Spurs, The Telegraph says Tottenham are confident of signing Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Mourinho, however, must raise transfer funds through sales from his squad.

Inter are in advanced talks with Brescia to finalise a deal for star Sandro Tonali, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. Inter have agreed a five-year deal with Tonali.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at Milan beyond the 2019-20 season is complicated, says Calciomercato. Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the 38-year-old striker is no closer to signing an extension. While he would like to remain at San Siro, an extension looks set to be postponed until the proposed arrival of Ralf Rangnick as head coach.

- Sport Bild reports Bayern Munich are hopeful of extending David Alaba's contract, despite failing to come to an agreement at a meeting last week. Alaba has been linked to Chelsea recently. Meanwhile, Sky Sport says Bayern are not prepared to exercise their option to sign Ivan Perisic permanently from Inter following his loan spell.

- ABC says Real Betis have been in negotiations with former West Ham, Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini about their coaching vacancy.

Milan and Napoli are both interested in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbian could be a replacement for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Mail reports Arsenal are ready to use out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a bargaining chip in a potential swap deal. United, PSG, Madrid and Barca have emerged as possible destinations.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli dismissed growing speculation he could be replaced by Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season after overseeing a 4-1 rout of Lecce.

Samu Castillejo, Giacomo Bonaventura, Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao were on target as Milan marked their Serie A return with a demolition away to Lecce on Monday.

Milan are only adrift of the final Europa League spot – occupied by sixth-placed Napoli – on goal difference through 27 games, but Pioli could still be axed at season's end.

Rangnick, who is now head of sport and development for Red Bull – the group which owns RB Leipzig, is tipped to combine the jobs of head coach and sporting director at Milan in 2020-21.

Asked about the rumours, Milan boss Pioli told Sky Sport Italia post-match: "I am not interested in what is being said.

"I am happy with the team, I worked from the start with passion and competence, then the future will be decided at the end of the season."

Milan played their first Serie A match since the coronavirus-enforced break, having returned to the pitch for the Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus on June 12.

Castillejo put Milan ahead in the 26th minute but Lecce equalised through Marco Mancosu's penalty after Matteo Gabbia fouled fellow substitute Khouma Babacar.

Giacomo Bonaventura and Ante Rebic, who was sent off against Juve in the Coppa Italia, struck in the next three minutes to put Milan out of reach.

Milan substitute Leao put the result beyond doubt in the 72nd minute as the Rossoneri returned to seventh after Hellas Verona and Parma moved above them at the weekend.

"We played well against an opponent that preferred to sit back and wait for us to come forward, so we needed the spaces to open up," Pioli said.

"Lecce had an opportunity to get back into it with the equaliser, but we managed to get straight back out in front. It's an important victory, we needed the points and this boost.

"The objective has to be European qualification and catching up to those in front of us in the table. Roma seem quite far away, but then there is the head-to-head on Sunday. There are many points up for grabs in 11 rounds and we've got to try."

The 2019-20 season brought renewed hope for Milan fans.

A new coach and the return of two club greats – this season promised so much after years of pain.

Not since 2010-11 have Italian powerhouse Milan won the Scudetto.

A fifth-place finish last season, narrowly missing out on Champions League football, provided renewed optimism upon Marco Giampaolo's arrival.

But problems continue to plague the Rossoneri – who have taken a financial hit during their six-year Champions League absence after withdrawing from this term's Europa League for Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches – as the Serie A campaign prepares to restart following the coronavirus pandemic.

Stats Perform News looks at the issues at San Siro, with Italian league football returning on June 20.

GIAMPAOLO ADDED TO COACHING SCRAPHEAP

There was excitement when Giampaolo replaced Gennaro Gattuso on a two-year deal, having established Sampdoria's position in the top half of the table with an entertaining brand of football over his three seasons in Genoa. But it was a short-lived spell for Giampaolo – the 52-year-old overseeing just seven Serie A matches before becoming the seventh Rossoneri boss to be sacked since Massimiliano Allegri left in January 2014. Four defeats and only six goals scored in those seven league games underlined the difficult start at San Siro, where Milan made their worst start to a campaign since 1938-39.

BOBAN IN AND OUT AFTER CLASH

Zvonimir Boban returned to Milan as part of Ivan Gazidis' revamp of the staff following the departures of Leonardo and Gattuso. Boban, who played for Milan between 1991 and 2001, left FIFA to make his way back to the Rossoneri as chief football officer but things quickly turned sour. The Croatian was relieved of his duties in March, just nine months into the role, after speaking out publicly against chief executive Gazidis. The frustration stemmed from Gazidis' reported pursuit of former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick as head coach and potentially director of sport, without consulting Boban or technical director Paolo Maldini, with Stefano Pioli still in charge. Following his sacking, Boban compared Milan to North Korea.

MALDINI AND GAZIDIS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD

Like Boban, club icon Maldini headlined a new-look Milan amid much fanfare. Previously working as Milan's sporting strategy and development director, former captain Maldini replaced Leonardo at the start of the season. The Italian's position has come under threat, especially after Boban's exit, and it stems from Milan's interest in Rangnick. The possible arrival of Rangnick would leave no place for coach Pioli or Maldini – who told the German to "learn the concept of respect" amid ongoing speculation. It has not gone according to plan for Milan's favourite son, criticised over Giampaolo's failed tenure and opting to appoint former Inter coach Pioli. Factoring in Boban's exit and Gazidis' pursuit of Rangnick, it remains to be seen whether the 51-year-old will still be around in 2020-21.

IBRAHIMOVIC'S FUTURE

Gazidis, again, is front and centre when it comes to veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The former Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Juventus and Inter striker returned to Milan in January. Ibrahimovic – who was part of the last Rossoneri team to win the Scudetto in 2011 – gave Milan a boost prior to the coronavirus pandemic, scoring four goals in 10 appearances. However, the 38-year-old's future is far from certain. His short-term contract until the end of the season has the option to extend the deal by another year but Boban's departure has thrown a spanner into the works. Ibrahimovic reportedly committed to staying while Boban was still at Milan, but that has changed as Gazidis tries to convince the veteran to continue in the red and black stripes.

DONNARUMMA LINKED WITH EXIT… AGAIN

Gianluigi Donnarumma's future is often in the headlines and it is no different this season. The Milan and Italy goalkeeper, once again, is linked with a move away from his boyhood club. Donnarumma was close to leaving Milan in 2017 following a contract dispute, which led to severe condemnation from fans. Agent Mino Raiola has continued to be outspoken over the 21-year-old, who has previously been linked to PSG, United, Real Madrid and Juventus. The latest reports suggest Donnarumma could extend his contract, but the longer Milan go without challenging for Serie A honours and Champions League qualification, the longer rumours persist.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich… take your pick.

Kai Havertz is not short of options following his stunning form for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

As clubs queue up to sign Havertz, a Premier League giant is reportedly leading the race.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD FAVOURITES FOR HAVERTZ

Manchester United are favourites to sign in-demand Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to The Sun.

Havertz has been linked to the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid after his exploits for Bundesliga outfit Leverkusen.

United are ready to swoop for Havertz, as well as Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- Le10Sport says Paul Pogba is open to swapping United for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. Linked to former club Juventus and LaLiga giants Madrid, PSG have emerged as a possible destination for the disgruntled Frenchman.

Manchester City are determined to sign Juve centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, but Calciomercato claims the Serie A holders are unwilling to sell the key defender.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona are positive about signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter following Mauro Icardi's move to PSG. Inter recouped at least €50million after Icardi's loan deal at PSG became permanent. While Barca are aware it will be difficult to prise Martinez to Camp Nou, the LaLiga champions view Icardi's transfer positively.

Chelsea are leading the race to sign Barca outcast Philippe Coutinho, according to the Daily Express. Coutinho has spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern but the German giants opted not to exercise their transfer option. Now, Chelsea are prepared to bring the former Liverpool star back to the Premier League on loan. Tottenham have also been linked.

- Juve's Douglas Costa is wanted by Atletico Madrid. That is according to Calciomercato, which claims Atletico want to bring in the Brazilian attacker in exchange for either Thomas Partey or Stefan Savic. Douglas Costa has been linked to United, while Arsenal are eyeing Partey.

Milan will meet with potential new head coach Ralf Rangnick, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. The Rossoneri continue to be linked to Rangnick while Stefano Pioli remains in charge.

- La Repubblica claims Juve have entered the race for Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. The 20-year-old has been linked to the likes of Napoli, Lazio, Fiorentina, United, Tottenham, Chelsea, PSG and RB Leipzig.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen's future has dominated headlines.

The Barcelona goalkeeper has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou, where his current contract expires at the end of 2021-22.

But the Germany international appears on the verge of extending his stay at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – TER STEGEN POISED FOR BARCA RENEWAL

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will sign a long-term contract with Barcelona, according to Friday's front page of Diario Sport.

Ter Stegen and Barca have been deadlocked over talks regarding a new deal, prompting speculation about the Germany international's future.

The Barca goalkeeper had been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich before Manuel Neuer extended his contract in Bavaria.

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid and Inter have enquired about Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, says Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira. Dismissing talks between Napoli and Aguero, Schira claims City do not want to sell the Argentina international.

- Sport Mediaset reports Edinson Cavani has set his personal terms to Inter. The Paris Saint-Germain veteran is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with Atletico Madrid. However, the Uruguayan has reportedly told Atletico his agreed personal terms with the Spanish club are no longer valid as Inter eye the forward.

Barca are very optimistic regarding deals for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, says Marca.

- According to Le10Sport, Juve have started negotiations with Mino Raiola to bring Manchester United star Paul Pogba back to Turin.

- As Roma look to make Henrikh Mkhitaryan's deal permanent, Calciomercato says Arsenal are interested in signing Justin Kluivert. Mkhitaryan has spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Italian capital.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic is Milan's first choice as a striker for next season, reports Schira. The Rossoneri are working on a two-year loan deal with the option to buy, however, Jovic's salary is proving problematic amid talks.

Milan's pursuit of Jovic comes as the club close in on Ralf Rangnick. According to Calciomercato, Rangnick is set to become head coach, though the German could vacate his position in season two for either RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann or Borussia Monchengladbach's Marco Rose.

- According to Mundo Deportivo, City, Juve and PSG are battling for Barca full-back Nelson Semedo. The Portugal international has also been linked to Bayern and Inter.

Paolo Maldini has told Ralf Rangnick to "learn the concept of respect" after comments the former RB Leipzig coach made regarding certain powers he would need to take a job at AC Milan.

Reports suggest Rangnick is to be offered a unique role with the Rossoneri where he will combine the jobs of head coach and sporting director.

Such a restructure would leave no place for technical director Maldini or head coach Stefano Pioli, while Zvonimir Boban was sacked as chief football officer earlier this year as part of CEO Ivan Gazidis' shake-up of the hierarchy.

Last week, Rangnick – the former Stuttgart, Schalke and Leipzig boss who is now head of sport and development for Red Bull, the group which owns Leipzig – said he would need "a certain influence" to move to Milan and confirmed talks had taken place with the Serie A club prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maldini has taken a dim view of Rangnick's comments and delivered an extraordinary blast in an interview with Italian news agency ANSA.

"Having never talked to Rangnick, I don't understand on what basis his statements are based, also because I have never been told anything by the owner," he said.

"Some considerations in my opinion, however, must be made. The German coach in fact, speaking of a role with full managerial powers both in the sporting and technical areas, invades areas where professionals work with regular contracts.

"So, I would have some advice for him, before learning Italian he should review the general concepts of respect, as there are colleagues who, despite the many difficulties of the moment, are trying to finish the season in a very professional way, putting the good of Milan to their professional pride."

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