Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved sooner rather than later.

The England international is tipped to return to his homeland after leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Premier League leaders Liverpool are reportedly at the front of the queue for the 20-year-old attacker.

 

TOP STORY – REDS IN POLE POSITION FOR SANCHO

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho is a player in demand, the former Manchester City youngster linked with a return to England via Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested, but Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool appear to be favourites to land the England international if Sadio Mane leaves Anfield.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims United are considering a move for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile. The Italy international has scored a Serie A-high 27 goals this season amid links to Liverpool and Napoli.

Chelsea are not close to reaching an agreement over Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, says The Athletic. Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign Havertz, who is also reportedly wanted by United, Liverpool, Madrid and Barcelona. But Chelsea – who are set to bring RB Leipzig's Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge – are apparently nowhere near matching Leverkusen's asking price.

- The Independent reports Dortmund are set to beat United to Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old is coveted by Dortmund and United, however, the Bundesliga side are viewed as the more attractive option to give the wonderkid game time.

- Could Dries Mertens leave Napoli for Barcelona? Mertens' contract is set to expire, though the Belgium forward has been tipped to sign an extension. Het Nieuwsblad says Barca could turn to the Napoli star if they are unable to prise Lautaro Martinez from Inter.

Chelsea believe Champions League football will convince Leicester City's Ben Chilwell to snub Manchester City for the London club, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea have been linked to another full-back – France Football claims the Blues are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, who is available on a free transfer and wanted by the likes of Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter.

- Tuttosport says Inter are targeting Nice centre-back Malang Sarr. The 21-year-old has also been linked to Pep Guardiola's City.

- According to The Telegraph, Barca are prepared to pay a portion of Philippe Coutinho's wage to help the Brazilian leave Camp Nou. Tottenham and Newcastle United are possible destinations.

Liverpool are eyeing a double transfer raid on Wolves for stars Ruben Neves and Adama Traore, says The Sun.

Saul Niguez insisted Atletico Madrid remains his "home" despite transfer speculation, revealing he has never spoken to any club over a potential move elsewhere.

Saul signed a nine-year contract extension with Atleti in 2017, though the long-term deal has not stopped rumours about the Spain international's future in the capital.

Manchester United have been strongly linked with the midfielder, though he is unaware if anything has gone further than stories in the media.

Saul made clear how happy he is in Madrid as he aims to help Diego Simeone's squad seal a top-four finish in LaLiga this season.

"I see things on Instagram or in newspapers which you publish, but I haven't heard anything from any club," Saul told Radio Marca.

"I'm focused on finishing this season, achieving the objective [of finishing in the top four] and then dreaming about the Champions League.

"I have a long-term contract, which I signed because I want to stay here. I don't have any problem staying here because my family are here, it's my home.

"People say, 'come out and deny it', but then if you deny it and something happens, you look bad.

"I just stick to playing football and what has to happen will happen, I'm just focused on achieving Atletico's target, which is to be in the top four, and then try to get the most desired target of the season."

Atletico return to action on Sunday when they travel to Athletic Bilbao for their first fixture since the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They have not played since a 3-2 extra-time win over Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League on March 11, a result that saw them eliminate the titleholders to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

The sporting world is slowly moving back towards normality amid the coronavirus pandemic, with LaLiga set to follow in the path of the Bundesliga and return behind closed doors.

Thursday's derby clash between Sevilla and Real Betis will kick things back off in Spain's top flight, three months after it was brought to a halt. 

While there will be no fans in attendance, the stage is set for a truly fascinating run-in in LaLiga; the title, Champions League places and safety are still well and truly to play for.

We take a look at the fixtures that could prove key in deciding the final outcome.

 

Matchday 30: Sevilla v Barcelona, Real Sociedad v Real Madrid

With Sevilla and La Real heading into the coronavirus stoppage third and fourth respectively, there is every chance of a slip-up from Barcelona and/or Madrid in these tricky away games. Not only could they play a crucial role in deciding where the title ends up, but with just five points separating third from seventh at the resumption of play, the impact on Champions League and Europa League qualification could be important.

Matchday 30: Real Mallorca v Leganes

At the other end of the table, two teams that have spent the hiatus in the relegation zone will meet at Son Moix. Three points against a direct rival near the bottom would likely play a huge role in who ends up falling into the second tier.

Matchday 32: Getafe v Real Sociedad

These teams have a great opportunity to upset the established order and earn a place in the Champions League, leading to great anticipation around this clash at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Getafe won their first meeting back in October 2-1, so La Real will be eager for a superior win in case the head-to-head record is needed to separate them in the standings.

Matchday 33: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Atletico earned a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou to win LaLiga in 2013-14 and Diego Simeone's side will need the same sort of grit and determination if they are to get a result that can boost their Champions League aspirations. For Barca it is one of four fixtures they have left against teams currently sitting in the top half, so a victory could be pivotal in their title defence.

Matchday 33: Real Madrid v Getafe

Barca's meeting with Atleti is arguably their toughest fixture left to play, so a home game against Getafe could set the stage for Madrid to launch a late charge for the title. However, Getafe, who have a Europa League last-16 tie with Inter still outstanding, will see it as a chance to enhance their Champions League bid.

Matchday 34: Espanyol v Leganes

Espanyol are six points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, so strong home form is going to be key for them – especially when they are up against the next-worst team in the league. Leganes triumphed 2-0 when they met at Butarque in December, so failure to win here would significantly hinder Espanyol's survival chances.

Matchday 35: Barcelona v Espanyol

The match against Leganes takes on even more significance when you consider a trip to Catalan rivals Barca is due to follow. Nothing less than three points will be acceptable for Quique Setien's side, though for Espanyol a positive result not only helps them but also hinders their neighbours' title chances. Add in the fact relegation-threatened pair Eibar and Leganes meet on the same matchday, there's a chance for a significant shake-up at the bottom.

Matchday 37: Getafe v Atletico Madrid, Real Sociedad v Sevilla

If the gap from third to seventh remains tight, then the penultimate set of fixtures may well be crucial. Victory here will likely have a huge impact on whether a team makes the Champions League, settles for the Europa League, or, in the worst-case scenario, slips outside the top six if Valencia and Villarreal put together a strong finish.

Matchday 38: Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad 

It certainly looks set to be a dramatic run-in for Atleti and La Real, with the last two rounds of matches appearing potentially make or break. Simeone's men have home advantage but fell to a 2-0 loss in their first meeting with the Basques in September. There is set to be plenty on the line at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Matchday 38: Espanyol v Celta

Should Espanyol, who last played in the second tier in 1993-94, manage to string a good run of results together then they could have a chance of completing a great escape on the final day at home to Celta, who were just one point above the bottom three when the season was suspended.

LaLiga returns this week as Barcelona and Real Madrid resume their title tussle.

But it is not just at the top end of the table where scores must be settled, with top-flight survival and European spots up for grabs.

With Spanish football back on the agenda after a long coronavirus-enforced shutdown, we look at the best Opta Facts behind the next round of matches.

 

THURSDAY

Sevilla v Real Betis

- After winning in the reverse fixture this season (2-1), Sevilla are looking to complete the league double against Betis for the first time since 2016-17.

- Sevilla have won five of their past six home LaLiga games against Betis (L1), with that defeat coming in January 2018.

FRIDAY

Granada v Getafe

- Granada have only lost one of their past six games against Getafe (W3 D2), a 3-1 defeat at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez this season.

- Granada have suffered defeat to Getafe in a LaLiga game at Los Carmenes just once (W3 D1). 

Valencia v Levante

- Valencia are unbeaten in their 13 home LaLiga games against Levante (W9 D4), winning the previous five.

- Levante have won two of their 29 away LaLiga games against sides from their region (D8 L19), but both victories came against Villarreal in 2011.

SATURDAY

Espanyol v Deportivo Alaves

- Espanyol are unbeaten in their previous five home LaLiga games against Alaves (W3 D2).

- Alaves are unbeaten in their previous three LaLiga games (W1 D2), drawing the most recent two – they last drew three consecutive games in the top flight in February 1956.

Celta Vigo v Villarreal

- Celta have won their past three LaLiga games against Villarreal, after losing the previous four. They have never won four consecutive games against them in the top flight.

- After winning their first six games against Villarreal at Balaidos in LaLiga between 1999 and 2006, Celta have since been victorious in just one of their seven games against them in the competition (D3 L3), winning last time out (3-2 in March 2019).

Leganes v Real Valladolid 

- Valladolid have won just one of their nine games against Leganes in all competitions (D2 L6), a 2-0 success at the Jose Zorrilla in May 2015 in the second tier.

- Leganes have won all four of their home games against Valladolid in all competitions, one in LaLiga, two in the Segunda Division and another in the Copa del Rey, keeping a clean sheet in all four.

Real Mallorca v Barcelona

- Mallorca are winless in their last nine LaLiga games against Barcelona (D1 L8), losing the past six and conceding four goals per game on average in those defeats.

- Barcelona have lost five away games in LaLiga this season, their worst total in a single campaign since 2007-08 (six) under Frank Rijkaard.

SUNDAY

Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid

- Athletic have only won one of their past 13 LaLiga games against Atletico (D2 L10), winning their most recent home game (2-0 in March 2019).

- Atletico are winless in their three away LaLiga games against Basque sides this season (D1 L2). They have always won at least one top-flight game a season against them under Diego Simeone.

Real Madrid v Eibar

- Madrid have lost just one of their 11 LaLiga games against Eibar (W9 D1) – 3-0 at Ipurua last season – while winning four of their five home matches in that run (D1).

- Only against Barcelona (41) have Eibar conceded more LaLiga goals than they have against Madrid (29), while they have only scored seven against Los Blancos and just two away from home.

Real Sociedad v Osasuna

- La Real have won their past three LaLiga games against Osasuna and could equal their best run against them in the top flight of four (also 1985-87, 1982-84, 1962-1981).

- Sociedad are unbeaten in their past six home LaLiga games against Osasuna (W4 D2), keeping a clean sheet in four of them, since a 2-1 defeat in November 2005.

LaLiga is set to resume this week after being suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

League president Javier Tebas was thrilled that authorities approved plans to get the season up and running again with the derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11.

There are 11 rounds of the 2019-20 campaign remaining, with much to be decided at the top and bottom end of the table.

Barcelona had edged two points ahead of Real Madrid in the title race before the league went into lockdown.

Below is the full list of remaining fixtures:

 

Matchweek 28

Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid
Celta Vigo v Villarreal
Espanyol v Deportivo Alaves
Granada v Getafe
Leganes v Real Valladolid
Real Mallorca v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Eibar
Real Sociedad v Osasuna
Sevilla v Real Betis
Valencia v Levante

Matchweek 29

Deportivo Alaves v Real Sociedad
Barcelona v Leganes
Real Betis v Granada 
Eibar v Athletic Bilbao
Getafe v Espanyol
Levante v Sevilla
Osasuna v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Valencia
Villarreal v Real Mallorca
Real Valladolid v Celta Vigo

Matchweek 30

Athletic Bilbao v Real Betis  
Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid
Celta Vigo v Deportivo Alaves
Espanyol v Levante
Getafe v Eibar
Granada v Villarreal
Real Mallorca v Leganes
Real Sociedad v Real Madrid
Sevilla v Barcelona
Valencia v Osasuna

Matchweek 31 

Deportivo Alaves v Osasuna
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
Real Betis v Espanyol
Eibar v Valencia
Leganes v Granada
Levante v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Real Mallorca
Real Sociedad v Celta Vigo
Villarreal v Sevilla
Real Valladolid v Getafe

Matchweek 32

Athletic Bilbao v Real Mallorca
Atletico Madrid v Deportivo Alaves
Celta Vigo v Barcelona
Espanyol v Real Madrid
Getafe v Real Sociedad
Granada v Eibar
Levante v Real Betis 
Osasuna v Leganes
Sevilla v Real Valladolid
Villarreal v Valencia

Matchweek 33

Deportivo Alaves v Granada 
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
Real Betis v Villarreal
Eibar v Osasuna
Leganes v Sevilla
Real Mallorca v Celta Vigo
Real Madrid v Getafe
Real Sociedad v Espanyol
Valencia v Athletic Bilbao 
Real Valladolid v Levante

Matchweek 34

Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid 
Atletico Madrid v Real Mallorca
Celta Vigo v Real Betis
Espanyol v Leganes
Granada v Valencia  
Levante v Real Sociedad
Osasuna v Getafe
Sevilla v Eibar
Villarreal v Barcelona
Real Valladolid v Deportivo Alaves

Matchweek 35

Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla
Barcelona v Espanyol
Real Betis v Osasuna
Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid
Eibar v Leganes
Getafe v Villarreal
Real Mallorca v Levante
Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves
Real Sociedad v Granada
Valencia v Real Valladolid

Matchweek 36

Deportivo Alaves v Getafe
Atletico de Madrid v Real Betis
Espanyol v Eibar
Granada v Real Madrid
Leganes v Valencia
Levante v Athletic Bilbao 
Osasuna v Celta Vigo
Sevilla v Real Mallorca
Villarreal v Real Sociedad
Real Valladolid v Barcelona

Matchweek 37

Athletic Bilbao v Leganes
Barcelona v Osasuna
Real Betis v Deportivo Alaves
Celta Vigo v Levante
Eibar v Real Valladolid
Getafe v Atletico Madrid
Real Mallorca v Granada
Real Madrid v Villarreal
Real Sociedad v Sevilla
Valencia v Espanyol

Matchweek 38

Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona
Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad
Espanyol v Celta Vigo
Granada v Athletic Bilbao 
Leganes v Real Madrid
Levante v Getafe
Osasuna v Real Mallorca
Sevilla v Valencia
Villarreal v Eibar
Real Valladolid v Real Betis

Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix will learn a lot from Diego Simeone and has natural talent much like Bernardo Silva, according to Nuno Gomes.

Joao Felix joined Atletico from Benfica for a reported €120million last year, but has struggled to live up to the price tag in his first season at the LaLiga club.

The 20-year-old has scored six goals and provided three assists in 28 games for Atletico, but his season has been hampered by several injuries.

Portugal great Gomes said his compatriot would learn plenty from Simeone, while comparing his talent to Manchester City star Silva.

"Joao Felix, first of all, is also a player that I admire a lot and comparing to Bernardo Silva, they have the same situation in terms of natural talent," he told Stats Perform News.

"The things look very easy for them. In regards of his season in Atletico Madrid, I remember that he started very well, he started the season very, very well, the pre-season he scored a lot of goals and then he suffered a small injury that put him out for a couple of weeks.

"I believe this experience, this first year allows him also to grow in terms of his style of play because with the ball, he's a top talent, he always wants to go to the goal, he has always the eyes on the goal, the way that he receives the ball looking already to the offensive plays so in terms of what he learned being coached by a coach like Simeone, I think it's very good for him.

"Simeone will give him things that he never experienced because he used to play a lot of offensive game and now he has to learn how to defend better, how to be a part of a team because he grew up in an environment that things were very easy for him. When you have difficult situations in front of you, you have to work harder in order to surpass those difficulties so I believe he will grow a lot with Simeone."

Atletico Madrid will resume their LaLiga campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, with Joao Felix suspended.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has a long list of admirers.

From Manchester United to Real Madrid, the Lazio midfielder is a player in demand.

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, however, appear on track to sign the Serbia international.

 

TOP STORY –  PSG AND MILINKOVIC-SAVIC IN AGREEMENT

Paris Saint-Germain have reached a salary agreement with Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to Paris Fans.

Milinkovic-Savic has been linked to Premier League giants Manchester United and LaLiga powerhouse Real Madrid.

But PSG have an agreement with Milinkovic-Savic for a salary around €7million a year, while the deal could also include Laizo's Adam Marusic.

Firstly, PSG would like to seal the departure of Julian Draxler, who has been linked to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

 

ROUND-UP

Neymar still wants to join Barcelona at the end of the season. The front page of Monday's Mundo Deportivo says the PSG star remains committed to pushing through a return to Barca at all costs.

- The Telegraph says Manchester City have entered the chase for Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell. The Englishman has been heavily linked to Chelsea.

- Birmingham City sensation Jude Bellingham prefers Borussia Dortmund over United, reports the Birmingham Mail. The 16-year-old is wanted by both clubs, while he has already toured United's facilities.

Marco Verratti and Alvaro Morata are being linked with returns to Serie A. Tuttosport claims the possible arrival of Italian head coach Massimiliano Allegri at PSG could see Verratti and Juventus' Miralem Pjanic swap clubs. Atletico Madrid forward Morata, meanwhile, has been in contact with Inter as Edinson Cavani prepares to move to the Spanish capital on a free transfer.

- Admirers of Ismael Bennacer will struggle to sign the Milan midfielder. City, Madrid and PSG have been linked to Bennacer. But, Calciomercato says the 22-year-old's €50m release clause is not active until 2021.

Barca's bid to bring Lautaro Martinez to Camp Nou is no closer to completion. Junior Firpo has emerged as the key to unlocking the deadlock between Barca and Inter. Junior Firpo is valued at €41m by Barca, but FCInterNews says the Nerazzurri consider the defender's transfer value closer to €20m.

Jack Grealish or Jadon Sancho at Old Trafford?

Manchester United have been linked to both players.

But Aston Villa's Grealish has reportedly surged ahead of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon as United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes reinforcements.

 

TOP STORY – GREALISH LEAPFROGS SANCHO AS UTD TARGET

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has moved ahead of Jadon Sancho on Manchester United's wishlist, according to the Mirror.

United have been tipped to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho at the end of the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season.

But Grealish now reportedly tops United's list of transfer targets due to Dortmund's demands.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca reports Barcelona risk losing out on signing Inter forward Lautaro Martinez. The LaLiga champions are favourites to prise Martinez to Camp Nou but they are yet to agree a deal. Now, United and Real Madrid are waiting in the wings.

Inter remain hopeful of signing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, says Calciomercato. It comes as the Nerazzurri also target Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali.

- The Mirror claims Liverpool have turned their attention to signing Wolves star Adama Traore as RB Leipzig's Timo Werner looks set to join Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Madrid have made an €80million offer for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, according to Bild. The deal would also see Havertz stay at Leverkusen on loan next season. The in-demand Germany international is also reportedly wanted by Bayern Munich, United and Liverpool.

- The Daily Mail reports United are looking to hijack Madrid's pursuit of Ajax star Donny van de Beek.

- Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani has turned down Inter as he heads to Atletico Madrid on a free transfer, says Tuttosport.

Diego Costa has been fined €543,208 for tax fraud but will not serve any of his six-month prison sentence, as is customary under Spanish law.

Atletico Madrid striker Costa appeared at court in the capital on Thursday, wearing a protective face mask, and entered a guilty plea.

The charges related to the image rights arrangements made on Costa's behalf when he moved from Atleti to Chelsea in 2014.

He was found to have evaded €1.1million in taxes, which the 31-year-old repaid in full last year.

The Prosecutor's Office recommended a six-month prison sentence and a fine of €507,208.

Spain's legal system allows for non-violent crimes carrying a jail term of under two years to be replaced by a fine and, under this provision, Costa will pay an additional €36,000 - calculated as a 12-month fine at €100 per day.

"Diego Costa reached an agreement with the Prosecutor's Office months ago and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest," said an Atletico spokesman in a statement reported by Mundo Deportivo. 

"The request for a prison sentence was withdrawn."

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Javier Mascherano are among the star footballers to have breached tax laws in Spain over recent years.

Diego Simeone's long-time Atletico Madrid assistant German Burgos is to leave at the end of the season to pursue his ambition of becoming a head coach.

Burgos was a team-mate of Simeone's at Atletico and the Argentina national team before linking up with El Cholo again as an assistant at Catania and then Racing Club.

Simeone brought Burgos with him to the Spanish capital in 2011 and he helped secure LaLiga glory for Atletico in the 2013-14 campaign.

The duo have also won a Copa del Rey trophy and two Europa Leagues with Atletico, while on two occasions they were runners-up in the Champions League.

Over recent weeks, it had been speculated Burgos would seek pastures new and he confirmed the news on Wednesday.

"At the end of the current 2019-20 season I will take my first steps as a head coach," he told Atletico's official website. 

"I think that with over 10 years' experience in the first division, I'm fully qualified to manage a team. 

"It will be influenced by those people who have made me who I am as a coach and a person. I carry them in my soul. Luis Aragones, Carlos Griguol, Marcelo Bielsa… people who have influenced me.

"It's a normal step for a second coach who wants to become a head coach."

On his relationship with Simeone, Burgos added: "He's a friend, we've known each other for such a long time. 

"We understand each other with gestures, without gestures, with a glance, with a headbutt. I've said this before but I've had lunch and dinner more times with El Cholo than with my own family. 

"We've been together eight years in the Argentina national team, several years at Atletico Madrid as players and eight years here as coaches. It's a lot of time."

Burgos spoke about his favourite moments at Atletico but says he still has ambitions he wants to achieve.

He said: "The celebrations at the Fountain of Neptune, those red and white rivers and there are two specific moments - the first one was when El Cholo and I hugged when we won the league. That first hug, then there's that last hug we had in the changing rooms at Anfield [when Atleti defeated Liverpool in the last 16 of this season's Champions League]. 

"And – listen to this –  we owe ourselves the third one when we win the Champions League, because we have goals to be achieved."

Saul Niguez has made the big reveal about his "new club", which is the creation of a youth team in his home region of Alicante.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder had the rumour mill turning earlier this week when he posted a cryptic message on social media that read "New club: I'll announce [it] in three days".

Manchester United have long been linked with a move for the Spain midfielder, while Chelsea, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have also been among his reported suitors.

However, with six years to run on his Atletico contract and a reported €150million release clause, it always seemed a little unlikely Saul's news would be transfer-related.

And so it has proven to be, with the 25-year-old announcing the creation of Costa City Club along with his brother Aaron.

The structure of the Costa City project, which is being sponsored by Nike, will see teams comprised of boys and girls aged between four and 18.

Saul said: "We have been developing this exciting and beautiful project for several years and I am very happy to be able to present it and make it official today."

Atletico are due to return to LaLiga action following the suspension of top-flight football in Spain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with an away fixture at Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

Kieran Trippier is excited to resume the 2019-20 LaLiga season following the coronavirus pandemic, with the full-back also fully fit again following surgery on an injury that plagued him even before leaving Tottenham last year.

Spanish football is due to resume next week after a three-month hiatus, which came at a frustrating time for Trippier, given he had just returned to action following a lay-off.

Trippier had surgery on a groin issue in January and it was a problem he recently revealed caused him significant stress during his final season at Tottenham, criticising the club for putting off the operation.

Although he returned to action a few weeks before LaLiga was suspended, Trippier was still receiving treatment to aid his recovery, but that had to stop once Spain went into lockdown.

The England international acknowledged it was a struggle to retain fitness during the lockdown, but he and Atletico are excited to get going again, with Los Colchoneros set to resume their campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

"For me personally, after my surgery, I was used to getting treatment every single day but obviously I couldn't get that at home," he said.

"It was difficult but always you find a way to train, keep yourself in the best possible shape so when you return, you're ready to start the competition again.

"I feel very good to be back. It was very difficult not seeing team-mates, staff, and training every single day. But everybody understands the circumstances of the time.

"Obviously everyone's excited. The team is just looking forward to getting ready for the game against Athletic and it's important that we start the season off again strongly and try to win as many games as we can from now until the end of the season."

The rest of the season will be played behind closed doors and Trippier is aware of how it feels to play in an empty stadium, though he believes Atletico will still feel the love from supporters watching in their own homes.

"I've played in some games where there have been no supporters before and it's different," he added.

"Obviously you want the fans there supporting you every single game, but everybody understands the circumstances at the moment and it's important that everybody is safe.

"We'll always try to find a way to win and the fans are always there watching on TV, so we have the full support from them back home."

Atletico are sixth in LaLiga heading into the final 11 matches of the season, however third-placed Sevilla are just two points better off than Diego Simeone's men.

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is attracting plenty of interest in Europe.

Milinkovic-Savic has been linked to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Real Madrid, though, are reportedly fighting to bring the Serbia international to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE REACHES OUT TO LAZIO STAR

Zinedine Zidane has approached Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic regarding a move to Real Madrid, according to Le10Sport.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, linked to Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Zidane is interested in bringing Milinkovic-Savic to the Spanish capital, however, the Serbian midfielder reportedly wants to team up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona are eyeing Ajax and United States sensation Sergino Dest. PSG are also reportedly interested in the 19-year-old full-back as a replacement for Thomas Meunier.

- Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic is being chased by Serie A champions Juventus and Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Luka Modric to Milan? The Madrid veteran was reportedly poised to swap the Santiago Bernabeu for San Siro at season's end. However, Calciomercato says the move is off after Zvonimir Boban's Milan exit.

- After Mauro Icardi completed a permanent transfer to PSG, Calciomercato reports Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is at the top of Juve's list of targets.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea and Juve are set to hold talks over a deal that would see Jorginho and Federico Bernardeschi swap clubs.

Madrid have been favourites to sign Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, but Le10Sport says PSG are preparing a sensational move for the 17-year-old.

- Could Raheem Sterling swap City for Manchester neighbours United? The Independent reports the Red Devils have placed Sterling high up in priority amid uncertainty over City's Champions League ban. Sterling, though, appears more likely to go to Madrid. RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly remain on United's list as they continue to target Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco said it will be "strange" playing behind closed doors when LaLiga restarts following the COVID-19 crisis.

Suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, LaLiga will get back underway with a derby clash between Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11.

Diego Simeone's Atletico – sixth in the standings and a point adrift of the Champions League places – will travel to Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

"It is a bit strange behind closed doors, but we are professions and we will do things in the best way so that the fans can watch a beautiful game on TV," Carrasco, who is back on loan at Atletico from Chinese side Dalian Professional, said.

Atletico have not played since sensationally eliminating Champions League holders Liverpool in the last 16 of the competition in March.

Simeone's men had also drawn back-to-back LaLiga matches prior to the 2019-20 season being postponed.

Belgium international Carrasco added: "I'm very happy to see everyone and be able to train with everyone.

"The team is fine. We have worked hard to prepare for the first match.

"This stage is set to enter that match in a good state."

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.

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