Renan Lodi was back training at Atletico Madrid on Friday, revealing he feels "very good" after a delayed return.

Diego Simeone's squad resumed duties at the club's facilities last Saturday, though the Brazilian was absent amid media speculation he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Atleti made no official announcement but seemed to confirm the story by posting a picture of the absent left-back on Twitter with the caption: "Renan Lodi salutes you from home. See you soon on the pitch!"

However, media reports in Spain say the defender has since returned two negative test results for COVID-19, clearing him to make a comeback.

Lodi appeared in a short film posted by the club on social media on Friday, the player wearing gloves and a mask as he made his way out for training.

Atletico are preparing for a resumption to the suspended 2019-20 campaign, with LaLiga president Javier Tebas aiming for a June 12 restart in the top flight.

Spain has been hit particularly hard during the global pandemic, with over 27,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the country.

 

Stefan Savic felt like "a little boy" again when Atletico Madrid returned to training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Atletico were back at their training ground for individual sessions at the weekend after lockdown restrictions in Spain were eased.

Diego Simeone's side have not played a competitive game since a dramatic 3-2 victory over Liverpool after extra time on March 11 secured their passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Savic was delighted to be back among his team-mates again, though acknowledged it is only a first step.

"I felt like a little boy going outside to play with friends. I felt very happy to be on the pitch again, training at home is just not the same," Savic told a virtual news conference.

"We aren't able to hug our team-mates and joke, but hopefully this will happen soon and normality will return."

He added: "I didn't have any fear about going out to train, I was really looking forward to returning because it's always better to train on the pitch than at home.

"We need to work with the attackers, but it is already a step forward and it can help us get closer to what we want in the coming weeks, which is to compete in LaLiga and the Champions League."

Atletico sat sixth in LaLiga, one point adrift of the top four with 11 games remaining, when the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the suspension of the competition.

It is hoped Spain's top flight will be able to continue on June 12.

Savic is confident Atletico will be able to regain their place in the top four, highlighting how they treat every match – even friendlies – as finals.

"Atletico's goals are always playing Champions League and fighting for titles. It is not necessary to remind us on a daily basis," he said.

"We are aware of the goals of this big club which are being competing in Champions League and fighting for trophies.

"Not only are these 11 games finals, but every single game, including friendlies, we face them as finals.

"I think we are strong and we have the ability to finish in the top four and assure our participation in Champions League next year."

Atletico Madrid returned to training on Saturday amid reports Renan Lodi has tested positive for coronavirus.

The club welcomed players back to their complex, but the Brazilian left-back Lodi was seemingly not one of head coach Diego Simeone’s squad to report for duty.

The 22-year-old is asymptomatic, Marca reported, and must test negative before he can resume work at Atleti's facilities.

Atletico have not officially commented on Lodi's health situation, but the club appeared to allude to his situation with a Twitter message to supporters.

It read: "Renan Lodi salutes you from home. See you soon on the pitch!"

Lodi has been a regular in Simeone's team this season, starting 20 LaLiga games in his first campaign in Spain.

Atletico's players trained individually on Saturday, spread across various pitches to allow for social distancing.

Barcelona returned to training on Friday and Real Madrid's squad will assemble on Monday, with LaLiga targeting a mid-June resumption.

The league was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Unai Emery reckons Diego Simeone has got the Atletico Madrid job for life.

Unless Simeone decides to call a halt to his Wanda Metropolitano career, Emery cannot see the club parting ways with the charismatic Argentine boss.

That factor reduces Emery's chances of getting back into coaching at the highest level in Spain, as he searches for the next calling point in a well-travelled career following spells at Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal.

Simeone has spent over eight years in charge at Atletico, leading them to the 2013-14 LaLiga title and two Champions League finals.

Atleti have established themselves as the most consistent challengers to Real Madrid and Barcelona for the biggest prizes in Spain, which is why when Emery looks at potential landing spots in LaLiga, he finds it hard to see an opportunity coming up with the Rojiblancos.

"You go where they want you," Emery said to AS. "Now I live in Valencia to be with my son, but I'm registered in Madrid. I don't know where my next project will be, I am open to everything.

"What is clear is that Atletico have Simeone, who should be with the team until he wants to be, or his whole life, because there is no one who fits like him."

Emery first forged his reputation with successful spells in charge of Valencia and Sevilla, but the 48-year-old would not discount taking charge of either side's main city rivals, Levante and Real Betis.

"I'm a professional," Emery said. "My heart has always been with Real Sociedad, where I was for 10 years, but if Athletic [Bilbao] ever called me... I've been to Valencia, but if Levante called me... I have been to Sevilla, but if Betis called me...

"Wherever they want me and I feel recognised, I will be there, and that will be what matters."

Kalidou Koulibaly's future remains a talking point and Liverpool are reportedly in "pole position" to sign the Napoli defender.

Koulibaly, 28, has been linked with a move amid reported interest from several of Europe's biggest clubs.

And it seems a Koulibaly-Virgil van Dijk central defensive pairing is getting closer at Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL IN 'POLE POSITION' TO SIGN KOULIBALY

Liverpool are in pole position to sign Koulibaly after Paris Saint-Germain withdrew their interest, according to Le 10 Sport.

With Manchester United having also reportedly withdrawn from the race, Jurgen Klopp's side and Newcastle United – pending takeover – could land the defender.

Koulibaly is contracted at Napoli until 2023 and it will reportedly take an offer of £88.4million (€100m) to land the defender.

ROUND-UP

- PSG do seemingly want to hold onto Mauro Icardi beyond the end of his loan from Inter. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports PSG are willing to offer Julian Draxler as part of a deal for Icardi, who joined with a €70m purchase option.

- Staying at PSG and the Ligue 1 giants are looking to sign Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, according to Le 10 Sport. Tonali has been linked heavily with a move to Juventus.

- t seemed Barcelona and Juventus were preparing for a swap deal. But Goal reports an exchange involving Barca midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Miralem Pjanic is off, with the LaLiga giants also wanting money for the 23-year-old Brazil international.

- Dries Mertens is drawing plenty of attention with his contract at Napoli expiring at the end of the season. Mundo Deportivo reports PSG have joined Atletico Madrid, Inter and Chelsea in a fight for the forward.

- Also with Inter, the Serie A club are still considering forward Jonathan David, according to CalcioMercato. David, 20, has scored 23 goals in 40 games for Gent this season.

- With his loan deal at Roma ending, Chris Smalling looks set to return to Manchester United. Corriere dello Sport reports Roma are considering Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and Barcelona's Jean-Clair Todibo, who is on loan at Schalke, to replace Smalling.

Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to swap Inter for Barcelona.

Martinez, though, has emerged as a target for Paris Saint-Germain.

But, LaLiga champions Barca reportedly remain calm about the situation.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DON'T FEAR PSG AMID LAUTARO PURSUIT

Barcelona remain confident in their bid to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Martinez has been heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga champions, who view the Argentina international as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Recent reports have claimed Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as suitors but Barca believe Martinez is committed to moving to Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato says Milan have contacted Real Madrid about signing Luka Jovic. The Serbia forward has struggled since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of 2019-20. The report claims Milan are ready to spend €40million, while a two-year loan deal with a redemption obligation could happen. Meanwhile, Tuttomercato says Milan are eyeing a €20m move for Lyon star Memphis Depay, who is out of contract in June 2021.

Mauricio Pochettino is poised to become Newcastle United's next manager, according to Le10Sport. The former Tottenham boss has been linked amid Newcastle's prospective takeover.

- The Telegraph reports Manchester City and Bayern Munich are set to clash over Leroy Sane. The Germany international has reportedly agreed to join the Bundesliga champions, however, City are insulted by the £35m (€39.9m) valuation.

Juventus have opened talks with Jorginho as Maurizio Sarri looks to reunite with the Chelsea midfielder in Turin, says ESPN.

Manchester United are considering the prospect of delaying their move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Mirror.

Kylian Mbappe could be prepared to agree a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain – on one condition.

The France star has been linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid, although he is contracted in Paris until 2022.

Mbappe could also reportedly re-sign with PSG and it seems it is a possibility, although only if it includes a clause.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS REAL MADRID CLAUSE IN NEW PSG DEAL

Mbappe wants a clause in his PSG contract that allows him to leave for Real Madrid or another great club for a certain fee, according to AS.

The report compares the buyout clause to the one Neymar had in his deal before leaving Barcelona for PSG for a world-record €222million in 2017.

It says Real Madrid would prefer Mbappe did not re-sign as they would chase the attacker next year.

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are reportedly still pursuing Inter star Lautaro Martinez. But ESPN claims the LaLiga giants fear interest from Real Madrid, Manchester United and PSG could drive up the forward's price.

- James Rodriguez is seemingly still attracting interest from Atletico Madrid. El Universal reports the Colombia international is ready to make the move from Real Madrid and join Atletico.

- Again linked with a move, Nabil Fekir may be prepared to wait. AS says the Real Betis attacker is ready to wait for an offer from Barca or Real Madrid to emerge, amid apparent interest from Arsenal, Milan and Newcastle United.

- The chase is on for Aster Vranckx. The Mirror reports Manchester City and Liverpool will go head-to-head for the 17-year-old Mechelen midfielder, who is a Belgium youth international. It comes as The Mirror reports Liverpool are changing their transfer plans to focus on young talent.

- Brahim Diaz is yet to make an impression at Real Madrid and could make a move. Mundo Deportivo claims Betis are interested in the midfielder, who joined Madrid from Manchester City last year.

- Coming out of contract, Angel Gomes' future at Manchester United is unclear. The Sun reports United have made a last-ditch offer to Gomes, who has been linked with Chelsea and other Premier League clubs.

Koke has challenged Atletico Madrid to hit the ground running when the LaLiga season resumes, meaning they will have to quickly get used to playing behind closed doors.

On Monday it was announced top-flight clubs in Spain can go back to training this week for individual sessions as part of a staggered return following the coronavirus pandemic.

The season has been on hold since early March, though the target is for fixtures to be played again in June. LaLiga chief Javier Tebas has said "the return of football is a sign that society is progressing to the new normal" following the impact of COVID-19 on the country.

Atletico last played on March 11, when they triumphed 3-2 at Anfield to knock holders Liverpool out of the Champions League, with Koke hoping they can quickly get up to speed again.

"We are preparing at home trying not to lose too much intensity, or too much strength," the Atleti captain said in a media conference staged by the club. "What we will lose the most is the work with the ball. 

"When we start individual training and then with the rest of the group we will be taking it little by little. 

"It is a mini-season after we've come from competing at the highest level in Liverpool. We have to prepare in the best way and not think that it is a pre-season.

"This has been a break to start strong for the remainder of the season."

Atleti face a battle to secure a top-four finish this season; they sit in sixth place in the table, albeit only a point behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad with 11 rounds remaining in the 2019-20 campaign.

However, with games set to be staged behind closed doors, Diego Simeone's squad will not have the added bonus of their fans being present inside the Wanda Metropolitano – something Koke admitted will be "odd".

"It seems that we are going to play without an audience," the Spain international said.

"Playing at home without our people is going to be odd because they are always supportive, especially in the most difficult moments. 

"Hopefully it will be as short [a time] as possible [without them] and wherever they are, we will feel your support."

Eduardo Camavinga, Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba have been among the names linked to Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid want to strengthen their squad.

However, Madrid's recruitment is reportedly not that straightforward.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID PRIORITISING SALES

Real Madrid must sell before they can buy players as the LaLiga giants eye the likes of Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and Manchester United star Paul Pogba, according to Marca.

Madrid and their transfer plans have dominated headlines, but the report claims the Spanish powerhouse have to reduce the size of their squad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez have been linked with moves away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of Tuesday's Diario Sport reports Barcelona are "very close" to signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez. The LaLiga champions are willing to pay €60million up front, plus two players. It comes as Marca claims Arturo Vidal is happy to leave Barca.

- The Guardian says Liverpool have stalled their pursuit of RB Leipzig star Timo Werner. The Champions League holders reportedly told Werner's representatives that the club need more time due to the COVID-19 crisis.

- Mundo Deportivo says Neymar has turned down a €100million proposal from Paris Saint-Germain as he looks to return to Barca.

Thomas Partey wants to swap Atletico Madrid for Arsenal, according to The Telegraph. The Ghanaian has also been linked to Manchester United.

- Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is set for talks over a new deal, according to the Daily Mail. Madrid and PSG are believed to be monitoring the situation.

Atletico Madrid and England defender Kieran Trippier has been hit with a misconduct charge over allegedly breaching Football Association (FA) betting regulations.

The former Tottenham full-back is alleged to have breached rules E8(1)(a) and E8(1)(b) last July.

Rule E8(1)(a) states: "A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on – (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters."

While Rule E8(1)(b) stipulates: "Where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the participant shall be in breach of this rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting."

Trippier has until May 18 to respond to the charges. 

The 29-year-old joined Atleti from Spurs in July 2019 on a three-year deal for a reported fee of $25million.

Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on Kalidou Koulibaly, while the Premier League leaders could lose out to Manchester United on another target.

Koulibaly has regularly been linked with a move away from Napoli, where he has developed into one of the world's best defenders.

Could a Virgil van Dijk-Koulibaly central defensive pairing be on the cards at Anfield?

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL TARGET KOULIBALY

Liverpool are targeting Napoli defender Koulibaly and contacts have already been made, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

The parties are due to speak again in the coming weeks, according to the report, with Koulibaly's asking price likely to drop from €100million (£87.1m) due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The report also says Liverpool would likely sell defender Joel Matip if they landed Koulibaly.

 

ROUND-UP

- Another player Liverpool are linked to, Timo Werner, could head elsewhere. The Manchester Evening News reports the RB Leipzig forward is being considered by Manchester United.

- Manchester City will not give up on Milan Skriniar. CalcioMercato reports a €70m (£61m) offer could be enough for the Premier League giants to land the Inter defender.

- Amid debate about whether Dean Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United, could replace David de Gea as Manchester United's number one, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apparently has no doubt. The Daily Star reports the United manager has told De Gea he will remain his first-choice goalkeeper for the foreseeable future.

- Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has been linked with a move away. Sport reports Barcelona are continuing to track the France international, who was apparently a target for the LaLiga side while he was still at Lyon.

- Mohammed Salisu is drawing attention from several European clubs. Marca reports Atletico Madrid are in pole position to land the Real Valladolid and Ghana defender.

Hugo Sánchez Márquez was a prolific goalscorer and between himself and Rafa Marquez, one must find themselves using the term ‘the greatest player Mexico has ever produced’. In 684 games between 1976 and 1997, Sanchez scored 400 goals, better than one in every two games. But he isn’t just regarded as one of, if not the greatest players Mexico has produced, he was one of the greatest of his generation. To this day, only three people have scored more goals in La Liga history than Sánchez, with some massive names in that list. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Telmo Zarra are the only players to have scored more. Sánchez played 58 times for Mexico, scoring 29 goals along the way, but was famous for the nature of some of those goals. It was not unusual for Sánchez to finish with a volley from some unlikely body positions. Diminutive, but athletic, Sanchez would even score headers above taller, stronger defenders, and had exquisite kicking technique that led to a powerful shot with very little warning.  

Playing Career

Full name: Hugo Sánchez Márquez (Hugo Sánchez)

Date of birth: 11 July 1958 (age 61)

Place of birth: Mexico City, Mexico

Height: 1.75m (5ft 9 in)

Playing position: Forward

Club Career

         Years           Team                             Apps      (Gls)

  • 1976–1981   UNAM                                 188      (97)
  • 1979–1980   San Diego Sockers (loan)       32      (26)
  • 1981–1985   Atlético Madrid                    111      (54)
  • 1985–1992   Real Madrid                        207     (164)
  • 1992–1993   América                               29     (11)
  • 1993–1994   Rayo Vallecano                     29     (16)
  • 1994–1995   Atlante                                 31     (13)
  • 1995–1996   Linz                                     20       (6)
  • 1996            Dallas Burn                          25     (11)
  • 1997            Atlético Celaya                     12       (2)
  • Total                                                   684    (400)

Club Honours

  • UNAM - Primera División: 1976–77, 1980–81; CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 1980; Copa Interamericana: 1980
  • Atlético Madrid - Copa del Rey: 1984–85
  • Real Madrid - La Liga: 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90; Supercopa de España: 1988, 1989 , 1990; Copa del Rey: 1988–89; UEFA Cup: 1985–86
  • América - CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 1992
  • Linz - First League: 1995–96

International Career

  • 1977-1994 Mexico 58 (29)

International Honours

  • Pan American Games: 1975
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup: 1977

Individual Honours

  • European Golden Shoe: 1990
  • La Liga top goalscorer: 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90
  • Don Balón Award – Best Foreign Player: 1986–87, 1989–90
  • Mexican Primera División top goalscorer: 1978–79
  • CONCACAF Champions' Cup top goalscorer: 1992
  • Best Sportist of Mexico of the 20th century
  • IFFHS Best footballer of Mexico of the 20th century
  • IFFHS Best footballer of CONCACAF of the 20th century
  • FIFA 100: 2004
  • Golden Foot Legends Award: 2010
  • FIFA XI: 1982
  • IFFHS Legends
  • Marca Leyenda: 2018

Federico Chiesa is a player in demand.

While Fiorentina would prefer to keep Chiesa, the Viola could cash-in on the Italy star.

Europe's elite from England and Italy are reportedly chasing Chiesa.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BATTLE FOR CHIESA

Manchester United are among the clubs trying to sign Fiorentina attacker Federico Chiesa, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

United, Premier League rivals Chelsea and Serie A duo Juventus and Inter are vying for Chiesa's signature.

The 22-year-old has also reportedly been offered a new bumper contract by Fiorentina.

 

ROUND-UP

- A reunion with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic? Luka Jovic has struggled since swapping Eintracht for Real Madrid at the start of the season. Calciomercato claims Milan are interested in bringing Jovic to San Siro, where Rebic is on loan and reportedly set to make the move permanent. It comes amid doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future.

- RMC Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who has been linked to Arsenal.

Barcelona have made an approach to Ajax for goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to De Telegraaf. Onana spent five years in Barca's youth system before leaving in 2015 but the Cameroon international has been linked with a return. LaLiga champions Barca have reportedly offered Neto, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado or Carles Alena in a possible deal for Onana.

Donny van de Beek is free to choose his next step following the cancellation of the Eredivisie season. Mundo Deportivo reports the Ajax star is still being targeted by Madrid, while United and Juve are also monitoring the Netherlands international.

- According to The Sun, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could be sold as part of a massive squad overhaul. The England international has been linked to Chelsea.

RB Leipzig are facing a difficult decision regarding star defender Dayot Upamecano, says BildThe centre-back has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Barca and Bayern Munich but the coronavirus crisis is set to impact the transfer market and fees.

Inter and Atletico Madrid target Agustin Urzi could be available for less than his €30million release clause, but Banfield are still waiting on a first formal offer.

The 19-year-old winger revealed earlier this month a number of clubs – including Inter and Atletico – had made contact with his agent and with Banfield.

Lucia Barbuto, the Superliga Argentina club's president, has now confirmed the release clause in Urzi's contract, but she added Banfield could be flexible in negotiations.

The coronavirus pandemic and Banfield's desire to see Urzi be a success will play into their thinking, Barbuto said.

"There have been several inquiries, but we have not received any formal offers yet," she told FC Inter News.

"When the interest is concrete, we will analyse it and evaluate what will be best for the future of the player and the club.

"With the current world situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, we don't really know what the next transfer market will be like globally.

"The clause is €30million. However, in order not to impact the player's career, and taking into account the effects of the pandemic, we are willing to possibly negotiate even for a smaller figure.

"But, obviously, we will have to analyse the offer well from an economic and sporting standpoint."

Discussing Urzi's potential, Barbuto added: "Agustin is a player with big potential. I can't say how far he will go, but I am convinced that he has all the characteristics to be a success.

"He is doing it in Banfield, and he has already achieved success with Argentina.

"I have no doubt that, in the future, he will make it, going where his talent and career will take him."

Argentina youth international Urzi has made 28 league appearances for Banfield since his debut in December 2018, scoring twice.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte would not last a full season as Real Madrid boss, according to Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

Conte and Costa worked together at Premier League giants Chelsea before the latter left Stamford Bridge for Atletico following a row with the Italian coach at the end of 2016-17.

Costa was followed out of Chelsea by Conte 12 months later – the former Juventus coach joining Inter at the start of 2019-20 after a year away from football.

Asked about Conte, striker Costa told ESPN Brasil: "We [Conte and I] had problems off the pitch, but I think he is a really good manager.

"I have no hard feelings towards Conte. But to be a top, top manager, he needs to change the human side of his management. He is very suspicious. At a like, say, Real Madrid, he would never last a season."

Costa was born in Brazil and made two appearances for the Selecao before opting to represent Spain in 2013.

The 31-year-old has since earned 24 caps for Spain, representing La Roja at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"After the friendly against Russia, he [former Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari] said he would call me up again because I hadn't played many minutes," Costa said as he reflected on his decision to switch countries. "I think it was just to get in my head.

"I remember several forwards were injured but Scolari would not select me. I stayed quiet, but wasn't selected for the Confederations Cup. The possibility of Spain emerged and I accepted.

"How could I say no? Suddenly, they started saying Scolari wanted me. Well, he never called me once. How could it be that he wanted me? I then saw it written that I had ruined the dreams of millions of Brazilians.

"Why not say that he didn't look for me? Then it's simple."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.