Manuel Neuer hopes Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara can be persuaded to stay at Bayern Munich, describing him as "our engine in midfield".

On the eve of the Champions League last-16 second leg against Chelsea, captain and goalkeeper Neuer stressed how important the former Barcelona player has become over seven years at Bayern.

Thiago has one year left on his Bayern contract and the club would be reluctant to see him leave on a free transfer in 2021.

One alternative to that prospect would be cashing in on him now, with Premier League champions Liverpool apparently keen on taking him to Anfield.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised Thiago, describing him as "a great player", but has declined to speak any further about the Spaniard.

Asked about the influence of Thiago, and the possibility of him being in his final days as a Bayern player, Neuer stressed he hoped the Chelsea game was not the beginning of the end for the 29-year-old in Munich.

"I hope that it won't be one of the last matches of Thiago," Neuer said.

"He had to undergo surgery at the end of the season but now he's back and 100 per cent. He's a very valuable player for us, especially in ball possession. He's very important for us. He's our engine in midfield actually."

Bayern lead Chelsea 3-0 from the first leg of their European tie, so with home advantage on Saturday they should have little trouble making sure of a quarter-final place.

Lisbon will stage the Champions League from the last eight onwards.

Neuer says Bayern are eager to complete a treble, having already won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal in Germany this season.

"We have played a good season and a successful season so far," he said. "We're still hungry and still committed. We have the objective right in front of us.

"We won the league, we won the cup, and now we want to win to achieve this next objective that we have.

"First we have to overcome Chelsea and then it's the knockout stage. They are very high calibre clubs in this competition. We know from our experiences with the national team, for example, that every mistake could cost a lot and you have to really pay attention.

"We've worked together very well for three and a half weeks and we want to achieve a lot."

From the quarter-final stage onwards, it will be a straight knockout event, with two-leg games abandoned to allow the tournament to be completed in the shortest possible time.

"You can achieve a lot, but of course you can also lose a lot in such a format," Neuer said.

Bayern Munich will begin their quest for a ninth straight Bundesliga title in September, but the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a congested campaign.

The reigning champions have initially been scheduled to face Schalke in the opening game of the 2020-21 season on Friday, September 18.

However, that match will be pushed back by three days if they reach the final of the Champions League this month.

The mid-season break will come after matchday 13 and last just a week and a half due to the second round of the DFB-Pokal slated for December 22-23

Klassikers against Borussia Dortmund will take place in November and March, while a home game against Borussia Monchengladbach at the start of May could prove crucial in the title race.

The Gladbach game is set to take place following the semi-finals of the Champions League, Europa League and DFB-Pokal.

Here is Bayern's full list of Bundesliga fixtures for next season:

Matchday 1: September 18-21 – Schalke (H)
Matchday 2: September 25-28 – Hoffenheim (A)
Matchday 3: October 2-4 – Hertha Berlin (H)
Matchday 4: October 16-19 – Arminia Bielefeld (A)
Matchday 5: October 23-26 – Eintracht Frankfurt (H)
Matchday 6: October 30-November 2 – Cologne (A)
Matchday 7: November 6-8 – Borussia Dortmund (A)
Matchday 8: November 20-23 – Werder Bremen (H)
Matchday 9: November 27-30 – Stuttgart (A)
Matchday 10: December 4-7 – RB Leipzig (H)
Matchday 11: December 11-13 – Union Berlin (A)
Matchday 12: December 15-16 – Wolfsburg (H)
Matchday 13: December 18-21 – Bayer Leverkusen (A)
Matchday 14: January 2-4 – Mainz (H)
Matchday 15: January 8-11 – Borussia Monchengladbach (A)
Matchday 16: January 15-17 – Freiburg (H)
Matchday 17: January 19-20 – Augsburg (A)
Matchday 18: January 22-25 – Schalke (A)
Matchday 19: January 29-February 1 – Hoffenheim (H)
Matchday 20: February 5-8 – Hertha Berlin (A)
Matchday 21: February 12-15 – Arminia Bielefeld (H)
Matchday 22: February 18-22 – Eintracht Frankfurt (A)
Matchday 23: February 26-March 1 – Cologne (H)
Matchday 24: March 5-8 – Borussia Dortmund (H)
Matchday 25: March 12-15 – Werder Bremen (A)
Matchday 26: March 19-21 – Stuttgart (H)
Matchday 27: April 3-5 – RB Leipzig (A)
Matchday 28: April 9-12 – Union Berlin (H)
Matchday 29: April 16-18 – Wolfsburg (A)
Matchday 30: April 20-21 – Bayer Leverkusen (H)
Matchday 31: April 23-26 – Mainz (A)
Matchday 32: May 7-10 – Borussia Monchengladbach (H)
Matchday 33: May 15 – Freiburg (A)
Matchday 34: May 22 – Augsburg (H)

Bayern Munich are set to face Schalke in the opening game of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.

Hansi Flick's side are slated to kick off the defence of their title against Schalke at the Allianz Arena on Friday, September 18.

However, if Bayern reach the final of the Champions League, which is scheduled for August 23, their meeting with Schalke will take place on September 21.

The new season would then start with Borussia Dortmund taking on Borussia Monchengladbach instead.

Bayern and Dortmund's first meeting of the season will take place in the DFL-Supercup at the Allianz Arena on September 30.

A Bundesliga Klassiker will unfold at Signal Iduna Park on matchday seven, which runs from November 6-8. The return league match will be staged between March 5-8.

Matchday 32 could prove key in a potential title race, with Bayern entertaining Gladbach and Dortmund at home to RB Leipzig.

Bayern will conclude their top-flight campaign at home to Bavarian rivals Augsburg on May 22, while Dortmund will entertain Bayer Leverkusen.

With the announcement that the 2020 Ballon d'Or will not be awarded this year due to the coronavirus-enforced break in play, Robert Lewandowski will feel pretty hard done by.

By the end of June, Lewandowski's goals had propelled Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double. His goals in the league (34 in total) made him the highest single-season foreign goalscorer in history. With another six goals in the Pokal – including two in the final to seal the deal in a 4-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen – and 11 more in the Champions League, Lewandowski has scored more goals in all competitions than any other player across Europe's top five leagues this season. 

For Lewandowski, it has been undoubtedly the best season of his career. Remarkably, the 31-year-old is averaging a goal every 74 minutes and he has already scored 11 more than last year and eight more than in his previous personal best (43 goals in 2016-17).

The consistency of Lewandowski's production is phenomenal. Since 2015-16, he has scored 40 or more goals in every season. The only player who has kept pace with the Pole is a certain Lionel Messi, but the Barcelona star will need to score an unlikely 10 more times to hit the 40-goal milestone in 2019-20.

 

In his 285 competitive games for Bayern, Lewandowski has hit a total of 242 goals, averaging a goal every 99 minutes. This is a goalscoring machine at its best.

Lewandowski has taken his game to another level this season. After being the top scorer in the Bundesliga (34) and in the Pokal (6), the Bayern marksman is also the leading scorer in the Champions League (11). He could become the first player since Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002-03 to take home a hat-trick of golden boots in league, cup and European action. Neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi have ever achieved this.

So, what's his secret?

 

ELITE IN THE BOX

Since joining Bayern back in 2014, Lewandowski has increased his expected goals (xG) total each season. This campaign, he is averaging a staggering 1.1 xG every 90 minutes. Put simply, the chances Lewandowski attempts are worth over one goal every game. This figure is nearly double as many as in his first season at Bayern (0.6). His consistently high xG values show that his impressive goal tally is not just a product of overperforming, but rather the result of generating good goalscoring opportunities.

 

Year after year, Lewandowski gets himself in better goalscoring positions. He has perfected the art of creating space and chances for himself in crucial areas of the pitch. The below graphic illustrates this perfectly: look at the cluster of shots he has taken in this season's Champions League.

 

In the current Champions League campaign, no player has scored as many non-penalty goals (10) or taken shots from higher quality chances (8.6 xG) as Lewandowski. As the size of the dots shows, Lewandowski is mainly taking shots from good-quality locations with a high xG value and avoids shooting from further afield.

THE COMPLETE FORWARD

Lewandowski is the target man in Bayern's attack, but he is far more than a poacher – he is a crucial cog in their build-up play.

In the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign, Lewandowski was involved in a league-high 43 open-play sequences that ended with a goal. If we remove those sequences in which Lewandowski himself scored (27), he was involved in 16 open-play sequences that ended in a goal scored by one of his team-mates, the highest value among all strikers in the competition.

 

Indeed, while Lewandowski has registered only four assists in the latest Bundesliga season, we can use expected assists (xA) to analyse how many assists Lewandowski should have had based on the quality of his passes. According to this metric, Lewandowski's open-play passes in the recent league season were worth seven assists, so he was unfortunate not to have three more assists to add to his total of four.

 

His total of 7.1 xA this campaign is his highest tally.  The 31-year-old has massively improved his creative abilities over the past two years, nearly increasing his xA value threefold (he registered 2.8 xA in 2017-18).

A complete forward, Lewandowski works for the team, creates chances for his team-mates and is heavily involved in build-up play. Bayern's last Champions League game in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie with Chelsea can be used as an ideal example of Lewandowski's all-around qualities. He was everywhere.

 

Lewandowski's touches at Stamford Bridge on February 25 (from left to right)

In that game, Lewandowski recorded two assists in a single Champions League match for the first time in his career, assisting the first two Bayern goals for Serge Gnabry before scoring the last himself to seal a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge. 

Perhaps 2020 would have been Lewandowski's best chance to become just the second player other than Messi and Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or since 2008, but the way his game is improving every season – coupled with the inevitable decline of Messi and Ronaldo – means the Poland goalscoring machine will likely have another crack at the accolade in 2021 and beyond.

Philippe Coutinho's move to Arsenal is seemingly getting close.

The Brazil international has been on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona in 2019-20, but is expected to leave Camp Nou permanently.

A return to the Premier League has been mooted.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL DEAL FOR COUTINHO IS 'ADVANCED'

A deal sending Coutinho to Arsenal from Barcelona is "more advanced", according to Sport.

The former Liverpool star would head back to England less than three years after leaving Anfield.

Coutinho has scored nine goals in 34 games for Bayern in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- There could be good news coming for Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo reports Marc-Andre ter Stegen has agreed to extend his deal at the club for five years, but there is still no financial agreement between the parties.

- Jerome Boateng's Bayern Munich future seems uncertain. Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sell the defender, who would like to extend his contract beyond 2021.

- Takefusa Kubo looks set for another loan spell away from Real Madrid. AS reports Kubo will join Villarreal on loan for 2020-21, having spent this season at Mallorca.

- Are Liverpool looking for a back-up for Andy Robertson? The Athletic reports the Premier League champions value left-back Jamal Lewis at £10million, but Norwich City will not even enter talks for less than £20m.

- Contracted at Manchester United until 2022, Tahith Chong could be heading elsewhere to gain experience. Sport Bild says Werder Bremen are in talks with United over a loan deal for the attacker.

- After losing the Championship play-off final, Brentford may also see a star depart. The Guardian reports Crystal Palace are battling with Aston Villa to sign Ollie Watkins, who scored 26 goals in 49 Championship games in 2019-20.

Robert Lewandowski said Jurgen Klopp has "two faces" as a coach and father as the Bayern Munich star lauded the Premier League-winning Liverpool manager.

Klopp guided Liverpool to their first league title since 1990 this season, having overseen the club's Champions League triumph last term.

Lewandowski knows Klopp better than most after spending four seasons with the German at Borussia Dortmund, where the pair combined to win two Bundesliga titles, before the former joined Bayern in 2014.

Discussing his favourite manager, having also worked with Pep Guardiola, Poland striker Lewandowski singled out Klopp.

"I think ... Jurgen Klopp [is my favourite] and after that Pep Guardiola. 100 per cent," Lewandowski told ESPN in an Instagram Live interview.

"[Klopp] has two faces. You can see that he is kind of like a father, but the second part is like a coach, a manager. He can tell you everything – and I'm not speaking about the good things – about the bad things.

"Also for [players], he is a huge motivation. He makes this perfect, because he knows where there is this line where he can [push you] more or a little bit less.

"His performance as a coach is amazing, but not only as a coach but also as a man."

Lewandowski has scored 51 goals in all competitions in the best season of his career, helping Bayern to win the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal, while a treble bid remains very much alive in the Champions League.

Bayern will face Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League last 16-tie, having won the opening leg 3-0.

Could Kasper Schmeichel follow in his father's footsteps?

Peter Schmeichel earned legendary status at Manchester United after winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at the club.

Now, Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper is being linked with a sensational move to the Theatre of Dreams.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED CONSIDER SCHMEICHEL MOVE

Manchester United are lining up a transfer swoop for Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to replace David de Gea, according to The Sun.

De Gea's position at United has come under threat following a slump in form for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, despite being contracted until 2023.

There have been calls for Dean Henderson, who has spent time on loan at Sheffield United, to return Old Trafford, however, Kasper – the son of Red Devils legend Peter – is reportedly seen as the perfect ready-made option.

 

ROUND-UP

Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a bid for Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, says Le10Sport. Thiago has been tipped to join Premier League champions Liverpool, however, Ligue 1 holders PSG are believed to be in the mix for his signature.

- TF1 reports United have made contact with Monaco about a potential move for 19-year-old centre-back Benoit Badiashile, who has also been linked to Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen.

- According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have ruled out a swap deal that would see Ivan Rakitic move to Juventus in exchange for Rodrigo Bentancur.

Milan have opened talks with Tottenham over the signing of right-back Serge Aurier, reports Sky Sport journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Juve are willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi and Cristian Romero to Serie A rivals Roma as part of a deal to sign Italian star Nicolo Zaniolo, claims SportMediaset. Zaniolo has also been linked to Madrid, Tottenham and former club Inter.

- Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga is willing to wait for a Madrid move until 2021-22, Marca claims. The 17-year-old has been heavily linked to the LaLiga champions as well as PSG.

Barcelona are set to re-sign Ansu Fati until 2024, while Real Madrid are eyeing "the new Raphael Varane".

Fati, 17, has been linked with a stunning move to Manchester United after a breakthrough season at Barca.

But the teenage forward seems to be going nowhere.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO EXTEND FATI STAY UNTIL 2024

Barcelona are set to renew Fati's contract until 2024, according to the cover of Sport.

Out of contract in 2022, Fati has scored eight goals in 32 games this season, leading to links to Manchester United.

Sport also reports Barcelona are prepared to listen to offers for attacker Ousmane Dembele.

ROUND-UP

- Are Real Madrid looking to sign a new defender? AS reports the LaLiga giants are closely following Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, who it compares to Madrid star Raphael Varane.

- Raul Jimenez could be set for a Wolves exit. RTP Sport says Jimenez is on his way to Manchester United and Wolves are on the verge of signing Sporting Braga striker Paulinho as his replacement.

- Barcelona may be preparing to strengthen their defence. Mundo Deportivo claims three defenders – Bayern Munich's David Alaba, Paris Saint-Germain's Juan Bernat and Manchester City's Eric Garcia – are within range for the LaLiga giants.

- Tanguy Ndombele continues to be linked with a move away from Tottenham. Sky Sport reports Inter have made contact with Spurs about the midfielder.

- Where to next for Willian? Coming out of contract at Chelsea at season's end, the attacker's future is uncertain. Sky Sports says Chelsea, Barcelona and Inter Miami have made contract offers to the Brazil international.

- A player looking likely to leave Stamford Bridge is Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Sun reports the goalkeeper fears he has played his last game for Chelsea.

- After Dejan Lovren's departure, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. COPE reports the Premier League champions have made an offer of £9.1million (€10m) for Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara will leave the Bundesliga champions.

Thiago is out of contract at Bayern next year and the 29-year-old Spanish star is reportedly ready to depart Bavaria after opting against a renewal.

Jurgen Klopp is believed to be keen on bringing Thiago to Anfield, where Liverpool won their first league title since 1990 this season.

Amid growing speculation over Thiago's future, Rummenigge said the former Barcelona midfielder is ready for a new challenge.

"Actually, the conversations [sporting director] Hasan [Salihamidzic] had with him were always very productive. And at some point it actually seemed that [a deal would be reached]. But then Thiago informed Hasan that he would like to do something new again, and so it is," Rummenigge told Sky Sport Germany.

"We will have to accept that. We have a contract that is still valid for one year and if he agrees with any club and that club should pay a transfer of a certain amount.

"I don't want to make any public comment about the amount that we have in mind. Then we will deal with it, but we will not, as I have already said, hold a summer sale. 

"I'm not angry at all, I like him. I think he's a great footballer, a fine footballer and he's a good character too. And one shouldn't forget either: At 29, he is at an age where, if he wants to do something new, he has to do it now because if you are in your 30s, it will be more difficult to make transfers."

Thiago has claimed seven successive Bundesliga crowns, four DFB-Pokal titles, two DFL-Supercup honours and the Club World Cup trophy since arriving from Barca in 2013.

After helping Bayern to an eighth consecutive Bundesliga triumph, Thiago and the German giants are preparing for next month's second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea.

Bayern won the opening leg 3-0 in London before the Champions League was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bayern Munich are optimistic they will reach an agreement over a contract extension for David Alaba and that he will ultimately stay with the club for the rest of his career, according to chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Alaba, 28, joined Bayern's academy in 2008 and has since gone on to enjoy a glorious career with Die Roten's senior side, winning nine Bundesliga titles.

Ever since breaking into the senior side on a regular basis in 2011-12, when he made 30 league appearances, Alaba has rarely struggled to hold down a place in the side.

The recently concluded 2019-20 campaign posed an entirely different challenge, as a defensive injury crisis led to Alaba featuring as a centre-back, and he took to that role with flying colours and his new role allowed for Alphonso Davies to shine at full-back.

But the Austria international has just a year left on his contract and is reportedly admired by the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Barcelona.

While Thiago Alcantara appears unlikely to renew with Bayern, Rummenigge remains relaxed about reaching an agreement with Alaba, whom he compared to club icon Franz Beckenbauer.

"First of all, I have to say about David that he had a great season," Rummenigge told Sky Germany. "It was born out of necessity that he had to play at centre-back because we had several injuries, and then Hansi [Flick, Bayern coach] put him in this position.

"He did it with flying colours. We haven't had a 'chief' in defence for some time now, one who really takes the reins in hand and sets the tone there and simply acts as the head of the defensive unit – he did that.

"This has been seen especially in these coronavirus times. In these empty stadiums, his instructions showed how well he organised it in the back. Even with his style of play he is a very, very important player for us, we don't need to talk about that.

"I am nevertheless optimistic that at the end of the day we will find a solution that David will even end his career here.

"I have always said that, for me, David is actually something like Franz Beckenbauer. He is the first player to play again at this level like Franz back then.

"I think David knows what he has at Bayern, and we know what we have in David."

Luis Suarez is eager to stay at Barcelona amid MLS interest, while Chelsea may have a choice to make.

Suarez, 33, is out of contract at the LaLiga giants next year and has been linked with a move away.

The forward seemingly has options.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ WANTS BARCELONA STAY AMID INTER MIAMI INTEREST

Suarez has no intention of leaving Barcelona, according to Sport.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo reported Suarez has an offer from MLS club Inter Miami, but wants to extend his stay at Barca beyond 2021.

Suarez has scored 19 goals in 34 games in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are linked with further moves this close season. But Sport Bild reports Atletico Madrid are relaxed over the Premier League club's interest in Jan Oblak, with the LaLiga side doubting Chelsea can afford both the goalkeeper and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

- Philippe Coutinho is expected to make a permanent move from Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are best-placed to land the playmaker and Barca want only money for the Brazil international.

- Bayern Munich have set their price for Thiago Alcantara, who is linked with a move to Liverpool. Sport Bild says the Bundesliga champions want £27.2m (€30m) for the midfielder.

- Could Manchester City have received a transfer boost? Sport Bild reports David Alaba's contract talks with Bayern Munich are at a stalemate. Alaba is out of contract at Bayern next year and has been linked to City.

- Jesse Lingard's time at Manchester United could be over. The Daily Mail says United are prepared to sell the midfielder, who has been linked to Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Jadon Sancho has long been linked with a move to Manchester United.

The former Manchester City youngster is reportedly ready to return to his native England after starring in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund.

With United's Champions League status confirmed, the Red Devils are ready to strike a deal.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STEPPING UP SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho as they cool on Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to Sky Sports.

United are determined to bring Sancho to Old Trafford after securing Champions League qualification, though both clubs are yet to come to agreement on a transfer fee – Dortmund are reportedly holding out for €120m (£109m).

England international Sancho has previously been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea.

It now looks unlikely that United will pursue Villa star Grealish, who is valued in excess of £80m by the Premier League side, with doubts over where he would fit into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

 

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell will demand he wants to leave the club in order to force a move to Chelsea, reports The Mirror. Chilwell has also been linked to Manchester City and Manchester United.

Everton want to sign Lazio star Ciro Immobile, says 90min. Immobile has scored a Serie A-high 34 goals for Lazio this season.

- According to Diario AS, Lazio are in talks to sign Manchester City great David Silva. The Spanish star is set to become a free agent following the Champions League campaign.

- Calciomercato claims Tottenham are eyeing Inter outcast Ivan Perisic. The Croatia international, who was linked to United during Jose Mourinho's time in Manchester, spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Milan are interested in signing Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 22-year-old has also been linked to the likes of Napoli and United.

- Edinson Cavani has emerged as a possible understudy for Bayern star Robert Lewandowski, says Le10Sport. Cavani is a free agent since leaving Paris Saint-Germain and has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica.

- According to Cadena Cope, Barcelona have contacted Villarreal to discuss defender Pau Torres, who has a €50m release clause.

- Qatari side Al Gharafa are interested in Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas, claims France Football.

Willian has received concrete offers from five teams including two in the Premier League, according to the Chelsea winger's agent.

Willian's contract expires at the end of the season and the Brazil international has been unable to reach an agreement over an extension.

Arsenal are among the sides rumoured to be interested, with the player said to be keen to stay in London.

There has been speculation Willian has changed his mind about holding out for a three-year deal and would now be prepared to sign a two-year extension at Stamford Bridge.

However, Kia Joorabchian says there has been no such change in his thinking and two clubs from England, two from elsewhere in Europe and one from MLS want to sign the 31-year-old,

"I don't think he's done a U-turn or any kind of turn," Joorabchian told talkSPORT. "He's always been very much [in] the same mode.

"We had two very big offers – one from MLS, which required him to move on July 1 – but he's always been in the same mode, saying, 'I want to finish the season at Chelsea and the day after the season has finished I will make my decision'.

"He has two concrete offers from Premier League clubs on the table, he has an MLS offer on the table, which is very big, and he's got two other offers in Europe.

"So, Willian is in a very good position and he is going to make his decision after the last game of the season."

Chelsea face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on August 1, with their final game of 2019-20 likely to be the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich, unless they can overturn a 3-0 deficit at the Allianz Arena.

Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern from Barcelona, is another of Joorabchian's clients whose future is uncertain, although it appears a move back to England could be on the cards.

"After the Champions League, it's not been a secret that he wants to come back to the Premier League if he can; he loves playing in the Premier League and is adored in the Premier League," he said.

"It is one of his priorities… but he is also not against staying at Barcelona, so it is very much open.

"There is much genuine interest in Philippe because he is a great player and a big success. There is always interest."

Juventus could be getting closer to landing Arkadiusz Milik, while Arthur may have played his last game for Barcelona.

After winning a ninth straight Serie A title, Juve are linked with several forwards.

They may have taken a step closer to bringing one in.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS AGREE TERMS WITH MILIK

Juventus have agreed preliminary terms with Napoli forward Milik, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

However, the report says Juve are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli, who are said to have expressed an interest in Federico Bernardeschi.

Milik, 26, has scored 14 goals in 33 games in all competitions for Napoli this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- One player heading to Juventus is Arthur. The midfielder was expected to finish the season with Barcelona, but Sport reports the Brazil international does not want to play for the LaLiga giants – who are still in the Champions League – again and wants to join Juve at the end of August.

- Manchester City are seemingly getting closer to signing Valencia attacker Ferran Torres. Goal and SPOX report Torres has agreed to a five-year deal with City, but the clubs are yet to agree to a fee.

- Coming out of contract at season's end, Willian was expected to leave Chelsea. However, Sky Sports reports the winger could agree to a new deal with Chelsea before the end of the week after a breakthrough was found.

- Chris Smalling's future remains uncertain. CalcioMercato reports Manchester United want €20million (£18.3m) from Roma for the defender, who has been on loan at the Serie A club. Tottenham are also reportedly interested in Smalling.

- Arsenal are seemingly still trying to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. Get French Football News reports Arsenal attempted to include Matteo Guendouzi in a part-exchange deal for Partey, but the offer was rejected.

- Bayern Munich could be set to make a surprise signing. Sky Sport Austria reports the Bundesliga champions are interested in Norwich City right-back Max Aarons.

- Wilfried Zaha looks likely to be at the centre of transfer speculation once again. The Mirror reports Crystal Palace are set to listen to offers for the attacker, with Everton said to be interested.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes the decision for there to be no 2020 Ballon d'Or winner is "not very fair", as he feels Robert Lewandowski could have claimed the award.

France Football announced last week it would not select the world's best player this year due to a "lack of sufficient fair conditions" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The global crisis caused the sport to come to a standstill in March, although the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A and Bundesliga were among the competitions to restart.

France's Ligue 1 was one of the leagues that were not completed, however, playing into the decision not to go ahead with the award.

Lewandowski has scored 51 goals in all competitions in the best season of his career, helping Bayern to win the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal, while a treble bid remains very much alive in the Champions League.

Rummenigge thinks he would have been a worthy Ballon d'Or winner.

"I believe Robert Lewandowski is playing a fantastic season and he performed maybe the best season in his career," Rummenigge told a news conference on Monday.

"Unfortunately, France Football cancelled the Ballon d'Or, which we are not very happy [about]. In the end, it's not very fair - not just for Bayern but also for Robert Lewandowski, who might have won.

"I believe it's very important that in a season that, except the French league, [were] performed through to the end of the season, it has to be possible to give the Ballon d'Or to the best footballer in the world.

"Of course, I believe, in those circumstances, Robert would have a good chance to win it for the first time in his career."

Lewandowski has never been in the top three at the annual awards, but was fourth in 2015 after an excellent first season at Bayern.

Barcelona great Lionel Messi won the 2019 Ballon d'Or for a record sixth time.

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