Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer have made the shortlist for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award for the 2019-20 campaign.

Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne, who recently won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, is in the final three along with two Bayern Munich stars who helped their side to the treble last season.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk won the honour in the previous season, finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

None of those three are on the shortlist this time, though, and whoever comes out on top will be a first-time winner.

Neuer missed only one game in Bayern's treble season and kept six Champions League clean sheets, while Lewandowski netted 55 goals in 47 appearances for Hansi Flick's team.

De Bruyne, meanwhile, produced a record-equalling 20 assists in the Premier League for City, adding 13 goals.

The final order of the top three is yet to be revealed, but UEFA has confirmed the occupants of positions four to 10.

Barcelona forward Messi came in at tie for fourth with Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, while Juventus attacker Ronaldo was down in 10th spot.

Thomas Muller (6th), Kylian Mbappe (7th), Thiago Alcantara (8th) and Joshua Kimmich (9th) were the others who featured in the top 10.

Ronaldo has won the honour three times since it was first awarded in 2011, while Messi has claimed it twice.

Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery, Luka Modric and Van Dijk were the other victors, with the award voted for by coaches and journalists.

Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard and Pernille Harder are up for the Women's Player of the Year accolade in the 2019-20 awards.

Bayern head coach Flick, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann are on the shortlist for Men's Coach of the Year.

The winners will be announced at the Champions League group stage draw ceremony on October 1.

Messi and Ronaldo also won the previous version of the award - UEFA Club Footballer of the Year – once each. That award was replaced after the 2009-10 season, when Diego Milito came out on top.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile is grateful to have played under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, describing the German coach as "someone you do not forget".

Immobile was brought to Dortmund by Klopp in 2014 as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski but scored just 10 goals in 34 games before heading to Sevilla the following year.

He again struggled in front of goal at Sevilla but has since revived his career at the Stadio Olimpico, scoring a combined 103 goals in the last four Serie A campaigns.

However, the Italy international is disappointed things did not work out for him across his one season playing under now-Liverpool boss Klopp at Dortmund.

"Klopp leaves something behind for you. You don't forget someone like him," he told Sport Bild. 

"I was lucky to be able to play under him. He's a super emotional trainer. Someone for whom you fight for every ball.

"He demands that of you too, and you can see that in his behaviour on the sidelines."

Asked why he struggled to make an impact with BVB in 2014-15, Immobile said: "I think that I just moved to Dortmund at an inconvenient time as far as the team was concerned. 

"With Klopp, BVB became champions in 2011 and 2012 and then came second twice. After the first half of my season there, we were second from last in the Bundesliga.

"That meant young, foreign players being left out. I don't think Klopp didn't see any quality in me, but in this difficult phase he put more trust in players he already knew and could rely on."

Immobile won the European Golden Shoe last season after scoring 36 Serie A goals for Lazio, two more than Bayern Munich star Lewandowski in the German top flight.

The 30-year-old is honoured to have finished ahead of such esteemed company and labelled closest challenger Lewandowski as the best player in the world.

"If I could vote at the Ballon d'Or, I would give him my vote," he said.

"What makes me particularly proud is that I won the Golden Shoe with two more goals than him. For me he was always a role model.

"When it comes to the best number nine in the world, the names Lewandowski, [Luis] Suarez or [Karim] Benzema always come up. 

"To be mentioned in the same breath as them and to have scored more than these strikers is incredible for me."

Milan will do their all to agree a new contract with Gianluigi Donnarumma but are in no rush to do so, according to technical director Paolo Maldini.

Donnarumma made his debut for Milan as a 16-year-old in 2015-16 and has already appeared more than 200 times, but his current deal is due to expire next year..

The Italian side revealed last month talks are ongoing with the young goalkeeper over extending his stay at San Siro beyond the end of this season.

Maldini has hailed the growing influence of Donnarumma on the field and is hopeful the contract saga will soon come to an end.

"Gigio is becoming more and more of a leader and is growing game after game," Maldini told Sky Sport Italia. "He is just 21 but already has over 200 appearances for Milan.

"This is why it is a duty to try to close the renewal When will that happen? Let's see, there is no rush. Ten or 15 more days will certainly not change anything."

Milan managed to finalise a new deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the end of last month, tying the veteran striker down for an additional season.

And Maldini has hailed the impact made by the ex-Sweden international, who has scored 14 goals in 22 appearances since returning to Milan on a free transfer in January.

"The first positive things of last season came after the winter break when Zlatan arrived," he said. 

"His presence was essential to give energy to his team-mates. They were the youngest team in the league and this year they have grown even more. 

"The matches for him are like Champions League finals. He is like a champion [in how he] behaves. 

"He is not the only one I have seen in my career, I was like that too. It's an innate competitiveness that makes him a champion."

Wolves have completed the signing of right-back Nelson Semedo from Barcelona on an initial three-year deal.

Semedo arrives at Molineux in a reported £32.2million (€35m) transfer as a replacement for Matt Doherty, who joined Tottenham last month.

The Portugal international, who spent three years at Camp Nou after signing from Benfica, posted a message to Barca on his Instagram page on Tuesday before Wolves confirmed his arrival the following day.

Semedo wrote: "Thank you very much Barcelona for giving me the dream of wearing this shirt. Thank you for making me grow as a player and as a person.

"I've had three wonderful years that I won't forget. I want to thank my team-mates, the staff, the fans and all the people who have helped me from the moment I arrived until today."

Semedo is the latest player to leave the Blaugrana as new coach Ronald Koeman overhauls the first-team squad following a dismal 2019-20 campaign.

The 26-year-old featured 42 times in all competitions last season, scoring once, as Barca lost their LaLiga crown, failed to win a trophy and crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion, going down 8-2 to Bayern Munich.

Arturo Vidal has left for Inter, while Luis Suarez is also expected to depart. The club blocked captain Lionel Messi's exit.

Semedo's departure had been anticipated, with Barca linked with bids for alternative right-back options - including Arsenal's Hector Bellerin, Norwich City's Max Aarons and Ajax's Sergino Dest.

Contrasting reports have Aarons and Dest close to moves to Catalonia.

Semedo was welcomed at Wolves, where his new contract has the option for a further two years.

"It isn't often that we have the opportunity to sign a world-class player from a world-class club," executive chairman Jeff Shi said. "Nelson's signing shows we will never stop progressing and we are still hungry and humble in our heart."

Semedo, a two-time LaLiga winner, added: "I'm very excited to be here. It's a very good team. To play in the Premier League is a dream from me, too."

Real Madrid have announced that no players or staff members have tested positive for coronavirus.

News emerged on Tuesday that midfielder Martin Odegaard had reportedly returned a positive test after Madrid's goalless draw with Real Sociedad.

The 21-year-old took part in training on Tuesday and was also in close contact with Sociedad's players at the weekend.

However, Madrid released a statement on their official website on Wednesday to announce no members of their squad have contracted COVID-19.

"Real Madrid communicates after the latest COVID-19 tests carried out on our first football team and their coaching staff, all the results have been negative," the statement read.

Madrid return to action on Saturday with a trip to Real Betis, who have won their opening two games to occupy second place in the division.

First Juventus, now Atletico Madrid.

For so long, Luis Suarez appeared set to leave Spain for Italy.

But a proposed move to Juve did not materialise as the Barcelona forward stands on the cusp of uniting with Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ TO JOIN ATLETICO

Luis Suarez will swap Barcelona for LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Suarez had been tipped to join Serie A champions Juventus after being told he could leave Camp Nou.

But the 33-year-old Uruguay international forward will now sign a two-year deal with Atletico as he dominates the front pages of Wednesday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have progressed talks with Barca regarding forward Ousmane Dembele, Record Sport reports. Having so far failed to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, United are eyeing an initial loan move for Dembele.

- Esport3 claims Barca are set to sign Ajax right-back Sergino Dest, who was also wanted by Bayern Munich.

Milan have offered €20million for Nikola Milenkovic but Fiorentina have said no, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer and Schalke centre-back Matija Nastasic are also options for the Rossoneri.

- Tuttosport claims Wolves are circling Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who has also been linked to United.

Fulham and Newcastle United have entered the race to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Tottenham have also been linked to the Poland international, while Roma are believed to be in talks as Milik enters the final year of his Napoli contract.

- Sky Sport Italia says Tottenham have opened talks for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, while Benfica's Ruben Dias is another option for Spurs.

- Torino are battling Atletico for Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira, according to Sportitalia. The former Sampdoria star has also been linked to Milan.

- Telefoot says Paris Saint-Germain are in talks with Chelsea over the possible signing of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Discussions with Milan over a return have become complicated and PSG are now eyeing an initial loan deal for the former Monaco star.

Barcelona utility Sergi Roberto said he crossed his fingers that superstar captain Lionel Messi would remain at Camp Nou.

Messi stunned the world last month when he informed Barca of his intention to depart the LaLiga giants, with the 33-year-old intending to trigger a clause in his contract to walk away on a free transfer at the end of last season.

However, the validity of such a stipulation was murky due to the campaign being extended by the coronavirus pandemic, and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi ultimately opted to remain in Catalonia rather than challenge Barcelona in a legal battle.

Asked about Messi heading into 2020-21, Roberto told RAC1: "I thought the same as all the Catalans, that it could not be true that Messi did not continue with us.

"I cannot imagine a Barca without Leo and I crossed my fingers so that he would stay. I see him training very well. He is a very professional player and I have no doubt that he will always give 100 per cent for this shirt and this club."

Ronald Koeman is at the helm as Barca prepare for their LaLiga opener against Villarreal on Sunday.

Koeman replaced Quique Setien, who was only appointed in January, after Barca were dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last season.

"He [Koeman] has made us work a lot," Roberto said. "The training sessions have been very long.

"We are working very well. He tells the players things clearly and that is good for the team. I fully trust the coach and all the players."

As well as a new coach, there are changes with Barca's playing personnel following Arturo Vidal's move to Inter and Ivan Rakitic's return to Sevilla.

Full-back Nelson Semedo is also poised to join Wolves in the Premier League, while veteran forward Luis Suarez is reportedly in discussions to swap Barca for rivals Atletico Madrid.

"The president or the new coach must decide who they trust and who they will count on," added Roberto.

"I have a special appreciation for Suarez. He is a player who has given a lot all these years. If he ends up leaving, Atletico will be much stronger."

The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) has called on JFF Technical Chairman, Rudolph Speid, to resign from the post, citing what they deem to be multiple conflicts of interest.

Speid was appointed to the post earlier this year, but KSAFA has pointed to several other post appointments that he also holds at the same time as problematic.

“Currently you are a member of the Board of Directors for the JFF, Chairman of the Technical Committee, leads the operations of the JFF’s Coaching School, Chairman of the newly formed Jamaica Coaches Association, member of the Leadership of the Jamaica National Premier League (JNPL) and owner / major

shareholder in Cavaliers Soccer Club.  This long list of involvement consists of clear lines of conflict of interest,” the letter stated.

The letter went on to point out that, as it relates to Jamaican football, the conflicts have caused an inability to view ‘important policy matters objectively’ and also took umbrage to what has been deemed a ‘lack of respect and

regard for stakeholders.’ The body has promised to escalate the matter to the Jamaica Football Federation if Speid refused to accede to the request.

Nelson Semedo sent a goodbye message to Barcelona ahead of his reported move to Premier League side Wolves.

Barcelona and Portugal full-back Semedo is poised to swap the LaLiga giants for Wolves, who boast countrymen Nuno Espirito Santo, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Fabio Silva, Rui Patricio, Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto, Vitinha, Roderick and Ruben Vinagre.

As Barca look to free up salary space and raise funds, Semedo farewelled Camp Nou in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

"Thank you very much Barcelona for giving me the opportunity to live the dream of wearing this shirt, of playing in Camp Nou, of learning and enjoying the best in the world," Semedo wrote.

"Thank you for making me grow as a player and as a person. They were three wonderful years that I will never forget.

"Thank my colleagues, staff, fans and all the people who helped me since I arrived until today. I wish you the best luck in the world. Eternally grateful."

Semedo joined Barca from Portuguese giants Benfica in 2017.

The 26-year-old won two LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana during his time in Barcelona.

Semedo made 32 LaLiga appearances and 42 across all competitions last season as Barca were dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Mikel Arteta is happy to let William Saliba take his time adapting to life at Arsenal after the teenage defender's arrival in north London.

The Gunners won the race to sign Saliba in July 2019 - reportedly beating rivals Tottenham to his signature - but he spent the 2019-20 campaign back on loan at Saint-Etienne as part of the deal.

He featured 12 times for the Ligue 1 club before the domestic campaign was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, though a foot injury kept him out between November and January, while Arsenal did not grant him permission to feature in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain in July.

Saliba has been absent from Arteta's matchday squads for their first two Premier League games but, ahead of potentially making his debut in the EFL Cup at Leicester City on Wednesday, the Gunners manager stressed he has been pleased with what he has seen so far from the 19-year-old.

"I think William is doing really well," Arteta told reporters.

"He's adapting to the country, he's adapting to our club. We have to bear in mind that he had a really challenging season last year with the amount of injuries that he had.

"But he's a player who's going to be really important in our future, and sometimes things take some time and we have to respect that."

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory in the previous campaign and added the Community Shield to the Emirates Stadium trophy cabinet at the start of this season.

He views the EFL Cup as another major prize having been part of the Manchester City coaching staff when Pep Guardiola's team won the trophy in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Asked if bigger clubs were not taking the EFL Cup seriously, he replied: "I think they are. I think [in] the last few seasons, obviously the competition and the clubs have raised.

"There's only one winner in this country with the Premier League and a lot of frustrated clubs, and now everybody wants a title.

"You can see in the last few years, the teams, how strong a line-up they've been using, and the type of finals we've found in recent years.”

Thiago Silva is proud to have joined Chelsea at the age of 36 after his career was threatened by tuberculosis.

While on loan at Dynamo Moscow from Porto in 2005, Silva experienced chest pains and was hospitalised for five months after being diagnosed with the illness.

The centre-back opted against an operation on one of his lungs that would likely have brought a premature end to his time in football and returned to boyhood club Fluminense the following year.

He has since gone on to win the Serie A with Milan, 23 trophies at Paris Saint-Germain – with whom he lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich last month – and the Copa America with Brazil.

Asked about the serious illness he suffered a decade-and-a-half ago, Silva said: "It was one of the worst experiences in my life because you have a dream as a child to be playing as a professional footballer and when I got TB, it seemed the dream would be over. But, thank God, I had the strength to overcome it and get well.

"It's difficult to talk about it because it brings back these memories, these moments. I remember my last day in the hospital, the doctor told me that I hadn't been cured, that I needed an operation on my lung and that my football career would be over.

"But, thank God, thanks to the qualified people and the specialists, little by little I got better. Little by little, with dedication I managed to return to playing football.

"Definitely it's something that not many people have gone through in their lives and a lot of people didn't recover from a similar illness, so I think about it a lot, these moments and what I've been through and I thankfully had the strength to overcome it.

"I'm very grateful to my family, to my wife, who was very supportive. At the time she was my girlfriend and she was 17, and she helped give me the strength to get over it so I was able to then chase my dreams. Now I can say today that I'm a champion, not just in football but also in life."

With health at the forefront of many people's minds amid the coronavirus pandemic, Silva said: "I'd like to send a message to the young people to tell them to really make the most of their lives.

"If someone is playing football, to really dedicate themselves to playing football. Some people have football as a hobby, but football is a job and life is short and goes by quite quickly.

"In 2005 my life could have been over, but thank God I overcame that illness and today I can now say that I am victorious, both personally and professionally. It's a wonderful experience to now be 36 and a player in the Premier League and to put on a Chelsea shirt at 36. It's immense responsibility and a great source of pride."

Silva was signed to provide experience to Frank Lampard's youthful squad and it is not weighing on his mind that he is on a one-year contract at a club that does not typically hang on to older players.

The veteran defender - who could make his debut against Barnsley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday - hopes to prove he is still capable of being an asset at the highest level and earning a place in the Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup.

"I think when you get to a certain age, the tendency is that you sign this type of contract. I have no doubt that I will give everything and do my best and contribute," Silva added.

"I prepare and work really hard in everything I do. I love football, I love preparation, and it's not a case of preparing on a Friday for the Saturday, this type of preparation goes way back, so I'm totally relaxed about the contract.

"Whether Chelsea will want to renew it or not, I don't know. If Chelsea feel I haven't met expectations or contributed, we'll sit down and talk about that. I'm not worried at all and I will prepare to do my best possible and really help to contribute to this new team and new project.

"I've accepted this new challenge. It's going to be really good for me. Everyone knows my ambition is to play in the World Cup in two years, when I'll be 38 years old."

Roma have been punished with a 3-0 defeat for fielding an ineligible player against Hellas Verona in their Serie A opener on Saturday.

Lega Serie A announced on Tuesday that Roma used a player over the age of 22 who had not been registered on their 25-man list with the league.

According to widespread reports, the administrative error relates to Amadou Diawara, who turned 23 in July.

The game at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi finished goalless but Roma will return to zero points for the season following their sanction.

Verona head coach Ivan Juric was fined €5,000 for giving his team instructions from the stands while serving a touchline ban.

Jose Gimenez has tested positive for coronavirus, Atletico Madrid have confirmed.

The Uruguay defender was the only player from Monday's tests to return a positive result, the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

Gimenez is now isolating at home, with Atletico confirming LaLiga's protocol has been implemented and the players will complete the next training session individually.

Head coach Diego Simeone also tested positive for the virus earlier this month and underwent a period of isolation, though he did not display any symptoms.

Atletico are due to start their new season at home to Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.

Simeone's men finished third in a disrupted 2019-20 campaign, while they were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals stage by RB Leipzig.

Tottenham could be given a bye to the EFL Cup fourth round after opponents Leyton Orient announced a spate of positive coronavirus tests, leading to Tuesday's clash being called off.

Orient were set to welcome Jose Mourinho's men to Brisbane Road for a third-round tie, but the League Two club confirmed on Monday that "a number of our first-team squad have tested positive for COVID-19".

The club's stadium and training ground have been closed until further notice, with reports that up 18 players and staff had been infected.

Confirmation the game would not go ahead on the scheduled date came just two hours before the intended kick-off time of 1800 (local time).

"Tonight's Carabao Cup match between Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur is not taking place this evening as scheduled," read an EFL statement.

"Discussions are ongoing between the relevant stakeholders in regards to the implications of the decision not to play tonight's game and a further update will be provided in due course. 

"Leyton Orient, the EFL and the relevant authorities are conducting a thorough review of the club’s COVID-19 secure procedures with the view to reopening the stadium and training ground as soon as possible."

It is a bitter blow for Orient, who were set to earn a windfall from the game being televised, with Ross Embleton's men having beaten Forest Green Rovers and Plymouth Argyle to reach round three.

The news also dims any prospect of a return to Orient for former loanee Harry Kane, the Spurs and England striker who struck a deal to sponsor the club's home shirts this season.

The fixture would also have been significant for the fact that Justin Edinburgh played for Spurs and was in charge at Orient when he passed away in June last year following a cardiac arrest.

Spurs are now afford an added rest ahead of Thursday's Europa League qualifying match against Shkendija in Macedonia.

Sunday's 5-2 win at Southampton came after Gareth Bale's loan signing was confirmed, providing a much-needed boost to a side who started the season with a 1-0 home loss to Everton.

The EFL Cup is the last piece of silverware Spurs got their hands on, lifting the trophy back in 2007-08, when Jonathan Woodgate was the unlikely match-winner in a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

Jadon Sancho may eventually leave Borussia Dortmund for a new challenge but will not do so in this transfer window, director Sebastian Kehl reiterated.

Sancho has been heavily linked with Manchester United but the Premier League club have reportedly not met the €120million (£108m) asking price for the England forward.

Dortmund have been firm in insisting Sancho is going nowhere and Kehl doubled down on that stance.

"Jadon has trained well and professionally," Kehl told Ruhr Nachrichten. "He is happy to play football.

"Yes, someday he might leave for a new challenge but right now he is happy at Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Dortmund is happy to have him.

"He is here - and he will stay here. It was an important statement from the club because we have a certain responsibility. Without Jadon, this team is worse."

The Opta data from last season supports Kehl's statement that Dortmund are inferior without the former Manchester City man.

Sancho's 17 league goals trailed only Robert Lewandowski (34) and Timo Werner (28). Thomas Muller (21) was the lone player to have more assists than Sancho's 16 in the Bundesliga.

He was seventh in the league in chances created, crafting 69 opportunities for Dortmund last season.

Dortmund began the 2020-21 Bundesliga season with a 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Sancho providing an assist in his 78 minutes on the pitch.

Page 1 of 431
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.