Manchester United are looking sever ties with Cristiano Ronaldo following his explosive interview this week, according to reports.

United put out a statement that they are taking "appropriate steps in response to Cristiano's recent media interview".

That has fuelled speculation his contract – which is due to run out at the end of the season – will be torn up.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA AND FIORENTINA READY FOR JANUARY RONALDO MOVES

The Mirror claims Chelsea are ready to reignite their interest in Cristiano Ronaldo in January, while Italian reports have linked Fiorentina with him too.

Blues owner Todd Boehly was keen on the 37-year-old during the last transfer window but nothing materialised. However, following their slow start to the season and head coach Thomas Tuchel's exit, Chelsea may be back in for the under-fire Portugal international.

Calciomercatoweb claims Fiorentina could also make a move in January, with wealthy owner Rocco B Commisso ready to offer him a lucrative deal.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City loom as an option for Lionel Messi, according to El Nacional. City are managed by Messi's former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who could lure him to England. Barca are eager to secure a return for Messi, whose contract with Paris Saint-Germain ends in mid-2023, but he has deferred all talks on his future until after the World Cup.

- The Sun on Sunday claims Chelsea will keep a close eye on Everton's Jordan Pickford with England during the World Cup as Boehly considers a move for a new goalkeeper.

- Chelsea are considering moving for Aston Villa's Leon Bailey, according to the Mail on Sunday. Jamaica international Bailey is close friends with Blues winger Raheem Sterling.

- Milan are contemplating a January move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, whose agents approached the Italian champions. Aouar's contract expires at the end of this season.

- Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho is set to see his wages multiply 10 times on a bumper new contract, claims the Daily Star. The Argentine's new deal would see his wages rise from £5,000 to around £50,000.

Milan technical director Paolo Maldini is still confident his side can mount a challenge for the Serie A title after cutting Napoli's lead at the summit.

A last-gasp own goal from Nikola Milenkovic handed Milan a 2-1 victory against Fiorentina at San Siro on Sunday in the final game before the World Cup, reducing Napoli's advantage to eight points.

While that tally is still significant, victory against La Viola was a crucial one as a draw would have seen the deficit in double figures.

With 11 consecutive wins, dethroning an in-form Napoli side when the season resumes in January is a stern test but Maldini feels the race is far from over.

"Absolutely, we believe in it. Last year in the derby we were seven points from Inter, then we won," he told DAZN.

"It is not easy to keep this pace until the end, we have to grow. Maybe at this moment we are a little empty of energy.

"The standings speak for themselves; we have two points fewer than last year. Napoli have done incredible things.

"We are in line with last year. For the rest, nothing can be said. We are through in the Champions League with players still to recover.

"We must keep the spirit and enthusiasm that made us win last year."

Maldini also continued to back Charles De Ketelaere, who is yet to impress with Milan after his arrival from Club Brugge.

"He's suffering. It's a different environment with different pressures and demands. It is the difficulty of having so many emotions," he added.

"We have a five-year contract with Charles, not five months. We are waiting for it. Judgements must be partial. Time will tell if he can fit in well."

A last-gasp Nikola Milenkovic own goal handed Milan a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina at San Siro on Sunday to cut Napoli's lead at the top of Serie A.

Rafael Leao opened the scoring after just two minutes, but Fiorentina responded fiercely, finding an equaliser before the half-hour mark through Antonin Barak's deflected effort.

It appeared Milan would have to settle for a share of the points, which would have seen them sit 10 behind Napoli, but a remarkable end saved the hosts.

Milenkovic diverted the ball into his own net to deny Fiorentina in cruel fashion, with their appeals for VAR to intervene being waved away.

The hosts came out of the blocks flying, Olivier Giroud flicking a pass for Leao to charge into the box and slot home into the bottom-right corner with just two minutes on the clock.

Fiorentina had a swift chance to equalise, Riccardo Saponara smashing an effort against the frame of the goal, before pulling level minutes before the half-hour mark as Barak's drive took a wicked deflection off Malick Thiaw to beat Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Milan were back on the front foot at the start of the second period, Giroud forcing a close-range save from Pietro Terracciano and Leao thumping an attempt wide of the post.

At the other end, a superb last-ditch tackle from Fikayo Tomori on Jonathan Ikone kept Fiorentina at bay, with a VAR check confirming no infringement from the England international.

Tomori was again on hand to prevent Ikone, clearing off the line, which proved to be decisive when Milenkovic sent the ball into his own net after Terracciano failed to punch the ball away.

Fiorentina have hit out at "plainly false" media reports accusing club president Rocco Commisso of "aggressive and intimidating" behaviour towards Inter players and staff after Saturday's Serie A meeting.

Inter were 4-3 winners at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, but the game was subsequently marred by claims in the press of ugly scenes off the pitch.

It was claimed Commisso aggressively banged on the door to Inter's changing room, while Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta and Fiorentina general manager Joe Barone were said to have engaged in a heated disagreement.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) began an investigation into the alleged incidents on Monday, but Fiorentina have since released a statement insisting the media reports were false, with Inter president Steven Zhang apparently assuring Viola officials the stories did not come from him or his staff.

Fiorentina's statement read: "ACF Fiorentina can confirm that Inter president Steven Zhang has spoken to Fiorentina general manager Giuseppe Barone.

"The Nerazzurri president clarified that neither he nor any other [Inter] club directors ever claimed – at any time or to any individual – what was published by some newspapers on Saturday evening after the Fiorentina v Inter match. These reports alleged that president Rocco Commisso behaved in an aggressive and intimidating manner in the away dressing room. This never took place.

"Fiorentina has taken note of what president Zhang said and would like to highlight that some members of the press are quick to portray president Rocco Commisso in a bad light without carrying out due and diligent checks on the reliability of their information and sources, publicly attributing bad behaviour to Fiorentina's president which has no factual grounding.

"Sadly, once again we are left to rue the fact that the club and its fans have fallen victim to inaccurate reporting by certain members of the media, who reported plainly false information which has caused serious damage to the image of the club and the president.

"We reiterate that Fiorentina has the greatest respect for journalists and their work and expects this to be reciprocated with the club and its employees by not publishing unverified stories which have no basis in reality."

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a freak last-gasp goal to snatch a 4-3 victory for Inter over Fiorentina in a Serie A thriller at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

A frantic first half saw Inter race into a two-goal lead with only 15 minutes on the clock, Nicolo Barella opening the scoring and Martinez doubling the lead, but Arthur Cabral's penalty gave the Viola hope.

Jonathan Ikone curled home an equaliser on the hour mark before Martinez doubled his tally from the penalty spot, but Luka Jovic appeared to have snatched a point with time running out.

The drama was not over, however, as substitute Lorenzo Venuti saw his attempted clearance hit Mkhitaryan on the shin and bobble into the net in one stunning final twist.

 

Franck Ribery has revealed his devastation after being forced into retirement by a knee injury.

At the age of 39, Ribery hoped to play a full campaign with Salernitana in Serie A this season, and he was counting on being able to go out on his own terms.

Instead, a knee problem that first surfaced in July has finished off his playing career, with the Bayern Munich and France great admitting he has been reduced to tears this week.

He said he was not "really prepared" for the moment of calling time on his playing days, and explained that three months ago he was feeling healthy, only for problems to then begin.

Ribery featured in Salernitana's Serie A opener against Roma but conceded he "played in pain".

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ribery said: "I'm not a fragile person, but for the next three days I couldn't move. The doctors said the situation was very serious.

"I tried to recover. I couldn't believe I was forced to stop. I wanted to choose when I would say enough. But my football career is over."

He was shown a video celebrating his career.

"And I cried," Ribery said. "I have a sensitivity, a heart. I knew this day would come, but this is bad. It all happened very quickly. Too much. And it hurts me."

On Saturday, he took an emotional bow before Salernitana's game against Spezia, appearing in full kit on the pitch to take applause from the crowd. This, too, was a tearful moment, as he had envisaged it being.

Ribery won 81 caps for France and played in the 2006 World Cup final, while at club level his greatest successes came at Bayern Munich, where he helped the German giants win nine Bundesliga titles in 12 years, as well as six DFB-Pokals, one Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup and a Club World Cup.

In his time witht the Bavarian giants, Ribery made 273 Bundesliga appearances, recording 86 goals and 92 assists.

It was back to Bavaria that Ribery went recently in a last-ditch bid to extend his career.

"Less than a month ago I went to Munich for a consultation," Ribery said. "I thought: maybe a solution is found. Instead, I will have to be operated on, but only to be able to lead a normal life."

He thanked Salernitana for their support, after being promised another role within the club – "any other role I wanted" – and spoke of what he felt his legacy would be.

"My style of play, my mentality, my hunger," Ribery said. "I am someone who came from the street, and perhaps today there are not many who like me have the dribbling, the spark, the fantasy. I can't say I was the best, but I was certainly different."

Romelu Lukaku is expected to return from injury when Inter host Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League next Wednesday, Simone Inzaghi has revealed.

Lukaku scored 24 goals as Inter won the Serie A title in the 2020-2 season, and was expected to play a key role in another tilt at the Scudetto after returning on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

However, a thigh injury has kept Lukaku sidelined since August, with the Belgium striker's recovery taking longer than was initially expected.

With Inter bidding to secure qualification for the Champions League round of 16 next week, Inzaghi is keen to get Lukaku back, but he will not feature at Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday.

"He has been training partially in a group for two days. He has to regain his condition, but he is very motivated," Inter head coach Inzaghi said. "Finally, after a very long time, he has overcome the injury. 

"He will not be with us tomorrow in Florence, [but] we try to bring him back on Wednesday. He has to find his condition, but after seeing him work, I am confident."

Inter finished just two points behind rivals Milan at the culmination of the Scudetto battle last season, but are already eight points adrift of leaders Napoli this campaign.

Asked whether Inter could still play a part in the title race, Inzaghi added: "Now we have to look at the calendar, to be realistic. 

"There is a gap and they are racing ahead, now the goal is to recover points in the league and go through in the Champions League.

"What matters most is to think game-by-game, now there are so many games missing until the [World Cup] break, and we have to get there in the best possible way."

Inter have won on their last two Serie A trips to Fiorentina; only once in their history have they won three successive away league games against the Viola (between 1977 and 1980).

Meanwhile, the Nerazzurri are unbeaten in their last 10 league meetings with Fiorentina (W5 D5), having lost five of their previous six games against them (W1).

Franck Ribery's playing career has come to an end.

On Friday, the former France and Bayern Munich winger announced his retirement at the age of 39, having agreed to terminate his deal with Serie A club Salernitana.

He signed for Salernitana ahead of last season, though for the first time since the 2004-05 season, failed to score in the league.

His sole Serie A appearance this season came in a 1-0 defeat to Roma back in August, as a second-half substitute, and in truth it was no surprise when rumours recently emerged of his imminent retirement.

There can be no doubt, however, that Ribery will go down as one of European football's greats of the modern era.

In 2013, Ribery was nominated for the Ballon d'Or, finishing third in the voting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Falling short against two of the best to play the game is no shame, and using Opta data, here are some of the key facts from Ribery's glittering career.

Ligue 1 breakthrough

Having made a name for himself with Brest in Ligue 2, Ribery was recruited by Metz in 2004. He spent only half a season there and scored just one goal before joining Turkish giants Galatasaray, yet he made a big impact, with comparisons drawn to one of the club's greatest exports, Robert Pires.

His only goal in Turkey came in the Turkish Cup final against Gala's great rivals Fenerbahce, in a 5-1 victory. Having claimed his first trophy, Ribery headed home to France, signing for Marseille.

It was a messy move, with FIFA ultimately ruling in Ribery's favour after the player claimed he had not been paid his wages by Gala, as well as alleging to have been threatened by his former agent and a club director. 

Ribery spent two seasons with Marseille and became a star, being named the National Union of Professional Footballers' (UNFP) Young Player of the Year in 2006. 

His performances at the 2006 World Cup (more on that later) only increased his profile, with Marseille seeing off interest from Real Madrid, Arsenal and, controversially, rivals Lyon to keep hold of Ribery.

 

That decision paid off for OM. In his final campaign in France, in 2006-07, Ribery provided eight assists, behind only Nancy's Benjamin Gavanon (nine), and had the highest tally of chances created per 90 minutes (2.95) among players who had featured for over 100 minutes across the season.

Marseille finished second, after losing in the final of the Coupe de France, and Ribery was named the French Player of the Year by France Football.

Flourishing for France

Ribery made his debut for Les Bleus in May 2006, ahead of the World Cup in Germany, where he truly made his name as a superstar.

Between making his debut and playing his final international match in March 2014, Ribery featured in more France games than any other player (81) in the same period, 11 ahead of second-ranked Florent Malouda.

Indeed, his 37 goal involvements (16 goals, 21 assists) was more than any other French player, and puts him sixth on the nation's goal involvements list in the 21st century.

He helped France reach the final of the 2006 World Cup, though they failed to make it out of the group stage in South Africa four years later, while success also eluded them in the Euros during Ribery's stint on the international stage.

Greatness in Germany

In 2007, Bayern paid Marseille €25million for the 24-year-old. It was an investment worth every cent.

Ribery went on to play 425 times for Bayern in all competitions, making him the non-German player with the second-most appearances for the club, behind David Alaba (431), since 1965.

When it comes to French players, only Jonathan Schmid has made more Bundesliga appearances (296) than Ribery (273), who scored 124 goals in all competitions for Bayern.

Since detailed data collection of the Bundesliga began in 2004, Thomas Muller is the only player to provide more assists than Ribery, who set up 92 goals.

Ribery was at the peak of his powers in the 2012-13 season, as he helped Bayern win the treble and was named UEFA Men's Player of the Year, before going on to come third in the Ballon d'Or rankings.

That season, he provided 14 assists in the Bundesliga, a total trailing only Andres Iniesta (16) when it came to players in Europe's big five leagues.

Ribery left Bayern as a club great, having formed one of the all-time most fearsome wing partnerships with Arjen Robben. He won nine Bundesliga titles, a tally that trails only former club-mates Alaba and Robert Lewandowski (10 each) when it comes to foreign players in Germany's top tier.

 

Italian swansong

After leaving Bayern, Ribery tried his hand in Italy, joining Fiorentina.

Over his two seasons in Florence, Ribery created 70 goalscoring opportunities in Serie A, behind only Erick Pulgar (104) in Fiorentina's squad. His dribbling ability was still top class, too, with Gaetano Castrovilli his only team-mate to complete more dribbles (123 to Ribery's 117).

Ribery played 51 times for Fiorentina in all competitions, starting on 47 occasions. He scored five goals, contributed nine assists and had 182 touches in the opposition's box. Surprisingly, he played only five successful crosses, though he was often deployed in a more central role for La Viola.

In his 25 matches for Salernitana, Ribery failed to score, though his three assists in Serie A mean he is the club's joint-top creator of goals, alongside Milan Djuric and Pasquale Mazzocchi, in the same timeframe. 

Real Madrid were among the contenders chasing Erling Haaland's signature over the off-season.

Los Blancos, along with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, were keen on the former Borussia Dortmund forward.

Ultimately, the Norwegian decided to join Manchester City, starting on fire with 14 goals in 10 games in all competitions, but Madrid are keeping an eye on him.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLANNING LONG-TERM MOVES FOR CITY DUO

Spanish giants Real Madrid are plotting moves to sign Manchester City pair Joao Cancelo and Erling Haaland, reports AS.

Madrid will attempt to sign the 28-year-old Portuguese full-back in mid-2023, with Cancelo contracted until 2027, although the report claims he will cost around €40-50million (£35-44m).

The Spanish champions are planning a swoop for Haaland but not until 2024, with Karim Benzema in the twilight of his career.

Haaland reportedly has a termination clause in his City contract worth €180m (£158m) up until 2024.

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Star reports that Manchester United and David De Gea are set for key talks on his future, with the goalkeeper's contract expiring in mid-2023. United hold an option to extend his stay.

Manchester United may struggle in their bid to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, with the Villans to turn down any offer for him in January, claims Football Insider.

Barcelona are keen to sign Wolves 25-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves as a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Sergio Busquets, reports Sport. Neves will be the Blaugrana's top target at the end of this season.

Gerard Pique is not interested in joining Atletico Madrid in January, claims Sport. The defender has fallen out of favour at Barcelona, but he is determined to fight for his spot.

– Calciomercato claims that Chelsea are interested in Inter wing-back Denzel Dumfries. The Italian club may be willing to part with the Dutchman for approximately £44m.

– Colombian forward Luis Muriel is ready to leave Atalanta, with a move to Fiorentina on the cards, according to Calciomercato.

– PSV striker Cody Gakpo is likely to have more offers in January with Manchester United, Southampton and Everton all still interested, claims Football Transfers.

Thomas Tuchel is Real Madrid 's preferred replacement for Carlo Ancelotti, according to El Nacional. The Italian has told the club he does not intend to manage Madrid beyond this season.

Real Madrid have joined the race to land Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, with the 27-year-old's contract set to expire at the end of this season.

Skriniar has been one of the most in-demand defenders in the world this year, with numerous bids coming during the last transfer window from Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Tottenham.

While Inter are keen to fend off the outside interest and lock him into a new contract, the fact that he will be able to leave on a free transfer at the conclusion of the campaign could force their hand.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID HOPE TO SECURE SKRINIAR ON FREE TRANSFER

Madrid took advantage of the free agent market this past window, signing Antonio Rudiger when his Chelsea contract finished, and Football Insider claim they have similar plans for Skriniar.

Inter reportedly turned down bids worth in the €60million range from PSG with the hope an upgraded contract could keep Skriniar in Italy long-term, but with time running out, Tuttosport is reporting the French giants will return with a bid of €30m in January.

The Football Insider report also stresses how important Tottenham's Antonio Conte views the big Slovakian, having started 31 out of 38 league games for Conte when he was with Inter for their Serie A title in 2020-21.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min is reporting Arsenal are considering a move for 27-year-old free agent midfielder Xeka after his contract with Lille recently expired.

– According to The Mirror, Liverpool are leaning towards terminating the loan of Juventus' Arthur Melo just weeks after the 26-year-old midfielder arrived at Anfield.

– After an impressive loan stint at Fiorentina last season, Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Odriozola has caught the eye of another Italian club, with Juventus said to be interested in a January move in the range of €15m.

– Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu has decided to sign with Atletico Madrid when his contract finishes at the end of the season, per Mundo Deportivo.

– The Independent is reporting Everton are preparing a new contract offer for Anthony Gordon that will pay him six times his current salary.

Former Liverpool forward Bobby Duncan has hit out at his former agent for working to "jeopardise" his career, three years on from a controversial move to Fiorentina.

Duncan, then considered a rising star at Liverpool, made headlines in 2019 when then-agent Saif Rubie accused the club of causing the youngster "deep mental health issues" before negotiating a move to the Serie A team. The Reds always denied such claims.

However, the attacker – who is also a cousin of Reds legend Steven Gerrard – has struggled since the transfer and now plays for Spanish third-tier team Real Balompedica Linense after a failed spell at Derby County.

On Monday, Rubie made an explosive radio appearance, telling talkSPORT: "I actually advised him [Duncan] to stay at Liverpool and you have to understand one thing, which is what I was trying to tell you guys, my job is to do the best for whoever is telling me to help them. 

"In that particular case, you can choose to believe me or not, I thought him staying was the best outcome. It wasn't meant to be, and in the end it got a bit ugly with Liverpool, which is unfortunate."

But Duncan, who dropped Rubie as his agent shortly after joining the Viola, has refuted those claims in a series of fiery tweets, asserting: "You and I both know the truth. 

"I didn't have a decision nor say as you took it upon yourself to jeopardise my career and to turn a local lad away from his boyhood club and leave me and my family to pick up all the pieces.

"Not once have I spoken upon this topic in four years as it's been my main priority to get my career back on track. Yet you think you have the right to mention my name on a live radio show.

"The truth will be told by myself when the time is right. I should never have trusted my career in your hands. I have learnt my harsh lesson there. And I just pray you have learnt yours as it could ruin another young boy's career. 

"And lastly, just to clarify, there was no advising given as you point blank made your mind up, publicly, and by then the damage had been done."

Rubie also worked as an intermediary on Antonio Rudiger's move from Chelsea to Real Madrid earlier this year and used his radio appearance to claim Los Blancos' offer was the smallest the German received. 

"Antonio Rudiger has been one of the best, if not the best, defender in the world and Premier League," he said.

"It made Carlo Ancelotti want to bring him to Real Madrid. What is the value of a top-flight, top-level centre-half in the game?

"What if I told you Chelsea, and the old regime, basically made next to no effort to keep the player.

"At the time he was very happy to stay and potentially be the captain of the club. He was offered a contract that was half the amount Romelu Lukaku was earning.

"Let me confirm this, live on air, the Real Madrid deal was the smallest deal on offer. There was a club in England offering almost double the amount and a club in Europe doubling the amount.

"I'm not going to discuss the specifics. Everyone knows there were teams interested in this player. He was one of the best in the world."

Massimiliano Allegri was angry with the way Juventus squandered a lead and defended his decision to keep Dusan Vlahovic on the bench in a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina.

Arkadiusz Milik marked his first Juve start by scoring his second goal in as many games at Stadio Artemio Franchi, but that proved to be a false dawn.

Christian Kouame equalised with a goal on the break after Weston McKennie passed when he should have tried his luck at the other end.

Mattia Perin saved Luka Jovic's penalty late in the first half after Leandro Paredes was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area on his Bianconeri debut.

Allegri withdrew Angel Di Maria at half-time as a precaution and opted to send on Moise Kean rather than in-form ex-Fiorentina striker Vlahovic as Juve made it five Serie A matches without defeat this season.

Juve head coach Allegri was not impressed with the manner in which his side were caught out for Kouame's strike.

He said: "Getting angry is an understatement, you should not concede that goal. At that moment we had to kill the game."

Allegri added: "In the second half we dropped [back], but the thing to improve absolutely is that when you have the ball when leading.

"From that ball [from McKennie] then came the corner [for Juve] and the 1-1, which changes everything."

Vlahovic had scored four goals in as many games but Allegri felt he needed a rest ahead of a Champions League opener at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

He said: "He had played several games and Milik could give us an extra hand. We wanted him to rest, then there were some forced changes."

Arkadiusz Milik scored his second goal in as many games and Mattia Perin saved a Luka Jovic penalty as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina.

Milik made his first Juve start, with in-form ex-Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic dropping to the bench, and he opening the scoring early on at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The Bianconeri faded after that promising start and Christian Kouame equalised with his first Serie A goal since September 2020.

Perin brilliantly denied Jovic after Leandro Paredes gave away a penalty on his debut and that ensured Juve remain unbeaten this season.

Juve were in front nine minutes in, when Juan Cuadrado's cross was met by a Filip Kostic volley that was chested in by Milik from close range.

The Viola deservedly equalised on the break just before the half-hour mark, Kouame racing onto Riccardo Sottil's measured pass and sliding a composed finish under Perin after Weston McKennie had inexplicably passed when he should have shot at the other end.

Jovic had a golden opportunity to put Fiorentina in front just before half-time, but his spot-kick was superbly tipped onto the post by Perin after referee Daniele Doveri ruled that Paredes had handled Sottil's cross following a VAR check.

Massimiliano Allegri replaced Angel Di Maria with Mattia De Sciglio at the break and the frustrated Juve head coach was booked for dissent.

Antonin Barak's strike was well blocked by Gleison Bremer in a drab second half, with Vlahovic strangely an unused substitute.

Sofyan Amrabat almost won it late on but the impressive stand-in goalkeeper Perin produced an excellent save to ensure it was honours even.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri thinks Denis Zakaria's exit to Chelsea was the best move for club and player, saying his Bianconeri squad is "complete" even after some deadline-day departures.

The Switzerland international was one of a handful of last-gasp exits from Turin, alongside fellow midfielders Arthur and Nicolo Rovella, who moved on to Liverpool and Monza respectively.

Allegri was only able to add one more player, in a loan deal for Paris Saint-Germain man Leandro Paredes, but nevertheless, he remains happy with the composition of his squad.

"[It] is difficult to say [if I am satisfied with the market]," he added. "The club has worked very well with both incoming and outgoing moves. We held onto the young people who were the goal of the club.

"With Zakaria, there was the possibility [of an exit] because he felt a little withdrawn. He enthusiastically accepted this opportunity. I wish him and Arthur good luck.

"We've made our choices and they are happy. We have completed the squad in the best possible way. We think about our recoveries and then we will be complete."

Ahead of the clash with Fiorentina, Allegri is still juggling a host of injury concerns, with Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa long-term absentees, while Adrien Rabiot will also miss out.

But Angel Di Maria could feature in some capacity, with the head coach adding: "He is not in an optimal condition, but he can play. If it is 45 or 60 minutes, we will see."

West Ham and Anderlecht will clash in a repeat of the 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup final after being drawn together in the same Europa Conference League group.

It was Anderlecht who won 4-2 at Heysel Stadium to land the silverware 46 years ago, but the task for each side this time around is to plot a route into the knockout rounds of UEFA's newest men's club competition.

West Ham can point to strong recent form against Belgian teams, having beaten Anderlecht's domestic rivals Genk 3-0 in London last season in the Europa League after drawing 2-2 away from home.

They later knocked out Sevilla and Lyon on a run to the semi-finals, where eventual champions Eintracht Frankfurt proved too strong.

FCSB and Silkeborg join West Ham and Anderlecht in Group B of the Conference League, while Villarreal also learned their early opponents.

After winning the 2021 Europa League and reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season, Villarreal will hope to avoid a bumpy landing in the tertiary competition, with Hapoel Be'er-Sheva, Austria Wien and Lech Poznan their Group C opponents.

Fiorentina, Nice and Koln are also aiming to make an impact in the competition, which is entering its second season.

The six rounds of group games take place from September 8 to November 3, with the Europa Conference League final to be played on June 7 at Slavia Prague's Eden Arena.

Slavia are among the teams competing, drawn to face Cluj, Sivasspor and Ballkani in Group G.

Draw in full:

Group A: Istanbul Basaksehir, Fiorentina, Hearts, RFS

Group B: West Ham, FCSB, Anderlecht, Silkeborg

Group C: Villarreal, Hapoel Be'er-Sheva, Austria Wien, Lech Poznan

Group D: Partizan, Koln, Nice, Slovacko

Group E: AZ, Apollon Limassol, Vaduz, Dnipro-1

Group F: Gent, Molde, Shamrock Rovers, Djurgarden

Group G: Slavia Prague, Cluj, Sivasspor, Ballkani

Group H: Basel, Slovan Bratislava, Zalgiris Vilnius, Pyunik

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