Marco Verratti was not surprised to see Leandro Paredes and Sergio Ramos square off in Paris Saint-Germain's clash with Juventus as "both players care so much".

Paredes was back at the Parc des Princes for Tuesday's Champions League group match, just six days after joining Juve from PSG on an initial loan basis.

The Argentina international was involved in a flashpoint during the first half of his new side's 2-1 loss when he got involved in a row with former team-mate Ramos.

As Paredes walked towards Ramos, the latter appeared to push away the midfielder by the throat, which the referee deemed worthy of a yellow card.

And speaking after the match, Verratti joked it was an incident that was always likely to happen between two passionate players.

"I'm good friends with [Paredes]. The odds on that happening were pretty good as I'd seen them go at it in training," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"I'd have bet my house on that happening. Both players care so much and put a lot of character into every challenge, but they always have a hug at the end."

Paredes managed 102 touches against his parent club – more than any other Juve player on their Champions League debut since Opta started recording such data in 2003-04.

Juve put up a strong second-half fight in Paris after Kylian Mbappe fired PSG into a commanding two-goal lead, though Weston McKennie's effort proved to be a consolation.

The Parisians have now won five successive home games in the Champions League for the first time since between November 2013 and November 2014 (a run of six wins).

"We were up against a strong opponent in Juve and knew we'd suffer to get the three points," Verratti said. "After a good first half we struggled a bit in the second.

"Juve relaxed a bit after their goal and started to believe. They are a great team but we worked together to bring home the result."

Mbappe's double took him on to 29 goals in the competition for PSG, one shy of Edinson Cavani's club record.

Lionel Messi and Neymar also performed well in attack, and Verratti praised head coach Christophe Galtier for getting the trio working as one.

"The coach is very intelligent. This is quite a tough team to coach," he said.

"But he made it clear to everyone that there is only one objective, which is to win, play together, enjoy our football and make it a team sport.

"To have a great season we need everyone, whether we have the ball or not, whether they are on the bench or on the field.

"Telling Messi what position to hold and where to pass is tricky, but he gave a sense of organisation and responsibility to everyone. 

"There are moments, as we saw today, where we all need to defend together. You can be as talented as you like, but it is all easier if we all work together."

Juventus have completed the signing of Leandro Paredes on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain.

An official agreement published by the Serie A side on Wednesday stated the deal includes an obligation to buy the player permanently "subject to the achievement of certain given sporting objectives by the end of the season" for a fee of €22.6million, with a further €3m in add-ons.

Paredes joined PSG from Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2019 and made 117 appearances in all competitions for the French giants, scoring four goals.

The Argentina international midfielder started just 10 Ligue 1 games last season, and is yet to start a game this season under new PSG head coach Christophe Galtier, though did make four substitute appearances.

Juventus have moved to make Paredes their eighth signing of the transfer window, with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Paul Pogba and Bremer already added to Massimiliano Allegri's squad.

The 28-year-old returns to Serie A having already played for Roma earlier in his career, with loan spells at Chievo and Empoli during that time.

Chelsea have reportedly locked in on Everton's Anthony Gordon and are desperate to get a deal done before the deadline, going as far as including both Armando Broja and Conor Gallagher in their latest offer.

Gordon - who scored his first goal of the season in his side's 1-1 draw against Brentford at the weekend - has seen his stature rise meteorically, with the 21-year-old now considered a real chance to represent England at the World Cup later this year.

Chelsea have already had an offer of £50million plus add-ons rejected, and after previous rumours hinted that Everton wanted one of Gallagher or Broja on loan to make it happen, a stunning new report claims the Stamford Bridge side are willing to take it a step further.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA WILLING TO PART WAYS WITH GALLAGHER AND BROJA IN GORDON DEAL

The report from Football Insider states Chelsea are willing to send Gallagher and Broja to Everton on permanent moves, as well as adding £25m in cash, making the total offer value in the range of £85m.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been clear about how highly he values 20-year-old Broja and 22-year-old Gallagher, with both players coming on as substitutes in the first two Premier League fixtures.

However, Broja has been left on the bench the past two games, and Gallagher's two starts have resulted in a 3-0 loss to Leeds United and a red card against Leicester City just 28 minutes into the action.

So far this season, only Raheem Sterling against Leicester has registered more than one shot on target in a single game, while Gordon has had at least two shots on target in each of his past three outings, including five against Nottingham Forest and four against Brentford.

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– Sky Sports Italia is reporting Juventus have interest in Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz if they can not secure Leandro Paredes from Paris Saint-Germain.

– In their search for strikers, Chelsea are said to be considering Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, although Barcelona's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the priority, according to the Guardian.

– The Daily Mail claims that after reportedly accepting a deal in the range of £80m (€95m) from Manchester United for Antony, Ajax are hoping to bring Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech back to the Eredivisie.

Liverpool's midfielder hunt has brought them to Sheffield United's 24-year-old Norwegian international Sander Berge, per the Yorkshire Post.

–The Evening Standard is reporting Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is finalising a move to Sampdoria after initially holding out hope of a Premier League club swooping in.

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain remain in negotiations for Leandro Paredes but his arrival may depend on players leaving first, according to Bianconeri chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene.

Massimiliano Allegri has bolstered his squad during the transfer window by signing Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria, Bremer and Filip Kostic.

Adrien Rabiot was expected to depart Turin to join Manchester United, but the midfielder's move to Old Trafford fell through.

The France international may soon be partnered in midfield by Paredes, who has been frustrated by a lack of playing minutes for PSG.

Christophe Galtier has previously acknowledged Paredes could leave after falling down the midfield pecking order, with Arrivabene confirming Juve are looking to sign the 28-year-old.

"We are talking. But, I repeat, it is very important to make the exits," Arrivabene told DAZN when pressed for an update on Paredes ahead of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Roma.

Paulo Dybala, Matthijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Aaron Ramsey and Merih Demiral are among those to leave the Allianz Stadium this transfer window.

However, Arrivabene expects more players to depart as he looks to balance assembling a squad with Allegri and financial constraints.

"We will be happy if we manage to carry out the exits that we intend to do in such a way that the sporting result is balanced with the financial one," he added.

Juve remain unbeaten in their opening three Serie A games this season, albeit with just one win and two draws, the most recent of which coming at home to Roma.

Chelsea could finally be set for a transfer breakthrough after reportedly agreeing to meet Leicester City's demands of around £70million for centre-back Wesley Fofana.

Fofana, 21, has been a key target for Chelsea in their bid to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who departed for Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona earlier in the transfer window.

While the Blues have already spent £33m to secure 31-year-old Kalidou Koulibaly – who has started all three of their Premier League fixtures this season – Fofana is yet to enter his prime and could provide defensive security for the next decade.

 

TOP STORY – LEICESTER ACCEPT CHELSEA'S NEWEST BID FOR FOFANA

According to L'Equipe, Chelsea's successful bid for Fofana includes add-ons which could make him the most expensive defender in the history of football, surpassing the £80m Leicester received from Manchester United for Harry Maguire.

Leicester had been publicly declaring Fofana was not for sale, but the situation was accelerated by the defender missing a training session, leading to him being told to train with the Foxes' under-23s.

Fofana is yet to receive his first senior cap for France, but the increased visibility that will come with a move to Stamford Bridge could tee him up for a breakthrough World Cup campaign in Qatar.
 

ROUND-UP

– Ajax star Antony has engaged in a stunning interview with Fabrizio Romano, declaring his time in the Eredivisie has run its course amid strong interest from Manchester United.

– Marca are reporting Cristiano Ronaldo has decided his best option is to return to Sporting CP, where he began his career, despite the need to take a significant pay cut should he leave United.

– According to Calciomercato, Liverpool are considering including Roberto Firmino in their offer to Paris Saint-Germain for 28-year-old midfielder Leandro Paredes.

– Sky Sports claim West Ham have had an offer in the vicinity of £51m accepted by Lyon for their 24-year-old creator Lucas Paqueta.

Chelsea are set to trigger the £12.6million release clause for Dynamo Moscow's 19-year-old midfielder Arsen Zakharyan, per the Daily Mail.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insists he is not concerned by Dusan Vlahovic's struggles as the Bianconeri prepare to host fellow Scudetto hopefuls Roma.

Allegri faced fierce criticism from Juventus supporters in the aftermath of Monday's 0-0 draw at Sampdoria, during which Vlahovic managed just nine touches overall, and a mere three before the break. 

No player to take the field for 90 minutes in a Serie A game has had fewer touches since David Trezeguet had eight for Juventus against Catania in May 2008.

Since the start of last season, meanwhile, Vlahovic has scored 26 Serie A goals in 38 appearances, but just nine of those have come since his January move to Juventus (in 17 appearances).

Vlahovic has also gone from averaging a goal every 109 minutes for Fiorentina to scoring every 139 minutes for the Bianconeri, although his big chance conversation rate has risen since his move to Turin (80 per cent, as opposed to 73.33 per cent for Fiorentina last term).

With Juve's lack of creativity becoming a key talking point at the start of the campaign, Allegri is adamant Vlahovic's lack of involvement is not a worry.

"If he touched a ball and scored a goal, I'd be happy," Allegri said. "We had a bad first half with Sampdoria. 

"The games last 95 minutes, I got angry because in the second half the game had to be grasped. They were in trouble, we had opportunities that we didn't take advantage of. 

"It is normal that the performance of the first half should be improved, but there were also the merits of Sampdoria who closed the spaces and made the defenders play a lot.

"Last year we laid the foundations to go back to winning. We will try to do it, we will also see the market as it ends. The fun for me is winning and to do it you have to go through difficult moments. 

"It takes a little patience. That's why the other day, after the first half you had to stay calm because you could only improve."

Vlahovic will now be joined in the Juventus attack by Arkadiusz Milik, who has arrived from Marseille, while Paris Saint-Germain's Leandro Paredes has also been linked with a move to Turin.

Though Allegri refused to be drawn on the future of the Argentina midfielder, he believes Milik could form an effective partnership with Vlahovic and is prepared to throw him in immediately.

"Paredes hasn't arrived yet and I don't know if he will arrive. We need to concentrate on tomorrow's match," he added.

"[I'm] very happy with Milik, he has impressive numbers. As regards his characteristics, he can also play with Vlahovic. 

"We are waiting for the clearance that I hope will arrive in the afternoon, so tomorrow will be available. Since I haven't decided on the line-up yet, maybe I'll let him play from the beginning. But I don't know until tomorrow, this idea flashed on me."

Meanwhile, Juventus have been handed a difficult draw for the Champions League's group stages, where they will meet PSG, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.

And Allegri expects Juve to face a direct battle for second place with the Portuguese outfit, adding: "In the Champions League these are all difficult matches, on paper PSG is stronger. 

"On paper, we play for the next round with Benfica. It is unlikely that there are easy games in Europe."

Manchester United have come in for huge criticism following their poor start to the season.

United have failed to land major off-season transfer targets and are eager to add reinforcements.

The start of Erik ten Hag's tenure as manager has been hugely disappointing, with back-to-back Premier League defeats.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD TURN TO VARDY TO SOLVE STRIKER ISSUES

Manchester United are considering a bid for Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy to solve their striker conundrum, claims The Athletic.

The Red Devils have endured a frustrating transfer window and have only netted once in their opening two league games.

Vardy is among a number of targets United are keen on, having also been linked with Barcelona's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to The Sun.

 

ROUND-UP

– TalkSPORT claims Manchester United are getting close to a €50million (£42m) deal for Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha. The 23-year-old joined Atletico from Hertha Berlin last year on a five-year deal.

Chelsea are closing in on a deal for Inter's Cesare Casadei, according to Calciomercato. Inter have set their asking price at €15m (£12.5m) plus €5m in bonuses, which the Blues are edging closer to meet. The deal may aid Romelu Lukaku sealing a permanent switch to the Nerazzurri.

– Talks are ongoing between Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus on agreeing a move for Leandro Paredes, reports Fabrizio Romano. Personal terms have been agreed between the Argentinian and the Bianconeri on a long-term deal.

Wolves will sign Portuguese midfielder Matheus Nunes for a club-record fee of €45m (£38m) plus €5m in add-ons from Sporting CP, according to Record. Liverpool, West Ham and Manchester City had been tracking Nunes.

– Diario Sport claims Barcelona may be willing to let Samuel Umtiti exit as a free agent amid interest from various unnamed clubs. Umtiti, who is contracted at Camp Nou until 2026, has struggled with injuries during his time at the Blaugrana.

Christophe Galtier revealed Leandro Paredes is in demand and gave a strong indication he could leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window closes.

Paredes is reported to have agreed terms with Juventus and a move is expected to go through if Adrien Rabiot joins Manchester United.

The Argentina midfielder has been frustrated by a lack of playing time at PSG, who he joined from Zenit in 2019.

Paredes replaced Vitinha for the final 20 minutes of the champions' 5-2 Ligue 1 thrashing of Montpellier on Saturday, but Galtier is unsure whether he will still be at the club when the transfer window closes on September 1.

The PSG head coach said in a press conference: "The situation Paredes is very different from Mauro Icardi's.

"Leandro has many requests and I don't know what will happen between now and the end of the transfer market. I know he wants to play, but he has a calm mood."

Galtier has strengthened his midfield with the signings of Vitinha and Renato Sanches, keeping Paredes down the pecking order.

The 28-year-old only started 15 games for PSG last season.

Manchester United's transfer market activity appears to be getting increasingly desperate.

The English giants have added only Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez to their first team in this window.

United have been linked with a host of other players but missed out, including Benjamin Sesko, while no deal has transpired despite their attempts to sign Frenkie de Jong.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD BOSS TEN HAG KEEN ON ZIYECH

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has identified Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech as a target, according to the Manchester Evening News.

However, United's hierarchy are not convinced and have offered resistance to the Dutchman's plans to sign the Moroccan, whom he worked with previously at Ajax.

United have been priced out of their move for Ajax's Antony, and Ten Hag views Ziyech as a good alternative.

ROUND-UP

– SPORT1 claims Bayern Munich will attempt to bring Kai Havertz to the club from Chelsea. The Germany international, who moved to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen two years ago, is seen as someone who can offset Robert Lewandowski's departure.

– Juventus are still keen on Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Bianconeri are ready to swoop once Adrien Rabiot's move to Manchester United is sealed.

– The Athletic reports Newcastle United may target Chelsea's United States international Christian Pulisic.

– West Ham have entered the race for Barcelona's Memphis Depay, submitting a "big-money" offer to the Blaugrana, according to Football Insider.

Aaron Ramsey will become a free agent after Juventus announced his contract with the Italian club had been mutually terminated.

The Wales international joined the Bianconeri in 2019 after his Arsenal contract expired, but he fell out of favour last season and made just three Serie A appearances before joining Scottish side Rangers on loan.

He featured seven times for the Gers in the Scottish Premiership, but his time in Glasgow will be remembered for his crucial penalty shoot-out miss in the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville, which Rangers ultimately went on to lose.

The 31-year-old returned to Turin after the loan spell with one year left on his contract, but it has been agreed between the two parties that they will part ways.

The midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to a couple of former clubs, with boyhood club Cardiff City reportedly interested as well as Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest, where he spent a short spell on loan in the 2010-11 season.

Ramsey will be keen to get some minutes under his belt to prepare for the World Cup with Wales in Qatar in November. 

Juventus meanwhile are reportedly interested in Paris Saint-Germain's Leandro Paredes, who spent last season on loan with Sporting Lisbon and could be a player that PSG would be happy to sell.

Argentina remain undefeated in CONMEBOL World Cup qualification, after they defeated Venezuela 3-0 on Friday.

In the Albiceleste's first game at La Bombonera since the passing of Diego Maradona, it was a particularly emotional atmosphere and the already-qualified home side made it 11 wins from 16 qualifiers.

The raucous home support belied the largely lacklustre performance on the pitch, however, with Nicolas Gonzalez's goal giving them breathing room. Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi netted in the final quarter of an hour to seal the win.

The match's complexion was dominated by Argentine possession which did not exactly translate to many chances of substance.

In the opening 30 minutes, the Albiceleste managed three shots for a cumulative xG of 0.07 despite 71 per cent possession.

Yet the game soon opened up in transition, and Argentina could finally attack space that otherwise wasn't presented. From the ensuing chaos, Alexis Mac Allister quickly won back possession and played in Rodrigo De Paul, who then provided the assist across goal for Gonzalez.

Venezuela had an opportunity to equalise in the 39th minute through Josef Martinez with Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani scrambling, but he put his close-range shot off target from Salomon Rondon's ball.

Martinez again had an opportunity to equalise in the 54th minute, with a free header from close range but missed.

Argentina were able to effectively kill the game off late in the second half through substitute Angel Di Maria, chipping Wuilker Farinez after De Paul's ball over the top.

Messi then added a third three minutes later in the 82nd minute with a relative mis-hit from Di Maria's assist.

Lionel Messi and Neymar felt the wrath of Paris Saint-Germain fans as the Ligue 1 leaders moved 15 points clear at the top of the table with a 3-0 win over bottom side Bordeaux.

Boos and whistles were aimed at Messi, Neymar and their team-mates before and during the clash at the Parc des Princes, four days after PSG were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Kylian Mbappe was not targeted, despite reportedly being bound for Madrid, and the in-form striker opened the scoring on Sunday with his 26th goal of the season.

Neymar then responded to abuse from his own supporters by scoring in the second half and Leandro Paredes was also on target, with Messi involved in all three goals and also hitting the post as Mauricio Pochettino's side ended a tough week with a resounding win.

 

PSG were almost caught cold when Remi Oudin let fly with a rasping drive that was well saved by Keylor Navas in the first minute and Jean Onana's glancing header from the resulting corner flashed just wide.

Messi and Neymar continued to be targeted by PSG fans when they touched the ball, but the Argentina captain played a big hand in Mbappe's opening goal 24 minutes in.

The former Barcelona playmaker's reverse pass found Georginio Wijnaldum, who slipped Mbappe in with a perfectly-weighted ball and the France forward finished clinically with his right foot from inside the penalty area.

Messi was then given too much time to thread a pass through to Achraf Hakimi, whose cross was coolly dinked over Bordeaux goalkeeper Gaetan Poussin and into the net seven minutes into the second half.

Although PSG were denied a penalty due to offside following a VAR check, Paredes extended their lead just after the hour mark with a sweet left-foot finish after showing great skill and composure to leave two Bordeaux players on the deck.

Messi struck the woodwork with a long-range strike following a surging run late on as the boos continued to sound, with Pochettino looking distinctly unimpressed with the hostility as his side cruised to victory following back-to-back defeats.

Mauricio Pochettino will be without Neymar and Leandro Paredes for Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash with RB Leipzig on Tuesday as his list of absent players continues to grow.

Brazil star Neymar returned from the international break with an adductor issue after impressing with a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over Uruguay.

Paredes, meanwhile, was replaced in the second half of Argentina's 1-0 victory against Peru due to a problem in his right quadriceps and will also be unavailable.

The pair join Sergio Ramos – who is still yet to make his PSG debut – on the injury list, while Angel Di Maria is suspended and Mauro Icardi is a doubt after missing training due to personal issues.

"The priority is always the health of the players," Pochettino said. "In this case, [Neymar's injury] is a small problem but we hope it is a matter of a few days before finding it."

PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe also spoke ahead of what is set to be his 14th appearance of the season against Leipzig, having played a team-high 1076 minutes across all competitions so far.

"Obviously, there is fatigue like any player, the sequence of games is not easy, but I am at the team's disposal," Kimpembe said. "If I am on the pitch, it is because I have the capacity. The coaches know that I am a competitor, a soldier. If I am called upon, I will respond.

"We play a sport that we love. Some would like to be in my shoes, so if I'm not on the pitch, I'm not going to complain."

The France international defender also made sure to highlight the qualities of his compatriot and former PSG academy graduate Christopher Nkunku, who will be lining up for the Bundesliga outfit in Paris.

The versatile 23-year-old is comfortably his side's top scorer in all competitions with nine strikes in 2021-22 – six more than anyone else – and also has two assists in 931 minutes of football.

"[Nkunku] is tremendous," Kimpembe continued. "We all know his qualities, especially me because we were trained together.

"He's been able to show that he is one of the greats now. He's showing it on the European stage.

"It's going to be a great match. I can't wait to be able to meet him again and I hope he will make his debut for France when the opportunity arises."

Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain was a "dream" scenario, according to Argentina team-mate Leandro Paredes.

Messi was heavily linked with the French giants, as well as Premier League side Manchester City, having handed in a transfer request at Camp Nou last year.

Messi ended up staying to see out the final year of his deal and recently became a free agent, though there has been little talk of a move away from Barcelona amid reports he is on the verge of signing a five-year extension.

Paredes talked up the chances of his compatriot making the switch to PSG earlier this year, but he accepts the superstar forward is now set to stay in Spain.

"Yes, there was a lot of talk at the club when it emerged that Leo could come to Paris," he told ESPN. "It was a dream to imagine he could be with us next season.

"But hey, that didn't happen. I hope he likes where he plays."

 

Messi has spent his entire senior career with Barcelona, making 778 appearances and scoring a club-record 672 goals.

He was again hugely influential for Barca last season, finishing as LaLiga's top scorer as he managed 38 goals and 12 assists across all competitions.

Taking all competitions into account, he created 117 chances for others and netted a goal every 110.32 minutes. Full-back Jordi Alba was next on the list of the most chances created for Barca in 2020-21, teeing up 85 opportunities.

Despite the speculation surrounding his club future, Messi carried his club form onto the international stage, inspiring Argentina to their first Copa America crown since 1993.

He scored four goals and provided five assists to win his maiden piece of silverware while representing his country.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes said the Ligue 1 champions are working on signing Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.

Messi is out of contract at the end of the season and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been heavily linked with PSG and Premier League giants Manchester City.

PSG sporting director Leonardo revealed the French powerhouse – now coached by Mauricio Pochettino – are pursuing Messi, after star and former Barca team-mate Neymar made no secret of his desire to reunite with the Argentina skipper.

Having talked up the possibility of Messi's arrival prior to PSG's 4-0 rout of Montpellier on Friday, countryman Paredes told Corriere dello Sport: "It's up to Leo to come to the club, because PSG are trying to convince him.

"To be able to be coached by a coach from your country and the possibility of playing with Leo is a great opportunity... I hope it happens."

Messi sat out Barcelona's 2-0 LaLiga victory at Elche on Sunday due to his two-game suspension following a red card in the Supercopa de Espana final defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

The 33-year-old has scored 11 goals in 17 league appearances for Barca this season, while he has 14 across all competitions.

PSG, meanwhile, are top of Ligue 1 on goal difference ahead of Lille through 21 rounds.

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