Cody Gakpo's reputation has grown exponentially during the World Cup having netted three goals for the Netherlands in the group stage.

Manchester United, who are managed by ex-Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, were keen on the 23-year-old during the off-season but no move materialised.

The Red Devils have since parted ways with five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and are eager to bolster their forward options.

TOP STORY – PSV UP GAKPO ASKING PRICE

Manchester United are ready to make their move for Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo in January, according to The Sun.

However, Gakpo's Dutch club PSV will demand £50million (€58m) for him, claims The Mirror, which is double what they wanted in the off season.

If that asking price is prohibitive, United may opt to switch their attention to Milan's Rafael Leao, who is contracted until 2024.

 

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Real Madrid's plans to sign Leao will be deferred until 2024, according to Sport. Madrid's sights are set on chasing Manchester City's Erling Haaland, who reportedly has an exit clause from 2024, and Palmeiras teenager Endrick, who cannot move to Europe until he is 18, in 2024.

– Atletico Madrid are looking to sell Portuguese forward Joao Felix in January, reports Marca. Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with the 23-year-old who is contracted until 2026.

– GiveMeSport's Dean Jones claims Newcastle United are considering Chelsea midfielder Christian Pulisic, who is currently the subject of plenty of speculation.

Arsenal are not making plans to sign a replacement for Gabriel Jesus whose World Cup was ended prematurely by a knee injury, despite there being no certainty on how long he will be out injured, claims Football Insider.

– La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Inter are in the hunt for a midfielder and weighing up a move for Valencia's United States international Yunus Musah, who caught the eye at the World Cup.

Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

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Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to part ways with their club-record signing, setting a €100million asking price for Portuguese forward Joao Felix.

Felix, 23, was purchased from Benfica back in 2019 for a fee of €126m – shattering their transfer record by more than €50m.

He helped Atletico to a LaLiga title in the 2020-21 season, before being named the club's Player of the Season for the 2021-22 campaign, but he has now fallen out of favour, starting just five of his side's 14 league games.

Felix has been able to put himself in the shop window during his two starts to begin Portugal's World Cup group stage, including a goal against Ghana, and now Champions League contenders are expected to come calling in January.

 

TOP STORY – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN NAMED AS ONE OF THREE SUITORS FOR FELIX

Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have been named the main interested parties by Spanish publication AS.

The report states Felix's relationship with head coach Diego Simeone has become too strained to continue persisting, and includes a claim that Atletico rejected a €130m offer from United before the season.

With his contract tying him to the club until 2026, there will be no need to settle for an offer deemed unsatisfactory, but AS believes anything approaching that €100m figure – including bonuses – will be enough to get a deal done.

 

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– Sport is reporting Barcelona view 32-year-old Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets when the German international's contract expires after the season.

– According to Express, Saudi Arabian clubs Al Hilal and Al-Nassr are considered the leading candidates to fight it out for ex-United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paris Saint-Germain will offer Lionel Messi a new contract at the conclusion of the World Cup, according to Goal.

Chelsea and Newcastle United are competing to land 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos, per 90min.

– Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting Milan would like to bring in Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech on a loan deal with the option to make it permanent, but the Moroccan's contract demands could be too expensive.

Liverpool are reportedly keeping a close eye on Declan Rice's performances for England at the World Cup, and will prepare a move for the West Ham midfielder if they feel he handles the pressure of the big stage.

Rice, 23, played in all seven games for England in their run to the Euro 2020 final, and he has played in every minute of West Ham's 15 fixtures this Premier League season.

The defensive midfielder is a favourite of manager David Moyes, who declared in April that his price had risen to such an extent that "£150m just now would be minimum" – but his contract situation could force the club's hand.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL WATCHING IF RICE CAN RISE TO THE CHALLENGE

According to Football Insider, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is a "huge admirer" of the man with 35 international caps already under his belt, but he still wants to see more.

The report claims Liverpool will be paying attention to "how Rice copes with the type of scrutiny and huge-game pressure he does not get at West Ham, who do not compete in the Champions League or challenge for trophies".

Rice's contract ties him to the club until 2024, although there is a club-option to extend the contract for an extra year.

He turned down a bumper new deal earlier this year that would have paid him £200,000 per week, indicating this will likely be his last contract with West Ham, and that factor will drive his price down the longer the club waits.

 

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- Sport are reporting Manchester City are close to locking up Pep Guardiola on a new contract through 2025.

- According to 90min, Tottenham are eyeing Everton's Jordan Pickford, Brentford's David Raya and Brighton's Robert Sanchez as potential replacements for 35-year-old club captain Hugo Lloris.

- Chelsea's Christian Pulisic will likely be headed to the Serie A, per Fichajes, with Inter and Juventus said to be competing for his signature in January.

- AS are reporting Atletico Madrid will loan out Joao Felix in January after a lack of transfer interest.

- Newcastle United will make another run at 21-year-old Watford forward Joao Pedro, according to Football Insider, after having a £30m offer rejected before the season.

Antoine Griezmann hopes to offer "complete" performances if selected to play a more withdrawn role for France at the World Cup.

Griezmann impressed when playing behind Olivier Giroud as France won their second World Cup in 2018, with his tally of four goals in Russia only bettered by England's Harry Kane (six).

Despite Griezmann occupying a traditional striking role for Atletico Madrid, reports have suggested Didier Deschamps may deploy the 31-year-old in an advanced midfield position behind two forwards in Qatar.

While the news that Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema will miss the tournament with a thigh injury could provoke a rethink, Griezmann told Telefoot he is content to play in any position.

Asked about his role for Tuesday's Group D opener against Australia, he said: "I don't know. Otherwise, you should give me the phone number of the Australia coach and we'll give him the eleven.

"I try to be a very complete player. Whether offensively or defensively, I love getting balls back, helping my team-mates in defence. 

"For me, it's always a pleasure. No matter where I play, I try to give the maximum, to do what the team needs."

Despite nine of his 21 appearances coming from the bench, Griezmann has impressed for Atletico this season, recording six goals and four assists in all competitions.

The versatile forward was named in the World Cup Team of the Tournament four years ago, and believes he is well-placed to enjoy another positive campaign in Qatar.

"I needed a big pre-season, a good preparation," he added. "I feel I'm in great shape. I have the legs and the head is fine."

Liverpool are reportedly the favourites to land prized Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham after rumours that Real Madrid are not willing to meet the €150million asking price.

Bellingham, 19, has emerged as one of the top prospects in world football, scoring in four consecutive games to begin his side's Champions League campaign this season, including one against Manchester City.

Already with 17 caps for England, Bellingham is expected to play a major role at the World Cup and a virtuoso performance could sway some of the world's biggest clubs into bidding what would be a world-record fee for an Englishman.

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID SCOFF AT BELLINGHAM ASKING PRICE, LEAVING DOOR AJAR FOR LIVERPOOL

According to a report from Sport, Bellingham is Real Madrid's priority signing at the end of the season, but they have no intention of meeting Dortmund's initial valuation.

Madrid are said to be Bellingham's preference as well, and the club will try to negotiate the final price down to what they deem a more acceptable figure.

Liverpool have no qualms with what would be a club-record signing, and previous reports claim Manchester United also feel they are in with a chance once they get Cristiano Ronaldo's contract off their books.

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- According to Mundo Deportivo, Paris Saint-Germain have been in communication with Milan's Rafael Leao, although they have not been able to agree on personal terms yet.

- Calciomercato is reporting Leicester City have joined Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen in the chase for 28-year-old Inter left-back Robin Gosens.

- MLS teams may be able to afford Cristiano Ronaldo after the league agreed to a $250m television rights deal with Apple TV, per iNews.

- Mundo Deportivo is reporting Atletico Madrid have strong interest in Braga forward Abel Ruiz, and wish to bring him to the club in a loan deal in January that includes a compulsory buy-clause.

- According to El Observador, 20-year-old Uruguayan talent Facundo Pellistri could leave Manchester United in January in search of first-team football.

Tottenham are reportedly interested in Sporting right-back Pedro Porro, and could launch a move as soon as January for the Spain international.

Porro, 23, was identified by Manchester City back in 2019, when they purchased him for £11million from LaLiga's Girona.

He never played a game for the Premier League champions, spending a season on loan with Real Valladolid before two further campaigns on loan to Sporting, with the Portuguese club eventually agreeing to make his move permanent earlier this year for £7m.

That has proven to be a masterstroke, as he has contributed four assists in 10 Primeira Liga games, and apparently caught the eye of Antonio Conte when starting in a 2-0 home Champions League victory over Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS PREPARE JANUARY BID FOR SPORTING RIGHT-BACK

According to Portugal's Jornal de Noticias, Tottenham are joined by Spanish giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the chase for Porro, who made his senior international debut for Spain last year.

He remains under contract with Sporting until 2025, but reportedly has a €45m release clause that could force their hand.

Currently 12 points adrift of Primeira Liga leaders Benfica, Sporting may choose to ride out the rest of the season with their breakthrough talent, but the report claims they will listen to offers "close to" Porro's release clause in January.

 

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- According to Sport, Barcelona are investigating a potential move for 20-year-old centre-back Josko Gvardiol, who RB Leipzig reportedly rejected a €90m bid for in the offseason from Chelsea.

- The Guardian report that Liverpool and Juventus are monitoring Chelsea's Mason Mount as the 23-year-old's contract negotiations continue to stall.

- Football Insider believes Borussia Dortmund may be open to a January move from Liverpool for Jude Bellingham.

- According to The Athletic, Shakhtar Donetsk are demanding €100m for 21-year-old Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and City target Mykhailo Mudryk.

- ESPN is reporting Fulham, Bayer Leverkusen and Villarreal will make a run at 31-year-old Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares in January.

Joao Felix backed Portugal to go all the way at the World Cup after Fernando Santos welcomed a selection headache following a 4-0 friendly thrashing of Nigeria.

Bruno Fernandes' first-half double, coupled with late strikes for Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario, saw Santos' side to a comfortable triumph on Thursday before setting off for Qatar.

Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix did not manage to get on the scoresheet but impressed in Lisbon, with Santos noting a credible performance from the 23-year-old.

"He was one of the best, with some others. They were all better, nobody plays alone," the Portugal coach said.

"Joao played a good game too, at the level of what the others did. I have 26 players knocking on the door. Every day they knock on my door in training.

"They all knock on the door and they all have reasons to play. That's certainly good for the coach."

Joao Felix suggested he enjoys more attacking freedom for Portugal than Atletico Madrid, as he backed Santos' side for glory in Qatar, where they face Ghana in their Group H opener next Thursday.

"I have more freedom of movement with the national team because we are very mobile," he said. "I felt good and the team had a great game.

"I think we are prepared to win the World Cup. We looked for the goal and I helped the team, which is my mission as a striker. 

"The goals did not appear in this game, but they will happen in the World Cup."

Santos will also have to consider the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed the friendly victory due to "illness" as the aftermath of his scathing interview on Manchester United continues.

Angel Correa and Joao Felix struck to give out-of-form Atletico Madrid a 2-0 victory at fifth-tier Almazan to reach the Copa del Rey second round.

Atletico have not won in five LaLiga matches but a dominant first-half display saw Correa put them 1-0 up at the break when he took advantage of a mistake from Almazan goalkeeper Alberto Gonzalez.

Felix added a smart second after the break, beating his man before clinically firing into the back of the net to make the game safe.

Atletico consequently cruise into the next round of a competition they have won 10 times, though not since the 2012-13 season.

Correa had already tested Gonzalez by the time Marcos Llorente hit the crossbar with a bouncing effort after Antoine Griezmann's free-kick fell at this feet.

Koke's deflected shot also rattled the woodwork after more fine Griezmann work and Gonzalez made a superb stop to deny Llorente's low drive.

But Felix's long-range shot was too hot for Gonzalez to handle with Correa tapping in the rebound 10 minutes before the break.

Felix added a sublime second in the 63rd-minute, shifting onto his left foot outside the box before rifling into the bottom-right corner.

Griezmann thought he had added a third when he deftly steered home Nahuel Molina's cross, though the offside flag went up to curtail his celebrations.

Koke missed a great opportunity to round out the scoring late on, but he could only side-foot wide.

Joao Felix is angling for a way out of Atletico Madrid, having fallen out of favour in Spain.

The 22-year-old has started only eight of the 17 games he has played in this season, netting three goals.

The forward is contracted with Atletico until 2026, having signed a bumper seven-year deal when joining from Benfica in 2019.

TOP STORY – PSG PLOTTING JANUARY LOAN MOVE FOR JOAO FELIX

Paris Saint-Germain have joined the list of clubs interested in Atletico Madrid's wantaway forward Joao Felix, according to Le Parisien.

PSG may look to sign the Portuguese on loan in January, having been interested in a move for him during the last transfer window.

Joao Felix has also been linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United, with both clubs reportedly bidding for him in the last transfer window.

ROUND-UP

– Borussia Dortmund are bullish they can ward off interest in their 19-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham and retain his services, reports 90min. Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all keen on the England international.

– Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa may have penned a new contract last week, but Manchester United are still monitoring the 23-year-old, reports Nicolo Schira. United will keep an eye on him during the World Cup, although he has a €75million (£65m) release clause.

– Arsenal are willing to fork out £56m to land Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Mykhailo Mudryk, according to Dean Jones on GiveMeSport.

– Roma are interested in out-of-favour Barcelona full-back Hector Bellerin, having failed to lure Manchester United's Diogo Dalot, reports Calciomercato.

– West Ham have identified Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Kouadio Kone as their top transfer target, reports Bild.

Diego Simeone urged Atletico Madrid to return after the World Cup with the intention of turning around their faltering season following another defeat.

Atletico were beaten 1-0 away to Mallorca on Wednesday, stretching their winless run to five matches across all competitions – they have never endured a worse streak during Simeone's spell in charge.

Up next is a tussle with minnows Almazan in the Copa del Rey on Saturday, but otherwise Atletico are now not due to play competitively again until after the World Cup.

Wednesday's defeat leaves Atletico sixth in LaLiga, although a big win for Rayo Vallecano against Celta Vigo on Thursday could push Simeone's men down a place.

Either way, the first half of the season has not gone to plan for Atletico, who will be without knockout European football in the new year for the first time since 2010-11.

"The pause of the championship will generate peace of mind to work, and to fully recover [injured players], whom we obviously need," Simeone told DAZN.

"I hope that after the World Cup they come back with the idea of reversing this difficult situation."

Despite the obvious issues for Atletico, Simeone actually seemed somewhat philosophical about their situation and Wednesday's performance.

While concerns remain, Simeone also saw elements that he liked, especially the team's attitude towards the end.

"To say that we have lacked forcefulness in all the games is a very simple excuse. We're making a lot of defensive mistakes that make games uphill battles for us, having to go looking to change the result and that creates complications for us," he later said in his post-match press conference.

"It's clear that little happened in the game in the first half. We couldn't solve a very simple plan in the best way and the game was played where [Mallorca] feel most comfortable.

"Defensively, [Mallorca's] work was very comfortable. In the first half we were looking for balls with more directness in order to be closer to the goal.

"Our changes gave us more vitality, freshness, a more dynamic way of approaching the game with speed on the flanks with [Antoine] Griezmann, [Thomas] Lemar's [ability to] break [the lines], and the appearance of [Sergio] Reguilon, who can give important things. But it was not enough.

"Reality makes us leave with a defeat that hurts and that obviously makes us have to work hard in the time we are going to have, because when LaLiga returns there will be complicated games.

"[But] the team never gave up, I never saw a team that didn't want to go for the game, and that gives me strength."

Atletico Madrid failed to win a fifth successive match as they were beaten 1-0 away to Mallorca in LaLiga on Wednesday.

Diego Simeone's side – who had lost two of their previous three games across all competitions – were unable to stop the rot as they offered little threat in what was their final league game before the World Cup break.

Mallorca talisman Vedat Muriqi was unsurprisingly the one to edge Mallorca in front early on, and that ultimately proved decisive.

An Alvaro Morata strike was ruled out shortly after, but it was by no means a prelude to legal Atletico goals as Los Colchoneros failed to make the most of their dominance of the ball.

Mallorca were good value for their 16th-minute opener, however scrappy it was.

After Jan Oblak spilled Antonio Sanchez's long-range effort, Antonio Raillo's follow-up was blocked into Jaume Costa's path and his scuffed low cross fortunately left Muriqi with an easy finish.

Atletico thought they had a swift response as Morata lifted a lovely finish over Predrag Rajkovic following Rodrigo de Paul's excellent throughball, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

The visitors showed more attacking purpose at the start of the second half, but Axel Witsel completely missed the ball when teed up inside the box in the 48th minute.

It was not until the 82nd minute that Atletico threatened again, with Morata failing to bundle over the line from close range, and a few moments later he saw a volley brilliantly saved by Rajkovic.

Diego Simeone seemed optimistic despite seeing his Atletico Madrid team fail to beat Espanyol at the Metropolitano, even with a man advantage.

The visitors had Leandro Cabrera sent off after 28 minutes on Sunday after he fouled Alvaro Morata to deny him getting in on goal, leaving Atletico with more than an hour with an extra player.

However, it was Espanyol who took the lead just after the hour through Sergi Darder's volley, before substitute Joao Felix fired in a leveller with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Simeone expressed his gratitude for the love he has received at the club since taking over as head coach in 2011, with some believing him to be under pressure after finishing bottom of their Champions League group and falling 10 points behind the top of LaLiga.

"I came to Atletico young and the first season was very bad and [the fans] always loved me without having given them absolutely anything," he said. "Then we won the Copa del Rey (2012-13) and the league (2013-14). 

"I was lucky enough to come back as a player and a coach. I am grateful to Atletico Madrid for life, the love I feel is not going to upset me in the current circumstances."

 

Atletico attempted 27 shots in the game, their highest tally in all competitions since February 2021 against Levante (28).

They hit the target just seven times though, and also found Espanyol goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte in fine form.

"We had chances," Simeone added. "They scored, and after scoring the desire to generate danger and intensity went up one more step. If one has forcefulness, the mental part grows. When you see that you have 27 shots and you don't win... We tend to have more precision, hopefully we can adjust that."

Despite exiting Europe and having not won any of their last four games in all competitions, Simeone looked on the bright side.

"After [losing to] Porto [in midweek], the Champions League and Europe are closed and a new tournament begins in LaLiga, where we are not doing badly.

"We have to be confident in what we do and hope this doesn't break. At least we didn't lose, we could have won it, and a draw keeps us in the top four."

Joao Felix came off the bench to rescue a point for Atletico Madrid against 10-man Espanyol as they drew 1-1 at the Metropolitano on Sunday.

The game had started with some jeers from the crowd after Atletico finished bottom of their Champions League group in midweek, and the mood did not improve as the Rojiblancos struggled to break down their visitors.

It looked to be set up nicely for the hosts when Leandro Cabrera was sent off in the first half, but despite having an extra man, Atletico contrived to fall behind after Sergi Darder's volley just after the hour mark.

Joao Felix arrived to bring the scores level with just over 10 minutes remaining, but a draw will still be a disappointing result for home coach Diego Simeone in the circumstances.

Espanyol lost a man in the 28th minute when Cabrera saw red after being judged to have brought down Alvaro Morata when trying to prevent the Spain striker from racing through on goal.

Marcos Llorente went close shortly after when he got on the end of a cross from the left by Reinildo but sent his first-time effort over the crossbar.

It was Espanyol who took the lead against the run of play in the 62nd minute, with Oscar Gil's cross from the right headed back across goal by Joselu for the unmarked Darder to volley past Jan Oblak.

In the 78th minute, Felix chested down a ball out to the left by fellow substitute Thomas Lemar before dashing towards goal and rifling a left-footed shot inside Benjamin Lecomte's near post, though Atleti were unable to find a winner.

LaLiga has warned a fresh attempt to launch a European Super League will be offering only a rehashed version of the competition that launched and collapsed within days last year, leaving clubs humiliated.

The Spanish league is determined to fend off a new proposition for an elite league, and has warned it would "destroy" the existing structure of the domestic game.

In a statement, LaLiga pointed to a previous proposal from 2019, as well as the calamitous launching of the Super League last year that saw 12 teams agree to take part, before almost all pulled out in a hurry after a furious backlash from fans, politicians and football governing bodies.

It was revealed in October 2022 that A22 Sports Management – a company representing the Super League clubs – is planning to revive the proposals. Bernd Reichart, a media executive, has been appointed to head up the plans.

LaLiga said on Twitter on Friday: "The promoters of the Super League are now preparing a model similar to the one put forward in 2019, which is still closed or mostly closed, which will destroy the national leagues and which has already been rejected by clubs and leagues in Europe."

Spanish giants Barcelona are among the teams still keen on the idea of a new competition, with club president Joan Laporta last month saying it would be "more even" than the current system, claiming UEFA is not satisfactorily enforcing the ethos of financial fair play.

LaLiga published a video expressing its opposition to the Super League, in which it stated that "the whole of European football took a stand against its closed, selfish and elitist model".

"Now the promoters of the Super League are trying to conceal its format, claiming that they still don't have a fixed model although it will be an inclusive and open," LaLiga added.

"We know that this is false, and that they want to present a semi-closed format similar to 2019 which has already been rejected by the clubs and European leagues.

"This model is based on promotion and relegation between European divisions where the national leagues do not provide direct access to the top tier. On the contrary, they perpetuate the participation of a privileged few, even if they perform poorly in their domestic leagues.

"To be clear: anything less than any club earning its place in Europe's top flight through success in the domestic leagues will remain a closed or semi-closed model.

"We have also heard that the Super League wants to claim to be the saviour of football, saying that the current system no longer appeals to young people. Fake news. As an example, data shows that LaLiga's audience in Spain among those under the age of 24 has increased by more than 22 per cent in the last four seasons."

LaLiga also said research showed football's global fan base had risen by 3.4 per cent in the 16-29 age bracket, while stating TikTok metrics revealed 60 per cent of its mainly young audience consumes football content.

The statement from LaLiga said the Super League's promise of "a more exciting competition" would in reality mean "a constant stream of the same type of clashes, turning the extraordinary into the ordinary".

It warned such a competition "would destroy the ability to turn dreams into reality", denying smaller clubs than the cherry-picked elite the long-established pathway to competition at the highest level.

LaLiga, whose president Javier Tebas has been a vocal opponent of the proposed new competition, added: "The promoters of the Super League must respect the will of European fans and citizens, where the Council of Europe has already taken a position against the Super League and the European Parliament has defended an open, democratic model based on meritocracy."

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