Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo would like to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face off in LaLiga before both players retire.

Messi has been repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona, with whom he spent 21 years prior to leaving for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in August 2021.

Ronaldo enjoyed nine trophy-laden seasons with Real Madrid, meanwhile, prior to playing for Juventus, Manchester United and now Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr.

While there has been little talk of Ronaldo heading back to the Spanish top flight, Cerezo believes it would benefit the league for the two superstar forwards to return one day.

"It would seem fantastic to me if Messi returned to the league, the same as Cristiano Ronaldo," he said while attending the Barcelona Open tennis final on Sunday. 

"Both are still playing and it would be fantastic if they returned."

Cerezo was speaking ahead of Atletico's 1-0 loss to Barcelona, which leaves Diego Simeone's side 16 points adrift of the leaders and five behind second-place Real Madrid.

Yannick Carrasco played a full part for Atletico, though he may find himself at Barcelona next season as the Catalan giants have the option to sign the versatile wide player.

"Yannick is a very good player, fantastic," Cerezo said when asked about Carrasco's future. 

"In the world of football, there are people who want to achieve many things and don't get to, and others who don't want anything and get it. I don't know [what will happen next]."

Barcelona coach Xavi talked up the importance of Barcelona's victory over Atletico Madrid as the LaLiga leaders returned to winning ways on Sunday.

Ferran Torres netted the only goal in a 1-0 win at Camp Nou, bringing an end to a goalless run that included back-to-back goalless draws in the league.

The victory also extended Barca's commanding lead at the top of LaLiga to 11 points over rivals Real Madrid, who could be forgiven for having their attention elsewhere as they defend their Champions League crown.

With eight games to go, Barca are closing on the title, but Xavi made clear there was work still to be done.

"There is nothing done, although it is exciting," he said. "Here, nobody feels like a champion, and if someone does, we will tell them that nothing has been done.

"If we lost, they were eight [points back]; it was crucial. Beyond the individualities, we played a very good game. It was crucial to win after two draws, and it's one more step."

Barca's victory was not as comfortable as it perhaps should have been, with Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha among those to miss chances, which Xavi lamented.

"I have the feeling of having wasted opportunities to make it 2-0; they were very clear," he said. "Rapha's, Robert's, one of Gavi's at the penalty spot.

"In the end, you end up suffering in a game that you deserved to win by more than one goal."

Barcelona returned to winning ways in LaLiga with a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

Held to goalless draws in back-to-back league matches, Barca's march to the title had lost some steam, but a narrow victory ended that run.

Ferran Torres' first-half goal secured all three points for the hosts, with Atletico struggling to muster much of a threat in response.

The win moves Barcelona 11 points ahead of Real Madrid with eight games left to play.

Antoine Griezmann was inches away from putting Atletico ahead early on, Thomas Lemar feeding a pass to his compatriot who curled an effort from outside the box that struck the underside of the crossbar.

Angel Correa then tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a strike from the edge of the area, forcing the Barca goalkeeper into a diving save, while the hosts dominated possession but had few chances to threaten Jan Oblak.

That changed one minute before the break, Raphinha bursting down the left side and playing a pass into the middle of the pitch that was met by Torres, who steered his effort into the bottom right corner.

Barcelona pushed to further their advantage in the second half, Raphinha dragging an effort off target before Gavi picked up a loose ball following a corner and drilled a low strike that bounced narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

Raphinha then bundled Robert Lewandowski's drilled cross goal bound but Oblak dived onto the loose ball, before Lewandowski wasted a golden opportunity to secure the win when he selfishly went for goal but missed the target with the Brazilian in space with an open goal to aim at.

Xavi described 15-year-old Lamine Yamal as fearless after the winger became the youngest player to be included in Barcelona's squad for a competitive game.

Yamal, a La Masia product who will turn 16 in July, could become the youngest player to feature for Barca when they face Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The Spain Under-19 international is already the youngest player to be named in an official Blaugrana matchday squad, but Xavi is confident he can make an impact if called upon.

"He is a player who can help us because he is talented," Xavi said on Saturday. "He has a lot of personality, he can play one-on-one, he is strong and I am convinced that he can help us.

"I have spoken with him and he is grateful and happy. If the circumstances arise that he can help us, he is prepared."

Asked if Yamal reminded him of any former Barca greats, Xavi said: "He's an innate talent.

"With the new generations, the difference from my era is that they have no fear. Lamine is different... he has attributes from various players, I don't see a direct comparison."

Xavi welcomed the returns of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong as the Barcelona midfielders were passed fit to feature in Sunday's clash with Atletico Madrid.

Pedri has not played for Barca since he sustained a hamstring injury during February's 2-2 Europa League draw against Manchester United.

The Spain international initially looked set to return for last month's LaLiga meeting with Clasico rivals Real Madrid – a game Barca won 2-1 – only to suffer a setback in his recovery.  

While Pedri has missed a total of 11 games, Barca have also been without fellow midfielder De Jong for their last four matches after he sustained a similar injury.

Barca have struggled for creativity in back-to-back goalless draws against Girona and Getafe in LaLiga, but they will have both midfielders available when they host in-form Atleti.

"Pedri helps us, also Frenkie," Xavi said. "They are essential, vital players, however you want to say it, but we have played great games without them. 

"In the end, it is about the idea and the game model. We are in a privileged situation in LaLiga and the players have understood this well. We have played great games without some crucial players.

"Pedri is key in the last pass. He associates very well with Robert [Lewandowski], they get along very well. It's very good news to get him back, not only for Robert."

Having built an 11-point lead over second-placed Madrid with just nine games remaining, Xavi knows a first league title since 2019 is now Barca's to lose.

However, with Diego Simeone's visitors winning six successive league games ahead of their trip to Camp Nou, the Blaugrana boss expects a difficult challenge next time out.

"We have an important advantage and we have to make it good," Xavi said. "Losing the League would be anything but the fault of the other teams, it would be our fault. 

"Every game is a final from now on. If we beat Atletico, we would eliminate them as a rival. We are in a privileged situation but we cannot relax.

"Tomorrow will be a difficult game, Atleti are the best team in the league at the moment, they are the fittest team in LaLiga right now."

Diego Simeone is no stranger to defensive organisation, and the Atletico Madrid boss has been impressed by Xavi's work in making Barcelona difficult to break down this season.

Barca are closing in on their first league title since the 2018-19 campaign, sitting 11 points clear of Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga with nine games of the season remaining.

While Xavi's side have been criticised at times for a perceived failure to employ an entertaining style, they have conceded just nine goals in 29 league games this term.  

The Blaugrana have kept a remarkable 22 clean sheets in LaLiga this season, at least four more than any other team in Europe's top five leagues (Lazio are second with 18).

At Saturday's pre-match press conference, Simeone was asked whether Atleti and Barca had become stylistically similar as a result of Xavi's work.

"I like this Barcelona," Simeone said. "It's a different Barcelona style. They have been growing and have had a great season. 

"They have improved in defence thanks to the characteristics of their players, and improving the defensive part has added more value to Xavi's work."

Atleti have won six successive league games to move within two points of second-placed Real Madrid, and Simeone believes their displays have not been met with the credit they deserve.

"When we started the season we were not in the best way. But if we go back a bit, to when we won LaLiga, we did it by playing very well," Simeone added.

"Sometimes a stigma is generated. Sometimes people don't watch the games and they give their opinion just to give their opinion. 

"Like Barca improving defensively, or Manchester City – who have given a very good defensive performance – we have improved, we have grown."

Simeone has overseen 15 trips to Camp Nou without winning as Atleti boss, more matches than he has taken charge of at any other venue since taking over Los Colchoneros in 2011. 

Opposing boss Xavi, meanwhile, has won both of his league games against Atleti since taking the reins at Camp Nou, and he could become just the second coach in Barca's history to win his first three meetings with Atleti in LaLiga (after Luis Enrique).

Atletico Madrid will welcome Joao Felix back with open arms if Chelsea decide against pursuing a permanent move for the forward, says club president Enrique Cerezo.

Joao Felix joined Chelsea on loan in January as part of a flurry of mid-season transfer activity at Stamford Bridge.

However, the Portugal international has managed just two goals in 11 Premier League appearances to date, and Frank Lampard has named him on the bench for Chelsea's last two games. 

While Joao Felix endured a strained relationship with Atletico boss Diego Simeone before departing on loan, Los Colchoneros will find a place for him if he returns to the club next season.

Asked about the forward's future, Cerezo told Cadena SER: "You can't anticipate things, everything is yet to be seen. Chelsea are a big team that can count on him. 

"If he comes back, he will be well received, if he returns. Nothing can ever be ruled out in football, you can't take anything for granted."

Atletico are two points behind second-placed Real Madrid in LaLiga after winning six successive league games, but Cerezo does not believe their improved form can be attributed to Joao Felix's exit.

"The circumstances of each team are different," he said. "Joao was under a lot of pressure, he's a star, but here he hasn't had the luck to show it. 

"He's going to be a great player, and not in the very distant future."

Real Madrid are reportedly eager to bolster their full-back options, to upgrade from Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy.

Los Blancos were linked with Manchester City's Joao Cancelo - currently on loan at Bayern Munich - earlier this week by Fichajes.

The Spanish giants are set to miss out on this season's LaLiga title, with Barcelona leading by 10 points.

TOP STORY – MADRID KEEN ON LIVERPOOL'S TAA

Real Madrid will turn to Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold should they fail to land Reece James from Chelsea, claims Ekrem Konur.

Los Blancos are in the market for a new full-back and Konur claims Madrid could also turn to Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong.

Alexander-Arnold has had a mixed campaign for Liverpool, who appear set for a squad revamp in the off-season. The 24-year-old England full-back is contracted with the Reds until 2025.

 

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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of Torino's 21-year-old midfielder Samuele Ricci with Los Blancos keeping tabs on his situation, according to Tuttosport.

– The Sunday Mirror claims Manchester City are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham from Real Madrid , with Liverpool having pulled out.

Chelsea are looking to offer Romelu Lukaku as part of a deal with Atletico Madrid to sign Portuguese forward Joao Felix permanently, reports Fichajes. Chelsea are unwilling to pay Atletico's €100m asking fee, but may part with €70m along with the Belgian forward.

Tottenham are tracking Barcelona winger Ansu Fati, reports Mundo Deportivo. The report suggests Spurs are willing to make him their most expensive transfer in club history.

RB Leipzig are considering a move to sign Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun in the close season, claims Todofichajes. Balogun has impressed this season on loan with Reims .

Chelsea have interviewed Sporting boss Ruben Amorim about taking over as manager next season, reports talkSPORT.

Chelsea's dismissal of Graham Potter and decision not to rush into an appointment has generated speculation about their next permanent manager.

The Blues are destined to miss out on the Premier League's top four this season, thus will not qualify for the Champions League via the league.

As a result, there appears a lack of urgency as they look to get back on the right direction after sacking both Potter and Thomas Tuchel this term under new owner Todd Boehly.

TOP STORY – BLUES MULL OVER ENRIQUE, NAGELSMANN AND CONTE

Fabrizio Romano reports Frank Lampard will take over as Chelsea's interim manager, but that ex-Spain boss Luis Enrique is 100 per cent interested in the permanent position.

Enrique has flown into London for talks on the role, while the Blues will also continue talks with ex-Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann who is the leading candidate.

The Independent claims the Blues are also considering a shock return for Antonio Conte after initial contact between intermediaries.

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– Football Insider reports Manchester United are keen on Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse. United may take advantage of the Saints' possible relegation to bolster their midfield with the 28-year-old free-kick specialist. Aston Villa and Newcastle United are also interested in him.

Liverpool are willing to cough up €40 million (£35m) for Atletico Madrid's Argentinian World Cup winner Rodrigo De Paul to bolster their midfield next term, reports Fichajes. Inter Live claims Tottenham are also interested in De Paul.

Arsenal are pondering an off-season move for Lazio midfielder Sergei Milinkovic-Savic who will be a free agent in 2024, claims Gazzetta dello Sport. The reported fee would be around €40m.

Luka Modric is disgruntled with his contract situation at Real Madrid, with his future not yet resolved with only a few months left on his deal, claims Goal.

– Fichajes claims West Ham, Leeds United and Nice are all circling for Real Madrid's Mariano who will be available on a free transfer at the end of this season.

Leicester City have shortlisted Ralph Hasenhuttl, Jesse Marsch and Oscar Garcia for their vacant managerial role according to Fabrizio Romano. The Independent's Miguel Delaney claims the Foxes are also interested in experienced pair Martin O'Neill and Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool are reportedly no longer pursuing Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes and will instead pivot to Brighton and Hove Albion young gun Moises Caicedo or Chelsea and England talent Mason Mount.

The decision to turn their attention away from Nunes comes after Wolves removed a release clause in his contract that would have made him available for £44million in the upcoming transfer window, according to The Mirror.

The report states Wolves will still entertain the possibility of selling Nunes, but will now demand at least £50m for the player they paid £38m for in an August transfer from Sporting CP.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL TURN TO CAICEDO, MOUNT AFTER NUNES REVELATION

With Nunes out of the equation, The Mirror is reporting Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham remains the top priority, but Liverpool will investigate more "realistic" moves for Caicedo or Mount.

Caicedo, 21, signed a new contract with Brighton after the club turned down a £70m offer from Arsenal in January, but according to Football Insider the Seagulls were primarily against letting a top talent leave mid-season and will be far more open to discussions in the off-season.

Mount, 24, now has 15 months remaining on his Chelsea contract and has shown no signs of signing an extension, making him a prime candidate to leave the club in an effort to balance their books after lavish spending in the past 12 months.

 

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– The Daily Mail is reporting Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are among a host of clubs with interest in the £40million (€45.6m) release clause of 26-year-old Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae, who would prefer a Premier League move if he is to leave Serie A.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal have made an official offer to impending free agent Lionel Messi that would pay him £350m per year.

Lazio are trying to convince star 28-year-old midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to sign a new two-year extension to repel interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Juventus, United and Chelsea, per Football Italia.

– Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg is reporting RB Leipzig and Inter are both pushing to sign breakout 23-year-old Tigre striker Mateo Retegui after the Argentine-born talent made his international debut for Italy recently.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, Atletico Madrid have offered 30-year-old striker Alvaro Morata a contract extension as he prepares to enter the final year of his current deal, although the club are willing to sell him if he would prefer a new challenge.

Matt Doherty believes Tottenham must stick with Antonio Conte despite his inflammatory outburst in the wake of Spurs' 3-3 draw at Southampton.

Conte lashed out at his players, as well as Tottenham's ownership, after his team surrendered a two-goal lead in the closing stages of Saturday's trip to St Mary's Stadium.

Spurs are now expected to part ways with the former Inter, Chelsea and Juventus coach during the international break.

However, Doherty – who left Spurs to join Atletico Madrid in January – has urged the club to stand by Conte, who he labelled as "one of the best managers of all time".

In a press conference, the Republic of Ireland defender said: "I hope he stays for a long time at Tottenham.

"He's an unbelievable coach, an unbelievable manager. He won't say anything in the press that he won't say to his players, he's completely honest with his players, has the passion for the whole club.

"I hope Tottenham stick by him and hold onto him for as long as possible, he's one of the best managers of all time."

Doherty's seemingly comments contrast with those of his former team-mate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who asked his coach to "elaborate" on the comments the Italian made after the Southampton game.

Hojbjerg said: "I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture. But I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.

"The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me.

"You do what you can to please him. What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100 per cent of myself for the team."

Tottenham and Antonio Conte appears set to part ways imminently following the Italian's explosive rant after their 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.

Conte's Spurs contract is due to expire at the end of this season and he has been linked with a return to Italy to be closer to his family.

Spurs have been eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup but remain firmly in the race to finish in the Premier League's top four, currently sitting fourth but fifth-placed Newcastle United are two points behind with two games in hand.

TOP STORY – SPURS TURN TO EINTRACHT BOSS IN SHOCK MOVE

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is looking to Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte, according to Bild.

The report claims Spurs have already made contact with the Austrian's representatives about the surprise move.

Glasner is yet to sign an extension on his deal from Frankfurt which expires in 2024. Tottenham have Glasner in their sights, having led the Germans to the Europa League title last season.

 

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Manchester United and Newcastle United will battle it out to land the signature of Roma forward Paulo Dybala, reports Calciomercatoweb. The Argentinian is set to be available for a bargain price, given he has a release clause for overseas clubs to sign him for just £10.6million (€12m).

– Relevo claims Chelsea are working behind the scenes to make Joao Felix's loan stay at Stamford Bridge permanent beyond this season. The Portuguese joined the Blues in January on a six-month loan from Atletico Madrid, for whom he penned an extension until 2027 on the eve of that move.

– The Times claims Tottenham will demand £100m upfront for captain and star striker Harry Kane, who is out of contract in 2024. Manchester United have been linked with Kane, while Bayern Munich previously showed an interest, although that has reportedly waned.

Juventus' pursuit of Chelsea's midfielder N'Golo Kante has been dealt a blow, with the Frenchman unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

– Football Transfers claims Arsenal will look to tie down Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard on a long-term deal until 2030. His deal expires in 2025.

Arsenal are interested in Salzburg's 22-year-old forward Noah Okafor, claims The Daily Mail. Tottenham and Milan are also keen on the Swiss talent.

Real Madrid have reportedly identified Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Manchester City's Joao Cancelo as their three primary targets in a €300million plan.

The Spanish giants have been pursuing 19-year-old Bellingham for months, while 22-year-old Kvaratskhelia has emerged as one of world football's breakout prospects during his first Serie A season.

Cancelo's future with City is also up in the air after Pep Guardiola allowed him to be loaned to Bayern Munich, with the German club hesitant to make the move permanent.

They could be three of the biggest names to move in the upcoming transfer window, and Madrid are said to want to bring them all to LaLiga instead of resuming the chase for Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLAN AMBITIOUS MOVE FOR WORLD-CLASS TRIO

According to Fichajes.net, Madrid will try to secure all three of their top targets for a combined fee in the range of €300m.

The report states they are comfortable with the asking price of Kvaratskhelia, which is said to be a minimum of €100m, while they expect Liverpool to rival them in a €150m chase for Bellingham.

Cancelo has a €70m (£61.5m) buy clause in his loan deal, which is said to be more palatable to Madrid than Bayern, as they view him as a long-term solution at right-back.

 

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– Football Insider is reporting Manchester United remain keen on 26-year-old Inter defender Denzel Dumfries, and that the Italian club's financial situation could tempt them to accept a bid in the region of €50m (£44m).

– According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter and Milan are enamoured with 21-year-old Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, who is among Ligue 1's top scorers this season during a loan stint with Reims.

Manchester United are concerned with the prospect of a drawn-out pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and will instead prioritise Napoli's Victor Osimhen or Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic, per ESPN.

– Journalist Ekrem Konur is reporting Atletico Madrid plan to offer Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

– According to The Athletic, 31-year-old Neymar wants to finish his career at Paris Saint-Germain and has no interest in leaving.

Manchester United have reportedly made Tottenham striker Harry Kane their top priority when addressing their attacking options at the end of the season.

Kane, 29, has already stamped his legacy as one of the Premier League's greatest ever strikers, sitting third on the all-time goals list in the competition with 201. He also owns the record for the most goals ever scored for Tottenham (268) and is tied for the most goals representing England (53).

Despite his decorated personal resume, Tottenham are set for a 15th consecutive season without any silverware, and with their Champions League hopes for next campaign hanging on by a thread, they may have run out of time to prove to their star striker why he should stay.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED DETERMINED TO BRING KANE TO OLD TRAFFORD

According to the Manchester Evening News, Erik ten Hag has identified Kane as his primary target.

The report adds that they remain interested in Napoli's Victor Osimhen, as well as Benfica's Goncalo Ramos, but Kane is the top priority if they can make it happen.

With only one more season remaining on his contract, Kane will likely get his wish to leave if he decides he will certainly not sign a new deal, as the club would be risking a potential £100million sale if they hold onto him through the next transfer deadline.

But just because Tottenham may sell him does not mean he would land at Old Trafford, with Bayern Munich's well-documented interest still prevalent.

 

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– Calciomercato is reporting Inter are interested in bringing in towering 24-year-old Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca from West Ham after a disappointing first season in the Premier League.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, 25-year-old Tottenham striker Richarlison is a candidate to replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, while Calciomercato adds Juventus are also keeping a close eye on Richarlison's availability.

Roberto Firmino has offered his services to Barcelona as he seeks a new team for next season, per Sport.

– Football Insider is reporting Manchester United are in "pole position" to meet the £70m (€79m) asking price to sign 25-year-old Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, despite his repeated comments that he has no interest in leaving Spain.

– Journalist Rudy Galetti claims Chelsea are interested in a pair of 28-year-old centre backs – Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City and Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez.

Manchester United have reportedly made Tottenham striker Harry Kane their top priority when addressing their attacking options at the end of the season.

Kane, 29, has already stamped his legacy as one of the Premier League's greatest ever strikers, sitting third on the all-time goals list in the competition with 201. He also owns the record for the most goals ever scored for Tottenham (268) and is tied for the most goals representing England (53).

Despite his decorated personal resume, Tottenham are set for a 15th consecutive season without any silverware, and with their Champions League hopes for next campaign hanging on by a thread, they may have run out of time to prove to their star striker why he should stay.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED DETERMINED TO BRING KANE TO OLD TRAFFORD

According to the Manchester Evening News, Erik ten Hag has identified Kane as his primary target.

The report adds that they remain interested in Napoli's Victor Osimhen, as well as Benfica's Goncalo Ramos, but Kane is the top priority if they can make it happen.

With only one more season remaining on his contract, Kane will likely get his wish to leave if he decides he will certainly not sign a new deal, as the club would be risking a potential £100million sale if they hold onto him through the next transfer deadline.

But just because Tottenham may sell him does not mean he would land at Old Trafford, with Bayern Munich's well-documented interest still prevalent.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting Inter are interested in bringing in towering 24-year-old Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca from West Ham after a disappointing first season in the Premier League.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, 25-year-old Tottenham striker Richarlison is a candidate to replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, while Calciomercato adds Juventus are also keeping a close eye on Richarlison's availability.

Roberto Firmino has offered his services to Barcelona as he seeks a new team for next season, per Sport.

– Football Insider is reporting Manchester United are in "pole position" to meet the £70m (€79m) asking price to sign 25-year-old Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, despite his repeated comments that he has no interest in leaving Spain.

– Journalist Rudy Galetti claims Chelsea are interested in a pair of 28-year-old centre backs – Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City and Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez.

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