First Romelu Lukaku. Now Alexis Sanchez?

Lukaku left Manchester United for Inter and former team-mate Sanchez could join the powerhouse Belgian in Milan.

Antonio Conte's Inter are set to be active before the transfer window closes.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHEZ SET FOR INTER

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has agreed terms with Inter, according to Sky Italia.

Sanchez has endured a nightmare spell since joining United from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2018, managing just five goals in all competitions.

While United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has publicly declared Sanchez will play a significant role this season, the Chilean is reportedly poised to join former Red Devils striker Romelu Lukaku at Inter.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Real Madrid will make a late €65million (£60m) bid to sign Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, The Sun reports. The Danish star has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Juventus, while Madrid have been talking to Ajax about Donny van de Beek as they struggle to prise Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

- Le Parisien says Neymar remains convinced he will leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window shuts. It comes as Sport claims Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has taken command to re-sign the Brazilian, who left for a world-record fee in 2017.

- According to the Mirror, Manchester United are ready to pay defender Marcos Rojo to leave Old Trafford. With two years remaining on his contract, Rojo was linked with a deadline-day move to Everton. The Argentina international is now reportedly pushing for a loan switch to Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

Bayern Munich want to re-sign Mario Mandzukic from Juventus, claims Bild. Mandzukic spent two years at Bayern, where he won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the Champions League.

- It comes as Soccerlink reports Serie A champions Juve have turned to Lyon forward Moussa Dembele, with Inter outcast Mauro Icardi proving difficult to sign.

Napoli are preparing to relaunch a €60m bid to sign Icardi, according to Corriere dello Sport. Juventus are willing to offer Paulo Dybala in a swap deal but Inter are reluctant to deal with the Bianconeri. Napoli are also reportedly set to complete the signing of PSV's Hirving Lozano, who will undergo a medical on Wednesday.

AC Milan have asked Tottenham for full-back Serge Aurier on loan with an option to buy, claims Soccerlink.

Neymar will not take part in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 meeting with Rennes on Sunday, but Thomas Tuchel still has hope of keeping the Brazil star at the club.

Doubt remains over Neymar's future at PSG, with Barcelona and Real Madrid having reportedly had bids rejected for the wantaway forward.

Neymar has been returning to full fitness from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America, but he was included in Tite's Brazil squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru, while PSG sporting director Leonardo has claimed the problem has "completely healed."

Neymar was left out of PSG's opening fixture against Nimes, and the 27-year-old will again be absent when the champions travel to Rennes, although head coach Tuchel insists there has been no change in the situation regarding a possible transfer.

"He started the training session with us, but finished individually," Tuchel told a news conference. "It's a little too early [for him] to start in a match, especially at Rennes' home.

"He is my player and when I think of a strong team, it includes him. If there is no solution for him, he will stay with us.

"For now, nothing has changed. Neymar has three years left on his contract.

"He is sensitive, so I will always protect him. He needs to train with us and raise his intensity.

"I want to see him play at his best level for 90 minutes, with aggression and lots of dribbling."

While Neymar will not feature against Rennes, Idrissa Gueye is set to travel, though Tuchel suggested the former Everton midfielder would not be fit to start.

"Integration is easy with Idrissa: he can talk with everyone, he is very polite, humble," said Tuchel, who will also be without Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer and Layvin Kurzawa.

"He has to adapt to our style of play, to our principles. It's a little early for him, but he's going to make the trip with us.

"He's a player who can play at [number] six or eight but, for me, he's better at six. That's what we expect from him."

Luis Suarez is out for an indefinite period after injuring his right calf in Barcelona's LaLiga loss to Athletic Bilbao on Friday, the club have confirmed.

The 32-year-old striker had to be replaced before half-time at San Mames after receiving treatment following a shot that hit the post.

Lionel Messi missed the match with a calf issue of his own suffered shortly before Barca travelled to the United States for two friendly matches against Napoli last week.

Their absences were felt as Ernesto Valverde's men succumbed to a stunning late winner from Athletic veteran Aritz Aduriz.

"Tests carried out on Saturday morning have confirmed Luis Suarez has an injured right calf," Barca said in a statement.

"His recovery will dictate his return to action."

Suarez's early withdrawal was the first time he has been substituted in the first half of a LaLiga game since he joined Barca from Liverpool in 2014.

The champions suddenly look light on forwards, with Philippe Coutinho set to join Bayern Munich on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

Antoine Griezmann debuted against Athletic, but Suarez's injury and Coutinho's departure could see Barca ramp up their interest in former player Neymar, who looks increasingly likely to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

The Premier League window may have already closed, but Manchester United and Manchester City are still in the headlines.

After going head-to-head for Harry Maguire, the two Manchester clubs are reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

This rumour will not go away anytime soon.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY BATTLING FOR SANCHO

According to the Daily Mail, Sancho will leave Dortmund at the end of the season as rivals United and City do battle for the England international.

Sancho was reportedly on United's list of targets during the off-season, but Dortmund were unwilling to sell their 19-year-old star.

The English talent has flourished since joining Dortmund from Premier League champions City in 2017, and the Daily Mail claims the Bundesliga club are already looking for replacements.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Inter are considering a move for Man United's Alexis Sanchez after missing out on Edin Dzeko, reports Gianlucadimarzio.com. Bosnian striker Dzeko signed a new contract with Roma and Inter are now looking for alternatives, including Sanchez, free agent Fernando Llorente, Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic and Arkadiusz Milik, who could be used in a swap involving Mauro Icardi.

- According to le10sport, Ajax, AC Milan and Lille are among the clubs interested in Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. The 19-year-old arrived from Toulouse in January.

- Brescia have offered former Juventus and Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio a two-year deal, reports Sky Sport Italia and other outlets in the country. Marchisio is a free agent after leaving Zenit and the 33-year-old could be joined at Brescia by Mario Balotelli.

- Sport claims Barcelona are prepared to sell midfielder Arturo Vidal for €20million as the Chile international continues to be linked to Inter and a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli and Juve are the only options for Inter outcast Icardi following Dzeko's Roma renewal.

- James Rodriguez may not leave Real Madrid following an injury to Eden Hazard, according to reports. James had been tipped to join either Napoli or Atletico Madrid, but the Colombia star is in Madrid's squad for their LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Antoine Griezmann said LaLiga champions Barcelona will improve as the season is long following Friday's shock loss to Athletic Bilbao.

Barca opened their title defence with a late 1-0 defeat away to Athletic at San Mames, where the holders succumbed to Aritz Aduriz's dramatic acrobatics.

Aduriz came off the bench and scored a stunning 89th-minute overhead kick to condemn Griezmann to a losing league debut for Barca.

"We have time," Griezmann, who arrived from Atletico Madrid, said after the match.

"The season is long and we have to work towards the next game.

"We have to work because that's the only way we'll improve."

Griezmann underwhelmed in his LaLiga bow for Barca – the €120million signing struggled to make an impact in the absence of injured captain Lionel Messi.

"We lacked what costs the most in football," the France star added.  "That last pass, that cross or that overlap."

Barca's defeat was compounded by an injury to veteran forward Luis Suarez, who was forced to leave the match in the first half.

Suarez suffered a muscle injury just after the half-hour mark, and Griezmann said: "Let's just see how he is and if he can play against [Real] Betis.

Barca – seeking a third consecutive LaLiga title – will travel to Real Betis on August 25.

 

Aritz Aduriz said he will always be available to help Athletic Bilbao until the last day after his stunning bicycle kick downed Barcelona 1-0 in the LaLiga opener.

Aduriz plans to retire at season's end but the 38-year-old Bilbao star showed he still has plenty of football left in the tank thanks to his unforgettable 89th-minute winner on Friday.

The club great scored within a minute of his introduction via a spectacular overhead kick against the LaLiga champions at San Mames.

Aduriz's goal saw him match a Lionel Messi scoring feat, having now scored in 15 consecutive seasons in Spain's top flight, and the veteran striker revelled in the result.

"The team has been amazing," Aduriz told reporters. "There is no better way to start than by adding three points against Barca. 

"I said I was going to be there to help Athletic until the last day and today I have been able to prove it.

"The atmosphere of San Mames is always insurmountable, but it is true that today people have taken this game even more eagerly. 

"Athletic's base is young people. You have to give them confidence and go slowly with them. They will help us a lot throughout the year."

"Dedicated to my family and everyone who supports me," Aduriz said of the goal. "These kind of things make football so beautiful."

"Everything in life has a start and a finish. I'm grateful to be able to choose to end things where I'm happiest," he continued.

Inaki Williams, who signed a nine-year contract extension with Bilbao following links to Manchester United, added: "I am very happy for Adu. 

"It's his last season and I want him to say goodbye with as many goals as possible."

Robert Lewandowski believes Philippe Coutinho will make a seamless transition to Bayern Munich after the Bundesliga champions agreed to a deal to sign the Barcelona playmaker.

Coutinho is set to join Bayern on loan for the 2019-20 season – the deal including an option to buy the Brazil international – after the German giants and Barca confirmed on Friday that an agreement is in place.

Bayern have been desperate to reinforce their squad following the departures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, and the conclusion of James Rodriguez's loan deal from Real Madrid.

Ivan Perisic arrived after a serious knee injury scuppered Bayern's attempts to sign Manchester City star Leroy Sane, and Coutinho is poised to follow in Munich.

"I don't think he'll need that much time to adapt to our system and ideas," Lewandowski told reporters of Coutinho after scoring twice in Bayern's 2-2 draw at home to Hertha Berlin in the club's Bundesliga opener.

"I think he's the sort of player that can settle in without many problems."

Coutinho has struggled to cement his place at Camp Nou since joining Barca in a reported €160million transfer from Liverpool in January 2018.

The 27-year-old scored five league goals as Barca retained their LaLiga crown in 2018-19, while he managed 11 in all competitions.

It was not all good news following Friday's agreement as Bayern midfielder Renato Sanches vented his frustration with his lack of playing time.

Sanches – who has struggled since joining from Benfica in 2016 – made a brief appearance against Hertha, the Portuguese an 85th-minute replacement for Thomas Muller.

Upset with the situation following two unsuccessful attempts to leave, the 21-year-old Sanches said: "Of course I'm disappointed, it's the second time the club has not let me go, five minutes is not enough for me."

Asked about Sanches' comments, Bayern head coach Niko Kovac added: "I cannot say anything about that, I did not speak to him."

Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave Barcelona at the end of last season as he prepares to join Bayern Munich on loan, according to Ernesto Valverde.

Barca and Bayern confirmed on Friday that an agreement is in place for Coutinho to move to the Bundesliga champions for the 2019-20 campaign – the deal including an option to buy the playmaker.

Coutinho had been linked to Paris Saint-Germain as a makeweight in a possible deal for former Barca star Neymar, however, the Brazilian is now set for Munich after watching Friday's shock 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao from the stands.

Asked about Coutinho following Barca's disappointing LaLiga opener, head coach Valverde told Movistar: "It is a situation that last season when the league ended the player had it in his head.

"This has come up, he has accepted and hopefully he is lucky."

Coutinho, who will help to replace James Rodriguez after his two-year loan from Real Madrid ended, has struggled to cement his place at Camp Nou since joining Barca in a reported €160million transfer from Liverpool in January 2018 – a move that saw him become the world's second most expensive player.

The 27-year-old Brazil international scored five league goals as Barca retained their LaLiga crown in 2018-19, while he managed 11 in all competitions.

Coutinho is set to follow another loan signing – Ivan Perisic – through the door, though sections of Bayern's fanbase were not impressed by the deal to sign the Inter forward, who came in as an alternative to Leroy Sane after the Manchester City winger suffered a serious knee injury.

 

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said Antoine Griezmann has to come into play more following his underwhelming league bow for the LaLiga champions.

Griezmann made his first LaLiga appearance for Barca, who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in their opening fixture Friday.

A €120million signing from Atletico Madrid, all eyes were on Griezmann, but he struggled to make an impact in absence of captain Lionel Messi, while Luis Suarez's first-half injury left him isolated.

"If he's near the area, he is decisive and moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen," Valverde told reporters.

"Putting him on the left side, we know that you are going to focus on the goal, but we have a side and players that can hold the game.

"Of course, he is aware that we all expect a lot from many players and have to seek to get more into the game."

Suarez left San Mames just after the half-hour mark due to an apparent calf injury away to Athletic.

The Uruguayan veteran had to be substituted moments after hitting the post, which would have given two-time reigning champions Barca the lead.

Valverde added: "He has a muscular problem and we have to wait for the tests. In the second half, when we were around Athletic's area, we missed him."

Barca eventually succumbed to Athletic, who triumphed thanks to veteran Aritz Aduriz's stunning overhead kick in the 89th minute.

The 38-year-old made an immediate impact off the bench, meeting Ander Capa's cross in sensational fashion to seal all three points.

"With Aduriz, any ball in the air is a danger and he got his goal," former Athletic boss Valverde said.

"That move is dominant, and he's scored similar goals. When I saw him line it up... I wasn't surprised with the execution at all."

Gerard Pique conceded Barcelona were deservedly beaten by Athletic Bilbao, saying the defending LaLiga champions were "put in our place" at San Mames.

A stunning overhead kick from veteran substitute striker Aritz Aduriz in the 89th minute snatched all three points for the home side in the opening LaLiga match of 2019-20.

Barca hit the post through Luis Suarez - who went off injured in the first half with a muscle injury - and replacement Rafinha struck the crossbar, but they were largely lacklustre in attack without captain Lionel Messi, who is sidelined with a calf problem.

The result is likely to see pressure again begin to mount on head coach Ernesto Valverde, who came under fire at the end of last season for Barca's Champions League capitulation against Liverpool, as well as the Copa del Rey final loss to Valencia, although they retained the league title.

While he accepted the defeat, Pique did not believe Barca were especially poor and stressed losing at this stage of the season could in fact prove to be useful.

"San Mames is always very difficult and today the competition put us in our place," he told Movistar.

"We weren't ourselves. From the start, they pressed us a lot and physically they were better, although in the second half they dropped off a little.

"In the end, winning or losing comes down to details, and we leave with a defeat that will be good for us, because it's better to lose now than at the end of the season.

"We came from pre-season, there are new people... sometimes, you prepare for a game in one way and it doesn't happen as you expected.

"In the first half, they had one clear chance, [Inaki] Williams' one, and we had Luis hit the post.

"We played more in our own half, but that's what you expect at San Mames. In the second half, we played more in their half, but details are details and one killed us in the end."

Bayern Munich are set to sign Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan from Barcelona and the deal includes an option to buy the playmaker, Hasan Salihamidzic has confirmed.

Coutinho was not involved as LaLiga champions Barca suffered a surprise opening-day defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday, with the club's official spokesman Guillermo Amor announcing prior to kick-off an agreement had been reached to send the former Liverpool man to Bayern.

Bayern got off to a similarly sluggish start to their Spanish counterparts, drawing 2-2 at home to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga curtain raiser.

After the clash at Allianz Arena, Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic – who also revealed Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Mickael Cuisance will be joining the Bundesliga champions – announced a deal for Coutinho is in place.

"I can confirm that [Bayern chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been in Barcelona this week and we have reached an agreement with Barcelona, with the player and his agent," he told ZDF.

"We have had very good discussions, I would like to thank Barcelona. Of course, there are still missing a few details, including the medical check and the signature.

"It is a transfer on loan for one year followed by a purchase option for Bayern."

Coutinho, who will help to replace James Rodriguez after his two-year loan from Real Madrid ended, has struggled to cement his place at Camp Nou since joining Barca in a reported €160million transfer in January 2018, a move that saw him become the world's second most expensive player.

The Brazil midfielder is set to follow another loan signing – Ivan Perisic – through the door, though sections of Bayern's fanbase were not impressed by the deal to sign the Inter forward, who came in as an alternative to Leroy Sane after the Manchester City winger suffered a serious knee injury.

"Nowadays it is not easy in the transfer market," Salihamidzic continued. "We tried very hard, it is clear that we want to offer our fans something spectacular. But to reinforce this team is not easy.

"With Perisic, some will see that he is a really good player. Coutinho will offer us options; he can play in the middle or can come from the left. The fans can be happy."

Bayern boss Niko Kovac, meanwhile, believes German football fans should be delighted a player of Coutinho's quality is joining the Bundesliga.

"I am of the opinion that we – and I do not only refer to Bayern Munich but also to the whole Bundesliga, whole Germany – can be happy to welcome such a top player here in this league," Kovac told a news conference after the draw with Hertha.

"He is a player that not only proved this in the clubs but also at the national team. If you look at the last Copa America, then you know what I am talking about. We are very delighted and I think he will fit well. He will show us what he is capable of – namely playing football very well."

Athletic Bilbao veteran Aritz Aduriz matched a Lionel Messi goalscoring feat with his sensational winner against Barcelona on Friday.

Aduriz came off the bench in the 88th minute at San Mames and scored a spectacular overhead kick barely 60 seconds later to seal a 1-0 win over the champions.

It means the 38-year-old, who plans to retire at the end of this campaign, has now scored in 15 consecutive seasons in Spain's top flight, something only Messi has achieved before.

The Barca captain was missing from this match while he recovers from a calf problem.

Barca's defeat marked the first time since 2008-09 that the reigning LaLiga champions have lost their opening match of the new season. Back then, Real Madrid lost 2-1 to Deportivo La Coruna.

It was also Athletic's first victory over Barca in their last 12 meetings, although Ernesto Valverde has now lost five of his six LaLiga away games against his previous club.

Barcelona lost Luis Suarez to injury as a stunning late goal from Aritz Aduriz secured a 1-0 win for Athletic Bilbao in Friday's LaLiga opener.

With Lionel Messi missing with a calf problem and Philippe Coutinho left out amid talks with Bayern Munich over a loan move, the Catalans were found wanting in attack against coach Ernesto Valverde's old club.

Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong made their league debuts for the champions, but there was little for them to celebrate as the 2019-20 season got off to a lacklustre start at San Mames.

The loss of Suarez to a first-half muscle problem only compounded what proved a frustrating outing for the visitors, who twice hit the woodwork before Aduriz's 89th-minute overhead kick secured all three points.

 

Luis Suarez went off injured in the first half of Barcelona's opening LaLiga match of the season against Athletic Bilbao.

The striker appeared to hurt his calf muscle shortly before taking a shot that hit the post just after the half-hour mark at San Mames.

Uruguay international Suarez was given treatment but had to be withdrawn, being replaced by Rafinha.

It is the first time he has been substituted in the first half of a LaLiga game since he joined Barca from Liverpool in 2014. 

Lionel Messi was missing from the match due to a calf injury suffered shortly before Barca travelled to the United States for two friendly matches against Napoli last week.

Philippe Coutinho was left out of the squad, with Barca confirming he is in talks with Bayern Munich over a loan move to the Bundesliga champions.

Ernesto Valverde's return to San Mames was goalless at half-time, with Rafinha having also been denied by the woodwork after replacing Suarez.

Barcelona have agreed a deal to send Philippe Coutinho on loan to Bayern Munich, according to the club's official spokesman Guillermo Amor.

Coutinho moved to Camp Nou in a reported €160million deal from Liverpool in January 2018 but has struggled to recreate the form he showed at Anfield.

The Brazil international had been linked as a possible makeweight in Barca's attempt to bring back former forward Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Bayern emerged as favourites to land Coutinho and Amor, speaking to Movistar+ prior to Barca's LaLiga opener at Athletic Bilbao, confirmed the move is imminent.

"It's possible to confirm we have an agreement to loan Coutinho to Bayern," he said.

The arrival of Coutinho will further help Bayern offset the departures of club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, with Ivan Perisic having joined on loan from Inter this week.

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane had been a target, but Bayern's attempt to pull off a deal was hindered by a serious knee injury sustained by the Germany international.

Barca's agreement to send Coutinho will also cast doubt on their chances of signing Neymar, with the LaLiga champions thought to be pursuing a player-plus-cash deal.

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