Italian police have arrested 12 leading Juventus 'ultra' members as part of an investigation headed by the Turin Public Prosecutor's office.

The suspects are accused of a range of crimes, including the use of extortion and violence to obtain tickets to matches that they could later sell on.

Police confirmed fans also threatened to carry out racist chanting at games, which would result in the club being fined and potentially docked points, leading to a clampdown from Juventus.

"We found proof that many things were obtained through violence or the retaliation through racist chants, with a ban and expensive fines as a consequence [for the club]," deputy prosecutor of Turin, Patrizia Caputo, told a press conference on Monday, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport

"The club have had the courage to sue and that was very important. But even the other tifosi [fans] were victims of threats and couldn't go to the stadium anymore because they can't stand menaces, the environment and the racist behaviour."

Hellas Verona have denied their supporters racially abused AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and demanded more respect for their fans.

Kessie was allegedly targeted during Milan's 1-0 Serie A win at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on Sunday.

Monkey chants are reported to have been aimed at the Ivory Coast international, but Hellas have issued a statement on Twitter to refute those suggestions.

"Racist chants against Kessie? Insults against [Gianluigi] Donnarumma? Maybe someone was baffled by the decibel of the Gialloblu supporters," the club tweeted. 

"[We heard] unavoidable whistles against the referee's decisions which still leave us very perplexed today. 

"And then, lots of cheers for our gladiators at the end of the match. Let's not stumble on cliches and old labels. Respect for Verona and its people."

An Italian sports programme has suspended pundit Luciano Passirani after he made a racist remark on air about Inter striker Romelu Lukaku.

Passirani made the comment on TopCalcio24 on Sunday while praising Lukaku's performances for Inter this season after the Nerazzurri earned a third win from as many Serie A games by beating Udinese 1-0.

A clip was subsequently shared on social media and Passirani has now been banned from appearing on the show.

"Mr Passirani is 80 years old and to compliment Lukaku he used a metaphor that turned out to be racist," programme director Fabio Ravezzani, who also confirmed Passirani had apologised, stated.

"I think it was a terrible lack of momentary lucidity. I cannot tolerate any kind of errors, even if momentary."

Lukaku made the switch to Inter from Manchester United in the August and has scored twice in three Serie A outings thus far.

Lukaku was the target of abuse in Inter's win over Cagliari last month.

Monkey chants could be heard as the Belgium striker converted a penalty in the 2-1 win, with Lukaku posting on Instagram afterwards: "Football is a game to be enjoyed and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.

"Ladies and gentlemen it's 2019 – instead of going forwards we're going backwards."

Cristiano Ronaldo said he felt "embarrassed" after being accused of rape.

Kathryn Mayorga claimed Ronaldo raped her in a hotel room in Las Vegas 10 years ago, with German publication Der Spiegel reporting the story last October.

Ronaldo repeatedly denied the accusation and the Clark County District Attorney's Office announced in July that the Juventus striker would not face charges as they could not "be proven beyond a reasonable doubt".

According to Der Spiegel, Mayorga first made a complaint of sexual assault in 2009 and subsequently reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo. It was claimed by the magazine she was paid $375,000 as part of a privacy agreement, preventing her from going public with the allegations.

The Portuguese, speaking to Piers Morgan in an interview to be aired on ITV on Tuesday, has spoken for the first time about the impact the case has had on his family life.

"They play with your dignity. It's hard," said Ronaldo.

"You have a girlfriend, you have a family, you have kids. When they play with your honesty, it's bad, it's hard.

"I remember one day I was at home in the living room with my girlfriend watching the television, to see the news and they talk about Cristiano Ronaldo and this and that, I listened to my kids coming down the stairs and I changed the channel because I was embarrassed.

"I felt embarrassed, I just changed the channel for Cristiano Jr not to see that they speak badly about his father, about a very bad case. It makes me feel so bad, to be honest."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke an LA Galaxy goalscoring record in Sunday's 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City and said finding the target is easy for him. 

Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in Sunday's rout, taking him to 26 MLS goals for the season, surpassing Carlos Ruiz as the player with the most league goals in a single season for the Galaxy.

The victory moved Guillermo Barros Schelotto's men up to fifth in the Western Conference, boosting their play-off chances with four matches of the regular season remaining.

Former Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United star Ibrahimovic, however, was typically flippant in his response to bringing up his landmark tally.

"Scoring goals is easy, you just have to be like Zlatan and it's coming," said the 37-year-old, who is two goals behind leading scorer Carlos Vela.

"I try to help the team in the best way and that is by scoring goals. I scored and I have to keep going, I have to help my team in the best way and that is to score goals and make it easier for everybody."

Despite the large margin of victory, the Galaxy did not have it all their own way at Dignity Health Sports Park, where Felipe Gutierrez put Kansas ahead before Ibrahimovic equalised and the hosts ran riot in the second half.

Joe Corona headed the hosts in front after the interval, with Ibrahimovic's second goal of the match setting the club's new record before Uriel Antuna got in on the act.

"It's a great result, it was a good game," said Ibrahimovic.

"The result says something else but the first half was very even, we played against a good team which plays good football. In the second we were stronger and when we got the opportunities we were scoring so that was the difference.

"It's good, we still have four games to go. To win, to get the confidence, even to score many goals for the goal difference. Everyone did a good job, even if we were a little bit tired in the end, but we did a good job."

Once dubbed the 'German Messi', Marko Marin has found his home at boyhood club Red Star Belgrade.

Marin's European odyssey has taken him to Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen, Premier League giants Chelsea, Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Trabzonspor and Olympiacos.

Now, in Belgrade – less than a three-hour drive from where Marin was born in the Bosnian city of Gradiska – the 30-year-old attacker is playing a key role in restoring the global reputation of 1991 European Cup champions Red Star, having disappeared off the radar.

"Even more for me, with my childhood club because I'm a fan from a kid," Marin, a league winner with Red Star and Olympiacos, told Omnisport as he reflected on Red Star's Champions League qualification. "To play Champions League with them is even more special. It's a very nice experience to bring the Champions League back to Serbia after so many years."

Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina to Bosnian Serb parents in 1989, Marin – a Europa League winner with Chelsea (2013) and Sevilla (2014) moved to Germany at the age of two and 16 international caps for his new country followed.

Marin waited for calls from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia but they were not forthcoming as he opted for Germany – he was rewarded with a spot in Joachim Low's 2010 World Cup squad after impressing for Bremen.

While he represented Die Mannschaft, Marin's love for Serbian powerhouse Red Star – who snapped a 26-year drought from Europe's premier club competition last term – runs deep and a second successive season of Champions League football means a lot to the club captain.

"It's different because you play with more passion for the club," Marin said when asked about the satisfaction of qualifying. "You always give everything for the club you represent because it's your job and love football. But it's different if you play for the club you really loved as a kid.

"We have many players in the team like this. The foreign players maybe give us more quality but the main group of the team and the strength – when you grow up as a Red Star fan, many of them trained in the youth team. It's a bit different to play Champions League for Chelsea or Werder Bremen for example."

"After every game, Belgrade and Serbia is so happy and even kids outside of the country," he said. "I grew up in Germany and I was a fan of Red Star and when I went with my friends to school, you would always talk and I said that I'm a Red Star fan but they didn't really know. But now, Red Star are playing in the biggest competition in Europe. You make Red Star big again. They're getting used to it. This is a motivation.

"For sure this season, we will make some good games. Even qualifying for the group stage is a big, big success. If you compare with Manchester City, Barcelona or Real Madrid, their aim is to win the Champions League... ours is to qualify first."

Marin arrived at Red Star from Greek giants Olympiacos prior to the side's 2018-19 Champions League group-stage campaign involving eventual champions Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.

One of the game's most promising talents a decade ago, Marin's switch from Piraeus to Belgrade last year barely made the news outside of Serbia. What could have been is a question often asked about the Bosnian-born German. But what does he think about his career?

"It's a fantastic career," Marin replied. "I played in nearly every big league for the biggest teams. When I was at Bremen, we played for the title and in the Champions League. At Chelsea, I don't have to explain how big this team is and Sevilla.

"Maybe it could be better, for sure. There are some reasons. Maybe I wasn't patient enough in some situations. Injuries didn't help to make it even bigger. But I wouldn't have this experience with Red Star if this didn't happen. I'm very happy with my career. To feel this what I feel at the moment, it's the best part of my career."

Marin, who joined Chelsea on a five-year deal from Bremen in 2012, added: "Who knows what would've happened if I stayed longer in Germany? The experience to play for Chelsea was amazing. To play alongside the best players, the professionals. [Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry – these leaders. How they train every day and the passion and quality. I saw this for the first time in Chelsea. I played before with very good players but that was another level."

Fast forward to this season and Marin's Red Star are preparing to welcome Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, 2019 Champions League runners-up Tottenham and Olympiacos to Rajko Mitic Stadium – also known as the Marakana – in Group B.

Red Star will be relying on their fanatical and daunting home support in the Serbian capital, where Liverpool lost 2-0 in November – one of four defeats for last season's champions in the 2018-19 competition – as Vladan Milojevic's men eye a third-place finish.

"It's difficult for teams coming here because they don't know, they can't expect this," Marin said. "Before last season's game against Liverpool in the news conference I said you will see it's completely different. I know Anfield is amazing with a big crowd, but it's totally different to what they experienced in Belgrade. You cannot explain it.

"They go to warm-up and the stadium is already full. We were waiting to come out of this big, long tunnel that you don't have anywhere in the world. Then you go out and the stadium is exploding. It's not easy for visiting teams. We play 11 against 11 but when they feel this atmosphere, it's different.

"I hope we can challenge for third place. I'm not sure if would be a surprise if we take some points because people know us and how difficult it is to play at Marakana. Our strength is team work and it's even more so at home. Of course we have quality but the biggest strength is teamwork."

And what about the 'German Messi' tag? "I couldn't change this. It didn't come from me. We all know there's only one Messi and no one is even near him. It wasn't big pressure because I don't think they took it seriously when they compared me to Messi. He is the number one. [Cristiano] Ronaldo is another type of player. Maybe they see it as my ability maybe in one-on-one situations. I take it as a compliment but it's not a real comparison."

If losing your manager was bad enough, imagine losing your star defender?

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and centre-back Virgil van Dijk are attracting some serious interest from across Europe.

Now, LaLiga's powerhouse duo are reportedly eyeing the Reds pair.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND MADRID WANT KLOPP AND VAN DIJK

According to AS, LaLiga champions Barcelona and rivals Real Madrid are set to go head-to-head to try to prise Klopp and Van Dijk from Liverpool.

Klopp and Van Dijk helped lead Liverpool to Champions League glory last season, while the Reds are challenging for Premier League honours this term having narrowly missed out to Manchester City in 2018-19.

With Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde and Madrid counterpart Zinedine Zidane under some early pressure in Spain, Klopp and Van Dijk are reportedly "two priorities" for both clubs.

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid have the budget to sign Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe at the end of the season, reports AS. Madrid's financial accounts have been revealed, with €156million in liquid assets at their disposal, as well as €285m in credit. Los Blancos are reportedly planning to persuade the France forward, who is contracted until 2022, not to re-sign in the French capital in an effort to force the club's hand.

Lionel Messi to MLS? There has been talk about Messi and David Beckham's incoming franchise Inter Miami following a report claiming a delegation had been sent out to open negotiations for the Barcelona captain. However, Goal says Messi has had no contact with Beckham's Miami.

Manchester United are trying everything to re-sign star goalkeeper David de Gea. According to the Times, United have offered De Gea a new contract with no wage drop if the Red Devils do not qualify for the Champions League. The Spain international, who is out of contract at the end of the season, reportedly has a four-year deal on the table worth £13.5m a season.

- Staying at Old Trafford, and Record and O Jogo both report United are back in for Benfica star Ruben Dias. The 22-year-old defender was linked to the Manchester club before the transfer window closed. Now reports claim a United official was in attendance for Benfica's 2-0 win over Gil Vicente.

Inter are hoping to sign Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund, according to Calciomercato.com. Gotze's contract expires at the end of the season and Antonio Conte's Inter are eyeing the Germany attacker on a free transfer.

- Velez Sarsfield's Thiago Almada is still on the radar of Manchester City, says Record. City had a bid rejected during the transfer window but Pep Guardiola's side remain keen on the 18-year-old.

Hat-trick hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic made history for LA Galaxy, while DC United boosted their play-off chances in MLS on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic set a single-season scoring record for Galaxy by moving onto 26 goals, netting a hat-trick in a 7-2 thrashing of Sporting Kansas City at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Galaxy had fallen behind to a Felipe Gutierrez goal before Ibrahimovic equalised just after the half-hour mark.

The former Manchester United striker had a penalty saved by Tim Melia, only for the rebound to fall kindly for him to tap in.

Joe Corona headed in a Cristian Pavon cross to give Galaxy the lead in the second half before Ibrahimovic broke the club's record with a finish from inside the area.

Sebastian Lletget scored a late brace after an Uriel Antuna goal before Ibrahimovic completed his hat-trick, drilling into the bottom corner after an Efrain Alvarez pass.

Gutierrez scored a late consolation goal for Sporting as Galaxy climbed into fifth in the Western Conference.

A first-half own goal from Bill Tuiloma was enough for DC United to overcome the Portland Timbers 1-0.

It marked a second straight league win for DC, who are fifth in the Eastern Conference and eight points clear of eighth-placed Montreal Impact.

Toronto are fourth and also closing in on the play-offs after recording a 3-2 win at home to Colorado Rapids.

Jonathan Osorio scored the match-winner for Toronto in the 70th minute.

Darwin Quintero's brace helped Minnesota United to a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake and Nicolas Lodeiro's double saw Seattle Sounders beat New York Red Bulls 4-2.

A horrific start to the new Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season continued for defending champions Portmore United after they were beaten 1-0 by Dunbeholden at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday.

The loss was the third in a row for Portmore who remain second from bottom and are yet to even score a goal.  This time around the damage was done by Dean-Andre Thomas who scored from the penalty spot for Dunbeholden in first-half stoppage time. 

Tivoli Gardens, another struggling former champion, also continued their wait to get on the points board after Keslon Hall found the back of the net in the 85th minute for their opponents Mount Pleasant.

After back to wins, Harbour View saw their momentum slowed to a crawl when they were hammered 7-0 by table-topping Waterhouse.  The onslaught was led by braces from Conrad Murray (36th, 50th minute), Kenroy Howell (19th 38th) and Stephen Williams (43rd, 62nd)  with the other goal coming from Andre Fletcher (21st).

At the other end of the spectrum, newcomers Molynes United continued a strong start to the season after earning their third straight win.  Defender Jeremy Nelson found the back of the net in the 22nd minute.  Elsewhere Cavalier and Humble Lion played to a 1-1 draw.

 

 

 

AC Milan coach Marco Giampaolo reflected on "issues" to deal with in his side after watching them beat Verona 1-0 in a game that left him determined to improve the Rossoneri attack.

A turbulent match was settled by Krzysztof Piatek's second-half penalty, which came after Verona had Mariusz Stepinski sent off and before Milan's Davide Calabria was given his marching orders, and Giampaolo acknowledged that the margin of victory was a narrow one.

He pointed to Verona's packed defence as a significant factor in his side's struggle for goals and also took a swipe at his predecessor, Gennaro Gattuso, by saying that his side had not yet learned to play as a collective.

"The team is working well, finding its balance and I know there are some strengths and weaknesses, but I work to improve the individuals and the team," Giampaolo told Sky Sport Italia.

"Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; there is no perfect side. I like the effort and passion we put into the game, but errors can happen.

"A team that defends with 10 men in their final third are difficult to break down. Verona played their honest defensive game and we were constantly pushing forward. We didn't do it perfectly and of course there is plenty to work on and improve, but the victory helps us to work.

"I won't just brush the dust under the carpet; I know full well we need to improve and there are issues we have to deal with."

The result left Milan with two wins and a defeat from their opening three games of the 2019-20 Serie A season and performances have been steadily improving.

After failing to register a shot on target in their 1-0 defeat to Udinese, Milan edged to a 1-0 victory over Brescia.

Against Verona, Milan had 17 shots on goal, with Suso, Hakan Calhanoglu and Franck Kessie picking their hosts apart with some intelligent approach play, but Giampaolo said his plans for the team have yet to be realised.

"I don't like to improvise," he said. "I want my team to have a structure to work on and some guarantees to build on. There are many talented individuals in the side and I still need to get them to fit within the context of the team unit.

"We must be honest. I don't hide. This team is trying and is accustomed to playing as individuals, whereas I must get them working in the service of the collective.

"We must learn to attack better, that is true."

Krzysztof Piatek scored his first Serie A goal of the season to help 10-man AC Milan secure back-to-back victories in a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona, who also had a man sent off in a tempestuous clash at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Rossoneri boss Marco Giampaolo restored Piatek to the starting line-up after dropping him from his previous teamsheet and he tucked away a second-half penalty to ensure the visitors claimed all three points from a bruising encounter.

Verona had Mariusz Stepinski sent off after 21 minutes for a dangerous challenge but the newly promoted side matched Milan for long periods and caused Giampaolo's defence plenty of problems.

Milan are improving as the season progresses and, after failing to register a shot on goal in their 1-0 defeat at Udinese on the opening day, they created ample opportunities to score here as Suso took up his role as creator in chief.

But the chance that mattered most was Piatek's spot-kick, and the 24-year-old, who scored nine league goals last season, opened his account for 2019-20 before Davide Calabria was dismissed in second-half stoppage-time.

Milan were on the back foot early on as Gianluigi Donnarumma made a double-save, parrying Marco Faraoni's cross away from goal before claiming Mattia Zaccagni's overhead kick in both hands.

Verona were on top when Stepinski caught Mateo Musacchio on the ear with a high challenge that earned him a straight red card following a VAR review.

But the 10 men continued to press and Valerio Verre fired over the crossbar in spectacular style when he controlled a long pass and volleyed with exceptional control.

Substitute Ante Rebic should have broken the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half but he mistimed his shot and Suso's weighted cross went to waste.

Davide Calabria thundered a volley onto the post from 30 yards as Milan heaped pressure on their hosts, who hit the post themselves through Verre before a handball in the box by Verona defender Koray Gunter presented Piatek with a chance from the penalty spot that he lashed into the bottom corner of the net.

Piatek had the ball in the net again when Marco Silvestri spilled Hakan Calhanoglu's shot and he slid in to poke it over the line, but after a VAR review the referee judged a foul had been committed.

There was more late drama as Calabria caught Matteo Pessina with his arm as the substitute headed towards the box. The Milan full-back was sent for an early shower but Verona's Miguel Veloso and Darko Lazovic missed chances to grab a late, late equaliser.

What does it mean? Giampaolo's men improving

Two wins from their first three outings of the season is a reasonable start for Milan, who are starting to gel in attack and are cutting out mistakes at the back.

Suso so important

Milan function best when Suso is on form and he was their attacking lynchpin here, dictating play and constantly probing at a resolute Verona defence.

Paqueta hooked after quiet half

Lucas Paqueta was ineffective in attack in the first half and Milan improved substantially after he was replaced by Rebic.

What's next?

The Milan derby is next up for Giampaolo's men as they aim to be the first side to take points from Inter this season, while Verona take on champions Juventus in Turin.

Krzysztof Piatek scored his first Serie A goal of the season to help 10-man AC Milan secure back-to-back victories in a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona, who also had a man sent off in a tempestuous clash at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Rossoneri boss Marco Giampaolo restored Piatek to the starting line-up after dropping him from his previous teamsheet and he tucked away a second-half penalty to ensure the visitors claimed all three points from a bruising encounter.

Verona had Mariusz Stepinski sent off after 21 minutes for a dangerous challenge but the newly promoted side matched Milan for long periods and caused Giampaolo's defence plenty of problems.

Milan are improving as the season progresses and, after failing to register a shot on goal in their 1-0 defeat at Udinese on the opening day, they created ample opportunities to score here as Suso took up his role as creator in chief.

But the chance that mattered most was Piatek's spot-kick, and the 24-year-old, who scored nine league goals last season, opened his account for 2019-20 before Davide Calabria was dismissed in second-half stoppage-time.

Excelsior High school recovered from their opening-day loss to defending champions Kingston College to comprehensively defeat Dunoon Technical in action from Saturday’s games.

In other games on Saturday St Andrew Technical were the biggest winners, handing Northern Technical a 12-0 beating that wasn’t the best welcome they could have envisioned to the competition.

St George’s College, perennial contenders, also started well, destroying Ardenne High 5-1, while St Catherine High were massive 8-1 winners over Oberlin.

Cumberland edged St Jago High 1-0 in a St Catherine derby, while Kingston High and Charlie Smith played out a 1-1 draw. Denham Town were not in the mood to give anything away, beating Ascot 1-0, while the Kingston College train kept rolling with the 5-0 schellacking of Pembroke Hall.

Defending Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division champions Naparima College have slipped while newcomers Malick Secondary have announced themselves as real contenders with their second win from as many games.

The victory put Malick at the top of the table as the only team to have kept a 100 per cent win record to date in addition to a healthy + seven after their 5-0 thrashing of Speyside Secondary last week.

This week, things were a little closer as Trinity College Moka returned from their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Presentation College last week to put in a much improved performance.

Despite giving nearly as good as they got, Trinity College Moka are now second from bottom, just ahead of Speyside Secondary who also fell to a second defeat.

Speyside, who were destroyed on opening weekend, found the going no easier against St Anthony’s College who blew them away 7-1.

St Anthony’s are now in third place on the tables with four points along with Naparima College, who are in fourth after their 2-2 draw on Saturday.

There are two other teams on four points, with East Mucurapo Secondary in second and Trinity College East in fifth also in the running for a title, at least in the early going.

Presentation College were pegged back 2-1 by Carapichaima East, who like them, are now on three points in sixth and eighth places respectively.

St Benedict’s College got off the mark against St Mary’s College (CIC) but had to work hard after the latter joined them at 2-2 before they pulled away.

Pleasantville Secondary also had a turnaround on Saturday, losing to Queen’s Royal College 4-2. QRC were coming off 6-0 loss and now lie 10th with this victory.

St Augustine Secondary have had two draws this season, this week, Trinity College East too tough to get by in a 2-2 affair.

San Juan North Secondary are yet to get off the mark, after their bye this week.

 

 

 

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

+-

Pts

1

Malik Secondary

2

2

0

0

7

1

6

6

2

East Mucurapo Secondary

2

1

1

0

8

2

6

4

3

St Anthony's College

2

1

1

0

8

2

6

4

4

Naparima College

2

1

1

0

5

2

3

4

5

Trinity College East

2

1

1

0

4

3

1

4

6

Presentation College

2

1

0

1

7

2

5

3

7

St Benedict's College

2

1

0

1

5

4

1

3

8

Carapichaima East Secondary

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

9

Pleasantville Secondary

2

1

0

1

3

4

-1

3

10

Queen's Royal College

2

1

0

1

4

8

-4

3

11

St Augustine Secondary

2

0

2

0

3

3

0

2

12

San Juan North Secondary

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

13

St Mary's College

2

0

0

2

2

7

-5

0

14

Trinity College Moka

2

0

0

2

1

8

-7

0

15

Speyside Secondary

2

0

0

2

1

12

-11

0

Inter Miami are continuing their stunning bid to sign Lionel Messi.

Messi, 32, can reportedly leave Barcelona at the end of any season for a club outside of Europe despite being contracted at the LaLiga champions until 2021.

Linked with a shock switch to David Beckham's MLS outfit Inter Miami, the club are continuing to make moves for the Argentina superstar.

 

TOP STORY – INTER MIAMI REPRESENTATIVE MEETS MESSI'S DAD

Beckham sent Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough to London for talks with Messi's dad Jorge, according to The Sun.

Inter Miami are set to enter MLS in 2020 and are looking for a big-name signing, with Messi undoubtedly the biggest of the names linked.

It comes just days after Messi said in an interview with Sport that he wanted to remain at Camp Nou for "as long as possible".

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid could chase Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba again in January. Sport Bild reports Real Madrid are planning to use Toni Kroos in an exchange deal to land the France international, who was heavily linked with a switch during the close season.

- Sadio Mane re-signed with Liverpool until 2023 less than 12 months ago, but the European champions are already looking for the attacker to recommit. Liverpool have opened talks with Mane for an extension, according to Soccer Link.

- Seemingly unwanted at Juventus, Mario Mandzukic's future remains a talking point. Qatari club Al-Gharafa have offered €6million net per year to the striker and can meet Juve's demands, according to CalcioMercato, which reports Los Angeles FC are also interested in the Croatian despite the MLS transfer window not reopening until February.

- Inter are already looking to lock down a couple of stars. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A giants want to extend the contracts of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic – until 2022 – and forward Lautaro Martinez until 2024. The report says Inter would also double Martinez's salary from €1.5m to €3m per season amid interest from Barcelona.

- Sam Allardyce is ready for a return to management. The Sun reports the former England boss, who left Everton in May last year, is eyeing a return to Sunderland if the reported takeover by an American consortium is completed.

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