Mattia De Sciglio, Emre Can and Marko Pjaca have been left out of the Juventus squad to face Napoli amid links to moves away from Turin.

Full-back De Sciglio is dealing with a fitness issue but is also a reported target for Paris Saint-Germain in a potential swap deal for Layvin Kurzawa, who is also said to be interesting Arsenal.

Germany international Can is reportedly an option for Borussia Dortmund in his homeland, meanwhile, having joined Juve on a free transfer from Liverpool 18 months ago.

And Pjaca is absent following talk of an imminent switch to Cagliari.

The Bianconeri head to Naples four points clear of second-placed Inter in Serie A, while their Sunday opponents - title challengers in previous campaigns - are struggling in the bottom half.

Barcelona will bank €8.2million after allowing young striker Alejandro Marques to join Juventus.

The 19-year-old spent three years in Barcelona, scoring twice in the UEFA Youth League final victory against Chelsea in the 2017-18 season.

Marques progressed to the Barcelona B side, appearing in 11 games during this campaign, but did not make the step up from the ranks of La Masia into the first team at Camp Nou.

Barcelona decided to part ways with the Venezuelan teenager after receiving the Italian champions' offer, and have taken Matheus Pereira on loan from Juventus with an option to buy as part of the deal.

A statement from Barcelona said: "FC Barcelona have been active in the transfer market, with Barca B's Alejandro Marques joining Juventus for 8.2 million euros."

Brazilian midfielder Pereira left Juventus to join Dijon in August in a deal that was also described as a loan with an option to buy, but the French club announced that agreement was terminated on Friday.

Pereira played in 10 Ligue 1 matches for Dijon, starting six of those, but now has the chance to earn a permanent move to the Spanish giants, whom he joins until the end of the season.

Barcelona said Pereira passed his medical on Friday, and in announcing his arrival described the 21-year-old as a player the club have followed "for a long time", highlighting his touch and attacking potential.

Maurizio Sarri has indicated he could retire from football at the end of his Juventus reign.

The former Chelsea boss is in his 30th year as a coach and has arguably reached the highest point of his career by taking charge of the Italian champions.

As he prepares Juventus to tackle his former team Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday, Sarri revealed he may not look for another job in the future.

Asked whether he could see himself ever returning to Napoli, the 61-year-old told reporters: "After this experience I could even quit: it depends on what energy I have left and if I think I can do well again. These aren't things I'm thinking about at this moment."

But when asked again if he would not stay in coaching until the age of 70, Sarri, who signed a three-year deal with Juventus in June 2019, said it would depend on whether he still felt challenged by the game.

"Pressure is a false myth: external pressure must not influence you, but if your motivation is lost then it is better to stop," Sarri said.

"I don't know if at the end of my contract with Juventus I will be the same Sarri: if yes, I will continue. Otherwise, no."

Sarri's Juventus lead the way in Serie A, possessing a four-point cushion over second-placed Inter heading into the weekend.

He twice led Napoli to second-placed finishes and is puzzled by the Naples side's struggles this season.

Sitting 11th in the table before the 21st round of fixtures, the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti and appointment of Gennaro Gattuso as head coach in December has yet to bring about a significant turnaround in fortunes.

A Coppa Italia victory over Lazio in midweek may mark a turning point or prove a blip in a difficult campaign.

Sarri, though, thinks Napoli are a better unit than their results suggest.

He said: "Napoli are a strong team that even in difficult moments can be dangerous in a one-off game. They have a position that doesn't reflect their performance. And they will have great motivation.

"Napoli have changed from Ancelotti to Gattuso. They are working to improve their solidity because they remain ever dangerous in the attacking phase."

He added: "For me, it's clearly a special game, but you shouldn't spend your energy on a personal point of view when the collective goal is what matters: to bring home the three points in a difficult match.

"It is true that Napoli's position is strange, because they are first in terms of ball possession and have other excellent statistics, but they haven't obtained the points that reflect what they have done so far."

Title rivals Inter are looking to bring in Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen from Tottenham, but Sarri appears unflustered by the prospect of the Nerazzurri strengthening with such an acquisition.

"Certainly he is a player of great stature," said Sarri. "But from here to think that he can change the balance of a championship, that is a next step.

"And we don't care: we have to focus only on ourselves, knowing we are competitive."

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Can, 26, is out of favour in Turin and has made just two Serie A starts this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder will reportedly be allowed to leave during this transfer window and three European giants are eyeing the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM AND DORTMUND EYE EMRE CAN

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are chasing Juventus' Can, according to SPORT1.

With Euro 2020 coming up later this year, Can wants regular playing time to earn a spot in the Germany squad.

Can made 37 appearances in all competitions for Juve last season, but has played just eight times in 2019-20.

Sportmediaset reports Juve are working on a move for Napoli midfielder Allan to replace Can.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter will wrap up a deal for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen early next week, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Serie A club will pay €18million (£15.2m) plus €2m (£1.7m) in bonuses for Eriksen, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at San Siro and Inter are targeting Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud after recognising it would be difficult to sign Napoli's Fernando Llorente, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Barcelona are making progress in their bid to land Valencia forward Rodrigo, according to Sport. While working on a loan move, Barcelona want an option to buy at season's end, while Valencia want it to be an obligation to purchase for around €60m. The report says Barca are willing to pay Valencia a "penalty fee" if they do not make the loan permanent.

- Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar is close to signing with Premier League club Arsenal, according to El Chiringuito. Lemar has made just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are in talks over a swap deal. Goal reports the clubs are discussing swapping full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Layvin Kurzawa.

- With Marcus Rashford injured, Manchester United have looked at signing Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo and Monaco's Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester City, according to Sky Sports.

Paulo Dybala admitted he was close to leaving Juventus in the close season and the star attacker said his future was in the Serie A champions' hands.

Dybala was linked with a move to Manchester United and Tottenham, but ended up staying in Turin.

The Argentina international has impressed this season, scoring 11 goals in 26 games, but admitted he almost left Juventus.

"I was close to leaving. That was in the club's thinking, I knew. Until the last minute, we were waiting," Dybala told The Guardian.

"I have two years left on my contract. That's not a short time but it's not a long one either. We'll see what plans Juventus have, if they think I might leave in the next market or if they want me to stay.

"That's a decision for the club to make. It's hard to know because things change in a second.

"But I'm here, at a club that has treated me well. I'm happy, comfortable. [Maurizio] Sarri's arrival has helped. He wanted me to stay, which gave me strength when we didn't know what would happen. I knew he could teach me, help me bring out the best in myself."

Dybala has been at Juve since 2015, when he arrived after three seasons in Italy with Palermo.

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini had labelled Dybala the new Sergio Aguero when the attacker signed, but the 26-year-old said he had no interest in comparisons.

"If you believe that, it weighs on you, but I always said I didn't want to be the new anything, I want people to say my goals, my moves, are 'like Dybala', not anyone else," Dybala said.

"[Lionel] Messi, [Omar] Sivori, and Aguero won incredible things. I wanted to win my things, not theirs.

"There was criticism because it was €8million for a 17-year-old, their highest transfer ever. I left for €40m and when I got here, the first thing they asked was about the fee. You think about the prices paid now."

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has already been impressed by Alvaro Odriozola, just two days after his arrival from Real Madrid.

The full-back joined the Bundesliga champions this week on loan until the end of the season, having made only five appearances in 2019-20 under Zinedine Zidane.

Flick will have Joshua Kimmich available for Saturday's game against Schalke after the Germany star returned from a ban, but Odriozola appears to be under consideration to make his debut despite having had relatively few training sessions with his new team-mates.

"I'll leave it open," Flick said on Friday. "He's making a very good impression, he's a good player. He's an attack-minded defender, he can introduce speed, he's very agile, his crosses are good.

"I'll decide at short notice. We have another option now, which makes us more flexible."

Regardless of whether Odriozola gets his debut at full-back, Flick is prepared to throw Kimmich straight back into action.

"Joshua Kimmich is a role model," he said. "He's 100 per cent motivated in every training session, he always gives it everything, he always wants to learn more and improve. I really like this trait. He'll play."

Flick, who says Lucas Hernandez is making "good progress" in his injury recovery and could be in contention to make the matchday squad, is eager not to become distracted by the form of Bayern's title rivals.

Bayern are four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, one ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and just two above Borussia Dortmund and Schalke heading into matchday 19.

"I was very impressed by Schalke's display against Gladbach, how they pressed, how well they built up their attacks and that they won deservedly. It'll be a very tough match," he said.

"We're aware of the situation. We must focus on ourselves, it's important to live up to our full potential. We mustn't look at our rivals. They're all fired up and see a chance of winning the championship title this year.

"We must make sure we perform well and live up to our full potential in every match. Then it'll be like in the last few years: whoever wants to win the title must beat us."

Dortmund have strengthened this month with the signing of Erling Haaland, who scored a debut hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Augsburg, while Juventus midfielder Emre Can has been linked with a move to Signal Iduna Park.

"I've known Emre Can for a long time. He is a top professional with an excellent career," said Flick. "He has the quality to play for every Bundesliga club. He'd be good for every team.

"Haaland's debut was obviously impressive. That tells you everything about him."

Maurizio Sarri is delighted with Juventus' form but acknowledges the team must be better than in seasons past if they are to again retain their Serie A title.

The Bianconeri defeated Roma 3-1 in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Wednesday, scoring through Cristiano Ronaldo, Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucci before half-time.

It was a fifth win in a row in all competitions for Juve, in which time they have built a four-point lead over Inter at the top of the league table.

Sarri saw evidence of this winning mentality against Roma but acknowledged improvement was required in a three-way title tussle with the Nerazzurri and Lazio.

"Winning is becoming normal," Sarri explained at a post-match news conference. "I'm happy for the team.

"But we don't have to look at the numbers because it will be more difficult this year. We will certainly have to do better than previous years if we want to be competitive in the league."

Ronaldo took his 2020 tally to seven goals in four games, and Sarri lauded his "extraordinary" talisman while again repeating a desire to help the Portuguese secure individual honours.

"Ronaldo is in extraordinary physical and mental condition," the head coach said. "He is continuing at an impressive pace and has extraordinary skills.

"He is very well physically. In terms of explosiveness, he is good. He takes great care of the details.

"Ronaldo is a champion, we want to help him win the sixth Ballon d'Or, it would make us all happy."

Juve's next league task takes them to Sarri's former club Napoli, who are struggling in the bottom half of the table.

"It will be a difficult game. We must not look at their position in the table," Sarri added. "They have a strong team. They are going through a difficult time but have good players. 

"From one point of view, there are three points at stake. From my point of view, from a personal point of view, it will be particularly special because I am very close to Napoli."

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target as Juventus breezed into the Coppa Italia semi-finals with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Roma on Wednesday.

Portugal forward Ronaldo opened the scoring at Allianz Stadium with his seventh goal in four matches for Juve in 2020.

Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucci then found the net to give the Bianconeri a three-goal advantage at half-time.

Roma pulled one back when Cengiz Under's effort from the edge of the box hit the crossbar and rebounded into the net off veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, but Juve comfortably advanced and will face Milan or Torino – who meet on January 28 – in the last four.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri picked a strong starting line-up for the quarter-final clash and after a low-key start his side increased the tempo to seize control.

The 13-time Coppa Italia winners took the lead in the 26th minute with a goal that owed much to Ronaldo's ability to finish from a tight angle.

Ronaldo escaped his marker on the left before cutting inside and guiding a low shot across goal past Roma keeper Pau Lopez.

Juventus added a second on the counter attack 12 minutes later when Bentancur, surrounded by six Roma players, squeezed an effort into the bottom-left corner from 12 yards.

Roma's defence were culpable for Juve's third on the stroke of half-time as the unmarked Bonucci calmly headed in at the back post after being picked out by Douglas Costa's cross.

Gonzalo Higuain hit the woodwork in the 48th minute and Paulo Fonseca's side reduced the deficit two minutes later. Under's shot from just outside the box struck the underside of the bar and went in off Buffon's hand.

However, Juventus stood firm in the closing stages to pick up a fifth straight victory in all competitions.

 

What does it mean? Juve continue treble challenge 

Juve's streak of four consecutive Coppa Italia titles was ended in a 3-0 loss at the quarter-final stage last season by eventual runners-up Atalanta.

Against Roma there was a clear determination to secure a semi-final spot this time around and ensure their treble dreams remain on course.

With a two-legged last-16 Champions League tie against Lyon and the Serie A title to defend, the season is very much alive and kicking for Sarri's side.

Ronaldo remains relentless

A cup tie on a chilly Wednesday in Turin - you could forgive Ronaldo for taking it easy. Not a bit of it. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner turns 35 in February but remains as hungry as ever. His celebration after scoring was raw and passionate as he played the full 90 minutes.

One to forget for sloppy Smalling

It was not a game to remember for the on-loan Manchester United centre-back. Smalling failed to marshal a slipshod Roma defence and his positioning was poor in goals scored by Bentancur and Bonucci.

What's next?

Juventus return to Serie A action on Sunday in a clash with Napoli, while Roma face city rivals Lazio earlier in the day in the Derby della Capitale.

FIFA has revealed a record amount was spent on transfers in 2019, with deals for Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix topping the bill.

A report issued by world football's governing body on Wednesday revealed $7.35billion (£5.6billion) was spent by clubs in the transfer market in 2019, an increase of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.

The study also confirmed that English clubs spent the most, though the total figure of $1.52billion (£1.14billion) was a 22.1 per cent decrease from 2018.

Joao Felix's €126million transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid – who sold Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona for €120m – was the biggest deal of 2019, while Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a deal reportedly worth €100m.

Harry Maguire became the world's most expensive defender with a reported £80m switch from Leicester City to Manchester United, while Ajax sold young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively for an initial €75m each.

There was also a rise of 16.3 per cent in spending in the women's game, with over 800 transfers made in total.

Kylian Mbappe has suggested he cannot replicate what Lionel Messi has achieved at Barcelona and will instead look to Cristiano Ronaldo for inspiration.

Since bursting onto the scene with Monaco in 2016, a move to Paris Saint-Germain and a charge to World Cup glory with France has made the 21-year-old one of the leading lights in football.

However, when it comes to choosing between Messi and Ronaldo on who to model his career path on, Mbappe acknowledged his switch from Monaco to PSG means he cannot follow in the footsteps of Barca's six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"It's too late for me to carve out a career like Messi's, I would have had to stay at Monaco," Mbappe told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Without taking anything away from Messi, now I have to draw on Cristiano's career for inspiration.

"If you're French, obviously you would have grown up with [Zinedine] Zidane as your idol. After that, it was Cristiano, who I have been fortunate enough to have faced as an opponent, at club level and with the national team.

"I also love Brazilian players like Pele, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Kaka. And to the young players who look up to me, I'd like to send them a message from someone who believed in their dream, always giving the best they had to give, trying to push their own limits to be able to make a mark in sport."

Mbappe also believes Ronaldo gives Juventus an edge in the Champions League, a competition the Portugal captain has won five times, making the Serie A giants a favourite.

"Juventus are a strong side - they've shown that in the finals they've played during the past few seasons," said Mbappe, who has scored 21 goals in all competitions for PSG this term.

"They have always lacked something to give them the edge and now they have that in Cristiano. He's a player who makes you win major trophies.

"This year Juventus are among the favourites – along with the usual suspects – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool."

Tahith Chong looks set to leave Manchester United at the end of the season after his agent acknowledged the winger thinks he can go no further at Old Trafford.

Chong joined United from Feyenoord in 2016 and quickly established himself in the club's academy before a serious knee injury forced him into a lengthy absence.

He continued to develop well after his return and made the step up to United's Under-23s, putting him in a strong position when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho and promised to give the club's most talented youngsters plenty of opportunities.

But Chong has largely failed to impress when given chances in the United first-team and he has not agreed to a new contract at the club, with his deal expiring in less than six months.

Juventus and Inter have been strongly linked with him in recent weeks, and while his agent Erkan Alkan did not namedrop any clubs, he did hint a move is likely.

"He [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] has different views on Tahith than the [club's] leadership," Alkan told Voetbal International.

"A coach thinks about himself, I think about my player. He has come to a point where he feels that he is not going any further. Then it's time to look further.

"Most importantly, the [next] club must have a good plan for him so that Tahith can develop further in a good environment."

Cristiano Ronaldo will be evaluated on Wednesday to see if he will be fit for Juventus' Coppa Italia quarter-final against Roma.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner sat out last week's 4-0 victory over Udinese in the last 16 due to illness.

He returned to the line-up on Sunday and scored Juve's goals in a 2-1 triumph against Parma.

Maurizio Sarri suggested the 34-year-old will not be rested if he is deemed physically capable of turning out against Roma at Allianz Stadium.

"We'll evaluate Ronaldo tomorrow morning. He can play three games in a week, I don't see a huge problem," Sarri said on Tuesday.

"In the last Coppa match he was unwell and now I want to understand if he has fully recovered and if he is ready to play three games.

"[Juan] Cuadrado trained in the gym as a precaution today. Alex Sandro has a problem with the transverse muscle but it's nothing serious. Both will be evaluated.

"Adrien [Rabiot] came out of the last match with a couple of serious knocks. He'll also be evaluated, he's a player with important physical quality even during the recovery between matches.

"Douglas Costa isn't at peak condition yet but he's doing well and is regaining continuity in training."

He added: "Roma are a strong team, therefore it's normal that against them you'll have periods of the match in which you'll suffer.

"It will be important for us to keep our shape and balance, also with different players in attack. However, I haven't decided anything yet, not even the formation."

Maurizio Sarri hailed "champion" Cristiano Ronaldo after his brace saw Juventus to a precious 2-1 Serie A home win against Parma.

Ronaldo scored in either half to clinch victory on Sunday, capitalising on title rivals Inter's failure to beat Lecce earlier in the day.

The Portuguese was a defensive contributor, too, yet he was outjumped by Andreas Cornelius as Parma briefly pulled level.

Sarri is happy to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to his star man, though.

"We have a champion who sometimes creates a problem for you but solves 100 of them," he told Sky Sport Italia. "The rest of the team has to revolve around him."

Ronaldo had chances for further goals, and Sarri was frustrated with his team's inability to extend their lead and set up a straightforward finale.

"The mental intensity can be improved, even the management of certain moments of the matches," he said. "I don't even like dribbling in our own half in the last few minutes.

"I would prefer to concede a goal on the counter-attack than in our own penalty area.

"Putting Higuain on at 2-1 was a clear message to the team: let's end the game."

Victory saw Juve move four points clear of second-placed Inter, although Lazio are also a threat a further two points back but with a game in hand.

However, Sarri is concerned by neither the Nerazzurri nor the in-form capital club.

"I have a fear for other things, not for football. Concern? Even that [would not describe it]," he said. "We are talking about sports.

"We know we have two very strong opponents. One is in an amazing moment that will hopefully not last long."

Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledged the importance of Juventus winning against Parma after seeing Serie A title rivals Inter draw at Lecce earlier on Sunday.

Ronaldo scored both goals in a 2-1 home win for the Bianconeri, who moved four points clear of Inter after Antonio Conte's men were held 1-1 earlier in the day.

Talismanic forward Ronaldo was in typically inspirational form, but he valued the victory above his personal heroics.

"The important thing was to win tonight," the striker told Sky Sport Italia. "Lazio won, Inter drew, and we could not afford not to take advantage of this important opportunity.

"It was a difficult game, because Parma are an excellent team who caused us some difficulties.

"I'm happy to have helped the team with two goals, but the important thing is always the three points at the end.

"They created more chances in the second half - we were nervous at the end - but we managed to get a key result."

Juve face Napoli away in their next Serie A match but must first take on Roma in another tricky fixture in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

Cristiano Ronaldo fired reigning Serie A champions Juventus four points clear at the top of the table with a brace in a 2-1 win at home to Parma.

Juve were given an unexpected boost in the title race earlier on Sunday when Inter were held 1-1 at Lecce, and Ronaldo ensured his side took full advantage.

Maurizio Sarri's men were not wholly convincing but, in the Portuguese, had the game's outstanding player, who opened the scoring late in the first half.

Andreas Cornelius outjumped Ronaldo for an unlikely equaliser, yet revenge was swift for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, a second goal soon sealing victory for the leaders.

Alex Sandro headed just over from an early corner, but the left-back had to be replaced by Danilo after 21 minutes as Juve struggled to get into their stride.

Ronaldo worked room for a shot on the right-hand side of the area, drawing a good save from Luigi Sepe that prompted another corner from which the Juve number seven wastefully missed the target.

The former Real Madrid superstar continued to provide the Bianconeri's chief threat and forged the breakthrough two minutes before half-time, cutting inside from the left to shoot hard and low, his effort taking a deflection that wrongfooted Sepe and nestled in the net.

Aaron Ramsey drilled agonisingly wide before the break, while only a superb one-handed Sepe stop denied Danilo from 20 yards following the restart.

It was a Parma substitute who scored the next goal, however, Cornelius - on for Roberto Inglese moments after the opener - rising above Ronaldo from a right-wing corner to nod in a towering header.

But Ronaldo's response was ruthless, meeting Paulo Dybala's cutback with a clinical first-time finish just three minutes later to clinch the points.

He might have completed his hat-trick in the closing minutes, but Sepe blocked a strike from the right before a header from the consequent corner looped over, and a curled strike from the left drifted wide.


What does it mean? Perennial champions back on top

Inter have looked capable of pushing Juventus all the way this season, but a gap has emerged at the top in the past week. Consecutive Nerazzurri draws have opened the door for the Turin giant and with the help of the inspirational Ronaldo, they have stepped right through. Juve are not in the business of letting such advantages slip.

Ronaldo reigns

The talismanic forward was signed largely to lead a Champions League charge, but Inter's impressive form has meant Juventus must also rely on Ronaldo to do the business domestically. He made no mistake on Sunday, deserving his fortune for the first goal and tucking away the second in style.

Ramsey reserved

Sarri has rotated between Ramsey and Gonzalo Higuain in recent weeks, feeling the front three that incorporates the latter is not suited to every match. But it was Ramsey who struggled to make an impact on this occasion, passing up a big chance late in the first half before he was replaced by Higuain after 59 minutes.

What's next?

Juventus have a big week coming up, first playing Roma at home in the Coppa Italia last eight on Wednesday before visiting Napoli in Serie A on Sunday. Parma host Udinese next weekend.

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