Barcelona are preparing their latest bid for Neymar – and this one includes Ousmane Dembele.

With the transfer window closing on September 2, the Neymar saga is seemingly no closer to ending amid reports the star forward wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca are still trying to find a way to get the Brazil international back to Camp Nou and their latest offer is set to see Dembele move the other way.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO OFFER DEMBELE TO PSG IN NEYMAR BID

Barcelona will offer Dembele to PSG as they try to sign Neymar, according to Le Parisien.

The LaLiga champions are still trying to work out a way to buy Neymar and are set to offer €170million after an initial loan deal with either an option or obligation to buy, the report says.

Barca are also prepared to offer €40m and Dembele as they try to land Neymar.

Meanwhile, Le Monde reports PSG's owners are unwilling to sell Neymar two years after his €222m move from Barcelona.

 

ROUND-UP

- It remains to be seen if Ivan Rakitic will stay at Barcelona. The Croatia midfielder's name was put on the table during a recent meeting between Barca and Juventus, according to Sport.

- After starting for Real Madrid against Real Valladolid, James Rodriguez wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, according to AS. The playmaker has been linked to Napoli and Atletico Madrid during the transfer window.

- Staying at Real Madrid, Cadena SER report the LaLiga giants will not make it easy for Keylor Navas to leave the club. The goalkeeper has been linked with a move away, but Madrid will only sell the Costa Rica international for the right price and provided they can find a replacement.

- Robert Lewandowski appears set to extend his stay at Bayern Munich. The striker will sign a new deal that runs until 2023 with the Bundesliga champions, according to Sport Bild.

- Tottenham are growing confident Toby Alderweireld will sign a contract extension, according to The Sun. The defender's current deal is up at the end of the season but he could be set to stay at Spurs.

- Gianluigi Donnarumma continues to be linked to PSG. The AC Milan goalkeeper is still a target for the Ligue 1 giants, le10sport report.

Paulo Dybala's agent insists he is not to blame for the collapse of the Argentina forward's proposed move to Manchester United.

The Juventus star looked to be close to an exit this month as the Old Lady attempted to prise Romelu Lukaku away from United, reportedly offering Dybala as part of the deal.

While a breakthrough initially appeared possible, media reports began to shed light on various apparent issues in the negotiations.

Uncertainty over Dybala's image rights was one reported stumbling block, while it was also claimed his agent – Jorge Antun – had demanded an exorbitant €15million commission to get the deal over the line.

Ultimately United and Juve failed reach an agreement and Lukaku joined Inter, but Antun insists the breakdown in discussions was not because of him.

"Yes, I talked to the English club," Antun told Tuttosport. "But the commission stories are untrue. There were just issues between the clubs."

Rumours of Dybala leaving have been prominent ever since Maurizio Sarri's appointment as Juve's head coach, with the former Napoli boss reportedly viewing him as expendable due to tactical reasons, claims backed up by him being an unused substitute in Saturday's 1-0 win at Parma.

The latest club to emerge as a potential destination is Paris Saint-Germain and, although Antun accepts things can change very quickly, he claims he is not preparing for any imminent talks in the French capital.

"No, I don't have any plans [to go to Paris]," he said. "Paulo must enjoy the moment with Juventus. What will happen in the future, I don't know."

Juventus assistant Giovanni Martusciello said Maurizio Sarri was "very happy" with Saturday's win over Parma after speaking to the absent head coach before, during and after the Serie A opener.

Sarri was not in the dugout as eight-time reigning Serie A champions Juventus kicked off their title defence with a 1-0 victory at Parma thanks to Giorgio Chiellini.

Martusciello took charge of the match as Sarri recovers from pneumonia – the former Chelsea boss also set to miss the clash against Napoli.

After the match, Martusciello told reporters: "We spoke to Sarri many times in the morning.

"Clearly for him it's quite difficult to stay away from the team and therefore he wanted to know whatever was happening, the conditions of the lads, how they were living the beginning of the league.

"And we also spoke to him before the game, during the break and at the end of the game. He was very happy for the result, but a bit angry as well because he is a perfectionist.

"When something doesn't go in the direction he wants, clearly he gets a bit angry. He was happy of what the lads did in the first half and above all he was super happy of how the team dealt with the moment of suffering in the game.

"I mean that when Parma played more aggressively, and we were struggling physically, the team resisted among the difficulties and that's not a trait of many teams."

Gonzalo Higuain started for Juve against Parma, with reported Paris Saint-Germain target Paulo Dybala named on the bench.

Higuain – whose Juve future looked bleak following unsuccessful loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea in 2018-19 – played 83 minutes, while Dybala was an unused substitute.

"Let's say that we made a clear consideration: to avoid putting players - in this context, first game against a very well organised team like Parma - to put players where they were used to play, in their usual roles," Martusciello said. "The choice about Higuain and Dybala goes in that direction.

"This aspect, a player that is born as a central striker, and so we went in that direction. That doesn't mean that in the future Dybala won't be the central striker. Here we have to deal with many top players, we have to make choices and those choices are part of the coach's job and we have to put 11 on the pitch. But today's choice was only inspired by a 'solidity of habits'."

Juventus started their bid for a ninth consecutive Serie A title with a narrow, but thoroughly deserved, 1-0 win over Parma at Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday.

New boss Maurizio Sarri was absent from the dugout as he is recovering from pneumonia, but he will be buoyed by a performance that suggested they will once again be the team to beat this season.

Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal of the game after 21 minutes, while Cristiano Ronaldo saw a goal ruled out for offside before the interval.

Juve were unable to add a second despite dominating throughout, although it mattered little as they comfortably kept Parma at arm's length to start the season in familiar fashion.

The visitors started with a spring in their step and should have gone ahead after 12 minutes, Ronaldo's header from 10 yards fizzing narrowly over.

Wojciech Szczesny pawed away Roberto Inglese's instinctive effort at the other end before Chiellini opened the scoring, the veteran defender diverting home Alex Sandro's scuffed volley from 10 yards.

Ronaldo should have doubled their advantage eight minutes later but flashed wide after being played in by Gonzalo Higuain.

There was more frustration for the Portugal international before the break when he saw a goal disallowed by VAR for offside. He lashed home superbly from a tight angle but replays showed he was marginally offside as he raced to collect Douglas Costa's pass.

Parma started the second half with more intent than they had shown in the opening 45 minutes, although they struggled to breakdown Juve's resolute defence.

Ronaldo clipped over from Costa's pull-back on the hour mark before Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe kept out the former Real Madrid's star's powerful drive from 20 yards.

The Bianconeri eased up in the closing stages, rarely looking like they would add a second, but the damage had been done by their defensive colossus in the first half.

 

What does it mean? Juve pick up where they left off

Juve were not at their very best but they scarcely needed to be to cruise past a limited Parma outfit. If Sarri was watching, he will have seen a team that looks solid at the back and lively in attack – the perfect combination for yet another title tilt.

Ronaldo wasteful but looking sharp

Any thoughts that the 34-year-old's powers might be diminishing were dispelled in a performance brimming with swagger and skill. He missed two clear chances in the first half and saw a goal ruled out, but he can reflect on a showing that bodes well for the season ahead.

Higuain fails to take chance

Few expected the Argentina international to be given a chance at Juve this season, which is why it was such a surprise to see Gonzalo Higuain starting in attack. He did little to suggest he will stay there, though, with a display every bit as listless as those he produced on loan at Chelsea last season.

What's next?

Juve welcome last season's runners-up and Sarri's former club Napoli to the Allianz Stadium next Saturday, while Parma travel to Udinese a day later.

Gonzalo Higuain has been named in the Juventus team for their Serie A opener against Parma, with Paulo Dybala on the bench.

Higuain's future at Juve appeared bleak when he spent last season enduring unsuccessful loans with AC Milan and Chelsea.

But the appointment of Maurizio Sarri, under whom he thrived at Napoli - scoring 36 league goals in the 2015-16 season - appears to have given the striker a fresh chance with the Serie A champions.

Higuain, 31, will lead a three-pronged attack on Saturday with support from Cristiano Ronaldo and Douglas Costa, who starts on the right in place of Federico Bernardeschi.

New signings Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Danilo are all on the bench along with the returning Gianluigi Buffon, with Wojciech Szczesny preferred in goal. Aaron Ramsey and Daniele Rugani did not make the squad.

Sarri will not be in the dugout at Stadio Ennio Tardini as he is recovering from pneumonia, with the coach also set to miss next week's visit of his old club Napoli.

Aaron Ramsey will miss the chance to make his competitive Juventus debut in their opening Serie A game against Parma.

The Wales midfielder, who left Arsenal as a free agent to join the Italian champions, is absent from Juve's 23-man squad.

Daniele Rugani, who has been linked with a move away from the club, is also missing but new signing Matthijs de Ligt could feature.

Fellow fresh faces Adrien Rabiot, Danilo and Merih Demiral are also included, along with former Parma goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after his return from Paris Saint-Germain.

Juve's new head coach Maurizio Sarri will not make the trip to Stadio Ennio Tardini as he is recovering from pneumonia.

The club confirmed in a statement released on Thursday that former Chelsea boss Sarri would also be absent from the bench for the visit of his old club Napoli next weekend.

Paulo Dybala's presence is no hindrance to Juventus' ongoing search for new signings, according to the club's vice-president Pavel Nedved.

The Serie A champions head into Saturday's season opener against Parma with a host of new signings at their disposal, including Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey and right-back Danilo.

Argentina forward Dybala seemed set to make way amid the influx with Manchester United, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain all linked at various stages.

None of those proposed moves have transpired and the 25-year-old is still standing at Allianz Stadium, a situation that sits comfortably with Nedved.

"Dybala will never be a problem for us because he is a great player," the former Bianconeri midfielder said on Friday, sitting in at a pre-match news conference as head coach Maurizio Sarri continues his recovery from a bout of pneumonia.

"Maurizio is using him as a false nine and I believe he is playing the role very well. He had a great pre-season."

Nedved dodged questions about Inter outcast and rumoured Juve target Mauro Icardi but revealed there could yet be further new arrivals.

"[Sporting director] Fabio Paratici has had done extraordinary things, some beautiful and important deals," he said.

"The transfer window is still open and we will see if there are opportunities we can seize.

"We are not forced to do anything. If there are possibilities, we will do something. Otherwise we will remain as we are."

Juve will, however, have to do without the guidance of head coach Sarri for their first two Serie A fixtures as he recuperates.

The former Chelsea boss is to return to work after the international break, Nedved confirmed.

He said: "Pneumonia is not a simple thing. Sarri would like to be out the training pitch and in the office every day because he is a great professional, but he needs time. He is getting better.

"Obviously there are difficulties for us, but we have managed them before."

Will they, or won't they?

Barcelona are trying to re-sign wantaway Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar before the transfer window closes on September 2.

LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also interested, so this is set to go down to the wire.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA RENEWING NEYMAR EFFORTS

According to Sport, Barcelona are preparing a fresh offer to prise Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona have already reportedly had an initial loan deal turned down by PSG, who are determined to recoup the world-record €222million fee they spent on Neymar in 2017.

Real Madrid, however, are still said to be determined to trump Barca to the signing of the Brazilian forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Should Neymar be granted his wish to leave PSG, the Ligue 1 holders are reportedly considering a move for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala. That is according to Tuttosport, after Dybala had been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham prior to the Premier League's transfer window closing.

- Marca also reports goalkeeper Keylor Navas is close to leaving Real Madrid for PSG. Navas wants out after reportedly being told he will be Thibaut Courtois' understudy this season.

Manchester United will not make an offer for Fernando Llorente, according to the Daily Mail. Llorente is a free agent after leaving Tottenham and reports in Italy linked the Spaniard to Old Trafford following Romelu Lukaku's move to Inter. However, the Red Devils are reportedly not interested in the veteran.

Inter are close to signing full-back Cristiano Biraghi from Serie A rivals Fiorentina, reports Calciomercato. Biraghi was part of Inter's youth academy before moving on to the likes of Cittadella, Pescara and Fiorentina. Inter are said to be looking to include Dalbert in a swap deal for the Italy international.

Inter and United are continuing talks over Alexis Sanchez, claim Sky Sport Italia and Sportitalia. More discussions are reportedly planned, with United wanting Inter to cover more of the Chilean's salary during the proposed loan spell.

- According to The Telegraph, Leicester City midfielder Adrien Silva is poised to return to Monaco on loan. The Portugal international spent the second half of the 2018-19 season on loan at the Ligue 1 side. It comes after Sky Sport Italia reports AC Milan and Franck Kessie rejected Monaco's proposal for the midfielder.

Roma are weighing up a move for Atletico Madrid striker Nikola Kalinic, says Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. After re-signing Edin Dzeko, Roma are reportedly considering Atletico fringe figure Kalinic if Patrik Schick and Gregoire Defrel leave.

Adrien Rabiot said Cristiano Ronaldo is helping him improve at the Serie A champions as he hailed the Juventus superstar.

Rabiot is preparing for Saturday's league debut with Juventus against Parma after joining from Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

Having settled in Turin, French midfielder Rabiot praised Juve team-mate and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo.

"I played a lot this summer, because I needed to adapt to the team," Rabiot told Sky Sport 24.

"I'm managing to create an excellent affinity with Cristiano Ronaldo, because he also plays on the left. Training with him allows me to improve myself a lot and his presence is very good for the group."

"Turin is different from Paris. It's smaller, but it's a beautiful city," he added. "I am finding myself at ease and I managed to adapt well, which is very important for what I can then give on the field.

"Personally, I can't wait to start this adventure. I feel fit, we have worked a lot this summer, but we are ready for this appointment. With Parma it will be difficult, because we are the team to beat, and everyone will always give their best against us, but we are confident."

New head coach Maurizio Sarri will not be on the Juventus bench for their opening two Serie A games as he recovers from pneumonia.

Sarri, who arrived from Chelsea in the off-season, will miss Saturday's trip to Parma as well as the home match against former side Napoli on August 31.

"The coach made an excellent impression on me," said Rabiot. "He has a precise game philosophy and knows exactly how we must play, both in the offensive and defensive phases.

"We have already absorbed his concepts and we are working well with his staff."

Franck Ribery hopes to play on beyond the age of 40 after joining Fiorentina but says he does not intend to be a rival to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ribery's 12-year stay at Bayern Munich concluded when his contract expired at the end of the 2018-19 season, in which he won a ninth Bundesliga title.

Following prolonged speculation about his next move, the former France winger agreed a two-year deal with La Viola.

And Ribery, who plans to follow in the footsteps of Serie A veterans such as Francesco Totti, is aiming to lead Fiorentina back into the Champions League.

"We have had a very long negotiation, but I am very happy to be here in Florence," said the 36-year-old.

"I saw great motivation and great confidence in me from the management, and that is why I am here. Naturally, my wife also helped in the choice, because my family is very important.

"I am very motivated, I always want to play. I have a two-year contract and I want to be decisive and help the young players. I want to give something new to this club, I want to bring Fiorentina into the top three of the table.

"I came here to help my team, which is Fiorentina. I am not here to be a rival to Ronaldo. Serie A is a great tournament with many excellent players. Inter bought well on the market, as did Juventus.

"The thing I appreciate the most is that people here love and live for football. It's a wonderful experience and I want to enjoy myself on the field.

"Football is my life. It's the reason I wanted to remain in Europe and I was fortunate to find Fiorentina. I hope to continue playing until the age of 40, just like Francesco Totti."

Fiorentina open the new Serie A season at home to Napoli on Saturday but Ribery is not expecting to be involved.

"I am not ready to start, but I am happy that I got to train with the squad today, which is very different to training by yourself," he added. 

"I need a week or two to be ready to play, but if the coach [Vincenzo Montella] tells me that I'm needed, I will step up."

Maurizio Sarri's start to life as Juventus boss was hardly going swimmingly before he was left tackling a bout of pneumonia this week.

After a frankly disorientating year at Chelsea, which amounted to speculation over his future and criticism of his fabled playing style being stitched together by the momentary distraction of bi-weekly football matches, Sarri won the Europa League, finished third in the Premier League and landed the Juve job. It felt like the football equivalent of getting out of jail and building a house on Park Lane in the same Monopoly move.

Board room and dressing room at Stamford Bridge never felt in harmony, but it no longer mattered. The former Napoli boss would now helm the slick and formidable football empire he came closer than many to toppling.

Or so he might have thought. Cutting into a reporter's question after Juve lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup, Sarri launched something approaching a tirade on Paulo Dybala's mooted exit and the need to trim Juve's Champions League squad. He called their transfer policy "embarrassing".

Some moves this close season – namely the capture of quality free agents in the form of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot – are identifiable from the old Juventus playbook. But part-exchange deals that lessen the quality of the squad and generally appearing reactive rather than proactive should be a cause for concern.

Out with the new, in with the old

Moise Kean is one of the most exciting striking talents in Europe but was allowed to move to Everton. Centre-forward cover now comes from Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic – one back after two shocking loan spells and another 14 years older than Kean and apparently being hawked around Europe himself.

A chunk of cash accompanied Danilo from Manchester City for a reason, as the inconsistent but lavishly gifted (and, once again, younger) Joao Cancelo moved in the other direction. A swap deal featuring Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, now shipped from Manchester United to Inter, would have been far stranger.

Indeed, Dybala only remains a Juve player for now due to the tangled web of his image rights arrangements. Leonardo Spinazzola joining Roma to bring Luca Pellegrini the other way, only to loan the latter back to Cagliari, also suggested muddled thinking.

The steady improvement throughout Massimiliano Allegri's tenure brought two Champions League final defeats. In between losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2015 and 2017, Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Alvaro Morata were among the players to leave, yet Juventus improved on account of shrewd coaching and a transfer policy that was a step ahead.

Then, last year, the Turin giants bet the farm on Cristiano Ronaldo. The Champions League did not follow and Allegri left.

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the most eye-catching signings of the window but Juve hardly needed centre-backs and now appear to be scrabbling to recoup the cash. Like Sarri, there are understandable doubts over whether sporting director Fabio Paratici is cut out for a leading role at the Allianz Stadium.

Paratici's influence increased after Beppe Marotta's departure last year. Marotta is now leading operations at Inter for the man who launched this Juventus dynasty.

Conte's Inter ready for lift-off

"I never set limits – I don't want to create excuses," Antonio Conte said at his first news conference as Inter boss, his new club having come fourth - 21 points shy of Juve - last time around

The former Italy coach is something of a specialist in these situations. The year before he began Juventus' title streak in 2011-12, they finished seventh. At Chelsea, he took them from 10th to Premier League glory in a season.

Some of Conte's subsequent discontent in west London related to a failure to sign Lukaku. Now he has his man – the "point of reference" centre-forward crucial to all his best sides.

Manchester United fans will undoubtedly guffaw at the prospect of Alexis Sanchez joining a fellow Old Trafford flop at San Siro, but harnessing two players with a point to prove to Jose Mourinho in a bid to topple Sarri – the man who took his previous job – feels deliciously up Conte's street.

Valentino Lazaro, Matteo Politano, Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi look like shrewd buys alongside the formidable Diego Godin and Inter can be expected to hit the ground running when they host Lecce on Monday.

Napoli have finished as runners-up in the past two seasons and Hirving Lozano would be an exciting acquisition in attack, while there is unlikely to be a centre-back pairing anywhere as formidable as Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas.

Carlo Ancelotti's men should certainly not be discounted, but the winds of change ahead of an intriguing Serie A season appear to be blowing in Inter and Conte's direction.

Maurizio Sarri will not be on the Juventus bench for the first two games of the Serie A season, the club announced.

Sarri was diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this week and has been undergoing medical tests.

Juve said on Thursday that Sarri's latest results have shown an improvement in his condition.

But the 60-year-old, who left Chelsea to take charge of Juve, will be given more time to recover.

Juve start their title defence away to Parma on Saturday and Sarri will also miss a home game against his old club Napoli on August 31.

"The decision was taken to allow the technician, who even today went to the JTC [Juventus Training Centre to coordinate work with his staff, to resume regular activity as soon as possible," said a club statement.

It's been all change in Serie A ahead of the 2019-20 season, with five of last season's top six changing their head coach.

As such, an action-packed close season in the transfer market followed.

Champions Juventus have done big business, but could any of the chasing pack - including Antonio Conte's Inter - catch them after a busy window?

Although Italian clubs can buy until September 2, we take a look at five of the best signings in Serie A before the action gets underway.

 

5. Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)

Juventus are the masters of the free transfer and nothing changed this year, with two huge midfield signings arriving without a fee. Adrien Rabiot is a massive talent who will improve Maurizio Sarri's options, but Ramsey may well prove the real star.

In an Arsenal team where big wages and large fees were spent on the likes of Mesut Ozil, Ramsey was perhaps their most consistent performer, playing a key role in their FA Cup successes.

The Gunners will likely rue the expiration of Ramsey's contract and the Welshman already looks like he will settle quickly in Turin, after giving an introductory statement to the media in Italian.

4. Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari)

Nainggolan was one of Europe's dominant midfielders just a couple of years ago, so it seems incredible that he is on loan at Cagliari at the age of 31.

But after falling out of favour with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, Nainggolan had a stop-start first season at Inter - although his form picked up towards the end of the campaign - and Conte has seemingly decided he does not need the former Roma man.

All of this works out wonderfully for Cagliari, though, who had Nainggolan for four years earlier in his career and will welcome him back with open arms. His midfield alliance with Nahitan Nandez, an exciting acquisition from Boca Juniors, will be a must watch.

3. Diego Godin (Inter)

Godin has perhaps been Europe's best centre-back in recent seasons and so, even at 33, his expiring Atletico Madrid contract would have made him a target for many top sides.

But this move to Inter was long mooted and he should form a formidable three-man defence alongside Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar.

If Conte's reign at the Nerazzurri is to be a success, they will need to deliver at both ends of the field. It is on Romelu Lukaku's shoulders to provide the goals, while Godin will surely perform at the back, even if he endured a rocky campaign last time out.

2. Kostas Manolas (Napoli)

This list might be dominated by centre-backs and Serie A, to many the home of defending, will see some of the very best in action again next season. Manolas is certainly among them.

The Greece international might be best remembered for his Champions League goalscoring exploits at Roma, but he was a consistent star in defence over five seasons in the capital.

Quick and strong enough to mix it with Serie A's very best attackers, Manolas will leave a big hole in the Roma back line and instantly find a home at Napoli alongside Kalidou Koulibaly.

1. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)

It is an obvious answer, but every club on the planet would have loved to have brought in former Ajax captain De Ligt.

He was inspirational both on and off the pitch for the Dutch giants last season, as well as starring for Netherlands. Brilliant at the back and a threat in attack, De Ligt is still just 20, too, and will only get better.

That he cost a relatively reasonable €75million, considering the reported £80million spent on Harry Maguire, is merely a bonus. Juve should be set for years to come.

The wait for the new Serie A season is almost over and, remarkably, five of last season's top six will be entering the 2019-20 campaign with new faces at the helm.

Champions Juventus surprisingly parted company with Massimiliano Allegri and replaced him with Maurizio Sarri despite winning the title yet again, although runners-up Napoli have stuck with Carlo Ancelotti.

Inter and AC Milan both appointed new head coaches, with Antonio Conte and Marco Giampaolo taking charge respectively, while Paulo Fonseca is the new man in the Roma dugout.

We look at how the four new men have fared previously in Serie A to see how things might pan out with their new clubs.

 

Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)

Perhaps the most daunting task awaits Sarri next season, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Allegri, who won five consecutive Scudetti.

Indeed, the last campaign in which the Bianconeri did not win the title was 2010-11, and if Sarri cannot sustain their dominance his spell in Turin could be short-lived.

Sarri joins with an outstanding Serie A record behind him, however. He enjoyed a superb three-year spell with Napoli before his departure at the end of the 2017-18 season, winning 69 per cent of his 114 league games in charge.

Juve fans will be excited to see if he can successfully instil his free-flowing football at the Allianz Stadium – Napoli's 251 goals during his tenure was 13 more than any other side.

He does, though, start the season in poor health after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Antonio Conte (Inter)

Luciano Spalletti secured a second successive top-four finish last season, meaning Conte will juggle Campions League commitments alongside his bid to dethrone Juve as the dominant side in Serie A.

That is unlikely to phase a man who has won each of the three Serie A campaigns he has started when in charge of the Bianconeri.

Conte – who will have Romelu Lukaku leading the line following his arrival from Manchester United – ended his first league campaign with Juve unbeaten and did not taste defeat until his 49th league match.

What Inter fans would give to see a repeat performance this season.

Marco Giampaolo (AC Milan)

Giampaolo, 52, joined Milan after leaving fellow Serie A side Sampdoria, who he guided to ninth in the last of his three seasons in charge.

Having spent time in charge of Cagliari, Brescia and Empoli among others, Giampaolo is expected to bring stability to San Siro after churning through six full-time head coaches since Allegri's departure in 2014.

Giampaolo's task will be, on the face of it, a simple one – gain qualification for the Champions League. Gennaro Gattuso's failure to do just that ultimately cost the Milan icon his job at San Siro.

It is something that the new man has yet to achieve in his managerial career, but his attacking brand of football will certainly please the club's supporters.

Only four clubs in Serie A last season scored more goals than Sampdoria, while they boasted the best shot conversion rate in the division, scoring with 12.3 per cent of their efforts.

Paulo Fonseca (Roma)

Roma narrowly missed out on a place in next season's Champions League, leaving new coach Fonseca in charge of a club in need of a morale-boosting return to Serie A's top four.

The Giallorossi will still be expected to progress in the Europa League and Fonseca arrives in Rome with a strong track record in continental competition, having guided Shakhtar Donetsk to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18.

He enjoyed a superb three years in Ukraine, winning three league titles, three domestic cups and the Ukrainian Super Cup.

He left Shakhtar with a 78 per cent win ratio in the league and guided them to a whopping 23 clean sheets from their 32 games.

Axel Witsel could have joined Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at various points in his career but feels vindicated in his decision to sign for Borussia Dortmund last year.

Witsel is in his second season at Dortmund, having joined the Bundesliga club from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjin on a four-year contract.

He narrowly missed out on the Bundesliga title in his debut campaign. However, Witsel believes he is at the right club after possible moves to other European heavyweights did not come to pass.

Speaking to Goal and DAZN, the former Zenit midfielder detailed how he missed out on joining Madrid from Benfica before electing to return to Zenit ahead of moving to Juve.

"I could have joined Real Madrid when Jose Mourinho was there," Witsel said. "But then Real signed Luka Modric, so a transfer to Madrid made no sense to me.

"Shortly before the end of the transfer period Zenit called. I had good discussions with the people responsible and finally agreed. I am an open person and was not afraid of Russia.

"My contract with Zenit expired and I wanted to move to Turin to Juventus. I had already passed the medical check and actually only had to sign the contract.

"I waited all day in the office and Zenit told me to come back. In retrospect, that was perhaps a twist of fate. Maybe it was just not the right time."

United and PSG were said to be in the running for his signature in 2018, but the prospect of regular first-team football convinced Witsel to choose Dortmund instead.

"First [Dortmund sporting director] Michael Zorc approached me, then [coach] Lucien Favre called me," Witsel added.

"I also had other offers, maybe I could have gone to Paris or Manchester, but I did not want to wait. And I had the feeling that I was the first choice for Dortmund. It is important to feel good when you go to a new club.

"So after the talks with Zorc, Favre and [CEO] Hans-Joachim Watzke, I decided to join BVB. Dortmund is a top club - and I really wanted to join a top European club.

"Maybe it was my last chance at 29 years old. It was the right decision."

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