Paul Pogba is once again missing from the Manchester United squad for Saturday's trip to Burnley despite making substitute cameos in both of the club's two previous matches.

France international Pogba has been absent for most of the season due to a foot injury and illness, and he played for the first time in nearly three months when United were beaten 2-0 by Watford last weekend.

He was arguably United's best player after his introduction at Vicarage Road, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again kept him in reserve as they thrashed Newcastle United 4-1 on Boxing Day.

It was suggested Pogba's fitness was being carefully managed in order to avoid a recurrence, with the trip to Turf Moor seemingly the ideal opportunity to give him his first start since returning.

But he has not even travelled, news that will surely worry some supporters given the transfer speculation that has surrounded him for much of the season.

Real Madrid are said to be keen on midfielder, who is reportedly frustrated by United's inability to challenge for major honours.

But Solskjaer insists Pogba has been left at home simply to avoid overloading him so soon after finding fitness.

"Paul has played in two games and has been out for a while and it didn't feel right to play him [on Saturday]," Solskjaer told MUTV.

Scott McTominay is also missing having been forced off in the Boxing Day win – Solskjaer suggesting at the time knee ligament damage was a possibility for the Scotland international, but the "full scan" has not been carried out yet.

Nemanja Matic is the main beneficiary of those absences, as he comes in for only his third Premier League start of the season, with Fred and Andreas Pereira also lining up in midfield.

Solskjaer has opted to rotate both full-backs as well.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw drop to the bench, with Brandon Williams and Ashley Young taking their places.

Mason Greenwood has to accept a spot among the substitutes despite scoring as a starter two days ago, with Daniel James coming back in.

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano believes Pep Guardiola is the best coach in world football, but admits it is hard to argue with Zinedine Zidane's record at Real Madrid.

Guardiola won five major trophies in his first three full campaigns at the Etihad Stadium, including a clean sweep of domestic honours last season.

City look unlikely to retain their Premier League title, trailing leaders Liverpool by 14 points after a dramatic 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday.

Zidane has come under scrutiny since returning to Madrid, despite an incredible first stint at the club that saw him win three successive Champions League trophies.

And while Soriano agrees with Zidane's recent sentiment that Guardiola is the finest coach around, the City CEO has spoken of his admiration for the France legend.

 

"In the case of Zidane, the results speak for themselves, as in the case of Pep," he said at the the Globe Soccer Awards event. 

"There are all the titles he has won in LaLiga, the Bundesliga, the Premier League. For me, Guardiola is the best coach in the world because he is our [coach]."

City have never won the Champions League and face a huge challenge to be crowned European champions this season, having been drawn against Madrid at the last-16 stage.

The first leg is to be held at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 26 and Soriano believes there is very little between the two teams.

"You look at them and wherever you look - the quality of the players, the money invested, the salaries we pay - these are two great teams that are very even," he said. 

"It is unlikely that one team is far superior to the other - it will depend on how these two games take place.

"As usually happens in the Champions League, the tie can depend on a small detail, a defensive mistake or a referee error, which can be decisive."

Asked how the sides compare in terms of style of play, Soriano added: "You usually insist on the importance of City's style of play, while Real Madrid's style is usually winning no matter how.

"With Zidane they have won three Champions Leagues in a row. That's the reality. They have won three Champions Leagues in a row with Zidane and four in five years. Discussions about the style of play die when the data is exposed.

"I talk about what concerns Manchester City, where we play a certain style of football, but we do it because we believe in it and also because we are doing well, because when we don't play well we usually lose. 

"Ours is a way of looking at simple football: we have to play our way, and we can execute it in different ways, but the style, the fundamentals, have to be the same so that we do well.

"We can never lose that essence. Maybe other teams can play in several different ways, but not us."

Manchester United may be eyeing Everton forward Richarlison, but Carlo Ancelotti has other ideas.

Brazil international Richarlison, 22, is reportedly among numerous attackers being targeted by United.

However, the arrival of Ancelotti at Goodison Park could mean Richarlison is going nowhere.

 

TOP STORY – ANCELOTTI TO BLOCK MAN UTD'S RICHARLISON BID

Ancelotti will block any Manchester United bid for Richarlison, according to The Sun.

The report says Everton would even reject a £70million bid for the forward, who signed a five-year deal earlier this month.

Richarlison has scored six Premier League goals this season, having netted 13 in 2018-19.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Everton and Ancelotti would seriously consider a move for Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, according to Le 10 Sport. Ancelotti and Insigne worked together in Naples before the former was sacked earlier this month.

- Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, according to CalcioMercato. Emre Can has been linked with a move to PSG and Leandro Paredes to Juve, with De Sciglio potentially being included in those talks.

- Inter are moving quickly for Arturo Vidal. Sport reports the Serie A club have offered €12m for the midfielder, although Barcelona want €20m, amid reports Vidal has agreed to terms with Inter ahead of a possible move in January.

- Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz is a wanted man. The Spain international is a key target for Real Madrid for the 2020-21 season, according to AS, which says Fabian wants a move to the Santiago Bernabeu despite interest from the likes of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

- Mikel Arteta is not ready to let Granit Xhaka leave. Amid reports the midfielder has told Arsenal he wants to join Hertha Berlin in January, The Sun suggests Arteta is in no rush to sell Xhaka as he assesses his squad.

- After links to numerous coaches, it seems Inter Miami have found their man. ESPN reports the MLS club – which will make their debut next year – have reached an agreement with former Monterrey and Pachuca coach Diego Alonso.

How much will it take to retain the services of Kylian Mbappe?

Paris Saint-Germain are desperate to ward off Real Madrid, who want to bring Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu.

A huge contract offer is reportedly on the horizon in Paris.

 

TOP STORY – PSG READYING BUMPER NEW DEAL FOR MBAPPE

Paris Saint-Germain have offered superstar Kylian Mbappe a five-year contract worth €32million per year amid interest from Real Madrid, according to journalist Nicolo Schira.

LaLiga giants Madrid are reportedly ready to go all out for Mbappe at the end of the season – head coach Zinedine Zidane desperate to work with his fellow Frenchman.

Amid doubts over Neymar's future in Paris as LaLiga champions Barcelona continue to be linked with a reunion, PSG are desperate to hold onto Mbappe.

ROUND-UP

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has agreed to return to Milan, according to Sky Sport Italia and reports in Italy. A free agent since leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy, the 38-year-old has reportedly signed a six-month contract with the option of another year. Ibrahimovic spent two seasons previously playing for Milan from 2010 to 2012, winning the Scudetto.

- According to Calciomercato, Antonio Conte's Inter continue to dream of signing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, who wants to leave Camp Nou as soon as January.

- While Vidal could leave, Sport reports Barca are interested in signing Stefano Sensi. The Italian midfielder is on a season-long loan deal at Inter from Sassuolo.

- La Repubblica claims Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is valued at €105m amid links to Serie A champions Juventus and Inter.

- PSG forward Edinson Cavani will not force through a move to Atletico Madrid, says Mundo Deportivo. Cavani – out of contract at the end of the season – has reportedly agreed a deal to join Atletico, however, the veteran is unwilling to leave PSG on bad terms.

- The Evening Standard says Everton's Richarlison has been considered by United as they look to fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku. Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland tops the list of United's attacking targets, however, he is also wanted by RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Juve.

With Atletico Madrid struggling for regular goals, Diego Simeone is keen to address the problem.

Atletico have only scored 20 goals in 18 LaLiga matches this season – the club relying heavily on Alvaro Morata's seven strikes.

Simeone's solution could be about to arrive from the French capital, where a Paris Saint-Germain star has fallen down the pecking order.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID NEARING CAVANI DEAL

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is close to joining Atletico Madrid in January, according to Marca.

Cavani has reportedly agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Atletico, while PSG would prefer to keep the 32-year-old until the end of the season.

The soon-to-be free agent has found himself behind loanee Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar this season.

Signing Cavani in the January transfer window could force Atletico to sell due to their salary-limit issue, with Thomas Lemar a possible casualty.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and Marcos Rojo have been told they will be sold in January, according to the Daily Star. Matic has been linked with Serie A duo Milan and Inter, while Atletico have emerged as an option for the veteran midfielder.

- According to AS, Valencia want to sign right-back Joao Cancelo from Premier League champions Manchester City. The LaLiga outfit are keen for a January reunion with Cancelo, who initially joined Valencia in 2014 before leaving permanently in 2018. Valencia want to re-sign the Portugal international on an initial loan.

Hertha Berlin have entered negotiations with Granit Xhaka to bring the former Arsenal captain back to the Bundesliga, reports RMC Sport. Hertha have turned their attention to ex-Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Xhaka after failing to prise Lucas Tousart from Lyon.

Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Isco. The Daily Express says Real Madrid are trying to offload players to free up funds to bring in Tottenham star Christian Eriksen in January. City are also reportedly interested in Madrid's Isco.

Mario Mandzukic's proposed switch to Qatari outfit Al-Duhail from Juventus has broken down due to wage expectations, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona only want to loan out defender Jean-Clair Todibo in January amid interest from Milan and Bayern Leverkusen. United have also been linked with the 19-year-old.

Former Real Madrid president Vicente Boluda has announced he will stand against Florentino Perez in the next elections.

The Valencian businessman, a member of the club since 1998 and briefly president in 2009, intends to run against the incumbent Perez in 2021.

Perez, who took over from Boluda in 2009 after the latter had taken office temporarily following Ramon Calderon's resignation, was re-elected unopposed for a new four-year term in 2017.

"Real Madrid have a president who is doing really well," Boluda said at a business event in Valencia on Monday, according to Cadena SER.

"It's another thing that, next year, there will be new elections and I want there to be elections, and for that there have to be two candidates and one has to be different to the one that's there.

"I will present myself [as a candidate]."

Boluda, who stated Madrid need three major signings, added that the president of the club can "go to any country and they treat you like you're the president of the government. It multiplies everything, for the good and the bad."

Meanwhile, Perez has issued a call to Madrid fans to get behind the team for 2020 as the club looks to establish itself as "the most loved and admired sporting institution in the world".

"As we all know, Real Madrid is a universal feeling that unites millions of people around the world," he said via the club's website. "To our members and fans, I wish you a happy holiday season in the company of your families and loved ones.

"For this new year, I ask for health, work and happiness for everyone. We want the year 2020 to be a year of success and titles for our football and basketball teams. We will always keep in mind our motto of never giving up and we will continue working with the same enthusiasm so that Real Madrid continues to be the most loved and admired sporting institution in the world."

Madrid are two points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona heading into 2020, while they have reached the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Premier League champions Manchester City.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale remains in love with football and is more than capable of handling the criticism he has received in recent months.

Bale has been through a somewhat tumultuous time at Real Madrid, with questions over his commitment to the club arising amid form and fitness issues.

He courted controversy last month when he posed with a flag that read: "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order," following his country's victory over Hungary that sealed a place at Euro 2020.

However, Giggs believes Bale's vast experience means he can easily deal with any negativity.

"It's all noise that you can't control and it's about blocking out that noise. If you don't hear it then it's not going to affect you," Giggs told Sky Sports News.

"Gareth is at one of the biggest clubs in the world, he's won four Champions Leagues, he's been through everything so he can handle it [the criticism].

"A lot of people have sort of questioned his love for the game. He still loves the game and he loves playing it.

"He loves winning, he loves scoring goals, he loves making goals. It's not a problem to Gareth with the experience he's got."

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said Sunday's goalless LaLiga draw with Athletic Bilbao left a "bad taste".

Madrid hit the woodwork three times at the Santiago Bernabeu as Los Blancos ended the round two points adrift of leaders and defending champions Barcelona.

It was another toothless display as Madrid failed to score in back-to-back LaLiga games – Toni Kroos and Nacho hitting the crossbar either side of half-time before substitute Luka Jovic was denied by the base of the post with four minutes remaining.

Reflecting on the result, Courtois said: "It leaves us with a bad taste because we had two very intense matches [before playing Athletic].

"We struggled to get into the game at the start and then we didn't have luck on our side. We hit the woodwork three times and then the goalkeeper [Unai Simon] also deserves credit.

"Athletic try to frustrate you and the referee followed their game. They are two points lost, but we have to keep going."

"We have ended 2019 well in LaLiga," Courtois added. "At home we've dropped some points against some teams, and you come away disappointed, but overall we only lost one game and now we have to keep going.

"The team are doing well, playing well, and creating chances. It is just a shame that in the last three games we could not get the goals we needed. Karim [Benzema] is doing so well for us, he has been involved in so many goals this season."

 

Zinedine Zidane said Real Madrid will "absolutely not" sign a striker in January following another toothless display against Athletic Bilbao.

Madrid failed to score in back-to-back games after playing out a 0-0 LaLiga draw with Athletic at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Toni Kroos and Nacho hit the crossbar either side of half-time, before substitute striker Luka Jovic was also denied by the base of the post with four minutes remaining.

Karim Benzema has shouldered the goalscoring load for Madrid this season with 12 LaLiga goals and 16 across all competitions, while big-money off-season recruit Jovic has only found the back of the net once since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt.

However, Madrid head coach Zidane dismissed the possibility of attacking reinforcements as Los Blancos look to dethrone LaLiga champions Barcelona this term.

Asked if he would request a new striker, Zidane replied: "No. Absolutely not, I don't see the need to sign a striker."

The stalemate against Athletic is the fifth time Madrid have fired a blank in LaLiga this season, with Zidane's men two points behind leaders Barca heading into 2020.

"I'm annoyed by this," Zidane said. "My players have left everything on the pitch. "I'm looking at the positives and the good thing is that we're doing well. Three points from nine [available in the last three games] isn't much.

"As always, when we play a game like we did and have chances [to score], I'm annoyed for the players. For the effort that we put in, we're annoyed that we didn't score the chances that we had.

"If you have chances, you have to score them, and we've had lots of the ball in the last three games and very few goals. It's not bad luck or [a lack of] conviction - the important thing is creating chances.

"We created so many chances... we're going to continue; it's going to go in [eventually]. Now it's not going in, but we can't let our heads drop. We have to think that it's been a very good year.

"We're ending a bit flat but we're looking forward to starting 2020. I don't think [the lack of goals] is a problem, but everyone has their own opinion. We're calm. What we've done in the last four or five months was good."

Real Madrid allowed Barcelona to take an advantage into LaLiga's mid-season break after Athletic Bilbao held them to a second goalless draw in a week.

Following Wednesday's stalemate at Camp Nou in El Clasico, Zinedine Zidane's men drew a blank once more against their obdurate Basque opponents.

Toni Kroos and Nacho hit the crossbar either side of half-time and substitute Luka Jovic struck the base of the post with four minutes to play.

Champions Barca lead their great rivals by two points after 18 matches, having dispatched Alaves 4-1 on Saturday, while Athletic edge up to seventh and remain firmly in the European hunt

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr leant a vibrant edge to the Madrid attack during the opening exchanges, with the latter denied by the boot of Athletic goalkeeper Unai Simon at the end of a slaloming run.

The visitors allowed Kroos to saunter into the box on the end of Ferland Mendy's 19th-minute pass, the Germany midfielder cracking a shot against the crossbar from close quarters.

Athletic served notice of their threat a few moments later when Raul Garcia seized upon an unusually slack pass from Federico Valverde and sent Inaki Williams haring past Eder Militao. Thibaut Courtois was equal to the task at his near post.

Simon held a Karim Benzema header from Rodrygo's cross late in the first half and the Athletic keeper was grateful to see his bar frustrate Madrid once more before the hour.

Nacho rose highest to Kroos' right-wing delivery but could not direct his powerful effort downwards.

Simon plunged to keep out Benzema's angled 64th-minute shot, shortly after Gareth Bale replaced Rodrygo.

But it was another replacement, Jovic, who came closest to a winner - Simon looking on dejectedly, only for the Serbia forward's header to loop down against his upright.

What does it mean? Shot shy Madrid paying the price in the title race

There is little to choose between Barcelona and Real Madrid in terms of points as LaLiga heads into recess. However, the difference in terms of goals scored is 14 in Barca's favour and those deficiencies could tell dearly down the stretch for a Madrid team who have only lost once in the top flight this term but now drawn seven times.

Simon says, no way through

Even allowing for the fact Madrid's attack is not the potent force it once was, Athletic still needed a superb showing from their last line of defence. The latest goalkeeper off the production line that yielded Kepa Arrizabalaga, the 22-year-old Simon was near-faultless and deserved his moments of fortune.

Clock ticking on the Modric-Kroos axis

Real Madrid's engine room boasts two of the finest midfield talents of this decade in European football. As is customary, Kroos and his old ally Luka Modric were easy on the eye in a manner that sometimes becalmed the Santiago Bernabeu's mounting frustration. Nevertheless, it is hard to escape the conclusion that this Madrid need more dynamism and goal threat from deep and an interesting January beckons as those Paul Pogba rumours refuse to abate.

What's next

Madrid return to action on January 4 with a short trip to Getafe, while Athletic open 2020 against another of the division's high flyers, Sevilla.

Could Chelsea gazump their Premier League rivals in the race for Jadon Sancho?

According to reports, the Blues are working on a club-record deal for the Borussia Dortmund winger.

Frank Lampard was among Sancho's idols growing up and the Chelsea boss has been open about his desire to bring in a replacement for Eden Hazard.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO SET FOR STAMFORD BRIDGE?

Chelsea could celebrate the end of their transfer ban by splashing out £120million to secure Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho, according to The Sun.

The huge price tag attached to one of Europe's brightest prospects has reportedly quashed Liverpool's interest and Manchester United are also said to be at risk of missing out on a long-term target.

The Sun claims Chelsea head coach Lampard believes Sancho, 19, can be the man to fill the attacking void left by Hazard's close-season departure to Real Madrid.

Sancho has scored nine Bundesliga goals this season and hit eight in seven games across all competitions prior to Dortmund's 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on Friday.

 

ROUND-UP

- LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Premier League champions Manchester City are monitoring Marquinhos' contract impasse at Paris Saint-Germain, writes Le 10 Sport. The Ligue 1 leaders are reportedly unwilling to meet the Brazilian's financial demands as they seek to extend his deal beyond 2022.

- There is a "big question mark" hanging over Paco Alcacer's future at Dortmund as the striker struggles to carve out a regular Bundesliga starting spot, reports Ruhr Nachrichten.

- Tottenham have opened talks over a January move for Flamengo midfielder Gerson, says 90min. The 22-year-old started for Flamengo in their Club World Cup final loss to Liverpool on Saturday.

- Barcelona included Arturo Vidal in their starting XI against Deportivo Alaves on Sunday and are now seemingly determined to block his expected Camp Nou exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, the Chilean's agent has met with club executives in a bid to secure a mid-season switch to Serie A, where Inter are rumoured to be his strongest suitors, but €20m will not be enough to do a deal.

- The Nerazzurri's city rivals might have more success in making a midfield acquisition. La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Stefano Pioli's Milan are interested in United outcast Nemanja Matic, who has been linked to Inter.

Zinedine Zidane lavished praise on Pep Guardiola after Real Madrid were drawn against the ex-Barcelona coach's Manchester City side in the Champions League.

Two presumed contenders will square off in a highly anticipated last-16 tie, with the first leg to be held at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 26.

Guardiola welcomed the challenge, saying it would be "special" to share a touchline with Zidane, a man he "dreamed" of playing alongside.

The Frenchman returned the favour ahead of Madrid's LaLiga game against Athletic Bilbao, going so far as to call Guardiola the world's leading coach.

"Yes [it will be special]. I played against him many times," Zidane said on Saturday.

"I respected him as a player and I respect him as a coach. I think he is the best in the world and has demonstrated that throughout his career.

"Of course, I really want to face him, to play against him and his side. Not just myself but all of us here."

Overcoming the Premier League champions would be a huge boost for Madrid in their bid to be crowned Europe's best for the fifth time in seven years.

Zidane has overseen three Champions League victories, success equalled only by Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley, yet the Los Blancos coach claimed trophies were not what motivated him to prolong a potentially brief foray into coaching.

"I don't know if my career will last long," he said. "It will depend on what I feel. I am atypical, because what interests me is the day to day, how I am with the people who work with me. We will see, but I'm sure I won't be going up to 60 or 70."

Madrid's home match against seventh-placed Athletic comes four days after the club's strong showing in the goalless Clasico draw against Barca.

Federico Valverde impressed in midfield, raising more questions over whether his development would be stifled should rumoured target Paul Pogba arrive from Manchester United.

Zidane said: "I can only talk about my players. They are doing well. Fede is part of the heritage of the club and we are glad he is with us."

Everton have completed a major coup in appointing Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Ancelotti, who previously managed in the Premier League with Chelsea, returns to England after he was sacked by Napoli on December 10, despite guiding the Serie A club to the Champions League knockout stages.

He replaces Marco Silva, who was dismissed on December 5 following a 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, with Duncan Ferguson having been in temporary charge since then.

The Italian – the first coach from his nation to win the Premier League – has had a glittering career, taking charge of 735 top-flight matches in total thanks to spells at Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli.

As Ancelotti takes over at Goodison, we have used Opta data to take a look at his glittering career in numbers.

 

Parma

33 - Of his 68 league matches at the helm at Parma between 1996 and 1998, Ancelotti won 33 times, suffering 14 defeats.

2 - Parma finished second in Serie A in their first season under Ancelotti, though could only manage a sixth-place finish in the following campaign.


Juventus

61 - Ancelotti took charge of 82 top-flight games in Turin, managing 50 wins – giving him a 61 per cent win ratio. 

0 - Across 23 seasons in management, Ancelotti has never finished outside of the top seven in any domestic league, coming seventh only once, with Juve in 1998-99.


Milan

282 - Ancelotti's longest spell at one club came at Milan, where he spent eight seasons, managing the Rossoneri in 282 league fixtures.

1 - His first league title came in 2003-04, when Milan finished top of Serie with 82 points.

3 - Milan's Serie A success came on the back of glory in the Champions League in 2002-03. Ancelotti has won Europe's biggest prize on three occasions, with only Zinedine Zidane and former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley able to match that total. 


Chelsea

4 - Only four coaches to have managed 30 or more games in the Premier League have a higher win percentage than Ancelotti's 63.2 – Jurgen Klopp, Alex Ferguson, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola.

103 - Chelsea set a Premier League goals record for a single season when they netted 103 times under Ancelotti during 2009-10. It is a record which was only surpassed by Manchester City in 2017-18.

172 - In total, Chelsea scored 172 goals in 76 league fixtures while Ancelotti was in charge at Stamford Bridge.


Paris Saint-Germain

47.4 - Fixing Everton's leaky defence will be a top priority for Ancelotti, who during his time at PSG had a clean sheet percentage of 47.4, with the Ligue 1 giants not conceding in 27 out of 57 matches.

297 - In total during his two seasons at Parc des Princes, PSG had 297 shots on target. That was, however, significantly fewer than Ancelotti's Chelsea (532) or Madrid (583) sides managed.


Real Madrid

1428 - Los Blancos had almost 1500 shots during Ancelotti's time at the club.

867 - However, they were also the most open at the back when compared to Chelsea, PSG, Bayern and Napoli, allowing 867 attempts at their own goal.

1 - Spain is the only country in which Ancelotti has not won a league title. He also won his third Champions League crown with Madrid, in 2014.


Bayern Munich

68.6 - Having taken over from Guardiola, it is no surprise to see that possession was the order of the day for Ancelotti at Bayern, who averaged 68.6 per cent of the ball under his tutelage.

89 - In Ancelotti's only full campaign at Bayern, they scored 89 Bundesliga goals, conceding just 22 in return.


Napoli

29 - From 53 matches in charge of Napoli in Serie A, Ancelotti claimed 29 victories. His record in 2019-20 was a comparatively poor one, however, with four defeats and six draws from 15 games.

735 - After leaving Napoli, Ancelotti has taken charge of 735 top-tier league fixtures, with a win percentage of 60.5.

998 - Napoli had just under 1000 shots at goal during Ancelotti's spell.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is coveted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His French connection with Zinedine Zidane means there is constant speculation.

However, Pogba is set to remain at United for the time being.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID GIVE UP ON POGBA… FOR NOW

LaLiga giants Real Madrid will not sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba in January, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Pogba – still recovering from injury – continues to be linked with Madrid amid doubts over his United future.

Madrid, however, recognise there is "no chance" of prising the Frenchman from Old Trafford in the New Year.

 

ROUND-UP

- A return to Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake looks likely, claims Bleacher Report. Chelsea have a £40million buyback clause for Ake, who left Stamford Bridge permanently in 2017. Manchester City have also been linked to the 24-year-old defender.

- Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo has turned down a move to Milan, reports RMC. The 19-year-old has also been linked to Ligue 1 outfit Monaco and Premier League giants Manchester United.

- Qatari outfit Al Rayyan have re-opened talks with Juventus regarding the transfer of out-of-favour striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. United and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in the veteran Croatian.

Napoli have offered Dries Mertens a two-year contract extension, says Sky Sport Italia. The Belgian, who is out of contract at season's end, has been the subject of reported interest from Dortmund.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want to swap Leandro Paredes for Juventus midfielder Emre Can, reports the Daily Mail.

- La Nazione says Fiorentina are looking to bring former Milan striker Patrick Cutrone back to Serie A. The Italian left San Siro for Premier League side Wolves at the start of the season.

- Former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is in talks to join Javier Mascherano at Argentine outfit Estudiantes. Iniesta currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, however, TNT Sports claims the 35-year-old midfielder could move in 2020.

"Nice guy" Eden Hazard will prove he is one of the best players in the world at Real Madrid, according to his former Chelsea team-mate Nemanja Matic.

Hazard finally joined Los Blancos in June for an initial €100million after months of speculation linking with him a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Belgium international left the Blues having scored 16 Premier League goals in his final season at Stamford Bridge, though Madrid fans have only seen fleeting glimpses of his talent since his move.

Hazard, who has scored just one goal for Madrid in 13 appearances, is sidelined by an ankle injury and had struggled with a hamstring problem earlier in the season.

Matic, though, is adamant his former Chelsea colleague can be a success in Spain.

"Eden Hazard's only problem is that he's such a nice guy," Matic told Omnisport.

"He's so nice and he will take some more time to adapt.

"At Real Madrid, if you don't score in the first two, three games... if you don't score or play well, they criticise you a lot.

"The pressure is big, but he also had an injury, but I'm sure in the next five, six months and next season he will be again one of the best players in the world."

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