A defender appears to be high on the list for Liverpool, with Virgil van Dijk recovering from a serious knee injury.

Ajax's Perr Schuurs is no stranger to Merseyside and the 20-year-old is reportedly attracting interest from Liverpool.

Could another Dutchman be set for Anfield?

 

TOP STORY – REDS EYEING AJAX SENSATION

Liverpool are monitoring Ajax centre-back Perr Schuurs amid their injury crisis, according to The Mirror.

With Virgil van Dijk recovering from a serious knee injury, Premier League champions Liverpool are looking to bolster their defensive options.

Schuurs previously trialled at Anfield and the 20-year-old has emerged as an option for Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Real Madrid are not planning any January signings as they eye further sales. Los Blancos have been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

- Calciomercato reports Milan are continuing to monitor Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. The Serbia international has also been linked with Inter and Manchester United previously.

Chelsea are chasing Malmo's Anel Ahmedhodzic, claims Expressen. The 21-year-old has impressed at the Swedish club.

- Madrid midfielder Isco is keen to link up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, according to The Mirror. James Rodriguez has starred since swapping Madrid for Everton.

Cristiano Ronaldo is pushing Juventus to sign PSG's Angel Di Maria, reports Calciomercato. The pair played together at Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane insisted Eden Hazard has no problems despite the player keeping celebrations to a minimum when he ended his long wait for a Real Madrid goal.

Hazard's thunderous strike in the first half against Huesca, his first goal for the club for 392 days, set Madrid on their way to a 4-1 victory on Saturday.

The Belgium star described it as a "beautiful goal" in a social media post but surprisingly did not celebrate with much aplomb when the ball hit the net.

Head coach Zidane did not feel there was much to glean from Hazard's reaction, though.

"I'm happy for his game," Zidane said. "He played 20 minutes the other day, and now more.

"We know the quality he has; he scored a good goal. We needed it in the first half because then the game was different after the goal.

"You can see associations between players. Hazard plays on the left and Vini's [Vinicius Junior] preferred position is on the left. We'll see how we do things.

"He's okay, he has no problems, [he is] happy. He's happy for his goal and his team-mates are happy for him.

"It's a win, four goals, and you have to be happy."

Hazard's thumping effort broke Huesca's impressive first-half resistance before Madrid assumed control through a Karim Benzema double and a Federico Valverde goal.

The win sent the champions back to the top of the table, two points ahead of Real Sociedad, and served as a useful response to a disappointing Champions League performance at Borussia Monchengladbach in which they snatched a 2-2 draw after falling 2-0 down.

"It was like a final. We had to get three important points and we did," Zidane said.

"The game wasn't perfect, but there are four goals. It's always said that we don't score, that we don't play well... and since the situation is a bit strange, we need a lot of energy from among ourselves because what comes from outside doesn't help.

"We more or less controlled their strong points. From there, we had... not the best game, but after two games last week, where we put in a lot energy, we have to be happy.

"We know we can do better and that's what we're going to try to do."

Eden Hazard was delighted to score a "beautiful goal" for Real Madrid after a year-long drought as Emilio Butragueno hailed the forward as "magnificent".

Hazard blasted home with his weaker foot from nearly 30 yards out to give the Spanish champions the lead over Huesca on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane's men eased to a 4-1 victory that moved them back to the top of the table, with Karim Benzema scoring twice and Federico Valverde also on the scoresheet.

It was Hazard's strike that will be best remembered, though, as it ended a wait of 392 days for just his second goal for Madrid since joining from Chelsea for an initial €100million in 2019.

Hazard was beaming as he recorded a short video message for fans that was posted on Twitter by Madrid after the match.

"Hi, guys! I'm just happy to be back on a pitch, [and] score a beautiful goal," he said.

"That's for you. I hope to see you soon."

Hazard did not create a chance for team-mates or produce a cross in his hour on the pitch against Huesca, but his link-up play with Benzema was encouraging throughout and one such move led to Valverde's emphatic third goal.

Real's director of institutional relations, Butragueno, was thrilled with the performance of the Belgium star.

"What Hazard did was magnificent. We saw that in the first goal," he told Movistar. "It gives you an idea of the category of player we're talking about.

"From then on, the team felt more comfortable. Being effective up top helps the game to go how you want it to.

"He has had back luck since he came due to injuries. He's a winner and what he wants is to be out on the pitch and helping the team. Hopefully, we can have him like this because he makes the difference."

Eden Hazard scored his first Real Madrid goal for more than a year as the LaLiga champions eased to a 4-1 win over Huesca.

Making his first league appearance of the season, the Belgium star opened the scoring in brilliant fashion before Karim Benzema doubled the lead at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Federico Valverde scored the third after some fine interplay between Benzema and Hazard, who looked sharp throughout his hour on the pitch, before David Ferreiro's consolation.

Much of the pre-game talk had centred on Benzema and a recording of him appearing to tell Ferland Mendy not to pass to Vinicius Junior during the Champions League draw with Borussia Monchengladbach, and the striker should have scored his side's fourth when teed up by substitute Vinicius in what would have capped an improved Madrid display.

Benzema eventually got his second in the 90th minute, nodding in from Rodrygo's header across goal.

An obstinate Huesca kept Madrid at bay for much of the first half, although Sergio Ramos – making his 500th appearance in LaLiga – saw a header saved by Andres Fernandez.

The breakthrough came 40 minutes, as Hazard produced a moment of true brilliance too rarely seen in a Madrid shirt, rolling away from Kelechi Nwakali's challenge and blasting a left-footed shot beyond Fernandez from nearly 30 yards out.

Benzema doubled the lead just before the interval, chesting down Lucas Vazquez's deep cross before drilling a finish into the bottom-right corner.

Huesca started the second positively but the threat of a comeback was quashed 53 minutes in. After Hazard and Benzema had combined superbly down the left, the latter crossed for Valverde to take a touch and hammer home from 12 yards.

Benzema and Isco missed chances for a fourth before Ferreiro scored a consolation, steering a finish past Thibaut Courtois from Rafa Mir's cross, but Benzema had the final word when he turned in Rodrygo's header from point-blank range.

What does it mean? Hazard looks sharp again as Madrid return to top

The victory moved Madrid back to the summit of LaLiga, two points clear of Real Sociedad after seven games each.

It also marked an impressive return to form for Hazard and Zinedine Zidane's side as a whole, as they once again followed up a disappointing performance in Europe with a much-improved domestic display.

Huesca, one of just two sides without a LaLiga win this season, are 18th after eight games.

Hazard levels rising

This was not a virtuoso Hazard performance: he created zero chances for team-mates, produced no crosses and only had one shot on target.

However, that solitary strike earned him his first goal in 392 days and seemed to breathe some life into his link-up with Benzema. Zidane will be encouraged.

Right-back worries

Auxiliary right-back Lucas Vazquez was taken off after 52 minutes and did not seem to be wholly comfortable. Given injuries to Dani Carvajal and Nacho, any further concerns in that position will be most unwelcome to Zidane.

What's next?

Madrid host Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday before next Sunday's visit to Mestalla to meet Valencia. Huesca have a week off until they host Eibar.

Kylian Mbappe seems set to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe's future with the Ligue 1 giants is a constant talking point with the star forward coming out of contract in 2022.

And it seems the 21-year-old wants an exit.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS PSG EXIT

Mbappe wants to leave PSG next year, according to OKdiario.

The report says the France international wants a smooth transfer to Real Madrid, otherwise he will make a move for free in 2022.

Mbappe has helped PSG win three straight Ligue 1 titles since his arrival, initially on loan, from Monaco in 2017.

PSG have won 64 of 81 Ligue 1 games with Mbappe from 2017-18 onwards, while recording 22 victories in 30 without him.

In that period they have averaged 2.9 goals for per game with him, compared to 2.5 without him.

 

ROUND-UP

- Another PSG star coming out of contract in 2022 is Neymar. However, in good news for the Ligue 1 giants, the forward wants to extend his contract, according to Foot Mercato, which says Neymar was ready to sign a five-year deal under the same financial conditions earlier in 2020.

- Manchester United could be set to bolster their midfield ahead of next season. Bild reports the Premier League club are in talks with Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu, who it says rejected Juventus. United could sign Calhanoglu for free with his contract expiring at the season's end.

- Another transfer race has reportedly not gone Manchester United's way. Fabrizio Romano says Manchester City will sign 18-year-old Filip Stevanovic from Partizan for £7.2million (€8m), including add-ons.

- Staying at Manchester City and ESPN says Barcelona will again attempt to sign defender Eric Garcia in January. Garcia was linked with a return to the LaLiga giants earlier this year, but the report adds the incoming president will have to approve any potential deal.

- Atletico Madrid are pushing hard to sign Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, according to Le 10 Sport.

Kylian Mbappe should join Real Madrid if he wants to continue improving, according to former France international Robert Pires.

Mbappe, 21, has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid after starring at Paris Saint-Germain, where he is contracted until 2022.

Pires, who turned down Madrid during his playing career, said Mbappe should make the move to the LaLiga giants – and the former Arsenal and France midfielder can see it happening.

"Of course. I'm French, I like Paris Saint-Germain and I'd like him to stay in Ligue 1," he told AS.

"But if he wants to keep growing as a player, he should sign for Real Madrid."

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has previously revealed his admiration for Mbappe, who has six goals and five assists in seven games this season.

Mbappe provided two assists to Moise Kean in PSG's 2-0 Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday.

Since the start of 2017-18, Mbappe has more assists (15) in the Champions League than any other player.

Zidane has also been under pressure at Madrid, who have won just one of their past four games in all competitions ahead of hosting Huesca on Saturday.

"I think it's incredible that people talk about a crisis and the end of an era when Real Madrid lose two games before the Clasico and then draw at the death against Borussia Monchengladbach," Pires said.

"I know there's a lot of pressure at Madrid, but the coach and the players need to be given a calmer climate in which to do their job.

"Just because they're Madrid or Barcelona, they can't always beat everybody. If that were the case, football would be very boring."

Madrid are third in the LaLiga table, a point behind Real Sociedad and Cadiz, although they can go top with a win over Huesca.

Antonio Conte is not willing to take any risks with Romelu Lukaku as Inter prepare to host Parma without both the Belgian striker and Alexis Sanchez.

Lukaku played the entire game but suffered a thigh issue as Inter drew 0-0 with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday, their first goalless draw in the competition since September 2009.

The 27-year-old had scored in nine straight European matches up until then, while he has already found the net five times in as many Serie A appearances at the start of the new campaign.

However, with a huge Champions League clash against Real Madrid looming on the horizon, plus a trip to Atalanta to come before the November international break, Conte is wary of pushing the player too hard despite his obvious importance to the team.

"Against Shakhtar he had a muscle problem, precisely when he kicked the free-kick," Conte said at his pre-match media conference on Friday. "He still has this.

"We need to recover in the best possible way. You know very well how important Romelu is for us, especially at a time when Sanchez is also missing.

"We are evaluating the situation and we try to act for the best of Inter.

"We are recovering some players from coronavirus, I have a lot of faith in everyone and I know we can do well and that we must do well anyway."

Sanchez, meanwhile, was withdrawn at half-time in Inter's Champions League opener with Borussia Monchengladbach on October 21 due to a thigh injury.

The Chile forward will once again be unavailable for this weekend, denying Conte another attacking option for the Serie A fixture.

Inter have not done well against Parma in recent home games either, failing to win any of the previous four matches at San Siro between the teams. 

"Sanchez is not ready. You have to wait for the doctors and the player to give the go ahead, because sometimes too much desire to play makes the player make the wrong decision," Conte said.

"You have to be patient and try to experience what happens, especially for the players because, as I said, the players have to take great responsibilities, they have to be aware of the situations.

"Forcing it can lead to negative consequences, both for them and the team."

Inter will be boosted by the expected return of Roberto Gagliardini, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

On the midfielder's status, Conte said: "Gagliardini is fine, he trained at home and, when he arrived with us, we did some checks. He is available and I'm happy to have him, because in midfield we had some problems since the international break."

Eden Hazard is in line to feature again against Huesca on Saturday as Real Madrid focus fully on LaLiga, despite their Champions League concerns. 

Former Chelsea winger Hazard played for the first time this season as he appeared off the bench in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach. 

The Belgium international is looking to kick on after an underwhelming first campaign in Spain in which he scored just once in 16 LaLiga matches, missing four big chances. 

Hazard passed up another big chance against Gladbach and failed to create an opportunity in a 20-minute cameo, though he was on the pitch for both Madrid goals, later saying he was "very happy" simply to play. 

That joy is shared by Zinedine Zidane, who said on Friday: "Hazard is fine now. We are happy. His feelings are good. Everything is positive. 

"The idea is that Hazard is with us. Then we will see how we manage his minutes. The important thing is that he is well and well prepared." 

Despite the late rally, the Gladbach draw was especially disappointing after Madrid appeared to get their season back on track in the Clasico, winning at Barcelona following back-to-back home defeats. 

One of those losses came against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, meaning Zidane's men sit bottom of Group B ahead of two games against Inter. 

That European campaign was not of concern to Zidane prior to facing Huesca, though, with the reigning LaLiga champions a point behind table-topping Real Sociedad with a game in hand. 

"The final we have is tomorrow," the Frenchman said. "There is no such thing as thinking about Tuesday. 

"We have to think about the day-to-day. The players are aware of that, too. Tomorrow, period. The final is tomorrow." 

And following the revelation from Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu this week, Madrid may soon have another competition on the agenda. 

As he announced his resignation, Bartomeu claimed Barca had agreed to join a European 'super league' after talks with a number of other elite clubs. 

"I have enough [to think about] with the many games we have," Zidane responded when asked about a potential super league. "We hardly have rest. 

"With everything that is happening, tomorrow could be the last game. We will see when there will be another competition."

Zinedine Zidane insists there are no lasting issues between Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior after the Real Madrid striker told Ferland Mendy not to pass to their team-mate. 

In Madrid's 2-2 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Zidane's side two down at half-time, Benzema was caught on camera appearing to discuss Vinicius. 

"Brother, don't pass to him," Benzema told Mendy in the tunnel. "On my mother's life, he is playing against us." 

Benzema did not play a single pass to the Brazilian in the second half, having created an opportunity with one of his three first-half passes, while Mendy found Vinicius just twice more before the latter was substituted in the 70th minute. 

Zidane was not concerned by the part of Benzema - who pulled a gol back before Casemiro levelled - in the conversation, suggesting such exchanges are commonplace but not usually made public. 

"It is clear about Benzema and Vinicius," Zidane said. "They have talked to each other. Things stay on the field. They talked and it is perfect.


"There is no problem between them - the opposite. In the end, the important thing is that the energy is on tomorrow's game [against Huesca].

"Things like Benzema and Vinicius have always happened but they stay on the field. The only thing that has changed is that there are many cameras." 

By the time he made way for Eden Hazard, none of Vinicius' three shots had hit the target, with two blocked, while he did not pick out a team-mate with any of his three crosses, although he did create chances for both Benzema and Mendy. 

A disappointingly low 71.4 per cent of passes found their man, however, and the 20-year-old completed only two of his five attempted dribbles. 

But Zidane expects the forward to bounce back as he remains a big part of Madrid's plans. 

"Vinicius is young," he added. "He has a present and a future at Madrid. He is a boy who wants to learn and improve. He works and that is good for a coach and a team."

Gianluigi Donnarumma's future could become clearer soon.

The Milan goalkeeper is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move amid apparent interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Donnarumma could be set for a new deal at San Siro.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN IN FRESH TALKS OVER DONNARUMMA CONTRACT

Donnarumma's agent Mino Raiola was set for talks with Milan over an extension for the Italy international, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It remains to be seen whether a deal will be done, but the report says the Rossoneri have expressed optimism about a renewal in recent weeks.

Milan are unbeaten through five Serie A games this season and hold a two-point lead at the top.

Donnarumma has played in four of those games, making 11 saves and holding a 90.9 save percentage. His best save percentage in a Serie A season came in 2016-17 (76.4).

ROUND-UP

- Staying in Milan and the city's two rivals could be set for a transfer battle. CalcioMercato reports Inter and Milan may be interested in Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- Inter could be busy in January. The Serie A giants may make a move for Parma attacker Gervinho, according to CalcioMercato.

- Could Kieran Trippier leave Atletico Madrid after less than two seasons? Todofichajes says the club are prepared to listen to offers for the England full-back, who could be worth around €28million.

- Brahim Diaz is impressing on loan at Milan from Real Madrid. The Serie A club want to keep the forward beyond his loan spell for 2020-21, according to CalcioMercato.

Romelu Lukaku could miss Inter's Champions League clash with Real Madrid after suffering a thigh injury.

The Nerazzurri striker went for an MRI scan after feeling discomfort during the goalless draw with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

Inter confirmed the Belgium international has strained a muscle in his left thigh and that "his condition will be monitored daily".

Lukaku is expected to sit out the Serie A match against Parma on Saturday and is reportedly likely to miss next Wednesday's visit to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The news is a blow to head coach Antonio Conte, whose side have drawn each of their opening Group B matches with Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar.

Lukaku has scored nine goals in 11 appearances in all competitions this season.

Vinicius Junior was the subject of scrutiny in Real Madrid's latest difficult Champions League match on Tuesday.

Madrid rallied from 2-0 down to draw at Borussia Monchengladbach thanks to late goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro, avoiding what would have been a fourth straight European defeat – a first for Los Blancos had the hosts held on.

Vinicius, however, had long since departed by the time Casemiro struck the equaliser, making way for the fit-again Eden Hazard with 20 minutes remaining.

It had been a particularly tricky outing for the Brazil international and, it seems, some of his team-mates had taken notice.

Footage from French broadcaster Telefoot appeared to pick up a conversation between striker Benzema and left-back Ferland Mendy about Vinicius.

"Brother, don't pass to him," Benzema said, purportedly of the left-sided attacker. "On my mother's life, he is playing against us."

It was advice Mendy looked to have taken on board at the break, as he made just two passes to Vinicius in the second period, having found his colleague four times in the first half.

The France international's total of six passes to Vinicius represents the fewest he has made to the player in a game the pair have both started so far this season.

Benzema appeared particularly reluctant to give Vinicius possession after half-time, not completing a single ball to the winger after three successful passes before the interval.

Vinicius did create a chance for each of Mendy and Benzema against Gladbach, while the Madrid number nine returned the favour on one occasion. Those were the only two opportunities Vinicius forged, however.

None of his three shots hit the target, with two blocked, while he did not find a team-mate with any of his three crosses. A disappointingly low 71.4 per cent of passes found their man, as the 20-year-old completed only two of his five attempted dribbles.

Eden Hazard relished his return to action on Tuesday as he turned out for Real Madrid for the first time since early August in the 2-2 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Winger Hazard appeared off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the Champions League clash in Germany after recovering from a muscle injury in his right leg sustained at the end of September.

That issue was the latest in a series of setbacks for the Belgium international, who has struggled since signing from Chelsea for €100million in June 2019.

Hazard, who had 16 goals in 37 games in his final Premier League season, scored just once in 16 LaLiga matches last term, missing four big chances.

The former Lille star's creativity was also greatly reduced, assisting only three goals in the league for Madrid compared to 15 the previous campaign with Chelsea.

He laid on 1.7 chances per 90 minutes across his first season in Spain, down from 3.0 in the prior term.

But Hazard was simply happy to be back on the pitch against Gladbach, saying: "I am here to play football.

"After two or three months without playing, I am very happy. All I want is to play."

Madrid were 2-0 down when Hazard was introduced, before strikes from Karim Benzema and Casemiro rescued a late draw.

The substitute was not involved in either goal, failing to create a chance while missing a clear opportunity of his own, but was delighted to be involved in the dramatic comeback.

"I think we have shown great character," Hazard said. "We were losing 2-0 and, in the final moments, we could even have scored more.

"I could have scored, but I missed. We did not get three points, but the result tastes like victory."

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said Los Blancos will take a cautious approach with Eden Hazard following his long-awaited return in the Champions League.

Hazard came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining as stuttering LaLiga champions Madrid overturned a two-goal deficit to salvage a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach thanks to Casemiro's 93rd-minute equaliser.

Belgian star Hazard was included in the squad for the first time this season, having sustained a muscle injury as he neared a return to action at the end of last month.

Discussing Hazard's comeback post-match, Madrid boss Zidane told reporters: "It was his first game after a long time out.

"That was the plan to gradually try and get him playing and that's what we've got to do with Eden.

"He needs to be involved gradually and that's all there is to it. How we're going to do that will depend on the games.

"Given that we're playing every three days we'll have to see how we're going to do it."

Madrid avoided a record fourth consecutive European loss courtesy of Casemiro and Karim Benzema, after Marcus Thuram's brace had put hosts Gladbach in the box seat.

Gladbach became the 30th different opponent Benzema has scored against in the Champions League – only Lionel Messi (36), and Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul (both 33) have scored against more teams in the competition's history.

The result left Madrid with one point from two games in Group B following last week's shock defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Zidane, whose Madrid averted defeat in a Champions League away fixture having trailed by two goals for the first time since December 2006 – added: "It's a deserved result but we could have won it because we do all we can do win games but there was a team up the other end who made it difficult for us.

"We didn't panic, we kept opening the pitch up and we showed real character to come back. That's what I'll be taking away from this because being 2-0 down in the Champions League and getting a point is a great result.

"If we keep playing like we did tonight we'll achieve great things and win games."

Zinedine Zidane predicted a difficult season for Real Madrid after Casemiro's 93rd-minute goal spared the stuttering LaLiga holders an embarrassing Champions League defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Marcus Thuram's brace gave hosts Gladbach the lead at Borussia-Park but late strikes from Karim Benzema and Casemiro averted a record fourth consecutive European loss for Madrid with a 2-2 draw on Tuesday.

Gladbach became the 30th different opponent Benzema has scored against in the Champions League – only Lionel Messi (36), and Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul (both 33) have scored against more teams in the competition's history.

The comeback did little to paper over the cracks in a chaotic Madrid performance that was strewn with defensive mistakes against the Bundesliga side.

Despite seeing Madrid struggle for the second time in as many Champions League games, following a 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk the previous week, head coach Zidane defended his players.

"We didn't think this would be such a drama," Zidane told reporters. "But my team showed that they know how to react.

"I thought we were very good in the first half. The big pain is that we committed a serious error in how we conceded their first goal.

"But this final result is just another demonstration of the character my team has. We always play to win and show the hunger to win. No way were we happy with the draw."

The result leaves Madrid with one win, one draw, and two defeats from their last four games in all competitions, and Zidane must prepare for back-to-back home games against Huesca in LaLiga and Inter in the Champions League.

Failure to take maximum points in those games could leave the Frenchman's position under threat but Zidane said the character shown by his players left him confident.

"We didn't transform the possession we enjoyed into proper chances," said Zidane, whose Madrid avoided defeat in a Champions League away fixture having trailed by two goals for the first time since December 2006.

"What I'll take from this experience is how these players reacted. This was a very important point to secure.

"This is going to be a difficult year for everyone, but I'm proud of my team tonight. Playing like this we'll go through the group to the next round without any doubt."

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