Bayern Munich's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have welcomed the club's Champions League draw.

The Bundesliga champions are in Group B with last term's beaten finalists Tottenham, as well as Greek giants Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade.

Bayern were knocked out by Liverpool at the round of 16 stage last term, falling 3-1 at home after a goalless draw at Anfield.

But Bayern's executives are in bullish mood that they will put in a better performance under coach Niko Kovac this time out.

"We can definitely live with that group," said Salihamidzic on Bayern's official Twitter account. 

"Our expectation is to qualify for the knockout stages as group winners, but we would be well-advised not to underestimate any team.

"Especially in Piraeus and in Belgrade we will not only come up against highly-motivated opposition, but also a very passionate home crowd."

Chief executive Rummenigge was also satisfied with Bayern's draw.

"I think we can be pleased with our group," he said. "It is important to be highly motivated and fully concentrated from the start and to treat each opponent with respect."

Former Bundesliga star Son Heung-min is pleased to be heading back to Munich to take on Bayern.

"Bayern will be special because they are one of the biggest teams in Europe," the Tottenham forward told his club's official Twitter account.

"You're always excited to play in this competition against these teams. We need to remember and learn from what we did last year." 

Istanbul will host the final on May 30 with the group stage getting under way in mid-September.

Champions League holders Liverpool have learned their opponents for the 2019-20 group stage, with Jurgen Klopp's side facing Napoli again.

The Reds were placed in Group B, which also includes Salzburg and Genk, when Thursday's draw was made in Monaco.

Inter's return to the Champions League saw them placed along with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in a daunting Group F, which also includes Slavia Prague.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's bid to recapture their crown will see Zinedine Zidane's men take on Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Club Brugge and Galatasaray.

Champions League group stage draw in full:

Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade

Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo, Atalanta

Group D: Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk

Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter, Slavia Prague

Group G: Zenit, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille

Holders Liverpool have been drawn with Napoli in the Champions League group stages, while Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid and PSG will also meet Club Brugge and Galatasaray in Group A, with the action set to get underway on September 17 and 18, while the final will be played in Istanbul on May 30.

Liverpool's attempt to defend their title will see Jurgen Klopp's Reds come up against Napoli, Salzburg and Genk in Group E.

Meanwhile, beaten finalists Tottenham are in Group B with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, as well as Greek giants Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade.

The strongest group is arguably F, where Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Antonio Conte's Inter are joined by Slavia Prague.

Perhaps the most open is Group G,where Russian champions Zenit are in with Benfica, Lyon and RB Leipzig.

Juventus take on Atletico Madrid in a repeat of last season's quarter-final in Group D, where Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow were also placed.

Manchester City, among the favourites for the tournament, take on familiar foes in the form of Shakhtar Donetsk, along with Dinamo Zagreb and tournament debutants Atalanta.

Europa League winners Chelsea meet last term's semi-finalists Ajax in Group H, with those sides meeting in European competition for the first time. Valencia and Lille complete that section.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe could be unleashed together against Tottenham in the north London derby.

The trio are yet to start a Premier League match as a front three since Arsenal made Pepe their club record signing, bringing the Ivory Coast forward in from Ligue 1 side Lille.

Lacazette has been battling an ankle injury and was left out of the France squad on Thursday, but Aubameyang has started the new campaign in fine form with two goals from three games.

Arsenal's attack is now arguably as strong as any in the Premier League, with Emery considering whether to choose the Spurs game for Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe to start together.

"Yes, but be calm," Emery told reporters on Thursday when asked if the trio could all be in his XI. "My decision in each moment is thinking about how we are.

"For example with Lacazette, he had a problem with his ankle. This week is the best week of the last three weeks. He’s getting better and feeling better with his ankle, it’s very positive.

"With Pepe, he came here later than the others but he is getting and feeling better in each match. Aubameyang is very important for us, he scores two goals in the first two matches, he had two or three good actions in Liverpool.

"The most important thing for me is to have chances and after with players like Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Micki [Henrikh Mkhitaryan], Reiss [Nelson], [Dani] Ceballos and Mesut [Ozil] we can score with different players.

"I think they can start together and they can play also during the match as all three, it depends how we decide our game plan. But I am very optimistic for that situation, but not also those three players, also Nelson, Mkhitaryan, [Joe] Willock, Ozil.

"We need to be able to make the best decisions, but above all, to have different possibilities with the players."

Spurs have stumbled at the start of the season, losing at home to Newcastle United last time out, although they claimed a battling 2-2 draw away to champions Manchester City.

"For us, to play matches like last week against Liverpool and this week against Tottenham, the two teams who played the final of the Champions League last year, is amazing," Emery added.

"I think it's the best test and every time is a good moment to play against them. Sunday, with our supporters, I think is the best moment to play and enjoy with our supporters in that match, that derby.

"I think maybe that on Sunday, that match is the best match in the world for all football supporters.

"I think it's a very, very big challenge for us and it's a very, very good moment, a good match and the possibility of winning against them on Sunday gives a chance for good success. We also remember that last year we finished behind them with only one point's difference in 38 matches.

"We are going to play against the Champions League finalists and there are a lot of positives for us, for our supporters, to enjoy that match on Sunday."

Losses for Arsenal and Tottenham last weekend are set to add extra spice to the always feisty north London derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners were comfortably outdone by a Mohamed Salah-inspired Liverpool in a 3-1 defeat that ended their perfect start to the Premier League season.

Times are even tougher for Tottenham, who slipped up at home to Newcastle United and seem distracted by the transfer speculation surrounding star playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Clarity of purpose can be discovered in matches of this magnitude but a survey of the Opta data sheds light on just how difficult it will be for Spurs to succeed.

 

AWAY GAME NO ESCAPE FOR SPURS

Lucas Moura urged Tottenham to stop dropping "stupid points" at home right before the loss to lowly Newcastle.

Taking a break from the club's shiny new 62,000-seater ground might seem attractive in the wake of last weekend's result but there is scant consolation to be found on the road, even when the journey is only brief.

Spurs are winless in seven Premier League away games, a run not endured since an eight-game streak between December 2011 and April 2012.

Goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli did secure an EFL Cup victory at Emirates Stadium last season.

Could it be regarded as something of a wasted win?

Only once before - in 1925 and 1926 - have Tottenham won consecutive matches at Arsenal and it would take a first away league victory for Mauricio Pochettino over Unai Emery at the fifth attempt to break almost 100 years of history.

HEAD TO HEAD: DAVID LUIZ V DAVINSON SANCHEZ

Both sides need to return to form and, individually, so too do David Luiz and Davinson Sanchez.

The former was outfoxed by Salah for each of the Egyptian's two goals at Anfield, while Colombia international Sanchez completely lost Joelinton for Newcastle's winner.

Should he again be selected ahead of Jan Vertonghen, Sanchez will have a big job to do against Arsenal's dangerous, quick forwards and there are clear improvements he must make.

The 23-year-old has won a meagre 55 per cent of his tackles since the start of the last Premier League season, far inferior to the more experienced David Luiz's success rate of 74 per cent.

Opposition players also dribble past the Spurs centre-back with far more regularity - 0.77 times per match - than his fellow South American, who gets beaten an average of 0.24 times every 90 minutes.

David Luiz, winner of 54 per cent of aerial battles, remains some way short of a perfect back-four member and could struggle to deal with Harry Kane if Spurs can sling inviting crosses into the area.

FORM GUIDE

Arsenal headed to Merseyside with a maximum six Premier League points already registered and left with their confidence dented.

Emery's tactical tweaks subdued a slick Liverpool for close to 45 minutes but, once Joel Matip made the breakthrough, the European champions were simply too strong.

Still, after wins against Newcastle and Burnley, it could be worse, as Pochettino can attest.

His team's luck ran out after a fortunate draw at Manchester City as they spluttered to a 1-0 loss at home to Steve Bruce's Magpies, a side that had been reeling from a harrowing defeat on the road to Norwich City. 

Sluggish starts have been an issue: Watford are the only other Premier League team to have conceded the opening goal in all three matches this term.

HISTORY SAYS...

Beware the September specialists!

Sunday heralds the end of August and marks the beginning of a traditionally excellent month for Arsenal.

The Gunners have won more Premier League games (60) and boast a higher win rate (61 per cent) than any other side in September.

Converting penalties is important whichever page the calendar is on and particularly so in the north London derby.

Harry Kane scored one in March, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not, and now spot-kicks have been the source of five of the past 14 goals in this fixture.

UEFA has confirmed the seedings for Thursday's Champions League draw with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund all in pot two.

Champions League holders Liverpool are in the top pot along with fellow Premier League sides Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as league winners Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Zenit complete the pot one line-up as the Russian Premier League champions are designated by UEFA to be given a place among the other top seeds.

That means last season's beaten finalists Tottenham go into pot two with the two Madrid clubs, as well as Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica and Ajax – the 2018-19 semi-finalists who beat APOEL in the play-off round to secure qualification.

Club Brugge and Slavia Prague also came through the play-off round on Wednesday and they have been placed in the third and fourth pots respectively.

The draw will be made at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, with the group stage set to get under way in mid-September while this season's final is scheduled for May 30 in Istanbul.

Pot one: Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit

Pot two: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Tottenham, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax, Benfica

Pot three: Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Salzburg, Olympiacos, Club Brugge, Dinamo Zagreb, Inter, Valencia

Pot four: Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Red Star Belgrade, RB Leipzig, Lille, Atalanta, Slavia Prague, Galatasaray

Defending EFL Cup champions Manchester City have been drawn away to Preston North End in the third round, while Manchester United will host Rochdale.

Last season's beaten finalists Chelsea got a home tie against either Grimsby Town or Macclesfield Town, while Champions League winners Liverpool will go to MK Dons.

Tottenham face a trip to Colchester United and their north London rivals Arsenal are at home to Nottingham Forest.

Portsmouth will welcome rivals Southampton to Fratton Park for a south coast derby, with matches to be played in the week commencing September 23.

Sunderland produced the biggest shock of Wednesday's second-round action, dumping out Premier League side Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor despite falling behind to Jay Rodriguez's first goal since re-joining the Clarets.

Will Grigg equalised for the Black Cats before Tom Flanagan and George Dobson struck in the first five minutes of the second half to complete the comeback for Jack Ross' unbeaten League One side.

Sunderland's reward is another clash with Premier League opposition, having drawn Chris Wilder's newly promoted Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Bournemouth go to Burton Albion next after they needed a penalty shoot-out to edge past Forest Green Rovers following a goalless draw at home, while Leicester City – who will head to Luton Town - also triumphed on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw in an all-Premier League tie at Newcastle United.

Everton fell behind in the first minute away to League One side Lincoln City but triumphed 4-2 to earn a trip to Sheffield Wednesday, who progressed thanks to Atdhe Nuhiu's 96th-minute goal in a 1-0 victory at local rivals Rotherham United.

Portsmouth won 2-0 at QPR and Sam Surridge struck twice as Swansea City thrashed Cambridge United 6-0 to set up a game at Watford.


EFL Cup third round draw in full: 

Wolves v Reading
Oxford United v West Ham
Watford v Swansea City
Brighton and Hove Albion v Aston Villa
Sheffield United v Sunderland
Colchester United v Tottenham
Portsmouth v Southampton
Burton Albion v Bournemouth
Preston North End v Manchester City
MK Dons v Liverpool
Manchester United v Rochdale
Luton Town v Leicester City
Chelsea v Grimsby Town or Macclesfield Town
Sheffield Wednesday v Everton
Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
Crawley v Stoke City

UEFA has received demands from Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal supporters calling for improvements to the fan experience at major European finals.

Difficulties faced by fans travelling to the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal in May, which was held in Baku, Azerbaijan, caused controversy, while Liverpool and Tottenham supporters struggled to get tickets for the Champions League final in Madrid.

Gunners boss Unai Emery left Henrikh Mkhitaryan out of his squad for the Europa League final due to political tensions between Azerbaijan and the winger's home nation of Armenia, with then Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny criticising UEFA's decision to hold the final in Baku.

A joint statement by the Arsenal Supporters' Trust, Chelsea Supporters' Trust, the Spirit of Shankly Liverpool supporters' group and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust outlined changes fans want to see in the how UEFA organises major finals.

The statement read: "Reaching a UEFA Champions League or Europa League final should be a wonderful experience for a club's supporters. Instead, they can face a struggle just to attend the match.

"Problems range from inadequate numbers of tickets being awarded to the finalists, through to all-but-impossible travel arrangements.

"Too often fans who had supported their clubs in every round up to the final were left out of pocket or not able to attend the final at all."

With the draws for this season's Champions League and Europa League groups set to take place on Thursday and Friday, respectively, in Monaco, the statement called for 80 per cent of match tickets to be available to fans of competing finalists, and for stadiums with large capacities to be chosen for finals.

Along with a fair and affordable ticket pricing policy, the statement called for improved accessibility to stadiums, host cities with high standards of infrastructure, and a human rights and equality policy applicable to host nations.

"[Thursday's] much-hyped draw will involve everybody from the football family except the very people without whom there would be no European Football – its supporters," the statement continued.

"We call upon UEFA to strengthen its dialogue with fans and request that they start by engaging with groups like ourselves to discuss the proposals we have put forward to improve arrangements for fans at the final stage of the Champions and Europa Leagues."

Clubs in Spain, Germany, Italy and France have less than seven days left to buy reinforcements in the transfer window, though there are plenty of players still available for free.

The process of signing free agents is less restrictive than buying players from other clubs, as they can be brought in after the deadline passes.

Many teams might therefore be able to find what they are looking for without forking out hefty transfer fees, which have been known to increase closer to the window closing due to the difficulty of finding replacements.

Several out-of-contract stars secured moves earlier in the year, with Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey and Ander Herrera proving there is still real value to be found in the market.

We've identified six players without a club who could still do a job at a decent level.

 

Hatem Ben Arfa

If a club is willing to put up with some potential baggage and the occasional off-field issue, Ben Arfa could prove an inspired signing. He proved with Rennes last season that he is still immensely capable, as he scored seven goals and set up another two in 26 Ligue 1 appearances, while he also caught the eye with his dazzling dribbling in the Europa League. At 32, he is surely still worth a punt for a year.

Fernando Llorente

Even in his more youthful days Llorente was not the most mobile, but that did not prevent him playing for Athletic Bilbao, Juventus, Sevilla and Tottenham. It is difficult to read too much into his Spurs spell, given he only made seven Premier League starts in two years, but his ability to hold the play up and cause problems with his physicality seem to be intact. Recently linked with Manchester United, he might be more suited to a return to Spain, where the pace is slightly less intense.

Jose Mauri

After breaking through at Parma as a teenager, Mauri looked a very smart acquisition by AC Milan when the former were relegated in 2015 and forced to start again in Serie D due to bankruptcy. In four years, he made just 11 Serie A appearances for Milan, but the former Italy Under-21 international is not without talent. A creative midfielder who is still only 23, there is plenty of time for Mauri – like former club Parma – to enjoy his own rebirth.

Martin Caceres

An immensely experienced centre-back, Caceres, 32, has played for Barcelona, Villarreal, Sevilla, Juventus and Lazio in a distinguished career. He spent the second half of last season at the Old Lady for a second spell, making nine Serie A appearances. Injuries have troubled him over the years, but he proved in Turin he is still capable of playing in a top division.

Claudio Marchisio

Although he is still recovering from knee surgery, a recent social post captioned "tick tock #imready" hinted Marchisio was itching to return to action. Most recently with Zenit in Russia, the Juventus icon has ruled out playing for another Italian side, which scuppered a potential deal with Brescia. Although not the competitor he once was, Marchisio can be counted on for experience, leadership and fine technique.

Lazar Markovic

Markovic is widely regarded as one of Liverpool's worst signings, certainly in the Premier League era. The Serbian winger rose to prominence at Benfica as a teenager, with the Reds then bringing him to Anfield for an estimated £20m in 2014. He has unsuccessful loan spells at Fenerbahce, Sporting CP, Hull City and Anderlecht before joining Fulham on a free in January. However, at 25, time is still on his side. A move to humbler surroundings might just be what the midfielder needs to rebuild his career.

All eyes remain on Neymar as Barcelona and Real Madrid continue trying to work out a deal with Paris Saint-Germain for the superstar forward.

Neymar, 27, is heavily linked with a return to LaLiga before the transfer window closes on September 2, but there has seemingly been limited progress.

The slow developments continue as numerous Barcelona players are either being asked for or offered to PSG, who know what they want from Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – PSG DEMAND VINICIUS FROM MADRID IN NEYMAR DEAL

PSG have told Real Madrid they will only negotiate for Neymar if Vinicius Junior is part of a deal, according to AS.

The LaLiga giants have already rejected a proposal involving Vinicius three times, the report says.

Barcelona are expected to be in Paris on Tuesday, according to Le Parisien, who report PSG have revealed what they want for Neymar.

According to the report, PSG want €100million plus Nelson Semedo and Ousmane Dembele.

Barcelona are willing to offer a maximum of €170m for Neymar if it can be paid over two years, according to Sport.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United and Inter have spoken again and the Serie A giants are optimistic they will reach an agreement for Alexis Sanchez, according to Sky Sport. The difficulty in negotiations continues to be around the attacker's salary.

- Just what Christian Eriksen's future holds remains unclear. Tottenham have offered the midfielder a new contract but his representatives are unwilling to talk, according to the Mirror. Eriksen wants a move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona, who are yet to make a bid for the Denmark international, the report says.

- Mesut Ozil has been linked with a move away from Arsenal, but it seems the playmaker could stay at Emirates Stadium. Turkish Football claims Ozil will not leave Arsenal during this transfer window.

- Fred's time at Manchester United could be over. Fiorentina have offered €20m (£18.2m) for the Brazil midfielder, according to La Nazione. Meanwhile, The Times report Fred is expected to stay after holding talks with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Staying at Old Trafford, Nemanja Matic wants talks with Solskjaer after losing his first-team place, according to the Mirror.

- Merih Demiral's stay at Juventus may be brief. AC Milan and Juve are set to meet again regarding the defender, with the Rossoneri prepared to offer €35m for the Turkey international, who joined the Serie A champions for €18m last month. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, that would mean Daniele Rugani would stay in Turin and Roma would again turn their attentions to Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren.

- After scoring his first Chelsea goals, Tammy Abraham is set to earn a new deal. The Telegraph reports the Premier League giants are ready to offer the striker a deal that would more than double his £50,000-per-week wages.

Harry Kane warned Tottenham they could not afford to keep dropping points in their bid to keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City after a "disappointing start".

Spurs have won just one of their opening three games of the Premier League season, already dropping five points behind leaders Liverpool.

While Kane said there was a long way to go, the forward added Tottenham needed to start putting together consistent results.

"As you're seeing from Manchester City and Liverpool there is no letting up from them," the Spurs star told UK media.

"I said before the start of the season that if we could put a run together, get that momentum, maybe winning for two, three months on the spin without dropping any points, then that's what it's going to take. It's a disappointing start but there is a long way to go.

"I said as much after the first weekend of the season. Liverpool won on the Friday night and then Manchester City won early on the Saturday. They set the standard with those results and I knew we had to keep up with them, make sure we win, especially at home.

"It is disappointing that we haven't done that in only our second game, but there is still a long way to go, there are a lot of big games ahead of us.

"It just means we are going to have to pick up points in the big games, the tough games and try to improve on what we did against Newcastle."

Tottenham suffered a shock 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle United on Sunday, and face a trip to Arsenal for the North London derby in their next outing.

Kane is eager for Spurs to claim three points at the Emirates Stadium in their final game before the international break.

"You never want to go into an international break having lost or drawn. Of course a north London derby is as big as it gets. If we win that it makes the first four games a bit brighter," he said.

"It won't be easy, but we have to make sure we are prepared and ready for that one. It is still going to take a lot of hard work."

Some major European clubs have only a week left to add to their squads with the transfer window for much of the continent set to close on September 2.

Lots of big moves have already been completed with players including Eden Hazard, Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Nicolas Pepe and Harry Maguire swapping teams for huge fees.

But the last week of the window tends to be when clubs kick into gear, with one super-sized deal potentially setting off a chain reaction.

Who are the stars still in the middle of transfer sagas? Omnisport picks out a few names to keep an eye on in the coming days.


ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have decided there is no place in his Manchester United squad for Sanchez, who is being strongly linked with a loan move to Inter. That would see him reunite with another player who found himself on the fringes at Old Trafford in Romelu Lukaku, who has reportedly been encouraging the Chile international to join him at San Siro. Sanchez's wages – said to be as high as £500,000 a week – are likely to pose a problem for any deal, though.

NEYMAR

Injuries to Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe have complicated matters for Paris Saint-Germain's wantaway superstar Neymar. A return to Barcelona has been mooted for the 27-year-old, who left Camp Nou in 2017 for a world record €222million, but the Catalans have reportedly seen a number of cash-plus-players offers rejected. LaLiga rivals Real Madrid have long been linked with Neymar too, though their capture of Hazard means they have already added one world-class talent who prefers to operate from the left flank. It has been suggested a loan move might now be the Brazilian's best chance of securing the departure from PSG that sporting director Leonardo has confirmed he wants.

PAUL POGBA

Pogba was United's top scorer in the Premier League last term but his season ended with a confrontation with supporters after the final game of the campaign, a home loss to Cardiff City. The Frenchman confirmed in June he was seeking a "new challenge" but is yet to get a move away. Pogba, who was targeted by racist abuse after failing to convert a penalty in a draw at Wolves last Monday, is reportedly wanted at Madrid by Zinedine Zidane. But time is running out to do that deal, especially as United are unable to secure a replacement as the Premier League's window has already closed.


CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Mauricio Pochettino has only started Eriksen in one of Tottenham's three Premier League games this term amid continued speculation over his future. Like Pogba, Eriksen is on record as saying he wants to move on, but his position is even more perilous for Spurs as the Denmark midfielder is in the final year of his contract. Chairman Daniel Levy is known for his brinksmanship, so this deal could go right down to the wire. Eriksen is believed to be Madrid's back-up option should they fail to land Pogba.


PAULO DYBALA

One of the players in the Neymar chain is Dybala, who was an unused substitute as Juventus started their Serie A title defence with a 1-0 win at Parma on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in Turin last year was always likely to be bad news for someone – and it was Dybala who suffered the most. The Argentina attacker is still regarded as one of world football's brightest lights, but at 25 he cannot afford another season on the periphery. Tottenham almost signed Dybala but the deal was understood to have collapsed amid problems with his image rights, while United reportedly pulled out over his wage demands. Should Neymar leave Paris, Dybala is said to be top of PSG's list and, with Juve needing to cut a bloated squad, he would likely be allowed to leave if the price was right.


LUKA JOVIC

Madrid also have too many players and, despite the Serbia striker only recently joining from Eintracht Frankfurt, Jovic may be allowed to leave - even if his departure is a loan move. Jovic's goals were instrumental in Eintracht's run to the Europa League semi-finals but Zidane is seemingly not a fan of the 21-year-old. Jovic has said he will not be leaving but, if the right club comes in, Madrid could be persuaded to let him go.


GARETH BALE

The relationship between Zidane and Bale seemed to be beyond repair, especially as the Madrid coach said during a pre-season tour that it would be best if the Wales star left the club. But after a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning fell through, Bale has been reintegrated at the Santiago Bernabeu and has started their two LaLiga games this season. It is not out of the question that Bale could still leave in the next week, but his future seems to be in the Spanish capital - at least for now.


JAMES RODRIGUEZ

Similarly to Bale, James has been selected by Zidane in the new LaLiga season after apparently being outcast at Madrid. The Colombia playmaker spent the past two years on loan with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and was strongly being linked with a move to Atletico Madrid before Diego Simeone's side thrashed their cross-city rivals 7-3 in a pre-season game in the United States. Carlo Ancelotti - who coached the 28-year-old at Madrid and Bayern - has also confirmed James is a target for Napoli, but the Serie A side have been unable to make that deal happen. A calf injury sustained on Saturday could also throw a spanner in the works for James.

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted his Tottenham squad are "unsettled" as the future of some key players remains unclear - but all they can do is wait and see what happens in the coming days.

Spurs have collected just four points from their opening three Premier League games, suffering a shock 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Star midfielder Christian Eriksen's future at the club remains uncertain with the transfer window elsewhere in Europe open until September 2, while Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are out of contract at the end of the season.

Pochettino said he was dealing with an unsettled squad at Tottenham, who face a huge trip to Arsenal on Sunday for the north London derby.

"The group is still unsettled and we need to find solutions," he told a news conference.

"We have one week more to wait and see what happens in the last 10 days. Of course I think that this is my sixth season and we have started the season as a more unsettled group that we are working with and that is why we must relax.

"We cannot fix some situations. There is nothing to say about that situation that is going on in the squad. Still we need to wait.

"That is a circumstance after playing in the Champions League on June 1, we knew that this was going to happen, some situations like this.

"But for the club and for us it is difficult to handle. We can only wait is all we can do."

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.

Chelsea and Manchester City enjoyed successful away trips in gameweek three of the Premier League season, with the Blues turning to youth for inspiration while the champions were inspired by longstanding heroes.

A transfer ban has forced Frank Lampard to rely on a batch of talented Chelsea youngsters as he looks to make a positive start to life as a Premier League manager, and some of his hottest prospects showed more than just potential on their trip to Norwich City.

While Chelsea picked up a first league win of the season and Manchester City took three points from their trip to Bournemouth, it is Liverpool who remain the top flight's pace-setters after they brushed Arsenal aside at Anfield.

With the help of Opta's stats, take a deep dive into the weekend's biggest stories.

 

ABRAHAM AT THE DOUBLE FOR LAMPARD'S YOUNG BLUES

Lampard fielded Chelsea's youngest Premier League side for 25 years at Carrow Road, where Tammy Abraham scored twice in a 3-2 victory.

With the likes of Abraham, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic in the side, the Blues' average age was just 24 years and 208 days, making it the most youthful Chelsea team to play a Premier League game since February 1994 against Oldham (average age: 24y 190d).

Abraham, who has scored more league goals since the start of last season (28) than any other English player in the top two divisions, became the third youngest player to score a double for Chelsea in the Premier League - after Mark Nicholls in January 1998 and Eddie Newton in December 1992.

Mount also found the net, scoring for the second game running, and the last time Chelsea had two English players under the age of 21 score in the same Premier League match was back in August 1992 (Newton and Graham Stuart against Sheffield Wednesday).

SILVA SHINES ON LANDMARK APPEARANCE

Manchester City saw off Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium to make it nine top-flight wins out of nine in this fixture - the best 100 per cent win record by a team over an opponent in top-flight history.

Kevin De Bruyne set up the first of Sergio Aguero's two goals on the south coast to register his 50th Premier League assist in his 123rd appearance, reaching that milestone figure in fewer games than any other player in the competition's history.

Argentina international Aguero's second came 19 minutes into the second half and was his 400th career goal for club and country, with 235 of those coming for City.

The match was also a special occasion for David Silva, who marked his 400th appearance for City with a couple of assists of his own. The Spanish midfielder has assisted more than once in 14 separate Premier League games - only Ryan Giggs and Cesc Fabregas have done so more often (17 games).

Harry Wilson's sublime free-kick late in the first half to make it 2-1 saw him become the youngest player, at 22 years and 156 days, to score in his first two Premier League appearances since Anthony Martial in September 2015 (19 years, 289 days).

SALAH STILL DEADLY AS LIVERPOOL STREAK CONTINUES

Liverpool won for the 12th league game running with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal - their best streak in the Premier League and their joint-best ever in all league competition, equalling the record set under Kenny Dalglish in 1990.

Mohamed Salah scored a second-half double at Anfield and has now been directly involved in more Premier League goals against Arsenal than he has any other side - six goals and two assists, including a goal in all four of his home games against them.

The first of Salah's goals came via the penalty spot after he was pulled back by David Luiz inside the box. Arsenal have given away eight Premier League penalties since the start of last season - only Brighton and Hove Albion with 10 have faced more.

It was a familiar story for Arsenal in many ways as they have now failed to win any of their last 23 away league games against fellow 'big six' sides, conceding 53 goals and keeping just one clean sheet during that run.

The performance of Nicolas Pepe on his full debut did give Arsenal supporters something to take away from the game, however, with the club-record signing becoming the first player to successfully dribble past Virgil van Dijk in the Liverpool defender's last 50 league appearances.

JOELINTON HELPS MAGPIES END 'BIG SIX' HOODOO

Newcastle United got their first Premier League win under Steve Bruce thanks to Joelinton's first-half winner against Tottenham, and drew a line under a long-standing struggle on the road against the division's top sides.

Prior to Sunday's result, Newcastle had not beaten one of the Premier League's 'big six' in an away fixture since a 2-1 victory in December 2015 - also against Tottenham.

The game was disappointing for Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who saw his side suffer their first league defeat of the season in his 500th match as a manager in all competitions and his first defeat against Newcastle since May 2016 (a 5-1 loss).

It was a different story for Bruce, who recorded his first away victory as a manager against Spurs in the Premier League, and became the sixth boss in the competition's history to win a match with five or more different teams after Alan Pardew (5), Harry Redknapp (5), Mark Hughes (6), Roy Hodgson (5) and Sam Allardyce (7).

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.