Jadon Sancho is the name on everyone's lips.

The Borussia Dortmund teenager has taken Europe by storm and clubs are queuing up.

But Manchester United are reportedly at the front of the line.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IN TOUCH WITH SANCHO AGENT

Manchester United have contacted Jadon Sancho's agent as they look to sign the Borussia Dortmund sensation, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Sancho tops the list of United's transfer targets following his exploits for the Bundesliga side, with Liverpool and Chelsea also reportedly interested.

But Dortmund – who will not stand in Sancho's way of a departure – are unwilling to budge on their €110million (£98m) valuation.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport reports Chelsea are preparing a huge contract offer for Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. It comes as the Blues reportedly look to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Juventus are interested in Achraf Hakimi, says Calciomercato. Achraf is set to return to Real Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Dortmund. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked to the Moroccan full-back.

Inter have named their price for Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez, Calciomercato reports. With a release clause of €111m, Inter want at least €80m in cash.

- Birmingham City's 16-year-old star Jude Bellingham is set to reject a transfer to United in favour of Dortmund, says Bild.

Tottenham and Arsenal, along with Crystal Palace and West Ham, are eyeing Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, according to Team Talk.

- Calciomercato claims Inter have not given up on signing Napoli forward Dries Mertens on a free transfer. The Belgian star is out of contract at the end of 2019-20.

Madrid is the preferred option for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, says Marca. Liverpool, Dortmund and PSG have also emerged as possible suitors for the 17-year-old.

- Corriere dello Sport says Valencia are eyeing Inter centre-back Diego Godin, who has been linked to United and Tottenham.

Roma are lining up a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, says Diario AS. Clubs in Brazil and Qatar are also reportedly circling.

Lautaro Martinez is focused on Inter amid growing links to Barcelona and Real Madrid, according to his agent Beto Yaque.

Martinez is a player in demand following his exploits for Inter, with Barca reportedly keen to sign the Argentina international as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Barca's LaLiga rivals Madrid are also interested, while Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City have both been linked.

But Yaque said Martinez – who had scored 16 goals across all competitions before Serie A was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic – is not distracted.

"It's been said that Barcelona and Real Madrid both want him, but for him it's like nothing is happening. Others wouldn't sleep at night," Yaque told Radio del Plata.

"He never calls me to ask if the rumours are true, he's focused on where he is and his work.

"We've talked to lots of people, but nothing more than that. For now, those who are calling me aren't directly registered by various clubs.

"There's nothing formal or serious. Being wanted on the market is something you dream of, but he's not expecting anything: all he wants to do is play and score goals.

"His constant growth means the best teams in the world are looking at Lautaro with interest. We hope his efforts will be rewarded like they deserve to."

Harry Kane's warning to Tottenham that he will not "stay for the sake of it" may have put several European giants on red alert as to his potential availability.

The England captain has made no secret of his ambition to win major trophies and, with Spurs having regressed since reaching last season's Champions League final, the prospect of Kane seeking pastures new is more realistic than ever.

Manchester United and Real Madrid have each been tipped with a big-money move for the prolific striker in the past and could be tempted to test the waters.

Here, we have taken a more in-depth look at what Kane brings to the table, with a little help from Opta.


LEADING FROM THE FRONT IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Since Kane became a regular starter for Spurs in the 2014-15 season, no player in the Premier League has managed more goals than his return of 133. Indeed, only five players have scored more across all top-five European leagues.

In 2017-18, Kane became the first Englishman since Kevin Phillips to score 30 Premier League goals in a single season and the first Spurs player to achieve the feat in a top-flight campaign since Clive Allen in 1986-87.

Kane is Tottenham's all-time leading scorer in the Premier League with 136 in 198 appearances (an average of a goal every 120 minutes), 39 more than Teddy Sheringham (97).

Since his first Premier League goal, Kane has managed 85 more more than any other Tottenham player (Son Heung-min on 51).


SURPASSING SHEARER

Alan Shearer has long held the record for the most Premier League goals with a remarkable 260, but Kane is on a promising trajectory and surpassed a couple of landmarks set by the Newcastle United legend.

Kane scored 39 Premier League goals in 2017, the most in the competition in a calendar year. Shearer previously held the record with 36 goals in 1995.

In that same 12-month period, Kane celebrated six hat-tricks - beating Shearer's benchmark of five trebles in one year (again in 1995).

Overall, Kane has eight Premier League hat-tricks to his name. Only three players have more - Robbie Fowler (9), Shearer (11) and Sergio Aguero (12).


DOING THE BUSINESS ACROSS EUROPE

Kane has also proven a threat in Europe, with an impressive return in the Champions League.

He scored a brace in a 4-2 win over Olympiacos in November 2019, the second of which was his 20th goal in Europe's premier competition.

It took Kane just 24 games to hit that mark, the quickest of any player in Champions League history.

Kane has the fourth-highest goal tally since making his debut in the competition (2016-17). Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi have score more. Esteemed company indeed.

Antoine Griezmann has suggested he sees his long-term future at Barcelona after saying he wants to claim the number seven shirt.

The France star has endured a difficult first season at Camp Nou since joining for €120million from Atletico Madrid last year, scoring only eight times in 26 LaLiga appearances.

Eric Olhats, the scout who helped to discover Griezmann as a youngster, claimed to Mundo Deportivo last week that the player "isn't enjoying it" at Barca and is not being helped by the way the team plays.

With Barca expected to try to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter and once more plot a return for Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain in the next transfer window, it has been rumoured Griezmann could be sold to provide funds.

However, Griezmann appears to be focused on playing for Barca for at least another season once Spanish football resumes from suspension during the coronavirus pandemic.

Indeed, the 29-year-old seems to have his heart set on claiming the shirt number presently held by Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich and is expected to be sold by Barca this year.

While speaking to fans during an eSports contest, Griezmann admitted "I would like to get back the number seven" that he wore while playing for Atletico.

For the time being, Griezmann is simply waiting to learn when he will be able to return to Barca training with his team-mates, with Spain still in a strict lockdown as confirmed coronavirus cases have passed 80,000.

"Quarantine is going okay, but you can't do anything," he said.

"I miss football enormously. I have no idea when the competition will be back; I don't know when I will go back to training."

Real Madrid are reportedly preparing for a rebuild and Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane are their top transfer targets.

The LaLiga club appear set for a busy close season amid links to numerous players.

While Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is said to be a target, it seems Madrid have other priorities.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND, MANE TOP TARGETS FOR REAL MADRID

Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland and Liverpool star Mane are Real Madrid's top targets, according to the Daily Express.

The report says Aubameyang is also wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is behind Haaland and Mane.

Real Madrid were two points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Real Madrid and the LaLiga giants are tracking Sao Paulo midfielder Igor Gomes, according to AS. A Brazil youth international, Gomes, 21, has been compared to former AC Milan star Kaka.

- Ousmane Dembele is seemingly unwanted at Barcelona and could be set for a move. Sport reports Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp want Dembele, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga club.

- Barcelona are continuing their bid to land Lautaro Martinez. Sport claims left-back Junior Firpo could be part of a deal to bring the Inter star to Camp Nou. It says Inter, and Roma, are interested in the left-back and Barca would want the €18million they paid Real Betis for Junior last year.

- Manchester United could be set to make a big move this close season. The Daily Star reports the Premier League club are confident of landing Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez for a club-record £135m (€150.8m).

- Perhaps Manchester United had another target. However, Sport says Real Madrid have told United that midfielder Federico Valverde is worth his incredible release clause – £448m (€500m).

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan is loving life in Rome. The Daily Mail reports the midfielder, who is on loan at Roma from Arsenal, wants to stay at the club and hopes they can agree to a €11.2m (£10m) deal.

Boca Juniors sporting director Jorge Bermudez is hopeful Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani will join the Argentine giants "very soon".

Cavani is out of contract in June and the Uruguay international has been linked with a move away from PSG following his failed transfer to Atletico Madrid in January.

The 33-year-old – PSG's all-time leading goalscorer – has also reportedly emerged as a target for new MLS franchise Inter Miami.

But Bermudez believes Boca, where club legend Juan Roman Riquelme is now vice-president, can lure the PSG forward to Buenos Aires.

"Knowing Riquelme and the distance to [former Uruguay international Diego] Forlan, and knowing the category of Cavani, hopefully it will be very soon," Bermudez told Radio Cooperativa. 

"He would give us a great hand and be very supportive. I think he wants to come to Boca."

Bermudez added: "If he comes it is for a real desire and the signs are clear."

Prior to the postponement of Ligue 1 and football due to coronavirus, Cavani had scored seven goals across all competitions in 2019-20.

Cavani has called Paris home since swapping Napoli for PSG in 2013.

Harry Kane says he will not stay at Tottenham "for the sake of it" and would consider his future if the club did not show progress on the pitch.

Spurs have not won a major trophy since the 2008 EFL Cup and have regressed since reaching last season's Champions League final under Mauricio Pochettino, with Jose Mourinho now at the helm.

England captain Kane has often spoken of his desire to win titles with Tottenham but reports have suggested he may look elsewhere if his ambitions are not met.

Manchester United and Real Madrid have both been rumoured to be monitoring the situation and Kane offered no guarantees that his long-term future is at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Speaking on a live Instagram broadcast with Sky Sports pundit and ex-Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp, Kane said: "Obviously I get asked this question a lot. 

"It's one of those things – I couldn't say yes and I couldn't say no.

"I love Spurs, I'll always love Spurs but I've always said if I don't feel we're progressing as a team or going in the right direction, I'm not someone to stay there for the sake of it.

"I'm an ambitious player, I want to improve, get better and become one of the top, top players. It all depends on what happens as a team and how we progress as a team.

"So it's not a definite I'm going to stay there forever but it's not a no either."

Meanwhile, Spurs confirmed Son Heung-min and Steven Bergiwijn are to be allowed to return to South Korea and Netherlands respectively.

Son has travelled home for personal reasons, while Bergwijn is awaiting the birth of his child.

Spurs said "both players will continue their individual rehabilitation and training programmes during their time away" with the Premier League still suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Borussia Dortmund will respect Jadon Sancho's decision if he decides to leave the club, according to Hans-Joachim Watzke.

With Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona all reportedly interested in signing the 20-year-old, Dortmund CEO Watzke admitted it would be up to Sancho to determine his own future – but warned there will be no cut-price deal for the forward.

The England international had scored 14 goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances before the 2019-20 season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Watzke still hopeful of retaining his services.

"Even before the coronavirus outbreak, we said that we prefer that Jadon stays with us," Watzke told Bild.

"At the end of the day, however, you always have to respect what the player wants."

With Sancho, Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland impressing this season, Watzke issued a message to other clubs who might be hoping to poach Dortmund's rising stars in the next transfer window.

"I'll say clearly say that even the very rich clubs shouldn't believe that they can come here to snap up bargains," he said.

"We don't have to sell anyone for less than they're worth."

With Real Madrid reportedly eyeing Eduardo Camavinga, could the Rennes midfielder prove a fine deputy to Casemiro?

Camavinga, 17, is said to have attracted interest from Europe's biggest clubs, including Madrid.

Marca reported on Sunday that the teenage midfielder was a preference for Madrid as coach Zinedine Zidane wants to avoid being too reliant on 28-year-old Casemiro.

Camavinga would surely not be expected to match Casemiro immediately, but rather provide Zidane with a back-up option while learning from the 46-time Brazil international.

Using Opta data, we take a look at how Camavinga and Casemiro compare in Ligue 1 and LaLiga respectively this season.

 

Casemiro busy for busier Madrid

Casemiro and Camavinga have each made 25 league appearances this season, although the former has played 108 more minutes.

Yet, while Camavinga narrowly edges Casemiro for passing accuracy (87.7 to 83.8), including more notably in the opposition half (83.3 to 78.8), the Madridista has played 1,521 passes to the Angola-born midfielder's 975. That includes making 379 into the final third, compared to Camavinga's 141. Those numbers must also be put into perspective with Madrid averaging 58.2 per cent possession in LaLiga this season, while third-placed Rennes have averaged 49.7 per cent in Ligue 1.

More to come from Camavinga in attack

Goals from midfield are a bonus and Casemiro has struck three times in the league for Real Madrid this season, while Camavinga has netted once for a less prolific Rennes. Casemiro has also taken more shots (26 to 10) and had more 'big chances' (four to one), while creating two to Camavinga's one. Both players have provided two assists in the league this season.

Plenty for Rennes' teenage star to learn

Casemiro is widely regarded as one of the world's best midfielders, and Camavinga could learn plenty from the Brazilian. Casemiro has 218 recoveries in the league this season to Camavinga's 147, but Rennes man has a slight edge in duel success (57.5 to 55.7). Camavinga has won more tackles (64 to 55), Casemiro has a better success rate (66.3 to 61) and more interceptions (53 to 44), while neither has made an error leading to a shot this season. At 17, Camavinga is supremely talented, and he could thrive given the chance to develop alongside Casemiro.

Real Madrid have seemingly set their sights on Eduardo Camavinga, and it may be one of several changes at the LaLiga club.

Camavinga, 17, has been linked to several European giants after impressing for Rennes.

The teenage midfielder is a target for Madrid, who could be set for sweeping changes in the close season.

 

TOP STORY – CAMAVINGA THE PREFERENCE FOR REAL MADRID

Camavinga is the preference for Real Madrid as it is likely to prove tough to land Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Marca.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is also keen to avoid becoming too reliant on Casemiro, the report says.

Camavinga has made 25 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes this season, including 24 starts.

ROUND-UP

- It may be just one of several changes at Real Madrid. AS reports there must be exits if players are to come in, with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez and Mariano Diaz potentially leaving. The futures of Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Brahim Diaz are also uncertain.

- Staying at Real Madrid and AS reports the coronavirus pandemic may impact what the club do with Martin Odegaard. The Norway international was expected to spend another season on loan at Real Sociedad but could return ahead of the next campaign as clubs become stricter with their finances.

- Diego Costa has scored just twice in 19 games for Atletico Madrid this season and could be set for a move. Sport reports Roma are interested in the 31-year-old forward.

- Achraf Hakimi appears likely to return to Real Madrid from his loan at Borussia Dortmund. However, the Mirror reports Chelsea have enquired about the defender.

- After impressing with Wolves in the Premier League, Raul Jimenez is attracting interest. Sport reports the Mexico forward could return to LaLiga, with Real Madrid and former club Atletico Madrid interested.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Pedro is poised to leave Chelsea. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Lazio are interested in the attacker.

Juventus may be able to bring Paul Pogba back to Turin, but it could cost them a star.

Pogba, 27, has been linked with a move away from Manchester United, having returned to Old Trafford in 2016.

But the Serie A champions could be ready to give up a leading player in their bid to bring the France international back.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA TO JUVENTUS, DYBALA OR PJANIC TO MAN UTD

Manchester United midfielder Pogba could return to Juventus for money plus Paulo Dybala or Miralem Pjanic, according to Tuttosport.

Dybala almost headed to Old Trafford during the close season but is reportedly close to signing a contract extension with Juventus.

Pjanic, meanwhile, has made 32 appearances in all competitions this season, having arrived at Juve from domestic rivals Roma in 2016.

 

ROUND-UP

- The talk around Lautaro Martinez possibly leaving Inter to join Barcelona continues. Sport reports Barca are advancing in their bid to convince Martinez, with their project and potentially playing with Lionel Messi at club level their key points.

- With his Real Madrid future uncertain, Marcelo could be set for a move. Juventus are again interested in the left-back, according to Marca.

- Staying at the Santiago Bernabeu - Lucas Vazquez could also be heading for a Real Madrid exit. AS reports there have been no discussions over a potential contract extension with the forward, whose deal expires next year.

- Martin Braithwaite only arrived at Barcelona in February, but the LaLiga giants are already considering their options. Sport says Barca will not sell Braithwaite for less than €18million, which is what they paid to land the forward. Everton and West Ham are reportedly interested in the Denmark international.

- Arsenal are seemingly considering a move for Nabil Fekir again. The Premier League club were linked with the forward last year, but the Daily Star reports the Real Betis man is back on their radar as a potential replacement for Dani Ceballos, whose loan from Real Madrid ends at the conclusion of the season.

Carlos Vela revealed he previously received an offer he wanted to accept from Barcelona, only for Los Angeles FC to deny him a move.

The Mexico international was linked with a switch to the LaLiga giants in January last year.

Vela said he wanted to accept a four-month contract from Barcelona, only for the MLS club to step in.

"Barca offered a four-month contract at that time and I wanted to accept it because it was a very good opportunity," the forward told GQ Mexico.

"It wasn't saying, 'Oh, I want two years and if not, I'm not going'. They said four months and I'm going four.

"But LAFC did not give me permission to leave, although it is understandable. In the end, they seek what is best for the club.

"I tried and it didn't happen and nothing happens because I'm more than happy here."

Vela has dominated MLS since arriving in 2018, scoring an incredible 52 goals in just 64 appearances in the competition.

The 31-year-old said he was happy in the United States and believes MLS will continue to improve.

"They have great planning and infrastructure. They want to do it, they can do it and they do it as it should be. It's essential," Vela said.

He added: "You can't compare it with Europe because it will take time to at least compare them."

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists a swap deal involving David Alaba and Leroy Sane has "nothing to do with reality".

The futures of both Bayern utility man Alaba and Manchester City winger Sane remain unclear as the two are on deals that run out in 2021.

The noise surrounding Austria international Alaba, 27, has only intensified since he reportedly hired a new agent, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea all mooted as possible destinations.

Sane, who is yet to play in the Premier League this season due to a knee injury, is a long-time target for Bayern and the Bundesliga leaders could reignite their interest once the transfer window reopens, though a simple swap deal involving Alaba has been dismissed by Rummenigge.

"As I've heard, rumours are circulating that we would like to hand David Alaba over to Manchester City in exchange for Leroy Sane," he told TZ.

"In addition, I say very clearly: This is Grimm's Fairy Tale and has nothing to do with reality."

On the suggestion a swap had been proposed by Alaba's agent, Rummenigge added: "I would like to say very clearly that this is not an option for Bayern at all, we are not in the bazaar."

Alaba is one of a host of long-serving players whose current deal with Bayern expires after next season.

Manuel Neuer, Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Muller, all of whom had been in fine form before the Bundesliga campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, are also coming to the end of their contracts.

"I would like to emphasise that we are currently only talking to players whose contracts expire in 2021," Rummenigge said.

"So, with Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Thiago, David Alaba et cetera. They all have great merits for FC Bayern, that has to be taken into account."

'Next Generation' is a series focusing on the young players tipped to establish themselves as the elite in the 2020s.

Rayan Cherki is Lyon's latest academy prodigy and has set his sights firmly on the top, openly admitting last week that he aspires to one day play for Real Madrid.

He is the 16-year-old who has already made 12 senior appearances for Lyon and been tipped to emulate Kylian Mbappe as the next big thing to come out of Ligue 1.

Madrid are not alone in showing an interest in the teenage midfielder, though, with Manchester United and Liverpool also among those to have been linked.

Able to play on either flank or through the middle and capable of embarrassing defenders with his trickery, Cherki is very much a player with the world at his feet.

@UEFAYouthLeague pic.twitter.com/Rmi94MAfaZ

— Rayan Cherki (@rayan_cherki) March 9, 2020

THE BREAKTHROUGH

After scoring in the UEFA Youth League at the age of 15, becoming the youngest player to do so at the time, Cherki was already a name on Lyon fans' lips when making his senior bow.

That came in a stalemate with Dijon in October, making him the youngest player - at 16 years and 63 days - to appear for Lyon in Ligue 1 since Willem Geubbels in 2017.

By comparison, World Cup-winning striker Mbappe was still more than nine months away from his Monaco debut at the same age.

And while the game finished in a bore draw, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas heaped praise on the youngster and later said he has the potential to become better than Mbappe.

"He is more technical than Mbappe... and more important - he has broken out at a younger age," Aulas told Tuttosport in February. "If he stays at Lyon for another few years, he will become even better than Mbappe."

Aulas was not alone in hailing Cherki, with boss Rudi Garcia singling him out for his energy in the middle of the park - something that would start to become a more regular occurrence.

Faut pas trop lui parler d’âge hein. @rayan_cherki https://t.co/lqZ6ihu600

— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) January 18, 2020

STEPPING UP

Praise and potential is one thing, of course - showing that you are capable of living up to the hype is another matter entirely.

In the five months between making his senior debut and the enforced Ligue 1 break due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cherki regularly justified the talk of being the next big thing.

He has gone on to make 12 appearances for Lyon in all competitions - four of those as a starter - totalling 453 minutes in total.

Impressively, the France Under-16 international already boasts three goals and two assists, giving him a return of one goal involvement per 91 minutes on the field. He is also creating a scoring opportunity every 41 minutes.

Four of those goals involvements - two strikes of his own and two assists - came in January's Coupe de France win over Nantes, earning front-page billing on French daily L'Equipe. 

If Europe's elite clubs had not taken notice of Cherki before then, they certainly did at this point.

What a performance! @rayan_cherki pic.twitter.com/pi97bCaJMD

— OL English (@OL_English) January 18, 2020

SUSTAINING HIS FORM

Lyon have a history of bringing through talented youngsters, with the likes of Nabil Fekir, Karim Benzema, Corentin Tolisso and Samuel Umtiti among them.

The first player born in 2003 or later to play in Ligue 1, Cherki now needs to maintain the form he has displayed in his first half-season in order to emulate those aforementioned stars.

And the attacking midfielder, whose solitary league start came away at Paris Saint-Germain, certainly does not lack confidence when it comes to his career path.

"My dream is to play for Real Madrid," he said in an interview with Lyon TV last week, perhaps swayed by the progress of compatriots Benzema and Raphael Varane at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Cherki, also eligible to represent Italy or Algeria at international level through his parents, also outlined his intention to one day win the Ballon d'Or.

The versatile attacker still has a long way to go for that to happen, of course, and there are improvements to be made. One of the criticisms has been his insistence on going it alone too often, rather than taking an easier option.

"He has a strong ability to beat players but uses it too much and not especially wisely," Garcia said at the turn of the year, perhaps trying to downplay the growing hype. "We have to be careful with our young players, that's why we protect him a lot, especially in the media aspect of things. He is fairly quiet, but he must be aware that he still has huge room for improvement. The good thing about him is that he listens. If he continues like this, he will be able to go as high as possible."

Heed the advice of his manager and the path to superstardom awaits for Cherki, whether at Lyon, Real Madrid or elsewhere.

Lyon's youngster of many talents appears very much to be the next big thing to emerge from an academy that just keeps on giving.

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