Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is "cautiously optimistic" that David Alaba will sign a contract extension with the Bundesliga champions. 

Versatile defender Alaba has less than a year remaining on his existing deal at the Allianz Arena but, according to reports, the club are unwilling to meet his demand for a €20million annual salary. 

Hansi Flick has expressed his hope that the Austria international will finish his career at Bayern, who are gearing up for a Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona in Lisbon on Friday. 

Alaba is expected to re-enter negotiations with the Bavarian giants once their European campaign is over and Rummenigge believes an agreement will be reached. 

"With Alaba, I am cautiously optimistic we will find a solution," Rummenigge told the media on Tuesday.

Bayern look set to lose Thiago Alcantara, however, with the midfielder having informed the club of his desire to leave. 

Thiago has a contract until the end of the 2020-21 season but is available for "a fair fee" amid links to Premier League champions Liverpool. 

Rummenigge said: "Thiago is known to have told us he would like to do something new. If a club approaches us that is willing to pay a fair fee, we will deal with it." 

Having already signed Leroy Sane from Manchester City in a deal that could reach €60m, Rummenigge insisted there will be no further significant outlays. 

Bayern opted against exercising their option to make Philippe Coutinho's loan from Barca permanent and any lingering hopes of remaining in Munich appear to have been dashed. 

"Coutinho - as I said, the contract is running out and we cannot and will not make any further investments of this magnitude," said Rummenigge.

Alphonse Areola has returned to Paris Saint-Germain from Real Madrid amid reports he is set for a Premier League move.

The goalkeeper joined Los Blancos on a season-long loan last September to provide cover for number one Thibaut Courtois, with Keylor Navas having moved in the opposite direction in a permanent deal.

Areola made just nine appearances for LaLiga's champions, though, and the Frenchman has been tipped to move on again with game time unlikely at PSG.

"Real Madrid confirmed they have brought Alphonse Areola's loan spell to an end," a team statement read.

"The club would like to thank Areola for his dedication, professionalism and exemplary conduct this season and wishes him the best of luck in this new chapter.

"Real Madrid also thanks PSG for the chance to have had Alphonse Areola as part of our squad."

Reports in the English media said 27-year-old Areola has bought a house in London ahead of a potential move to the Premier League.

Chelsea have been credited with an interest as the Blues appear keen to find a buyer for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Arsenal were also touted as a potential destination to provide extra cover after Emiliano Martinez deputised when Bernd Leno sustained a knee injury in June, although the Argentinian's brilliant performances mean such a scenario may be unlikely.

Ciro Immobile is ready to welcome David Silva to Lazio with open arms and revealed an approach from Newcastle United, who he claimed wanted to hire Massimiliano Allegri or Luciano Spalletti. 

Manchester City great Silva is to depart the Premier League club after a 10-year association upon the completion of their Champions League campaign, which continues with a quarter-final tie against Lyon on Saturday. 

Reports in Italy suggest the Spanish playmaker's move to Rome is practically done, with Lazio offering him a three-year contract to move to Serie A. 

Lazio striker Immobile is excited at the prospect of linking up with the 2010 World Cup winner.  

"He's a great player and has great experience, we are waiting for him with open arms," Immobile said in an extensive interview with Corriere dello Sport. 

"I can't wait for him to arrive, we are Lazio fans before Lazio players." 

Immobile is coming off a sublime individual campaign in which his 36 Serie A goals matched the competition record set by Gonzalo Higuain, who achieved the feat in the 2015-16 campaign. 

The Italy striker says he is now ready to finish his career at Lazio amid the possibility of a contract extension at the club. 

"I'm waiting for them to call me. I intend to tie myself to Lazio forever. What Lazio has given me and is giving me is priceless," Immobile added. 

"The renewal will be three years, so the contract will expire in 2025, when I turn 35." 

While Immobile has no plans to depart, he revealed there was interest in taking him to Newcastle amid a potential takeover at the Premier League club. 

The Magpies were the subject of a proposed £300million purchase, led by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, but the bid was withdrawn due to what was described by the potential new owners as “an unforeseen prolonged process”. 

Immobile also stated Newcastle wanted to bring in an Italian coach, with ex-Juve boss Allegri among consideration. 

"During the period in which there was talk of the possible acquisition of Newcastle by a sheikh fund, they called my agent Alessandro Moggi," Immobile said.  

"Then the Premier did not pass the proposal, the fund was withdrawn. I know they were also looking for an Italian coach, Allegri or Spalletti."

Daniel Sturridge has "unfinished business" in the Premier League and is desperate to return to England's top flight. 

The 30-year-old is without a club having left Trabzonspor in March, as he was unable to play for them due to a four-month ban for breaching the Football Association's betting regulations. 

Ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City striker Sturridge has scored 76 goals in 218 Premier League appearances and, although he remains open to playing in other countries, is looking to find a home in England again. 

"We have options around the world but I'm an English player and I've always loved playing in the Premier League," Sturridge told Sky Sports. 

"I believe I've got a lot to give to the Premier League and I would say that's my first choice. I do feel I have unfinished business so I would like to go back and play there. 

"I'm open to playing in other leagues, it's not just the Premier League I'm going to consider, but to come back to England and give my best would be a huge option for me. 

"I'm very excited, I'm hungrier than ever and I'm totally focused on the next chapter."

Sturridge has been keeping fit at his Los Angeles base and believes his status as a free agent makes him an attractive proposition for any potential suitors.

"I'd like to think I'm one of the better options for teams," he added.

"I'm a free agent and I've played for a lot of top clubs around the world. I'm just ready to help a team be successful and to be a big part of their plans.

"I believe there's a lot left in these legs. Although I've been around a long time, I would say that there's miles on the clock but this vehicle has a lot left."

Bayer Leverkusen's defeat in the Europa League quarter-finals may be no laughing matter but that has not stopped the jokes surrounding Kai Havertz's future.

The Bundesliga side were defeated 2-1 by Inter on Monday to crash out at the quarter-final stage of a competition that is being completed in Germany.

It did not take long following the match for questions to be posed about Germany star Havertz, who is strongly rumoured to be close to completing a move to Premier League side Chelsea.

Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz could not resist the temptation to have a little fun when he said Havertz is heading off to join Dutch side Heracles Almelo, a side Bosz has coached twice.

"Yes, I can exclusively announce he'll play for Heracles Almelo," Bosz joked at his post-match news conference.

Heracles themselves then joined in the fun, mocking up a photo of Havertz in the club's jersey accompanied by a "welcome" message.

"Welkom Kai #AnnounceHavertz," read a post on Twitter, with a customary eyes emoji for good measure.

Chelsea have long been chasing Havertz, though the two clubs are seemingly at an impasse with the Blues said to favour a structured deal that starts at £70million.

Speaking last week, sporting director Rudi Voller warned there is no "COVID discount" for Leverkusen's prized asset.

"We know of the interest of a couple of clubs, especially Chelsea, but for us, the situation is quite simple: he has a two-year contract, if anyone wants him on our terms, fine, otherwise he stays here another year and we are happy," Voller told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It won't be easy, but for an artist like him there is no COVID discount."

The Jadon Sancho transfer saga continues to ramble on.

Borussia Dortmund insist Sancho will not leave following Monday's apparent deadline, while Manchester United are still eyeing the English sensation.

Will Sancho be gracing Old Trafford in 2020-21?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STILL TARGETING SANCHO

Manchester United are not giving up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to reports in the UK.

United were dealt a blow on Monday when Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said Sancho will remain with the Bundesliga club in 2020-21.

Despite United's frustration over negotiations, the Independent and Goal claim the Red Devils are still pursuing the England international.

 

ROUND-UP

Kai Havertz is closing in on a move to Chelsea, reports the Evening Standard. The Bayer Leverkusen star is "desperate" to join Chelsea following the German club's Europa League exit on Monday.

Andrea Pirlo's Juventus overhaul is underway. Calciomercato and Tuttomercatoweb say Blaise Matuidi is set to move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. Aaron Ramsey, Gonzalo Higuain, Sami Khedira, Daniele Rugani, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa are also on the chopping block following Maurizio Sarri's exit. United have been linked with a move for Costa.

- Sky Sport reports Chelsea and Barcelona are battling to sign Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico. Atletico Madrid are also reportedly interested.

Milan are looking to re-sign star midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Calciomercato. Kessie is wanted by city rivals Inter.

- L'Equipe says Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes is set to decide his future. Gabriel will choose between United, Arsenal, Everton and Napoli. RMC and L'Equipe, meanwhile, report Gent star Jonathan David will undergo a medical at Lille on Tuesday ahead of his €32million transfer.

Joe Gelhardt has signed for Leeds United from Wigan Athletic, the Premier League club have confirmed.

Striker Gelhardt has signed a four-year deal with Leeds, after joining for an undisclosed fee.

Having made his Wigan debut in 2018, Gelhardt made 19 appearances in all competitions for the Latics last season, scoring one goal.

Gelhardt becomes Leeds' fourth signing of the transfer window, after Jack Harrison rejoined on loan from Manchester City and Helder Costa and Illan Meslier made their stays permanent.

Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Manchester City winger Jack Harrison on loan for a third successive season.

Harrison has spent the past two campaigns at Leeds, becoming a first-team regular under Marcelo Bielsa.

The 23-year-old made 46 appearances as Leeds won the Championship and sealed promotion to the Premier League last term, scoring six times and providing eight assists.

Leeds also confirmed the loan transfer is with a view to a permanent deal.

Harrison becomes Leeds' third addition of the transfer window, with Helder Costa and goalkeeper Illan Meslier having made their stays permanent following impressive loan spells from Wolves and Lorient respectively in 2019-20.

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of defender Konstantinos Tsimikas on a long-term deal.

A Greece international who plays at left-back, Tsimikas joins the Premier League champions from Olympiacos for a reported fee of £11.7million (€13m).

The arrival of the 24-year-old provides an additional option to Andy Robertson, covering an area of need in Jurgen Klopp's squad ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Liverpool had also been linked with Norwich City's Jamal Lewis, though reports suggested they were unable to come close to agreeing a fee for the Northern Ireland international.

"I'm very happy, I'm very proud to be here. For me, [it's] the biggest club in the world," Tsimikas told Liverpool's official website. "It's an honour to be here and I will give my best."

"The league here, I like a lot. I watch it on the TV and it was always one dream I had from when I was a kid to come to play in this league and to come through.

"With a lot of work and focus on what I do and what the coach wants, and every day working hard in training, I can be on the highest level.

"[I want] to achieve [our] goals. To win the league again and also to win the Champions League."

Tsimikas played in both legs as Olympiacos knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League, though their run in the competition was ended by Wolves in the following round.

His addition provides competition at a position Robertson has made his own. The Scotland international played in 36 league games in the title-winning campaign, with Klopp also using midfielder James Milner in the role.

Jadon Sancho is staying at Borussia Dortmund despite reported interest from Manchester United, according to the Bundesliga club's sporting director Michael Zorc.

England international Sancho – who joined Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 – has become a star in the Bundesliga.

Sancho provided 20 assists and scored 20 goals in all competitions for Dortmund in 2019-20, after scoring 13 times and setting up 19 goals in the previous season.

Premier League giants United are rumoured to have made signing the 20-year-old a top priority but on Monday – reportedly a deadline Dortmund had set for any deal to be struck – Zorc insisted the winger, whose current deal runs until 2022, was staying put.

"We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final," Zorc told reporters at Dortmund's pre-season training camp.

"I think that answers all our questions."

"Last summer we adjusted Jadon's salary to match the development of his performances. So in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then."

Alex Meret will consider leaving Napoli on loan to find regular playing time elsewhere, the goalkeeper's agent Federico Pastorello has revealed.

The one-cap Italy international featured 29 times for Napoli in 2019-20 but had to alternate with David Ospina in the closing weeks of the season.

Gennaro Gattuso has yet to make a decision on his first choice going forward and Meret is considering his future, two years after joining from Udinese in a reported €35m deal.

Manchester United have been tipped to make a move for the 23-year-old amid concerns over David de Gea, while Roma and Torino have also registered an interest.

"Alex needs to accumulate as many starts as possible to grow more and more," Pastorello told Rai Sport. 

"At his age there are goalkeepers who have been immovable for a long time.

"If we do not succeed, we can consider going out on loan. In fact, we know that Roma and Torino are very interested in negotiating."

Meret was among the subs for Napoli's 3-1 loss to Barcelona on Saturday as the Italian side's Champions League campaign ended with a 4-2 aggregate defeat in the last-16 tie. 

Borussia Dortmund have included Jadon Sancho in a 31-man squad for a training camp in Switzerland, despite continued speculation over the player's future.

The England international has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Manchester United, who can also offer Champions League football after securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Dortmund reportedly wanted a deal done before they went away to continue preparations for the 2020-21 season, though that has failed to materialise.

According to media speculation, the Bundesliga club value the 20-year-old at £108million having signed him from Manchester City for a fraction of that price back in 2017.

While Sancho waits to find out if United strike a deal with his current employers, he will train with Dortmund in Bad Ragaz.

Jude Bellingham is also in the travelling party, the teenage midfielder having recently joined the German club from Birmingham City.

However, Marco Reus and Marcel Schmelzer have remained at home to continue rehabilitation work as they recover from injuries.

Dortmund are due to play friendly fixtures against SC Altach and Austria Vienna during the camp.

Wilfried Zaha said "I can't control everything everyone does" in response to a video on Instagram in which he appears to point to a 'Zaha to Arsenal' sign. 

The Crystal Palace winger was heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal, the club he supported as a youngster, prior to the 2019-20 season but the Gunners instead spent big to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille. 

In the Instagram story, which went viral on social media, Zaha was seen in a club in front of the sign in the background alongside the caption "So me and Wilfried Zaha have a message for you guys @Arsenal". 

Zaha has since posted a story on his own account, playing down his involvement by writing: "I'm just enjoying my time off and can't control everything everyone does." 

The same user who posted the original video later added a message to say Zaha "had no partake in the banter." 

Zaha's long-term future at Selhurst Park has long been in doubt, with Everton having been credited with an interest in the January transfer window. 

Speaking last month, Palace boss Roy Hodgson admitted Zaha had revealed his desire to seek a new challenge. 

"Wilf has made it clear, ever since I came to the club really, that he would relish a move and would like to move on and find some pastures new," Hodgson said. 

"But he's a very valuable player and the club realises his value and appreciates his value and so really everything will depend I guess – as it always does – [on] what sort of offers the club is going to receive for him and how they will equate that with the need to keep him or the need, maybe, to satisfy his wishes, and allow him to go after giving good service to the club for a period of time."

Could Paulo Dybala swap Italy for Spain?

The Juventus attacker was close to leaving Juventus for either Manchester United or Tottenham prior to the 2019-20 season, while Paris Saint-Germain were also linked.

Now, Real Madrid are reportedly targeting the 26-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – KROOS OUT, DYBALA IN?

Real Madrid are set to offer Toni Kroos or Isco as part of a deal to bring Juventus star Paulo Dybala to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to SportMediaset.

LaLiga champions Madrid are eyeing a move for Dybala, who has been in negotiations with Serie A titleholders Juve over a new contract amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Juve are unwilling to part with the Argentina international – who enjoyed a fine Serie A campaign prior to Maurizio Sarri's sacking as he looks ahead to life under Andrea Pirlo.

ROUND-UP

- Kicker claims Jadon Sancho has told Borussia Dortmund he is happy to stay at the club if a blockbuster transfer to Manchester United fails to materialise. The England international has been heavily tipped to join United, with personal terms reportedly agreed.

Barcelona want to sign Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, reports The Telegraph. The LaLiga giants are eyeing a cash-plus-player deal to try to prise the Portugal international to Camp Nou.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are poised to sign Olympiacos left-back Kostas Tsimikas, according to widespread reports. Having failed to strike a deal with Norwich City for Jamal Lewis, Liverpool are close to prising Tsimikas from the Greek powerhouse. Meanwhile, The Sun says Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are targeting a shock £35million swoop for Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks.

- The front page of Monday's edition of Marca says Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane must sell before he is able to sign players ahead of the 2020-21 season. Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are two players unwanted in the Spanish capital as Madrid continue to be linked with the likes of PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga.

- AS Diario reports Villarreal are on the verge of signing Valencia pair Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin. Valencia captain Parejo and team-mate Coquelin have been told they are free to leave Mestalla.

Napoli have joined the race to sign Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon claims Sky Sport Italia. On loan at Sevilla, Reguilon has been linked to Chelsea and Everton.

- According to Calciomercato, Inter are interested in Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. However, salary demands may prove problematic amid talk of a swap deal involving Inter defender Milan Skriniar.

Harry Winks wants Tottenham to shed the inconsistency that has left them casting an envious eye at Europe's elite.

After four consecutive years of Champions League football, Spurs will drop into the Europa League next season, a blow to a club with grand ambitions.

That is the consequence of finishing sixth in the Premier League, with Tottenham's modest total of 59 points their lowest since the 2008-09 campaign.

It was small consolation that they finished above rivals Arsenal, but the Gunners' FA Cup final victory over Chelsea meant it was they who finished the season with north London bragging rights.

Spurs and their head coach Jose Mourinho will expect to deliver more next season, and England international Winks says it will be important to start strongly.

The objective will be another top-four finish to secure a place in the 2021-22 Champions League.

"We need to have a better season, in our opinion, it's been a bit up and down, a bit inconsistent," Winks said on the club's official website.

"We started to find a bit of rhythm in the last few weeks and started to get a good run of results, so let's hope we can take that into next season and get a bit of consistency, build up a bit of confidence and finish where we deserve to finish and where we believe we should be finishing, and that's in the top four."

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