Real Madrid great Raul will take over Los Blancos' Castilla side next season, the LaLiga giants have confirmed.

Raul had been in charge of youth sides Cadete B and Juvenil B, and will now take on the top job in Madrid's famed academy.

Castilla - Los Blancos' B team - currently play in Segunda Division B - Group 1, having lost out to Cartagena in the promotion play-offs last season.

Current Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane also started his senior coaching career with Madrid's Castilla side, with Santiago Solari having followed a similar path.

An academy product himself, Raul spent 16 years as a key figure in Madrid's first team between 1994 and 2010, winning six LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies during that time.

Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to bring Marcos Llorente to the Wanda Metropolitano in a reported €40million move from Real Madrid.

Llorente made just seven LaLiga appearances last season and will hope for more opportunities with Atleti, where he appears set to replace Manchester City target Rodri.

Incredibly, Llorente is following in the footsteps of his father, Paco, and his grandfather, Ramon Grosso, who also represented both of the capital's biggest clubs.

They are not the only players to turn out for the two teams, though. Here are six of the best players to have featured for Atleti and Madrid...

Thibaut Courtois

Courtois enjoyed a superb three-season loan spell at Atletico, helping them to end an 18-year wait for a LaLiga title and reach the Champions League final in 2014, having also won the Copa del Rey and Europa League. He was similarly successful upon returning to Chelsea, adding two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the EFL Cup to his list of honours, but he has yet to hit those same heights at Madrid after leaving Stamford Bridge last year.

Theo Hernandez

Before older brother Lucas agreed to depart Atletico for Bayern Munich, Theo controversially left them for Madrid in 2017 having not played a professional game for Simeone's side. The left-back made 23 appearances in his debut season for Madrid, winning the Champions League, but was loaned to Real Sociedad for 2018-19.

Raul

Though he went on to secure a place as a legendary figure in Madrid's storied history, things could have been very different for Raul, who was in Atletico's academy until it was closed as a cost-saving measure. Madrid took advantage and got him on their books, and Raul went on to win six LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies with the club, becoming their record goalscorer with 323 strikes to his name before eventually being displaced by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alvaro Morata

Morata spent four seasons with Atleti as a youth player but made his breakthrough in senior football with bitter rivals Madrid, where he won eight trophies - either side of two seasons with Juventus - including two LaLiga crowns and two Champions Leagues. A lack of first-team football saw Morata on the move again in 2017, but he failed to settle after being made Chelsea's record signing and was sent back to boyhood club Atleti on loan in January. A steady start returned six goals in 17 appearances in all competitions.

Santiago Solari

Midfielder Solari made the move from River Plate to Atletico in 1999, but their relegation from LaLiga in 2000 led him to the Santiago Bernabeu, where he served as a workmanlike force for the 'Galacticos'. Solari won a pair of LaLiga titles and the 2001-02 Champions League, thanks to Zinedine Zidane's stunning volley against Bayer Leverkusen, but did not enjoy the same success as his former team-mate in the dugout, lasting less than five months in charge last season.

Bernd Schuster

Schuster evidently did not mind making controversial transfers. After great success at Barca, he moved to the other side of the Clasico rivalry and won two LaLiga titles and the Copa del Rey. The German midfielder and future Madrid coach went on to claim a further two Copas with Atletico following his 1990 move across the city.

Atletico Madrid are set to seal the signing of midfielder Marcos Llorente after announcing a deal with city rivals Real Madrid has been agreed.

Llorente will undergo a medical before signing a five-year contract at the Wanda Metropolitano in a move believed to be worth €40million.

The 24-year-old midfielder is primed to replace Spain international Rodri, who is said to be on the brink of a €70m switch to Premier League champions Manchester City.

Atletico have already signed defender Felipe from Porto and are reportedly set to bring in Benfica's teenage sensation Joao Felix.

Further moves are set to follow with a number of high-profile players departing Atleti – including Diego Godin, Juanfran and Lucas Hernandez – and Antoine Griezmann expected to leave.

Rivals Madrid have also been active in the transfer market, bringing in Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy in addition to previous deals for Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes.

Madrid released a statement to confirm Llorente's imminent move on Thursday.

"The club wants to show its gratitude for all these years of dedication and professionalism and for [Llorente's] exemplary behaviour from when he arrived in 2008 to his trajectory with the first team," it read.

"Real Madrid wishes you good luck on your new stage."

Llorente made just seven LaLiga appearances last season, although he was a top-flight regular for Deportivo Alaves in 2016-17.

Douglas Costa does not know where Neymar will be next season but trusts his Brazil team-mate will make the right call on his future.

Neymar became the world's most expensive player when he joined Paris Saint-Germain in a €222million deal in 2017, but he has not been able to improve the Ligue 1 club's fortunes in the Champions League.

The former Barcelona forward is now reportedly available, with the Catalan giants and Real Madrid said to be interested in taking him back to Spain.

Juventus winger Costa, who went to the 2018 World Cup with Brazil but missed out on a place in the squad for this year's Copa America, believes Neymar will make the right decision.

"I have no idea [where Neymar will go], I guess nobody knows - only Neymar," Costa said.

"That's a very personal decision but he will choose the best for his career."

One rumoured offer for Neymar could see Philippe Coutinho go in the other direction and join PSG, having failed to impress at Barca since his January 2018 move.

Costa said of the midfielder: "He is a fantastic player. We know that he was very important in Liverpool. In Barcelona, he's still searching for his space. But he is phenomenal."

Former Bayern Munich man Costa has a new coach at Juve in Maurizio Sarri and is looking forward to the 2019-20 season under the ex-Chelsea boss.

"I don't know [Sarri] personally," he said. "I could see his work when he was at Napoli and I believe he's a great coach because he had an amazing season in my first year in Italy.

"I think we all have great things we can develop with Sarri."

The race is heating up for Neymar.

With Paris Saint-Germain reportedly willing to part with the world's most expensive player, two LaLiga giants are set to go head-to-head.

Will Neymar end up at former club Barcelona or bitter Spanish rivals Real Madrid?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND MADRID FIGHT FOR NEYMAR

A return to Barcelona and a blockbuster transfer to Real Madrid both appear on the cards for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Madrid are reportedly ready to pay €130million for Neymar in a deal which would also include either James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale.

But Globo Esporte says Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222m transfer in 2017 – is still on track for a Camp Nou comeback.

It comes after Le Parisien claims PSG want €300m to part with the injured Brazil forward.

 

ROUND-UP

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is set to become the world's most expensive full-back as Manchester United negotiate a £55million deal with Crystal Palace, according to the Daily Record. However, talks between the two Premier League sides have dragged on and the Red Devils have identified alternatives, with Sky Sport Italia claiming Napoli's Elseid Hysaj is a target.

- According to Marca, Atletico Madrid will announce the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Felix on Thursday. The 19-year-old has already undergone a medical and signed his contract ahead of the €120m move.

Frank Lampard has notified his Derby County squad that he will replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea if the right offer arrives, the Mirror reports. Former Chelsea star Lampard is expected to move back to London following Sarri's switch to Juve.

Paris Saint-Germain outcast Adrien Rabiot is on the verge of signing for Serie A champions Juventus, according to Sportitalia. The French midfielder and free agent has reportedly penned a five-year contract worth €7m plus bonuses, and a €10m signing-on fee.

- According to the Daily Mail, Inter and Atletico Madrid are both eyeing a move for Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has agreed a deal worth £180,000 per week to join Inter, says The Sun. With Lukaku heading for the exit, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly eyeing Bournemouth's David Brooks.

Andre Gomes is on the verge of joining Everton permanently from LaLiga champions Barcelona. Gomes enjoyed a successful loan spell in 2018-19 and a £22m fee has "verbally been agreed", according to the Telegraph.

Philippe Coutinho says he is unsure where he will be playing next season as speculation continues to mount over his Barcelona future.

The Brazil international had an underwhelming first full campaign at Camp Nou, contributing five LaLiga goals and two assists.

Coutinho acknowledged earlier this week he needs to improve to justify his hefty price tag, with Barcelona paying a fee that could rise to £142million to sign him from Liverpool in January 2018.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be interested in the 27-year-old, but he is keeping his attention on helping Brazil to Copa America glory on home soil.

"I do not know. The future, nobody knows," Coutinho told reporters when asked if he will leave Barcelona.

"I am focused to play with the national team now."

Coutinho scored twice in Brazil's 3-0 win over Bolivia in their opening Copa America match, but he could not inspire his side in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Venezuela.

Barcelona have confirmed they will play Napoli in the first LaLiga Serie A Cup during pre-season this year.

LaLiga champions Barca will take on the Partonepei in a two-legged clash in the United States.

The first game will be played at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium on August 7, with the second clash held at the Michigan Stadium three days later.

"Visiting the United States and being able to get closer to our fans is always a great thing for Barca," said club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"On top of that, we will also have the chance to play at two iconic stadiums: at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where in 2017 we played the LaLiga Clasico, and at Michigan Stadium, the largest in the United States.

"While there, we hope to put on a show and entertain our American fans with our style of play."

Barca previously confirmed they will play Chelsea and Vissel Kobe – whom former Blaugrana players Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper now represent – during a Japan tour in late July.

The inaugural competition will see Napoli make a long-awaited return to the States.

"We could not be happier to be playing against Barcelona in the United States," said Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis.

"Our club has not visited the country for thirty years and the chance to go back to the American market for these two games and against an opponent like Barca is extraordinary for us."

James Rodriguez has been identified as a target by Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti and the club plan to contact his agent to discuss a move, according to chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis.

The Colombia star's future is up in the air as his two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich looks set to end without the German club making the move permanent, while he does not appear to be counted on by those at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus have all been linked with a swoop for James, but it seems Napoli will be the first to launch a bid after Ancelotti brought up the possibility of bringing the 27-year-old to Serie A.

"We have always said that we need two full-backs and one striker," De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss.

"James Rodriguez fits the image of what Carlo Ancelotti wants.

"I don't know how much he 100 per cent answers our needs, but we certainly can't put his skill in doubt. At a certain point one must then empower his coach.

"If he [Ancelotti] wants him for Napoli, it is because he knows how useful he [James] can be, even if he is very expensive. I said, 'let's go ahead'."

James, who is on international duty at the Copa America, said on Sunday that he is unsure where his future lies, but De Laurentiis confirmed he will be in touch with the player's agent, Jorge Mendes, to open discussions.

PSV winger Hirving Lozano is being considered as an alternative if a move for James falls through, though De Laurentiis made it clear the club cannot afford to buy both players.

"If I don't reach an agreement with Jorge Mendes, I'll talk to Mino Raiola about Hirving Lozano," De Laurentiis added. "We can't take them both.

"We already have a series of players we can't ignore. We have to sell first and then we can buy.

"Mendes is perhaps the best agent in the world today. He is also a friend. I think James will be very expensive, but if we have to make a sacrifice, we do it. For one player, you can do it."

Becoming a Real Madrid player is starting to sink in for Ferland Mendy, who opened up on his 10-year journey from being told he would never play football again to joining "the greatest club in the world".

The France international completed a €48million transfer from Lyon last week, signing a contract that will keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2025.

At his presentation on Wednesday, Mendy described how he fought his way back from the brink of having his career ended by surgery to realising his ambition of playing for Los Blancos.

"When I was 15 I had a hip operation and they told me I would never play football again," he told reporters.

"I was in a wheelchair for a while and spent six or seven months in hospital for rehab.

"Now I'm at Real Madrid. It's incredible."

Mendy's arrival has sparked speculation over the future of Madrid full-back Marcelo, but the new recruit is looking forward to learning from the Brazil international as he adapts to life in LaLiga.

He also revealed compatriot Raphael Varane had offered to support him through his transition away from Ligue 1.

"I've spoken to Varane and he told me it was the greatest club in the world," said Mendy.

"He said he would help me to integrate well in the dressing room. That's going to be easier for me as I play with him for France.

"I'm very happy to be a part of Real Madrid. I know the quality of Marcelo. He's had a great career and I'm going to learn a lot from him."

Asked whether France team-mates Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe could be the next stars to arrive in Madrid, Mendy replied: "Why not?

"They're high quality players but we haven't spoken about Real Madrid. The only person I spoke about Real Madrid with is Varane."

Neymar's expected exit from Paris Saint-Germain seems to be gathering speed.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave the Ligue 1 champions, with a return to LaLiga – either with former club Barcelona or Real Madrid – appearing likely.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said he no longer wanted "superstar behaviour" and Neymar looks set to depart the Parc des Princes.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SET FOR LALIGA RETURN

A return to Barcelona, where he spent four seasons before joining PSG, seems the most likely for Neymar.

According to television channel Gol, the Brazilian is already looking for a house in Barcelona, and he wants the same home he occupied during his first stint at the club.

However, the star forward has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid. Marca report PSG may want Casemiro in a possible deal for Neymar.

Mundo Deportivo report Neymar recently told Al-Khelaifi: "I don't want to play anymore at PSG. I want to go back to my house [Barcelona], where I should never have left."

ROUND-UP

- Paul Pogba may want a "new challenge" away from Manchester United, but he is set to get a nice bonus beforehand. The Sun report Pogba is due to receive a £3.78million loyalty bonus from United at the start of July. While the midfielder is linked with Real Madrid, Gianluca Di Marzio reports there are still talks for Pogba to return to Juventus.

- Real Madrid still seem keen to land Tottenham star Christian Eriksen. The Daily Mail report Madrid are set to offer Spurs £45m plus midfielder Dani Ceballos for the Denmark playmaker.

- Matthijs de Ligt appears to be getting closer to a decision over his future. The Ajax captain has told Barcelona he will not be joining them, according to Cadena SER.

- Manchester United's hopes of keeping David de Gea have received a boost. The Sun report PSG, long linked with the goalkeeper, have instead turned their attentions to AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

- Staying at Old Trafford, Romelu Lukaku will not force a Manchester United exit despite being linked with a move, according to the Mirror. There has been plenty of talk around United, with The Sun reporting the club offered Phil Jones in a deal to sign West Ham defender Issa Diop, but the Hammers want Anthony Martial. Meanwhile, Gianluca Di Marzio reports United are also showing an interest in Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj.

- Manchester City appear set to strengthen with the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. Goal report Rodri has decided to leave Atletico and join City, who are set to pay his €70m buy-out clause.

Diego Simeone talked up Atletico Madrid's track record of developing young players amid speculation they are closing in on Benfica talent Joao Felix.

Media reports began to emerge on Monday, claiming Atletico had struck a deal with Portuguese champions Benfica for the 19-year-old attacking midfielder – who scored 15 goals and set up another seven in the Primeira Liga this season.

Despite his tender age, it was suggested Atletico will pay Joao Felix's reported €120million release clause, the same fee they are expected to receive for Antoine Griezmann.

Some fans have voiced reservations about replacing Griezmann with a relatively unproven youngster, but Simeone thinks developing young players is an area Atletico excel in.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Simeone said: "Historically, Atletico buy young players to develop them here.

"It's just like what happened with [Jan] Oblak, [Jose Maria] Gimenez and Lucas Hernandez when they came through from youth teams – or Griezmann.

"We want a talented guy who can absorb our ideas. Our technical staff is already working on some situations to help to develop players."

Atletico are going through a massive rebuild, with Lucas, Diego Godin, Luciano Vietto and Juanfran already confirmed exits, while Filipe Luis, Griezmann, Rodri, Vitolo and Nikola Kalinic are all tipped to leave as well.

Simeone is no stranger to a turbulent transfer window, though he considers Atletico's current transition to be one of the trickiest he has been through.

"It's a difficult transition we're going through, but we face it with hope," he said. "It's a challenge and we have to face it because we are losing senior guys who have given a lot to the club.

"We are looking for Atletico to compete again as we have done so far. During seven-and-a-half years, we were second, third, first, second [in LaLiga]... It's not easy.

"Our renovation began last year began with Fernando Torres, Gabi, now Juanfran, all reference points, my guys, those who gave me everything and who did it wonderfully well.

"At this time we are preparing Oblak, Saul [Niguez] and Gimenez, to make them the leaders of the squad.

"If Joao Felix and others come with different characteristics than we had before, then we will have to play differently.

"In training we will see where we are going. It's clear that this year's challenge is one of the most complex since I arrived at the club."

Real Sociedad have announced the signing of attacking midfielder Portu from Girona on a five-year deal.

The 27-year-old joined Girona in 2016 from Albacete and helped them win promotion to LaLiga for the first time in their history, scoring eight times in his first season. 

He netted 20 goals in 71 appearances during two campaigns in the top flight but was unable to prevent them from suffering relegation at the end of 2018-19.

Portu started his career at Valencia, although he made just one LaLiga appearance for the club.

Former Brazil international Ze Roberto believes Rodrygo Goes has got what it takes to emulate Vinicius Junior at Real Madrid.

Rodrygo was presented as a Los Blancos player at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, a year after the club paid a reported €45million to Santos for him.

Vinicius joined the LaLiga giants at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, becoming a fixture in the first team after the turn of the year before he suffered an ankle injury in March.

Ze Roberto – who had a brief spell with Madrid in 1997 – believes Rodrygo has already shown the attributes needed to be a success in Spain and has backed him to follow Vinicius' lead.

"Vinicius started his career very well in European football," he told AS.

"He has a lot of personality and I believe that, when he gains more experience, he will become a significant player in the continent. 

"Rodrygo has everything to follow these steps. He also started very well at Santos and he seems to have a good head, like Vinicius."

When asked if the pair could become two of the world's best players, Ze Roberto responded: "It is impossible to predict that today. It is better to wait."

Lyon have received offers for sought-after midfielder Tanguy Ndombele but none have met the club's valuation, according to president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Les Gones secured a third-place finish in Ligue 1 last season to ensure Champions League qualification for 2019-20, but that may not be enough to avoid losing some of their key players.

Speculation continues to mount regarding the futures of Houssem Aouar, Moussa Dembele, Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir and Ndombele, who is said to be interesting Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain after emerging as one of Europe's most highly rated young midfielders.

And, although Lyon have received offers, Aulas told the interested parties they will need to increase their bids if they want the France international.

"There is nothing decided at the moment," Aulas told reporters on Tuesday. "There have been many proposals, but they haven't met my expectations."

Aulas also confirmed Lyon's interest in Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis, who is set to leave Atletico Madrid on a free transfer.

"We are far enough from an agreement," he added. "Filipe Luis has many qualities, but he wants to take his time to make the decision.

"We are in a hurry to announce a number of signings, but he is one of the players we are very interested in."

Gareth Bale is "very unlikely" to join Manchester United and will not leave Real Madrid in a loan deal, according to his agent.

Bale joined Madrid in 2013 after emerging as one of the Premier League's best players at Tottenham, commanding what was then a world-record transfer fee of €100million.

His first three seasons were a success, as he scored 47 LaLiga goals in 81 appearances and helped Madrid to two Champions League titles.

However, from an individual perspective, the following three campaigns have been rather more difficult, as Bale has been troubled by fitness problems and struggled to hold down a place in the starting XI.

Madrid are reportedly willing to let him leave and United – who are said to have wanted him when he was at Southampton and Spurs – have been tentatively linked, but a move seems improbable.

"He could fit in there," Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett told Sky Sports News when asked about a potential move to Old Trafford.

"I think he could do very well - he is still one of the best players in the world, but it is very unlikely."

Given Madrid's valuation of Bale and his huge wages, media reports had suggested a loan move away from the Santiago Bernabeu might be more realistic than an outright sale, with Bayern Munich said to be interested.

But Barnett dismissed such a scenario out of hand, adamant only a remarkable offer – and not a loan – would persuade Bale to leave Spain.

"A loan move is not going to happen, there's more chance of me winning Ascot," Barnett added. "I don't think he wants to go out on loan.

"He's got a lovely life and home in Spain. I think it would take something exceptional for him to leave and loans are not on the menu. Obviously, Gareth's situation at Real hasn't improved."

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