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Maurizio Sarri insists he has several ways of incorporating Paulo Dybala into his plans at Juventus amid speculation about the player's future.

Manchester United have been linked with an approach for the Argentina international, who struggled for form under Massimiliano Allegri last season.

Dybala scored just five Serie A goals, his worst return for the club, while struggling to nail down a consistent role following Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival.

There have been questions about how he will fit into Sarri's system, and whether Gonzalo Higuain's return could prompt a departure, but the new Bianconeri boss has ideas in mind for Dybala.

"He could easily play in the false nine role," Sarri said.

"We could also find different solutions. He could play as a midfielder, or as a trequartista [playmaker] behind two strikers."

The Argentine forward is not part of Juve's pre-season tour of Asia as he takes a break after playing in the Copa America.

Sarri took charge of the Serie A champions for the first time on Sunday and suffered a late 3-2 loss to Tottenham in the International Champions Cup.

Bouncing back could prove difficult in a Derby d'Italia date with Inter in Nanjing, although the ex-Chelsea and Napoli boss tempered expectations for a feisty encounter.

"Juventus against Inter is a game like no other," he said. "But you will see two teams facing each other that will not be able to express themselves at their best, because of the physical conditions and given the humidity.

"We'll try to carry on in the same manner as our initial comeback against Spurs.

"I don't expect a big difference to that of the first game."

Antonio Conte insists he never came close to making a dramatic return to Juventus before his appointment as Inter head coach.

Conte signed a three-year contract to replace Luciano Spalletti at San Siro but had been linked with a return to Juve – who he guided to three titles during his time in charge - following Massimiliano Allegri's departure at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Maurizio Sarri was eventually appointed by the Serie A champions and prior to facing his former club in the International Champions Cup, Conte revealed he did not even speak to Juventus.

"No, I have never been close to becoming Juventus coach again," he told a media conference. "I never received any phone call.

"It was always Inter that showed great affection and great interest in me. I feel great responsibility towards my new club and want to build something that at the moment is not there."

Asked is Sarri was the right man for the job, Conte replied: "If Juve has taken this decision they will have had good reasons. It is not for me to judge."

Wednesday's game in Nanjing will be the first time Conte has faced his former club since his departure and says there will be no love lost once the game kicks off.

"There will be excitement on my part," he said. "It is the first time I have met the Bianconeri as an opponent since my relationship with them ended.

"Seeing so many friends will be exciting but when the whistle goes it will all be over. Juve is an opponent for me and they consider me the same way."

Inter have been heavily linked with a move for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku during the close season, with Conte already revealing that it is his "will and hope" that a deal is struck for the Belgium international.

When asked if a potential move was any closer, Conte said: "I think that some reflections will be made then decisions will be taken for the good of Inter.

"We will take everything into account. Not only on the field but also in terms of financial fair play. Certainly, decisions can shift the balance and also expectations."

Arsenal's quiet transfer window seems to be about to spark into life.

Widespread reports on Monday claimed Dani Ceballos is on the verge of joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

William Saliba could follow him to Emirates Stadium by the end of the week, too.

 

TOP STORY - CEBALLOS BOUND FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal are close to completing the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

AS report the midfielder could head to London on Tuesday for a medical, with Marca saying the 21-year-old is excited about the prospect of spending a season under Unai Emery.

Various UK media outlets have also stated Ceballos is not far from finalising a deal, while the BBC's David Ornstein says Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba could follow him to north London before the week is out.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Barcelona are to open talks with Lionel Messi to try to extend his contract beyond 2021, according to ESPN.

Jiangsu Suning have joined Chinese rivals Beijing Guoan in the race for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale but must offer wages of £1million per week, reports the Telegraph.

- Fotosport in Turkey say Galatasaray have made an approach to sign Fred on loan from Manchester United.

- Inter are still eager to sign Romelu Lukaku and have offered Manchester United a choice of €78m or €55m plus winger Ivan Perisic, FCInternews.it suggests.

Ademola Lookman is expected to arrive in Germany in the next 36 hours to finalise a transfer from Everton to RB Leipzig, say Sky Sports.

- Marca claim Atletico Madrid would prefer to sign Real Madrid's James Rodriguez than Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

- Atletico Madrid are likely to earn a total of €57m when Angel Correa finalises his move to AC Milan, Sky Sport Italia say.

- Corriere dello Sport claim Napoli are pushing to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter, with James Rodriguez poised for Atletico Madrid.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing the Serie A champions to sign Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, according to the Daily Mail.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not face charges for the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Las Vegas 10 years ago, the Clark County District Attorney's Office has confirmed.

The decision was announced in a statement released via the office's Twitter account.

It said: "Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming."

Kathryn Mayorga reportedly accused Ronaldo of raping her in a hotel in the city, with German publication Der Spiegel reporting the claims last October.

According to Der Spiegel, Mayorga first made a complaint of sexual assault in 2009 and subsequently reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo. It was claimed by the magazine she was paid $375,000 as part of a privacy agreement, preventing her from going public with the allegations.

Ronaldo's legal team described Der Spiegel's 2018 report as "blatantly illegal" and confirmed they will pursue action against the publication for "inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy".

The player issued a strong denial of the allegations last October, saying: "I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.

"My clear conscious [sic] will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations."

Neymar and Gareth Bale have been locked in something of a transfer impasse in recent weeks - but it appears there could be a solution.

According to the Independent, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar's representatives are trying to push through a deal that would see the Brazil star move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with Bale and money moving the other way.

Manchester United are not thought to be interested in either player, but their pursuit of Harry Maguire may, at last, be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY - NEYMAR AND BALE PROPOSED IN SWAP DEAL

Neymar is said to be "desperate" to leave Paris Saint-Germain and ideally return to Spain, but his options have so far seemed limited, with Barcelona and Real Madrid either unable or unwilling to stump up for the transfer.

Meanwhile, Gareth Bale has been told by head coach Zinedine Zidane that it would be best for him to leave, but suitors appear hard to come by for the Wales international.

The Independent claims this has prompted some of Neymar's camp to explore the prospect of the forward joining Madrid in a deal involving money and Bale heading to PSG.

The idea is that it would solve some of the concerns around transfer fees that have stalled moves for each player and allow the two teams to sign ready-made stars to replace the ones they are losing.

ROUND-UP:

Manchester United's chase for a centre-back could nearly be over, with the Independent claiming a deal to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City is "imminent".

Manchester City could yet intervene but, according to the Sun, they would have to sell Nicolas Otamendi or Eliaquim Mangala to afford England international Maguire.

- If Bale does not become part of a Neymar swap deal, he could end up in China – the Mirror claim he has been offered a contract worth £1million per week to join Beijing Guoan.

- Having agreed personal terms, Andre Silva is close to moving to Monaco, which would free up AC Milan to sign Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa, both Sky Sport Italia and Sport Mediaset claim.

Napoli have been chasing James Rodriguez but might now go instead for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, according to RMC Sport and L'Equipe.

- Another Madrid player tipped for an exit, Dani Ceballos, has been told to choose between Arsenal and Tottenham for his season-long loan, AS say.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus could sell either Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani following Matthijs de Ligt's arrival. Demiral, who only just arrived from Sassuolo, has been linked to AC Milan. Roma are reportedly interested in Rugani.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri expects the Serie A champions to make more signings before the transfer window closes.

It has been a busy off-season for Juve, who have signed Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Luca Pellegrini, Merih Demiral and Gianluigi Buffon.

Juve have also been linked with former midfielder and Manchester United star Paul Pogba, as well as Inter outcast Mauro Icardi.

There is also uncertainty over the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi and Mario Mandzukic, and Sarri provided a transfer update following Sunday's International Champions Cup loss to Tottenham.

"I don't want to occupy myself too much on the market because I think that's the right thing to do and because I keep much less of an eye on it than those who are in charge," said Sarri, whose team lost 3-2 to Spurs.

"Maybe there are leagues and players I don't know about. Therefore, it's better to leave it to those who are in charge.

"We have lots of players in certain positions and less in others, but we're talking about a situation where I have seven players in Turin carrying injuries and five who have yet to return from international commitments.

"I think the club, between now and the end of the transfer window, will do something in terms of incomings, but we'll also have to do something in terms of outgoings.

"We have so many players right now that we'll have to keep two or three out of our Champions League squad. We certainly have to do something."

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target at the National Stadium in Singapore, where the five-time Ballon d'Or winner put Juve ahead four minutes after Higuain cancelled out Erik Lamela's opener.

Tottenham, however, stormed back thanks to Lucas Moura and Harry Kane's stunning long-range effort in the 93rd minute.

Discussing Ronaldo, Sarri said: "Cristiano's the best player in this team. Therefore, we must set up the other 10 well defensively. He can play anywhere on the field. He's the best and it's important for him to be free on the pitch."

Matthijs de Ligt was left bemused by transfer stories circulating about him before his move to Juventus, particularly one concerning Manchester United and fears about his weight.

The Netherlands international completed a move to Juventus on Thursday in a deal that could cost the Serie A champions €85.5million.

De Ligt, 19, had been one of the most in-demand young players in the world following his exceptional performances as captain of Ajax, who won the Eredivisie and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He was linked with a possible move to United until a story emerged in the Daily Mirror suggesting a scout had warned the Red Devils off making a bid as De Ligt would be susceptible to gaining weight as he got older, like his father.

De Ligt says such claims left him truly baffled, even amid the persistent speculation over where he would be playing football next season.

"Every day, there was something new," he told Voetbal International. "Suddenly, even my father was too fat and that's why one of the clubs wouldn't want me. That makes you go, 'Come on, man...'"

There was another rumour De Ligt turned down Paris Saint-Germain because he wanted a higher wage than Kylian Mbappe, something he previously told Algemeen Dagblad was "insane".

"Money played no role at all in my choice for a new club," he said. "Everyone who knows me, knows that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I will respect that, but some people were saying things like that [PSG story] very easily."

De Ligt is the latest high-profile player to secure a big-money transfer through the hugely successful agent Mino Raiola, who counts Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti among his clients.

"He has a lot of experience," De Ligt said of Raiola. "I think there may be a certain negative image of him in Holland, but I certainly don't experience it that way.

"I think if you ask all of his players if Mino does a good job for them, everyone would say yes. That's the most important thing. It's not about what other people say about him, it's about what he can do for me."

Maurizio Sarri urged Juventus to show less naivety on the ball after Adrian Rabiot's late lapse led to a 3-2 loss to Tottenham in Singapore.

The Serie A champions succumbed to defeat in Sarri's first match in charge courtesy of Harry Kane's sublime lob over Wojciech Szczesny from inside the centre circle in the third minute of added time.

New signing Rabiot dallied on the ball and invited a tackle from Lucas Moura, from which the ball spilled into Kane's path.

Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo earlier scored to overturn Erik Lamela's first-half opener, before Lucas equalised in the 65th minute.

"It was a difficult game, there is a difference between us in our physical preparation," Sarri told reporters.

"Tottenham have players who have known each other for years and in the first half they seemed quicker, but it's normal.

"If we want to show our football we must defend further forward. In the first half we weren't high enough up the pitch, which made things difficult.

"In the second half we pressed better and we did some good things, even though we were naive with the lost balls.

"But I think this is also affected by the level of physical conditioning."

The International Champions Cup clash was the opening pre-season match for both clubs.

Debutant Rabiot said: "It was the first game, so there is still a lot of work to do. Physically I need to grow, but I felt good playing my first game.

"We are understanding each other very well within the team and with the coach."

Juve return to action against Serie A rivals Inter in China on Wednesday.

Harry Kane described his sensational goal against Juventus on Sunday as "probably one of the best of my career".

Tottenham appeared to be heading for a deciding penalty shoot-out in their International Champions Cup clash with the Italian champions in Singapore before Kane's spectacular intervention in stoppage time.

The England captain spotted Wojciech Szczesny off his line and beat him from just inside Juve's half with a precision strike to secure a dramatic 3-2 win in Spurs' first pre-season game ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Kane has scored some wonderful goals during his career but he believes the one against Juve ranks alongside his very best.

"It's probably one of the best goals in my career," he said in a post-match interview.

"I saw in part of the game the keeper [Szczesny] was quite far off the line, so I thought if I get a chance to shoot, I'm going to shoot and thankfully it went in."

Kane was introduced as a half-time substitute and is satisfied to start getting pitch time under his belt ahead of the new season.

"It's been great to get 45 minutes," he added. "It's been a good start to pre-season; everyone is working hard.

"It's very hot here so it will definitely get us fit. We're looking forward to the next game [against Manchester United on Thursday] and we go from there."

Harry Kane struck a sensational stoppage-time winner from the centre circle as Tottenham claimed an entertaining 3-2 International Champions Cup win over Juventus in Singapore on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side, who won the competition last year, forged ahead in the 31st minute courtesy of Erik Lamela's close-range strike, but the Serie A champions stormed back thanks to goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Half-time substitute Lucas Moura pulled Spurs level in the 65th minute, though, before Kane beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny from just inside Juve's half deep in added time.

Tottenham continue their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign against Manchester United in Shanghai on Thursday, while Juve face Serie A rivals Inter in Nanjing a day earlier.

 

Christian Eriksen put some of Europe's biggest clubs on alert when he declared he would "like to try something new" and now it seems the Tottenham star could make a surprise move.

Initial speculation suggested that Real Madrid would make a move for the talented Spurs playmaker.

As the 2019-20 season draws ever closer, however, it could be that another Spanish giant – and neighbours of Real Madrid – steal a march in the quest to land the Denmark international.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETI AND TOTTENHAM IN ERIKSEN TALKS

Atletico Madrid have enjoyed a productive transfer window – despite losing Antoine Griezmann, Rodri and Diego Godin – and could be set to swoop for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen.

The Dane has spent six seasons with the north London club but is ready for a new challenge and could join former team-mate Kieran Trippier in the Spanish capital.

AS reports that the two clubs have started discussions over a fee for the 27-year-old, with Spurs likely to demand in excess of €70million.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain have found their target if Neymar gets his desired move away from the Parc des Princes. According to RMC Sport, Juventus midfielder Paulo Dybala is PSG's top option if Neymar leaves.

- James Rodriguez is linked with the likes of Atletico Madrid and Napoli, and Real Madrid want around €40m for the playmaker, according to Marca.

- David de Gea will become the world's highest paid goalkeeper. The Manchester United shot-stopper has agreed to a six-year deal worth around £117m with the Premier League giants, according to The Telegraph.

- Arsenal could land Moise Kean from Juventus, but only if any deal includes a buy-back clause. The Daily Mail say Juve will insist on a £36m (€40.1m) clause in a possible deal involving the forward.

- Danny Rose is widely expected to leave Tottenham this close season, with numerous clubs linked with the left-back. Now, the Mirror report Serie A champions Juventus are the frontrunners to sign the defender.

- After Aaron Wan-Bissaka's move to Manchester United, Crystal Palace may have found their replacement. The Daily Mail report Palace have held further talks over a potential deal for Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne.

New Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has welcomed speculation that Neymar could make a dramatic return to the LaLiga champions.

De Jong, 22, was signed by Barca from Ajax in January for a reported €75million, but only made the move at the end of the season.

Neymar has reportedly told Paris Saint-Germain that he wants to leave the club during the close season, two years after his world-record €222million transfer from Barca.

The Catalan club appear to be keen on bringing the Brazilian superstar back to Camp Nou and De Jong says he would relish the opportunity to play alongside him.

"Of course I would like to play with Neymar," he told Sport. "I think he's a really good player but it isn't up to me to decide if he comes to Barcelona or not."

De Jong will be tasked with supplying a mouth-watering attack in the 2019-20 season, led by Lionel Messi, and the Netherlands international is looking forward to teaming up with a player he considers to be the very best.

"I think he's the best player in the world," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing with all the guys, not only with Messi."

Barca were linked with a move for De Jong's former Ajax team-mate, Matthijs de Ligt, but the 19-year-old opted to join Serie A champions Juventus.

De Jong says he would have loved De Ligt to have joined him at Barca but believes he has made a positive move.

Asked if he was disappointed by De Ligt's decision, De Jong said: "No, I'm not disappointed. Not at all. Of course, I'd be happier if he had decided to join Barcelona, but it's his decision and he made it with his family, his agent and girlfriend.

"I'm happy for him. He's made a great move. I would rather see him at Barcelona but Juventus is a good move for him."

Cristiano Ronaldo "can play anywhere" for Juventus but Maurizio Sarri plans to return his superstar forward to a familiar role at the outset of the season.

Portugal legend Ronaldo moved between multiple attacking positions in his first campaign with Juve, playing on the flanks, through the middle and in partnership with Paulo Dybala.

But the 34-year-old is set to initially be given a more defined brief under new boss Sarri, a coach noted for being unfailingly faithful to his favoured 4-3-3 system.

For Ronaldo that means moving slightly wider, to a role he performed with distinction at Manchester United and Real Madrid.

"I'm going to first use Cristiano on the left in attack," Sarri said.

"But really, with the quality he has, he can play anywhere.

"He's very experienced and has won everything, individually and collectively."

Sarri's first chance to experiment comes against Tottenham in the International Champions Cup in Singapore.

The Italian confirmed new signing Matthijs de Ligt will "certainly play part of the game" in a bid to quickly integrate the Netherlands international into his new surroundings.

De Ligt, 19, signed from Ajax this week in an €85.5million deal despite reported interest from Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

The defender denied being swayed by the wage on offer in Turin, though, slamming reports which claimed otherwise.

"At a certain point it was a bit tiring [hearing all the reports]," he told Dutch newspaper AD.

"The most insane thing I read was that I wouldn't go to PSG because I wanted to earn more than Kylian Mbappe. What nonsense.

"Mino [Raiola] is my agent, he deals with the business side, but that only mattered after my sporting choice was made."

Maurizio Sarri has hinted he would like Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United and join Juventus.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has confirmed the midfielder wants to leave Old Trafford, three years after he returned for a second spell.

The France midfielder was nevertheless named in United's starting line-up for Saturday's International Champions Cup clash with Inter.

But Juve's new head coach Sarri, speaking ahead of their ICC game against Tottenham, opened the door to a potential transfer.

"I like him very much, but he's a Manchester United player," Sarri told a news conference. 

"I'm not the technical director [Fabio Paratici] so I don't know the situation."

Pogba, who played for Juve between 2012 and 2016, started renewed speculation over his future by saying he wanted a "new challenge" last month.

The World Cup winner has been linked with LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as Juve.

The Neymar saga has dominated the narrative at Paris Saint-Germain in recent days, with his future yet to be settled.

But the Ligue 1 champions still have moves to make themselves in the remaining weeks of the transfer market.

And PSG might back themselves to tempt an out-of-favour Juventus star to make the switch to France.

 

TOP STORY – PSG MAKE APPROACH FOR DYBALA

If Neymar does leave Paris, Paulo Dybala would represent a fine replacement. He is an option, according to RMC Sport.

It is reported PSG have approached Dybala's camp, with any deal quite separate from Neymar's future.

A fee of less than €50million could be enough to see Juventus sell, with Dybala no longer a vital cog following Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival last year.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dybala might not be the only Juventus player heading to Ligue 1, though. Le Parisien have reported PSG interest in Blaise Matuidi, who Sky Sport Italia say is also a target for Monaco.

- Further movement in Serie A could see Suso heading off. According to Calcio Mercato, the AC Milan star is a target for Roma. The Rossoneri will ask for close to €40m despite the midfielder appearing to be out of favour.

- Working rather harder to keep a key man are Tottenham. They will offer Christian Eriksen £200,000 a week to keep Real Madrid at bay, according to the Daily Mail.

- With Laurent Koscielny's future at Arsenal uncertain, Unai Emery's captaincy group will look quite different next season. According to the Mail, Rob Holding or Calum Chambers could be in line to be skipper.

- Their London neighbours Chelsea, meanwhile, are set to temporarily part ways with Ethan Ampadu. The teenager is on the brink of joining RB Leipzig on loan, according to the Guardian, and could be joined at the Bundesliga club by Ademola Lookman of Everton.

- But as one young prospect arrives in Germany, another might be on the way out. Bild say Barcelona are keen on Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, who is also said to be in the sights of Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

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