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Borussia Dortmund do not expect a decision on Achraf Hakimi's future until Real Madrid's LaLiga season finishes, says BVB chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Versatile wing-back Hakimi has been an outstanding performer for Dortmund during a two-year loan spell.

The Madrid man, who has formed an effective right-sided partnership with Jadon Sancho, has played 50 times in the Bundesliga, scoring seven goals.

Hakimi's form would appear to make him a genuine option for Madrid's first XI, and agent Alejandro Camano last week said a return to Spain was the player's aim.

But Dortmund are not yet giving up hope of a permanent transfer for the 21-year-old.

"There will definitely be no decision before the Spaniards have ended the season," Watzke told Kicker.

Sporting director Michael Zorc added: "The possibility is still open. We can still imagine Hakimi at BVB.

"But I stick to the facts. Achraf has a contract with Madrid."

While Hakimi's status for next season is uncertain, Dortmund are widely expected to lose Sancho, who has been linked with a host of elite clubs.

The England winger has 17 goals and 16 assists in the league this season and scored his first career hat-trick against Paderborn on Sunday.

The arrivals of Lautaro Martinez and Neymar at the end of the season had been the dream for Barcelona.

Forming the best attack in the world had been the idea, prising Inter's Martinez to Camp Nou and re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Barca have reportedly been priced out of a deal for Neymar.

 

TOP STORY – PSG SET NEYMAR PRICE

Paris Saint-Germain want €175million in cash for Barcelona target Neymar, according to Sport.

Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m transfer in 2017 but the Brazilian superstar continues to be linked with a Camp Nou comeback.

But Barca's hopes have been dealt a blow due to PSG's demands and coronavirus as they prioritise Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

- RMC Sport claims Manchester City are interested in Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer. Pep Guardiola has reportedly talked to Bennacer about a move to the Premier League. City are also interested in Barca's Sergi Roberto, claims Mundo Deportivo.

Real Madrid are keen on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, AS says. The England international has been tipped to join United, while Chelsea and Liverpool have also been linked.

- Calciomercato claims Napoli are eyeing a move for Lille forward Victor Osimhen. It comes amid uncertainty over the futures of Arkadiusz Milik and Jose Callejon. Milik has been heavily linked to Juventus, while the likes of Sevilla and Real Betis are reportedly interested in bringing former Madrid winger Callejon back to LaLiga.

Sevilla are prepared to wait until the end of the season for Barca's Ivan Rakitic, reports Mundo Deportivo. Barca are willing to sanction Rakitic's transfer and Spanish rivals Sevilla are looking to bring the Croatia international back to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

- According to L'Equipe, injury-plagued Barca star Ousmane Dembele has no intention of leaving Camp Nou for Juve.

- ESPN says United need more cash to sign Birmingham City sensation Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old has also been linked to Dortmund.

Fabian Ruiz is wanted by Spain's two biggest clubs – Barca and Madrid. But Mundo Deportivo says the Napoli star is moving further away from a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu due to Madrid not being able to meet the Italian club's valuation. Luka Jovic and James Rodriguez have been mentioned as possible makeweights but Napoli only want cash.

- Lille defender Gabriel has emerged as a possible replacement for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. Le10Sport says Napoli have identified Gabriel as well as Fiorentina pair German Pezzella and Nikola Milenkovic. Sky Sport Italia, meanwhile, says United are offering £71m (€80m) for Koulibaly but Napoli are holding out for at least £89m (€100m).

Pedro is a player in demand. The Chelsea forward is set to become a free agent and AS says Roma are the Spaniard's "priority". Juve, Sevilla, Betis and Valencia have also been credited with interest.

Keylor Navas deserves to be recognised as a Real Madrid legend, according to Fernando Morientes.

Navas, 33, spent five seasons with Madrid, winning a LaLiga title and three Champions Leagues among numerous other honours before joining Paris Saint-Germain last year.

Morientes, a Madrid great, believes the goalkeeper should be considered among the LaLiga club's best.

"In the end, for example, at Real Madrid I tell you that he is a legend," the former striker told ESPN.

"A player like him who has participated in great moments in Madrid must be classified as legends, without any doubt."

Navas arrived at Madrid from Levante in 2014 and established himself as the club's number one after Iker Casillas' departure the following year.

Morientes said Navas' growth at Madrid had been immense, with the shot-stopper starting in all three of their Champions League final wins between 2016 and 2018.

"Keylor Navas came as a substitute player for a great goalkeeper in our history as Iker Casillas was," he said.

"Little by little he gained the respect of the entire public, but he was also decisive in great moments in the history of the Bernabeu."

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos believes the team that adapts best when the LaLiga season resumes will enjoy success.

After being suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the LaLiga campaign is set to get back underway on June 11.

Madrid are two points behind leaders and rivals Barcelona with 11 matches remaining this season.

Kroos, whose side host Eibar in their first game back, said whoever adapted to playing behind closed doors would be successful.

"We are training hard to get to the first game in the best possible shape. We can't do any more, this situation is the same for everyone," he told Real Madrid TV.

"We have to train well on our fitness, on our feeling with the ball and on how we have to play as a group, we are training for the 11 matches coming up.

"It's the first time we have to play matches without the fans, let's see how it is, and the team that adapts better to this situation is the one that will win."

Madrid had lost three of their five matches in all competitions before the season was stopped due to COVID-19.

Kroos said returning to working with the ball in training had been important ahead of play resuming.

"It's much better to train with the group, you have to play matches in training. Now it seems to be more normal and we like it more," the German said.

"The weeks we've been at home we haven't touched the ball much. We could work on the physical side of things at home, but not on the ball and even less so with the group.

"The most important thing is to touch the ball a lot."

Diego Simeone's long-time Atletico Madrid assistant German Burgos is to leave at the end of the season to pursue his ambition of becoming a head coach.

Burgos was a team-mate of Simeone's at Atletico and the Argentina national team before linking up with El Cholo again as an assistant at Catania and then Racing Club.

Simeone brought Burgos with him to the Spanish capital in 2011 and he helped secure LaLiga glory for Atletico in the 2013-14 campaign.

The duo have also won a Copa del Rey trophy and two Europa Leagues with Atletico, while on two occasions they were runners-up in the Champions League.

Over recent weeks, it had been speculated Burgos would seek pastures new and he confirmed the news on Wednesday.

"At the end of the current 2019-20 season I will take my first steps as a head coach," he told Atletico's official website. 

"I think that with over 10 years' experience in the first division, I'm fully qualified to manage a team. 

"It will be influenced by those people who have made me who I am as a coach and a person. I carry them in my soul. Luis Aragones, Carlos Griguol, Marcelo Bielsa… people who have influenced me.

"It's a normal step for a second coach who wants to become a head coach."

On his relationship with Simeone, Burgos added: "He's a friend, we've known each other for such a long time. 

"We understand each other with gestures, without gestures, with a glance, with a headbutt. I've said this before but I've had lunch and dinner more times with El Cholo than with my own family. 

"We've been together eight years in the Argentina national team, several years at Atletico Madrid as players and eight years here as coaches. It's a lot of time."

Burgos spoke about his favourite moments at Atletico but says he still has ambitions he wants to achieve.

He said: "The celebrations at the Fountain of Neptune, those red and white rivers and there are two specific moments - the first one was when El Cholo and I hugged when we won the league. That first hug, then there's that last hug we had in the changing rooms at Anfield [when Atleti defeated Liverpool in the last 16 of this season's Champions League]. 

"And – listen to this –  we owe ourselves the third one when we win the Champions League, because we have goals to be achieved."

Saul Niguez has made the big reveal about his "new club", which is the creation of a youth team in his home region of Alicante.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder had the rumour mill turning earlier this week when he posted a cryptic message on social media that read "New club: I'll announce [it] in three days".

Manchester United have long been linked with a move for the Spain midfielder, while Chelsea, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have also been among his reported suitors.

However, with six years to run on his Atletico contract and a reported €150million release clause, it always seemed a little unlikely Saul's news would be transfer-related.

And so it has proven to be, with the 25-year-old announcing the creation of Costa City Club along with his brother Aaron.

The structure of the Costa City project, which is being sponsored by Nike, will see teams comprised of boys and girls aged between four and 18.

Saul said: "We have been developing this exciting and beautiful project for several years and I am very happy to be able to present it and make it official today."

Atletico are due to return to LaLiga action following the suspension of top-flight football in Spain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with an away fixture at Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

Lautaro Martinez's move to Barcelona is seemingly getting closer.

The star Inter forward has been linked to the LaLiga giants, although questions have been raised over whether Barca can find a deal to land the 22-year-old.

But the Argentina international could be nearing a switch to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – LAUTARO, BARCELONA AGREE TO FIVE-YEAR DEAL

Martinez and Barcelona have reached an agreement on a five-year deal at about €12million per season plus bonuses, according to Sport.

The report says Inter have given up on the star forward, but are yet to reach an agreement with Barcelona.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games this season.

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich have already decided not to purchase Philippe Coutinho, who has been linked with an extended stay on loan. However, Sport Bild reports there is no chance the playmaker stays in Munich.

- Timo Werner is reportedly a target for Liverpool, but another Premier League club could be making their move. The Telegraph claims Chelsea are plotting a move for the RB Leipzig forward.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Arsenal future remains uncertain. The Telegraph reports head coach Mikel Arteta is trying to persuade the striker to stay at the Premier League club, while The Sun says Arsenal will keep Aubameyang until the end of his contract in 2021 if they cannot get more than £20m for him this close season.

- Could Eric Garcia return to Barcelona? Sport reports the LaLiga giants are tracking the defender, who came through their youth system before joining Manchester City in 2018.

- Having impressed at Lyon, Houssem Aouar may be ready for a move. According to CalcioMercato, the attacker would prefer a switch to Juventus over Manchester City.

- After contract talks with Newcastle United broke down, Matty Longstaff could be heading abroad. The Times says the midfielder is set for a move to Serie A, with Udinese frontrunners to sign the 20-year-old.

Hernan Crespo labelled Lautaro Martinez a "complete player" and wants the forward to snub Barcelona and stay at Inter.

Martinez, 22, is heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga giants after an impressive season at Inter, scoring 16 goals in 31 games in 2019-20.

Former Inter and Argentina forward Crespo believes Martinez should stay at San Siro and establish himself further before moving on.

"I would like him to stay at Inter because this has been his first year as a starter," he told David de las Heras on YouTube, via Sport.

"I wish he had a bit more solid foundation before another change comes. Trains slow down at the best stations and Lautaro is one of them."

Crespo, now head coach of Defensa y Justicia, won three Serie A titles with Inter, where the former Chelsea forward spent four seasons.

The 44-year-old likes what he has seen from Martinez, who also has nine international goals in 17 appearances for Argentina.

"He is a very serious and focused boy. I really like that. He has a lot of personality," Crespo said.

"He is a complete player who can play in attack both alone and accompanying another striker."

Lionel Scaloni said playing alongside countryman Lionel Messi is better for Inter star Lautaro Martinez amid growing links to Barcelona.

Martinez has been tipped to swap Serie A side Inter for LaLiga champions Barca in the off-season following his exploits in Italy.

The Argentina international forward scored 16 goals in 31 matches across all competitions before the 2019-20 season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As speculation grows over Martinez's future, Argentina head coach Scaloni discussed the 22-year-old.

"If he plays with Messi he is better, no doubt. Beyond that later he will have to fight for the position as he did in Inter," Scaloni told TyC Sports.

"We have to be calm. If he changes clubs, maybe he does not have to be the undisputed starter, and it will not affect us, as long as he has a number of minutes that allows him to be in force.

"He has a huge future but still has a lot to give."

With Martinez dominating headlines, Scaloni issued a reminder about Sergio Aguero's exploits for Argentina and Manchester City.

Aguero is City's all-time top scorer as he celebrated his 32nd birthday on Tuesday, while he is third on Argentina's overall goals list with 41.

"Talking so much about Lautaro, it is Sergio who is breaking all the records," added Scaloni. "That is why you have to go calmly and wait for the moment of each one."

Irene Lozano, the president of Spain's National Sports Council (CSD), insisted it was "impossible" to have fans back in stadiums when LaLiga resumes this month.

The LaLiga season will restart on June 11 and Miguel Angel Ramirez, the president of Segunda Division club Las Palmas, said supporters would be able to attend his side's home matches beginning that weekend.

However, Lozano said it was impossible to have fans return so soon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is impossible. The integrity of the competition must be respected," she told Cadena SER, via AS, on Tuesday.

"There are many considerations in this regard, but the most essential is sports. Respect the integrity of the competition.

"Since LaLiga is a national competition and we have all tried so very hard that the training sessions were matched, I'm a bit surprised that after the effort we have made to match what was out of step, now suddenly in the last 100 metres we come to unbalance."

Barcelona hold a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the top with 11 games left, and the latter will not play at the Santiago Bernabeu when they get back underway.

Lozano, who kept open the possibility of fans attending this season, said LaLiga needed to stay responsible amid COVID-19, which has killed more than 381,000 people worldwide.

"If you compare yourself to other places, the Bundesliga, where people have not entered, it is time to be patient, it is time to be responsible," she said.

"They cannot enter or congregate in the immediate vicinity. And if it happens, who is responsible for that?

"Until all the forecasts are in the same phase of de-escalation, it is impossible for there to be football with the public."

Karim Benzema is convinced Real Madrid will hit the ground running when they resume their LaLiga campaign, highlighting Zinedine Zidane's emphasis on "enjoyment" following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus.

After a three-month suspension to the season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Madrid will return to the pitch on June 14 when they host Eibar.

LaLiga has been allowed to recommence behind closed doors thanks to the threat of the virus decreasing, and Madrid look set to push Barcelona all the way in the title race.

Barca resume the season two points clear of their bitter rivals, but Benzema is certain Los Blancos are ready for the challenge and they have relished being back in full training, with Zidane putting focus on ensuring the players are enjoying their work.

Benzema told Real Madrid TV: "Zidane's message is enjoyment. Enjoy playing football. We have had more contact with the ball than last week.

"We did more fitness last week and now, as we are closer to the restart of LaLiga, we have been using the ball more.

"The adaptation has been very good, step by step. It is much better here with our team-mates and with the ball, because it is more difficult to do so at home. It is more about the gym and fitness.

"Two months without a ball makes things tougher when you are back, but we are fine now, and we will keep working together with the ball. For instance, we have played a game today [Tuesday] and it's been very good for everyone.

"We can't wait to restart the competition and it's very important to win games. The first game against Eibar at home will be very important. So, we will give our best until the end."

The absence of supporters will be more peculiar for Madrid – who are used to playing in front of up to 80,000 people in the capital – than most, particularly as they are set to play home games at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, the 6,000-seat home of the Castilla side, to allow construction work to proceed on the Santiago Bernabeu.

Benzema, though, believes the team will still feel the love from those watching at home.

"It will be different, for sure," said the striker. "We always need our supporters.

"However, we will have our fans here and hopefully all of them will be in front of a TV supporting us, that's all.

"We know we have to win the games because they are very important for us and for the club and we will be at our best."

Lyon have completed the permanent signing of Karl Toko Ekambi from Villarreal for an initial fee of €11.5million.

The striker signed on loan with an option to buy in January and scored two goals in eight Ligue 1 appearances, also providing an assist.

Lyon have taken up the option to sign the 27-year-old permanently for a fee that could rise to €15.5m and includes a 15 per cent sell-on clause, which stands at 50 per cent if any such sale happens before September 15 this year.

The Cameroon international, who will be eligible to face Juventus in the Champions League last-16 second leg if the competition resumes, has signed a four-year contract with OL.

"The permanent arrival of Karl Toko Ekambi confirms Olympique Lyonnais' ambition to give ourselves the means to be at the highest level next season," the club said.

Ekambi's arrival comes amid speculation around the future of Moussa Dembele, who is said to be of interest to Manchester United and Chelsea.

The 23-year-old has long been linked with the Red Devils, although United's decision to extend Odion Ighalo's loan until next January and the possible financial constraints brought about by the coronavirus crisis have cast doubt on a possible move to Old Trafford.

Lyon finished the 2019-20 season seventh in Ligue 1 after the campaign was ended early due to the pandemic.

Kieran Trippier is excited to resume the 2019-20 LaLiga season following the coronavirus pandemic, with the full-back also fully fit again following surgery on an injury that plagued him even before leaving Tottenham last year.

Spanish football is due to resume next week after a three-month hiatus, which came at a frustrating time for Trippier, given he had just returned to action following a lay-off.

Trippier had surgery on a groin issue in January and it was a problem he recently revealed caused him significant stress during his final season at Tottenham, criticising the club for putting off the operation.

Although he returned to action a few weeks before LaLiga was suspended, Trippier was still receiving treatment to aid his recovery, but that had to stop once Spain went into lockdown.

The England international acknowledged it was a struggle to retain fitness during the lockdown, but he and Atletico are excited to get going again, with Los Colchoneros set to resume their campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

"For me personally, after my surgery, I was used to getting treatment every single day but obviously I couldn't get that at home," he said.

"It was difficult but always you find a way to train, keep yourself in the best possible shape so when you return, you're ready to start the competition again.

"I feel very good to be back. It was very difficult not seeing team-mates, staff, and training every single day. But everybody understands the circumstances of the time.

"Obviously everyone's excited. The team is just looking forward to getting ready for the game against Athletic and it's important that we start the season off again strongly and try to win as many games as we can from now until the end of the season."

The rest of the season will be played behind closed doors and Trippier is aware of how it feels to play in an empty stadium, though he believes Atletico will still feel the love from supporters watching in their own homes.

"I've played in some games where there have been no supporters before and it's different," he added.

"Obviously you want the fans there supporting you every single game, but everybody understands the circumstances at the moment and it's important that everybody is safe.

"We'll always try to find a way to win and the fans are always there watching on TV, so we have the full support from them back home."

Atletico are sixth in LaLiga heading into the final 11 matches of the season, however third-placed Sevilla are just two points better off than Diego Simeone's men.

Barcelona will activate a purchase option on Sao Paulo teenager Gustavo Maia this June, according to the player's agent.

Maia's performances in the Copa Sao Paulo – Brazil's most prestigious youth tournament – at the start of the year drew the eye of LaLiga's champions and led to them agreeing to part with €1million for the option to sign him before the end of this month.

The 19-year-old winger, who was nearly sent on loan to Flamengo last year, became a father in December and overcame personal issues to force his way into the starting line-up at the Copinha, where he scored three goals in seven games.

Barca are required to pay an additional €3.5m to sign Maia permanently and his representative Danilo Silva is confident it will happen.

"We are sure Barcelona will complete the purchase," he told Radio Transamerica in quotes reported by Globo Esporte.

"There was already a signal from the club and [on Monday] Maia started private Spanish lessons to get more prepared.

"Other clubs came to us in the last few months but he never had any doubt, he always wanted Barcelona."

Sao Paulo director Alexandre Passaro said they have not yet been notified that Barca wish to purchase Maia, however.

"Whether he will go to Barcelona or not, we can't be sure, because they have until June 30 to notify us and they still haven't," said Passaro.

"The last time I spoke to them they said everything is very uncertain.

"LaLiga set the restart of games for June 11. Who knows, they may give us a signal in the next 30 days to find out whether Maia is going or not."

Marc-Andre ter Stegen revealed talks over a new contract at Barcelona stopped when the coronavirus pandemic hit, but he reassured supporters there is no chance of him leaving.

German goalkeeper Ter Stegen joined Barca in 2014 from Borussia Monchengladbach, and despite being understudy to Claudio Bravo for two years in LaLiga, his potential was never in doubt.

Since becoming first choice for the 2016-17 campaign, Ter Stegen has barely been out of the team, proving a dependable and consistent performer.

His last contract extension in May 2017 saw him renew until 2022, and with little over two years remaining on that deal, some fans may have worried about the 28-year-old potentially moving on.

Although Ter Stegen acknowledged talks were shelved earlier this year, he is adamant that was the appropriate action given the sensitive situation regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking on the Kicker Meets DAZN podcast, Ter Stegen said: "It's not possible for me to leave this summer.

"There were already the first meetings between my agent and the club [regarding a contract extension], then the coronavirus issue came up and it was not time to discuss a contract.

"At a time when many people are concerned about their lives, we decided to postpone it. I feel good in Barcelona, ​​also because my family feels good."

LaLiga is set to resume behind closed doors next week and Barca will return to action with a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the summit. Both sides have 11 matches remaining.

Although LaLiga's hiatus is approaching the three-month mark, Ter Stegen believes Barca are in peak physical condition and he is fully aware Madrid will not let them coast to the title.

"Physically, we have rarely been at such a high level," he said. "And mentally we will be much more focused on the matches left. Despite being in a good position, Real Madrid will not give us anything.

"New football will, of course, be different, we do not have to fool ourselves, a game without an audience is not the most attractive thing, but the ball will roll and that is what pleases us."

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