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.

Sergio Ramos told Luis Enrique each Spain victory will still be his after the former Barcelona coach stepped down from his role as national team boss.

Having been absent from the Spain camp since March due to personal reasons, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Wednesday that Luis Enrique has called time on his spell at the helm.

Robert Moreno had overseen the three fixtures Luis Enrique missed, and the former assistant will now remain in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

Spain captain Ramos – who had previously insisted the squad were fully behind Luis Enrique's decision to remain away from the camp – offered his full backing to his former coach.

"Every victory of the national team will also be yours, coach," Ramos wrote on his official Twitter account. "All our support and our encouragement."

Barca – Luis Enrique's most recent employers at club level – also offered their encouragement on Twitter.

"Sending you all of our love and respect, Luis," they wrote.

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."

Robert Moreno has been appointed as Spain's permanent head coach after Luis Enrique stepped down from the role.

The 41-year-old has already overseen three Euro 2020 qualifiers – all of which were wins – while Luis Enrique was absent due to a family emergency and has now been handed the reins on a full-time basis.

During Wednesday's news conference, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales confirmed Moreno will be in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

But who is Moreno and how did someone with such little pedigree as a head coach come to arrive in Spanish football's most senior role?

 

EARLY CAREER

Rather than the traditional route of going from the pitch to the dugout, Moreno, born in Barcelona in 1977, started out as a coach at a young age.

Moreno worked his way up through the coaching ranks at a local level in Catalonia, plying his trade at several teams including Damm, a youth club famed for its development of young players.

Nurturing youth players set him up nicely for a role at Barcelona B, where he met Luis Enrique.

 

LUIS ENRIQUE LINK

Moreno soon struck up an effective working relationship with Luis Enrique, so much so he joined the head coach in moving to Roma in 2011, serving as assistant.

Things did not go to plan for the pair in Serie A, however, leaving after one season having failed to secure European qualification.

But they were back together in Spain at Celta Vigo in 2013, the same year Moreno's book 'My Recipe of 4-4-2' – including a prologue written by Luis Enrique – was published.

Luis Enrique's star as a coach rose in Vigo and he earned a return to Barcelona in 2014, again taking Moreno with him.

A stunning start to life back at Camp Nou saw Barca claim a treble in 2014-15 and, although they did not maintain those lofty standards, Luis Enrique's reputation was enhanced by the time he departed at the end of his contract in 2017.

Moreno returned to Celta Vigo to assist Juan Carlos Unzue – a former Barca colleague – as Luis Enrique sat out the 2017-18 season, yet the Spain call came after the World Cup.

 

SPAIN JOB

Moreno continued to work under Luis Enrique throughout Spain's Nations League campaign, where impressive victories over England and Croatia were followed by defeats to the same two sides.

However, when international football returned earlier this year, a family emergency meant Luis Enrique was absent following the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Norway.

Moreno was left in charge and guided Spain to a 2-0 win over Malta on what he called the "worst day" of his career, as he got a taste of the big job because of his friend's family emergency.

He reprised the role again earlier this month with Luis Enrique still on leave. Spain defeated Faroe Islands 4-1 and Sweden 3-0.

The long-time assistant insisted he was eager to have Luis Enrique back available for the next fixtures in September, yet the latter has now called time on his career with Spain.

Moreno said on Wednesday: "It's a bittersweet day. I didn't expect to be the head coach this way. We are going to try to continue the high-level work that Luis started."

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.

Barcelona's medical team have given midfielder Rafinha the all-clear after he completed his recovery from a knee injury that kept him out for almost seven months.

The Brazilian playmaker ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in November 2018 and he had surgery to address the problem.

A statement on Barcelona's official website confirmed the 26-year-old has been given the green light to return to full training, but it remains to be seen whether he can force his way back into the first team at Camp Nou.

Rafinha's Barcelona career was stuttering when he sustained the injury and he made just five LaLiga appearances for the club in the first four months of the 2018-19 season, having spent the previous campaign on loan at Inter.

Born in Sao Paulo, Rafinha came up through Barcelona's youth ranks before enjoying a strong season on loan at Celta de Vigo in 2013-14 that led to him breaking into the Barca first team the following year.

His future at the club could hinge on whether under-pressure coach Ernesto Valverde keeps his job.

Rafinha's father, former Brazil international Mazinho, expressed his frustration with the limited first-team opportunities afforded to his son before the injury struck, saying he would be seeking a transfer if nothing changed.

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal added weight to the growing reports linking Neymar with a move back to Camp Nou, saying it would be "very nice" to have the Brazil forward back at the club.

Vidal arrived at Barcelona in August 2018, a year after Neymar's €222m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain brought his four-year spell with the Blaugrana to an end.

Despite not having played alongside Neymar, Vidal is aware of the high regard in which the 27-year-old is held at the club.

Asked about the possibility of Neymar arriving in Barcelona ahead of the 2019-20 season, Vidal told reporters: "It would be very nice. He is dearly liked there."

Vidal is hoping to help Chile to a successful defence of the Copa America before turning his attention back to club football, and he helped his country to a 4-0 win over Japan on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old is one of Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda's most important players, and Vidal was delighted by Chile's performance against Japan.

"We had many days of preparation, to play matches and to mature everything we have done this year and a half [since Rueda took charge]," Vidal told Marca.

"The friendlies were not good but the important thing is that the real Chile appeared [against Japan].

"We are the champions and we have to defend the cup."

Luis Suarez added to the growing doubts over Antoine Griezmann's prospective move to Barcelona by declining to comment on the transfer reports, despite indicating he would back a swoop for Neymar.

Griezmann was thought to be bound for Camp Nou after announcing his decision to leave Atletico Madrid, but Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed the Blaugrana have not spoken to the 28-year-old.

When asked about the prospect of lining up alongside Griezmann in 2019-20, Suarez referred back to comments he made in December 2017 when he described the World Cup-winning forward as "an elite player", but stopped short of reiterating his support for a move.

Suarez told RAC1: "What I have to say, as I said last year, is that he is a quality player.

"But he is an Atletico player and I prefer not to comment on it."

With reports linking Brazil talisman Neymar with a move back to Barcelona following a tumultuous second season at Paris Saint-Germain, Suarez indicated he would welcome him back with open arms, saying: "Who would not want to enjoy players like Ney?"

Suarez will turn 33 in January and he said he accepts the club will be looking for goal-scorers who can pick up the mantle as his career enters its twilight years.

"A Barca player has to be prepared for competition and the club bringing in a partner who can impersonate you in some moments. We all want to help the club," he added.

"I do not say who to bring in or who not to bring in.

"I took over last season and I assume that over the next few years the club has to bring a young player, a number nine, not only to compete with me but for the future of the club, because I also want what's good for the future of the club.

"I assume my responsibility because I am 32 years old and I am going to be 33."

The race for Paul Pogba appears well and truly on, but Manchester United will not let the midfielder go easily.

The France international said on Sunday he would be interested in a "new challenge", casting fresh doubt over his future at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid have continually been linked with Pogba, but it seems Paris Saint-Germain, and perhaps former club Juventus, could also be interested.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA INTEREST INTENSIFIES

Real Madrid indicated they are willing to pay £90million for Pogba despite United valuing the midfielder at £150m, according to The Sun.

United are ready to do their all to keep Pogba, with the Daily Mail reporting they are set to offer him a bumper new contract worth close to £500,000 per week.

This saga appears likely to take time to play out with Ligue 1 champions PSG also expressing an interest in Pogba, according to The Independent.

ROUND-UP

- Neymar appears more and more likely to leave PSG in the close season. Globo Esporte says talks are already underway for the Brazil international to return to Barcelona, who may pay €100m and send players, with Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti mentioned.

- It seems Benfica sensation Joao Felix has decided where he will be next season. According to Record, the 19-year-old Portugal international was in Spain to sign with Atletico Madrid in a €120m move, a report Benfica denied. El Chiringuito later claimed to have spotted the attacker and agent Jorge Mendes leaving a Madrid restaurant.

- Real Madrid look like they want to see Gareth Bale make an exit before next season. ABC says the LaLiga giants have lowered their asking price for the Wales international from €100m to €85m.

- With Neymar and Antoine Griezmann potentially arriving, Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona future seems clouded. AS reports PSG have made contact with the player's camp, while he may return to the Premier League. However, Sky Sports News reports Coutinho is unwilling to join Manchester United out of respect to former club Liverpool, but The Sun says he would head to Chelsea, although the club's transfer ban is standing in the way of that move.

- Now that Juventus have appointed Maurizio Sarri, the Serie A champions could make numerous additions. Tuttosport reported Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved met with agent Mino Raiola regarding Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt – who is expected to join PSG – and Pogba.

- A dream Chelsea return for Frank Lampard could be on the cards. The Sun reports the club great and Derby County manager is set for talks with owner Roman Abramovich over the position left vacant at Stamford Bridge by Sarri's departure. The same paper also reports Chelsea have rejected £35m bids from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for Willian, with the Mirror saying Lampard wants the Brazil international to stay.

Luis Suarez would seemingly welcome Neymar back to Barcelona, recalling one of the best years of his career alongside the Brazilian and Lionel Messi.

Neymar, 27, is linked with a return to the LaLiga champions, two years after making a €222million switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil international spent four seasons at Barca before his move, including winning a treble in 2014-15.

Suarez said he would be happy to see Neymar, who is sidelined with an ankle injury, back at Camp Nou.

"I was privileged to fulfil one of the best years of my life as a football player at Barcelona next to the best in the world, Messi, and the second best in the world, Neymar," the Uruguay international told RAC1 on Monday.

"For me, it was one of the best moments I've ever lived, won the treble."

Suarez added: "Who would not want to enjoy players like Ney?

"But he belongs to PSG and these are things that are always talked about during the market."

Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives wanted to avoid falling into a "trap" by discussing a possible return to the club for Neymar.

Neymar, 27, has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, two years after making a world-record €222million switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

But Vives, spokesman for the board of directors, tried to bat away questions about the superstar on Monday.

"It's something we're not going to get into. Now, he is a PSG player and we do not have to talk," he said, via Marca.

"We will not say anything because we will fall into a trap."

Neymar's two seasons at PSG have been hampered by injuries, although he has won two Ligue 1 titles, a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue.

Vives refused to say whether the Brazil international, who spent four seasons at Barca, would be welcomed back.

"We don't leave the door open or closed," he said. "The facts are known. We explained them.

"He's a PSG player and from there we don't talk about Neymar or anyone. It's PSG. We will not do it here."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists the LaLiga champions have not spoken to Antoine Griezmann about a move to Camp Nou.

France star Griezmann appeared destined to join Ernesto Valverde's side after announcing his intention to find a new club after five seasons at Atletico Madrid.

The links went cold amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain until Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin reignited rumours of a done deal.

Gil Marin, in an interview with Movistar, claimed to have known about Griezmann's impending switch to Barca since March.

Bartomeu disputed that account, telling Spanish broadcast RAC1: "There's nothing to announce.

"We've always said the same. We haven't spoken to him. There's nothing to it.

"We'll see how the market changes in the next few days and weeks."

Barca have been quiet in the transfer market since the end of the season, while rivals Real Madrid have invested heavily in Zinedine Zidane's squad.

The Blaugrana cruised to the LaLiga title in 2018-19 but collapsed against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals, a defeat that led to speculation over head coach Valverde's future.

Paul Pogba's tempestuous second stint at Manchester United will end this close season if the France midfielder has his way.

Speaking over the weekend, Pogba stated it was time for a "new challenge", having been linked with a big-money move away from Old Trafford for several months.

The 26-year-old was the most expensive player in football history when he re-joined United from Juventus for £89.3million in 2016.

Despite scoring 31 goals in all competitions over the course of three seasons, Pogba's failure to consistently hit top form for a sustained period has invited regular criticism, while the collapse of his relationship with Jose Mourinho was an unseemly factor towards the end of the Portuguese's ill-fated reign as manager.

Nevertheless, United are reportedly in no hurry to sell and a £150m price tag means only a small selection of the game's elite can consider a move for Pogba. We look at where the 2018 World Cup winner might end up next.

Real Madrid

The Santiago Bernabeu has long been mooted as Pogba's next destination and the appeal of him linking up with France great and Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is an obvious one. Following an underwhelming campaign, club president Florentino Perez has bankrolled a considerable overhaul for Zidane, with Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo all arriving at considerable expense. The coffers are not bottomless and the question is whether Pogba, after his mixed recent seasons, remains the most appealing use of Madrid's remaining funds.

Paris Saint-Germain

Indeed, glances have probably been turned from the Spanish capital and towards the French one by Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi saying star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – along with the rest of the squad – must "work more", adding: "I no longer want to have superstar behaviour," in an interview with France Football. Pogba's detractors would argue such a policy change might rule him out, but PSG are light in central midfield and Al-Khelaifi will be aware of the commercial bounty to be made from bringing one of Les Bleus' 2018 heroes back to his home city. Links between PSG and Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt also suggest the lines of communication between the club and Pogba's agent Mino Raiola are open.

Juventus

Pogba's standing in the eyes of the United faithful has dwindled over recent months and he must long for the esteem in which he was once held in Turin. Four Scudetti in as many seasons preceded his second act in Manchester, although those did come in a talent-stacked midfield alongside the likes of Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio. Juve are approaching a new era under Maurizio Sarri and Pogba would be a statement signing to bolster their Champions League ambitions alongside the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo.

Barcelona

Pogba was widely considered to be on Barcelona's radar in the aftermath of Russia 2018, however that ship appears to have sailed. Arthur adapted impressively to life in LaLiga last term and Frenkie de Jong will arrive on the crest of an Ajax wave. On the other hand, recent speculation linking United with an interest in Barca duo Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho means a lucrative game of musical chairs might not be out of the equation entirely.

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