Amine Harit has committed his future to Schalke by signing a contract extension that runs to June 2024.

The Bundesliga's Rookie of the Season in 2017-18, Harit has displayed fine form this term for a Schalke side that sits fourth in the table, contributing six goals and four assists.

His previous deal was set to expire at the end of next season, and the Morocco international had been linked with a move away from Gelsenkirchen.

"Extending Amine's contract is a great moment for our club," said Schalke's sporting director Jochen Schneider. "He has, of course, attracted the attention of many clubs through his outstanding achievements in recent months.

"During talks about his future, however, it became clear that he knows and appreciates what he has at Schalke 04 and that he feels in good hands with us in every respect."

Head coach David Wagner added: "Amine is one of the many players between 19 and 23 years old with a great deal of potential and represents the sporting future of the club.

"I'm glad that Amine wants to be a part of this group and continue his personal development with us. Over the past six months, he has impressively demonstrated what you can achieve by working hard and consistently pursuing a goal."

Harit hailed Wagner's role in his development, adding: "I do not see my sporting development as having finished and I would like to play European football in the coming years with Schalke."

Steven Gerrard has revealed he is on the brink of signing a contract extension with Rangers.

Rangers appointed Gerrard on a four-year deal in May 2018 and the former Liverpool midfielder led them to second in the Scottish Premiership in his first season in charge.

The 39-year-old missed out on a first piece of silverware in senior management after a controversial 1-0 loss to rivals Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday.

However, Gerrard remains committed to guiding the club back to their previous heights after they were relegated to the Third Division for the 2012-13 season.

"The club approached me probably a week, 10 days ago about a new deal and it's a pretty simple decision as far as I'm concerned," said the Liverpool legend.

"I'm happy here and I'm as hungry and determined to get the good days back here as I ever was, so talks have been pretty straightforward and positive.

"When it's signed and announced you'll have to wait and see."

Gerrard stated official confirmation of renewals for Allan McGregor and Steven Davis could arrive after Rangers take on Young Boys on Thursday with a place in the last 32 of the Europa League on the line. He also hopes to tie down Bournemouth loanee Jermain Defoe beyond this season.

"[Extensions for] Allan McGregor and Steven Davis are imminent. That'll be very close and will probably be announced after Thursday's game. But that's all agreed," said Gerrard.

"They're two players I want around for a year's extension on top of this year.

"Jermain's is a bit different because he's a Bournemouth player until the end of the season but it's a similar situation in the fact that we want him to stay around.

"We'll obviously deal with that as and when we need to."

Manchester United will have no trouble attracting star signings as they remain "the biggest and best club in the world", manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says.

With the transfer window opening in three weeks' time, the Red Devils have been tipped to bolster a squad that has at times been stretched to breaking point this season.

Strikers including Erling Haland and Mario Mandzukic have been linked with moves to Old Trafford, while Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, Leicester City playmaker James Maddison and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez are rumoured longer-term options.

With United fifth in the Premier League and far from certain to return to the Champions League this season, it has been suggested they could struggle to land their priority targets, although recent victories over Tottenham and Manchester City have assuaged some doubts about their progress this season.

It was put to Solskjaer on Thursday that some agents have expressed concern over players joining the United project, but the manager has no such fears.

"You said agents, but I'm sure players would want to be here," he told reporters ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with AZ.

"I don't speak to too many agents. Man United is the biggest and best club in the world and I'm sure there are so many players who would want to be part of the rebuild of Man United. We want to play the type of football our fans and players enjoy."

United had failed to win against Sheffield United, Astana and Aston Villa prior to their impressive victories over Spurs and City, and Solskjaer is now keen for consistency from his young side.

The former striker says it is important for his players to learn how to deliver "when they don't feel like it" if they want to win silverware.

"Consistency is vital in football if you want to win trophies," he said. "This young team need to learn how to put performances in maybe when they don't feel like it, when they don't feel great.

"We've had some games this year where we've not been able to perform as well as we'd like, but that's a learning curve. I'm sure they'll improve on that over the next couple of years and the rest of the season because we've come through a sticky patch."

United face AZ at Old Trafford knowing a draw will be enough to secure top spot in Group L.

Nemanja Matic is expected to return from injury, but Paul Pogba and Diogo Dalot remain unavailable, while Jesse Lingard is a doubt after missing Wednesday's training session with a knock sustained against City.

Everton are set to make the first move for Carlo Ancelotti.

The Toffees will reportedly begin talks with the Italian following his departure from Napoli on Tuesday.

Ancelotti was sacked three hours after a 4-0 win over Genk, which confirmed the Serie A club's place in the Champions League knockout rounds.

 

TOP STORY – EVERTON TO RIVAL ARSENAL FOR ANCELOTTI

Everton will waste no time in opening contract talks with free agent Ancelotti in the wake of his Napoli exit, according to Sky Sports.

Managerless Arsenal are also said to be considering the 60-year-old former Chelsea, Milan and Real Madrid boss as a possible replacement for Unai Emery.

But the Toffees could get the jump on their Premier League rivals after Shanghai SIPG's Vitor Pereira pulled out of the race to succeed Marco Silva, although David Moyes reportedly remains an option to take charge on an interim basis.

Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times as a coach and secured league titles in England, France, Germany and Italy.

ROUND-UP

- Napoli could announce the appointment of Gennaro Gattuso on a short-term contract as soon as Wednesday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Ex-Everton manager Moyes and former Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton are in line to replace Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham if the Hammers lose to Southampton on Saturday, says The Mirror.

- Manchester United are considering Ajax's Donny van de Beek and Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid as they prepare for Paul Pogba's end-of-season exit, reports the Daily Mail.

- The Daily Mail also claims Leicester City have opened contract talks with rumoured Manchester City target Caglar Soyuncu, who has been in good form this season.

- Barcelona have cooled their interest in Lautaro Martinez due to Inter's demand for €100million, according to ESPN.

Frank Lampard has indicated Chelsea will look to sign at least one new attacker in January after having their transfer ban halved.

An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport brought an early end to the original two-window embargo last week, enabling the Blues to become active participants in the transfer market.

An inexperienced squad reached the Champions League last 16 with Tuesday's 2-1 home win over Lille and could now be reinforced.

Chelsea scored 11 times in their six Group H games and have notched a further 31 goals in the Premier League, but head coach Lampard outlined plans to seek a replacement for Eden Hazard.

"I think it will be a bit fluid," Lampard told BT Sport after beating Lille at Stamford Bridge.

"There will be discussions that go on from now about where we can strengthen, because of course with Eden leaving we lost a lot of goals, a lot of creation in his particular position.

"What I'm talking about today is that we missed some chances and I think we can probably look at strengthening and pushing and getting maybe more competition in those areas."

First-half goals from Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta confirmed the club's progression in Europe, although the result was made narrower than it should have been by Loic Remy's belated response in the 78th minute.

The Blues, who finished second in the group behind Valencia, would have slipped into the Europa League had Lille pinched a late equaliser.

Lampard said: "With the youth, we understand those bumps in the road will come, whether individually or collectively.

"I push them a lot, I'm quite tough with them, and I want them to work and improve. But at the same time, you do have to be a bit patient. That's where the balance of the team and the squad is important – the older, more experienced players do help them.

"We have got a good balance but I think today was a strong sign of how much work we have to do. It should have been a game that was finished much earlier.

"It's been a little bit the story of our season at times and that's the biggest thing, for me, we need to improve."

With Neymar's future far from certain, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly planning for life without the star forward.

Neymar appears to covet a Barcelona reunion, after leaving the LaLiga champions two years ago.

Should Neymar's wish be granted, an African sensation lighting up Anfield is said to be on the agenda.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR OUT, MANE IN

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want Liverpool star Sadio Mane to replace Neymar, report France Football and Mundo Deportivo.

PSG star Neymar wanted to leave Paris during the previous transfer window, but a proposed return to Barcelona did not materialise.

Doubts remain over Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222million transfer in 2017 – and the French powerhouse are said to have identified Mane should the Brazilian depart the capital.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Calciomercato, Napoli have agreed a deal for former Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso to replace head coach Carlo Ancelotti. It comes with Ancelotti on the brink amid a nine-match winless streak ahead of Tuesday's crucial Champions League clash against Genk.

Manchester City are set to rival Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake, says Sky Sports. Chelsea want to bring Ake back to Stamford Bridge following his exit in 2017. However, Premier League champions City are reportedly interested amid their defensive woes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been offered an 18-month contract by Napoli, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 38-year-old is a free agent after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy and he has been linked to Milan and Inter.

- Sport claims Inter want to sign either Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal from Barcelona in January. Antonio Conte is determined to bolster his squad as Inter challenge for Scudetto honours and juggle Champions League commitments. Rakitic has also been linked to Serie A holders Juventus.

Everton hope to have Vitor Pereira installed as manager for Sunday's Premier League fixture at Manchester United, according to Sky Sports. After sacking Marco Silva, the Toffees are ready to offer the Shanghai SIPG coach a three-year deal. It comes as Sky Sports also reports former Arsenal boss Unai Emery was approached about the Everton job.

- The Mirror says Manchester United are ready to show their faith in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by backing him in moves for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez and Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland. The spotlight was on Solskjaer following a poor run of form and Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham exit. However, the Norwegian has overseen consecutive victories over Tottenham and Manchester City.

Bayern Munich and Manchester City are monitoring the progress of Rangers teenager Kai Kennedy, says the Daily Record.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said Lautaro Martinez is a "great player" as the Inter star continues to be linked with the LaLiga champions.

Inter forward Martinez has reportedly emerged as a top target for Barca, who are looking to identify a long-term heir for the aging Luis Suarez.

Martinez has scored 13 goals across all competitions this season, including a goal away to Barca in the Champions League on October 2.

The 22-year-old Argentina international will come up against Barca again when Inter welcome the Spanish giants to Milan on Tuesday, in a battle of first against second in Group F on the final matchday.

Asked about Martinez on the eve of the clash, Valverde – whose Barca have already qualified for the last 16 – told reporters: "He is a great player and he's having a great season. He is quick and strong.

"He scored a great goal in the first game at the Camp Nou. I know he is comfortable with [Romelu] Lukaku, they’ve found the right mechanism to help Inter.

"As for Lautaro being similar to Luis Suarez, they are a little different but both are born goalscorers.

"But Inter have so many good players, Lautaro, Lukaku, [Milan] Skriniar…"

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be joining Bologna, according to the club's director Walter Sabatini.

Ibrahimovic had been linked with a return to Serie A via Bologna after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.

But the 38-year-old striker will not be moving to Bologna amid speculation over a switch to either Napoli or former club Milan.

"Ibrahimovic will not be coming to Bologna. He has made other choices," Sabatini told Tuttomercatoweb.

A return to Milan has been mooted for Ibrahimovic, who won the 2011 Scudetto during his two years at San Siro.

Italian rivals Napoli, however, have reportedly offered the ex-Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain star an 18-month contract.

Asked about Ibrahimovic on the eve of Napoli's Champions League clash with Genk, head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters on Monday: "I haven't spoken to Ibra today but I did yesterday [Sunday] evening."

"He told me he is in Los Angeles at the moment," added Ancelotti. "He feels really good and weather conditions are just perfect there."

Erling Haaland is not finding it difficult to deal with the transfer speculation that has unsurprisingly followed his remarkable run of goalscoring form.

The teenage Salzburg striker is enjoying an excellent campaign and has scored eight goals in five Champions League games to go with 16 in 14 in the Austrian Bundesliga.

Should Haaland score against Liverpool on Tuesday in their Group E finale, in which Salzburg could knock out the holders, he will become the first player to score in his first six Champions League matches.

Manchester United – managed by Haaland's former Molde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – have been heavily linked with a move for the 19-year-old, while Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool have also been credited with interest in his services.

Haaland, however, has little interest in such rumours.

"I just focus on my job, playing football, and to enjoy what I do every day and to go in with a clear mindset, to be in the present, and enjoy the moment right now," he told a media conference.

"That's my focus, to focus on Salzburg and me as a player. So, it's not hard at all [dealing with transfer speculation]. I'm enjoying every day and playing football."

Barcelona "cannot afford" to let unsettled midfielder Arturo Vidal leave the club in January, according to president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Vidal has started just four of Barca's 20 matches this season and last month vowed to quit the Spanish champions next year if he is not made to "feel important".

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has opened the door for the Chile international to find a new team, with Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta recently hinting his side are interested.

However, Bartomeu is expecting Vidal - a reported €18million signing from Bayern Munich in August 2018 - to remain at Camp Nou until at least the end of the season.

"No movement is expected in January," he told La Repubblica. "We have a balanced squad - we don't lack anything, but we also cannot afford to lose someone. 

"Several times before a player has showed a willingness to leave, but never in January. In some cases we have let them go, on other occasions we have convinced them to stay."

Barcelona travel to Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday with top spot already assured in Group F, while the Italians need to match Borussia Dortmund's result against Slavia Prague.

Lautaro Martinez has been in fine form for the Serie A leaders this season, leading to reports he is on Barca's radar, but Bartomeu was unwilling to comment on the speculation.

"This is a trap question," he said. "What I can say is that Inter are playing very well and he is not the only player who has impressed me. It is no coincidence that Inter are top of Serie A."

Erling Haaland is sought after across Europe and it seems Juventus have made the first move.

Haaland, 19, has already scored 28 goals in 21 games for Salzburg this season, including eight in the Champions League.

The Norway forward is attracting interest from the world's biggest clubs and Juventus are not prepared to wait around.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS OFFER HAALAND €3M PER SEASON

Juventus have offered Haaland €3million per season, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Haaland has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund among others.

Juve may be looking to add some youth to their attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo (34) and Gonzalo Higuain (31) in their 30s and Mario Mandzukic (33) out of favour.

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal are still looking for a replacement for Unai Emery. Former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac wants the job, according to Goal, while the Daily Express reports there is a tug of war between the Premier League club and Manchester City over Mikel Arteta, who is an assistant at the Etihad Stadium.

- A 1-1 draw at Udinese on Saturday left Napoli winless in nine matches, further increasing the pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti. CalcioMercato reports a lack of good options to replace Ancelotti have bought the Italian more time, but Napoli must beat Genk in the Champions League on Tuesday.

- At Everton, Shanghai SIPG coach Vitor Pereira is the favourite to be named Marco Silva's successor, according to the Daily Mail. David Moyes and Eddie Howe are reportedly the other leading candidates.

- Chris Smalling has impressed while on loan at Roma. Now, Inter and Juventus have joined Roma in wanting to sign the defender permanently from Manchester United, according to Sport Witness.

- Seemingly no longer in Chelsea's plans, Pedro could be set to leave Stamford Bridge. The Daily Mail reports Aston Villa are ready to offer the Spanish forward a way out of the club.

- Inter are interested in Parma midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, who is on loan from Atalanta, according to CalcioMercato.

Ivan Rakitic called Barcelona "the perfect place for me" after starting his third successive game in the 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday.

The Croatia international, 31, appeared destined for the exit door having grown frustrated at a lack of opportunities this season.

He had started just once - in the September loss to Granada - before being given the nod against Borussia Dortmund on November 27.

After impressing in a 3-1 Champions League win, Rakitic kept his place for the LaLiga victories over Atletico Madrid and Mallorca.

Rakitic joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014 and has won four league titles and the Copa del Rey on four occasions too, and he has no intention of leaving if he continues to be a first-team regular.

"Lots of things have happened in the last few months," Rakitic said.

"Sometimes, things happen that you can't understand, but you have to accept it.

"It's happened to me. No one gives you anything.

"I want to give my all and if I can play here then I've always said that there's no better place than Barcelona to keep winning trophies, it's the perfect place for me.

"I want to enjoy myself and try to help the team improve. I'm giving my best and if it can be like it has been in the last few games then that's even better.

"I'm here to play and take advantage of the minutes I get to earn the trust of the coach and my team-mates.

"I'm prepared for anything."

Rumoured Milan, Napoli and Bologna target Zlatan Ibrahimovic would "increase the appeal" of Serie A, according to Mino Raiola, though his agent insisted a return to Italy is not a foregone conclusion.

Ibrahimovic is a free agent after leaving LA Galaxy following two seasons in MLS, and the former Juventus, Inter and Milan striker hinted he was heading back to Serie A when he said "see you soon in Italy" earlier this week.

However, Ibrahimovic's agent stressed his client could still join a club in another country

"It's not been said that he will necessarily return to Italy," Raiola told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Which of the three interested clubs will he choose? Who knows, we're all free men.

"Could he retire? I'm not going to exclude anything but it is very unlikely. Ibra is still very well."

I came, I saw, I conquered. Thank you @lagalaxy for making me feel alive again. To the Galaxy fans - you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues...Now go back to watch baseball pic.twitter.com/kkL6B6dJBr

— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2019

The 38-year-old Swede certainly helped enhance MLS during his two years Stateside, and Raiola feels he would have a similar impact in Italy, should that be his chosen destination.

"Certainly if he returned, the appeal of Serie A would increase, both technically and on television," Raiola added.

"How many countries would turn on the TV every weekend?"

Ibrahimovic spent two seasons with Juventus, three campaigns with Inter and two years with Milan, scoring a combined 122 goals across 219 appearances.

He was part of title-winning teams with all three clubs, though Juventus' two championships in that time were later revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal.

Frank Lampard is not yet thinking about freshening up his squad in January despite a chastening 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

Everton were led by caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson for the first time, with the Scot taking the reins from Marco Silva following his dismissal two days ago.

The former Everton striker inspired the Toffees to get back to winning ways, with Richarlison opening the scoring and Dominic Calvert-Lewin getting a brace either side of Mateo Kovacic's strike.

Chelsea's performance, particularly defensively, laid bare some of the issues in their squad, with centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen particularly poor.

But, following Chelsea's transfer ban coming to an end on Friday after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against apparent breaches, Lampard does not feel purchases are needed yet, even though the Blues have lost three of their past four in the Premier League.

"Not yet," Lampard told reporters when asked if he now thinks a January refresh is required.

"Work [is required]," he continued. "We had it nice, we were winning games. This is the Premier League. We went to [Manchester] City, played pretty well, lost the game.

"But then the two games since then are signs of where we need to get better. We have played two teams who have been having a tough time and we have allowed the games to go away from us for different reasons and they will be big lessons for us."

Defeat means Chelsea could finish the weekend just three points ahead of fifth-placed Wolves, if they beat Brighton and Hove Albion away on Sunday.

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