Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag says his side needs to "play smarter" despite a resounding 3-0 win over Lille to open their 2019-20 Champions League campaign.

Last season's beaten semi-finalists were largely in dominant mood against their Ligue 1 opponents. Quincy Promes headed them into an 18th-minute lead before Edson Alvarez scored his first goal for the club five minutes after the interval.

Nicolas Tagliafico added a third with a thumping header after 62 minutes but Lille did carve out a number of golden opportunities over the course of the 90 minutes.

While Ten Hag was delighted to start their Group H campaign with a win, he did urge his side to sharpen up.

"My players have an enormous urge to push forward," he told Ziggo. "We have many players who want to get to the goal quickly but there are times when you have to brake and keep the ball longer. 

"Otherwise, you make the opponent stronger. From an organisational point of view, we have to play smarter.

"We sometimes want way too much and that made it an open game. We talked about it in advance because Lille are a powerful side. We want to give a final pass too quickly instead of holding the ball."

Lille coach Christophe Galtier, meanwhile, was left to rue his side's missed chances and pointed to Ajax's ruthlessness as the only difference between the two teams.

"We played as we wanted to play," he said.

"We wanted to be dangerous. The difference came in being clinical in the penalty areas. They were, and we weren't. The man of the match was the Ajax goalkeeper, which shows we created chances.

"But at this level, you have to put them away and punish your opponents. We didn't do that."

Last season's beaten semi-finalists Ajax opened their 2019-20 Champions League campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Lille on Tuesday.

Erik ten Hag's side – who were denied a place in the final by Tottenham last term – were in dominant mood against their Ligue 1 opponents and looked well placed to claim all three points from the outset in Amsterdam.

Quincy Promes headed them into an 18th-minute lead before Edson Alvarez scored his first goal for the club five minutes after the interval.

Nicolas Tagliafico added a third with a thumping header after 62 minutes as the Dutch champions stormed into pole position in Group H.

Ajax started on the front foot and went agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 14th minute, Hakim Ziyech's thunderous half-volley crashing back off Mike Maignan's right-hand post.

They did not have to wait long to go ahead, though, as an unmarked Promes met Tagliafico's deep cross with a powerful header just four minutes later.

Lille responded well to that early setback and should have pulled level moments before the interval. Jonathan Bamba picked out Jonathan Ikone after a surging run down the left but Andre Onana got down well to keep out his low effort, with Victor Osimhen hooking the rebound over the crossbar.

The hosts looked sharp at the start of the second period, Ziyech testing Maignan low down to his left with a fierce drive.

Their positive approach was rewarded in the 50th minute when David Neres slid Alvarez in down the right after a flowing team move and the Mexican superbly lifted a shot across the Lille goalkeeper from a tight angle to double their advantage. 

Tagliafico ensured there would be no dramatic comeback from Lille when he made it 3-0 shortly after the hour mark, superbly heading home Ziyech's outswinging corner.

Yusuf Yazici crashed an effort against the post late on as Lille tried in vain to restore some respectability to a scoreline that did not flatter the hosts.
 

What does it mean? Ajax move on from high-profile departures

They might have lost talented youngsters Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong during the close season, but Ajax look well poised to enjoy another fruitful Champions League campaign. In Ziyech and Neres, they have two of the most exciting wide men in the tournament, who will surely give better defences that Lille's trouble this season.

Ziyech continues to sparkle

Only Lionel Messi created more 'big chances' than Ziyech in last season's competition and on this evidence, it is not hard to see why. The Moroccan was outstanding and can consider himself lucky not to have got on the scoresheet.

Osimhen's misses haunt Lille

The French side were comfortably the inferior team but they might permit themselves to wonder what might have been had the Nigeria international taken either of the chances that fell to him. As it was, he squandered both and was duly punished by a ruthless Ajax side.

What's next?

Ajax return to Eredivisie action on Sunday against rivals PSV with their next Champions League match against Valencia on October 2. Lille, meanwhile, face Rennes in Ligue 1 at the weekend before hosting Chelsea in matchweek two.

Ajax will miss Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt but have not been deflated by the dual departures, according to Dusan Tadic.

The Dutch champions parted with their two brightest stars during the close season as midfielder De Jong moved to Barcelona and defender De Ligt joined Juventus.

The pair had been instrumental in Ajax's stunning run to the Champions League semi-finals, starting 17 games apiece.

Erik ten Hag's men return to European action against Ligue 1 side Lille on Tuesday and winger Tadic believes success on the continent remains within reach.

"We were not sad De Jong and De Ligt left," Tadic told the Telegraph.

"We will miss them, but it's the next step for them and Ajax likes to support their players who feel the time is right to move on.

"They have both gone to big clubs, nobody was surprised. The nice thing is, there were a lot of other players who could have left and decided to stay because they are having their best days here. This is important.

"It will be harder without those two, but not impossible. We still have a good team, we can still win trophies, we can still do well in Europe and there are more young players coming through who will make their impact.

"Ajax have sold big players before, that is the way of life for us, so it is up to the young players to stand up and take more responsibility.

"They will have a chance, there are so many of them coming through."

Tadic was another hugely important figure in Ajax's superb 2018-19 season, the Serbia international scoring 38 goals.

His performances justified the Eredivisie club's decision to break with their tradition of focusing investment on young prospects and Tadic's own choice to leave the Premier League.

"I was 29 when I left for Ajax and I can confidently say I made the right decision," he said.

"It is easier to show my true self for Ajax, it was harder at Southampton. I stopped enjoying it. I wanted to come to Ajax and I have enjoyed every minute."

Lionel Messi has his sights on a record set by Real Madrid great Raul when Barcelona face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, as the Champions League proper gets started for the 2019-20 season.

Barca's talisman is back in their squad for the trip to Germany after missing the start of the campaign with a calf injury and, while he is unlikely to start, few would bet against him having a decisive impact if he does make an appearance.

Reigning champions Liverpool begin their title defence at Napoli in what will surely prove to be a tricky test, although Sadio Mane will be aiming to equal a record set by Didier Drogba.

There will also be Champions League bows in the dugout for Frank Lampard and Sylvinho.

Below, we examine the key data for Tuesday's encounters...

Salzburg v Genk

0 - Salzburg have not lost any of their last 18 home matches in European competition (W14 D4 – including qualifiers), with their most recent defeat at home coming in October 2016 against Nice in the Europa League.

1 - Genk forward Mbwana Samatta scored nine goals in 12 appearances in European competition last season and he also finished with 23 goals in the Belgian top flight in 2018-19. Should he play in this match, he will be the first Tanzanian player to make an appearance in the Champions League.

 

Napoli v Liverpool

5 - Napoli have won just one of their past six European meetings with English clubs, losing the other five in this run and failing to score in the most recent three. That one victory was against Liverpool last season, though.

15 - Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals in 24 Champions League appearances. Should he score in his next outing, he will equal Didier Drogba's record of needing just 25 appearances to score his first 15 goals in the competition, a record for any African player.

 

Inter v Slavia Prague

20 - Inter will be making their 20th appearance in the Champions League/European Cup – only Juventus (34) and AC Milan (28) have had more among Italian sides (including 2019-20).

24 - Inter forward Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 24 goals (12 goals, 12 assists) in his 52 Champions League appearances, but none of these involvements came in six games in the competition for Manchester United, the club he left on loan last month.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Barcelona

33 - Lionel Messi has scored against 32 of the 37 different opponents he has faced in the Champions League. Should he score against Dortmund, the Barcelona star will equal the competition's record for different teams scored against, set by Raul (33 clubs).

2 - Borussia Dortmund have won just two of their past eight Champions League home matches (D2 L4), losing their most recent match 1-0 against Tottenham in the last 16 in 2018-19.

 

Lyon v Zenit

1 - Lyon boss Sylvinho will manage in the Champions League for the first time, also becoming the first non-Frenchman to take charge of the club in Europe's elite competition. The Brazilian made 32 Champions League appearances as a player for Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Arsenal, scoring three goals.

58 - Zenit captain Branislav Ivanovic could make his first Champions League appearance since March 2016 (for Chelsea) in this match. He has made 58 appearances in the competition; only Dejan Stankovic (87) and Predrag Djordjevic (62) have made more among Serbian players.

 

Benfica v RB Leipzig

10 - Benfica are Portugal's sole representative in the 2019-20 Champions League, making it the first time in a decade that there is only one Portuguese club in the competition.

3 - Timo Werner scored three goals from just seven shots on target in the Champions League back in 2017-18, more than any other RB Leipzig player. He went on to net seven times in European competition that term, the highest total by an RB Leipzig player in a single season.

 

Ajax v Lille

6 - Ajax won six games in the 2018-19 Champions League, as many as they did in their previous four participations in the competition.

11 - Including qualifiers, Lille have not won any of their past 11 European matches in all competitions (D6 L5) and scored only five goals in these games.

 

Chelsea v Valencia

102 - Frank Lampard will take charge of a Champions League game for the first time in his managerial career. As a Chelsea player, he made 102 appearances in the competition and is one of only 22 players to have played 100 games or more in the tournament with the same club.

2 - Valencia have reached the Champions League in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-13 (three in a row), which was also the last time they made it to the knockout stages of the competition, before being beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.

Ajax chief executive officer Edwin van der Sar has rejected speculation linking him with a return to Manchester United.

The former United goalkeeper is reportedly a target for the Premier League club as they seek to appoint their first sporting director.

United have struggled in the transfer market since the 2013 retirement of managerial great Alex Ferguson, under whom Van der Sar played.

Van der Sar has helped mastermind stunning success for Ajax, who won the domestic double last term as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

But a move back to the Premier League does not appear to be on the cards for the 48-year-old, who was asked about the links to United after playing in Vincent Kompany's Manchester City testimonial on Wednesday.

"No, I'm focused on my job as chief executive at Ajax," Van der Sar told reporters.

"We had a fantastic year in Europe last year, also won the league in Holland.

"We want Ajax at a higher European level and making sure we get back to the elite. That's what we're working on.

"I'm enjoying my time at Ajax. We touched the top level last year and we have to make sure we have the best opportunity to stay there."

United have only won one of their opening four Premier League matches this season following a 1-1 draw at Southampton prior to the international break.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United welcome unbeaten Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Christian Eriksen – the name that will not go away, even with the transfer window closed.

Eriksen wanted to leave Tottenham for a new challenge as Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter reportedly circled.

A move did not materialise, much to his disappointment, but a transfer could be on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID LOOK TO ERIKSEN AMID POGBA DOUBTS

Sky Sports News claims Real Madrid will make a move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen at the end of the season if Paul Pogba extends his Manchester United deal.

Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to reinforce his midfield, with Tottenham's Eriksen, Pogba and Ajax sensation Donny van de Beek linked to the Santiago Bernabeu.

While Los Blancos remain keen on Pogba, they are eyeing a move for Eriksen – whose contract expires at the end of the campaign.

 

ROUND-UP:

- According to Tuttosport, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham are set to go head-to-head for Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala in January. Both clubs were reportedly interested in signing Dybala prior to the transfer deadline, and with Dybala set to struggle for regular game time PSG and Spurs are poised to fight it out.

- Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is close to finally signing a new £290,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford, claims The Guardian.

Inter are keeping tabs on Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze, says Welt. Gotze is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations over a new deal are reportedly not progressing.

- The Serie A side, meanwhile, will not sell star defender Milan Skriniar in January. That is according to Tuttosport amid growing speculation Manchester City are targeting the Inter centre-back.

- According to Sky Sports News, Wolves are still interested in signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie. Wolves tried to prise Kessie from Milan before the transfer window shut, but the 22-year-old knocked back the move.

Arsenal could make another attempt to sign Belgium international Yannick Carrasco from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, reports The Sun. The Gunners have long been linked with Carrasco and Dalian's supposed interest in Napoli star Dries Mertens could make a deal possible.

Lionel Messi's Barcelona contract is making headlines.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed Messi has a get-out clause in his deal.

Now, a move across the pond could be on the cards for the Argentina superstar…

 

TOP STORY – MESSI CONSIDERING MLS

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi could leave Camp Nou for MLS, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Messi has an annual exit option in his deal and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner could swap Spain for the United States.

It comes as the Catalan giants look to offer Messi – who has been linked to David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise – a lifetime contract.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is set to sign a new contract, reports Il Messaggero. The Serbia international midfielder – contracted until 2023 – was linked to Manchester United, Inter, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window. However, Lazio are looking to include a release clause of at least €100million.

- Tuttosport, meanwhile, says Inter are targeting Milinkovic-Savic and Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa.

- According to AS, Real Madrid are lining up Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for the 2020-21 season. Van de Beek was heavily linked to Madrid prior to the transfer deadline but a move did not materialise.

Manchester City continue to be linked to Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar. Tuttosport says Pep Guardiola wants to sign the star defender in January following Aymeric Laporte's knee injury.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Dries Mertens could move to China, Belgium or the USA on a free transfer when his Napoli contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to the Daily Star, Adidas played a crucial role in keeping Paul Pogba at Manchester United. Reports linked Pogba to Real Madrid and Juventus but the Frenchman remained at Old Trafford.

Europe's transfer window closed on Monday evening and the continent's top clubs avoided the temptation of breaking the bank for last-minute deals.

Most had their business all wrapped up comfortably before the deadline, while the widely floated return of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona sank in the Seine.

But it was a transfer window in which there was plenty of lavish spending, and it was a familiar crop of clubs doing the biggest deals.

Here is a look at the most expensive signings made by European clubs during the window - including two of the world's most talented youngsters.

Matthijs de Ligt - Ajax to Juventus

This Dutch prodigy was a huge hit in the Champions League and Eredivisie for Ajax last season, and the powerful centre-back captained the Amsterdam giants before he was inevitably courted by Europe's leading clubs. Juventus won the battle for his signature, with De Ligt, who was 19 at the time of the move, making a €75million leap to Serie A, signing a contract until 2024. He turned 20 in August.

Nicolas Pepe - Lille to Arsenal

Arsenal were often accused of over-cautious frugality during Arsene Wenger's reign as manager, but the club backed Unai Emery with a big-money move for Lille's exciting forward Nicolas Pepe, who arrived at Emirates Stadium in a £72m deal. He was brought in to give Arsenal a fearsome forward line, teaming up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Romelu Lukaku - Manchester United to Inter

Red Rom reached the end of the line at Manchester United, where it was becoming increasingly obvious he would not be a preferred pick of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But United got back almost all their money for the former Everton frontman when they sold him on to Inter for a fee understood to be €80m.

Lucas Hernandez - Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich

Bayern had this deal in the bag before last season ended, announcing the €80m signing way back in March. Hernandez arrived at the Allianz Arena from Atletico at the campaign's end, and after recovering from knee surgery the 23-year-old made his debut on the second weekend of the new Bundesliga season. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic described Hernandez as "one of the best defenders in the world".

Harry Maguire - Leicester City to Manchester United

Jose Mourinho wanted him 12 months earlier, but Manchester United finally landed Maguire from Leicester City in an £80m deal, making him the world's most expensive defender. Maguire was a standout performer for England at the 2018 World Cup and has come a long way since his days at Sheffield United and Hull City, with a six-year contract at United showing the club see him as a cornerstone figure for the new Solskjaer era.

Eden Hazard - Chelsea to Real Madrid

Hazard had made no secret of his wish to join Real Madrid, and the Belgian's ambition was realised when Zinedine Zidane came calling during the close season. After seven years at Chelsea, Hazard moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for an initial fee of around €100m - with the possibility of more cash to follow in add-ons. Injury has prevented Hazard making an early impact in LaLiga.

Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid to Barcelona

A year on from winning the World Cup with France, Griezmann swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in one of the most contentious moves of the European summer. Barcelona coughed up €120m  to release Griezmann from his contract, infuriating Atletico who claimed talks had been taking place behind their back, at a time when the player had a higher buy-out clause, and demanded a higher fee be paid. Once he - and the dust - settles at Camp Nou, Griezmann has what it takes to be a big hit.

Joao Felix - Benfica to Atletico Madrid

With Griezmann on his way, Atletico made sure they would have a top-class replacement by reinvesting in Benfica's star teenage forward Joao Felix. The 19-year-old cost the Rojiblancos €126m, immediately inherited Griezmann's number seven shirt, and his prodigious talent is already winning plenty of admirers in Spain.

Champions League holders Liverpool have learned their opponents for the 2019-20 group stage, with Jurgen Klopp's side facing Napoli again.

The Reds were placed in Group B, which also includes Salzburg and Genk, when Thursday's draw was made in Monaco.

Inter's return to the Champions League saw them placed along with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in a daunting Group F, which also includes Slavia Prague.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's bid to recapture their crown will see Zinedine Zidane's men take on Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Club Brugge and Galatasaray.

Champions League group stage draw in full:

Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade

Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo, Atalanta

Group D: Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk

Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter, Slavia Prague

Group G: Zenit, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille

Holders Liverpool have been drawn with Napoli in the Champions League group stages, while Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid and PSG will also meet Club Brugge and Galatasaray in Group A, with the action set to get underway on September 17 and 18, while the final will be played in Istanbul on May 30.

Liverpool's attempt to defend their title will see Jurgen Klopp's Reds come up against Napoli, Salzburg and Genk in Group E.

Meanwhile, beaten finalists Tottenham are in Group B with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, as well as Greek giants Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade.

The strongest group is arguably F, where Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Antonio Conte's Inter are joined by Slavia Prague.

Perhaps the most open is Group G,where Russian champions Zenit are in with Benfica, Lyon and RB Leipzig.

Juventus take on Atletico Madrid in a repeat of last season's quarter-final in Group D, where Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow were also placed.

Manchester City, among the favourites for the tournament, take on familiar foes in the form of Shakhtar Donetsk, along with Dinamo Zagreb and tournament debutants Atalanta.

Europa League winners Chelsea meet last term's semi-finalists Ajax in Group H, with those sides meeting in European competition for the first time. Valencia and Lille complete that section.

UEFA has confirmed the seedings for Thursday's Champions League draw with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund all in pot two.

Champions League holders Liverpool are in the top pot along with fellow Premier League sides Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as league winners Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Zenit complete the pot one line-up as the Russian Premier League champions are designated by UEFA to be given a place among the other top seeds.

That means last season's beaten finalists Tottenham go into pot two with the two Madrid clubs, as well as Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica and Ajax – the 2018-19 semi-finalists who beat APOEL in the play-off round to secure qualification.

Club Brugge and Slavia Prague also came through the play-off round on Wednesday and they have been placed in the third and fourth pots respectively.

The draw will be made at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, with the group stage set to get under way in mid-September while this season's final is scheduled for May 30 in Istanbul.

Pot one: Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit

Pot two: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Tottenham, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax, Benfica

Pot three: Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Salzburg, Olympiacos, Club Brugge, Dinamo Zagreb, Inter, Valencia

Pot four: Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Red Star Belgrade, RB Leipzig, Lille, Atalanta, Slavia Prague, Galatasaray

Ajax have qualified for the group stage of the Champions League after beating APOEL 2-0 on aggregate in the play-off round.

Edson Alvarez's close-range header set up a 2-0 victory on Wednesday at Johan Cruijff Arena and captain Dusan Tadic made sure with a fine goal 10 minutes from full-time.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had a goal ruled out for offside after a VAR check at 1-0, while moments later Andrija Pavlovic was denied an equaliser by the assistant's flag at the other end.

Ajax, semi-finalists last season under Erik ten Hag, knocked out PAOK to reach the play-off round and the Eredivisie champions will learn their fate in Thursday's group stage draw.

Slavia Prague are also in the hat after a second 1-0 victory in their tie against Cluj, Jan Boril scoring a second-half winner for the Czech champions.

Club Brugge complete the line-up after qualifying via a 3-1 aggregate win over Austrian side LASK, who had captain Gernot Trauner sent off in a 2-1 loss on Wednesday.

Goals from Hans Vanaken and Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis either side of a Klauss penalty sent the Belgian team through.

Teenage Ajax full-back Sergino Dest has been included in the United States' 26-man squad for friendlies with Mexico and Uruguay in September.

The Netherlands-born 18-year-old was part of the USA team that reached the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup in June and has made his first-team breakthrough at Ajax this season.

Dest is comfortable playing on either side of defence and is the third player born this millennium to be called up by his national side, following Josh Sargent and Tim Weah.

"I've been really intrigued with how he's been playing in Ajax," head coach Gregg Berhalter said at a news conference on Wednesday. 

"I really like how he interprets it. In terms of will he play on the right or the left, it's something that we're going to work through in camp. But we're open to him playing on either side."

Fellow youngster Paxton Pomykal, 19, is also part of Berhalter's squad after featuring regularly for Dallas in MLS this year.

USA included 10 players from side that lost to Mexico in the 2019 Gold Cup final, with Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen among those to retain their places.

There is a recall for Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan, meanwhile, returning to fold after a near year-long absence.


USA squad:

Jesse Gonzalez (Dallas), Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf); John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Dallas), Sergino Dest (Ajax), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Tim Ream (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles FC); Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Paxton Pomykal (Dallas), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes); Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew).

Alexis Sanchez and his horror spell at Manchester United looks set to be coming to an end.

Sanchez, who left Udinese for Barcelona in 2011, is reportedly poised to return to Serie A.

And his Italy comeback will see him reunite with a former Manchester United team-mate in Milan.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHEZ SET TO END UNITED NIGHTMARE

Inter have agreed a deal to sign Manchester United misfit Alexis Sanchez, according to widespread reports.

Sky Sport Italia, BBC Sport and Sportitalia report a season-long loan deal has been agreed, which does not include an option to buy.

Sanchez has endured a miserable spell at Old Trafford, where injuries and form issues have limited the Chilean to just five goals since arriving from Arsenal in January 2018, and he is set to reunite with Romelu Lukaku at Inter.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are optimistic Paris Saint-Germain will accept a proposal for wantaway superstar Neymar, according to Mundo Deportivo and reports in Spain. Barca and PSG held meetings in Paris on Tuesday. Le Parisien reports Barca offered €170million which would be paid in two instalments. Ousmane Dembele's name was also believed to be included in discussions.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane only wants Manchester United star Paul Pogba. That is according to Marca, as Ajax's Donny van de Beek and Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen wait in the wings.

- According to Tuttosport, Juventus have not given up on signing Inter outcast Mauro Icardi. The former Inter captain is not wanted by Antonio Conte or the club and while the Nerazzurri are reluctant to sell to Juve, the Serie A champions are waiting.

- AC Milan remain in pursuit of Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Correa wants to move to San Siro, however, a deal is yet to be reached. If Milan are unable to sign the attacker, they are reportedly set to turn to Gremio star Everton.

- According to FCInter1908, Inter are expected to sell Gabriel Barbosa to Brazilian side Flamengo. Gianluca Di Marzio says Gabigol will join Flamengo permanently in an €18m deal. The 22-year-old forward moved to Inter in 2016 but struggled to settle before spending time on loan at Benfica and former club Santos.

PSG are interested in signing Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. The Croatia international has been linked to Manchester United in the past.

- Roma's Patrik Schick is close to accepting a move to RB Leipzig on loan. Goal.com reports the Bundesliga side have an option to purchase the forward for a fee in the region of €28m at the end of the loan deal. With Schick poised to depart, Roma have now been linked to Atletico Madrid veteran Nikola Kalinic.

- Napoli winger Adam Ounas has agreed to join Ligue 1 outfit Nice on loan. Gianluca Di Marzio's website says Nice have a €25m option to buy the 22-year-old, who left Bordeaux for Napoli in 2017.

Page 1 of 27
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.