Barcelona and Juventus are getting close to an incredible exchange deal.

Miralem Pjanic has continued to be linked with a move to Camp Nou, although there has been uncertainty over how, and if, Barcelona could get a transfer done.

It seems they are on the verge of sealing a deal for the midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, JUVENTUS CLOSE TO AGREEING EXCHANGE DEAL

Barcelona and Juventus are close to agreeing an exchange deal involving four players, according to Sport.

It says Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio will join Barca, with Jean-Clair Todibo – who is on loan at Schalke this season – and Arturo Vidal or Ivan Rakitic heading to Turin.

Barcelona have also been linked with moves for Inter star Lautaro Martinez and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar.

ROUND-UP

- Kingsley Coman is wanted by three of Europe's biggest clubs. Sky reports Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City are interested in the Bayern Munich attacker.

- Linked with a move away from Tottenham, Tanguy Ndombele may be going nowhere. The Mirror says Spurs will not allow the midfielder, reportedly a target for Barcelona, to leave this close season.

- Another Spurs player, however, could leave. Tottenham defender Juan Foyth, who is contracted at the club until 2022, is being eyed by Barca, according to the Mirror.

- It seems Angel Gomes is leaving Manchester United. The Mirror claims Chelsea feel they are close to landing the midfielder, whose deal at Old Trafford expires at the end of June.

- Real Betis and Portugal midfielder William Carvalho is drawing plenty of attention. Diario de Sevilla reports Wolves are the latest club to join the race for Carvalho, who has been linked to Tottenham, Monaco, Leicester City and Watford previously.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp prefers Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo, even though he said the Juventus star was close to a "perfect player".

Barcelona great Messi and Ronaldo are widely considered two of the greatest players of all-time, although just who is better continues to be debated.

While Klopp prefers Messi, the German paid tribute to both for their era of dominance, which has seen them win 11 of the past 12 Ballons d'Or.

Klopp lauded Ronaldo's physical build, but said Messi was able to produce his magic while making it look so easy.

"For me Messi, but I couldn't admire Ronaldo more than I do already," he told YouTube channel freekickerz.

"The explanation is the following. We've played against both already and both are almost impossible to defend.

"But Messi has much lower physical requirements from birth on. If you could paint yourself a perfect player, it would have Ronaldo's height, he could jump and run as high or quick as Ronaldo can do. And what is then even added to that is his total attitude, it is absolutely perfect and professional, it couldn't be any better.

"And on the other side there is the small Messi who makes everything look so simple. And therefore I like him maybe a little bit more as a player on the pitch. But Cristiano is also an absolutely incredible player.

"It's really difficult therefore, but what both have in common is that both have left their footprints for such a long time.

"There are also some younger players who have a similar potential, but to do that over this time period is even more incredible."

English clubs are among those "knocking at the door" to sign Federico Chiesa, Fiorentina's sporting director Joe Barone has revealed.

Manchester United and Chelsea are among those to have been linked with 22-year-old Italy international Chiesa, who is under contract with Fiorentina until 2022.

The forward has scored six times in Serie A this season and provided three assists, with Juventus also thought to be weighing up a move.

While Barone stressed that midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli will be remaining in Florence, he was less sure of Chiesa's future.

"Chiesa is a Fiorentina player," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"There are clubs knocking at the door for Chiesa, some of them who speak English.

"We'll see, for the moment we just need to finish the season and he is very concentrated on doing well for us.

"As for Gaetano Castrovilli, he still has much to give for us and for Italian football, so he will remain in Florence."

Frenkie de Jong can be pleased with his first season at Barcelona and has the potential to successfully replace club legend Sergio Busquets, according to Ronald de Boer.

Netherlands international De Jong has faced criticism from some sections since joining Barca from Ajax in a reported €75million transfer last year.

De Boer believes his compatriot has adapted well to life at Camp Nou, however, with former team-mate Matthijs de Ligt's early struggles at Juventus being held up in comparison.

"People said he didn't reach the level he reached with Ajax last season in Europe or with the national team," De Boer told BarcaBlog. 

"But not everyone can say that they play so many minutes with such a strong team, so I think he's doing well.

"You see how another young player like De Ligt had a harder time, while everyone thought he would play regularly from the start. 

"He is doing very well when you consider that this is his first season."

De Jong has two goals in 37 games this term, but De Boer insists it is better comparing him to Busquets, who is regarded as arguably the finest holding midfielder of his generation.

"If he's going to play as a central midfielder, I'm sure he'll be successful," said De Boer, who won the LaLiga title with Barcelona in 1998-99 before joining Rangers the following year..

"He is a controller, you should not ask him to score 20 goals, he is not such a player. 

"I am sure he will be a great successor to Busquets in the future."

Count Zlatan Ibrahimovic among those who approve of Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan's confrontational leadership style.

ESPN's docuseries 'The Last Dance', which looks at the 1997-98 Bulls team that three-peated, shone a spotlight on Jordan's treatment of team-mates in one of the recent episodes.

He revealed how he came to blows with current Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr during practice and used tough love to try and coax the best out of Scott Burrell.

"Winning has a price and leadership has a price," a choked-up Jordan said at the end of episode seven.

"I pulled people along when they didn't want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn't want to be challenged.

"I earned that right because my team-mates came after me. They didn't endure all the things that I endured.

"Once you join the team you live at a certain standard that I play the game, and I wasn't going to take anything less."

That struck a chord with brash striker Ibrahimovic.

"Nice to see The Last Dance," he wrote on Twitter.

"Now you see how it is to play with a winner. Either you like it or not. If not then don't play the game."

Ibrahimovic is currently at Milan and has received praise from head coach Stefano Pioli, who likened his work ethic to that of 20-time grand slam winner Roger Federer.

However, the Swede has also been known to clash with former coaches and team-mates.

During his time in MLS with LA Galaxy, Joao Pedro said Ibrahimovic threatened to "kill" players following a loss to Houston Dynamo.

Sebastian Lletget also said it was "super frustrating" playing with Ibrahimovic at the Galaxy.

Barcelona are seemingly getting closer to landing Lautaro Martinez.

The Inter star continues to be linked with a move to Camp Nou, where he could play alongside Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi more regularly.

It appears an agreement has almost been reached.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, INTER AGREEMENT FOR LAUTARO 'IMMINENT'

Barcelona and Inter are finalising a deal for Lautaro Martinez, according to the cover of SPORT.

The report says the clubs are going to agree a deal of close to €60million plus two players – midfielder Arturo Vidal and either Nelson Semedo or Emerson.

SPORT also reports Barca and Martinez have a verbal agreement for a four-year deal.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus are still looking to sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba. AS reports Juve are offering the Premier League club Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot in their bid to complete a deal.

- Talk continues over Miralem Pjanic's potential switch to Barcelona. SPORT claims Juventus have also offered LaLiga's champions Mattia De Sciglio, along with the midfielder. SPORT also says Jean-Clair Todibo, who is on loan at Schalke, could be part of the deal.

- With 22 goals for Lyon this season, Moussa Dembele continues to attract interest from the Premier League. The Daily Star reports Manchester United are increasingly confident of landing the former Celtic forward in a £60m (€68.4m) deal.

- Odion Ighalo's loan at Manchester United from Shanghai Shenhua expires at the end of June. The Sun says the striker is desperate to extend his stay at Old Trafford, with the Chinese Super League club reportedly demanding a transfer fee.

- Linked with a move to Liverpool, Werder Bremen striker Milot Rashica appears to be heading elsewhere. BILD reports the 23-year-old's move to RB Leipzig is becoming more and more likely. Rashica has scored seven goals in 20 Bundesliga games this season.

Andrea Pirlo played down talk Sandro Tonali was similar to him, saying the Brescia midfielder was "much more complete".

Tonali has been linked with Serie A giants Juventus and Inter after starring for Brescia, while he made his Italy debut last year.

The 20-year-old has drawn comparisons to Italy great Pirlo, but the former Juventus and Milan star believes Tonali could be even better.

"It is said that he may be my heir, but I don't see many things in common," he told Nicolo De Devitiis during an Instagram Live chat on Monday.

"He is another type of player. He is much more complete both in the defensive phase and when he sets up. He is a mix between my characteristics and those of other players.

"He is the most promising of midfielders. He will surely become a great player."

Tonali's future has been a talking point with the Serie A season suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pirlo hopes the campaign can be completed, with Juve having held a one-point lead over Lazio when it was paused.

"Health comes first, then if you can finish the championship then all the better," he said.

"It won't be an easy choice. We hope it will happen. Football makes many people work, maximum safety must be guaranteed.

"If one person is infected, everything must be blocked again."

There have been more than 286,000 deaths from coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll in Italy exceeding 30,700.

Atalanta midfielder Andrea Rinaldi has died at the age of 19, the Serie A club have confirmed.

Rinaldi suffered a brain aneurysm last Friday and was taken to hospital.

Legnano, the Serie D club where the player was on loan, described the news as "a sudden and shocking tragedy, impossible even to imagine".

Club president Giovanni Munafo said: "Andrea came to training and first came to greet me. This is a memory I will carry in my heart.

"[He was] an extraordinary boy, an example for everyone. On behalf of the club, I express my deepest condolences to the family."

Rinaldi joined Atalanta's youth system at the age of 13 and won the Scudetto and Supercoppa with the Under-17 side in 2016.

"That kind smile of yours will always stay alive in the hearts of those who had the good fortune to meet you," Atalanta said in a statement.

Liverpool have a lifelong fan in former player Lucas Leiva, who insists he was happy to see his former club win the Champions League despite missing out on the honour himself.

Lucas departed Anfield for Lazio in July 2017, bringing to an end his 10-year stay on Merseyside.

The Brazlian's only trophy in that decade was the 2011-12 League Cup, but following his switch to Italy the Reds reached consecutive Champions League finals.

Jurgen Klopp's side bounced back from a defeat to Real Madrid in 2018 to down Tottenham the following year, with Lucas an interested onlooker on both occasions.

"The year after I left, we lost in the final. I met the boys here in Rome [for the 2018 semi-final]. But, of course, [to win it] I was really happy, to be honest," he said on the latest episode of LFCTV's Legends in Lockdown.

"My son, my family, we are Liverpool fans now.

"It's a great achievement and I’m just really happy because so many people there I am still in touch with and still care a lot about.

"Of course, you always think, 'Had I waited one more year…' but, to be honest, I wasn't happy.

"When you are not happy it makes no sense so, to be honest, it's better I see Liverpool winning and I'm happy as well playing.

"As a fan I'm really happy. Of course, I would like to have won it but I won it as a fan, let's say."

Liverpool were dumped out of this season's competition by Atletico Madrid, but sit 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

No return date for the English top flight has been set since fixtures were halted in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paolo Maldini has told Ralf Rangnick to "learn the concept of respect" after comments the former RB Leipzig coach made regarding certain powers he would need to take a job at AC Milan.

Reports suggest Rangnick is to be offered a unique role with the Rossoneri where he will combine the jobs of head coach and sporting director.

Such a restructure would leave no place for technical director Maldini or head coach Stefano Pioli, while Zvonimir Boban was sacked as chief football officer earlier this year as part of CEO Ivan Gazidis' shake-up of the hierarchy.

Last week, Rangnick – the former Stuttgart, Schalke and Leipzig boss who is now head of sport and development for Red Bull, the group which owns Leipzig – said he would need "a certain influence" to move to Milan and confirmed talks had taken place with the Serie A club prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maldini has taken a dim view of Rangnick's comments and delivered an extraordinary blast in an interview with Italian news agency ANSA.

"Having never talked to Rangnick, I don't understand on what basis his statements are based, also because I have never been told anything by the owner," he said.

"Some considerations in my opinion, however, must be made. The German coach in fact, speaking of a role with full managerial powers both in the sporting and technical areas, invades areas where professionals work with regular contracts.

"So, I would have some advice for him, before learning Italian he should review the general concepts of respect, as there are colleagues who, despite the many difficulties of the moment, are trying to finish the season in a very professional way, putting the good of Milan to their professional pride."

Marco Tardelli has expressed his disappointment over Giorgio Chiellini's "harsh" comments about Mario Balotelli and Felipe Melo.

Chiellini, who is releasing a new book, accused Mario Balotelli of being "a negative person" who "deserved a slap" for his conduct when part of Italy's squad at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

The Juventus defender was even more brutal when it came to his ex-club team-mate Felipe Melo, calling him "the worst of the worst" and revealing he told the team's management the midfielder was "a rotten apple".

Both players promptly hit back at Chiellini, who also expressed his hatred for rivals Inter. Balotelli insisted he had never disrespected the Italy shirt and slammed the Juve man for not telling him to his face, while Melo branded the veteran "unprofessional".

Tardelli spent 10 seasons with Juve and then two with Inter to conclude his Serie A career, while he won the World Cup with Italy in 1982.

He reacted to Chiellini's words on Twitter, posting: "I am truly disappointed by the statements by Giorgio Chiellini, captain of the national team, Juventus and a leading man on the AIC [Italian Footballers' Association] board.

"Harsh words towards team-mates - colleagues who should consider him a point of reference.

"The hatred declared towards another club creates hatred. Respect for the opponent even in the toughest fight, that is what I learned from captains like Dino Zoff and Gaetano Scirea."

Milan Skriniar has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world since moving to Inter from Sampdoria in 2017.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Barcelona have been linked to Skriniar.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested amid uncertainty over captain and defender Sergio Ramos.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID INTERESTED IN SKRINIAR

Real Madrid are eyeing a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, according to Diario Gol.

With uncertainty over the future of captain Sergio Ramos, Madrid are looking to bolster their defence at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano have been linked but an exchange deal sending James Rodriguez plus cash to Inter could see Skriniar join Madrid.

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Madrid forward Gareth Bale is a priority for Newcastle United's prospective new owners. Newcastle have also reportedly identified former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their next head coach and that could convince Bale to return to the Premier League.

Manchester City are monitoring Lyon sensation Houssem Aouar, says L'Equipe. The 21-year-old is valued at around £44million (€50m) by Lyon, who are prepared to cash in. Aouar has been linked to the likes of Liverpool and Juventus.

- Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli want at least £44m (€50m) for Hirving Lozano, who is attracting interest from Everton.

- The future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be decided in 20 days, according to Calciomercato. As Ibrahimovic prepares to return to Milan following the coronavirus pandemic, the Rossoneri want to define the 38-year-old's future as they plan ahead amid links to Madrid's Luka Jovic.

Chelsea will make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice if they lose N'Golo Kante, says The Mirror. Madrid are reportedly tracking Kante.

- L'Equipe claims Manchester United are keeping tabs on PSG veteran Edinson Cavani. The soon-to-be free agent has been tipped to join Atletico Madrid, while an MLS switch is also an option for the veteran forward.

Sassuolo general manager Giovanni Carnevali insisted Inter will sign Stefano Sensi permanently.

Sensi moved to Serie A rivals Inter on loan with the option of a permanent deal at the start of the 2019-20 season.

Despite injuries marring Sensi's debut season at San Siro and the January arrival of Christian Eriksen, Inter are set to take up their option on the Italian midfielder.

"Sensi will be bought outright by Inter," Carnevali told Ceramicanda.

"There is no doubt, the Nerazzurri's decision is already made."

The season has been postponed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc globally.

Defending champions Juventus were a point clear of Lazio through 26 games at the time of postponement as officials try to restart the campaign.

Sassuolo were 11th and seven points above the relegation zone in Serie A.

"Prices for players will drop maybe, but ours won't. We're an expensive shop," Carnevali said. "The interruption of Serie A has cost more than €200million. For Sassuolo, it's between €10m and €12m.

"The damage of the season not resuming would rise to €800m and several companies would end up in court: Serie A also drives on B, youth teams, women's football...

"Sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora seems to be experiencing a moment of confusion, but I see new awareness emerging from the government and maximum willingness from clubs to comply with the required safety conditions."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and the Gabon international is no closer to signing a new Arsenal deal.

The former Borussia Dortmund star is not short of suitors amid uncertainty over his future in London.

And Real Madrid are reportedly making their move.

 

T OP STORY – MADRID TELL ARSENAL TO DECIDE OVER AUBA

Real Madrid have set Arsenal a deadline as they look to sign star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to The Mirror.

Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and the Gabon international has been tipped to leave Arsenal.

Madrid reportedly want Arsenal to make a decision on Aubameyang's future by June 15 as the likes of Inter and Paris Saint-Germain also circle.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Barcelona are on the brink of signing Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The LaLiga giants are close to agreeing a four-year deal with the Bosnia-Herzegovina international.

- Pjanic had been mentioned in a possible swap deal with Barca's Arthur, who has previously dismissed an exit. However, Tuttosport claims Juventus have not given up on signing Arthur.

- Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick is set to become head coach of Milan, reports Calciomercato.

- The Express says Manchester United have identified Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as a top transfer target. Van de Beek has also been linked to Madrid and Juve.

Madrid want Casemiro to continue at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Mundo Deportivo reports the futures of captain Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez are up in the air.

- According to The Sun, Borussia Dortmund want to sign Chelsea teenager Charlie Webster.

Inter have set their sights on Freiburg centre-back Robin Koch, reports Tuttomercatoweb. Koch has also been linked to Napoli and Benfica.

United are keeping tabs on Swansea City defender Joe Rodon, says The Mirror. The Red Devils have already raided Swansea previously, signing Welshman Daniel James ahead of the 2019-20 season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.