Pedro has completed his move to Roma, signing a three-year contract with the Serie A side.

The former Barcelona winger ended a five-year stay at Chelsea when his contract at Stamford Bridge expired at the end of last season.

The 33-year-old won the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League during his time at Stamford Bridge and becomes Roma's first signing ahead of the new Serie A season, which begins on September 19.

"I am delighted to be here at Roma," Pedro said. "I'm excited for this challenge and to compete to achieve our targets over the coming seasons.

"I want to thank the fans for the welcome they've given me. I hope to make them happy."

A product of Barcelona's feted La Masia youth academy, he twice won the treble with the Blaugrana – scoring in the Champions League final under Pep Guardiola in 2011 before serving as back-up to the Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar forward line of 2014-15.

Capped 65 times for Spain, Pedro was part of the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 and has scored 17 times for his country.

"Especially when you arrive at a new club you want to win again," Pedro added. 

"I understand that it is difficult but that is the aim. My ambition is always really high and when I arrive here my goal has to be, along with all the staff, I want to win with Roma.

"It's possible to win a trophy. I understand it's a big challenge for everyone here and for the team.”

Juventus could end up playing like Antonio Conte's Bianconeri teams next season after new boss Andrea Pirlo outlined his desired tactics.

Pirlo had never previously held a senior coaching position when Juve promoted their under-23 team boss to replace Maurizio Sarri on August 8.

Moreover, Pirlo had only been in charge of Juventus' young second strong for a week, so there has been little indication of how he wants his teams to set up.

However, at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, the 41-year-old spoke glowingly about the Juventus sides he played in under Conte between 2011 and 2014.

The Bianconeri won the title in all three seasons Conte and Pirlo were together, and the new coach wants to bring back some of the characteristics of those teams.

"Maybe we can reach that level of desire and cohesion," Pirlo told reporters.

"But that's what I would like to bring back - those principles, that DNA of work and sacrifice, of sweating for each other and only in this way can you reach goals."

Sarri led Juve to a ninth successive Scudetto but paid the price for another disappointing Champions League campaign, which ended in a last-16 loss to Lyon.

As was the case when he held the reins at Chelsea, Sarri's tactics were also questioned, and Pirlo has already told the squad how he wants to go about things in Turin.

"I want to bring some enthusiasm, what has been missing in the last period," Pirlo added.

"I want to propose a proactive football, and domination of the play, as I told the lads yesterday.

"I told them two things - the first is that you must always have the ball, the second is that it must be recovered quickly.

"These are the first two tactical things I said and believe in. They are the most important mental things for the team to enter."

Juventus have already made their first signing ahead of next season, with Arthur arriving from Barcelona after an underwhelming two-year spell in Catalonia.

With Miralem Pjanic heading in the opposite direction, Arthur will be expected to play a major role in midfield, as Pirlo did during his playing days.

"I have seen and admired him," Pirlo added of Arthur.

"He is a construction midfielder who can fill multiple roles - as a director, a midfielder, a midfielder of two. He has quality and will be useful."

Paulo Dybala will be part of Andrea Pirlo's project at Juventus, but Gonzalo Higuain is set to leave the Serie A champions.

Pirlo was appointed as the successor to Maurizio Sarri following Juve's Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon, the former midfielder being promoted to the top job a week after being named the club's Under-23 boss.

Dybala was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United last year and transfer rumours around the Argentina international persist, with Barcelona said to be interested amid uncertainty over the future of Lionel Messi.

However, Pirlo insisted Juve have never been open to offers for Dybala, who will be a key part of his plans for the 2020-21 season.

"He has never been on the market, it is you [the media] who make these rumours," Pirlo said of Dybala when introduced to the media on Tuesday.

"For me, he is as important as the others. As soon as he returns [from the off-season] he will be part of the project."

While Dybala is set to remain in Turin, Pirlo confirmed Higuain will be allowed to leave and a decision on midfielder Sami Khedira will be taken once he returns from a thigh injury.

"I talked to Higuain. He is a person I admire very much. He had an important cycle here, he was a great player but in speaking with him we decided our roads must separate," said Pirlo.

"He was a great champion but cycles end. He was sidelined but as a serious person we spoke to each other to make this decision.

"As for Khedira, he is injured. We'll see when he gets better."

Sarri found it tough to combine Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo effectively during his tenure and Pirlo believes compromise will be required in order for the duo to have the impact expected.

"Not all the boys are available. We are working in small groups. We will soon get on the pitch and prepare things," said Pirlo.

"Quality players can always play together, as long as there is sacrifice. The more quality players there are, the more chances there are to win – but always withing a team structure.

"Sacrifice and desire to work for the team go beyond everything."

Manchester City are reportedly looking at signing Lionel Messi, while Barcelona's rebuild does not include Luis Suarez.

Messi, 33, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants after a trophy-less 2019-20 season.

Barca are preparing for a rebuild and while Messi is part of their plans, Suarez is seemingly not.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MESSI MOVE

Manchester City are working out if they would be able to sign Barcelona star Messi without breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, according to ESPN.

The report says the Premier League giants are preparing should Messi become available.

Messi is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, but has been linked with a move.

ROUND-UP

- Also at Barcelona, Ronald Koeman is preparing his rebuild. Mundo Deportivo reports the club no longer want Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal or Samuel Umtiti, but have plans for Philippe Coutinho, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. The report also says Suarez's departure will open up a move for Inter star Lautaro Martinez.

- Ansu Fati is seemingly close to committing his future to Barcelona. The 17-year-old forward, who has been linked to Manchester United, will sign a new deal that will include a €400million release clause, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- A former Bianconeri striker could help Juventus land Edin Dzeko. Tuttosport reports Mario Mandzukic could join Roma as a replacement for Dzeko, who is being linked to Juve.

- Milan are reportedly looking at Brahim Diaz. Fabrizio Romano reports the Serie A giants have opened talks with Real Madrid about a loan move, with an option to buy, for Brahim.

- Hector Bellerin has been linked with a move away from Arsenal. RMC Sport reports the defender has been offered to Paris Saint-Germain.

- Also at PSG, Leandro Paredes could make a move. Gianluca Di Marzio says Juventus are interested in the midfielder.

Inter have probably already begun attempts to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona, former president Massimo Moratti says.

The Nerazzurri have been touted as one of the clubs most likely to try to sign the Argentina star if he chooses to leave Camp Nou.

Messi is said to be giving his future serious consideration after a disappointing season that ended with an 8-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

Moratti, Inter president between 1995 and 2013, thinks a recent television advert by club owners the Suning group - featuring a silhouette of Messi projected onto Milan's Duomo cathedral - is a sign they are keen to bring the player to San Siro.

"It's not a simple operation economically, that's clear. But the biggest obstacle is Messi's intentions," Moratti told AS.

"You have to understand if he really wants to leave Barca. I'm not clear on that.

"I imagine Inter have already tried [to sign him]. I've seen the Suning advert with the Argentine's silhouette on the Duomo and this makes me think an initiative has already been taken.

"If not, I think they will do so soon."

Inter are certainly not short on attacking firepower, with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez having scored a combined 55 goals in all competitions in 2019-20.

Moratti has been particularly impressed with how quickly Lukaku has settled since leaving Manchester United last year.

"I honestly didn't expect such a high level of performance," he said. "He's proven to be an intelligent lad, who has adapted very well to Italian football, exceeding all expectations. I like him."

On Martinez, who is said to be a prime Barca target, he added: "The Argentine has incredible potential. He's a talent. He's showing really good things now but he's going to explode even more."

Arthur said a fond farewell to Barcelona in an emotional video published to social media on Monday as he prepares to join Juventus.

Brazil international Arthur joined Barca in 2018 and showed promise in his debut campaign, with his passing abilities and style of play earning comparisons with club icon Xavi.

But his progress stalled in 2019-20 as he failed to establish himself during a challenging campaign for the Blaugrana.

Speculation about his future began to circulate while LaLiga was on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, though the 24-year-old insisted he had no interest in leaving despite reported interest from Juve.

But the stories intensified and in June it was confirmed that Arthur would go to Juve in a deal potentially worth €82million, while a €65m transfer saw Miralem Pjanic go in the opposite direction.

Arthur subsequently became marginalised as then-coach Quique Setien suggested the midfielder would only play as a last resort, and that situation led to the Gremio product making himself unavailable for the resumption of Barca's Champions League campaign.

Now, as he prepares to embark on a new journey with Juve, Arthur reiterated his affinity for Barcelona.

"Saying goodbye is always difficult, even more so [because I am] leaving behind a place that has become my home," he said in a video posted to his official social media channels.

"An incredible city that will remain forever in my heart, where everyone received me as another Catalan, showed me a new culture, helped me to grow as a player and, especially, as a person.

"I am leaving a group of brilliant players. I'm very lucky to have played alongside them and, most of all, I am grateful for their support as good people with huge hearts.

"The crowd won me over from the first day, made me proud to play for them and to wear one of the greatest shirts in the world.

"They showed me care and respect that I will never forget. Today is the day to say goodbye, but I am taking everything with me in my heart forever."

Cristiano Ronaldo has proved any doubters wrong following his move to Juventus despite the Italian club's failure to conquer Europe, according to Nuno Gomes.

Ronaldo opted to leave Real Madrid in 2018 after winning a fourth Champions League title in five years, exiting as the Spanish side's all-time leading scorer to continue his career in Serie A.

While the Portuguese has collected two league titles since the sensational switch, Juve have come up short in European competition. They fell at the quarter-final stage to Ajax in 2019, while this season suffered a shock last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon.

Missing out on reaching the revised knockout rounds in Portugal led to a swift change in coach, Maurizio Sarri sacked as Andrea Pirlo was surprisingly given the job, but Gomes does not believe the Champions League shortcomings reflect badly on Ronaldo.

Speaking to Stats Perform News, the former Portugal international used his compatriot's impressive numbers at Juve - he has scored 65 goals in all competitions so far - as proof he remains at his peak.

Asked if he believes Ronaldo has been a success since moving to Italy, Gomes replied: "I would say yes, because they have won the title twice in Italy. However, that it is not enough for Juventus, it is not enough to win the Italian title.

"For him, personally, after a big change, some were expecting he might not do well outside of Real Madrid, but he proved in terms of his records, his statistics, he was very good in these two seasons at Juventus.

"He scores a lot, he plays all the games and with his age, to perform at such a top, high level, he is the best."

Following his appointment, Pirlo will be tasked with not only continuing Juve's domestic dominance but also improving their fortunes in Europe.

The ex-Italy midfielder had only just taken charge of the Under-23 squad at the Bianconeri when he received a rapid promotion, yet Gomes is backing Pirlo to overcome his lack of experience to prosper in the role.

"All the coaches, they have to start from somewhere, no?" Gomes - who had a spell in Italian football with Fiorentina - said. "This is a big opportunity for him, it's a big challenge in his first time as coach.

"But he will have the support of the players, of the club and of the fans, so he has everything to become a good choice from the club to be the new manager.

"Of course, he was an amazing player as a footballer, and I believe also he will become a very good coach."

Juve will hope Pirlo can follow the example set by Zinedine Zidane, who steered Real Madrid to three Champions League final triumphs in his first spell after being promoted from within.

"You can compare with Zidane, as they were playing in similar positions in the field. It's funny, because a lot of players that become coaches, a lot of them they used to play in midfield," Gomes continued.

"So you know Pirlo, he was the 'maestro' of the team when he was playing, and you could see even the way he was playing he would become a coach at the end of his career, as was Zidane.

"Pirlo is a much-respected name and I think the players will help him achieve what he wants."

Ivan Perisic suggested he is open to resurrecting his Inter career after signing off at Bayern Munich with Champions League glory. 

Croatia international Perisic enjoyed a productive season-long loan in Bavaria, lifting the Bundesliga and DFL-Pokal before claiming European football's biggest club prize. 

He started each of Bayern's quarter-final and semi-final triumphs against Barcelona and Lyon, scoring in the former, before reverting to the bench for Sunday's showdown with Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon. 

That decision from Hansi Flick ultimately proved inspired as Kingsley Coman, Perisic's replacement, headed the only goal after half-time. 

Perisic appeared as a second-half substitute and told Sky Sport he regretted not tasting similar success with Inter, who he joined in 2015. 

"It's a pity I haven't done something like this with Inter in recent years, but now I'm happy," he said. 

"I still have two years on my contract with the Nerazzurri, let's see what happens. We have to meet." 

Leroy Sane being added to Bayern's first-team options for next season suggests a permanent move for Perisic might not be necessary. 

However, events in Milan could fall in his favour, with Antonio Conte's future as Inter head coach uncertain following Friday's 3-2 Europa League final loss to Sevilla. 

Conte's preference for a 3-5-2 system saw Perisic cast aside last year, with the former Italy and Chelsea boss bemoaning his inability to adapt to the demands of that formation. 

"We're working with him, but his response isn't positive," Conte said after a 1-0 friendly loss to Manchester United in Singapore last July. 

"Perisic can't play in the role that I want. Therefore, he can only play as a striker right now." 

Thiago Silva has not reached an agreement to join Fiorentina, although the veteran Brazil defender confirmed talks are ongoing with the Serie A club.

The 35-year-old concluded a decorated spell at Paris Saint-Germain with an agonising 1-0 loss against Bayern Munich in Sunday's Champions League final.

Silva has also been linked with a move to Chelsea, with the Premier League team reportedly putting a one-year deal on the table.

Speaking to Sky Sport after the match, he detailed the prospect of a move to Florence.

"I have not accepted any offers," he said. "The news of an agreement reached with Fiorentina are not true. 

"My agent is speaking with Fiorentina as well as with other clubs. 

"I will make a decision in the coming days together with my family."

Silva told RMC Sport he wishes to remain at the elite level for the next three or four years and has ambitions of captaining Brazil at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In Lisbon against Bayern, he made more clearances (six), attempted more passes (47) and completed more successful passes (38) than any other PSG player.

Premier League giants Chelsea and Arsenal appear close to strengthening their defences.

After conceding more league goals than any other side that finished in the top eight in 2019-20, the two clubs have been linked to defensive reinforcements.

It seems both are close to making additions.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA CLOSE TO SIGNING SILVA

Chelsea are close to signing Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva on a one-year deal, according to Sky Sports.

Silva, 35, confirmed after Sunday's Champions League final loss to Bayern Munich that he had played his last game for the Ligue 1 giants.

The Brazil defender has been linked to Chelsea and Fiorentina, but looks set to join the former.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea's rivals Arsenal have almost landed a centre-back of their own. RMC Sport reports a deal taking Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes to the club is done, with the sides agreeing a £27million (€30m) fee and the 22-year-old opting for Arsenal over Napoli and Everton.

- On the outer at Real Madrid, just whether Gareth Bale leaves this close season remains to be seen. AS claims there have been no offers for the attacker and MLS seems the only way out due to his salary.

Barcelona have confirmed their new signing Miralem Pjanic has returned a positive test for coronavirus.

Pjanic has moved to Barca from Juventus as part of a deal that was agreed in June, with Brazil international Arthur going the other way.

While Arthur became an isolated figure thereafter, Pjanic completed the rest of the campaign with Juve and was set to link up with Barca imminently.

However, Barca have announced the 30-year-old will now join them in 15 days' time, after he tested positive for COVID-19.

"Pjanic tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, August 22 after suffering some discomfort. The player is in good health and is isolated at home," a statement read.

"For this reason, the player will not travel to Barcelona until 15 days later to join Barca."

Pjanic leaves Juve having won four Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies.

Mino Raiola does not expect Zlatan Ibrahimovic to report for pre-season training with Milan on Monday but is "optimistic" the striker will remain with the Rossoneri.

The former Sweden captain rejoined Milan on short-term deal from MLS side LA Galaxy in January and scored 10 goals in 18 Serie A appearances.

Ibrahimovic became a free agent at the end of the season, but talks are ongoing over a deal to keep him at San Siro.

Milan report back to training on Monday, but Raiola, Ibrahimovic's agent, says terms have not been agreed for his client to link up with the squad.

Yet Raiola is hopeful the enigmatic 38-year-old will lead the line for Milan in the 2020-21 season.

He told Sky Sport Italia: "I don't think he'll be at the meeting [on Monday]. We're talking, but we don't have an agreement yet.

"I believe it's not a financial problem, but one of conviction and style. It takes two to make a marriage.

"If Ibra didn't want to stay there, there would be no negotiations, and instead, we are negotiating. If I were not optimistic, I'd stay in bed with the blinds down.

"We always have to be optimistic. I don't work to create problems but to find a solution."

Romelu Lukaku acknowledged his decisive own goal in the Europa League final "p***** me off" but vowed to keep on fighting for Inter as he issued a defiant rallying cry to his team-mates.

Lukaku was a key figure in Friday's Europa League showpiece against Sevilla, opening the scoring early on from the penalty spot after being hauled down by Diego Carlos, who controversially avoided a red card.

Sevilla battled back and a brace from Luuk de Jong put the Spaniards on top before Diego Godin restored parity.

Lukaku might have put Inter back in front in the second half but was denied with only Yassine Bounou to beat.

He then diverted Diego Carlos' overhead-kick into his own net 16 minutes from time as Sevilla went on to lift the trophy for a sixth time in 14 years.

On Sunday, Lukaku posted to his Instagram account for the first time since that loss as he promised the situation would motivate him.

        View this post on Instagram                  

First of all i want to say thank you for all what you guys have done for my family and myself. This year as a team we grown a lot together and it’s an honour to represent a club that i loved since i’ve been a kid. Yes what happened in the final pissed me off but i will fight back. I never had shit the easy way in life as many of you know and this experience will make me stronger. 1 thing is for sure inter is not dead and this experience will make us better as a team! there’s unity and we’re heading the right direction. To the fans i want to say thank you for being so supportive every game home or away i love you guys. I appreciate the messages i’ve got. We will be back sempre forza inter 

A post shared by Romelu Lukaku (@romelulukaku) on Aug 23, 2020 at 9:20am PDT

"First of all, I want to say thank you for all you guys [Inter team-mates] have done for my family and myself," he wrote.

"This year as a team we've grown a lot together and it's an honour to represent a club that I loved since I was a kid.

"Yes, what happened in the final p***** me off but I will fight back. I never had s*** the easy way in life, as many of you know, and this experience will make me stronger.

"One thing is for sure, Inter is not dead and this experience will make us better as a team! There's unity and we're heading in the right direction.

"To the fans, I want to say thank you for being so supportive every game, home or away. I love you guys. I appreciate the messages I've got. We will be back."

Despite Europa League final disappointment, Inter will be in the Champions League next season after they finished second in Serie A.

However, the future of head coach Antonio Conte is in doubt after he hinted at the end of Friday's match that he may not be in charge next season.

Paul Pogba will stay at Manchester United and there have been talks over the prospect of a new contract, according to his agent, Mino Raiola.

The 27-year-old midfielder, who joined from Juventus for a then world-record fee of £89.3million (€105m), has a year to run on his deal at Old Trafford, although United have the option to extend it by 12 months.

Pogba has regularly been linked with a move away from the club, with a return to Juve or a transfer to Real Madrid his most likely destinations.

However, since recovering from ankle problems that blighted much of his 2019-20 season, Pogba has proved a key part of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans and has appeared much more content in Manchester, having helped the Red Devils secure a return to the Champions League.

With the coronavirus pandemic impacting finances at even the biggest clubs, a significant bid for Pogba has always looked unlikely this year, and it appears the World Cup winner is prepared to commit his long-term future to United.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Raiola said: "He's still at the centre of an important technical project. Even in recent years, United have never wanted to open negotiations.

"We're talking very calmly [about a renewal]. No stress."

There have been rumours Juve could look to include Federico Bernardeschi as part of a deal to bring Pogba back to Turin, while Napoli have also been linked with the winger.

Raiola thinks the 26-year-old could enjoy a new lease of life at Juve under new coach Andrea Pirlo, but he is not ruling out a departure.

"Bernardeschi knows what he's been and what he wants to do," he said. "He understands that his career isn't at the point of ending, but at the beginning.

"I believe he's a player who could easily stay at Juventus, but if there are better conditions - for him or Juve - then we will evaluate things.

"I've never shut the door in anyone's face; I've always evaluated everything. I'll do the same for Bernardeschi.

"I think Juve are still planning with him. It would be a new challenge for him, too, with a new coach and a new tactical system."

Sinisa Mihajlovic has tested positive for coronavirus, Bologna have confirmed.

In a statement, the Serie A club said their head coach was "absolutely asymptomatic" after the results of the swab test.

Mihajlovic will now begin two weeks in isolation, in line with national guidelines in Italy.

Bologna also tested their primavera team, with all of those coming back negative.

The first-team squad and coaching staff are due to be tested on Monday.

Mihajlovic was diagnosed with leukaemia last year and spent time away from the Bologna bench to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

He signed a contract extension until 2023 in June.

The 2020-21 Serie A season is due to begin on September 19.

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