Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling is keen to return to Roma and could join "in the next few days", according to the Serie A club's head coach Paulo Fonseca.

Smalling impressed during his season on loan in the Italian capital last season, playing 37 times as Roma finished fifth in the league and reached the Europa League quarter-finals.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted last month the defender could still have a future at Old Trafford after reviving his career during that spell away on loan.

However, speaking ahead of Roma's first game of the 2020-21 campaign, Fonseca said he is hopeful an agreement can be reached to re-sign the 31-cap England international.

"I'm in contact to get Smalling. He wants to come back to Rome and we want him," Fonseca told reporters at a news conference previewing Saturday's clash with Hellas Verona.

"In the next few days I think he'll be here with us."

Fonseca also confirmed Edin Dzeko will be part of Roma's squad for their trip to Verona, despite speculation he is close to sealing a move to champions Juventus.

"Dzeko will be with us for the match tomorrow," Fonseca said. "It makes no sense to talk about this, for now he is with us."

Roma brought in young centre-back Marash Kumbulla on Thursday, but he will not slot straight into Roma's starting line-up against his former side this weekend.

"Kumbulla only trained yesterday and today, so he's not ready to start,” Fonseca said. "We have a different way of playing than he did at Verona.

"But he's a very smart guy and has understood what I have told him. We are working to buy young players but we can mix with the more experienced we have here."

Inter Miami have confirmed the signing of Gonzalo Higuain following the termination of his contract with Serie A champions Juventus. 

Juve announced on Thursday that the former Argentina international's contract had been cancelled in a move that will cost them €18.3million.

The 32-year-old, who arrived at Juve from Napoli in 2016 and won three Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies with the club, links up with former Bianconeri team-mate Blaise Matuidi at the MLS side. 

Higuain, who becomes Miami's third designated player alongside Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini, has an existing relationship with Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham, having played alongside him eight times for Real Madrid during the 2006-07 season. 

Miami have struggled to generate goals this season, with the club bottom of the Eastern Conference after scoring just nine times in 11 games; something Higuain hopes to address. 

"I feel good; I feel whole as a player," he told the club's official website. "I'm motivated to try a new league and help the team grow. Individually, my goal is to demonstrate that I can contribute and continue playing great football here, and I hope I can achieve that because I have all the tools necessary to succeed. 

"Inter Miami is a team in construction but there is already a good base to reach important goals.

"I think it will be a beautiful experience in my life. It's what I was looking for; a new experience, a new league and a beautiful city. I'm really happy to be here and that it's official. My goal is to try to transmit all the experience I acquired in Europe and to help the team grow."

Higuain will be available for the club after completing a mandatory quarantine period under local government and MLS health and safety protocol.

Liverpool and Manchester United could be set for another transfer battle.

The Premier League rivals were both reportedly interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is set for a move to Anfield.

Now it seems they could be targeting the same player once more.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, MAN UTD TARGET SARR

Liverpool have enquired about Watford star Ismaila Sarr, according to the Daily Mail.

It reports Watford want at least £36million for the 22-year-old forward, who scored five goals and provided four assists in 28 Premier League games last season.

Meanwhile, The Independent says Manchester United are looking at Sarr as they continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- What is next for Luis Suarez? Goal reports Roma striker Edin Dzeko is set to join Juventus on a two-year deal, dashing Barcelona forward Suarez's hopes of heading to the Serie A champions. Fabrizio Romano says Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Suarez, while he also claims Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is getting closer to a Roma switch.

- Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham is almost done. Sky Sports reports the Real Madrid attacker will fly to London from Spain on Friday after completing a medical, returning to Spurs after leaving for the LaLiga giants in 2013.

- Staying at Tottenham and The Sun claims Spurs had a transfer enquiry for forward Danny Ings rejected by Southampton. Ings enjoyed a prolific 2019-20 season, scoring 22 Premier League goals.

- After a difficult first season at Real Madrid, Luka Jovic is apparently considering his options. According to Marca, the Serbian forward is studying a temporary loan move from the LaLiga champions.

- At Madrid's rivals, Barcelona, more movement is also expected. Mundo Deportivo reports Ronald Koeman wants Ajax full-back Sergino Dest if Nelson Semedo leaves the club.

- Could Chelsea's spending spree continue? The Independent reports West Ham star Declan Rice is yet to decide whether to push for a move to Stamford Bridge, where the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are new arrivals.

Juventus confirmed the termination of Gonzalo Higuain's contract in a move that will cost the Serie A champions €18.3million.

Higuain, 32, arrived at Juve from Napoli in 2016 and won three Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies with the club.

The forward, who spent 2018-19 on loan at Milan and Chelsea, scored 66 goals in 148 games for Juve.

Linked with a move to MLS side Inter Miami, Higuain's departure from Juve was confirmed on Thursday, with the former Argentina international having been contracted until 2021.

"Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces the mutual termination of the contract with the player Gonzalo Gerardo Higuain," a statement read.

"This operation generates a negative economic effect of approximately €18.3million on the 2019-2020 financial year due to the residual value write-down of the registration rights of the player."

Higuain has been heavily linked with a switch to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS, where former Juve team-mate Blaise Matuidi calls home.

Luis Suarez will still have a place in Barcelona's squad if he does not leave Camp Nou during the transfer window, says head coach Ronald Koeman.

Uruguay striker Suarez has been heavily tipped with an exit as part of an overhaul of the first-team squad by Koeman, who replaced Quique Setien in the wake of Barca's humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

It was expected the experienced forward would move to Serie A champions Juventus, though that deal has reportedly been complicated by the length of time required to obtain an Italian passport.

Suarez was again absent from Barca's squad for Wednesday's 3-1 friendly win over Girona but Koeman insists he would not be frozen out if a move fails to come to fruition. 

"I've spoken to him about his future and we are waiting to see whether or not he leaves, we still don't know," Koeman told Catalan network TV3 after the win over Girona.

"But we respect every contract here and if in the end he does not find a club and he stays, he will be just like any other player in the squad."

While Suarez's future remains shrouded in doubt, Philippe Coutinho is seemingly going to be afforded a second chance under Koeman.

The Brazil midfielder spent last season on loan at Bayern and was expected to find a new home for the coming season but has scored in friendly wins over Gimnastic and Girona, while he started in the latter fixture.

"He is in high spirits at the moment, training and playing well," Koeman said when asked about Coutinho. 

"He has great quality. We must bear in mind that he needs the support of the coach and the fans."

Barca have one final warm-up fixture against Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Saturday before starting their LaLiga campaign at home to Villarreal the following weekend.

Amine Harit has ruled out moving away from Schalke on the eve of the new Bundesliga season.

Morocco international Harit has been linked with a €20million move to last season's Champions League quarter-finalists Atalanta.

The 23-year-old, who missed the end of last season with an ankle injury, was reportedly reprimanded by coach David Wagner over his fitness during pre-season training.

The transfer window will remain open until October 5 but Harit insists he is not looking to leave Schalke.

"Schalke have a lot of confidence in me. I only extended my contract until 2024 in early December," Harit told Kicker.

"If I didn't want to stay at Schalke as long as possible, I wouldn't have extended my contract when it still had 18 months to run.

"I'm happy here, and all that matters to me is Schalke. Everything else is beyond my control.

"I'm facing my fourth season at Schalke. To be honest, when I signed three years ago it wasn't necessarily foreseeable that I would stay that long.

"But things have changed and developed, and I'm very happy about that."

Schalke begin their 2020-21 Bundesliga campaign away to reigning champions Bayern Munich on Friday.

Gareth Bale is returning to Tottenham.

Linked with a move from Real Madrid after being frozen out, the Wales international was reportedly a target for Manchester United.

But it seems Bale is heading back to Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – BALE TO COMPLETE TOTTENHAM RETURN

Bale is completing a return to Tottenham from Madrid, according to The Daily Mail.

The report says Bale has agreed to a season-long loan deal worth more than £13million, part of which will be financed by Madrid.

It comes as ESPN reported Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho sanctioned the move despite being warned Bale would struggle to meet expectations in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Tottenham and Sergio Reguilon will complete a medical at the club on Thursday before sealing a move from Madrid, according to the Evening Standard. The left-back, who was also linked to United, is set to cost around £25m (€27.5m) and the deal will include a buy-back option for LaLiga's champions. Meanwhile, the Mirror reports Danny Rose is set to leave Tottenham and join Genoa.

- Arsenal could be set to make a move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. Telefoot reports Arsenal are set to make a £36.4m (€40m) offer for Aouar, who is also apparently a target for Manchester City.

- Still linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, United are also apparently targeting other attackers. The Manchester Evening News reports the Red Devils are considering a move for Atalanta's 18-year-old attacker Amad Traore.

- Barcelona may be close to strengthening. The Daily Telegraph claims the Catalan giants are set to sign Ajax defender Sergino Dest, who was also linked to City and Bayern Munich.

- Could Inter make a move for United defender Chris Smalling? The centre-back seemed set to join Roma, where he was on loan last season, but no switch has materalised. Now, CalcioMercato reports Inter could step in and offer one of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic or Joao Mario to the Premier League club.

- Leicester City are set to land Cengiz Under from Roma. Fabrizio Romano says a £2.7m (€3m) loan bid with a £21.8m (€24m) obligation to buy the 23-year-old attacker has been accepted.

Neither Luis Suarez nor Arturo Vidal were included in the Barcelona squad for a friendly against Girona on Wednesday as the pair remain the subject of transfer speculation.

New Barca coach Ronald Koeman is leading an overhaul of the first-team squad at Camp Nou following their humiliating 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich under previous boss Quique Setien.

Lionel Messi is to remain with the Blaugrana despite pushing for a move, but team-mates Suarez and Vidal, both 33, have reportedly been told they can leave.

Suarez appeared set for a move to Juventus, joining Messi's great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, although reports have since suggested that deal has run into problems due to the length of time required to obtain an Italian passport.

Vidal, on the other hand, is said to be closing on his own Serie A move, linking up with Antonio Conte – his former Juve coach – at Inter.

Barca's latest squad included Messi and the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho but had no room for Suarez or Vidal.

The duo had also been absent for the previous friendly against Gimnastic.

After playing Girona, Koeman's charges take on Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy and then belatedly begin their LaLiga campaign at home to Villarreal on September 26.

Could Tottenham and Gareth Bale reunite?

Bale, who left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013, is not wanted in the Spanish capital.

While Manchester Untied are reportedly interested, former club Spurs are Bale's preference.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS LEAD BALE RACE

Tottenham are ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester United in the pursuit of Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, according to ESPN.

Bale has reportedly been told he can leave Madrid after falling out of favour with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Welshman wants to return to former club Tottenham after leaving Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and the Telegraph claims Dele Alli could be included in a deal to bring Bale back to London.

While United's interest is believed to be serious, it all depends on whether they are able to sign number one target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Transfer Podcast reports United believe that if they leave final negotiations for Sancho until the last week of the transfer window, Dortmund will eventually cave in and sell the England international. Dortmund have refused to budge on their €120million (£108m) valuation.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal are close to offloading unwanted trio Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. Kolasinac has been linked to West Ham, Valencia are considering Guendouzi and Torreira has been tipped to join Torino. The Gunners want to keep full-back Hector Bellerin but he may be sold to Paris Saint-Germain.

Roma are poised to sign Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, reports Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Juve close in on Roma striker Edin Dzeko, while Roma Press says the latter are set to complete the capture of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. He had been linked to Inter, Lazio and Juve.

-  Luis Suarez's move to Juve has collapsed, says RAC1. The Barcelona veteran had been tipped to leave Camp Nou for Turin but a delay in an Italian citizenship test has reportedly scuppered the deal. Atletico Madrid are now an option for the Uruguayan.

- The Mail claims Bayern Munich are ready to renew their interest in Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Englishman was linked to Bayern last year before opting to sign a new deal. Now, Hudson-Odoi could swap London for Munich before the October 5 deadline, with Juve also reportedly eyeing the Chelsea star.

- Diario AS reports Turkish giants Fenerbahce are eyeing Atletico's Diego Costa. Fenerbahce just sold striker Vedat Muriqi to Lazio and may use the transfer funds to bring Costa to Istanbul.

United had been favourites to land Sergio Reguilon from Madrid but the Telegraph and widespread reports say Tottenham are poised to sign the Spanish full-back. United have been reluctant to include a buy-back clause in any deal with Madrid.

- According to Sport Bild, Liverpool have contacted Bayern regarding Thiago Alcantara but the asking price is too high. United and Barca are also reportedly interested.

Giorgio Chiellini hopes his injury woes are behind him ahead of the new Serie A season but will not add to speculation linking Luis Suarez with a move to Juventus.

Juve have reportedly been involved in protracted negotiations to sign Suarez, who was involved in an infamous biting incident with Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, from Barcelona.

Suarez, Edin Dzeko and Moise Kean have all been linked with the Italian champions and new head coach Andrea Pirlo has acknowledged he wants another centre-forward as soon as possible.

Club captain Chiellini insisted those words represent enough discussion over the topic, with Juve looking to add a focal point to a star-studded attack that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Dejan Kulusevski and Paulo Dybala.

"Pirlo spoke on the subject and it was clear," Chiellini said to Sky Sport Italia when asked about Suarez.

"I won't add anything else, I have no comment."

The defender played the first half of Sunday's 5-0 friendly win over Novara as he looks to move on from a 2019-20 season that saw him play in just four league games because of an ACL injury and other fitness issues.

"On a personal level, the last year was hard," said Chiellini. "The wish for the new season is to feel good, be healthy and help my team-mates out on the pitch because being out is difficult.

"Playing with the national team has helped me - there is still a bit of rust to remove but that is OK."

Chiellini and Juve begin their Scudetto defence at home to Sampdoria on Sunday.

The 36-year-old added: "We have just started with Pirlo and know the new season will be strange and difficult because we have lived a crazy summer and the lockdown.

"But we are in good shape and cannot wait to get started. It is a long time until we can reach the final result, but we will try to get there."

Memphis Depay will reportedly join Barcelona, who are having problems in their pursuit of Lautaro Martinez.

After a trophy-less 2019-20 season, LaLiga giants Barca are rebuilding under Ronald Koeman.

They have been linked with numerous forwards, and one looks set to join as early as this week.

 

TOP STORY – DEPAY TO JOIN BARCELONA

Lyon star Depay will join Barcelona and his €30million move could be announced this week, according to De Telegraaf.

The move would see the forward reunite with his former Netherlands coach Koeman.

Depay scored 15 goals in 22 games for Lyon last season, during which he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona's move for Martinez is more complicated. Sport reports they are waiting for exits before making a move, while Real Madrid and Manchester City are keeping an eye on the forward. Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano claims Inter will have another meeting with Martinez's agents after the transfer window to extend his contract beyond 2023. It comes as Sport also believes former Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani has offered his services to Barca.

- Staying at Barcelona, Mundo Deportivo reports they will make a second offer for Eric Garcia. It says they are prepared to pay €15m (£13.9m) for the Manchester City defender, but the Premier League club want €18m (£16.7m). Meanwhile, Marca says Atletico Madrid have rejected a £92.5m (€100m) bid from City for defender Jose Gimenez.

- At Madrid, the attention is on a possible move for Kylian Mbappe next year. AS reports Los Blancos have an advantage over other clubs in their pursuit of the France international due to the forward's admiration for French coach Zinedine Zidane.

- Gareth Bale continues to be linked with Manchester United. The Sun reports United are preparing to make a loan move for the Real Madrid forward, whose high wages have seemingly made an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu difficult.

- United are also poised to make other moves. The Premier League giants are considering a move for Valencia midfielder Uros Racic, according to The Sun, which says the Serbian midfielder could be available for £28million (€30.3m). Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano claims United are in talks with Sergio Reguilon's agents, but club officials are unwilling to accept Real Madrid retaining a buy-back clause for the left-back.

- Lucas Torreira could be set for the Arsenal exit. CalcioMercato reports Torino have agreed to pay €24m (£22.2m) for the 24-year-old midfielder.

Lautaro Martinez is staying at Inter despite rumoured interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to the player's agent Carlos Beto Yaque.

Barcelona have been strongly linked with the Argentina international for a number of months, while LaLiga rivals Madrid have also recently been credited with an interest.

A couple of members of Martinez's entourage were seen entering Inter's headquarters on Monday, with reports in Italy suggesting Madrid had a bid accepted over the weekend. 

However, agent Beto Yaque insisted it was a routine meeting and the 23-year-old will remain at San Siro beyond the end of the transfer window.

"It was just a courtesy visit, that is all," he told Tuttomercatoweb. "There is nothing with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Lautaro is staying here at Inter."

Martinez scored 21 goals in all competitions as Inter finished second in Serie A and reached the Europa League final last season.

His €111million (£98.8m) release clause expired in July and he has three more years to run on his existing deal.

Sandro Tonali says he "closed all other doors" when his childhood team Milan made it clear they wanted to sign him. 

Milan announced the signing of the Italy international on loan with an option to buy for a reported €35million last week after three impressive seasons with Brescia.

Tonali, compared to Italian great Andrea Pirlo, had been tipped to join city rivals Inter, but he says the opportunity to join the Rossoneri was too good to turn down. 

"More or less everyone supports Milan where I'm from, including my father, who passed that passion onto me as a kid," he told a media conference. 

"I've wanted to wear this jersey for a while. I didn't speak much to Massimo Cellino [Brescia president], but he realised straight away what it meant to me. He said he'd let me make my choice and he kept his word.

"I asked him to make this effort for me and he was super about it. When I realised there was this opportunity to join Milan, I closed all the other doors. I had to go to Milan. I had to.

"My agent did most of the negotiating with Inter, so he quite rightly left me out of it so I wouldn't get distracted. As soon as I heard about Milan, and he knew that I supported them, we talked and I let him get to work."

A technically gifted midfielder renowned for his dribbling and passing abilities, Tonali scored once and registered seven assists for Brescia as they were relegated from Serie A in 2019-20.

He could make his debut in Thursday's Europa League qualifying clash against Shamrock Rovers, potentially lining up alongside one of his idols, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"We can't wait, we want to just go out there and play," he added. "It's a very high level of quality in this squad and all the team-mates – starting with Ibrahimovic – pass on that desire to win. We want to prove on the pitch what we can do.

"Ibra is another idol, someone I already admired the first time he played for Milan. He manages to just put the team on his shoulders and carry them to victory. He's a man to be taken as an example."

Inter goalkeeper Daniele Padelli has signed a new deal to keep him at the Serie A club until the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

The 34-year-old's previous contract expired at the end of last season but he has now agreed to stay on until June 2021.

Padelli has made eight appearances in three years at San Siro since joining from Torino, one of those coming in February's Milan derby after Samir Handanovic fractured a finger.

Inter confirmed the news in a short statement on their official website on Monday.

He is expected to be third-choice keeper this campaign behind Serbian teenager Filip Stankovic and undisputed number one Handanovic.

Antonio Conte's men, who finished runners-up in Serie A last term and reached the Europa League final, continue their pre-season programme against Lugano on Tuesday.

Leicester City's Timothy Castagne says he decided to leave Atalanta after being left out of the Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Belgium international scored on his debut for Leicester in Sunday's 3-0 Premier League win at West Brom.

He joined Brendan Rodgers' side on a five-year deal after impressing during three seasons with Atalanta, with his versatility as a wing-back capable of playing on either flank helping him to stand out.

However, Castagne says part of the reason he chose to move clubs was because he wanted a more regular playing position.

When he was omitted from the starting line-up for the 2-1 loss to PSG, coming on as a substitute with just eight minutes of normal time remaining, he knew the time was right to leave Bergamo.

"I could have renewed the contract," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The decision came after the game against PSG. The technical situation weighed on me. I'd been tried in the starting XI all week, and the night [of the game] I was left out. Honestly, it was a surprise.

"I needed to play regularly in the same role: once, I was on the right, then on the left, then on the bench. It wasn't exactly the best."

Castagne also suggested he would have preferred a more forthright relationship with Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

"Technically and tactically, he is among the absolute elite, but there wasn't a great relationship on a human level - not because of any particular problem between us," he said.

"He has his own way of doing things. For example, if you're left out, it would be important to have an explanation from the coach. But that's okay: this made me stronger mentally."

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