Jurgen Klopp discussed potentially facing Bruno Fernandes again this season after Liverpool were held by Sporting CP in a friendly on Wednesday.

Fernandes, who is heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, scored and set up another in the 2-2 draw at Yankee Stadium.

The 24-year-old Portugal international has reportedly been a target for Liverpool previously, but he impressed amid growing talk of a move to Old Trafford.

Klopp said the midfielder would only make Liverpool's Premier League rivals stronger if he made the move to United.

"If he will do that [join United], then we will face him," he told a news conference.

"He's obviously a really good player, they have already a few really good players so that will make them probably stronger. It's not nice, but it's not our cup of tea."

European champions Liverpool have endured a quieter close season and Klopp has suggested there could only be one further addition to his squad during this transfer window, having signed 17-year-old defender Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle.

However, the German ruled out moves for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale and Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho.

His side's depth was hit further on Wednesday with confirmation right-back Nathaniel Clyne sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

But, asked whether that injury would impact Liverpool's transfer plans, Klopp said: "No.

"The injury will not have an influence on our transfers."

Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum were on the scoresheet for Liverpool against Sporting as they finished their tour of the United States winless.

Former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti has joined Western United in a coup for the A-League newcomers.

Diamanti, 36, has joined the A-League club on a one-year marquee deal, it was confirmed on Thursday.

The playmaker, who made 17 appearances for Italy between 2010 and 2013, enjoyed a fine season with Livorno in Serie B in 2018-19, scoring 10 goals and providing seven assists in 32 games.

"I have played all around the world, with world-class clubs and team-mates and Western United stood out to me after speaking with the coaches and staff and hearing how they plan on having an impact in their first season in the A-League," Diamanti said.

"It's exciting to join a club in a country where the popularity of football is growing so quickly."

Diamanti joins former Bologna team-mate Panagiotis Kone as Western United's star signings ahead of their first season in the A-League.

The attacking midfielder has previously played for the likes of Fiorentina, West Ham and Watford.

Sporting CP head coach Marcel Keizer admitted reported Manchester United target Bruno Fernandes could leave the Portuguese club.

Fernandes has been linked to United throughout the transfer window and talk of a switch to Old Trafford has gathered pace with the Premier League season on the horizon.

Sporting president Frederico Varandas has already warned potential suitors the Portugal international will cost more than €62million, while Fernandes has revealed he would like to play in England.

Fernandes dazzled in New York on Wednesday, scoring a goal and setting up another in Sporting's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Asked about Fernandes post-match, Sporting head coach Keizer told reporters: "Bruno is a good player, an important player.

"Everyone would like that he stays but we do not know what the future will bring so we have to wait."

Fernandes scored 20 goals – 31 in all competitions – and supplied 13 assists in the Primeira Liga last season as Sporting finished third.

Keizer added: "I am just the coach. You ask the wrong guy. We know he plays very well and clubs like him and we have to see what happens.

"This is the job for the coach. You realise some players can go. Every player can go. Wait and see."

Sporting goalkeeper Renan Ribeiro was also asked about in-demand team-mate Fernandes and he told Sport TV: "While Bruno is here, we can say nothing. 

"The future belongs to God, let him decide in the best way… Who doesn't want to have Bruno in their team?"

Carlo Ancelotti said he has always had great strikers as Napoli continue to be linked with Inter outcast Mauro Icardi.

Icardi – absent from Inter's pre-season tour – is not wanted by new head coach Antonio Conte as the Serie A club try to sell their former captain.

Napoli and Italian champions Juventus are reportedly vying for Icardi's signature ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Asked about Icardi as Napoli also try to negotiate a deal with Real Madrid for James Rodriguez, Ancelotti told TV Luna following Wednesday's 3-3 draw against Cremonese: "A player in the James role can certainly help us in our finishing or in through balls for the strikers.

"I always had great centre-forwards in my career, from Pippo Inzaghi to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Icardi is a great centre-forward, as is Arkadiusz Milik.

"The Pole is perhaps a more complete player, even if the Argentine is a stronger finisher in the box.

"Talking about Icardi now would be undermining Milik's qualities, but I am sure we'll all be happy with the squad at our disposal come August 31."

It has been a busy off-season for Napoli, who finished second behind Juve in the race for the Scudetto last term.

Napoli have signed star defender Kostas Manolas from Roma and Fenerbahce's Eljif Elmas, while Amadou Diawara, Marko Rog and Raul Albiol have departed.

Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a Liverpool return for Philippe Coutinho as the Reds cannot afford to re-sign the Barcelona star.

Coutinho swapped Liverpool for Barcelona in January 2018 for a fee that could reach €160million (£142m) with add-ons, however, the Brazil international has already been linked with a move away.

The 27-year-old has struggled to cement himself in Barca's starting XI amid discontent from fans at Camp Nou, where he scored just five goals in 22 LaLiga starts last term.

A return to Champions League holders Liverpool has been mooted but Reds manager Klopp dismissed the possibility as he hailed his former attacking sensation.

"In general, Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, still – 100 per cent," Klopp told ESPN FC. "It's not about that.

"I like Phil, I think he's a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it's not our year for that.

"It's just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better – us included – but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona.

"Or maybe he found it there. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is only newspaper talk and stuff like that.

"If everything was true what newspapers write about me – wow! If it's similar to what they write about me, I would say he's completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract or whatever."

Klopp has also denied Liverpool could make a move for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, claiming the Wales forward's wages would be too expensive.

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce is "very confident" Sean Longstaff will be staying at the club amid reported interest from Manchester United.

Longstaff, 21, broke into Newcastle's first-team last season, making nine Premier League appearances between December and March, before suffering a knee injury.

The talented midfielder is said to have emerged as a primary transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men following several encouraging performances.

The Red Devils are said to have been put off by Newcastle's apparent £50million asking price for the inexperienced talent, though it is claimed United are preparing to test Newcastle's resolve.

Bruce is convinced Longstaff will be at St James' Park next term, however.

"We don't want to sell our best young players, that's for sure," Bruce told reporters on Wednesday during Joelinton's presentation.

"So, that won't happen. I'm very confident [Longstaff will not leave]."

Pedro Obiang has left West Ham for Serie A side Sassuolo in a deal reportedly worth €9million (£8m).

Obiang, 27, joined the Hammers from Sampdoria in 2015 after showing potential in Italy, but he has been unable to hold down a first-team spot in the Premier League.

Although the Spain-born Equatorial Guinea international played 24 times in the league last term, only 12 of those outings were as a starter and he has opted for a return to Serie A.

Obiang reportedly secured a four-year deal, though Sassuolo did not confirm the length of his contract or the fee paid to sign him.

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will not be among the clubs chasing Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale as the Wales international will be "outstandingly expensive".

Bale's time at Madrid looks to be drawing to a close after six years as Zinedine Zidane has made it clear the former Tottenham star is not in his plans.

Zidane claimed last week the club were in negotiations to sell Bale with an offer from a Chinese club said to have been tabled, though he did feature for Los Blancos against Arsenal on Wednesday, scoring in a 2-2 draw.

Tentative links with Manchester United remain and though there have been reports of interest from elsewhere his massive wages are thought to be putting potential suitors off.

Former Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince suggested the Reds should bolster their attacking options with Bale, but Klopp dismissed such a move as fantasy.

"These fantastic football players have some strange ideas," Klopp told Sky Sports of Ince's comments.

"I respect them all so much, but they probably only say these things because somebody asked them.

"Bale is a Real Madrid player and if he leaves it will be outstandingly expensive and big wages.

"He is an outstanding player, I like him a lot, but it is not about him. You have to create a team. A team is not a collection of the best individual players, they have to work together.

"Liverpool is a long-term project. The team is really good. Will there be difficult situations? Probably.

"There would be if we bring in a new player, or two or three. I didn't say we won't do anything, it is going to be a big window for sure, but people don't think about the people who are already in.

"Sometimes you have to calm the situation down, pay your bills, have a normal life and live in the house before you build a new one."

Liverpool are yet to make a major signing since winning last season's Champions League.

Pep Guardiola has reiterated his desire to see Leroy Sane remain at Manchester City amid interest from Bayern Munich.

Sane starred in City's pre-season demolition of Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee on Wednesday, scoring twice in a 6-1 win.

Niko Kovac had labelled Sane as Bayern's "dream player" following the Bundesliga champions' 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the United States, as the saga rumbles on into the closing stages of the window.

Sane is yet to sign a new contract at City, though Guardiola has maintained the club wish to keep the former Schalke forward, who has been offered a new deal.

And, having been thrilled with Sane's display, Guardiola reaffirmed his wish for the 23-year-old to remain at City, though acknowledged it could be out of the club's control.

"He had a good game, especially in the second half," Guardiola told a press conference.

"He is a guy we appreciate, I like him a lot. I think he can be better. Two times, three times I have said that we want him to stay.

"That's why he has an offer to extend his contract. It's not in our hands.

"The agreement is good and if he wants to leave, I'll be sad. Hopefully, he stays."

Lewis Baker has followed Chelsea team-mate Ethan Ampadu to the Bundesliga, joining Fortuna Dusseldorf on a season-long loan.

Chelsea are serving a transfer ban and look set to utilise more of their large squad under new boss Frank Lampard.

But while players including Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have been handed chances to impress in pre-season Baker has made a single appearance, playing 45 minutes against Bohemians.

And after Wales international Ampadu joined RB Leipzig on a season-long loan deal on Monday, Baker has also left for Germany's top flight.

Dusseldorf have agreed a loan move for the midfielder, who spent last season on loan with Championship sides Leeds United and Reading, with an option to buy also included.

"I am very happy that it has finally worked out after the negotiations in recent days," said Baker, 24.

"I cannot wait to join my new team and meet everyone. It will be an exciting challenge for me to play in the Bundesliga. For me, the Bundesliga is one of the top leagues in the world."

Real Madrid have confirmed Marco Asensio suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in their International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal.

Asensio scored after coming on as a second-half substitute in Madrid's penalty shoot-out victory at FedExField but was on the field for just 20 minutes before he had to be taken off on a stretcher.

He was then taken to hospital with an injury that coach Zinedine Zidane described as "worrisome", and his fears were confirmed when doctors revealed the extent of the damage to Asensio's knee.

The club released a statement confirming he has ruptured the ligament and external meniscus in his left knee. ​

Asensio will have surgery in the coming days and faces a long lay-off that may have a knock-on effect on Madrid's plans in the transfer market and throw Dani Ceballos' prospective loan move to Arsenal into doubt.

Gareth Bale's future also remains unclear but Zidane may be in the mood to review his situation in light of Asensio's injury.

Bale scored against Arsenal but Zidane said after the game that nothing had changed regarding the Wales international's future, having previously said the club is looking to sell him.

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Egypt international Mahmoud Hassan, known as Trezeguet, from Kasimpasa.

Trezeguet scored Egypt's opening goal at the Africa Cup of Nations in June, making four appearances as the tournament hosts crashed out in the last 16.

The 24-year-old scored nine goals in Turkey's top flight last season, having netted 13 times in his first season at Kasimpasa following a loan move from Anderlecht.

Villa have paid a reported £8.75million for Trezeguet, who also made three appearances at the World Cup in 2018 and becomes the club's ninth signing of the close season.

"We're really excited to work with Trez. I've watched him a number of times," Villa head coach Dean Smith told their official website.

"He's the type of wide player that we have been looking for who is direct, causes problems for the opposition in the final third and scores goals."

A serious injury to Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio "could be bad news" for Arsenal's hopes of signing Dani Ceballos, according to Gunners boss Unai Emery.

Asensio lasted just 20 minutes of Madrid's International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal, scoring Madrid's second goal in a 2-2 draw and 3-2 penalty shoot-out victory before he was taken off with an apparent knee injury and taken to hospital.

Zinedine Zidane admitted the injury looked "worrying", and Emery conceded his side might struggle to complete a season-long loan for Ceballos if Los Blancos are short of midfielders.

Asked whether the injury would affect the prospective deal, Emery told reporters: "I don't know.

"Our target also was not to take injuries in that match, and they maybe have with Asensio.

"It [could be] bad news, for them and also for us. I don't know if it can change something."

Emery was asked about the future of club captain Laurent Koscielny, who refused to travel to the United States for Arsenal's pre-season tour and has been linked to Lyon, Bordeaux and Borussia Dortmund.

Koscielny has one year left on his Arsenal contract and the coach indicated he feels he has done all he can to keep the 33-year-old at Emirates Stadium.

"I've spoken about him, with respect to him," said Emery. "I tried to be with us in the position here and continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us.

"When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him.

"He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility. Now it's one issue only for the club and him.

"My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here."

With Paul Pogba's future far from certain, Manchester United are determined to boost their midfield.

Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has emerged as a transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United.

And a move to Old Trafford could be imminent for the Serbia international…

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC SET FOR UNITED

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, reports La Repubblica.

According to the Italian newspaper, a deal is practically done for €75million plus various add-ons, with Milinkovic-Savic to sign a five-year contract.

The report comes as Real Madrid apparently accelerate their effort to prise Pogba from United.

ROUND-UP

- According to Le Parisien, Paris Saint-Germain have made a €32m (£28.7m) offer for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. The Senegal international is tipped to become PSG's sixth signing of the off-season.

- Lille have rejected an offer from Manchester United for star forward Nicolas Pepe, according to Yahoo Sports France. With United's Romelu Lukaku keen to join Inter, Pepe has been linked to the Premier League giants and he is reportedly open to moving to Old Trafford.

- According to ElDesmarque, Roma and Everton are vying to sign Malcom from Barcelona. Roma thought they had signed Malcom last season but the Brazilian sensationally opted for the LaLiga giants at the last minute.

Inter are ready to renew their pursuit of Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Calciomercato. It comes as the Serie A side struggle to reach a deal with United for Lukaku.

- According to reports in United Kingdom, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to sign a lucrative five-year deal worth £100,000-a-week.

- Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has emerged as a possible target for AC Milan, says Calciomercato. Milan have reportedly failed in their attempts to sign Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani from Juventus.

- According to widespread reports, Andre Silva's move from AC Milan to Monaco has collapsed. RMC Sport in France says the deal is definitely off, while La Repubblica claims the Portugal international failed to agree personal terms. Milan, however, are reportedly still confident of signing Angel Correa from Atletico Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane praised Gareth Bale's goalscoring performance against Arsenal but insisted nothing had changed with the Real Madrid outcast.

Bale came off the bench to rescue Madrid, who trailed 2-0 at half-time before the Wales star scored to inspire a 2-2 draw at the International Champions Cup, where Zidane's men prevailed 3-2 on penalties.

Tipped to leave Madrid, Bale sat out last week's loss to Bayern Munich, but he was surprisingly involved in Maryland after Zidane claimed the 30-year-old was close to departing the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked about Bale's performance on Tuesday, head coach Zidane – who saw Nacho Fernandez sent off in the ninth minute for a handball – told reporters: "He has played a good game and I am happy for him. As for everyone.

"He is with us and we will continue working. We play well 10 against 11 and better 10 against 10. I don't know what will happen. He wanted to play and the other day no.

"I haven't talked to him. He has trained normally and that's why he played. Nothing has changed, you know what the situation is like."

Bale stole the show in the second half at FedEx Field, where Marco Asensio also impressed before he left the field on a stretcher.

Substitute Asensio equalised three minutes after Bale reduced the deficit in the 56th minute against Arsenal, who had Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off for a second yellow card prior to the interval.

However, Asensio's game was abruptly cut short by an apparent knee injury and Zidane revealed he is very concerned.

"It's worrisome," Zidane said. "Hopefully not, but he's gone directly to the hospital to test. It looks bad."

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