Neymar signing for Real Madrid was a prospect Lionel Messi feared was about to become a reality.

The Brazil superstar featured in a lethal front three alongside Messi and Luis Suarez at Camp Nou before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m move two years ago.

Reports of Neymar wishing to return to LaLiga have been frequent since then and an 'MSN' reunion was mooted during the close season.

But with Barcelona unable to put together a package to make the deal happen, Messi worried his old team-mate would end up pulling on the famous white shirt of their sworn rivals.

"I honestly thought that in this market, if he did not come here, he would go to Madrid, because I really thought he wanted to leave," five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi told RAC1.

"He said it, he wanted to change, to leave Paris. I thought that Florentino [Perez, Real Madrid president] and Madrid would do something to take him away."

Barcelona still boast a plethora of elite forward options.

Messi is back to fitness after a calf problem delayed his start to the 2019-20 season, while Suarez came through a period of criticism to score four times in the space of eight days before the international break.

Big-money arrival Antoine Griezmann is still bedding in, although his fellow France international Ousmane Dembele must serve a suspension having been sent off for dissent during the 4-0 victory against Sevilla last time out.

In his report, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz said Dembele told him he was "very bad, you're very bad" in response to Barca youngster Ronald Araujo being red-carded.

Like coach Ernesto Valverde, Messi was perplexed by the incident – mainly due to Dembele's lack of aptitude with the Spanish language – that means the winger is set to miss El Clasico at Camp Nou later this month.

"It is very difficult for him to be able to say that because it is difficult for him to put together sentences and speak well enough to speak clearly," Messi said.

"The coach supported him at a press conference. The truth is we were surprised that [the referee] understood it so clearly because Ousmane has a hard time speaking Spanish – although he makes himself understood and understands everything.

"It's difficult [to accept the referee] understood it so clearly. That's just the way it is."

As pressure builds on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is speculation Manchester United are already looking around for future managers.

According to reports, one such potential candidate is a man making waves in the Bundesliga, now with RB Leipzig.

Even though Solskjaer appears to have the backing of United's hierarchy, the time might come to look to the future - just like the club's former manager Jose Mourinho, who has his eye on a comeback.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED CONSIDER NAGELSMANN

Manchester United are interested in Julian Nagelsmann as a future manager, according to the Daily Mail.

Just 32, Nagelsmann has impressed in the Bundesliga, initially with Hoffenheim and this season at RB Leipzig.

Although Ole Solskjaer still has support at the club despite their worst league start for 30 years, it is reported by the newspaper that United are "gathering information" on Nagelsmann with a view to a future approach to take charge of the first team.

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- Jose Mourinho, is plotting a Premier League return and is keeping an eye on Mauricio Pochettino's situation at Tottenham, according to the Daily Mail.

- Whatever happens with the United manager job, transfer plans for next year are already being drawn up. The big names being eyed for next season are Kalidou Koulibaly and Declan RiceGoal reports.

- In Italy, Juventus have made it clear they will not sell Paulo Dybala in the January transfer window, Calciomercato says. Dybala was linked with United and Spurs in the previous window.

Gareth Bale, meanwhile, considers being left out of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge to be the final straw at Real Madrid, and he wants out next year, AS claims.

- Finally, in more news concerning United bosses of the past, the Mirror and the Daily Mail say there is a growing chance David Moyes could return to Everton if the under-fire Marco Silva is sacked, with the Scot now odds-on in some places to take charge again.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be concerned that one more significant defeat could see him sacked as Manchester United manager.

Although Ed Woodward has given his backing to the former striker and insisted the club has faith in their longer-term plan, it seems the loss to Newcastle United on Sunday has caused particular concern.

AC Milan, meanwhile, could make a change in the dugout on Tuesday, while Real Madrid are considering a Chelsea midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – SOLKSJAER FACING SACK IF UNITED LOSE HANDSOMELY TO LIVERPOOL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not survive at Manchester United if they suffer a significant defeat to Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the Mirror claim executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was very concerned by the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, despite giving the manager public support.

It is suggested Woodward could choose to dismiss Solskjaer if United are beaten heavily by league leaders Liverpool on October 20 - much as Jose Mourinho was sacked after a 3-1 loss at Anfield last year.

 

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- United are in desperate need of goals but one of their targets, Moussa Dembele, could be stolen away from Lyon by Everton for £40million in January, according to Football Insider.

AC Milan are another major club ready to make a change in the dugout. Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Rossoneri could replace Marco Giampaolo with former Inter boss Stefano Pioli as early as Tuesday.

- Inter, meanwhile, are plotting a bid for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to Calciomercato.com.

Real Madrid appear to have turned a corner under Zinedine Zidane but the former France star still wants a new midfielder. Sport say he has sanctioned a possible January bid for Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

- In France, Sylvinho paid the price for Lyon's poor form - particularly Sunday's derby defeat to Saint-Etienne - and the Ligue 1 side are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino as his replacement, according to Soccer Link.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

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- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

Wayne Rooney has predicted Liverpool will win the Premier League title, preventing Manchester City from becoming champions for the third straight season.

Rooney, a former Manchester United captain and the club's all-time record goalscorer, faces seeing his old team's two rivals fight for the title for the second campaign in a row.

Liverpool moved eight points clear at the top after Saturday's dramatic defeat of Leicester City, James Milner's 95th-minute penalty securing a 17th successive league win, with City in action at home to Wolves on Sunday.

Ex-England striker Rooney, who will join Championship side Derby County as a player-coach in January, feels it will be Jurgen Klopp's Reds who come out on top this term.

"In my opinion, Liverpool look the strongest," DC United star Rooney told boxing outlet iFL TV after Gennady Golovkin beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden. 

"City are a fantastic team. I think Liverpool have improved on last year. City have stayed at that level of great consistency. I think Liverpool."

Another of Rooney's former sides have had a tough start to 2019-20 with Burnley inflicting a fourth successive Premier League loss on Liverpool's city rivals Everton.

Pressure is growing on Marco Silva with the Toffees 17th in the table, a point above the relegation zone, but Rooney expects his boyhood club to improve.

"I think the players are too good to be where they are in the league," he added.

"Once results start coming, they'll definitely get out of it."

Real Madrid lead the race to sign Donny van de Beek with Manchester United seemingly out of the running for the Ajax player.

Van de Beek, 22, has developed into one of the most wanted midfielders in Europe after impressing with Ajax.

Madrid and United have been among the clubs linked with a move for the Netherlands international, but the Spanish giants are said to be favourites.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID LEAD VAN DE BEEK RACE WITH MAN UNITED UNWILLING TO MEET AJAX DEMANDS

Real Madrid are in pole position to sign Van de Beek as Manchester United have been unwilling to pay big money for the Ajax man, according to the Mirror.

The report says Ajax asked the Premier League club for £35million (€39.3m) three months ago, but they are now seeking £100million (€112.3m) which has not put off Madrid.

Madrid have been linked to numerous midfielders, including United's Paul Pogba.

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- Still linked with Real Madrid, Pogba is also reportedly considering signing a new contract at Manchester United. The Mirror says United have denied they are being held to ransom by Pogba amid reports he is demanding £600,000 per week to sign his new deal.

- Lautaro Martinez scored at Camp Nou on Wednesday and the Inter forward's performance has left Barcelona wanting more. The LaLiga giants' attention has returned to Martinez after the display, according to Sport, with the Argentina international having previously been linked with Barca.

- With Real Madrid eyeing midfielders, Wolves' Ruben Neves is being linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, claims Don Balon, which says €50million (£44.5m) could be enough to get a deal done.

- Arsenal are willing to pay £49.9million (€56m) for PSV striker Donyell Malen, according to Tuttosport. The 20-year-old was previously in the Premier League club's academy and has attracted interest after netting eight goals in as many Eredivisie games this season.

- Victor Valdes' return to Barcelona appears set to be short-lived. Mundo Deportivo reports the club's under-19s coach, appointed in July, is set to lose his job after a string of disagreements.

Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella claimed he is prepared to die for Antonio Conte as the Serie A leaders focus on a top-of-the-table clash with Juventus.

San Siro will be the setting for a blockbuster Derby d'Italia when the league's two outstanding teams battle for top spot going into the international break.

Though edged out by Barcelona on Wednesday, Inter have been transformed under Conte this season and take a perfect domestic record into Sunday's game.

Barella's fine form since arriving from Cagliari has aided the Nerazzurri's rise, but the Italy international directed all plaudits to his head coach.

"He has a different attitude, a way of talking to you that gives you something new," Barella told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"For him, I would get myself killed. That applies to all his players and that makes the difference.

"Have you seen how Conte's teams run? It is not just because they are well prepared. It is because of the message he puts in your head."

Barella has appeared in all six of Inter's Serie A matches this term and scored a vital late equaliser in the Champions League draw with Slavia Prague in September.

Yet the 22-year-old might not have joined the club had he pursued an offer to link up with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea last season.

Juve boss Sarri was in charge at Stamford Bridge at the time but failed to convince his target to abandon Cagliari as they battled relegation.

"Yes, Chelsea wanted me in January," Barella said.

"But it was not an easy time for Cagliari. I said I would stay and make a decision at the end of the season."

Neymar may not have secured his return to Barcelona, but the Paris Saint-Germain star's future continues to make headlines.

The Brazil forward was keen on making a Barca comeback, two years after his world-record transfer to the French capital.

But as Antoine Griezmann struggles to settle in at Camp Nou, the Frenchman could see himself shipped out to make way for Neymar.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR & GRIEZMANN IN SWAP DEAL

Barcelona are considering the possibility of sending Griezmann to Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar, claims Le10Sport.

Neymar was unable to secure a return to Barca during the transfer window following his €222million exit in 2017.

But as Griezmann – who only arrived from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in the off-season – finds it difficult to settle and develop a relationship with Lionel Messi, the Barca recruit is being talked about as a possible makeweight.

 

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- Leicester City star James Maddison is Tottenham's number one target to replace soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen, according to the Daily Star. Maddison has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Real Madrid could trigger Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak's €120m release clause as Thibaut Courtois struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu, according to ElDesmarque.

- The front page of Corriere dello Sport says Lazio have signed star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to a new contract until 2024. The deal, worked out in secret for another season, appears to end speculation of a move to the likes of InterUnited, Real Madrid, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.

Gennaro Gattuso could make a sensational return to AC Milan, but only in an unlikely scenario. Amid mounting pressure on coach Marco Giampaolo, El Corriere claims Gattuso – who stepped down at the end of 2018-19 – would make his way back to San Siro if directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban quit.

- The Express says Chelsea will offer Willian a new contract amid links to LaLiga champions Barcelona. It comes as the Evening Standard reports the Blues will reward Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori with fresh deals.

- Could Carlo Ancelotti leave Napoli at the end of the season? Corriere dello Sport suggests the Italian head coach could depart if results do not improve. Napoli are already six points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter.

- Marca says Manchester United are keeping an eye on Mexico international Jose Juan Macias. The 20-year-old Leon forward scored his first international goal on debut for El Tri on Wednesday.

- Ernesto Valverde's future as Barcelona boss is far from certain and with that in mind, TNT Sport reports that River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo is the club's first choice.

Tottenham star Son Heung-min would be open to a future move to Serie A side Napoli, according to his agent Thies Bliemeister.

Son has established himself as one of the best forwards in the Premier League and Europe since joining Tottenham from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.

The South Korea international has scored 70 goals for Spurs, while he played a key role in the club's memorable run to last season's Champions League final.

However, a new adventure in Italy could interest the 27-year-old, who has netted three goals in all competitions this term.

"I've never brought a player to Napoli, but I'd like to because [Diego] Maradona, my favourite player, played for them," Bliemeister told Radio Marte's 'Si gonfia la rete'.

"I've talked to Napoli in the past, with executives who are no longer at the club. I'll take advantage of this double-header with Salzburg to talk to them.

"As for Son at Napoli, why not? You can never say never in football. Son likes Italy, the food and Italian people.

"It's not easy to take him from Tottenham because he costs a lot but, one day, who knows?"

Son scored the opening goal in Tottenham's humiliating 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich on Tuesday as Spurs look to bounce back against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Eddie Howe described speculation linking Bournemouth's Callum Wilson with a transfer to Manchester United as "pointless", and backed the striker to maintain his recent good form.

Wilson has scored five goals in seven Premier League appearances for the Cherries this season, helping the club to a three-game unbeaten run ahead of their trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

The 27-year-old's performances have led to suggestions he could be the solution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's attacking problems at Old Trafford, but Howe indicated such rumours are to be expected when a player is performing so well.

Howe told reporters: "To hear transfer links and rumours at this stage, when the window is shut and a long way from being open, for me it's pointless talking about it.

"I take with a pinch of salt, to be honest, at this stage of the season. There's nothing that we can do, that Callum can do, other than perform well.

"That influences rumours and things like that at this stage of the season. He's just got to focus on his next game and give his best for this club."

Wilson, who signed a four-year contract at Bournemouth in July, was named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Southgate included Wilson along with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in his attacking options, and Howe backed his player to carry his club form onto the international stage.

"It's deserved," said Howe of Wilson's call-up. "I think he's had a good start to the season.

"I think with Callum we have just been focusing on his performances and making sure he delivers what we need for the team.

"On the back of that, we have always said we feel he will score goals if he gets the finer points of his performance right.

"I think he has and now he's in a confident mood – that's a great sign for us and for him."

Real Madrid are eager to strengthen and moves are set to be made in January.

The LaLiga giants' mixed start to the season continued with a surprise draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Madrid plan to make signings in January – and two midfielders remain on their list.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WANT JANUARY SIGNINGS AMID ERIKSEN, VAN DE BEEK LINKS

Real Madrid are planning to strengthen their squad in January and Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek are at the forefront of their thinking, according to Marca.

Eriksen is coming out of contract at the end of the season, while Van de Beek seemingly wants to finish the campaign at Ajax.

While Madrid are top of LaLiga, they have collected just one point from their opening two Champions League games in Group A.


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- Manchester United's main targets seemingly remain unchanged. Sky Sports News reports the Premier League club have Juventus' Mario Mandzukic and Bournemouth's Callum Wilson as their main striker targets ahead of the January window.

- Leicester City are keeping tabs on 15-year-old Turkish midfielder Burak Ince, according to Fotospor. Manchester City are also reportedly interested in the teenager who would cost in the region of £1.3m.

- Spain are still waiting for Ansu Fati. The Barcelona teenager is yet to receive the necessary paperwork to debut for Spain, according to AS. Sport reports authorisation will arrive next week, with a debut for the senior team or Under-21s a possibility.

- The Football Association has requested to see evidence after Liverpool allegedly paid Manchester City £1million after a complaint from the Premier League champions that their scouting system had been hacked, according to The Times.

Martin Odegaard is enjoying a stellar season at Real Sociedad.

On loan from Real Madrid, Odegaard's starring performances are attracting interest from across Europe.

A Norwegian connection at Manchester United could see Odegaard move to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT ODEGAARD

Manchester United have joined the race to sign in-form Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, according to The Sun.

Odegaard is currently on loan at LaLiga side Real Sociedad, where the 20-year-old has scored two goals and supplied two assists this term.

The Norway international, who joined Madrid from Stromsgodset in 2015 but only has two appearances to his name for the Spanish giants, has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester CityLiverpool and Arsenal.

 

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- The Daily Mail reports manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to leave struggling Tottenham. It comes after Spurs' season hit a new low following Tuesday's embarrassing 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich. Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been linked to the London club.

- As doubts grow over Pochettino, The Sun claims ex-Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will wait until the end of the season before taking a Premier League job. Allegri, who left Serie A champions Juventus at the end of 2018-19, has emerged as a possible target for Tottenham and United.

Arsenal have the chance to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano for £53million (€59.4m) at the end of the season, claims L'Equipe. The Gunners were heavily linked to the 20-year-old during the recent transfer window and they could return for the defender, whose release clause is reportedly set to drop.

- Bayern Munich are interested in Birmingham teenager Jude Bellingham, says The Sun. The 16-year-old has impressed in the Championship this season with two goals in six matches. Bundesliga champions Bayern have an eye on English talent following their unsuccessful pursuit of Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi.

- Sport Bild claims Bayern will "resume talks with Leroy Sane's management in the coming weeks". The Manchester City star was targeted by the German giants before suffering a serious ligament injury in the Community Shield.

- According to Calciomercato, Juventus are hoping to agree a new deal with midfielder Blaise Matuidi. The Frenchman, who was linked with a move away before the transfer window closed, is out of contract at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports Juve boss Maurizio Sarri is keen on reuniting with Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.

Inter are set to launch a shock January move for Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez, says Calciomercato. Antonio Conte's list of attacking options to add to Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez reportedly includes Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic, Udinese's Kevin Lasagna and Andrea Petagna of SPAL.

Donny van de Beek plans to see out the season with Ajax as the Dutch star ruled out a January switch to Real Madrid.

Van de Beek confirmed during the transfer window that Madrid contacted Ajax over a possible deal, but a move to the LaLiga giants did not materialise.

The 22-year-old continues to be linked with Madrid as he stars for Eredivisie holders Ajax, however, the Netherlands international wants to see out 2019-20 in Amsterdam.

"I don't want to leave during the winter break," Van de Beek told Voetbal International.

"I play here all season, I finish at Ajax this year. That gives me clarity and tranquillity. I will see what happens next. 

"Maybe someday in my career it will happen that I switch club during the winter break, but now I don't like it."

Van de Beek scored as Ajax accounted for Valencia 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

He has netted three goals in all competitions this term, while supplying four assists in Eredivisie.

Another day, another Paul Pogba rumour.

Pogba continues to dominate headlines, even with the transfer window closed.

Having been tipped to leave Manchester United previously, a return to Turin could be on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA KEEN ON JUVE COMEBACK

Manchester United star Paul Pogba is still open to returning to Serie A champions Juventus, says Calciomercato.

Pogba is reportedly eyeing a United exit, three years after his £89.3million (€105m) arrival from the Bianconeri.

The France midfielder was heavily linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Juve before the transfer window closed in September and the speculation will not subside.

 

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Massimiliano Allegri is learning English as he targets the Manchester United job, says The Guardian. Allegri is without a club since leaving Juventus in the off-season and the Italian is keen on a move to Old Trafford should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leave.

- According to the Daily Star, United are lining up a £90million double transfer in January. With Solskjaer keen for reinforcements, the Red Devils are reportedly lining up Lyon forward Moussa Dembele and Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.

- Having identified Ajax's Donny van de Beek as a midfield option before the window shut, Real Madrid are keen to watch more talent from the Dutch champions. AS reports that Madrid will look at Ajax in their next Champions League fixture against Valencia on Wednesday, with Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Lisandro Martinez and Edson Alvarez all on the list.

- According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are hoping to offload out-of-favour playmaker Mesut Ozil in January. The German has previously been linked to MLS outfit DC United, who are set to lose Wayne Rooney to Derby County.

- Former Italy and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta could be in line to become the next Genoa head coach, claims Il Secolo XIX. Aurelio Andreazzoli is reportedly set to be sacked if Genoa lose to AC Milan on Saturday and Motta, who also played for Serie A side Inter, could be his replacement.

- According to Calciomercato and La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira, Juventus great Claudio Marchisio is set to announce his retirement. The 33-year-old – a free agent since leaving Zenit in July – has been linked to Rangers, Brescia and Flamengo.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana would be delighted if Barcelona wanted to sign him back and is unsure if he will stay in the Eredivisie next season.

The 23-year-old spent five years with Barca's academy before signing for Ajax as an 18-year-old in 2015.

Onana has since established himself as one of the most promising keepers in Europe and played a key role in Ajax's surprise run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

The Cameroon international said last year that he would love the chance to go back to Barca if the opportunity arose, although he chose to extend his Ajax contract to 2022 in March.

Onana will always be grateful to Ajax for giving him the chance of first-team football, but the prospect of a return to Camp Nou remains hugely tempting.

"I don't know what will happen next year, if I will stay or not," he told Marca.

"I never imagined I would play in a Europa League final or Champions League semi-finals. When I left Barcelona, my idea was to be the third goalkeeper of a top-level team and then have the opportunity to get into a professional team, to learn from the biggest, and Ajax gave me that opportunity.

"I want to be the best goalkeeper in the world. It's the dream I have and, as they say, dreaming is not forbidden.

"[Barcelona] have always been my club. They gave me everything. It was the road to get into Europe and I'm very grateful. 

"If they loved me again, I'd be delighted, but you never know."

Onana and Ajax return to Spain on Wednesday to face Valencia at Mestalla in the Champions League.

They thrashed Real Madrid 4-1 on their last visit to the country, but Onana believes it will be tougher for Ajax to get a result now that teams have begun to figure out their approach.

"We had a very tough game against a great rival and the truth is we achieved the unthinkable in knocking them out in their own stadium," he said. "But now we have another great opportunity to play against Valencia.

"It's much harder for us to play now because everyone knows us. It's another great game for me and it's not easy to play as the away side on a pitch like that, especially against one of the greats in the Champions League, but our mentality is to go to win."

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