Lorenzo Insigne believes James Rodriguez would flourish at Napoli if he chooses to join the Serie A club.

Napoli appear locked in a two-team race to sign the Colombia playmaker, who reportedly favours a move to Atletico Madrid.

The battle may come down to whichever club is willing to meet Real Madrid's asking price which, according to Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis, is beyond reasonable.

Atletico have denied being close to an agreement and Italy international Insigne remains hopeful James will consider a switch to Stadio San Paolo.

"The doors are open for strong players, we welcome them all," the Napoli captain told Radio Kiss Kiss.

"James Rodriguez is a true number 10, he has quality and together with us he would be great.

"Those choices, however, are up to the coach and the club."

Napoli have been quiet in the transfer market to date, acquiring only centre-half Kostas Manolas from Roma and right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo from Empoli since the end of last season.

But after two successive second-place finishes and with the defender Insigne views as the best in Europe, Kalidou Koulibaly, already on board, Carlo Ancelotti's men are continuing to aim high.

"The Scudetto is everyone's dream," Insigne said.

"In the past few years we have come close and we have been disappointed. I'm convinced that if we all play with this determination we can cause trouble for anyone.

"We know we have a great competitor like Juve in front of us, but things could change this season with the new coach [at Juve, former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri].

"I think we are getting stronger, but we have to start off on the right foot because we have the potential to fight at the top."

West Ham have completed the club-record signing of Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for a reported fee of £45million.

The Premier League side agreed a deal on Tuesday with Frankfurt, who granted Haller permission to travel to London for a medical.

The 25-year-old has now signed a five-year deal with the Hammers, with the option of a further 12 months.

The striker becomes the most expensive signing in the club's history, eclipsing the reported £36m paid to Lazio for Felipe Anderson last year.

"I feel really great," Haller told West Ham's website. "I think it's a really good opportunity for me to be here.

"It means a lot [to be the record signing]. It proves that the club [has] really wanted me for a long time. I felt this desire to sign me and I'm really happy to sign, also. It is an ambitious club, a nice club, a nice city and nice fans too."

Haller scored 20 goals in all competitions in 2018-19, including five in Eintracht's run to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

He will be tasked with spearheading the West Ham attacking following Marko Arnautovic's move to Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG.

Manuel Pellegrini's side had been tipped to sign Maxi Gomez before turning their attentions to Haller after the Celta Vigo forward moved to Valencia.

"I will always give 100 per cent and respect the club," Haller added.

"I think this is a normal thing and that I can guarantee. I know it's a big transfer and there is a lot of expectation around me, and I just want to make people proud of this transfer and I will give everything I have."

Danny Rose, Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou look set to leave Tottenham after being allowed to skip the pre-season tour of Asia to pursue transfers.

Spurs confirmed their 26-man travelling squad for their International Champions Cup fixtures in Singapore and Shanghai on Wednesday.

Rose, Janssen and Nkoudou have been granted extra time off granted "in order to explore prospective opportunities with other clubs".

Left-back Rose has battled Ben Davies for a place in Mauricio Pochettino's first team in recent seasons, although he still made 37 appearances last term and started the Champions League final defeat to Liverpool.

Spurs will reportedly seek a fee in the region of £25million for the 29-year-old.

Janssen had been frozen out of Pochettino's plans but he did make three Premier League appearances in 2018-19 against Brighton and Hove Albion, West Ham and Everton.

Nkoudou, meanwhile, spent the second half of last term on loan at Monaco after failing to break into the Spurs side.

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has refused to discount the prospect of the Manchester United midfielder returning to Juventus.

Raiola has confirmed the France star is keen for a new challenge three years after returning to United from Juve in what was then a world-record fee of £89.3million.

Pogba appears most likely to join either Real Madrid or Juve if he leaves Old Trafford, although both clubs are likely to face difficulty in generating sufficient funds to tempt United into a sale.

The Serie A champions are poised to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax in a deal that could reportedly cost them as much as €80m, meaning they would almost certainly need to sell players or offer a part-exchange deal to United to stand any chance of securing Pogba's signature.

However, Raiola is not prepared to rule out Pogba's return to Turin, telling reporters on Wednesday: "I live my life day by day. This is what I can say. Today I am here; tomorrow, I don't know."

For now, Raiola is more concerned with finalising De Ligt's move to Juve from Eredivisie champions Ajax.

Describing reports linking the centre-back with Barcelona as "bull***t", he thinks De Ligt's decision to join Juve could prove pivotal to his aspirations of becoming the world's best player.

"It's not a matter of being ambitious or not," he said. "Juventus is the club that most suits his career ideas.

"It is important for a defender to play in Italy, to learn. In his mind, he wants to become the best footballer in the world. That is why this is a necessary stage in his career.

"Amongst the youngsters [in the world] he is number one, for sure. Then, it is not too hard to become the best in the world, but you have to work for it.

"He is the most similar player to - or even better than - [Pavel] Nedved in terms of mentality, and he is similar to Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] for his ambition. He has got everything to become what he has to become."

Arsenal have not come remotely close to matching Crystal Palace's asking price for Wilfried Zaha, according to Roy Hodgson.

The Gunners are in the market for wingers and Zaha is said to be at the top of a list containing Barcelona's Malcom and Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth.

Zaha has generally refrained from commenting on the speculation but, earlier this month, his brother Judicael made a public plea for Palace to sanction the 26-year-old's "dream" transfer.

The south London club are believed to have rejected an opening offer of around £40million and the two clubs remain some distance apart in negotiations.

"I don't think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation," Eagles boss Hodgson told Sky Sports.

"I'm sure the player realises that if someone's going to take him away from us, he'll expect clubs to pay the market value.

"Until someone does that, there's not much to discuss regarding Wilf."

Palace have shown they are prepared to part with prized assets this close-season, selling right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for a reported fee of £50m.

"We would've loved to have kept him," Hodgson said of the England Under-21 international.

"But the bottom line is, when Manchester United come calling and they're prepared to pay what the club feel is the market value of the player, then all we can do is wish him well."

Matthijs de Ligt arrived at Juventus' health facility on Wednesday to complete the final formalities of his long-awaited transfer from Ajax.

The Serie A champions published a video to social media of Netherlands defender De Ligt acknowledging fans and posing for photos ahead of his medical.

The 19-year-old flew into Turin on Tuesday to finalise what will reportedly be an €80million move.

Having attracted reported attention from Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, De Ligt - who scored the goal that knocked Juve out of the Champions League last season - settled on Allianz Stadium as his preferred destination and the Italian giants eventually came to an agreement with Ajax.

He is tipped to a sign a five-year deal.

Pending the successful completion of his medical, De Ligt will become the Bianconeri's seventh signing of the close-season.

Free agents Adrien Rabiot and Gianluigi Buffon are among the other players to have signed on since ex-Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri took charge in June.

Barcelona are making moves to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, but they have work to do.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain this close season, having told the Ligue 1 champions of his desire for a Parc des Princes exit.

It comes just two years after his world-record €222million move from Barcelona, who are taking steps to bring the Brazil star back.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA OFFER COUTINHO, RAKITIC PLUS €40M FOR NEYMAR

Barcelona have verbally offered Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic, plus €40m, to PSG for Neymar, according to L'Equipe.

The report says PSG are standing firm over Neymar, having paid €222m for the superstar forward two years ago.

There have been contrasting reports about Barca's offer, with others saying it was Ousmane Dembele, not Rakitic, included as part of the deal.

ROUND-UP

- Romelu Lukaku's possible switch from Manchester United to Inter has moved slowly, but the Serie A outfit could be getting closer. According to The Sun, Inter will tell United they will meet their €83m (£75m) asking price if the deal includes bonus payments.

- Atletico Madrid are well and truly rebuilding and their latest addition looks set to be Kieran Trippier. AS say the Tottenham right-back could soon complete a €30m (£27.1m) move to Atletico, while Spurs have enquired about Angel Correa in a potential deal.

- Arsenal have had a quiet close season, but they are still chasing Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos. According to AS, Ceballos is set to join the Premier League outfit on a one-season loan deal.

- Daniele De Rossi was apparently contemplating retirement, but the Roma great could instead be set for a surprise move. Sky Sport say De Rossi is set to accept a short-term deal with Boca Juniors.

- Napoli are struggling to agree a deal with Real Madrid for James Rodriguez and they may turn their attentions to Nicolas Pepe. The Lille forward has been linked with numerous clubs this close season and Gianluca Di Marzio reports Napoli could move for the Ivory Coast international.

- Barcelona are extremely interested in signing Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo, according to Marca. The Spain youth international has reportedly been a target for Liverpool and Manchester United, but Barca are looking at negotiating with Betis over a €50m release clause.

Robert Lewandowski urged Bayern Munich to make more signings if the Bundesliga giants want to remain competitive and win the Champions League.

Bayern head into the 2019-20 season as seven-time reigning Bundesliga holders but without Champions League success since 2013.

The German champions have already signed World Cup-winning French duo Lucas Hernandez (€80million) and Benjamin Pavard (€35m) following the departures of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels, Rafinha and James Rodriguez.

But star striker Lewandowski insisted Bayern must splash the cash in their ongoing pursuit of domestic and European glory.

"We have to wait for more transfers to come in," Lewandowski told reporters in Los Angeles on the eve of Wednesday's International Champions Cup game against Arsenal. "It is difficult to win Champions League without new signings.

"To play at that top level, you need certain qualities and a strong team to be competitive. We haven't really done a big transfer in the past two years. We need new signings."

"Everyone knows it's not optimal that we have so few players in the first team right now," the 30-year-old added. "We need more players for the competition in training. I hope something will happen in the next few days."

On recruits Hernandez and Pavard, Lewandowski said: "Players like Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard can only help us. They are versatile, both World champions and ready to play at the top level at Bayern and we can be successful with them."

Lewandowski, who scored 40 goals in all competitions last season, is contracted until 2021 and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the Poland international could extend his deal.

"We are in talks," Lewandowski replied when asked about negotiations. "I don't know how long it will take but we are on the right track."

"I feel really well, not only with the team but I also love the city. It doesn't only depend on me, there's other factors," he continued. "We still have to finish our negotiations.

"It's a little too early to say I want to end my career in 2023. If I get this extension, I would like to play longer of course. I still feel young. How long I want to play, I have to figure it out still. I'm not thinking about it now."

Unai Emery said Arsenal are looking to sign "very big, very expensive players" as the Gunners try to boost their squad ahead of the Premier League season.

It has been a quiet transfer window so far for Arsenal, who have been linked with moves for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, Saint-Etienne teenager William Saliba and Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos.

Arsenal fans want to see investment amid frustration with the club's owners and last season's fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich, Arsenal head coach Emery told reporters: "We are taking with the patience and with the calm because we really want to sign players who can help us with a big performance, and also because we think in the team we have very good players and young players and we also need to take the best player in some positions.

"Really, I can say to our supporters that we are going to have a very good team with the players that are there now and also with three or four players who can help us in a few days."

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke told fans to "be excited" over transfers and Emery added: "Yes. Really we are speaking about the big players and because we are starting thinking about our team and our squad now, and we have very good players and very good young players that can progress to take and get big performances with us.

"Other players can come here to help us. We need, really, that they will come with a big performance and also our target is to achieve three or four players who really improve our team and our squad now.

"We are being very, very demanding and we are first speaking about the possibility to sign very big, very expensive players and the first player in our list is our first target. And after, if we cannot achieve that, then the second. But we are thinking every time that they are going to improve our squad."

Ceballos is reportedly close to joining Arsenal from LaLiga giants Madrid on a season-long loan deal, having been linked to London rivals Tottenham and AC Milan.

Asked about Spain international midfielder Ceballos on Tuesday, Emery said: "I don't want to speak about the names. But Ceballos is a very good player."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again warned there was no "quick fix" at Manchester United, although the Premier League giants are still hoping for further signings.

United are coming off a sixth-place finish last season, a difficult campaign seeing them end up 32 points adrift of champions and rivals Manchester City.

Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been added to United's squad from Swansea City and Crystal Palace respectively, while the club are linked with numerous other signings – most notably Leicester City defender Harry Maguire – and have the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku potentially exiting.

Solskjaer is still hoping for further additions to his squad, but – as he did earlier in the year – again asked for patience as United look to close the gap to the top.

"I know it's hard getting players in and over the line," the manager said.

"We've been doing our jobs. We've been finding, identifying players. Scouting them. But they have got clubs.

"It took time with Aaron, it took time with Dan, but they got it over the line. It's not like we're going to sign 10 players. It can't be a quick fix.

"As I've said to you, we're working on one or two and we're still hoping but I also understand that the market has changed. Prices have soared."

Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes, Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff and Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have also been linked with the Premier League giants.

United's approach in the transfer market has been criticised at times, but Solskjaer said the club would remain patient.

"We have been linked with so many players. I am sure you don't believe every single player that we have been linked with," he said.

"But I think that Man United sometimes have, because of the wealth, maybe we have had to pay more, a bigger premium to get players in and that's just the world we live in.

"And we have taken our time and we are not going to overpay but we have to get the right people in, the right players."

Manchester United face Leeds United in their second pre-season friendly in Perth on Wednesday.

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo denied James Rodriguez is poised to join the LaLiga side, adding there have not been negotiations for the Real Madrid midfielder.

Tipped to move to Napoli throughout the off-season, Atletico have reportedly emerged as the favourites to sign James as the Italian outfit and Madrid struggle to reach an agreement.

James is set to leave Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, who opted not to make the deal permanent at the end of 2018-19.

Asked about Colombia star James, Cerezo told reporters: "Atletico are interested in great players and James is a great player, but from that to he's going to come, there's some distance.

"Negotiations? Not that I know of, no."

Atletico have been busy in the transfer market, breaking a club record to sign Portuguese sensation Joao Felix, while also adding Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera, Felipe, Renan Lodi and Ivan Saponjic following the departures of stars like Antoine Griezmann, Rodri, Lucas Hernandez and Diego Godin.

Diego Simeone's transfer business is far from over, however, with Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier and Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso reportedly close to moving to the Spanish capital.

"We've had a few signings and are in negotiations for a few more," Cerezo said. "Negotiations can end well or badly, but there are negotiations.

"Everything's going well, the team is training well, blending in well and very happy at Los Angeles de San Rafael. Now we're waiting for next season with a month left to go."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised star midfielder Paul Pogba he can get the "new challenge" he is seeking at Manchester United.

A month ago, France international Pogba said he wanted "a new challenge somewhere else" amid reports former club Juventus and LaLiga giants Real Madrid could try and prise the 26-year-old away from Old Trafford.

Pogba returned to Premier League side United for a then-record fee of £89million in August 2016, though he has been criticised for failing to consistently deliver the type of performances he did when helping France to win the World Cup at Russia 2018.

Solskjaer, who replaced Jose Mourinho as United manager in December 2018, revealed he has spoken to Pogba on several occasions and is not annoyed by his comments.

"I've said many times about Paul that he's a top, top boy and a great player and he's never, ever been a problem," Solskjaer said in quotes published on several British newspapers' websites.

"When we get him playing as he did when I came in, and if we get him playing like that again, he will win you over as well.

"I've not been upset by anything he's said because we've had many conversations and I know exactly what Paul is thinking. I can give him a new challenge."

A fresh challenge is exactly what Alexis Sanchez expected when he swapped Arsenal for United in January 2018.

However, the Chile international has underwhelmed so far and has failed to reproduce the type of form he showed across three-and-a-half seasons with the Gunners having scored just five goals in 45 games for United in all competitions.

Sanchez, sidelined by a hamstring injury sustained at the Copa America, has been warned he must show he is worthy of a place in Solskjaer's team.

"I will have to help," Solskjaer added.

"I've just answered a question here that you can't spoon-feed them. They've got to come in and grab their chances.

"And Alexis is quality and he showed it in the Copa America."

Thomas Tuchel knew Neymar wanted to leave Paris Saint-Germain before the Copa America.

Neymar, 27, reportedly wants to exit the Ligue 1 champions during the close season, two years after his world-record €222million transfer from Barcelona.

The Brazil star is reported to have again told PSG of his desire to move elsewhere on Monday, with a return to Camp Nou shaping his most likely destination, after he arrived at pre-season training later than the team expected.

Speaking after PSG's 6-1 friendly win over Dynamo Dresden on Tuesday, Tuchel said he was aware of Neymar's intentions before the Copa America, which the forward missed due to an ankle injury.

"I'm always disappointed if a player is late," Tuchel told RMC Sport.

"But it's clear between us, now it's between the club and Neymar. We work together.

"If I knew he wanted to leave? Yes, before the Copa America, but it's a thing between the club and Ney."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice and assisted two others in PSG's first pre-season friendly, while Ander Herrera set up a goal on debut.

PSG are in action again in a clash against Nurnberg on Saturday.

Leicester City have rejected two bids for rumoured Manchester United and Manchester City target Harry Maguire, Brendan Rodgers has said.

England international Maguire is thought to be of interest to both Manchester clubs, with United having been linked with the 26-year-old a year ago during Jose Mourinho's time in charge.

A deal did not materialise then and the defender signed a new five-year contract in September 2018.

However, United are said to have renewed their interest and Leicester boss Rodgers revealed on Tuesday that his club had turned down two offers for a player the Foxes are thought to value at £80million.

In quotes published by the Leicester Mercury after Maguire played 45 minutes in a pre-season friendly against Scunthorpe United, Rodgers said: "It's pretty simple really and we're quite relaxed about it.

"Harry is a top-class player. Of course, he has attracted interest with two bids coming in but they nowhere near meet the valuation of the club.

"Harry is relaxed about it – we are. He's been absolutely brilliant, I have to add, because I've been in a similar situation a number of times and it can be very difficult for players, but he's a special guy."

There have been reports that Maguire has informed Leicester of his desire to leave and though Rodgers would not comment on those suggestions, he did admit he saw the appeal of the clubs linked with his player.

"Any conversation with me and a player would be private," he added.

"If a team like Man City or Man United are interested, I understand the attraction.

"We're relaxed because until the valuation is met, there's not a decision to be made."

Matthijs de Ligt arrived in Turin on Tuesday as the highly-coveted defender's move from Ajax to Juventus nears a conclusion.

The Serie A champions posted pictures and videos on social media of the 19-year-old Netherlands international landing ahead of a rumoured medical on Wednesday.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain were all heavily linked with the centre-back, but the Ajax captain looks set to put the finishing touches on his switch to Juventus.

"Hello Bianconeri, this is Matthijs. I'm really happy to be here," De Ligt said in a video posted on Juve's Twitter account.

De Ligt will reportedly cost Juve €80million, with Ajax receiving another significant fee after Barcelona paid €75m to acquire midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals last season, when they were knocked out by Tottenham, and Juventus will hope De Ligt can help end their long wait to lift Europe's premier club trophy again.

The Bianconeri have also added free agent midfielders Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey to their squad, as well as bringing back iconic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for Maurizio Sarri's first season at the helm.

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