Diego Simeone is determined to turn Atletico Madrid's fortunes around, explaining just how much the club means to him.

Simeone is enduring a tough spell at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Atleti losing their past three matches in all competitions heading into Sunday's LaLiga clash with Leganes.

Real Madrid saw off their city rivals in agonising circumstances in a Supercopa de Espana final penalty shoot-out, but Atleti then came unstuck against more modest opponents: Eibar in LaLiga and third-tier Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey.

Simeone insists the disappointing run of form does not come from a lack of interest on his behalf, though.

"I'm always thinking about my team," he told a pre-match news conference. "I don't think in the moments when we lose or when we win, but I always look after my team.

"Sometimes I can't sleep thinking about the line-up for a final or because we lost, or when I don't know which player to choose that will be better for the team.

"Atletico Madrid is my life - the people who know me know that. We will keep the same path, with enthusiasm and passion.

"We live in the present and we go match after match and nothing will change in my life. We've been doing it for a long time now."

Simeone accepts there was always likely to be a certain amount of criticism following recent results, but he retains belief in his side.

"It is clear that we are coming from two difficult defeats," he said. "All the criticism may seem fair, but I am convinced and I believe in my players.

"We have a great team with players who will respond to goals that we have set, and I do not change from match to match. We are convinced of what we want and we will not change in that sense.

"I understand and accept when the criticisms are fair and work accordingly to have a good game [on Sunday]."

Simeone still appears to have the support of Atleti fans, who launched a campaign showing their love for the coach on Twitter with the hashtag "#TeQueremosCholo".

"I had not seen it until the press people told me," Simeone said. "Everything natural like that is appreciated.

"It boosts the security and enthusiasm that I always have in the day-to-day at the club."

Atleti look set to be without defender Santiago Arias against Leganes after initial tests showed he suffered a muscle injury in his left thigh against Cultural.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Can, 26, is out of favour in Turin and has made just two Serie A starts this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder will reportedly be allowed to leave during this transfer window and three European giants are eyeing the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM AND DORTMUND EYE EMRE CAN

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are chasing Juventus' Can, according to SPORT1.

With Euro 2020 coming up later this year, Can wants regular playing time to earn a spot in the Germany squad.

Can made 37 appearances in all competitions for Juve last season, but has played just eight times in 2019-20.

Sportmediaset reports Juve are working on a move for Napoli midfielder Allan to replace Can.

 

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- Inter will wrap up a deal for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen early next week, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Serie A club will pay €18million (£15.2m) plus €2m (£1.7m) in bonuses for Eriksen, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at San Siro and Inter are targeting Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud after recognising it would be difficult to sign Napoli's Fernando Llorente, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Barcelona are making progress in their bid to land Valencia forward Rodrigo, according to Sport. While working on a loan move, Barcelona want an option to buy at season's end, while Valencia want it to be an obligation to purchase for around €60m. The report says Barca are willing to pay Valencia a "penalty fee" if they do not make the loan permanent.

- Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar is close to signing with Premier League club Arsenal, according to El Chiringuito. Lemar has made just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are in talks over a swap deal. Goal reports the clubs are discussing swapping full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Layvin Kurzawa.

- With Marcus Rashford injured, Manchester United have looked at signing Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo and Monaco's Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester City, according to Sky Sports.

Diego Simeone insists his desire cannot be doubted despite Atletico Madrid's dismal early Copa del Rey exit and is confident the team will soon return to form.

Atleti were the victims of a major upset on Thursday, crashing out to third-tier Cultural Leonesa 2-1 in the last 32.

Simeone's side have now lost their past three matches in all competitions, with just six wins in 17 in LaLiga games since early September.

But the coach says he will continue to knuckle down, just as he battled on after a pair of Champions League final defeats to rivals Real Madrid, and backed his side to turn the corner.

"I have the desire to work like every day since I arrived," he told reporters.

"The penalties or the extra time in the Champions League didn't change me, nor will going out in this round.

"I have an important squad and results will come soon."

He added: "You are in the position to have an opinion on what you feel and we don't have the choice but to work, me and my players," he said.

"We couldn't be clinical in front of goal - that's football - and when you can't score, everything is more difficult."

Atletico Madrid suffered a shock defeat in the Copa del Rey round of 32 as Sergio Benito's extra-time strike secured a famous 2-1 win for minnows Cultural Leonesa.

Diego Simeone's side were sluggish for much of Thursday's encounter at Reino de Leon, though Angel Correa's 62nd-minute strike seemed set to send Atleti through.

However, third-tier side Cultural fought back - Julen Castaneda's venomous volley forcing extra-time.

And it was Benito - who had earlier missed a glorious chance to open the scoring - who had the final say, his precise volley in the 108th minute sparking huge celebrations from the home fans as Cultural claimed the unlikeliest of scalps.

Atleti wasted little time in stamping their authority on proceedings and Vitolo should have done better when he raced through one-on-one with Lucas Giffard only to prod wide in the clearest opportunity of a tepid first half.

Benito should have made Atleti pay for Vitolo's profligacy when he met Virgil Theresin's cross, but the Cultural striker diverted his close-range header over.

Vitolo looked all set to break the deadlock just before the hour, though he yet again fluffed his lines when up against Giffard.

Atleti's luck changed three minutes later - Correa keeping his cool to pick out the bottom-left corner after latching onto Joao Felix's sublime flick.

Cultural's hopes seemed to be dashed, but Castaneda had other ideas, with the left-back's volley hauling the hosts level.

Ivan Saponjic missed two glorious chances to restore Atleti's lead, before Giffard made a sensational double save to force extra-time, setting the stage for Benito.

Gabriel Gudino's lofted pass opened up Atleti's defence and, showing the composure he had sorely lacked with his earlier chance, Benito sent a crisp volley arrowing in at the near post to seal an incredible win.

 

What does it mean? Stuttering Atleti rightly punished

Leonesa were defeated 5-1 on aggregate by Barcelona at the same stage last season, but were not in awe of their illustrious opponents on Thursday. Atleti have now lost their last three matches in all competitions, and this result was a true humbling for Simeone's team.

Felix delivers the Joao factor but Castaneda and Benito the show

In a match lacking in quality, a moment of brilliance from Joao Felix with his superb, deft touch around the corner into Correa's path carving open Leonesa's defence. However, Castaneda cancelled out the Portugal international's fine work with his stunning volley with seven minutes remaining, with Benito then claiming the limelight in extra-time.

Vitolo's wastefulness proves costly

Having already missed from a one-on-one situation, Vitolo looked all ready to atone for the squandered opportunity when he was played in again in the second half, but could only send a tame effort straight at Giffard, wasting the chance to put Atleti well in control.

What's next?

Atleti face Leganes in LaLiga on Sunday, while Athletic Bilbao II await Leonesa in their next Segunda B outing.

Have Tottenham finally found an alternative to Harry Kane?

According to reports, Spurs are in talks to sign Real Sociedad's Willian Jose with just over a week to go until the transfer window closes.

But it could take in excess of £50million to finally end their search for a second out-and-out striker.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS TO DIG DEEP FOR SOCIEDAD STRIKER

Krzysztof Piatek, Islam Slimani and Fernando Llorente have all been linked but Tottenham have now set their sights on 28-year-old Willian Jose, reports the Guardian.

The Brazilian was left out of his side's Copa del Rey clash with Espanyol on Wednesday and could now be headed for north London.

Talks are underway, the Guardian states, although Spurs could be forced to contemplate meeting Willian Jose's €70million (£59m) release clause as Sociedad seek adequate compensation.

The one-time Real Madrid man has scored eight LaLiga goals this term after reaching double figures in each of the previous three seasons.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dani Ceballos has asked Real Madrid to terminate his Arsenal loan and find him a move elsewhere, according to Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

- The Gunners are set to suffer another blow as Ligue 1 outfit Lyon prepare to confirm the €25million signing of rumoured Atletico Madrid target Bruno Guimaraes, reports L'Equipe.

- Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will allow Philippe Coutinho to return to Barcelona at the end of his loan spell if, as desired, the Bundesliga giants land Leroy Sane and Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, reports Bild.

- After sealing a deal for Reinier Jesus, Madrid could return to raid Flamengo for 19-year-old forward Lincoln, says Mundo Deportivo.

- Leicester City plan to bolster their Champions League ambitions by splashing £15million on Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard, according to The Sun.

- Serie A side Milan have submitted an 18-month loan offer for Manchester City-linked Florentino Luis, claims CalcioMercato. The 20-year-old defensive midfielder plays for Benfica.

FIFA has revealed a record amount was spent on transfers in 2019, with deals for Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix topping the bill.

A report issued by world football's governing body on Wednesday revealed $7.35billion (£5.6billion) was spent by clubs in the transfer market in 2019, an increase of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.

The study also confirmed that English clubs spent the most, though the total figure of $1.52billion (£1.14billion) was a 22.1 per cent decrease from 2018.

Joao Felix's €126million transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid – who sold Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona for €120m – was the biggest deal of 2019, while Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a deal reportedly worth €100m.

Harry Maguire became the world's most expensive defender with a reported £80m switch from Leicester City to Manchester United, while Ajax sold young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively for an initial €75m each.

There was also a rise of 16.3 per cent in spending in the women's game, with over 800 transfers made in total.

Diego Simeone insists Joao Felix should not take it as a punishment if he is selected to face third-tier side Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Joao Felix, 20, joined Atletico for €126million in pre-season as the club looked to fill the void left by Antoine Griezmann's departure to Barcelona.

But the Portugal international has struggled to make an impact in LaLiga, getting two goals and one assist in 16 appearances.

He played 83 minutes of Atletico's 2-0 defeat to Eibar on Saturday but was again disappointing, hitting the target with only one of his three shots and failing to produce a single chance.

Simeone will be expected to rotate his squad for the trip to Segunda B2 promotion-chasers Cultural on Thursday, though he does not think playing in the match should be considered a negative for any of his first-team stars.

"I do not expect that [thought] - thinking that playing can be a punishment is to not value it," Simeone told reporters in his pre-match news conference.

"Everyone can be asked [to play]. It's not a punishment. Playing any game for Atletico Madrid is a dream, and whoever has to play, I hope they can get the minutes to develop in the best possible way."

Atletico have been strongly linked with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani and media reports suggest an offer has even been submitted.

Simeone batted away questions relating to the Uruguay international, quickly changing the subject to the clash with Cultural.

"The only thing that worries me is the Copa del Rey match," he replied when told Cavani's relatives apparently want him to join Atletico.

"We live for the day-to-day and the results. The players who are not with us, they already know me, I don't usually think much about it."

Edinson Cavani's mother has accused Paris Saint-Germain of "not behaving well" and outlined her son's desire to join Atletico Madrid.

Uruguay international Cavani is PSG's record goalscorer but is expected to leave the Parc des Princes either in January or at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Atletico Madrid have been repeatedly linked with the 32-year-old and he is keen to try his luck in LaLiga.

His mother Berta Gomez told Spanish newspaper AS: "There is an open negotiation. PSG have rejected three proposals from Atletico but my son has asked to leave and we are waiting for an agreement to be reached by both clubs.

"It's complicated but he wants to play at Atletico, if not now, then in the summer. We have been wishing it for years but it does not now depend on my son but on PSG and Atletico."

PSG are believed to be reluctant to sanction Cavani's departure as they continue to chase a maiden Champions League crown - a stance Berta understands - although she remains unimpressed with how little playing time her son is currently getting.

Cavani has not played since coming on as a late substitute in PSG's 3-3 draw with Monaco on January 12 with the club citing a groin injury.

Berta added: "They are not behaving well with him, [especially] with everything he has given to PSG in the near seven years he has been there."

"If you don't use him, let him go to a club that needs your goals like Atletico Madrid."

Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have also been linked with Cavani, who has been restricted to just nine Ligue 1 appearances this term due to injuries and the form of Mauro Icardi.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, speaking on Tuesday ahead of the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final against Reims, understands Cavani's frustration but insists the forward is still a key part of his squad.

"For now he is on the bench and lacking game time. He is lacking rhythm and confidence," Tuchel said.

"[Confidence] is the most important thing, especially for goalscorers, but that's the way it is. In big clubs, there are players with a lot of quality but there is tough competition and it is not easy for him.

"I am aware of it and I understand it completely and I am very happy to see that he is still professional. If someone is injured, we will have a wonderful substitute.

"If he is able to find a rhythm again, we will be able to put him on the pitch and someone else on the bench. But he is lacking it, so it is really difficult to only help during one game.

"We still have this in mind but this is why it would be better for him to be part of the group, but he still has problems with his groin."

Inter are reportedly "confident" of finally sealing a deal for Christian Eriksen.

The Serie A title hopefuls are said to be preparing an improved offer as they seek to tempt Tottenham into selling the midfielder this month.

On Monday, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio confirmed an official bid had been lodged with the London club.

 

TOP STORY – INTER BACK IN FOR ERIKSEN

The chase for wantaway midfielder Eriksen could come to an end when Inter increase their proposal to €15million (£12.8m) plus add-ons.

The Guardian suggests Tottenham will soon have another offer to contemplate after rejecting the Nerazzurri's previous approach, which involved an initial €10m (£8.5m) sum.

Eriksen, also linked with Manchester United, is due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Ashley Young has arrived, Eriksen could be close and Inter's raid on English football is not finished there. Victor Moses has been pictured in Milan and Sky Sport Italia claims the Chelsea wide man will undergo a medical on Tuesday.

- Eriksen's future is not Tottenham's only cause for concern. According to the Daily Mail, Danny Rose and manager Jose Mourinho were involved in a "heated exchange" on Sunday after the left-back took issue with his omission from the squad that draw 0-0 at Watford.

- Chelsea have made enquiries about Edinson Cavani and are ready to rival Atletico Madrid for the Paris Saint-Germain striker's signature, reports the Telegraph.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona admire Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang more than the other centre-forwards on their shortlist of potential signings, says Mundo Deportivo.

- Bayern Munich are hunting a new right-back and have identified Real Madrid defender Alvaro Odriozola as a strong candidate to fill the problem position, reports Sky Sport Germany.

Edinson Cavani has asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain but the club have rejected an initial approach from Atletico Madrid, sporting director Leonardo confirmed.

PSG's record goalscorer Cavani is out of contract at the end of the season and has repeatedly been linked with a January move away from the Parc des Princes.

A move to Atletico appeared close earlier in the transfer window, and the Uruguay international sat out both the midweek win against Monaco and Sunday's 1-0 Coupe de France defeat of Lorient.

However, it is reported PSG have turned down a €10million bid from the LaLiga club, although Leonardo revealed there would be further discussions.

"Edinson Cavani has asked to leave. We are studying the situation," Leonardo told reporters. "We had an offer from Atletico Madrid, but we did not accept it.

"I don't know how this is going to turn out. We are going to discuss more. We know the situation. It is not an easy one."

On the possibility of bringing in a striker if Cavani left, the PSG chief added: "It is a good question. We are thinking it over."

Thomas Tuchel had little to add on the situation, however, referring back to Leonardo.

"I do not know if Edinson Cavani will be here in February," the coach told a news conference. "We do not know what will happen tomorrow - anything can happen.

"You want to discuss it, but I do not. Ask Leonardo."

After beating Lorient, PSG will visit third-tier Pau in the last 16. The pick of the draw sees Nice host Lyon.

Diego Simeone accused Atletico Madrid of effectively conceding the first half in their 2-0 loss to Eibar on Saturday.

Atleti suffered only their third LaLiga defeat of the season at Ipurua, Esteban Burgos scoring after just 10 minutes before Edu Exposito made the points safe heading into second-half injury time.

It was the first time Atleti had lost a competitive game against Eibar since a meeting in the second tier in 2001, and it leaves them eight points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

Simeone felt they were punished for a slow start to the game, a habit that gave him great concern in the autumn and one he hopes does not continue in 2020.

"We started badly. We didn't play in the first half. In the second, we were okay we played a good game, with more chances for danger," he told Movistar.

"We lost a half. Back in October, we were losing halves and we've gone back to doing that. It's my responsibility.

"It's a very difficult pitch. We've won here 1-0 or 2-1. Today was a similar game. They take advantage of our inattentiveness in the first half and we could have scored in the second.

"We didn't control the game, nor was there any great dominance of the opposition, but we didn't play. They played as ever, with intensity, really clear ideas – the concepts a team needs. I congratulate them."

Saul Niguez, who played at left-back, also admitted concern about the way Atleti too often start matches slowly.

"We struggled a lot at the start. They created three chances and got the goal from the third," he said.

"There have been many times this season when we haven't started games well.

"I think the end of the first half and the beginning of the second were good, but they defended well. We didn't manage to create clear chances despite getting to the byline several times.

"After the good run we were on, it's a tough blow."

Barcelona and Juventus are in talks about a possible swap deal involving Ivan Rakitic and Federico Bernardeschi.

Rakitic was linked with an exit from Camp Nou during the close season, but ended up staying at Barca.

But he could be on his way to Turin and Bernardeschi may be heading in the opposite direction.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, JUVE IN RAKITIC-BERNARDESCHI SWAP TALKS

Barcelona and Juventus are discussing a possible swap deal involving Rakitic and Bernardeschi, according to AS.

The report says Rakitic – who has made just six LaLiga starts this season – has already agreed personal terms with the Serie A giants.

However, the clubs are yet to reach an agreement, with Rakitic six years older than Italy international Bernardeschi.

ROUND-UP

- There is still work to be done if Bruno Fernandes is to find his way to Manchester United. The Daily Mail and The Sun report United want to pay Sporting CP £34million (€39.9m) with a further £25.5m (€29.9m) in add-ons, including bonuses for the English club winning the Premier League and Champions League.

- Atletico Madrid are not giving up on trying to land Edinson Cavani in this window. The LaLiga side are still eyeing a move for the Paris Saint-Germain forward, according to Marca, although they are hoping to negotiate a lower price than the €30m the Ligue 1 club are reportedly wanting.

- The wait continues for Inter as they try to sign Christian Eriksen. CalcioMercato reports Eriksen's agent Martin Schoots is scheduled to meet Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in London next week as the midfielder tries to get his move to the Serie A giants.

- Chelsea are favourites to sign RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner ahead of the 2020-21 season, according to The Sun, but it may take a £68m (€79.8m) deal to land the 23-year-old.

- Arsenal are set for talks with Athletico Paranaense to negotiate a deal for midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to Globo Esporte.

- Staying at Arsenal and France Football reports Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa has agreed to join the Premier League club for free at season's end.

- Javier Hernandez will become one of the highest paid players in MLS. Sports Illustrated reports LA Galaxy will pay Sevilla $9.4m (€8.5m) for the forward, who is set to earn $6m annually, with the potential for that to rise due to bonuses.

Diego Simeone fully expected Federico Valverde to be given only a short suspension following his crucial foul on Alvaro Morata in the Supercopa de Espana final.

With the score 0-0 in the final five minutes of extra time in Jeddah, Atletico Madrid's Morata raced through on goal only for Valverde to bring down the striker to halt his progress.

Valverde, who was later named man of the match, was sent off for the deliberate foul but went on to celebrate when Real Madrid won the penalty shoot-out 4-1.

Simeone had few qualms with the challenge at the time, insisting he would likely have done the same to win the match, and the Atleti boss was also not surprised to see Valverde earn only a one-game ban.

"I was clear after the match, saying that was what he had to do," Simeone said on Friday ahead of a LaLiga trip to Eibar. "I was also clear about what would happen.

"It doesn't make sense to wear myself out today on something that we already knew would happen. That's why I'm focusing on Eibar.

"We're in the middle of the season and there's still a lot of work ahead. There are things to improve. We worked well until September, then things were more difficult in November.

"Then we grew and we kept that up in the Supercopa. We're competing well and I'm proud to have competed well against a team like Real Madrid that is powerful in all senses."

The Supercopa final was another difficult game for €126million forward Joao Felix, but Simeone insists the Portugal international is learning all the time.

"The Supercopa was another step forward in the experience of a 20-year-old boy with incredible talent and skill. This road he's walking will be useful for the future," Simeone said.

"We believe in him; we need his skills. He has the ability to score. We hope that these experiences he's living in this new team help him to get stronger and grow day after day.

"We're the ones in charge to find their better version and find the better position so they can unlock their potential. I don't do things differently with Joao than with [Renan] Lodi, [Hector] Herrera, Koke or Saul [Niguez].

"We always try to do the best so players with that potential can put it to good use for the club and the team, so we're working with him and Lodi, the younger ones, so they can grow."

This weekend is the first round of LaLiga matches since Ernesto Valverde was sacked as Barcelona head coach in the wake of their 3-2 Supercopa semi-final loss to Atleti.

"I'm not the one to give an opinion about what happens to others," Simeone said. "Valverde is a really great coach. He left his team in first place in the league and still alive in the Champions League.

"He is a great person and has always been polite and exemplary as he managed the situation."

West Ham have reportedly set an ambitious transfer window target by eyeing an England international.

Whether Chelsea can be tempted to let Ross Barkley leave Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.

According to reports, the Blues are reluctant to let David Moyes be reunited with his former Everton protege.

 

TOP STORY – MOYES TO MOVE FOR ENGLAND STAR BARKLEY?

New  West Ham  manager David Moyes is said to be targeting Chelsea's England midfielder Ross Barkley for a transfer-window switch across London. 

The Mirror reports the Hammers want to take Barkley on loan, but that Chelsea have given them no encouragement as yet. 

Barkley, who began his career playing for Moyes at Everton, started Chelsea's last match, the Premier League win over Burnley.

ROUND-UP

Atletico Madrid still want to bring Edinson Cavani to LaLiga, but negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain look complicated given each club's valuation of the Uruguayan striker. Marca reports Atletico have offered €10million and that PSG are seeking €30million for a player who is in the final six months of his contract.

- Dinamo Zagreb's rising star Dani Olmo could be on his way to Milan, according to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, which claims a €30m offer has been lodged. Spanish winger Olmo has impressed in the Champions League this year and won a first international cap. He was also linked with Barcelona earlier this month, but that interest has reportedly waned.

- Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez  looks set to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy in the coming days. The LA Times reports talks between the Galaxy and Hernandez have taken place this week, with a view to bringing in the Mexican forward from LaLiga side Sevilla. The deal could see the Galaxy break their transfer record, which currently stands at a reported $7m for the signing of Giovani dos Santos four-and-a-half years ago.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma and Milan have opened talks over a swap deal involving Cengiz Under and Suso.

Sevilla look to have the ideal replacement for 'Chicarito' on the way, with 22-year-old Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri reported to have agreed to join from Leganes. AS reports Sevilla will pay his €20m release clause, with a medical due to take place on Thursday before a possible debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Inter are still waiting on possible deals for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, with sporting director Piero Ausilio quoted by Corriere dello Sport as saying there was "no news" to report as he arrived back in Italy on Wednesday evening. "There are no updates," Ausilio said. "We trust the work we are doing with our coach and our players. If there is the possibility of improving the team even more, we will do it."

Edinson Cavani has been left out of Paris Saint-Germain's squad for Wednesday's Ligue 1 visit to Monaco.

Cavani will miss out due to a groin complaint but his absence comes amid reports Atletico Madrid are stepping up efforts to sign the Uruguay striker.

The 32-year-old is PSG's all-time record goalscorer but has fallen behind Mauro Icardi in the pecking order at the Parc des Princes this season.

Midfielder Leandro Paredes will also miss the rescheduled match due to an ankle problem.

Cavani and Paredes both appeared as late substitutes when PSG shared a thrilling 3-3 draw with Monaco in Paris on Sunday.

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