Jean-Clair Todibo looks set to leave Schalke and return to Barcelona at the end of the season.

An option to make the French defender's loan stay a €25million permanent switch has expired, Schalke's head of sport Jochen Schneider announced.

Schalke have been out of sorts in 2020, with January recruit Todibo unable to prevent the team going 11 Bundesliga matches without a win.

Speaking about Todibo, Schneider told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday: "The deadline passed yesterday. We no longer have a purchase option.

"Contract extensions are currently not an issue for us. We should rather focus on performance."

Todibo, 20, has made four starts and four appearances as a substitute in the Bundesliga since moving from Camp Nou, playing 363 minutes in the German top flight.

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is attracting plenty of interest in Europe.

Milinkovic-Savic has been linked to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Real Madrid, though, are reportedly fighting to bring the Serbia international to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE REACHES OUT TO LAZIO STAR

Zinedine Zidane has approached Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic regarding a move to Real Madrid, according to Le10Sport.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, linked to Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Zidane is interested in bringing Milinkovic-Savic to the Spanish capital, however, the Serbian midfielder reportedly wants to team up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona are eyeing Ajax and United States sensation Sergino Dest. PSG are also reportedly interested in the 19-year-old full-back as a replacement for Thomas Meunier.

- Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic is being chased by Serie A champions Juventus and Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Luka Modric to Milan? The Madrid veteran was reportedly poised to swap the Santiago Bernabeu for San Siro at season's end. However, Calciomercato says the move is off after Zvonimir Boban's Milan exit.

- After Mauro Icardi completed a permanent transfer to PSG, Calciomercato reports Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is at the top of Juve's list of targets.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea and Juve are set to hold talks over a deal that would see Jorginho and Federico Bernardeschi swap clubs.

Madrid have been favourites to sign Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, but Le10Sport says PSG are preparing a sensational move for the 17-year-old.

- Could Raheem Sterling swap City for Manchester neighbours United? The Independent reports the Red Devils have placed Sterling high up in priority amid uncertainty over City's Champions League ban. Sterling, though, appears more likely to go to Madrid. RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly remain on United's list as they continue to target Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

Former Inter president Massimo Moratti said "you cannot hold someone who has the idea of being somewhere else" as Lautaro Martinez continues to be linked with Barcelona.

Martinez has been tipped to swap Serie A's Inter for LaLiga champions Barca, who are determined to sign a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez.

Despite Barca's reported interest amid the coronavirus pandemic, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio insisted Martinez will not be sold for anything less than his €111million buyout clause.

Asked about Argentina international Martinez, Moratti told Sportmediaset: "You can't hold someone who has the idea of ​​being somewhere else. 

"That would put him in a position to remain involuntarily or, in any case with a different impulse, in the same place."

While Martinez's future has dominated headlines, Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali has emerged as a target for Antonio Conte's Inter.

The 20-year-old midfielder – likened to Italian great Andrea Pirlo – has also been linked to the likes of Juventus, Barca and Manchester United.

"Right now here maybe we have to see how [Christian] Eriksen is doing, but otherwise he is a great midfielder," Moratti said. "Then you will need someone on the wings, certainly."

Lionel Messi's enthusiasm is contagious as LaLiga leaders Barcelona prepare to return following the coronavirus pandemic, according to team-mate Jordi Alba.

Suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, LaLiga will get back underway with a derby clash between Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11.

Barca, who were two points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid through 27 rounds at the time of postponement, will return with a trip to Real Mallorca on June 13.

Captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has provided plenty of motivation ahead of the league's resumption, with left-back Alba telling TVE: "He's a vital player of us and we should enjoy having him all the time.

"Seeing Leo with the enthusiasm he's come back with is contagious for the rest of the group."

Messi had topped LaLiga's goalscoring charts with 19, ahead of Madrid forward Karim Benzema (14).

"I see the team as having a lot of enthusiasm," Spain international Alba added.

"Mentally and physically we players have come back really well I would say, even better than we were before."

Meanwhile, defending champions Barca continue to be linked with former star Neymar – who left Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million transfer in 2017.

On a possible return, Alba said: "He's clearly a unique player and he gave us a lot. He chose and looked for other goals."

Lucas Vazquez relished a return to full training at Real Madrid and hopes they can win all their remaining LaLiga games to overthrow Barcelona.

LaLiga clubs were on Monday able to train without restrictions on group size for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic led to the season being suspended in March.

The season will get back under way on June 11, with Madrid sitting two points adrift of leaders Barca with 11 games remaining.

Madrid's first game after the restart is against Eibar and Vazquez hopes it can be the start of a winning streak that enables Zinedine Zidane's men to claim a first league title since 2017.

"Eibar is the starting point for the 11 finals we have left and hopefully we can record wins in every game until the end and win the title," Vazquez told Real Madrid TV.

He added: "We like to train with all our team-mates together, enjoying the football.

"It's what we all like, training sessions in which we can all enjoy the football together. We're training to try and get into our stride for the start of the season.

"Football is made up of several factors, such as the physical side, which is very important, and the mental side. That combination of the two means that we can go into the league in good shape."

According to Marca, Madrid president Florentino Perez has informed club members they will play their remaining LaLiga games at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano at their Valdebebas training ground to enable renovation work to begin on the Santiago Bernabeu.

Lionel Messi will remain at Barcelona until at least 2021 after the exit clause in his contract expired, according to multiple reports.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi had a stipulation in his existing deal, which runs until the end of next season, that allowed him to leave Barca for free at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

However, according to widespread reports, the Argentina international has not taken up the option, which needed to be activated at the weekend in order to take effect.

Barca captain Messi will now contest a 17th season at Camp Nou.

Speculation that Messi's time with LaLiga's champions was coming to an end gained traction in February amid a public falling out with sporting director Eric Abidal, who suggested a lack of effort from the squad was part of the reasoning for sacking coach Ernesto Valverde.

In March, the 32-year-old used the Barca's announcement that wages would be slashed by 70 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic to criticise people inside the club "that want to put us under a magnifying glass or try to pressure us into something that we were always clear we wanted to do".

Manchester City and Inter were reportedly monitoring Messi's situation at Camp Nou, though in April he branded rumours he was going to move to the Serie A club "fake news".

Messi is Barca's all-time leading goalscorer and president Josep Maria Bartomeu is keen to tie him down to another contract.

The attacker will be hoping to win a 35th piece of silverware with the Catalan giants when LaLiga resumes from June 11.

Barca sit two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga with 11 games remaining, while the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Napoli is likely to take place in August.

Philippe Coutinho is aiming to return to the Premier League, according to his agent Kia Joorabchian.

Coutinho was a star at Liverpool, yet failed to establish himself at Barcelona following a €145million move in January 2018.

The Brazil playmaker subsequently joined Bayern Munich on loan in August 2019 and has scored eight goals in 22 Bundesliga appearances.

With Coutinho out injured, it does not seem likely Bayern will be extending his stay after electing not to take up a €120m purchase option, with a host of Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, Arsenal and former side Liverpool, reportedly interested.

Joorabchian, who also represents Coutinho's compatriots David Luiz and Willian, has now confirmed the 27-year-old has set a return to England in his sights.

"He has a desire to come back to the Premier League at some point," Joorabchian told Sky Sports.

"It may not happen this year, it may happen this year but we don't know. We really have not discussed anything for now."

However, Joorabchian insisted talks of Barca putting a £70million (€78m) price tag on Coutinho, or asking for a £9m (€10m) loan fee, are wide of the mark.

"I've never heard those figures, we've never discussed numbers, none of those figures have ever been discussed," he added.

Sandro Tonali is keen on a move to Juventus or Inter according to Brescia owner Massimo Cellino – news that will apparently come as a blow to Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

In-demand midfielder Tonali continued to burnish his reputation this season despite Brescia languishing at the bottom of Serie A.

With relegation looming, the 20-year-old appears certain to move on and he is not short of potential suitors.

Cellino believes Tonali will remain in Italy and told Corriere dello Sport he has no interest in advances from Ligue 1 champions PSG.

"Nasser [Al-Khelaifi, PSG president] would like him in Paris, he wrote to me today, but Tonali doesn't want to go to France," the former Leeds United and Cagliari chief said, before claiming Napoli and Fiorentina were in the hunt but are likely to fall short at the expense of Serie A's traditional giants.

"Inter and Juve are the destinations he prefers. [Napoli president Aurelio] De Laurentiis has offered me €40million, Fiorentina want him too, but his destiny is pretty much written."

Tonali was also purportedly the subject of a part-exchange offer from Barcelona that came up short.

"Before COVID, Barcelona had reached €65m plus two very interesting young players valued €7.5m each, one was a full-back," Cellino added.

"I believe that the Catalans received an answer they didn't like. And not from Tonali."

Brescia will resume their seemingly doomed 2019-20 season against Fiorentina on June 22 and Cellino insists no final decision will be made on Tonali's future until the campaign is concluded.

"I'm not dealing with anyone. There are still 12 games to play and the boy must remain calm," he added.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich… take your pick.

Kai Havertz is not short of options following his stunning form for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

As clubs queue up to sign Havertz, a Premier League giant is reportedly leading the race.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD FAVOURITES FOR HAVERTZ

Manchester United are favourites to sign in-demand Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to The Sun.

Havertz has been linked to the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid after his exploits for Bundesliga outfit Leverkusen.

United are ready to swoop for Havertz, as well as Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- Le10Sport says Paul Pogba is open to swapping United for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. Linked to former club Juventus and LaLiga giants Madrid, PSG have emerged as a possible destination for the disgruntled Frenchman.

Manchester City are determined to sign Juve centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, but Calciomercato claims the Serie A holders are unwilling to sell the key defender.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona are positive about signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter following Mauro Icardi's move to PSG. Inter recouped at least €50million after Icardi's loan deal at PSG became permanent. While Barca are aware it will be difficult to prise Martinez to Camp Nou, the LaLiga champions view Icardi's transfer positively.

Chelsea are leading the race to sign Barca outcast Philippe Coutinho, according to the Daily Express. Coutinho has spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern but the German giants opted not to exercise their transfer option. Now, Chelsea are prepared to bring the former Liverpool star back to the Premier League on loan. Tottenham have also been linked.

- Juve's Douglas Costa is wanted by Atletico Madrid. That is according to Calciomercato, which claims Atletico want to bring in the Brazilian attacker in exchange for either Thomas Partey or Stefan Savic. Douglas Costa has been linked to United, while Arsenal are eyeing Partey.

Milan will meet with potential new head coach Ralf Rangnick, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. The Rossoneri continue to be linked to Rangnick while Stefano Pioli remains in charge.

- La Repubblica claims Juve have entered the race for Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. The 20-year-old has been linked to the likes of Napoli, Lazio, Fiorentina, United, Tottenham, Chelsea, PSG and RB Leipzig.

LaLiga has confirmed the season will restart with a Seville derby on June 11 and the campaign will wrap up on July 19, it was confirmed on Sunday.

Suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, LaLiga will get back underway with a clash between Sevilla and Real Betis.

The remaining 11 matchdays will be played in less than six weeks as Barcelona and Real Madrid battle for the title.

Barca were two points clear of their bitter rivals when the season was stopped due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 373,000 people worldwide.

Quique Setien's men return to action with a trip to Real Mallorca on June 13, a day before Madrid host Eibar.

Barcelona also host Atletico Madrid on July 1 before facing rivals Espanyol in a derby clash a week later.

Barcelona's remaining fixtures
June 13: Real Mallorca (A)
June 16: Leganes (H)
June 21: Sevilla (A)
June 24: Athletic Bilbao (H)
June 28: Celta Vigo (A)
July 1: Atletico Madrid (H)
July 5: Villarreal (A)
July 8: Espanyol (H)
July 12: Real Valladolid (A)
July 15: Osasuna (H)
July 19: Deportivo Alaves (A)

Real Madrid's remaining fixtures
June 14: Eibar (H)
June 18: Valencia (H)
June 21: Real Sociedad (A)
June 24: Real Mallorca (H)
June 28: Espanyol (A)
July 1: Getafe (H)
July 5: Athletic Bilbao (A)
July 8: Deportivo Alaves (H)
July 12: Granada (A)
July 15: Villarreal (H)
July 19: Leganes (A)

Lionel Messi believes football will never be the same following the coronavirus pandemic.

While the seasons were brought to an end in France and the Netherlands, football in Europe's major leagues is gradually returning behind closed doors.

The Bundesliga resumed on May 16 and Messi and Barca will soon be able to recommence their quest to claim the title in LaLiga, which is poised to return on June 11.

In England, the Premier League will restart on June 17, with Italy's Serie A set to get going again on June 20.

However, the financial implications of the suspension and playing games without spectators in the stadiums will have a significant impact on clubs and competitions around the globe.

Speaking to El Pais, Messi said: "I don't think football will ever be the same. But beyond football, I don't think life, in general, will ever be the same, either.

"All of us that have experienced this situation will remember what happened in one way or another.

"In my case, it's with a feeling of sorrow and frustration for those that have suffered the most due to the loss of loved ones.

"I am sure that football and sport, in general, will be affected. Financially, because there are companies linked with the world of sport that will maybe experience some difficulties because of the coronavirus.

"But also professionally, because with the return to training and competing, what was normal before now is going to be different. It will be a strange situation for us as athletes but also for anyone that has to change their usual work dynamic.

"I am grateful to all of the people that are fighting to beat this virus in hospitals, health centres and care homes. Nearly all of us have doubts about how the world will be after everything that's happened.

"Beyond the lockdown measures and the whole situation, which caught us by surprise, many people have had a really tough time because they've been directly affected.

"People have lost family and friends and were not even able to say goodbye. There have been a lot of negatives to come from this crisis, but I don't think there's anything worse than losing your loved ones. That, for me, is hugely frustrating and unfair."

Barcelona are continuing their push for Lautaro Martinez, while Liverpool have renewed their interest in Ousmane Dembele.

Martinez, 22, has been linked with a move to Barcelona, although just whether the LaLiga giants can get a deal done has been questioned.

Inter have insisted the only way Martinez will leave is by his €111million release clause being paid. That has seemingly not put Barca off.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PUSH AHEAD IN LAUTARO PURSUIT

Barcelona are continuing to chase Inter star Martinez, according to Marca.

The report says the LaLiga side remain firm in their intention to sign Martinez despite Inter wanting his release clause paid.

Martinez had scored 16 goals in 31 games this season when the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Linked with a move for Dembele previously, Liverpool could target the Barcelona attacker again. Mundo Deportivo reports the Premier League leaders will consider a move for Dembele if they fail to land RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.

- Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is out of contract at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2021. However, Sport reports the defender is set to renew with Madrid.

- Kai Havertz continues to attract plenty of interest. But Marca says the Bayer Leverkusen star will have to wait for Real Madrid, who it reports have been in advanced negotiations for the attacker. Havertz is also said to be wanted by Bayern Munich.

- Will Miralem Pjanic get to Barcelona? With the Juventus midfielder linked with a switch to Camp Nou, Sport and Tuttosport report the Serie A giants have asked for 17-year-old forward Ansu Fati to be included in a deal. Arthur has also been linked to Juventus.

- A possible return to Juventus for Paul Pogba appears to be difficult. However, CalcioMercato reports the Italian champions have offered Adrien Rabiot to Manchester United in a deal for the midfielder.

- David Luiz could be set for an Arsenal exit. The Mirror reports the defender will have to take a huge pay cut to secure a return to Benfica if Arsenal opt against triggering a one-year extension to his deal.

Arturo Vidal hopes Barcelona can come through "11 finals" in LaLiga to ensure he ends the season with a ninth successive top-flight title.

Chile international Vidal won four straight Scudetti with Juventus and was a three-time Bundesliga winner after joining Bayern Munich in 2015.

The 33-year-old tasted LaLiga glory with Barca last season and he is keen to repeat the feat in 2019-20.

Spain's top tier is set to return from a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic on June 11, with Barca sitting two points clear of Real Madrid at the summit with 11 games remaining.

Asked about winning a ninth league title in succession, Vidal said: "Not many players have done this before, so I am so proud of myself.

"I'm really looking forward to winning my ninth at Barcelona, so I will work hard to try to keep making history.

"The 11 matches we have now will be like 11 finals. It will be a difficult challenge as Real Madrid are very close to us, so we just need to focus on winning every single game and also do our best to get prepared for the Champions League as well."

LaLiga clubs will be able to return to full training and use their dressing rooms again from Monday, though strict hygiene protocols will still need to be followed.

"I am so happy to be back in training as the couple of months we have been in lockdown have seemed so long," said Vidal.

"Now it is so good to be on the pitch again with my team-mates. It has been a very tough two months, but now we are training again and it feels really good.

"I feel happy. I had many chats [during the lockdown] with my team-mates from a distance, trying to speak with each other on how we were managing the situation. But now we must prepare ourselves as well as we possibly can ahead of these massive two months we face."

Following the completion of LaLiga, Barca will likely continue their Champions League campaign.

They drew the first leg of their last-16 tie with Napoli 1-1 in February and will host the return match at Camp Nou.

UEFA is yet to confirm its schedule for the remaining Champions League and Europa League fixtures, however.

LaLiga clubs will be able to undertake full training sessions and use their dressing rooms from Monday, Barcelona have confirmed.

An update from leaders Barca revealed the league had enacted phase four of the return to training protocol amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With teams working towards a June 11 resumption, preparations will ramp up from June 1.

Coaches had previously been limited to working with only 14 players at a time.

Barcelona said: "Following the publication of the BOE [official state bulletin] this Saturday, the league has reported that, from this Monday, June 1, the teams will return to training in phase four."

Dressing rooms will also be available again, but the statement added: "The corresponding prevention, protection and hygiene measures established by the health authorities must continue to be complied with, as well as the disinfection and periodic cleaning of the facilities."

Barca hold a two-point lead over rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table with 11 matches to play.

Roger Federer has eclipsed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to top the annual Forbes list of the highest paid athletes on the planet.

The Swiss maestro jumped four spots to sit top of the pile, earning $106.3million in the past year as he becomes the first tennis player to lead the way.

That eye-watering figure puts the 20-time grand slam winner ahead of football stars Ronaldo ($105m), Messi ($104m) and Neymar ($95.5m).

NBA icon LeBron James rounds out the top five, raking in $88.2m in a period when some sportspeople took wage cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Endorsements account for most of Federer's income, but he also undertook a tour of North and South America late last year to further boost his earnings.

"The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world's highest-paid athlete for the first time," said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

"Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100million a year for the tennis great."

Federer's rise to the summit comes after fellow tennis player Naomi Osaka was announced as the highest paid female athlete, her $37.4m putting the Japanese 29th overall.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.