Filipe Luis has joined Flamengo after leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of his contract.

The left-back was part of the Atletico team that won the 2013-2014 LaLiga title, as well as the Europa League twice during two stints in the Spanish capital.

And Brazil defender Filipe Luis is now heading back to his homeland after agreeing a deal to the end of 2021.

"Feeling that goes from father to son, from grandfather to grandchild. The heart beats," the defender wrote on Twitter. 

"The big day has come, the day to fulfill my childhood dream. The day I can say I'm a player of my Mengao."

Filipe Luis previously played in the Premier League for Chelsea.

Gareth Bale's agent is not willing to enter into "slanging matches" with Zinedine Zidane after the Real Madrid boss claimed the Wales forward refused to play in the pre-season friendly with Bayern Munich.

Madrid boss Zidane accused Bale of making his own decision not to feature in the International Champions Cup defeat to the Bundesliga champions at the weekend.

The absence occurred in the wake of Zidane admitting his desire for the 30-year-old to be sold sooner rather than later.

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Frenchman a "disgrace" in response to those comments, but insisted there would be no ongoing war of words on Tuesday.

"That's not something we've ever spoken about [missing the Bayern game]. I'm not getting into any slanging matches," Barnett told Omnisport.

"I've never criticised anybody for anything other than what they said or what they did."

Bale joined LaLiga giants Madrid in 2013 and signed a lucrative contract extension in 2016.

And with three seasons still left to run on that deal, there is no urgency from his camp to force a resolution.

Barnett confirmed on Tuesday to Sky Sports News that the player will not consider a loan move away from the Spanish capital amid strong links to the Chinese Super League, where clubs are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.

Barnett declined to reveal Bale's preference for China or Europe, adding: "If Gareth finds something that he really likes then we'll talk about it.

"He's a Real Madrid player. He's got three years on his contract. Nothing can change that fact.

"If he didn't have a contract it would be a problem for him. But he's fine. He's signed a contract and he's fine."

Madrid face Arsenal in an International Champions Cup clash in Maryland on Tuesday.

David Alaba admits being on Barcelona's transfer radar is flattering but insists his focus remains on Bayern Munich.

The Austria international has been linked with a move to LaLiga champions Barca in recent days.

Reports in Germany indicate Bayern are unlikely to entertain negotiations for a player viewed as one of the finest and most versatile left-backs in the world.

Alaba joined the Bundesliga giants as a teenager in 2009 and has two seasons left to run on his contract.

"Of course, it's an acknowledgement, it's an honour for me," Alaba told reporters in the United States, where Bayern are based for the International Champions Cup.

However, he added: "My focus is fully on Bayern here in America and on pre-season. I want to concentrate on the essentials."

Bayern are set to return to Germany following their final ICC match against AC Milan in Kansas City.

Jerome Boateng will miss the clash after leaving the tour for private reasons.

Boateng had looked headed for the Allianz Arena exit towards the end of last season, but boss Niko Kovac insists the experienced centre-back will not be short on opportunities during the forthcoming campaign.

"Should he stay, which is what looks like happening right now, he will have the same chances as any other player," Kovac said.

"He is doing very well and I am very happy with his performance so far in pre-season."

Antoine Griezmann will make his Barcelona debut against Chelsea after being named in the starting XI for Tuesday's friendly in Saitama.

World Cup winner Griezmann joined the club in a €120million move earlier this month and is now set to line up alongside the likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets.

Fellow new signing Frenkie de Jong features among the substitutes, while Lionel Messi remains absent following his involvement at the Copa America.

The match is Barca's first of a pre-season schedule that also includes games against Vissel Kobe, Arsenal and Napoli.

Savo Milosevic said Real Madrid recruit Luka Jovic is a "goal machine" every big club in the world needs, and he believes the striker will be afforded time to settle at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Jovic is preparing for his first season with LaLiga giants Madrid following his reported €60million arrival from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.

The 21-year-old caught the attention of Europe's biggest teams after scoring 27 goals in all competitions to help Eintracht reach the Europa League semi-finals last term.

Jovic made his pre-season bow for Madrid in the 3-1 International Champions Cup loss to Bayern Munich on Saturday and Serbian great Milosevic hailed the former Red Star Belgrade sensation.

"[It's] definitely not going to get bigger than this," Milosevic – now head coach of Partizan Belgrade – told Omnisport. "It's going to be tough for Luka, it will be difficult, but he possesses such a great quality of scoring goals. He is a goal machine.

"It's a big club [where] there is a lot of pressure and it's important how he is starts. He is still young but psychologically, if he can handle the pressure of a big club, things will be good for him.

"He is a player that every big club in the world needs. Those players with a capacity to score 25-30 goals a season, there isn't many of them. He is definitely one of them."

Milosevic added: "I believe they will be a little bit patient with him because of his age, but not too much, Madrid are a big club and they won't wait a long time.

"Luka scored 25-30 goals last season and I believe Madrid are bigger with better potential. Madrid will create chances and if Luka starts well and collects confidence from the beginning, things could go in the right direction immediately."

Jovic joined his new team-mates following the European Under-21 Championship, where Serbia struggled in Italy.

Headlined by Jovic, Benfica's Andrija Zivkovic, Eintracht recruit Dejan Joveljic and Marseille winger Nemanja Radonjic, Serbia bowed out in the group stage after three losses – including a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Germany.

It raised further questions about the state of Serbian football, despite an array of technically gifted players in the Balkan country, who won the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

"It's very difficult to answer in one response, I need two days to explain everything. In the process of making the football players at 10-18 years of age, we are far behind big countries," Milosevic added. "We need to improve in all aspects, physically especially, sports medicine – those things are very important.

"Tactically and technically, we need to improve our process. Our system is too old. People working in the system, they don't understand what it is needed in modern football.

"So, we are behind and it's exactly what you see when you see our teams, we have talented players but many things missing."

Arsenal's quiet transfer window seems to be about to spark into life.

Widespread reports on Monday claimed Dani Ceballos is on the verge of joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

William Saliba could follow him to Emirates Stadium by the end of the week, too.

 

TOP STORY - CEBALLOS BOUND FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal are close to completing the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

AS report the midfielder could head to London on Tuesday for a medical, with Marca saying the 21-year-old is excited about the prospect of spending a season under Unai Emery.

Various UK media outlets have also stated Ceballos is not far from finalising a deal, while the BBC's David Ornstein says Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba could follow him to north London before the week is out.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Barcelona are to open talks with Lionel Messi to try to extend his contract beyond 2021, according to ESPN.

Jiangsu Suning have joined Chinese rivals Beijing Guoan in the race for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale but must offer wages of £1million per week, reports the Telegraph.

- Fotosport in Turkey say Galatasaray have made an approach to sign Fred on loan from Manchester United.

- Inter are still eager to sign Romelu Lukaku and have offered Manchester United a choice of €78m or €55m plus winger Ivan Perisic, FCInternews.it suggests.

Ademola Lookman is expected to arrive in Germany in the next 36 hours to finalise a transfer from Everton to RB Leipzig, say Sky Sports.

- Marca claim Atletico Madrid would prefer to sign Real Madrid's James Rodriguez than Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

- Atletico Madrid are likely to earn a total of €57m when Angel Correa finalises his move to AC Milan, Sky Sport Italia say.

- Corriere dello Sport claim Napoli are pushing to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter, with James Rodriguez poised for Atletico Madrid.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing the Serie A champions to sign Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, according to the Daily Mail.

Eden Hazard stressed the importance of winning trophies every season at Real Madrid as the star signing eyes silverware in 2019-20.

Hazard swapped Chelsea for Madrid in a big-money move during the off-season after the LaLiga club's difficult 2018-19 campaign.

Madrid finished third behind bitter rivals Barcelona in LaLiga, crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 and lost in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Hazard – who led Chelsea to Europa League glory last term – understands the importance of titles at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"When you play for Real Madrid you need to win things every season. You need to win, win, win," Hazard told Jay Shetty via Madrid's official website.

"If you don't win the Champions League the fans get down and that's to be expected. At this club you always want to win and that's why I'm here.

"I want to play games, score goals and, come the end of the season, lift trophies."

Hazard made his debut for Madrid in last week's 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich at the International Champions Cup.

The Belgium international and Madrid are back in action against Arsenal in Maryland on Tuesday.

"I play with freedom. That's difficult in football because there are defenders, midfielders... but that's the kind of player I am," Hazard said.

"If I don't have that freedom I don't play well and end up on the bench. I like to get on the ball, move to the right, to the left, shift around and play with my instinct.

"I don't think: I have to do this, play the ball to the right, to the left. I just play, get on the ball and decide what to do."

Zinedine Zidane insists he did not disrespect Gareth Bale when he said it would be good if he left Real Madrid sooner rather than later.

Zidane caused a stir when he stated last weekend that he hoped Wales star Bale would leave the LaLiga club soon, adding: "It would be best for everyone."

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Madrid head coach "a disgrace" for his remarks, as talk of an imminent move to the Chinese Super League gathered pace.

Zidane has now hit back at such suggestions and claims Bale himself declined to play in the 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich on Sunday because the club was trying to arrange his transfer.

"I'll try to be very clear with this, with Gareth," he told a news conference on Monday.

"Firstly, I have not disrespected anyone, least of all a player because I always said the same thing, that players are the most important thing and every time there is a player here I am always with them.

"Secondly, I said the club was trying to get him out. Period.

"Thirdly, I think this is important, too. The other day, Gareth did not change because he didn't want to, nothing more. He said the club is trying to get him to go and so he didn't get changed because of that.

"Now, we come back to the same thing. Bale is a Madrid player, he will train normally today, and we'll see what happens tomorrow [against Arsenal]."

When the subject of Bale was brought up again, he said: "You keep asking about this situation. Nothing will change today - he's going to go and train now. The club is doing what it has to do.

"He will train normally, and we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Bale has been linked with Chinese Super League clubs Jiangsu Suning and Beijing Guoan, who are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.

Madrid face Arsenal in Maryland on Tuesday.

Ivan Rakitic is keen to remain at Barcelona but admitted he is "open to anything" as he continues to be linked to a move away.

Croatia international Rakitic has two years left on his contract at Camp Nou and has reportedly been offered to Paris Saint-Germain as a potential makeweight in a deal that would send Neymar back to Barca.

Inter are also said to have an interest in the 31-year-old, and although he does not intend to seek out an exit from Barcelona, he suggested he would be willing to consider it in the right circumstances.

"My idea is very clear, I want to stay at Barca. It's a situation I'm used to. It happened to me last year," Rakitic told a news conference ahead of Barcelona's Rakuten Cup meeting with Chelsea on Tuesday.

"I've spoken with the club and the coach and we have the same idea - for me to stay at Barca. We're open to everything, as always, but my intention is to stay.

"I have two more years on my contract and I want to keep enjoying myself at Barca.

"It doesn't annoy me. I know that football works like this and it makes me proud because if other teams want me it's because I'm doing things very well. I'm calm."

Gareth Bale's long goodbye to Real Madrid is edging closer after head coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed the club is actively working to sell the Wales international.

A move to either Paris Saint-Germain or the Chinese Super League looks most likely for a player who cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the 2018-19 season.

Bale is poised to be forced out at the behest of Zidane and there are a host of significant players across Europe who have yet to negotiate an exit despite expressing a desire to move on.

Here, we look at the players who are stuck in limbo with the start of the 2019-20 season just weeks away.

 

Neymar

Neymar has not publicly stated he wants to leave the Ligue 1 champions but the club's sporting director, Leonardo, has said he can move on if the price is right.

The Brazilian superstar has yet to feature for PSG so far during pre-season and was again absent as Thomas Tuchel's side laboured to a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg on Saturday.

A possible swap deal involving Bale could be a possibility, although a move back to his former club Barcelona looks more likely. Will the Catalan giants stump up the money, though, and end the impasse?

Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku joined United from Everton in a £75million deal in 2017, scoring 28 goals in 66 Premier League games since then, but his performances have been much maligned.

He fell out of favour towards the end of last season and has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes up his United squad ahead of the new campaign.

The two clubs appear to be some way apart in their valuation of the Belgium international – who has yet to feature in pre-season – and, for now, he remains a United player.

Philippe Coutinho

Things have not gone according to plan at Barcelona for Coutinho following his January 2018 move from Liverpool, with the Brazilian admitting last month he does not know what his future holds.

Coutinho only managed five LaLiga goals in 34 appearances as Barca retained their crown in 2018-19, with 12 of his league outings coming from the bench.

With Antoine Griezmann now on board at Camp Nou, Coutinho's playing time is likely to be reduced even further and a move might suit both parties.

Paul Pogba

The French World Cup winner hinted at being unsettled at Manchester United last month, telling reporters he was interested in a new challenge three years after returning to Old Trafford from Juventus.

His agent, Mino Raiola, doubled down on that recently, telling The Times: "Everyone within the club, from the manager to the owner, knows Paul's wishes."

A move back to Juve has been mooted for the 26-year-old, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested in the playmaker. United are standing firm, though, and it is looking increasingly likely that he will spend at least another season in the Premier League.

Mauro Icardi

Icardi endured a controversial 2018-19 campaign with Inter, the Argentina international stripped of the captaincy amid conflicting views of an apparent knee injury and internal disagreements with the club's hierarchy.

The club's chief executive, Giuseppe Marotta, recently told the striker he was no longer wanted and both parties mutually agreed he would withdraw from their pre-season tour of Asia.

That has not hastened his departure from the club, though, with potential suitors perhaps wary of signing a player who will bring plenty of baggage.

Christian Eriksen 

The Denmark international stunned Tottenham supporters last month when he declared he wanted to "try something new".

Eriksen arrived from Eredivisie giants Ajax in 2013 and the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the Premier League and Europe's best midfielders.

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been linked with the playmaker but no firm offers appear to have been tabled yet.

Antoine Griezmann received a message from Luis Suarez to welcome him to Barcelona - but is yet to hear from Lionel Messi.

After paying €120million to activate the release clause in Griezmann's Atletico Madrid contract, Barca presented the forward as their latest signing on July 14.

The France international said he received a warm welcome from those present on the club's tour to Japan, where they will play Chelsea and Vissel Kobe in the Rakuten Cup, despite being nutmegged twice in his first training session.

Suarez and Messi are not present in Asia due to their Copa America commitments for Uruguay and Argentina respectively, but only the former has been in touch with him so far.

"The truth is it started badly because they nutmegged me twice in my first rondo. Luckily I have learned the lesson," Griezmann said at a news conference ahead of Tuesday's meeting with Chelsea.

"Messi has not called me yet, but Suarez did. He congratulated me and welcomed me.

"The group has welcomed me and I am happy to share a dressing room with them. Hopefully I can help in the best way possible."

Atletico challenged the legitimacy of Griezmann's transfer to Barcelona, alleging the LaLiga champions should have to pay the €200m release clause that was still active when they began discussions.

Griezmann would not be drawn on his former club's complaint and stated his focus was on adapting to his new team.

"I did everything as well as possible with respect to Diego Simeone, my former team-mates and Atletico Madrid to leave on good terms," he said.

"It's an issue for them. I am calm and all that matters is starting well with Barcelona, which is the most important thing.

"I heard about it [the complaint]. It's a club where I gave my all. I'm very calm. The only thing that matters to me right now is understanding the coach's tactics, getting on with my team-mates and enjoying football."

On Simeone, he added: "Our relationship was more than a coach and a player, we're like family. I got on very well with him.

"He was important for what I did on the pitch and for my private life. I owe him a lot and I love him a lot. Our relationship will carry on, even after retirement."

Antoine Griezmann believes it will be difficult for Barcelona to re-sign Neymar and form a star-studded attack with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Barca sealed a €120million move for Griezmann this month and are reportedly keen to bring Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain, who signed him for a world record €222m in August 2017.

The World Cup winner is unwilling to contemplate lining up alongside the Brazilian until a deal is done, with the Catalan giants reportedly offering €100m and two of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti, Nelson Semedo, Ivan Rakitic and Malcom in exchange.

Griezmann thinks it will be tricky for Barca to get a move over the line and stated they already have sufficient talent to challenge on multiple fronts.

"We have to get it done first, because it is a difficult transfer," he told Sky Sports.

"But he is a great player, he's had a couple of injuries but is at an incredible level.

"We also have Dembele, Coutinho and Malcom who are also important players for us and let's hope we can achieve great things with them.

"I hope I will have an important role, I want to be an important player for the team and help in whatever way I can.

"As long as I enjoy playing with my team-mates and give it all on the pitch, it doesn't matter."

Gareth Bale's situation at Real Madrid is "unsustainable" and a loan move would be the best solution, according to former club president Ramon Calderon.

Zinedine Zidane announced after the 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich that Bale did not play in the pre-season fixture because he was very close to leaving Los Blancos.

Madrid coach Zidane was forthright when discussing the Welshman's future at the Santiago Bernabeu, saying: "We hope he leaves soon, it would be best for everyone."

Bale's former club Tottenham, Manchester United and Bayern Munich have all been linked with a move for the 30-year-old, though the Chinese Super League is believed to be his most likely destination.

Yet Calderon predicted the finances of any exit for Bale will prove difficult to negotiate and said he would favour a temporary departure for the forward, though he acknowledged such an option is unlikely.

"I think it's unsustainable for everyone, for the player, the coach and the club. Zidane discarded him a long time ago. He said he wanted to keep Cristiano [Ronaldo] and to sell Bale [and] the president didn't follow that advice, so that's why he left the club [in May 2018]," Calderon told Sky Sports.

"When he came back he was promised Bale won't be there in the future. Maybe the comments weren't really appropriate, but I think what he showed is he's fed up with the situation. The best thing to do is find a solution.

"No top player, and he's one of them for sure, wants to be on the bench, they want to play. I'm sure he would like to play for Wales and mainly he'd like to be playing, it doesn't matter where [but] I suppose in a big club.

"What is true is that no offers have come. That's another problem. They are talking about Chinese clubs. They have the problem that when paying the transfer fee, with a new rule, you also have to pay the same money to the federation, so that doubles the transfer fee.

"I think in this case the best solution would be a loan, but no one is willing to do that. With the high salary he's got, and also the club trying to get a transfer fee, the solution is very difficult."

On whether Madrid have handled the situation appropriately, Calderon said: "I don't think so.

"When these things happen you have to act quickly. I know one year ago we received an offer of around €100million and we didn't accept it because the president thought that being his star, the one he signed, he should be here and perhaps the manager didn't know how to take advantage of his qualities.

"Maybe it's true, but when you have a coach that says he doesn't want to keep a player you have to look for a solution."

Jasper Cillessen had grown tired of sitting on the bench at Barcelona and does not view his move to Valencia as a backward step.

Valencia shelled out €35million in June to sign Cillessen, who spent three seasons at Barca acting as back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The 30-year-old Netherlands international made just 12 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants last season and believes the transfer is a positive move for him at this stage of his career.

"I have not had problems with Barcelona or with any team. For me, the most important thing is to play. It's the only reason I'm here," Cillessen told Marca.

"For me to come to Valencia is not a step back. Between being on the bench of Barcelona or playing at Valencia, playing at Valencia is much better. It is easy. It is not a step back.

"When I arrived at Barcelona, Ter Stegen was on a different level than now. And after three years he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"I think we both improved, but it was time for me to leave."

Valencia are reportedly interested in Barca midfielder Rafinha and Cillessen hopes the Brazilian, who has been out of action since November due to a serious left knee injury, follows him in heading to Mestalla.

The Dutchman said of Rafinha: "He is a very good player, he has had very bad luck with injuries. But he is a great player, it would be very important here with this system and for the coach.

"He is my friend and I want him to come here."

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