The race is heating up for Neymar.

With Paris Saint-Germain reportedly willing to part with the world's most expensive player, two LaLiga giants are set to go head-to-head.

Will Neymar end up at former club Barcelona or bitter Spanish rivals Real Madrid?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND MADRID FIGHT FOR NEYMAR

A return to Barcelona and a blockbuster transfer to Real Madrid both appear on the cards for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Madrid are reportedly ready to pay €130million for Neymar in a deal which would also include either James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale.

But Globo Esporte says Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222m transfer in 2017 – is still on track for a Camp Nou comeback.

It comes after Le Parisien claims PSG want €300m to part with the injured Brazil forward.

 

ROUND-UP

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is set to become the world's most expensive full-back as Manchester United negotiate a £55million deal with Crystal Palace, according to the Daily Record. However, talks between the two Premier League sides have dragged on and the Red Devils have identified alternatives, with Sky Sport Italia claiming Napoli's Elseid Hysaj is a target.

- According to Marca, Atletico Madrid will announce the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Felix on Thursday. The 19-year-old has already undergone a medical and signed his contract ahead of the €120m move.

Frank Lampard has notified his Derby County squad that he will replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea if the right offer arrives, the Mirror reports. Former Chelsea star Lampard is expected to move back to London following Sarri's switch to Juve.

Paris Saint-Germain outcast Adrien Rabiot is on the verge of signing for Serie A champions Juventus, according to Sportitalia. The French midfielder and free agent has reportedly penned a five-year contract worth €7m plus bonuses, and a €10m signing-on fee.

- According to the Daily Mail, Inter and Atletico Madrid are both eyeing a move for Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has agreed a deal worth £180,000 per week to join Inter, says The Sun. With Lukaku heading for the exit, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly eyeing Bournemouth's David Brooks.

Andre Gomes is on the verge of joining Everton permanently from LaLiga champions Barcelona. Gomes enjoyed a successful loan spell in 2018-19 and a £22m fee has "verbally been agreed", according to the Telegraph.

Police investigating the death of Emiliano Sala have confirmed a man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died when the plane they were travelling in to Wales, after the 28-year-old striker joined Cardiff City from Nantes, crashed in the English Channel on January 21.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police's major crime investigation team, said in a statement on Wednesday: "We have carried out a wide-ranging investigation into the circumstances of the death of Mr Sala and continue to work with partner agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority.

"As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality and as a result of our enquiries we have today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act. He is assisting with our enquiries and has been released from custody under investigation.

"This matter therefore is still subject to a live investigation and I would ask the media and members of the public to refrain from speculation, as this could cause additional distress to the families involved as well as potentially hinder the investigation.

"As is standard practice, we will not be releasing any further information as to the identity of the individual who has been arrested unless that person is charged to appear in court and again would discourage any speculation in relation to this."

Police added in a statement that the families of Sala and Ibbotson have been informed.

Becoming a Real Madrid player is starting to sink in for Ferland Mendy, who opened up on his 10-year journey from being told he would never play football again to joining "the greatest club in the world".

The France international completed a €48million transfer from Lyon last week, signing a contract that will keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2025.

At his presentation on Wednesday, Mendy described how he fought his way back from the brink of having his career ended by surgery to realising his ambition of playing for Los Blancos.

"When I was 15 I had a hip operation and they told me I would never play football again," he told reporters.

"I was in a wheelchair for a while and spent six or seven months in hospital for rehab.

"Now I'm at Real Madrid. It's incredible."

Mendy's arrival has sparked speculation over the future of Madrid full-back Marcelo, but the new recruit is looking forward to learning from the Brazil international as he adapts to life in LaLiga.

He also revealed compatriot Raphael Varane had offered to support him through his transition away from Ligue 1.

"I've spoken to Varane and he told me it was the greatest club in the world," said Mendy.

"He said he would help me to integrate well in the dressing room. That's going to be easier for me as I play with him for France.

"I'm very happy to be a part of Real Madrid. I know the quality of Marcelo. He's had a great career and I'm going to learn a lot from him."

Asked whether France team-mates Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe could be the next stars to arrive in Madrid, Mendy replied: "Why not?

"They're high quality players but we haven't spoken about Real Madrid. The only person I spoke about Real Madrid with is Varane."

Neymar "knows what he has to do" over his Paris Saint-Germain future, according to team-mate Marquinhos.

The world's most expensive player has been linked with a sensational return to Barcelona in recent weeks, while PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's recent warning that he would no longer tolerate "celebrity behaviour" at the club was perceived in some quarters as a veiled dig at the Brazil superstar.

Ankle ligament damage ruled Neymar out of Brazil's Copa America campaign but, speaking after his country's 0-0 draw with Venezuela, Marquinhos was clear he hopes his compatriot will remain in the French capital.

"A player of Neymar's calibre, the difference he makes... as a team-mate, friend and fan, I want him to stay at Paris Saint-Germain," the 25-year-old defender told reporters.

"He knows what he has to do, our president also knows what he has to do. I do not know [about] the conversation they had."

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG but his two seasons in France have been hindered by lengthy spells on the sidelines due to injuries.

Neymar's expected exit from Paris Saint-Germain seems to be gathering speed.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave the Ligue 1 champions, with a return to LaLiga – either with former club Barcelona or Real Madrid – appearing likely.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said he no longer wanted "superstar behaviour" and Neymar looks set to depart the Parc des Princes.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SET FOR LALIGA RETURN

A return to Barcelona, where he spent four seasons before joining PSG, seems the most likely for Neymar.

According to television channel Gol, the Brazilian is already looking for a house in Barcelona, and he wants the same home he occupied during his first stint at the club.

However, the star forward has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid. Marca report PSG may want Casemiro in a possible deal for Neymar.

Mundo Deportivo report Neymar recently told Al-Khelaifi: "I don't want to play anymore at PSG. I want to go back to my house [Barcelona], where I should never have left."

ROUND-UP

- Paul Pogba may want a "new challenge" away from Manchester United, but he is set to get a nice bonus beforehand. The Sun report Pogba is due to receive a £3.78million loyalty bonus from United at the start of July. While the midfielder is linked with Real Madrid, Gianluca Di Marzio reports there are still talks for Pogba to return to Juventus.

- Real Madrid still seem keen to land Tottenham star Christian Eriksen. The Daily Mail report Madrid are set to offer Spurs £45m plus midfielder Dani Ceballos for the Denmark playmaker.

- Matthijs de Ligt appears to be getting closer to a decision over his future. The Ajax captain has told Barcelona he will not be joining them, according to Cadena SER.

- Manchester United's hopes of keeping David de Gea have received a boost. The Sun report PSG, long linked with the goalkeeper, have instead turned their attentions to AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

- Staying at Old Trafford, Romelu Lukaku will not force a Manchester United exit despite being linked with a move, according to the Mirror. There has been plenty of talk around United, with The Sun reporting the club offered Phil Jones in a deal to sign West Ham defender Issa Diop, but the Hammers want Anthony Martial. Meanwhile, Gianluca Di Marzio reports United are also showing an interest in Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj.

- Manchester City appear set to strengthen with the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. Goal report Rodri has decided to leave Atletico and join City, who are set to pay his €70m buy-out clause.

Lyon have received offers for sought-after midfielder Tanguy Ndombele but none have met the club's valuation, according to president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Les Gones secured a third-place finish in Ligue 1 last season to ensure Champions League qualification for 2019-20, but that may not be enough to avoid losing some of their key players.

Speculation continues to mount regarding the futures of Houssem Aouar, Moussa Dembele, Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir and Ndombele, who is said to be interesting Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain after emerging as one of Europe's most highly rated young midfielders.

And, although Lyon have received offers, Aulas told the interested parties they will need to increase their bids if they want the France international.

"There is nothing decided at the moment," Aulas told reporters on Tuesday. "There have been many proposals, but they haven't met my expectations."

Aulas also confirmed Lyon's interest in Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis, who is set to leave Atletico Madrid on a free transfer.

"We are far enough from an agreement," he added. "Filipe Luis has many qualities, but he wants to take his time to make the decision.

"We are in a hurry to announce a number of signings, but he is one of the players we are very interested in."

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal added weight to the growing reports linking Neymar with a move back to Camp Nou, saying it would be "very nice" to have the Brazil forward back at the club.

Vidal arrived at Barcelona in August 2018, a year after Neymar's €222m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain brought his four-year spell with the Blaugrana to an end.

Despite not having played alongside Neymar, Vidal is aware of the high regard in which the 27-year-old is held at the club.

Asked about the possibility of Neymar arriving in Barcelona ahead of the 2019-20 season, Vidal told reporters: "It would be very nice. He is dearly liked there."

Vidal is hoping to help Chile to a successful defence of the Copa America before turning his attention back to club football, and he helped his country to a 4-0 win over Japan on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old is one of Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda's most important players, and Vidal was delighted by Chile's performance against Japan.

"We had many days of preparation, to play matches and to mature everything we have done this year and a half [since Rueda took charge]," Vidal told Marca.

"The friendlies were not good but the important thing is that the real Chile appeared [against Japan].

"We are the champions and we have to defend the cup."

The race for Paul Pogba appears well and truly on, but Manchester United will not let the midfielder go easily.

The France international said on Sunday he would be interested in a "new challenge", casting fresh doubt over his future at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid have continually been linked with Pogba, but it seems Paris Saint-Germain, and perhaps former club Juventus, could also be interested.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA INTEREST INTENSIFIES

Real Madrid indicated they are willing to pay £90million for Pogba despite United valuing the midfielder at £150m, according to The Sun.

United are ready to do their all to keep Pogba, with the Daily Mail reporting they are set to offer him a bumper new contract worth close to £500,000 per week.

This saga appears likely to take time to play out with Ligue 1 champions PSG also expressing an interest in Pogba, according to The Independent.

ROUND-UP

- Neymar appears more and more likely to leave PSG in the close season. Globo Esporte says talks are already underway for the Brazil international to return to Barcelona, who may pay €100m and send players, with Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti mentioned.

- It seems Benfica sensation Joao Felix has decided where he will be next season. According to Record, the 19-year-old Portugal international was in Spain to sign with Atletico Madrid in a €120m move, a report Benfica denied. El Chiringuito later claimed to have spotted the attacker and agent Jorge Mendes leaving a Madrid restaurant.

- Real Madrid look like they want to see Gareth Bale make an exit before next season. ABC says the LaLiga giants have lowered their asking price for the Wales international from €100m to €85m.

- With Neymar and Antoine Griezmann potentially arriving, Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona future seems clouded. AS reports PSG have made contact with the player's camp, while he may return to the Premier League. However, Sky Sports News reports Coutinho is unwilling to join Manchester United out of respect to former club Liverpool, but The Sun says he would head to Chelsea, although the club's transfer ban is standing in the way of that move.

- Now that Juventus have appointed Maurizio Sarri, the Serie A champions could make numerous additions. Tuttosport reported Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved met with agent Mino Raiola regarding Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt – who is expected to join PSG – and Pogba.

- A dream Chelsea return for Frank Lampard could be on the cards. The Sun reports the club great and Derby County manager is set for talks with owner Roman Abramovich over the position left vacant at Stamford Bridge by Sarri's departure. The same paper also reports Chelsea have rejected £35m bids from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for Willian, with the Mirror saying Lampard wants the Brazil international to stay.

Brazil coach Tite told Neymar to move to where he will be happy as the Paris Saint-Germain star is linked with a return to Barcelona.

Neymar, 27, could reportedly head back to Camp Nou just two years after leaving the LaLiga giants for PSG.

According to Globo Esporte, Barca may pay €100million and give PSG players to bring Neymar back to the club he spent four seasons at.

Tite, who is without the forward at the Copa America due to an ankle injury, urged Neymar to go where he felt happiest.

"I would go to a team where I always felt happy – as a person, as a human being and as a family, because there I will be professionally better," he told a news conference.

"They are very particular situations. It is a professional issue. It has to do with where you feel good, where you feel happy."

Without Neymar, Brazil opened their Copa America campaign by beating Bolivia 3-0 in Group A.

Ahead of facing Venezuela in Salvador on Tuesday, Tite was giving nothing away about his team's approach.

"The biggest meaning and the most important thing is not to give opportunities to give the opponent an idea about how we are going to play," he said.

"We don't want to make it easier for the opponent, since the players know who will play."

Luis Suarez would seemingly welcome Neymar back to Barcelona, recalling one of the best years of his career alongside the Brazilian and Lionel Messi.

Neymar, 27, is linked with a return to the LaLiga champions, two years after making a €222million switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil international spent four seasons at Barca before his move, including winning a treble in 2014-15.

Suarez said he would be happy to see Neymar, who is sidelined with an ankle injury, back at Camp Nou.

"I was privileged to fulfil one of the best years of my life as a football player at Barcelona next to the best in the world, Messi, and the second best in the world, Neymar," the Uruguay international told RAC1 on Monday.

"For me, it was one of the best moments I've ever lived, won the treble."

Suarez added: "Who would not want to enjoy players like Ney?

"But he belongs to PSG and these are things that are always talked about during the market."

Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives wanted to avoid falling into a "trap" by discussing a possible return to the club for Neymar.

Neymar, 27, has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, two years after making a world-record €222million switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

But Vives, spokesman for the board of directors, tried to bat away questions about the superstar on Monday.

"It's something we're not going to get into. Now, he is a PSG player and we do not have to talk," he said, via Marca.

"We will not say anything because we will fall into a trap."

Neymar's two seasons at PSG have been hampered by injuries, although he has won two Ligue 1 titles, a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue.

Vives refused to say whether the Brazil international, who spent four seasons at Barca, would be welcomed back.

"We don't leave the door open or closed," he said. "The facts are known. We explained them.

"He's a PSG player and from there we don't talk about Neymar or anyone. It's PSG. We will not do it here."

Paul Pogba's tempestuous second stint at Manchester United will end this close season if the France midfielder has his way.

Speaking over the weekend, Pogba stated it was time for a "new challenge", having been linked with a big-money move away from Old Trafford for several months.

The 26-year-old was the most expensive player in football history when he re-joined United from Juventus for £89.3million in 2016.

Despite scoring 31 goals in all competitions over the course of three seasons, Pogba's failure to consistently hit top form for a sustained period has invited regular criticism, while the collapse of his relationship with Jose Mourinho was an unseemly factor towards the end of the Portuguese's ill-fated reign as manager.

Nevertheless, United are reportedly in no hurry to sell and a £150m price tag means only a small selection of the game's elite can consider a move for Pogba. We look at where the 2018 World Cup winner might end up next.

Real Madrid

The Santiago Bernabeu has long been mooted as Pogba's next destination and the appeal of him linking up with France great and Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is an obvious one. Following an underwhelming campaign, club president Florentino Perez has bankrolled a considerable overhaul for Zidane, with Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo all arriving at considerable expense. The coffers are not bottomless and the question is whether Pogba, after his mixed recent seasons, remains the most appealing use of Madrid's remaining funds.

Paris Saint-Germain

Indeed, glances have probably been turned from the Spanish capital and towards the French one by Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi saying star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – along with the rest of the squad – must "work more", adding: "I no longer want to have superstar behaviour," in an interview with France Football. Pogba's detractors would argue such a policy change might rule him out, but PSG are light in central midfield and Al-Khelaifi will be aware of the commercial bounty to be made from bringing one of Les Bleus' 2018 heroes back to his home city. Links between PSG and Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt also suggest the lines of communication between the club and Pogba's agent Mino Raiola are open.

Juventus

Pogba's standing in the eyes of the United faithful has dwindled over recent months and he must long for the esteem in which he was once held in Turin. Four Scudetti in as many seasons preceded his second act in Manchester, although those did come in a talent-stacked midfield alongside the likes of Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio. Juve are approaching a new era under Maurizio Sarri and Pogba would be a statement signing to bolster their Champions League ambitions alongside the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo.

Barcelona

Pogba was widely considered to be on Barcelona's radar in the aftermath of Russia 2018, however that ship appears to have sailed. Arthur adapted impressively to life in LaLiga last term and Frenkie de Jong will arrive on the crest of an Ajax wave. On the other hand, recent speculation linking United with an interest in Barca duo Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho means a lucrative game of musical chairs might not be out of the equation entirely.

Neymar was not forced to join Paris Saint-Germain and he understood what he was signing up to, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said amid increased speculation over the Brazil star's future.

A report in L'Equipe claimed PSG are willing to sell Neymar, though they would not accept less than the world-record €222million fee they paid to sign him from Barcelona in August 2017.

Neymar's time at PSG has been largely defined by injuries and talk of dressing room discord. He argued with Julian Draxler, who has since played down the incident, and is said to have criticised Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola in the wake of their Coupe de France final loss to Rennes in April. 

Al-Khelaifi told France Football he will no longer put up with any "celebrity behaviour" at the club.

In the same interview he said of Neymar: "I want players that are ready to give everything to defend the honour of our shirt and who sign up to the club's project.

"Those who do not want to, or do not understand it, we meet and we speak. There are of course contracts to respect, but the priority now is complete commitment to our project.

"Nobody forced him to sign here. Nobody pushed him to. He came with a full understanding of the cause to sign up to a project."

Neymar this month suffered an ankle injury that ruled him out of Brazil's Copa America campaign.

While speculation swirls over Neymar's future, Al-Khelaifi is adamant PSG will not sell Kylian Mbappe, saying he is 200 per cent sure the France forward will not be leaving.

Kylian Mbappe will have to "go and get" more responsibility at Paris Saint-Germain but is certain to be at the club next season, according to president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

France forward Mbappe put Real Madrid on alert last month when he declared a "new project" might resolve his wish for greater authority.

LaLiga giants Madrid have since been linked heavily with the 20-year-old amid a squad overhaul that has seen Zinedine Zidane sign Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy.

Al-Khelaifi, however, insists Mbappe will not be allowed to join the influx at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"He wants to be more involved in the PSG project, to grow with the team, the club," Al-Khelaifi told France Football.

"I explained to him that you do not ask for responsibility, you go and get it. Sometimes, you have to take it.

"I am not 100 per cent sure, but 200 per cent sure that he will be here next season!"

Mbappe has spent two seasons at PSG, amassing 46 goals in Ligue 1.

Neymar appears to be on thin ice at Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi warned he will not tolerate any "celebrity behaviour" from players.

And the Brazil star could be set to pay the price for his lavish ways in the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – PSG PREPARED TO PART WITH NEYMAR

If you can stump up €222million or more, Neymar could be yours.

According to L'Equipe, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are willing to sell their world-record signing.

Neymar – who is recovering from an ankle injury that forced him out of Brazil's Copa America campaign – arrived from Barcelona for a world-record fee in 2017.

And the 27-year-old continues to be linked with a return to LaLiga with former club Barcelona or their great rivals Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Standard says Paul Pogba has been told he will not be sold by Manchester United, despite the Frenchman publicly stating his desire to seek a challenge elsewhere. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and a return to Juventus.

- Juventus have not given up on signing in-demand Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, according to Tuttosport. PSG are believed to be favourites but Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved is set to meet with agent Mino Raiola.

- Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal reportedly has an offer from the Chinese Super League, according to soccerlink.fr. The arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax could spell the end of the Chilean's career at Camp Nou.

- L'Equipe says Arsenal have moved closer to signing 18-year-old Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba. The Teenager has reportedly agreed a five-year contract in London.

- Ligue 1 side Lyon have opened talks to sign Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, according to L'Equipe. The Brazil international full-back's contract expires at the end of June and he has been linked to Barcelona.

- With Maurizio Sarri confirmed as Juventus head coach, the Italian champions are set to target Inter outcast Mauro Icardi and Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to Corriere dello Sport.

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