Gerard Pique would not begrudge Philippe Coutinho a move away from Barcelona if it makes the Brazilian happy.

LaLiga champions Barca are reportedly prepared to loan out the former Liverpool star, with four Premier League clubs having been linked with a move.

Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are rumoured to be interested, though with the English transfer window shutting on Thursday any deal would have to move swiftly.

Barca signed Coutinho in a deal reportedly worth €160million (£142m) in January 2018, but it has not worked out for the midfielder, who managed five LaLiga goals last term.

The signings of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong seem to have further restricted Coutinho's chances under Ernesto Valverde, and Pique just wants the 27-year-old to be happy.

"I don't know," Pique told reporters in Miami when asked for an update on Coutinho.

"Obviously I want him to stay but at the end of the day it's what he wants and I want him to be happy. Let's see.

"Until the last day of the transfer market we will not know if he stays or not. But it's not my decision, it's the club's and Philippe's."

Coutinho is with Barca's squad in Miami as they prepare to face Napoli in the first of two friendlies against the Serie A club in the United States.

Tottenham are ready to make a splash before the transfer window closes in England – by landing Paulo Dybala and Philippe Coutinho.

The Champions League runners-up could add the two playmakers to their squad before the window shuts on Thursday, with Christian Eriksen potentially leaving.

In what looks set to be another chaotic end to the window, Spurs could be central to plenty of movement.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS' DYBALA OFFER ACCEPTED, EYE COUTINHO LOAN

Juventus have accepted a £65million (€70.6m) offer from Tottenham for Dybala, according to Sky Sports.

Dybala has already reportedly rejected a move to Manchester United due to an unwillingness to take a pay cut, and a switch to Spurs is now in his hands.

Tottenham are also leading the race to sign Barcelona attacker Coutinho on loan, according to The Sun.

Arsenal and United are said to be interested in Coutinho as well, though a report from AS claims the Gunners are not considering a move.

 

ROUND-UP

- Spurs' moves for Dybala and Coutinho could send dominoes falling. United want to pay just £50m to take Eriksen – who is out of contract at the season's end – from Tottenham to Old Trafford, according to the Mirror.

- That would boost Real Madrid's hopes of signing Paul Pogba from United. Sport and Marca report the France international's chances of leaving the Red Devils rest on their ability to sign a replacement – like Eriksen – before the window closes in England.

- Barca are attempting to accelerate Neymar's return to Camp Nou. The cover of Sport says the Spanish champions are looking for Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic – who is potentially set for Paris Saint-Germain – to depart so they can land the Brazil star from the Ligue 1 giants.

- With Romelu Lukaku potentially set for Inter, Man United are looking for a replacement. Yahoo Sport France say the Premier League club have made an offer for Lyon forward Moussa Dembele.

- While Arsenal's possible chase of Coutinho is uncertain, they have been linked with defenders after Laurent Koscielny's departure to Bordeaux. Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla reports Juve centre-back Daniele Rugani has agreed terms with the Gunners, who may initially take him on a two-year loan before paying £36.9m (€40m).

- Staying at the Emirates Stadium, Mesut Ozil could finally be set for the exit. The Mirror reports Ozil's representatives are set for talks with DC United over a move to MLS, where the German could replace Wayne Rooney after the forward's move to Derby County in January was confirmed.

 

Gerard Pique told Neymar to speak if he wants to return to Barcelona as the defender said a deal for the Paris Saint-Germain star was "complicated".

Neymar is expected to leave the Ligue 1 champions this close season, with Barca – the club he left in a world-record €222million deal two years ago – said to be interested.

Pique would like to see the Brazil forward return to Camp Nou, but accepts it will be hard to complete a deal for the 27-year-old, urging him to speak.

"I think the operation is very complicated. He is a PSG player," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"I would be delighted to have him here, although it has to be Neymar who manifests. Of course we talk to him, but it is not appropriate to discuss private conversations.

"It is he who has to go out to talk. He is a star on and off the field."

Even without Neymar, Barcelona have added the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann to their squad from Ajax and Atletico Madrid respectively.

Pique, whose team face Napoli in a friendly in Florida on Wednesday, praised Griezmann and hopes the forward can deliver at Camp Nou.

"Griezmann is a great player and it's good to have him with us," the centre-back said.

"We hope he adapts well and can help us win games."

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti expects Barcelona to contend for a first Champions League title since 2015 after their signings this close season.

The five-time European champions have fallen short in the continent's premier club competition in recent seasons, including an extraordinary semi-final loss to Liverpool in 2018-19.

Ancelotti, whose side face Barca in a friendly in Florida on Wednesday, feels Ernesto Valverde's men should be contenders once more this season after seeing the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong arrive.

"I believe that Barcelona is always a candidate to win the Champions League," he told a news conference.

"It has a player like [Lionel] Messi and many others, so I think they always compete to win the maximum and the maximum is the Champions League.

"I think that with the signings they have done, this year will be very competitive."

Napoli are also looking to move forward after finishing second in Serie A and getting knocked out in the Champions League group stage.

Ancelotti believes LaLiga and the Premier League remain the world's best competitions, but added Serie A is improving.

"At the moment, Italian football is a little below LaLiga and the Premier League, but something is moving," he said.

"Last year Cristiano [Ronaldo] arrived [at Juventus], which is very important for our league. I think in the future Italian football is going to reach the level.

"The stadiums are being renovated and I think that little by little Italy will be better."

After breaking the world-record fee for a defender, Manchester United do not appear to be done just yet.

With Harry Maguire joining Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James at Old Trafford, a London-based Dane could make the move to Manchester.

It could also lead to an in-demand Portuguese midfielder swapping Sporting CP for Tottenham.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED MAKE LAST-DITCH ERIKSEN MOVE

Manchester United are hoping to sign Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen before Thursday's deadline, according to the Daily Mail.

Eriksen is reluctant to renew his contract – which expires in 2020 – with Tottenham and United are looking to lure the Denmark international to Manchester prior to the transfer window closing.

If Eriksen, who has also been linked to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Juventus, leaves Tottenham then he could be replaced with Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

Portugal international Fernandes has long been tipped to join United.

 

ROUND-UP

- InfoSport+ says Paris Saint-Germain have made a €60million offer for Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala. Dybala was linked to Manchester United as part of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku but that move has seemingly ended over reported wage demands.

- Staying with the same theme and Corriere dello Sport reports that D-Day is approaching. Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing Dybala to leave Turin, as the Argentina international weighs up offers from Manchester United and PSG. Lukaku, meanwhile, is said to have already reached an agreement with the Serie A champions.

Bayern Munich are set to sign Manchester City's Leroy Sane, claims France Football. The Germany international will reportedly return to his homeland in a club-record €113m (£104.4m) transfer on a five-year contract.

Inter are considering signing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal on loan, according to FcInterNews. Vidal worked under Antonio Conte at Juventus and they could be reunited in Milan as Barca look to lighten their midfield following the arrival of Frenkie de Jong.

- Widespread reports in Italy claim a deal involving Joao Cancelo and Danilo is done. Manchester City will reportedly send Danilo and €28m to Juventus in exchange for Portugal full-back Cancelo.

- According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Premier League side Wolves are ready to offer €30m for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani. The 25-year-old has also been linked to Arsenal following the arrivals of Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral.

Everton have put together a £100m transfer package to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. According to The Sun, Everton will offer £65m plus striker Cenk Tosun and midfielder James McCarthy.

- Widespread reports in the United Kingdom claim Wayne Rooney is close to joining Championship outfit Derby County as a player-coach. Former Manchester United and England captain Rooney has two seasons remaining on his contract with MLS team DC United.

Lionel Messi expects to be out of action for "a little while" after suffering a calf injury during Barcelona training on Monday.

The Argentina star sustained a grade one strain to his right calf muscle in his first session back with LaLiga's champions after his post-Copa America holiday.

The 32-year-old will miss Barca's pre-season trip to the United States while he recovers from the problem.

Although Barca have not put a timeframe on his recovery, Messi does not seem to think the injury will keep him sidelined for long.

"I was looking forward to starting and unfortunately I had an accident in the first training session that will leave me out for a little while," he wrote on Instagram.

"I'm grateful for all your messages and displays of affection, I wanted to be with the team and with the people who follow us in the USA.

"It wasn't to be this time, but we'll see each other again soon. A hug to everyone."

Barca face Napoli in Miami and Ann Arbor this week in the final stretch of their pre-season duties.

They begin their league title defence away to Athletic Bilbao on August 16.

Lionel Messi will not travel to the United States with the Barcelona squad this week after sustaining a calf injury.

The Argentina star suffered a grade one strain during training on Monday and will stay in Catalonia to recover.

It was Messi's first training session since his return from holiday following the Copa America in Brazil.

Barca confirmed in a statement that Messi "withdrew from the session due to discomfort in his right leg. Tests carried out have diagnosed a Grade 1 calf strain for the Argentine."

There is no time frame for his recovery but it is unlikely he will be definitively ruled out of Barca's LaLiga opener against Athletic Bilbao on August 16.

Ernesto Valverde's side, who beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Joan Gamper Trophy match on Sunday, travel to the USA this week for two matches against Napoli.

The first is in Miami on Wednesday and the second in Michigan on Saturday.

Philippe Coutinho has been linked with a Barcelona exit throughout the close season, but Unai Emery insists Arsenal never discussed his potential arrival.

Brazil international Coutinho has seen Antoine Griezmann arrive at Camp Nou, while former Blaugrana favourite Neymar continues to be discussed as a possible target.

Coutinho's relatively unsuccessful 18-month stint at Barca could therefore be heading towards its conclusion, with Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Liverpool mooted as potential destinations.

There were also claims Arsenal were looking at a temporary deal for the 27-year-old.

It was reported in Spain that Coutinho had turned the approach down, but Emery, while a fan of the player, says no such move was made.

"I like Coutinho as a footballer, but it is another thing that we are interested in him," the Arsenal boss told El Larguero. "We have never talked about Coutinho."

Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Sunday, but Coutinho, who recently returned from the Copa America, was an unused substitute for LaLiga's champions.

The Gunners are well stocked in attacking areas, with Nicolas Pepe arriving from Lille in a club-record move to support Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.

Jurgen Klopp has also dismissed the possibility of Liverpool signing Coutinho.

Unai Emery hopes to have Nicolas Pepe ready to feature in Arsenal's opening Premier League fixture against Newcastle United but insists he will not rush the winger.

Pepe arrived at Emirates Stadium from Lille last week in a reported club-record £72million deal.

However, the Ivory Coast international was in Africa Cup of Nations action this close season and, having just linked up with Arsenal, sat out a 2-1 friendly defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.

Emery is still optimistic Pepe will be ready for the trip to Newcastle this coming Sunday, but he will take no risks with the 24-year-old.

"[Pepe] has been training with us for two days and we thought it was better to continue training alone [rather than face Barca]," said Arsenal boss Emery.

"[On Monday] we are going to have one training session together. Each day for him and for us is information we can save. We hope he can be available for this match [against Newcastle].

"With him, I want to be patient. He's in the same situation as the other players who have been coming in the last few days. For example, Lucas [Torreira], after one week training, had his first 10 minutes.

"With Pepe, it's the same. After training twice, I think it's better to be training, to be working with us, without playing the match."

Alexandre Lacazette was absent due to injury against the Blaugrana, but Emery could still include him in a front three with Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the first time at the weekend.

"Hopefully [Lacazette] could be for the match against Newcastle," he said. "The doctors are optimistic and we are going to wait.

"The next few days are going to be very important for how he can progress with his injury."

Although Arsenal have bolstered their front line, much-needed reinforcements in defence have not yet arrived heading into the final days of the transfer window.

But Emery insists the club will only splash out on a player who offers something different.

"It's not changed our idea or our message," he said. "We can only sign one player if they can really, really improve our squad, and if we can do that, we are going to do it."

Manchester United look set to miss out on Paulo Dybala, but they had a chance to sign another playmaker as the Premier League giants rejected a bid for Paul Pogba.

Juventus midfielder Dybala was reportedly set to be part of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, but the Argentina international now seems likely to remain in Turin.

While United appear eager to strengthen before the transfer window closes, they received – and rejected – a bid for Pogba that included James Rodriguez from Real Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED REJECT POGBA, JAMES DEAL WITH DYBALA SET TO STAY AT JUVE

Manchester United rejected a bid of €30million (£27.4m) plus James from Real Madrid for Pogba, according to The Times.

The report says the LaLiga giants are unable to work out a deal approaching the €164.1m (£150m) United reportedly want for France star Pogba.

Now, it seems Juventus could bid for Pogba to return to Turin, with Tuttosport reporting they will offer Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi for the midfielder.

Meanwhile, and also reported by the BBC, Manchester United have ended talks with Dybala because of the attacker's wage demands and amid uncertainty over whether the 25-year-old wanted a move to Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- Suddenly, Inter are back in the race to sign Lukaku. Sky Sports News report the Serie A side are set to launch a new bid for the Belgium striker in the coming days.

- With United's pursuit of Dybala seemingly off, Corriere dello Sport claim Paris Saint-Germain could be an option for the former Palermo attacker.

- Could Philippe Coutinho be set for a return to the Premier League? Arsenal could make a move for the Barcelona playmaker and former Liverpool star in an audacious loan bid, according to the Mirror.

- Napoli are perhaps ready to give up on signing James. Amid what have been fruitless talks with Madrid, the Serie A side are again expressing an interest in PSV star Hirving Lozano, according to Voetbal International, with the Mexico international's release clause at €40m.

- Andy Carroll's future is unclear, but a return to Newcastle United appears off. The Mirror say the injury riddled striker, who is a free agent after being released by West Ham at the end of 2018-19, will not be heading back to the Premier League club.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde hinted the LaLiga champions could make some sales before the transfer window closes.

It has been a busy off-season for Barca, who have signed Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo, Neto and Emerson.

De Jong's arrival from Ajax has increased Barca's midfield numbers, leading to speculation over the futures of Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho.

Speaking after Barca's 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Sunday, Valverde – whose team have also been linked to former star Neymar – said: "There are quite a few players in midfield.

"We'll see if something happens. I don't know if any sales or signings will be completed."

Asked about Vidal, who only joined from Bayern Munich in 2018-19, Valverde added: "This year there's more competition."

Netherlands international De Jong was named man of the match against Arsenal, who succumbed to Luis Suarez's 90th-minute winner at Camp Nou.

"He's curious and thoughtful and always wants to improve," Valverde said of De Jong, who joined in a €75million deal from Ajax.

"He's always demanding and always wants the ball. He doesn't overplay in tough situations.

"He can work harder and give us more speed. He's a good signing."

Barcelona will face Napoli in a pair of friendlies on August 7 and 10 before opening their LaLiga title defence away to Athletic Bilbao on August 16.

Lionel Messi claimed he has no regrets about pledging to win the Champions League last season and promised Barcelona would "fight again for everything" as he gave his captain's address at Camp Nou.

Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League by eventual winners Liverpool in a dramatic semi-final in May but ended the season as LaLiga champions for the second successive campaign.

Ahead of Barca's 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy, five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi addressed the crowd on Sunday.

Messi did not play in the match, having only returned from holiday, but took the opportunity to outline his hopes for the new season and reflect on the club's achievements during his time in Catalonia.

"It's hard to say something after last season, but I don't regret anything," said Messi. "But I have no doubt that together we are going to fight again for everything.

"We won eight league titles in 11 years. We do not give it the value it deserves but over the years we will see how difficult it was."

Barcelona will play two more friendly matches against Napoli before the new season gets underway with a trip to Athletic Bilbao on August 16.

Ernesto Valverde has added Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Neto, Junior Firpo and Emerson to his squad in a spending spree that has cost the club more than €200million, and Messi was in a determined mood ahead of the new campaign.

"This club fights for everything and this year will be no different," he said.

"We have renewed dreams. Visca Barca and Visca Catalunya!"

Ainsley Maitland-Niles had a night to forget as his own goal and a Luis Suarez volley helped Barcelona to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked to have teed himself and the Gunners up for the new Premier League season in style with a fine first-half goal but Barcelona pressed in search of an error that eventually arrived when Maitland-Niles put through his own net.

It was a cruel moment for the 21-year-old in front of a huge Camp Nou crowd and Arsenal boss Unai Emery could have done without having his defender's confidence dented with a Premier League season opener against Newcastle United just six days away.

There were positives for Emery to take from the game, not least the return to action of Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac after they were caught up in an apparent carjacking attempt, but Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will have been the happier coach at the final whistle after seeing Suarez fire a late winner.

The Blaugrauna dominated for long spells, with the midfield trio of Frenkie de Jong, Ivan Rakitic and Riqui Puig implementing Valverde's possession-based style impeccably in the absence of Lionel Messi, and the Spanish champions' patience paid off.

Maitland-Niles started positively, making inroads in possession on the Arsenal right, but he was static as Jordi Alba drifted past him before hitting a rising drive that Leno saved at head height.

Arsenal went ahead 10 minutes before the break when Ozil's incisive pass found Aubameyang with his back to goal but the striker turned Alba with an elegant piece of skill before stroking a fine finish that beat Neto to his left.

Rakitic sold Joe Willock a marvellous dummy and played Antoine Griezmann in for a sublime dink over Leno, but the offside flag was raised and the first half ended with Arsenal ahead.

Ousmane Dembele blasted wide from the edge of the box early in the second half and Willock cleared a Jordi Alba effort off the line before Maitland-Niles' nightmare moment arrived.

The 21-year-old received a loose ball in his own box and tried to play a simple back-pass to Leno but over-hit it to the goalkeeper's left, and neither Leno nor Sokratis Papastathopoulos could backpedal quick enough to keep it from trickling into the net.

Gabriel Martinelli volleyed wide as Arsenal tried to muster a response but Suarez, on as a second-half substitute, timed his run perfectly and met Sergi Roberto's floated pass with a flying volley beyond Leno shortly before the final whistle.

A deal to bring Neymar back to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain should be ruled out at this time, according to Jordi Cardoner, the vice president of the LaLiga champions.

Brazil star Neymar is keen to leave Paris just two years on from his world-record €222million move from Barca.

The Catalans are favourites to sign the 27-year-old and the latest reports have suggested they could try to strike a loan deal, including the option to buy, in order to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou without the need to offset the cost by selling several first-team players.

At the presentation of new signing Junior Firpo on Sunday, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said more arrivals should not be discounted between now and the end of the Spanish transfer window on September 2.

However, Cardoner thinks any potential Neymar deal is impossible unless there are developments between the player and PSG.

"As of today, there's no Neymar case, as the president said, and it's complicated," he told TV3.

"We are passive actors. We know he's not happy in Paris and it's a situation that needs to be resolved in Paris.

"We haven't spoken to them. There is a lot of respect between the clubs and if there is a Neymar case one day, we'll talk.

"Today, at this time, it's ruled out."

Neymar watched from the stands as PSG came from behind to beat Rennes 2-1 to win the Trophee des Champions in Shenzhen on Saturday.

He was seen joking with team-mates after being pulled into the on-pitch celebrations by Marco Verratti, but there was a contentious moment when Kylian Mbappe appeared to push him out of the way as the team posed for photos with the trophy.

Neymar only resumed team training last Thursday following an ankle injury sustained in Brazil's friendly win over Qatar in June, which saw him miss their Copa America triumph.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says more signings are anticipated before the close of the LaLiga transfer window as speculation over a bid for Neymar continues.

The Spanish champions secured the arrival of Junior Firpo from Real Betis on Sunday in a deal that could be worth €30million.

Barca have spent upwards of €230m on new players in 2019, with Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Neto and Emerson among those to arrive in the close season.

They are reportedly in negotiations for the season-long loan of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, who is pushing to leave the Ligue 1 champions just two years on from his world-record €222m move from Barca.

Such a deal, that would likely include an option to buy in 2020, would help Barca balance their spending while negating the need to sell several first-team players before the window closes on September 2.

Bartomeu thinks more arrivals at Camp Nou are certainly possible in the coming weeks.

"We have a stronger squad, with more potential," he said.

"There are still several weeks left for the market to close and we could have more incomings.

"We have an ambitious and incredible squad, led by the best player in the world and in history, Leo Messi."

Neymar watched on as PSG beat Rennes 2-1 in Shenzhen to win the Trophee des Champions for the seventh year in a row.

The Brazil international was dragged into medal celebrations by Marco Verratti and appeared in good spirits, despite PSG sporting director Leonardo confirming last month the player wants to leave.

There was then a moment of controversy when Kylian Mbappe, who scored PSG's first goal, appeared to push Neymar out of the way as the team celebrated with the trophy in front of photographers on the pitch.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.