Dimitar Berbatov has hit out at Real Madrid's Gareth Bale for his "unprofessional and disrespectful" behaviour in the Spanish capital.

Bale has found himself out of favour at Madrid, with the star forward playing just 100 minutes of LaLiga action since the league returned from its three-month hiatus in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The four-time Champions League winner sparked uproar when he was seen on camera with his face mask over his eyes before turning and laughing with team-mates from the stands during Madrid's 2-0 victory over Deportivo Alaves last week.

Bale – a substitute – then simulated holding a pair of binoculars in front of his face while he watched Madrid's 2-1 win at Granada and former Tottenham team-mate Berbatov criticised the Welsh outcast.

"Gareth Bale is in the headlines again for pretending to sleep in the stands when he found out he was going to be an unused substitute against Granada," Berbatov wrote in his column for Betfair.

"When I saw it, I couldn't believe it. I watched him put his mask over his eyes and pretend to be asleep. I cannot support that. It is unprofessional and disrespectful to Real Madrid.

"I love watching Bale play and I can feel his pain at not playing because I have been in the same situation. But that kind of reaction is going too far.

"Madrid need to find a solution to the Bale saga. It's not good for Bale or the team and it is bad publicity. I do feel his pain, I have been in his shoes of not playing and nobody is probably giving him any answers, then you are provoked to do those kinds of things, but I cannot support what he did.

"The only solution is for Bale to leave Real Madrid. If I was a Real Madrid fan and saw a player disrespecting the team like that, it would be too much. Bale should be asking for a solution, even if it is a loan move. It was a show of power, it was if he was saying: 'Play me or I'll do whatever I want.' That doesn't sit right with me."

Zinedine Zidane brushed off a question about Gareth Bale's future at Real Madrid, insisting the team is united.

Bale has played just 100 minutes for Madrid in LaLiga since the competition returned from its three-month hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite not spending much time on the pitch, the 30-year-old, who remained at the club after a move to Jiangsu Suning broke down following Zidane's return last year, has continued to make headlines.

During the 2-0 victory over Deportivo Alaves last week he was seen on camera with his face mask over his eyes, before turning and laughing with his team-mates.

He then simulated holding a pair of binoculars in front of his face while he watched Madrid's meeting with Granada on Monday from the stands at Los Carmenes.

Asked if Bale should leave Madrid, Zidane told a news conference: "What a question.

"You try to put things between us, but you won't be able to. Every day you ask the same thing. You can do it; you have the right to ask what you want.

"But we're united. Gareth, James [Rodriguez], everyone."

Madrid will be crowned LaLiga champions if they beat Villarreal at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Thursday.

Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos should retire at the Santiago Bernabeu amid question marks over his future.

Ramos' contract expires at the end of the 2020-21 season, by which time he will be 35, and it remains to be seen whether the star defender will remain in the Spanish capital.

The Spain skipper showed he is far from finished with another inspiring performance in Madrid's 2-0 LaLiga victory over Real Mallorca on Wednesday.

Ramos – who took his season tally to nine goals, becoming the first defender to score eight or more goals in a single LaLiga campaign since Ezequiel Garay in 2006-07 – scored a stunning 56th-minute free-kick to ensure Madrid returned to the top of the table midweek.

"Sergio belongs here as a player," Madrid head coach Zidane told reporters afterwards.

"He's been here for years and he should retire here. It's what I think and I'll stand by it."

Vinicius Junior broke the deadlock for Madrid in the 19th minute at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, where Ramos curled a set-piece past Manolo Reina 11 minutes into the second half.

A fourth consecutive victory since the coronavirus-enforced break saw Madrid move back to the summit due to their superior head-to-head record against bitter rivals Barcelona.

"We need to have the ball," Zidane said. "The setup isn't the most important thing for me, it's more about what we do on the pitch with the ball. We can do better, but I'm satisfied with what I saw and what these players are doing is not at all easy. 

"That's four wins in a row, but the standout feature for us today was our defensive solidity all round. We can get better going forward and that's what we'll try to do.

"We were a bit tired by the end today but that's not just Real Madrid, the same goes for all the teams. It's a strange situation, we're back training after 60 days and with the heat and everything. But we have to keep going and all we can do is be more alert with the players, we want to keep moving forward strong."

"We're all more or less in the same boat. The important thing is that it's four wins for us, but that's a credit to the players. We're training well and we always want more," added Zidane.

"The players' attitude has been phenomenal, so too has that of the players who are not playing as much, and this is what makes the difference in the dressing room. We have seven finals left, the players have to recover well and continue with what we are doing, we haven't won anything."

Out-of-favour star Gareth Bale, meanwhile, made his first start for Madrid since February.

Bale, despite working hard, largely failed to impress against relegation-threatened Mallorca.

Zidane said: "We're happy with what we're doing and Gareth is an important player, he's always shown that. The important thing is to play like we're playing. The players change, but the important thing is that the dynamic doesn't change.

"As always, there are players who are going to have more minutes, but that has been the case all along and it's not going to change."

Real Madrid returned to the top of LaLiga thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Real Mallorca at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium on Wednesday.

Barca's 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao 24 hours earlier had put the pressure back on Zinedine Zidane's men, but Vinicius' goal after 19 minutes steadied any nerves within the home side.

Mallorca, who sit third from bottom of the table, gave a spirited account of themselves but rarely looked likely to claim a share of the spoils despite Madrid having made four changes from the 2-1 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Zidane elected to start Vinicius, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale in support of Karim Benzema but it was captain Sergio Ramos who made the win safe with an exceptional free-kick early in the second half.

Vinicius might have been a surprise starter but he justified Zidane's call 19 minutes in, steering a finish high past Manolo Reina after a clever reverse pass from Luka Modric.

The Brazilian hit the bar with a lob from a Karim Benzema throughball four minutes later, but it was Mallorca who threatened more as the half went on, even though Thibaut Courtois' goal was largely well protected.

Madrid took control with a second goal 10 minutes into the second half, Ramos curling a fine free-kick into the top-left corner from just outside the penalty area.

Mallorca did not lose heart at least and threatened through Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo, who saw a shot hit the side-netting after one impressive run through the box.

The visitors remain three points from safety and at serious risk of relegation, but they did at least make a moment of LaLiga history when Luka Romero came off the bench to become the youngest player ever to play in the competition at the age of 15 years and 219 days.

 

What does it mean? Zidane's side taking shape for double charge

Madrid are back on top of the table above Barcelona on their head-to-head record and appear to be in good shape after the lockdown.

Zidane changed the system and personnel but was still rewarded with a strong performance. That sort of adaptability bodes well for their title challenge, and the return of the Champions League in August.

Vinicius on a mission

Having gone through a difficult spell this season, Vinicius looks determined to become a mainstay in Zidane's plans.

He scored one good goal, almost got a second and pressed across the front in the second half to keep the Mallorca defence worried.

No lucky break for Bale

Bale got out of Vincius' way to let his team-mate open the scoring and it was his most useful contribution of the game.

It was more a disinterested performance than a poor one, but certainly was not one to make his coach think he merits a regular place in the first XI.

What's next?

Madrid head to Espanyol on Sunday, with Mallorca facing Athletic Bilbao at San Mames a day earlier.

Player wages should not fall because of the coronavirus pandemic and the onus is on clubs to run themselves better, says agent Jonathan Barnett.

Barnett, whose clients include Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, feels players should not be the ones to pay the price for falling revenues after the COVID-19 crisis.

The future values of sponsorships, matchday income and television deals are uncertain after the global lockdown halted all top-level sport.

But Barnett thinks players, who have short careers, are the star attractions needed to ensure football retains top billing.

"I don't see players' wages dropping, that is for sure," he told BBC Radio 4.

"Most players are on contracts. What I do see is maybe clubs have to look at how they run their club a bit better.

"Fans come to see players play, no one comes to see the chief executive play, that [players] is what puts money on the table.

"It's not a question of players earning less because it is a short period of time to earn their money."

Barnett was asked if the days of huge transfer fees are over and while he acknowledged there would be an initial drop, he felt it was unlikely to last.

"I think in the short term [there will be a drop], but not in the long term," he said. "They [the huge transfers] will come back. Market values will come back." 

On the approach clubs should take, Barnett added: "You have just got to look at it sensibly and say, 'This year I can't afford to pay so I won't do it this year'.

"Act sensibly and pay what they can afford to pay. If they can't [afford to buy], they don't. Nobody is going to be forcing them. 

"They can offer for a player whatever money they can afford. If it is right for the player, it's fine. If not, then he stays where he is or goes somewhere else.

"After the next television deal they [clubs] will hopefully be in a better position, or once the fans start coming back they might be in a better position again to do it. 

"[Then] their sponsorships go up and all these things come back."

Gareth Bale could see out the remainder of his playing career at Real Madrid, according to his agent Jonathan Barnett.

While a return to the Premier League would be "unbelievable", it is not a prospect the Wales international is seeking.

Bale, 30, was on the brink of joining Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League last year, amid a strained relationship with Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane.

But seven years after he left Tottenham to move to Spain in a €100million move, Bale is as happy as ever in Madrid.

"He has a very nice lifestyle - I don't see why he doesn't see his career out at Madrid probably," Barnett said to BBC Radio 4.

"As I have always said, he's quite happy in Madrid. It is his life that he wants to lead.

"Financially, he will want for nothing the rest of his life, and his children and grandchildren.

"He has won nearly everything in the world, except the World Cup, but unfortunately he plays for Wales so some things are beyond him. So he has won everything else.

"To come back and play [in the Premier League] would be unbelievable - a big thing [but] I don't think he wants to do that at the moment.

"He's quite happy to play at Real Madrid. I have no idea what his value is. His salary is quite high and also where he wants to go is very important in his life."

Four-time Champions League winner Bale has scored twice in 14 LaLiga appearances this season, with Madrid due to resume their campaign in a home match against Eibar on June 14.

Could Spain international Fabian Ruiz be set for a return to his homeland?

Former Real Betis star Fabian, who now plays for Napoli in Serie A, is a reported target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Spanish rivals are trying to lure Fabian back to LaLiga.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, MADRID DO BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to battle each other for the signing of Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Spanish midfielder Fabian has been linked with a return to LaLiga throughout the season, having left Real Betis for Napoli in 2018.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Napoli are expecting Barca and Madrid to go head-to-head for Fabian – who is contracted to the Serie A side until 2023.

 

ROUND-UP

- L'Equipe says Inter have made an offer for Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette. With Inter star Lautaro Martinez linked to Barca, the Nerazzurri are eyeing alternatives, however, Lacazette is not interested in swapping London for Milan.

- There could be some big changes at Madrid in 2022. AS Diario says Los Blancos want Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland to team up with Eden Hazard in a new strike force. The likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco will be out of contract at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Juventus are ready to negotiate a deal for Santos teenager Kaio Jorge, according to Calciomercato. Santos are demanding €30million for the 18-year-old, though Juve are only prepared to pay €15m.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City and Newcastle United have joined Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the race for 18-year-old Penarol winger Facundo Pellistri.

Odion Ighalo is prepared to pass on a £75m contract with Shanghai Shenhua to stay at Manchester United, reports the Daily Star. Ighalo's loan deal is set to expire at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale does not understand why he is so heavily criticised for playing golf and insists his love of the sport makes him a better footballer.

Bale has faced scrutiny in Spain for thinking too much about golf and not playing for Madrid, where he has been plagued by numerous injury issues in recent years.

The Wales international has been nicknamed 'the Golfer' by his Madrid team-mates and riled his own fans in November when posing with a flag that read "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order".

However, Bale has defended his decision to regularly tee it up and pointed to the example set by Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who also shares a passion for golf and has previously played on the Korn Ferry Tour.

"A lot of people have problems with me playing golf, I don't know what the reason is," he told the Erik Anders Lang Show podcast. "I've spoken to doctors and everybody's fine with it.

"The media have this perception that it's not good for me: 'You should be resting, it can cause problems, injuries.' In America, I know Steph Curry plays maybe on the morning of a game. 

"Here, if I play two days before a game it's like, 'What's he doing?'

"I just like going out to play, thinking I've got 18 holes ahead of me. You can get away from the football, away from anything negative that's going on, and reset your mind.

"The next day you feel a bit more fresh and ready to go and concentrate and feel better about football again."

Bale is back in training with Madrid ahead of LaLiga's planned return on June 11, three months on from the season being brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

And despite an underwhelming return of two goals and two assists in 14 league appearances in 2019-20, the 30-year-old is content with his performances this term.

"The thing with football now is everything is based around results. That's the problem," he said. 

"You might play amazingly, not score for five games and everyone says, 'He's having a terrible time.'

"People just like goals, assists, 'wow' things. And sometimes that doesn't always happen. I've played terribly, then I've scored two goals, and everyone says, 'Great game.'

"People can have their own opinions, as long as I know I've tried my best and I've played as well as I can then I'm happy with that."

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic is a player in demand.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has been linked to Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United.

But Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in signing the former Lyon star.

 

TOP STORY – PSG MAKE PJANIC OFFER

Paris Saint-Germain are rivalling Barcelona and Chelsea for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, according to RMC Sport.

Pjanic's future is dominating headlines, with the Bosnian star linked to LaLiga champions Barca, while he has been the subject of reported swap deal involving Chelsea's Jorginho.

But Pjanic has a contract offer from PSG, who are also reportedly eyeing either Houssem Aouar of Lyon or Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims Gareth Bale could leave Real Madrid for free due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Welsh star has been linked to Newcastle United recently.

Inter are putting pressure on Barca to complete a deal for Lautaro Martinez, reports Sport. The Serie A side have told Barca to wrap up a transfer this month amid reported negotiations with possible replacements Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal).

- Sky Sport says Liverpool's interest in Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica has faded.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus continue to observe Mauro Icardi but PSG remain in pole position to sign the Argentina international, who is on loan from Inter.

- Bayern Munich have decided not to take up their option to buy Ivan Perisic from Inter, according to Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira. Perisic is on loan at the Bundesliga champions.

Dani Ceballos defended Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, telling the Welshman's critics to watch the 2018 Champions League final if they no longer trust him.

Bale has continued to be linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, with Premier League side Newcastle United reportedly interested if they get taken over.

While Ceballos – on loan at Arsenal from Madrid – feels Bale would suit the Premier League, he reminded critics of the 30-year-old's exploits in the 2018 Champions League final.

Bale came off the bench to score a double, including a stunning overhead kick, in Madrid's 3-1 win over Liverpool in Kiev.

"It is a league that would be quite good for him, but he is a fundamental player for Madrid," Ceballos told Deportes Cuatro on Wednesday.

"Let us not forget everything he has given the club. Whoever does not trust him, put on the Champions League final.

"He has given enough to the club."

Bale has won four Champions League titles and a LaLiga crown among numerous other honours since joining Madrid from Tottenham in 2013.

Milan Skriniar has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world since moving to Inter from Sampdoria in 2017.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Barcelona have been linked to Skriniar.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested amid uncertainty over captain and defender Sergio Ramos.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID INTERESTED IN SKRINIAR

Real Madrid are eyeing a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, according to Diario Gol.

With uncertainty over the future of captain Sergio Ramos, Madrid are looking to bolster their defence at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano have been linked but an exchange deal sending James Rodriguez plus cash to Inter could see Skriniar join Madrid.

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Madrid forward Gareth Bale is a priority for Newcastle United's prospective new owners. Newcastle have also reportedly identified former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their next head coach and that could convince Bale to return to the Premier League.

Manchester City are monitoring Lyon sensation Houssem Aouar, says L'Equipe. The 21-year-old is valued at around £44million (€50m) by Lyon, who are prepared to cash in. Aouar has been linked to the likes of Liverpool and Juventus.

- Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli want at least £44m (€50m) for Hirving Lozano, who is attracting interest from Everton.

- The future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be decided in 20 days, according to Calciomercato. As Ibrahimovic prepares to return to Milan following the coronavirus pandemic, the Rossoneri want to define the 38-year-old's future as they plan ahead amid links to Madrid's Luka Jovic.

Chelsea will make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice if they lose N'Golo Kante, says The Mirror. Madrid are reportedly tracking Kante.

- L'Equipe claims Manchester United are keeping tabs on PSG veteran Edinson Cavani. The soon-to-be free agent has been tipped to join Atletico Madrid, while an MLS switch is also an option for the veteran forward.

Eduardo Camavinga, Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba have been among the names linked to Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid want to strengthen their squad.

However, Madrid's recruitment is reportedly not that straightforward.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID PRIORITISING SALES

Real Madrid must sell before they can buy players as the LaLiga giants eye the likes of Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and Manchester United star Paul Pogba, according to Marca.

Madrid and their transfer plans have dominated headlines, but the report claims the Spanish powerhouse have to reduce the size of their squad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez have been linked with moves away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of Tuesday's Diario Sport reports Barcelona are "very close" to signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez. The LaLiga champions are willing to pay €60million up front, plus two players. It comes as Marca claims Arturo Vidal is happy to leave Barca.

- The Guardian says Liverpool have stalled their pursuit of RB Leipzig star Timo Werner. The Champions League holders reportedly told Werner's representatives that the club need more time due to the COVID-19 crisis.

- Mundo Deportivo says Neymar has turned down a €100million proposal from Paris Saint-Germain as he looks to return to Barca.

Thomas Partey wants to swap Atletico Madrid for Arsenal, according to The Telegraph. The Ghanaian has also been linked to Manchester United.

- Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is set for talks over a new deal, according to the Daily Mail. Madrid and PSG are believed to be monitoring the situation.

Daniel James feels it is a "bit too much" to be compared to Wales team-mate Gareth Bale.

Winger James made an instant impact for Manchester United following his arrival from Swansea City prior to the 2019-20 season, scoring on his home debut in a 4-0 win over Chelsea.

He has since managed to add two more goals in the Premier League, as well as another for the Red Devils in the Europa League before the ongoing campaign was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 22-year-old's lightning pace and willingness to run at opposing players has led some to draw similarities to Bale, yet James instead sees the Real Madrid superstar - who he describes as a "just a normal guy" - as an inspirational figure.

"I don't think you can compare me to him," James told Sky Sports.

"To play with him at Wales is obviously amazing. For anyone that doesn't know him, he's such a great guy. Just a normal guy really. He's great with the youngsters and great around the place.

"But to be compared to him is a bit too much, I think.

"What he's done in his career, how he changed from a left-back to a left midfielder, to win the Champions League... it's just amazing what he has done.

"Players like him are the ones you look up to, but I think being compared to him is a bit silly."

James has also had the chance to play alongside one of his childhood idols at club level this season, having always admired Juan Mata.

The Spaniard is not just a role model on the pitch, however, also helping the new boy settle in at Old Trafford.

"When I first met him, he came and sat next to me in the changing room and said, 'I know it's a big move for you, if you need anything here is my number and if you ever need to talk about anything I'm here.' That was obviously great for me," James revealed.

He added on Mata: "He's just someone that I've always looked up to and to play in the same team as him is just surreal for me."

Gareth Bale has declared he would love to play in MLS - and revealed Luka Modric is a lousy golfer.

The Real Madrid winger has two years left to run on his Santiago Bernabeu contract and the 30-year-old has indicated he will see out that deal.

Bale ranks among the world's best-paid players and his present salary, reported to be worth upwards of £15million annually, would be out of the reach of MLS teams.

But there may come a time when Bale can be persuaded to leave Europe for the United States, and the golf courses he loves across the Atlantic could be a selling point.

Speaking on the Hat-Trick podcast, Bale said of MLS: "I really like the league. It's grown so much over the years.

"When we come over and play them now in pre-season, the games are difficult. The standard's getting a lot better, the clubs are improving, the facilities are improving, the stadiums are improving.

"It's a league that's on the up and still rising. A lot more players want to come over to America now and play and I'd definitely be interested in it.

"I love going to Los Angeles on holiday."

Asked by the US-based podcast what he enjoyed doing in Los Angeles, Bale said: "I play a lot of golf.

"I've played Pebble [Beach] a couple of times. I played Cypress Point which is a private members' club which is next to Pebble Beach - that was probably the best course I've ever played so far."

Bale faced heavy criticism in Spain after celebrating Wales' European Championship qualification with a flag bearing the now-famous slogan of 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.'

He insists it was "a bit of banter... a bit of fun", but Bale's love for golf is not something he hides from.

And when Madrid team-mate Modric proved hapless with a golf club, Bale had to laugh at the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner.

Asked to identify his worst golfing team-mate, Bale said: "Luka Modric, 100 per cent.

"We were staying in a hotel and there was nothing to do, and they had a golf course and a driving range there, so I said [to Modric], 'Do you fancy coming down to the driving range to hit some balls?'

"He's got a club in his hand and he doesn't know how to hold it really. He turns his back and he hits the floor, missed the ball.

"I reckon he hit about one ball in 20 attempts and he just gave up.

"The next day he came down and said, 'My back is in absolute agony.'"

Barcelona could keep Philippe Coutinho after all, while Gareth Bale is seemingly set to stay at Real Madrid.

Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich this season, has been heavily linked with a permanent move away from Barca.

Meanwhile, Bale is said to be considering his Madrid future, but could yet remain at the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – COUTINHO TO STAY AT BARCELONA

Barcelona coach Quique Setien has found a solution for Coutinho and could play the Brazil international in midfield, according to Marca.

The report says Setien has in mind an option of playing Coutinho as a number eight.

A playmaker, Coutinho has made 32 appearances in all competitions for Bayern this season.

ROUND-UP

- Linked with a move away, Bale is committed to staying at Real Madrid, according to AS, which also says the club have told forward Luka Jovic his future is at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Barcelona are said to be chasing Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. Sky Sports reports the LaLiga club have offered Spurs Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo for Ndombele. The Mirror says Tottenham have no intention of selling the France international. Sport, meanwhile, says Barca want €45million for Semedo.

- Alexis Sanchez's future remains uncertain. The Sun says neither Manchester United nor Inter, where he is on loan this season, want the Chile international.

- Out of contract at Arsenal in 2021, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be set for an exit this close season. The Daily Mail reports the Premier League outfit are ready to listen to offers for the forward.

- Dries Mertens is set to attract plenty of interest with his Napoli contract expiring. The Mirror reports Chelsea want the forward, who is the Serie A club's equal all-time leading goalscorer.

- That could impact Olivier Giroud's future at Chelsea, where he is out of contract at season's end. The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to activate a one-year extension for the striker, while Tuttosport reports Inter are still considering the France forward.

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