Former Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Silva has signed for Gremio on a contract until December 2023.

The Brazilian midfielder was described as "the future" of Madrid by then-coach Carlo Ancelotti upon signing from Cruzeiro for a reported €14million in January 2015.

After struggling to establish himself in the first team Silva was loaned to Marseille the following season, but his European career was halted when a mild arrhythmia in his heart was discovered ahead of a temporary switch to Sporting CP in July 2016 that consequently fell through.

The former Brazil Under-23 star spent 18 months back on loan at Cruzeiro, winning successive Copa do Brasil titles before his time with the club ended last June.

Madrid released Silva from his contract in September and he has found a new club as a free agent, earning a four-year deal at Gremio.

"I take great pride and great satisfaction in accepting the challenge of wearing this great shirt of Brazilian and world football," Silva posted on Twitter.

"Thank you for your confidence and be sure there will be no lack of commitment, dedication and hard work."

Silva will join up with his new team-mates in Porto Alegre on January 8.

Flamengo have been crowned Brazilian champions for the seventh time in their history and the first time in 10 years - just one day after winning the Copa Libertadores.

Gremio's win at Palmeiras left Flamengo with an insurmountable 13-point lead at the top of Serie A and Jorge Jesus' side will be able to enjoy their remaining four games of the season with the title secured.

Two late goals from Gabriel Barbosa earned Flamengo a dramatic 2-1 victory over River Plate in Saturday's Copa Libertadores final and sparked wild celebrations in the streets of Rio.

The weekend was made even more unforgettable for Flamengo supporters when Pepe scored in second-half stoppage-time to clinch a 2-1 victory for Gremio at Palmeiras, handing the league leaders their first Brasileirao since 2009.

Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus is confident the Copa Libertadores will not become the latest chapter in his history of heartbreak following the semi-final hammering of Gremio.

Gabriel Barbosa's brace helped deliver a stunning 5-0 second-leg win at the Maracana, sealing a comprehensive 6-1 aggregate victory.

The Brazilian side are now through to face defending champions River Plate in their first Libertadores final since 1981.

For head coach Jesus, it is a chance to gain a degree of compensation for the successive Europa League final defeats he suffered while in charge of Benfica. 

"Reaching the final is important, but most important is winning the final," said Jesus, who took over at Flamengo in June.

"It's my third continental final. I've unfortunately lost two, one in the 93rd minute against Chelsea [in 2013] and another on penalties against Sevilla [in 2014].

"Only those who get there win. Teams that don't get there will never lose. In Portugal, we often say that we're going to the final to win, and that is what we think."

Bruno Henrique, Pablo Mari and Rodrigo Caio joined star forward Gabigol on the scoresheet in Rio de Janeiro as Flamengo made of mockery of what looked to be a finely poised tie following the 1-1 first-leg draw.

"I'm not thrilled, I'm hoarse," Jesus joked. "Of course, I didn't imagine 5-0. I have a lot of respect for Gremio. I didn't expect it to be easy."

However, he added: "In Porto Alegre, the VAR saved Gremio. I knew today we were going to win the tie. After four months, the team is playing with its eyes closed.

"It's a team that has a lot of confidence. But we have something more important: the pleasure of playing, and that makes my players feel no pressure."

Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa led the way as Flamengo routed Brazilian rivals Gremio 5-0 to reach the Copa Libertadores final.

Gabigol scored twice at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, where Flamengo cruised to a 6-1 aggregate triumph on Wednesday.

Flamengo will now face defending champions River Plate in the Libertadores final in Santiago on November 23.

The semi-final tie was deadlocked at 1-1 following Flamengo's draw at Gremio in the opening leg on October 2, but Jorge Jesus' men blew the match wide open after half-time.

After Bruno Henrique broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, Gabigol doubled the lead with a thunderous half-volley into the roof of the net within a minute of the second-half restart.

Gabigol – on loan from Serie A giants Inter – made it 3-0 after converting a 56th-minute penalty before Pablo Mari headed past Paulo Victor 11 minutes later.

Flamengo – champions in 1981 – showed no mercy as Rodrigo Caio scored the team's fifth goal via a glancing header 19 minutes from the end.

Pepe equalised with two minutes remaining as Gremio drew 1-1 at home to Flamengo in the opening leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final tie.

Gremio avoided defeat in Porto Alegre, where the hosts snatched a draw thanks to substitute Pepe's 88th-minute equaliser on Wednesday.

Flamengo were superior for large spells in the all-Brazilian affair at Arena do Gremio – Jorge Jesus' visitors seeing three goals ruled out by VAR.

Bruno Henrique did give Flamengo the lead in the 69th minute after rising highest to head past Gremio goalkeeper Paulo Victor at his near post.

However, Pepe came off the bench to rescue Gremio during the closing stages midweek.

Everton fizzed a powerful effort across the six-yard box and team-mate Pepe was on hand to score with his thigh.

Flamengo will host the return leg in Rio de Janeiro on October 23.

Atletico Madrid have been busy during the transfer window and they may be aiming to land another star attacker.

It appears the LaLiga giants, who have gone through a rebuild, are targeting unwanted Inter forward Mauro Icardi.

With Joao Felix having made an impressive start in Madrid, Atletico may strengthen yet again before the transfer window shuts on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO LOOK TO SIGN ICARDI ON LOAN

Atletico Madrid are negotiating a deal to sign Icardi on loan from Inter, according to ESPN FC.

The report says the deal for Icardi, who has been linked with Juventus and Napoli, would include an option to buy for €70million.

The Argentina international has been heavily linked with a move away from San Siro and doesn't appear to fit into the plans of new coach Antonio Conte.


ROUND-UP

- There is still plenty to play out on the Neymar front. Paris Saint-Germain still want Ousmane Dembele as part of any deal with Barcelona, according to RAC1. Meanwhile, Sport report Neymar is still optimistic and confident of a return to Camp Nou.

- Fernando Llorente has made a decision on his future. AS and Sport report the striker, who has been a free agent since leaving Tottenham, has agreed a deal to sign with Napoli.

- Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury could lead to some late movement from Juventus. The Serie A champions are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Sport.

- AC Milan are looking to bolster their attack before the window closes. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Serie A side are considering two options – Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa or Gremio's Everton – before the window shuts.

- The moves look set to continue at Manchester United. The Sun reports Matteo Darmian is set to join Parma in a €1.6m (£1.4m) deal, ending his four-season stay at Old Trafford.

Alexis Sanchez and his horror spell at Manchester United looks set to be coming to an end.

Sanchez, who left Udinese for Barcelona in 2011, is reportedly poised to return to Serie A.

And his Italy comeback will see him reunite with a former Manchester United team-mate in Milan.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHEZ SET TO END UNITED NIGHTMARE

Inter have agreed a deal to sign Manchester United misfit Alexis Sanchez, according to widespread reports.

Sky Sport Italia, BBC Sport and Sportitalia report a season-long loan deal has been agreed, which does not include an option to buy.

Sanchez has endured a miserable spell at Old Trafford, where injuries and form issues have limited the Chilean to just five goals since arriving from Arsenal in January 2018, and he is set to reunite with Romelu Lukaku at Inter.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are optimistic Paris Saint-Germain will accept a proposal for wantaway superstar Neymar, according to Mundo Deportivo and reports in Spain. Barca and PSG held meetings in Paris on Tuesday. Le Parisien reports Barca offered €170million which would be paid in two instalments. Ousmane Dembele's name was also believed to be included in discussions.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane only wants Manchester United star Paul Pogba. That is according to Marca, as Ajax's Donny van de Beek and Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen wait in the wings.

- According to Tuttosport, Juventus have not given up on signing Inter outcast Mauro Icardi. The former Inter captain is not wanted by Antonio Conte or the club and while the Nerazzurri are reluctant to sell to Juve, the Serie A champions are waiting.

- AC Milan remain in pursuit of Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Correa wants to move to San Siro, however, a deal is yet to be reached. If Milan are unable to sign the attacker, they are reportedly set to turn to Gremio star Everton.

- According to FCInter1908, Inter are expected to sell Gabriel Barbosa to Brazilian side Flamengo. Gianluca Di Marzio says Gabigol will join Flamengo permanently in an €18m deal. The 22-year-old forward moved to Inter in 2016 but struggled to settle before spending time on loan at Benfica and former club Santos.

PSG are interested in signing Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. The Croatia international has been linked to Manchester United in the past.

- Roma's Patrik Schick is close to accepting a move to RB Leipzig on loan. Goal.com reports the Bundesliga side have an option to purchase the forward for a fee in the region of €28m at the end of the loan deal. With Schick poised to depart, Roma have now been linked to Atletico Madrid veteran Nikola Kalinic.

- Napoli winger Adam Ounas has agreed to join Ligue 1 outfit Nice on loan. Gianluca Di Marzio's website says Nice have a €25m option to buy the 22-year-old, who left Bordeaux for Napoli in 2017.

Gremio advanced to their third consecutive Copa Libertadores semi-final after defeating Brazilian rivals Palmeiras 2-1 on Tuesday.

Everton and Alisson scored within quick succession in the first half to level the quarter-final tie 2-2 on aggregate as Gremio progressed on away goals.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's Palmeiras were in the box seat after winning the opening leg 1-0 away to Gremio in Porto Alegre last week.

Palmeiras – who lost to Boca Juniors in last season's semis – boosted their hopes when Luiz Adriano scored the first goal of the night in Sao Paulo.

Former AC Milan attacker Luiz Adriano found the back of the net in the 14th minute following a scramble as Palmeiras moved ahead 2-0 on aggregate.

But Gremio, who went down to eventual champions River Plate in the 2018 semi-finals, rallied to turn the match on its head.

Brazil international Everton volleyed Alisson's free-kick past Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton from an acute angle in the 18th minute before Alisson completed the comeback four minutes later.

Gremio will face either Flamengo or Internacional in the final four of South America's premier club competition.

A spectacular goal from Gustavo Scarpa saw Palmeiras edge Gremio 1-0 in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarter-final on Tuesday.

Scarpa produced a tremendous 30-yard strike to give Palmeiras an away win in Porto Alegre, where Felipe Melo was sent off in the second half for the visitors.

Still, the moment of brilliance from Scarpa was enough for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men to take an advantage into the return leg.

Scarpa drilled a left-footed rocket past Gremio goalkeeper Paulo Victor and in via the underside of the crossbar in the 31st minute.

Both teams had their chances in the second half, with Dudu twice going close for Palmeiras, including hitting the outside of the post.

Former Juventus midfielder Melo was shown a second yellow card in the 77th minute, the 36-year-old reduced to tears after being sent off.

However, Palmeiras sat deep in the closing stages, holding out Gremio to secure their victory.

Andre scored twice as Gremio eased into the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals with a 3-0 victory over Libertad.

A first-half brace from Andre led the way for Gremio, who set up an all-Brazilian quarter-final against Palmeiras courtesy of Thursday's 5-0 aggregate success.

Three-time champions Gremio, who reached the semi-finals last year, carried a 2-0 advantage into the return fixture away to Paraguayan side Libertad.

Jean Pyerre strengthened Gremio's position when he opened the scoring on the night with a sixth-minute penalty following a handball inside the area.

Andre made it 2-0 for Gremio 14 minutes later by curling a low shot past Libertad goalkeeper Martin Silva from the edge of the box.

The result was put beyond doubt in first-half stoppage time when a deflected shot fell to the feet of Andre, who rounded Silva and scored from an acute angle.

Gremio and Brazilian champions Palmeiras will meet in the Libertadores quarter-finals later this month.

A 10-man Gremio beat Libertad 2-0 in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last-16 tie on Thursday.

Diego Tardelli's fine second-half volley and David Braz's header saw the Brazilian outfit edge to victory at the Arena do Gremio.

It came despite being reduced to 10 men in the 51st minute, when Pedro Geromel was sent off for a rash studs-up challenge on Edgar Benitez.

However, Gremio still found the opener 20 minutes later through substitute Tardelli.

A corner from the right was flicked on before Tardelli volleyed in expertly from close range.

Gremio took control of the tie with six minutes remaining, Braz heading in a set-piece from Alisson to put his side in command ahead of next week's second leg.

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