Dayot Upamecano is a player in demand following his exploits for RB Leipzig.

Upamecano attracted plenty of interest before re-signing at Bundesliga side Leipzig in July.

Manchester United have been linked previously and are reportedly plotting another move.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT UPAMECANO

Manchester United will pursue a cut-price deal for RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano, according to The Times.

United have been keen to bolster their defence and the Red Devils were previously linked to France centre-back Upamecano, who has also caught the eye of the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Upamecano signed a new deal in July, though the contract reportedly includes a release clause of around £38million (€42m) at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild reports a third round of negotiations regarding a new contract for Bayern star David Alaba failed. Alaba will become a free agent at the end of the season. Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Barca are believed to be interested.

Milan are interested in Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak and Hellas Verona's Matteo Lovato, claims Gazzetta dello Sport. Kabak has also been linked to Premier League champions Liverpool.

- Tuttosport reports Barca and Juventus could be involved in another swap deal. After exchanging Miralem Pjanic and Arthur at the start of the season, Juve's Federico Bernardeschi and Barca forward Ousmane Dembele could also move in opposite directions.

Barca could raid PSV for Donyell Malen as an alternative to Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to Mundo Deportivo. Barca tried to sign Depay in the previous transfer window but a move did not material as his contract expires at season's end.

Andrea Pirlo insisted he was unworried about Barcelona after Juventus were held to another draw in Serie A.

Juve needed a 77th-minute equaliser from Dejan Kulusevski to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Hellas Verona, who went ahead through Andrea Favilli on Sunday.

The Serie A champions are winless in two consecutive league games against Verona for the first time since 1989 as Juve moved onto nine points through five games.

Juve host Barca in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Pirlo was unfazed, saying he expected a different type of game.

"No, I am not worried ahead of Barcelona, because they're two completely different games, with two different styles of play," the Juve head coach told a news conference.

"As I said earlier, Atalanta like Verona play in a completely different way compared to Barcelona, therefore when you play against this kind of team it's a kind of game of its own.

"You have to try and do certain things, which we tried to do during the game."

The result left Juve three points behind leaders Milan, who host Roma on Monday.

But Pirlo, who only took charge in August, is remaining upbeat about the direction his side are heading in.

"No, I am not worried [about the draws] because we are under construction," he said.

"Of course, we're sorry we're dropping points along the way, but we're on the right path and we are building a long-term project.

"It's only the fifth game we play together and for our future I can only see positive things."

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo was frustrated his Juventus side only started playing with intensity after they had fallen behind in their 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona on Sunday. 

Having had just one shot on target in an insipid first half, Serie A champions Juve fell behind on the hour-mark when Verona's Andrea Favilli slotted home from 15 yards. 

Juve – winless in two consecutive Serie A games against Verona for the first time since 1989 – stormed back through substitute Dejan Kulusevski's equaliser 13 minutes from time and created a number of excellent opportunities in the closing stages without converting.

Pirlo's Juve ended the game having had 22 shots but the Italian boss was not impressed that the hosts needed a "slap in the face" to start carving out chances.

"Our first half wasn't aggressive enough. We waited for them and yet we created the best chances," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We reacted well after they took the lead, but we shouldn't need a slap in the face to wake up and play with intensity. When you play against Verona or Atalanta, it's difficult because they take you one-on-one all over the field and create many duels. 

"We worked to avoid their high press and that worked better in the second half. It's tough against them, but we could've done better."

The result moves Juve up to fifth – three points behind leaders Milan, who have played a game fewer – while Verona remain in eighth position.

Juve host LaLiga giants Barcelona in a mouth-watering Champions League clash on Wednesday before travelling to Spezia in Serie A on Sunday.

 

Dejan Kulusevski spared Juventus from their first Serie A defeat of the season as his late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Andrea Pirlo's side were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Crotone last time out and looked like they would be on the end of an even worse result when Andrea Favilli put the visitors ahead after an hour.

Substitute Kulusevski had other ideas, though, cutting in from the right to score his second goal for the club following his arrival from Atalanta during the off-season 13 minutes from time.

The result moves Juve up to fifth - three points behind leaders Milan, who have played a game fewer - while Verona remain in eighth.

 

Juventus are keen to renew Paulo Dybala's contract, but managing director Fabio Paratici revealed the club's coronavirus scare made negotiations difficult.

Dybala has two years remaining on his existing deal in Turin but an extension has long been mooted, with the Bianconeri said to be discussing an agreement until 2025.

But no clarity has been forthcoming in the opening weeks of the 2020-21 season.

Paratici is not overly concerned, though, explaining the reason for the delay.

"We're in talks to extend Paulo's contract," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He wants to stay and we want to keep him - he's part of our future.

"It has been a tricky period because we were locked in the hotel for two weeks due to the COVID scare and not allowed to meet anyone.

"But we'll continue the negotiations to find an agreement."

Juve were forced into "fiduciary isolation" earlier this month after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Cristiano Ronaldo has also been missing in recent weeks having contracted the virus on international duty.

The absence of the Juve number seven allowed Dybala to come into the team against Hellas Verona on Sunday for his first start and just second overall appearance of the new campaign.

Dybala made his return off the bench against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, and Paratici said ahead of Sunday's game: "Paulo is in better shape physically now.

"Let's not forget he was out for two months with a muscular injury, then had a gastrointestinal infection in Argentina.

"It's right that he now has the opportunity to start after a few run-outs."

Andrea Pirlo is waiting to see if Cristiano Ronaldo has returned a negative test for coronavirus, as he confirmed Paulo Dybala will start in Juventus' clash with Hellas Verona. 

Ronaldo has been self-isolating since testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Portugal and missed Juve's 1-1 draw with Crotone in Serie A last weekend and their 2-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday. 

Pirlo revealed on Saturday that Ronaldo remains unavailable, though Juve were waiting on the result of the 35-year-old's most-recent test to see if he could return to training.

The Bianconeri have only played 13 Serie A matches without the Portugal captain since his arrival prior to the 2018-19 season and their win percentage in those games stands at 54 per cent, while they have been victorious in 73 per cent of league fixtures when he does play.

One forward who will feature on Sunday, however, is Dybala, who made his first appearance of the season against Dynamo and is set to start against Verona. 

Dybala played 33 times in Serie A last season, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists, but a thigh injury limited his game time this term. 

"We had time to rest after the trip to Dynamo Kiev, so apart from Giorgio Chiellini, everyone else is available," Pirlo told a news conference.  

"As of last night [Friday], I had no news on Ronaldo's COVID status. We all had swabs this morning, including Ronaldo at home. He is definitely out of the match against Hellas. 

"I can confirm Dybala will start tomorrow. He had the right progress in training and it's only fair now that he starts the match. 

"I always said it was an issue of time, as he had the injury, then a virus on international duty. The two times he was on the bench without coming on, it was because we'd gone down to 10 men. He played in Kiev as a substitute, it's only right that he starts tomorrow." 

While Dybala and Ronaldo have been absent, Alvaro Morata has performed well, scoring three goals in the past two matches. 

"This is why we signed him," said Pirlo. "We knew he was a great player who provided us with different tactical options, he knows Dybala well and I think they can happily coexist in the same line-up. 

"With Atletico Madrid, he had recently been accustomed to playing largely on the back foot, so there were 80 metres in front of him to go on the counter-attack. 

"We try to keep the ball, work on the position of the body when receiving a pass, pressing to free up a man. We work for each other to ensure we can move the ball quickly." 

Roma have been punished with a 3-0 defeat for fielding an ineligible player against Hellas Verona in their Serie A opener on Saturday.

Lega Serie A announced on Tuesday that Roma used a player over the age of 22 who had not been registered on their 25-man list with the league.

According to widespread reports, the administrative error relates to Amadou Diawara, who turned 23 in July.

The game at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi finished goalless but Roma will return to zero points for the season following their sanction.

Verona head coach Ivan Juric was fined €5,000 for giving his team instructions from the stands while serving a touchline ban.

Could Tottenham and Gareth Bale reunite?

Bale, who left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013, is not wanted in the Spanish capital.

While Manchester Untied are reportedly interested, former club Spurs are Bale's preference.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS LEAD BALE RACE

Tottenham are ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester United in the pursuit of Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, according to ESPN.

Bale has reportedly been told he can leave Madrid after falling out of favour with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Welshman wants to return to former club Tottenham after leaving Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and the Telegraph claims Dele Alli could be included in a deal to bring Bale back to London.

While United's interest is believed to be serious, it all depends on whether they are able to sign number one target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Transfer Podcast reports United believe that if they leave final negotiations for Sancho until the last week of the transfer window, Dortmund will eventually cave in and sell the England international. Dortmund have refused to budge on their €120million (£108m) valuation.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal are close to offloading unwanted trio Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. Kolasinac has been linked to West Ham, Valencia are considering Guendouzi and Torreira has been tipped to join Torino. The Gunners want to keep full-back Hector Bellerin but he may be sold to Paris Saint-Germain.

Roma are poised to sign Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, reports Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Juve close in on Roma striker Edin Dzeko, while Roma Press says the latter are set to complete the capture of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. He had been linked to Inter, Lazio and Juve.

-  Luis Suarez's move to Juve has collapsed, says RAC1. The Barcelona veteran had been tipped to leave Camp Nou for Turin but a delay in an Italian citizenship test has reportedly scuppered the deal. Atletico Madrid are now an option for the Uruguayan.

- The Mail claims Bayern Munich are ready to renew their interest in Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Englishman was linked to Bayern last year before opting to sign a new deal. Now, Hudson-Odoi could swap London for Munich before the October 5 deadline, with Juve also reportedly eyeing the Chelsea star.

- Diario AS reports Turkish giants Fenerbahce are eyeing Atletico's Diego Costa. Fenerbahce just sold striker Vedat Muriqi to Lazio and may use the transfer funds to bring Costa to Istanbul.

United had been favourites to land Sergio Reguilon from Madrid but the Telegraph and widespread reports say Tottenham are poised to sign the Spanish full-back. United have been reluctant to include a buy-back clause in any deal with Madrid.

- According to Sport Bild, Liverpool have contacted Bayern regarding Thiago Alcantara but the asking price is too high. United and Barca are also reportedly interested.

Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United.

But the England international remains in Germany and United are growing frustrated.

Could United move on from the Dortmund sensation?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO PULL PLUG ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to give up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

Sancho has emerged as United's top transfer target, but the Premier League giants have been unable to negotiate a deal with Dortmund.

With United and Dortmund apart in their valuation of Sancho, the Red Devils are frustrated and could turn to alternative targets.

Juventus attacker Douglas Costa, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale are possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona are contemplating a loan move for Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who left Camp Nou for the Gunners in 2011. Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, while Barca will only target the Spaniard if they are able to part with Nelson Semedo.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barca are targeting Sevilla's star centre-back Jules Kounde. The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca could wait 12 months to secure a deal. Mundo Deportivo also reports Emerson could be included in a deal to prise Lyon captain Memphis Depay to the embattled LaLiga giants.

Tottenham have had an offer for Torino striker Andrea Belotti rejected, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Spurs proposed a loan deal with an option to buy the Italy international for €50million (£46m). Di Marzio also claims Tottenham will not be signing Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has been linked to Roma and Juventus.

Chelsea are ready to loan out winger Calum Hudson-Odoi, says 90Min. The Englishman has previously been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Remaining at Stamford Bridge and Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will consider a move for West Ham's Declan Rice after having a bid accepted for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Inter are ready to sell defender Milan Skriniar as they eye Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla, according to Calciomercato. It comes as Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte tries to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and full-back Marcos Alonso.

Goodbye Quique Setien?

Barcelona's Champions League horror show against Bayern Munich is reportedly the final straw for the club's hierarchy.

Who will replace the former Real Betis boss at Camp Nou?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO SACK SETIEN

Barcelona have decided to sack head coach Quique Setien, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

LaLiga giants Barca were humiliated in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday following an 8-2 defeat to Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich.

Barca have already decided Setien – who replaced Ernesto Valverde in January – will not continue in 2020-21, and former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has already been linked, while club great Xavi and Massimiliano Allegri are other possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Star reports Manchester United are eyeing Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez. United have been linked to the Spain international previously and are believed to be ready to revive their interest.

- Staying at Old Trafford and the Evening Standard says United remain in talks with Borussia Dortmund regarding Jadon Sancho. Dortmund insist Sancho will not leave the Bundesliga side, though United are reportedly still in negotiations for the England international. Meanwhile, Outlet Republika in Serbia claims United have agreed to sign teenage sensation Filip Stevanovic from Partizan Belgrade before loaning him back to the capital club.

- Hella Verona defender Marash Kumbulla wants to join Inter, Sky Sport Italia claims. Kumbulla has been linked to Napoli, Lazio and Juventus.

Bayern Munich want to keep loanee Ivan Perisic, according to Sky Sport Italia. Perisic has spent the season on loan from Inter and Bayern are hoping to negotiate a permanent deal.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to remain at Milan and could soon sign a new contract with the Rossoneri, reports Calciomercato.

- Foot Mercato claims Barca could consider re-signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern. Thiago, who left Barca in 2013, has been tipped to join Liverpool, while Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have emerged as possible destinations.

Arsenal are planning to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico following the arrival of William, reports The Daily Star.

Lecce were relegated from Serie A following a 4-3 final-day defeat at home to Parma as Genoa retained their top-flight status.

Fabio Liverani guided Lecce to promotion last season, but they will make an immediate return to the second tier.

A Fabio Lucioni own goal and Gianluca Caprari's strike gave Parma a two-goal lead, but Antonin Barak and Biagio Meccariello ensured Lecce were back on level terms at the break.

They went down fighting, but Andreas Cornelius and Roberto Inglese put Parma in command again before Gianluca Lapadula pulled one back in a thriller.

Lecce would have suffered the drop with SPAL and Brescia in any case, as Genoa cruised to a 3-0 victory over Verona to finish four points above the drop zone, Antonio Sanabria helping himself to a double.

Cristian Romer added a third goal before half-time and was later sent off, while Genoa also had Francesco Cassata dismissed late on along with Verona's Sofyan Amrabat.

Atalanta have equalled their longest-ever Serie A run of 14 matches unbeaten, though Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hellas Verona may have ended their Scudetto hopes.

Another game without defeat meant this Atalanta team matched the squad of 1988-89, with next Tuesday's home clash against Bologna offering a chance to claim the record outright.

However, Gian Piero Gasperini's men, who will contest a Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain next month, missed the opportunity to move within four points of leaders Juventus.

Duvan Zapata opened the scoring after 50 minutes but an equaliser for Matteo Pessina just before the hour left Atalanta six adrift of Juve and level on points with second-placed Inter, having played a game more than both.

Lazio are fourth, two points behind La Dea, and travel to face Juventus on Monday. Inter are in action at Roma on Sunday.

.

Inter boss Antonio Conte refused to blame his players after they threw away a lead to draw 2-2 at Hellas Verona on Thursday.

The Nerazzurri had been leading going into the final five minutes at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi but Miguel Veloso showed wonderful composure to seal a point for the hosts.

Inter had forged ahead early in the second half thanks to an Antonio Candreva strike and own goal from Federico Dimarco after Darko Lazovic had given Verona a second-minute lead.

It is the second time in five days Inter have thrown away a lead following their 2-1 defeat to Bologna on Sunday but Conte would not be drawn into criticising his side.

"In terms of effort, hunger and determination, I have no complaints," he told Sky Sport Italia. "Let's not forget, we played against a Verona side that keeps a high tempo and makes that its greatest strength. I think Inter replied blow for blow.

"There is the usual regret that we conceded a goal five minutes from time on a throw-in. These are situations that are disappointing because you drop points along the way and they add up. We deserved to win the game.

"Verona barely had a shot on goal in the second half. We conceded through a throw-in and ball across to a player on the edge of the box.

"I don't want to say too much as people love to claim I always criticise, criticise, criticise. I don't; I just want to help everyone improve and move forward."

Inter have now dropped a whopping 20 points from leading positions in Serie A this season, with Conte well aware it is an issue that needs resolving swiftly.

"We're doing important work and I focus on that," he added. "I think you can see the results of the work we're doing. The fact we lost 20 points should push us to reflect and continue improving.

"We're well aware that we dropped points in a stupid fashion throughout the season, otherwise we'd be talking about a very different campaign."

Miguel Veloso scored late on as Hellas Verona snatched a 2-2 Serie A draw with Inter at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Thursday.

The hosts had taken a second-minute lead courtesy of Darko Lazovic's superb solo effort but Inter stormed back early in the second half thanks to Antonio Candreva and an own goal from Federico Dimarco.

There was a late sting in the tail for Antoino Conte's side, however, with Veloso coolly stroking home with four minutes remaining to secure a share of the spoils.

The result leaves Inter in fourth, one point behind third-place Atalanta, while Verona remain ninth.

The hosts started in scintillating fashion as Lazovic cruised past Milan Skriniar down the left flank and lashed a fine finish past Samir Handanovic from an acute angle.

Inter's miserable start almost got worse but Veloso struck the post with a long-range effort and Dimarco flashed a volley wide of the upright in quick succession midway through the first half.

Inter belatedly woke from their slumber and tested Marco Silvestri through Roberto Gagliardini and Alexis Sanchez, while Marcelo Brozovic twice fired wide from outside the penalty area before the interval.

Inter started the second half with a spring in their step and pulled level after 49 minutes, Candreva slotting into the bottom corner after Romelu Lukaku's effort crashed back off the post.

Candreva was the architect of Inter's second just six minutes later as his right-wing cross was diverted past Silvestri by the hapless Dimarco.

Substitute Lautaro Martinez squandered a golden opportunity to put the game to bed nine minutes from time, failing to beat Silvestri after being played clean through.

He was duly punished when Veloso kept his composure to fire past Handanovic and seal a point for Ivan Juric's side.

Antonio Conte called on his Inter players to channel their "bitterness and disappointment" in a positive way when they face Hellas Verona on Thursday.

The Nerazzurri suffered their first Serie A loss since the resumption of the season on Sunday when they conceded two late goals to be defeated 2-1 by Bologna.

Conte's side cannot afford many such slip-ups given leaders Juventus have an 11-point advantage over third-placed Inter, though Milan's win over the reigning champions on Monday has given the chasing pack hope.

Inter can cut that gap to eight points with seven to play and Conte wants to see a response.

"We're putting the game against Bologna behind us and preparing for the game against Verona," he told Inter TV.

"In times like these, the fact that our next game is so soon is actually a positive, because we'll certainly still be feeling a bit of bitterness and disappointment, but at the same time you have to focus on your next match, which in this case is a big fixture against a very strong side in Hellas Verona."

Despite the result against Bologna - in which both sides had men sent off in the second half - Conte has been encouraged by the statistics from his team's past five league games.

Since the Serie A campaign restarted in June following the coronavirus-enforced break, Inter have scored the joint-most goals in the league, with 14, and have the highest ball-possession figures with 61.8 per cent.

"These figures are certainly promising, and they're testament to the fact that every time we step out onto the pitch, we look to set the tempo and dominate the game," Conte added.

"What's more, the fact that Inter are one of the top sides in the league when it comes to creating chances in the opposition area shows that we've put in some excellent performances.

"But, at the end of the day, we've got to make sure that these performances are translated into good results."

Inter will welcome Milan Skriniar back from a ban on Thursday but Danilo D'Ambrosio and Alessandro Bastoni will miss out through suspension.

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