Freddie Ljungberg's spell as Arsenal interim head coach starts away at Norwich City on Sunday.

If the Swede gets his wish, it will be the humble beginning of a long-term tenure.

The Gunners are reportedly receptive to the idea of keeping him in the dugout, at least until the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – LJUNGBERG KEEN ON LONG-TERM ARSENAL CHANCE

Could rookie coach Freddie Ljungberg go from hugging the touchline at Highbury to patrolling it permanently at Emirates Stadium?

According to The Guardian, the 42-year-old is determined to prove he should succeed Unai Emery at Arsenal on a full-time basis.

Carlo Ancelotti, Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino are among the many men linked with the role, although club chiefs are reportedly prepared to let Ljungberg stay on for the remainder of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying in the Premier League and Wolves will fight "tooth and nail" to keep Arsenal coaching contender Nuno Espirito Santo, says the Daily Mail.

- Inter have been linked with a South American double swoop. Antonio Conte wants more depth and the Serie A side are keen on Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez and promising River Plate defender Lucas Martinez Quarta, reports La Repubblica.

- Edinson Cavani knows a contract extension will not be forthcoming but the striker wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season, according to Le Parisien.

- West Ham CEO Karen Brady expressed her support of under-fire manager Manuel Pellegrini in The Sun, although the Daily Mail reports he has just two games to save his job.

- Anything less than victory against Hertha Berlin on Saturday will likely spell the end for Lucien Favre at Borussia Dortmund, says Sky Sport Germany.

Jadon Sancho looks set to leave Borussia Dortmund sooner rather than later.

Sancho has established himself as one of the best young players in Europe since leaving Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017.

However, the 19-year-old's stay in Germany appears to be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND READY TO PART WITH SANCHO

Dortmund are ready to do business and sell in-demand star Sancho, according to the Independent.

The teenager is wanted by Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona after starring since arriving in the Bundesliga.

But Dortmund are willing to let the England international leave as soon as January due to a breakdown in relationships.

The winger was benched for the midweek Champions League defeat at Barcelona, having felt humiliated by his first-half withdrawal in the Klassiker rout to Bayern Munich.

 

ROUND-UP

- La Nazione says Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool are interested in Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa. The 22-year-old has sparkled in Florence, leading to links with Serie A champions Juventus and Inter.

- Could Everton be set for a South American triple swoop? According to the Liverpool Echo, the Merseyside club are keen on signing Inter forward Gabriel Barbosa – on loan at Flamengo – and River Plate's Rafael Santos Borre. It comes as the Toffees have reportedly identified Flamengo head coach Jorge Jesus as a possible candidate to succeed Marco Silva following his Copa Libertadores and domestic success.

- Marca claims James Rodriguez has turned down a move to Arsenal. According to reports in England, the Gunners want James in January. However, the Madrid playmaker wants to stay in the Spanish capital.

- High-flying Inter are eager to sign Atalanta full-back Robin Gosens, reports Calciomercato.

Milan are targeting Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Turkey international has struggled for game time following his arrival in Turin this season.

- As Flamengo struggle to secure a permanent deal for loan star Barbosa, Goal says the Copa Libertadores champions are in talks to sign Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

Manchester City have set their sights on Brescia and Italy sensation Sandro Tonali, says Fichajes. The 19-year-old is attracting interest from all over Europe.

Real Madrid have confirmed James Rodriguez has sustained a knee injury, which could reportedly rule him out of next month's Clasico against Barcelona.

James has been brought back into the fold by Zinedine Zidane this season after spending two years on loan at Bayern Munich.

The Colombia playmaker - who suffered a calf strain earlier in the campaign - has made nine appearances in all competitions, starting five times, though last featured for Zidane's side in a Champions League victory over Galatasaray on October 22.

However, James could now be set to miss up to six weeks after Madrid announced the 28-year-old has sprained a ligament in his left knee.

Madrid's statement, released on the club's official website, did not place a timeframe on James' recovery, stating the midfielder would continue to be assessed.

Los Blancos face rivals Barca - who currently lead LaLiga on goal difference - on December 18 in the rearranged Clasico at Camp Nou, which was postponed due to political unrest in Catalonia.

James Rodriguez has been ruled out of Colombia's friendly against Peru on Friday after suffering a knee injury in training.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 28, will miss the clash in Florida after hurting his left knee, the Colombian Football Federation (FCF) said in a statement on Thursday.

James complained of "discomfort" in his left knee during training, leading to the FCF ruling him out of the Peru fixture.

"The player was evaluated by the medical body and his first diagnosis is reserved," the statement said.

"For now and as a precaution, the player James Rodriguez is ruled out for the match against Peru.

"In the next few hours, a detailed imaging study will be carried out to confirm the definitive diagnosis."

Colombia are winless in their past five matches and will also face Ecuador on Tuesday.

James has made nine appearances for Madrid this season, scoring once.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes to have Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez fit and available after the international break.

Muscle problems will keep both players out of Saturday's LaLiga game against Eibar despite them being called up to their respective national teams.

Wales winger Bale has not played a minute since a Euro 2020 qualifier close to a month ago, while midfielder James has missed Madrid's past three matches.

The pair have started individual fitness programmes but will not be considered for selection until they are able to complete full training sessions alongside the rest of the first team.

"They haven't been fit enough to play," Zidane said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"If they're going to go [away on international duty], they're going to go. They've got five or six days to see if they're fit enough to play for their country. They're not fit enough to play on Saturday.

"They haven't trained with the team. They've been training a little but not at the same pace as their team-mates. If players aren't training with their team-mates they can't play.

"They're not injured right now."

Bale's injury occurred in the same international fixture that left Croatia midfielder Luka Modric with bruising to his right quadriceps.

The 34-year-old subsequently sat out two club games, leaving Zidane wary of a repeat as his squad prepares to disassemble.

"Hopefully nothing happens, but it could. It's true in the last call-ups the players got injured," he said.

"Hopefully the players get away with the national teams, they play, and there are no injuries, and everyone comes back fit and available."

Amid the probe over why Bale and James have been absent, Zidane was asked to clarify his recent claim that Kylian Mbappe harbours a "dream" of playing for Madrid.

The Los Blancos boss said that he was simply repeating the Paris Saint-Germain star's own acknowledged ambition.

The comment riled PSG sporting director Leonardo, who called for an end to transfer speculation surrounding Mbappe.

Zidane said: "He's within his rights to have his opinion and when I get asked a question I will also say what I believe.

"All I said was what [the player] said, that Mbappe's dream is to one day wear the Real Madrid shirt. There's not really much to it to be honest."

Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been included in FIFA 20's first Ultimate Scream pack ahead of Halloween.

EA Sports announced the release of the FIFA Ultimate Team cards on Friday, with Manchester City striker Aguero and LA Galaxy star Ibrahimovic among the standout names.

Top-rated Aguero is joined in the first batch by fellow Premier League players Dele Alli, Nicolas Otamendi and Bernard, with a second group of players to be released next Friday.

Below, we have the list of FUT cards that are up for grabs.

FUT Ultimate Scream pack

LM: Bernard (Everton) - 84

CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) - 85

LM: Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) - 85

CAM: Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig) - 85

CB: Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) - 86

CDM: William Carvalho (Real Betis) - 86

CAM: Dele Alli (Tottenham) - 87

CAM: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) - 88

CAM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) - 88

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) - 88

ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) - 91

Dani Ceballos says the revivals of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez at Real Madrid does not make him regret leaving Los Blancos for Arsenal.

Bale appeared certain to depart the Spanish capital for Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning after being ostracised by Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, before the board pulled the plug on the deal.

James' future was equally unclear after he returned from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, but rumoured interest from Napoli and Atletico Madrid failed to materialise.

Both players have subsequently featured regularly for a Madrid side sitting top of LaLiga after eight matches, two points clear of Clasico rivals Barcelona.

Spain international Ceballos opted to make the move to the Premier League with the Gunners on loan after struggling for regular minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu over the past two seasons.

Ceballos has featured on 11 occasions in all competitions so far and is content with the decision he made as he was not enjoying life in Madrid.

"Madrid is pretty good. Yes, they've had many injuries but I don't feel sorry for not being there," he told a news conference while on international duty.

"I know what I have in my head and that was to play and enjoy. I am very happy at Arsenal, I played 10 (11) games where I showed my best level. Now I am where I want to be." 

When asked about Bale and James' upturn in fortunes at Madrid, he replied: "My idea was clear from the outset, play and enjoy football because in the previous two years I had not and I have been successful going out to Arsenal."

Ceballos also paid tribute to Madrid great Sergio Ramos, who is set to become Spain's outright most-capped player during the international break – where Spain face qualifiers against Norway and Sweden – having equalled Iker Casillas' tally of 167 last month.

"Sergio Ramos has won everything at the club and national team level," he added. 

"Despite having a lot of experience he continues to demonstrate the ambition of a young man, that ambition makes him different from the others."

Thibaut Courtois has been left out of Real Madrid's squad to face Granada a few hours after the club denied he has an anxiety problem.

Goalkeeper Courtois was substituted at half-time in Madrid's Champions League draw with Club Brugge in midweek, with head coach Zinedine Zidane saying the player "wasn't well and couldn't continue".

It was subsequently claimed in media reports that the former Chelsea man was affected by anxiety, yet a club statement denied this on Friday, instead revealing he is suffering with gastroenteritis.

As such, Courtois was not named in the Madrid squad to face LaLiga surprise package Granada when Zidane announced his 19-man squad later the same day.

Alphonse Areola, who replaced Courtois against Brugge, will be joined by Castilla goalkeepers Javier Belman and Diego Altube in the group.

Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior both featured in the European clash but were left out of this selection, with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Rodrygo Goes returning.

Zidane had already confirmed Madrid were considering starting Eder Militao at left-back due to a number of defensive injuries, with Marcelo, Ferland Mendy and Nacho all out. Alvaro Odriozola is another option.

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are not included in Real Madrid's squad for their Champions League clash with Club Brugge.

Madrid were thrashed 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in their Group A opener, with Bale and James both starting at Parc des Princes.

Bale had a goal disallowed after Angel Di Maria had put PSG two up but was later taken off, while James was replaced by Luka Jovic.

But Madrid have now confirmed neither Bale nor James - who both featured against Atletico Madrid - have been included in Zinedine Zidane's squad for Brugge's trip to Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, while Rodrygo Goes also misses out.

Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema are selected, as is Vinicius Jr. They are joined by Marcelo, who was not available for the Madrid derby.

Sergio Ramos is set to make his Champions League return after missing the PSG defeat due to suspension, while Isco also returns from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since the end of August.

James Rodriguez is hoping to become an important player for Real Madrid this season after staying at the LaLiga giants.

Atletico Madrid and Napoli were heavily linked with star playmaker James, who was tipped to leave Madrid in the off-season.

But James stayed and started for Madrid for the first time since May 2017 in their 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid on August 24.

After two years away on loan at Bayern Munich and an off-season dominated by speculation, James wants to make an impact in the Spanish capital.

"I really hope that this can be my season with Real Madrid," James told El Chiringuito.

James is recovering from a calf injury sustained in action for Madrid prior to the international break.

The injury ruled James out of Colombia's friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela.

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid have only won one of their opening three matches following back-to-back draws to be four points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.

Madrid return to action when they welcome Levante to the Santiago Bernabeu on September 14.

Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao not been included in Colombia's squad for next month's friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela.

Madrid confirmed on Monday the 28-year-old had suffered a calf injury in his right leg but did not say how long he would be out for.

James started for the Spanish giants for the first time since May 2017 on Saturday, when Zinedine Zidane's side were held to a 1-1 LaLiga draw by Real Valladolid.

Atletico Madrid and Napoli were reportedly interested in signing James during the transfer window, but a deal failed to materialise and it looks likely he will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu beyond the transfer deadline of September 2.

Falcao is yet to make an appearance for Monaco this season due to injury and in his absence Colombia have called up Duvan Zapata, Rafael Santos Borre, Luis Muriel and Roger Martinez in attack for the double header.

Some major European clubs have only a week left to add to their squads with the transfer window for much of the continent set to close on September 2.

Lots of big moves have already been completed with players including Eden Hazard, Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Nicolas Pepe and Harry Maguire swapping teams for huge fees.

But the last week of the window tends to be when clubs kick into gear, with one super-sized deal potentially setting off a chain reaction.

Who are the stars still in the middle of transfer sagas? Omnisport picks out a few names to keep an eye on in the coming days.


ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have decided there is no place in his Manchester United squad for Sanchez, who is being strongly linked with a loan move to Inter. That would see him reunite with another player who found himself on the fringes at Old Trafford in Romelu Lukaku, who has reportedly been encouraging the Chile international to join him at San Siro. Sanchez's wages – said to be as high as £500,000 a week – are likely to pose a problem for any deal, though.

NEYMAR

Injuries to Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe have complicated matters for Paris Saint-Germain's wantaway superstar Neymar. A return to Barcelona has been mooted for the 27-year-old, who left Camp Nou in 2017 for a world record €222million, but the Catalans have reportedly seen a number of cash-plus-players offers rejected. LaLiga rivals Real Madrid have long been linked with Neymar too, though their capture of Hazard means they have already added one world-class talent who prefers to operate from the left flank. It has been suggested a loan move might now be the Brazilian's best chance of securing the departure from PSG that sporting director Leonardo has confirmed he wants.

PAUL POGBA

Pogba was United's top scorer in the Premier League last term but his season ended with a confrontation with supporters after the final game of the campaign, a home loss to Cardiff City. The Frenchman confirmed in June he was seeking a "new challenge" but is yet to get a move away. Pogba, who was targeted by racist abuse after failing to convert a penalty in a draw at Wolves last Monday, is reportedly wanted at Madrid by Zinedine Zidane. But time is running out to do that deal, especially as United are unable to secure a replacement as the Premier League's window has already closed.


CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Mauricio Pochettino has only started Eriksen in one of Tottenham's three Premier League games this term amid continued speculation over his future. Like Pogba, Eriksen is on record as saying he wants to move on, but his position is even more perilous for Spurs as the Denmark midfielder is in the final year of his contract. Chairman Daniel Levy is known for his brinksmanship, so this deal could go right down to the wire. Eriksen is believed to be Madrid's back-up option should they fail to land Pogba.


PAULO DYBALA

One of the players in the Neymar chain is Dybala, who was an unused substitute as Juventus started their Serie A title defence with a 1-0 win at Parma on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in Turin last year was always likely to be bad news for someone – and it was Dybala who suffered the most. The Argentina attacker is still regarded as one of world football's brightest lights, but at 25 he cannot afford another season on the periphery. Tottenham almost signed Dybala but the deal was understood to have collapsed amid problems with his image rights, while United reportedly pulled out over his wage demands. Should Neymar leave Paris, Dybala is said to be top of PSG's list and, with Juve needing to cut a bloated squad, he would likely be allowed to leave if the price was right.


LUKA JOVIC

Madrid also have too many players and, despite the Serbia striker only recently joining from Eintracht Frankfurt, Jovic may be allowed to leave - even if his departure is a loan move. Jovic's goals were instrumental in Eintracht's run to the Europa League semi-finals but Zidane is seemingly not a fan of the 21-year-old. Jovic has said he will not be leaving but, if the right club comes in, Madrid could be persuaded to let him go.


GARETH BALE

The relationship between Zidane and Bale seemed to be beyond repair, especially as the Madrid coach said during a pre-season tour that it would be best if the Wales star left the club. But after a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning fell through, Bale has been reintegrated at the Santiago Bernabeu and has started their two LaLiga games this season. It is not out of the question that Bale could still leave in the next week, but his future seems to be in the Spanish capital - at least for now.


JAMES RODRIGUEZ

Similarly to Bale, James has been selected by Zidane in the new LaLiga season after apparently being outcast at Madrid. The Colombia playmaker spent the past two years on loan with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and was strongly being linked with a move to Atletico Madrid before Diego Simeone's side thrashed their cross-city rivals 7-3 in a pre-season game in the United States. Carlo Ancelotti - who coached the 28-year-old at Madrid and Bayern - has also confirmed James is a target for Napoli, but the Serie A side have been unable to make that deal happen. A calf injury sustained on Saturday could also throw a spanner in the works for James.

Real Madrid have confirmed James Rodriguez has suffered a calf injury.

The Colombia international had tests on Monday, which confirmed muscle damage in his right leg.

It is unclear how long James will be out, but he is likely to miss the trip to Villarreal on September 1 and could sit out the international break, with Colombia playing Brazil and Venezuela in friendly matches next month.

The playmaker started for Madrid for the first time since May 2017 on Saturday, when Zinedine Zidane's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

James' injury is a blow to Zidane, who is already without Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio.

It had looked like James would leave the club during the transfer window but reported interest from Atletico Madrid and Napoli failed to materialise in a deal.

The 28-year-old is now expected to stay at Madrid beyond the transfer deadline of September 2.

"James has been in good shape and I would be happy if he stayed with us," Zidane said at the weekend.

Barcelona are preparing their latest bid for Neymar – and this one includes Ousmane Dembele.

With the transfer window closing on September 2, the Neymar saga is seemingly no closer to ending amid reports the star forward wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca are still trying to find a way to get the Brazil international back to Camp Nou and their latest offer is set to see Dembele move the other way.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO OFFER DEMBELE TO PSG IN NEYMAR BID

Barcelona will offer Dembele to PSG as they try to sign Neymar, according to Le Parisien.

The LaLiga champions are still trying to work out a way to buy Neymar and are set to offer €170million after an initial loan deal with either an option or obligation to buy, the report says.

Barca are also prepared to offer €40m and Dembele as they try to land Neymar.

Meanwhile, Le Monde reports PSG's owners are unwilling to sell Neymar two years after his €222m move from Barcelona.

 

ROUND-UP

- It remains to be seen if Ivan Rakitic will stay at Barcelona. The Croatia midfielder's name was put on the table during a recent meeting between Barca and Juventus, according to Sport.

- After starting for Real Madrid against Real Valladolid, James Rodriguez wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, according to AS. The playmaker has been linked to Napoli and Atletico Madrid during the transfer window.

- Staying at Real Madrid, Cadena SER report the LaLiga giants will not make it easy for Keylor Navas to leave the club. The goalkeeper has been linked with a move away, but Madrid will only sell the Costa Rica international for the right price and provided they can find a replacement.

- Robert Lewandowski appears set to extend his stay at Bayern Munich. The striker will sign a new deal that runs until 2023 with the Bundesliga champions, according to Sport Bild.

- Tottenham are growing confident Toby Alderweireld will sign a contract extension, according to The Sun. The defender's current deal is up at the end of the season but he could be set to stay at Spurs.

- Gianluigi Donnarumma continues to be linked to PSG. The AC Milan goalkeeper is still a target for the Ligue 1 giants, le10sport report.

Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez said returning to play at the Santiago Bernabeu was a "unique feeling".

James started a Madrid match for the first time since May 2017 as Los Blancos drew 1-1 at home to Real Valladolid in LaLiga action on Saturday.

The Colombia star spent the last two seasons out on loan with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, who opted against triggering their purchase option.

James looked poised to join either Atletico Madrid or Napoli, however, the 28-year-old played 57 minutes for Zinedine Zidane's men in the Spanish capital.

"Back at the Bernabeu after a long time," James wrote on Twitter post-match.

"It was a unique feeling. Thanks to the fans for the support.

"We will continue to work in order to improve."

James made 20 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern last season, scoring seven goals.

He also scored seven league goals in 23 Bundesliga matches during the 2017-18 after helping Madrid to Champions League glory the season prior.

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