Real Madrid are ready to present an incredible offer to Neymar to beat Barcelona to the signing of the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Neymar, 27, looks almost certain to leave the Parc des Princes before the transfer window closes, and the LaLiga rivals appear his most likely destinations.

With the window shut for Premier League clubs, the Brazil forward is set to dominate the headlines for weeks to come.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID TO OFFER NEYMAR €40M PER SEASON

Real Madrid are willing to offer Neymar a net salary of €40million per season and a five-year contract, according to Sport.

Neymar has been expected to return to Camp Nou, two years after his world-record €222m switch to PSG from Barcelona.

Marca report Neymar sees a move to Real Madrid his most likely avenue for a departure from the Ligue 1 champions.

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- Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala's futures at Inter and Juventus respectively remain uncertain. Inter have no intention of selling their forward to Juve unless their rivals put in an offer of at least €75m or Dybala, according to Corriere dello Sport, which says the Serie A champions would prefer to send their Argentine abroad.

- PSG could be an option for Dybala, who was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham before the Premier League window closed. PSG have offered Dybala €11.8m per season, according to the Daily Mail, while they are likely to have to pay Juve at least €84m.

- Roma are looking to sign a defender and are interested in Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The centre-back's agent met with Roma, who are negotiating a loan for Lovren and are confident an agreement can be found.

- Like Dybala, Mario Mandzukic's Juventus future is uncertain. Sky Sport Italia say the Serie A club are in advanced talks with Bayern Munich for the Croatian striker to join the Bundesliga giants on loan with an option or obligation to buy for €15m.

- Mario Balotelli is reportedly close to joining Flamengo, but perhaps he has another option. Napoli are looking for an attacker and the forward's agent Mino Raiola offered Balotelli to the Serie A club, according to Corriere dello Sport, although the 28-year-old Italian is said not to be warm to the idea.

- It remains to be seen if Alexis Sanchez will spend the 2019-20 season with Manchester United. According to The Telegraph, Roma have been given the opportunity to take Sanchez on a season-long loan.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde remains unsure what will happen with Neymar amid reports the LaLiga champions want to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Neymar, 27, is expected to leave PSG this close season, with a return to Barca and shock switch to Real Madrid mooted.

Speaking ahead of a friendly with Napoli in Michigan on Saturday, Valverde said he was still uncertain about the Brazil star.

"We'll see what happens. The classic response is that he plays for another team and that's that," he told a news conference.

"All I know is that I'm the manager and I only think about the players I have. They are the ones I'll be using tomorrow.

"As it stands, I don't know what is going to happen."

Barca will reportedly include at least one player in a move for Neymar, with Ivan Rakitic among the names mentioned.

Valverde said he could not guarantee the Croatia midfielder's future, but believes he will be able to rely on Rakitic during the upcoming season.

"He is very important for us," he said.

"His work is there. Right now, I don't know if he will stay. I count on him as I have.

"In principle, nothing makes me think that I won't be able to count on him."

Neymar is relieved the investigation into rape allegations against him has been closed but the Paris Saint-Germain forward says he will never forget the damage it caused him and his loved ones.

Brazilian judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes on Thursday accepted a recommendation to close the case after investigators at the Sao Paulo police station where a woman made the accusation in May concluded an indictment was not possible due to a lack of evidence.

Neymar vehemently denied claims he raped the woman in a Paris hotel room on May 15.

He posted on Instagram on Friday: "This will be a chapter in my life that I'll never forget. For many reasons. The main one 'THE DAMAGE' it caused to me, to my family and to all the people that really know me.

"I'll be sincere and I won't say I'm happy, but I'm relieved. The wound will always be here, so that I can remember how the human being is capable of doing good things but also BAD ones!

"Yes, my world has fallen apart and I fell to the ground ... but as a jiu-jitsu legend says: 'For many people the ground is the end of everything but for us that's just the beginning.'

"May it be the beginning not only for me but for all those who suffered this kind of false allegations and MAINLY to all WOMEN who are REALLY a victim of this act.

"My wish is that you can all be strong, that you can fight and that you can get all you deserve. Thank God FOR EVERYTHING, always."

In an attempt to clear his name in June, Neymar posted a video to Instagram in which he claimed the allegations were part of an extortion attempt, showing his WhatsApp history with someone purported to be his accuser.

Neymar could yet face action for cybercrime, as the video appeared to include intimate messages and images of another person, which is illegal under Brazilian law.

He testified in the investigation in Sao Paulo on June 7.

Neymar's father says the Paris Saint-Germain forward has developed a stronger sense of resolve during a turbulent close season.

Problems in and away from football have affected the 27-year-old since winning a second Ligue 1 title in April.

The following month, a Brazilian woman accused Neymar of raping her in a Paris hotel room on May 15.

Neymar vehemently denied the allegation and judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes this week closed the case after investigators at a Sao Paulo police station and public prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence.

The investigation took place as rumours regarding a potential transfer for Neymar back to his former club Barcelona gathered pace.

Real Madrid have also been linked to the PSG star, who missed the Copa America due to an ankle injury that has prevented him playing a minute for over three months.

"My son has not played football for a while because of the injury that has kept him out since June, but during that time he has acquired great strength to overcome problems," Neymar Sr told AS.

"Life and football have taught him how to be a stronger person during moments of difficulty.

"He'll be back out on the field soon. As his father, it's a pleasure to see my son playing football. It makes me feel very proud.

"He'll be happy once he starts enjoying his football again."

PSG launch their Ligue 1 title defence at home to Nimes on Sunday.

Neymar missed last weekend's Trophee des Champions victory over Rennes due to suspension.

A Brazilian judge has accepted the recommendation of prosecutors to end the investigation into rape allegations against Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar due to a lack of evidence.

Investigators at the Sao Paulo police station where a Brazilian woman made the accusation in May confirmed on July 30 the case had been passed to public prosecutors after concluding an indictment was not possible.

Prosecutors have opted against pursuing the matter further, agreeing with the investigators' decision, and judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes closed the case.

"We decided in favour of closing the case because there is insufficient evidence," prosecutor Flavia Merlini said at a news conference.

"The police investigator asked her to plug her phone into a computer so she could see the video [supposedly showing an attack], but she [the alleged victim] didn't want to do that. She also refused to hand over her phone, and later she said it had been stolen," co-prosecutor Estefania Paulin added.

"The case will be closed as long as no new evidence is presented. If evidence comes up and we come to understand it is relevant and important, the case could be reopened."

Neymar vehemently denied claims he raped the woman in a Paris hotel room on May 15.

The alleged victim claimed to have exchanged messages with Neymar on social media before meeting him at the Sofitel Paris Arc Du Triomphe.

She said she returned to Brazil two days later, but was too emotionally shaken to report the incident until May 31.

In an attempt to clear his name, Neymar subsequently posted a video to Instagram in which he claimed the allegations were part of an extortion attempt, showing his WhatsApp history with someone purported to be his accuser.

Neymar could yet face action for cybercrime, as the video appeared to include intimate messages and images of another person, which is illegal under Brazilian law.

He testified in the investigation in Sao Paulo on June 7.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur is convinced the squad and fans want Neymar to return to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 27, joined PSG from Barca two years ago after the Ligue 1 side took world football by surprise when triggering the Brazilian's €222million release clause.

Barca were caught off guard and have since taken steps to ensure a similar situation does not arise again, inserting even bigger release clauses in their star players' contracts.

Despite Barcelona's frustration with Neymar leaving at the time, even taking legal action against him demanding the repayment of a loyalty bonus, they are reportedly pushing hard to secure his return.

Transfer links have been a constant throughout the close season and Neymar's Brazil team-mate Arthur is eager for Neymar to return to the Spanish champions.

"I have not talked to him [Neymar] about this issue," Arthur told reporters in Ann Arbor. "I don't like to bother about it because he is already asked a lot.

"I talk about other things with him. I don't know if he will come to Barcelona. Let's see what happens with him.

"Me, the fans and the team would like him to come to Barcelona. He's a star and I really like playing with him in the national team.

"I don't know if he has to take a step [by saying he wants to leave], as [Gerard] Pique said, but as a friend I wish him the best."

It has been suggested Barca will need to offload the much-maligned Philippe Coutinho – signed as one of Neymar's replacements – if the silky forward is to return to Camp Nou.

Arthur has no wish to see Coutinho leave, but is backing him to take whatever decision makes him happy.

"It's his decision," Arthur added. "He has to talk to his family, he has to be happy to stay. I think he's happy.

"My wish is [for him] to stay. He is happy these days and working hard, like everyone. I think he has everything to stay at Barca."

Barcelona are still hopeful of bringing Neymar to Camp Nou, but Real Madrid's interest is rising as they give up on Paul Pogba.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain this close season, two years after joining the Ligue 1 champions from Barcelona for a world-record €222million.

While a return to Barca has been mooted, Madrid are also seemingly interested after accepting they are unlikely to land Pogba from Manchester United.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA HOPEFUL OVER NEYMAR, CONVINCED MADRID ARE INTERESTED

Barcelona are still eyeing a move for Neymar, but the LaLiga champions are convinced rivals Real Madrid are also chasing the Brazilian, according to AS.

The report says Barca believe the forward will definitely leave PSG, who do not want to loan or sell Neymar to them because of a fractured relationship between the clubs.

AS report that Barcelona feel PSG are still hoping Madrid will make a late bid for Neymar.

According to Globo Esporte, Real Madrid are ready to use Gareth Bale and Keylor Navas as part of the deal.

Barcelona want Neymar to publicly state his desire to return to the club and they will offer Philippe Coutinho to PSG as part of a deal, according to Sport.

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Real Madrid's intensified interest in Neymar comes as they accept their chances of signing Pogba from Manchester United are "practically zero", according to AS, after the Premier League club failed to sign a potential replacement for the France international before their window shut.

Coutinho may not have returned to the Premier League, but Barcelona still want to see the playmaker depart. Sport say PSGJuventus and Bayern Munich are the most likely destinations for the former Liverpool star.

Luka Modric was reportedly set to be offered to PSG by Real Madrid as part of a deal for Neymar. However, the Croatia international's camp has told AS the midfielder is not leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Despite giving up on Pogba, Real Madrid still need to strengthen in midfield. Ajax star Donny van de Beek remains the most likely option for Zinedine Zidane, according to AS, but they are waiting amid a potential move for Neymar.

- Manchester United opted against signing a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who left for Inter. The Times report the Premier League club ended talks with Juventus over striker Mario Mandzukic due to the £14m (€15.2m) valuation being deemed too high. Borussia Dortmund are interested in the Croatian, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Mario Balotelli is a step away from joining Flamengo. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, the Italian striker has reached a salary agreement with the Brazilian club, but work is still being done relating to image rights.

The new Ligue 1 season kicks off on Friday, with Monaco taking on Lyon in the opening match.

The transfer window in France does not shut until September 2, but it appears most teams in France's top flight have attempted to get their business done in time for the start of the new campaign.

Paris Saint-Germain cruised to the league title last season, though with uncertainty over Neymar's future will Thomas Tuchel's side find things so easy this season?

We look at the five best signings by Ligue 1 clubs heading into 2019-20.

5. Joachim Andersen (Lyon)

Danish youngster Andersen enjoyed a breakthrough season in Serie A last term, impressing at the heart of Sampdoria's defence.

The 23-year-old's performances drew interest from big clubs across the continent and it was Lyon who secured his signature, agreeing a deal with Sampdoria that could reach €30million.

A dominant centre-back, Andersen - who scored an own goal in the 3-1 friendly loss against Liverpool on July 31 - has all the attributes to be a leader for Lyon, who have undergone something of a rebuild after the departures of Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele to Real Betis and Tottenham respectively.

4. Predrag Rajkovic (Reims)

Highly rated Serbian goalkeeper Rajkovic agreed a four-year contract with Reims, having signed from Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

The deal is something of a coup for Reims, who reportedly snapped the 23-year-old up for just €3m amid reported interest from Rennes, Sevilla and Monaco.

Rajkovic won the European Under-19 Championship with Serbia in 2013 and the U20 World Cup two years later, while at club level he has lifted league titles in his homeland and Israel.

3. Idrissa Gueye (PSG)

Big-money, big-name signings are usually on the menu for PSG, but the reported €32m (£29m) signing of defensive midfielder Gueye from Everton could present an exceptional piece of business.

Though still a sizeable sum for a 29-year-old, Gueye should more than prove his worth in a side that were too often exposed defensively last term, especially in the Champions League.

PSG failed with a bid for Gueye in January, but the Senegal international did not let his form drop and played a crucial role in Everton's fine end to the Premier League campaign. With him anchoring the midfield, it should provide Thomas Tuchel's attackers full licence to do what they do best.

2. Timothy Weah (Lille)

Son of Ballon d'Or winner and president of Liberia George, Weah had been at PSG since 2014. The 19-year-old forward left to join Celtic on loan for the back half of last season.

Weah scored three goals in Scotland's top flight and has now moved away from the Parc des Princes on a permanent basis.

With Rafael Leao and main man Nicolas Pepe having left, Lille are in need of a new goalscorer and the United States international - who has been in the shadow of Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe - could well be the one to provide that firepower this season.

1. Pablo Sarabia (PSG)

If Gueye provides PSG with some much-needed solidity in midfield, then Sarabia will add even more sparkle to Tuchel's sensational front line.

Signed for a reported €20m, Sarabia could prove a bargain. The Spaniard scored 22 goals across all competitions last season and accumulated 13 LaLiga assists – as many as Lionel Messi.

With Angel Di Maria the wrong side of 30 and Neymar's future still up in the air, Sarabia could emerge as a superstar this campaign.

The 27-year-old started off on the right foot by setting up Mbappe for a goal in the Trophee des Champions triumph over Rennes.

Ismaila Sarr has left Rennes for Watford in a club-record deal, signing a five-year contract at Vicarage Road.

The Senegal international is reported to have cost the Hornets £32.3million (€35m).

Sarr has long been linked with a move to the Premier League with Watford, although with Wilfried Zaha's future uncertain, Crystal Palace were also said to be interested in the 21-year-old.

But Sarr, who scored eight goals in 35 Ligue 1 appearances last season, completed the switch to Watford ahead of the Premier League transfer deadline.

Sarr, who played in the Africa Cup of Nations final, follows Danny Welbeck - the former Arsenal forward having signed on Wednesday - in making the move to Watford in this window.

Christian Gourcuff has been appointed as new Nantes head coach, the Ligue 1 club have confirmed.

The former Rennes and Lorient boss heads back to France's top flight after a spell in Qatar with Al-Gharafa.

Like predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic, Gourcuff has also coached the Algeria national team and, in a statement to confirm his appointment, Nantes noted previous attempts to appoint the 64-year-old by referring to "several opportunities missed between the two parties".

"FC Nantes has always represented something for me. In the past, I almost joined the club, but it did not happen," Gourcuff said.

"When president Waldemar Kita called me, it was something I owed him. I'm really happy to sign here."

Nantes finished 12th in Ligue last season and parted company with Halilhodzic last week amid reports of a breakdown in relations between the veteran tactician and Kita.

Newcastle United have brought in right-back Emil Krafth from Amiens as their fourth signing of the transfer window.

The Sweden international, who played twice in the knockout stages of last year's World Cup, has signed a four-year contract at St James' Park following a reported £5million switch.

Krafth had only joined Amiens on a permanent deal earlier in the window, having impressed in 35 appearances on loan from Bologna last term.

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce said: "We're pleased to bring him here. He turned 25 last week and has great experience, with more than 20 caps for Sweden and having played in the top flight in three different countries.

"He's a good height for a full-back, speaks excellent English and is a very good player. He's a really good acquisition."

Krafth is expected to provide competition to DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo in the right wing-back position, although the Spaniard has been linked with a loan departure.

Newcastle were also linked on Thursday with a move for free agent Andy Carroll, who began his career at the club.

The transfer window slams shut in England on Thursday and Romelu Lukaku is finally set to get his move.

Linked to Inter and Juventus throughout the off-season, Manchester United striker Lukaku is poised to swap Old Trafford for San Siro in Milan.

Lukaku's exit could trigger United to make a late dash for his replacement.

 

TOP STORY – LUKAKU TO SWAP UNITED FOR INTER

After months of speculation, Lukaku will swap Manchester United for Serie A side Inter according to widespread reports.

Lukaku landed in Milan in the early hours of Thursday morning ahead of his €75million (£70m) move to Inter.

Inter will reportedly pay a €65m fixed fee and €10m in add-ons, with the deal also including a five per cent cut of any future sale.

 

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- With Lukaku leaving Old Trafford, United are willing to pay the £81m (€88m) release clause to lure Inaki Williams from Athletic Bilbao, reports El Chiringuito TV. The Red Devils are also continuing to be linked to Juventus' Mario Mandzukic and former Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente, who is a free agent.

Tottenham are set to complete deadline-day deals for Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso and Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon, reports the Telegraph. Spurs are hopeful of clinching a transfer for Lo Celso at £55m (€59.7m), while Sessegnon could cost £20m.

- According to Sport, Real Madrid have offered €120m plus Luka Modric for wantaway Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar. Barcelona have been linked with their former forward but the LaLiga champions must raise funds before trying to re-sign the Brazil international. Barca could free up space by selling Philippe Coutinho, who has reportedly attracted interest from Premier League trio United, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Arsenal are set for a busy deadline day. The Sun reports the Gunners could land Chelsea defender David Luiz in a £12m deal, while Unai Emery's side have agreed a Scottish transfer record fee of £25m for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, according to the BBC.

- Tottenham have agreed to sign Juventus star Paulo Dybala but the player's image rights are holding up the deal, says the Independent. Dybala has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain after turning down a move to Manchester United.

- Sportitalia says Wolves have agreed a £23m (€25m) fee to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, who reportedly wants a wage increase. Wolves have already signed Patrick Cutrone from Milan.

- According to Sky Sports, Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has handed in a transfer request as Everton look to sign the former Manchester United forward.

Mario Balotelli is on the verge of joining Brazilian side Flamengo until December 2021. That is according to La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia. Balotelli is a free agent following his Marseille exit.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde played down reports linking Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar with a move to Real Madrid.

Neymar has been widely linked with a return to Camp Nou, but reports on Wednesday said Madrid were lining up a move for the Brazil star.

But Valverde dismissed the talk as speculation while saying he was unsure what would happen with Neymar.

"Now it's Madrid and we'll see what happens tomorrow," he told a news conference after Barca's 2-1 friendly win over Napoli.

"Two years ago he was right here and I had to answer questions from many journalists. Now, they ask me again about him.

"It seems that Neymar is following me. We have nothing to say about players who are on other teams."

Neymar seems set to leave PSG after just two seasons, during which he has scored 51 goals in 58 games since his €222million arrival in 2017.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has told Paris Saint-Germain to do whatever it takes to keep Neymar.

Neymar, 27, is heavily linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 champions this close season, with a return to Barcelona mooted just two years after his €222million switch.

While the Brazil star staying at PSG would only make Thomas Tuchel's men stronger, Aulas said they needed to keep the forward.

"It's embarrassing for Ligue 1 if at one point the TV rights bidding was done with visibility that included Neymar," he told Le Parisien on Wednesday.

"He was before at Barca. With a very big cheque, he arrived in Paris. I think PSG have to do what it takes to keep him.

"But as president of OL, I am in a bad position to judge."

Lyon have gone through plenty of change in the off-season, with Sylvinho replacing Bruno Genesio at the helm and Juninho arriving as sporting director.

The likes of Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham) and captain Nabil Fekir (Real Betis) have been sold from the squad that finished third in Ligue 1 last season.

Aulas hopes his club can close the gap to PSG, but warned they needed time.

"In the medium term, yes [Lyon can compete with PSG]. We want to play a role. We will continue to invest. The goal is to get closer to PSG," he said.

"But the first year will be the hardest. You have to be patient. It is a project of three to five years. Before, it's illusory.

"The deadline of 2022, given the budget gap between the two clubs, must be reasonable."

Lyon open their Ligue 1 campaign away to Monaco on Friday.

Paris Saint-Germain have been dealt an injury blow just days from their Ligue 1 season opener after Ander Herrera suffered a calf strain.

Herrera, who joined PSG in July after his contract at Manchester United expired, played in last week's 2-1 victory over Rennes in the Trophee des Champions as he rounded off a busy pre-season with his new club.

But PSG confirmed Spanish midfielder Herrera, 29, injured his left calf in training on Wednesday and will face three to four weeks on the sidelines.

PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel has the likes of €18million signing Pablo Sarabia available in midfield, as well as the likes of Marco Verratti, Idrissa Gueye and Julian Draxler, but the loss of Herrera just four days before PSG's clash with Nimes is nevertheless a significant blow.

Herrera made 22 Premier League appearances for United in 2018-19 but his opportunities were restricted by hamstring and ankle injuries throughout the campaign.

Following the victory over Rennes, Tuchel said Herrera has "yet to adapt" to his side's style of play.

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