The Wanda Diamond League has today postponed three more meetings which had been scheduled to take place in May. An alternative calendar for the 2020 season is to be announced in due course.

Following the postponement of early-season events in Qatar and China last week, the series has decided to also suspend meetings in Stockholm (scheduled for 24 May), Naples/Rome (28 May) and Rabat (31 May). 

The decision was made in close consultation with all the relevant parties. The dynamic global spread of the COVID-19 disease, the travel restrictions expected to be in force for some time and above all concerns over athlete safety have made it impossible to stage the competitions as planned. 

The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to delivering a structured extensive season in 2020. The aim is to ensure that athletes can compete at the highest possible level this year and that fans will be able to see their favourite stars in action, whenever the global health situation allows. 

New dates for Wanda Diamond League events will be announced in cooperation with the World Athletics Global Calendar Unit as soon as the extraordinary situation makes a reliable plan possible. We are working intensively with all stakeholders (athletes, managers, broadcasters, sponsors, local authorities and federations) to develop a new calendar for a 2020 Wanda Diamond League season which best serves the interests of athletes and fans.

Barcelona seemingly continue to make progress in their pursuit of Lautaro Martinez, while Real Madrid reportedly have seven transfer priorities.

After impressing at Inter, Martinez has been linked with a move away, with Barcelona appearing to be leading the chase for the forward.

Meanwhile, Barcelona's rivals Madrid have priorities of their own.

 

TOP STORY – INTER READY TO ACCEPT PLAYERS FROM BARCELONA IN MARTINEZ DEAL

Barcelona want to make their move for Martinez cheaper by offering several players and Inter view this option positively, according to the cover of Sport.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games in all competitions for Inter this season.

Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich, and Ousmane Dembele are among the Barcelona players to have been linked with moves away.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid have seven major questions to answer, according to Marca, which says the LaLiga club must sign a goalscorer, extend Luka Modric's contract, bring Martin Odegaard back from loan, decide on the future of Achraf Hakimi, sign Donny van de Beek, decide between Alphonse Areola or Andriy Lunin as second goalkeeper and loan out or sell Dani Ceballos.

- Will Jadon Sancho leave Borussia Dortmund? The Mirror reports Manchester United are increasingly confident of landing Sancho during the next transfer window. The Sun, however, says Dortmund may be changing their plans with the attacker due to the coronavirus pandemic.

- Barcelona may want to sell Samuel Umtiti, but it is shaping to be difficult. AS says the club are aware selling the France defender is likely to be tough due to his injury problems.

- With Martinez potentially leaving, Inter are lining up replacements. Sport claims Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud would be one of their signings, while they are also targeting Atalanta's Duvan Zapata.

- On loan at Monaco from Chelsea, Tiemoue Bakayoko may see his future elsewhere. Calciomercato reports the 25-year-old is keen to return to Milan, where he was on loan in 2018-19. It also reports Milan are targeting Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen.

- There could be other departures at Stamford Bridge. According to The Sun, Chelsea are ready to sell Emerson Palmieri and Victor Moses to raise around £30million with the duo linked to Juventus and Inter respectively.

World Athletics has announced that it has postponed the first three meetings of the Wanda Diamond League because of COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Aleksandr Golovin has signed a one-year extension to his contract at Monaco, tying him to the club until June 2024.

Monaco, who confirmed the news via their official website on Saturday, struggled badly in Golovin's first season with the team following a move from CSKA Moscow, finishing 17th in Ligue 1.

However, the Russia international has played his part in an improved campaign this time around, with Monaco ninth in the table but only a point behind Reims in fifth.

Only two outfield players have been used more regularly than the 23-year-old by head coach Robert Moreno, underlining his importance to the club.

 

Gelson Martins has received a six-month ban for pushing a referee while playing for Monaco.

The Portugal international was suspended as a precaution by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) back on February 6 following an incident in a game away at Nimes five days earlier.

Martins pushed Mikael Lesage twice during his side's 3-1 Ligue 1 defeat, initially making contact with the official following team-mate Tiemoue Bakayoko's 32nd-minute red card.

The winger, who joined Monaco permanently from Atletico Madrid in 2019, was sent off and reacted by shoving Lesage for a second time.

After examining footage and speaking to Martins, the LFP has punished the player with a lengthy ban that is backdated to the time he was initially suspended.

The 24-year-old has already sat out five games but will now miss the remainder of the domestic season in France.

Monaco issued a short statement in response to the verdict, describing the punishment handed down as a "very heavy sanction".

"AS Monaco takes note of the decision of the disciplinary committee of the LFP to sanction Gelson Martins with a firm suspension of six months dating to February 6, a very heavy sanction," the club said.

"The club once again condemns the unjustifiable behaviour of its attacker, but also regrets the excessive length of this suspension for a player who has never known a disciplinary ban in more than 200 games at the highest level."

Monaco winger Gelson Martins has been suspended indefinitely for pushing a referee, pending a Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) investigation.

Martins is facing a lengthy ban after pushing referee Mikael Lesage twice during Monaco's 3-1 Ligue 1 defeat at Nimes on February 1.

Having initially shoved Lesage following Tiemoue Bakayoko's 32nd-minute red card, Portugal international Martins was then sent off before pushing the referee again.

Martins, who joined Monaco permanently from LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid in 2019, risks receiving a suspension of up to six months.

Monaco team-mate Bakayoko received a two-match ban after his sending off last week.

Martins has scored four goals and assisted another for Monaco, who are 10th in Ligue 1 this season.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic could make a surprise move to Atletico Madrid ahead of next season.

The Croatia international is reportedly unhappy at Camp Nou and has been linked with a move away since the off-season.

Now, a stay in LaLiga could eventuate, but away from Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO BEGIN TALKS WITH BARCELONA'S RAKITIC

Atletico Madrid are already negotiating with Rakitic about a possible move at the end of the season, according to Cadena SER.

The 31-year-old is contracted at Barcelona, where he arrived from Sevilla in 2014, until 2021.

Rakitic admitted on Sunday he considered leaving the club in January, and it seems a move is likely come season's end.

ROUND-UP

- Amid reported interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, James Maddison is close to agreeing a new contract with Leicester City, according to The Telegraph. Maddison has starred for the Premier League club this season and is poised to sign a lucrative long-term deal.

- Frank Lampard is set to face a battle at Chelsea. The Mirror reports the head coach wants to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga – who became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when he arrived at Stamford Bridge from Athletic Bilbao for a reported £71.6million (€80m) in 2018 – but is set to face resistance from the board.

- Atletico Madrid and Roma are interested in Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, according to ESPN. Lingard is coming out of contract in 2021 but also holds a one-year extension option at Old Trafford.

- Are Milan set for another coaching change? Bild reports Red Bull's head of international relations and scouting, Ralf Rangnick, is in advanced talks to become the Serie A club's head coach and sporting director once the season is over. Stefano Pioli only took charge of Milan in October, replacing Marco Giampaolo.

- Inter almost signed Islam Slimani, who is on loan at Monaco from Leicester City, last month, according to CalcioMercato, which reports the Serie A club's move came late in January before collapsing.

Manchester United left it very, very late, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the extra striker he wanted in the form of Odion Ighalo.

With a move for Bournemouth's Joshua King dead in the water, the Red Devils focused their efforts on a loan deal for the 30-year-old, who has been playing for Shanghai Shenhua since last February.

Ighalo's deal, which Omnisport understands does not include a purchase option, will give Solskjaer another option up front during the injury absence of Marcus Rashford.

He is expected to travel to England in the coming days before United publicly announce the signing.

Ighalo was far from the only major deal to be concluded late in the transfer window, though, as West Ham just managed to finalise the signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull City for a reported initial fee of £22million.

Aston Villa also announced a new striker signing about 10 minutes before the window closed, Borja Baston joining on a free transfer from Swansea City.

Elsewhere in England, Tariq Lamptey took the decision to leave Chelsea and sign for Brighton and Hove Albion on a contract until 2023. The Seagulls have also brought back Alexis Mac Allister from Boca Juniors, where he was on loan.


LOANS GALORE

Sheffield United had a busy end to the window, securing the arrival of Panos Retsos - initially on loan but with the option of a permanent deal - from Bayer Leverkusen, while Ravel Morrison has been sent on loan to Middlesbrough, having made one Premier League appearance this season.

Leicester City have loaned Ryan Bennett from Wolves, with Filip Benkovic allowed to leave for Bristol City for the remainder of the campaign with a view to earning regular game time.

Everton have sent Jonas Lossl back to Huddersfield Town on loan, while Connor Wickham is also heading to the Championship, the Crystal Palace striker moving to Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

Wolves have secured the signing of Luke Matheson, who famously scored at Old Trafford in September as a 16-year-old, and loaned him back to Rochdale for the remainder of the season.

Leverkusen have also brought in a signing for the future, with Edmond Tapsoba arriving from Vitoria SC for a fee said to be between €16m and €18m.
 

SERIE A FLURRY

Italy's window closed a little earlier than some others and there was a flurry of deals around the deadline.

Marko Pjaca will get the chance to kick-start his career with Anderlecht, Juventus having allowed the winger to leave on loan for the remainder of the season as he looks to earn regular first-team football.

Milan have signed Alexis Saelemaekers, a highly rated 20-year-old from Anderlecht who arrives on loan with the option of a permanent move.

Fiorentina have had a busy end to the window. Kevin Agudelo has joined the Viola from Genoa on an 18-month loan deal, while Valentin Eysseric has been sent to Hellas Verona until June.

Maya Yoshida secured a switch to Sampdoria from Southampton, while Gaston Pereiro's move from PSV to Cagliari was ratified. He will be joined in Sardinia by Alberto Paloschi, with Alberto Cerri heading the other way to SPAL.

Gervinho, meanwhile, has taken another step in his nomadic career by moving to Al Sadd from Parma, who brought in Vasco Regini on loan from Samp.
 

BUSY BARCA

Barcelona will give new €10m signing Matheus Fernandes for time to acclimatise to LaLiga, spending the rest of 2019-20 with Real Valladolid.

Barca have also sent Moussa Wague on loan to Nice, who have the option of a €10m permanent deal, while Ligue 1 rivals Lyon have signed Camilo Reijers de Oliveira for €2m.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a shock signing for Barca 12 months ago and the experienced forward is on the move again, this time heading to Besiktas on loan from Fiorentina.

Leganes bolstered their attacking depth with two loan deals, bringing in Roger Assale from Young Boys and former player Miguel Angel Guerrero from Olympiacos.

Getafe have landed Erick Cabaco on a permanent deal, the defender joining from Levante, Granada have signed Gil Dias on loan from Monaco, and Real Sociedad have sold Ruben Pardo to Bordeaux.

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have loaned Emre Mor to Olympiacos, while a late, late deal that saw Nicolas Gaitan sign for Lille for the rest of the season was completed in time.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Can, 26, is out of favour in Turin and has made just two Serie A starts this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder will reportedly be allowed to leave during this transfer window and three European giants are eyeing the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM AND DORTMUND EYE EMRE CAN

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are chasing Juventus' Can, according to SPORT1.

With Euro 2020 coming up later this year, Can wants regular playing time to earn a spot in the Germany squad.

Can made 37 appearances in all competitions for Juve last season, but has played just eight times in 2019-20.

Sportmediaset reports Juve are working on a move for Napoli midfielder Allan to replace Can.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter will wrap up a deal for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen early next week, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Serie A club will pay €18million (£15.2m) plus €2m (£1.7m) in bonuses for Eriksen, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at San Siro and Inter are targeting Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud after recognising it would be difficult to sign Napoli's Fernando Llorente, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Barcelona are making progress in their bid to land Valencia forward Rodrigo, according to Sport. While working on a loan move, Barcelona want an option to buy at season's end, while Valencia want it to be an obligation to purchase for around €60m. The report says Barca are willing to pay Valencia a "penalty fee" if they do not make the loan permanent.

- Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar is close to signing with Premier League club Arsenal, according to El Chiringuito. Lemar has made just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are in talks over a swap deal. Goal reports the clubs are discussing swapping full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Layvin Kurzawa.

- With Marcus Rashford injured, Manchester United have looked at signing Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo and Monaco's Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester City, according to Sky Sports.

Manchester United are no closer to concluding their long-running search for a director of football.

Rumours emerged over the weekend indicating the Red Devils were closing in on Lille's Luis Campos, famed for spotting the likes of Kylian Mbappe during his time at Monaco.

But fresh reports in France suggest United will be left frustrated in any bid to lure the Portuguese to Old Trafford.

 

UNITED TARGET NOT INTERESTED IN LEAVING LILLE

Claims that United have commenced negotiations with 55-year-old Campos are wide of the mark, reports Le 10 Sport.

There has apparently been no contact between the parties and, in any case, the former Real Madrid scout is said to have no plans to leave Lille.

United's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday and the loss of Marcus Rashford has exacerbated the need for signings, an area in which Campos was expected to assist.

Campos previously had a long career as a head coach in his native Portugal, where he led Gil Vicente and Beira-Mar among others.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are in preliminary talks with Neymar's representatives about a contract extension, according to French broadcaster TF1, although the Brazilian would prefer to delay concrete discussions.

- Krzysztof Piatek's proposed switch to Tottenham has stalled over Milan's £30million asking price, claims the Daily Mail.

- Spurs could turn their attention to Leicester City flop Islam Slimani, according to the Telegraph. The 31-year-old is out on loan at Monaco, where he has scored seven goals in 13 Ligue 1 games.

- Inter forward Matteo Politano favours a return to Serie A rivals Roma but may be given the option of leaving San Siro for Sevilla, says Corriere dello Sport.

- LaLiga side Espanyol hope to sign Reinier on loan once the Brazilian teenager's move to Real Madrid goes through, reports Spanish newspaper SPORT.

Thomas Tuchel said he was "totally happy" with Mauro Icardi after Paris Saint-Germain's comfortable win over Monaco on Wednesday.

Icardi was substituted during the second half of the 4-1 victory, in which Kylian Mbappe scored a brace to go with Neymar's penalty and a Pablo Sarabia goal.

But Tuchel praised the forward, who has scored 17 goals in 21 games during his loan spell from Inter, despite his quieter display.

"He is used to touching just a few balls per game. We have Angel [Di Maria], Neymar, Kylian who touch many balls, so it's a good mix," the PSG head coach told a news conference.

"Mauro is used to working for us, staying in the spaces with discipline and creating some spaces for his team-mates which is important for us.

"Now he didn't score in his last two games, but he worked defensively so much. It was very important and impressive. No doubt of Mauro.

"We decided to let Kylian and Neymar as strikers for 70 minutes to use the speed of those two on counter-attacks and stay dangerous on our offensive transitions, but I am totally happy with Mauro."

Di Maria was also unable to get on the scoresheet against Monaco, but the attacker provided an assist for Mbappe.

The 31-year-old was also hailed by Tuchel as PSG moved eight points clear atop the Ligue 1 table.

"During the first half [Di Maria] was exceptional without the ball. He won many challenges and helped everyone," Tuchel said.

"I am very happy he made one or two assists. During previous games he made a lot of the last passes before the assist.

"So it's like that with him, when we want something special from him he always gives a lot of intensity. Sometimes he gives too much and loses his patience to find quick solutions, but he runs and finds intensity.

"As I said, during the first half he had an exceptional game to win a lot of balls and challenges. It was good."

Thomas Tuchel has acknowledged there could be departures in January, but is hoping Edinson Cavani will stay put, while Kylian Mbappe insists there is more to Paris Saint-Germain than a fearsome front four.

Cavani missed Wednesday's 4-1 win over Monaco due to injury, with the 32-year-old having been restricted to nine Ligue 1 appearances this season, scoring twice.

His absence was not felt as Kylian Mbappe netted twice, with Neymar also on target from the spot and substitute Pablo Sarabia getting in on the act at Stade Louis II.

With PSG's first-choice front four of Neymar, Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria in such fine form, Cavani – the club's record goalscorer – is reportedly keen on a move away from Parc des Princes this month.

However, Tuchel is adamant he wants Cavani to remain as part of his squad, though conceded the ultimate decision may rest with the player.

"If there can be departures and arrivals in the group? It's still possible in football, I can't say," Tuchel told Canal +.

"Cavani? We have to ask Edi the question. He is injured. He felt something in training and he couldn't be there.

"If I want him to stay? It's better, to achieve our goals, to have him, yes."

Cavani's impact this season may have been limited, but Mbappe has had no such issues, with the 21-year-old netting his 21st and 22nd goals of the season in all competitions on Wednesday.

Mbappe was assisted by Di Maria for his first and Neymar for his second, though he believes the rest of PSG's team – outside of their star-studded attacking line up – do not get the credit they deserve.

"We talk too much about the front four," Mbappe told Canal +. "We wanted to show that we are really a good team.

"Having matches of this intensity makes us feel good, we are happy. I think we talk a little too much about the front four, that we are a team of four but we play with eleven! "

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain returned to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 4-1 victory over Monaco in a match marred by contentious VAR decisions.

Three days after their teams played out a 3-3 draw at Parc des Princes, coaches Thomas Tuchel and Robert Moreno clashed on the touchline at Stade Louis II in a rearranged match. 

An end-to-end start was capped off by Mbappe resuming his scoring run, though VAR should have awarded Monaco a penalty shortly after the restart.

Monaco's frustration with the officiating was compounded in first-half stoppage time as Neymar scored his second penalty in as many matches after a blatant dive from Layvin Kurzawa.

Pablo Sarabia's strike increased PSG's lead - though only after a VAR review - with Tiemoue Bakayoko scuffing in a consolation goal before Mbappe doubled his tally in stoppage time.

Both teams picked up where they left off after Sunday's thrilling encounter in Paris, Keylor Navas and Benjamin Lecomte making excellent stops before Mbappe slotted home in the 24th minute.

A lengthy VAR check for a possible foul and offside frustrated PSG, and Gelson Martins would have equalised immediately if not for Navas, though the hosts were furious that they were not awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Presnel Kimpembe prior to the shot.

And, after Lecomte had made a fantastic save from Mbappe and Colin Dagba had a goal disallowed for offside, Monaco felt let down by more poor officiating.

Kamil Glik stood his ground heading into a challenge with Kurzawa, who clearly initiated the contact on the byline, yet VAR did not overturn the referee's decision to award PSG a penalty, which Neymar converted.

Wissam Ben Yedder should have done better at the end of a superb move midway through the second half, but the contest was settled when Sarabia volleyed in a minute after coming on.

Navas' mistake did allow Bakayoko to bundle in a deserved goal for Monaco, yet it was Mbappe who had the final say when he raced through to add his second, this time celebrating against his former club after not doing so first time around.

Kylian Mbappe's prolific partnership with Mauro Icardi reminds Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel of the celebrated alliance the France star enjoyed with Radamel Falcao at Monaco.

Mbappe has scored 19 times in 21 appearances for PSG this season, while Icardi has 17 in 20 since joining on loan from Inter.

Neither man was able to get on the scoresheet during Sunday's thrilling 3-3 draw against Monaco but, ahead of Wednesday's rescheduled return at Stade Louis II, Tuchel paid a glowing tribute to their partnership.

Mbappe burst onto the French and European football scene playing alongside Falcao in the Monaco side that stunned PSG to win Ligue 1 in 2016-17, along with reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League – beating a Borussia Dortmund side coached by Tuchel en route.

"Yes, it's a bit similar because Falcao is kind of similar to Mauro, he really likes to play as number nine, and he can play alone," the German tactician told reporters.

"Kylian moves more, he moves fast on the wings. It's a good combination, it's good for both of them, they like to play together and they are dangerous together.

"It's good because we always have two players in the last third and it's hard to defend against. It's a good mix."

Mbappe and Icardi are both likely to start on Wednesday, especially in light of Edinson Cavani's absence from the travelling party, although Tuchel could shuffle his pack elsewhere with four consecutive away games on the agenda before the end of this month – a schedule with which the head coach is far from satisfied.

"It's bad for the players, they're dead! They never sleep," he said.

"We always have to manage when we train and when we let them sleep because sleeping well is the best thing to recover. It's been proven.

"But we never sleep. We lose the rhythm. If we do it once, okay, but if we do it four times during two weeks, we go to bed at 3am, 4am, 5am. It's tough."

An exasperated Thomas Tuchel accepted he no longer knows the offside rules after he was left baffled by the decision to allow Islam Slimani's Monaco equaliser to stand during Paris Saint-Germain's 3-3 draw on Sunday.

During a thrilling encounter at the Parc des Princes, PSG took an early lead through Neymar, only to then fall behind to strikes from Gelson Martins and Wissam Ben Yedder – the latter netting in the 13th minute.

The pendulum swung back in PSG's favour thanks to a Fode Ballo Toure own goal and Neymar's penalty just prior to the break, but controversially Monaco sealed a share of the spoils in Robert Moreno's first Ligue 1 game as coach 20 minutes from time.

Gelson's shot found its way to the seemingly offside Slimani via a touch from Marquinhos that was deemed to be deliberate, and the on-loan Leicester City striker swept home – VAR ruling in the visitors' favour after the assistant initially ruled it out.

Tuchel was bemused by the situation.

"The third goal… I don't, I can't understand," Tuchel said in his post-match news conference. "Really, why is it not offside?

"Everybody said to me that it is the new rule. Okay - after that, I have to say that I don't understand the rules, but it doesn't help."

Tuchel suggested before the match he was considering deploying Marquinhos – normally a centre-back – in midfield, but in the end he opted to select the Brazilian in defence, with Idrissa Gueye partnering Marco Verratti.

It was put to Tuchel that Gueye and Verratti might not be entirely compatible, while the German explained he played Marquinhos at the back due to recent injury problems in that position.

In a prickly response, Tuchel said: "Do you think differently, that they [Gueye and Verratti] are not complementary? Do you think I would start the two if I thought they're not complementary? Doesn't make sense right?

"For me, Marquinhos can play both positions at an unbelievable level. He is a world-class player in both positions.

"Recently we've some troubles [in defence], because Presnel [Kimpembe] was injured for a few weeks, Thilo Kehrer was injured for a long time, he's already played twice, so it was not the moment for him to play a third time, Abdou Diallo was not available and it was the first game for Thiago Silva.

"That's why we used Marquinhos, because it was the logical solution for this game, but for me, it's still possible to play with Marquinhos in midfield, because he gives the team some quality, a lot of energy and personality.

"It was necessary for me to find a solution like that [against Monaco] because my three central defenders are injured, or just got back from injuries. It was logical."

PSG remain in charge at the Ligue 1 summit with 46 points from 19 matches, five clear of Marseille. Monaco are eighth.

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