Football may be on hiatus in most of Europe and across the globe due to coronavirus, but Fabian Ruiz's future is still making headlines.

The Napoli and Spain star has established himself as one of the best midfielders on the continent since arriving from Real Betis in 2018.

Now, Liverpool are desperate to prise Fabian to Anfield but they have competition.

 

TOP STORY – REDS MAKE FABIAN TOP TARGET

Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz is Liverpool's top transfer target, reports The Express.

Fabian has attracted interest from his homeland, where LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are battling for the Spain international's signature.

However, Premier League leaders Liverpool are ready to pay £74million (€80m) for Fabian.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror says Manchester United – led by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – have re-opened talks with star midfielder Paul Pogba's agent Rino Raiola. It comes amid uncertainty over Pogba, who continues to be linked to Madrid and former club Juventus.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Milan at the end of the season, reports Sport Mediaset. The 38-year-old return to San Siro on a one-year and had been discussing a renewal before chief football officer Zvonimir Boban was sacked, angering the Swede.

Liverpool and Arsenal are among a number of clubs monitoring Eintracht Frankfurt's Evan Ndicka, claims Sky Sports. The defender has also been linked to Milan, Inter, Valencia and Sevilla.

- According to The Mirror, Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Tottenham have enquired about Barca's Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich.

United are confident of beating Borussia Dortmund to the signing of Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation Jude Bellingham.

- Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard is being eyed by Arsenal, The Mirror reports, amid doubts over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and United.

Sergio Reguilon left his Real Madrid future in doubt by indicating that he may seek to extend his loan at Sevilla, saying he feels "very loved" at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

The 23-year-old left-back joined Julen Lopetegui's side in July 2019 on loan to the end of the season but Sevilla do not have the option to purchase Reguilon as part of the deal.

After enjoying an impressive run of form shortly before LaLiga was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reguilon said he is happy in Andalusia.

"I have no complaints about anything, about the city, the club, my colleagues," the Spain international told Muchodeporte.

"I feel very loved. Who knows what will happen in the future."

Reguilon made 14 LaLiga appearances for Madrid in 2018-19, providing cover for Marcelo when Los Blancos' regular left-back was injured.

He has found first-team football easier to come by at Sevilla, making 22 league appearances and scoring once, and he said he hopes to help Lopetegui's third-placed side challenge for a Champions League place when play is allowed to resume.

"I started well," said Reguilon, reflecting on his season at Sevilla. "When you start high they always demand that level, logically.

"All players have good and bad moments. I went through games of not being successful, but in the last three games I made a mental note of saying 'damn, you're good'.

"It is important to enter the Champions League, but for us the objective that we set ourselves is to enter Europe. If we enter the Champions League, great. Sevilla must aspire to that competition. We have the quality and ability to get in there perfectly."

The coronavirus crisis continues to challenge decision-makers in football's corridors of power and could soon leave some of the game's biggest clubs facing contract conundrums.

Manchester United, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain are among the major European outfits who are due to farewell high-profile players when free agency comes into force on June 30.

Domestic leagues across the world appear increasingly likely to run beyond that deadline, meaning sides up and down the divisions could be forced to renegotiate deals beyond the typical expiry date.

It remains to be seen how governing bodies will approach the unfamiliar territory but Edinson Cavani, Mario Gotze and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be watching closely like dozens more across Europe's top five leagues.

These are the stars and solid supporting cast members whose contract situations are worth monitoring in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

LaLiga

Athletic Bilbao: Aritz Aduriz (retiring), Benat, Mikel San Jose
Atletico Madrid: Antonio Adan
Espanyol: Ander Iturraspe
Granada: Roberto Soldado
Real Valladolid: Hatem Ben Arfa
Sevilla: Ever Banega (joining Al Shabab at end of contract), Nolito
Valencia: Ezequiel Garay
Villarreal: Santi Cazorla 

Premier League

Bournemouth: Ryan Fraser
Burnley: Joe Hart
Chelsea: Olivier Giroud, Pedro, Willian
Liverpool: Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne
Manchester City: David Silva (confirmed he will leave at end of contract)
Manchester United: Nemanja Matic, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Odion Ighalo (loan ends)
Newcastle United: Matty Longstaff
Tottenham: Jan Vertonghen, Japhet Tanganga

Serie A

Atalanta: Jose Luis Palomino
Hellas Verona: Fabio Borini
Inter: Ashley Young
Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon
Milan: Lucas Biglia, Giacomo Bonaventura, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Napoli: Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens

Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen: Charles Aranguiz
Borussia Dortmund: Mario Gotze, Lukasz Piszczek
Hertha Berlin: Salomon Kalou
Schalke: Benjamin Stambouli
Wolfsburg: Robin Knoche

Ligue 1

Lille: Loic Remy
Monaco: Jemerson
Nice: Walter Benitez, Arnaud Lusamba
Paris Saint-Germain: Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier, Tanguy Kouassi, Layvin Kurzawa, Thiago Silva

Wednesday has seen the coronavirus outbreak take further toll on sport across the world.

Further matches have been postponed while others appear unable to go ahead due to increased travel restrictions between affected countries.

Governing bodies are also taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by cancelling planned meetings, while others are calling for further changes to the calendar.

Here are some of the latest events to be impacted.

Football's governing body has decided to cancel the next FIFA Congress in Addis Ababa on June 5. It has also pushed back the coming FIFA Council meeting in Zurich, due to be on March 20, until June or July. Attendees may be required to join via a video link.

In France, the Coupe de la Ligue final on April 4 between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon has been postponed. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said a new date would be announced in due course. It means the PSG-Metz and Lyon-Nimes Ligue 1 matches will be moved to the weekend of April 4-5 but be held behind closed doors. PSG will have Kylian Mbappe available against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, though: the striker is in the squad after overcoming illness, with L'Equipe among those to report he had tested negative for coronavirus.

Germany has seen the first confirmed instance of a footballer contracting coronavirus. Hannover defender Timo Hubers has tested positive but been praised by the club for his "absolutely exemplary" behaviour, as he immediately self-isolated before coming into contact with the rest of the squad.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will face Union Berlin on Saturday behind closed doors, and the latter's derby with Hertha Berlin on March 21 will take place under the same circumstances. Borussia Monchengladbach have urged fans not to gather outside the stadium ahead of Wednesday's match with Cologne.

FIFPro, the footballers' union, has urged governing bodies across the world "to respect the wishes of players to take short-term precautionary measures including suspending training or competitions". Steps are certainly being taken in Spain, where the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has recommended football at all levels beneath the top two professional leagues to be called off for two weeks. The RFEF will reportedly meet with league officials to discuss similar proposals for LaLiga and the Segunda Division.

Meanwhile, Roma's match with Sevilla in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday is off after the Italian club confirmed they had not been given permission by the government to fly to Andalusia. Getafe had already refused to travel for their game with Inter in Italy.

The big news in England was that Manchester City versus Arsenal was called off as a precaution after the Gunners came into contact with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who announced on Tuesday that he had caught the disease. In general, though, the UK has not been following the same stringent protocols as some other European nations and that is continuing for now. Arsenal's match with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday has not been called off, while England's planned friendlies at Wembley this month against Italy and Denmark are, at present, going ahead. Forest have also confirmed all players and staff have tested negative for coronavirus.

In Scotland, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard says the domestic season must be completed, even if behind closed doors, "because people have earned the opportunity to get to the stage where everyone is at". League chief executive Neil Doncaster claimed last week that completing the Premiership season could become "very difficult".

The England and Wales Cricket Board has told supporters "to maintain good levels of hygiene" during England's tour of Sri Lanka. As a precaution, players and staff have been told to avoid casual interaction with fans, such as selfies and autographs.

In Bangladesh, the World XI v Asia XI matches that would have marked the birthday celebrations of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have been postponed, while the Indian Open has been called off following a consultation between the Indian Golf Union, the European Tour, the Asian Tour and tournament sponsors.

MotoGP has also announced that the Argentina Grand Prix has been moved to November. The opening race of the season in Qatar and the Grand Prix of the Americas have already been rescheduled.

Roma's match with Sevilla and Inter versus Getafe have officially been cancelled by UEFA.

The Europa League last-16 first legs have been called off due to new travel restrictions imposed by the Spanish government on flights to and from Italy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

"Further decisions on the two matches will be communicated in due course," UEFA said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Roma confirmed they had been unable to travel for the match at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as they had not been granted permission to fly to Andalusia.

Getafe's meeting with Inter had also been in doubt as the LaLiga club's president, Angel Torres, said they would not travel to Italy.

Torres told Onda Cero that he was not prepared to put the health of his players and staff at risk, adding: "If we have to lose the tie, we will lose it."

Italy has been in lockdown since Monday in a bid to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Roma have announced they will not travel to Spain for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 match against Sevilla on Thursday.

The Italian club said on Twitter on Wednesday that their "plane from Italy was not authorised to land in Spain", adding UEFA would provide a further update.

Both legs of the tie had been due to take place behind closed doors.

Italy is in lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak, with significant travel restrictions in place across the country.

Wolves' Europa League last-16 first-leg tie at Olympiacos will be played behind closed doors, as will Sevilla's clash with Roma, UEFA has confirmed.

The two matches on Thursday are the latest to be impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

The Greek government enforced a temporary suspension of spectators attending sporting events on Sunday, with 73 confirmed cases of the virus in the country as of Monday.

UEFA subsequently affirmed the decision would affect Olympiacos in European competition, and Wolves will refund travelling fans who bought tickets.

Meanwhile, Roma's trip to Sevilla likewise will not allow supporters, following the example of Valencia v Atalanta – a Champions League encounter between Spanish and Italian teams.

The fixture will go ahead in Spain, where there are 999 cases and 16 deaths, although sporting events in Italy have been halted until April 3.

Italy is the European country most heavily affected by the virus, with 7,375 cases and 366 deaths.

A number of Serie A fixtures had been postponed even before Monday's decision to implement a four-week stoppage.

Atletico Madrid fans jeered Diego Simeone's decision to withdraw Joao Felix during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sevilla but the coach explained he was under instruction to be "careful" with him.

Los Colchoneros missed out on the chance to usurp Sevilla and go third in LaLiga, as they struggled to break down their visitors after a thrilling first half.

Alvaro Morata's penalty and Joao Felix's deflected effort cancelled out Luuk de Jong's well-taken opener, before Lucas Ocampos' spot-kick – which he won – just before half-time earned Sevilla a deserved point.

With Atletico chasing a late win, the previously lively Joao Felix was taken off for former Sevilla winger Vitolo in the 80th minute, and the home fans seemed unimpressed by the alteration.

But Simeone stressed he felt it to be a necessary decision.

"We can't tell people that he felt overloaded in his calf," Simeone told reporters when asked to address the whistles that accompanied his withdrawal.

"The doctor told me to be careful with Joao because he was getting cramps, that's why the change came.

"That he scored a goal to make the people happy is normal, because he's from Atletico."

VAR attracted much attention during the match, as the two penalties came after lengthy reviews – Simeone felt the outcome of both incidents was fair.

"It ends up being more fair than unfair," he said. "I am far away from the play of the first penalty and very far for the second, so I cannot enter a summary.

"I don't think that the defining factor of the match was the VAR. It has been a good duel with two teams fighting for very high goals.

"We were two teams that have competed very well, and that will surely compete until the end for the Champions League [places]."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui was less impressed by the use of VAR, however, particularly in terms of how long it took for the final decisions to be communicated.

"I believe that the VAR should intervene when situations are white or black," he added. "If you are waiting three minutes to see if you are going to review the decision or not, then that play is not very clear.

"There are many browns [rather than black or white] in football. That is what I meant. It should only intervene when it is black or white, because it cannot take so long, also because of the rhythm of the match, it stops too much.

"It was a very nice match. He [the referee] can't stand around for four or five minutes."

Diego Simeone is convinced Joao Felix "can go far if he wants to" despite struggling in his first season at Atletico Madrid.

Joao Felix became Atletico's record signing when he arrived from Benfica for €126million in pre-season, coming in as Antoine Griezmann's replacement.

But the Portugal international's impact has not been as significant as expected, scoring just three goals in 19 LaLiga appearances, having also missed a chunk of the season through injury.

Atletico face a fight to qualify for a Champions League spot, as they sit fifth behind Getafe and Sevilla – their visitors on Saturday – in the battle for a top-four place.

Simeone remains a believer in Joao Felix's abilities and potential ahead of a crunch clash with Sevilla on Saturday.

"He started with great enthusiasm," Simeone told reporters on Friday. "He had two injuries that took him out of that continuity.

"He is looking for that continuity in the team again, that continuity we all need and expect from him.

"Hopefully he gets to where he suggested he could, because in the case of young boys it is a consequence of where one wants to go. If he wants to go far, he can."

Like Joao Felix, Diego Costa has also recently returned to fitness and could play a significant role in the final weeks of the season, with Simeone optimistic about the striker's condition.

"I see him growing, looking for his best state, training accordingly to want to improve," the Atleti coach continued.

"He was never a great header, his game was more direct, more vertical, more positional. He felt comfortable in the game [against Espanyol].

"I see him [getting] better. He could not show all this the other day, but it is a phase of his recovery and we can count on him."

The visit of Sevilla comes just four days before Atletico's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Liverpool at Anfield, where Los Colchoneros will start with a 1-0 lead.

But Simeone insists his one and only focus is the Sevilla match, knowing victory will move them back into the top four and above Julen Lopetegui's erratic side.

"We do not look five days ahead, only Sevilla," he said. "We have the need to make an important match. Sevilla is strong away from home, signed new players [in January] like Suso that give quality in attack.

"The importance of the match is clear. Sevilla is a dangerous team away from home - they move better with spaces for their fast players in attack. That's where they perform their game best.

"Both matches are important - we are excited. It's a football week, in which we prepare to reach important targets. We have a beautiful battle ahead."

Julen Lopetegui apologised to supporters after Sevilla suffered a shock elimination from the Copa del Rey at the hands of second-tier Mirandes on Thursday.

Sevilla succumbed to a 3-1 loss in the last-16 match at the Municipal de Anduva, with Matheus Aias sending Mirandes into half-time with a 2-0 lead.

Lopetegui made three substitutions at the break and were lucky the Segunda Division side did not extend their lead when Diego Carlos conceded a penalty by fouling Alvaro Pena, who saw his effort from 12 yards kept out by Tomas Vaclik.

Alvaro Rey put the result beyond doubt five minutes from time, with Nolito's 90th-minute goal providing scant consolation.

"We apologise. We are all tremendously sad, but we have to back up quickly," said Lopetegui.

"We were prisoners of our bad start and they took advantage to get ahead. In this format, one bad game means you are eliminated.

"The first goal was key. It gave them a lot of energy and generated doubts [for us].

"When three substitutions are made, it's because the first one to make a mistake was the coach.

"We tried to score early in the second half but everything was against us. The goal we expected did not come and we have been eliminated by a good team that was superior.

"It's a big blow, without a doubt. We were very excited, but we have to pick ourselves up."

Mirandes will be the only team from outside LaLiga in the quarter-final draw on Friday.

Milan have allowed Spanish winger Suso to leave on an 18-month loan to Sevilla, who will be required to purchase him outright if certain objectives are met during his stay.

Suso, 26, joined the Rossoneri from Liverpool in 2015 and has been a prominent member of the first-team squad over the past three-and-a-half years.

The Spain international had played in 16 of Milan's 21 Serie A matches this term, scoring one and setting up another two.

Milan were said to have valued Suso at €40million in pre-season, but his underwhelming form this term is seemingly reflected by the reported €25m purchase option for Sevilla.

The move sees Suso reunited with Julen Lopetegui, the coach who handed the former Cadiz youngster his first Spain cap and also worked with him in La Roja's youth setup.

Suso will be expected to compete with Nolito, Lucas Ocampos, Rony Lopes and Munir El Haddadi for a spot in the starting XI.

He joins a Sevilla squad that sits third in LaLiga with 38 points, five adrift of second-placed Barcelona.

Tottenham appear set to soften Christian Eriksen's exit by making their second January signing.

Almost two weeks after landing Gedson Fernandes on loan, the Premier League side are reportedly on the cusp of capturing Steven Bergwijn from PSV.

The impending transfer has caused unrest in Eindhoven, where there is said to be animosity towards Spurs.

 

TOP STORY - SPURS TO SIGN BERGWIJN

Tottenham are closing in on the €30million (£25.3m) acquisition of Dutch winger Bergwijn, according to the Guardian.

The 22-year-old, capped nine times at international level, has reportedly travelled to London to finalise the deal.

PSV's interim head coach Ernest Faber claimed Bergwijn asked to be left out of Sunday's 1-1 Eredivisie draw against Twente, telling reporters: "It's his choice. We only need players who are 100 per cent focused on PSV."

The former Ajax youth player later clarified his version of events in a video uploaded to his Instagram account, where he insisted he was not a "rat" and that Faber had given his blessing to the switch.

Bergwijn was linked to Bayern Munich in 2019.

 

ROUND-UP 

- It could be Bergwijn in, Eriksen out to begin the week for Spurs. Sky Sport Italia says the Denmark international will ink his Inter contract after undergoing a medical on Monday. 

- LaLiga side Sevilla are working to sign Milan winger Suso on an initial 18-month loan deal, claims CalcioMercato. 

- Could former Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain enigma Hatem Ben Arfa finally be about to find a new home? The 32-year-old, a free agent since leaving Rennes, is on the verge of joining Real Valladolid, reports Mundo Deportivo. 

- Crystal Palace have rejected a bid from PSV bid for £9m-rated left-back Patrick van Aanholt, says the Daily Mail.

- West Ham and Burnley are monitoring Sampdoria's ex-Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, according to the Athletic.

Ever Banega will leave Sevilla to join Al Shabab at the end of the season, the Saudi Arabian side have confirmed.

Banega, 31, is currently in his second spell at Sevilla, who he initially joined from Valencia in 2014 before leaving for Inter in 2016.

However, the midfielder spent just one season at San Siro before returning to the Andalusian club, where he remains a regular having started 19 LaLiga matches so far this season

The Argentine is out of contract in June, though, and Al Shabab have now confirmed Banega has agreed to a three-year deal.

Six-time Saudi champions Al Shabab finished fifth in the Pro League in 2018-19.

Sevilla have completed the signing of highly rated youngster Ryan Johansson from Bayern Munich.

Johansson, 18, has signed a six-and-a-half-year contract with the Spanish side and is expected to feature for their second team – Sevilla Atletico – and the senior side before the end of the season.

A technically gifted midfielder comfortable in the middle and on the right flank, Johansson had been at Bayern since 2017 and was on the fringes of the first-team squad, having been involved in each of their past two pre-season camps.

But with the path to first-team football at Bayern blocked by a significant amount of talent, Johansson opted to make the move to LaLiga.

"It is a dream come true. I think Sevilla is the perfect club for me at this point in my career and I hope to play for the first team very soon," he said.

"It was a very easy decision for me to come here, where I can improve and help the team in the future. I think I can progress at first with the reserves and adapt myself to the club so I can make the first team, hopefully very soon."

Johansson has represented Luxembourg at youth level, although he is said to be attempting to switch his allegiance to play for the Republic of Ireland, the nation of his England-born mother's parents.

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.

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