Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig have completed the signing of Dinamo Zagreb playmaker Dani Olmo on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli praised the character of his players for digging deep to keep their winning run going with a 1-0 victory at Brescia.

Ante Rebic was the match-winning hero for Milan for the second week running, the second-half substitute blasting home 19 minutes from time to lift his side up to sixth.

The Rossoneri had to ride their luck in Friday's clash at Stadio Mario Rigamonti, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma producing a series of fine saves prior to Rebic's winner.

And Pioli admitted it was far from a convincing display by his side, even though Theo Hernandez nearly added a second late on when striking the crossbar.

"It was not a beautiful Milan performance," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We know we can play better, but we had a great attitude and showed we know how to suffer.

"We must continue like this. I am satisfied with the mentality and it must remain the same. From a tactical and technical point of view, we have to do more.

"We are a completely different team to the start of the season, both on the pitch and in terms of attitude. Even tonight we understood how tough Serie A can be."

Lucas Paqueta was left out of Milan's squad amid suggestions he has asked for a move away, and Pioli is not ruling out further transfer business before the window shuts.

"Lucas is going through a difficult moment. I would have preferred to take him, but yesterday the situation was not clear. If there are exits then there will be arrivals."

Donnarumma was equal to two Ernesto Torregrossa shots in the space of 23 seconds and also kept out attempts from Florian Aye and Dimitri Bisoli either side of half-time.

Milan have kept four clean sheets in five unbeaten matches in 2020 and Donnarumma is now eyeing fourth-place Roma, who are seven points better off with a game in hand.

"We knew that coming to Brescia was not going to be easy, so it took a great game from everyone," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We are more compact at the back. We work in training to achieve this, but it is thanks to the whole team.

"Our goal now is to qualify for Europe. We must continue like this and not relax. We take it game by game and won't stop. 

"We have to win as many games as possible and then at the end of the season we will see."

Brescia were without suspended striker Mario Balotelli against his former club and will rue an inability to convert their chances.

Eugenio Corini's charges are now winless in six Serie A matches and remain one point from safety, but the Italian coach vowed to fight until the end to keep his side in the top flight.

"It is very hard to digest," he said at his post-match news conference. "We will take the good from what we have done so far and must continue.

"It is easy to be frustrated, but inside the pain we have to find some motivation - the season is not over. The fact is that until we are dead we will continue fighting."

Ante Rebic was once again the match-winning hero as Milan beat Brescia 1-0 at Stadio Mario Rigamonti to make it three Serie A wins in a row and climb up to sixth place.

The Croatia international scored twice in last week's 3-2 home win against Udinese, including a last-gasp strike, and netted the only goal in Friday's clash with Brescia.

Milan are now unbeaten in five matches in all competitions this calendar year but they also had Gianluigi Donnarumma to thank for this latest victory.

Donnarumma made a number of big saves at 0-0, paving the way for Rebic to fire in the winner with 19 minutes remaining as Milan maintained their upward momentum.

Without the suspended Mario Balotelli against his former club, Brescia nearly opened the scoring 34 minutes in when Florian Aye forced Donnarumma into a low save.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a header kept out earlier in the half and was guilty of missing a sitter five minutes before half-time, the veteran striker somehow failing to find the target from six yards.

Ernesto Torregrossa sent an acrobatic scissor-kick volley just wide and then had a goal ruled out for offside, moments after Dimitri Bisoli's near-post shot was saved by Donnarumma.

Donnarumma was proving to be the busier of the two keepers and he did well to stop two more Torregrossa efforts in quick succession.

It was Milan who opened the scoring with 71 minutes on the clock, however, as Ibrahimovic's cutback was not dealt with by Brescia and Rebic fired home the loose ball from five yards.

Samu Castillejo had a goal disallowed for an offside infringement late on and Theo Hernandez hit the crossbar, though it did not matter as Milan saw things through.

What does it mean? Milan maintain European charge

Milan have now taken 10 points from a possible 12 since Serie A action resumed after the mid-season break, seeing them make up ground on the European spots.

They are now in possession of a Europa League berth, but Stefano Pioli will no doubt be eyeing fourth-place Roma, who are seven points better off with a game in hand.

Donnarumma denies determined hosts

He was at fault for Udinese's opening goal in Milan's 3-2 win last week, but Donnarumma was back to his best here as he kept his side level with a series of saves.

The 20-year-old was kept particularly busy by Torregrossa, who had two shots repelled in the space of 23 seconds just after the hour mark.

Horror moment for Zlatan

Pioli credited Ibrahimovic with helping to improve Milan's fortunes since re-joining the club, but he had an off day here and will not want to watch back his first-half miss.

Hernandez's cross looked a simple one to finish from the edge of the six-yard box, only for Ibrahimovic to place it wide under little pressure. 

What's next?

Milan host Torino in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday, while Brescia are back in action eight days from now with a Serie A trip to Bologna.

The Christian Eriksen saga could reach an end point as soon as Monday.

Reports in Italy indicate the midfielder's move to Inter is all but complete and a medical has been scheduled.

Eriksen's uncertain future has troubled Tottenham since well before Mauricio Pochettino's departure, with the Denmark international due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – ERIKSEN DEAL AGREED

Eriksen, 27, will undergo a medical in Milan at the beginning of next week, according to various reports in Italy.

CalcioMercato claims Tottenham owner Daniel Levy has accepted an offer from Inter worth €15million (£12.6m), plus €5m (£4.2m) in add-ons.

Eriksen's new contract will reportedly run through to 2024 as the playmaker looks for a fresh start after growing stale in the Premier League.

If the move goes ahead, he will become Antonio Conte's third signing of the January transfer window after wing-backs Ashley Young and Victor Moses.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could face frustration in their long-running negotiations for Bruno Fernandes, which The Sun says have "collapsed" due to Sporting CP's valuation.

- United, meanwhile, are considering a shock move to bring Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, 35, back to Old Trafford, claims Tuttosport. The Red Devils are in need of attacking reinforcements after losing Marcus Rashford to injury.

- Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given LaLiga giants Barcelona the green light to begin transfer talks, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- Bayern Munich have commenced "concrete discussions" with Lyon over 19-year-old winger Yaya Soumare, reports L'Equipe. Salzburg and Bayern's Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig are also said to be interested.

- Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta asked Stefano Pioli to be left out of Milan's match against against Brescia because he is keen to leave the club, claims CalcioMercato. Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested.

Have Tottenham finally found an alternative to Harry Kane?

According to reports, Spurs are in talks to sign Real Sociedad's Willian Jose with just over a week to go until the transfer window closes.

But it could take in excess of £50million to finally end their search for a second out-and-out striker.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS TO DIG DEEP FOR SOCIEDAD STRIKER

Krzysztof Piatek, Islam Slimani and Fernando Llorente have all been linked but Tottenham have now set their sights on 28-year-old Willian Jose, reports the Guardian.

The Brazilian was left out of his side's Copa del Rey clash with Espanyol on Wednesday and could now be headed for north London.

Talks are underway, the Guardian states, although Spurs could be forced to contemplate meeting Willian Jose's €70million (£59m) release clause as Sociedad seek adequate compensation.

The one-time Real Madrid man has scored eight LaLiga goals this term after reaching double figures in each of the previous three seasons.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dani Ceballos has asked Real Madrid to terminate his Arsenal loan and find him a move elsewhere, according to Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

- The Gunners are set to suffer another blow as Ligue 1 outfit Lyon prepare to confirm the €25million signing of rumoured Atletico Madrid target Bruno Guimaraes, reports L'Equipe.

- Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will allow Philippe Coutinho to return to Barcelona at the end of his loan spell if, as desired, the Bundesliga giants land Leroy Sane and Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, reports Bild.

- After sealing a deal for Reinier Jesus, Madrid could return to raid Flamengo for 19-year-old forward Lincoln, says Mundo Deportivo.

- Leicester City plan to bolster their Champions League ambitions by splashing £15million on Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard, according to The Sun.

- Serie A side Milan have submitted an 18-month loan offer for Manchester City-linked Florentino Luis, claims CalcioMercato. The 20-year-old defensive midfielder plays for Benfica.

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.

Stefano Pioli said the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has "raised the level of training" at Milan, who are unbeaten in three Serie A matches with the 38-year-old striker involved.

The Rossoneri on Sunday beat Udinese 3-2 in an entertaining encounter at San Siro, where an error by Gianluigi Donnarumma allowed the visitors to take the lead after six minutes through Jens Stryger Larsen.

Second-half strikes from Ante Rebic and Theo Hernandez turned the game on its head before Kevin Lasagna's 85th-minute equaliser.

There was one final twist, though, as Rebic won it deep into stoppage time and Pioli revelled in a third successive victory, but warned Milan have plenty of room for improvement.

"I have to congratulate my players on their performance against the team that caused us a lot of problems," the Milan boss told DAZN.

"We still have to work a lot, because today we showed our quality but there were also moments of relaxation where we exposed to rival blows."

He added: "I asked my players that this week would be perfect and we succeeded, although it was hard.

"This should teach us that the match never ends. We will still work on efficiency."

Ante Rebić's first Rossonero brace and Theo's stunner clinch the win against Udinese Read more https://t.co/eo7djPvp3V

La prima doppietta rossonera di Rebić e la magia di Theo decidono #MilanUdinese  Scopri di più https://t.co/iY1DYC4enn#SempreMilan pic.twitter.com/B2LleqOJ2y

— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 19, 2020

Ibrahimovic played the full 90 minutes and Pioli was full of praise for the veteran striker's performance, as well as that of Rebic after he scored three minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute and struck again at the death.

"Ibra is an added value in our daily work," Pioli said of Ibrahimovic. "He raised the level of training.

"Rebic has been hoping for more opportunities, he always trains well, and after Christmas he returned very determined and willing.

"Everyone who wants to help the team will be given chances."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped Milan to a 3-2 victory over Udinese on Sunday to break yet another record.

Milan's success in Ibrahimovic's 222nd Serie A appearance made the veteran striker the fastest player to 150 wins in the Italian top flight in the three-points-for-a-win era - which started in 1994-95.

The 38-year-old was making only his third appearance since arriving at San Siro for his second spell at the club, as two goals from Ante Rebic and one from Theo Hernandez steered Milan to a third consecutive victory in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic has played for Juventus, Inter and Milan across the course of two decades in which he has won seven Scudettos, two of which were revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal.

He has achieved 150 wins in eight fewer matches than former Inter team-mate Esteban Cambiasso, and 10 fewer than Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne.

Substitute Ante Rebic completed a match-turning second-half double in the 93rd minute to earn Milan a rollercoaster 3-2 victory over Udinese in Serie A on Sunday.

The Croatian winger struck moments after his half-time introduction to cancel out Jens Stryger Larsen's early opener before Theo Hernandez volleyed in a brilliant second, only for Kevin Lasagna to head the visitors level in the 85th minute.

However, the Rossoneri were not to be denied a thrilling come-from-behind win and they had Rebic to thank for a second successive league victory, the 26-year-old keeping his cool to convert in a crowded box deep into added time.

The result at least momentarily lifts Milan up to eighth and gives Stefano Pioli increased hope of leading the team to Europa League qualification.

Manchester United will reportedly need to improve their offer to Sporting CP if they are to land Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes, 25, is linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but it seems talks are ongoing between the clubs.

The Premier League outfit will need to raise their offer to land Fernandes, with some distance seemingly still between the sides.

 

TOP STORY – SPORTING WANT €65M FROM MAN UTD FOR FERNANDES

Sporting want £55.4million (€65m) from Manchester United for Fernandes, according to TVI 24.

The report says United are offering £42.6m (€50m) plus bonuses for the midfielder.

With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, United are desperate to strengthen in midfield this month.

 

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen could be nearing a move to Inter. The Tottenham midfielder's agent Martin Schoots had dinner with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta on Thursday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tottenham must continue their search if they are to replace the injured Harry Kane this month. The Sun reports a possible move from Milan to Spurs for Krzysztof Piatek appears over and Tottenham are now looking at Porto forward Ze Luis or Napoli's Fernando Llorente, who left the club at the end of last season.

- Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare is deciding between Manchester United and Chelsea, according to Sky Sports, although no move is expected until after the Ligue 1 club face Paris Saint-Germain on January 26.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United will be offered Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani for free at season's end, according to the Manchester Evening News.

- West Ham's bid to sign Ross Barkley is not over yet. The Mirror reports the club will not give up on trying to land the Chelsea midfielder, who has made just seven Premier League appearances this season.

- Arda Turan remains contracted to Barcelona, but the midfielder knows where he wants to go next. The Turkey international is interested in signing with Boca Juniors, according to Sport, after terminating his loan agreement with Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month.

West Ham have reportedly set an ambitious transfer window target by eyeing an England international.

Whether Chelsea can be tempted to let Ross Barkley leave Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.

According to reports, the Blues are reluctant to let David Moyes be reunited with his former Everton protege.

 

TOP STORY – MOYES TO MOVE FOR ENGLAND STAR BARKLEY?

New  West Ham  manager David Moyes is said to be targeting Chelsea's England midfielder Ross Barkley for a transfer-window switch across London. 

The Mirror reports the Hammers want to take Barkley on loan, but that Chelsea have given them no encouragement as yet. 

Barkley, who began his career playing for Moyes at Everton, started Chelsea's last match, the Premier League win over Burnley.

ROUND-UP

Atletico Madrid still want to bring Edinson Cavani to LaLiga, but negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain look complicated given each club's valuation of the Uruguayan striker. Marca reports Atletico have offered €10million and that PSG are seeking €30million for a player who is in the final six months of his contract.

- Dinamo Zagreb's rising star Dani Olmo could be on his way to Milan, according to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, which claims a €30m offer has been lodged. Spanish winger Olmo has impressed in the Champions League this year and won a first international cap. He was also linked with Barcelona earlier this month, but that interest has reportedly waned.

- Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez  looks set to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy in the coming days. The LA Times reports talks between the Galaxy and Hernandez have taken place this week, with a view to bringing in the Mexican forward from LaLiga side Sevilla. The deal could see the Galaxy break their transfer record, which currently stands at a reported $7m for the signing of Giovani dos Santos four-and-a-half years ago.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma and Milan have opened talks over a swap deal involving Cengiz Under and Suso.

Sevilla look to have the ideal replacement for 'Chicarito' on the way, with 22-year-old Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri reported to have agreed to join from Leganes. AS reports Sevilla will pay his €20m release clause, with a medical due to take place on Thursday before a possible debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Inter are still waiting on possible deals for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, with sporting director Piero Ausilio quoted by Corriere dello Sport as saying there was "no news" to report as he arrived back in Italy on Wednesday evening. "There are no updates," Ausilio said. "We trust the work we are doing with our coach and our players. If there is the possibility of improving the team even more, we will do it."

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been "really important" for the Serie A side.

Ibrahimovic is back at Milan for a second time after returning to the Rossoneri – where he won the Scudetto in 2010-11 – at the end of his LA Galaxy contract.

The 38-year-old star has made an immediate impact, scoring in Milan's 2-0 Serie A victory away to Cagliari last week – only his second appearance.

Ibrahimovic was an unused substitute as Milan eased past SPAL 3-0 in the Coppa Italia last 16 on Wednesday, ahead of Udinese's league visit on Sunday, and Pioli hailed the striker amid the club's struggles.

"Signing Ibrahimovic has been really important," Pioli told reporters. "Absolutely, it's been really important for what he does every day during the training, for what he did at Cagliari and for what he will do.

"Ibra will improve giving us great satisfaction. He is so professional, he is so driven in all the things he does. It is unbelievable seeing a great champion like him working hard. It's important for a young team like us.

"After Cagliari he said to work hard and with passion so we can get a reward. This is the most important thing."

Without a Scudetto since Ibrahimovic's first spell, Milan are 10th in Serie A and 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Atalanta, while they are 23 points behind leaders Juventus.

Krzysztof Piatek provided a reminder of his talent amid transfer rumours with a goal and an assist as Milan beat SPAL 3-0 to set up a Coppa Italia quarter-final against Torino.

Poland international Piatek has endured a difficult second season in San Siro, having scored just four times in Serie A, but on Wednesday the reported Tottenham target looked more like his old self.

Perhaps SPAL are not the most suitable team to use as a barometer of Piatek's abilities, as they never looked a threat, but the 24-year-old showed good composure to open the scoring, before then teeing up Samu Castillejo for his glorious effort to increase the lead.

Milan continued to dominate after the break and added a third goal just past the hour – Theo Hernandez drilling home in style, sealing a comfortable victory.

SPAL struggled to contend with Milan during the early exchanges, with Ismael Bennacer driving just wide before Castillejo spurned a pair of presentable opportunities.

But Piatek made no mistake in the 20th minute, latching on to Bennacer's throughball and coolly slotting past the approaching Etrit Berisha.

The lively Castillejo deservedly made it 2-0 just before the break, curling a wonderful left-footed effort into the top-left corner after Piatek spotted him in space in the penalty area.

Hernandez got in on the act in the 66th minute, charging forward in typical fashion before hammering a left-footed drive into the bottom-right corner from 25 yards.

SPAL thought they would have the chance to pull one back from the penalty spot after substitute Lucas Paqueta was penalised for blocking the ball with his arm, but following a lengthy VAR review the decision was reversed, preserving Milan's clean sheet.

What does it mean? Milan sensing a chance for silverware

Given how poorly Milan's Serie A campaign is going, the Coppa Italia looks their only realistic chance of silverware this term. Only Torino now stand between them and the semis, and by that time they might have built up the form and confidence to challenge Juventus and Inter.

Castillejo takes his chance

It is fair to say Castillejo has not lived up to expectations since his move from Villarreal in 2018, but in this contest he showed flashes of the youngster who became so highly rated in LaLiga. A lively presence out wide, he produced four key passes and a stunning goal.

Bonaventura offers little

Milan were generally impressive, but Giacomo Bonaventura was one of few to have little impact, failing to create a single chance.

What's next?

Milan are at home again this weekend, hosting Udinese in Serie A. SPAL go to in-form Atalanta as they aim to move off the foot of the table.

Christian Eriksen appears set to get his move away from Tottenham.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Eriksen has been keen to test himself elsewhere after moving to Spurs in 2013.

Inter look poised to bring the Denmark playmaker to Milan…

 

TOP STORY – INTER IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH SPURS OVER ERIKSEN

Inter have offered €10million (£8.5m) plus bonuses to Tottenham after agreeing personal terms with Spurs star Eriksen, claims Sky Sport Italia.

With Inter head coach Antonio Conte keen for midfield reinforcements and soon-to-be free agent Eriksen eyeing a new club, a transfer is reportedly on the horizon.

However, The Mirror reports that Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are ready to rival Inter for Eriksen.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Sky Sports Germany, Paul Pogba is likely to leave Manchester United at the end of the season. Recovering from ankle surgery, Pogba continues to be linked with LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus.

Manchester City will reject any bids for centre-back John Stones as Premier League rivals Arsenal circle, says the Daily Mail.

- Corriere dello Sport reports Matteo Politano and Leonardo Spinazzola are set to swap clubs. Inter winger Politano will join Roma, while full-back Spinazzola will move to the Nerazzurri.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio and Tuttomercatoweb, PSV are prepared to pay €6m for Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez.

- Globoesporte says LaLiga champions Barcelona are close to signing Palmeiras midfielder Matheus Fernandes.

Sevilla defender Simon Kjaer has joined Milan on loan with a view to a permanent move after cutting short his spell with Atalanta.

The Denmark international made five Serie A appearances and enjoyed one Champions League outing with Atalanta, but has now joined their Italian rivals.

Sevilla, the club Kjaer moved to from Fenerbahce in 2017, confirmed the switch in a brief statement on Monday, revealing a purchase option that will come into force at the end of the season.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli will hope Kjaer can provide a boost to his flagging side, who sit 10th in the table.

The San Siro club have been buoyed by the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Cagliari to snap a three-game winless streak.

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