Paul Pogba lauded Paulo Dybala after the forward played his final home game for Juventus, and possibly hinted at a link-up with the Argentine.

Dybala is leaving Juve at the end of the season, with the 28-year-old having failed to agree a new contract.

He has been linked with a move to fellow Serie A giants Inter and made his final home appearance for Juve in a 2-2 draw with Lazio on Monday.

Pogba, meanwhile, is set to leave Manchester United on a free transfer, six years after he re-joined the Premier League club from Juve.

The France midfielder has reportedly been lined up as an option for Juve, with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid having also been suggested as possible destinations.

However, in a congratulatory tweet to Dybala, Pogba suggested a reunion with his former team-mate may well be on the cards.

"Hermano, you're a top player and a top man! It's great to have you as a friend and to have shared moments with you at Juventus," Pogba tweeted, tagging in Dybala. "Hope to see you soon."

Dybala is not the only player who is leaving Juve, with stalwart Giorgio Chiellini also departing.

Chiellini, 37, joined Juve in 2004 and has helped the Bianconeri to nine Serie A titles and five Coppa Italia triumphs, as well as having reached two Champions League finals, and Pogba also hailed the Italy defender.

He tweeted: "What a fantastic career @chiellini! Feel privileged to have shared the pitch with you, a phenomenal player and an even better person #THEGR3ATCHIELLO."

 

Simone Inzaghi said Inter still believe they can retain the Scudetto after Lautaro Martinez's brace helped the Nerazzurri beat Cagliari and take the Serie A title race to the wire.

After watching Milan beat Atalanta 2-0 at San Siro, the Nerazzurri had to win in Sardinia to avoid ceding their domestic crown to their rivals, but Martinez followed up Matteo Darmian's opener with a second-half double as Inter claimed a hard-fought 3-1 win to keep their hopes intact.

Inter have now won seven of their past eight league games, but must beat Sampdoria and hope Sassuolo defeat the Rossoneri on the final day to win their 20th top-flight title.

Inzaghi won one Serie A title during his playing career, scoring when Sven Goran Eriksson's Lazio claimed a dramatic title triumph on the final day of the 1999-00 season, beating Reggina 3-0 to overturn a two-point deficit to Juventus, who lost 1-0 to Perugia. 

The former striker says that success is proof that anything can happen on the final day, and praised his team for putting in a composed performance just days after beating Juventus to win the Coppa Italia.

"There is still one game missing, the team believes in it. We know that it has already happened, it has already happened to me," Inzaghi told his post-match press conference.

"We believe in it until the end, and we will prepare it in the best possible way. Today we had a very good game two days after celebrating a trophy. In front of us we had a Cagliari team that was playing for survival and nothing was taken for granted, but I have a great team. 

"I won a Scudetto against Lazio that I was two points behind [with one game left] and Juve lost to Perugia on the last day. In football you must never give up, we have always shown it."

Inter's win means they have taken 39 points from their 19 away games in Serie A this season, the same amount they earned when winning the title under Antonio Conte last term.

This represents the Nerazzurri's joint-third best away return in a single Serie A season (in the era of three points for a win), after they took 49 points in 2006-07 and 43 in 2019-20.

Speaking to DAZN in the immediate aftermath of the win, Inzaghi had also heaped praise on two-goal hero Martinez after his match-winning performance.

"I think he's got 25 goals this year. He has scored 13 goals in his last 13. The team put him in a position to score, he is a champion, he is very important for us and the team," he said.

"He was good because even in the period in which he was unable to score, he worked hard, and now you can see the results."

Martinez's tally of 25 goals in all competitions this season is at least eight better than any other Nerazzurri player (Edin Dzeko is second with 17), and the Argentine has become just the sixth Inter player to hit 20 goals in a Serie A season before turning 25 years of age, after Giuseppe Meazza, Sandro Mazzola, Antonio Angelillo, Ronaldo and Mauro Icardi. 

While the striker acknowledged Inter had dropped points in games they should have won this season, he too holds out hope of a dramatic final-day triumph next Sunday.

"We have lost points in matches in which we have done well, but in every competition we have played good football and done the work we wanted," the striker told DAZN.

"The points lost are behind us, now there is one last home game with our fans, and we have to finish the championship in the best way."

A Lautaro Martinez brace ensured Inter will take the Serie A title race to the final day of the season as the Nerazzurri secured a tense 3-1 win over Cagliari.

Having seen leaders Milan beat Atalanta 2-0 earlier on Sunday, the Nerazzurri knew only a win in Sardinia would keep their hopes of a second consecutive title alive.

Martinez scored twice to add to Matteo Darmian's opener as Inter went about doing just that, although they had to work for the victory after Charalampos Lykogiannis halved the arrears in the second half.

Simone Inzaghi's men have it all to do on the final day, however, needing to beat Sampdoria and hope Milan lose at Sassuolo to be crowned champions.

Ivan Perisic forced Alessio Cragno into an early save with a fierce strike before Samir Handanovic got down to his right to stop Lykogiannis' goal-bound effort during a lively start.

Inter were denied a 10th-minute opener when Milan Skriniar was adjudged to have bundled home a right-wing free-kick with his arm, but the Nerazzurri hit the front after 25 minutes when Darmian headed Perisic's fine cross into the top-left corner.

Martinez twice went close to doubling Inter's lead at the end of an entertaining first half, striking the post with a sublime left-footed volley before drawing a close-range stop from Cragno. 

The Argentine finally got his goal after 51 minutes, bringing down Nicolo Barella's long ball before firing home, only for Lykogiannis to halve the arrears two minutes later with a deflected long-range effort.

But Martinez was not done there, producing a brilliant lobbed finish from Roberto Gagliardini's pass to clinch his brace, putting Milan's celebrations on ice and deepening the hosts' relegation fears.

What does it mean? Inter take thrilling title race to the final day

Inzaghi's men ensured an absorbing Serie A title race will be decided on the final day of the season with their win, although they are relying on Sassuolo to complete a league double over Milan to give them a chance of glory.

Inter have now won seven of their last eight league games, losing the other, allowing them to keep pace with a Rossoneri side unbeaten in 15 Serie A matches (10 wins, five draws).

Outstanding Martinez passes 20-goal mark

Martinez's second-half brace proved decisive as the Argentina ace hit 21 league goals in what has been a superb individual campaign.

He is now just the sixth player in Inter's history to reach 20 goals in a Serie A season before turning 25, after Giuseppe Meazza, Sandro Mazzola, Antonio Angelillo, Ronaldo, and Mauro Icardi.

Cup hero contributes once more

Having scored an extra-time brace to fire Inter to a Coppa Italia final win over Juventus on Wednesday, Perisic was on top form again as the Nerazzurri kept their double hopes intact.

As well as scoring seven Serie A goals, the Croatian has registered seven league assists after teeing up Darmian's opener, with only Hakan Calhanoglu (11) and Barella (10) recording more for Inter this term.

Key Opta Facts:

- Inter have earned 39 Serie A points on the road this season, as many as in the previous term, which was their third-best performance in a single campaign (49 points in 2006-07 and 43 in 2019-20).
- Cagliari have ended a Serie A campaign with only three home wins for the second time in their history, after the 1999-2000 season.
- Martínez has scored the most goals in Serie A since the start of March (10).

What's next?

Inter host Sampdoria in their final game of the season next Sunday, requiring a win – and a Milan defeat at Sassuolo – to retain their title. Cagliari, meanwhile, need a win over relegated Venezia on the same day to have any chance of survival.

Stefano Pioli says he "doesn't care" about Inter's match at Cagliari as he urged his Milan side to focus on their own game in their quest to win Serie A.

the  Rossoneri could secure the Scudetto on Sunday if they beat Atalanta and their city rivals fail to defeat Cagliari.

Pioli's team have 80 points, two clear of Inter at the summit with two games left to play as the fierce rivals battle for the title.

Victory over Atalanta, who are unbeaten on their past seven league visits to face the Rossoneri, would mark the first time Milan have managed more than 80 points in a campaign since the title-winning 2010-11 term.

It would also leave Milan requiring just a point in their final game to win the league at Sassuolo; the leaders boasting a favourable head-to-head record over Inter, who host Sampdoria on the last day.

Head coach Pioli, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Saturday, reiterated that his thoughts remains solely with Milan and not on what Simone Inzaghi's team do.

"I don't care, I'm not thinking about what Inter can do," he said. "We don't need any other motivation because we are already at our best from this point of view.

"We don't have to think any further, we have to think about 17:59 tomorrow, when the match will start. We have to keep thinking only about the match, what will happen next will depend on how the match will be.

"Then what will happen, will happen, we have the strength to be able to determine our own path. I think the team will face the match with great awareness, both of the moment and of their qualities.

"We have overcome many stages, positive and negative, which have helped us to grow. We have been very good up to now, we will have to be better from here to the end."

 

Robert Lewandowski has told Bayern Munich he wishes to leave the club and head to Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window – and manager Julian Nagelsmann will reportedly not stand in his way.

Lewandowski, 33, is in the midst of a historic season, averaging more than a goal per game in both the Bundesliga and Champions League. He has 34 goals and three assists in 33 league fixtures, and 13 goals with three assists in his 10 Champions League games.

With his contract set to expire in just over 12 months, there was a feeling Bayern would prefer to hold on to the Polish star to boost their chances in the Champions League instead of cashing in, but that may not be the case.

 

TOP STORY – LEWANDOWSKI PUSHES FOR BARCA MOVE

Crowned The Best FIFA Men's Player two years in a row, and coming off his third consecutive season with at least 34 league goals, Lewandowski's time in Munich appears to be over as Sport reports he has his heart set on a Barcelona move.

Whether motivated by cashing in while the club still can, or simply honouring the wishes of one of the greatest players to ever wear the badge, Nagelsmann is said to be on board with Lewandowski's decision and will try to facilitate the transfer.

The report includes a note that it may be a difficult move for the Spanish giants to pull off financially, although he is likely central to their off-season plans, meaning the club will do everything in their power to prioritise making it happen.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting Real Madrid are "more confident than ever" in landing Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe

– According to Mediaset, Chelsea have reached an agreement with Inter's Ivan Perisic to bring the Croatian over on a free transfer, although Fabrizio Romano insists that Perisic has not made up his mind yet.

– Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong will reject any advances from Manchester United and his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, according to the Daily Star.

– Calciomercato claims Paulo Dybala's agent is reportedly in London weighing up offers of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

Jude Bellingham will remain with Borussia Dortmund for next season, despite interest from Liverpool and United, according to the Daily Star.

Giorgio Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season following their 4-2 defeat to Inter in the Coppa Italia final.

The veteran centre-back has spent 17 years with the Bianconeri, winning 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

He was unable to claim a 21st as Inter prevailed in a thrilling showpiece at the Stadio Olimpico.

Juve appeared set to salvage silverware from a disappointing season when second-half goals from Alex Sandro, aided by Alvaro Morata, and Dusan Vlahovic gave them a 2-1 lead, turning things around after Nicolo Barella's stunning 10th-minute opener put Inter in front.

There was a late twist, though, as Hakan Calhanoglu netted from the spot to send the game to extra-time, in which Ivan Perisic also converted from 12 yards and then sealed victory with a sumptuous half-volley.

Having previously refused to reveal his future plans, Chiellini - who is reported to have offers from MLS - said: "We had these 10 magnificent years, it's up to the lads to continue now.

"I did everything I could, I hope that I left something. On Monday I will say goodbye to my Juventus Stadium, then if I've still got something in the tank might have a run-out in Florence [against Fiorentina].

"It is my choice 100 per cent, I am happy to leave at such a high level, because for many years I've said I didn't want to finish struggling and not being able to play at my level.

"I gave it my all, soon I will be the biggest Juventus fan from the outside. After so many years within this club, you cannot shake it off."

Defeat means Juve will finish the season without a trophy for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.

"It’s disappointing, especially as Inter certainly had more of the ball, but we had more than enough chances," added Chiellini. 

"Mattia Perin basically didn't have to make a save, we conceded two fantastic goals and two penalties.

"Inter proved throughout the season they are stronger in all the head-to-head clashes, so that means something. I hope the anger of losing three out of four games against Inter will fire us up for next season.

"We know that you don't win a Scudetto just in the big games, but every day. It's a pity to end the season without trophies after a decade, but we need to use it as fuel for next season."

Ivan Perisic has suggested his time at Inter is coming to an end after his extra-time brace secure the Nerazzurri a 4-2 win over Juventus in Wednesday's Coppa Italia final.

The Croatian played a decisive role in ensuring Inter ended an 11-year Coppa Italia drought as Simone Inzaghi's men came out on top in a thrilling contest.

Nicolo Barella's gorgeous first-half strike put Inter in charge, but Juve then appeared to be closing in on the title themselves thanks to two goals in a three-minute period just after the interval – Alvaro Morata and then Dusan Vlahovic converting.

But Hakan Calhanoglu's emphatic strike in the 80th minute – after Lautaro Martinez was awarded a contentious penalty – took the game to extra time, with Perisic then taking centre stage.

He converted Inter's second penalty of the day following Matthijs de Ligt's clumsy challenge on Stefan de Vrij and then ended Juve's hopes of a fight-back with a sensational arrowing finish.

But with his contract up at the end of next month, Perisic hinted he may be moving on.

Asked about a renewal, Perisic told Mediaset: "I don't know, but with the important players [the club] doesn't wait until the last moment."

If these next few weeks are to be his last in Inter colours, he could yet have a say in their quest for another trophy.

The odds are stacked against Inter in the title race heading into the final two games of the season, but Milan's slender two-point lead means there is still hope.

"All the time," he said when asked if Inter still believed they could usurp Milan.

"We have to continue like this. There are two finals left, we have to give everything, win and wait because everything is possible in football."

In the context of a generally disappointing season for Juventus, securing one last trophy for a club great before he begins a new chapter would've at least provided one reason to look back on 2021-22 with a degree of positivity.

It remains to be seen exactly what happens next for Giorgio Chiellini. After all, he suggested on Tuesday that he might not have even been playing football at all this season were it not for Italy's Euro 2020 success.

But remaining at Juventus has become increasingly unlikely over the past few weeks, with a move to MLS – rather than retirement – strongly mooted despite him being contracted to Juve until next June.

In Tuesday's pre-match news conference ahead of the Coppa Italia final, Chiellini – perhaps as you'd expect – at least attempted to deflect the focus from himself, seemingly adamant he didn't want to be the big story ahead of the game.

Yet, regardless of his obvious deflection the day before, it will have been tricky for many to not look at Wednesday's showpiece as the last meaningful match of Chiellini's storied career for the Bianconeri, with little riding on Juve's final Serie A matches of the campaign.

Twenty trophies, 559 appearances – third only to Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero – and countless head injuries, Chiellini's laid everything on the line and dedicated the majority of his career to Juve, even when the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid apparently came calling

But that one last trophy was a dream too far, with Inter ending their 11-year wait for a Coppa Italia triumph by emerging 4-2 victors after extra time.

As far as small mercies go, Chiellini could at least take solace in the fact he at no point looked out of place on the big stage.

Nevertheless, as good a defender as he's been down the years, there wasn't much Juve's captain could've done to prevent his side falling behind in a frantic first half at the Stadio Olimpico.

Nicolo Barella received the short corner and the run of Ivan Perisic created space for him to unleash a sumptuous curling effort into the top-far corner, the ball floating well out of the reach of Chiellini's not insignificant head.

But Inter became strangely negative after getting themselves in front, with Juve crafting several presentable chances as they became the controlling force – Chiellini found himself involved further up as a result as well, a comical fish-out-of-water-like run into the final third leading to a foul by Edin Dzeko.

Juve's superiority told early in the second half as a period of concerted pressure led to the ball dropping kindly for Alex Sandro, whose first-time strike found its way in via a deflection off Alvaro Morata.

Inter barely had enough time to look at the scoreboard before they found themselves trailing, as Juve sprung a brilliant counter and Dusan Vlahovic found the net at the second time of asking.

The game soon entered the realm of Chiellini, whose seven clearances at the end of the 90 minutes was a match high.

Within moments of Juve's second goal, the 37-year-old crucially blocked a cross that Dzeko was primed to tap home – true to form as a full-blooded centre-back, he celebrated his clearance as if he'd scored.

Soon after he was on hand again with a vital header, but like with the opener, he could only watch on as Inter levelled in the 80th minute. Chiellini's centre-back partners Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci tangled with Lautaro Martinez, who appeared to invite contact and then hook his foot around the latter's leg before tumbling.

It was as ingenious as the ultimate VAR-confirmed penalty decision was farcical, but Hakan Calhanoglu converted the spot-kick and Chiellini's night was soon over.

Soon after an important interception/clearance ahead of the lurking Martinez, Chiellini made way, perhaps owing to the knock received in that collision with the Inter striker.

Even at that point there was almost a sense of foreboding. While perhaps not a decisive presence at the other end, Juve were suddenly without their most experienced player and leader – the personality in the side dropped considerably in that one change.

It was fitting that De Ligt – a player who has flattered to deceive since essentially being brought in as Chiellini's long-term successor – proved to be the one to gift Inter the lead in extra-time, clumsily tripping Stefan de Vrij and allowing Ivan Perisic to rifle home the penalty, with the Croatian's spectacular second soon after signalling Juve fans to head for the exits.

As Inter players joyously made their way to the Nerazzurri end of the stadium at full-time, a dignified Chiellini trudged onto the pitch and shared a speechless embrace with Massimiliano Allegri.

While Chiellini helped Juve to more success than most players enjoy in a lifetime, when it came to giving him a fitting send-off, the Bianconeri failed him.

Ivan Perisic's double secured Coppa Italia glory for Inter as they came from 2-1 down to beat Juventus 4-2 after extra time at the Stadio Olimpico.

Nicolo Barella's sensational 10th-minute opener appeared to have put Inter on course to repeat their Supercoppa Italiana triumph over Juve in January.

But two goals in the space of just over two second-half minutes from Alex Sandro, aided by Alvaro Morata, and Dusan Vlahovic turned the tide in Juve's favour.

There was a twist in the tale late in normal time, though, Hakan Calhanoglu netting from the spot to send the game to an extra half-hour, in which Perisic also converted from 12 yards and then sealed victory with a fine half-volley.

Barella broke the deadlock in stunning fashion as he cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable long-range strike into the top-right corner.

Juve's response was impressive, Samir Handanovic forced into action to deny Paulo Dybala and then producing a superb save to turn Vlahovic's near-post effort behind.

Handanovic tipped Matthijs de Ligt's header over the crossbar on the half-hour mark, with Dybala then firing narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

But Juve's persistence was rewarded five minutes after the restart as Handanovic gifted them an equaliser.

Morata seemingly got a slight deflection on Alex Sandro's drive from the edge of the area, which Handanovic allowed to squirm through.

Juve's comeback was completed two minutes later as Inter were caught cold by a rapid counter.

Dybala threaded a perfectly weighted pass through to Vlahovic, who showed the composure to drop his shoulder and unseat the chasing Danilo D'Ambrosio before hitting home on the rebound after his initial effort hit Handanovic in the face.

Matteo Darmian drew a save from Mattia Perin but Inter did not look like forcing extra-time until Leonardo Bonucci was adjudged to have brought down Lautaro Martinez in the 78th minute.

Calhanoglu emphatically levelled, sending an excellent penalty in the top-right corner, and Perisic found the other corner with his spot-kick nine minutes into extra time after a VAR review into De Ligt's challenge on countryman Stefan de Vrij.

Perisic gave Inter breathing room in style, rendering Perin helpless with a sumptuous half-volley to cap an absorbing final. 

Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon expressed his hopes that Giorgio Chiellini can end his Bianconeri career on a high note by defeating Inter in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juve will look to defend their Coppa Italia crown at the Stadio Olimpico and become the fifth team in Europe's top five leagues to win their respective domestic cup at least 15 times.

The clash with Simone Inzaghi's Inter – who have won their last two games against Juve, as many wins as in the previous 13 (D4, L7) – could prove to be Chiellini's final swansong.

The veteran centre-back is widely expected to leave Turin at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to the MLS before using his vast experience to go into management.

Former team-mate Buffon marked his 685th and final appearance for Juve with victory over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final last season, and the goalkeeper hopes Chiellini can follow suit.

"Chiello was my rock," Parma man Buffon told Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport

"He was, and still is, a friend I shared a good chunk of my life with. Far more than a player or simply a team-mate. We understood each other perfectly, we were aware of our strengths and limitations.

"Chiello is so demanding with himself and others, he is an example of where intelligence, hard work, dedication and passion can let you reach unthinkable heights.

"He will admit, he was not the most technically gifted player, but I cannot think of a better defender over the last 10 years.

"I hope he can leave Juve the way I did by lifting the Coppa Italia trophy."

Another ex-Juve colleague Andrea Barzagli added that the Bianconeri will be significantly weakened without Chiellini to call upon.

"Even off the pitch, Chiellini gives a sense of belonging to Juve," Barzagli said.

"Looking at him, you understand what winning teams are made of; you need to be a great person before being a great player. He is one of the greatest defenders in the history of the club.

"He is a complete defender. If this is the end for him at Juve, then the team will miss his leadership."

Should Juve succeed against Inter, Allegri will become the first manager in Coppa Italia history to win the trophy five times, surpassing Sven-Goran Eriksson and Roberto Mancini (both four).

Samuel Eto'o has urged Inter to sign Paulo Dybala and declared "all important players" should join the Nerazzurri "sooner or later".

Dybala will leave Juventus when his contract expires at the end of next month and the Argentina forward has been linked with Inter.

Former Inter striker Eto'o believes Dybala would be a great acquisition for Simone Inzaghi's side, who are two points behind city rivals Milan with two games to play in the battle for the Serie A title.

Cameroonian Football Federation president Eto'o also stressed the importance of Inter keeping Dybala's compatriot Lautaro Martinez.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of the Coppa Italia final between Inter and Juve on Wednesday: "I say that all important players must play for Inter sooner or later and Dybala is more than important.

"Lautaro Martinez? He has done things very important for Inter and I hope he will continue in the future.

"I wish him a great career, without injuries here with us."

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi says there is no "special recipe for winning finals" ahead of the Coppa Italia decider against Juventus on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old boss guided Lazio to the Coppa Italia title in 2018-19, along with winning the Supercoppa in 2017 and 2019.

Inzaghi also led the Nerazzurri to the Supercoppa crown earlier this season, prompting hopes his excellent record in cup finals bodes well for Inter.

"We're already very proud to be here for such an important game," Inzaghi told reporters.

"I don't think there are any special recipes for winning finals. You need to run hard, be determined and focused.

"We'll have to give 120 per cent to lift our second trophy of the season."

The Coppa Italia final comes amid Inter's title chase, sitting second two points behind Milan with two games to play.

Inzaghi admitted re-focusing their energy away from the league to the cup would bring a unique challenge.

"That’s something we’ve spoken about," he said. "It probably would've been better to play the final at the end of the Serie A campaign, but the structure was set out at the start of the year.

"I’ve been involved in finals as a player and as a coach, and I don’t think it’s a problem to play just before the end of the league season."

Inzaghi has collected a record points tally in his first season in charge in the league, with the side firmly in contention for the Scudetto, having won the Supercoppa.

But the common view on the success of Inzaghi's first campaign may be determined by their final few games, as they chase both the Serie A and Coppa titles.

"I owe everything to the team, as the players have always backed me," Inzaghi said.

"It's been a brilliant season. It's match number 50 now. We played wonderful football for seven or eight months, but then suffered a dip and dropped some points, but if I think back to how we played against Liverpool and the way we’ve reached the final, I have no bad words to say about the team."

Massimiliano Allegri compared Dusan Vlahovic's recent goalscoring drought to Cristiano Ronaldo's early struggles with Juventus as they prepare for the Coppa Italia final with Inter.

Juve will attempt to salvage silverware from a disappointing season when they face Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday. The Nerazzurri beat Juve 2-1 in the Supercoppa Italiana back in January.

The Bianconeri's hopes of regaining the Scudetto have long since evaporated, with Juve 11 points behind leaders Milan with two Serie A games to play.

They have at least secured Champions League football for next season, despite a run of form from Vlahovic that has seen him fail to score in any of the past four games in all competitions.

But Allegri is backing their marquee January signing from Fiorentina to fire in the final, while drawing a comparison with Ronaldo's slow start to life in Turin, which saw the Portugal star go the opening three Serie A games of his Juve career without scoring.

Asked in his pre-match media conference about Serbia national coach Dragan Stojkovic's prediction that Vlahovic would score in the final, Allegri responded: "I hope he scores two! Not just one.

"Vlahovic is doing well and is serene. Sometimes he asks too much of himself. He is worthy of Juventus and he can improve next season.

"He has been scoring a decent amount of goals. In Italy, it isn't easy to score a goal per game.

"When Ronaldo arrived, he didn't score for five or six games. If Vlahovic looks upset, it means that he cares about what he does."

Luigi Delneri was the last Juve coach to end a season without a trophy, doing so in 2010-11. Allegri is keen to avoid that fate at the end of a season impacted by Ronaldo's departure to Manchester United.

"The team had a bad start, but we reached an important result because playing the Champions League every season is crucial," said Allegri.

"We'll try to improve things and be ready to start again from next season.

"You all know that seeing Ronaldo leave with only three days remaining in the summer transfer window wasn't easy. I had to know the team as well. Then we lost Federico Chiesa.

"We faced a few difficult moments. On the other hand, we have improved and qualified for the Champions League round of 16. The club helped us by signing Dusan Vlahovic in January, but our run was stopped against Inter last month.

"Now I know the players and the staff, I am sure that next season we'll have more chances to win our main target, the Scudetto. It would be nice to win tomorrow, end the season in the best way and prepare for the next one."

Raphinha has been a bright spark for Leeds United as they have battled relegation from the Premier League this season.

Following the weekend's results, the Whites are in huge danger of going down after they dropped into the bottom three. As is the case in football, the vultures will circle in that eventuality.

The Brazil international has long been on the list of targets for Barcelona and the winger looks likely to move on at the end of the season, when Leeds could find themselves back in the Championship.

 

TOP STORY – LEEDS RELEGATION TO SPEED UP RAFINHA'S BARCELONA MOVE

Leeds United's potential relegation from the Premier League could help force Raphinha's move to Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Even if Ousmane Dembele signs a new contract, the Catalan giants are keen to land another winger.

While Dembele's future has reportedly depended on Barcelona's qualification for the Champions League, the desire to sign Raphinha has been clear regardless. 

Leeds' relegation would reportedly allow the the 25-year-old to leave for €25million (£21.4m), though there is no clause in his contract that establishes an exact price.

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal's bid to sign Lautaro Martinez could be scuppered with Inter Milan not looking to sell the 24-year-old, per the Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Manchester City's deal with Borussia Dortmund for Erling Haaland could be finalised and announced next week, the Sun is reporting.

- Liverpool are ahead of Real Madrid and Chelsea in the race to sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni , according to Marca.

- Bayern Munich are preparing to begin talks with RB Leipzig over midfielder Konrad Laimer , Fabrizio Romano reports.

Sandro Tonali marked his 22nd birthday by scoring twice as Milan moved a step closer to the Serie A title with a 3-1 triumph at Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Inter leapfrogged Stefano Pioli's side at the summit with victory over Empoli on Friday, and Milan's response at the Bentegodi started poorly when Marco Faraoni headed Verona in front.

However, Tonali struck either side of half-time – with the excellent Rafael Leao assisting both – to turn the game around.

Alessandro Florenzi's late third made sure as the Rossoneri remain on course for their first Scudetto since 2010-11, back two points ahead of Inter with two games to play.

 

Lorenzo Montipo had produced a fantastic save to deny a Rade Krunic header in the opening stages, before Tonali saw a low finish ruled out for offside following a VAR check.

David Calabria's volley was turned away by Montipo, while Gianluca Caprari and Giovanni Simeone each arrowed narrowly wide at the other end in a frantic first half.

Verona broke the deadlock when Darko Lazovic chipped in for the unmarked Faraoni to nod home, but Tonali equalised 10 minutes later, prodding in after a mazy left-wing run by Leao.

Leao repeated the trick after the interval, driving forward on the counter-attack before drilling across the face of goal for the incoming Tonali to tap in and nudge Milan ahead.

Adrien Tameze fired a presentable opportunity wildly over as Verona searched for a response, but Milan instead sealed victory when substitute Florenzi – on the pitch just 119 seconds – powered into the bottom-left corner with four minutes to go.

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