Lionel Messi heads off to Copa America with Argentina after starring once again in MLS, with Jordi Alba calling on Inter Miami to battle in the forward's absence.

Former Barcelona forward Messi made MLS history on Sunday, reaching 25 goal contributions in just 12 appearances this term to shatter the previous fastest record held by Carlos Vela (16 in 2019).

Messi was on target in the 3-3 draw with St. Louis City, while Alba – who assisted Miami's first two goals – salvaged a point at Chase Stadium with a late leveller in a thrilling contest.

Yet Gerardo Martino will not have Messi to call upon for the foreseeable future, as the legendary attacker prepares for Argentina's Copa title defence.

"Knowing the player that he is for us, it's hard, but the team will continue to compete as much as possible, and that will be noticed," Alba said of Messi's absence. 

"It's an important absence for us, but we hope he does well in Copa America, we hope he has a great tournament and joins us again when it's time.

"If that's after the final, well – but in the meantime, the team will continue to fight and play."

The 2024 Copa runs from June 20 to July 14, with Inter also potentially losing players to the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris at the end of next month.

Martino remains aware of the availability issues that could follow for the Eastern Conference leaders, though Messi leaves with Miami's well wishes.

"In today's game, Leo was practically responsible next to Jordi for the participation of the attack," the Miami head coach said.

"He was involved creating chances, he insisted throughout the game. He finished the game well – and now will do what has corresponded to him his whole life, which is play for Argentina."

Argentina face Ecuador and Guatemala in warm-up fixtures before opening their Copa defence against Canada on June 21.

Lionel Messi achieved an unprecedented MLS feat on Sunday but his heroics, and a star Jordi Alba performance, could not drag Inter Miami past St. Louis City in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

The Argentina and Barcelona great levelled proceedings after Chris Durkin's early opener, taking Messi to 25 goal contributions this term in just 12 MLS appearances – shattering the previous record by Carlos Vela.

Indiana Vassilev edged the visitors back ahead before Luis Suarez restored parity on the stroke of half-time at Miami's Chase Stadium.

Gerardo Martino's side fell behind again after Suarez turned into his own net but Alba, who assisted Miami's first two goals, saved the day with an 85th-minute equaliser to salvage a point.

The draw left Miami top of the Eastern Conference by two points but second-placed FC Cincinnati have two games in hand over Martino's star-studded line-up.

Meanwhile, St. Louis remain 11th in the Western Conference but just three points adrift of ninth-placed Portland Timbers having played two games fewer.

Data Debrief: Messi history in MLS

Having shattered records across historic spells with Barcelona and Argentina, Messi now has another MLS achievement on his sparkling resume.

Messi became the fastest player to 25 goal contributions in an MLS season, recording 12 goals and 13 assists to surpass the previous record established by Vela in 2019 (16 games, four more than Messi).

Lionel Messi's arrival at Inter Miami has brought more attention to MLS, with Giorgio Chiellini hailing the impact of the World Cup winner and likening his move to when David Beckham arrived.

Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England star Beckham left the Spanish capital for LA Galaxy in 2007 as the dazzling midfielder's move captured the imaginations of many in the United States.

Beckham has since retired and created his own MLS franchise in the USA, bringing the likes of Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba to his newly established Miami side.

Juventus great Chiellini also joined MLS, signing for Los Angeles FC, winning the MLS Cup Final last year before defeat in this season's edition on Saturday to Columbus Crew.

And he vouched for the impact of Messi's move to Miami.

"I think that when Messi joined it was comparable to when Beckham joined," Chiellini told Stats Perform.

"And it's something that the league, but also the players, are very happy about because there is a lot of possibility for the future.

"What Messi did was huge for everyone and now there is much more consideration for the league, much more attention and it helps everyone."

Former Italy centre-back Chiellini announced his retirement on Monday, with reports suggesting the 39-year-old will move back to Juventus to take up a boardroom role.

The European Championship-winning defender will at least be thankful he does not have to face Beckham's Miami again next season.

A Messi-inspired Miami powered to a Leagues Cup triumph, with the Argentina captain scoring 10 goals.

"I don't know how every team could face and beat Miami next year," Chiellini added on Miami, who are reportedly close to signing former Barcelona and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

"Fortunately this year I met with Messi when they were at the bottom of the table and then he had one month out.

"They were still a really good team, it was one of the best nights and atmospheres. That's very good for the league, very good for the future of the league."

Lucas Leiva hopes his former Liverpool and Gremio team-mate Luis Suarez will resist the urge to follow Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba to Inter Miami.

Liverpool and Barcelona great Suarez joined Gremio in January, having helped his boyhood club Nacional to the Uruguayan Primera Division title on his return to South America last year.

Suarez has scored four goals in 12 appearances in the Brazilian top flight this campaign, but his future is in doubt amid reports he is Miami's next big-name target. 

Miami have already signed Suarez's former Barca team-mates Messi, Busquets and Alba, and Sunday brought confirmation they had traded with the San Jose Earthquakes to gain another international registration slot.

That move has heightened speculation regarding a move for Suarez, and while Lucas understands the draw of MLS, he hopes Gremio can keep the striker.

Asked about Suarez's future, Lucas – who retired in March after being diagnosed with a heart issue – said: "He made a fantastic impact here in Brazil at Gremio. 

"I think made the right move. Luis is a world-class player, we don't need to speak about his qualities and what he's doing here in Brazil. 

"He's been linked, but I just hope he can stay at Gremio because it's my club and he's my neighbour here!

"I hope he stays a bit longer but MLS is getting attention from every player and from the fans. It's normal that he will be linked with big teams like Inter Miami."

After Messi marked his Miami debut with a dramatic free-kick winner against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup, there has arguably never been a more compelling time to follow MLS.

Lucas is among those excited by the league's potential, adding: "MLS is growing every year, people are watching more MLS. If you look back maybe 10 years, nobody would have expected that. 

"Americans know how to do these things, so well done to them. Messi going there will just attract a lot of fans and people who will be following the league, so it's great.

"It's great because football should be everywhere in the world because it is a fantastic sport that people love to watch. 

"We can see him in another league, not in Europe. In America, it's a great thing for the fans that love football. It's a league that is improving and is growing and getting better every season."

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen is garnering a lot of interest, sitting clear at the top of the Serie A scoring charts this term with 21 goals.

The 24-year-old Nigerian striker is contracted with the runaway Serie A leaders until 2025.

While they would love to retain his services long-term, the breakout star hinted that may not be in the cards after recently showing interest in a move to the Premier League.

TOP STORY – NAPOLI PLACE BUMPER PRICE TAG ON OSIMHEN

Foot Mercato reports Napoli have placed a €150million price tag on Osimhen, amid new interest from French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG have entered to race for the Nigerian, with Manchester United and Chelsea both reportedly chasing his signature in the off-season.

But Napoli have moved to protect their prize asset and will not entertain a lower price.

 

ROUND-UP

– However, Relevo claims PSG's off-season priority signing is Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese is reportedly keen for a new challenge, although he is contracted until 2025 and City asked for £80m (€90m) for him last off-season.

– Manchester United are ramping up their interest in Monaco centre-back Alex Disasi, claims The Mail. The Frenchman is rated at £44m (€50m), with United boss Erik ten Hag keen to bolster his defensive ranks in the next transfer window with uncertainty over the futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

– Football Insider claims Liverpool have not been deterred by Borussia Dortmund's reported €150m demand for Jude Bellingham. The Reds are determined to land the English midfielder amid interest from Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

– Sport claims Chelsea may release Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from his contract after the season, with Mundo Deportivo reporting he is set to return to Barcelona as a low-cost option.

– Unnamed Saudi Arabian and Qatari clubs are interested in Luka Modric,  but the veteran Croatian midfielder remains in talks with Real Madrid on a new deal, according to Sky Sports Germany.

– Barcelona's veteran full-back Jordi Alba could have his contracted terminated in the off-season as the Blaugrana looks to trim their wage bill and focus on new signings, reports Sport.

Jordi Alba is the most notable omission from Luis de la Fuente's first Spain squad, joining Barcelona team-mates Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati and Eric Garcia in missing their Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Scotland.

Former under-21 boss De la Fuente took charge of the senior team after last year's World Cup, with Luis Enrique leaving the role after a surprise last-16 exit against Morocco.

Senior players Sergio Busquets and Sergio Ramos have stepped away from international football since that tournament, with the latter doing so after being overlooked for La Roja's trip to Qatar.

Alba – who started three of Spain's four games at the World Cup – is the biggest name to be left out by De la Fuente, with fellow Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde getting the nod.

Blaugrana midfielders Gavi and Pedri made the cut, but their club team-mates Torres, Fati and Garcia have joined Alba in being omitted.

Osasuna defender David Garcia and Espanyol's 32-year-old striker Joselu are the two uncapped players in the 26-man party, which will meet up in Malaga before facing Norway there next Saturday.

Spain then travel to Hampden Park to take on Scotland three days later, with Cyprus and Georgia the other teams drawn alongside La Roja in Group A.

Spain squad: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford); Jose Gaya (Valencia), Alejandro Balde (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), David Garcia (Osasuna), Pedro Porro (Tottenham), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid); Rodri (Manchester City); Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad), Mikel Merino (Mikel Merino), Gavi (Barcelona) Fabian Ruiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Pedri (Barcelona); Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao) Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Bryan Gil (Sevilla), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Joselu (Espanyol), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo).

Xavi praised his Barcelona players for remaining patient in their 3-0 victory over Sevilla as the LaLiga leaders moved eight points clear of Real Madrid.

Barca dominated Sunday's contest at Camp Nou before eventually finding the breakthrough via full-back Jordi Alba in the 58th minute.

Gavi added a second 12 minutes later and Raphinha, who assisted that goal, added his name to the scoresheet as Barca made it 10 wins in a row this year.

Sevilla focused almost entirely on defending, managing only three shots in total to Barca's 16, and Xavi is delighted his side were able to break down the visitors.

"This was a day to dare," he told DAZN. "We talked about it at half-time. It's always difficult to attack when the opponent has 11 players behind the ball.

"But we did it very well and I'm very satisfied with this result."

 

Barca took full advantage of Real Madrid's surprise 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca earlier in the day to extend their lead at the summit as they close in on a first title in four seasons.

"We've gone many games unbeaten and it's important we win like we did today," Xavi said. "Against a low block, we created many chances – that is a big positive.

"Things are working out for us. We're eight points ahead of Madrid, but there is still a lot of the season left."

With a goal and an assist against Sevilla, Raphinha has been involved in more goals (eight – four goals and four assists) than any other LaLiga player in all competitions in 2023.

Xavi hailed the Brazil international's performance and also reserved special praise for Alba, who himself scored and assisted in a single LaLiga game for the fourth time.

"I was already satisfied with Raphinha's performances," Xavi said. "He is good in high-pressure scenarios and has been giving us decisive assists. He's an extraordinary player.

"As for Jordi, he gives us a lot in attack and showed that again today. We knew there would be an opportunity to take advantage of some space that was left."

Alba was recalled to the starting line-up having been made to settle for substitute appearances of late and took full advantage of his opportunity to impress.

"I take advantage of the minutes when I play; when I don't, I dedicate myself to encouraging the youngsters so they know what it means to play for this club," Alba said.

"We are having a very good season, playing well, pressing well and getting our rivals to give us chances. 

"There are eight points on Madrid and, although there is a lot of the league season left, it is a very good distance to have."

Barca's 53 points after 20 LaLiga matches has only been matched or bettered on five previous occasions, including themselves four times.

The only blemish for Xavi's side was captain Sergio Busquets limping off early following a challenge with Youssef En-Nesyri.

Busquets is reported to have sprained his right ankle and is facing two-to-three weeks out, potentially ruling him out of Barca's Europa League tie with Manchester United.

"Hopefully it's nothing serious," Xavi said. "First we'll do tests and then we'll know more."

Barcelona capitalised on Real Madrid's latest slip-up by beating Sevilla 3-0 at Camp Nou to move eight points clear at the top of LaLiga.

Madrid's surprise 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca earlier on Sunday opened the door for Barca, who took full advantage with their 10th win in a row this calendar year.

After toiling for the best part of an hour, Jordi Alba deservedly opened the scoring for Xavi's side and they did not look back.

Gavi doubled the hosts' lead 12 minutes later after being assisted by Raphinha, who added the third himself to edge Barca ever closer to a first league title in four seasons.

Barca were forced to make a change inside the opening eight minutes after Sergio Busquets injured his ankle and they struggled to find their full flow in the first half.

Yassine Bounou produced a fine stop with his leg to deny Robert Lewandowski and pulled off an even better save soon after to tip the striker's long-range drive around the post.

Sevilla brought on Bryan Gil and Erik Lamela at half-time, but Barca continued to dominate the contest as Raphinha became the latest to test Bounou, this time from a header.

The breakthrough finally arrived just short of the hour mark as Franck Kessie, brought on for Busquets, brilliantly flicked the ball into the path of Alba to fire across Bounou.

A simple finish for Gavi in the 70th minute after being picked out by Raphinha gave Barca breathing space and the Brazil winger contributed to the scoring before full-time.

Alba played the ball into the middle and Raphinha was there to poke it past Bounou and cap a fine individual and team display.

Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly trying to pry centre-back Evan Ndicka away from Eintracht Frankfurt this month.

Ndicka, 23, arrived at the Bundesliga club in 2018, racking up 162 appearances since. He has played every minute of their 15 Bundesliga fixtures this season, helping them to reach the German mid-season break in fourth position.

Standing at an imposing 192cm tall with pace to burn, he fits the bill as a centre-back who can handle the physical demands of the Premier League, and his impressive traits are exactly why Frankfurt have been desperate to retain his services.


TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS BATTLE IT OUT FOR EXCITING CENTRE-BACK

Currently in the final year of his five-year contract, this will be the last opportunity Frankfurt get to cash in on their young talent, and they reportedly see the writing on the wall despite their desire to extend Ndicka's stay.

According to German publication FR, Ndicka's agents have been reaching out to Europe's elite clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Barcelona, but are said to have driven some away with their lucrative contract demands.

Previous reporting from Football London has claimed Arsenal had agreed to personal terms with Ndicka for a free move before Frankfurt's most recent improved contract offer, while Tottenham remain in the hunt.

Interested parties prepared to wait another six months could scoop him up on a free, but a transfer fee in January with so little time remaining on his contract could end up surprisingly affordable.


ROUND-UP

Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are all closely monitoring 19-year-old PAOK winger Giannis Konstantelias, who is believed to be worth in the range of £10million, per the Evening Standard.

– Foot Mercato is reporting Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr are working on acquiring Eden Hazard to reunite him with former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

– According to Sport, Juventus have enquired about 33-year-old Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba as he enters the final six months of his contract.

Napoli have submitted a €19m offer for 22-year-old Angers and Morocco midfielder Azzedine Ounahi, per Foot Mercato.

– Sport is reporting 28-year-old Barcelona forward Memphis Depay would like to return to former club Manchester United.

Jordi Alba and referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz had both "forgotten" about the Barcelona defender's first yellow card prior to his dismissal against Espanyol on Saturday.

Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by their Catalan rivals on what was a bittersweet day for Alba, who became only the 12th different player to make 300 LaLiga appearances for the club.

Alba's landmark outing was marred as the left-back received two yellow cards in the space of five minutes after Espanyol's leveller, with Lahoz losing control of the latter stages.

Lahoz, who was in charge of Argentina's fiery World Cup quarter-final clash with the Netherlands earlier this month, also sent off Vinicius Souza, while only a VAR review saved Leandro Cabrera after he was initially shown a red card for a stamp on Robert Lewandowski.

Alba will now serve a one-match suspension, meaning he will miss Barca's clash with Atletico Madrid at Civitas Metropolitano on January 8.

The Spain international revealed he received his second yellow card after voicing his frustration at a challenge involving Andreas Christensen and Joselu, whose penalty cancelled out Marcos Alonso's earlier header at Camp Nou. 

"I did not understand the expulsion and I told him so," Alba said, in quotes carried by Mundo Deportivo. "I went to Mateu to tell him that Joselu had made [Christensen's] bed, nothing more.

"He thought it was the first yellow, and he showed me the second. For me, it is not even a card.

"I am aware that sometimes I make mistakes and protest too much because I am very impulsive, and I have to correct this aspect, but this time, it was not the case."

Sergi Roberto, who wore the captain's armband during Saturday's derby, concurred, telling Movistar: "Alba had forgotten his first card. We were all a little surprised."

Although Barca returned to the top of LaLiga on goal difference, they were punished for not converting their superiority into maximum points, having enjoyed over three quarters of the possession and registered 21 shots on goal.

"In the second half, we wanted to go for the second goal and to have the game more controlled," Sergi Roberto added. 

"The game stopped a lot with the expulsions, the cards, and then we were not able to play our way anymore."

Xavi paid tribute to Sergio Busquets following his decision to retire from international football, describing him as one of the greatest midfielders in history.

Busquets announced his retirement from Spain duty on Friday having captained La Roja in each of their four games at the World Cup in Qatar.

Busquets' miss in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Morocco in the last 16 provided a less-than-fitting end to his stellar career with Spain, for whom he made 143 senior appearances.

The 34-year-old starred alongside his Barcelona team-mate-turned-coach Xavi as Spain won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, and the Blaugrana boss believes few can match his impact.

"In the end, it's a personal decision that you make when you feel the time is right," Xavi told Barcelona's website. "I wish him the best, now he will be able to rest more and focus on Barca.

"He is a player who has made history. He is one of the best midfielders that football has produced worldwide and, for sure, the best defensive midfielder in the history of Spain."

Fellow Barcelona star Jordi Alba said Busquets will be "sorely missed" by Spain, who will be led by Luis de la Fuente in Euro 2024 qualifying after Luis Enrique left his role as head coach. 

"You have always been a great leader for all of us who are part of the team, both in good times and in bad," Alba wrote on Twitter.

"After so many training sessions and games together in the national team, today you say goodbye and you will be sorely missed, friend. 

"Thank you for what you have contributed to us and for everything you have given."

Jordi Alba is determined to stay at Barcelona until his contract expires in 2024 and hopes he could still be reunited with Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.

Spain left-back Alba has his focus on World Cup duties for the coming weeks, believing La Roja are well-placed to challenge in Qatar, with a first game against Costa Rica coming up on Wednesday.

At the end of the last transfer window, Alba was linked with a shock move to Italian giants Inter, but he said in an interview with Cadena Ser that "nobody told me anything" about that prospect.

"My intention is to stay until the end of my contract because I think I can help; when I don't, I'll be the first to go," said the 33-year-old, a five-time LaLiga winner with Barcelona.

"I've improved and people who know realise it. Many things were heard about my decision at the club, but I decided to stay. Nobody told me anything about Inter."

Alba said he helped out financially stricken Barcelona with his contract after last year's European Championship, at a time when the club were looking to cut costs.

"Whenever they asked me for help from the club, I gave it. Nobody can say otherwise," he said. "Whenever the club has asked me for anything, and whatever it is, I have helped. I am from Barcelona and I feel the colours."

He saw Messi, Barcelona's record scorer and greatest player, leave to join Paris Saint-Germain after a contract offer was withdrawn, with the Catalans unable to afford to keep him.

Almost 18 months later, Messi continues to be linked with a switch back to Barcelona.

"Of course I would like Leo Messi to return to Barca," said Alba, in a separate interview with Cope. "He is the player with whom I have had the best understanding on a field and for the club it was a great loss."

Such is the intense focus on Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Spain national team can feel like a poor relation at times. However, the success they enjoyed from 2008 to 2012, winning two European Championships and the World Cup, meant the group united the country, and Alba feels they could also have an outstanding 2022 World Cup.

He said of the team's coach, a former Barcelona boss who played for both Clasico rivals: "Luis Enrique has done very well.

"We hadn't met our expectations for a while and the European Championship [where Spain reached the semi-finals] was very good.

"People got hooked again and I think they will do it again with the World Cup. I hope and want to go far in this World Cup."

Jordi Alba labelled Luis Enrique as "the best coach in the world" as Spain aim for World Cup glory in Qatar.

Alba worked with Luis Enrique at Barcelona when he was in charge between 2014 and 2017 before the latter left and went on to become La Roja coach.

The former Real Madrid and Barca midfielder initially left his role in 2019 due to family reasons before returning in the same year, subsequently guiding Spain to the semi-finals of Euro 2020.

A second-place finish in the 2020-21 Nations League further added to the resume of Luis Enrique, who Alba feels is the right man to lead Spain in the Middle East at the World Cup, which starts next Sunday.

"I already know him from Barcelona. He is a direct person, who trusts the players a lot," the Barca left-back told Mundo Deportivo.

"For me, I have always said, he is the best coach in the world. Not only in the football field, but also in the human field. 

"He is very close and helps all his team-mates and that is important for all the players and for me. He has a lot of personality. He captures his idea and that all the players go in the same direction. 

"It is something very difficult and he has achieved it in all the teams he has been in. We all go to what he tells us. At that he is the best."

Alba, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets all reportedly took a significant drop in wages to allay Barca's financial difficulties after Lionel Messi left in August 2021.

The Spain left-back reiterated his commitment to Barca as he outlined his plans to stay at Camp Nou amid reports he could leave at the end of his contract in 2024.

"As far as I am concerned, I feel qualified to continue here for many years," he added. "I think that when I'm playing I'm doing well and when I'm not playing I'll support my team-mates and try to help the younger ones as much as I can. 

"I want to continue performing well. I've been here at Barcelona for many years and my intention is to stay here. Honestly, I didn't get any offer from that club, or from any other. 

"I knew the opinion of the coach, who was counting on me. There has been talk for many years that I could go on loan or sign to another club. But my intention has always been to stay here. 

"During these years I have worked hard for this club, then things will turn out for better or worse, but that will continue to be my intention until the end of the season and everything that remains on my contract."

Barca brought in the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde ahead of the 2022-23 term but were eliminated at the Champions League group stage for the second time in as many campaigns.

Xavi's side head into the World Cup break two points clear of Real Madrid at the LaLiga summit and Alba hopes to repay the faith of the Blaugrana faithful.

"This year we have not qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League and we are in the Europa League, but the people have continued with the players and that has been very important," he said.

"Now we have to try to return it in the form of titles. The deal with the fans has always been phenomenal."

Milan forward Rafael Leao continues to be linked with a host of top European clubs who are plotting January moves.

Leao won last season's Serie A Footballer of the Year and has maintained his fine form this term.

The 23-year-old forward is contracted with Milan until mid-2024, prompting interest to prise him away from the Rossoneri.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN PREPARING FOR BUMPER JANUARY BIDS FOR RAFAEL LEAO

Milan are preparing for January bids from Chelsea and Manchester City of approximately £105 million for Rafael Leao, reports Tuttomercato.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have also shown an interest in the Portuguese attacker.

Milan are still working on a new deal with Leao before he departs for the World Cup, hoping to tie him down on a long-term contract.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is considering trying to lure Dusan Vlahovic to Old Trafford as he prepares for life without Cristiano Ronaldo, reports The Sun on Sunday. Juventus forward Vlahovic moved to the Bianconeri from Fiorentina in January for £62million.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told the club to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans in the January transfer window, claims The Sun. Tielemans is valued at £40m and is out of contract at the end of this season.

– The Mirror reports Arsenal are also interested in a January move for Vitoria Guimaraes midfielder Ibrahima Bamba, having sent scouts to watch him.

– Calciomercato claims Tottenham are looking into a swap deal involving Emerson Royal in order to bring Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries to the club from Inter.

– Serie A leaders Napoli are preparing an offer for Barcelona's Jordi Alba, who is looking for first-team football, according to El Nacional.

Reports have surfaced that Joao Felix is unhappy at Atletico Madrid having fallen out of favour in recent games.

Atletico have reportedly moved to reiterate that they do not want to sell the Portuguese, who it is claimed has requested a January move.

Joao Felix joined the Colchoneros on a seven-year deal in 2019 from Benfica for a fee of €126 million.

 

TOP STORY – PSG AND BARCA KEEN ON JOAO FELIX

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are both considering moves to sign wantaway Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.

AS claims PSG are weighing up a move for the 22-year-old as they make plans for the potential departure of Lionel Messi at the end of this season.

El Nacional reports that Barcelona are in the race for the Portuguese too, as they fear Ousmane Dembele will exit. A Bola has also linked Manchester United with Joao Felix.

 

ROUND-UP

Barcelona want to sell Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong in the near future to raise funds to invest in the squad according to Sport. De Jong was linked with Manchester United over the off-season.

– The same Sport report claims that Barcelona are set to release long-term duo Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba to free up funds too.

Real Madrid are targeting Bayern Munich's Canada international Alphonso Davies, claims Marca. Los Blancos are eager to bolster their left-back options and are monitoring Davies.

Inter are looking to sign on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku permanently, while the Nerazzurri are also interested in Everton's Yerry Mina claims Calciomercato.

–​ Barcelona will rival Real Madrid in pursuit of Inter's Italy international forward Nicolo Barella, reports Calciomercatoweb.

–​ Newcastle United are keen to lock down Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes on a new long-term deal before the end of this season, reports 90min.

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