Milan will start their Serie A title defence at home to Udinese, while Inter's attempts to reclaim the Scudetto will begin at newly promoted Lecce.

Stefano Pioli's side edged out Inter for the championship in the 2021-22 campaign, their first Scudetto in 11 years, and will again face stern competition from Juventus, Napoli and Simone Inzaghi's side next season.

Milan visit Atalanta on the second matchday, with the first Derby di Milano between Pioli's side and Inter coming on September 4, when Lazio host Napoli.

Dusan Vlahovic will return to Fiorentina with Juventus on the same weekend, while Milan host Napoli and Massimiliano Allegri's side in the space of two weeks between matchday seven and nine.

The first Derby di Roma will see Jose Mourinho's side host Lazio on matchday 13, with the return meeting scheduled for matchday 27.

Inter will meet Milan for their second clash in week 21, while Serie A will take a break between November 13 and January 4, owing to the World Cup in Qatar.

The weekend of May 7 could be influential in the title race, with Atalanta hosting Juventus, Lazio visiting Milan, Inter travelling to Roma and Napoli playing at home to Fiorentina.

Milan lifted the Scudetto on the final matchday in 2022 and should it go all the way again, Pioli's men host Hellas Verona, while Inter make the trip to Torino and Juventus are away at Udinese.

Having finishing 15 points behind champions Real Madrid in LaLiga season, Atletico Madrid are in a bit of a rebuilding process.

While Hector Herrera, Luis Suarez and Sime Vrsaljko head for the exit, Saul Niguez and Alvaro Morata return from loans, with Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel potentially also signing on a free transfer.

Reports suggest that Atleti are also particularly keen on keeping one of Witsel's international team-mates.

TOP STORY – ATLETI TO WARD OFF CARRASCO INTEREST

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is unwilling to let go of Yannick Carrasco amid growing interest from Premier League clubs, according to Diario AS.

Although Carrasco's contract expires in 2024, his reported release clause of €60million reportedly makes him an attractive prospect to the likes of ChelseaTottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Simeone has apparently ordered the club to not field any offers for the 28-year-old, who he considers fundamental to his future plans.

Though the player is reportedly happy at the Wanda Metropolitano, offers from elsewhere could potentially play a role in any contract negotiations.

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– Cristiano Ronaldo is considering a departure from Manchester United in response to a lack of recent transfer activity under Erik ten Hag, Record reports.

Barcelona have finally made a bid for Robert Lewandowski, with an opening offer to Bayern Munich of €40m, according to the Telegraph.

– The same publication is also reporting that, with one year remaining on his contract, France international Adrien Rabiot has requested a transfer from Juventus to the Premier League.

Milan are considering making an offer for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, per TuttomercatoWeb.

Matthijs de Ligt should be allowed to leave Juventus if the right offer is made, according to club legend Ciro Ferrara.

The Netherlands international is under contract at the Allianz Stadium until June 2024, but is yet to agree an extension with the Bianconeri.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for the 22-year-old, who has a release clause of €125million.

De Ligt has been a regular in the heart of the Juve defence since arriving from Ajax for €85.5million in 2019.

The centre-half has racked up 117 appearances across all competitions, scoring eight goals, and winning the Serie A title during his maiden season with the Old Lady.

Ferrara, who won five Scudettos and the Champions League with Juve between 1994 and 2005, acknowledged De Ligt's importance, but insists the club should not stand in his way.

The former defender told Tutti Convocati: "We have to understand if De Ligt has the right motivation.

"He is an important figure in the defence. But if he wants to leave, then Juve will not hold him against his will."

It is fair to say that Paul Pogba's time at Manchester United has been somewhat polarising.

The France midfielder ultimately struggled to consistently provide the football that made him such a sought-after player in Italy with Juventus, before his big-money move back to United in 2016.

Reports suggest with his contract at Old Trafford expiring at the end of the month, Pogba will be heading back to the Serie A giants to try and revive his reputation.

TOP STORY – POGBA SET FOR JUVENTUS RETURN

Paul Pogba is set have his wish granted and will return to Juventus, according to Fabrizio Romano.

With his contract expiring at Manchester United, his wage demands could only realistically be met by a select number of clubs in Europe.

Pogba had reportedly only wanted to return to Italy with the Bianconeri, where he left a four-time Serie A and two-time Coppa Italia winner in 2016.

The 29-year-old's agent will meet with Juve representatives on Thursday, with a medical to be completed at the beginning of July when his contract at Old Trafford officially ends.

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Ajax are set to make another offer for Steven Bergwijn meanwhile, with Tottenham not accepting offers below £25million (€29m), per Sky Sports.

Barcelona boss Xavi is hopeful Ousmane Dembele will sign a new contract to ward off Chelsea interest, Goal reports.

– Goal also report that winger Antony is determined to join Manchester United from Ajax.

Leeds United have valued Brazil international Raphinha at £65m (€75.3m) amid interest from Tottenham, Chelsea and Barcelona, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Juventus and Milan target Domenico Berardi has suggested he is ready to leave Sassuolo.

Berardi impressed again for Sassuolo in the 2021-22 season, scoring 15 times in Serie A – the third consecutive campaign the forward has posted double figures in the league.

He also recorded the most assists in the Italian top flight (14) and was the only Serie A striker to manage double figures for both goals and assists.

The 27-year-old has been at Sassuolo his entire career, but with two years left on his contract there have been growing suggestions he could soon move on.

Sassuolo chief executive Giovanni Carnevali hailed Berardi as a "champion", but revealed last April he may leave if the club receive an offer that is too good to refuse.

Berardi has been linked to Juventus, who co-owned him between 2013 and 2015, while Liverpool and Milan have also been among those reportedly interested in the Italy international.

The Sassuolo attacker has expressed his love for the city of Modena, but acknowledged he would be ready to depart after 10 years with the club.

Asked by magazine Chi whether he would be leave, Berardi responded: "I like living in Modena. I have lived here for 11 years but I have reached a point at which I would suffer less from change.

"That is thanks to my wife and my son, with them I would feel at home in any city."

 

Carlos Tevez has expressed an interest in bringing Angel Di Maria back to Rosario Central after being confirmed as their new head coach, as he pledged to emulate former Juventus boss Antonio Conte upon entering the dugout.

Former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juve forward Tevez was appointed as Central's new boss on Tuesday, having ended his illustrious playing career earlier this month.

Speaking at his unveiling after signing a one-year contract with the four-time Argentinian champions, Tevez revealed his interest in coaching his former international team-mate Di Maria. 

Di Maria – who made 39 appearances for Central at the start of his career before heading to Europe with Benfica - is leaving Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer and has attracted interest from the Bianconeri, but Tevez plans on speaking with him soon.

"I haven't spoken to Di Maria", he said. "I barely have time to speak to my wife! I haven't spoken to her. 

"But who wouldn't like to have him? Di Maria means a lot to this club. When the situation calms down, I'll call him and ask him what he wants to do.

"We know him. He would bring a lot. He would bring his experience to young players. In addition to experience, he has great technical quality. He has played in the biggest clubs, it would be easy to be his trainer."

Di Maria is the fourth-most capped player in the history of the Argentina's national team with 122 appearances (after Lionel Messi with 162, Javier Mascherano with 147 and Javier Zanetti with 145), and will hope to appear at his fourth World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Meanwhile, Tevez won a remarkable 26 titles during his playing career, and featured under a host of big-name coaches including Alex Ferguson, Massimiliano Allegri and Roberto Mancini.

But the 38-year-old says Tottenham boss Conte, who signed him for Juventus in 2013, is his foremost coaching inspiration.

"When you stand on the other side of the line, the player dies, that's one way of putting it." He said. "You start to think differently, much colder. Today I am a coach and I like this profession. 

"I have a great reference who was Conte at Juventus, he was one of those who taught me the most as a player.

"I'm going to try to get the team to play at least a little bit, or half the way his team played."

Romelu Lukaku could make a "huge difference" to Inter's attack should he return to the club from Chelsea, according to Blues legend Gianfranco Zola.

Lukaku is closing in on a return to San Siro less than a year after joining Chelsea in a club-record £97.5million transfer, with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta revealing on Monday the club are in talks to sign both the Belgian and Juventus' Paulo Dybala.

The Chelsea striker only scored eight Premier League goals as Chelsea finished third in the English top flight last term, and reportedly wants to return to the club with whom he won Serie A in 2020-21.

Lukaku scored 30 goals and recorded 11 assists in 44 appearances for Inter in his last season with the Nerazzurri, averaging a goal every 118.77 minutes.

Among strikers in the top five European leagues to hit 20 goals or more in all competitions that campaign, only eight averaged fewer minutes between strikes than the Belgian, including the likes of Robert Lewandowski (70.6), Kylian Mbappe (88.62), Cristiano Ronaldo (104.19) and Lionel Messi (110.32).

Chelsea great Zola thinks Lukaku could make the difference for an Inter side that missed out on the Serie A title by just two points last season.

"Lukaku continued to express this desire to return to Inter where he had found himself very well, but honestly I thought it was a difficult operation," he told Sky in Italy.

"If he returned to Inter, he would be a player capable of making a huge difference, also in light of this year's difficulties."

Another high-profile player to be linked with a move to Italy is Angel Di Maria, who is available on a free transfer after announcing his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.

The Argentina international is reportedly a target for Juventus, and Zola believes that move would benefit both the Bianconeri and Serie A as a whole.

However, he also called on Italian football to do more to produce young attacking players of Di Maria's quality after Roberto Mancini's Azzurri missed out on qualification for the World Cup and made a poor start to their Nations League campaign.

"He has important experience and quality, players of this calibre raise the level of our football," Zola said of Di Maria.

"But we must think of creating higher quality players in our youth sector, especially in the last 40 metres [before goal], where we lack."

Manchester United are reportedly preparing a second offer for 22-year-old Porto striker Evanilson after they had a bid of €65million rejected by the Portuguese champions.

The Brazilian was purchased by Porto in 2020 for €8.8m out of Fluminense, and after scoring four goals from 24 appearances in his first season in the Primeira Liga, he exploded in his second campaign with 21 goals in 46 outings.

He had 14 goals and four assists in 30 league games, and seven goals in seven Taca de Portugal fixtures on the way to winning Portugal's top domestic cup.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS PLAN BIG-MONEY MOVE FOR LITTLE-KNOWN BRAZILIAN

The report out of Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claims Porto has already fought off interest from both Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves by raising their asking price to €80m.

Porto are said to be desperate to retain the striker's services for one more season – even labelling him 'untouchable' – but could have their hand forced if the Old Trafford side is willing to go all-in.

It would be a shock for United to fork out such a large sum for a striker while also trying to push Barcelona's asking price for Frenkie de Jong down to a more palatable number.

The Sun is also reporting Ajax winger Antony is a serious target for former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, Goal claims that they are hoping to convince Christian Eriksen to sign on as well, and Corriere dello Sport believe they are investigating the possibility of landing Tammy Abraham.

 

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Arsenal have reportedly become the favourites to land Leeds United winger Raphinha as Barcelona's interest in the Brazilian cools off, according to Goal.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Chelsea have joined the race for Everton striker Richarlison, with Tottenham also in the bidding for the £50m man.

– According to Sky Sports, West Ham are planning a £30m bid for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja, who scored nine goals for Southampton last season while on loan from Chelsea.

Nottingham Forest are trying to break their club-record transfer fee to sign 24-year-old Nigerian striker Taiyo Awoniyi for £17.5m from German side Union Berlin, per the Telegraph, although Football Insider claims Awoniyi will turn them down in favour of other offers.

– Calciomercato is reporting Kalidou Koulibaly will not join Juventus because he does not want to be considered a "traitor" like Gonzalo Higuain after his move to Turin – instead favouring a move to Barcelona.

Wojciech Szczesny says playing with Cristiano Ronaldo made him feel like his side were starting matches a goal up, as he rued Juventus' failure to win the Champions League with the Portugual great.

Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 appearances in all competitions for Juve between 2018 and 2021, averaging a strike every 113.95 minutes and winning five trophies in Italy.

Juve stumbled to a second consecutive fourth-placed Serie A finish in the 2021-22 season after Ronaldo returned to Manchester United, who themselves toiled in the Premier League, finishing sixth with their worst points tally (58) in the competition, despite the striker's 18 top-flight goals.

Ronaldo failed to add to his five Champions League titles while representing the Bianconeri, and while Szczesny regrets their European exits to Ajax (2019), Lyon (2020) and Porto (2021), he remembers his time playing with the striker fondly.

"[He is] a brilliant footballer, who makes a difference not only on the pitch," Szczesny told Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy. "I don't know if there is anyone in the world at his level. 

"When he arrived, however, we didn't see him as a CR7, but as a team-mate. With him, however, I tried things that didn't exist. 

"Entering the field with him, even before the referee whistled for the start, it was like being 1-0 ahead. It was impressive.

"The Champions League was within our reach in the first two seasons, then we went out with teams we shouldn't have lost against. But this is the Champions League."

While Juventus' spell of dominance over Serie A has come crashing to a halt over the last two seasons after they won nine consecutive titles between 2012 and 2020, Szczesny believes Massimiliano Allegri and predecessor Andrea Pirlo did well to secure top-four finishes.

"Sooner or later, it had to end," he said. "After nine years of victories there was a generational change of players. 

"Changing always costs something. However, I believe that Pirlo and Allegri have done a great job getting to Champions League qualification."

Szczesny has made 137 league appearances for Juve since joining in 2017, keeping 50 clean sheets, and is keen to remain in Turin until his contract expires in 2025.

However, the former Arsenal goalkeeper does not expect to get close to the legendary Gianluigi Buffon's tally of 489 Serei A games in the Juventus goal, saying a move to Spain could be on the cards in three years' time.

"I still have three years on my contract and if they want to keep me, I would like to complete it," he added. "Every year there are market rumours, now I worry when new names do not come out for Juventus' goal!

"I won't play as much as he [Buffon] does. I want to stay at Juventus until 2025, then maybe I'll go to Spain where I have a home."

Lautaro Martinez remains "indispensable" to Inter, while the Nerazzurri are also continuing discussions with Romelu Lukaku to see if there is a chance to strike a deal.

That is the message from Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta, who spoke to Radio Anch'Io on Monday to provide an update on their transfer business.

Lukaku will reportedly return to Inter on loan less than a year after leaving Italy to re-sign for Chelsea in a club-record £97.5million transfer, having only scored eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances.

The striker fired Inter to Scudetto glory in 2020-21 and across his two-year spell, no Nerazzurri player scored more goals (64), provided more assists (17) or created as many chances (133) in all competitions.

Paulo Dybala also seems set to join Inter on a free transfer from Juventus as Marotta assured negotiations are ongoing to bring the attacking pair to Simone Inzaghi's side.

"It is difficult to give a precise answer. They are our targets but we must evaluate the finances," he said, as quoted by FCInternews.

"I cannot hide that we want these players, we want to sign them. If not, we will move on to other targets. 

"A single player is not important, what matters is the group and this is already a solid team."

When asked if Lukaku's loan would be confirmed on Monday, Lukaku responded: "Absolutely not. More generally, we want to create a competitive team while respecting [financial] sustainability.

"Lukaku is a viable signing but there are still some difficulties and we have to evaluate if there are the right conditions to do the deal."

Dybala and Lukaku could form a fearsome frontline with Lautaro Martinez as Inter look to reclaim the Serie A title from fierce rivals Milan.

Martinez was comfortably Inter's top league scorer in the 2021-22 season, with his 21 goals eight ahead of nearest challenger Edin Dzeko, and Marotta says it is vital to keep the Argentina international amid links to Chelsea and Tottenham.

"We have our targets, which means make money in the transfer market and contain salary costs," he added. 

"It is in our interest to keep a strong team because that is in the history of the club. We believe that Lautaro is indispensable to continue to pursue these objectives."

Gianluigi Buffon hopes his former club Juventus sign Angel Di Maria as he likened the Paris Saint-Germain attacker to Argentina great Diego Maradona.

Di Maria joined PSG from Manchester United in 2015 but is to leave the French capital at the expiration of his deal at the end of June.

Juve have reportedly offered Di Maria a one-year contract with the option of an additional one-season extension.

Reports suggest Di Maria is intent on staying in European football for just one more season, though, before playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and returning to compete in his native Argentina.

That is said to have led to a delay in negotiations between the 34-year-old and Massimiliano Allegri's side.

Former Juve goalkeeper Buffon encouraged the Bianconeri to push the deal through for Di Maria, with the Italy legend suggesting he would be as influential in Serie A as the late, great Maradona was with Napoli.

"Di Maria in Serie A is like Maradona," Buffon said to Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Footballers must be valued considering where they play. Serie A, today, is technically poorer and Angel has so much technique.

"He is decisive in front of goal, he dribbles past his opponents. He is good at making assists and runs up and down on the pitch. He can play in different roles."

Buffon is speaking from experience, having crossed paths with Di Maria at PSG in the 2018-19 campaign.

The Parma goalkeeper also suggested Di Maria is talented enough that age should not be a factor as Juve aim to secure the winger.

"I am 44, but I still play, age doesn't matter. Motivation and passion are more important and so is determination," he added. "If Di Maria joins Juventus, it means that he's ready to do so.

"He is an exemplary professional, one who never gives up and fights during games and training sessions. For today's Serie A, he'd be like Maradona.

"At PSG, I played with Neymar, a young Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti… but Di Maria was not inferior to no one.

"When he won the Decima [the 10th Champions League title] at [Real] Madrid in 2014, he was playing with Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

"He was always a step back from them but knew how to play as a winger, attacking midfielder and even 'Mezzala' [a wide central midfielder in a diamond or three-man midfield].

"Whoever signs him, and I hope it's Juve, it will be a good deal. We are talking about a champion."

Alessandro Del Piero believes the imminent returns of Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba to Serie A will be a "great move" for Italian football.

Juventus are poised to re-sign Pogba following his departure from Manchester United, while Inter are pushing to bring Lukaku back from Chelsea following a disappointing year in the Premier League.

Both players will represent marquee additions for the two Serie A title hopefuls as they seek to knock Milan off their perch next season, while also boosting them in the hunt for glory in the Champions League.

Juventus legend Del Piero believes the deals have further significance, however, as he feels they can help to push Italian football to compete with the other top leagues in Europe following a number of years off the pace.

"Now the Premier League is the best football you can see in terms of number of teams that can perform at a high level and what happened in the Champions League, in the Europa League how they performed is the answer," he told ESPN.

“It's a different kind of sport in some moments. It seems in the Premier League you run more, you have more physicality, you are more spectacular. 

"It's not exactly like this because in Italy we have this kind of thing but Italy is struggling now: the national team and also in the club teams.  

"So last season showed a little bit more. Roma's win [in the Europa Conference League] is a good hope for the future in the Europa competitions. 

"So Lukaku for Inter and Pogba for Juve could be a great move also for Italian football to become again stronger and have a voice in the Champions League especially."

Since Inter won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2009-10, Juventus are the only Italian side to have reached the final – losing to Barcelona in 2014-15 and then to Real Madrid two years later.

Atalanta have exercised their option to sign Merih Demiral on a permanent basis from Juventus following his loan stint at the club.

The Turkey international was a regular fixture for Atalanta last season, making 42 appearances across all competitions and scoring twice, and the Serie A club have decided to make his stay permanent.

Atalanta had a purchase option for the defender as part of the deal that brought him to the club for the 2021-22 season, and they have now exercised that clause, paying €20million for the services of the 24-year-old.

The deal could rise by a further €2.5m if additional clauses are met, while Juventus will also receive 10 per cent of any future transfer fee that is earned from a sale of Demiral.

It had been suggested that Atalanta would not exercise their option to sign the 35-cap Turkey international but they confirmed their move on Friday, with Juventus then issuing their own confirmation on Sunday.

The transfer does not fully answer the questions regarding his future, however, as Newcastle United remain attributed with an interest in the services of Demiral, with reports indicating he is seen as an alternative to Lille defender Sven Botman.

Gary Neville says the nature of Paul Pogba's departure from Manchester United "leaves a bad taste in the mouth".

The 2018 World Cup winner announced his United exit this month, and is leaving the Red Devils on a free transfer six years on from joining for a then-world record £89million fee.

It is the second time Pogba has departed the Red Devils as a free agent, and having spent four trophy-laden years with Juventus last time around, he has been strongly linked with a return to the Bianconeri. 

Although Pogba recorded more Premier League assists (38) and created more chances (231) than any other United player during his second spell with the club, the Red Devils have failed to win a major trophy since 2017.

Pogba hit out at United for making a "mistake" in not offering him a better deal in an Amazon Prime documentary this week, but Neville insists the France midfielder did not do himself justice at Old Trafford.

"I'm not bothered about Pogba's comments to be honest with you," Neville said during a live stream on his TikTok account.

"I think that once a player has left, he can say whatever he wants. Fine, no problem. But I don't think he has performed well over the last six years.

"I don't think the club have performed well with him either, or handled him well. It's been a partnership that, to be fair, has failed on both sides so that is what you'd have to say.

"There is no winner when a player leaves after six years with the money that has been spent and very little has been won.

"The player leaves dissatisfied, and the club are dissatisfied with it as well. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth because it's the second time it's happened.

"You wish him all the best in the future at Juventus."

Dusan Vlahovic was not missed at Fiorentina after departing for Juventus in January, according to his former team-mate Nicolas Gonzalez.

Vlahovic scored 20 goals in 24 appearances for Vincenzo Italiano's side in the first half of last season, becoming one of European football's hottest properties and earning a reported €80million (£66.6m) move to Juve.

The Serbia international scored nine goals in 21 appearances for the Bianconeri following his big-money switch.

Vlahovic's decision to join rivals Juve sparked outrage at Fiorentina, who had already seen the likes of Federico Chiesa, Juan Cuadrado, Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri, move to Turin.

Gonzalez, who finished as Fiorentina's second-highest goalscorer after Vlahovic in the 2021-22 season with eight goals in all competitions, gave a frank answer when asked about the impact of the striker's departure.

"His absence was not felt," the winger told SportItalia. "Obviously he is a strong player, but the fans did not like his attitude. 

"He is a young boy who has a lot to learn."

 

Gonzalez has won 21 caps for Argentina, and featured from the bench during his 3-0 rout of Italy at Wembley earlier this month.

He hopes his international team-mate Angel Angel Di Maria, a reported target for Juve, will join him in Serie A.

 Gonzalez said: "I'd like to see him in Italy. He's a player I've always appreciated, and he could give a lot to Italian football."

The 24-year-old would also like to see Paulo Dybala stay in Italy, saying: "I'd like to see him at Inter with [Joaquin] Correa and Lautaro [Martinez]."

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