Brazil star Neymar is reportedly interested in a move to the Premier League after being informed Paris Saint-Germain will not stand in his way if he wishes to depart.

ESPN is reporting that Neymar's agent has been in touch with Chelsea to gauge their interest in bringing in the 30-year-old, who scored 13 goals and added six assists in 22 Ligue 1 contests this past season.

While Neymar's talent is not in question, his health may be, having missed over two months of this campaign after suffering an ankle injury, and that is coming off a 2020-21 season where he only played 18 league games due to ankle and adductor injuries.


TOP STORY – NEYMAR WEIGHS UP CHELSEA MOVE AS PSG GIVE GREEN LIGHT

ESPN's report mentions that Neymar's agent, Pini Zahavi, believes there are only "two or three teams" that would be able to meet his wage demands, and it is thought that Chelsea are hoping to make a splash under the new ownership of Todd Boehly.

Spanish publication Sport claims Neymar activated a clause in his PSG contract as soon as he possibly could on July 1 to add one extra year to his deal – tying him to the French giants until 2027 – but that does not rule out a move happening.

Chelsea's Brazilian centre-back and Neymar's former PSG team-mate Thiago Silva has been vocal about his desire to recruit the superstar forward, but his salary of €43million could stand in the way if the Stamford Bridge club decide they would rather use this transfer period's resources in defence.


ROUND-UP

– The Star is reporting that Manchester United are closing in on a deal with Christian Eriksen as his contract with Brentford has expired and he is available on a free transfer.

– Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is expected to leave on a free transfer, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich the three teams listed by Marca as his potential landing spots.

Everton are hoping to replace Richarlison with Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis after their Brazilian forward departed for Tottenham this week.

– According to The Sun, Fulham are finalising a £17million move for 26-year-old Sporting defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha.

– ESPN is reporting Fulham have offered £10m for Manchester United's Andreas Pereira as the 26-year-old returns from his loan stint with Flamengo.

Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of midfielder Vitinha from Porto for a reported fee of €40million, marking their first new arrival of the transfer window.

Barring the permanent capture of Nuno Mendes – who spent last season on loan in Paris – Vitinha is the club's first signing of a new era, with Christophe Galtier widely expected to succeed Mauricio Pochettino as head coach.

Luis Campos, the hugely successful former Monaco and Lille sporting director, has already come in to drive PSG's transfer business – including this first buy.

Vitinha has signed a five-year contract at the Parc des Princes.

The 22-year-old Portugal international returned from a disappointing loan spell with Wolves to play a key part in Porto's Primeira Liga triumph last season, scoring two goals and providing three assists as the two-time European champions finished six points ahead of Sporting CP.

PSG are set for a busy window, having already secured Kylian Mbappe to a lucrative new contract, having fended off Real Madrid's long-standing interest in the France forward.

Further signings are expected in the French capital, with the club reported to have serious interest in Inter defender Milan Skriniar and Lille midfielder Renato Sanches.

PSG begin the 2022-23 season in the Trophee des Champions against Nantes in Israel on July 31, before the Ligue 1 campaign commences the following week, with the defending champions on the road against Clermont.

Lille president Oliver Letang has denied there have been discussions with Paris Saint-Germain regarding Renato Sanches.

The 24-year-old Portugal international has been heavily linked with a move to the French capital as he is poised to enter the final 12 months of his contract.

Reports have suggested Sanches is closing in on a move to Paris, who are expected to appoint former Lille boss Christophe Galtier as Mauricio Pochettino's successor, with it suggested the midfielder had arrived in the city on Thursday to finalise a transfer.

However, those claims have been rebuffed by Letang as he offered an olive branch to other interested clubs – confirming one offer from an unnamed side.

Milan appeared favourites for Sanches' signature for a long time. They were interested in his Lille team-mate Sven Botman, too, but saw the defender instead head for Newcastle United.

"There are players who can leave and there are players who can't leave. Without naming them today, we want to keep a competitive team," Letang told a press conference after Lille appointed Paulo Fonseca as their new coach.

"Renato is one of the boys who still has a year left on his contract. Renato could or should have gone to Barcelona last summer, before he injured his meniscus. 

"As of today, we've had no contact with PSG. We have seen lots of rumours about offers, but we've received no offer from PSG. 

"Other clubs are interested, especially one great European club, who have already made us offers. That’s the situation with Renato."

Joelinton has urged Newcastle United coach Eddie Howe to get on the phone to Neymar and sign the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

With Kylian Mbappe now the main man at PSG, having renewed his contract in France, Neymar has been linked with a move away from the club.

And Newcastle, with the world's richest football club owners in Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, are in theory one of very few potential suitors who could afford the sport's most expensive player.

The Magpies already have two Brazilians, too, in Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes.

After Thiago Silva told Globo that Neymar "has to go to Chelsea", Joelinton, speaking to Brazilian podcast Cast FC, said: "We can get him a spot. Sure, in any team in the world.

"If he comes, it will be... I can't explain it. The man is an idol. He's huge in world football.

"So, the invitation is done: Ney, if you are listening to this, you can come. I'll run to you all the time. [The ball] will come easy."

Newcastle already have a tricky winger in Allan Saint-Maximin, but Joelinton did not hesitate in offering away his team-mate's number 10 shirt.

"His quality, the visibility... if we have the chance, I hope," the forward-turned-midfielder said. "Coach, call him. The number 10 shirt is there waiting for him.

"I'll send a message to Bruno. Bruno has his contact; he can send a message inviting Ney to play there."

Former Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale has given a stern warning to Paris Saint-Germain, revealing a fractious dressing room under Christophe Galtier.

Galtier is set to replace Mauricio Pochettino and take over as PSG boss, following the Parisian club's dramatic failure to claim the Champions League.

Nice were second in Ligue 1 at the end of January last season, but the proverbial wheels fell off, with four wins from 12 games between February and April before eventually finishing fifth.

Cardinale, who has been without a club since his contract expired with Nice at the end of the 2020-21 season, cited Galtier's negative impact on the dressing room as a factor and claimed his potential departure for PSG benefits all.

"Honestly, I think it's a good thing that he's leaving," Cardinale told RMC Sport. "For having had two or three conversations with players who are still in the Nice dressing room, there was a big break in the dressing room. There were a lot of problems.

"The coach alienated the dressing room to make himself heard better by management. What I was told, problems between the management of Nice and the coach had become so important that it was rubbing off on the dressing room.

"The coach put the dressing room on his back to be better heard by the management, in view of the signings which were arriving."

Meanwhile, Lucien Favre has been confirmed as Galtier's replacement at Nice, with whom he qualified for the Champions League in 2017, before being taking over at Borussia Dortmund in 2018.

Cardinale, who made 36 Ligue 1 appearances for Nice in that first season under Favre, reiterated his belief the coaching changes will benefit both clubs.

"I think this deal is going to be a win-win. Galtier will be happy," he added. "The Nice locker room, with the Favre's return, I think he's going to be a winner too. And in the eyes of the fans especially, it's the right pick.

Xavi Simons has turned down a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain, with confirmation on Tuesday he will leave for PSV on a permanent basis until 2027.

Simons, who made 11 senior appearances for PSG since signing in 2019, was reportedly set to leave on a loan with the intent to develop and find an opportunity for regular first-team minutes.

That reported loan deal had PSV as the eventual destination upon renewing with the Ligue 1 champions but, after spending his youth career at Barcelona and PSG, the talented 19-year-old will return to the Netherlands on a free transfer.

The Eredivisie club confirmed Simons had the opportunity to extend with PSG but chose to work under new boss Ruud van Nistelrooy instead.

"He was able to extend in France, but the youth international prefers PSV to the French champion, for whom he played nine games last season," a club statement said.

"We have seen almost all the matches this season where he appeared at the kick-off," PSV director of football John de Jong added. "Besides all the international matches he played for the Oranje squad, we saw him live in the Youth League in Leipzig, Paris, Bruges, Manchester and against Sevilla.

"In this he convinced us. Xavi has everything to grow into an important player for PSV. He would like to walk the path there with us."

Simons is the latest in a long line of youth products to leave PSG instead of establishing themselves in the first team, joining the likes of Kingsley Coman, Christopher Nkunku and Moussa Diaby, along with less successful stories in Adil Aouchiche and Jean-Kevin Augustin.

"After three wonderful years at the club, it’s time to say goodbye," Simons posted on Twitter. "I am very grateful to the coaches, the staff, my team-mates, and all the staff.

"PSG will always be in my heart. For the fans: from the bottom of my heart, Thank you. I love you!"

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is eager to bring in two attacking players this off-season following their third-place Premier League finish last term.

The club's new owners are set to back Tuchel's plans, with the Blues linked to Raheem Sterling, Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele and Everton's Richarlison.

However, Chelsea could be set for their first splash of the window by signing a superstar from Elland Road.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO WIN RAPHINHA RACE

Chelsea are set to win the race to sign Leeds United's Brazilian forward Raphinha claims The Guardian.

Raphinha is being pursued by Arsenal and Barcelona along with the Blues, who are set to complete a £55million deal for the 25-year-old.

The winger is contracted with Leeds until 2024 and may follow Kalvin Phillips out of Elland Road with the England midfielder set to complete his move to Manchester City.

 

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mail reports Chelsea are also interested in a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar who has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain. L'Equipe claims that PSG's initial offer for the Slovakian was worth €50m.

- Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches is eager to join PSG from Lille according to Le Parisien, with a €10m offer on the table. Sanches has one year remaining on his contract.

- Univision reports that LAFC are not pursuing Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez amid speculation linking the Uruguayan with the MLS club after they recently landed Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini.

- Milan are looking into swooping to sign Juventus' Paulo Dybala who has been heavily linked with Inter, claims RadioRadio.

- Liverpool's Divock Origi is set to join Milan on a four-year deal pending a medical as widely reported by the Italian media.

- Argentinean outlet Relevo reports that Angel Di Maria is set to sign a deal with Juventus on Wednesday, having left PSG as a free agent.

Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro might make a seemingly eternal midfield composition, but Real Madrid still need to prepare for life after them.

Following the signings of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni over the past two off-season transfer windows, Los Blancos will look for a third.

Reports suggest that what they are looking for is penalty area threat, and the intent is not necessarily to replace the attributes of the three veterans. All signs point to Germany, and Borussia Dortmund's England international Jude Bellingham.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYE BELLINGHAM AS FINAL PIECE OF MIDFIELD PUZZLE

Real Madrid will look to sign Bellingham in the 2023 off-season transfer window, according to Diario AS.

According to reports, Bellingham does not have a release clause in his deal at Dortmund and with his contract running to 2025, with the German club seeking a sale in excess of €100million.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid will not look to be the only suitors, with Chelsea and Liverpool also interested.

ROUND-UP

- Having already opened talks over Raheem Sterling, the Telegraph reports Chelsea are also looking to sign Manchester City's Nathan Ake.

- Meanwhile, Milan are considering a move for Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech, per Calciomercato.

Tottenham want to sign Everton duo Richarlison and Anthony Gordon, according to Sky Sports.

- Christophe Galtier is close to being named as PSG's new boss, with Mauricio Pochettino on the way out, ESPN reports.

Angel Di Maria and Juventus are agreeing the "final details" of his contract as the Argentina international nears a move to Turin, according to the forward's agent.

Di Maria joined Paris Saint-Germain from Manchester United in 2015 but will leave the French capital when his terms expire later this week.

Barcelona were said to be interested in, but reports suggest the 34-year-old will sign a one-year deal with Juve with the option of an additional one-season extension.

New Rosario Central head coach Carlos Tevez also expressed his interest in bringing Di Maria back to his former club, with the attacker said to want to return to Argentina after the World Cup in Qatar.

That is said to have delayed the negotiations between Di Maria and Juve, but his agent Lisandro Pirosanto insists a move will soon be confirmed.

"We are talking about the final details and we are waiting for Juventus to give us the okay on some things," Pirosanto said, as quoted by La Stampa.

Massimiliano Allegri will acquire an experienced campaigner should Di Maria arrive as expected as Juve look to compete with Milan, Inter and Napoli at the Serie A summit.

Di Maria appeared 295 times for PSG, scoring 92 goals and assisting 112 times in all competitions.

He played 31 games in his final season in Paris and managed 13 goal involvements (five goals, eight assists), a tally bettered only by Neymar (21), Lionel Messi (25) and Kylian Mbappe (60) among PSG players.

Paris Saint-Germain appear close to finalising the appointment of Christophe Galtier after Nice announced his departure, with former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre replacing him for a second spell at the club. 

PSG have been expected to dispense with the services of Mauricio Pochettino since falling to a dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid in March, despite wrapping up their 10th Ligue 1 title last season.

Galtier, who beat PSG to the title as Lille boss in 2020-21, emerged as their number one target after leading Nice to a fifth-placed finish and the Coupe de France final last term.

The 55-year-old also won the Coupe de la Ligue as Saint-Etienne coach in 2012-13, and has been named Ligue 1 Manager of the Season on three occasions - in 2012-13, 2018-19 and 2020-21.

Speaking to Le Parisien last week, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi confirmed the club's interest in Galtier, saying: "We are discussing with Nice, it is not a secret. I hope that we will find an agreement quickly."

 

That agreement now looks to be close after Nice confirmed Galtier's departure on Monday, revealing Favre will return to the club he led between 2016 and 2018.

"Christophe Galtier is no longer in charge of the first team at OGC Nice," read a statement on the club's website. 

"This Monday morning, the resumption of the Aiglons will be led by Lucien Favre, whose return the club is proud to announce.

"His first stint on the Cote d'Azur will go down in history. So when it comes to a future full of challenges, it is difficult not to mix ambition and sentiment. 

"The excitement felt by the whole red and black community at the simple mention of his name, for years now, illustrates wonderfully the attachment that is felt for him."

Favre led Nice to a third-placed finish in the 2016-17 season, Mario Balotelli top-scoring with 15 Ligue 1 goals as they sealed Champions League qualification, before departing for Dortmund in 2018.

Favre enjoyed a stunning start to his Dortmund tenure, going unbeaten through his first 15 league games, but failed to end Bayern Munich's dominance of the Bundesliga, finishing second in each of his two full seasons before departing in December 2020.

Although Cristiano Ronaldo's affection for Manchester United is without doubt, his return to Old Trafford has not gone as he might have planned.

Following Erik ten Hag's arrival, Ronaldo's reported concern over United's apparent lack of transfer activity has made other clubs explore possibilities to sign him.

Reports suggest that a couple of clubs have already made their interest indirectly known.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA, ROMA CIRCLING FOR RONALDO

Chelsea and Roma have expressed their interest in signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, according to reports.

The Athletic has reported Chelsea, with Todd Boehly installing himself as interim sporting director after his consortium's takeover of the club, met with Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the possibility of his transfer.

Ronaldo has a year left on his contract, and the possibility of him leaving after only one season has grown with Erik ten Hag's arrival.

Meanwhile, Retesport are reporting the Giallorossi are keen to sign the 37-year-old, with the Friedkin group looking to reunite him with former boss Jose Mourinho and build on the team's Conference League triumph.

ROUND-UP

– In the background, United are increasingly confident they will be able to land Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong for a fee of £69million (€80.2m), Goal reports.

– Also, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has made contact with Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling, according to the Telegraph.

– Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks over a deal for Neymar amid Chelsea's interest, per AS.

– Leeds United are preparing a £26million (€30.2m) bid for Club Brugge's Charles de Ketelaere, the Daily Mail reports.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was on Friday acquitted on appeal for a second time by a Swiss federal court of charges of corruption in the attribution of World Cup television rights.

Al-Khelaifi had been charged with inciting former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

Valcke was accused of wanting to transfer the Middle East and North Africa television rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups to a media company headed by Al-Khelaifi.

Al-Khelaifi allegedly offered Valcke, who is serving a 10-year ban from football that was handed down by the Fifa Ethics Committee in 2018, exclusive use of a luxury villa in Sardinia in exchange.

The PSG president has been cleared again of a charge of incitement to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

It is the second time Al-Khelaifi has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Swiss federal criminal court after prosecutors appealed against the original verdicts.

"The years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears have been proven to be completely and wholly unsubstantiated – twice," Al Khelaifi's lawyer Marc Bonnant said in a widely reported statement.

Valcke was convicted of separate charges not involving Al-Khelaifi. He was given an 11-month suspended sentence and must also repay FIFA €1.75m (£1.58m) for forgery and passive corruption.

Those charges relate to Valcke exploiting his position to influence the awarding of media rights for Italy and Greece for various World Cup and other tournaments scheduled between 2018 and 2030, in exchange for payments from Greek businessman Dinos Deris, who has also been charged.

The Frenchman was cleared of the most serious charges involving accepting bribes and aggravated criminal mismanagement.

Neymar's former agent Wagner Ribiero believes the Brazilian is not about to leave Paris Saint-Germain as he is still dreaming of Champions League glory with the French champions.

The 30-year-old is contracted in Paris until 2025, but there have been rumours that PSG could look to offload him, having signed Lionel Messi in 2021 and recently renewing Kylian Mbappe's contract.

A return to Barcelona has long been muted for Neymar, with whom he won the Champions League with in 2014-15, while he has also previously spoken about his desire to play in the United States. 

However, when quizzed about Neymar's future, Ribiero made it clear his understanding that the former Santos starlet is not considering an exit and has his eyes firmly set on ending PSG's wait for Champions League glory.

"Neymar has a dream: to be champion of the Champions League with PSG," he told Goal.

"Despite all the rumours regarding a possible exit, he is very motivated and will not stop until he achieves it."

 

Asked whether Neymar likes the project at PSG, he added: "Of course. Every year that passes Nasser Al-Khelaifi (club president) improves the team in every way.

"They just finished the training centre, which will be one of the best. And now he wants to have the best French players at PSG."

Since Neymar joined PSG in 2017, the French giants have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage in three of the five seasons – finishing runners-up in 2019-20 and falling at the semi-finals the following year.

During that period, Neymar has scored 20 Champions League goals and secured 13 assists – with the only player to have more assists in the same period being team-mate Mbappe.

Zinedine Zidane has not ruled out taking over as head coach at Paris Saint-Germain or following Didier Deschamps as France's national team coach, amid growing speculation over his future.

Mauricio Pochettino's departure from PSG has not yet been finalised, but reports have linked both Zidane and Nice boss Christophe Galtier to the job, with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi even confirming talks with the latter.

Stepping down in 2021 as a two-time LaLiga and three-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Zidane would assume either role as a highly-decorated coach, having also enjoyed an exceptional playing career.

In an interview with L'Equipe to mark his 50th birthday, the Marseille native indicated he would not turn down the opportunity to coach the fiercest rivals of the club he supported as a child, citing a lack of realistic options in both personal and logistical senses.

"Never say never," he said. "Especially when you are a coach today, but the question is moot. This is absolutely irrelevant. When I was a player, I had a choice, almost every club.

"As a coach, there are not 50 clubs where I can go. There are two or three possibilities. This is the current reality. As coaches, we have much less choice than players. If I go back to a club, it's to win. I say this with all modesty. That's why I can't go anywhere. For other reasons, too, I might not be able to go everywhere.

"The language, for example. Some conditions make things more difficult. When I'm asked: 'Do you want to go to Manchester?' I understand English but I don't fully master it. I know there are coaches who go to clubs without speaking the language, but I work differently. To win, many elements come into play."

From leading France to the World Cup in 1998 as a player – propelling him to his sole Ballon d'Or award in the process – to his straight red card in the 2006 World Cup final after headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi, Zidane experienced both the highs and lows with Les Bleus.

Punctuating his stellar international career with that sending off in Berlin leaves him with unfinished business at international level, but Zidane insisted his ambition will be with respect to current France boss Deschamps and his preparations for this year's World Cup in Qatar.

"I want to [be head coach of France], of course. I will be, I hope, one day," Zidane said. "When? It's not up to me, but I want to come full circle with the France team. I knew this French team as a player, and it's the most beautiful thing that's ever happened to me.

"But really, this is the pinnacle. And so, as I experienced that and today I am a coach, the France team is firmly rooted in my head.

"When I say that I want to take the France team one day, I assume it. Today, a team is in place, with its goals. But if the opportunity comes next, then I'll be there.

"Again, it's not up to me. My deep desire is there. The France team is the most beautiful thing there is."

Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic has admitted he is "surprised" with wantaway forward Robert Lewandowski.

The Poland international is pushing for an exit from Bavaria in the current transfer window, with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly among those vying for his signature.

Lewandowski has enjoyed eight trophy-laden years with Bayern, lifting the Bundesliga in every season and winning the Champions League in 2019-20.

Given the 33-year-old scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern in all competitions in 2021-22, the most in Europe's top five leagues, Olic believes the club will face a tough task landing a replacement.

"Lewandowski has played at a high level for years, has been one of Bayern Munich's main brands for years and has raised the bar with his goals over several seasons," he told Stats Perform.

"It's about a striker that I was hoping would stay longer and it really surprised me how it all turned out and that he really wants to leave.

"Just as I was a bit surprised at the moment, I think the people at the club were just as surprised.

"Because at the moment there isn't really a player like Lewa that you could get for a normal price.

"It's really not easy to get a real striker these days. There aren't many at the top level like Lewa or anything like that.

"So, I think it's the main concern for Bayern right now and I'm sure that if there is a transfer they will do everything they can to find an adequate replacement for Lewa. 

"[Erling] Haaland, who was in Dortmund, was often associated with Bayern, but he has now gone to England."

Sadio Mane is poised to arrive from Liverpool, but Olic believes he does not quite fit the profile of the player Bayern will need to replace their talismanic striker.

"I don't know who else is there. Mane has been mentioned a lot, but for me he's not a classic number nine and he's not a classic striker. But he's certainly one of the more attractive players," Olic added.

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