Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Milan believe in their Serie A title credentials after extending their stellar start to the season by beating Roma, but the evergreen star admitted there is a long way to go.

Milan defeated Roma 2-1 at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, with Ibrahimovic opening the scoring with a 25th-minute free-kick, marking the 400th league goal of his career – 150 of those coming in Serie A.

The 40-year-old Swede earned his side a penalty for their second goal, with Franck Kessie converting from the spot in the 57th minute, before Stephan El Shaarawy's late consolation.

The win means Milan have 31 points from 11 Serie A games, sitting behind leaders Napoli only on goal difference.

Milan became the fourth team in Serie A history to win 10 of the first 11 games of the season, after Roma, Juventus (twice) and Napoli (twice). 

"We'll try. We believe in this, we've done well so far, but it's a long season and we must continue to be consistent in our work," Ibrahimovic told DAZN after the game about their title aspirations.

"We believe, but it's early days. Take it one game at a time."

The Rossoneri last lifted the Scudetto in 2010-11, enduring several lean years before last season's runners-up finish.

Milan, who face rivals and champions Inter next, have only dropped points in the league this season away to Juventus, while Roma had been unbeaten at home prior to Sunday's win.

"It was a great performance, we played with a lot of confidence and our style," Ibrahimovic said after scoring his fourth direct free-kick in Serie A and first since January 2012.

"We knew it wasn't easy, Roma were unbeaten at home this season, but we played really well and must continue with this belief and tempo."

The former Sweden international has now scored 11 goals against Roma in Serie A, making them his favourite opponent in the competition.

Ibrahimovic was jeered by the home fans throughout the contest in the Italian capital, but said it provided added motivation for him.

"I need the jeers, the more they jeer, the more alive I feel. Adrenaline brings so much," he said as Milan became the third team in Serie A history to win 15 away games in a calendar year, following Napoli in 2017 (18) and Juventus in 2018 (15).

"We want to win, especially when playing such a big game and a man down. We showed we've all got character and can suffer under pressure too. The lads put in a great performance."

Roma boss Jose Mourinho did not want to say much following the Giallorossi's 2-1 defeat to Milan at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, fearing that if he did he "won't be on the touchline next week."

The loss was Mourinho's first at home in Serie A in his career, having been unbeaten for 43 home games during his time at Inter and Roma.

"Compliments to Milan," he said to DAZN immediately after the game. "I don't want to say anything else, because otherwise I won't be on the touchline next week.

"I am angry at the lack of respect shown to the Roma fans. We did not play well, but we left everything on the pitch. We have that respect, others do not, and that angers me.

"That is all."

The former Chelsea and Manchester United manager then held an equally short press conference, adding: "I made an effort and did not wait for the referee."

 

1 - Mourinho has lost his first Serie A home game, after 43 matches in a row without losing: the longest unbeaten home run for a coach since 1994/95 in the competition. Stop. #RomaMilan

— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) October 31, 2021

 

Mourinho appeared to be unhappy with the performance of referee Fabio Maresca, who awarded Milan a second half penalty after he deemed Roger Ibanez to have fouled Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

On the advice of the video assistant referee (VAR), Maresca reviewed the footage at pitchside, but after several views, maintained his original decision and pointed to the spot.

Milan midfielder Franck Kessie scored the penalty to add to Ibrahimovic's first half free kick, and it ultimately proved to be the winning goal.

Maresca also sent off Milan's Theo Hernandez in the second half for a second bookable offence but Mourinho's men were unable to get back into the game, despite Stephan El Shaarawy's late strike.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli praised the courage of with his team, who moved back level on points with Napoli at the top of the Serie A table after the win.

"We played with character, with our ideas and approach," Pioli told DAZN.

"Roma are a quality side, we did very well with 11 against 11, kept trying to score more goals and that is the character we need in such important games.

"We're going through a positive period of form, so we’ve got to ride this wave, be courageous and confident, so I am very happy."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an emphatic free-kick for his 400th career league goal as Milan beat Jose Mourinho's Roma 2-1 to keep pace with Napoli at the top of Serie A.

It means Mourinho has lost a home game in Italy for the first time, while the visiting Rossoneri made it seven league wins in a row.

Roma made a bright start but Stefano Pioli's Milan soon took a stranglehold on the game, with Ibrahimovic at the centre of most of their good work and opening the scoring after 25 minutes.

Milan were too strong for their hosts, and a second-half penalty from Franck Kessie secured the points for the visitors, despite them going down to 10 men when Theo Hernandez was sent off. A late reply from Stephan El Shaarawy mattered for very little.

 

Ibrahimovic gave the visitors the lead when he fired a free-kick low and hard past Rui Patricio.

Milan thought they had doubled their advantage on two separate occasions as Rafael Leao and Ibrahimovic had goals ruled out for offside.

The away side were then awarded a penalty early in the second half after Roger Ibanez brought down Ibrahimovic, which Kessie duly dispatched.

Milan lost Hernandez to a red card in the 66th minute after his second booking of the contest. The Giallorossi then pulled a goal back in stoppage time when substitute El Shaarawy fired past Ciprian Tatarusanu.

But Milan, who have won more Serie A matches against Roma than against any other side (77), held on to secure the win and a 10th victory from their opening 11 games.


What does it mean? Milan keep pace with Napoli at Serie A summit

Milan remain neck and neck with fellow pacesetters Napoli after Luciano Spalletti’s men won 1-0 at Salernitana earlier on Sunday.

Milan and Napoli have now won 10 of their 11 matches in Serie A this season – only four sides had previously managed that feat in the history of the competition: Juventus in 2005-06, Roma in 2013-14, Napoli in 2017-18 and Juventus in 2018-19.

When in Rome, do as Ibra does

Ibrahimovic’s fierce free-kick brought up another landmark for the veteran Swede. His first league goal was netted on 30 October 1999, when 15 per cent of the players with at least one match in Serie A this season had not yet been born.

The former Manchester United attacker has also now scored 11 goals against Roma in Serie A, more than he has against anyone else in top-flight football.

Tough night for Tammy

Tammy Abraham was ready to write the headlines as he came up against his childhood friend and former Chelsea team-mate Fikayo Tomori, but it was the Milan centre-back who came out on top in Rome.

Abraham struggled to impose himself on the game during his 63 minutes on the pitch, managing only 18 touches, not winning any of his four duels and having just one shot on goal.

What's next?

Roma host Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, looking for revenge after their 6-1 thrashing in the reverse fixture. Milan host Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, looking for the first points of their European campaign.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reached another goalscoring milestone on Sunday by netting his 400th career league goal in Milan's Serie A meeting with Roma.

The 40-year-old drilled a free-kick under the Roma wall and past a well-beaten Rui Patricio to give Milan a first-half lead at the Stadio Olimpico.

That was also another landmark strike for Ibrahimovic, bringing up 150 goals in Serie A for Juventus, Inter and Milan, where he is in his second spell.

Incredibly, 15 per cent of the players with at least one match in Serie A this season were not even born when Ibrahimovic scored the first of his league goals for Malmo in the Swedish top flight in October 1999.

 

Ibrahimovic has also previously played for Ajax, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy, with his most prolific spell coming in Ligue 1 with PSG as he netted 113 times in 122 appearances.

The Sweden international has now scored 11 goals against Roma in Serie A, making them his favourite opponent in the competition. 

Each of Ibrahimovic's eight previous goals against Roma prior to Sunday had been in games in which he scored a brace, but that run came to an end as he was substituted before the hour mark in this latest contest.

Jose Mourinho said he realises why is it "tough" to work at Roma, but the Portuguese boss is having "fun" in the Italian capital.

Mourinho returned to Serie A as Roma head coach at the start of the season after he was sacked by Tottenham last term.

The Giallorossi have not won the Scudetto since 2001, while not since 2008 have they claimed silverware.

Mourinho has found himself under some pressure in the wake of Roma's shock 6-1 humbling at Bodo-Glimt in the Europa Conference League last week, with the former treble-winning Inter coach scathing of his players in the aftermath.

As Roma prepare to welcome high-flying Milan to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, Mourinho was in a combative mood during his pre-game news conference.

"You always find the negative side of any situation," Mourinho told reporters when asked about Roma conceding goals after the restart. "It would be more frustrating for me to concede a goal in the first five minutes of the match. Honestly, I am impressed by your ability to pick the negatives out of everything.

"I am starting to understand why Roma is a difficult place to work. In other clubs, you feel more protection and positivity with the fans at home.  Maybe in Rome it's more difficult for that too, but that's okay, it's still fun this way."

Mourinho's Roma are fourth in Serie A, nine points behind Milan and Napoli through 10 rounds of the season.

After losing his first match against Milan in Serie A in 2008, Mourinho has won each of his last three top-flight matches against the Rossoneri, with eight goals scored and only one conceded.

In each of the previous nine occasions – in the era of three points per win – in which Roma have won at least six of the first 10 Serie A games, they have then finished within the top three positions in the table (currently six wins, one draw and three defeats).

"I like to play against the best and I think I convey well to the players this feeling of pleasure when playing against teams that are playing well, are higher than us in the standings and that have different goals than ours," Mourinho said.

"From this point of view, there are no problems, only motivations. When I was in Italy, Pioli did not coach in Serie A. Our teams have never played against. I will have the pleasure of meeting him and greeting him before and after the game. His work maybe has some similarities to what I have to do here.

"He deserves a lot of credit for what he is doing, but from the outside, it seems to me that we're talking about a club effort: behind him there are people like [Paolo] Maldini, just to give an example, and there is a good, stable structure, a squad that improves in every transfer window.

"If you compare the squad he first had and the one he has now – a very good evolution of the club, which is in a good position now, plays in the Champions League and is first or second in the standings. They're doing very well."

Jose Mourinho said he would shoulder the blame for Roma's humiliating 6-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.

The shock result in Norway came as a largely second-string Roma side crumbled woefully, although they still sit second in Group C after three games.

It was the first time in his 1,008-game coaching career that Mourinho has seen one of his teams concede six goals.

Mourinho said he expected more from his players, but told reporters they now knew why he usually selected the same group for games, rather than being a coach who rotates his squad.

On the night when his former team Tottenham also lost in the competition, Mourinho was left to accept responsibility for his Serie A outfit's embarrassing away trip.

"I decided to play with this team. The responsibility is mine," he said. "Obviously I had done it with a good, double intention. On the one hand, giving an opportunity to people who work a lot and don't play a lot. On the other hand, consider our squad and all the games we have to play, I let people who play practically always have a rest.

"Then, we lost against a team who have more qualities than us. It's simple. The main Bodo team is better than ours who started the game.

"If I could always play with the same men, I would. I believe that doing so is a great risk, however. In a group-stage game, with six games and six points already acquired and two more games to play in Rome, I decided to make these changes.

"I knew about the limitations of some of our players, it's nothing new, but obviously I expected a better response. But as the decision is mine, so is the responsibility."

Bodo/Glimt lead the way in the Norwegian Elitserien, and Mourinho saw his team go into half-time trailing 2-1, with a flurry of second-half goals showing the Portuguese the limitations of his fringe players.

Mourinho added: "I had never hidden it, I knew that the team had many limits. The good thing is that now at least none of you will ask me why I always play the same players."

Two-time Champions League winner Mourinho said Roma would face pace-setters Napoli in Serie A on Sunday "with the weight of a defeat that I would define as historic".

Newcastle are making plans for the January transfer window following their Saudi ownership takeover.

The Magpies are currently 19th in the Premier League, with three points from eight games and no wins.

Newcastle have been linked with a host of top players at the start of a new era for the club.

 

TOP STORY – OZIL ON NEWCASTLE'S SHORTLIST

Newcastle have shortlisted former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil as one of their transfer targets, according to Ekrem Konur.

Ozil is currently playing in Turkey with Fenerbahce after moving from the Gunners in January.

The Magpies have made no official offer yet, but they see Ozil, along with Fenerbahce goalkeeper Altay Bayindir in their plans.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport reports that Argentina international Paulo Dybala is set to agree to an extension with Juventus , securing his future with the Turin club until 2026.

- Roma have reignited their interest in Aston Villa's Dutch winger Anwar El Ghazi,  according to Football Insider. Villa are ready to let him go in January for £18million (€21m) if Jose Mourinho's side meet their asking price.

- Netherlands international defender Matthijs de Ligt is unhappy with his role at Juventus and his agent has held talks with Barcelona about a potential move, claims Sport.

- Fabrizio Romano claims that Spain international Yeremy Pino, who turned 19 on Wednesdayis set to agree a new five-year deal with Villarreal.

- Mundo Deportivo reports that Ansu Fati is close to renewing with Barcelona, with an in-principle agreement set to tie him down until 2026.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted he did some "damage" at the start of the season, but the Serie A giants are heading in the right direction after beating Roma.

Moise Kean earned the credit for Juve's winning goal in Sunday's 1-0 win at home to Roma as Rodrigo Bentancur's first-half header deflected off his forehead and in, while Wojciech Szczesny saved Jordan Veretout's penalty.

Juve have now won four consecutive Serie A matches and six in a row across all competitions, though they started the 2021-22 campaign without a win in three league fixtures – losing back-to-back matches after drawing their opener.

"We have players more suited to counter-attacks, those are their characteristics, so when we try to play the ball, we either fall asleep or get irritable," Allegri – back in Turin for a second spell having replaced Andrea Pirlo – told DAZN.

"It's an important victory, another step forward in the table and a further progress for the season. We were missing [Paulo] Dybala, [Matthijs] De Ligt, [Adrien] Rabiot, [Alvaro] Morata only came on at the end, but when everyone plays with that spirit, you don’t concede as many goals.

"We are starting to slow the game down at the right time, but we need to step up the pace too when it's required. I won't lie, I probably did damage too at the start with some of my choices, I had to get to know some players and their characteristics, but we're getting there."

"We knew beforehand it would be tough. Roma could've deserved a draw, but these are games that depend on incidents and tonight fortunately they went our way," said Allegri. "I do say they put in a good performance and are one of the best teams in the league."

After falling behind in the 16th minute, Roma's Tammy Abraham thought he had equalised, turning a loose ball into the back of the net after Szczesny brought Henrikh Mkhitaryan down in the box.

But the whistle had already gone to award Roma a spot-kick, which Veretout saw the Juventus goalkeeper parry aside on the stroke of half-time.

"I like 1-0, as it's a good result, especially as we kept another clean sheet," Allegri added. "Roma are a technically good team, they have a lot of quality and caused us problems early on, then we scored a good goal and improved as time wore on."

Szczesny is the goalkeeper who has saved the most penalties in Serie A in 2021 – three out of the seven faced.

On the penalty, Allegri said: "Szczesny made all his mistakes for the season in one fell swoop and is now bringing back what he can to the team. We need to improve in the final third, the timing and movement, but we'll get there."

With this win against Roma, Juventus have won 10 Serie A games at Allianz Stadium against a single opponent for their first time.

Jose Mourinho says he saw a "great" Roma in Sunday's 1-0 loss to Juventus and is convinced his side are moving in the right direction despite the defeat.

Moise Kean scored the only goal of the game at Juventus Stadium as Rodrigo Bentancur's header deflected in off the striker in the first half, with Jordan Veretout seeing a penalty kept out by Bianconeri goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Roma out-shot Juventus 15-6 and edged possession with 52.1 per cent, but were unable to breach the hosts' stubborn rear-guard in Turin.

Giallorossi boss Mourinho believes his beaten side did enough to win the match and is encouraged by the progress Roma are making under his stewardship.

"I can only say I saw a great Roma today. That's what I told my players in the locker room," Mourinho told DAZN.

"Obviously, we are talking about a defeat and zero points, but all I can say is that was a great Roma in every respect. Congratulations for the organisation, the hard work, those who played despite some physical difficulties, missing players through international duty.

"I saw courage, confidence, belief. Obviously, the defeat will always be a defeat, but if I look at the project, that means looking at the growth of the team over time.

"I might see it differently to you, but I saw the team that deserved to win ended up losing. That is football.

"All the words we heard from Juventus in the tunnel and the locker room, I hope they say it in public too. They know how much they struggled against us.

"I won here many years ago without playing so well, today we lost when playing very well and showing we are going in the right direction.

"I told the lads that when going into these games where you are not the favourite, you cannot go home with regrets. We played well, we neutralised their counter-attack and had absolute control of players like [Federico] Chiesa and [Juan] Cuadrado.

"We moved the ball internally, but when up against a side that defends that well with those two professors [Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci] it's not easy. I still feel we did more than enough to win or at least draw. I congratulate my players."

Roma were frustrated with the referee for awarding the penalty that Veretout failed to convert, blowing his whistle seconds before Tammy Abraham turned the ball into the net after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was fouled by Szczesny.

However, Mourinho declined to comment on the matter other than to confirm that Abraham had wanted to take the spot-kick, but had been turned down by first-choice taker Veretout.

"The penalty incident, I don;t want to comment on," Mourinho continued. "I don't have all the information at hand, I haven't seen the replays. I want to isolate myself from that incident and concentrate on everything my team did.

"Abraham is confident, he was fired up, but we have a hierarchy for penalties. Tammy is third behind Veretout and Pellegrini. If Jordan said he was ready to hand it over, that would not have been a problem for me."

Wojciech Szczesny was the hero for Juventus as he saved Jordan Veretout's penalty, awarded under controversial circumstances, en route to a 1-0 win over Roma.

Moise Kean earned the credit for the Bianconeri's winning goal in the first half as Rodrigo Bentancur's header deflected off his forehead and in.

Tammy Abraham thought he had equalised, turning a loose ball into the back of the net after Szczesny brought Henrikh Mkhitaryan down in the box, but the whistle had already gone to award Roma a spot-kick, which Jordan Veretout saw the Juventus goalkeeper parry aside.

The result sees Massimiliano Allegri's side move up to seventh in the Serie A table, just one point behind Roma, who remain fourth.

Roma started the brighter of the two sides, Gianluca Mancini testing Szczesny with an early headed effort, but went behind in the 16th minute as the hosts scored with their first attempt of the game, Bentancur heading the ball against Kean and in following Mattia De Sciglio's deep cross from the left.

The visitors were left frustrated as the referee blew his whistle to award them a penalty - confirmed after a VAR review - for Szczesny's foul on Mkhitaryan just moments before Abraham found the net, with Veretout's subsequent spot-kick saved by the Poland international.

Shortly after the restart, Federico Bernardeschi's spectacular bicycle kick was spilled into the path of Kean by Rui Patricio, but the striker blazed the loose ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

A second VAR penalty check was conducted when Lorenzo Pellegrini went down in the box as he and Giorgio Chiellini swiped at a loose ball, but this time Jose Mourinho's men were denied a spot-kick and were unable to find an equaliser, slumping to their third defeat of the season.

Jose Mourinho has scotched suggestions he could become the next Newcastle United manager but acknowledged "an emotional connection" to the city.

Ahead of his Roma team facing Juventus in Serie A on Sunday, the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss stressed he was not thinking about a Premier League return.

After the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund takeover at St James' Park, the expectation is that the club will see dramatic changes in personnel, with big-name players and staff arriving.

Steve Bruce remains head coach for now, but speculation surrounds his position, amid suggestions the new owners will want a higher-profile boss.

Mourinho would fit that bill, and has a track record of success in domestic and European football.

But when asked about the prospect of a switch to Newcastle, Mourinho frowned on the possibility and said he was committed to Roma, who are owned by American billionaire Dan Friedkin.

Mourinho moved to the Italian capital club in the close season, after his appointment was announced in May.

He said his passion for Newcastle is one that has been long held, stemming from his time working at Barcelona alongside Bobby Robson, who went on to manage the Magpies.

"The only thing I can say is that, for many, many years, I worked with one of the most important figures in the history of Newcastle, Sir Bobby Robson," Mourinho said.

"And so because of that I have always had a bit of an emotional connection with that city and that fanbase.

"But it's nothing more than that. I am here, I am really happy to be here, I am 100 per cent focused on the Roma project, the Friedkin project."

Paulo Dybala will miss Juventus' Serie A meeting with Roma on Sunday and he is a doubt to face reigning champions Inter next weekend. 

A thigh injury has sidelined Dybala since the 3-2 victory over Sampdoria on September 26, though he was still called up to the Argentina squad. 

The 27-year-old did not meet up with the squad after being assessed by Argentina and it was reported he would be fit for the visit of Roma to the Allianz Stadium this weekend. 

However, Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri insisted that is not the case and suggested Dybala could yet miss the Derby d'Italia against Inter at San Siro a week on Sunday. 

"During the week I was reading that maybe Dybala could play against Roma – maybe the return match! I think he will be available in a week, or 10 days at most," Allegri said in a news conference. 

"There's no problem with his recovery, he's on schedule. It was thought that maybe he'd need a few days less, but these things happen. 

"With muscle injuries you think one thing and believe you can do less. It always depends on the evolution of the situation." 

Roma have gained four more points from seven matches this season than Juve and will be out to avoid suffering a 10th away loss in Serie A in the calendar year - something that has not happened to them since 2012.

The match will see Jose Mourinho in the dugout at the Allianz Stadium for the first time since November 2018, when he celebrated leading Manchester United to victory over Juventus by cupping his ear to the crowd. 

Allegri has only won seven of his 20 Serie A games against Roma as a coach - a win percentage of 35 that is his worst against teams he has faced at least three times.

"Mourinho is a coach who has won a lot and I respect him a lot," said Allegri. 

"It's in his character to, every now and then, do something like he did with Manchester United a few years ago. 

"It pleases me to have a coach of his standing back in Italy." 

Mourinho is hopeful of having Tammy Abraham available for the game after the striker limped off during England's 1-1 draw with Hungary on Tuesday. 

"He will travel with us. We'll decide tomorrow whether he'll be on the pitch, the bench or in the stands. He's improving," said Mourinho. 

Juve have won three straight Serie A games to climb up the table after a woeful start and will be seeking to make it four in succession for the first time since July 2020.

Mourinho believes the depth in Juve's squad means that – despite them already being 10 points adrift of unbeaten leaders Napoli – they remain strong contenders for the Scudetto. 

"They're a very strong team and they always play to win games and the league. It's not a team of 11 good players, they have more than 20 good players with experience," said Mourinho. 

"The coach also has a lot of experience. Juve are a strong candidate [for the title]." 

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has revealed his respect for Roma counterpart Jose Mourinho, declaring it good news for Serie A that the Portuguese boss has returned to Italy.

The experienced pair go head-to-head on Sunday in Turin, with Allegri's men sitting a disappointing seventh in the league standings going into the weekend, four points and three places behind the capital club.

Mourinho returned to take charge of a team in Italy this term for the first time since leaving Inter in 2010, having won Serie A in his first season and a remarkable treble in his second at San Siro.

Allegri believes the presence of such a character can only be positive for the league, despite an incident in 2018 when Mourinho – then managing Manchester United – taunted Allegri's Juventus and their fans after a 2-1 comeback win in 2018 by cupping his ear to the crowd.

"Mourinho is a coach who has won a lot and I respect him a lot," Allegri said. "It's in his character to, every now and then, do like he did with Manchester a few years ago.

"It pleases me to have a coach of his value back in Italy."

Despite offering such words for his counterpart, Allegri is determined to see his team come out on top as Juventus look to close the gap between themselves and league leaders Napoli, who have won every game.

"Juventus versus Roma is always a great match where there has often been controversy. There's Mourinho, who has given them character. They are ahead of us, and we must score points to not fall behind the best in the championship.

"We need to prepare well and turn the switch back on immediately after the break."

Real Madrid's pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain's 22-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe has been widely observed.

Los Blancos could not prise the France striker away from PSG during the last transfer window but may be ready to enter the market in a major way next year.

Carlo Ancelotti took over as Madrid head coach in June and is beginning to build his side.

 

TOP STORY –   REAL CONFIDENT OF HUGE DOUBLE SIGNING

The Sun reports that Real Madrid are confident of signing both Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe next year.

The report claims securing Pogba's signature would help Los Blancos clinch a deal for the Paris Saint-Germain star who is a France team-mate.

Pogba is out of contract with Manchester United at the end of this season, while Mbappe has stalled on an extension with PSG and appears set to exit.

ROUND-UP

- Madrid are also interested in signing Italy international Federico Chiesa from Juventus, reports Fichajes.

- Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham are keen on Fiorentina's Serbian forward Dusan Vlahovic, but Mundo Deportivo reports La Viola have set a €70million (£59m) asking price for him.

- Roma are willing to offload Everton target Gonzalo Villar in the January transfer window in order to raise funds to move for Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, claims Tuttomercatoweb.

- Liverpool are leading the race to sign highly sought-after Belgian talent Jeremy Doku who is currently with Rennes, reports RTL.

- Sky Sports reports that Atletico Madrid are eager to complete new deals for Jan Oblak and Thomas Lemar, with talks under way.

- Tottenham's Ryan Sessegnon could be offered a fresh start by Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, according to Takvim.

Jose Mourinho said he wants to deliver titles to Roma as the Portuguese boss embraces the "eternal passion" in the Italian capital.

Mourinho is back in Serie A with Roma in 2021-22 following his Tottenham sacking in April.

Roma are fourth in the league standings, six points behind flawless leaders Napoli through seven rounds during the international break.

The Giallorossi have not won Serie A since 2001, while not since 2008 have they claimed silverware, something head coach Mourinho is looking to change.

"I would give Roma titles, because a club lives with titles and they fuel the passion of the fans," former Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Mourinho told Esquire magazine.

"I immediately realised the love for Roma here goes beyond trophies, it is an eternal passion, it's in the blood and it's familial.

"However, victory is what's missing and we are building a project to get there. If it arrives with me in charge, perfect, otherwise it'll be wonderful to know I contributed to the construction of this future, which is the dream for everyone.

"I was not surprised by the passion, because I lived and worked in Italy for two years, I played against Roma many times, so the atmosphere is undeniable."

Asked how he has improved since leading Inter to the treble in 2009-10, Mourinho added: "In every way. If a coach does not improve, it's because he has lost the passion or the mentality to keep learning every day. Age or physical fitness are irrelevant in this profession, you can only improve with experience.

"I will have time to look at my trophies when I retire, but now I only want to think about the next game. I feel more like a coach now than I did 10 or even 20 years ago."

 

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