Juventus have been targeting a deal for Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, hoping he can be acquired for around £20million.

Firmino, 30, has spent the past seven seasons with Liverpool, playing a major role in winning the 2019-20 Premier League and 2018-19 Champions League, but in the past season a series of injuries limited him to his fewest league appearances (20) and league goals (five) since arriving at Anfield.

Corriere dello Sport claims the Brazilian was not Juventus' first choice when weighing up the striker market, but interest grew as it became increasingly unlikely they would be able to bring Alvaro Morata back to the club from Atletico Madrid.


TOP STORY – WITH MORATA UNLIKELY TO RETURN, JUVENTUS PIVOT TO FIRMINO

Darwin Nunez's arrival has given Liverpool an abundance of options up front, and instead of letting Firmino operate as a back-up as his value continues to diminish, the club could elect to cash in, if the price is right.

The report from Italy claims Juventus have also been investigating the possibility of acquiring Chelsea's Timo Werner or Manchester United's Anthony Martial, but securing Firmino would put an end to those pursuits.

Reports from England have indicated Liverpool are not interested in selling for the fee Juventus have so far proposed.

Meanwhile, Marca is reporting that Juventus are also in the hunt for Benfica left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, with Manchester City and Newcastle United their main competition.


ROUND-UP

– Spanish publication Cadena Ser claims Frenkie de Jong has told team-mates he has no plans to leave Barcelona in the current transfer period, despite strong interest from Manchester United.

– Cadena Ser is also reporting that Barcelona will look to sell highly paid goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for financial relief if they can not convince De Jong to leave.

– According to The Athletic, Bournemouth are set to sign 23-year-old Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier for £10million.

Roma are reportedly in the final stages of securing Georginio Wijnaldum on a loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, with negotiations said to be continuing about the percentage of salary the French club will cover during his stay in Italy.

– The Daily Mail is reporting that Ajax have raised their asking price for Manchester United target Antony to £84million, likely indicating they have no intention of parting ways with the 22-year-old Brazil international.

Luis Suarez has officially re-joined his first club Nacional in his native Uruguay.

The 35-year-old, who was a free agent after leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of last season, announced on Tuesday that an agreement was in place to return to Nacional.

That transfer officially went through on Wednesday, though the length of the contract was not disclosed by the South American club.

"I am proud to wear this shirt again," Suarez posted on Twitter. "Thank you for all your support. See you soon!"

Suarez made his professional debut for Nacional as an 18-year-old in 2005 before moving to Groningen the following season.

He then enjoyed spells with Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico, for whom he scored 32 goals in 67 league games over two seasons, winning LaLiga in the first of those.

Uruguay's record scorer, who is expected to play in this year's World Cup, will hope to help Nacional reclaim the Primera Division title after arch-rivals Penarol lifted it last year.

Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards has joined Premier League side Crystal Palace on a five-year deal.

The eight-cap United States international spent the majority of the past two seasons on loan with Hoffenheim, where he made 34 appearances.

He was pushed further down the central-defensive pecking order at Bayern following the arrival of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus earlier this month.

Palace confirmed on their official website on Wednesday that Richards has put pen to paper on a long-term contract at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Vieira's side are reported to have paid an initial £8.5million (€10m), potentially rising to £11m (€13m), for the 22-year-old.

Richards, who departs Bayern having made 10 first-team appearances after joining from FC Dallas in 2018, is looking forward to a new challenge in England.

"I grew up watching the Premier League and grew up watching [Wilfried] Zaha, so it'll be cool to spend some time on the field with and be a part of this historic club," he said. 

"I'm really excited for it. It's a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight. Palace is a club that seems like they're always fighting."

Richards was given a permanent contract by Bayern after impressing on an initial trial basis four years ago, but he was unable to become a regular in the senior side.

"Chris came to the FC Bayern Campus at the age of 18. He demonstrated his talent in his first year when he played for our reserves," Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said.

"That's why we signed him from FC Dallas, and Chris went on to develop really well on loan at Hoffenheim. 

"Now his big desire is to succeed in the Premier League. We wanted to make that possible and we wish him all the best at Crystal Palace."

Richards is Palace's fourth signing of the window after Sam Johnstone, Malcolm Ebiowei and Cheick Doucoure.

Ruben Vinagre is relishing the chance to work under "football legend" Frank Lampard and coach Ashley Cole at Everton after completing a season-long loan move from Sporting CP.

The 23-year-old, who previously spent two full seasons in the Premier League with Wolves, becomes Everton's second signing of the window following the arrival of James Tarkowski.

Vinagre only joined Sporting on a permanent basis earlier this month, but the loan agreement between the Portuguese club and Everton is reported to contain an option for the Toffees to purchase the defender outright next year.

He can operate as a left-back or left wing-back and will provide competition for Vitalii Mykolenko this coming campaign, with Niels Nkounkou another option in that position for Lampard.

Everton confirmed the loan signing on their official website on Wednesday, and the former Portugal Under-21 international – who is in line to make his debut in Friday's friendly against Dynamo Kyiv – is eager to get going.

"It's a dream come true to join a big club like Everton," he told Everton TV. "The opportunity to work with very good players and a very good coach in Frank Lampard made me excited to sign.

"The manager is a football legend. Everybody knows him and the opportunity to work with and learn from him and someone like Ashley Cole – one of football's best left-backs – is very big for me.

"Kevin [Thelwell, director of football] was important, too, because he knows me very well from when we worked together at Wolves.

"He explained to me about Everton's proud history and the qualities you need here because it's a very big club and you have to give everything for the supporters."

Vinagre featured 18 times during his time on loan with Sporting last season and did not taste defeat in any of his domestic league or cup appearances.

As well as making 69 appearances for Wolves in all competitions, the full-back has also previously played for Monaco, Olympiacos and Famalicao.

 

Fulham have confirmed the signing of Wolfsburg and Switzerland right-back Kevin Mbabu ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Reports suggest Fulham will pay £4.6million (€5.5m) plus add-ons for the 27-year-old, who made 24 Bundesliga appearances last season.

Marco Silva's newly promoted side have been active in the transfer market ahead of their season opener against Liverpool on August 6, acquiring Sporting CP's Joao Palhinha, Manchester United's Andreas Pereira and Shakhtar Donetsk winger Manor Solomon.

No German top-flight team bettered Wolfsburg's tally of 11 clean sheets last term (Bayern Munich also kept 11), although only six teams in the division conceded more than the 54 goals shipped by Die Wolfe.

After signing a three-year deal with the option of a further 12 months at Craven Cottage, Mbabu told Fulham's website: "I'm happy to be here as a Fulham Football Club player. It's a relief and now I can focus on my goals and the club's goals, and help the team to be successful.

"The first step is to stay in the Premier League, stay stable in the league, and then why not aim for the top 10?"

Mbabu has 22 caps for Switzerland and will hope to feature when they take on Cameroon, Brazil and Serbia in the World Cup group stages in Qatar later this year.

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez in a reported €57million (£48m) deal.

An agreement on the fee was reached between the clubs on July 17, and the player has now signed a five-year-deal, with the option of a further year.

The 24-year-old follows former coach Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford in a move that is thought could potentially rise to €67m (£56.5m) with add-ons.

Martinez's arrival marks the latest building block of the Dutchman's restructuring of the English giants, who posted a worst-ever points total in the Premier League era last term (58).

They also conceded the most goals they ever have in a Premier League campaign (57), something Ten Hag will hope the Argentina international can help improve.

Speaking to the club's official website following the announcement, Martinez said: "It's an honour to join this great football club. I've worked so hard to get to this moment and, now that I'm here, I'm going to push myself even further.

"I've been lucky enough to be part of successful teams in my career and that's what I want to continue at Manchester United. There will be a lot of work to get to that moment, but I firmly believe that, under this manager and coaches, and together with my new team-mates, we can do it.

"I want to thank Ajax and their fans for all the support they gave me. I had an unbelievable time there but feel the moment is right to test myself in another environment. Now I am at the perfect club to do this."

Martinez follows Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen through the door at Old Trafford, while Ten Hag has also held crunch talks with wantaway forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Napoli have announced the signing of central defender Kim Min-jae from Fenerbahce, shelling out a reported €19.5million for the South Korea international in a bid to replace Kalidou Koulibaly.

Luciano Spalletti's team finished third in Serie A after threatening a first Scudetto win since the Diego Maradona era last term, conceding the joint-fewest goals in the division (31, alongside Milan).

But the Partenopei have been in the market for reinforcements since they lost defensive colossus Koulibaly to Chelsea in a €40m deal earlier this month.

Kim, who has 42 caps for his country and will hope to feature when they open their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on November 24, is the man Napoli have signed to fill that void after he enjoyed an impressive one-season spell in Turkey.

Having contributed to Fenerbahce conceding just 38 league goals last term, the towering 25-year-old has penned a three-year deal with the option of two further seasons in Italy.

Reports also suggest Kim will have a release clause of €45million.

Napoli begin their 2022-23 Serie A campaign at Verona on August 15 but have endured a troubled off-season, losing both Koulibaly and Lorenzo Insigne during the transfer window, while president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed on Saturday that club legend Dries Mertens is also departing.

The tense Frenkie de Jong transfer saga continues with uncertainty on his Barcelona future.

The 25-year-old Dutchman has two years to run on his Barcelona contract, having postponed part of his deal during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Jong is unwilling to accept another pay cut to remain at Camp Nou, though, amid the club's hefty off-season transfer spending.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG DECISION OVER ENGLISH SUITORS

Decisions will be made on Frenkie de Jong's future at Barcelona after their United States tour, with interest from Chelsea alongside Manchester United, reports Sport.

De Jong is reluctant to leave Camp Nou, particularly for a move to Old Trafford, despite ending last season out of favour.

However, the Dutchman is more open to Chelsea's advances, but the Blues are unwilling to pay as much as United, leaving the Blaugrana in a bind.

 

ROUND-UP

– Leicester City have placed a £70million asking price on Wesley Fofana, who is being courted by Chelsea, reports CBS Sports.

Newcastle United are considering a move for Chelsea's Germany international forward Timo Werner, claims Bild. Juventus are also interested in Werner according to Sky Sports.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that ex-Chelsea midfielder Oscar is pushing for a move from Shanghai SIPG to Flamengo, with talks ongoing.

– L'Equipe believes that Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has agreed to a deal with Ligue 1 club Nice, although Leicester City are yet to approve the move.

– Arsenal and Fulham are in talks over an £8m deal for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, claims Sky Sports.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho is trying to woo Manchester United defender Eric Bailly to the Italian capital, reports The Daily Mail.

Antoine Griezmann is not up for sale and Atletico Madrid do not need to offload any players, insists president Enrique Cerezo. 

Atletico were reportedly considering finding a new home for Griezmann to raise €40million in player sales before making a move for Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo. 

However, Cerezo, who said a move for Ronaldo was "practically impossible", denied that Diego Simeone will need to part with any players ahead of the 2022-23 season. 

Asked if Griezmann could be let go, Cerezo told COPE: "As far as I know, no. It seems it's taken for granted that there is an open door, but it's not like that. 

"Yes, if the rumours continue to increase it will seem to be real, but it's not. 

"We have a wonderful team. With a great team and a great coach, we look forward to a wonderful season." 

Atleti have friendlies against Numancia, United and Juventus scheduled before commencing their LaLiga campaign at Getafe on August 15. 

West Ham have completed the signing of Gianluca Scamacca, with the Italy striker arriving from Sassuolo.

The Hammers have reportedly agreed to pay an initial £30.5million (€36m) plus £5m in add-ons for the 23-year-old, who scored 16 goals in 36 Serie A appearances last season and has signed a five-year contract at West Ham, with an option for a further year.

Only five players - Ciro Immobile (27), Dusan Vlahovic (24), Lautaro Martinez (21), Giovanni Simeone and Tammy Abraham (both 17) - bettered that return, with Scamacca averaging a goal every 134.63 minutes.

He also converted 70.59 per cent of his big chances last term, a figure only bettered by Gianluca Caprari (83.33) and Vlahovic (73.91) among players to hit double figures, and Scamacca will hope to aid West Ham's chances of breaking into the Premier League's top six.

"I am really excited to join West Ham. I've waited a long time for this moment – it's been a dream to play in the Premier League," Scamacca said in a club statement. 

"I feel like West Ham is the perfect team for me. They showed they really wanted me and when I spoke to the manager there was an instant understanding.  

"I can't wait to play and show the supporters what I can do in the West Ham shirt – I hope we will love each other." 

David Moyes' side ended another promising campaign in seventh last time out, also reaching the Europa League semi-finals one year on from a sixth-placed finish.

Scamacca, who has won seven caps for Italy since making his international bow last year, emerged as a hot property last campaign and was linked with a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain before West Ham made their move.

He will join a West Ham attack that scored 60 league goals last term, as Jarrod Bowen (12) and Michail Antonio 10) both reached double figures.

"We've been looking to add more strength to our attacking options for a while, so we're delighted to have got Gianluca in," said Moyes. 

"He comes really well recommended – and we're looking forward to working with him. He's a young centre-forward with a really bright future ahead of him." 

West Ham begin their 2022-23 Premier League season at home to champions Manchester City on August 7.

Luis Suarez has reached an agreement to return to boyhood club Nacional. 

Uruguay international Suarez, 35, was allowed to leave Atletico Madrid at the end of last season and had been linked with a number of clubs including River Plate and Borussia Dortmund. 

However, the veteran striker has opted to return to Uruguayan giants Nacional, where he began his professional career back in 2005. 

"First of all, I want to thank you [the fans] for the love that my family and I have received in recent days," said Suarez. 

"That touched our hearts in this situation where we had to make a decision. It was impossible to reject this opportunity to have a chance to play for Nacional again, and we have a pre-agreement with the club. 

"In the next few hours, the details will be finalised and we hope the agreement we all want will be reached so we can enjoy this new stage and see each other in the coming days." 

Suarez scored 32 goals in 67 league appearances over two seasons with Atletico, with 21 of those strikes coming in the triumphant 2020-21 LaLiga campaign. 

He will hope to help Nacional reclaim the Primera Division title after arch-rivals Penarol lifted the title last year.

Cristiano Ronaldo joining Atletico Madrid from Manchester United is "practically impossible", according to the Spanish club's president Enrique Cerezo. 

Rumours have persisted for the entirety of the transfer window that the former Real Madrid man wants out of Old Trafford after just one season back in Manchester, with the Red Devils having failed to qualify for the 2022-23 Champions League. 

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo, 37, has been linked with a host of top European clubs, including Chelsea and Bayern Munich, while more recent reports speculated that he could make a switch to Atletico. 

But that looks to have been put to bed by Cerezo, who told COPE: "I don't know who invented this story about Cristiano Ronaldo to Atletico Madrid. 

"It's definitely not true. It is practically impossible for him to come to Atletico Madrid." 

Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes were at United's training ground on Tuesday for crunch talks over his future. 

Atletico will face off against United in a pre-season friendly on Saturday as they build up to the 2022-23 season. 

Aaron Ramsey will become a free agent after Juventus announced his contract with the Italian club had been mutually terminated.

The Wales international joined the Bianconeri in 2019 after his Arsenal contract expired, but he fell out of favour last season and made just three Serie A appearances before joining Scottish side Rangers on loan.

He featured seven times for the Gers in the Scottish Premiership, but his time in Glasgow will be remembered for his crucial penalty shoot-out miss in the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville, which Rangers ultimately went on to lose.

The 31-year-old returned to Turin after the loan spell with one year left on his contract, but it has been agreed between the two parties that they will part ways.

The midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to a couple of former clubs, with boyhood club Cardiff City reportedly interested as well as Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest, where he spent a short spell on loan in the 2010-11 season.

Ramsey will be keen to get some minutes under his belt to prepare for the World Cup with Wales in Qatar in November. 

Juventus meanwhile are reportedly interested in Paris Saint-Germain's Leandro Paredes, who spent last season on loan with Sporting Lisbon and could be a player that PSG would be happy to sell.

Paris Saint-Germain confirmed the signing of RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele on Tuesday as coach Christophe Galtier continued to shape his side.

Mukiele appeared destined to become a PSG player when Leipzig announced he had been granted absence from their squad for the DFL-Supercup due to ongoing transfer negotiations on Monday.

Despite reports of late interest from Chelsea, PSG sealed the acquisition of the 24-year-old and will reportedly pay an initial €12million fee, which could reach a total of €16million with add-ons included.

Mukiele has signed a five-year deal at the Parc des Princes, becoming the third new arrival of the transfer window after midfielder Vitinha and striker Hugo Ekitike, while left-back Nuno Mendes made his loan from Sporting CP permanent.

Speaking to PSG's website, Mukiele said: "When I found out that Paris were interested in me and that they wanted me to come here, I had to think about it because it's very important.

"It's a very big step in my career, it's not a choice to be taken lightly. But I think and I'm sure I made the right choice."

Mukiele made 28 appearances – 21 of them starts – as Leipzig finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, contributing to the side matching Bayern Munich as the competition's best defensive side.

No Bundesliga team conceded fewer than their 37 goals across the 2021-22 campaign, while only Bayern and Wolfsburg (both 11) bettered their tally of 10 clean sheets.

PSG won three out of three fixtures during a pre-season tour of Japan, though Galtier expressed frustration with their defending after Monday's 6-2 rout of Gamba Osaka.

Mukiele, who is capable of playing at full-back and centre-back, is expected to challenge for a spot in a three-man backline next season.

Paulo Dybala began life as a Roma player by insisting he bore no ill feeling towards Inter once his expected switch to San Siro failed to materialise.

Argentine forward Dybala has joined Roma on a free transfer after his contract at Juventus was allowed to expire, with the 28-year-old confident the capital club are becoming an increasingly powerful force.

Inter appeared to be the option that Dybala would choose after his Juve exit, but Nerazzurri managing director Giuseppe Marotta last week said the club had "no space" and "no need" to do that deal. They have brought in Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the close season.

"I didn't feel betrayed," Dybala said at a presentation media conference. "Since ending my contract with Juve I spoke to some teams more than others. I have a good relationship with Marotta."

Dybala said Roma general manager Tiago Pinto swayed him towards the Giallorossi, and he expects last season's Europa Conference League trophy triumph to prove a stepping stone to more success.

He said he would not celebrate if he scored in games against Juventus, and refused to speak of a Serie A title challenge – quite justifiably. Roma came home sixth in the league last season and finished 23 points behind champions Milan.

"Roma have won a very important trophy and want to have ambition for the future," Dybala said. "Roma have grown with the coach and the players. Our goal is winning game by game, then later we'll see where we are. Right now there are teams ahead of us for the Scudetto, we have to work to do well.

"I know there is a great desire, but it's too early to talk about it. But I like to win."

So does Jose Mourinho, the Roma head coach who will expect big things from Dybala.

Dybala scored 15 goals and added six assists in 38 games across all competitions last season, a big step in the right direction after a disappointing 2020-21 effort (five goals, three assists in 26 games).

His shot conversion rate of 12.4 per cent was nothing to crow about, however, compared to new Roma team-mate Tammy Abraham, whose rate of 18.18 per cent led to an 18-goal haul.

Now Dybala must put his playmaking attacking skills to work.

"Both Mou and the company showed me seriousness, enthusiasm, awareness," Dybala said at his presentation on Tuesday. "Knowing how Roma are building, I didn't have many doubts about choosing.

"It's up to the coach to decide where I play, wherever is best for the good of the team. I am ready to play wherever he thinks is best. Speaking with Mourinho before moving here was a great pleasure, all the conversations we had were very productive."

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