Lionel Messi lifted the Copa America on Saturday in Brazil.

But back in Europe, rumours continue to swirl about his future.

The 34-year-old forward is out of contract though the latest development suggests a resolution is in sight.

 

TOP STORY - NEW BARCELONA DEAL LOOMS FOR MESSI

AS reports that LaLiga have authorized Barcelona to register Lionel Messi despite the club's financial concerns.

Messi became a free agent last week with Barcelona working on a new deal, pending their financial constraints having been impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paris Saint-Germain had been linked with a swoop for Messi but the approval of the authorities to register Messi is a strong indication he will stay.

 

ROUND-UP

- Highly sought-after Saul Niguez is being considered in a swap deal between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, which would include Antoine Griezmann, claims Football Espana. Liverpool were linked with Niguez earlier this week.

- Chelsea have joined the race for Rennes teenage talent Eduardo Camavinga, alongside Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid, according to Le Parisien.

- Manchester United are ready to spend £17m to sign Napoli's right-back Giovanni di Lorenzo following the Euro 2020 final, reports Il Napolista.

- Fabrizio Romano reports that veteran Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini will sign a new one-year extension with Juventus after the completion of Euro 2020.

- Newly promoted Watford are keen on Udinese's Danish star Jens Stryger Larsen after he impressed during Euro 2020, reports 90min.

- Newly promoted Brentford are preparing a £10m bid for Liverpool's Harry Wilson claims The Sun.

Paul Pogba's future at Manchester United has drawn speculation.

The France international has one year left on his United contract and is yet to re-sign with the Red Devils.

The 2018 World Cup winner has numerous big-spending admirers and impressed at Euro 2020.

 

TOP STORY - PSG PLOT CUT-PRICE POGBA DEAL

Paris Saint-Germain are lining up Manchester United's French mdifielder Paul Pogba for a cut-price £50million (€58m) deal, claims the Daily Star.

Big-spending PSG have already landed Achraf Hakimi and Georginio Wijnaldum this off-season and will need to sell players to fund the deal.

L'Equipe reports PSG are confident they can land Pogba on a cut-price deal given his contract status.

 

ROUND-UP

- Denmark's Euro 2020 star Mikkel Damsgaard is set for a Premier League switch this off-season with interest from Tottenham, Liverpool, Leeds and Leicester City reports HITC. However, Gazzetta dello Sport claims Sampdoria will not sell the Danish talent for less than €40 million (£34m).

- Atalanta want €60million (£52m) for Manchester United target Cristian Romero, who has also been linked with Tottenham and Barcelona according to Calciomercato.

- Sport claims Philippe Coutinho will leave Barcelona this off-season, with Leicester City, Inter and Milan among the top contenders to sign him.

- Football Insider reports that Liverpool have approached Wolves about Spain winger Adama Traore.

- New Everton manager Rafa Benitez wants to sign Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet, reports Fichajes.

- Hector Bellerin is ready to leave Arsenal to join Italian champions  Inter, claims FourFourTwo.

- Tottenham are mulling over a move for Wolfsburg defender Maxence Lacroix according to The Boot Room.

Jose Mourinho claimed his "disaster" years would be regarded as career high points by many bosses as he began life as head coach of Roma.

The 58-year-old rejected any suggestions he was in decline and set his sights on bringing success to the Giallorossi, his second Italian club after a highly successful two-year stint at Inter.

Sacked by Tottenham in April, Mourinho believes it could be a long rebuild at Roma, a club that last won a trophy in 2008 when they landed the Coppa Italia.

Roma's last Scudetto came in 2001 when a star-studded side pipped Juventus to the title. Mourinho has won the Italian league title since then, guiding Inter to a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble in 2010.

"I'm a victim of what I've done and the way people look at me," Mourinho said in a news conference. "If you look at Man United, I won three times and was a disaster.

"At Tottenham I took over and took them to a cup final where I couldn't manage them in, and it was seen as a disaster.

"In my last three clubs I won the league title with Chelsea, three trophies with Man United, I got to a final with Tottenham. We ended up in the Europa League.

"For me that is [thought of as] a disaster, but perhaps some coaches haven't achieved that ever."

The three trophies Mourinho is counting at Manchester United are the Europa League and EFL Cup from the 2016-17 season, and the Community Shield from the beginning of that campaign.

He left United after failing to build on his early promise there and was chopped by Tottenham before their cup final last season, caretaker Ryan Mason seeing Spurs through the final weeks of the campaign.

During his Premier League career, Mourinho had a points-per-game record of 2.33 in his 2004-07 first spell at Chelsea, falling to 2.00 when he returned to Stamford Bridge from 2013 to 2015, sliding to 1.89 in his 2016-18 stint at United and then delivering at 1.64 during his Tottenham career.

At Inter his team had a 2.18 points-per-game rate, losing just eight times in Serie A across two seasons, and they achieved a league win record of 64.47 per cent.

Inter made San Siro a fortress under Mourinho, staying undefeated there over those two campaigns, winning 29 games and drawing nine.

His Nerazzurri side struggled against Roma, however, winning just one of their four Serie A meetings (D2 L1).

Mourinho stressed he returns to Italy, 11 years after leaving Inter for Real Madrid, as a more rounded personality.

"Perhaps I'm more experienced and mature now and that puts me in a more solid position from an emotional standpoint," the Portuguese said.

Roma finished seventh in the 2020-21 Serie A campaign, which leaves considerable room for improvement.

"We ended the season 29 points behind the winners and 16 points behind fourth place and we can't escape from that reality," Mourinho said. "First of all, we want to understand why and understand how we can change that.

"Time is a word that we all share. That was a key word when we met with the owners for the first time. If we can accelerate the process, all the better.

"We're not speaking about trophies. We're speaking about time, projects and work.

"Titles will come. For the owners a key principle is the idea they don't want isolated success. They want to choose success and maintain success.

"That's harder because it's easier to get that isolated success. We want to be sustainable and we are completely united on that front. It is about hard work and the rest will come."

He added: "I know the passion here, I've already changed my phone three times. Maybe it won't be pleasant for you to talk to me, for me it is essential that everything stays inside Trigoria.

"I want to get to know the squad, that's the most important thing. There are fundamental and non-negotiable principles. I want players to understand my principles right away. Anything that is not 100 per cent is not good."

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is eager to keep Leon Goretzka despite links to Manchester United, declaring him to be "one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe".

Goretzka has just under a year left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, fuelling speculation over his future.

United are reported to have lined up Goretzka as another potential new recruit, having already agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund's England winger Jadon Sancho.

Goretzka scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga matches last season, while he also found the back of the net twice and laid on two Champions League goals in the 2020-21 campaign.

Speaking at his first Bayern press conference on Wednesday, Nagelsmann said: "Leon is a very important player. I would also be very happy to work with him for many years.

"He is one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. So, of course, we want to keep him."

Nagelsmann also gave his backing to winger Leroy Sane, who failed to hit the heights expected of him in his first season with the club following a big-money move from Manchester City.

"We would do well to leave Leroy alone a little in the media," said the former RB Leipzig boss. "He has outstanding qualities, has a lot of speed, is one of the best one-on-one players.

"We need that. I am I'm sure we'll see an improved Leroy. But of course the player has to take that step himself."

 

Nagelsmann was given a five-year contract to replace Hansi Flick and the 33-year-old, who had a win percentage of 56.84 from 95 games with RB Leipzig, knows he will be under pressure to deliver.

"It's a show of praise in advance of my work, which I want to justify," he said of his long-term deal.

"It gives someone a very good feeling to get this level of trust. It also shows, however, that you have to deliver. I know this and I want to do just that."

New Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn believes Nagelsmann will show why the club has put so much faith in him.

"Continuity in the coaching position is very important for success. We think that we can shape an era with Julian," said the ex-Germany goalkeeper.

"He identifies with the club. That is why we are convinced of the decision."

Will Kylian Mbappe move to Real Madrid?

Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain?

The star pair are dominating headlines in the transfer market.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE TO MADRID?

Real Madrid believe they will be able to prise Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain if the Ligue 1 giants sign Lionel Messi, according to the front page of Wednesday's Diario AS.

Mbappe – entering the final year of his contract – has long been tipped to join LaLiga powerhouse Madrid, while Liverpool have also been linked.

Messi is out of contract at Barca and while the Catalan club remain confident of re-signing the superstar captain, PSG and Madrid are hoping to make the most of the situation.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal have joined PSG and Atletico Madrid in the chase to sign Lyon star Houssem Aouar, reports Le10 Sport.

- Calciomercato says Serie A champions Inter and Ligue 1 outfit Lyon are both eyeing Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Milan have increased their contract offer for star midfielder Franck Kessie, per Gazzetta dello Sport. Having already lost Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu, the Rossoneri are keen to re-sign Kessie, who has been linked with PSG, Tottenham, Arsenal and Inter.

Manchester City are interested in Napoli star Piotr Zielinski, according to Tuttosport. Napoli are believed to be willing to listen to offers. Premier League champions City have also been linked with the likes of Tottenham's Harry Kane, Inter forward Romelu Lukaku, Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland and Madrid defender Raphael Varane in the transfer window.

- Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and Varane both moving to Manchester United, while not impossible is "remote in reality", according to Sky Sports.

Lionel Messi became a free agent last week.

Initial reports suggested he had agreed to a new two-deal with Barca.

The 34-year-old told Barcelona last year he wanted to leave but opted to remain.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI BEING EYED BY DUO

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are both monitoring Lionel Messi's transfer position after becoming a free agent, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Messi's Barcelona contract expired on June 30, but he has been widely expected to re-sign with the LaLiga giants, who need to manage their finances.

However, with Messi still unattached, Ligue 1 powerhouse PSG and Premier League champions City are continuing to eye the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports Sergio Ramos, fresh from his Real Madrid exit, will have a medical with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday and join as a free agent.

Juventus remain interested in signing France international midfielder Paul Pogba from Manchester United, according to 90min.

- Marca reports United are leading the race to sign Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, ahead of Madrid and PSG.

City may still turn to Barca forward Antoine Griezmann, if they fail to land Tottenham's Harry Kane, claims Mundo Deportivo. City have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Inter star Romelu Lukaku.

- New Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is interested in signing Benfica's Haris Seferovic reports the Mirror. Benfica are looking to sell the Swiss striker.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Juventus have not initiated any move for Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic despite links of a return to his former club. Juve continue to be linked with Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli, who is also reportedly wanted by Arsenal.

Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Trippier refused to discuss speculation linking him with Manchester United, insisting his full focus is on England's Euro 2020 campaign.

Trippier has been linked with a move from LaLiga champions Atletico to Premier League giants United this off-season.

The 30-year-old has spent the past two seasons in Spain and is reportedly open to a switch to United but declined to discuss any possible move ahead of Wednesday's Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark at Wembley.

"I've just enjoyed the season [at Atletico] and we've won the title," Trippier told reporters.

"I'm away with England, we're playing Denmark and I'm not focusing on my club or what is going on.

"I'm just focused on England and doing as best as I can if I play. If I don't play, I still give 100 per cent."

Trippier, who has one more year remaining on his current Atletico contract, is riding a wave of confidence after lifting the LaLiga title, which is oozing into his England performances having started against Germany and Croatia.

"It's been an unbelievable season and it motivates me to win more, even at my age," Trippier said.

"Coming away with England, it gives me real confidence and maybe I can share that experience with others who have not won things.

"Then again, we have players who are winning trophies with their clubs now and they all have that winning mentality."

United have not won the Premier League title since 2012-13, nor any trophy whatsoever since 2017 after losing the 2020-21 Europa League final to Villarreal.

England have won just one of their last six competitive meetings with Denmark (D3 L2), with that victory coming at the 2002 World Cup (3-0).

Gareth Southgate's England are playing in their third European Championship semi-final, losing to Yugoslavia in 1968 and going out on penalties to Germany in 1996. As it stands, the Three Lions have played more games at the Euros without ever reaching the final than any other nation (36).

England’s 4-0 rout of Ukraine in the quarter-final was their biggest ever European Championship win, and their biggest victory in the knockout stages of any major tournament. Indeed, they netted as many goals against Ukraine as they had in their previous four Euro 2020 matches combined.

Meanwhile, England have kept a clean sheet in all five of their games at Euro 2020 so far – no team has ever kept six clean sheets in a single edition of the European Championship or World Cup before.

Gareth Southgate and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are benefiting from Jose Mourinho's "hard-line" approach to managing Luke Shaw at Manchester United.

That is according to former England boss Steve McClaren, who believes the United full-back's strong recent form owes much to the lessons he learned under his former manager.

Shaw started just 17 Premier League games out of a possible 76 during Mourinho's two full seasons at Old Trafford and was a regular target for criticism from his boss throughout.

Disagreements between the pair have not subsided since the latter's departure from United, either, with his punditry during Euro 2020 prompting their most recent war of words.

However, McClaren is convinced that Shaw's improved performances for club and country over the past 12 months are a consequence of the tough love he received from Mourinho.

He told Stats Perform: "The key relationship is always the player and the manager. Whenever you move clubs, whenever you go to a new situation, internationals, whatever. 

"Maybe Shaw was in a moment also in his career where he needed Jose Mourinho’s management – maybe everybody's [previously] accepted [his behaviour]. 

"And maybe you come with a hard-line manager who won't accept this, won't accept that. And this player needs teaching and this player needs the hard line. 

"Unfortunately, you're the manager that suffers because of that. Because Shaw’s probably been through that and is a more mature, more professional, and a better player.

"Who's benefiting? The manager after, which is Ole and which is now Southgate with England. 

"So, it's a journey for a player and you always want a manager that likes you and loves you, plays you. 

"Sometimes you don't [have that] and that teaches you lessons that stay with you when you do come to a manager who does like [you], you love and you will play."

Shaw's recent renaissance at international level has come under the guidance of one of McClaren's former charges in Southgate.

This year, the England boss has backed up leading his country to a World Cup semi-final by helping them to the same stage of Euro 2020, prompting a nation to dream that glory could lie ahead.

And that success has come as no surprise to McClaren, who believes the Three Lions are being coached by a man who has always shown a knack for leadership and bringing people together.

He said: "I remember signing him as my first signing for Middlesbrough. [He was] an important signing and I wanted a captain, I wanted a leader in the dressing room, and I bought him for leadership. 

"He epitomised exactly what I wanted in the dressing room and on the field. One, he was a winner. He’d proven that at Aston Villa and England – he was a winner, he wanted to win. 

"Number two, he was so professional. And that's what I wanted. That was the main thing. Gareth always did the right thing every day: first in, then last away, fantastic professional. 

"And the third and most important thing was as a leader in the dressing room. He brought people together. We had a lot of foreign players, a lot of cliques in that dressing room at Middlesbrough. 

"And he would mix with them all. I always remember dinner times, lunch times, breakfast, whatever meetings we had, the cliques would always sit on one table and everyone would always sit on one side, which was fine. 

"But every meal-time Gareth used to flit from one table to the other. And he used to mix with everybody, he knew the importance of the squad, the team sticking together. 

"And that's what he's brought to England. The key thing for me is it's like England's like a club side in the present moment.

"I think being the Under-21 coach for that many years, he's had all these players, he knows them inside out. He's got a story with every one of them. 

"He knows the best ones, he knows the characters, knows what will gel, he's brought them into the England team, grown up with them really. And now they're like a club side. 

"And that's what's driving it for us."

Manchester United have sent a message to the rest of the Premier League with their high-profile move to sign Jadon Sancho, says Steve McClaren.

Former United assistant and England manager McClaren feels Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men can now field a formidable attacking unit even though there are still some calls for them to sign a new centre-forward.

United and Borussia Dortmund have agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of Sancho, which is worth around £73million and expected to be completed after his involvement in Euro 2020.

Sancho scored 50 goals and provided 57 assists in 137 appearances across all competitions for Dortmund, with United poised to finalise the deal one year on from their initial frustrating and ultimately failed pursuit.

Last season, the 21-year-old became the first Englishman to reach at least 10 assists for three straight campaigns in Europe's top-five leagues since former United star David Beckham in 2001.

Indeed, only Thomas Muller (48) and Lionel Messi (43) have managed to provide more assists at that league level since the start of the 2018-19 campaign than Sancho (41).

Sancho also impressed for England in their 4-0 Euros quarter-final win over Ukraine, having been handed his first start of the tournament.

United won the treble during McClaren's time at the club and he insists they now have the quality to compete for all competitions.

 

"I say it's a marker for the rest of the league," McClaren told Stats Perform about the signing of Sancho.

"They've chased Sancho for a while and he just adds to the attacking line-up that they've already got. 

"Yes, okay, they need a striker, everybody says that – but you also need speed on the wings and some creativity. 

"They have got Mason Greenwood, they have got Marcus Rashford and they have got Daniel James. Now they have Sancho, they are going to be in everything.

"Yes, you need to keep clean sheets, you need to do that. But also, to win tournaments, to win trophies, you need to be good on the ball.

"You need to be a threat and you need a front four that can terrorise the opponents. 

"Imagine now you have got Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood, you have got Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes – Paul Pogba behind, there is some creativity there, they have got to win soon."

Pogba is a player who faces an uncertain future with just 12 months to run on his contract.

He produced an impressive season for United in 2020-21 and followed it up with a starring role for France at Euro 2020, culminating in a stunning goal before the world champions went on to lose against Switzerland on penalties in the last 16.

McClaren was impressed with Pogba and urged United to find a way to keep the central midfielder.

"Yeah, I think Ole gets the best of him," he said. "I think he’s great for that team.

"The team like him, you can see that, and he can win football matches. He can play passes through to strikers that nobody else can play. 

"So as long as you can handle that player, and the rest of the team accept it, which they have, he's a great asset for any team."

 

McClaren liked what he saw from Pogba at the Euros, though was not impressed by France as a unit.

He added: "It is a little bit like with Raheem Sterling for England, I think exactly the same for France – he is the man.

"Pogba has to be the man and he's one of the three or four main men in their team and they need him to perform very well.

"He played the best passes of the tournament [from] deep sliding Kylian Mbappe through and things like that.

"But the French didn't play with intensity, didn't play as a team. They never had that toughness of the past in or out of possession – no urgency. They didn't have that intensity.

"And they couldn't defend – normally the French defend very well, they won the World Cup defending very, very well in a 4-3-3 with excellent speed on the break. 

"They didn't do that, they were fragmented. As a team, they were never compact. There were gaps or holes in their defence and that's very unusual for France. 

"It is normal when you dominate for a while. If you come off it in a tournament by even five or 10 per cent you are going to lose, you're going to get beat and subconsciously they probably did that. 

"Their star player Mbappe, who they put everything into, never scored a goal and missed the final penalty. So, it was in the stars that France were in trouble."

Kylian Mbappe's future continues to dominate headlines.

Mbappe is wanted by Real Madrid as Paris Saint-Germain try to retain the France international.

However, Liverpool are also believed to be circling…

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL POISED TO POUNCE

Liverpool are the leading contenders to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, according to RMC.

Mbappe is out of contract at the end of 2021-22 and he has been tipped to join LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

PSG remain determined to re-sign Mbappe but should the France international not renew in Paris, Liverpool are ready to pounce.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona will not be afforded an increased salary cap to re-sign superstar Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at Camp Nou and linked with PSG and Manchester City. Barca must reduce their wage bill in order to keep the captain. It comes as Goal says Barca have offered to release Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti from their contracts to free up space in the club's budget. Pjanic has been linked to Juventus, Inter, MilanTottenham and Manchester United.

Cristiano Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is pushing to extend the superstar's Juve deal until 2023, per Gazzetta dello Sport. The 36-year-old, who is contracted until 2022, has been linked with United and PSG.

United are progressing in their pursuit to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, according to Fabrizio Romano. A long-term target of United, the 18-year-old France international – who will become a free agent after 2021-22 – has also been linked with PSG, Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

- Calciomercato reports Liverpool have enquired about Inter and Italy star Nicolo Barella. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are eyeing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who joined PSG.

- Juve are due to meet with Sassuolo to discuss a move for Manuel Locatelli, says Calciomercato. The Italy international is also reportedly wanted by Arsenal among others.

Former Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici said the Serie A champions have never been close to re-signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba.

Pogba is entering the final year of his United contract and the France international's future remains uncertain amid links with Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 28-year-old, who left United for Juve in 2012 before returning to Old Trafford in 2016, has long been linked with the Bianconeri but Paratici played down the speculation.

"Paul Pogba back to Juventus? I think it is very difficult," Paratici, who is now managing director of football at Tottenham, told Sky Sport.

"There has never been a moment in which we have been close to taking him back."

Pogba was a standout performer at Euro 2020 before France's shock exit at the hands of Switzerland in the last 16.

He scored one and set up another in Les Bleus' four matches at the tournament, while also creating eight chances for his team-mates.

Pogba completed nine dribbles – a tally bettered by only eight others, some of whom have played a game more – while his 51 passes into the final third is the sixth-most of any player.

In 2020-21, Pogba scored three goals and supplied three assists as United finished second in the Premier League.

Across all competitions, Pogba netted six goals for United – who also reached the Europa League final but lost to Villarreal.

Jose Mourinho has spoken highly of Luke Shaw's performances at Euro 2020 following his standout display in England's win over Ukraine.

The Manchester United left-back was voted as the Three Lions' man of the match in a fan poll after providing two assists in the 4-0 quarter-final victory in Rome.

Shaw appears to have cemented his place as Gareth Southgate's first-choice left-back at these finals, a fitting reward for an impressive season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United.

The former Southampton man has enjoyed arguably the strongest 18 months of his career, a far cry from a difficult spell when Mourinho was in charge at Old Trafford, when the Portuguese would often single out Shaw for criticism.

Mourinho took aim at Shaw again after England's group-stage win over the Czech Republic, claiming his delivery from corners was "dramatically bad". That prompted a response from the player, who accused his old boss of having a "strange" personal agenda, adding: "Clearly, I'm in his head."

However, Mourinho appeared far more impressed with Shaw's display in the Italian capital on Saturday, saying the form of England's defenders means Southgate should resist any temptation to revert to a back three for the semi-final against Denmark.

 

"The question is, do England need to play with a back three like they did against Germany? My view is no," he told talkSPORT.

"The back four is really, really solid. Luke Shaw is playing better and better and better. Kyle Walker is having an amazing tournament.

"The two centre-backs are very solid and the back four with the amazing Euros that both central midfielders are doing is more than enough to control Denmark offensively. Then, you have four players to decide the creativity of the game. It is there that Gareth may have some doubts.

"Walker, [Harry] Maguire, [John] Stones and Shaw is clear. [Kalvin] Phillips and [Declan] Rice is clear. [Raheem] Sterling and [Harry] Kane is clear and there are two places that in my opinion are open and two positions where the options are different.

"[Jadon] Sancho played well, [Phil] Foden started the tournament, the same with [Mason] Mount, while [Jack] Grealish looks like he's not the favourite player of Gareth but, every minute he's on the pitch, he does well. There are lots of options for these two places.

"I believe playing at Wembley, England will be solid as always but you have to try and win the match as soon as they can and I don't believe that they need to play with a back three like they did against Germany."

When Jadon Sancho slalomed past Serhiy Sydorchuk and Andriy Yarmolenko in Rome, those who remember him as a boy in the football cages of south London would have barely batted an eyelid.

Yet it was a joyous piece of skill from the England winger, who will join Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund once Euro 2020 finishes, and reflected his growing confidence at international level.

The Ukraine pair strained to prevent him dancing through midfield, and it eventually took a cynical foul from Yarmolenko to halt the winger's charge.

Sancho, now 21, was raised in the Kennington district south of the Thames, where cage football has been a breeding ground for bright, young English talent, players who have to be nimble-footed and daring with their skills in confined spaces.

It was reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane as Sancho body-swerved this way and that in evading the Ukraine tackles.

"I've never changed," said Sancho on Sunday. "In the cages it was all about nutmegging, badding people up, and taking them on.

"When I've had a one-v-one situation, I've always tried to do the things I used to do in the cages and kind of perfect it when I've been in training.

"There could be like a situation where there's three men around you and you do a mad skill to pull free. It definitely does work, the cage skills, the tight skills and things like that."

 

In England's 4-0 thumping of Ukraine, Sancho attempted seven dribbles, three more than any other England player.

He completed four of those, which was also a team high, bringing a fresh dimension to the team.

Sancho also made three penalty area entries, beaten only in that regard by Mason Mount's four, and had a passing accuracy of 92.9 per cent.

The former Watford and Manchester City youngster could have done little more to press his case for inclusion later in the tournament too, starting with Wednesday's semi-final against Denmark at Wembley.

Speaking on England's Lions' Den YouTube show, Sancho spoke of his satisfaction at reaching the highest levels of the game by representing his country.

"It's something I've been dreaming of as a kid, especially putting on the shirt for my family. It's really a big honour for me," he said.

"I class myself as lucky, and to be representing England in a major tournament is a dream come true really and I'm just thankful for every opportunity I get."

Marcus Rashford can get the most out of Paul Pogba at Manchester United should he learn to make runs in behind like Kylian Mbappe, according to club legend Wayne Rooney.

Pogba had been one of the standout performers at Euro 2020 prior to France's shock elimination at the hands of Switzerland at the last-16 stage.

The 28-year-old scored one and set up another in Les Bleus' four matches at the tournament, while also creating eight chances for his team-mates.

He completed nine dribbles – a tally bettered by only eight others, some of whom have played a game more – while his 51 passes into the final third is the sixth-most of any player.

Rooney believes a big part of Pogba's impressive performances was down to the movement of striker Mbappe, who ended the competition goalless despite having 14 shots.

And United's all-time leading goalscorer has challenged England forward Rashford to replicate Mbappe's positioning in order to unlock Pogba's best form at club level.

"Give Paul time and space and he has the ability and imagination to really hurt the opposition," Rooney said in his Times column. 

"Mbappe had a poor Euros overall but he did contribute to Paul's success. Teams sat off France because they were worried about Mbappe's pace.

"That helped buy Paul that bit of room to play in, and Mbappe's ability to run in behind allowed Paul to play a type of pass that he is so good at, the brave throughball right down the middle of the pitch.

"At United, if Marcus Rashford can develop his game and be encouraged to start making those Mbappe-style runs in behind, I believe you would see Paul doing more of what he does for his country in a club shirt."

Rashford has featured from the substitutes' bench in four of semi-finalists England's five Euro 2020 games so far, but he has yet to score, assist or even have a shot.

At club level, Rashford scored 21 goals for United in all competitions last season and became the first English player to score eight times for the club in European competition in a single season since Bobby Charlton in 1964-65.

New Roma head coach Jose Mourinho believes he has been a victim of his own success. 

Former Inter boss Mourinho will return to Serie A in 2021-22 after being appointed by Roma following his Tottenham sacking in April.

Mourinho, who guided Inter to an unprecedented treble in 2009-10, replaces Paulo Fonseca in Rome, where the Giallorossi have not won a league title since 2001.

The Portuguese enjoyed stunning success at the start of his managerial career, winning seven league titles and two Champions Leagues in eight seasons across spells at Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid. 

Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, however, he has won just one league title – the Premier League with Chelsea in 2014-15. 

Indeed, Mourinho won only 51.2 per cent of his matches at Tottenham and left without lifting a single trophy.

In an extract from a new book called 'Stay Crazy and Hungry', reported in Marca, Mourinho thinks his early success contributed to a focus on winning which has not always served him well in recent years. 

"I've been a victim of myself and, if I could, it would be one of the things I wouldn't repeat," Mourinho said.

"I won, won and won and I entered into a kind of dynamic where not winning seemed like the end of the world.

"I, myself, because of my personality, made out that the training, the games and the job were all to win, win, win, and then, when I came to situations where it was very difficult to win, which for other coaches is something acceptable, in my case it was never enough.

"Not winning was a failure, but that isn't true."

Mourinho has publicly clashed with many of his players over his illustrious career, notably with Luke Shaw at Manchester United.

Mourinho managed Shaw at United from 2016 until he was sacked in 2018 and he was often critical of the left-back.

Shaw recently launched a scathing criticism of Mourinho and his "strange" personal agenda, with the England full-back insisting "clearly, I'm in his head".

The 58-year-old, however, seemingly has no regrets over his treatment of certain players. 

"I always tell the players that, with me, they'll find an honest guy," he added.

"They'll find a guy who will tell you the truth, the things you want to hear and also the things you don't.

"Some may say that I'm a bad coach, that I was a b*******, but no one can say that I wasn't serious or honest."

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