Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci leapt to the defence of Juventus team-mate and embattled Spain forward Alvaro Morata ahead of their Euro 2020 semi-final showdown.

Spain's Morata has been on the wrong end of criticism for his performances at Euro 2020, while he reportedly received death threats amid online abuse directed at his family.

Team-mates at club level for Juve in Serie A, Bonucci and Morata will face-off when Italy play Spain in Tuesday's Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley and the former heaped praise on the 28-year-old Spaniard.

"I was really struck by what happened to him and what we all have to go through," Bonucci said of the death threats directed at Morata. "I've also had to go through what he has gone through, and I know what it's like to read certain things and feel certain things as well.

"I've always been right behind him, he's always had my support. Alvaro is a wonderful person, he is a great guy, a wonderful father, and a terrific footballer.

"He's a complete striker, because he can run into space high up the pitch, makes late runs, holds the ball up well. He's one of the best strikers in world football, thankfully at club football he is a team-mate of mine over the course of the season.

"We need to make sure we are switched on tomorrow [Tuesday], not only to keep an eye on Morata but the team as a whole."

Spain are the highest scoring team at Euro 2020, with 12 goals from five games, including two strikes via Morata.

Bonucci was pressed on comparisons between Morata and Inter star Romelu Lukaku, whom Italy faced in the quarter-finals with Belgium.

"They are two top strikers," the 34-year-old Bonucci said. "When you get to this level, this stage of the competition, all the countries you come up against and all of the strikers you face are terrific.

"Alvaro has some very specific qualities that are different attributes to what Lukaku is all about. We need to be very switched on in terms of fine margins and small details, to make sure we really can come away with a big result."

Italy – riding a national record 32-game unbeaten streak – have only beaten Spain twice in their past 14 meetings in all competitions (D7 L5), a 2-1 friendly win in 2011 and, most recently, a 2-0 victory at Euro 2016 in the last 16, with goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle.

The Azzurri are featuring in their 12th semi-final at a major tournament (Euros and World Cup), with only Germany (20) appearing at the final-four stage more often among all European sides.

Italy have progressed from nine of the previous 11 semi-final ties, including each of the past four – most recently in this competition in 2012 when they eventually lost in the final to Spain (4-0).

Roberto Mancini's Italy have won all five of their matches at Euro 2020, the only side of the remaining final four with a 100 per cent record to date. Only at the World Cup (1990) have they won more games at a single major tournament (six), while the only European team to win each of their first six games at a major tournament was the Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup, when they suffered defeat to Spain in the final in South Africa.

But Bonucci played down the favourites tag, telling reporters: "I think when its Italy against Spain in a European Championship semi-final, there's no such thing as a favourite. Yes, we have had a flawless run so far, but even though Spain have faced some issues, that doesn't matter, we need to put it to one side.

"We really need to focus on what we need to do, where we can improve. We simply need to be motivated by the fact we're coming up against such a great, prestigious side in a wonderful arena such as Wembley, in the knowledge we can make it to the final in a few days' time."

Leonardo Spinazzola has undergone a "perfectly successful" operation after he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during Italy's Euro 2020 win over Belgium.

The Roma full-back had been one of the stars of the tournament, but his participation came to a painful end during a 2-1 quarter-final victory in Munich last Friday.

Spinazzola suffered cruciate ligament damage in May 2018 and has endured frequent fitness problems during his career, but the 28-year-old is ready to put in the hard yards on the road to recovery again after going under the knife.

He posted on Instagram: "Perfectly successful intervention. I thank everyone for being close to me, there were so many of you!

"Countdown started, see you soon."

 

Serie A side Roma have not put a timeframe on how long they expect Spinazzola to be out of action.

"The club can confirm that Leonardo Spinazzola underwent surgery on Monday to repair the Achilles tendon in his left leg, following the injury suffered during Italy's win over Belgium at Euro 2020 on July 2," the Giallorossi stated on their official website.

"The surgery, which was completed in Turku, Finland by Prof. Lasse Lempainen under the observation of the club's chief doctor Massimo Manara, was successfully completed.

"The player's condition and likely recovery period will continue to be assessed over the coming weeks."

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.

Atalanta defender Robin Gosens is unaware of any interest from Barcelona but suggested he is open to discussing a move now that Germany's Euro 2020 campaign is over.

The left wing-back produced one of the standout performances of the tournament with a goal and an assist in Germany's 4-2 victory over Portugal in the group stage.

He started all four of his nation's matches, including 87 minutes of the 2-0 loss to England that brought an end to their campaign at the last-16 stage.

Only Joakim Maehle, Thomas Meunier and Luke Shaw (all three) have played a direct part in more goals among defenders than Gosens so far at Euro 2020.

The two big chances created by the 26-year-old, meanwhile, is behind only Jordi Alba and Shaw (both four), which includes that assist for Kai Havertz's goal against Portugal.

 

Gosens only made his senior debut for Germany last September but soon nailed down a regular starting spot after starring for Atalanta in the 2020-21 campaign.

With 11 goals and six assists, Gosens topped the Serie A charts for direct goal involvements among defenders, with Achraf Hakimi two back on a combined 15 goals and assists.

That form has led to rumours that the former Vitesse man is a target for Barcelona as a long-term replacement for ageing full-back Jordi Alba.

And while Gosens has yet to discuss his future with his agent, he has not ruled out a move away from Atlanta during the current transfer window.

"We'll have a look now. During the European Championship I told my dad [and agent] that he should just leave me alone with the topic," Gosens told Sport1.

"Now I'm back home again, I'll talk to him and see if something is on the program.

"I'm not lying when I say that I don't know anything about it at the moment. My entire focus was on the Euros. When something happens, let's see."

Asked if it would be special to play alongside Lionel Messi should the Barcelona forward sign a new deal, Gosens said: "That's the way it is. You can definitely record it that way."

Gosens joined Atalanta from Heracles in June 2017 and has another two years to run on his existing contract.

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."

Donny van de Beek has been underwhelming since his £35million (€40m) move to Manchester United from Ajax.

The Netherlands international only scored once in 19 league appearances in 2020-21.

He only managed four Premier League starts and, if reports are to be believed, could be used as a pawn in United's transfer activity.

 

TOP STORY – REAL WANTS DONNY IN VARANE DEAL

Real Madrid want  United flop Donny van de Beek as part of a deal for Raphael Varane, claim The Sun.

The Red Devils have chased the French defender this off-season and Los Blancos are open to a switch which could include midfielder Van de Beek joining Madrid on a season-long loan.

Madrid have reportedly asked for €50m ($42.9m) for Varane, after the two clubs held initial talks. The 28-year-old has 12 months left on his current deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez according to La Razon. The 26-year-old Spain international is understood to be keen on a Premier League move.

- The Reds have also looked into signing Lille's Renato Sanches, reports Onze Mondial. The midfielder is said to have admirers at Arsenal, too.

- The Star reports Arsenal are considering a move for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, if they fail to land Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale .

- Corriere dello Sport claim Milan are keen on Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who they believe is more attainable than reported target James Rodriguez.

- After scoring four goals at Euro 2020, Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick has drawn interest from Milan, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

Donny van de Beek has been underwhelming since his £35million (€40m) move to Manchester United from Ajax.

The Netherlands international only scored once in 19 league appearances in 2020-21.

He only managed four Premier League starts and, if reports are to be believed, could be used as a pawn in United's transfer activity.

 

TOP STORY – REAL WANTS DONNY IN VARANE DEAL

Real Madrid want  United flop Donny van de Beek as part of a deal for Raphael Varane, claim The Sun.

The Red Devils have chased the French defender this off-season and Los Blancos are open to a switch which could include midfielder Van de Beek joining Madrid on a season-long loan.

Madrid have reportedly asked for €50m ($42.9m) for Varane, after the two clubs held initial talks. The 28-year-old has 12 months left on his current deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez according to La Razon. The 26-year-old Spain international is understood to be keen on a Premier League move.

- The Reds have also looked into signing Lille's Renato Sanches, reports Onze Mondial. The midfielder is said to have admirers at Arsenal, too.

- The Star reports Arsenal are considering a move for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, if they fail to land Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale .

- Corriere dello Sport claim Milan are keen on Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who they believe is more attainable than reported target James Rodriguez.

- After scoring four goals at Euro 2020, Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick has drawn interest from Milan, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

Juventus legend David Trezeguet says nobody has been able to manage Cristiano Ronaldo in the same way as former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has spent the past three seasons at the Allianz Stadium after joining from Real Madrid in a €112million (£99.2m) deal.

The 36-year-old, who has another 12 months to run on his contract, is coming off the back of a campaign that saw him finish top of the Serie A scoring charts with 29 goals.

He has scored 81 times in 97 Serie A games since arriving in July 2018, a tally bettered only by Robert Lewandowski (93 goals in 97 Bundesliga games) and Lionel Messi (91 goals in 102 LaLiga games) in Europe's top five leagues.

That compares to 311 goals in 292 LaLiga appearances during his nine seasons with Madrid, during which time he won 15 trophies, including four Champions League crowns.

Ronaldo spent two seasons playing under Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Trezeguet does not believe Massimiliano Allegri, Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo have got the most out of the Portuguese in the same way as Zidane.

"I think nobody has been able to manage him as Zinedine Zidane. Perhaps there has been a lack of dialogue at Juventus at some point," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

"One coach can tell a player: 'Look at this game, you walked for 90 minutes and you must help me win the games'.

"There are players you don't want to play against because they make you win the matches. Ronaldo is one of them, [Paulo] Dybala as well. Some of the others, with all due respect, not as much."

 

Doubts remain over Ronaldo's future in Turin amid recent links with former clubs Madrid and Manchester United, as well as French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Newly-appointed Juventus director Federico Cherubini this week insisted the superstar forward has not asked to leave the club, however, and he now looks set to remain for at least another season.

"Ronaldo was the best signing from Juventus, one that nobody expected," Trezeguet added. 

"There have been some problems with his team-mates, and you could see that, but he's scored 100 goals since joining."

Despite having Ronaldo on board, Juventus failed to win the Scudetto last season for the first time in a decade and only just finished in a Champions League qualification spot.

Allegri was reappointed last month following the departure of Pirlo, but Trezeguet would have preferred to see a different coach on the bench next season.

"The problem for me is the mentality," said Juve's fourth all-time record goalscorer. "The world of football no longer thinks Italian football is good. In Italy we defend low and ask more of the attacker.

"Abroad, everyone plays constantly at full speed. I am in favour of radical changes. If not Allegri, I would have gone for a foreign coach. But I understand greats like [Pep] Guardiola and [Jurgen] Klopp cost money."

Lionel Messi is out of contract but tipped to re-sign with Barcelona.

However, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly not prepared to give up on prising Messi to Paris.

Messi's future could become clearer after the Copa America.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STILL DREAMING OF MESSI

Paris Saint-Germain are trying to trump Barcelona's offer to Lionel Messi, according to Diario AS.

Messi is officially a free agent following the expiration of his Barcelona contract and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with PSG and Manchester City.

While Messi has been tipped to re-sign at Camp Nou, PSG are reportedly refusing to give up hope on signing the Argentina superstar.

Amid uncertainty over Real Madrid and Liverpool target Kylian Mbappe, PSG have also been eyeing Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Tottenham's Harry Kane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS reports Manchester United are considering a swap deal involving Paul Pogba and Madrid defender Raphael Varane. The Red Devils are interested in signing Varane to bolster their defence, while Pogba has long been linked with Madrid and Juve.

Barca are stepping up their interest in Sampdoria and Denmark star Mikkel Damsgaard, claims Mundo Deportivo.

- Ajax star Dusan Tadic has emerged as a target for Milan following the departure of Hakan Calhanoglu, says Calciomercato.

Eduardo Camavinga's Rennes departure is inevitable, according to Le Parisien. The France sensation has been linked with Madrid, PSG, United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich among others.

- The Transfer Window Podcast says free agent Sergio Ramos has been offered to Chelsea. After leaving Madrid, Ramos is reportedly poised to join PSG. At Stamford Bridge, Champions League holders Chelsea are eyeing Borussia Dortmund's in-demand forward Erling Haaland.

Sven-Goran Eriksson believes new Roma head coach Jose Mourinho will do well "for the first and second year" as he highlighted the Portuguese's third-season woes, while warning of the demands in the Italian capital.

Former Inter coach 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 Roma have not won the Serie A since 2001.

Eriksson knows the Giallorossi well, having spent three years in charge – winning the 1986 Coppa Italia, and the former England boss discussed life in Rome as Mourinho prepares to lead Roma.

"It was a surprise for me… I wasn't expecting him to go to Roma," Eriksson told Stats Perform. "However, Mourinho usually does well in his first and second season. Wherever he goes. It is after that, sometimes, problems start happening. I don't know why and I'm not interested in going into it that much; however, it looks like this is the rule. First year, great; the following year, good; third year, problems.

"However, it's clear that Mourinho, as a coach, can't be questioned. He's a great coach, I know him personally, I knew him when I was coaching England. He was very easy to work with, because he was at Chelsea and had many players playing for England, the national team. And he was always available, perfect, he never complained about me taking his players, etc.

"It's a surprise and it's clear that if you win in Rome, with Lazio or with Roma, your life becomes beautiful. But if it goes bad, your life starts to become hard. Because in Rome there are three, four, five private radio stations where everyone talks about football. Four hours of Lazio, four hours of Roma, it becomes football 24 hours a day, always. However, it's beautiful. Living in Rome is the best thing in life, I think. And about Mourinho, for the first and the second year he will do well, I think."

Mourinho won only 51.2 per cent of his matches at Tottenham and left without lifting a single trophy, albeit he was sacked just days before the 2021 EFL Cup final.

His record in the English top flight before 2015-16 saw him boast a success rate of 69.4 per cent – since then it is just 48.5 per cent.

The 95 points won by Spurs during Mourinho's time at the club was the fourth highest in the Premier League. However, that was 21 fewer than former team Manchester United – Liverpool had 117 and Manchester City were out in front on 130.

Mourinho's teams are supposed to be hard to beat, yet Spurs lost 13 times in 2020-21 under him – it was the worst season he has ever had in that regard.

It has been 20 years since Roma were last crowned champions of Italy and Eriksson added: "It is not easy. If you win the Scudetto with a team that is not Juventus, Milan, Inter, it's always an incredible thing because it happens, but rarely. Very few times.

"These are the three historically great clubs that win 90-95 per cent. That is why, if the city of Rome wins a Scudetto, it's like winning a World Cup. Or even more."   

There is also a new face on the blue side of Rome, with ex-Juventus, Chelsea and Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri replacing Simone Inzaghi at Lazio as he and Mourinho vie for supremacy in the capital.

Sarri boasts a win percentage of over 60 in each of his three previous roles and will be hoping to continue Inzaghi's fine work at Lazio.

The Biancocelesti, who were sixth in 2020-21, finished lower than sixth only once under Inzaghi – though the sole campaign where they finished eighth, Lazio were able to console themselves with Coppa Italia success.

Eriksson was coach when Lazio last claimed the Scudetto in 2000 and the veteran Swede said: "Sarri represents a very positive, very beautiful kind of football.

"I don't know him personally, but he did well at Napoli. Then he went to Chelsea, and perhaps he didn't do great, but he's always playing great football. And then where did he go? At Juve, yes, clear. It's interesting, he's a great coach I think.

"Seeing his teams always playing a positive kind of football, good, organised I think... replacing Inzaghi wasn't easy, because he had become very popular and loved. He did many years at Lazio, and he did well."  

Are Manchester United set for a busy transfer window?

After finishing runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League and losing in the Europa League final, United are keen to strengthen.

A trio of stars are reportedly on the club's shortlist.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT THREE MORE PLAYERS

Manchester United are targeting three more signings this off-season, according to The Guardian.

United have agreed a deal to bring Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants more.

The Red Devils are reportedly closing in on Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, though Villarreal's Pau Torres has also been linked, with Tottenham star Harry Kane and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice also on the list.

 

ROUND-UP

- Italy and Roma full-back Leonardo Spinazzola is attracting interest from Madrid following his exploits at Euro 2020, reports Calciomercato. LaLiga rivals Barcelona have also been linked.

- After agreeing to sell Sancho, Dortmund are eyeing PSV's Donyell Malen and RB Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg, reports Sport Bild.

Paris Saint-Germain are planning to announce the arrivals of Sergio Ramos, Inter star Achraf Hakimi and former Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma within 15 days, according to Fabrizio Romano. Ramos has agreed to sign a two-year deal in Paris.

- Antena 2 claims James Rodriguez is in talks with Serie A runners-up Milan over a move from Everton.

United are prioritising a contract extension for star Bruno Fernandes, says Romano. Fernandes has flourished since arriving from Sporting CP.

Madrid have joined Milan in the race to sign United and Portugal full-back Diogo Dalot, claims Calciomercato.

PSG have emerged as the only likely suitor for Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after United signed Sancho, reports Calciomercato. However, a move depends on whether Kylian Mbappe leaves PSG for Madrid or Liverpool.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not signalled that he wants to leave Juventus and will soon join up with his team-mates for pre-season training, according to football director Federico Cherubini.

Portugal international Ronaldo is into the final year of the four-year contract signed when joining from Real Madrid in a €112million (£99.2m) deal.

The 36-year-old has been tipped to leave Turin ahead of the new campaign, with former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid among those to have been linked, along with Paris Saint-Germain.

Speculation over Ronaldo's future comes amid a period of change at Juve, with Massimiliano Allegri returning as head coach and Cherubini replacing Fabio Paratici, while Maurizio Arrivabene has been named CEO.

However, speaking at a news conference on Thursday to officially mark his appointment, Cherubini dismissed recent reports that Ronaldo is looking to move on during the current transfer window.

"There has been no signal from Ronaldo," he said. "Especially [on] the rumours that there should be a transfer. There's no sign from Juventus in this regard.

"Last season he scored 36 goals in 44 games. The numbers don't always say everything but hide many truths. 

"We are happy that Ronaldo will join the team as soon as he has finished his holidays."

 

Ronaldo is being given an extended break after featuring four times for Portugal at Euro 2020.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner could not fire the reigning European champions beyond the last 16, where they fell to Belgium, but he did score five times to equal Ali Daei as the leading all-time goalscorer in international men's football on 109.

Ronaldo scored 29 times in 2020-21 to win the Capocannoniere, meanwhile, having previously also been the top scorer in the Premier League and LaLiga.

Since joining Juve in July 2018, only Robert Lewandowski (103) has scored more goals in all competitions than Ronaldo's 73 among players in Europe's top five leagues.

Ronaldo's 83 goal involvements over that period rank fourth behind Lewandowski (121), Lionel Messi (106) and Kylian Mbappe (97).

Speaking about his club future ahead of Portugal's ultimately underwhelming Euros campaign, Ronaldo said reports of interest from rival clubs were causing him "no sleepless nights".

Asked to clarify if Ronaldo will still be a Juventus player in 2020-21, Cherubini said: "I don't have a crystal ball. Right now, there are no signals regarding a possible transfer. But let me reaffirm: I'll be happy if he stays."

 

Juve announced on Wednesday that a cash injection of €400m has been sanctioned to help redress the financial damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Italian club's analysis of the cost of the pandemic's impact suggests they are set to lose €320m in total between 2019 and 2022.

President Andrea Agnelli, who led attempts to form a breakaway Super League, used Thursday's news conference to discuss the magnitude of the financial problems now facing football clubs in general. 

"UEFA knows the whole situation in all leagues. UEFA estimates a liquidity need of around €8.5bn for the clubs," he said.

"There's a risk that around 120 clubs will be at risk of insolvency in the short term. Some operations have been announced on the debt side and I'm thinking of Barcelona, Inter, West Ham, Porto for significant amounts.

"Then there are capital increases such as Roma, Atletico Madrid and we are here too. We fit into this context. It's important that the shareholders support the growth of this club. 

"The ownership is one of the strengths of this club, I say this as president and a member of the family."

Agnelli also reiterated that he expects Juventus to compete in the Champions League next season, despite the ongoing fallout from the Super League plans.

"We have calmly received the letter from UEFA admitting us to the next Champions League," he said. 

"On our part there's a willingness to talk and we are not afraid of the threats that have been made in recent months and are convinced that legal actions will lead to successes."

With France out of Euro 2020, Kylian Mbappe has time to mull over his club future.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been linked with Real Madrid.

Liverpool have reportedly entered the frame too, while PSG are eager to re-sign him.

 

TOP STORY - MBAPPE REACHES PSG DECISION

Kylian Mbappe has informed PSG he is not planning to sign a new contract, according to L'Equipe.

The 22-year-old France international does not currently want to extend his current deal which expires in mid-2022, the sports daily reported.

Mbappe will respect the final year of his contract with PSG as suitors circle for his signature.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have agreed terms with Jadon Sancho and now have set their sights on West Ham's Declan Rice, Villarreal's Pau Torres and Tottenham's Harry Kane. The Guardian claims they are all on United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's wish list.

- Bild claims United are also interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka, who has one year remaining on the his current contract.

- Son Heung-min is expected to sign an extension with Tottenham regardless of Kane's decision on his future, claims Fabrizio Romano.

- Arsenal, Milan and Roma are all interested in RB Leipzig's Austria international Marcel Sabitzer who is set to be allowed to leave on a cut-price deal according to Bild.

- The Daily Mail reports Manchester City will open talks with Raheem Sterling on a new deal following Euro 2020 where he has starred with three goals for England. Sterling, who has two years left on his current deal, fell out of favour at City late last season.

Arsenal have made an offer for Italy international Manuel Locatelli and lead the race for his signature, claims Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali.

Sassuolo midfielder Locatelli, 23, has impressed at Euro 2020, scoring two goals for Italy in the 3-0 win over Switzerland and helping the Azzurri reach the quarterfinals by stepping up during Marco Verratti's injury-enforced absence.

Locatelli's performances, combined with a strong 2020-21 campaign for Sassuolo who finished eighth in Serie A, have garnered attention with Carnevali confirming strong interest from Arsenal and Juventus.

"Juventus are the only Italian club we talked to about Locatelli," Carnevali told Sky Sport Italia. "They have interest, we spoke to [director Federico] Cherubini last week.

"We have not yet discussed the financial details, but we have a good rapport and will talk it over soon.

"It’s true that there are foreign clubs interested, including Arsenal, and so far they are ahead and are the only side realistically to have made an important proposal for Manuel."

Spanish pair Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have also been linked with Locatelli, who flirted with a switch to Juventus last off-season.

Carnevali added: "We are trying to leave the lad calm, so I haven’t spoken to him or his agents yet. We can think about Locatelli’s future but above all we care about his present and that means Italy doing well at the Euros,"

It is expected that Sassuolo will demand €50m for the former Milan youth product, who joined Sassuolo on loan in 2018 before signing permanently in 2019.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.