As the 2020-21 season comes to an end, Jadon Sancho's future is dominating headlines.

Having been tipped to leave Borussia Dortmund at the start of the campaign, the England international is once again in the spotlight.

A move could be on the cards but remaining in Germany is also an option.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN TO SWOOP FOR SANCHO?

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to The Telegraph.

Sancho has long been linked with Premier League giants Manchester United, as well as Liverpool and Chelsea in the past.

But Bayern are believed to be ready to prise Sancho from Dortmund as they also reportedly wait to prise in-demand team-mate Erling Haaland to Bavaria.

Haaland, who has a release clause that is not valid until 2022, is wanted by Bayern, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

- After re-signing Neymar, PSG are on the right track to lure Madrid captain Sergio Ramos to the French capital, claims ParisFans. Ramos is out of contract at the end of the season and yet to renew with Madrid.

Leicester City are set to sign Lille star Boubakary Soumare for less than £26million (€30m), reports Fabrizio Romano. He has previously been linked to United.

- Romano and L'Equipe say Julian Draxler has signed a contract extension with PSG. Arsenal and Bayern had reportedly been eyeing the German.

- Telefoot continues to link PSG with Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, who has a host of admirers, including United, Barca and Madrid.

Roma and Juventus are eyeing former Inter captain Mauro Icardi as ParisFans says the PSG striker's future could be away from Paris at the end of the season.

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici refused to comment on Milan goalkeeper and reported transfer target Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season but the star Italy international is yet to re-sign at San Siro amid mounting speculation over his future.

The 22-year-old's contract situation has seen him heavily linked with Serie A rivals Juventus, as well as Manchester United and Chelsea, while Milan have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Lille's Mike Maignan should Donnarumma depart.

Paratici, however, refused to give much away prior to Juve's crushing 3-0 defeat at home to Milan in Turin on Sunday.

"Donnarumma is a very good player, he belongs to Milan and tonight we are concentrated on the match," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

"We have always made the decisions together with the president, with Pavel Nedved, with the directors. We discuss between ourselves and when a decision is made, it is shared by everyone."

Paratici added: "It's not just Donnarumma, the transfer market lasts all year round now, especially for the media.

"We are accustomed to the constant gossip over many different players, it's just right now it's Donnarumma."

Donnarumma has made more Serie A appearances than any other player (212) since his Rossoneri debut in 2015, but supporters unhappy with stalled contract negotiations had reportedly demanded he miss the Juve showdown.

This season, Donnarumma has featured in 34 league matches as Stefano Pioli's Milan sit third in Serie A – level on points with Atalanta but 13 points behind champions Inter in their quest to qualify for the Champions League.

Juve, meanwhile, are at risk of missing out on the Champions League after slipping to fifth in the table, one point adrift of Napoli with three rounds remaining.

Andrea Pirlo has no intention of resigning as Juventus head coach after the Bianconeri's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League suffered a significant blow on Sunday. 

Juve slumped to a resounding 3-0 home defeat to Italian rivals Milan as they slipped to fifth in Serie A with just three league games remaining in the race for the top four.

It was the first time Juve had been beaten at home by the Rossoneri since March 2011, while it marked the first time they had conceded three goals at home to Milan since January 2010. 

Pirlo has endured a dismal first season in charge of Juve after replacing Maurizio Sarri. Not only did they relinquish their nine-season stranglehold on the Serie A title to Inter, but they were dumped out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Porto. 

While the decision could yet be taken out of his hands, first-year boss Pirlo insisted he has no plans to step down from his role.

"No, I won't step aside," he told Sky Sport Italia. "I took this role with a great deal of enthusiasm amid certain difficulties. 

"I am at the disposal of the club. There are still three games to go, so I will continue doing my work as long as I am allowed to."

Brahim Diaz, Ante Rebic and Fikayo Tomori were on target for a dominant Milan, who could even afford the luxury of a missed Franck Kessie penalty with the score at 1-0. 

Juve have now conceded in each of their last 11 league games – their worst streak since April 2010. 

While Pirlo accepted responsibility for his side's failings this season, he suggested he was not given what he was promised by the club.  

"I had a different project in my mind and thought I would have a different group at my disposal," Pirlo added. 

"I had been working on some concepts, but then I had to make changes in order to suit their characteristics and had to adapt."

Asked if his side are resistant to change, he said: "It's not that this team is resistant to change, but if you have some things in your mind and they become more difficult with certain players.

"If I cannot get the best out of these players, that is my fault and I certainly need to do better.

"If something didn't go right, I take responsibility. This squad is made up of great players, clearly something did not work."

Juve have the chance to return to winning ways when they travel to Sassuolo on Wednesday.

Stefano Pioli warned his Milan players against complacency after they took a significant stride towards Champions League qualification with a resounding 3-0 win over top-four rivals Juventus on Sunday. 

Brahim Diaz opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time before Franck Kessie missed the opportunity to double their advantage shortly before the hour mark, when Wojciech Szczesny pawed away his penalty. 

It mattered little in the end, though, as substitute Ante Rebic and Fikayo Tomori sealed a first away Serie A win against the Bianconeri since March 2011 inside the final 12 minutes. 

The victory was Milan's 14th away from home in the league this season, with only Inter in 2006-07 (15) registering more in a single campaign in the history of the competition. 

Pioli was thrilled with his side's efforts, but says they need to quickly turn their focus to Wednesday, when they return to Turin to face Torino. 

"This was a team that believed, that showed a spirit of sacrifice, that gave it's all and showed quality, too," he told Sky Sport Italia.  

"We want to thank our fans, who really moved us this morning with their support, but now we have another game coming up and that might be even more difficult than this."

The win moved the Rossoneri up to third in the table, three points above Juve, who dropped down to fifth with just three games remaining. 

Pioli hailed the determination of his team after they scored three goals away to Juve for the first time since January 2010. 

"We have had big wins this season, but admittedly this was a head-to-head, with the table so tight and so much in the balance," he added. "Unfortunately, it is not the final game of the season so we still have to keep going.

"When it comes to determination, team spirit and preparation to sacrifice, we were perhaps the best team in Italy for a long period of time.

"There was inevitably some mental fatigue after a long campaign, but we knew that today we had to step it up and put in a different performance.

"When it was time to make challenges and fight for every ball, we did not hold back."

Rebic replaced Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 66th minute, the Sweden international limping off with a knee injury. 

Pioli, though, is confident it is nothing serious. 

"Zlatan was not at 100 per cent, he had half a training session with us on Friday, but he wanted to be here at all costs," he said. 

"He has a sore knee, but I don't think it's anything serious. We'll evaluate it."

Milan emphatically enhanced their Champions League hopes at Juventus' expense after a thumping 3-0 win at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday. 

Rumoured Juve target Gianluigi Donnarumma enjoyed a quiet game after a controversial week in which Milan supporters reportedly demanded he missed the clash after contract negotiations had stalled, but the same could not be said for his Juve counterpart. 

Wojciech Szczesny's tepid punch allowed Brahim Diaz to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time, although the Poland international redeemed himself to some extent by keeping out Franck Kessie's second-half penalty. 

There was little he could do about Ante Rebic's stunning strike, however, and Fikayo Tomori's late header made certain Stefano Pioli's side moved up to third in the table. Juve, meanwhile, drop down to fifth with just three games remaining.

Giorgio Chiellini had failed to take a glorious chance to open the scoring just after the half-hour mark, the veteran defender heading wide at the back post from a corner with a flailing Donnarumma nowhere to be seen.

Milan then went ahead in stoppage time when Diaz superbly whipped into the top-right corner after Szczesny's weak clearance from Hakan Calhanoglu's free-kick had fallen kindly to him.

Szczesny made amends for his role in the opener, turning away Kessie's 58th-minute spot-kick after Diaz's shot had hit Chiellini's arm - the penalty given after referee Paolo Valeri had reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor – but the reprieve did not trigger a Juve fightback.

Instead, Rebic, who had replaced the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 66th minute, put the game out of the home team's reach with a glorious long-range strike into Szczesny's top-left corner.

On-loan Chelsea defender Tomori powered home a header from Calhanoglu's cross with eight minutes remaining as Milan ended a run of nine straight away league defeats to Juventus in eye-catching style.

Manchester United wanted Jadon Sancho ahead of the 2020-21 season.

But, United were unable to prise Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

United, though, are reportedly still pursuing the England international.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT SANCHO

Manchester United are lining up a bid for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

United were heavily linked with Sancho at the start of the season but a move did not materialise, while the Red Devils have since been mentioned as suitors for fellow Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

But United have reportedly cooled their interest in Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich target Haaland as they make Sancho their top transfer priority.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS claims Juventus have rejected a renewed effort from Barca to sign Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

- Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, City defender Nathan Ake and RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer are on Jose Mourinho's list of targets as he prepares to take charge of Roma, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Corriere dello Sport also claims Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is wanted by Mourinho.

- Mundo Deportivo says Barca are continuing to chase Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravernberch. Barca have also been linked with Liverpool's soon-to-be free agent Georginio Wijnaldum, who has since emerged as a reported target for Bayern.

Chelsea are frontrunners to prise Harry Kane from Tottenham according to Football Insider. Kane has been linked with United, City, Barca, Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid, while Chelsea have also emerged as a possible destination for Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski.

Antonio Conte claimed he has made Inter's players much more valuable in the transfer market as he urged them to turn winning into "an obsession".

Inter's Serie A title celebrations continued on Saturday with a 5-1 thrashing of Sampdoria at San Siro as they were given a guard of honour by their opponents before kick-off.

The win was Inter's 14th consecutive victory at home – a new club record – as two goals from Alexis Sanchez and one apiece from Roberto Gagliardini, Andrea Pinamonti and Lautaro Martinez put the gloss on stylish performance.

Conte ended Juventus' Serie A dominance by delivering the Nerazzurri's first title in 11 years and he also reckoned his coaching has made Inter's players worth more.

He told Sky Italia: "I think the work we've done over two years has made a big difference, as the squad improved not only on the pitch, but also in terms of transfer value.

"The team is now considerably more valuable than it was when I took over, and so I think investing in my experience has paid off.

"I always knew my arrival would bring certain expectations. I feel those expectations have now been met.

"These lads can still grow further, they can improve in terms of mentality especially, but they are winners and they know what it is they have to do.

"Since we went to the top of the table, we've left absolutely nothing to chance. Zero. We didn't ease off for a moment, not even today.

"I always said victory has to become an obsession for a winner, like a drug that they need. There's Roma next, let's take it one step at a time and always try to get the best out of every game."

The victory over Sampdoria was Conte's 136th in his 200th Serie A game as a manager – no other coach has won as many in the three-points-for-a-win era.

However, the 51-year-old once again deflected questions about his future at Inter despite leading the club to their first Scudetto since their treble-winning campaign in 2009-10.

Conte's contract expires in 2022 but his position is uncertain amid doubts over Inter's financial situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I am here to talk about the present, not the future. We know how hard we worked, how much we suffered, so we need to enjoy this moment," Conte said.

"Over two years, we brought back credibility to Inter, the club, the team and the fans. I've missed my chance to celebrate too many times in my life, this time I want to enjoy it to the full. As for the rest, we'll see."

Inter notched up a club record 14 consecutive home wins in Serie A as two goals from Alexis Sanchez gave them a 5-1 win over Sampdoria on Saturday.

The recently-crowned Serie A champions took the lead in the fourth minute when Roberto Gagliardini guided the ball beyond Emil Audero.

Sanchez gave a reminder of his quality with a classy finish to increase Inter's lead before ex-Inter man Antonio Candreva pulled a goal back for Sampdoria.

Another fine finish from Sanchez made it 3-1 heading into half-time before Antonio Conte's side put a deserved gloss on the result with a clinical goal from Andrea Pinamonti and a Lautaro Martínez penalty.

Inter were serenaded by their fans outside San Siro and given a guard of honour by Sampdoria's players before kick-off having secured their first Scudetto in 11 years last weekend.

The Nerazzurri were quickly into their stride on the pitch and went ahead when Matias Vecino stole possession to setup a counterattack which culminated in Gagliardini sliding in to direct Ashley Young's cross into the net.

Achraf Hakimi almost scored a dazzling individual goal with a run from his own penalty area only to be denied by a fingertip save by the diving Audero.

Inter's second goal arrived just before the half hour when Sampdoria were again caught on the break as Gagliardini's clever pass found Sanchez who steered the ball home in style.

Sampdoria pulled a goal back moments later when Samir Handanovic was deceived by Candreva's miscued shot and tamely allowed the ball over the line.

Inter responded immediately with a piece of precise finishing from Sanchez, who met Hakimi's cross and found the corner of the net with a clipped finish from the just inside the box.

Conte's men were ruthless after the break as Pinamonti scored his first Inter goal in Serie A when he controlled an awkward ball and crisply dispatched it beyond Audero.

Sampdoria's Adrien Silva was deemed to have handled inside the area following a VAR check and Martinez fired the resulting spot-kick high into the net.

Gianluigi Donnarumma is set to start against reported suitors Juventus in a mammoth match for Champions League chasers Milan on Sunday.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper has made more Serie A appearances than any other player (211) since his Rossoneri debut in 2015, but supporters unhappy with stalled contract negotiations had reportedly demanded he miss this weekend's game.

An exchange between Donnarumma and a section of fans was said to have left the keeper in tears.

Talk of an offer from Juve for Donnarumma, whose existing deal expires at the end of the season, was seemingly a particular point of contention.

Technical director Paolo Maldini subsequently halted discussions but insisted supporters could have no say in who represented Milan on the pitch.

Speaking on Saturday, Stefano Pioli said he would act in the best interests of the club, seemingly assuring a start for the keeper who ranks second for saves (609) and penalty saves (eight) in his Serie A career.

"At the moment, certainly all of Milan, we all have only one goal here: Milan's interest, not personal interest," Pioli said.

"They have always sweated. For this reason, I think it is right to support them, regardless of how it will go and the future of each of us.

"We are focused only on the match and finishing the championship well."

Asked if he had spoken to Donnarumma, whose save percentage has dipped to 68.9 this term, Pioli replied: "I talked to him, as with everyone.

"We talked about the match, what it is and about the strategy, how we have to interpret it. He and everyone is focused on giving their best."

Milan entered the weekend fourth, level on points with Juve in third, but could be fifth by the time they kick off.

Since their most recent Scudetto win in 2011, no side have lost to the Bianconeri in Serie A as often as Milan (15 times).

Pioli is confident their top-four hopes are not pinned solely on the outcome of this weekend's match, however.

"Whoever wins has a great chance of going to the Champions League, but it doesn't finish tomorrow night," he said. "Another nine points is a lot.

"We have two direct clashes from here to the end. We are masters of our destiny. If we win them, we have huge chances.

"The calendar is like this, it's strange to see a midweek round with two rounds to go. For now, we only think about tomorrow.

"We are on equal points, they have quality, but we do, too.

"It would be very important and exceptional to win in Turin against Juve. We will have to give our all. There will be difficulties, but we must work to resolve our mistakes."

He added: "It can be [a turning point]. I don't know if it will be so decisive for the future as well, certainly, however, [it can be] for our moment and for what we hope to achieve, to return to high levels.

"A positive result would give us the confidence and conviction to reach our goal. I see a mentally prepared team."

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have described warnings from UEFA as "intolerable" and "unacceptable" as the three clubs continue to back a breakaway European Super League.

Spain's biggest two clubs and Italian outfit Juve are the only three remaining of the 12 European giants who signed up for the controversial project, with all others having withdrawn just days after the competition was announced last month.

UEFA on Friday stated that Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid would not face Champions League or Europa League bans after pulling out of the proposed Super League.

The governing body warned that the three remaining rebel clubs could be sanctioned due to their unwavering stance.

UEFA stated: "UEFA has reserved all rights to take whatever action it deems appropriate against those clubs that have so far refused to renounce the so-called 'Super League'. The matter will promptly be referred to the competent UEFA disciplinary bodies."

Barca, Madrid and Juve released a joint statement on Saturday to make it clear they are not happy with UEFA's actions.

The statement said: "The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue.

"This is intolerable under the rule of law and tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending."

The three clubs defended the Super League proposal by stating that "structural reforms are vital to ensure our sport remains appealing and survives in the long-term".

They added that the founding clubs agreed that the new competition would only take place if it was "recognised by UEFA and/or FIFA or if, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, it was deemed to be a competition duly compatible for all purposes with the continuity of the founding clubs in their respective domestic competitions".

Juve, Barca and Madrid claim the Super League provided "a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible show and to reinforce global interest in the sport".

The trio of clubs say they are "ready to reconsider the proposed approach" but it would be "highly irresponsible" if they abandoned a mission to "provide effective and sustainable answers to the existential questions that threaten the football industry".

Neymar's long-term commitment to Paris Saint-Germain has been in question at times. 

A return to Barcelona had been rumoured. 

Now the Brazil international is set to stay in the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR TO FINALISE PSG EXTENSION

Neymar is set to sign a new contract with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain this weekend, L'Equipe reports.

The four-year extension will be worth €30million (£26m) per season and run through 2026, nearly a decade after he arrived from Camp Nou for a record €220m fee. 

The signing would come days after a report that Barcelona approached PSG about Neymar, but the French club insisted he was not for sale. 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are casting a wide net to bolster their attack, with Bild reporting Mohamed Salah is on Thomas Tuchel's shortlist along with Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku

- Zinedine Zidane may return to Juventus as head coach after Real Madrid's Champions League exit, Tuttosport reports, adding that the Real Madrid boss also is considering taking some time away from the sport. 

Georginio Wijnaldum's Liverpool deal expires in June and the midfielder could be on the way to Bayern Munich, Sport1 reports. 

- Memphis Depay remains a top target for Barcelona, but the Spanish giants could turn to Donyell Malen of PSV if they cannot land the Lyon star. 

- Marca claims Eden Hazard is on the way out at Real Madrid, with Los Blancos ready to listen to offers for the forward. 

- Jan Oblak could be moving to the Premier League this summer, with ESPN saying Manchester United are among the potential destinations for the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper. 

- Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard will sign for Leicester City, Teamtalk reported. The 23-year-old also has drawn inquiries from West Ham and Liverpool

- Aston Villa will offer £15million for Burnley's Dwight McNeil, Football Insider reported. McNeil is under contract through 2024. 

The Serie A title has gone for both last season's champions Juventus and 2020-21 pace-setters Milan, but they still have plenty to play for on Sunday.

The two Italian giants are third and fourth heading into the weekend but neither are yet assured of Champions League qualification.

The losers when the sides meet in Turin – or both teams in the event of a draw – could soon be caught by those below them.

And Milan's preparations have been impacted by speculation around regular goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, as Stats Perform explains.

What's happened with Donnarumma?

The Italy international is out of contract at the end of the season and his failure so far to commit his future to the club has riled Milan supporters.

No Serie A player has made more appearances or starts (both 211) in the competition than Donnarumma since his 2015 debut – he ranks second behind Samir Handanovic (80) with 67 clean sheets – but fans reportedly confronted the keeper last week and demanded he either sign a new deal or sit out the Juve game.

It was an exchange that was said to have left Donnarumma in tears.

"It is important to firmly reiterate that nobody outside of Milan can decide who stays at the club and who renews," Milan technical director Paolo Maldini told ANSA in response.

"Choices regarding what happens on the pitch are down to the coach, while the club is in charge of contractual issues.

"From this moment, every single negotiation for new contract renewals is frozen until the end of the season so that the team can focus solely on the league.

"In the meantime, we will continue to protect our players, as we always have done."

A predictable complication is Juve's status as the most likely suitors for Donnarumma, who has lost more matches to the Bianconeri in Serie A (eight of 10) than any other side.

Why leave Milan?

Reported interest in Donnarumma from elsewhere is nothing new, but he has surely never been closer to quitting his only club.

The 22-year-old holds the power this time given his expiring contract, and patience could understandably be wearing thin at San Siro.

Donnarumma has been kept extremely busy by a misfiring Milan team in recent seasons. He ranks second for saves (609) and penalty saves (eight) – behind Andrea Consigli (642 and nine) in both categories – over the course of his Serie A career.

These heroics have not yet been enough to return the Rossoneri to the Champions League, where Donnarumma is remarkably still to make his bow, and a top-four finish in 2020-21 is now far from assured.

Milan were unbeaten in the league this season before hosting Juve in the reverse fixture in January but have since lost seven times.

A young team may be blowing their best shot at qualifying for Europe's top club competition, while Donnarumma's form has started to wobble, too.

The keeper has saved 72.6 per cent of shots since his Serie A debut, but that figure has dropped to 68.9 this term. He has also conceded 35 non-penalty goals from shots worth just 33.1 expected goals on target.

If Milan miss out on the Champions League again, Donnarumma could reasonably argue he is in need of a fresh challenge.

Would Juventus be interested?

Four keepers have made 100 or more saves in Serie A while keeping out a greater share of shots than Donnarumma during his Milan career. Two of them already play for Juve.

Along with Alisson (79.3 per cent), who left Roma for Liverpool, and Inter champion Samir Handanovic (73.1), Gianluigi Buffon (77.0) and Wojciech Szczesny (73.7) have bettered Donnarumma's output.

Juve may not even be getting an upgrade then if they tempt the Naples-born star away from Milan.

But Buffon is now 43 and Szczesny 31, meaning both are likely to wane as Donnarumma presumably improves.

Illan Meslier, in 2020-21 at Leeds United, is the only keeper born after Donnarumma to have made 30 starts in a single season in one of Europe's 'top five' leagues. Donnarumma has done so six times already.

And not only is the Italian young, he is, of course, cheap.

Juve love a bargain deal for a free transfer, willing to pay the various related sums to avoid transfer fees for Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Kingsley Coman, Sami Khedira, Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot, among others. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic and its financial crisis.

The Turin giants might be able to pick up their keeper of the future for nothing. Alternatively, he could on Sunday further dent their own Champions League aspirations.

Romelu Lukaku believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic has helped to raise the level of Serie A and is not dwelling on their heated clash earlier this season.

Lukaku had to be dragged away from Ibrahimovic after the Milan striker apparently insulted his mother during January's Coppa Italia derby.

The Belgium striker equalised from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win for Inter, while the Sweden veteran was sent off.

Ibrahimovic denied allegations of racially abusing Lukaku during the spat and, after inspiring Inter to a valedictory Scudetto triumph, the younger man seemed to have no intention of retaining any ill-feeling towards his former Manchester United team-mate.

"We were losing 1-0, I missed a goal, I was a bit angry," he told Corriere Della Sera.

"His words struck me. I'm not happy with having reacted like that but don't let myself get pushed around. 

"I am humble and calm, I am a winner and I fight to death for my team-mates and for the victory."

Lukaku looks likely to fall short in this season's Capocannoniere race as he sits on 21 goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo on 27.

Ibrahimovic has 15, although his haul comes from 18 appearances, compared to 33 for Lukaku, giving him a superior minutes-per-goal rate (95.47 v 127.29).

Lukaku feels Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo plying their trade in Serie A only adds to the division's appeal, with Jose Mourinho's appointment as Roma head coach this week providing similar lustre.

 

"[Ibrahimovic is] a great player, he has won wherever he has played, he has scored more than 500 goals," he said.

"We need players of this level in Serie A. He wants to win for himself, me for Inter, Ronaldo for Juve, now there is Mourinho at Roma.

"They are all good things for Italy. The level is raised, let's hope Inter win again [next season]."

Although ending Juventus' decade of dominance in Italy was joyously celebrated by Inter and their fans, Lukaku conceded there are pangs of regret of Antonio Conte's men bowing out at the group stage of the Champions League this season.

Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach progressed out of a tough round-robin section that also featured Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk.

"Leaving in the group stage was a great disappointment, we should have qualified in that group," he added.

"Real Madrid are strong, but we were better than the other two.  Next year we have to overcome the group, then anything can happen."

Jose Mourinho is already plotting his moves in his first transfer window at Roma, where he will take charge at the end of the season.

The Portuguese reportedly is hoping to bring players he already knows to Serie A.

Could a pair of Red Devils and Spurs be headed to the Italian capital? 

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES FAMILIAR FACES

Jose Mourinho may turn to his Premier League connections to bolster his first Roma side. 

Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and David de Gea are among the players with Old Trafford legacies on Mourinho's wish list, according to the Daily Mirror and Todofichajes. 

Among more recent Mourinho pupils, Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are among the Spurs players who stand as possibilities, says Corriere dello Sport. 

Football London also linked Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura with possible Roma moves as former Tottenham head coach Mourinho prepares to replace Paulo Fonseca ahead of the 2021-22 season.

 

ROUND-UP  

- Corriere dello Sport reports Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Napoli star Fabian Ruiz and Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Spain international Fabian has been heavily linked with Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Fellow midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, meanwhile, continues to be linked with the likes of Inter, Juventus, United and PSG.

Yves Bissouma could be headed to Manchester City as a replacement for Fernandinho, the Daily Star claims. City are said to be confident they can strike a £30million deal for the 24-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder. The Daily Express, however, has Arsenal leading the fight for the Mali international, with TottenhamWest Ham and Everton also potential landing spots. 

Chelsea may bring back striker Armando Broja on a lucrative contract after loaning the 19-year-old to Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem this term, Fabrizio Romano says, but other big clubs are circling as well.

- Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini is considering a move to MLS after his contract ends in June, Calciomercato reports. 

Miralem Pjanic could leave Barcelona as Sport claims the midfield outcast attracts interest from the likes of Chelsea and Inter

- Barca are considering the idea of allowing Francisco Trincao to leave on loan amid interest from Milan and Roma, according to Calciomercato. 

- RMC Sport says Milan have reached an agreement in principle to sign Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan at the end of the season. It comes amid doubts over the future of star Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is set to become a free agent. Yet to renew, Donnarumma has been linked with Juve, Tottenham, Chelsea and United.

Inter star Lautaro Martinez said he was "truly very close" to joining Lionel Messi's Barcelona before opting to remain at San Siro.

Martinez was heavily linked with a big-money transfer to LaLiga giants Barca prior to the 2020-21 season after starring for Inter in Serie A.

A switch to Camp Nou did not eventuate and Argentina international Martinez celebrated Inter's first Scudetto since 2009-10 last week.

Amid growing speculation over a contract extension in Milan, Martinez revealed the coronavirus pandemic derailed a move to Barca following discussions with countryman Messi.

"I was truly very close to joining Barcelona and I even talked it over with Messi," Martinez told ESPN Argentina.

"However, the Blaugrana had economic problems at that moment, so I decided to stay at Inter. It proved to be the right decision, especially as we then won the Scudetto.

"It's just incredible to win the title at such an important club."

Martinez arrived from Racing Club in 2018 and the 23-year-old has scored 47 goals across all competitions for Inter, including 15 in 34 Serie A appearances this term.

However, Martinez revealed Real Madrid attempted to prise him from boyhood club Racing Club before eventually joining Inter.

"Real Madrid did come for me twice when I was in the Racing youth team, but I wanted to make my name in Argentinean football first and only made the move to Europe when I was ready," he added.

"I do dream one day of returning to Racing. The fans are just as 'crazy' and passionate as the Inter ones."

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