Is Cristiano Ronaldo's time in Turin coming to an end?

Juventus reportedly feel the end could be nigh.

Paris Saint-Germain are waiting in the wings…

 

TOP STORY –  RONALDO HEADING FOR EXIT?

Juventus are convinced Cristiano Ronaldo is considering his future with the Serie A giants, according to Goal.

Ronaldo has been tipped to leave Juve amid growing speculation, with Diario AS reporting Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with the superstar.

Juve and Ronaldo – also linked with his former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid – reportedly met on Thursday following the return of head coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has replaced Andrea Pirlo.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester City are the team most interested in Tottenham's Harry Kane, says Fabrizio Romano. Kane is reportedly looking to leave Spurs and the England striker has been linked with Premier League champions City, United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona. City are eyeing a replacement for Barca recruit Sergio Aguero, with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Eintracht Frankfurt forward Andre Silva also targets.

Tottenham are in talks with Son Heung-min over a contract extension, reports Romano.

- BBC Sport claims Alisson is set to hold contract talks with Liverpool. The Brazil international goalkeeper's current deal does not expire until 2024.

- Football Insider reports Everton's Richarlison is on Madrid's radar following the appointment of ex-Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti. Madrid have long been tipped to prise Kylian Mbappe from PSG.

Juventus and PSG are in the race to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. City and Inter have also been linked.

Memphis Depay is on the verge of completing a move to Barca on a three-year deal, per Diario Sport. Depay is available on a free transfer, with his Lyon contract expiring.

- The Yorkshire Evening Post claims Liverpool are among the teams interested in Leeds United's Raphinha. Manchester United and City are also believed to be among the possible suitors.

Arsenal have confirmed defender David Luiz has left the club while Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos have returned to Real Madrid.

Experienced defender David Luiz indicated he would be leaving the Gunners at the end of his contract when he posted a farewell message to fans on Instagram last month.

The 34-year-old, who joined from Chelsea for a reported £8million in August 2019, made 73 appearances in all competitions for Mikel Arteta's side.

Meanwhile, Odegaard and Ceballos are heading back to Madrid following the expiry of their loan spells at Emirates Stadium.

Odegaard, who joined in January, impressed in his 20 appearances in all competitions under Arteta.

The Norway international scored two goals and provided two assists, while his average of 2.24 chances created per 90 minutes was the best return of any Arsenal player to play more than six times last season.

Ceballos first signed for Arsenal on loan in July 2019 and the deal was extended last September after an impressive campaign that began with two assists on his first Premier League start, a feat only previously achieved for Arsenal by Ray Parlour and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The 24-year-old midfielder made 40 appearances for the Gunners last season, although only 25 of those came as a starter.

Each player has been linked with a permanent move to the club, but new Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti name-checked Odegaard and Ceballos this week as he discussed their trophy hopes in 2021-22.

"With this squad, without loan players like [Gareth] Bale, Odegaard and Ceballos, Madrid reached the Champions League semis and fought for LaLiga. So, we have the players to win trophies," Ancelotti told ABC.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan is also leaving Arsenal after a short-term loan, while youngsters Levi Laing, Joseph Olowu, Luke Plange and Jason Sraha have been released.

In a statement, Arsenal said: "All developments regarding players extending their contracts; joining-rejoining us; or leaving us will be officially communicated as soon as they are confirmed.

"We thank the above players for their contributions to the club during the periods of their permanent or loan contracts with us.

"You will always be part of the Arsenal family and we wish you all the best of health, happiness and success in your futures."

Jordi Cruyff will take up a "strategic role" in Barcelona's hierarchy from the start of August, the club have confirmed.

Cruyff had been linked with a high-profile position in the club's organisational structure for many months, with his name routinely mentioned alongside Joan Laporta's ever since Barcelona's presidential election campaigns began.

The Dutchman, son of Barca icon Johan Cruyff, has been in charge at Chinese Super League side Shenzhen since last August and was seemingly unable to get out of his contract in March when links to the Camp Nou were at their strongest.

However, Barca outlined that his move to the club has been finalised for August, a deal that has been "possible thanks to the collaboration of the Chinese team", its ownership group and president despite Cruyff's contract running beyond the end of the CSL season.

A Barca statement on Thursday read: "FC Barcelona announces that Jordi Cruyff will join the football area of the club and form part of the new organisational structure as of August 1.

"Jordi Cruyff, who was a player in Barca's youth teams and in the Barca first team from 1993 to 1996, returns in a strategic role.

"His arrival has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Chinese team, Shenzhen FC, whom he joined as coach in 2020, the Kaisa group and the president of the Chinese team, Kwok Ying Shing. 

"All played a decisive role in facilitating his departure to FC Barcelona, despite still having a contract in force, and we will therefore be happy to seek future possibilities of collaboration."

It is unclear precisely what Cruyff's job title will be, with Ramon Planes currently installed as the club's technical secretary and Mateu Alemany recently hired as their new director of football.

However, his hiring will be seen as a smart move by Laporta given Cruyff's experience in managerial and directorial positions at other clubs, not to mention his family history at Camp Nou.

It remains to be seen how his hiring goes down with incumbent head coach Ronald Koeman, though.

Speculation regarding the sacking of Koeman has been rife, and the hiring of his countryman Cruyff into an unspecified hierarchical position could sit uneasy with the former Netherlands boss, particularly given he has been regarded as one of the candidates most likely to replace him.

Son Heung-min is not worried about talk linking Harry Kane with a move away from Tottenham and is instead focusing on his own future with the Premier League club.

Kane admitted last month he feels at a "crossroads" in his career following another trophyless campaign with Tottenham, where he has spent the past 17 years.

The prolific striker, who is currently away on international duty with England, has been linked with Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Son formed an almost-telepathic partnership with Kane last term, the pair assisting one another 14 times to surpass Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's long-standing record of 13 for Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95.

However, amid growing rumours over his attack partner's future, South Korea international Son is not getting caught up in the transfer talk.

"Nothing is decided. Rather than worrying about his transfer, I am doing my best at Tottenham," Son told reporters when asked about Kane's next move.

"I want to focus on the national team and Tottenham. Maybe Kane is doing the same. He is busy preparing for the Euros with England."

The intense speculation regarding Kane's future comes on the back of a campaign that saw him earn his third Golden Boot after scoring 23 times in 2020-21.  

The 27-year-old is only the third player – after Thierry Henry (four) and Shearer – to achieve such a feat.

Kane also set up 14 goals to become just the second player in the Premier League era to top the charts for both goals and assists (also Andy Cole in 1993-94).

Those 37 goals involvements were his most across a league campaign in his career, while his 14 assists doubled a previous high of seven in 2016-17.

Kylian Mbappe's future continues to dominate headlines.

The Paris Saint-Germain star is a long-term target of Real Madrid.

With speculation over Cristiano Ronaldo's future, the two players could impact each other.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE OUT, RONALDO IN AT PSG?

Kylian Mbappe potentially joining Real Madrid could see Cristiano Ronaldo swap Juventus for Paris Saint-Germain, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Mbappe has long been linked with LaLiga giants Madrid and a blockbuster move could impact Juve superstar Ronaldo.

If Ronaldo – also linked with Madrid and Manchester United – joins Ligue 1 powerhouse PSG, it could see Mauro Icardi leave Paris and land at Juve.

 

ROUND-UP

- Former Inter and Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is in talks with Tottenham over a move to London, reports Gazzetta dello Sport and other media outlets. Conte is available after leaving Inter following their Serie A-winning season. Spurs have been linked with ex-coach and current PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino, but they appear keen on Conte. Tottenham are also reportedly close to appointing former Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici.

- The Telegraph claims Manchester City are willing to sell Bernardo Silva. It comes as City look to raise funds to bolster their attack after Sergio Aguero's exit amid strong links with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and Tottenham forward Harry Kane. Eintracht Frankfurt's Andre Silva has also emerged as a target, though Atletico Madrid and United have also been linked.

- Miralem Pjanic could return to Italy via former club Juve or Inter, says Sport. Pjanic has struggled for game time under Ronald Koeman at Barca.

United remain interested in signing Atletico and England right-back Kieran Trippier, according to the Daily Mail. The Red Devils are also working on a deal for Madrid defender Raphael Varane and are still targeting Jadon Sancho of Dortmund.

- Football Insider claims Celtic have finalised a deal for Yokohama F.Marinos boss Ange Postecoglou to take charge of the Scottish giants.

Inter star Romelu Lukaku insisted he is staying at the Serie A champions amid speculation over his future.

Lukaku has been linked with an Inter exit following the departure of head coach Antonio Conte as the Nerazzurri struggle financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite leading Inter to their first Scudetto in a decade, Lukaku has reportedly caught the attention of former club Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Lukaku, however, has no plans to leave San Siro as he eyes more silverware in Milan after he was named "the best overall" Serie A MVP.

"I am staying at Inter," Lukaku – who arrived from Manchester United in 2019 – told VTM as Inter reportedly prepare to appoint former Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

"I've already spoken to the man who will become our new coach. Maybe I shouldn't say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation.

"The challenge is to win again. I feel good at Inter, I finally won some silverware.

"I really enjoyed it, but I want to do that again, this time with a packed San Siro."

Lukaku scored 24 goals from 36 league outings in 2020-21, while the Belgium international forward also provided 11 assists.

Lukaku scored 30 goals in all competitions this past season – only in 2016-17 for Everton did the Belgian score more (25) in a single campaign in one of Europe's top five leagues. 

Carlo Ancelotti wants to coach Sergio Ramos next season but the new Real Madrid boss acknowledged the veteran defender's future is still up in the air.

Ramos' contract expires in a matter of days and although the Spaniard has long been in talks over a new deal, no breakthrough appears imminent.

Although his 2020-21 campaign was hampered by injuries that ultimately cost him a place at Euro 2020 with Spain, the 35-year-old captain still proved his worth.

In LaLiga his tackle success rate (80 per cent) and number of tackles won per 90 minutes (0.85) was higher than any of his fellow Real centre-halves.

He was also dribbled past fewer times per 90 minutes (0.28) than Raphael Varane (0.3), Eder Militao (0.48) and Nacho (1.03).

While Ancelotti – who rejoined Madrid on Tuesday after leaving Premier League side Everton – is unsure where Ramos' future lies, he made it clear he wants to work again with a player he coached at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2013 and 2015.

"Sergio Ramos is a very important player for Real Madrid; he has been a very important player and we are going to talk to him," the Italian said at his media unveiling on Wednesday.

"I know he is talking to the club about the renewal but I have no details. We will talk about this in a few days."

Asked if he could imagine Madrid losing a player who has been at the club for 16 years, Ancelotti said: "What I know is that Real Madrid are going to fight for all competitions with the best possible squad.

"About Sergio Ramos, I just arrived and now I have to talk to the club about all this. This has been very fast. We started talking on Saturday and I still haven't had time to talk to the club.

"I really want to coach these players and Sergio Ramos is one of them. I have to plan the squad in the next few days because we haven't had time yet."

Another player Ancelotti hopes to work with next season is Gareth Bale.

The 31-year-old spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan to Premier League side Tottenham, finishing the season with 16 goals and three assists in 34 games across all competitions.

He averaged a goal every 84 minutes in the English top flight. For players with 10 or more goals, only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 1998-99 had a better minutes-per-goal ratio in a single season in the competition (one every 71 mins).

Bale also far exceeded his expected goals (xG) score of 11.07 and converted 11 of 15 goal opportunities defined by Opta as 'big chances' (73.3 per cent).

Speculation has surrounded Bale, who has previously suggested he would return to Madrid and fight for his place, but he said he would not reveal his plans until Wales' Euro 2020 campaign is over.

Ancelotti was appointed three months before Madrid signed Bale in 2013 and the 61-year-old expects him to be on board when the 2021-22 campaign gets under way.

"He has not played much. He has not had much time in the Premier but he has scored many goals," Ancelotti added.

"He has been very effective. He comes back, I know him very well. I think he has the motivation to try to play. Maybe he can have a great season."

Ancelotti could not deliver a LaLiga title during his previous two-year stint, but he helped Madrid win the Champions League in 2014 – the 10th time in their history they had become European club champions, famously recognised as 'La Decima'.

Madrid also landed the Copa del Rey in the same season and the Club World Cup in December 2014.

Since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, Ancelotti has coached Bayern Munich, Napoli and Everton, joining the latter in December 2019.

Barcelona have exercised their option to bring Emerson back to the club following two seasons at Real Betis.

Emerson was party to a three-way deal in January 2019, which saw Betis and Barca each pay half of the €12million fee that was sent to Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro.

At the time it was reported that right-back Emerson would stay with Betis for two-and-a-half years with the view to aiding his adaptation to Spanish football.

It was also claimed upon the completion of the complicated deal that Barca would have to reimburse Betis their initial outlay of €6m plus an additional amount in relation to his value at the time, while the Verdiblancos will be owed a percentage of any future sale.

Barca are said to be paying Betis €9m for the right to finally bring Emerson to Camp Nou, though the deal seemingly represents something of a coup given his performances in LaLiga.

Emerson – who is in the Brazil squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers ahead of the Copa America – has proved to be both a dependable defender and a capable attacking outlet.

His 10 assists over the past two seasons is bettered by only one LaLiga defender (Jesus Navas, 13), while his 62 key passes is the fifth-highest among full-backs.

He has played 170 open-play crosses in that time, a haul bettered by only 10 other right-backs and left-backs, highlighting how he can be expected to offer significant support in attack on the flank.

His forward-thinking nature has not impacted negatively only his defensive output.

Emerson's 853 duels over the past two years is nearly 200 more than any other defender, while his 492 duel wins is also a LaLiga high for players in the backline.

It is a similar story for tackle attempts (165) and tackles won (98), while he also has an impressive tally of 92 interceptions.

This paints a picture of an all-action defender who will work tirelessly up and down the right flank, potentially making him effective competition for Sergino Dest.

Emerson is Barca's third new signing following the acquisitions of Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia from Manchester City.

Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to join the influx, with his Liverpool contract set to expire.

Alvaro Morata says he has no idea who he will be playing for next season amid reports the Spain striker is set to extend his stay at Juventus.

Morata returned to Juve on loan from Atletico Madrid for the 2020-21 season last September.

The Serie A giants have the option of bringing the 28-year-old back to Turin for the 2021-22 campaign on loan or signing him permanently for a fee of €45million - which would be paid in instalments.

It has been reported that Morata will head back to the Bianconeri on loan at the start of a new era under Massimiliano Allegri, who replaced Andrea Pirlo last week.

Yet that is news to former Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Morata as he prepares to represent Spain at Euro 2020.

Asked about his future, he told Radio MARCA: "I don't know. I'm here. Juanma [Morata's agent] is the one who takes care of everything.

"I don't have any news and tomorrow he will call me and say: 'here you have to play'. We have a house in Madrid and there we are very well.

"In the last six or seven years, it is the summer that I am calmer. When they decide, the calmer I will be."

Morata scored 20 goals in 44 games in all competitions for a Juve said that finished fourth in Serie A.

Speculation has swirled for months about the future of Lionel Messi following a season of change at Barcelona.

Barca have been busy already this off-season, signing Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia.

Compatriot Aguero had implored Messi to extend his Barcelona stay, which dates back to 2000, and it seems the striker may get his wish.

 

TOP STORY - MESSI RE-COMMITS TO CATALANS

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi is set to pen a new two-year contract with Barcelona, according to AS.

The Argentina forward has practically agreed to the deal, with only "structural details" to complete.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have both shown interest in Messi but he looks set to commit until 2023.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton are in the market for a new manager after Carlo Ancelotti's sudden departure and The Athletic reports they will consider Rangers boss and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. TalkSPORT claims ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is also on their radar.

- COPE claims that new Real Madrid boss Ancelotti will not push to recruit James Rodriguez from the Italian's former club Everton.

- The Sun reports that Arsenal are in pole position in the race to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. 

- The Sun also claims any potential Sterling move to Arsenal may scupper Manchester City's plans to sign Tottenham's Harry Kane , as they want to use the winger in a swap deal given Spurs hefty asking price.

- Manchester United are keen on Sevilla defender Jules Kounde but Barcelona have joined the pursuit for his signature, claims Mundo Deportivo.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has made a statement of intent ahead of a big transfer window for the Premier League champions, insisting it is "time to send a message".

City's hopes of a treble were dashed on Saturday, as Pep Guardiola's side lost to Chelsea in the club's first appearance in a Champions League final.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that City will be in the market for a striker ahead of next season.

Sergio Aguero's departure on a free transfer – the Argentine having joined Barcelona – has left City, who played with a false nine to great success for most of 2020-21, with just one recognised senior striker in Gabriel Jesus.

Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have been the primary targets reported, while Inter's Romelu Lukaku has also been linked with Guardiola previously declaring he wants to bring in a 30-goal per season forward. Kylian Mbappe, meanwhile, has still not penned a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Premier League golden boot winner Kane finished the season with 28 goals and 16 assists in all competitions for Tottenham, averaging a strike every 135 minutes.

Haaland, meanwhile, netted 41 times in as many appearances for Borussia Dortmund. The 20-year-old sensation averaged a goal every 86 minutes, scoring three penalties – Kane netted four times from the spot.

Kane's creativity may make him a more attractive proposition to Guardiola, however. The England captain led the way in the Premier League for assists (14) from 49 chances created. 

And in an interview on City's official media channels released on Tuesday, Al Mubarak hinted at some major movement, stating his confidence in finding the right replacement for Aguero.

"One of the things I've learned over the years is, you need to constantly bring in talent into the team, refresh and particularly when you are at a high level and when you're on the top," he said.

"Having won the league, it is not the time to sit back and be content. That would be your biggest mistake.

"This is the time to send a strong message, that there's no contentment, that you're not satisfied with just winning the league.

"That's great, but you want to win it again and you are committed and you are bringing more talent that is going to compete, not for the squad, but for the starting XI.

"We lose a very important legend in Sergio Aguero. They are very hard shoes to fill, but I'm confident that we will find the right player to fill those shoes."

Reports emerged this week suggesting a number of City players may agitate for a move this off-season, with some rumoured to be unhappy with their roles this season.

Al Mubarak believes firmly in the world class quality at Guardiola's disposal, however, and noted City's business would prioritise adding more high-calibre players, rather than stacking the squad further.

"There are other areas within the group, within the team that obviously need investment. Not too many. It's not about numbers, it's about quality," he continued.

"I think the squad is a phenomenal squad. You don't win the Premier League and you don't reach the Champions League final if you don't have an incredible squad and we have that.

"We will bring quality into the squad in a couple of key positions."

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed how he has fallen in love with Roma after extending his contract with the Serie A club, meaning he will once again work with Jose Mourinho.

Having already spent a season on loan at the Giallorossi, Mkhitaryan joined on a permanent basis a year ago and was a regular during the 2020-21 campaign under Paulo Fonseca.

The Armenia international scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists as he made 46 appearances in all competitions, including a run to the Europa League semi-finals that came to an emphatic halt against one of his former teams in Manchester United.

His new deal will see the 32-year-old stay for a further season after embracing life in Rome.

"Over the last two years at Roma I've fallen in love, both with the club and the city, thanks in large part to the incredible passion of the fans," Mkhitaryan said.

"The club's ambitions are very high and I am proud to have the chance to play my part as we take on all the challenges that await us next season. Daje Roma!"

However, Mkhitaryan will no longer be working with Fonseca, the Portuguese coach having been replaced by compatriot Mourinho at the Stadio Olimpico.

Mourinho was in charge at United when the Premier League side signed Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016.

The midfielder played in 41 games during his first campaign at Old Trafford but did not make it through the next year. Criticised by Mourinho for his lack of consistency, he joined Arsenal in January 2018 as part of the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move in the opposite direction.

Now, though, Mkhitaryan and Mourinho are reunited at Roma, who will be playing in the Europa Conference League after finishing seventh in Serie A.

Carlo Ancelotti is back in charge of Real Madrid and has plenty on his plate after succeeding Zinedine Zidane.

The Italian called time on an 18-month stay at Everton in order to return to the club where he won the Champions League, Copa del Rey and Club World Cup in a spell between 2013 and 2015.

However, Ancelotti inherits a Real squad with plenty of question marks over it.

The Spanish giants have just endured their first trophyless season since 2009-10 and so there is plenty for the 61-year-old to consider as he starts his second stint.

Sergio Ramos' future

Ancelotti joins a Madrid side who are on the cusp of losing captain Sergio Ramos for nothing. The Spaniard has long been in talks over a new deal but, with his current contract days from expiry, no breakthrough seems imminent.

Although his last season was hampered by injury that has cost him a place at Euro 2020 with Spain, Ramos still proved his worth time and time again.

Looking at his performances in LaLiga, the 35-year-old posted better statistics in tackle success rate (80 per cent) and tackles won per 90 minutes (0.85) than any of his fellow Real centre-halves.

He was also dribbled past fewer times per 90 minutes (0.28) than Raphael Varane (0.3), Eder Militao (0.48) and Nacho (1.03).

These statistics could well be enough to convince Ancelotti to keep him around.

Does Hazard have a role?

With 21 appearances, four goals, and further injury issues all Eden Hazard has to show for last season, it has been suggested a departure could be the best outcome for all parties.

But Ancelotti will no doubt be tempted to try and get the best out of the Belgian as he looks to fix an attack that needs to offer a wider threat.

Karim Benzema remains from the Italian's first stint, but no other Madrid player got close to the French striker's 23 goals in LaLiga last term, with Casemiro (6), Marco Asensio and Luka Modric (both 5) next best.

Hazard could be key to bridging that gap if he can stay fit for long enough periods.

What next for returning loanees?

One man who could help on the goal front is Gareth Bale, who scored 11 times in 20 Premier League appearances for Tottenham during a season-long loan stay in 2020-21.

The Welshman first joined Real under Ancelotti in the summer of 2013 and could be more open to staying put with a manager who has faith in him after becoming frustrated under Zidane.

It remains to be seen what happens with Martin Odegaard, who will return from a loan spell at Arsenal where he impressed but perhaps not to the degree necessary to earn a starting place in Madrid.

The futures of Luka Jovic and Brahim Diaz are also uncertain as they return from Eintracht Frankfurt and Milan respectively.

One big sale?

With Real feeling the pinch of a season without supporters, it is likely that the new manager will have to generate his own funds in the transfer market.

And, with moving on fringe players likely to be tricky, the possibility of selling a more in-demand asset increases.

Raphael Varane is one possible contender as he heads into the final year of his contract amid reported interest from the likes of Manchester United.

The Frenchman established himself as a regular starter in Ancelotti's second season and has missed just 68 of the 266 league games played since that point.

Real conceded an average of 1.1 goal per game without Varane across the past seven seasons, and 0.9 in the fixtures in which he featured.

Interestingly, though, their win percentage rose to 73.5 per cent without him in the side from 66.2 per cent with - will these statistics inform the manager's decision?

One big signing?

Money may be tight at Real Madrid, but that won't stop them being linked to the biggest names in world football.

Kylian Mbappe is one of them, the Frenchman having enjoyed another remarkable season in which he scored more goals (21) and landed more shots on target (55) than anyone else in Ligue 1.

The 22-year-old also converted 60.5 per cent of his big chances - a rate that would help ease Real's problems with lack of goals outside of Benzema.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Ancelotti can pull together the funds to start off his reign with such a high-profile signing.

Barcelona have confirmed that Eric Garcia will join the club from Manchester City on a free transfer on July 1.

The 20-year-old Spaniard has agreed a five-year deal at Camp Nou that features a release clause worth €400m.

Garcia will sign his contract on Tuesday afternoon before he is presented as Barca's latest acquisition at a press conference.

The Barcelona-born defender is returning to the club whose academy he elected to leave at the age of 16 to join Pep Guardiola at City.

In the four years since, Garcia progressed through the ranks at the Etihad Stadium and forced his way into the first team.

However, his refusal to sign a new contract saw him fall behind Ruben Dias and John Stones in the pecking order in the 2020-21 season.

And the reasons for that decision have now become clear, with the Spain international heading back to his native country.

Garcia's stay in England ends with him having made 35 appearances in all competitions, including 19 Premier League outings.

The centre-back becomes the second player to leave City for Barca at the end of his contract this summer after Sergio Aguero's move between the clubs was confirmed this week.

Ronald Koeman is expected to secure another Premier League free transfer in departing Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Memphis Depay, whose deal with Lyon is also on the brink of expiry, is also thought to be close to joining the cash-strapped Catalans.

Real Madrid know what Carlo Ancelotti can do.

The Italian led Los Blancos to Champions League glory in 2014.

Could a return to the Bernabeu be on the cards? 

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRD EYE ANCELOTTI

Real Madrid have been in contact with Carlo Ancelotti to replace Zinedine Zidane, Calciomercato says. 

The Everton boss previously led Los Blancos from 2013-15, winning the Champions League title and Club World Cup in 2014. 

Cadena SER reports Florentino Perez has reached out to Ancelotti and Everton have begun to ponder replacements in the event that he leaves. 

Several other candidates have been linked to the opening at the Bernabeu, including Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte, Raul and Xabi Alonso

 

ROUND-UP

Fikayo Tomori is set to stay with Milan on a five-year permanent deal, Fabrizio Romano reports. Chelsea will get €28million for the move. 

- Tottenham are plotting a move for Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger, the Mirror reports. 

- Everton want to bring Pedro back to the Premier League but have yet to make Roma an offer for the former Chelsea winger, Calciomercato says. 

- Saul Niguez wants to join Manchester United, with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus also possibilities for the Atletico Madrid midfielder, the Mirror reports.

- Now free of his Juventus contract, Maurizio Sarri is favoured to take over at Lazio, Calciomercato reports. 

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