Rooney: Messi better than Ronaldo

Wayne Rooney has claimed that Lionel Messi, and not his former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, is the "greatest player ever".

Rooney and Ronaldo shot to stardom at United under Sir Alex Ferguson, with the height of their success coming in 2008 when they won the Premier League and Champions League together. In addition, Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or for the first time that year.

The Portuguese superstar left for Real Madrid in 2009 and spent nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu prior to his recent move to Juventus. Meanwhile, Rooney stayed on Old Trafford until 2017, becoming the club's all-time top scorer with 253 goals.

Now at DC United, the 32-year-old made an interesting claim on the Pardon My Take podcast when asked whether he preferred Ronaldo or Barcelona icon Messi.

"Yeah, I think I've said this before, but they're both probably the best two players to ever play the game," he said. "I just think Messi is, in my eyes, the greatest ever."

Mourinho: Ronaldo will boost the Serie A

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes the Serie A will experience a major boost on all fronts due to Cristiano Ronaldo joining Juventus.

The Bianconeri shelled out a reported 100 million euros to Real Madrid to bring Ronaldo to Turin, and the Portuguese was unveiled by the Italian champions on Monday.

Mourinho has congratulated Juventus on the move and emphasised the magnitude of the transfer, especially for the Serie A itself, which should enjoy increased viewership with Ronaldo on display.

"Now we see three dimensional football. Everyone will look to Italy for Cristiano, to Spain for [Lionel] Messi and England for the Premier League," Mourinho told Tele Radio Stereo.

"At this time, Serie A has become the most important championship in the world. Everything can change in football, the prospects of teams like Inter, Milan and Roma now change, and now Juve is much stronger with Cristiano.

"They are more motivated by the signing, they are contributing to the quality, attention and excitement of Serie A. I congratulate Juventus. It is a blow with effects at all levels, including marketing, advertising and merchandising."

Ronaldo 'grateful' for Juve opportunity

Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to take Juventus to a higher level after completing his big-money move from Real Madrid on Monday.

The Portugal international joins the Serie A champions on a four-year contract having passed his medical in Turin to finalise the €100 million transfer.

Ronaldo leaves the Santiago Bernabeu as a legend after breaking a whole host of records on his way to becoming Real's all-time leading scorer with 450 goals in just 438 games.

The 33-year-old forward isn't planning on slowing down in Italy either, insisting he remains as motivated as ever to bring even more success to the Juventus Stadium.

"I'm not sad about leaving Real Madrid, this is a big club and with all due respect players at this stage of my career usually go to Qatar or China, so I'm grateful to Juventus for allowing me to join such a big club," Ronaldo told the press at his unveiling.

"I feel great to be here. It's a big challenge, it's a tough league but I'll be ready. Age isn't important, I feel good and motivated. I'm excited. I'll try to do my best as always and I'm looking forward to trying to do my best and winning every title.

"Juventus gave me a wonderful opportunity and I'm so grateful for that. I can see that Juventus is a club that can have a lot of success, they've won domestic cups and Scudetti and were in the Champions League final.

"I'm so proud to be here, I'm proud they were interested in me and I hope I can take Juventus to an even higher level."

Perisic: Inter need quality to compete

Ivan Perisic is confident Inter Milan will continue to reinforce their squad to boost their chances of challenging for honours in the new season.

Perisic played a key role for Inter as they secured a return to the UEFA Champions League after a seven-year absence.

The Nerazzurri have been busy in the off-season thus far, announcing seven new signings which included Kwadwo Asamoah andStefan de Vrij.

Perisic had an outstanding campaign with Croatia at the 2018 World Cup and scored in the final as they lost 4-2 to France on Sunday.

"Now I'll go on holiday and then my season will start. I hope to do good things, the 29-year-old winger told reporters.

"I'm a World Cup runner-up, but in order to win things, we need a lot of players. We need the team to pull together and we need more this season because we're playing in the Champions League.

"I send my best wishes to all the lads who have already started working."

De Rossi: Juventus two to three steps ahead

Roma captain Daniele De Rossi says Juventus have taken a giant step towards maintaining their dominance in Serie A after signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

De Rossi feels the champions of Italy have also shown intentions of challenging for the UEFA Champions League title having come close in recent years.

However, the 34-year-old midfielder said the arrival of Ronaldo does not guarantee success by itself and that Juve will still have to dig deep to challenge for domestic and European honours.

The Portuguese superstar joined the Bianconeri from Real Madrid this month and has enjoyed a hugely successful career having won five Champions League trophies.

"It's a benefit for Italy, but above all for Juve who have signed him," De Rossi told Roma TV. "They will start [the season] 2-3 steps ahead.

"Winning seven Scudetti means you're doing things well. It means you've cracked the league. Buying one of the top two players in the world means aiming even higher, but he'll have to adapt and the team will have to adapt to him.

"Not everything is written, even if they're a team who already had the advantage of being better than everyone else. Now with him, the objective is the Champions League, but it's not written that they'll win in Europe, just as it isn't that they'll win another league."

Ronaldo was offered to Napoli

Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis says Cristiano Ronaldo was offered to the Serie A club ahead of his switch to rivals Juventus.

The 33-year-old Portuguese star joined the Italian Champions in a staggering 112million Euro deal from La Liga giants Real Madrid, to end a nine-year stay at the Bernabeu.

It had been suggested that Ronaldo was eager to make a move to Napoli, however, the heavy financial burden of such a deal on the club proved to be decisive in his switch to Juve.

The risk of bankrupting Napoli was a real possibility said De Laurentiis, with the responsibility now falling on Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Speaking to La Repubblica, the Napoli chief revealed: "Ronaldo was also offered to Napoli.

"[Jorge] Mendes, his agent, called me. We formulated our offer and would have paid Ronaldo with the percentage of the income guaranteed by his arrival.

"[But] the €350million that Juventus invested [including wages] is beyond our reach. We would have risked pushing the club towards bankruptcy."

Ronaldo joins recent signings Joao Cancelo Mattia Perin and Emre Can at the club.

Anderson is Hammers' seventh signing

West Ham have signed Brazil midfielder Felipe Anderson to take their off-season signings to seven.

The Hammers, under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, have already signed Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Fabian Balbuena.

Anderson joins the Premier League club from Lazio on a four-year contract following five seasons in Italy, having joined from Santos in 2013.

He played 32 times for I Biancocelesti last season, scoring eight goals and assisting a further ten more, while in total, Anderson 34 goals in 177 appearances.

Speaking to the club's official website, shortly after his unveiling, the 25-year-old said: "I feel really happy and fulfilled to join West Ham United.

"West Ham is a club with a lot of tradition, lots of great players have played here, like Bobby Moore, Carlos Tevez and Di Canio.

"They were great players and idols here, and I’m aiming big, who knows, maybe I could hit their heights and be a legend here too. I'm really happy to be here. It's a dream come true.

"I want to thank the owner, David Sullivan, because he made a big effort to bring me here. I know how difficult it was, so I have to thank him a lot, and I hope I can repay his faith in me on the pitch with goals and winning games."

Director of Football Mario Husillos added: "We are very happy and pleased to welcome Felipe to West Ham United.

“We believe that we have signed one of the most exciting talents in European football. Felipe has shown a fantastic level of performance at Lazio in recent seasons and we believe that he will now bring that quality to the Premier League. He is also a player very suited to the style of Manuel Pellegrini.

“For West Ham United this is a very big statement, a club record, so we must thank the owners for their support and work in making this transfer possible.

Anderson has just one senior Brazil cap, but won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

 

Albiol confident of Napoli success under Ancelotti

Raul Albiol is confident Napoli will be a force to be reckoned with in Italian football under experienced manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti was appointed the club's new manager following the sacking of Maurizio Sarri and Albiol expects his side to achieve great things in the new season.

The veteran Italian manager is back coaching in his country after successful spells in charge of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Napoli came close to winning the Serie A title in the previous season finishing second behind Juventus.

"With Ancelotti we can do great things, he's among the most important Coaches in world football," Albiol told reporters.

"That's why we want to work and grow to put his idea of football into practice. Ancelotti has always won a lot, we'll go our own way in the League and we'll fight until the end.

"In order to do that, we have to work hard and understand these new ideas as soon as possible."

Jorginho joins Sarri at Chelsea

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Jorginho from Napoli on a five-year contract to beat Manchester City to the signature of the highly rated Italian.

Jorginho has joined his former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, who has been appointed as the club's new manager following the sacking of Antonio Conte.

Reports have suggested that Sarri will be bringing a number of stars he has worked with in Italy at Chelsea including Juventus striker-Gonzalo Higuain.

Sarri has not wasted any time in bringing in the 26-year old midfielder, who was heavily linked with the English Premier League Champions City, before Chelsea announced his signing on a five-year deal.

 "We are delighted Jorginho has chosen to join Chelsea," said Chelsea manager Marina Granovskaia.

"He was one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe and will become an important member of the playing squad.

"He has demonstrated his quality working under Maurizio Sarri and we are convinced his signing will help bring further success to Stamford Bridge."

Jorginho added: "I am absolutely ecstatic to be here at Chelsea. It is not easy to become part of such a big team so I am very, very happy.

"I am excited to play in such an intense league, for a team that gives everything to play and win."

Manolas: I'm happy at Roma

Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas has downplayed reports of interest for his services from clubs in the English Premier League, saying he is happy at Roma.

Manolas, who played a key role as Roma reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2017/18 season, is said to have attracted interest from Chelsea and Manchester United in the English Premier League.

However, the Greek defender feels he is happy at the Giallorossi and will not be following Radja Nainggolan out of the club.

Manolas is also hopeful that Roma will retain the service of in-demand Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.

Manolas told Sky Sport Italia: "My future? I'm happy at Roma, I want to stay here and I'm ready to give my all.

"We're working very hard; we know what we have to do with the Coach because we've been working the same way since last year.

"We already know what the coach wants; now we just have to wait for the new signings to understand what Di Francesco wants to do.

"It's important that they're here from the start of pre-season. I've only seen a couple of training sessions, so I can't say yet who has impressed me most, but they're all good lads who'll give their best on the pitch.

"We're strong; apart from (Radja) Nainggolan we've stayed the same. We're ready; we can do even better than last year.

"Alisson? We hope he'll stay, he's on the very highest level and he helped us so much last year."

Lazio snap up Acerbi

Serie A side Lazio have announced the signing of Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi.

The 30-year-old former Italy international has joined the club on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Acerbi is a former Pavia, Reggina, Genoa, Chievo Verona and AC Milan centre-back and he leaves Sassuolo after five seasons and over 150 appearances.

He heads to a Lazio side competing in the Europa League after their fifth place finish last season and is expected to fill the void left by Stefan de Vrij who joined Inter Milan.

A brief statement from the club read: "S.S. Lazio are delighted to announce the signing of defender Francesco Acerbi from U.S. Sassuolo Calcio."

Acerbi is just the latest in a rash of new signings, that includes goalkeeper Silvio Proto from Olympiacos, Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Valon Berisha, Salernitana striker Mattia Sprocati and Real Betis left-back Riza Durmisi.

Atalanta sign Zapata on loan from Sampdoria

Atalanta have bolstered their attack by bringing in striker Duvan Zapata on a two-year loan deal from Serie A rivals Sampdoria, with the option to buy.

The 27-year-old was snapped up by Napoli in 2013 and loaned out to Udinese for two years between July 2015 and June 2017. He then went on loan to Sampdoria for the 2017/18 season.

The Columbia international scored 11 goals and made six assists in 31 Serie A games for Sampdoria, who signed him permanently from Napoli earlier this month.

However, he will not be playing for Sampdoria in the upcoming season, but instead for Atalanta, who also have the option to buy him for a reported 12 million euros.

"Atalanta B.C announces the signing of the player Duvan Zapata on a two-year loan with option to buy," a statement on Atalanta's official website read.

Parma bring Alves back to Italy

Serie A newcomers Parma have added more experience to their squad by bringing in Bruno Alves on a one-year deal following his release at Rangers.

The 36-year-old centre-back returns to Italy after just one season in Scotland, having featured regularly for Cagliari in Italy's top flight during the 2016/17 campaign.

Alves still had 12 months left on his contract at Ibrox, but parted ways with the Light Blues by mutual consent on Wednesday, and the Crociati moved quickly to secure his services.

The Portugal international was included in Fernando Santos' 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup, but made no appearances for his country as they reached the round of 16.

Parma are back in the top tier of Italian football after a three-year absence and three successive promotions, having been declared bankrupt in march 2015 and reforming three months later.

Bad break for Napoli newboy Meret

Alex Meret has made a nightmare start to his Napoli career after suffering broken arm in pre-season training, having signed from Udinese just six days earlier.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper was brought in to fill the void left by Pepe Reina's departure to Milan following the expiry of his contract at the Stadio San Paolo.

Meret had made just two cup appearances for the Zebrette in three seasons since coming up from their youth system in 2015, and spent two separate 12-month loan spells at SPAL.

Injuries limited the Italy Under-21 international to 13 Serie A outings for the Ferrara outfit last term, although his woes have continued in Naples.

The Azzurri have not given a timescale for his return, but Meret is expected to be sidelined for at least three months.

Blues to hijack City deal for Jorginho

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis claims that Chelsea are leading the race to sign Jorginho, despite accepting an offer from Manchester City.

The 26-year-old midfielder had been a priority target for City boss Pep Guardiola and appeared to be closing in on a move to the Etihad Stadium after a fee was agreed between the two clubs.

But the Blues have emerged as contenders for his signature, with De Laurentiis revealing that Jorginho has requested to be transferred to Stamford Bridge instead.

There is also a strong possibility that the Italy international could reunited with former Azzurri manager Maurizio Sarri, who is widely expected to replace Antonio Conte once his contract wrangle with Naples outfit is resolved.

"We said to ourselves if Jorginho has any requests, we'll take them into account," De Laurentiis told a press conference at the unveiling of Carlo Ancelotti as the club's new head coach.

"I accepted Manchester City's offer 15 days ago but I have to apologise to them. I can understand if the player prefers to live in London than in Manchester, and if Chelsea pay him more I can understand that too.

"Jorginho to Chelsea is not tied to Sarri."

The 69-year-old believes the Sarri saga is nearing a conclusion, adding: "His case is at the finish line, it depends on him.

"We'll see what happens in the next hours. My lawyers have submitted the text to his lawyers."

Agent: Immobile is very fond of Lazio

Ciro Immobile's agent Alessandro Moggi says his client is in discussions with Lazio over a new contract ahead of the new season.

Moggi says the Italian forward has attracted a lot of interest from other clubs, but is fond of Lazio and has given them first preference over retaining his services.

He stated that AC Milan was among the clubs that had shown an interest in the 28-year-old striker.

Immobile was impressive in the 2017/18 season netting 41 goals in all competition for Lazio and was also the Serie A joint top goal scorer with 29 goals.

Moggi told 7Gold Television: "Immobile is calm and he can stay at Lazio, as we are talking about a new contract with them.

"Clearly there have been approaches from other clubs and there could still be more in future. He is very fond of Lazio and we want to go forward, but it's also true that if Cristiano Ronaldo can be sold by Real Madrid, then anyone can be sold.

"It's true he was a Milan objective, I don't know if he was their number one target, as you'd have to ask them.

"Unfortunately, Milan are going through a complex situation and consequently their transfer strategy remains static until they've clarified the club ownership and UEFA issues."

Del Piero hails Ronaldo signing

Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero has hailed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo who joined the Old Lady of Turin in a big money move from Real Madrid.

Del Piero believes Ronaldo's hunger and ambition will help Juventus dream bigger ahead of the new season. 

The Bianconeri legend feels the arrival of the Portuguese superstar will not only make Juventus a force to be reckoned with in Europe, but will also raise the level of competition in Italy.

Ronaldo joins Juventus after helping Madrid win three Champions League titles in a row and has also enjoyed a lot of individual success in the Spanish capital.

Del Piero told Sky Sport Italia: "It's great for Juve, great for Italian football, truly huge and will be wonderful for the whole city and Italian football to enjoy all he can still do.

"I think it'll raise the competition level in Italy, raise the desire to beat this Juve side that has won seven titles in a row and today people are talking about Juventus, Turin and Italy all over the world in the way they haven't for many years.

"He is a player who can score from any angle and has great technique, but on top of any economic aspects, I think he brings this incredible desire to win. The hunger he has, the way he wants to be the best, is what drags him forward almost as much as his undoubtable quality.

"Juve are a club accustomed to focusing on the details, determination and the next success rather than the one they've just had. They always aimed higher and wanted to raise the bar, so he will fit in perfectly."

Real confirm Ronaldo move to Juve

Real Madrid have announced that Cristiano Ronaldo has brought the curtain down on his illustrious career at the Santiago Bernabeu after agreeing to join Juventus.

The Portugal international revealed after his country's exit from the 2018 World Cup that he was "evaluating several opportunities" amid rumours of a move to Turin.

The speculation intensified on Tuesday when Juve president Andrea Agnelli flew out to Greece to meet with Ronaldo, who is on vacation there.

Los Blancos later confirmed that their all-time leading scorer with 451 goals had requested to move on after nine glorious seasons in the Spanish capital.

"Real Madrid CF communicates that, in response to the will and request expressed by the player, Cristiano Ronaldo, he has agreed to transfer to Juventus FC," the European champions said in a statement.

"Today, Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.

"Beyond the conquered titles, the trophies achieved and the triumphs achieved in the playing fields during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.

"He has also become the top scorer in the history of Real Madrid with 451 goals in 438 games. In total 16 titles, including four European Cups, three of them consecutive and four in the last five seasons.

"On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey he has won four Golden Balls, two The Best FIFA awards, and three Golden Boots, among many other awards.

"For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be your home."

The 33-year-old forward added in a statement: "These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.

"I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this hobby and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.

"However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.

"I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I'm leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.

"Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!"

Torreira finalises Gunners move

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has added more steel to his midfield with the acquisition of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria.

The Uruguay international featured in five games at the 2018 World Cup and headed to London for a medical after his country was eliminated by France in the quarter-finals.

Torreira becomes Emery's fourth signing since replacing Arsene Wenger at the helm in May.

Emery told the club's official website: "In Lucas Torreira, we have signed a young player who is a very bright talent in the game.

"A midfielder with great quality, I have enjoyed watching his performances for Sampdoria in the past two seasons, and we all saw him do very well for Uruguay in the World Cup.

"He is a young player already with good experience, but who wants to keep on growing. We welcome Lucas to Arsenal and look forward to him joining us soon for pre-season."

Monchi: No offers for Alisson

Roma sporting director Monchi says the club is yet to receive any offers for in-demand Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Alisson, who was his country's first-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup in Russia, is said to have attracted the attention of European giants Liverpool and Real Madrid.

However, the Roma sporting director stated that his club have had no contact over a proposed move for the 25-year-old goal minder.

He insisted that Alisson will be resting after his country's elimination from the World Cup and will later join Roma for their preparations ahead of the new season.

Mochi told reporters: "The same chance that (Kostas) Manolas, (Edin) Dzeko and (Lorenzo) Pellegrini have of leaving.

"The same chance as anyone who we haven't had offers for. I know you don't believe me, but I haven't had any offers.

"If some were to arrive - and this applies to any other player - we'd evaluate them and then make a decision.

"Right now though we think he should rest after the World Cup, then come back here and have just as important a season as the last one."