Zidane counting on 'important' Navas

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane says he will not contemplate the possibility of Keylor Navas leaving the club, and insists the goalkeeper is "an important player".

The Costa Rica international has slipped down the pecking order at the Bernabeu following the arrival of Thibaut Courtois last summer and he is reportedly keen to secure a move away from the club so he can gain regular first-team football elsewhere.

Paris Saint-Germain are the side that have been most heavily linked with making a move for Navas, but Zidane insists he has no plans to sell the 32-year-old.

"I cannot imagine the team without Keylor Navas, I don't contemplate his exit," Zidane was quoted as saying by Marca.

Zidane has also dismissed talk that Navas has requested a transfer and he expects the former Levante star to seriously challenge for the number one jersey this season.

"He has always been an important player for us. Keylor hasn't told me he wants to leave. He is here and the outside is something which he cannot control," Zidane added.

"He is happy here and wants to show that he can play here. He is a professional and I will count on him.

"Until matchday two he will talk a lot, but I know that Keylor is going to bring us a lot this season."

Real Madrid's massive Neymar offer rebuffed - Report

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly rejected a lucrative bid for Brazil star Neymar from Real Madrid, with the transfer proposal said to include three big-name players.

The speculation surrounding the Brazilian has been rumbling on all summer after he publicly declared he would like to leave PSG after two years.

He failed to report back to pre-season training on time after being injured over the summer.

A return to Barcelona has been on the cards for a long time and the club have not been dissuaded by the arrival of Antoine Griezmann earlier in the summer.

Now, it seems Real Madrid are desperate to throw everything at PSG and the player in order to try and lure him back to Spain.

The latest report understands Los Blancos have offered Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Keylor Navas, and 100million Euros to try and sign Neymar before the European transfer deadline on 2 September - though PSG have rejected the bid.

Bale is another player unhappy at his current club after being snubbed several times during pre-season by boss Zinedine Zidane.

However, he played in their first La Liga game of the season, as they beat Celta Vigo 3-1.

Real Madrid weighing up Neymar alternative

Real Madrid have earmarked Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes as a potential alternative to wantaway Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, according to reports.

The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move throughout the summer, but has yet to get fixed up with a club, despite strong interest from the likes of Manchester United.

However, there is still time yet and Real are said to be considering a swoop for the playmaker, who would cost them in the region of £60million.

Real are still trying to hammer out a deal for Paris Saint-Germain ace Neymar and might be saving what cash they have left to fund a deal for the Brazilian.

However, if the Neymar deal does not happen, they could switch to other targets and reports would suggest that Fernandes is an option.

It is also claimed that Sporting will not take a penny less than their £60million valuation.

Jovic rules out loan move

New Real Madrid signing Luka Jovic has refuted claims that he will be leaving the Bernabeu on a loan deal just two months after moving to the La Liga giants.

The striker joined the LaLiga giants from Eintracht Frankfurt for £62million this summer after a brilliant season in the Bundesliga.

Jovic bagged 27 goals in 2018-19 as Frankfurt finished seventh in the Bundesliga, with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea also linked with his services.

The Serbia international came off the bench to play for nine minutes as Real Madrid got their league campaign up and running with a 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday.

And Jovic has dismissed any chance of him leaving before the European transfer deadline on September 2, with AC Milan reported to be interested in a loan deal.

“[Zidane] believes in me and his story has not changed during this time as we work together,” Jovic told Novosti .

“I am learning from him day by day, which I am very pleased with, because he, as a player and as a coach, is at the very top of world football.”

Jovic added: “[The media] always make me laugh. [They] will always deal with such stories [about me leaving Real Madrid].

“I have been used to all kinds of comments since the beginning of my senior career, I have come to terms with the fact that there can always be those comments. Time will tell what is true.

“I’m ready to give the maximum and offer everything I can. I don’t even expect to play all of the games right away.

“However, through work and effort, I will reach my goal. I am pleased with the way the [club] have accepted me, I wish I could have scored at the start, but I am in no hurry. I know my [time] will come.

“It takes time to adjust to the club, the players, the style of play itself.

“I prefer to constantly contribute to my team and grow with it than to shine in a few games without me being anywhere. Each of us is different, adapting in different ways.”

Lewandowski praises Coutinho signing

Robert Lewandowski has hailed the acquisition of Philippe Coutinho and believes he will make a significant impact at Bayern Munich.

The Bavarians have pulled off something of a coup by luring the Brazilian to the Allianz Arena from Barcelona on a season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent move at the end of the term.

Bayern have been desperate to bring in new forwards to replace the departed Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, and the capture of Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan did little to appease the club’s supporters.

Lewandowski himself has also been critical of Bayern’s recruitment this summer, but the Polsnd international is pleased with the capture of Coutinho and believes he will be a massive signing for them.

“A top player who can play in a few positions and that gives us many options,” he told reporters. “He can play really good offensively, with good passes and creativity. I think he can help us well.”

Real Madrid's Diaz back on the treatment table

Real Madrid midfielder Brahim Diaz has suffered fresh setback after being diagnosed with an abdominal injury, just days after making his return from a hamstring problem.

The 20-year-old missed much of pre-season due to a hamstring strain and only returned to training last week but he is now back on the Los Blancos treatment table.

There has been no word on how long the former Manchester City youngster will be absent for but a club statement read: "Following the tests carried out today on our player, Brahim Diaz, by the Real Madrid medical department, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury to his right anterior rectus.

"His recovery will continue to be assessed."

Brahim joined Madrid from City for an initial £15.5m in January and started four of their final five La Liga games last season.

And manager Zinedine Zidane has backed the youngster to shine in Spain.

"I like that he always supports and uses both his feet," he told AS. "He likes to be involved in link-up play - he is a good player, very interesting and young.

"We will see what happens next year but at the moment, he has had minutes and has done really well."

Semedo hits out at 'nonsense' PSG talk

Exciting Portuguese wing-back Nelson Semedo has rubbished speculation that he will join Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona.

The 25-year-old Portugal international right-back has made 82 appearances for the Catalan giants since joining them from Benfica in summer 2017.

However, there has been speculation linking him with a move to PSG as part of a possible deal which would see Neymar return to Camp Nou before the September 2 deadline.

But when quizzed about a report in Mundo Deportivo suggesting that he would be open to a switch to the French capital, Semedo quickly hit back via social media.

He wrote next to a picture of the article: “Don’t talk nonsense, Fake News”.

Indeed, Semedo would have no reason to depart Barca this season as he appears to have edged out Sergi Roberto in the battle to become boss Ernesto Valverde’s first-choice right-back.

Liverpool 'could not afford' Coutinho - Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the Merseyside outfit "could not afford" to bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield due to the massive fees involved.

The Reds sold Coutinho to Barcelona for a fee that could rise to around £142m in January 2018.

The Brazilian struggled to settle in Spain, however, and has joined Bayern Munich just over 18 months later.

Liverpool were linked with a move to bring their former player back, and while Klopp suggested they considered the option, he stated that they "could not afford it".

"It sounds a bit strange, but we could not afford it," Klopp told Goal. "We have already spent the cash that we got for him.

"We were reluctant to hand him over [last January], but Barcelona forced us with money, so to speak.

"The move makes sense for both sides. He's a super player and a great boy.

"He is a world-class footballer who can change games in the right environment."

Report - Real Madrid leading race to sign Neymar

Real Madrid are leading the race to bring Neymar back to Spain, according to reports.

It is suggested that Madrid’s ability to offer players as well as cash gives them a better chance of signing the Paris Saint-German star.

Barcelona are also chasing their former player, whom they sold to PSG for a world-record fee of £198million in 2017.

Speaking after PSG’s 2-1 Ligue 1 defeat to Rennes on Sunday, manager Thomas Tuchel said the French club would need a replacement installed before considering any deal to sell their star player, who is keen on a return to Spain.

“We must replace him before we can sell him,” said Tuchel.

“Neymar is a player who needs a replacement. This situation won’t end today or tomorrow.

“If he stays, that would be important for us because he’s skilled at one-on-ones and every team need a player like him.”

Neymar is currently sidelined with an injured ankle and is yet to play this season Real could offer both France World Cup winner Raphael Varane and Brazilian youngster Vinicius Junior to grease the wheels of the deal.

Former Liverpool team-mate tips Coutinho for big things in Germany

Marko Grujic reckons his former Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho will become the best player in the Bundesliga by a long way.

The Barcelona man has completed a season-long deal to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, with the German champions admitting they have been working on the prospective deal “for quite some time”.

The 27-year-old was announced as Bayern’s latest recruit on Monday – arriving on a season-long loan deal for an €8.5m loan fee, with Bayern covering the player’s wages.

The Bundesliga side also hold an option to buy the player for 120m euros, presumably at the end of his loan next summer.

And Grujic, who still plays for Liverpool, but who is on loan with Hertha Berlin, has no doubt that Coutinho will be a big hit in Germany.

“It is a big opportunity for the whole Bundesliga that we get the chance to see Coutinho,” he told Bild.

“He is a special player that is capable of crazy tricks and I enjoyed every minute of training with him at Liverpool.

“He will be the best footballer in Germany by far. Coutinho will be welcomed in Germany and hopefully he can show his talents here.”

Coutinho has scored 21 goals in 75 games in all competitions for Barcelona and produced 11 assists. He has won LaLiga twice and the Copa del Rey during his time with the Nou Camp outfit.

Bayern had announced on Friday evening that a deal “in principle” to sign Coutinho had been agreed, with their chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic having been in Barcelona that week.

Rummenigge said on Monday: “We’ve been working on bringing in Philippe Coutinho for quite some time and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to complete this transfer.

“Our thanks go to FC Barcelona for agreeing to the transfer. With his creativity and outstanding skills, Philippe is a player who will immediately strengthen our attack.”

Salihamidzic said: “Philippe made it very clear to us during the negotiations in Barcelona that he absolutely wanted to move to FC Bayern.

“He’s a world-class player with great ability, who we can deploy in a number of positions in our forward line, so the FC Bayern squad has gained even more quality.

“Philippe Coutinho will help us achieve the ambitious targets we’ve set for this season.”

Liverpool set to miss out on millions from Coutinho deal

According to reports, Liverpool are set to lose out on millions of pounds as a result of Philippe Coutinho's loan move to Bayern Munich.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed on Friday that Coutinho was set for a medical over the weekend before completing a season-long loan deal.

The deal reportedly includes an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season if he proves a success at the Allianz Arena.

The Brazil international has flattered to deceive since his 155million euro switch from Anfield to the Nou Camp in January 2018.

And Spanish publication Sport (via Sport Witness) claims that Liverpool are set to lose 25m euros from the deal that convinced the Reds hierarchy to sell him to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants reportedly paid 120m euros up front with 40m coming in add-ons and the Reds so far receiving 15m of the further ‘variables’.

The Reds got 10m for Barcelona qualifying for the Champions League in the last two seasons and 5m for him playing 25 matches for the club.

The report adds that because of his move to Bayern, the Reds are likely to miss out on 20m euros as he did not appear 100 times for Barcelona and 5m because he did not win the Champions League while he was at the club.

Coutinho joins Bayern on season-long loan

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has agreed to join defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on loan until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

Barca said in a statement on Monday that Bayern will pay 8.5 million euros (£7.8m) and the Brazil playmaker's wages, and that the agreement also includes an option to buy for the Bundesliga champions fixed at 120m euros (£109.8m).

They added: "FC Barcelona would like to publicly thank Philippe Coutinho for his commitment and dedication (and) wishes him all the best in this new stage of his career."

Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 and has since struggled to reproduce the kind of form he showed for the Reds.

The 27-year-old's future had been the subject of speculation throughout the summer, during which Barcelona signed Antoine Griezmann, and he was not part of the matchday squad for their first game of the season, last Friday's 1-0 LaLiga loss to Athletic Bilbao.

Coutinho has scored 21 goals in 75 games in all competitions for Barcelona and produced 11 assists.

In Bayern's statement confirming the deal on their official website, Coutinho said: "For me, this move means a new challenge in a new country with one of the best clubs in Europe.

"I'm very much looking forward to that. Like FC Bayern, I have big ambitions and I'm convinced that I can achieve them together with my new team-mates."

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "We've been working on bringing in Philippe Coutinho for quite some time and we're very happy that we've been able to complete this transfer.

"Our thanks go to FC Barcelona for agreeing to the transfer. With his creativity and outstanding skills, Philippe is a player who will immediately strengthen our attack."

Real Madrid fail in Van de Beek bid

Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Donny van de Beek's heavily rumoured move to Real Madrid will not materialise after both clubs rules out a transfer.

The 22-year-old was heavily a switch to the La Liga giants to continue the summer exodus of the Amsterdam club’s young talent after their magnificent performance in the Champions League last season.

However, manager Erik ten Hag made things clear by telling De Telegraaf: “Donny van de Beek is playing for Ajax this year.”

Real Madrid counterpart Zinedine Zidane appeared to confirm the news when saying: "No one else comes this summer."

However, nothing is surprising in football any more and there is still time for Real to have a change of heart and go back in with an offer, especially if Gareth Bale does find a way out of the club before the window closes.

Van de Beek, capped seven times by the Netherlands, has already scored two goals and provided two more assists in the first couple of Eredivisie games this season.

Griezmann 'has to look to get in the game more'

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has warned new signing Antoine Griezmann that "he has to look to get in the game more" after a lacklustre showing in the 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico Madrid for 120million euros over the summer and was handed his debut at San Mames on Friday.

However, he struggled to make an impact on the left of a front three in the first half and did not fare much better when an injury to Luis Suarez saw him shifted into a more central role.

"If he is close to the box he can finish, he moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen," Valverde said in quotes reported by Sport.

"Putting him on the left, we knew that he will look for goal, but we have a left-back and players who can take the game.

"(However), we expect a lot from all the players and he has to look to get in the game more."

Barca were without star man Lionel Messi, who is recovering from a calf injury.

"We're not all like him and we have to learn to cope when he's not there," Valverde continued. "It's inevitable to miss him, but we need to do other things too. We have to transform possession into goal chances, that's what counts."

On the injury to Suarez, who hit the woodwork with Barca's best chance before being forced off late in the first half, Valverde added: "Luis has a problem with the calf and his injury set us back because in the second half we spent a lot of time in Athletic's box and lacked finishers there."

Bilbao's winner came courtesy of a spectacular overhead kick from 38-year-old Aritz Aduriz in the 89th minute, with the veteran forward – who will retire at the end of the season – having only been on the field for a minute.

"Everything in life has a start and a finish," he said of his impending retirement, as quoted by AS. "I'm grateful to be able to choose to end things where I'm happiest.

"(The goal) is dedicated to my family and everyone who supports me. These kind of things make football so beautiful."

Coutinho poised for Bayern Munich loan move

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho is on the verge of sealing a loan move to Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions announcing that a deal has been agreed "in principal".

The Bundesliga champions announced following their 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin on Friday night that they had reached an agreement with the former Liverpool star, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.

The Brazilian is due in Munich in the coming days to finalise the deal and undergo a medical.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic travelled to Barcelona this week to seal the deal.

"I can confirm that I was in Barcelona with Hasan on Wednesday and that we reached an agreement with both the club and the player," Rummenigge said on the club website. "We have been watching Coutinho for a while."

Salihamidzic added: "I would also like to thank Barcelona. Of course, a few details are still to be sorted out, but we are very happy that we will bring this player to Bayern."

Coutinho's future has been the subject of intense speculation for the whole summer, given the arrival at the Nou Camp of Antoine Griezmann and their interest in bringing Neymar back to the club.

The Brazilian, who has struggled to reproduce the sort of form he showed for Liverpool since leaving the Reds in a £142million deal in January 2018, was not in the Barcelona squad for their defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who saw his side drop two points at home in their opening game of the Bundesliga season, also welcomed the impending arrival of Coutinho.

"I am of the opinion that not only FC Bayern, but the entire Bundesliga and all of Germany can look forward to welcoming such a top player here in this league," he said.

Bayern also announced the "imminent signing" of 20-year-old French midfielder Mickael Cuisance from Borussia Monchengladbach.

On the pitch, Kovac admitted his side were punished for not making the most of their dominance against Hertha.

In the end, the hosts needed a Robert Lewandowski penalty to earn a point after Hertha scored two quickfire goals at the end of the first half.

"Hertha were a bit lucky to share the spoils, but they defended well," Kovac said. "We had a lot of chances, we failed to take many clear-cut chances.

"But I can't blame my team. They tried everything, they gave it everything. It was one-way traffic, we were dominant. But we lacked the bit of luck you need. A compliment to Hertha for bearing up against it. We must make sure we soon collect the two points we failed to take today."

Hertha boss Ante Covic, in his first Bundesliga match as a head coach, said: "When you play away to Munich you know from the start you can't dominate the match as you'd like to. You must still believe you can have some good moments to take something away from here."

Zidane: 'From now on, I will rely on Bale'

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed he will "rely" on Gareth Bale this season after the Welsh star failed to secure a move away from the Bernabeu.

The former Tottenham ace was widely expected to depart the club in the current transfer window after falling out of favour with Zidane.

He was on the verge of joining a Chinese Super League club last month but that deal fell through after the clubs failed to agree on a fee.

Bale's agent has spoken publicly about his clients' desire to leave but it now appears he is set to stay following Zidane's latest comments.

Zidane said: "It seemed that (Bale) was going to leave but today he is here with us. The dynamics are changing, things are changing.

"From now on, I will rely on him, as on others. I will rely on all the players who are here.

"He has his place, he is an important player and I hope that all the players will make the task of choosing a team difficult."

Pochettino doesn't know if Eriksen will stay

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he doesn't know whether playmaker Christian Eriksen will stay beyond the close of the European transfer window.

The Dane joined Spurs from Ajax in 2013 and has proved by far the most successful of all the players signed following the windfall provided by Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid.

Spurs have bought well in midfield this summer, with Giovani lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele joining from Real Betis and Lyon respectively.

Both are expected to play big roles in the club's future but for now, lack the creativity of Eriksen. Since then he has provided 60 assists in his 207 appearances and is seen as a vital cog in Pochettino's machine.

However, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Manchester City, the coach conceded he may not have him available for much longer, with Madrid known to be interested.

"I don't know [if he will be at the club after the window]," said the Tottenham boss. "My point is to help all of the players, my job is to support them all until they maybe decide to take a different way in their career."

Coincidently, Bale's predicted exit from the Bernabeu could play a part in Eriksen's future. The Welshman has been told by the hierarchy that he has no future at the club and after seeing a lucrative switch to China break down, his future continues to be at a crossroads.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have been mentioned as potential suitors but Bale's wages mean they could struggle to broker a deal, especially with Real unwilling to provide a subsidy.

It has been all change in the Spanish capital this summer, with the likes of Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy arriving.

Zinedine Zidane is looking to transform the squad, with much of the side that won four Champions League titles in five seasons starting to show their age.

The French coach sees Bale as part of that ageing generation, while there have also been questions regarding his attitude.

Eriksen is in the final year of his contract at Spurs and has shown no inclination to pen fresh terms, meaning he will be able to leave for free next summer.

Manchester United tried to snare him late on in the summer window but the worry for Tottenham is that while United's interest has dissipated due to the deadline passing, Spanish clubs have until September 2.

Therefore, if the Spanish giants could strike late with a sizable bid that the board may be unable to ignore.

Report - James Rodriguez set for Madrid stay

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has reportedly made the decision to retain the services of James Rodriguez, after the midfielder appeared to be on the verge of departing the club.

The Colombia international had been expected to leave the Santiago Bernabeu after falling down the pecking order under coach Zinedine Zidane.

The arrival of Eden Hazard from Chelsea only increased his chances of leaving and Rodriguez had spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.

Rodriguez scored 14 goals in 43 appearances at the Bavarians but he is now set for a fresh start under Zidane.

Madrid have struggled in pre-season and the future of Rodriguez and Gareth Bale has been a real distraction for the club.

However, radio station Deportes COPE says Zidane is now willing to give both players a second chance and they could feature this weekend.

Madrid start the campaign against Celta Vigo before they then face Real Valladolid and Villarreal.

Zidane's decision to keep hold of both Bale and Rodriguez now suggests the club are out of the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain ace Neymar.

The Brazilian is looking to leave the Ligue 1 champions but Barcelona remain the favourites to snap him up.

Coutinho set to snub move to Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are still in the hunt to sign Philippe Coutinho but the Barcelona player is not keen on the switch to the Allianz Arena.

Bayern have just snapped up Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan but still need another attacker and could turn their attention to Coutinho, whose future at Barca has been shrouded in doubt all summer.

Barcelona are willing to let the Brazilian go although Bayern face a couple of problems as they try to strike a deal before the transfer deadline on September 2.

First up, Paris Saint-Germain want Coutinho as part of a swap deal that could see Neymar head to the Nou Camp, and, secondly, reports claim the player is not interested in moving to Bavaria.

Bayern have already missed out on a number of targets this summer, including Leroy Sane and Callum Hudson-Odoi, and it looks as though another could slip through their fingers.

'Not signing Pogba puts Zidane on the brink' - Torres

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is reportedly considering stepping down due to his club's failure to secure the signature of top transfer target Paul Pogba.

The Real boss has been desperate to make Pogba the face of his rebuild at the Bernabeu and the Manchester United midfielder is keen to move.

Zidane is understood to have promised Pogba before the summer that a move will happen, but United have repeatedly insisted that their record signing is not for sale.

There are doubts also over whether Real could afford the £150million it might take to tempt United into a deal.

The whole situation is said to have left Zidane furious with president Florentino Perez.

Diego Torres of El Pais has told The Independent that the coach could quit should Real fail to land Pogba before the deadline.

"Not signing Pogba puts Zidane on the brink of resigning," Torres said.

"Zidane personally promised Pogba he would bring him to Madrid, and now he is left looking bad. This has only increased the lack of confidence between Zidane and Florentino.

"For Zidane, his project and Pogba are almost the same thing. Nothing that he was promised has really come to pass.

"Zidane returned as a protective shield for Florentino, but he has already fulfilled that political and social mission."