Arsenal face frustration in efforts to sign a top summer target, while Patrice Evra has made an offer to turn out for one of his former clubs, according to Monday’s European papers.
ARSENAL FACE NEW RIVAL FOR LILLE FORWARD
Napoli have emerged as leading suitors to sign Arsenal target Nicolas Pepe this summer, according to reports in Italy.
The Lille sensation is likely to be prised away from the Ligue 1 club this summer, with a €50m exit clause unlikely to put off some of European football’s heavyweights.
The forward has scored 16 goals and providing 11 assists in 25 appearances in all competitions this season – bringing him to the attention of the likes of Bayern Munich, Man City and Barcelona.
However, SportMediaSet claim Napoli have already opened talks over a summer deal for the Ivorian, with the report stating Carlo Ancelotti’s side could pay as much as €80m to win the race for the talented 23-year-old.
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JOAO FELIX WANTS RONALDO LINK-UP
Liverpool and Manchester United face disappointment in their efforts to sign €105m-rated Benfica playmaker Joao Felix after the Portuguese teenager admitted he dreams of playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus.
The highly-rated 19-year-old was reportedly the subject of a failed €65million offer from Liverpool in January, while Manchester United have also sent scouts to check on the player ahead of a possible summer approach.
The player has also been linked with moves to Manchester City, PSG and Barcelona as European football’s big-hitters cast envious eyes on the Estadio da Luz talent.
And the player admits he is already thinking of life beyond Benfica, with a move to Juventus, to link up with compatriot Ronaldo, already in his sights.
“My future? It’ll be a decision we make mutually,” Felix told Tuttosport. “All the best Portuguese players have gone to play in the most important foreign leagues, and of course I’d like to do that too.
“I have two big dreams: I’d like to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo because he’s simply the best. He’s an idol, a world icon, an example for everyone.”
Felix only signed a new long-term contract with Benfica in November, and with it, a release clause set at €120m (£105m).
The teenager has scored seven times in 20 appearances this season, and has also featured 10 times for Portugal Under-21s, scoring four goals.
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AND THE REST
Patrice Evra, who has been without a club since leaving West Ham last May, has offered to rejoin Juventus to ease the club’s injury crisis (Corriere di Torino)
Former Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso is reportedly being lined up as a possible replacement for Luciano Spalletti (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena has spoken of his delight at being given his first-team opportunities by Ernesto Valverde (Marca)
Paul Pogba is still wanted by Juventus this summer despite enjoying a lease of life at Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Tuttosport)
Rino Gattuso reckons AC Milan’s attack is much more fearsome with Krzysztof Piatek than it ever was with Gonzalo Higuain (Sky Italia)
Juventus have targeted a €60m summer swoop for Matthijs De Ligt as a long-term replacement for the ageing Giorgio Chiellini (Calciomercato)
Lionel Messi is a major doubt for Barcelona’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Real Madrid but Ousmane Dembele is likely to play (AS)
Benjamin Pavard says it was easy to reject interest from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham in favour of signing a deal with Bayern Munich. The Stuttgart defender will join the Bundesliga giants in the summer (Bild)
Real Madrid have no plans to loan out Brahim Diaz despite his limited involvement since joining the club from Manchester City (AS)
Valencia captain Dani Parejo has extended his contract at the club until the summer of 2022, the club have confirmed (various)
Marseille forward Mario Balotelli has revealed he intends to finish his career at Brescia (Queli che il Calcio)
Juventus target Cristian Romero has expressed his relief at the transfer window closing and insists his only focus is on Genoa (Corriere dello Sport)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is eyeing De Ligt (Ajax), Marquinhos (PSG), Milan Skriniar (Inter) and David Alaba (Bayern) as possible summer defensive reinforcements (Don Balon)
AC Milan have been given FFP clearance to complete a permanent deal for Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Thibaut Courtois has urged Real Madrid to sign former Chelseateam-mate Eden Hazard instead of Neymar (Het Nieuwsblad)