Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Pogba wants to play for Zidane

Real Madrid also like France international

Manchester United remain keen on signing Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez, according to France Football.

Jose Mourinho remains keen on signing a new centre-back, and though the World Cup winner signed a new deal during the summer, the Red Devils remain keen.

They are likely to face competition from Real Madrid, though, with the Blancos having missed out on signing Hernandez over the summer.

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Pavard denies Bayern agreement as World Cup winner eyes move abroad

Stuttgart star Benjamin Pavard denied he agreed to join Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, though the Frenchman suggested he will leave Germany at the end of the season.

Pavard – contracted until 2021 – was heavily linked with Bayern prior to the transfer window closing after helping France win the World Cup in Russia.

The 22-year-old remains in Stuttgart amid reported interest from Premier League trio Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Discussing the Bayern links, Pavard – on international duty with France for the UEFA Nations League – told L’Equipe : “I did not sign anything at all [with Bayern].

You are the journalists who say that I signed [for Bayern].

“I’m in Stuttgart, I’m fine there. My career plan was to stay one more season in Germany.

“I am in a very big German club, with fantastic fans. This club is a family, that’s what I need and that’s what I like about this club. I’m very good there.

“It’s true that the World Cup came faster than expected, nobody expected it, not even me at the very beginning.”

Pavard made a name for himself with France at the World Cup this summer, with his sensational volley against Argentina voted the World Cup’s goal of the tournament .

 

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Messi’s title talk has put pressure on Barcelona – Suarez

Luis Suarez admits the title challenges laid out by talismanic captain Lionel Messi have put Barcelona under pressure to deliver in 2018-19.

The Camp Nou giants restored domestic dominance last season, securing a La Liga and Copa del Rey double.

They have, however, gone three years without European glory, with arch-rivals Real Madrid enjoying an unprecedented run of success in Champions League competition.

Messi is determined to end that sequence, while also defending a league title, and Suarez concedes it is now up to those around the mercurial Argentine to help deliver the desired success.

The Uruguayan striker said to RAC1: “Messi’s already put the pressure on in terms of titles!

“But now it’s up to us to perform on the pitch.

“After the Gamper game, we spoke about the pressure he had put us under. But that shows what Lionel is about, how desperate he is to win. I hope what he wished for comes true.”

Lionel Messi Barcelona

Messi will be expected to lead the Barca charge for more major silverware, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner having already recorded four goals this season.

Suarez is, however, aware that others are going to have to help carry the load if trophy challenges are to be sustained on multiple fronts.

He added on Messi’s relentless drive which rubs off on those around him: “He’s really motivated, even more so after the World Cup and the Champions League.

“Now he’s the captain, the leader and he wants to lift trophies. We have a quality team and a coach to be able to win everything.

“But it’s a really difficult competition to win and [Messi] can’t win it on his own. It has to be a collective effort, as good as he is. We have to be compact. Leo deserves more.

“Obviously it’s infuriating [for us] because Madrid have won the Champions League in each of the last three years. They have made history and it’s a thorn in our side.”

Barcelona have invested again in an effort to overhaul their Clasico foes, with Arthur, Arturo Vidal, Malcom and Clement Lenglet drafted in over the summer.

Malcom Barcelona Roma ICC 2018

The fresh faces are already making a positive impact, with Suarez impressed by the quality of those acquired by Ernesto Valverde.

The 31-year-old frontman said: “The signings fit Barca’s profile in every sense.

“They’re humble, hard-working and keep their heads down. Arthur aside, the rest know what European football is about.

“I’ve been surprised by the quality that Arthur and Lenglet have. Messi told me that Arthur reminds him of Xavi.

“Arturo Vidal would give his life for the team and Malcom’s like [Juventus’] Douglas Costa when he was starting out.”

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Arsenal can adapt to Emery’s ‘Barca style’ of play, says Campbell

Unai Emery is implementing a Barcelona-esque philosophy at Arsenal, says Sol Campbell, with there enough quality at his disposal to overcome some early teething problems.

The Gunners are already accustomed to favouring a ball-playing approach after 22 years working under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.

They are, however, having to change their ways somewhat, with the new man at the helm in north London looking for his side to work their way out from the back and dictate proceedings.

Some of those in the Arsenal squad, such as veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech, are yet to get to grips with a tweak to the tactical approach, but Campbell believes the benefits will be seen in time.

The former Gunners defender told AFTV: “I think it’s all about a new rhetoric, new system. Players finding out how the manager wants to play and training-wise it’s great.

“But then you have to implement that into a game and that takes time.

“It’s not going to happen [straight away]. If it happens straight away, fantastic, but there are still teething problems and things like that.

“The players have to get used to that, especially the defenders.

“They’re so deep, almost like the Barcelona kind of starting the play. That’s very unusual for Arsenal to start so deep and receive the ball.

“But, they can do it, they’re quality players, but it just takes a little bit of time to get used to for everyone to get into sync, what to do when you’re being put under pressure.

“When you train it’s great and it could be high intensity, but you can’t replace that other than in the game. So it’s only a few games in and it’s going to take time.”

Arsenal have taken six points from four fixtures to open their 2018-19 campaign.

They have looked a little shaky at the back, conceding eight times so far, with positive results ground out at home to West Ham and away at Cardiff.

There is, however, the promise of more to come, with a run of Premier League games after the international break set to see them face Newcastle, Everton, Watford, Fulham and Leicester before welcoming Liverpool to Emirates Stadium on November 3.

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Man Utd target Neres commits to Ajax until 2022

Ajax have tied highly rated Brazilian attacker David Neres down to a new four-year contract, the Dutch club have announced.

Neres, a former Brazil Under-20 international, joined Ajax in January 2017 after emerging as a promising prospect at Sao Paulo.

Although he took a few months to properly find his feet, Neres – still just 21 – has established himself as a key figure in Amsterdam, making 32 Eredivisie appearances last term.

The attacker, who was already contracted until 2021, is likely to prove even more essential to Ajax following the pre-season departure of Justin Kluivert to Roma.

Neres has been linked with a host of big European clubs, with Ajax said to have rejected a €30 million (€27m/$35m) offer from Borussia Dortmund earlier this year.

The Brazilian has also been mentioned as a target for Premier League sides, including Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal. 

But Ajax have strengthened their position with his one-year extension.

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