- According to the agent of Atalanta starlet Franck Kessi, there are over 20 clubs seeking to sign the young midfielder. Donnarumma wins NxGn prize The chase to sign Kessie, who has been dubbed the ‘new Yaya Toure’, is set to be one of the stories of the summer, and representativ...According to the agent of Atalanta starlet Franck Kessi, there are over 20 clubs seeking to sign the young midfielder. Donnarumma wins NxGn prize The chase to sign Kessie, who has been dubbed the ‘new Yaya Toure’, is set to be one of the stories of the summer, and representative George Atangana has outlined just how much the 20-year-old talent is wanted around Europe. “There are at least 20 clubs following the lads, including the best in Europe,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss. Napoli are one of the sides reportedly interested in the Ivory Coast international midfielder, and that is a club that the youngster could be open to. “We haven’t spoken to [president] Aurelio De Laurentiis yet,” he said. “We’ll talk about the transfer market in June. Napoli is an attractive club, they have a great coach in Maurizio Sarri. “His price? Whoever wants him will have to invest a lot.” Roma are also interested in the midfielder, who has previously stated that Manchester United are one of his favourite clubs. Kessie made an explosive start to life in Serie A, scoring four times in his first three outings, and has managed seven in 24 for Atalanta, having spent last season on loan at Serie B club Cesena.
- Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez cannot be a "big player" because he spends too much time sulking, former Gunners goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has said. Chile international Sanchez has registered 22 goals and 18 assists in all competitions this season but has cut a frustrated figure du...Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez cannot be a "big player" because he spends too much time sulking, former Gunners goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has said. Chile international Sanchez has registered 22 goals and 18 assists in all competitions this season but has cut a frustrated figure during Arsenal's recent poor run. Alexis & Ozil to resume talks in summer The 28-year-old scored in the 3-1 defeat to West Brom but was seen on television cameras looking aghast after David Ospina's error allowed the home side to regain their lead. And Lehmann, who was part of the 'Invincibles' side of 2003-04, has questioned the efforts of Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi during a run of four Premier League defeats in five matches. "They talk about Sanchez being a big player but if you are sulking, you can't be a big player," he told The Sun. "You must be a big player mentally - not just be good at dribbling." He continued: "There's always a question with Ozil - how much can he contribute when it gets tough? "It's not Mustafi's fault someone has paid £35million for him. If someone buys me for £35m, the next day I'm not a better player. "He is giving everything. But sometimes the team concede five, so he has to ask himself if it's good enough." Lehmann believes Arsene Wenger's players are not doing enough to ease some of the pressure on the manager's shoulders. "All these guys when they came to Arsenal were happy to join. They should not forget that," he said. "They can't just turn around and say, 'The manager is c**p - it's his responsibility'. "That's not possible if you have character. They're good players, they have character - but they need to show it! "I haven't seen Arsene criticise them. It's payback. Their next game against Manchester City is a good occasion to do that. They owe him." The defeat at The Hawthorns saw further protests against Wenger in the away end, while planes carrying banners both in support of the under-fire manager and calling for him to leave were flown over the ground during the first half. Lehmann was far from impressed with the scenes and says Arsenal fans should be careful when calling for the likes of Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri to be appointed. "The players should have tried to hit that plane with the ball, to defend their manager," he said. "A single guy comes and holds a banner up, that's his opinion, fine. But hiring a plane? Come on, it's too much. NxGn: The world's best Under-19s "The people that hold up their banners saying 'Wenger Out' don't hold up banners saying they want x, y, z to come in because this guy will guarantee success. "Bring Allegri in and we will win everything? Who is Allegri, with all due respect? He is in Italy. Will somebody like him bring success? When you look at the type of football he is playing, it doesn't really fit Arsenal. "None of them has a solution, someone who would guarantee them Champions League football and maybe win something."
- Neymar is ready to assume the mantle of being the best player in the world, according to former Barcelona full-back Juliano Belletti. Brazil captain Neymar is one shy of bringing up his 100th Barca goal and continues to be viewed as a supreme part of a forward collective alongs...Neymar is ready to assume the mantle of being the best player in the world, according to former Barcelona full-back Juliano Belletti. Brazil captain Neymar is one shy of bringing up his 100th Barca goal and continues to be viewed as a supreme part of a forward collective alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Messi and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo have engaged in a two-way fight for the Ballon d'Or for most of the past decade but Belletti, who scored the winning goal in the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal, believes his countryman is improving all the time. "Neymar can be the best player in the world soon," he said, speaking at the launch of the 2017 International Champions Cup in New York. "He knows about the pressure, he has more experience on the pitch and he is in the best team in the world. "He's a Brazilian, of course, which is good, but Barcelona have something Brazilian in the kind of match [they play]. "So it is good for Neymar. We will see a better Neymar in all of the [coming] years." Neymar stepped up with two late goals and a superb all-round display as Barcelona sensationally overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit in their 6-1 Champions League last-16 win over Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou. Belletti feels the confidence gained from such an incredible victory could propel Luis Enrique's team to a second European title in the past three seasons. "I think it is about confidence now," he added, with Serie A giants Juventus awaiting Barca in the quarter-finals and eyeing revenge for their 2015 final defeat. "After that victory against Paris Saint-Germain the players have more confidence to fight for the title."
- The agent of Marco Verratti has dropped a strong hint that the Italy international is not currently happy at Paris Saint-Germain. NxGn: The Top 50 teenage talents Over the course of the last year, there have been reports that the midfielder is unsettled at the Parc des Princes,...The agent of Marco Verratti has dropped a strong hint that the Italy international is not currently happy at Paris Saint-Germain. NxGn: The Top 50 teenage talents Over the course of the last year, there have been reports that the midfielder is unsettled at the Parc des Princes, while there have recently been rumours that the likes of Inter, Barcelona, Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester United all want to sign the 24-year-old. Donato Di Campli, his representative, has fanned the speculation but did suggest that a summer move could be difficult to broker. “Marco wants to win and at PSG just now he cannot,” he told Gazzetta Dello Sport. “He has been in Paris for five years and now has to make up his mind: does he want to earn a lot without winning anything or lift trophies and become a champion? “The situation is very complicated, particularly because his contract is long. This is not a money problem. “One thing is for certain: if he leaves PSG, it will be for a top European club.” Verratti appears to have grown increasingly unsettled in Paris following the club's embarrassing 6-1 defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League, which saw them exit the competition having won the first leg 4-0 in the French capital.
- Manchester City and Manchester United will face off at the International Champions Cup (ICC) with the fixture joining the Clasico clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona in an exciting line-up. The Premier League rivals are set to meet on July 20 at a venue that has yet to be co...Manchester City and Manchester United will face off at the International Champions Cup (ICC) with the fixture joining the Clasico clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona in an exciting line-up. The Premier League rivals are set to meet on July 20 at a venue that has yet to be confirmed. The match will mark the first time the teams have met outside of the United Kingdom. Last year, the teams were meant to play a pre-season match in China, but torrential rain in Beijing meant the game was cancelled. The pre-season event is also hosting a fixture between La Liga powerhouses Madrid and Barcelona, which was already announced for July 29 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Gabi tells Griezmann: Real Madrid not better than Atletico United will also play Madrid and Barcelona, while City face Los Blancos and Tottenham. Spurs can also look forward to a meeting with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, while Juventus and Roma are scheduled to take part in the tournament. "This year's International Champions Cup will feature two of the most iconic derbies in sports: El Clasico and the Manchester Derby," said Charlie Stillitano, chairman of organising Relevent Sports. "The line-up of teams participating in this year's tournament is world-class from top to bottom, highlighted by current champions of three top domestic leagues as well as the reigning Champions League titleholder. "Hosting this calibre of soccer competition in the U.S. is only feasible through the ICC, where these teams can compete in a highly competitive tournament in preparation for their upcoming domestic campaign." Full schedule July 19: TBD – PSG v Roma July 20: TBD – Man. Utd v Man. City July 22: East Rutherford, N.J. – Barcelona v Juventus July 22: Orlando, Fla. – Tottenham v PSG July 23: Santa Clara, Calif. – Man. Utd v Real Madrid July 25: Harrison, N.J. – Tottenham v Roma July 26: Landover, Md. – Man. Utd v Barcelona July 26: Miami, Fla. – PSG v Juventus July 26: Los Angeles, Calif. – Real Madrid v Man. City July 29: Nashville, Tenn. – Man. City v Tottenham July 29: Miami, Fla. – Real Madrid v Barcelona July 30: Foxborough, Mass. – Juventus v Roma