Latest Gossip & Vardy to Atletico? surely not . .

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is planning a shock move for Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy, 31. (Sunday Mirror)

Arsenal's out-of-contract English midfielder Jack Wilshere, 26, could be in line for a move to Paris St-Germain. (L'Equipe)

Nabil Fekir's move to Liverpool is close to completion as Jurgen Klopp eyes a £60m deal for Lyon's French forward, 24. (Sunday Mirror)

The proposed move of German midfielder Emre Can, 24, from Liverpool to Juventus has been "confirmed". (Sunday Express)

Marouane Fellaini's Manchester United career looks over after he moved out of his Cheshire house - but Besiktas, Marseille and Monaco are interested in the Belgium midfielder, 30. (Sunday People)

Besiktas are set to make an ambitious move to sign Rangers' Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos, 21, on loan. (Daily Record)

Welsh defender James Collins, 34, was released by West Ham via email after 11 years' service to the club over two spells. (Sunday Mirror)

Thierry Henry will get the chance to pitch for the Arsenal manager's role on Monday, as Mikel Arteta considers a verbal offer. (Mail on Sunday)

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has held positive discussions with Tottenham over his future, with Chelsea resigned to not being able to lure him to Stamford Bridge. (Sunday Telegraph)

Russian Premier League side Zenit St Petersburg are monitoring manager Rafael Benitez's situation at Newcastle United. (Newcastle Chronicle)

Everton hope to name former Watford boss Marco Silva as their new manager early next week. (Mail on Sunday)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho claims striker Romelu Lukaku told him he was not fit enough to start the FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea. (Manchester Evening News)

Liverpool have cancelled a planned pre-season friendly with Borussia Monchengladbach after the Reds took exception to the German club's pursuit of English striker Rhian Brewster, 18. (Liverpool Echo)

More than 2,000 Real Madrid fans have returned their tickets to next Saturday's Champions League final against Liverpool. (Independent)

Source: BBC NEWS

Atletico Madrid report Barcelona to FIFA over Antoine Griezmann

Diego Simeone says he won't stop Antoine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid should an opportunity at another club arise.

Atletico Madrid have reported Barcelona to FIFA for making an illegal approach for Antoine Griezmann.

Barca's director of institutional relations, Guillermo Amor, said over the weekend that it was "possible" president Josep Maria Bartomeu had held talks with Griezmann's family.

In line with FIFA's rules, clubs that wish to sign a player must first communicate that desire to the player's club before they can then begin to negotiate with the player if given the green light.

The club and FIFA both confirmed the news to ESPN FC and a spokesperson for Atletico told Mundo Deportivo on Tuesday: "Atletico Madrid have reported Barcelona for repeated contact with Griezmann and his people, contact which we are aware of. He is a player with a contract with Atletico Madrid and a long contract at that."

Unbeaten Atletico are currently second in the table, six points behind leaders Barcelona, and Marca reported that they feel that the Catalan club's interest in Griezmann, as real as it may be, is also a destabilising tactic.

The action comes after Amor was asked about Barca's desire to sign the France international on Sunday following a Mundo Deportivo report that Bartomeu had held a meeting with the forward's family.

"If that's what [Mundo Deportivo] said, it's possible..." Amor told Movistar+. "Maybe there's been a meeting and things have advanced, although I don't know. There's a good understanding, maybe there have been talks.

"Rumours are inevitable in football. In the case of Griezmann, there are a lot of players we could be talking with, initiating some kind of relationship with if there's an opportunity.

"We're obliged to have contact with players. It's something which is done."

If found guilty, Barcelona risk being banned from signing players for the second time in the last five years.

The club were handed a one-year transfer ban by FIFA, which encompassed two transfer windows and was served in 2015, due to the illegal recruitment of foreign minors.

Griezmann, 26, looked set to move to Manchester United last summer, but performed a U-turn at the last minute.

After Atletico had their appeal for their transfer ban to be overturned rejected, he signed a new deal at the Wanda Metropolitano, saying it would have been "dirty" to leave the club at that moment.

However, he has remained the focus of transfer stories, with his release clause having remained at €100 million when he signed the new terms.

Diego Simeone said recently that he would not stand in Griezmann's way if an "unique opportunity" came along, prompting suggestions that he will leave at the end of the current campaign.

Griezmann apologised on Sunday after sparking a Twitter backlash by posting a picture of himself dressed as a black basketball player.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


Diego Simeone 'untouchable' at Atletico Madrid - president

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has strongly defended coach Diego Simeone following recent criticism.
Simeone has established Atletico among Europe's leading clubs since taking charge in 2011, winning the Europa League, Copa del Rey and La Liga as well as reaching the Champions League final in both 2014 and 2016.

Atletico have endured a difficult 2017-18 campaign so far, though, with Simeone's side currently fourth in La Liga, eight points behind leaders Barcelona, and in serious danger of failing to qualify for the knockout stages of Champions League.

Asked if he could have imagined that Simeone would be facing criticism, Cerezo told Marca: "I want to say this in a loud voice. Simeone is untouchable at Atletico Madrid, for the players, for the directors and for the supporters."

He said having doubts about Simeone "is not allowed here."

Cerezo has said Atletico currently have their best-ever squad and, asked about that comment, he said: "I keep saying so. We are playing a game, and games are the way they are. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose."

Atletico have failed to win in the Champions League so far this season, having drawn with Roma, lost to Chelsea and then twice been held to draws by Qarabag.

"We could have scored four against Roma and then we had 14,000 chances against Qarabag," he said. "It's not just a problem specific to Atletico that players can be more or less clinical, but it's a problem for a lot of elite clubs.

"I keep saying we have a fantastic squad, a wonderful coach and a phenomenal fanbase. That's enough for me."

Antoine Griezmann -- who was a finalist for the 2016 FIFA Best Men's Player award alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi -- has failed to replicate the form of previous seasons and was substituted during the recent victory over Deportivo La Coruna while Atletico were still searching for a breakthrough.

Asked if the 26-year-old remains untouchable, Cerezo said: "He hasn't had much luck at the start of this season. He had a fantastic end to the previous season and he is still considered one of the best three players in the world. The advantage is that he is younger and has more of a future than the other two.

"Everybody has their moments. It may be the case that he's not going through the best one right now, but I am convinced that it won't take long for him to be what we all want him to be once again, the Griezmann that he is. After all he has shown, there's no reason to doubt him or lose confidence in him because of playing five matches not so well."

Griezmann agreed a new contract in the summer despite having been strongly linked with Manchester United, but his €100 million buyout clause remained intact.

The forward suggested he had agreed to stay as a result of Atletico failing to get their transfer ban overturned, and with Diego Costa set to be registered in January after his return from Chelsea, the France international's future remains the subject of regular speculation.

"We have put in a lot of effort to keep him and to keep all the players," Cerezo said. "The problem Griezmann has had is that a series of news stories about other important European clubs wanting him has not benefited him.

"Griezmann is and will be an Atletico player. He is an important player and at an important club and he wants to win titles with Atletico. He may have had a start to the season which could have been better, but there is a lot left of the La Liga season for him to show how important he is for the club and how important football is for him."

Asked how he felt about Griezmann's regular media comments on his future during the summer, Cerezo replied: "What important player doesn't play this kind of game? They all do."


Juventus Ready to Step Up Pursuit of Versatile Defender Jose Maria Gimenez

c are prepared to step up their pursuit of Atlético Madrid's José María Giménez.

According to ​Tuttosport, the Serie A champions are impressed by the 22-year old's ability to play a number of different positions. Giménez can play as a full-back or defensive midfielder and Atletico claim he is a big part of Diego Simeone's plans.

However, the form of Stefan Savic and Diego Godín has meant that Gimenez is not a guaranteed starter in this Atletico Madrid side.

Gimenez arrived in Madrid in 2014, joining from Uruguayan side Danubio. He would feature in every matchday squad during the run up to the Champions League Final in the 2015-16 season but Los Rojiblancos would lose to city rivals Real in the final.

Gimenez has only made four appearances this season for an Atleti side that are unbeaten in La Liga through the opening nine games, but four draws mean they only sit in 3rd place.

However, their Champions League form has been bitterly disappointing. A home defeat to Chelsea was followed up with a 0-0 draw against Qarabag, meaning Atletico are in real trouble of failing to make the knockout stages for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Juventus were looking at signing Gimenez in the summer but they couldn't agree a fee with the Spanish club.

If the Uruguayan still struggles for regular first team football come the January transfer window then a move to Italy could well be on the cards.


Atletico Madrid make ‘final’ Diego Costa offer

Atletico Madrid have made their ‘final’ offer for Chelsea’s Diego Costa, according to reports in Spanish press.

The Brazilian born striker has failed to return to training since the summer break after desperately trying to force a move back to former club Atleti.

A fine for going AWOL, plus several warnings and a request from Atleti for him to return to Stamford Bridge has failed to work, with Costa’s current footballing future uncertain.

This comes after Costa was told by Italian coach Antonio Conte that he would not be needed for the coming season and that a move back to Atletico Madrid would be more likely.

Atletico are unable to sign players until January 2018 and whilst they attempted to buy him and then loan him out – that failed, leaving Costa in limbo until at least the New Year.

Now with the World Cup next summer and Costa’s desire to make the Spain squad – it has been reported that the former Rayo Vallecano man has failed to board a return flight back to London, where he was due to return to training.

Whilst, he has not boarded a plane from Sao Paulo in Brazil – it is understood a final bid in the region of £60m has been made by Atleti officials.

The Spanish club believe that Chelsea have ‘no choice’ but to except, according to Marca – who cite he failure to train or play a competitive match for edging on 200 days.

Source: La Liga News

Simeone praises Roma for resilient performance

Diego Simeone has praised both Roma and his side for their efforts in the 0-0 Champions League draw on Tuesday evening.

Simeone spoke much about his desire to win the Champions League this season before the trip to the Stadio Olimpico but his side failed to break down the Italians in what was a fairly even encounter.

Roma were making their return to the Champions League after a year’s absence and they made a good account of themselves against an experienced Atleti.

Antoine Griezmann, returning from a suspension in the league had an early chance as did impressive youngster Saul Niguez but both wasted their opportunity.

The visitors had another superb chance in the first half to make the breakthrough when Koke came close only to be denied by centre-back Konstantinos Manolas, who cleared the ball off the goal line.

Roma’s best chance of the half came through defensive midfielder Radja Nainggolan, who sent a powerful effort towards Jan Oblak’s goal but the keeper stood strong and saved well.

Very few changes in the second half saw the game eventually end 0-0.

“You saw a team that played a well-thought-out game, believing in what they were doing,” the Coach said after the game.

“We tried to pressure them in midfield, had two or three good chances in the first half, then as Roma got tired, we tried to step up the pace. Unfortunately, we were missing a goal, but I appreciated the philosophy and the performance.

“We have to compliment the goalkeeper as Alisson did a great job. The shots were on target, aside from Saul hitting the woodwork, as otherwise he had saves on Koke, two or three on Saul – he had a wonderful performance. The most important thing in football is not aesthetics but goals, and we lacked a goal, so Roma deserved their point.

“I hope this point can be valuable for the future so we continue in the Champions League.”

In the other group game – Chelsea were too good for FC Qarabag, beating the Azerbaijan champions 6-0 in a game which saw former Barcelona winger Pedro Rodriguez get on the score sheet.

Source: La Liga News

Sevilla begin court proceedings against Atletico Madrid over Vitolo move

Sevilla have confirmed that they will take Atletico Madrid to court over the signing of Vitolo.

The Spaniard was linked with a move to Diego Simeone’s Atleti following the end of the season but due to their transfer ban – a move was seemingly ruled out.

However, despite a reported new contract with the Andalusian side, Vitolo eventually made a €37.5m move to Atleti this summer, before being loaned out to Las Palmas until January due to the capital side’s transfer ban and inability to register new players.

The move caused much debate in Spain as Sevilla were reportedly close to putting pen-to-paper on an improved deal for the winger and they will now take legal action over his exit.

Sevilla further claim that the new contract was agreed by all parties with some media outlets in Spain claiming the Spanish international even signed the relevant paperwork to extend his time at the club, whilst the player himself will now expect to hear from authorities about a ‘breach of contract’, with Sevilla claiming he signed a new five-year contract.

Officials from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan will now begin court proceedings, instructing their lawyers to gather all evidence.

“The board of directors have agreed to take legal action against those who have intervened in the departure of Vitolo from the club,” a statement on the club’s website last month.

“They are the player himself, his father, the representation agency Bahia and the clubs Atletico Madrid and Las Palmas.

“The club has already entrusted two law firms to the case to defend the interests of the club. Sevilla FC reached a renewal agreement with Vitolo on July 10, endorsed by written documentation, which the player decided to break unilaterally.”

Vitolo, who spent four years with Sevilla, is currently on loan with boyhood club Las Palmas, who beat Malaga 3-1 on Monday evening.

Source: La Liga News

Diego Costa returns to Chelsea under a cloud

Diego Costa has returned to Chelsea in a bid to return to first team action, according to reports.

The Brazilian born striker has failed to return to training since the summer break after desperately trying to force a move back to former club Atletico Madrid.

A fine for going AWOL, plus several warnings and a request from Atleti for him to return to Stamford Bridge has failed to work, with Costa’s current footballing future uncertain.

This comes after Costa was told by Italian coach Antonio Conte that he would not be needed for the coming season and that a move back to Atletico Madrid would be more likely.

Atletico are unable to sign players until January 2018 and whilst they attempted to buy him and then loan him out – that failed, leaving Costa in limbo until at least the New Year.

Now with the World Cup next summer and Costa’s desire to make the Spain squad – it has been reported that the former Rayo Vallecano man has returned to London to participate in training at the English club.

One thing is for certain, he will not feature in the Champions League for Chelsea if he returns after being left out of their Group Stage squad, however, this does leave it open for him to feature for Atletico if and when he makes a future move.

Source: La Liga News

Simeone signs two-year extension with Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone has signed a new contract extension with Atletico Madrid that will see him remain with the club until 2020.

Since the former Argentina midfielder took over at the Spanish capital side in 2011, success has been a plenty with a 2013 Copa del Rey title, an La Liga title in 2014 and two Champions League final runners-up places.

And, it will now be music to the ears of the club’s fans as the coach has signed for a further two years on his current deal.

This comes after multiple reports in Spanish press that claimed ‘Cholo’ has asked for his contract to be reduced, having received interest from Chelsea and Manchester City before Antonio Conte took over at Stamford Bridge and Pep Guardiola at the Etihad stadium.

However, it is now confirmed that he will remain at the club until 2020.

Atleti have started the new La Liga season with four points, having drawn on the opening day of the season to newly promoted Girona and then beating Las Palmas 5-1 away from home.

They will return to domestic action following the international break with a game against Valencia, who drew with Real Madrid last time out.

Antoine Griezmann will miss the game, however, serving the final game of his current suspension.

Source: La Liga News

Diego Costa and Chelsea might be heading to court: Prem champs consider £50m lawsuit

The Premier League champions are understood to be considering suing the rebel striker for up to £50million if he continues to refuse to return to the club.

They would claim breach of a contract from which Costa is paid £185,000 a week - the club's second highest earner - and which still has two years to run.

Costa, who has been named in Chelsea's 25-man Premier League squad but not in their Champions League one, is now also understood to be consulting his lawyers.

The Brazilian born star's bitter battle with Chelsea and coach Antonio Conte turned distinctly uglier last night after he failed to get the move to Atletico Madrid he wanted when the Spanish transfer window closed yesterday.

Chelsea insist he remains their player and must return to fulfil his contractual obligations. Costa claims that went out of the window when Conte told him by text that he was no longer in his plans.

With Costa holed up in Rio de Janeiro for the last two months the international war of words that has ensued now looks increasingly like being continued In the High Court if neither side backs down.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has indicated that the club won't do that despite being forced to pay £5m to club doctor Eva Carneiro the last time they turned to the law following her spat with former manager Jose Mourinho.

A defiant Costa, for whom Chelsea paid £32m in 2014, continued to send out similar signals last night.

The only obvious non legal  - and cheapest - way for any compromise to be reached would appear to be with Costa returning to England and resuming training with Chelsea, even though it would almost certainly be with the reserves.

That wouldn't heal the seemingly irretrievable breakdown between him and Conte, but it would allow meaningful negotiations to begin with Atletico Madrid, who are barred from signing players until next January,

The bust-up, which threatens worldwide implications if the maverick hit man was to succeed in effectively ripping up an apparently legally binding contract, comes at a time when Chelsea face another crisis over their failure to sign key target players this summer.

Romelu Lukaku, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Ross Barkley have all declined to join the club, and pressure is now increasing on directors Marina Granovskaia and Michael Emenalo who share the responsibility for recruitment.

Conte, who takes no part in the legal process of signing players, has been particularly frustrated at those rejections and, along with Abramovich, wants to know what went wrong.

Fans have also expressed outrage on social media, despite the big name signings of Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero, along with the deadline day captures of Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater.

Source: Daily Express