The veteran winger, who won a record nine Bundesliga titles during his stay in Germany, has penned a two-year deal with the Florence-based side

Bayern Munich legend Franck Ribery has signed for Fiorentina, the Serie A club announced on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old, who won a record nine Bundesliga titles during his stay in Germany, has penned a two-year deal with the Florence-based side to take him through until 2021.

The former France international brought the curtain down on a 12-year stay with the Bavarian giants last season after helping them to another domestic triumph.

Having started his career with his hometown club Boulogne in 2000, he spent spells with Ales, Brest, Metz and Galatasaray before moving to Marseille in 2005, where he made his name, helping the club to back-to-back Coupe de France finals.

He subsequently moved to Bayern two seasons later, in 2007, for a then club-record fee of €25 million (£22.9m/$27.7m), where he helped the club dominate German football for the subsequent decade, winning his first title in his maiden season.

Along with his domestic league triumphs, was also a six-time DFB-Pokal Cup winner and, in 2013, was a member of the Bayern team that memorably achieved the treble after they lifted the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

In 2008, he was named German Footballer of the Year, making him one of only five foreign players to date to be awarded the honour, while he came third in the Ballon d'Or race in 2013.

At international level, Ribery was called up to the national team for the first time in 2006, playing a part in their World Cup near-miss against Italy in Germany, and he would go on to become a consistent presence until 2014, when he retired from representative football following the World Cup in Brazil, which he missed through injury.

All in all, he won 81 caps for his country and scored 16 goals.

Ribery becomes Fiorentina's seventh arrival of the transfer window, joining players such as former Bologna midfielder Erick Pulgar and ex-Sassuolo striker Kevin-Prince Boateng in signing for Vincenzo Montella's outfit.

The former Viola boss took the reins in Florence for a second time in April, following the resignation of Stefano Pioli, with the club just avoiding a close shave with relegation from Serie A last season.
The Portuguese attacker is uncertain when he will stop playing, but says it could be as soon as next year

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo remains unsure when he will retire, saying it could be as soon as next year or he could play into his 40s.

Ronaldo, 34, has continued to star after joining the Old Lady last year, scoring 28 goals in 43 games in all competitions and helping the Italian giants win another Serie A title in 2018-19.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is uncertain when he will stop playing, although he intimated that it may not be far away.

"I don't think about that," Ronaldo told TVI on Tuesday.

"Maybe I can finish my career next year... but I can also play up to 40 or 41.

"I don't know. What I always say is to enjoy the moment. The gift is excellent and I have to continue to enjoy it."

Along with numerous individual honours, Ronaldo has won a record five Champions League titles (four with Real Madrid and one with Manchester United), three Premier League crowns, two La Liga trophies, and one Serie A title.

Ronaldo wants to make history and is seemingly motivated by setting records.

"Are there any football players who have more records than me?" he asked.

"I don't think there are any footballers who have more records than me."

His team-mate Sami Khedira likened the ex-Manchester United attacker's standing in football to the role of superstars in other sports - and as having the work ethic of legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

"Ronaldo is an example for all sportsmen, like LeBron James in basketball or Tom Brady in American football," Khedira told Kicker.

"Or like [Gianluigi] Buffon. When the boys see Gigi pushing weights for 45 minutes, at 41, they understand his love for this sport and can only think, ‘I can do it too’.

"Older players are a great motivator for the younger ones."

With Serie A having a later start to the season than Europe's other strong leagues, Juventus begin their campaign to win a ninth straight Scudetto away to Parma on Saturday.

They face a tough opening to the season, with fixtures against Fiorentina (away) and Napoli (home) to follow after their opening weekend match.

The manager was asked about the midfielder's proposed loan move to German champions Bayern Munich

Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave Barcelona at the end of last season as he prepares to join Bayern Munich on loan, according to Ernesto Valverde.

Barca and Bayern confirmed on Friday that an agreement is in place for Coutinho to move to the Bundesliga champions for the 2019-20 campaign – the deal including an option to buy the playmaker.

Coutinho had been linked to Paris Saint-Germain as a makeweight in a possible deal for former Barca star Neymar, however, the Brazilian is now set for Munich after watching Friday's shock 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao from the stands.

Barcelona were toppled by a late goal from Artiz Aduriz, who fired a spectacular scissor-kick finish in the game's waning moments to spoil the debut of summer signings Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong.

The La Liga champions also suffered another setback in the form of Luis Suarez, who left the match early with an injury.

Asked about Coutinho following Barca's disappointing La Liga opener, head coach Valverde told Movistar: "It is a situation that last season when the league ended the player had it in his head.

"This has come up, he has accepted and hopefully he is lucky."

Coutinho, who will help to replace James Rodriguez after his two-year loan from Real Madrid ended, has struggled to cement his place at Camp Nou since joining Barca in a reported £142 million ($201m) transfer from Liverpool in January 2018 – a move that saw him become the world's second-most expensive player.

The 27-year-old Brazil international scored five league goals as Barca retained their La Liga crown in 2018-19, while he managed 11 in all competitions as the club fell short of Champions League glory with a stunning semi-final defeat to Coutinho's former club Liverpool

Coutinho is set to follow another loan signing – Ivan Perisic – through the door, though sections of Bayern's fanbase were not impressed by the deal to sign the Inter forward, who came in as an alternative to Leroy Sane after the Manchester City winger suffered a serious knee injury.

Bayern were also heavily linked with Callum Hudson-Odoi during the winter window, although the currently-injured winger is set to remain with Chelsea for the foreseeable future.

The Brazilian will miss Sunday's game against Rennes as he continues his recovery from injury and he could end up staying in France for another season

Neymar will not take part in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 meeting with Rennes on Sunday, but Thomas Tuchel still has hope of keeping the Brazil star at the club.

Doubt remains over Neymar's future at PSG, with Barcelona and Real Madrid having reportedly had bids rejected for the wantaway forward.

Neymar has been returning to full fitness from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America, but he was included in Tite's Brazil squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru, while PSG sporting director Leonardo has claimed the problem has "completely healed."

Neymar was left out of PSG's opening fixture against Nimes, and the 27-year-old will again be absent when the champions travel to Rennes, although head coach Tuchel insists there has been no change in the situation regarding a possible transfer.

"He started the training session with us, but finished individually," Tuchel told a news conference. "It's a little too early [for him] to start in a match, especially at Rennes' home.

"He is my player and when I think of a strong team, it includes him. If there is no solution for him, he will stay with us.

"For now, nothing has changed. Neymar has three years left on his contract.

"He is sensitive, so I will always protect him. He needs to train with us and raise his intensity.

"I want to see him play at his best level for 90 minutes, with aggression and lots of dribbling."

While Neymar will not feature against Rennes, Idrissa Gueye is set to travel, though Tuchel suggested the former Everton midfielder would not be fit to start.

"Integration is easy with Idrissa: he can talk with everyone, he is very polite, humble," said Tuchel, who will also be without Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer and Layvin Kurzawa.

"He has to adapt to our style of play, to our principles. It's a little early for him, but he's going to make the trip with us.

"He's a player who can play at [number] six or eight but, for me, he's better at six. That's what we expect from him."
The Uruguay international spent four seasons with the Eredivisie champions early in his career and apparently wants the chance for a second spell

Luis Suarez will return to Ajax one day if he gets his way, according to club legend Sjaak Swart.

The Uruguayan spent four years with the Dutch champions early in his career, scoring 111 goals and winning one Eredivisie title before moving to Liverpool in 2011.

He has never hidden his affection for Ajax, and recently tweeted his appreciation for a club which he said ‘gave him everything’.

 played in Amsterdam for his entire career, and was a key member of the great Ajax side which won three consecutive European Cups in the early 1970s.

“I think he really wants to go back to Ajax,” he told NH Sportcafe. “Already? Well, maybe. He really will come back to Ajax, but I don’t know when.

“There are certain players who would like to return to Ajax. Think of Frank Rijkaard and Jari Litmanen.”

Rijkaard ended his career with two seasons at Ajax after five with Milan while Litmanen, like Suarez, also spent time with Liverpool and Barcelona before his return to the Netherlands.

Suarez is now into his sixth season at Camp Nou, having made more appearances for Barca than for any of his other clubs.

He has scored at least 25 goals in all competitions in all of his seasons at the club so far but, turning 33 this season, his time leading the line for one of the world’s biggest clubs is thought to be coming to an end.

The new season got off to a nightmarish start for Suarez as he was forced off injured after less than 40 minutes of Barca's defeat to Athletic Club.

Luis Suarez Barcelona

His is the place presumably most at risk from a potential return for Neymar. At Ajax, though, Swart thinks he could prove a top-class replacement for young forward Kasper Dolberg, who has been linked with Hoffenheim and Nice.

“Dolberg is gone,” Swart said. “I think he's sold. I don't know where he is going, but that’s what I’m told.”

Another player who had been widely expected to leave Amsterdam this summer was midfielder Donny van de Beek, who emerged as a target for Real Madrid.

But with Madrid having their eyes on other targets as well – Neymar for one – Swart says the Spanish giants have cooled their interest in Van de Beek for now.

“For now I think he will stay with Ajax, they want to keep him,” he added. “Real Madrid wanted to get him for a certain date, but that is already over. Real was also busy with other things.

“Every day is different. One day you think something is going to happen and then you hear nothing again for three days.”
The Brazilian’s former Liverpool team-mate believes his imminent move to the Bundesliga will be a coup for the league

Marko Grujic has claimed Philippe Coutinho will be the ‘best footballer in Germany’ when he completes his loan move to Bayern Munich.

The German champions confirmed on Friday night that a deal has been agreed for Coutinho to join the club from Barcelona on a loan, with an option to buy.

Barcelona in 2018, but in his time at the Camp Nou he has failed to show the sort of form he so often demonstrated for former employers Liverpool.

In his final full season at Anfield, the midfielder registered 14 goals and nine assists for the Reds in all competitions.

And Grujic, who played with Coutinho at Liverpool and is currently on loan at German side Hertha Berlin, believes the new addition at Bayern will add an extra level of skill to an already talented squad.

“It's a big thing for the whole Bundesliga to have the possibility to see Coutinho play now,” the Serbian told Bild.

“He is a special and exciting player, he does crazy things. He got incredible tricks and skills in his locker. I enjoyed every training session with him in Liverpool. He will be by far the best footballer in Germany.”

Coutinho’s signing is Bayern’s sixth new arrival of the summer following Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Jann-Fiete Arp, Ivan Perisic and Mickael Cuisance, who joined the club in the off-season.

However, despite a busy summer of transfers, Bayern did not start the new season with a win, as the Bavarians were held to a 2-2 draw by Hertha on Friday night.

Grujic was one of the visitors' goal scorers at the Allianz Arena, while Robert Lewandowski netted two for Bayern.

The Polish striker said after the game he is also looking forward to the arrival of Coutinho.

“I don't think he'll need that much time to adapt to our system and ideas,” Lewandowski claimed. “"I think he's the sort of player that can settle in without many problems.”

Forward set to join Serie A side to end Man Utd nightmare

Alexis Sanchez has agreed terms with Inter having accepted that his Manchester United career is over, Sky Italia report.

The striker is still highly regarded in Serie A following his fruitful time at Udinese, a reputation that hasn't been sullied by his disastrous United career.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said recently that he didn't expect the Chilean to depart this summer, but now it looks like a deal to rescue Sanchez from his Old Trafford nightmare has been reached.

“Alexis is such a professional and he comes in working every single day really hard and he wants to be a part of this,” the United manager said.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich have confirmed that an agreement is in place to send Philippe Coutinho to the German champions on a one-year loan with a purchase option.

The Brazilian midfielder has failed to impress since joining the La Liga champions from Liverpool in January 2018, and Barca have been keen to offload their big-money signing as they revamp the squad.

He was offered to a number of Premier League clubs before the English transfer window slammed shut but nothing materialised, and a move to the Bundesliga now appears to be the next stage of Coutinho's journey.

An agreement in principle is in place between the two clubs with the deal almost complete but not formally closed, with the player being left out of Barcelona's La Liga season-opening defeat against Athletic Bilbao as his move to the Bundesliga champions inches closer.

Guillermo Amor, director of institutional and sporting relations for Barcelona and an official club spokesperson, told  Movistar+ : "I can confirm that there's an agreement in principle in the case of Coutinho's loan [to Bayern]."

After Bayern Munich drew Hertha 2-2 in their Bundesliga opener, their sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also confirmed the deal for the 27-year-old.

“I can confirm that (Bayern CEO) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been in Barcelona this week and we have reached an agreement with FC Barcelona and with the player and his agent," Salihamidzic told ZDF .

"We have had very good discussions, I would like to thank FC Barcelona. Of course, there are still missing a few details, including the medical check and the signature.

“It is a transfer on loan for one year followed by a purchase option for FC Bayern.”

Last season, in his first full campaign with Barca, Coutinho managed 11 goals and five assists in 54 appearances in all competitions.

Coutinho was often used on the left wing and Barcelona have just signed Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, with the Frenchman joining Ousmane Dembele as an option on that flank ahead of the Brazilian in the pecking order.

Additionally, the Catalan giants have been heavily linked with a move for former star Neymar, who would be another big name ahead of Coutinho in an already stacked forward line.

When pressed on the club's interest in the Paris Saint-Germain forward, Amor was less forthcoming.

“The Coutinho news is true and it has come out, but with Neymar it’s better not to say too much. He is a PSG player and we have a game this evening, so we should focus on winning that,” Amor said.
The Catalain side crumbled in their first league match of the season, offering evidence that they may just need the Paris Saint-Germain star

“Neymar! Neymar! Neymar!,” chanted gathered Barcelona fans at president Josep Maria Bartomeu as he arrived with the team to a Bilbao hotel before their opening La Liga clash on Friday.

And the Brazilian striker’s name was on the Catalan club’s mind at the end of the night too, after a painful 1-0 defeat by Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames, as Luis Suarez went off injured.

Evergreen 38-year-old Athletic striker Aritz Aduriz scored a sensational scissor-kick winner in the final stages, showing the cutting edge Barcelona lacked with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.

The French forward showed the willingness to work defensively that made him such a favourite of Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, although he spent too much time in those areas for Barcelona’s liking.

Athletic were better for most of the game and Marc-Andre ter Stegen made some smart stops from Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia, although Barcelona twice hit the woodwork.

Suarez struck the post after Unai Lopez’s haphazard pass-back found the Uruguayan alone in the Athletic area, but he was already limping by that point with a calf injury and was soon replaced by Rafinha.

Luis Suarez Barcelona

The Brazilian, who may well leave Barcelona before the transfer window shuts, crashed an effort against the crossbar via the hand of Unai Simon.

Rafinha showed nice skill, invention and good link play after the break and, if Barcelona could guarantee that he will remain injury-free, would be a fine option to have in reserve for the attack.

Unfortunately, history has shown the Brazilian is eminently breakable and the Catalans cannot rely on him to stay fit.

Instead, they continue to push for his compatriot to return to Camp Nou, while pushing another out the door.

Barcelona director Guillermo Amor said before the game that the club had reached the basis of a deal with Bayern Munich for Philippe Coutinho to leave on loan, ending a painful year-and-a-half spell for the former Liverpool player in Spain.

Coutinho’s departure will clear a big chunk from the wage bill, creating space for Neymar’s potential return two years after leaving for PSG for a world-record fee.

It is important for Barcelona not to overreact. This loss is just the first match of 38 and, of course, the team is not fully up to speed yet, especially not without talisman and star player Messi.

After all, the last time Barcelona lost the first game of the season was under Pep Guardiola in 2008, a 1-0 defeat by Numancia at the start of a campaign that saw them win an historic treble.
After turning down the chance to join Tottenham on loan, Bavaria has now emerged as the latest possible destination for the unsettled playmaker

Bayern Munich remain interested in acquiring Philippe Coutinho in the current transfer window but no deal has yet been struck with Barcelona, a spokesman for the Catalans explained on Tuesday.

Coutinho came to Camp Nou in January 2018 with the reputation as one of the world's premier playmakers following his excellent spell at Liverpool.

But the Brazilian has struggled to reproduce that form at Camp Nou, and was used as a bit-part player for most of the 2018-19 campaign as Barca took the Liga title and missed out on the Champions League thanks to a semi-final defeat at the hands of Coutinho's former club.

Among those are Bayern, who could swoop for the South American star after declining to take up their purchase option on Real Madrid's James Rodriguez following a two-year loan spell.

"There is interest from FC Bayern, but there is no agreement. That is all there is to say at the moment," the Barca spokesman told Goal and Spox when consulted over reports linking Coutinho to Bavaria.

The Bundesliga champions, however, are by no means the only club targeted by those in charge at Camp Nou as they look to cut their losses on Coutinho.

Paris Saint-Germain too are in the running, with Barca preparing a blockbuster deal that would see the Brazilian move to Parc des Princes this summer.

Club sources previously confirmed to Goal that Coutinho had been included in the offer prepared to take his compatriot Neymar back to Catalunya.

As well as the playmaker, PSG would be set to receive roughly €100 million (£93m/$104m) in fees for their wantaway forward.

Eric Abidal led a delegation of Barca representatives in travelling to the French capital, where they plan to meet with their PSG counterparts and smooth over relations following an acrimonious summer spat revolving around Neymar and his future.

Earlier this August Coutinho had also been linked with Tottenham, who went as far as to file their own official bid for the midfielder's services towards the end of the transfer window.

A proposed loan deal that would have seen Spurs pay out between €20 million (£18m/$22m) and €30m (£28m/$34m) did not prosper due to the player's reluctance to move to north London, while other potential suitors such as Liverpool and Arsenal failed to follow through with a formal approach.

"We do not know what will happen, but Philippe is a player who is with us," Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told a news conference last Wednesday after Barca's 2-1 friendly win over Napoli.

"He has not played but the plan we have with him is the same. We'll see if he plays a few minutes on Saturday.

"But he is a player who is with us and we have him, of course. He is with us and we think he will continue with us."