European Paper Talk: Liverpool target Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski

With the end of the season approaching, Europe’s biggest clubs are already plotting their summer moves with a World Cup to negotiate around.

Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European media to round up the latest transfer news and big stories.

Italy

Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski is a Liverpool transfer target. He was linked with the Reds back in 2016, but eventually moved to the Partenopei. The 23-year-old has scored eight goals and provided two assists from midfield so far this season. (Tuttomercatoweb)

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has defended his comments about referee Michael Oliver after he awarded Real Madrid a penalty and sent off the 40-year-old in their Champions League quarter-final tie in the week.

Buffon said: “You cannot ask a man who lives sport as deeply as I do to be balanced, because even if I expressed these feelings in an exaggerated way, they were still logical thoughts. I’d say them all again. Maybe with a different type of language, one that was more civilised, let’s say. But the content remains and I stand by all of it.” (Le Iene)

Despite Juventus transfer rumours, Dennis Praet insists he is focused on current club Sampdoria. The 23-year-old said: “Attracting the interest of strong teams is pleasing to me, it shows I am playing well. But right now I am only thinking about Sampdoria. At the moment, I have no plans to leave.” (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Spain

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta admits he has made up his mind about his future. The midfielder will announce before the end of this month whether he is staying at the Nou Camp or if he will join another team, which is likely to be in China. He said: “I know what I am going to do. When I have to say it, I will say it. First to the club, then to the manager then to everyone.” (Sport)

France

Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva has backed under-fire manager Unai Emery. When asked if he wanted him to stay, he said: “Yes, of course. I am his captain. I am always honest, especially in the work we do together. Unai has complete trust in me and us, the players, towards the staff.” (Telefoot)

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has warned off sides interested in Thomas Lemar. He said: “Good luck to those who want him!” (Telefoot)

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