Paris St-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has hinted that he could be prepared to leave the club – putting clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City on alert.
Mbappe was collecting his Ligue Un Player of the Year award at the UNFP Awards in Paris, and in his acceptance speech he hinted that his future could lie award from the Parc de Princes.
“I am arriving at the second turning point of my career,” he said. “I have discovered an enormous amount of things here. It may be the moment to have more responsibilities, maybe at PSG, with pleasure, or elsewhere for a new project.”
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel appeared surprised by his striker’s comments when the cameras pointed at him.
The French World Cup winner has been a star all season for PSG, who romped to another Ligue Un title, scoring 32 goals in just 28 league appearances.
If he were available, he would likely command a world-record transfer fee. The current record is held by his teammate Neymar, who joined PSG for £198 million.
This would put him out of the range of all but a few clubs. Those who could afford him include Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City.
Real are rebuilding and have shown an interest in Mbappe before. That they are managed by his countryman Zinedine Zidane could be an extra pull.
Barcelona are also considering making changes, and are looking to the future are Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are both over 30.
Likewise Manchester City are also planning. Despite winning an unprecedented domestic treble, boss Pep Guardiola wants to strengthen further this summer.
Arsenal are keen to sign Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha this summer, but the two clubs are poles apart over their valuation of him, according to reports.
Zaha turned in many man-of-the-match performances last season as Palace finished comfortably in mid-table, scoring 10 goals and making a further 5 assists.
This has understandably aroused the interest of top clubs in England and Europe. Eagles boss Roy Hodgson accepts that it will be difficult to hold onto their star man, who is believed to have said he wants to leave in pursuit of Champions League football.
Arsenal are the first to show their hand, but only want to pay £40 million for him, whereas Palace want double that, according to The Sun on Sunday.
Gunners boss Unai Emery is seeing to boost his squad this summer but how much of a budget he has is dependent on whether or not the side makes the Champions League. They finished outside the automatic places in the Premier League, but if they beat Chelsea in the Europa League final they will win a place in the tournament.
Arsenal’s qualification for the Champions League could also influence Zaha on whether to sign or not.
Should the Gunners qualify, then they could go back in with a better offer. They could also offer a player in part exchange, such as highly rated youngster Reiss Nelson.
Chelsea are also thought to be interested, but they are currently appealing against a transfer ban so can’t sign anyone at the moment.
Palace bosses won’t let Zaha leave on the cheap, so Arsenal will have to come back with a better offer.
Manchester United are in a race with Barcelona to sign Ajax star Mattaijs de Ligt this summer.
De Ligt was one of the stars of Ajax’s run to the semi-finals of the Champions League and that secured the Dutch league and Cup double. The 19-year-old defender has also captained the side the season.
Barcelona were thought to be in prime position to secure his signature, but reports from radio station RAC1 in France have said that talks have reached an impasse with de Ligt’s representatives upping their demands.
This means that Manchester United are still in the race. The Old Trafford club have been linked with many defenders in the past year, so this link is no surprise. However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to favour signing younger players, and de Ligt fits into this model.
It is also thought that de Ligt is open to a move to Manchester, even though the club haven’t made it into next season’s Champions League. He is also thought to want a starring role in his next side, which United could guarantee but Barcelona couldn’t.
But whichever side wants him will have to pay – £65 million has been mentioned as a figure – but that is well within the financial compass of both of them.
Premier League champions Manchester City are closing in on signing midfielder Rodri Hernandez from Atletico Madrid, according to reports.
City have been keen on Rodri for some time but have now made their interest formal and are close to signing him, after meeting the €70 million (£61.5 million) release clause in his contract, Spanish newspaper AS has reported.
Rodri, 22, has been one of Atletico’s standout players this season and is rated as one of the best young players in Europe. It is thought that City manager boss Pep Guardiola sees him as a long-term replacement for the ageing Fernandinho in the middle of the park.
The Spanish international is now in the process of agreeing personal terms on a long-term deal that would net him a significant increase in wages.
If the deal completes, it would be a record for City, eclipsing the £60 million they paid Leicester City for Riyad Mahrez last summer.
While Atletico would like him to say, boss Diego Simeone is not thought to view the player’s loss as a major blow, again according to AS. Also, by departing soon he gives Simeone the longest time to find a replacement.
Spanish giants Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool’s resolve to keep hold of star striker Mohamed Salah this summer, according to reports.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane is believed to want to revamp his attack. A deal for Chelsea star Eden Hazard is widely expected but now Canal+ have reported that the Frenchman wants to raid another Premier League club for their top star.
Salah has had another stellar season for Liverpool, scoring 26 goals in all competitions as the Reds finished 2nd in the Premier League and have reached the Champions League final.
Canal+ report that Zidane sees Salah as a perfect fit for a revamped forward line with his pace and movement. He would also be the sort of marquee signing that Madrid fans have been craving since Cristiano Ronaldo left last summer.
However, Liverpool will not want to let one of their biggest stars leave the club, and will be live they can hold onto him, especially if they were to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final.
No transfer fee has been mentioned, but Liverpool would probably not consider anything less than £150 million for Salah.
Madrid’s quest for strikers could also hasten the departure of Gareth Bale from the Bernabeau. He has been frozen out since Zidane returned and it looks likely he will be sold to help finance acquisitions.
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