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.
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 side Chelsea are considering making a move for Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho this summer – but only if they manage to get a transfer ban overturned.
Coutinho has endured a difficult spell in Barcelona since his initial £106 million love from Liverpool in January 2018. While he has scored 21 goals in 74 appearances, he has been hampered by injury and loss of form during that time.
However, the Brazilian remains highly rated by Chelsea as they seek attacking options, with playmaker Eden Hazard widely expected to depart Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid this summer.
However, whether they will be allowed to make signings is unclear. Last week, Chelsea lost an appeal to FIFA against a 2-window transfer ban for contravening rules regarding the signature of young players. They are now appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The ban remains in place as legal proceedings are ongoing.
There has so far been little interest in Coutinho from England, according to Spanish radio station Cadena Sur, with only the Blues showing an interest.
If Chelsea could sign him, Barca would want to recoup most if not all of their initial outlay. They could be willing to sell as they contemplate making reinforcements after yet another failure to land the Champions League title after surrendering a 3-0 first-leg lead to lose 4-3 on aggregate to Liverpool last week.
Paris St-Germain star Neymar is said to be unhappy in Paris and wants a transfer – which could reawaken Real Madrid’s interest in him.
Neymar has been prolific on the pitch since he made the move to the Parc des Princes in 2017 but there have long been rumours that he is not happy at the club or in the city.
However, it was thought that he was happier playing under Thomas Tuchel but Le10Sport has reported he has had a change of heart after PSG’s latest failure to land the Champions League title. PSG threw away a 2-0 first-leg lead to Manchester United to lose 3-2 in the last 16 of the tournament.
This, coupled with a slump in form that also saw the side again throw away a 2-0 lead to lose the final of the Coupe de France on penalties to Rennes, has changed his mind.
If this is correct, it will no doubt alert Real Madrid, who have had a long-standing in the Brazilian. Manager Zinedine Zidane is expected to have a major overhaul of his squad this summer and a marquee signing like Neymar would be what Los Blancos’ fans have wanted since Cristiano Ronaldo left last year.
It would doubtless take a world record to take him from PSG – reports have said as much as £300 million – but that would not put Real off.
It may put other potential suitors off, except perhaps Barcelona, who have also been linked with a bid for a player they sold for £198 million to PSG.
Chelsea are planning to make a bid for Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho this summer if, as expected, Eden Hazard joins Real Madrid.
Hazard has been linked with Real Madrid for some time and it is thought likely he will join Zinedine Zidane’s team in the summer transfer window.
Coutinho has been earmarked as a replacement by Chelsea bosses. While Coutinho hasn’t been the success hopes for since he joined Barca in January 2018 he is still highly regarded. At the same time, this relative lack of success means that the club may be prepared to sell him. That said, Barcelona would look to recoup most if not all of the initial £105 million they paid Liverpool for him.
However, this may all be academic if Chelsea fail to overturn a two-window transfer ban that UEFA slapped on them for breaking transfer rules. The Blues are appealing and hope to hear the result of that soon.
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