Ligue 1

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Chelsea sells Traore to Lyon for $11 million

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Chelsea has officially sold exciting attacker Betrand Traore to Lyon.

Traore, 21, spent last season on loan at Ajax, helping the club to the UEFA Europa League Final.

The 40-times capped Burkina Faso winger scored four goals in 16 appearances for Chelsea in 2015-16, and has 22 goals in loan seasons to Vitesse and Ajax.

[ MORE: Ranking expectations for PL bosses ]

The fee is said to be more than $11 million. Traore joined Chelsea’s academy in 2010 after coming up with Auxerre.

Chelsea will earn 15 percent of any future sale of Traore, and also have the right of first refusal should another team make an offer for the attacker.

Lyon currently has held onto Alexandre Lacazette, and has Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay and captain Maxime Gonalons amongst its stars. Adding Traore will only help the club’s ambitions in Ligue 1 as well as the Europa League.

Fabinho admits interest in Manchester United

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If even a fraction of this summer’s transfer interest is real, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has taken every precaution against his biggest 2017 enemy: scheduled congestion.

Mourinho was a regular critic of United’s schedule last season in the run-up to its UEFA Europa League title win over Ajax, and is building his roster up for the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Saief completes USMNT switch ]

The manager already had plenty of attacking options, and has added Victor Lindelof to his stable of defenders while reportedly flirting with PSG’s Marquinhos, too. Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic is also a reported target (as are half of the world’s elite footballers).

And now, a wry smile from Monaco’s Fabinho hints that Mourinho may be making progress with another target.

‘‘It’s a tempting invitation. … I would first talk to my agent, Monaco too, to decide everything right. But it’s a great club, sure enough I would think well about it.”

Fabinho played mostly right back in 2014-15 before splitting time between that position and defensive midfielder the following year and seeing most of his time at CDM last season. Mourinho has lavished praise and given a contract extension to right back Antonio Valencia and has Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Paul Pogba at CDM (though the latter can certainly operate higher up the field).

Report: U-17 USMNT striker Timothy Weah set to join PSG

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We’ve seen many high-profile moves for Americans to Europe over the years, and another young U.S. Men’s National Team player could be following suit.

French outlet L’Equipe is reporting that U.S. Under-17 national team striker Timothy Weah is on the verge of signing his first professional contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Weah, the son of former Liberia international player George Weah Sr., has risen through the U.S. youth ranks over the years and is expected to be a member of the U.S. U-17s when they head to the World Cup in India this September.

Timothy was born in the U.S., prompting him to represent the USMNT instead of his father’s native Liberia.

Claudio Ranieri announced as new coach of Nantes

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Claudio Ranieri has landed.

The Italian manager who famously led Leicester City to the Premier League crown and was fired within a year has been hired by Ligue 1 side Nantes on a two-year deal.

[ MORE: Picking the Confederations Cup ]

There was some speculation that Ranieri would return to the PL, but instead takes the reins of his second Ligue 1 club. Ranieri led Monaco to promotion from Ligue 2 and then a runner-up finish in Ligue 1.

He’s also managed Greece, Chelsea and a host of the biggest clubs in Italy including Inter Milan, Roma, Juventus, Napoli, and Fiorentina. Ranieri has also coached Valencia twice.

Ranieri needed a special dispensation from France to take the job, as he’s over the maximum coach’s age of 65.

Nantes granted special permission to hire 65-year-old Ranieri

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NANTES, France (AP) Claudio Ranieri will try to revive his career in France after the French soccer league gave permission to Nantes to hire the former Leicester manager on Tuesday.

According to several media reports in France, the Italian coach will sign a two-year deal and will be assisted by four deputy coaches.

Nantes had asked for a special dispensation because Ranieri has reached the coach’s age limit of 65.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Monday | Sunday ]

Ranieri, who guided Leicester to the English Premier League title in 2016 but was fired nine months later, will replace Sergio Conceicao. The Portuguese coach left Nantes earlier this month to take charge of FC Porto.

Ranieri has also coached Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan in his much-traveled career and was in charge of several other Italian sides as well as Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

Under Ranieri’s guidance, Leicester won the Premier League at preseason odds of 5,000-1, a year after narrowly escaping relegation. He was fired in February with the team one point and one place above the relegation zone in a woeful title defense.

Ranieri has already coached in the French league, from 2012-14, when he won the League 2 title with Monaco then led the Principality side to a runner-up finish in the topflight.

[ MORE: England, France walk out to “Don’t Look Back in Anger” ]

Eight-time French champion Nantes was expected to continue with Conceicao this season after extending his contract until 2020. But Nantes said last week it had failed to persuade him to stay.

The former Portugal winger worked wonders in his short spell with Nantes. When Conceicao took charge in December the club was languishing in 19th place, but it went on to finish seventh – just outside of a spot in the Europa League.

Nantes won the last of its eight titles in 2001.