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Transfer rumor roundup: Zlatan to leave United; City’s offer to Alexis

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The Alexis Sanchez-to-Manchester City transfer saga, which began in the summer, seems headed down the same path as Philippe Coutinho-to-Barcelona, which also began in the summer and culminated in a move in January

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

While Arsene Wenger insists no approach has been made to the club, the Guardian claims that Man City have already offered Sanchez a five-and-a-half-year, $340,000-per-week contract that would begin this month, should City and Arsenal agree a transfer fee for the 29-year-old.

[ MORE: Wenger says no approaches for Alexis Sanchez… yet ]

According to Yahoo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic could leave Manchester United before the end of the season. Man United would prefer to keep Ibrahimovic through the end of his current contract which expires this summer, but the Red Devils do not expect him to return for a third season at Old Trafford and could choose to cash in (for a presumably small-ish fee) in the coming weeks or months, should an MLS or Chinese Super League side tempt the 36-year-old away from the Premier League. It is understood that United would not stand in his way in such a scenario.

[ MORE: Man City come back to lead Bristol City in League Cup semi ]

With Coutinho having left for Barcelona, Liverpool find themselves sitting on a cool $95 million, even after parting with $100 million for Virgil Van Dijk earlier this month. As such, a replacement attacker is expected to top Jurgen Klopp‘s wish list. According to the Mirror, 22-year-old Monaco playmaker Thomas Lemar, who was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal as part of Sanchez’s failed move to City, will cost any potential suitors — you guessed it — somewhere between $95 million and $125 million.

[ MORE: MLS comings & goings — LA, RSL, Colorado make big moves ]

Michy Batshuayi has made just two PL starts this season and could finish the campaign out on loan, according to ESPN UK. Sevilla are said to be interested in the 24-year-old who just eight months ago scored the PL title-clinching goal for Chelsea. Squarely stuck behind Alvaro Morata, last summer’s $81-million centerpiece signing, Batshuayi’s place in the Belgium squad for this summer’s World Cup is in real danger.

Transfer rumor roundup: Liverpool demand $220m for Coutinho

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year deceptive, draining, trying time of the Premier League campaign: transfer speculation season.

[ MORE: Wenger appears resigned to losing Sanchez, Ozil this summer ]

Manchester United’s search for their full backs of the future could lead to a $70-million bid (release clause) for Napoli left back Faouzi Ghoulam, according to Portuguese publication Record, which also states 22-year-old Spaniard Alex Grimaldo would then move to Napoli for $35 million. The 23-year-old Algerian international has been on the radars of Man United-sized clubs for a couple years now, but is still only just entering the prime of his career.

Arsene Wenger appears resigned to the fact that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will leave Arsenal this summer, for free, but insists that no offers have been made to acquire either of the Gunners’ star attackers this month.

[ PL PREVIEW: Man City, Spurs in action on Tuesday (TV, stream info) ]

Whenever If Philippe Coutinho makes his long-rumored move from Liverpool to Barcelona, he will only be allowed to do so for a fee of nearly $220 million — only $43 million short of Neymar’s world-record transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Huddersfield Town are reportedly “in talks” to sign 23-year-old Monaco defender Terence Kongolo. The Dutch international only moved from Feyenoord to Ligue 1 in the summer, for $15 million. UPDATE: Huddersfield have announced the loan signing of Kongolo.

Stoke City have rejected West Ham United’s offer for midfielder Joe Allen, according to ESPN UK. The Potters will reportedly continue to reject any bids, at any price, that come in for the 27-year-old Welshman.

Ligue 1: Cavani gets 100th, 101st goals in PSG’s 5-0 win (video)

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PARIS (AP) Edinson Cavani passed 100 league goals for Paris Saint-Germain as the unbeaten French leader romped over Angers 5-0 on Saturday.

PSG’s other goals came from teen star Kylian Mbappe, with two, and Germany winger Julian Draxler in a contest that showed PSG’s attacking might — even without Neymar.

Neymar’s countryman, Dani Alves, set up Mbappe in the fifth minute and Draxler in the 14th. Mbappe’s clever back heel allowed Cavani to sweep in his 100th league goal for the club in the 30th.

Draxler set up Cavani for the fourth goal and his 101st in just 144 games, with a pass from the right following a quick PSG counterattack an hour in. The typically hard-working Cavani started the move by winning the ball deep inside his own half.

PSG’s fifth of a demoralizing day for Angers at home came from Mbappe following another break from inside PSG’s half.

Substitute Lucas played Mbappe clean through, and the 18-year-old France international sprinted clear and round the goalkeeper.

“Perhaps I hadn’t prepared the players well enough mentally for this match, and that’s my fault,” Angers coach Stephane Moulin said. “We gave them it on a plate.”

PSG has 39 goals in 12 league games – which is great for the forwards but not much fun for goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

“We worked very hard today and we managed to develop our game on a difficult pitch,” Areola said. “Cavani is magnificent and we’re happy when he’s in this kind of form. We’ll keep pushing him.”


PSG remains four points ahead of second-place Monaco, which went one better than PSG with a 6-0 home win against Guingamp.

Monaco’s forward line was missing 13-goal top scorer Radamel Falcao, who was injured for the third game running, but it made no difference.

Argentine striker Guido Carrillo and Mali midfielder Adama Traore got two goals each, while Senegal striker Balde Keita and Brazilian midfielder Fabinho — with a penalty — grabbed the other goals.


Claudio Ranieri‘s Nantes climbed up to third place with a 2-1 home win against mid-table Toulouse.

Nantes, which is nicknamed Canaries because of its bright yellow strip, scored through midfielder Adrien Thomasson and striker Emiliano Sala.

Ranieri, who led unheralded Leicester to the English Premier League title in 2016, took charge of Nantes this season and his side sits five points behind Monaco.

Ligue 1: Monaco beat Bordeaux to keep pressure on PSG

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PARIS (AP) In Radamel Falcao‘s absence, his replacement Keita Balde scored for defending champion Monaco to beat Bordeaux 2-0 in the French league on Saturday.

Balde scored in the second half, and midfielder Thomas Lemar added the second with a fine run and shot through goalkeeper Benoit Costil’s legs eight minutes later.

The win kept second-placed Monaco within four points of unbeaten league leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Falcao, the league top scorer with 13, was missing due to muscle fatigue.

Balde had a quiet game but took his first chance well. Brazilian defender Jorge nicked the ball off countryman Malcom in midfield and following his cross from the left wing, midfielder Joao Moutinho expertly headed the ball across the penalty area into Balde’s direction, and he took a touch before slotting it into the bottom of the net.

“It’s a good win with the players we had available,” Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. “Keita Balde’s getting better every day. We can use him up front or on the wing. The runs from deep he makes are very important.”

The Senegal forward, who joined in the offseason from Lazio, also scored last weekend when playing alongside Falcao.

“It was a difficult match, but when you get a chance you must take it,” Balde said. “It’s hard when you don’t have a player like Falcao. The main thing is to give the team a helping hand.”

PSG coasted past Nice 3-0 on Friday.

Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri‘s eight-game unbeaten run came to end, losing at Dijon 1-0.

Center forward Julio Tavares scored the winner in the first half, and Nantes missed late chances to equalize.

Mbappe wins Golden Boy over Rashford, Pulisic, Gabriel Jesus

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Paris Saint-Germain, France, and (former) Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has claimed the Golden Boy Award over Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic, and others.

[ MORE: TFC sets MLS record ]

The Golden Boy is chosen from the top Under-21 players in Europe, and the short list had the above names and 22 more including Gabriel Jesus, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Marcus Rashford.

Mbappe, still 18 until Dec. 20, has four goals and four assists this season for PSG after scoring 26 goals with 14 assists for Monaco last season. He also has a goal for France.

The teenager likely played the biggest role at the biggest club last season, though Donnarumma was exceptional at Milan, Jesus’ injury conspired against him at Man City, and Marcus Rashford was very good for United.

Follow @NicholasMendola