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Report: PSG told to sell millions worth of players by end of June

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According to multiple reports, UEFA has informed Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain that the club must raise a significant amount of money through player transfer sales by the end of June, or else they will face the wrath of Financial Fair Play sanctions.

The amount of money in the ultimatum has varied between reports, with both French publication L’Equipe and The Financial Times reporting the club is required to raise $70 million, while Loic Tanzi of RMC in France is reporting that number to be $47 million.

[ MORE: France World Cup preview ]

UEFA released a statement on Wednesday to declare its investigation into PSG “closed” but also said, “The financial impact of transfer activities as from the 2017 summer – up to and including the upcoming transfer window – and compliance with the break-even requirement for the 2018 financial year will remain under close scrutiny and will be thoroughly looked at in the coming weeks.”

Financial Fair Play requires all clubs to balance income with expenditures and attempts to keep clubs from expending extraordinary – and therefore theoretically unfair – amounts of money on player transfers. PSG spent a massive $260 million on the purchase of Brazilian superstar Neymar last summer, a transfer that was muddied by the involvement of the Qatari royalty. They also have an obligation to complete the permanent transfer of Kylian Mbappe after this past campaign’s season-long loan, which could potentially cost the club up to a reported $210 million.

UEFA punishments for an FFP breach could include a fine, salary restrictions, squad restrictions, or worst of all a ban from European play. PSG has qualified for next season’s Champions League group stage via their first-place finish in the Ligue 1 table. They could still be handed down a punishment should they fail to comply with the reported ultimatum.

Players who could be sold include aging and expensive attackers Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Javier Pastore, as well as midfielder Adrian Rabiot after his heated public response to being assigned reserve status for the French World Cup squad.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.