Ismalia Sarr, one of the rising stars in Ligue 1 and on the international scene for Senegal, could be heading to the Premier League.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Watford is closing in on a club-record $30 million transfer for Sarr, who is currently with Rennes in France. Sarr just finished helping lead Senegal to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final, and having played for Senegal at both the 2018 World Cup and most recent AFCON, he’s likely enough to qualify for a UK work permit.
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Sarr, a 21-year-old winger, can play on either the right or the left, and scored 13 goals last season from those wide positions.
Watford and the Pozzo family have a good history of scouting and signing talented young players. From former Udinese stars such as Alexis Sanchez and Mehdi Benatia (among many others) to Brazilian talent Joao Pedro, who is joining Watford in January, the Pozzo family have a good eye for talent. Sarr should make a good impact for Watford in its effort to rise into the top seven and earn a spot in European competitions in the future.
Here are more transfer stories from across Europe:
Brazilian giant Flamengo reached out to Ribery
For many clubs outside of western Europe, free agent Franck Ribery is a highly coveted prospect.
According to Brazilian TV company O Globo, Brazilian giant Flamengo, with Portuguese head coach Jorge Jesus, even inquired about potential signing the long-time France National Team and Bayern Munich winger to be the team’s new striker. Unfortunately for Flamengo, Ribery’s contract demands were much higher than they could meet, with Ribery reportedly admitting he received a proposal from Brazil but rejecting it.
With numerous European players heading to MLS and even Liga MX, it would have been interesting to see Ribery play a season or two in Brazil, even at age 36. Alas, it may not happen at this point.
Toronto FC negotiating with Guingamp for Benezet
Toronto FC may be making yet another big European signing in the coming weeks, as a Nicolas Benezet is reportedly close to coming to MLS.
The French midfielder scored three goals to go with an assist last season for Guingamp last season wearing the No. 10 shirt. According to L’Equipe, Benezet is in advanced negotiations with TFC.
Of course, TFC already has its full allotment of Designated Players, with Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Alejandro Pozuelo already under contract. Perhaps Benezet will join as a TAM player, or one of the Designated Players will have their contract bought down with allocation money.