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Atleti reaches deal to sign France international Lemar

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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says it has reached a deal to sign France international Thomas Lemar from Monaco.

Atletico announced Tuesday it has a “preliminary agreement” with Monaco and “both clubs will work” to complete the transfer.

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The 22-year-old winger is with France in Russia for the World Cup. He has scored three goals in 12 matches with the national team.

Lemar was a key player for Monaco when it reached the Champions League semifinals in the 2016-17 season.

Atletico won the Europa League this year.

Report: Chelsea considering AS Monaco’s Jardim as new manager

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It’s looking more likely every passing day that Antonio Conte will be departing Chelsea at the end of the season.

Even though Conte’s contract runs through 2019, Chelsea has reportedly already begun searching for a replacement, with the latest report linking the Blues with AS Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.

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Jardim has rebuilt Monaco into a top club in France’s Ligue 1 over his four-year tenure, including a shock league title last year and a semifinal place in the UEFA Champions League.

At the same time, the Venezuelan-born, Portugal raised manager has a strong record of working with young players and with Chelsea’s squad potentially in transition, it may be a great signing for the club to help bring in some of the club’s top young players into the first team. Conte has been loathe to play most young players this season, sticking to his favored starting XI for most of the past two years.

In the past, Jardim said he wouldn’t leave Monaco unless for a bigger club, leading to speculation he could take the Paris Saint-Germain job this summer. However, Jardim shot that down last week.

RB Leipzig claims they nearly had Mbappe signed at 16

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Kylian Mbappe spent his youth in the AS Monaco developmental system, and as a result, he became one of the most expensive players ever sold, moving to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

But what if things had gone differently? According to a Bundesliga executive, they almost did. Very, very different.

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RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Ragnick told German publication Bild, “We had Kylian Mbappe all but signed.” At the time of his upbringing through the ranks at Monaco, Leipzig was in the 2.Bundesliga, having been brought up two leagues by manager Alexander Zorniger, but he stepped down in February 2015, with Mbappe potentially looking to leave Monaco.

“The problem was we had just parted ways with Alexander Zorniger. We didn’t know at the time who would be our coach and how it would continue.” 16-year-old Mbappe had an idea…Ragnick himself.

If Ragnick could ensure “that I would be coach, he would entrust me with the boy immediately. But I couldn’t give him that promise already in February.”

Achim Beierlorzer took over on an interim basis, and Mbappe would stay with Monaco. Ragnick became manager in the summer, spending a year in charge and earning them promotion to the Bundesliga, but it was too late, and the rest for Mbappe is history. Ragnick would step down a year later, but stayed on as sporting director there.

Monaco concedes late, leaves door open for PSG

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AS Monaco suffered its first draw of the season, falling from a winning position and leaving the door open for PSG to widen its lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

Falcao gave Monaco a 1-0 lead over Montpellier at home past the half-hour mark, pausing his run for just a moment to allow Ruben Aguilar to flow towards the ball, giving the Colombian time to receive the feed from Rony Lopes and poking home just enough to light up the Goal Line Technology.

However, the visitors proved worthy opponents, peppering the goal with 15 shots to Monaco’s eight, although only three of those on target. On the other end, the hosts did not manage another shot on target.

With Montpellier pushing for an equalizer, they pulled it off in stoppage time. Hilton looped a ball over the top of the Monaco back line, and the defenders switched off, allowing Souleymane Camara to sneak free and deposit Kévin Berigaud’s header into the back of the net to break Monaco’s hearts two minutes past regulation.

The sole point sees Monaco simply draw level with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table, with PSG still to host Bordeaux. Even those visitors to Parc des Princes could pull within one point with an upset victory.

No Monaco fans in Istanbul for Champions League match

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PARIS (AP) Monaco says it won’t organize a trip for its fans to travel to Turkish side Besiktas when the clubs meet in the Champions League in November.

Monaco says the French body in charge of the fight against hooliganism has advised the club against bringing supporters to Istanbul.

Besiktas will be hosting Monaco on Nov. 1 in Group G of the Champions League.

Monaco says it won’t ask Besiktas to open the away fans area in the stadium and asked its fans not to travel on their own.