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Report: Marseille suspends Rami for lying about attending game show

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According to French publication La Provence, Olympique Marseille has suspended defender Adil Rami amid an internal investigation into his actions this summer. Until today, little had been known about why he was suspended with some suspecting it had to do with his public breakup with actress Pamela Anderson, but the new report has shed a different light on the issue.

The report states that Rami lied to the club about his whereabouts in late May, asking for a training session off so he could attend to “personal concerns” but in reality he had gone to film an appearance on French game show Fort Boyard where he participated in a slime wrestling challenge despite being injured. The training session in question took place May 20, two days after a match against Toulouse in which he was withdrawn in the 74th minute, and he missed the next match – the final league game of the season – due to injury.

The Marseille manager at the time, Rudi Garcia, was apparently unaware of this appearance and believed Rami to be taking care of his personal matters. Fort Boyard is a French game show that focuses on physical and mental challenges.

Rami, a 33-year-old French international who was part of the World Cup winning squad last summer despite failing to appear in a match during the competition, has been banned from taking part in preseason training with the squad and is instead training on his own. According to the report, Rami had a hearing at the training ground with Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud on Wednesday and has yet to be allowed back in training.

Garcia has since been removed as manager and Andre Villas-Boas is the new Marseille boss.

Rami has been with the club since joining from Sevilla in the summer of 2017, making 75 appearances across all competitions, although last season was a struggle for the defender, with injuries leaving him on the sidelines through most of the second half. His recent breakup with Anderson was messy, with the actress accusing him over social media of cheating and abuse while calling him a “monster.”

Koscielny refuses to go on Arsenal’s US tour

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Arsenal’s captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel with the team on their preseason tour of the USA.

Koscielny, 33, has one year left on his current Gunners deal and the likes of Rennes, Bordeaux and Lyon in his homeland want to sign him.

It is believed Koscielny asked to be released from his contract a year early to head back to France, but that request was turned down and Arsenal’s captain has now decided to take this drastic step.

Arsenal have slammed Koscielny in an official statement, as the club have now opened disciplinary proceedings against the French international.

“Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour. We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions. We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

Flying out to California on Thursday, Arsenal will play against the Colorado Rapids in a friendly, then take part in the International Champions Cup with games against Bayern Munich in Los Angeles), Fiorentina in Charlotte and Real Madrid in Washington D.C. before heading back to the UK.

Koscielny’s decision to not turn up for preseason will surely see him stripped of the captaincy, but it also gives Unai Emery an unwanted headache. Last season Emery dealt with Mesut Ozil being unhappy and the Spanish coach was all about unity and having a collective spirit following Arsene Wenger‘s departure.

This decision from Koscielny will no doubt have a huge impact on the locker room.

Shokdran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Callum Chambers, Dinos Mavropanos and Sokratis are Arsenal’s current options at center back, but there’s no doubt Koscielny would have been a starter alongside Sokratis this season.

The Gunners are closing in on a deal to sign French youngster William Saliba from Saint-Etienne for $34 million then loan him back to the Ligue 1 club. Considering this situation with Koscielny, they may try and keep Saliba for the upcoming season instead.

Koscielny has been a fans favorite since he arrived in 2010 and his rise from the lower French leagues to the Premier League and UEFA Champions League while also captaining Arsenal is a great story.

However, in recent years injuries have hit him hard and although nobody really points the finger towards him with regards to Arsenal’s recent defensive frailties, Koscielny has been to blame with some major errors.

Arsenal should probably cut their losses here and let Koscielny leave on a free, as overall he’s been a good servant to the club and they are unlikely to receive that much for him in terms of a transfer fee. Then again, you cannot let one player dictate your transfer dealings as they sets a poor precedent.

What a mess. Koscielny hasn’t conducted himself well here, and Arsenal putting this out in the open has escalated the seriousness of the situation.

Tottenham smash transfer record to sign Ndombele

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Tanguy Ndombele is now officially a Tottenham Hotspur player.

The French international, 22, completed his move to the Premier League on Tuesday as Spurs shattered their transfer record to sign the central midfield from Lyon.

Ndombele has reportedly cost Tottenham close to $82 million, which almost doubles their previous record transfer fee of $45 million for Davinson Sanchez in 2017.

With several top clubs across Europe chasing Ndombele, he has chosen to head to White Hart Lane on a contract until 2025, as Spurs will build their entire midfield around the exciting two-way player.

Ndombele has been superb for Lyon over the past two seasons and has broken into the French national team in recent months.

His distribution, reading of the game, dribbling and ability to intercept opponents have elevated him to the this level and he’s one of the best two-way central midfielders in the game right now.

After losing the silky skills of Mousa Dembele, this was an area where Spurs really needed to strengthen. Ndombele’s arrival means the likes of Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama could well be on their way out this summer, with Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks battling to start alongside him, while Christian Eriksen is likely heading out of the door with just one year left on his current contract.

Signing Ndombele is a massive coup in the transfer market for Tottenham.

Daniel Levy spending this much money on one player is a huge statement on its own, and it will also help to keep the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli enthused about the Spurs project as they continue to challenge in the Champions League and the top four of the Premier League.

After going 18 months without signing a single new player (517 days, if you were counting…), Tottenham signed two new players in one day as promising teenager Jack Clarke arrived from Leeds United just before Ndombele and the English winger was then loaned back to Leeds for the 2019-20 campaign.

Turns out it is true what they say about London buses…

Transfer gossip: Brahimi to Arsenal; Ndombele to Man Utd

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Arsenal’s summer transfer rumors revolved around defending, but the last few weeks have focused on attack options (outside of endless Kieran Tierney talk).

Last week, it was Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace.

Enter Yacine Brahimi.

[ MORE: Lampard, Chelsea take next step ]

The 29-year-old Porto man may be joining the Gunners on a free transfer, providing plenty of experience to Unai Emery‘s attack corps.

Capped 48 times by Algeria with 11 goals, Brahimi had been with Porto since 2014. The left winger has 54 goals and 43 assists in 215 appearances over that time.

There are a lot of questions here, but the price tag of free-99 makes them all pretty palatable.


TalkSport claims that the many reports of Tanguy Ndombele’s eventual move to Tottenham Hotspur may have jumped the gun.

Or maybe Manchester United has jumped the line.

Last week saw reports that the 22-year-old Lyon man’s fee may go up soon if Spurs can’t sort the price for the midfielder.

And perhaps United will pay the $82 million fee and give Ndombele whatever he wants.

It would be a huge blow to Spurs, if only to Mauricio Pochettino who has publicly complained about how other clubs get to dictate terms on transfers while he just plays a role in Daniel Levy’s structure (He’s also given plenty of respect and credit to Levy over the years).

The same report mentions a potential breakthrough for United when it comes to its attacking ranks, and that’s in the form of Wissam Ben Yedder.

The $44 million price tag is not insignificant for the 28-year-old Frenchman, who scored eight goals in Europa League and 18 goals with nine goals in La Liga play at Sevilla.

That was his best season since his final four seasons with Toulouse, where Ben Yedder scored 15, 16, 14, and 17 league goals at Ligue 1.


O Jogo is linking Newcastle United with Dutch striker Bas Dost, but we wonder how much of that is based on long-term interest versus reality. Dost, 30, was linked with the Magpies in the past but is now well past the age mentioned as their transfer age limits. But it’s a rumor, so it makes the wrap, along with Sevilla interest.

Watch Live: France v. USWNT, World Cup quarterfinal

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This is it.

The biggest game so far of the 2019 Women’s World Cup has arrived, as hosts France take on reigning champs the USA amid a searing heatwave in Paris on Friday (Watch live online, 3 p.m. ET via Telemundo Deportes and on NBC Universo).

[ LIVE: Stream France v. USA ]

It doesn’t get much bigger than this, as two of the favorites collide with the eyes of the world on them in a packed out Parc des Princes stadium with tickets going for record amounts on the secondary market.

The no. 1 ranked USWNT facing the hosts in red-hot Paris in front of a massive global audience is a huge moment for the women’s game generally. The pressure is on the USWNT to deliver after a lackluster display against Spain in the last round, while France have plenty of pressure on their shoulders from an expectant home crowd.

France’s stars Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer will lead their charge amid, while Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe are the experienced stars pushing the U.S. to yet another World Cup semifinal.

In USWNT team news Lindsey Horan being out of the starting lineup is the big news.

The winner of this game will face England in Lyon next Tuesday for a place in the World Cup final.

Click on the link above to watch the game live online or via the NBC Sports App in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes.