Kylian Mbappe Liverpool
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PSG’s Mbappe praises Klopp, Liverpool in recent interview

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This is going to delight the Anfield set.

Paris Saint-Germain mega striker Kylian Mbappe has admitted admiration for the way Liverpool plays, as conversations continue regarding his future.

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Mbappe, 21, may be the most valuable commodity in the world given his position, accomplishments, and skill set. For France, he has a World Cup to go with 34 caps, 13 goals, and 10 assists. For PSG and Monaco combined, he’s scored 117 goals and 65 assists in 180 appearances.

He doesn’t turn 22 until December.

But there’s long been a thought that the World Cup winner will eventually have to leave PSG to cement his legacy given the relatively shallow competition in the league.

“This season, Liverpool have been a machine in the Premier League,” he told The Mirror. “They have made winning look easy but the truth is that it is never easy. Performances like they have been having don’t just happen.

“To be as ruthless as they have been would come from lots of hard work in training and from having a very good manager.”

Liverpool fans will be nodding along, beckoning the center forward with arms extended and hands waving him to them.

Real Madrid has often been the rumored destination, and we’ve argued that there’s no fee too high for this player considering how many years he has ahead of him.

With transfer fees possibly ducking low this summer after a wake-up call from the coronavirus, could Liverpool upgrade its dangerous front three with one of the top center forwards in the game?

The fact that the Reds reportedly negotiated a percentage of jersey sales into their new apparel deal could help, because it’s easy to imagine red Mbappe jerseys all around the world.

Chelsea star Kante granted compassionate leave

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N’Golo Kante has been granted compassionate leave by Chelsea as the French superstar has fears about returning to training.

Per a report from ESPN, no timeframe has been given for Kante to return to training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kante, 29, requested to miss small-group training at Chelsea’s Cobham training base and the club are said to be understanding of his situation and have allowed him to train on his own at home.

It is also believed Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi did not take part in sessions at their training base on Wednesday as he felt unwell, but he has tested negative for COVID-19 following his initial previous positive test back in March. Hudson-Odoi has been prescribed medication and earlier this week various reports stated he was arrested on suspicion of rape.

As for Kante, he did not train on Wednesday and Thursday after returning to the small group sessions on Tuesday.  The World Cup winner tested negative for COVID-19 but is thought to feel uneasy about returning to playing in June and is particularly concerned about the health of his family.

Kante’s brother died in the summer of 2018 from a heart attack and the Chelsea star is unwilling to put himself or his family members at risk.

Troy Deeney hasn’t returned to training at Watford this week over concerns about the health of his family too, while several clubs, managers and players continue to be hesitant as clubs take tentative steps back towards resuming the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs unanimously agreed to a return to small-group training from Tuesday, as players and club staff were tested on Sunday and Monday for COVID-19. The Premier League have released a statement saying that 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday and six positive tests have been confirmed across three clubs.

Those clubs where positive tests have been confirmed will still be able to move forward with small-group training as individuals were tested over the past few days before groups returned to training bases. Those who have tested positive will self-isolate for seven days and their names will not be released.

Premier League CEO Richard Masters has said the possible restart date for games on June 12 is a flexible one and that plans for games to return can only happen as and when the league, clubs, players, the UK government and medical staff agree on how they can restart contact training in larger groups.

Next week is a key week for the Premier League ‘Project Restart’ plan as clubs are due to meet on Tuesday (May 26) to discuss a return to full contact training, then again on Thursday (May 28) to vote on whether or not to restart the season.

Transfer rumor roundup: Zlatan to Sweden or Bologna; Tolisso to Man Utd

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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Where next for Zlatan Ibrahimovic? One of his former bosses says it will not be AC Milan.

The tamper is strong in Bologna.

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I Veltri coach Sinisa Mihajlovic says he’d like to see the megawatt striker join his club. Mihajlovic played at Inter and moved into the coaching staff when Ibrahimovic joined the club from Juventus in 2006.


“He called me a few days ago and we’ll see what he decides to do in the summer,” Mihajlovic told Serbian show Vece sa Ivanom Ivanovicem. “He certainly won’t remain at Milan, it remains to be seen whether he’ll join us or return to Sweden.”

A return to Sweden would be an intriguing plot. Ibrahimovic started his journey to become a national hero at Malmo, earning a statue near the stadium. But his purchase of a stake in Swedish club Hammarby led to anger, as vandals cut off the statue at the ankles.

He’s played for rivals (Juve, Inter, AC Milan) but this would be an eye-popper, as would his taking the field as both a Sweden national team icon and polarizing figure. But with Zlatan, you can’t even rule out massive Malmo rivals Helsingborg or Goteborg.

Bologna could be a good fit, with Mihajlovic not just an old friend but an able coach.

He was hired by Bologna in January 2019 and he brought the club from the relegation picture to a 10th-place finish. The club is 10th again this season, just five points back of a European place.

Mihajlovic showed remarkable strength in coaching the club while being treated for leukemia. He was shuttled from the bench back to the hospital in a late August match.

Manchester United is being added to the list of clubs looking at World Cup winner Corentin Tolisso.

Tolisso, 25, has also been linked with Arsenal after arriving in a Bundesliga record transfer from Lyon in 2017.

He’s only played around 1000 minutes this season and is a doubt to return after season-ending ankle surgery. Tolisso has 21 France caps and was a part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2018.

For his career, Tolisso has 14 goals and 12 assists with Bayern in 68 games, a bit better than his 29 and 17 in 160 for Lyon (though those figures include his formative years).

He’s an excellent passer who has not been asked to do a ton defensively over the past two seasons, though he was a box-to-box star in Lyon and had better numbers in different roles during his first two seasons in Germany.

His contract is up next summer and Bayern may want to cash in now.

Amiens launches petition to restore Ligue 1 status; Seeks 22-team league

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“For Justice” is the headline of a new post on the web site of Ligue 1 side Amiens SC, who is furious at its relegation from a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Amiens were four points back of safety with 10 matches to play, winless in 16 matches but picking up draws in five of their last seven before the coronavirus pause.

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Ligue 1 canceled its season and awarded Paris Saint-Germain the title, sending Amiens and Toulouse to Ligue 2, but Amiens is petitioning the French league to play a 22-team table in 2020-21.

“Amiens SC is asking the Football League to review its position and make the fairest choice: a Ligue 1 with 22 clubs for the 2020/2021 season. Supporters from Amiens and football lovers, support our initiative that would make football and sport grow,” the club wrote, linking to a petition and asking for fans to sign.

Amiens’ anger extends into the fabric of the city, with the mayor arguing that the club exiting Ligue 1 makes the area “lose part of our attractiveness as a city by default.”

The 119-year-old club finally hit the heights of the top flight when it won promotion in 2016-17. Like any club whose season is shortchanged in a degrading manner by the pandemic, they are righteously aggrieved.

But what’s the proper solution? Expanded tables lead to more fixture congestion, which taxes the more successful clubs. Expanded tables would also demand either the slimming of European competition or severe changes to the domestic cup schedule. Could we see a season without domestic cups?

PSG win Ligue 1 title; season canceled in France

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PSG have been named as the Ligue 1 title winners as the 2019-20 season in France has been officially canceled and a points per game system has been used to determine the final table in the top two leagues.

On Tuesday the prime minister of France, Edouard Philippe, banned all sporting events until September and that order includes sporting events behind closed doors.

That decision made it impossible for the 2019-20 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 campaigns to be completed. Lorient have been named as champions of Ligue 2, France’s second tier.

Per the statement released, the French officials say the plan is to start the new 2020-21 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons by August 22-23, 2020.

The French title is PSG’s seventh Ligue 1 trophy in the last eight seasons as they continue to dominate. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Co. had a 12-point lead atop the table and a game in hand over second-place Marseille when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marseille finished in second and Rennes in third, with both teams qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, while Toulouse and Amiens were relegated from Ligue 1 and Lorient and Lens promoted from Ligue 2. There is no decision on whether there will be relegation from Ligue 2.

Lille, Reims and Nice have qualified for the Europa League, with Lyon missing out on European qualification altogether.

Look, PSG were going to win the Ligue 1 title. Nobody is complaining about them being awarded the title, even though there will now be an asterisk next to this 2019-20 success, what else could the officials in charge of the league really do?

As soon as the French government canceled sporting events until September, this decision had to be made and clubs agreed to based the league table on a points per game basis. There are winners and losers, of course, but with the season canceled totally in the Netherlands and deemed null and void with no promotion or relegation, it seems like the points per game option could be fairer.

Ligue 1 was the first of Europe’s top five leagues to be canceled and all eyes will now be on the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga to see their next moves.