Jean-Clair Todibo

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Transfer rumor roundup: Four bids for Gabriel, Barca offer five for Martinez

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The transfer rumor mill has not paused often during the coronavirus suspension, with — nickname alert — French Eddy being linked to Arsenal along with RB Leipzig back Dayot Upamecano.

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It seems like more than links when it comes to Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, as four clubs including Premier League side Everton are said to have made bids for the 22-year-old.

Gabriel moved from Brazil to France in 2016, and he was loaned by Lille to Dinamo Zagreb and Troyes before establishing himself as a first-teamer.

The center back has two goals in 52 appearances and is averaging 1.7 tackles per game, 3.3 clearances, and .9 interceptions in Ligue 1 play while passing at 82 percent.

Gabriel is set to cost more than $36 million. He’s repped Brazil at the U-20 level.

Elsewhere, a better-known South American is being linked to his usual destination in a wild exchange.

Calcio Mercato reports that Barcelona is willing to offer five players to Inter Milan in order to drive down the price on Lautaro Martinez.

There’s plenty of smoke to infer fire when it comes to the prolific 22-year-old Argentine striker, though a five-player exchange is different than meeting the $124 million release clause.

Those players are midfielders Arturo Vidal, Carles Alena, and Arthur, fullback Nelson Semedo, and Jean-Clair Todibo, who are worth a combined $167 million according to the loose estimates of Transfermarkt.

Barcelona adds Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona has reached a deal to sign young Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo in July.

Barcelona said Tuesday he will join on a free transfer after his contract with the French club ends on June 30.

[ RECAP: Spurs 1-0 Chelsea ]

The 19-year-old Frenchman joined Toulouse in 2016 and made his first-team debut earlier this season. The central defender has made 10 appearances, all as a starter, and scored in the team’s 1-1 draw at Rennes in September.

Todibo is known for his good ball technique and can also play in the midfield. The tall defender is considered a threat on set pieces.

He has played for France’s under-20 team.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

VAR in the spotlight again, this time for not working

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PARIS (AP) – The video assistant referee system has been much talked about since being used at the World Cup earlier this year – praised by some for spotting fouls, criticized by others for slowing down matches.

On Sunday, VAR attracted attention for another reason altogether: it stopped working during the 1-1 draw between Rennes and Toulouse.

“The fourth official came to see me 10 minutes from the end of halftime to tell me it wasn’t working,” Toulouse coach Alain Casanova said. “There was a problem, quite simply.”

Casanova said he and his Rennes counterpart, Sabri Lamouchi, as well as the two team captains, were all informed before the second half started.

Toulouse may have cause for regret because VAR was not used to review images when a penalty was given to Rennes midway through the second period. It was awarded after striker M’Baye Niang fell under a challenge from Jean-Clair Todibo, who was shown a yellow card for protesting the decision.

Niang converted in the 70 minute, but Todibo headed in the equalizer two minutes from time for Toulouse.

Toulouse played with 10 men for the second half after forward Aaron Leya Iseka was sent off in the 43rd for a second yellow card.

The draw leaves Rennes struggling in 16th place – two places above the relegation zone – while Toulouse is seventh.

IMPRESSIVE MONTPELLIER

Montpellier continued its fine start by beating local rival Nimes 3-0 to move into second place – although Marseille can take second by winning at Lille later Sunday.

Defender Ambroise Oyongo put Montpellier ahead and striker Andy Delort made it 2-0 after nine minutes of first-half injury time. A metal gate gave way after Montpellier fans celebrated Oyongo’s goal, sending a few of them spilling onto the pitch and causing the match to be delayed.

Reports said two fans sustained light injuries.

The outstanding Florent Mollet set up striker Gaetan Laborde for a diving header in the 79th, after which a crowd disturbance caused the match to be stopped for about 30 minutes.

Some 70-80 riot police came onto the pitch to block a section of agitated Montpellier fans from confronting their Nimes counterparts.