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Neymar stars, PSG puts Liverpool on brink

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  • Bernat, Neymar open 2-0 lead
  • Liverpool scores with only shot on goal
  • Reds drop third in Group C

Juan Bernat and Neymar scored first half goals and Liverpool could only muster a James Milner penalty in response as Paris Saint-Germain leapfrogged the Reds with a 2-1 win at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday in UEFA Champions League.

Napoli handled its business against Red Star Belgrade with a 3-1 win to top the group, meaning Liverpool needs to beat Napoli 1-0 or by two or more at Anfield.

Alisson Becker was Liverpool’s star, holding the Reds in the match.

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Alisson was busy early for Liverpool, conceding a corner on an Angel Di Maria rip before making an even better stop on Angel Di Maria.

But Alisson couldn’t get to Bernat’s opener, the Spanish back sweeping a sweet low shot across his body and inside the near post.

And PSG kept pouring forward, getting a deserved second goal as Kylian Mbappe set up Edinson Cavani for a shot that Alisson saved right to Neymar for a rebound goal.

Liverpool was given a lifeline when Sadio Mane hit the deck in the box following a wayward sliding challenge from Angel Di Maria.

Milner wrong-footed Gianluigi Buffon from the spot to make it 2-1 in first half stoppage time.

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Marquinhos had the ball behind Alisson again, but was offside when he knifed it home.

The Reds finally put some sustained danger together, largely through Mohamed Salah, but PSG remained inspired and composed at the back.

Alisson kept the Reds alive when Marquinhos pounded a header on goal off a corner kick.

Marquinhos signs new PSG contract

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Paris Saint-Germain has looked to ward off suitors for one of its best young talents, signing 23-year-old Brazilian defender Marquinhos to a new contract through 2022.

Marquinhos has been with PSG since 2013, and has been a regular in the team the entire time, but he saw his duties increase further last season with new manager Unai Emery in charge and the sale of David Luiz. Last season, Marquinhos started every Champions League match for PSG, playing the full 90 minutes in every single one.

The Brazilian’s previous contract expired in 2019, leaving PSG to act now or sell, and they tacked another three seasons on top. He extends just six months after center-back partner and fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva signed a contract extension through 2020.

PSG president Nasser El-Khelaifi said in the official club release that Marquinhos has “developed a very strong link with our club (and) its supporters.”

No doubt the club hopes that the contract extension will keep reported interest from Manchester United and Barcelona at bay. Brazilian publication Globe Esporte claimed not long ago that the Red Devils had bid a whopping $80 million for the Brazilian, but likely that came from the player’s camp for leverage in contract negotiations.

Report: Manchester United outbidding giants for PSG’s Marquinhos

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Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte says Manchester United has made the best offer to Paris Saint-Germain in a three-team giant battle for Marquinhos.

According to the report, the transfer fight is between United, Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, though only the first three sides have lodged bids.

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Barca’s offer is said to be the lowest, around $50 million, while United is said to be willing to pay a staggering $78 million for the 23-year-old Brazilian.

Marquinhos has made 155 appearances for PSG since joining from Roma in 2013. He’s reliably made 40-plus appearances over the past three seasons, and has 17 caps for Brazil.

A terrific defender who excels in keeping possession, Marquinhos has also played some right back for PSG.

Marquinhos linked to Man United, hints at possible move from PSG

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One of the most highly-regarded talents in Europe has hinted that he may be looking for a new club in the future.

Paris Saint-Germain center-back Marquinhos has struggled to find minutes in the starting lineup, stuck behind Thiago Silva and David Luiz on the pecking order.

[ MORE: Vardy to have groin surgery ]

Manchester United has been linked to a possible move for the 21-year-old, and when asked about those reports, Marquinhos said he will “see what happens” at PSG, as he is not fond of sitting on the bench.

It’s my pleasure. It means that we work well.

Like everyone else, I always want to be a part of the starting line-up. But we all must respect the choices of the coach and management.

I will continue to work to get my place. But it’s true there will come a moment where I am older. You cannot just get used to sitting on the bench.

There are six months left for PSG to win titles. After that, we’ll see what happens.

The Brazilian international has only started seven matches for PSG this season, who currently have a 19-point lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

[ VIDEO: Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema combine for brilliant Real Madrid goal ]

United has been in the market for a center-back to partner with Chris Smalling, as Phil Jones has struggled with injuries forcing Daley to play out of position in the middle of the defense.

Marquinhos’ 2013 move from Roma to PSG cost the French club nearly $35 million, which at the time was a record transfer fee for a teenager. Since then, that record has been broken twice in the transfers of Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, both to Manchester United.

Transfer rumor roundup: Marquinhos for Man Utd, Lambert to leave LFC

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Manchester United needs to improve its back line, and quickly, with injuries and poor errors marring an otherwise great turnaround under Louis van Gaal. The Manchester United boss is rumored to be targeting young Paris Saint-Germain star Marquinhos, who has flouished at the French giants since a move from Italy two summers ago.

The report began in the Daily Star and has been picked up in France, as Manchester United looks to upgrade on their back line with the 20-year-old Brazilian. Marquinhos is stuck behind David Luiz and Thiago Silva at PSG, but has still improved rapidly in his 12 appearances this season, proving an accurate tackler and a great man-marker with the ability to sniff out passing lanes before they’re used. PSG bought Marquinhos in the summer of 2013 for $41 million, and could be set to make a slight profit should the reports nail their estimates of the transfer fee at around $45 million.

Liverpool, meanwhile, is looking to upgrade its attacking prowess, likely to bring back Divock Origi early from his loan spell in France. That could be bad news for third-choice striker Rickie Lambert, whom the Reds could look for a buyer should Origi supplant him in the striker pecking order. The Sun is reporting the 32-year-old Lambert could be off, after just 12 appearances and a disappointing two goals in 596 Premier League minutes for his favorite boyhood club.

Without making a clear statement on who would be interested, the reports speculate that a host of clubs could be drawn to Lambert, including Hull City, West Brom, Swansea, and Crystal Palace. Swansea City seems to make the most sense of those named, with the money and the need after Wilfried Bony’s departure for Manchester City. Lambert would likely be a more temporary solution to the problem, but nonetheless would do the job for a few months.

Real Madrid rumors continue to swirl despite their overwhelming success in La Liga this season. Cristiano Ronaldo has an unbelievable 28 goals in 19 matches and Los Blancos lead Barcelona at the top of the league table by four points, but they continue to dominate the tabloids. Now, rumors surround the goalkeeping situation. Iker Casillas has returned to regular action, but according to the Manchester Evening News, they have had inquiries over bringing Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea to the Bernabeu. Manchester United have told them, reportedly, that they must pay a record goalkeeper transfer fee to land him, and have targeted Gareth Bale as a make-good in a potential swap.

The article does admit the Manchester United brass are happy with the goalkeeping situation at Old Trafford, with De Gea in world-class form this season, and Victor Valdes signed to back him up. The record transfer fee for a goalkeeper is the $49 million Juventus paid to secure Gianluigi Buffon way back in 2001. Giving Bale up would not only allow Madrid to secure De Gea, but could also open the door for those rumors that have seen Marco Reus linked with Los Blancos recently.