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Saint-Maximin to PSG
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Transfer news: Saint-Maximin in demand, Norwich back to German giants

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The Sunday morning papers are helping the transfer rumor mill buzz after a weekend of matches in Europe.

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Newcastle is mentioned as a home for several players but the biggest Magpies name is one linked with a departure to big, big clubs.

Saint-Maximin to PSG, PL big boys

Newcastle supporters, avert your eyes and trust Steve Bruce (What a sentence and maybe a mantra).

Magpies talisman Allan Saint-Maximin has caught the eye of everyone on Tyneside and most of the Premier League but is being linked with a big money move back home.

Steve Bruce is flat-out denying there’s any chance of selling the Frenchman, 23, who is being linked with Paris Saint-Germain and “all of England’s current top six sides.”

“ASM” has four goals and seven assists in 25 appearances entering Sunday morning’s match versus West Ham and is one of just three players to average more than four dribbles per game, his 4.7 sandwiched between Adama Traore (5) and Wilfried Zaha (4.5).

It’s not just about the numbers with Saint-Maximin, though, whose magnetic dribbling and personality keep both a defense off-balance and a team hopeful and happy. Newcastle is 1W-3D-7L in the Premier League when Saint-Maximin plays, 10-6-5 when he’s out there.

Any sale, especially with Newcastle’s takeover looming, would have to be well over the approximately $20 million paid by the Magpies last summer.

Schick to Newcastle (amongst others)

The same report lays out a more realistic shopping list for the Magpies than many of the rumors since reports emerged of a big money takeover at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle is being linked with Roma’s Patrik Schick, Nice’s Arnaud Lusamba, Benfica’s Florentino Luis, Penarol’s Facundo Pellistri, and Norwich City’s Ben Godfrey.

Let’s focus on Schick and Lusamba.

Patrick Schick Leipzig Bundesliga
DORTMUND, GERMANY – DECEMBER 17: Patrik Schick (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Schick was once among the most sought-after names in the game. The 24-year-old Czech striker has nine goals in 22 caps for his country.

Three seasons removed from his breakout season at Sampdoria, Schick has profound his footing on loan to RB Leipzig from Roma. The center forward has 10 goals in 22 matches despite Timo Werner carrying the water in fine fashion for Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig.

Like Saint-Maximin last season, Lusamba has been in- and out-of-favor with Nice boss Patrick Vieira. But it’s worth noting that the manager has tried to find a place on the pitch for the 23-year-old center midfielder, deploying him at center forward and right mid at times.

Lusamba averaged 1.2 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Godfrey to Borussia Dortmund

Speaking of Godfrey, could he be going from the bottom of the Premier League table to the upper reaches of Germany? For close to $30 million, to boot?

Two of the Bundesliga’s top clubs continue to monitor top young Premier League talent including the aforementioned Godfrey, with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig eyeing the 22-year-old.

A center back in Norwich’s maligned and injury-battered defense, England youth international Godfrey has played the seventh-most minutes for Daniel Farke’s Canaries.

Relegation victims have often yielded incredible value for bigger clubs, two great cases in point being ex-Hull City man Andrew Robertson and former Aston Villa force Idrissa Gana Gueye. We don’t need to tell you where they wound up.

Transfer news: Bellingham to Dortmund, Messi will have out-clause(s)

Messi new contract
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Monday’s transfer rumor mill involves a one-club Ballon d’Or winner likely not going anywhere, as well as a few players possible finding new homes.

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We’ll start with the former, as Lionel Messi’s new Barcelona deal looks close to being inked for three years, with a hitch.


Messi (back) to Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s new contract with Barcelona could keep him with the La Liga side through the 2022-23 season.

The world’s best player is reportedly close to signing a new three-year deal with Barcelona that will give him the chance to exit the deal after every season.

So, yeah, that doesn’t exactly feel like a multi-year deal inasmuch as the privilege given to one of the greatest to ever strap on a pair of boots in any uniform.

From Marca:

This term is non-negotiable for Messi as he doesn’t want to be tied down to a contract, and wants to be able to decide at the end of every season whether or not he is physically fit to continue competing at the top level, and for this reason there will always be a clause allowing him to leave if he sees it appropriate.

Messi has discussed playing for boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys and Americans fans have dreamed of a possible MLS move.

Those would be options if Messi opted to leave Barcelona, because he doesn’t seem the type to skitter away to another European address. And there’s precedence within Barca’s quasi- one club set of his generation, as players like Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez have left for lesser leagues and Carles Puyol retired as a one-club man.

The 32-year-old Messi is having another sensational year and is one goal away from 700 for his career between Barcelona and Argentina.

Meunier to Dortmund
Bellingham to Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund have won the race to add one of the world’s premier free agents, according to Sky Sports Germany. They’ll also scoop up a sought-after British talent, too, says the BBC.

Thomas Meunier will leave Paris Saint-Germain for the club it knocked out of the Champions League, agreeing to a four-year deal with BVB.

Meunier had been linked with Tottenham amongst other destinations but has found favor with the Bundesliga runners-up.

The 28-year-old Belgian right back has been with PSG since 2016 when he came from Club Brugge. Meunier has been capped 40 times by Belgium, scoring seven goals.

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As for the young Belgian, the BBC says BVB has won the race to sign Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City.

Still 16 for one more week, Bellingham is said to cost approximately $25 million and has been chased by Manchester United and others for some time.

But it’s BVB’s track record with young players including fellow English youngster Jadon Sancho that may win the day with Bellingham.

The center midfielder has played 36 times for the Blues, scoring four times with three assists.

Transfer news: Cavani freed by Icardi signing, Saul teases new home

Saul to Manchester United
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Edinson Cavani is going to be one of the top targets in the free agent markets, as Paris Saint-Germain’s purchase of Mauro Icardi ushers the Uruguayan out of the Ligue 1 champions’ stable.

Icardi’s loan move to PSG from Inter Milan has been made permanent for big money, and the 33-year-old Cavani is set to bring his 259 goals somewhere else.

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Cavani scored 200 times in 300 matches with PSG after arriving from Napoli, scoring seven times despite being limited to just over 1000 minutes due to several injuries.

The target striker is free to negotiate with teams having nearly moved to Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window. Inter Miami has also been linked with Cavani, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic lowered the market and put an emphasis on free transfer targets.

Chelsea, Spurs, and Manchester United were (are?) also in a mix that is going to be very deep with suitors for Cavani, who has 50 goals in 116 caps for Uruguay.


Lille has received plenty of offers for young striker Victor Osimhen, but the club tells The Daily Mail that they’re expecting a fee close to what Arsenal paid them for Nicolas Pepe last season.

That was about $87 million, though Pepe had a better (not to mention full) season in 2018-19 than Osimhen’s strong 2019-20.

Pepe is about four years older than Osimhen and has 22 goals and 11 assists during his final Ligue 1 season. Osimhen, 21, has 13 and four in about 1100 fewer minutes and scored in the Champions League versus Chelsea and Valencia, so the comparison is closer than upon first look.

Here’s Lille owner Gerard Lopez:

“I am not being a sales guy because last year people didn’t believe that we had the offers we had with [Nicolas] Pepe and it turns out we had multiple of them. “Let me tell you with Osimhen, it is the same thing, whatever number you heard, the high number I have read is very much on the money of the offers that we have received. That’s where we are.”

Osimhen has been linked with Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, and a host of clubs outside the Premier League. He lit up the Belgian league with RSC Charleroi the previous season after failing to score in his teen years with Wolfbusgr.


Atletico Madrid star and reported Manchester United target Saul Niguez is teasing a new club for him, saying he’ll announce it in three days.

We cannot be sure it won’t end with some sort of new sponsored product, but the game-controlling center midfielder has featured in reports of a “practically done” transfer to United in recent weeks.

Saul, 25, has become an indispensable part of Diego Simeone’s midfield and was one of the steadiest parts of Atleti’s victory over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

He’s said to have an approximate $168 million release clause.

PSG’s Mbappe praises Klopp, Liverpool in recent interview

Kylian Mbappe Liverpool
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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.

Transfer rumor roundup: Meunier to Spurs, Newcastle linked with trio

transfer rumor roundup
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Soon-to-be free agent Thomas Meunier is being linked with a move to North London.

The sought-after Belgian defender, 28, has been with Paris Saint-Germain since a 2016 move from Club Brugge.

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Meunier has been linked to Manchester United and Everton since the start of 2019, but Spurs are said to be leading the race according to Le Parisien.

Also carrying 40 Belgian caps with seven goals, Meunier is a third-place finisher at the World Cup and has won three Ligue 1 crowns.

Separate reports have added Chelsea and Juventus to Meunier’s list of suitors, as transfer fee-free players could be all the rage this summer as teams monitor their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.


Newcastle United continues to be linked with nearly every player under the sun.

James Rodriguez is the latest, the Colombian star looking for a home away from Real Madrid.

James will cost around $34 million, and has also been linked with a bevy of clubs including MLS new boys Inter Miami CF.

And while Manchester United fans wait to see whether Shanghai Shenhua will allow Odion Ighalo to extend his loan, Newcastle is said to be open to meeting the Chinese Super League side’s $23 million asking price for a permanent deal.

Ighalo, who turns 31 in June, has fit the bill as a fill-in striker for the Red Devils, who had lost Marcus Rashford to injury. He has four goals in eight appearances for United after 46 goals in three seasons abroad.

The Magpies have a star goalkeeper in Martin Dubravka, but they are also being linked with a massive $56 million bid for Benfica star Odysseas Vlachodimos.

The 26-year-old Greek backstop has 16 clean sheets this season and six caps for his national team.