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Transfer rumor roundup: PSG launches Kante pursuit and more

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Another World Cup off day has the transfer world buzzing with news of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending move to Juventus, but a number of other noteworthy names are being discussed as well.

Pro Soccer Talk takes a look at Thursday’s top transfer stories, including Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain targeting one of the world’s best holding midfielders.


The Parisians are determined to bring Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante to the French capital next season, but it will come with a massive price tag.

Goal is reporting that PSG could have to pay upwards of $132 million for the France international, who is currently in the midst of a fantastic tournament with Les Bleus at the World Cup.

A potential Kante move to the Parc des Princes could be eased financially by PSG throwing in Adrian Rabiot, however, it remains to be seen how the Parisians will be able to finance any major deals this summer given UEFA’s Financial Fair Play laws and an ongoing investigation involving the club.

PSG already has to spend a significant sum for on-loan attacker Kylian Mbappe, who is still owned by Monaco, unless FFP doesn’t allow the move this summer.


World Cups always have winners and losers, and France’s Benjamin Pavard could be one of the tournament’s biggest victors no matter the outcome for Les Bleus.

After scoring one of the goals of the competition against Argentina in the Round of 16, Pavard is reportedly on track to complete a massive move to Bayern Munich this summer.

Kicker suggests that Bayern will be able to beat out Arsenal and Manchester United for the Stuttgart defender’s services following the World Cup.

The deal likely wouldn’t be completed until 2019 though, despite Bayern currently boasting one of the world’s top right backs in Joshua Kimmich.


Willian has drawn interest from several major clubs, including Manchester United — where former Blues manager Jose Mourinho resides — but the Brazilian has his own destination in mind.

The Chelsea winger has his eyes set on Barcelona, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that the Blaugrana would likely have to pay in the realm of $93 million for the Brazil international.

Barca isn’t believed to be keen on that steep of a price tag, though, and would only pursue Willian if the transfer fee is lowered significantly.

Real Madrid denies offer to sign Mbappe from PSG

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MADRID (AP) Real Madrid has denied reaching an agreement to sign France forward Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain.

The Spanish club released a statement Wednesday calling reports of an agreement between Madrid and PSG “completely false.”

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Madrid says it “has not made any offer to PSG or the player and condemns the spreading of this type of information that has not been proven by the parties concerned.”

The denial comes two days after Madrid dismissed a report that it had offered to buy Neymar from PSG for a world record transfer of 310 million euros ($360 million).

It said the report by Spanish public broadcaster TVE was “absolutely untrue.”

PSG is under pressure from UEFA to raise cash from selling players. The French club needs to comply with “Financial Fair Play” rules which monitor overspending on transfers and wages.

PSG spent a record 222 million euros ($260 million) last year to buy Neymar from Barcelona.

UEFA warned the French champions three weeks ago they will “remain under close scrutiny” when they submit accounts for the financial year, which ended last Saturday.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo hinted after the Champions League final that he may leave the Spanish club. He has not talked about his club future since joining Portugal for the World Cup.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Transfer rumor roundup: Kovacic to London, Rabiot to Manchester

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Newcastle United, Fulham, and West Ham United have reportedly made offers for Nice striker Alassane Plea.

Nice reportedly wants $36 million for the 25-year-old, who is coming off a career-best 16 goals in league play and added four more in Europe.

[ MORE: Real denies Neymar offer ]

The Chronicle says Newcastle’s offer was below the asking price, while Sky Sports says West Ham met the fee with its bid.

Plea and Mario Balotelli missed the first day of training under new Nice manager Patrick Vieira, but…

Tutto Mercato says West Ham United has made an offer for Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who wants to leave the Spanish superpowers.

The 24-year-old has logged 151 minutes at the World Cup, grabbing an assist, and made 36 appearances with three assists for Real this season.

Going back to Newcastle, the Magpies have also been linked with a trio of players, two of whom have worn the black and white stripes in their careers.

Rafa Benitez reportedly wants to bring Andros Townsend back to St. James’ Park from Crystal Palace in addition to bringing last season’s on loan star, Kenedy, to Newcastle on a full-time basis.

He also apparently wants West Brom’s Venezuelan big man, Salomon Rondon, to feast off the playmaking skills of the aforementioned wide men.

A report out of France says Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot is considering his future with the Parisian outfit.

His mother, 23, represents him and has met with Barcelona, Juventus, and both big Manchester clubs: United and City.

Still, the report says that Rabiot wants to play a big role for new boss Thomas Tuchel at PSG. Stay tuned.

Real Madrid denies report it made an offer for Neymar

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Next time, just ask.

The words are a little stronger from Real Madrid, but the UEFA Champions League winners are denying that they’ve made an offer to buy Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

[ MORE: Belgium comeback stuns Japan ]

The report came from a Spanish public television statement, and Florentino Perez’s club was quick to shoot it down.

Real has been linked with a Neymar move since it emerged that Paris Saint-Germain may need to sell prime assets in order to avoid a European ban.

Now, would Real have interest in Neymar? Almost certainly, and a move to the Bernabeu after spending so much time with Barcelona would add even more spice to one of the best rivalries in the world.

Midfielder Javier Pastore joins Roma from PSG

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ROME (AP) Roma has signed attacking Argentine midfielder Javier Pastore from Paris Saint-Germain.

The Serie A club says on Tuesday it paid PSG 24.5 million euros ($28.6 million) for the 29-year-old Pastore, who has signed a five-year contract.

[ MORE: Rojo, Messi react to win ]

It is a return to Italy for Pastore, who spent two years at Palermo before joining PSG in 2011.

Roma sporting director Monchi says: “In my career as a sporting director I have signed a lot of players, but Javier might just be the one with the most talent.”

It is Roma’s third signing of the day after deals for Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo.

The duo joined from Inter Milan for a combined total of 14 million euros ($16.3 million) with Radja Nainggolan moving the other way in a deal which values the Belgium international at 38 million euros ($44.3 million).

Nainggolan has signed a four-year contract at Inter, where he will reunite with former Roma coach Luciano Spalletti.