Monthly Archives: June 2017

Arsenal’s €35m bid for Thomas Lemar rejected by Monaco

Published by:

Arsenal’s €35m bid for Thomas Lemar has reportedly been rejected by Ligue 1 champions Monaco.

The French club was insistent that the French international was not for sale despite indications that Lemar, 21, is keen to work under Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal. He moved to Monaco from Caen in 2015 and is under contract until 2020, although the club is said to be happy to grant him new and improved terms.

The Monaco vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, who is fighting to keep a clutch of his stars, has told Arsenal they cannot have Lemar and that the stance is non-negotiable, but whether the London club accept that remains to be seen.

Lemar’s move holds a certain amount of importance for the Gunners as the club struggles to retain their star player, Alexis Sanchez, who is wanted by Manchester City among other clubs, and he has targeted Lemar as one possible solution.

Like Sanchez, Lemar enjoys playing on the left flank – the position Sanchez has occupied regularly, and had shown great form last season when he helped Monaco to win the Ligue 1 title and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

On the other hand, this was also not the first case in this summer transfer window whereby a bid from Wenger and Arsenal was rejected. Although the Frenchman was able to left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke, he also saw a £44m bid for the Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette rejected.

Another target of the club, Ryan Sessegnon, will be remaining at Championship club Fulham as his team makes a push for promotion next season. The 17-year-old also feels that he owes a debt to Fulham, where he has progressed through the academy, and he will stay with them for the forthcoming season, at least.

FC Barcelona contacts Inter midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia

Published by:

FC Barcelona will look to sign Geoffrey Kondogbia from Serie A club Internazionale should they fail in their attempts to secure either Marco Verratti or Paulinho.

Kondogbia is thought to be happy at Inter but Barca could still make a follow up approach even as they are forced to adjust their transfer ambitions during Lionel Messi’s contract renewal talks.

Nonetheless, the La Liga runners-up has inquired if Kondogbia would be interested but remain a long way from making a move for the former Monaco star, as they are currently in the midst of making a bid for Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, PSG are desperate not to sell Verratti at any cost to a Champions League rival and it remains to be seen if the club could convince the Italian midfielder that they remain ambitious with heavy investment in the transfer market.

As way of alternative, Barcelona are also looking at Guangzhou Evergrande’s Paulinho and they have already begun talks for the former Tottenham man alongside those for Verratti.

However, Paulinho has a release clause that was worth £35 million which Barca are unwilling to pay.

Additionally, Guangzhou’s manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is reportedly not keen on selling his midfielder after new rules were set in place, making foreign imports increasingly difficult in the Chinese Super League with a 100% tax imposition.

Cristiano Ronaldo unveils twins after Confederations Cup campaign

Published by:

Cristiano Ronaldo has announced the birth of twins hours after he captained Portugal through a semi-final defeat by Chile on penalties in the Confederations Cup in Russia.

The Real Madrid star wrote on Facebook: “I’m very happy, finally, to be with my children for the first time.”

He began his message declaring that he been at the service of the national team “body and soul” despite the birth of the twins, adding: “Unfortunately we couldn’t achieve our main sporting aim”

The semi-final in Kazan ended in a 0-0 draw and Chile went through as Claudio Bravo saved three penalties from Ronaldo’s teammates.

Portuguese media have reported for days that the footballer’s twins had been born to a surrogate mother in the US, but it was only after the national team were knocked out on penalties by Chile that Ronaldo confirmed the birth of his children.

Little information has been revealed regarding the twins, but unconfirmed reports in Portugal said they were born on 8 June, well before the start of the Confederations Cup.

The SIC TV channel added that the boy and girl had been named Eva and Mateo.

In a statement by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), the organization said it had been informed by Ronaldo before the Confederations Cup that he had become a father again, and yet had decided to travel to Russia with the team.

The FPF described his decision as a “gesture that we must highlight and praise”.

Ronaldo already has a son, Cristiano Ronaldo junior, who was born in June 2010.

Perez: Real interested in Mbappe but can’t guarantee first-team spot

Published by:

Real Madrid president has confirmed that the La Liga giants are interest in teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, but admits that it could be difficult for the Monaco forward to secure a first-team spot due to his age.

Mbappe, 18, has attracted the interest of top clubs across Europe after a sensational season with Ligue 1 champions Monaco, including that of Real Madrid and their manager Zinedine Zidane. While he is yet to score for France, he bagged 26 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions for Monaco last season, including Champions League goals against Borussia Dortmund and Juventus.

Reports in Spain claimed that the double winners could allow one of their famous trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo to leave in order to make room for Mbappe.

Monaco’s own Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain have made an offer of more than €135 million for Mbappe, while Perez confirmed Madrid are following him last week and said he will “become one of the greatest”, but added that it would not be easy for the youngster.

“Mbappe is a very good player,” he told esRadio. “This situation reminds me of last year when they told us to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus, (but) the summer is long. Zidane has been close to him for several years.”

“Not many players play for Real Madrid at 18 years old. We must be patient. Zidane has him in mind. It’s not enough to say we can bring players in and then have them sitting on the bench. We are thinking about Mbappe, but his age makes it difficult to find a place.”

Cristiano Ronaldo.

Perez also acknowledged that Real star Cristiano Ronaldo was unsettled due to tax issues, but insist that the Portuguese captain would not leave this summer, and backed him to resolve the accusations made against him.

“I know Cristiano is angry, but I think he will stay,” Perez said. “I have spoken with (Jorge) Mendes about him. No need to worry more than [is needed].”

“He is a man of integrity and has fulfilled with his duties,” Perez said. “There are many people who have wanted to hurt him with taxes and other topics and he feels it.”