Daily Archives: August 28, 2017

Marco Asensio rescues Real Madrid with brace against Valencia

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Real Madrid youngster Marco Asensio rescued the defending Spanish Champions at home by striking a stunning brace to draw 2-2 against Valencia in La Liga.

Asensio delighted the Santiago Bernabeu with a long- range opening strike from 20 yards but Valencia scored two impressive team goals either side of the interval, first through homegrown youngster Carlos Soler and the debutant Geoffrey Kondogbia.

But although Marcelino’s side led with 13 minutes to go, Asensio rescued a point for Real with a superb free-kick in the 83rd minute.

Karim Benzema — who missed a host of simple chances throughout the game — could have earned Real a win but had his header turned onto the post by a brilliant save by Neto.

Real had been forced to play Casemiro out of position — at central defence — due to the absence of team captain Sergio Ramos through suspension and injuries to Raphael Varane and Jesus Vallejo.

The result meant that both Real and Valencia would miss the chance to join FC Barcelona on top of La Liga at six points, as Lionel Messi won a 2-0 result over Alaves with a brace, despite a missed penalty.

Messi, who did not score last week against Betis, was denied his 350th goal for Barca after his was saved by Fernando Pacheco in the 41st minute after Gerard Pique was fouled.

However, the Argentinian needed only to wait 10 minutes after the break for the chance to score his landmark goal — a scrappy effort in the 55th minute that took a heavy deflection off the Alaves defender Alexis Ruano, before showing his class with a firm shot into the bottom corner to seal the win.

Kylian Mbappe to join PSG on loan with option to buy for €155m

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Paris Saint Germain have reached an agreement in principle with Ligue 1 rivals Monaco to loan striker Kylian Mbappe, an agreement which includes a €155m purchase option.

PSG had been negotiating with Monaco and UEFA over the past week as all parties try to reach a deal that would not contravene financial fair play rules after they signed Neymar from Barcelona for €222m (£198m) earlier this summer, with a deal concluded on Sunday night with green light from UEFA.

The agreement would see Mbappe joining on an initial loan deal with a purchase clause for the young Frenchman, a clause that could is not attached with any obligation to be fulfilled by next summer.

There is, however, a significant loan fee that PSG has to pay for Mbappe, who had produced a brilliant show consistently for Monaco both in the Champions League and in Ligue 1, as the teenager prepares for his medical in the French Capital later today.

On the other hand, it would mean that Monaco’s roster is once again being thinned after members of their Ligue 1 winning squad in Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy all joined Premier League clubs.

UEFA had been clear that its Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules do function and the president, Aleksander Ceferin, said on Friday that it would punish clubs “severely” if they do not comply with the rules.

“I am very serious,” he said last Friday. “We will try to help [the clubs understand the rules]. We will try to advise them on FFP. But if they don’t comply we will punish and we will punish severely.”

“I am not talking about [just] PSG. I am talking about every club in Europe. We are monitoring the situation, the transfer window is not closed yet. Trust me, we’re working on it.”

FFP was introduced by UEFA seven years ago to stop clubs involved in European competition from spending more than they earn, with the core principle that beyond a small loss currently set at €5m over three years, clubs’ outgoings must match their incomings.

Barca signs Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for initial €105m

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FC Barcelona has completed the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for an initial €105m.

The deal, which has a potential of inflating by €42m in add-ons, makes the 20-year-old the second most expensive player in history behind Barca’s former Brazilian forward Neymar.

The striker has agreed to a five-year contract with the Catalan club, with a pending medical checkup to be completed later today before being presented to fans at the Camp Nou.

He will be wearing the No11 shirt vacated by Neymar, whose shock exit to Paris Saint-Germain still echoes within Barca and left a void up front for the Spanish giants.

In addition to suing the Brazilian forward, Barca hierarchy made three failed attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho at the same time as trying to prise Dembele away from Dortmund, although Premier League club Liverpool has refused to let the former go.

On the other hand, Dortmund agreed to Dembele’s transfer after Barca agreed to comply with their asking price, with the Bundesliga giants set to make a huge profit on a player they signed from Rennes for £13.5m only a year ago.

French club Rennes, the club which Dembele played for before joining Dortmund, are also entitled to around “€30m-€40m” owing to a sell-on clause agreed when Dembele joined the Bundesliga side.

Dembele’s departure meant that a place in the Dortmund squad may be filled with the similarly talented Christian Pulisic, while the club itself is also likely to add to their ranks before the end of the transfer window with Lyon’s Brazilian Malcolm among their top targets.