Rumour Has It: PSG eye Lewandowski as Mbappe replacement

By Sports Desk October 01, 2021

Paris Saint-Germain continue to plan for Kylian Mbappe's potential departure. 

The Ligue 1 giants have been linked with several possible replacements. 

Robert Lewandowski is the latest rumoured target.

 

TOP STORY – PSG EYE LEWANDOWSKI AS MBAPPE REPLACEMENT

With seemingly everyone expecting Kylian Mbappe to depart Paris Saint-Germain after the season, the club have been linked with several potential attacking options. 

Robert Lewandowski is the latest, with Le10Sport reporting the Bayern Munich and Poland striker could make a lucrative move to PSG. 

The 33-year-old is under contract with Bayern through 2023, though, and could end up agreeing to a new deal to remain in the Bundesliga. 

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid are set to take another run at Manchester United's Edinson Cavani during the January transfer window, says El Nacional. 

Andrea Pirlo and River Plate's Marcelo Gallardo are candidates to replace Ronald Koeman if he is sacked by Barcelona in the coming days, the Express reports. 

PSG are eyeing midfield help, with Inter's Nicolo Barella a possibility, according to Calciomercato, along with N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Franck Kessie.

Liverpool are interested in Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, according to Calciomercato. 

Timo Werner could look to leave Chelsea if he does not receive more playing time the rest of the season, says the Telegraph.

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    Pedri has been hailed as "the Iniesta, the Xavi" of the Spain team that will go after World Cup glory in Qatar.

    The praise came from former Liverpool and Newcastle United left-back Jose Enrique, a player who was crowded out of the Spain squad by the country's last golden generation.

    Jose Enrique's peak playing years coincided with Spain's most dominant period in international football, and although he does not consider Luis Enrique's squad quite at that same level, the likes of Barcelona youngster Pedri make him optimistic for the World Cup.

    Spain won Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and Euro 2012 in a sensational period of dominance. They have not won a major tournament since, but a burgeoning group of young talent is emerging once again, with 19-year-old midfielder Pedri among the most exciting talents in the world game.

    "To me, the player that has more projection in terms of image on that team is Pedri, he won't be out of the team," said Jose Enrique.

    "You also have Ferran Torres doing well for Barcelona and Pau [Torres], the central defender of Villarreal; I think he will be key for the team as well."

    Speaking to Stats Perform, Jose Enrique said Spain's final squad for the finals would be "difficult to predict" due to head coach Luis Enrique often filtering players in and out of his squad.

    "But to choose one who will make the difference 100 per cent, and that already did in the past, it is Pedri," Jose Enrique said.

    "For me, he is the star of the national team, the Iniesta, the Xavi. Back in that day it was different because there were many and that is why Spain won everything. But if you mention Spain now, the first player that comes to my mind is Pedri."

    Pedri endured an injury-disrupted 2021-22 season with Barcelona, scoring five goals and having one assist in 22 games across all competitions. Only five Barcelona players created more chances than the 31 he carved out.

    In the previous season, he played a team-high 52 matches, going on to win Tuttosport's prized Golden Boy award as Europe's top young talent. He will be expected to continue to grow into his responsible role in coach Xavi's Barcelona team in the new season.

    Barcelona greats Xavi and Iniesta were at the heart of Spain's indomitable midfield for their three successive big tournament triumphs.

    Jose Enrique was starring in the Premier League at the time but got no further than the Spain Under-21 team, such was the strength throughout the national squad.

    He says the current group of players and the pool that brought glory to Spain during a dazzling four-year period cannot be compared, but stressed that does not mean the new breed cannot be successful.

    A run to the Euro 2020 semi-finals was a step in the right direction for Spain, after a run of disappointing big-stage performances, fuelling Jose Enrique's belief they will be a threat when Qatar hosts in November and December.

    Spain must navigate a challenging group that will see them face Germany, Japan and Costa Rica.

    "Spain will always be one of the favourites because I believe that Spain always is," Jose Enrique said. "But to win a World Cup isn't easy and Spain did it: Euro-World Cup-Euro when they had a brutal selection of players, and now it is completely different.

    "It has a magnificent coach and a squad that changes depending on the players' performances and I love this about Luis Enrique, but it is true that we cannot compare.

    "We now have a young squad with few veterans, and they could win the World Cup because anything can happen in football. England had a very young squad and made it to the [2018 World Cup] semi-finals.

    "Youngsters have more support than before and Spain can be a surprise because Luis Enrique knows very well how to play. He has young players but full of desire and hunger. The most important thing for me is to start well. If they do, they are capable to win against any team, and why not Germany."

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    Barcelona have given themselves a major financial boost that should see their salary cap increase significantly after selling 10 per cent of their LaLiga TV rights for the next 25 years to an investment firm.

    Last week, club president Joan Laporta promised to activate the "levers" that would ease Barcelona's financial concerns, and Thursday's announcement is the first such step.

    The deal sees Barcelona generate capital gains totalling €267million, with Sixth Street Partners making an initial investment of €207.5million.

    The investment group will subsequently receive 10 per cent of Barca's domestic TV rights revenue until 2047.

    Barca's need for a financial injection was urgent due to their financial year ending on June 30 – their accounts at the end of Thursday would have impacted the salary cap for the upcoming season.

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    That was ultimately the reason they could not sign Lionel Messi to a new contract, but the capital injection on Thursday will allow Barca to end this financial year with a profit, thus ensuring a salary cap increase that should be significant.

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    "Sixth Street is a proven supporter of football, an experienced investor across global sports and media, and a partner that will contribute significant knowledge and resources while allowing us to independently manage our operations."

    Barca are still yet to confirm the arrivals on free transfers of Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, who have been strongly tipped to join.

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    Thursday's news should allow the club greater room for manoeuvre in the transfer market.

  • Juventus give up on Morata as striker returns to Atletico Madrid Juventus give up on Morata as striker returns to Atletico Madrid

    Alvaro Morata has returned to Atletico Madrid after Juventus failed to strike a deal that would keep the Spaniard in Turin.

    Juve signed a loan agreement with Atletico back in September 2020, but the finances of the deal always looked to be on the expensive side.

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    As part of a farewell note on their website, Juventus said: "Alvaro Morata's adventure at Juventus has come to an end.

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    The Uruguayan did not have his contract renewed and is expected to join River Plate in Argentina.

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