Rumour Has It: Mbappe to sign Madrid contract next week, Man City lock in Haaland deal

By Sports Desk March 12, 2022

Kylian Mbappe looks set to end one of the biggest transfer sagas of recent seasons by penning his deal with Real Madrid next week.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker will reportedly move to Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer at the end of the season.

It will mark the end of a lengthy pursuit by Los Blancos, despite the Ligue 1 club's efforts to keep their star man.

 

TOP STORY - MADRID CLOSING IN ON MBAPPE

Mbappe will confirm his future in a matter of days by putting pen to paper on a contract with Real Madrid, claims Marca.

The France international was pursued by Los Blancos last year, but instead remained with Paris Saint-Germain to see out the rest of his contract.

That expires at the end of this campaign, and despite PSG's resistance, the forward will confirm his future at Santiago Bernabeu with a free move before the month is up.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City have locked a deal in place for the capture of Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Daily Mail. City look to have beaten off several European rivals for the Leeds-born Norway international, and are now set to discuss personal terms.

- Scotland international Kieran Tierney is set to be the subject of a move from Madrid, claims 90min. The Arsenal star has helped form the bedrock of a Gunners revival this term and his performances have not gone under-the-radar when it comes to Los Blancos and their interest.

- Antonio Conte is willing to consider an extension at Tottenham, providing the club can show that they have "vision", says the Guardian. The Italian has endured a topsy-turvy tenure so far in north London, but remains one of the most respected coaches in the game.

- Crystal Palace star Conor Gallagher is unsure where his future lies following his success on loan at Selhurst Park this season, according to ESPN. The Chelsea man is with the Eagles on a year-long deal, and has picked up England honours during his tenure.

- Atletico Madrid are thinking about a move for Barcelona's Sergi Roberto. According to Fichajes, the midfielder is frustrated at his lack of consistent game-time and LaLiga's champions could swoop for him.

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  • Mbappe accepts Olympics omission but hopes France 'bring home the gold medal' Mbappe accepts Olympics omission but hopes France 'bring home the gold medal'

    Kylian Mbappe accepts he will play no part at the forthcoming Paris Olympics, but hopes France "bring home the gold medal" in his absence.

    The forward, who will join Real Madrid on June 30, was left out of Thierry Henry's provisional 25-man squad for the Games, which begins on July 24 - 10 days after the Euro 2024 final.

    Mbappe had reportedly hoped to feature as one of Les Bleus' three overage players allowed per team in the primarily under-23 event.

    However, Madrid ruled out the involvement of their players already featuring in the European Championship or Copa America.

    "My club's position was very clear, so from that moment on, I think I won't be taking part in the games," Mbappe told reporters ahead of France's Euro 2024 opener against Austria.

    "That's just the way it is, and I understand that too. I’m joining a new team in September, so it's not the best way to start an adventure.

    "Now, I think I'm going to wish this French team all the best. I'm going to watch every game. Of course, as a fan, things will change. I hope they'll bring home the gold medal."

    Mbappe's full attention is now on aiming to help France land a record-equalling third European Championship title in Germany.

    The 25-year-old, who missed training earlier this week, provided an update on his fitness.

    "I think the most important thing is not necessarily the physical, but the mental," he said. "How far I'm willing to go to win, that's the most important thing.

    "I'm ready to win, it's more of a mental issue. My head is perfect, now let's see how my legs are. The most important thing is to be connected and to be fully invested in the mission we have, which is to win the match."

  • Ukraine full of spirit heading into Euro 2024 campaign Ukraine full of spirit heading into Euro 2024 campaign

    Serhiy Rebrov believes his team will display "the spirit of Ukraine" in their Euro 2024 opener against Romania on Monday.

    Ukraine qualified for the tournament in Germany, with that success coming against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of the nation, which began in February 2022.

    Ukraine reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, eventually going down to England, and they could be a team to keep a close eye on.

    Coach Rebrov is confident his team will take plenty of spirit into the competition, telling reporters: "All the players, me personally, are getting lots of messages from our fighters, from our soldiers, from our friends who are now fighting for the freedom of Ukraine.

    "I am sure they are very proud of us, we are very proud of them. They are telling [us], when you are here 'show the spirit of Ukraine'. This tournament is really about the spirit of our country.

    "It is very good and very important for Ukraine to be in this forum.

    "Because all Ukrainians want to be a European nation. Of course now in our country, football is not in first place. There are lots of people dead, lots of kids dead. Now is a very difficult time for Ukraine."

    Rebrov is managing at his first major international tournament. The former Tottenham striker did not appear for his country at the Euros, but did play four games at the 2006 World Cup, scoring in a 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

    Defender Ilya Zabarnyi added: "For me it is a great honour to represent Ukraine. You know what times we are going through now. I feel incredible responsibility for my actions but I'm not worried about my game.

    "We understand where we are and what we need to do. It is football and we need to play with a cold head."

    Belgium and Slovakia are the other teams Ukraine are set to contend with in Group E.

    Ukraine have failed to score in six of their nine group stage games at the Euros, scoring exactly two goals in each of the other three – 2-1 wins over Sweden (2012) and North Macedonia (2020), and a 2-3 loss to Netherlands in 2020.

  • Slovenia 1-1 Denmark: Janza salvages share of the spoils in Group C opener Slovenia 1-1 Denmark: Janza salvages share of the spoils in Group C opener

    Erik Janza's strike saw Slovenia hit back against Denmark to secure a 1-1 draw in the opening Group C game at Euro 2024.

    Janza hammered home via a deflection in the 77th minute to restore parity, cancelling out Christian Eriksen's well-taken opener.

    Slovenia's equaliser came moments after Benjamin Sesko, who is reportedly catching the eye of some of Europe's biggest clubs, had struck the woodwork with a fierce long-range attempt.

    That was one of just two shots Sesko managed all game, with Denmark having largely managed to keep the striker under wraps.

    The Danes were fantastic all-round in the first half, with Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield and brilliantly putting them ahead when he latched onto Jonas Wind's deft touch in the 17th minute.

    Yet Slovenia's pressure finally told after a series of missed opportunities, with the sides sharing the spoils at Stuttgart Arena.

    Data Debrief: Eriksen takes a Euros record

    Eriksen is the third-oldest player to ever score for Denmark at a major tournament, and the oldest to do so at the Euros.

    The 32-year-old midfielder was involved in seven of Denmark's eight shots in the opening half, though could not wield the same influence after the break.

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