Kylian Mbappe has become a "real killer" in front of goal as Abdou Diallo hailed the Paris Saint-Germain's development.

Mbappe has flourished at PSG since arriving from Monaco, helping the French giants to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles.

The 20-year-old World Cup winner scored a league-high 33 goals last season, and 39 across all competitions.

Diallo – who left Borussia Dortmund for PSG in the off-season – knows Mbappe from the pair's time together at Monaco and the centre-back told reporters: "He grew up, he gained a bit of weight.

"But he is the same. Of course, he is more mature. Now, we can talk about more things with him.

"When I was in Monaco, he was very, very young. But he is still the same.

"In the game, he is becoming a real killer. He didn't have those qualities when he left Monaco, even if he scored many goals for Monaco. Now, he is very accurate."

Mbappe scored as PSG opened their Ligue 1 title defence with a 3-0 win at home to Nimes last week.

PSG are away to Rennes on Sunday amid uncertainty over the future of Neymar, who continues to be linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Neymar will not take part in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 meeting with Rennes on Sunday, but Thomas Tuchel still has hope of keeping the Brazil star at the club.

Doubt remains over Neymar's future at PSG, with Barcelona and Real Madrid having reportedly had bids rejected for the wantaway forward.

Neymar has been returning to full fitness from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America, but he was included in Tite's Brazil squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru, while PSG sporting director Leonardo has claimed the problem has "completely healed."

Neymar was left out of PSG's opening fixture against Nimes, and the 27-year-old will again be absent when the champions travel to Rennes, although head coach Tuchel insists there has been no change in the situation regarding a possible transfer.

"He started the training session with us, but finished individually," Tuchel told a news conference. "It's a little too early [for him] to start in a match, especially at Rennes' home.

"He is my player and when I think of a strong team, it includes him. If there is no solution for him, he will stay with us.

"For now, nothing has changed. Neymar has three years left on his contract.

"He is sensitive, so I will always protect him. He needs to train with us and raise his intensity.

"I want to see him play at his best level for 90 minutes, with aggression and lots of dribbling."

While Neymar will not feature against Rennes, Idrissa Gueye is set to travel, though Tuchel suggested the former Everton midfielder would not be fit to start.

"Integration is easy with Idrissa: he can talk with everyone, he is very polite, humble," said Tuchel, who will also be without Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer and Layvin Kurzawa.

"He has to adapt to our style of play, to our principles. It's a little early for him, but he's going to make the trip with us.

"He's a player who can play at [number] six or eight but, for me, he's better at six. That's what we expect from him."

The Premier League window may have already closed, but Manchester United and Manchester City are still in the headlines.

After going head-to-head for Harry Maguire, the two Manchester clubs are reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

This rumour will not go away anytime soon.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY BATTLING FOR SANCHO

According to the Daily Mail, Sancho will leave Dortmund at the end of the season as rivals United and City do battle for the England international.

Sancho was reportedly on United's list of targets during the off-season, but Dortmund were unwilling to sell their 19-year-old star.

The English talent has flourished since joining Dortmund from Premier League champions City in 2017, and the Daily Mail claims the Bundesliga club are already looking for replacements.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Inter are considering a move for Man United's Alexis Sanchez after missing out on Edin Dzeko, reports Gianlucadimarzio.com. Bosnian striker Dzeko signed a new contract with Roma and Inter are now looking for alternatives, including Sanchez, free agent Fernando Llorente, Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic and Arkadiusz Milik, who could be used in a swap involving Mauro Icardi.

- According to le10sport, Ajax, AC Milan and Lille are among the clubs interested in Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. The 19-year-old arrived from Toulouse in January.

- Brescia have offered former Juventus and Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio a two-year deal, reports Sky Sport Italia and other outlets in the country. Marchisio is a free agent after leaving Zenit and the 33-year-old could be joined at Brescia by Mario Balotelli.

- Sport claims Barcelona are prepared to sell midfielder Arturo Vidal for €20million as the Chile international continues to be linked to Inter and a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli and Juve are the only options for Inter outcast Icardi following Dzeko's Roma renewal.

- James Rodriguez may not leave Real Madrid following an injury to Eden Hazard, according to reports. James had been tipped to join either Napoli or Atletico Madrid, but the Colombia star is in Madrid's squad for their LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Who is the best passer of a ball in European football? Lionel Messi? Luka Modric? Kevin De Bruyne?

Few would put Jason Denayer anywhere near that company, but the Lyon defender broke a passing record for Europe's top-five leagues on Friday.

The Belgium centre-back completed all 114 of his attempted passes against Angers as Sylvinho's side ran out 6-0 winners at Groupama Stadium.

Since Opta began recording such data in 2006-07, no player has ever completed so many passes without giving the ball away in a single game.

Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay both scored twice as Lyon eased to victory, with Houssem Aouar recording a pair of assists and a goal of his own.

Lyon's huge win moved them top of the Ligue 1 table after they followed up a 3-0 defeat of Monaco on the opening weekend.

Manchester United were made to wait but they got their man in Harry Maguire, who left Leicester City in an £80million deal.

The focus on the huge fee was then eased by the defender's excellent debut in a 4-0 win over Chelsea.

And United fans will be even more delighted to read reports Maguire turned down their city rivals and a massive contract offer in order to head to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – CITY OFFERED MAGUIRE CONTRACT WORTH £70M

The Premier League transfer window has closed but the talk does not stop.

According to the Daily Star, England defender Maguire was offered £278,000 per week by City – worth £70m over five years – but opted instead to sign for United.

The deal would have made the former Leicester man the best paid defender in world football, whereas his contract at Old Trafford is said to be worth almost £100,000 less per week.

Maguire reportedly rejected the deal because he had already decided to join United – news that will only further endear him to Red Devils supporters.

ROUND-UP 

- United may not have needed to match City's Maguire offer, but the Daily Mail report Alexis Sanchez is on £560,000 per week, having opted for the red half of Manchester. These wages explain just why United have not been able to get rid of the Chilean in this transfer window. Neither Juventus, Inter nor Napoli can afford Sanchez.

- Meanwhile, details continue to emerge from Barcelona's meeting with Paris Saint-Germain regarding Neymar. According to Le Parisien, Arturo Vidal formed part of the Blaugrana's offer - but PSG were not impressed by a package including the former Bayern Munich man, Philippe Coutinho and less than €60m.

 

- While some of Europe's top clubs could yet make late moves, it appears Nice will be one of the busier outfits. L'Equipe believe they are looking to bring in both Jean-Kevin Augustin from RB Leipzig and Adam Ounas from Napoli. The former would cost €20m, while the latter deal would be a loan with an option for the same amount.

Mario Balotelli will not be moving to Brazil with Flamengo after the Rio de Janeiro club confirmed the end of negotiations.

Balotelli is a free agent following the expiry of a short-term deal with Marseille last season, during which he netted an impressive eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 matches.

The former Inter and Manchester City star is now considering his options for the new season and a move to Flamengo was mooted.

However, the Brazilian outfit said on Thursday in a short statement that negotiations had concluded without a positive outcome, with a return to Italy with Brescia now reportedly an option.

Flamengo's statement read: "Flamengo, athlete Mario Balotelli and their representatives decide, by mutual agreement and after two days of cordial meetings in Monaco, to close on this date negotiations involving the possible hiring of the athlete."

Having started his top-flight career at Inter before a big-money move to City, Balotelli has bounced around Europe, turning out for AC Milan, Liverpool, Nice and, most recently, Marseille.

A three-year deal with newly-promoted Serie A side Brescia is reported to have been proposed to the striker.

Neymar has not been removed from the Paris Saint-Germain squad and is "completely healed", according to the club's sporting director Leonardo.

The Brazil international, who missed the Copa America due to injury, was absent for last week's Ligue 1 opener against Nimes, during which some supporters protested against the forward.

Neymar reported late for pre-season training and Leonardo has previously confirmed the 27-year-old wants to leave Paris, two years after he joined from Barcelona for a world-record €222million.

A return to Camp Nou has been mooted for Neymar, although Barca coach Ernesto Valverde was unwilling to discuss the prospect at a news conference on Thursday.

And Leonardo has denied reports Neymar remains injured and has been left out of Thomas Tuchel's group as a result.

"Things are simple," Leonardo said to RMC Sport.

"Neymar was monitored by several great doctors and surgeons early in the season and his fracture line is fully consolidated at the fifth metatarsal. Neymar's injury is completely healed.

"It's false. He is not removed from the group. He follows his personalised rehabilitation programme."

Neymar's future remains unresolved, though, with Barca and Real Madrid having reportedly failed with offers, and Leonardo has suggested the attacker may miss Sunday's trip to Rennes.

"He is a player of Paris Saint-Germain, there is still three years of his contract in Paris, we must not forget," Leonardo added.

"We must analyse everything, we must fix everything before he can play again.

"Neymar made mistakes. You know, I didn't know him. As the days go by, I get to know him.

"And I honestly think he's a good boy with a very good background. And on the pitch, he's an amazing player.

"There are discussions for his future, as you know it today, but nothing advanced."

Ernesto Valverde has refused to speak about the possibility of Barcelona bringing back Neymar, who is unsettled at Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the French club will listen to offers for the Brazil international, who left Barca in a world-record €222million deal two years ago.

Neymar is reported to favour a switch to Camp Nou, where Lionel Messi is said to be pushing for his return, but LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also rumoured to be interested in the 27-year-old.

Reports have claimed Barca and Madrid have both had offers rejected by PSG, whose fans displayed banners criticising Neymar during their first Ligue 1 game of the season, against Nimes last Sunday.

But Valverde, who has led Barca to the LaLiga title in each of his two seasons in charge, is unwilling to allow the ongoing saga to act as a distraction ahead of the new campaign.

"I'm outside all these matters and focusing on coaching the team, I have enough to think about ahead of the game without thinking about players from other teams," Valverde told reporters on Thursday. 

"We need to respect players that play for other clubs, he belongs to Paris Saint-Germain right now so no, I have nothing to comment on right now.

"I have a squad to consider and I think about them for tomorrow, what happens after that is a problem for the future.

"I'm very happy with the squad and I have no reason to talk about players in other teams.

"I'm the coach, my job is to adapt to the players I've got. At a club like this there are always mixed opinions."

It has been suggested Barca have offered Ivan Rakitic as a makeweight in a potential deal, but Valverde hopes the Croatia midfielder remains in Spain.

"He's a very important player for us, he has been for my two years here," he added. "I hope he will continue doing so."

Despite Barcelona's season getting under way at Athletic Bilbao on Friday, LaLiga's transfer window remains open. Valverde admits he would rather be sure of his squad ahead of the big kick-off.

"Yes it [the transfer window] is a problem, it's not logical," he said. "We had a similar situation last season, you want to know your squad when you start the league.

"It's not a sensible situation that the market is still open when the league is starting. The team that starts the league might not finish it and we have 15 days of uncertainty ahead.

"But anyway, I have to concentrate on the squad I have. It would be nice if it was definitive, but I don't know yet."

Neymar would be a threat to Barcelona's squad harmony if he returned to the club from Paris Saint-Germain, according to Blaugrana great Hristo Stoichkov.

Brazil star Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222million move in 2017, as the Ligue 1 side paid the forward's release clause.

Neymar's split from Barca was ugly – the club criticising PSG's conduct and disputing the player's loyalty bonus.

But, according to media reports, that has not stopped Neymar and Barca working behind the scenes in recent weeks in order to facilitate a move.

Neymar's position at PSG looks untenable after the club's ultras sang offensive chants about him during their Ligue 1 opener, while Barca are said to have offered multiple players and a transfer fee to secure his return.

But Stoichkov, who spent seven years at Barca across two spells, is adamant Neymar is more trouble than he is worth.

"He would be a bomb inside the locker room," Stoichkov told Univision. "Barcelona don't need Neymar. He would have no space to play because they already have very important players.

"There are [Ousmane] Dembele, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Luis] Suarez, [Lionel] Messi. Where would he play? For my part, I don't want him to come back.

"I'm sure there are players who want to come back and ask the president for his effort, but Barca isn't going to move a single Euro to get him back. Barca doesn't have the money to pay PSG.

"There are [swap] options, but the players Barca is offering to PSG is disrespectful [to the players]. Firstly, because Ivan Rakitic is a great worker, a very humble lad who has never let his guard down and has always defenders the interests of Barcelona.

"And [Philippe] Coutinho cost a lot of money, but he has a lot of ability and I defend him, and hopefully no Barca player leaves."

If Real Madrid want to sign Neymar, they may have to part with one of their young stars.

Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain and a return to Barcelona has been mooted for the world's most expensive footballer.

Madrid, however, are also eyeing Neymar but PSG have identified one Los Blancos Brazilian to replace their wantaway star.

 

TOP STORY – PSG ASK FOR VINICIUS AS PART OF NEYMAR DEAL

According to Spanish media, Paris Saint-Germain have asked for Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior to be included in any deal to send Neymar to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Neymar has been linked to former club Barcelona and fellow LaLiga giants Madrid as he looks to leave Paris.

PSG and Barca are yet to strike a deal, though talks are ongoing. In the meantime, sporting director Leonardo requested Brazilian youngster Vinicius in a potential deal with Madrid but it was swiftly rejected by Los Blancos, reports AS.

Marca, meanwhile, says PSG are keen for Vinicius and Luka Modric to be involved.

 

ROUND-UP 

- New signing Luka Jovic will not be leaving Real Madrid on loan, Bild says. Reports emerged on Wednesday that Jovic had failed to impress Zinedine Zidane following his €60million arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt. However, the Serbia forward is not set for a short-term move away.

- Inter want €80million for former captain and outcast Mauro Icardi, according to Tuttosport. Icardi has been deemed surplus to requirements at Inter following Romelu Lukaku's club-record arrival and the Argentina striker reportedly wants to join Juventus, while Roma and Napoli are believed to be interested.

- According to the Daily Mail, Alexis Sanchez is ready to quit Manchester United amid interest from Serie A. Having struggled to make an impact since his big-money arrival from Arsenal, Sanchez has been linked to AC Milan, Napoli, Juventus and Napoli.

- Staying at Old Trafford and the Mirror claims Victor Lindelof is set for a massive new Manchester United deal. Linked to Barcelona during the off-season, Lindelof is reportedly in line for a three-year extension. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail says United scouts passed on signing Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

- The Washington Post claims Mesut Ozil's agent was in Washington to meet with DC United on Wednesday. The MLS side have identified the Arsenal playmaker as a replacement for Wayne Rooney, who has agreed to join Derby County as a player-coach in January.

- AC Milan will resist offers for Suso and Franck Kessie as they want to keep the pair, reports Sky Sport Italia. Suso has been linked to Lyon, Sevilla and Roma, while Kessie rejected a move to Wolves.

Neymar leaving Paris Saint-Germain would not be good for Ligue 1, Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas believes.

PSG star Neymar has been linked to former club Barcelona and Real Madrid before the LaLiga transfer window shuts on September 2.

Neymar reportedly wants to return to Barca after his world-record €222million exit in 2017, while Madrid are also an option.

Asked about Brazil international forward Neymar, Villas-Boas said: "This type of player has an important image in football, a bit like when Ronaldinho was here in Paris.

"There's this attractiveness, the football world wants to watch these kinds of players. I don't know what's going to happen, I can't comment on the separation because I'm not the PSG coach.

"He is an important player in the world of football. For me, it was the player who could succeed [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi for the Ballon d'Or. But he did not recover all the qualities he had shown in Barcelona.

"For Ligue 1, it's not good if he leaves. But we have other good players and clubs like OM, with an international reputation, who will always make Ligue 1 attractive."

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.

In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for PSG – who opened their title defence with a 3-0 win over Nimes in the absence of the 27-year-old.

Lyon have completed the signing of Jeff Reine-Adelaide from Angers for an initial fee of €25million.

The 21-year-old signed a five-year contract after passing a medical on Wednesday.

Angers could be due a further €2.5m in incentives and will receive 15 per cent of any capital gain from a future transfer.

"Olympique Lyonnais welcomes Jeff Reine-Adelaide, considered one of the big hopes of the future in his position," the Ligue 1 club said.

The France Under-21 international joined Angers on a permanent deal last year after impressing in a loan spell away from Arsenal.

The Gunners are said to have had the opportunity to hijack the transfer to Lyon by submitting an equivalent bid.

He made 35 Ligue 1 appearances last season and scored last Saturday in the 3-1 opening-day win over Bordeaux.

Cardiff City are "concerned" by the results of the latest report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) into the death of footballer Emiliano Sala.

The striker, along with pilot David Ibbotson, went missing when their plane crashed over the English Channel in January, days after his move to the Premier League club from Nantes was announced.

Sala's body was later recovered from the wreckage, but Ibbotson has not been found.

A report from the AAIB released on Wednesday said Ibbotson was "likely" to have been exposed to carbon monoxide before the crash, while toxicology tests on Sala showed clear signs of exposure to the poisonous gas.

Cardiff say the latest findings show the plane carrying Sala was "not appropriate".

A club spokesperson said: "CCFC is concerned at the AAIB's latest report which once again highlights that the aircraft used for Emiliano Sala was not appropriate.

"We continue to believe that those who were instrumental in arranging its usage are held to account for this tragedy."

The AAIB, meanwhile, has responded to calls from Sala's family to recover the plane's wreckage.

"The reasons for our decision not to recover the aircraft wreckage have been explained in detail to both families concerned," the organisation said in a statement.

"In February our underwater search operation successfully located the wreckage, recovered the passenger's body and captured substantial video evidence from the scene using a remotely operated vehicle. It was not possible at the time to recover the wreckage. 

"We have carefully considered the feasibility and merits of returning to attempt to recover the wreckage. In this case, we consider that it will not add significantly to the investigation and we will identify the correct safety issues through other means. 

"In making our decision, we took into account the high cost of underwater recovery, the evidence we collected in February and the risk that, after a violent impact with the sea, the wreckage would not yield definitive evidence."

Pilot David Ibbotson is "likely" to have been exposed to carbon monoxide before the plane on which he and footballer Emiliano Sala were travelling crashed over the English Channel in January.

A report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said toxicology tests on Argentinian Sala, whose body was found in the wreckage, showed clear signs of exposure to the poisonous gas.

Search teams have found no sign of Ibbotson, who is presumed dead.

Striker Sala, who was 28, had said goodbye to former Nantes team-mates before travelling to join his new club, Cardiff City, when the Piper Malibu plane crashed north of Guernsey.

He died from head and trunk injuries, an inquest heard in February.

The AAIB said in a statement on Wednesday that its latest findings showed "the danger of exposure to carbon monoxide in both piston and turbine engine aircraft".

"Toxicology tests found that the passenger had a high saturation level of COHb (the combination product of carbon monoxide and haemoglobin)," said the AAIB statement.

"It is considered likely that the pilot would also have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

"When our investigation has concluded, we will publish a final report."

Geraint Herbert, principal inspector of air accidents with the AAIB, explained the impact of carbon monoxide poisoning.

He said: “Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas.

“Symptoms at low-exposure levels can be drowsiness and dizziness, but as the exposure level increases it can lead to unconsciousness and death.

“Inexpensive carbon monoxide detectors are widely available and can be fitted to aircraft to warn pilots of the presence of carbon monoxide.

“The investigation continues to look into a wide range of areas in relation to this accident but in particular we are looking at the potential ways in which carbon monoxide can enter the cabin in this kind of aircraft.

“We'll be publishing our final report in due course.”

Lyon have agreed a deal in principle to sign attacking midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide from Ligue 1 rivals Angers.

The 21-year-old will undergo a medical before finalising a move reportedly worth around €30million.

Arsenal, Reine-Adelaide's former club, have the opportunity to hijack the deal by submitting an equivalent bid.

The Gunners inserted the clause as part of the France Under-21 international's departure in 2018 but are not expected to match Lyon's offer.

Reine-Adelaide made 35 top-flight appearances last season, scoring three times, and could make his Les Gones debut against Angers on Friday.

Elsewhere in France, Montpellier have acquired goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli on a season-long loan from Real Sociedad.

The deal includes an option for Montpellier to sign the Argentinian on a permanent basis.

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