Nantes have revealed a one-off Argentina-inspired kit they will wear in Sunday's Ligue 1 meeting with Bordeaux in memory of former striker Emiliano Sala.

Sala, along with pilot David Ibbotson, went missing on January 21 last year when their plane crashed over the English Channel a few days after his move to Cardiff City from Nantes had been confirmed.

The body of Argentina native Sala was later discovered and a report released by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in August said he had clearly been exposed to the poisonous gas carbon monoxide. Ibbotson has not been found.

Nantes marked the anniversary of the incident by confirming the creation of a special strip in tribute to their former striker, with the kit set to be worn on Sunday against Bordeaux, Sala's first club in France.

Combattant et généreux, tu rêvais et méritais le maillot de l'Albiceleste. L’intégralité des bénéfices liés aux ventes de ce maillot sera allouée aux deux clubs formateurs argentins d’Emiliano.

 https://t.co/J9oVerGK5p pic.twitter.com/EMgEhTWTSe

— FC Nantes (@FCNantes) January 21, 2020

Profits from the jerseys will be donated to the two Argentinian clubs Sala played for as a child, Nantes said.

A statement read: "Because he dreamed of wearing the jersey of the Argentina national team, the players of Nantes will give up their traditional yellow and green jersey for a blue and white kit.

"This jersey, from which the entire sales profits will be allocated to the two Argentinian training clubs of Emiliano, is a way of paying homage to him."

Nantes also announced several other tributes to Sala will take place on Sunday, including a minute's applause and a "giant tifo".

Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and now Donny van de Beek?

Ajax lost stars De Jong and De Ligt in the off-season and Van de Beek is now reportedly nearing an Amsterdam exit.

It may be the case that the midfielder can choose between the two Spanish powerhouse clubs.

 

TOP STORY –  BARCA & MADRID WANT VAN DE BEEK

LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are battling to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to reports.

Van de Beek was heavily linked to Madrid as an alternative to Manchester United star Paul Pogba during the previous transfer window.

Now, Sport claims Van de Beek could be available for between €50-60million.

 

ROUND-UP

Bayer Leverkusen are poised to sign River Plate's Exequiel Palacios, says Kicker. Palacios – previously tipped to join Madrid – is set to move to Bundesliga outfit Leverkusen in January in a €22m deal.

- Mundo Deportivo and Calciomercarto claim Barca and Milan have met to discuss the future of defender Jean-Clair Todibo. LaLiga champions Barca are reportedly happy to part with the 19-year-old.

- According to 90min, Liverpool are set to beat Manchester City and Chelsea to Coventry City left-back Sam McCallum.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has walked away from negotiations with Milan, reports Calciomercato. A free agent after leaving LA Galaxy, Ibrahimovic has been linked with a return to Milan, as well as Napoli. But the 38-year-old is reportedly not moving back to San Siro after failing to reach an agreement.

- Valencia teenager Ferran Torres is high on the agenda of Madrid, according to AS. The 19-year-old is attracting interest from across Europe, including Liverpool and Juventus.

- Keen to provide competition for Tammy Abraham, 90min says Chelsea are considering a January bid for Bordeaux forward Josh Maja.

Arsenal have identified Bordeaux coach Paulo Sousa as a potential successor to Unai Emery, a source close to the Portuguese tactician has claimed.

Following an underwhelming start to the season, Emery was dismissed by Arsenal in late November, with Freddie Ljungberg taking over in an interim capacity.

Although Ljungberg guided Arsenal to a 3-1 win at West Ham on Monday, the Swede is not thought to be in contention for the job on a full-time basis.

Patrick Vieira, Marcelino Garcia Toral, Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta have all been linked with the vacancy at the Premier League club.

But Sousa, who has taken Bordeaux to fifth in the Ligue 1 table this season, is also attracting interest, according to his entourage.

They told L'Equipe: "They like his profile as a coach but also as a person – we've been blown away.

"That doesn't mean he'll leave. They've targeted several candidates, but Paulo is one of them, certainly. Between the two [Arsenal and Sousa], it could be a match.

"With all the problems at Bordeaux, why wouldn't he leave? The project is not what he was promised, that's a fact.

"He loves the fans, but he needs more from the board - this team is not strong enough to finish in the top six."

Sousa is no stranger to English football having already coached QPR, Swansea City and Leicester City, while he has also had spells in charge of Basel, Fiorentina and Tianjin Quanjian in China.

Despite apparently having a desire to talk with Sousa, Bordeaux's head of recruitment Eduardo Macia insists the Gunners have not been in touch with the club.

"It would be normal that he arouses interest, but we have not been contacted," Macia told L'Equipe.

Bordeaux president Frederic Longuepee has vowed to stay in his post and condemned the "unacceptable" disruption of Tuesday's Ligue 1 match against Nimes by angry supporters.

The fixture was halted for more than 25 minutes after a group of home fans stormed the field at the Matmut Atlantique stadium.

Bordeaux's ultras stepped up their protests against the club's American-based ownership group King Street, whose motivations they have questioned, by entering the pitch after 10 minutes.

The delay continued after the supporters left the playing area and waited behind the goal, insisting on the return of their confiscated banners calling out the owners, president Longuepee and director of commercial strategy Antony Thiodet.

A group of fans brought back a banner to cheers and strung it up along one end of the ground. It read: "Against King Street and their two puppets Longuepee and Thiodet."

The match then resumed and Bordeaux, who sit third in Ligue 1 despite such off-field turbulence, moved into a 2-0 lead through a Josh Maja brace before half-time.

They eventually won the match 6-0, with Maja completing a hat-trick.

Longuepee said afterwards, according to L'Equipe: "This is a sad situation for the club. It's unacceptable and it is not at all the image that we want to give of football in Bordeaux and across France.

"It is all the more distressing taking into account the repeated calls for dialogue that we have proposed to the ultras.

"As you know, King Street is the majority shareholder in the club, committed to the Girondins [Bordeaux] for a long time.

"I would like to confirm to everyone that I will not resign. Bordeaux is an exciting club with ambitions and values that I will defend for a long time."

Reports in France have claimed King Street could seek to sell several of Bordeaux's players in the January transfer window, to recoup money invested, should it buy out fellow US-based shareholder GACP.

Bordeaux's Ligue 1 match against Nimes on Tuesday was halted for more than 25 minutes after a group of home fans stormed the field at the Matmut Atlantique stadium.

Bordeaux's ultras stepped up their protests against the club's American-based ownership group King Street by entering the pitch after 10 minutes.

The delay continued after the supporters left the playing area and waited behind the goal, insisting on the return of their confiscated banners calling out the owners, president Frederic Longuepee and director of commercial strategy Antony Thiodet.

A group of fans brought back a banner to cheers and strung it up along one end of the ground. It read: "Against King Street and their two puppets Longuepee and Thiodet."

The match then resumed and Bordeaux, who sit third in Ligue 1 despite such off-field turbulence, moved into a 2-0 lead through a Josh Maja brace before half-time.

Laurent Koscielny quit Arsenal as he could not cope with the demands of Premier League football and has insisted he left with his head held high.

The 34-year-old ended a nine-year stay with the north London side in August by sealing a return to Ligue 1 with Bordeaux.

The nature of Koscielny's exit upset many Arsenal supporters, the defender having refused to take part in the club's pre-season tour of the United States.

He further angered fans when removing an Arsenal shirt to reveal a Bordeaux one underneath as part of his announcement video for the French club, with Ian Wright among those to vent his fury on Twitter.

However, Koscielny has defended his decision to force through an exit over concerns he would not be able to cope with Arsenal's hectic fixture schedule.

"A Premier League season is very long. It requires a lot physically and mentally," he told L'Equipe.

"I didn't feel I could play 40-50 matches and I didn't want to end my career with injuries. I've gone down a level, but to take more pleasure.

"Either I finished there or changed clubs. With my family, we felt it was time.

"Everything was in my thinking: football, my physical state, my wife, my children, the daily life we could have.

"I can only say that I left with my head held high."

In response to claims he lacked respect for Arsenal in his final weeks at the club, Koscielny said: "All of those I worked with for nine years... everyone respected my decision to return home with my family.

"I've always been upstanding, respectful and loyal. I always gave my maximum. I spoke with the coach, who was understanding. And as for the rest..."

Koscielny has made seven appearances for new side Bordeaux, who are seventh in Ligue 1.

Neymar played down his fractured relationship with Paris Saint-Germain's fans, insisting "it is like with women, sometimes you argue and spend some time without talking".

PSG superstar Neymar has enjoyed a stunning return to the team since his failed return to Barcelona, scoring three goals in four matches.

Neymar's desire to re-join Barca sparked a rift with PSG's fans, who insulted and displayed banners during the Brazilian's comeback against Strasbourg on September 14.

But Neymar has not been affected, scoring the winner in Saturday's 1-0 Ligue 1 victory at Bordeaux and he dismissed the rocky relationship with PSG's supporters.

"It is like with women. Sometimes you argue and spend some time without talking," Neymar told reporters post-match.

"However, with love and affection, you go back to normal. I am here to help PSG and I will give my life on the pitch."

Neymar added to beIN SPORTS: "I'm very happy! I love helping the team, whether it be goals or assists! I'm here for that, and I have every intention of doing that.

"I'm happy when I make the breakthrough in such tight and difficult games. Kylian Mbappe? He returned with his smile, his good mood...and his football!"

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe combined for the 70th-minute winner as PSG bounced back from their shock 2-0 defeat at home to Reims on Wednesday.

"We won this evening by getting back our good feelings in our understanding with each other, linking up, and with quick attacks! It augurs well," Mbappe said.

"My absence? It was long, difficult too. When the team loses, you want to come back as soon as possible, but you can't be hasty. It wasn't easy, but it's over!"

On the relationship between Neymar and Mbappe, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel said: "They have qualities. They like to be together, their personalities go well together. 

"We can feel it, observe it on the field but it should not be too obvious because you have to keep a balance with other players, they must seek others. We always have to make the best decision for the team, to win, to create opportunities. We played like that today."

Titleholders PSG are two points clear atop the Ligue 1 table ahead of Tuesday's Champions League trip to Turkish giants Galatasaray.

"We played well at the end of the game but forgot to score! We created a lot of chances, but the match was close to the end," Tuchel continued. "It's the only negative point, because I'm really very happy with our performance. The team's display was really excellent, with and without the ball. It was a great performance. I'm very happy."

Kylian Mbappe marked his return from injury by teeing up Neymar for the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 triumph at Bordeaux.

Mbappe had not featured since August 25 because of a muscle problem but came off the bench in the second half to make a telling impact for the defending champions.

The France forward was introduced on the hour mark and 10 minutes later he laid on a close-range winner for Neymar.

Victory for Thomas Tuchel's men sees them go two points clear at the top of the table, though surprise package Angers can go back level with them at the summit by beating Amiens.

Pablo Sarabia saw a goal ruled out for offside in the ninth minute, and a frustrating first half for the visitors - beaten at home by Reims in midweek - featured a booking for coach Tuchel after he expressed his disdain at a free-kick given to Bordeaux.

His side dominated throughout and Thomas Meunier dragged an effort wide before Angel Di Maria and Neymar were each denied by Benoit Costil in quick succession.

Neymar then headed wide after more good work down the right from Meunier, with PSG's profligacy forcing Tuchel's hand as Mbappe was summoned to join the action.

He wasted an early opportunity by shooting straight at Costil before Neymar sent another header off target at the far post with the goal at his mercy.

PSG's persistence was finally rewarded, however, when Bordeaux lost the ball in their own half and Mbappe broke free down the right, firing a low cross in for Neymar to tuck into the bottom-left corner.

Mbappe's cameo was arguably worthy of a goal but Costil kept his team in it with another fine save after a break from the World Cup winner, who blasted over the bar shortly after on a day when PSG should have won by a much more convincing margin.

There was controversy late on, though, as Bordeaux had an appeal for a penalty rejected by VAR despite Idrissa Gueye appearing to make contact with Loris Benito, but a point for the hosts would have been scarcely deserved.

Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi are fit to play for Paris Saint-Germain against Bordeaux in Ligue 1 this weekend, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

PSG's attacking options have been stretched of late with record goalscorer Edinson Cavani having also been sidelined.

Mbappe and Cavani have been out since they were both hurt in a 4-0 home win over Toulouse a month ago, while PSG lost their last league match at home to Reims without the pair.

But ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to Galatasaray, which Neymar will miss due to suspension, Tuchel's squad has received a boost.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Tuchel confirmed Mbappe and loanee Icardi are both available.

Asked about the combination between Neymar and Mbappe, Tuchel said: "The relationship between the two is the key for us, they can bring us a lot of possibilities.

"Mbappe has been hurt for weeks, we have to be patient, and tomorrow it's impossible for Kylian to play 90 minutes.

"We have to adapt to the situation and the opponent. Tomorrow, we will be able to play Mbappe and Icardi."

Wednesday's loss to Reims was PSG's first home defeat in Ligue 1 since May 2018, before Tuchel took charge.

"It's a good thing to play quickly after the loss," said Tuchel.

"It's always hard to find a good mood after a setback; it's the challenge tomorrow against a good team from Bordeaux, to start winning again.

"It was a lack of intensity. It was a surprise for me because I made some changes to have intensity.

"I hate to lose, it was super hard. We can do better and we'll improve."

Arsenal legend Ian Wright claims Laurent Koscielny "should be ashamed" after his move to Bordeaux was announced with the Frenchman throwing off a Gunners shirt.

Ex-Arsenal captain Koscielny belatedly sealed a return to Ligue 1 on Tuesday, having refused to travel on the Premier League club's pre-season tour.

The nature of the transfer had already upset many Arsenal fans, and a social media video prompted further outrage on the day of his switch.

A clip, shared by Bordeaux, showed Koscielny taking off his Arsenal shirt to reveal his new club's top underneath.

Wright was among those unimpressed, posting on Twitter: "This hurts. The level of disrespect. You should be ashamed for the way you've left the club after nine years!

"Got what you wanted and still trying to have a dig. Hope it's worth it in the long run."

Meanwhile, Koscielny sought to explain his exit to Arsenal fans on his Instagram page.

"As you know, I engaged with Bordeaux," he wrote. "After nine years spent at Arsenal, I took the decision to leave.

"I have spent wonderful years with this club, nine years during which I learned, evolved, grew up. This experience made me the player I am today.

"My decision to leave has been discussed for months with my club, my team-mates, my coach, and it has been a well-thought decision.

"I see this departure like a new turning point in my life as a player but also in in my life as a man and a family man.

"However, I hope you understand, and in any case, I cannot be thankful enough for these years past at Arsenal. I am aware of everything that the club and you supporters have brought to me.

"But it is time for me to go home, so today my will is to join Bordeaux. This is a new challenge that I count on taking with determination."

Arsenal are said to be looking to sign a new centre-back in the final two days of the transfer window, having struggled defensively last season even before Koscielny's departure.

Laurent Koscielny has succeeded in securing a move away from Arsenal, joining Ligue 1 side Bordeaux for a reported €5million (£4.6m).

Former France international Koscielny has ended a nine-season stay in the Premier League by returning to the French top flight.

"We decided to sanction his move to Bordeaux once we agreed acceptable transfer terms," the Gunners said in a statement.

"We thank Laurent for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future."

The 33-year-old plunged his Arsenal future into doubt in July when the club confirmed he had refused to travel on their pre-season tour of the United States.

Koscielny featured 17 times in the Premier League last term, despite missing the first few months due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

The Gunners signed the centre-back from Lorient in 2010 and he has been one of few consistent performers for the club in that time.

After filling in as captain regularly from the 2015-16 campaign onwards, Koscielny took the armband on a full-time basis at the start of last term following the retirement of Per Mertesacker.

Koscielny's departure will likely bring further concern from supporters about their underwhelming defensive options, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nacho Monreal, Rob Holding and the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi their most recognisable central defenders unless new signings arrive before Thursday's deadline.

He will provide much-needed defensive reinforcement for Bordeaux, who saw first-choice centre-back Jules Kounde move to Sevilla earlier in the transfer window.

Laurent Koscielny has succeeded in securing a move away from Arsenal, joining Ligue 1 side Bordeaux for a reported €5million (£4.6m).

Manchester United could end up with not one but two Juventus attackers by the end of the transfer window.

Heavily linked to Paulo Dybala as they look to sell Romelu Lukaku, Mario Mandzukic has emerged as another target for the Red Devils.

It is going to be a busy couple of days, with the Premier League window set to slam shut on August 8.

 

TOP STORY – MANDUZKIC TO FOLLOW DYBALA TO OLD TRAFFORD?

Growing reports suggest Juventus pair Mandzukic and Dybala are being pushed to join Manchester United.

United striker Lukaku has agreed a €9million salary with Juventus, according to Goal, as the Red Devils look to sign Dybala in exchange.

Dybala is reportedly demanding €12m to make the move to Manchester, with the deal hinging on the Argentina international swapping Turin for Old Trafford.

Tuttosport, Goal and other outlets are also claiming Mandzukic has been discussed with United, in what would be a separate transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Manchester City have set Leroy Sane's asking price at €158m (£145m) as Bayern Munich look to sign the Germany international.

Real Madrid are seriously considering a move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, Marca reports. Manchester United star Paul Pogba has emerged as a key target for Madrid. However, Zinedine Zidane's side are eyeing a €60m bid for Van de Beek.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are pondering a bid for Bordeaux forward Francois Kamano as Jurgen Klopp looks to add depth to his attacking options, according to The Sun.

- The Sun also reports that Arsenal have been put off by West Ham's £60m valuation of defender Issa Diop, who has also been linked to Manchester United. Arsenal have already signed William Saliba but the teenage defender has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign.

Radamel Falcao will not be leaving Monaco for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 33-year-old has been hampered by injuries since moving to Monaco in 2013.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United and Leicester City are £15m apart in their valuation of centre-back Harry Maguire. In one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas this off-season, United have been tipped to sign Maguire in a world-record transfer for a defender, however, the England international is yet to arrive at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are reportedly offering £70m plus add-ons, while Leicester want £85m plus add-ons.

Juventus and Marseille have made offers for Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda, claims Sport. Juve reportedly want the 19-year-old on a permanent deal, while Marseille are open to bringing him to Ligue 1 on loan.

- As Lukaku nears a switch to Juventus, FCInterNews says Inter have turned to Atalanta's Duvan Zapata. The Colombia forward, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, is valued at €60m and Inter are willing to include Matteo Politano in exchange.

Arsenal say they are "very disappointed" in Laurent Koscielny after confirming the defender has refused to travel on their pre-season tour of the United States.

The Gunners are due to ramp up preparations for the new campaign with a friendly against Colorado Rapids in Denver and three International Champions Cup encounters but will do so without their captain.

Koscielny's refusal to join his team-mates in making the trip comes amid intense speculation surrounding his future.

Ligue 1 sides Lyon and Bordeaux have been linked with the 33-year-old former France international, as have Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

An Arsenal statement read: "Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour.

"We are very disappointed by Laurent's actions, which are against our clear instructions. 

"We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time."

Koscielny made 17 appearances in the Premier League last season after returning from a long-term Achilles injury in December.

His compatriot, teenage centre-back William Saliba, is on the cusp of completing a transfer to Emirates Stadium, but is expected to then return to Saint-Etienne on loan.

Sevilla have completed their sixth signing of the close season by bringing in Jules Kounde from Bordeaux in a deal reportedly worth €25million.

The centre-back impressed in his second season as a first-team player at Bordeaux, helping the club to a 14th-place finish in Ligue 1 in 2018-19 and starting in all but one of their top-flight fixtures.

His arrival at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan is expected to take Sevilla's close-season spending to over €90million as the club build a squad they hope will improve on last season's sixth-place finish in LaLiga.

Kounde will compete for places with fellow arrivals Diego Carlos and Maximilian Wober in new coach Julen Lopetegui's starting line-up, although he can also play at right-back.

Sevilla have also signed Munas Dabbur, Joan Jordan and Luuk de Jong ahead of the new season, while Pablo Sarabia, Quincy Promes, Luis Muriel and Gabriel Mercado have all left the club.

First-choice centre-back Simon Kjaer is reportedly on his way out, with Fenerbahce favourites to win the race for his signature.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.