Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas fears Memphis Depay may seek pastures new after Ligue 1's decision to cancel the rest of the season means they cannot qualify for Europe via their league standing.

The remainder of the top-flight campaign was curtailed last month after French prime minister Edouard Philippe banned sporting events until September due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Most teams still had 10 matches remaining and positions were decided on a points-per-game basis, which left Lyon seventh.

Lyon could still technically play in Europe next term if they were to win the Champions League and they led their last-16 tie against Juventus 1-0 before the global health crisis meant the return fixture was postponed.

The future of Depay, who has rebuilt his career in Lyon after an unhappy stint at Manchester United, had already been shrouded in doubt and Aulas – who has vowed to do all he can to keep the Netherlands international at the club – concedes he has fears.

Speaking to Le Progres, he said: "I'm going to do everything to keep the players. 

"But players programmed to play European competitions may want to look elsewhere because we are deprived of the Champions League.

"I have no news for now. Memphis tells me that he is ready to discuss [a new contract] when he returns. 

"His agents say that he is more thinking about the possibility of departing if we don’t have European football."

Thiago Silva would welcome the opportunity to continue his time with Paris Saint-Germain, according to the defender's wife.

The Brazil international is out of contract at the end of the 2019-20 season and might have played his last Ligue 1 game for the club, with the top-flight campaign cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Silva moved to the French capital in 2012 and has won seven league titles with PSG, although he has been unable to help the big-spending club progress beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The 35-year-old's future remains unclear - there have been links with a return to former club Milan in Italy - but Isabelle Silva has revealed her husband may yet extend his stay in Paris.

"Thiago is very attached to PSG, the supporters and France," she told Le Parisien.

"Whether the adventure continues or not at PSG, we will have to go back to Paris to see our friends again. 

"But for us, it would be great to continue at PSG, we love the club, the city, France. This is where the children grew up, we would like to continue our careers in Paris."

Any possible discussions over a new deal have been placed on hold, however, with the Silva family currently in Brazil amid the global health pandemic.

"For the moment, we don't know anything about it," Isabelle Silva said of negotiations.

"Everything stopped because of COVID-19. We don't even know when we're going to return to Paris. We are in the shadows, like everyone else." 

Former Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse coach Antoine Kombouare has called on players to go on strike next season if the French Professional Football League (LFP) does not agree to a 22-team Ligue 1.

France's top-flight season was cancelled at the end of last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, with PSG awarded their seventh title in eight years on a point-by-game basis and Toulouse and Amiens relegated.

Kombouare served as Toulouse coach between October and January this term but was sacked after a run of 10 consecutive defeats in all competitions that culminated in a Coupe de France loss against fourth-tier outfit Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire.

The 56-year-old's son Yann is an administrative director at Amiens, who this weekend formally launched legal action to contest their relegation.

"The players and the coaches must agree to strike at the start of next season if [the situation] does not evolve", Kombouare Sr told L'Equipe.

"There will be layoffs. Even at the amateur level, it will hurt. Having players end their careers in this way is terribly unfair. And I have always hated injustice.

"In front of this suffering and concern born of this crisis, we must unite. We are not united enough. It makes me angry.

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas – who has also lodged two legal actions against the LFP decision - and former France captain Laurent Blanc are among those to have voiced opposition to curtailing the season with 10 matches remaining.

Meanwhile, Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas told beIN SPORTS the call might have been "taken a little too soon".

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and the Gabon international is no closer to signing a new Arsenal deal.

The former Borussia Dortmund star is not short of suitors amid uncertainty over his future in London.

And Real Madrid are reportedly making their move.

 

T OP STORY – MADRID TELL ARSENAL TO DECIDE OVER AUBA

Real Madrid have set Arsenal a deadline as they look to sign star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to The Mirror.

Aubameyang is out of contract in June 2021 and the Gabon international has been tipped to leave Arsenal.

Madrid reportedly want Arsenal to make a decision on Aubameyang's future by June 15 as the likes of Inter and Paris Saint-Germain also circle.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Barcelona are on the brink of signing Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The LaLiga giants are close to agreeing a four-year deal with the Bosnia-Herzegovina international.

- Pjanic had been mentioned in a possible swap deal with Barca's Arthur, who has previously dismissed an exit. However, Tuttosport claims Juventus have not given up on signing Arthur.

- Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick is set to become head coach of Milan, reports Calciomercato.

- The Express says Manchester United have identified Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as a top transfer target. Van de Beek has also been linked to Madrid and Juve.

Madrid want Casemiro to continue at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Mundo Deportivo reports the futures of captain Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez are up in the air.

- According to The Sun, Borussia Dortmund want to sign Chelsea teenager Charlie Webster.

Inter have set their sights on Freiburg centre-back Robin Koch, reports Tuttomercatoweb. Koch has also been linked to Napoli and Benfica.

United are keeping tabs on Swansea City defender Joe Rodon, says The Mirror. The Red Devils have already raided Swansea previously, signing Welshman Daniel James ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Monaco star Cesc Fabregas feels the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season may have been cancelled too soon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paris Saint-Germain were declared champions and Amiens and Toulouse were relegated after the season was called off last month, with most teams still having 10 games remaining.

As the Bundesliga prepares to restart on May 16 and the Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga try to resume, Fabregas believes the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) could have waited before ending the season.

"It was a big decision that was made and I can understand why they took it," Spanish midfielder Fabregas told beIN SPORTS. 

"But maybe it was taken a little too soon, considering a lot of the big league are still all trying to resume. 

"Although I completely understand the meaning behind it and it's better to be safe in all accounts, because the most important is the families and the health security of everyone and support this 100 per cent.

"But maybe we could've considered individual training, where you have basically no risk. You're not touching anyone, you're not close to anyone. See if everyone was getting closer to football behind played all over the world.

"Obviously, it's very difficult and I understand someone needs to make decisions. We just have to do what they're telling us. Difficult moment in our professional lives and personal lives, but we just have to hold on and everything will be fine in the future for sure."

Monaco were ninth and nine points outside of the European qualification places when the season was called off.

Kalidou Koulibaly's future remains a talking point and Liverpool are reportedly in "pole position" to sign the Napoli defender.

Koulibaly, 28, has been linked with a move amid reported interest from several of Europe's biggest clubs.

And it seems a Koulibaly-Virgil van Dijk central defensive pairing is getting closer at Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL IN 'POLE POSITION' TO SIGN KOULIBALY

Liverpool are in pole position to sign Koulibaly after Paris Saint-Germain withdrew their interest, according to Le 10 Sport.

With Manchester United having also reportedly withdrawn from the race, Jurgen Klopp's side and Newcastle United – pending takeover – could land the defender.

Koulibaly is contracted at Napoli until 2023 and it will reportedly take an offer of £88.4million (€100m) to land the defender.

ROUND-UP

- PSG do seemingly want to hold onto Mauro Icardi beyond the end of his loan from Inter. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports PSG are willing to offer Julian Draxler as part of a deal for Icardi, who joined with a €70m purchase option.

- Staying at PSG and the Ligue 1 giants are looking to sign Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, according to Le 10 Sport. Tonali has been linked heavily with a move to Juventus.

- t seemed Barcelona and Juventus were preparing for a swap deal. But Goal reports an exchange involving Barca midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Miralem Pjanic is off, with the LaLiga giants also wanting money for the 23-year-old Brazil international.

- Dries Mertens is drawing plenty of attention with his contract at Napoli expiring at the end of the season. Mundo Deportivo reports PSG have joined Atletico Madrid, Inter and Chelsea in a fight for the forward.

- Also with Inter, the Serie A club are still considering forward Jonathan David, according to CalcioMercato. David, 20, has scored 23 goals in 40 games for Gent this season.

- With his loan deal at Roma ending, Chris Smalling looks set to return to Manchester United. Corriere dello Sport reports Roma are considering Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and Barcelona's Jean-Clair Todibo, who is on loan at Schalke, to replace Smalling.

Former Barcelona assistant Robert Moreno has no doubt the LaLiga giants want to sign Neymar again.

Neymar, 28, has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, having left for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million move in 2017.

Moreno, an assistant at Barca while the Brazil international was there, said he knew the LaLiga side wanted Neymar again.

"I would re-sign Neymar for Barcelona," the Monaco coach told El Transistor.

"In the end, Barcelona have to have the best players in the world and Neymar is one of them, a player who makes the difference.

"Furthermore, he makes his team-mates play. I know for sure that they want him."

Moreno took over as Monaco coach in December last year, and his side finished ninth as the Ligue 1 campaign was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Spaniard said he had mixed feelings over the decision to call off the rest of the season.

"On one hand, we didn't like it because we didn't agree on the standings and we've been left out of Europe," Moreno said.

"But it's given some certainty because [the government] has extended the measures until July.

"That allows us to start pre-season in July and start the league at the end of August."

Kylian Mbappe is capable of marking an era at Real Madrid and could be somewhat unfulfilled at Paris Saint-Germain, according to Unai Emery.

Mbappe, 21, has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid with his contract at PSG expiring in 2022.

Emery coached the France international for a season at PSG in 2017-18, when they won Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue together.

The Spaniard believes Mbappe has the talent to create a spectacular period at Madrid, if he decided to make the move.

"Of course he has the ability to mark an era in Madrid," Emery told AS.

"Advise which league to play in? When I was in France, I love that he was there because I enjoyed it. When I went to England, I would have liked him to play in the Premier League.

"And if I return to Spain, I want him to be here."

Mbappe has already won three Ligue 1 titles with PSG – and another with Monaco – while he helped France to their World Cup success in 2018.

While Emery believes the attacker can be happy at PSG, he said there may be aspects that left Mbappe unfulfilled.

"Look, surely there will be things from PSG that fill you up and maybe some will not, and there may be Real Madrid," he said.

"We are lucky to have and export the two best teams in the world, which are Real Madrid and Barcelona, and I would like them to continue having the best players in the world."

Kylian Mbappe wants to see fellow France international Wissam Ben Yedder also recognised as the top scorer in Ligue 1 this season.

Paris Saint-Germain were declared Ligue 1 champions for the seventh time in eight seasons on a points-per-game basis after the 2019-20 campaign was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mbappe won his second consecutive top scorer's trophy thanks to 18 strikes in the top flight.

His haul was matched by Monaco's Ben Yedder but, in a statement on their official website, Ligue 1 explained Mbappe was given the award because he reached his total by scoring more of his goals in open play.

"Thank you all for your messages," Mbappe quote tweeted in response.

"I do think that Wissam also deserves a trophy, as they did in the Premier League last season, to reward his year."

In the 2018-19 season, Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane shared the Golden Boot with Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang after the trio all finished on 22 goals.

Mbappe retained his award after being out on his own in France last term, hitting 33 in 29 Ligue 1 outings.

Kylian Mbappe could emulate Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, while Erling Haaland would be a great replacement for Karim Benzema, according to the club's former assistant coach Jose Morais.

Morais spent three years at the Santiago Bernabeu working under Jose Mourinho, during which time Ronaldo helped Madrid overthrow Pep Guardiola's Barcelona and claim the 2011-12 LaLiga title.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner left for Juventus in a €112million deal in 2018 and his absence continues to be felt by Madrid.

Benzema has been more prolific since Ronaldo's exit – he has 49 goals since the start of last season – but Morais believes Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland have the quality to make the grade in Madrid.

Morais, now the head coach of Jeonbuk Motors, told Stats Perform: "I think Mbappe is definitely one of the players that can be a target for Real Madrid because he is still young and his quality, talent and strength is capable to project him into one of the best players in the world.

"This is the perspective Madrid wants and this is what you need as a player in order to attract the interest of Madrid. I definitely agree that Mbappe is a player that in the future could play for Real Madrid.

"I'm not there now and I have no idea if it will be a reality, but Madrid is definitely a club that every good player in the world would like to play for. I believe Mbappe would be pleased to go to Madrid."

He continued: "I think [Haaland] is a great player. He's also one of the young players with very great quality. His finishing qualities are unbelievable.

"Doing what he did in this short period for Dortmund and creating the impact that he created. I think that it is never too soon for a quality player to go to a club like Real Madrid.

"The higher the quality of player, the more the possibilities to succeed exist in a club like Real Madrid. You have a lot of competition in the club because you only have good players there, high-level players.

"Benzema is a fantastic player, a goalscorer, he has the quality that he has playing for Madrid all these years. I think Haaland is definitely a good option to replace a striker like him.

"Probably in the style of Cristiano, Mbappe would also be a player that could have some similarities in the strength and speed, and capacity of playing."

World Cup winner Mbappe has scored 90 goals in 120 games for PSG, winning the Ligue 1 title in each of his three campaigns in Paris.

Haaland only joined Dortmund from Salzburg in January but scored 12 goals in his 11 appearances in all competitions for the club before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eduardo Camavinga welcomed links with a move to Real Madrid and denied he has an agreement in place to remain at Rennes next season.

France Under-21 international Camavinga enjoyed a breakout campaign with Rennes in 2019-20 and the 17-year-old is already believed to be a target for Madrid.

The midfielder made 25 Ligue 1 appearances before the season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rennes remained third in the standings and will consequently participate in the Champions League in 2020-21, but Camavinga would not guarantee he will be part of their campaign.

Asked if an agreement to stay at Rennes for next season had been reached, Camavinga told Ouest-France: "If an important agreement like that were found in mid-season, frankly, I would necessarily know.

"With my future, we will see at the end of the season."

On links to Madrid and other elite clubs, he added: "It's nice that big clubs like the one mentioned are interested in me, but I'm well in Rennes.

"We'll see what happens... My parents and my agents manage this."

Barcelona's pursuit of Lautaro Martinez continues – and they are reportedly offering up six players as part of the deal.

The LaLiga giants continue to be linked with a move for the Inter star, although reports suggest they are likely to struggle to get a deal done.

The latest report shows just how much difficulty they are facing.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA OFFER INTER CHOICE OF SIX PLAYERS FOR LAUTARO

Barcelona are offering Inter a list of six players for Martinez, according to Sport.

It says Barca would hope to offload two of the six players plus €60million to get a deal done.

Arturo Vidal, Samuel Umtiti, Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo, Rafinha and Jean-Clair Todibo are the players they are reportedly prepared to offer.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United continue to be linked with a move for Jack Grealish. The Sun reports the Premier League giants are stepping up their pursuit of the Aston Villa star in a £50m move.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Sport reports Marc Jurado has rejected a contract renewal from Barcelona and will instead join Manchester United.

- Talk around Philippe Coutinho continues. With Newcastle United potentially being taken over, Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with the top job and Mundo Deportivo reports one of the Argentine coach's first wishes would be signing Coutinho from Barcelona.

- Manchester City are reportedly looking to strengthen their defence during the upcoming close season. Sport reports the Premier League side are willing to pay £30.6m (€35m) for Marseille defender Boubacar Kamara.

- Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng could be set for Bayern Munich exits. Kicker reports Bayern are preparing to sell the duo this close season, with both coming out of contract in 2021.

- Are Newcastle United looking for a new goalkeeper? Sport 24 reports they are looking at Benfica and Greece goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos, with the Primeira Liga club wanting £17.5m (€20m) for the shot-stopper.

Kylian Mbappe has been confirmed as the Ligue 1 golden boot winner for 2019-20 following the decision to end the season.

Last week, league officials decided to bring the campaign to a close prematurely after French authorities decreed there would be no sporting events until September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Paris Saint-Germain were declared champions on a points-per-game basis, having been leading the top flight by 12 points from Marseille when the competition was suspended.

Mbappe was joint-leading goalscorer in the division on 18 goals, level with Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder.

However, Ligue 1 confirmed via its official website on Thursday that Mbappe will be recognised as the season's top scorer as all his goals came from open play, while three of Ben Yedder's were penalties.

Mbappe's goals-per-game ratio was also superior, his 18 coming in 20 games, while Ben Yedder scored his in 25.

Lyon forward Moussa Dembele finished third in the standings on 16 goals.

Mbappe also won the golden boot last year, scoring 33 times in 29 league games as PSG romped to the title.

Neymar will still be at Paris Saint-Germain next season, according to team-mate Leandro Paredes.

The Brazilian superstar is reportedly a target for Barcelona, who he left for PSG in a world-record €222million transfer in August 2017, and is said to be willing to take a wage cut to make it happen.

Neymar has scored 69 goals in 80 appearances in all competitions for PSG, including one effort in each of the two legs of a Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund from which they progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since 2016.

The Ligue 1 season has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Thomas Tuchel's team crowned champions for the fourth year in a row, and Paredes expects Neymar to still be at the club when the 2020-21 campaign begins.

"Neymar will stay with us," Paredes told FOX Sports Argentina.

"I do not talk about it with him, so he can make his decisions calmly."

Paredes used the Spanish phrase "se queda", which was infamously tweeted by Barcelona captain Gerard Pique shortly before Neymar left for PSG.

Argentina international Paredes struggled to establish himself as a key part of a midfield that is often centred on Marco Verratti.

"At PSG I play with the very best. Verratti is the best midfielder. It's impossible to take the ball from him, he's always going to get away," he said.

"The squad is incredible. I take advantage of it every day in training. The level is very high."

Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to swap Inter for Barcelona.

Martinez, though, has emerged as a target for Paris Saint-Germain.

But, LaLiga champions Barca reportedly remain calm about the situation.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DON'T FEAR PSG AMID LAUTARO PURSUIT

Barcelona remain confident in their bid to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Martinez has been heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga champions, who view the Argentina international as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Recent reports have claimed Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as suitors but Barca believe Martinez is committed to moving to Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato says Milan have contacted Real Madrid about signing Luka Jovic. The Serbia forward has struggled since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of 2019-20. The report claims Milan are ready to spend €40million, while a two-year loan deal with a redemption obligation could happen. Meanwhile, Tuttomercato says Milan are eyeing a €20m move for Lyon star Memphis Depay, who is out of contract in June 2021.

Mauricio Pochettino is poised to become Newcastle United's next manager, according to Le10Sport. The former Tottenham boss has been linked amid Newcastle's prospective takeover.

- The Telegraph reports Manchester City and Bayern Munich are set to clash over Leroy Sane. The Germany international has reportedly agreed to join the Bundesliga champions, however, City are insulted by the £35m (€39.9m) valuation.

Juventus have opened talks with Jorginho as Maurizio Sarri looks to reunite with the Chelsea midfielder in Turin, says ESPN.

Manchester United are considering the prospect of delaying their move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Mirror.

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