Everton have completed the signing of France Under-19 left-back Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer from Marseille, fending off reported interest from Juventus.

Nkounkou has agreed a three-year deal with Everton following the expiration of his contract at Marseille.

The 19-year-old played 14 times for Marseille's B team in the National 2 in 2018-19, France's fourth tier, while also being named on the bench for the first team twice.

He was a rumoured target for Serie A champions Juve but will now be working under Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park, though Nkounkou will first bolster David Unsworth's U23 side.

Everton, who are unbeaten since the resumption of the Premier League, have Lucas Digne and Leighton Baines as their options at left-back.

Baines, however, is yet to agree to a contract extension, with the 35-year-old's current deal set to run out at the end of the season.

For so long, Real Madrid have been tipped to sign Kylian Mbappe.

Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for the Paris Saint-Germain sensation.

But, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool could throw a spanner in the works, especially if Sadio Mane departs Merseyside.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL EYEING MBAPPE AMID MANE FEARS

Liverpool are plotting a move for Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe amid fears over Sadio Mane's future at Anfield, according to The Sun.

Mane is contracted until 2023 but Liverpool are reportedly growing anxious as Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain monitor the situation.

As a result, Liverpool are eyeing PSG star Mbappe and Mane could figure in a swap deal plus £200million (€221m), which could disrupt Madrid's grand plans for the French forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport Bild claims Bayern Munich have offered €40m (£36m) for Manchester City star Leroy Sane, who is set to leave the Premier League giants at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga champions are targeting Ajax sensation Sergino Dest. Sport Bild reports the United States international will arrive if they satisfy Ajax's demands, though Bayern are only thinking of a loan deal at the moment.

- It is a race against time for Miralem Pjanic to move to Barcelona. Sport says Barca and Juventus want to reach a deal by the end of June so it can be counted as part of the current season. The proposed deal would likely see Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio join Barca, with Arthur moving in the opposite direction. However, Arthur is reluctant to swap Barcelona for Turin.

- Sport Bild reports Borussia Dortmund see no reason to sell Manchester United target Jadon Sancho in the off-season unless a club offers over €100m.

Mario Gotze remains in the sights of Milan, reports Calciomercato. Gotze will not renew his expiring contract at Dortmund and is set to leave Signal Iduna Park. Lazio have been linked but Milan are eyeing the German, with Ralf Rangnick reportedly in line to take over in the dugout.

- Napoli have turned down Liverpool's bid for star centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Tuttosport says Juve want Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik to partner superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Juve are willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi as a makeweight in the deal.

- FC Inter News says Inter have rejected an offer from Marseille for midfielder Joao Mario. The Portuguese has spent the season on loan in Russia via Lokomotiv Moscow.

Rennes forward M'Baye Niang admitted he was interested in a move to Marseille after holding talks with the club.

Niang, 25, has been linked with a transfer after two impressive seasons with the Ligue 1 side, including scoring 15 goals in 36 games this campaign.

Marseille finished second when the Ligue 1 season was cancelled and could land the Senegal international, who talked up a potential switch.

"It is true that it is flattering. There is no smoke without fire," Niang told Canal+ on Sunday.

"Therefore, there were discussions but today, there is nothing concrete. I will not lie. I haven't signed and Marseille also have problems to solve.

"But if I have the sports project as I had in Rennes, for me lowering my salary a little doesn't bother me because I will take pleasure.

"Yes, it's a club that interests me. It's a club that has a great history, warm supporters that I like. If it has to be done, it will be with great pleasure.

"Whatever happens, Rennes will remain in my heart because it is a club that has revived me."

Niang initially joined Rennes on loan from Torino in 2018 before making the move permanently the following year.

Rennes reportedly paid €15million for Niang, who has scored 29 goals in 80 games in all competitions for the club.

Eric Cantona helped establish the mentality that saw Manchester United become the dominant force in English football during the 1990s.

'King Eric' scored 82 goals in 185 appearances for United, winning the Premier League four times and lifting the FA Cup on two occasions.

He also won league titles with Marseille and Leeds United, as well as the Coupe de France with Montpellier.

On May 24, his 54th birthday, we look back at his illustrious but turbulent career.

The good

Name a more iconic Cantona moment than his goal against Sunderland in December 1996. The brilliant footwork to get away from two players by the halfway line and surge forward. The chip, which he stood and watched as it bounced in off the upright. The turn. The stare. The collar. Straight back, chest out.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

You could say the FA Cup-winning strike against arch-rivals Liverpool in 1996.

Or the back-post volley against title-chasing Newcastle United, the looping effort that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar against Arsenal or the solo strike against Tottenham – all of which came in a six-game scoring run that helped inspire Alex Ferguson's men to Premier League glory.

Then there were the majestic chips against Southampton and Sheffield United, the magnificent first touches to set up goals against Manchester City, Wimbledon and Derby County.

For Leeds fans, it's probably being part of their last top-flight championship team in 1991-92 or his hat-trick in the 4-3 Charity Shield victory over Liverpool.

Even since retiring he's shone in the spotlight. Upon receiving the UEFA President's Award in August he quoted Shakespeare's King Lear in his acceptance speech, going viral online and initially leaving many bemused.

Enough iconic moments for you? Let's move on.

The bad

While his rebellious, defiant spirit helped endear Cantona to so many, it also led to some tetchy on-field moments.

Cantona had a touch of a nasty streak, often leaving a foot in or lunging in with two.

One such example came while he was representing Auxerre in the 1980s. Chasing back and with the ball on the opposite side of Nantes' Michel Der Zakarian, a drop-kick to the thigh of his opponent unsurprisingly landed Cantona a three-month ban.

There was also the occasional little kick in the challenge, or a stamp when he felt wronged.

And it wasn't just the opposition that could draw his ire.

At Marseille he was suspended indefinitely for kicking the ball into the crowd and throwing his shirt at the referee when substituted in an exhibition match.

At Nimes he launched the ball at a referee and then issued insults at his disciplinary hearing, consequently seeing his three-game ban was extended to two months.

Yeah, it wasn't all good.

The ugly

Whatever Cantona did to ingratiate himself with Leeds fans was undone shortly after moving to Manchester United.

In February 1993, Cantona was accused of spitting at supporters of the West Yorkshire club and ended up being fined £1,000.

However, that incident – and punishment – pales into insignificance when put against his infamous kung-fu kick aimed at Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons in January 1995.

After being shown a red card for lashing out at Richard Shaw, Cantona took a detour on his walk towards the Selhurst Park tunnel and went for the Palace fan, who he claimed had been aiming xenophobic abuse at him.

The following day's headlines ran: "The night football died of shame", "Is this the end for the madman?", "Absolute thuggery in front of children".

Cantona was banned for eight months and fined the maximum of two weeks' wages.

As a media storm swirled in the aftermath, Cantona delivered one of his most memorable quotes to sum up his treatment, taking a sip of water mid-sentence to add drama that would hold him in good stead for a later career in acting.

He said: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."

Regardless of some opinions of him, Cantona will remain one of the Premier League's most enduring figures.

Mauro Icardi seemingly has no future at Inter.

But Icardi is wanted in Paris, where the Argentina international has spent the 2019-20 season on loan.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly looking to sign Icardi permanently.

 

TOP STORY – PSG LODGE ICARDI BID

Paris Saint-Germain have offered Inter €50million to secure loanee Mauro Icardi on a permanent basis, according to Sky Sports.

Out of favour at Serie A outfit Inter, the forward was loaned to Ligue 1 champions PSG at the start of the season.

Icardi's loan deal included a €70m purchase option but PSG are determined to negotiate, with Juventus reportedly interested.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo is prioritising a move to Manchester City. Semedo has been linked with a switch to City – a transfer which would see Joao Cancelo swap clubs. Juve are also reportedly eyeing Semedo but the Portugal international wants to leave Camp Nou for the Premier League.

Lucas Hernandez to Newcastle United? Bild says the Premier League outfit are considering a move for the Bayern Munich defender ahead of their proposed takeover.

- According to ESPN, Bayern are eyeing Manchester United target and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho. The England international has also been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barca.

Juve, Chelsea, City and Bayern are interested in Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, says Sport. However, the German is poised to sign a contract renewal with the LaLiga holders.

- Calciomercato claims Milan are moving closer to signing Marseille's 20-year-old defender Boubacar Kamara.

- Everton and Newcastle are both tracking Napoli forward Hirving Lozano, according to Corriere dello Sport. The Mexico international only arrived from PSV at the start of the season.

Inter remain interested in Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa, says Calciomercato. While Brescia's Sandro Tonali is at the top of the list for Inter, Chiesa has not been forgotten about in Milan.

Andre Villas-Boas has been offered a two-year contract extension by Marseille amid speculation over the Portuguese coach's future.

Former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham boss Villas-Boas has impressed since succeeding Rudi Garcia at the Stade Velodrome last May and guided Marseille to a second-place finish in the truncated 2019-20 Ligue 1 season.

At the start of this month, the 42-year-old sought assurances over what transfer funds would be available to improve the squad, while the departure of sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta last week cast his position into fresh doubt.

RMC Sport reported on Tuesday that Villas-Boas had rejected a one-year extension to his deal, which runs until June 2021.

However, Marseille issued a statement to clarify they were awaiting an response to an offer of two more years, plus an additional 12 months dependent upon Champions League qualification.

"Following erroneous information in the media recently concerning the contract extension proposed to Andre Villas-Boas, Olympique de Marseille wishes to re-establish the reality of facts," a club statement read.

"As early as last week, the president of Olympique de Marseille, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, spoke with Andre Villas-Boas about his desire to offer him a contract extension.

"Over the weekend, [Marseille owner] Frank McCourt confirmed to Andre Villas-Boas that he was on the line with Jacques-Henri Eyraud and hoped that they would both work on the terms of this extension.

"At the end of the day on Monday, the club sent Andre Villas-Boas a proposal to extend the contract by two years (for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons) plus one optional year (2023-24), if OM qualified for the Champions League that year."

Marseille went on to detail the ructions brought about by frequent coaching changes in recent decades, which have yielded a sole Ligue 1 title in 2009-10 since their 1992-93 Champions League triumph.

"For 20 years Olympique de Marseille has been a club that has suffered chronic instability. Twenty-four coaching changes have been issued by OM during this period," the statement continued.

"Over these 20 years, only three coaches have received a contractual commitment of 4 years or more: Didier Deschamps, Rudi Garcia and today Andre Villas-Boas with this proposal.

"First of all, this shows the club's desire to create conditions of stability. This also demonstrates the determination of the club to invest when it deems it necessary in the conditions of sporting success.

"Finally, this demonstrates all the confidence the club has in the technical qualities of Andre Villas-Boas, with whom Olympique de Marseille wishes to write an important page in its modern history."

Marseille announced the departure of sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta amid uncertainty over head coach Andre Villas-Boas.

Ligue 1 outfit Marseille and Spaniard Zubizarreta parted ways by mutual consent, it was confirmed on Thursday.

Zubizarreta joined Marseille in 2016 and saw the club finish second in 2019-20 after the Ligue 1 campaign was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The exit of Zubizarreta has now raised doubts over Villas-Boas, who has previously said he will not stay if Marseille cannot match his ambitions.

"I want to thank Frank McCourt, Jacques-Henri Eyraud and Rudi Garcia for their confidence in me," Zubizarreta said. "It was a great joy to participate in a project as important as this one with OM.

"Thanks to André Villas Boas for having delighted me with his football and for becoming a true friend. Thank you to all the sporting staff with Albert Valentin on the front line, for your professionalism and pride. And what can I say of my players? And you, OM supporters? Thank you, thank you very much.

"We shared a project in which we experienced great joys and dark days, but in which I fought every day to do the best possible for the club minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day ... behind the scenes or in full light, always trying to give my best.

"It is the project, this club, this city that have been in my heart and in my brain 24/7, because when there is so much passion around a club, it requires as much passion on a personal level, with feelings and energy.

"Thank you all for your confidence and your ability to always go forward. In Basque we say: "amaya da asiera" - 'the end is the beginning'. I close the door as Sporting Director and I begin as an OM supporter."

Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud added: "Andoni is the first leader I recruited at the start of our project. It is therefore with great emotion that we part ways today.

"Since 2016, he has been by my side in all our battles. He was fully dedicated to bringing OM back to the heights it should be held to, and he always brought his expertise as we rebuilt the foundations for both the first team and the academy.

"Andoni is an honest man with great integrity. Beyond his immense role, he is a high-quality professional with whom I will always have a lot of fun talking. "

Marseille star Dimitri Payet insisted he was happy at the Ligue 1 club after enjoying a fine season.

Payet, 33, helped Marseille finish second in the table – their best league campaign since 2012-13 – as the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The midfielder scored nine goals and provided four assists in 22 Ligue 1 games this season.

Payet wants to stay at the club, telling Eurosport: "I feel very good in Marseille.

"You never know what may happen in football, but for there to be a story, you have to be two in this kind of situation. We have no plans to move."

Payet added: "Today, I am a very happy person on and off the pitch. It has been seen and I will do everything to keep it going next year."

A 38-time France international, Payet returned to Marseille in 2017 after starring for West Ham.

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.

Andre Villas-Boas has eased the worries of Marseille fans who interpreted a recent social media post as a farewell but insists he will not stay at the club if they cannot match his ambitions.

Former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham coach Villas-Boas moved to Marseille at the start of the season, replacing Rudi Garcia after he could only guide them to a fifth-place finish.

An improvement under Villas-Boas was not instant, as they won just four of their first 12 matches of the season across all competitions, but a 16-match unbeaten run followed.

That helped propel them to what would be their final position in the Ligue 1 table, as Marseille were confirmed as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain last week when the 2019-20 season was cancelled.

A recent Instagram post by Villas-Boas saw him pay tribute to his players, the fans and the club's hierarchy for bringing him to the club, which some supporters interpreted as a potential goodbye.

Although Villas-Boas was adamant that was not his intention, he also stressed he will not stay at Marseille if he does not like the project.

"In the world of football there are several good coaches, it is not with this second-place finish that I will become the best coach in the world, nor the worst," he told RMC Sport.

"I remain as I am. I already said at a press conference that you could find me [in a few months] closer to the Dakar desert [competing in the Dakar Rally] than to a Premier League club or elsewhere. I have ambitions that are limitless geographically - I still have to do Japan, I want to discover Japanese culture and Japanese football.

"I say it sincerely, I'm fine in Marseille, I don't want to look for other clubs or other options. I want to play the Champions League with Marseille, but I want to know how much we are economically dependent on our project.

"That means, if we don't have the conditions to do a good job, it is not worth it, I think. It's normal for a coach to seek such assurances. I think Jacques-Henri [Eyraud, Marseille president] will have answers, like Andoni [Zubizarreta, sporting director] and Frank [McCourt, club owner] will, obviously.

"Then, if there are differences between us, Jacques-Henri and I are honest enough to say.

"On my side, I am open, but it is necessary that we have the opportunity with Andoni to have a quality transfer window, in conditions that will not be the best, but that will allow us to be competitive. We are not so naive as to forget the economic situation of the club.

"[I just want to] understand where we are going, understand how much we can make in investments, if the club wants me, or if it does not want me, and in this case no problem."

Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas revelled in the club's second-place finish behind Paris Saint-Germain after the Ligue 1 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PSG were declared champions, ahead of Marseille, after the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed final standings will be decided on a points-per-game basis for the 2019-20 season.

Marseille were 12 points behind PSG – enough to secure a runners-up position and Champions League berth – when the campaign was postponed in March through 28 games.

Villas-Boas dedicated the achievement to former Marseille president Pape Diouf, who died aged 68 in March after contracting COVID-19.

Portuguese boss Villas-Boas wrote via Instagram: "Runners-up of France! What to say? Which words to choose? Where to start? What an extraordinary feat!

"So many moments of joy, so many explosions of feelings! Summarising this season between brilliance and exceptional moments is too easy because it has been so for several consecutive games.

"What has marked and often marks the teams of choice is the ability to reinvent themselves in the face of adversity, whether it is when it hits bottom or when dreams escape us. We were a group! We were a team. We knew we were consistent and had the right word and the right reaction to each other.

"This state of mind is felt on a daily basis in communion with everyone. The other's problem is my problem. It was like that every step of the way. Thank you all without exception. To my brilliant and unrivalled players who, with a lot of effort and selflessness, gave everything in every game.

"To Frank McCourt and Jacques Henri-Eyraud. To Andoni Zubizarreta and Albert Valentin who brought me to this wonderful city of Marseille and allowed me to know the strength of the Velodrome and the unique passion of its inhabitants.

"To my staff, travel friends, my kings of skills. To the decisive and tolerant medical staff who have achieved unique results this season. Administrative and logistics staff attentive to every detail. To Rani who is always everywhere to solve problems. To Elodie who has a crazy Portuguese by her side. To everyone who participated in this wonderful trip, thank you.

"In this sensation and this desire to burst out in joy, we are called to reason which alerts us to the sad moment we are living. We would trade all victories and trophies for each of the lives lost. To the fans who are currently overwhelmed by these same sensations, who want to cry out with joy but where the tear persists in retaining passion, thank you! Thank you from the heart! Your strength and your sense of demand forced us to respond. This victory is also yours. I would like to finish by dedicating this second place to the former Marseille president Pape Diouf."

Former Marseille president Pape Diouf died aged 68 after contracting coronavirus.

Diouf, who served as president of the Ligue 1 club between 2005 and 2009, died in Senegal on Tuesday, it was confirmed.

In a statement on Twitter, Marseille wrote: "Olympique de Marseille learned with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf.

"Pape will remain forever in the hearts of Marseillais as one of the great craftsmen in the history of the club.

"Our condolences to his family and loved ones."

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet also paid tribute to Diouf.

"He was an important man in our football, a quality man, atypical, listened to and respected, with a real personality who had respect for the game, the players," he said.

"He was passionate, with convictions and always extremely courteous. On behalf of the French Football Federation, I extend my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones."

More than 42,000 people have died from coronavirus, with cases around the world exceeding 854,000.

Andre Villas-Boas believes Ligue 1 should be prepared to finish as late as December before changing its schedule ahead of next season.

Sport has been brought to a standstill by the coronavirus pandemic, with Europe's top football leagues postponed with uncertainty over when they will resume.

Villas-Boas, the Marseille coach, said this season should be finished to help the clubs amid financial worries.

"Currently, all the clubs are in a catastrophic economic situation," he told RMC on Friday.

"It is very difficult for everyone. The most viable, for the health of the Ligue 1 teams, would be to leave until December to finish the current season, or hopefully in November."

Villas-Boas said the football schedule should then change heading into the 2022 World Cup.

The 2022 World Cup is scheduled to be played in November and December of that year in Qatar.

"From 2021, we should base ourselves on the civil calendar," Villas-Boas said.

"That way, we will come to an agreement with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar which will take place in winter.

"And then, why not try to come back on a more classic calendar?"

Europe's top five leagues have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and there is widespread uncertainty over the future of the 2019-20 season.

Will tournaments be completed when conditions are suitable? Will things finish as they are? Will the campaign be declared null and void?

With the help of Opta, we look back over the previous 10 seasons to see who would have been crowned champions if the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga had stopped where there are now.

 

Aguer-no!

It was an iconic moment in Premier League history. Sergio Aguero scored Manchester City's second stoppage-time goal as they came from behind to defeat QPR 3-2 and clinch their first top-flight title in 44 years, beating crestfallen arch-rivals Manchester United to the trophy on the final day of the season.

However, if the campaign had been stopped where it is now it would have been United who were celebrating due to a one-point advantage.

It is the only occasion since 2009-10 that the team on top after 29 matchdays has not won the Premier League.

 

Atleti's title wiped out

Atletico Madrid incredibly broke the Barcelona and Real Madrid duopoly in LaLiga in 2013-14, with Diego Godin salvaging a draw at Camp Nou on the final day to ensure they finished top of the pile.

However, it was local rivals Real Madrid, led by Carlo Ancelotti, who sat three points clear after 27 games of the season, meaning Diego Simeone's crowning achievement would not have occurred.

The only other instance of a team being displaced in the final 11 matches came in 2009-10, when Madrid sat ahead of Barca on goal difference but ended up seeing Pep Guardiola's men go on to win LaLiga for a second straight season.

 

Juventus dominance broken up

Eight straight Serie A titles have seen Juventus create history in Italy, but they would have only managed five if the previous seasons stopped after 26 games – the total the majority of clubs have completed in 2019-20.

The Bianconeri went undefeated under Antonio Conte in 2011-12, although it was Milan who topped the table at this point in the campaign, meaning Massimiliano Allegri would have won successive Scudetti at San Siro.

Maurizio Sarri would also not have had to have waited until winning the Europa League with Chelsea last year for his first major title.

Sarri's Napoli only surrendered top spot to Juve on matchday 27 in 2017-18 and they failed to recover it, missing out on their best chance to finish top since the Diego Maradona era.

 

QSI off to the perfect start

The landscape of Ligue 1 changed dramatically when Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) bought Paris Saint-Germain in June 2011, although no silverware was added to the Parc des Princes trophy cabinet in the first season following the takeover.

However, they would have been crowned champions had the 2011-12 season finished after 28 games, denying a Montpellier side powered by the goals of Olivier Giroud an unlikely first Ligue 1 title.

There would have been bad news for PSG in 2014-15, though, as the trophy would have gone to Hubert Fournier's Lyon due to a one-point margin.

Bordeaux would have made it back-to-back titles in 2009-10, too, with Marseille having made the most of a collapse that saw Laurent Blanc's side slip from first to sixth over the final 10 matches.

 

Bundesliga business as usual

What changes with the Bundesliga title winners if you stop the previous 10 seasons after 25 games? Nothing.

Bayern Munich would have won eight championships to Borussia Dortmund's two.

Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud and Lyon counterpart Jean-Michel Aulas have been involved in a COVID-19 spat after the latter proposed the Ligue 1 season should be cancelled amid coronavirus.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed on Friday all matches in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 had been suspended until further notice in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, which has claimed more than 5,500 lives globally.

Outspoken Lyon president Aulas called for the Ligue 1 season to end now, with no champion or relegation – meaning Paris Saint-Germain, who are 12 points clear atop the table through 28 rounds, would miss out on the title.

Aulas' position has angered Marseille's Eyraud, whose side are second in the standings, while Lyon are seventh and 10 points adrift of the Champions League places.

"When his fever has come down, Jean-Michel Aulas will see the obscenity of his opportunism and will quickly return to the values that make him a great footballing operator," Eyraud told Le Journal du Dimanche.

"We are well-versed in Jean-Michel Aulas' obsessive desire to defend Lyon with everything he has. But this is taking the mickey. Do you really love football when, without consulting anyone, you suggest annulling 28 sets of games that have already been played. 25,200 minutes worth of effort, joy and difficult moments. 25,200 minutes of sharing moments between Ligue 1 players.

"Should we dissolve them owing to the selfishness of one individual who wants his team in the Champions League? So, because his Lyon players are you to qualify for the biggest prize, there remains a joker card: the coronavirus. It is simply enough to vanish this championship into a cupboard of bad memories and for Jean-Michel Aulas to administer an anti-defeat vaccine. Come on, let's pretend that this season never existed. Let's was our hands with lotion that destroys sports results and erases reality from the field.

"The very idea of using this widespread challenge for personal gain is indecent. Let us live up to the values of sport, let us be an example as a football family that seeks to defend the general interest."

Aulas hit back via Twitter on Saturday, writing: "Good for you and your disciples that ridiculousness is less deadly than the coronavirus. In terms of everything else, I hope with all my heart that the league will get going again quickly and that we will be able to finish it like our Champions' League match and the cup final.

"For you JH, the most difficult times are just beginning. Football has never been JH's strong suit: after suggesting to increase the number of points a team could get from a match if they scored goals from outside of the box, the €200million loss that he has run up in three years, despite FFP [Financial Fair Play] only allowing him to have a €30m loss, now he has exposed himself to a potential defamation suit because he has twisted my words!"

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