Tottenham have reportedly entered the race for 23-year-old Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, with Juventus also heavily linked to the Italy international.

Zaniolo missed the entire 2020-21 season after suffering the second torn ACL of his career, but he made a successful return this past campaign, totalling 42 club appearances, including five goals and four assists in 10 Conference League fixtures.

The man with nine senior international caps has been linked with Juventus for some time now, but with the club yet to make any breakthrough, they could face competition from the Premier League.

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM LOOK TO SWOOP IN FOR JUVENTUS TARGET

According to Tuttosport, Juventus and Roma have been holding discussions about different constructions of a deal for Zaniolo, including an iteration that would make it a loan this season with an option to buy after. The report mentions his price tag is believed to be between £30million and £40million.

With Tottenham set to play Roma in a friendly on Saturday, it is said to be an opportunity for the two clubs to sit down and discuss the possibility of a move.

Reports have claimed Spurs are willing to include Giovani Lo Celso in their bid, with the English club said to value the Argentinian at £17million.


ROUND-UP

– L'Equipe is reporting that Marseille are investigating a potential move for Inter's Alexis Sanchez.

– Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea have yet to receive an acceptable offer for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja after turning down a £30million bid from West Ham, and that he may be competing for first-team minutes this season.

– Fabrizio Romano is also reporting that Everton have approached Paris Saint-Germain about bringing 32-year-old Idrissa Gueye back to the club after he left in 2019.

– According to 90min, West Ham are in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt about 29-year-old wing-back Filip Kostic after having their first bid turned down.

Ajax, Newcastle United and Bayer Leverkusen are tracking 18-year-old forward Giovani, playing for Palmeiras in the Brazilian top division, according to ESPN Brasil.

Barcelona have announced they have reached an agreement to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Blaugrana seeing off competition from Chelsea.

Kounde, who has starred for Sevilla since arriving from Bordeaux in 2019, seemed set to join Chelsea after also being heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout the 2021 transfer window.

However, despite Barcelona reportedly failing to match Chelsea's offer of £55million (€65m) for the 23-year-old, the Blaugrana had been touted as Kounde's preferred destination.

On Thursday, they announced a deal is now in place with Sevilla for the transfer of the France international, with the move subject to a medical.

 

Kounde ranked first in duels won (169), second in blocks (17) and second in headed clearances (56) among Sevilla players in LaLiga last season.

His arrival represents another major coup for Barca, who have already strengthened their backline by signing Andreas Christensen, as well as completing marquee deals for Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, after bringing in free agent Franck Kessie.

Meanwhile, missing out on Kounde's signature will be another source of frustration for Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, with the Blues struggling throughout a pre-season tour of the United States and also being turned down by Raphinha, who favoured a move to Camp Nou.

Chelsea defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso continue to be strongly linked with moves to Barca.

Timo Werner and RB Leipzig made for a sublime match over four joyful years, but the Bundesliga club are reluctant to say whether they want to rekindle the relationship.

Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco was asked about the prospect of re-signing Werner when he addressed a news conference on Thursday, and gave the idea absolutely no encouragement.

Nor did he discourage the idea, though, which points to a reunion possibly being under consideration but far from certain to happen.

Werner might believe he has endless escape routes from Chelsea if he reads the gossip columns, with Juventus also linked with him in recent days.

Two years with Chelsea might be enough for Werner, whose involvement decreased last season and whose goal return in the Premier League has fallen far short of expectations.

By adding Raheem Sterling to their squad, Chelsea have brought in a player who performs a similar role to Werner – a goal threat from the flanks with a sharp turn of pace – and looks sure to be a regular starter for Thomas Tuchel.

Tedesco said: "Timo Werner is not my player, not our player. He's a Chelsea player and I have a very clear opinion on that, not to comment, not to take a position on players who don't belong to us, who aren't under contract with us. I think that has something to do with respect. And it is simply an important principle that I have established for myself."

Pressed on whether he could confirm any interest from Leipzig at all in the Germany forward, Tedesco said: "No, I can't. I can't, because as I said, I stand by that, he's a Chelsea FC player and everything else has become superfluous."

Werner scored 34 goals in 45 games across all competitions in his final season at Leipzig, at a rate of one every 105.53 minutes. At Chelsea, he has managed 23 goals in 89 appearances so far.

Leipzig may wish to sell a player to fund any offer for Werner, with Konrad Laimer repeatedly linked in German media with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

But it is not the case that Leipzig particularly want to lose another significant figure to Bayern, after coach Julian Nagelsmann and first-team key figures Marcel Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano went to Munich last year.

"[Laimer] is our player, is my player and I am happy that he is my player," said Tedesco.

"And as long as there is nothing else, he has my full support, is treated the same as any other player. And of course it's also clear that the longer this drags on, the more difficult it will be to do that at some point. So time is in our favour because, as you rightly said, there is no deadline."

Tedesco is not ignorant of the speculation surrounding Laimer, however, and said the Austrian midfielder "is also of the opinion that he would like to have clarity at some point".

Leipzig face Bayern in the DFB-Supercup on Saturday, and Tedesco believes the German champions are collectively more powerful going into the new season than they were 12 months ago, despite losing star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona.

Sadio Mane, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and Matthijs de Ligt have arrived at Bayern, and Tedesco said: "They have been flexible before. But of course, this is a different story because I think that Lewandowski will be missed by them. Not just in this game but in general since he scored a lot of goals for them.

"But they have reinforced themselves and I think that they have a stronger squad than last year."

The tense Frenkie de Jong transfer saga continues with uncertainty on his Barcelona future.

The 25-year-old Dutchman has two years to run on his Barcelona contract, having postponed part of his deal during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Jong is unwilling to accept another pay cut to remain at Camp Nou, though, amid the club's hefty off-season transfer spending.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG DECISION OVER ENGLISH SUITORS

Decisions will be made on Frenkie de Jong's future at Barcelona after their United States tour, with interest from Chelsea alongside Manchester United, reports Sport.

De Jong is reluctant to leave Camp Nou, particularly for a move to Old Trafford, despite ending last season out of favour.

However, the Dutchman is more open to Chelsea's advances, but the Blues are unwilling to pay as much as United, leaving the Blaugrana in a bind.

 

ROUND-UP

– Leicester City have placed a £70million asking price on Wesley Fofana, who is being courted by Chelsea, reports CBS Sports.

Newcastle United are considering a move for Chelsea's Germany international forward Timo Werner, claims Bild. Juventus are also interested in Werner according to Sky Sports.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that ex-Chelsea midfielder Oscar is pushing for a move from Shanghai SIPG to Flamengo, with talks ongoing.

– L'Equipe believes that Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has agreed to a deal with Ligue 1 club Nice, although Leicester City are yet to approve the move.

– Arsenal and Fulham are in talks over an £8m deal for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, claims Sky Sports.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho is trying to woo Manchester United defender Eric Bailly to the Italian capital, reports The Daily Mail.

Newcastle United are planning a move for out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler, with the Germany international's price tag believed to be in the range of £25million (€29.5m).

Draxler, 28, has spent the past six seasons with the French giants, but his last campaign was mostly from a bench role, with 13 of his 18 Ligue 1 appearances coming as a substitute.

He also had two separate injuries that forced him to miss over a month each time, but with 58 senior caps for Germany and a World Cup right around the corner, he could be a savvy purchase for a club desperate for a marquee signing.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENQUIRE ABOUT VERY AVAILABLE DRAXLER

According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Draxler is on Paris Saint-Germain director of football Luis Campos' "blacklist" of players who have no future at the club.

The report says he has been asked to find a way out, and with a relatively low price tag – around half the £40m demanded by Lyon in Newcastle's reported pursuit of Lucas Paqueta – the stars could be aligning for the Magpies to land an established international on a cheaper deal.

Draxler was left out of PSG's pre-season squad for the recent tour of Japan, indicating he already has one foot out the door, but it remains to be seen if Newcastle will be his landing spot.

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are reportedly willing to part ways with Timo Werner, with Foot Mercato claiming the forward was included in an offer to former club RB Leipzig  in exchange for defender Nordi Mukiele, who appears to be PSG-bound.

– Sport believes Chelsea will block Barcelona moves for Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso due to the Spanish club's chase of Blues target Jules Kounde.

– The Guardian is reporting that Gianluca Scamacca will have his medical this week before confirming a £35.5m move from Sassuolo to West Ham.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan have increased their bid for Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere to €32m, and are also trying to secure a move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech.

Barcelona have told Memphis Depay to find a new club after Robert Lewandowski's arrival, according to AS.

Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni has claimed he never considered leaving the Nerazzurri despite being linked with a Premier League move, as he professed his hope Milan Skriniar would also remain at San Siro.

Meanwhile, Bastoni claimed the loan signing of Romelu Lukaku can help Inter compete for silverware on both domestic and European fronts, but warned old rivals Juventus will put up a stern challenge next season.

Bastoni had been linked with both Tottenham and Chelsea after a fine 2021-22 season with the Serie A runners-up, making 31 league appearances as he nailed down a regular spot in Simone Inzaghi's backline.

In June, however, Bastoni's agent Tullio Tinti claimed he would "100 per cent" remain at San Siro, and the defender has now revealed a move never crossed his mind.

"I never had the slightest doubt of leaving Inter, here I have everything I need to feel good and express myself at my best," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I am great with my teammates, with the club, I love Milan and so why go elsewhere? For many years [I hope to be] with this shirt and, in the meantime, I hope to still win a lot.

"The fact that the club wants to keep me means a lot. Here I have everything to feel good, I never thought about leaving."

Bastoni's defensive partner Skriniar has also been liked with an exit, with Paris Saint-Germain rumoured to be interested in the Slovakia international.

But Bastoni believes the presence of Skriniar, as well as that of the returning Lukaku – who scored 24 goals as Inter won the Scudetto in 2020-21 – will be crucial in the Nerazzurri's pursuit of silverware.

"[I hope] my friend Skriniar stays here with us, it would be a shame if he left us," Bastoni added. "Lukaku? He is the same [as his previous spell], now let us win."

Inter are likely to face stern competition in their bid to regain the Serie A title, both from champions Milan and Massimiliano Allegri's Juve.

The Bianconeri have had a busy transfer window after finishing fourth last term, acquiring the likes of Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria and Gleison Bremer, and the 23-year-old expects Allegri's team to fare much better this time around.

"We have grown, but keep an eye on Juventus," he warned. "The Bianconeri are a battleship, but we are no less."

Atletico Madrid are reportedly set to fund a bid for Cristiano Ronaldo by putting Antoine Griezmann up for sale, with the club hoping to bring the Portugal superstar back to La Liga.

Ronaldo has sat out Manchester United's pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia amid reports he has requested an exit from Old Trafford if a suitable bid is lodged.

The veteran forward signed a two-year deal in a spectacular homecoming last season, but could not help United avoid missing out on a top-four finish, leaving him without Champions League football this term as things stand.

 

TOP STORY - ATLETICO SEEK TO SELL GRIEZMANN TO LAUNCH RONALDO MOVE

Widely considered one of the greatest players in the modern game, Ronaldo is likely to accept only a move to a club that can offer him a shot at major European glory once again, limiting his pool of options.

Though linked with a host of European heavyweights, the funds required to cover his wage bill also present a major stumbling block - which is why Atletico are looking to push Griezmann off their books, says The Times.

Having left Atletico for Barcelona in 2019, the France international and World Cup winner returned to Wanda Metropolitano last year after a dismal stay at Camp Nou, pushing to recapture his best form.

He is halfway through a two-season loan with a permanent transfer set to come into force at the end of that deal, with Diego Simeone's side looking to move him on early.

Prospective buyers, such as Paris Saint-Germain, are not interested in taking Griezmann however, suggesting Neymar will remain at the Parc des Princes despite talk of an exit.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to the Mirror, United would let Ronaldo leave on a season-long loan deal - providing he triggered a one-year extension that would ensure his Old Trafford return in 2023.

– Sport believes that Barcelona hope to successfully hijack Chelsea's move for Jules Kounde by offering a lump sum payment to Sevilla, rather than the instalments favoured by the Blues.

– Newcastle are weighing up a move for Leicester winger Harvey Barnes, but the Foxes' £50m price tag is throwing a wrench in the Magpies' plans, says The Sun.

Brighton will not take a penny under their asking price for Marc Cucurella, with the Seagulls refusing to drop from their £50m valuation after Manchester City's £30m offer, per The Athletic.

– Timo Werner is eyeing an exit from Chelsea in this window as the Germany international is concerned over his game-time ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Barcelona could not compete financially with Chelsea for the signing of centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Chelsea confirmed the signing of Koulibaly last weekend in a deal worth a reported £33.8million (€40m), bringing an end to the defender's eight-year stay in Naples.

LaLiga heavyweights Barca, whose financial problems have been well documented over the past year, also had an interest in the Senegal international.

However, De Laurentiis claims the Catalan club could not meet Napoli's valuation for Koulibaly, who was into the final year of his contract at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

"Barcelona had come in, but they didn't have the money because they are in debt," he told Radio Kiss Kiss. "Then Chelsea came forward and we couldn't say no."

Koulibaly helped Napoli to three second-place finishes in Serie A and to Coppa Italia glory in 2020, as well as winning the Supercoppa Italiana shortly after he arrived in Italy.

Since joining the club in 2014, no defender in the Italian top flight has won more tackles than Koulibaly (344), or made more successful passes (14,528).

De Laurentiis revealed Napoli offered the 31-year-old an improved contract in an attempt to fend off Chelsea.

"I let Koulibaly go because he asked me to. I tried in every possible way to keep him, offering €6million per season net," De Laurentiis said.

"But if a player wants a new experience at a prestigious club, in the biggest league in the world, you have to recognise what he's given you and not put up walls."

Koulibaly made 236 Serie A appearances for Napoli, including 27 as the Partenopei finished third last season.

Thomas Tuchel does not intend to give in to Cesar Azpilicueta's demand for a cut-price exit to Barcelona. 

Azpilicueta has reportedly asked to leave Stamford Bridge for Barca, who have already signed Andreas Christensen after his Blues contract expired.

It has been suggested that a £55million move for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde could pave the way for the Spaniard to leave for Camp Nou. 

However, Tuchel is standing firm and does not want to let Azpilicueta leave on the cheap, saying he was "maybe a little bit" annoyed by Barca's pursuit of the player. 

"It's a tough question because I'm not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants," said Tuchel, as quoted by Standard Sport. 

"At some point it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for [Kalidou] Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age. 

"He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. I see him maybe at the same level, but Barcelona don't see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player. 

"We don't think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what's best for Chelsea. 

"He doesn't like it but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On September 1 when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level." 

Tuchel poured cold water on reports that striker Timo Werner is keen to return to Germany after failing to make an impact following his arrival from RB Leipzig in 2020. 

"I don't think so, so I don't know about it. Timo has not talked to me about it," said Tuchel. 

"At the moment I think he wants to make his way at Chelsea. He still has to prove a point." 

The revolving door at Stamford Bridge could face a potential slow down with the growing wage disparity between the Premier League and the rest of Europe's top five leagues.

Premier League clubs dominate lists of the highest wage spenders in European football and since Roman Abramovich's takeover, Chelsea have long been a prominent figure in that regard.

In a changing marketplace, however, moving players this season has become a trickier task.

 

TOP STORY – WERNER, KEPA STAYING PUT AT CHELSEA

Chelsea are struggling to move Timo Werner and Kepa Arrizabalaga among other players due to wage demands, according to The Telegraph.

The Blues are also finding it tricky to move Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley, despite the club's desire to accommodate potential signings.

Werner has seen the Blues search for attackers this off-season and could potentially be joining Romelu Lukaku out the door, while Kepa has notably been Edouard Mendy's understudy.

Finding a suitable club for the two has the potential to be difficult, however, with both being brought in on lucrative wages.

 

ROUND-UP

– Barcelona will make a final attempt to sign Sevilla's Jules Kounde amid likelier interest from Chelsea, Sport is reporting.

Manchester City have had a £30million bid for Marc Cucurella rejected by Brighton and Hove Albion, who value him around £50m, according to The Athletic.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to offload Georginio Wijnaldum and Roma have emerged as a potential destination for the Netherlands midfielder, Corriere dello Sport reports.

– Juventus are considering the termination of Aaron Ramsey's contract in an attempt to cut heavy wage spending, per Fabrizio Romano.

Sadio Mane has been named African Footballer of the Year for 2022, seeing off competition from former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Chelsea's Edouard Mendy at Thursday's CAF awards.

The Bayern Munich new boy, who was also crowned the continent's top player in 2019, helped Senegal win their first Africa Cup of Nations title in February, scoring the winning penalty to down Salah's Egypt in the final.

The forward scored three goals throughout the competition in Cameroon, after which he was crowned Player of the Tournament.

One month later, Mane was influential in another shoot-out win over the Pharaohs, as Senegal sealed qualification for the World Cup in Qatar later this year. 

On the domestic front, meanwhile, Mane scored 23 goals in all competitions as Liverpool won the EFL and FA Cups during his final season at Anfield.

Mane made 51 appearances across a mammoth 2021-22 campaign with the Reds, a tally only bettered by Jordan Henderson (57), Diogo Jota (55) and Allison (54).

Oliver Kahn, chief executive of Mane's new employers Bayern, was the first to offer his congratulations to the 30-year-old, writing on Twitter: "We are very happy about Sadio Mane's award. 

"FC Bayern has never had an African Footballer of the Year in its ranks in its long history, which is a special honour for our club.

"We are very proud that he is now on the ball for our club and have many big goals with him."

While Chelsea shot-stopper Mendy missed out on being crowned the continent's best player, he could draw some consolation from Senegal's clean sweep of awards.

The Lions of Teranga were named CAF's team of the year, while boss Aliou Cisse won Coach of the Year and midfielder Pape Matar Sarr scooped the Young Player of the Year gong.

 

Raheem Sterling hailed the "winning mentality" of Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea side as he targeted silverware after swapping Manchester City for the Blues.

Having won four Premier League titles in a successful seven-year spell with City, Sterling completed a £45million move to Chelsea earlier this month.

Chelsea's top league goalscorer last season was Sterling's England team-mate Mason Mount with 11, and the signing of the 27-year-old Sterling should give the Blues more cutting edge. Sterling's haul of 91 Premier League goals is a total that has been bettered only among City players by Sergio Aguero (184).

Chelsea have not won a Premier League title since Antonio Conte's men triumphed in the 2016-17 season, but they have collected several pieces of silverware in the intervening years.

The Stamford Bridge outfit have won the Champions League, Europa League, FIFA Club World Cup and both domestic cups since that success, and Sterling's desire to lift major trophies was a key factor in his decision to make the move.

"In the last two years, it's four or five finals that you guys have been in, you won the Champions League and are now looking to challenge for the Premier League," Sterling told Chelsea's website.

"It's something that intrigued me when I was having a conversation with the club.

"Seeing the direction that you guys are going in, it's something I really bought into and I just felt it is a place where I can really come into my own. I just think it's the perfect platform for me.

"The club's already got that winning mentality, but to keep doing it every single year and keep winning more and more trophies and building on the previous season, I think that's what top managers like Thomas do.

"It's not one year win and next year rest, it's again and again and again, and that's what excites me to be here."

 

Having been allowed to leave City to make room for marquee arrival Erling Haaland, Sterling explained how Tuchel's faith in him was also a crucial consideration.

"You can see how genuine he was and how much he wanted me here, and that was the nail on it for me," Sterling said. "I was certain that this is a place I want to be.

"I feel at home already, and I'm just going to keep putting the work in and can't wait to gel even more with [my team-mates].

"I know how much more I have to offer. I still feel within myself that there's another step that I've been fighting to get to, and I think this is the perfect platform for me to do that."

Sterling could make his Premier League debut for Chelsea when they travel to Everton on August 6.

Sevilla left defender Jules Kounde out of their pre-season squad for a trip to Portugal, as he looks to be on his way to Chelsea.

Kounde has been linked with a move for much of the transfer window, and it appears he is now close to changing clubs.

Chelsea have reportedly upped their bid to £55million, and Sevilla's decision to leave him out of plans for their camp in Portugal suggests he may indeed be heading to Stamford Bridge.

However, Barcelona are also reportedly keen on the Frenchman and could make a late attempt to pip the English side to his services.

Kounde signed for Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019 and has impressed with the Spanish side, helping them to win the Europa League in the 2019-20 campaign.

He would add steel to his new side's backline, after he ranked first in duels won (169) and second in blocks (17) among Sevilla players in LaLiga last season, as well as second in headed clearances (56).

Frenkie de Jong reportedly has no interest in signing with Manchester United, instead preferring either Chelsea or Bayern Munich if he is to leave Barcelona.

De Jong has been at the centre of Barcelona's transfer period, with widespread belief that the club must sell the 25-year-old to balance their books.

The Netherlands international has racked up 140 club appearances for Barcelona in his three seasons since arriving from Ajax, and he is determined to have a say in where he spends the next few years of his prime.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG PREFERS CHELSEA, BAYERN OVER OLD TRAFFORD MOVE

In an explosive report from Spanish publication Sport, it says De Jong "does not like the city of Manchester or the functioning of United", with claims he feels the club has displayed "erratic behaviour" in recent years.

It also makes clear that he values Champions League football greatly at this point in his career, and any move away from the Spanish giants would need to land him at a club on equal footing.

According to the report, Chelsea are waiting for De Jong to officially decline United's approach before presenting a formal offer, but there is interest. 

Ultimately, he would prefer to stay at Barcelona, and if the club cannot clear up the issue of his significant unpaid wages, he may get his way.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea have set their sights on 20-year-old RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, with The Sun declaring him the Blues' top target to replace Cesar Azpilicueta.

– Sky Sports Germany is reporting Borussia Dortmund are weighing up the potential signing of 35-year-old Luis Suarez in the wake of news that Sebastien Haller will be out indefinitely after the discovery of a testicular tumour.

West Ham remain engaged with Chelsea as they try to pry away 20-year-old Albanian striker Armando Broja, who Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan of.

– With fullback Marc Cucurella likely heading to Manchester City, Brighton are considering a loan move for Arsenal's Nuno Tavares to plug the hole, according to O Jogo.

– The Guardian claims Jesse Lingard is in advanced talks to join Nottingham Forest, with the Daily Mail adding they have offered £200,000 to try and fend off interest from West Ham.

Marseille have announced the signing of France defender Jonathan Clauss, who had previously been linked with Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Ligue 1 club, who appointed Igor Tudor as head coach after Jorge Sampaoli departed earlier this month, confirmed Clauss had signed a three-year deal on Wednesday.

Right-back Clauss was handed his France debut by Didier Deschamps during a friendly win over Ivory Coast in March and has appeared for the world champions four times to date.

Clauss enjoyed a fine campaign for Lens as they finished seventh in the French top flight last season, scoring five goals and adding 11 assists in 37 Ligue 1 appearances.

Only three players, including Paris Saint-Germain duo Kylian Mbappe (17) and Lionel Messi (14), teed up more goals than the 29-year-old in the competition, form that saw him linked with a switch to the Premier League and Atletico Madrid.

But in Ligue 1 he shall remain, with Marseille reportedly paying just €8million for the wing-back, who will hope to feature when France begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on November 22.

Marseille also announced the loan signing of goalkeeper Ruben Blanco from Celta Vigo, having allowed club legend Steve Mandanda to leave earlier this month.

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