Christophe Galtier is "really worried" about Paris Saint-Germain's prospects when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

With Lionel Messi joining Kylian Mbappe on the sidelines due to injury, PSG slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the latter's old club Monaco on Saturday.

It marked PSG's third defeat from their last seven Ligue 1 matches.

Galtier placed Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos on the bench, while he confirmed a virus had struck the camp, with Fabian Ruiz also absent.

Bundesliga champions Bayern, 3-0 winners over Bochum on Saturday, head to the Parc des Princes for the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie next week, and Galtier is concerned.

"There was a lack of intensity. It is the current state of the team. I can't hide behind that," he said in a press conference.

"The state of the team is like this. It is strange but true. It is bizarre to say that as a PSG manager, but it is the current reality.

"I am worried about the match on Tuesday night. If I wasn't that'd be something serious. We'll see if some of those that couldn't start the match will be able to play on Tuesday. 

"We have a very weakened team and we're worried. In this period, you have to stay clear-headed. I understand the fan's anger. There is anger."

The anger Galtier referred to was apparent as Presnel Kimpembe pleaded with supporters through a megaphone following the defeat at Monaco.

And any hopes of Mbappe returning in time to face Bayern look slim.

"I don't think Mbappe will play," Galtier said. "There are other matches and we're taking no risk with him.

"We hope he'll recover well. Hopefully, [Marco] Verratti, Messi and others on the bench can play the match."

Presnel Kimpembe pleaded to Paris Saint-Germain supporters through a megaphone following Saturday's 3-1 loss at Monaco.

The 27-year-old played the final 10 minutes at Stade Louis II as PSG's disappointing run of form continued against Les Monegasques, who moved into second place.

Christophe Galtier's side have now lost three of their seven league games in 2023, as many as in their previous 45 games in the competition.

PSG were also eliminated from the Coupe de France by fierce rivals Marseille in midweek and have a big Champions League last-16 first-leg tie with Bayern Munich up next.

As tensions boiled over in the away section, no visiting player initially went across at the full-time whistle, but Kimpembe soon took matters into his own hands.

The centre-back was handed a megaphone and, with supporters still jeering, said: "We're going to need you guys. We need you; we need everyone.

"The only thing I can say is thank you for coming. We will regroup in the dressing room and do things properly. We know we'll get moving again on Tuesday."

Asked in the mixed zone shortly after about his reaction, Kimpembe told reporters: "It was necessary. It's difficult for them. 

"We know that they support us. They make the trips like us. They also pay for it. It's the least we can do to go and see them."

 

PSG were without Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe against Monaco, while Fabian Ruiz was a surprise absentee as the reigning champions were hampered by injury and illness.

Aleksandr Golovin struck early for Monaco and Wissam Ben Yedder doubled the lead before half-time, punishing an error from 17-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu.

Sixteen-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery briefly put the visitors back in contention at 2-1, but Ben Yedder struck again as PSG suffered successive defeats in all competitions for the first time since last March.

PSG's three league defeats in 2023 is their highest tally after seven games of a calendar year since 2010 when losing five times, but Kimpembe denied his side are in a crisis.

"It's not a crisis. The season is still long, it's not over," he said. "We know that these are not the results we had hoped for. That's how it is, it's football.

"It's up to us to wake up, to do what we need to do to be able to put in a series of good performances."

Asked to define PSG's current form, Kimpembe said: "It's a bad patch. As we know, wearing the PSG shirt is hard, it's heavy. 

"You have to know how to have the right responsibilities and do what you have to do on the field."

Next week's visit of Bayern now brings even more pressure, with the German champions boasting six wins from six in this season's Champions League.

"There's no reason to be worried," Kimpembe added. "We've had six important months with nothing but wins. We shouldn't throw that away, even if it's true it's a difficult period. 

"We are all aware of it. We have to stop talking, we have to act."

Christophe Galtier was enraged by Paris Saint-Germain's "catastrophic" start after the Ligue 1 leaders were hampered by injury and illness in a 3-1 defeat at Monaco.

Hamstring issues had already left PSG without Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe at the Stade Louis II, while Fabian Ruiz was surprisingly absent and Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos began on the bench.

PSG were torn apart in the first half as Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice after Aleksandr Golovin's opener, capitalising on an error from 17-year-old defender El Chadaille Bitshiabu for his first.

The visitors were unable to build on Warren Zaire-Emery's response and have now suffered three defeats in their last seven league games, as many as in their previous 45.

While selection issues plagued PSG on their trip to the principality, Galtier viewed their slow start as unacceptable.

"I am furious because the start is catastrophic," he told Amazon Prime Video. "We had hope with the goal, and we concede a third on a transition. Going back to 3-1 is more complicated. 

"There is anger. There were absentees, a virus. It's a difficult time for everyone, the players and the fans. 

"We have a big meeting on Tuesday [against Bayern Munich] and we need to regain energy, confidence and available players. We've conceded a lot of goals since the restart. We have to find balance. 

"In the second half, there were zero shots and no reaction. It is insufficient. After three minutes, the plan fell through."

PSG's tally of three league defeats in 2023 is their most after seven games at the start of a calendar year since their 2011 takeover by Qatar Sports Investments, last enduring a worse start when they lost five of their first seven Ligue 1 matches in 2010.

Having exited the Coupe de France against Marseille in midweek, PSG face a huge Champions League last-16 meeting with Bayern Munich on Tuesday, and captain Marquinhos knows the importance of responding to Saturday's setback.

"After a disappointment, we know that we have to bounce back quickly," he said. "We have to talk to each other, let everyone look at each other to see what they can do better. 

"You must not let go. We lost the cup, we have the Champions League, we are first in the championship... why would we give up now? 

"We are going through a difficult moment, but we have to go hard; it's a key moment of the season."

Paris Saint-Germain's poor start to 2023 continued as Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice in Monaco's 3-1 win over the Ligue 1 leaders, who sorely missed the injured Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. 

Hamstring issues kept Messi and Mbappe out at the Stade Louis II, and with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi benched, Christophe Galtier's below-strength team were all at sea.

Aleksandr Golovin struck early for Monaco and Ben Yedder doubled up before half-time, punishing an error from 17-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu for his first goal.

Sixteen-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery briefly put PSG back in contention before Ben Yedder's second, but PSG's defensive shortcomings ensured they suffered their third league defeat since the turn of the year.

PSG fell behind just four minutes into a calamitous display, Golovin poking home after Youssouf Fofana's powerful run teed up Ben Yedder for a blocked attempt.

Monaco continued to test a nervous PSG backline and punished a mistake from Bitshiabu after 18 minutes, with Ben Yedder drilling beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma after the defender carelessly lost possession.

PSG halved the arrears when Juan Bernat's cut-back found Zaire-Emery for a simple tap-in, but the outstanding Ben Yedder restored Monaco's two-goal lead with a composed one-on-one finish as half-time approached.

Ben Yedder almost brought up his treble with a powerful header after 61 minutes, only for Donnarumma to deny him with a firm one-handed stop.

Donnarumma was then alert to prevent half-time substitute Ramos putting through his own net as PSG escaped further humiliation, but they will need a major improvement ahead of Tuesday's Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich. 

Liverpool and Newcastle United are reportedly among the Premier League teams exploring a potential move for Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah – and the interest could be mutual.

Tah, 26, is in his eighth season in Leverkusen after arriving ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, racking up 283 appearances in all competitions and earning 16 senior international caps for Germany.

After five consecutive seasons finishing in the Bundesliga's top-six, Leverkusen have struggled this campaign, with just seven wins and a negative goal difference after 19 games, leaving them 10th.

Facing an uphill battle for any European football next season, the club will reportedly struggle to convince Tah to stick around, especially with plenty of interest from his desired landing spot in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – TAH SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE

According to 90min, Tah is "keen to take his talents to England at the end of the season".

He has two more seasons on his contract, tying him to Leverkusen until 2025, leaving the club with a difficult decision about whether to hang on to one of their top players or cash in and use the funds to improve the squad.

As well as Liverpool and Newcastle, West Ham are also understood to have touched base with Leverkusen about Tah's availability in January, while his name also came up in discussions with Tottenham, but they are said to prefer his centre-back partner Piero Hincapie.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting Tottenham are admirers of 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison

– According to El Nacional, Real Madrid have held talks with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp about potentially taking over from Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season, and Klopp is said to have requested the Spanish giants pursue Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe.

Milan have an interest in signing 27-year-old Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, per the Mirror, while the Daily Mail adds the Italian side are also impressed by 21-year-old Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun, who has 14 Ligue 1 goals for Reims this season.

Manchester United and Newcastle are said to be two of many clubs keeping a close eye on 18-year-old Royal Antwerp prospect Arthur Vermeeren, per the Daily Mail.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting United, Arsenal and Liverpool have all held talks with the agent of 20-year-old Barcelona forward Ansu Fati.

Lionel Messi will be absent when Paris Saint-Germain face Monaco on Saturday, but coach Christophe Galtier says he will return for next week's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

Messi joined Neymar in a two-pronged PSG attack for Wednesday's surprise Coupe de France defeat to rivals Marseille, with Kylian Mbappe missing as a result of a hamstring issue.

After PSG announced that injury could rule Mbappe out of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern, reports suggested Messi was also doubtful after sustaining a similar problem.  

However, Galtier eased fears Messi could miss Tuesday's meeting with the Bundesliga giants on Friday, although the World Cup winner is set to sit out PSG's Ligue 1 trip to Monaco.

"Leo has felt muscle fatigue, he will resume training on Monday. He is not uncertain for Bayern," Galtier said at his pre-match press conference. 

"We know the importance of Leo to our game. With his absence, we will have to play in a different way to have a more solid, more compact team structure, to use each other. 

"Obviously, going to Monaco without Leo is always annoying."

Messi's tally of 29 goal contributions this season (15 goals, 14 assists) is only bettered by three players from Europe's top five leagues, with Manchester City's Erling Haaland (34) leading PSG team-mates Neymar (32) and Mbappe (31).

PSG's reporting of Mbappe's injury has been met with scepticism in Munich, with Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann saying the French club are "playing poker" regarding his availability.

Asked whether he would be prepared to risk Mbappe on Tuesday, Galtier said: "The player's health comes first. I will be very vigilant about the player's health, especially as the season is long.

"Regarding Kylian, the communication has been made. We spoke of a three-week period of unavailability. Kylian is undergoing treatment."

PSG have endured an underwhelming start to 2023, failing to keep a clean sheet in their past four Ligue 1 games and losing two away matches in the league since the turn of the year, only one fewer than they did in the entirety of 2022.

Galtier's men are the only Ligue 1 side yet to win 1,000 duels in the competition this season (998), and he believes they need to be more aggressive to turn their form around.

"The players were very affected in the locker room after the [Marseille] match and yesterday," he said. "You have to avoid long speeches but also show them what did not work.

"When there is so much disappointment, it is useless to get angry. You have to keep a very cool head.

"We are going to have a series against intense teams who impose duels. We will have to respond. 

"At the moment, we are not finding this aggressiveness. The players have to make a big effort on the mental aspects to win a lot more duels in the middle."

Manchester City reportedly view Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell as a potential answer to their left-back problem and will investigate a move at the end of the season.

Chilwell, 26, was purchased from Leicester City for a £50million fee prior to the 2020-21 campaign, and he enjoyed immediate success at Stamford Bridge. In his first season with the club, all 27 of his Premier League appearances came in the starting line-up, and he also played a full 90 minutes in their Champions League final triumph over City.

Unfortunately, the England international with 17 senior caps has been plagued by injuries since, with a serious knee injury this past season followed by a long-term hamstring injury early in the current campaign.

Chilwell returned from his hamstring issue with a brief appearance off the bench against Fulham on February 3, and if he can prove his fitness down the stretch then he could prove the perfect replacement for Joao Cancelo after his shock departure on loan to Bayern Munich.

TOP STORY – CITY IDENTIFY CHILWELL AS POTENTIAL CANCELO REPLACEMENT

The future of Cancelo with City is looking bleak after he was shipped off to Bayern following reports of a training ground dispute with boss Pep Guardiola, and Caught Offside claims the club are already looking at long-term solutions in his position.

Fabrizio Romano writes that "Chilwell is one of the players who has been appreciated by Manchester City for years" – but adds the Englishman is just one name on a shortlist of left-back options to pursue when the season wraps up.

Chilwell's five-year contract with Chelsea ties him to the club until 2025, but the report states the addition of Marc Cucurella has made him more expendable if the price is right.

ROUND-UP

– According to 90min, Chelsea have made 24-year-old Napoli striker Victor Osimhen their top forward target, and he is expected to cost in excess of £100million (€110m).

– The Daily Mail is reporting Tottenham will look to sign new centre-backs at the end of the season, and have taken a liking to 22-year-old Crystal Palace talent Marc Guehi, who may be available for a fee of around £45million.

– According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona will join a long list of elite clubs – including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Inter – in the pursuit of 25-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram. The France international will become a free agent after the season, and his father Lillian Thuram spent two seasons with Barcelona before retiring.

Inter will work to secure 29-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku on either a permanent deal or another loan from Chelsea next season at a lower cost, per Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Football Insider is reporting Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United are all interested in 18-year-old Birmingham City midfielder George Hall, who some are calling "the next Jude Bellingham".

Life is good at Manchester United right now – and it might be about to get better.

Erik ten Hag has guided United to third in the Premier League, perhaps still in title contention, while they will face Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final.

Rivals Manchester City and Liverpool are facing various crises, and United's ambitions moving forward could be boosted by a lucrative takeover.

After making only loan signings in January as the Glazer family consider selling up, the outlook at Old Trafford might be about to change entirely.

TOP STORY – QATARI-BACKED MAN UTD BID DUE IN DAYS

According to the Daily Mail, a group of Qatari investors plan to buy United and give manager Ten Hag "the financial backing to lead the club back to the top".

The Glazers set a deadline of mid-February for bids, and an offer from the group is expected in the coming days.

The report says the group are confident their bid would "blow the competition out of the water".

This interest in United follows on the back of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the investors eager to secure ownership of "the crown jewels" of the footballing world.

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting Manchester City's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is at risk of being torpedoed by their potential financial breaches.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, Cristiano Ronaldo's team Al Nassr have offered 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets a contract worth €18million per season.

Manchester United and Liverpool will both make a run at Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani, who impressed for France at the World Cup, per L'Equipe.

– Calciomercato is reporting Juventus will likely allow striker Dusan Vlahovic to leave at the end of the season if they receive a bid in the range of €90m.

– According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United have made 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison a key target.

Manchester United will reportedly aim to sell Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Alex Telles after the season to fund the purchase of a new marquee talent.

The Old Trafford side are said to be investigating a number of targets expected to cost in excess of £100million, including Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, Tottenham talisman Harry Kane and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

United are very familiar with Premier League stars and England internationals Kane and Rice, while Osimhen has enjoyed a rise to prominence this season with the Serie A leaders.

With 16 goals in 17 league appearances this campaign, the 24-year-old Nigerian has already set a new personal best goal tally, and he has been one of the driving forces for a Napoli team sitting 13 points clear at the top.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IDENTIFY LIKELY SALES TO FUND NEW SIGNING

According to the Manchester Evening News, Telles, Maguire and Martial have all been identified as players United would like to cash-in on to at least partially pay for a new £100m signing.

That report states Kane and Osimhen are the primary targets, as well as Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos and Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus.

Meanwhile, Talksport adds that United had a £100m bid for Rice turned down by West Ham before the season, but that he could be pried away at the end of the campaign for £120m plus add-ons.

United are willing to pay £107m (€120m) for Osimhen, and they expect competition from Chelsea, per The Express.

 

ROUND-UP

– AS is reporting United are interested in 29-year-old Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco. Barcelona have the option to purchase the Belgian for €20m, but if they pass, Atletico will listen to offers from the Premier League.

Paris Saint-Germain will rival Barcelona in the pursuit of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, per Le10Sport.

– According to The Athletic, Real Madrid believe Jude Bellingham will choose the Premier League if he leaves Borussia Dortmund. 

– 90min is reporting Chelsea are scouting 23-year-old Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa as they look to address the position at the end of the season.

Inter have added 25-year-old Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo to their list of potential replacements for outgoing centre-back Milan Skriniar, per Tuttomercatoweb.

Neymar has returned to full training with Paris Saint-Germain in a big boost for the French giants ahead of three big matches across the next week.

The Brazil international has not featured in PSG's past two games – league wins over Montpellier and Toulouse – due to suffering from muscular fatigue.

However, Neymar is now in contention to return for Wednesday's Classique against Marseille at Stade Velodrome in the last 16 of the Coupe de France.

Ligue 1 leaders PSG then face fourth-placed Monaco in the league on Saturday, before hosting Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie next week.

PSG posted an image of Neymar in training on Monday, while fellow recent injury absentee Sergio Ramos was also present.

Kylian Mbappe is expected to miss at least the first leg of that showdown with Bayern, however, with the prolific forward still nursing a thigh injury.

Prior to his short lay-off, Neymar – who celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday – had scored 17 goals and assisted 14 more in 25 appearances this season.

Those 31 goal involvements put Neymar level with team-mate Mbappe and behind only Manchester City's Erling Haaland (34) among players from Europe's top five leagues.

Paris Saint-Germain remain in contract talks with Lionel Messi, with the club's football advisor Luis Campos hopeful of reaching an agreement.

Messi's two-year deal with PSG is due to expire at the end of the season, and the 35-year-old has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

A return to Barcelona has also been mooted for Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup glory last year, winning the Golden Ball award following a series of talismanic displays in Qatar.

While reports in December suggested he had reached an agreement in principle to stay with PSG, no announcement has been made on his future beyond this campaign.

Campos has confirmed discussions are ongoing with Messi, who he hopes will renew after recording 29 goal involvements (15 goals, 14 assists) in 24 PSG appearances this season. 

"I would like to have him in this project, I cannot hide it, I would be delighted if he continues with us," Campos told Telefoot.

"But we are still discussing at the moment to achieve this goal, to continue to have Lionel Messi with us."

PSG came close to recruiting another left-footed attacker as the January transfer window drew to a close, only for a proposed loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech to fall through.

The Parisians were reportedly foiled by Chelsea's failure to submit the correct paperwork before the transfer deadline, leaving Campos in no doubt as to the Blues' responsibility for the failed move.

"We had the player with us, we had done everything," he said. "But like in all transfers, we need the three parts, player and both clubs, to work well. 

"In this case, it worked very well for PSG, it worked well with Ziyech and unfortunately it didn't work out for the last part."

Christophe Galtier hailed another match-winning contribution from Lionel Messi after Paris Saint-Germain beat Toulouse 2-1 to go eight points clear at the top of Ligue.

PSG suffered an early blow at the Parc des Princes on Saturday when midfielder Renato Sanches left the field in tears after joining an injury list that includes the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Sergio Ramos.

Things took another turn when Branco van den Boomen's free-kick gave Toulouse a surprise lead 20 minutes in.

They responded like champions, Achraf Hakimi equalising with a sublime left-foot finish from 20 yards out after cutting in from the right seven minutes before the break.

Hakimi then provided an assist for the mercurial Messi, who produced a clinical first-time finish from outside the penalty area increase PSG's lead over Marseille - who face Nice on Sunday.

Messi is up to 10 goals for the season for a 16th time in one of the top five European leagues, this being the first campaign he has hit double figures for the Parisian giants.

PSG head coach Galtier was pleased with the way his side recovered from losing midfielder Sanches and falling behind.

He said: "We had a tough start to the match with Renato's injury early on. I decided to bring on El Chadaille [Bitshiabu] very quickly, he's been showing for many weeks that he's Ligue 1 level.

"We knew Toulouse's quality from set-pieces. They are one of the most dangerous teams in Ligue 1 from set-pieces. But overall we controlled the game. We had to get back on level terms and take risks against a very compact defence.

"In that sense, Achraf, as he did against Montpellier even though the goal was ruled out, this time scored with his left foot.

"Then the second half was much better for us going forward even though we needed to be careful of the balance of the team. Marqui [Marquinhos] and Chad, who I think won the ball most today, were great centre-backs today, one young and one with experience were able to stop the Toulouse counter-attacks.

"We were able, thanks to Leo's quality and his determination, to take the team to victory and win in a game that seemed like we should have won."

Lionel Messi and Achraf Hakimi were on target as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat Toulouse 2-1 and go eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

Branco van den Boomen's free-kick gave Toulouse a surprise lead at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, but the champions fought back without injured duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

Hakimi equalised with a sublime first-half strike and he was credited with the assist for a brilliantly taken second goal from Messi after the break.

PSG were good value for a victory that increased their advantage over Marseille at the summit and they will take some stopping in their quest to retain the title.

PSG suffered an early blow when Renato Sanches was seemingly in tears as he departed with an injury and they were rocked again when Van den Boomen sent a free-kick to the left of the wall and into the far corner 20 minutes in.

Marquinhos nodded Messi's whipped corner against the post and PSG were relieved to see the offside flag go up after Zakaria Aboukhlal thought he had headed Toulouse into a two-goal lead.

Hakimi produced the moment of quality the leaders had been lacking to level seven minutes before the break, cutting in from the right and unleashing a venomous left-foot drive that found the back of the net from 20 yards out.

The marauding Hakimi was involved in PSG's second goal just before the hour-mark, embarking on a run that that resulted in Messi firing a clinical left-foot finish beyond Maxime Dupe from outside the box.

PSG did not see the game out in convincing fashion and Mikkel Desler spurned a great chance to make it 2-2, before Messi rattled the post in a frantic finale.

 

Manchester City have reportedly identified Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister as their desired replacement for Ilkay Gundogan at the end of the season.

Mac Allister, 24, is enjoying a career-best season, with his five goals in 17 Premier League fixtures already matching his best ever tally for a full league season.

The talented creative midfielder also made six starts for Argentina during their march to victory at the Qatar World Cup, scoring his first senior international goal during a 2-0 win over Poland in the group stage.

His emergence as a player capable of shining on the world stage, as well as his contribution to Brighton's terrific season, has apparently caught the eye of City boss Pep Guardiola.

 

TOP STORY – CITY VIEW MAC ALLISTER AS IDEAL GUNDOGAN REPLACEMENT

According to Fichajes, Gundogan is expected to leave City when his contract expires at the end of the season, and Bernardo Silva could follow if he gets his wish with a LaLiga move.

The report states Guardiola is a big fan of Mac Allister, and believes he has proven himself as a capable Premier League producer.

Fichajes claim Brighton have set an asking price in the range of £40million, indicating they are more willing to part ways with him than 21-year-old Moises Caicedo, with both of their contracts expiring in 2025.

 

ROUND-UP

– ESPN is reporting Napoli will hold firm with an asking price of at least €100m (£90m) for 24-year-old striker Victor Osimhen, who has strong interest from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

– According to 90min, Chelsea's top priority now is sorting out a contract extension for 24-year-old England international Mason Mount.

Mason Greenwood will look to revive his career in China if United decide to let him go, per the Sun.

– Caught Offside is reporting West Ham and Everton will have to return after the season if they want to sign 27-year-old winger Sheraldo Becker, with Union Berlin unwilling to deal in January due to their strong league position.

Kylian Mbappe has not been mishandled by Paris Saint-Germain since the World Cup and injuries are "part of the job", coach Christophe Galtier said on Friday.

Mbappe is expected to miss PSG's Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayern Munich on February 14 after suffering a hamstring injury in the win at Montpellier on Wednesday.

Facing three weeks on the sidelines, Mbappe should also sit out Ligue 1 games against Toulouse, Monaco and Lille, as well as the Coupe de France clash with Marseille.

Considering Mbappe has 25 goals in 26 appearances for PSG this season, this is a major blow at a significant stage of the campaign, with Neymar also on the injured list.

The Toulouse game comes on Saturday as PSG look to extend their five-point lead over second-placed Marseille, with Lionel Messi heading into the fixture without his fellow star attackers.

Galtier has considered whether he has played Mbappe too much since the France striker returned from Qatar 2022. His verdict is that PSG have protected Mbappe as much as possible.

"We are in a unique season, with a World Cup in the middle," Galtier said, "and I realise that at many other clubs with many internationals, there has been fatigue that has generated automatically and injuries.

"As a philosophy, I am in the habit of saying injuries are part of the job.

"We're sorry above all for Kylian. He is a competitor and always wants to be involved, but we can't have a season where we don't have physical problems, that's part of a season and part of the competition. 

"It's even more so for a club with internationals who are in demand all the time, as much with club as with country."

 

Galtier said PSG "took a lot of precautions for Kylian's return".

The striker reported for duty with the capital giants in the midweek after France's World Cup final penalty shoot-out loss to Argentina in December, illustrating his eagerness to get back into club action.

He was then allowed a holiday in January, with Mbappe travelling to the United States for that break.

"I don't think Kylian played too much," Galtier said, "and from the moment you play, there is always an element of risk."

Veteran defender Sergio Ramos, hit by a thigh problem at Montpellier, is another who will sit out the Toulouse game. The onus will fall on Messi to drive PSG to victory on Saturday, and the Argentine great scored in the 3-1 success at Montpellier.

"Leo Messi was able to take matters into his own hands against Montpellier, as soon as Kylian Mbappe and Sergio Ramos went off," said Galtier.

"He was a natural leader and the players put themselves at his service. I congratulated everyone for doing the work necessary to get this victory, which was difficult to obtain.

"The absence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is inevitably damaging since there were many connections between these three players. I now have to organise the team, taking into account these combined absences.

"Leo Messi will continue in his usual role. It will be up to the players who will be at his side to seize the opportunities and for everyone to raise their level of play."

Page 6 of 115
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.