Real Madrid president Florentino Perez thinks Kylian Mbappe will already be regretting staying at Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe was widely expected to move to Madrid when his PSG contract expired in June, but agreed to a three-year extension in the French capital.

Perez previously stated the Mbappe who snubbed the LaLiga and European champions is not the same character he wanted to bring to Los Blancos.

The Madrid chief, speaking during a meeting with the club's fans, again commented on Mbappe's decision as he declared the World Cup winner will be wishing he had moved to Los Blancos.

"The poor guy, Mbappe must already be sorry," Perez said when signing autographs after a fan had asked him about the France international.

 

Mbappe was in scintillating form in the 2021-22 campaign as he scored 28 league goals, a tally only bettered by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (35) across Europe's top five divisions.

The 23-year-old also added 17 assists, with no player in Europe's biggest leagues managing more direct goal involvements (45) – France team-mate Karim Benzema ranked second with 39.

Mbappe will hope to deliver further success for PSG in the 2022-23 season as the French giants bid for their ninth Ligue 1 title in the last 11 seasons.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has committed to giving Lionel Messi some sort of tribute at the club, stating he deserves "eternal recognition" for his illustrious career.

The club's all-time record goalscorer left on a free transfer to join Paris Saint-Germain last year upon the expiration of his contract, with Barcelona unable to secure a renewal due to the club's financial issues.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Messi could not bid farewell to Barcelona fans in person and admitted in November he was "hurt" following his exit.

Laporta admitted during Barca's Extraordinary General Assembly that he was "sad" at the sequence of events but vowed to still pay tribute to the club legend somehow, who won 45 trophies during his stint with the Blaugrana.

"I will support, lead and back anyone that finds solutions that lead to a tribute to Messi, for all that he has given to Barca," he said.

"We have to give him an eternal recognition for all that he has done.

"For me, Leo will always be at Barca. Circumstances made us do what we did but that can't spoil the recognition we have to give him and sooner or later, I hope sooner, we can pay tribute to this player who has given us so many years of glory.

"Without him, the last 20 years of Barca would not be understood."

Barcelona may choose to honour Messi in 2024, the club's 125th anniversary, which could also coincide with the player's exit from PSG as he penned a two-year deal with the option of a further year in the French capital.

Paris Saint-Germain will be expected to make a winning start to their Ligue 1 title defence, while each of the newly promoted teams will receive a tough examination of their credentials on the opening weekend.

It may not be clear who will be managing PSG when the new season starts, but PSG know the identity of their opponents, with the champions set to travel to face Clermont Foot on the weekend of August 6 and 7.

That same weekend will see Auxerre, the 1995-96 champions back in the top flight after 10 seasons in the second tier, visit the team PSG deposed, Lille.

Toulouse are back after two seasons away and will open their campaign at home against Nice, who finished fifth last season.

Fellow new boys Ajaccio, playing at this level for the first time since 2013-14, will be on the road against seven-time champions Lyon.

Marseille will have ambitions of narrowing the 15-point gap to arch rivals PSG from last season and begin that quest at home to Reims. Another of PSG's potential challengers, Monaco, visit Strasbourg.

The first Classique between PSG and Marseille will take place at the Parc des Princes on October 16, the return fixture at the Stade Velodrome scheduled for February 26.

Lille host PSG on the third weekend of the season before Monaco take the trip to the capital a week later.

Marseille face Lyon and Monaco in their only two fixtures in November before the World Cup. The second Choc des Olympiques of the season between Lyon and Marseille will be held at the Groupama Stadium on April 23.

PSG's final game before the World Cup seems them welcome Auxerre.

Having opened their campaign at Clermont, a home clash for PSG against the same opposition will round off a season which most anticipate will be a procession to an outright record 11th league title for Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Co.

Paris Saint-Germain eased to a record-equalling 10th Ligue 1 title in the 2021-22 campaign, with Lille and Monaco the likely contenders to challenge the French giants in the following campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino's future remains uncertain at PSG despite securing the French top-flight title with four games to spare last season, with Nice's Christophe Galtier linked with the potential vacancy.

PSG have to wait until the ninth matchday to face Nice on October 2, but visit Lyon the game before on September 18 and face early clashes with Lille and Monaco on matchday four and five respectively.

The Ligue 1 champions host Marseille in the season's first Le Classique meeting on October 16, while PSG will have to negotiate a tricky period in February.

PSG visit Monaco on February 12 and Marseille two weeks later, either side of a home clash with Lille, who were the last side to deny Les Parisiens the championship in the 2020-21 term.

Away trips to AJ Auxerre and Strasbourg then precede a final matchday home clash with Clermont as PSG search for their ninth Ligue 1 crown in the last 11 seasons.

PSG's Ligue 1 fixtures in full:

07/08/2022 - Clermont (a)
14/08/2022 - Montpellier (h)
21/08/2022 - Lille (a)
28/08/2022 - Monaco (h)
31/08/2022 - Toulouse (a)
04/09/2022 - Nantes (a)
11/09/2022 - Brest (h)
18/09/2022 - Lyon (a)
02/10/2022 - Nice (h)
09/10/2022 - Reims (a)
16/10/2022 - Marseille (h)
23/10/2022 - AC Ajaccio (a)
30/10/2022 - Troyes (h)
06/11/2022 - Lorient (a)
13/11/2022 - AJ Auxerre (h)
28/12/2022 - Strasbourg (h)
01/01/2023 - Lens (a)
11/01/2023 - Angers (h)
15/01/2023 - Rennes (a)
29/01/2023 - Reims (h)
01/02/2023 - Montpellier (a)
05/02/2023 - Toulouse (h)
12/02/2023 - Monaco (a)
19/02/2023 - Lille (h)
26/02/2023 - Marseille (a)
05/03/2023 - Nantes (h)
12/03/2023 - Brest (a)
19/03/2023 - Rennes (h)
02/04/2023 - Lyon (h)
09/04/2023 - Nice (a)
16/04/2023 - Lens (h)
23/04/2023 - Angers (a)
30/04/2023 - Lorient (h)
07/05/2023 - Troyes (a)
14/05/2023 - AC Ajaccio (h)
21/05/2023 - AJ Auxerre (a)
27/05/2023 - Strasbourg (a)
03/06/2023 - Clermont (h)

LaLiga has called for Kylian Mbappe's contract at Paris Saint-Germain to be ripped up, demanding French government officials act and league chiefs take a closer look at the capital club's spending.

France striker Mbappe signed a new three-year deal with PSG in May, turning down Real Madrid who had been courting him for the past year.

The terms of the contract have not been officially disclosed, but Mbappe is widely reported to have received a staggering signing-on fee as well as extraordinary wages. Figures of €100million for signing and €50m per season have been suggested.

Lawyer Juan Branco, representing LaLiga, told a news conference in France on Friday that Spanish league chiefs are ready to go to court to challenge PSG's finances.

Ligue 1 champions PSG have strenuously denied being in breach of financial fair play regulations, but the Spanish authorities have expressed doubts about the legitimacy of their vast recent outlay on players. PSG have been owned by the Doha-based Qatar Sports Investments since 2011.

LaLiga wants the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) and the DNCG, the body that oversees football club finances in France, to examine in detail whether the Mbappe deal should have been given the green light.

"We are going to request the repeal of the approval of Mbappe's contract from the minister of sports, because that is the supervisory authority of sports administration," Branco said.

"Subsequently, we will appeal to the LFP so that it acts via its legal commission the DNCG in order to operate a monitoring report on the accounts of PSG. This is a legal step which will allow us to establish whether Mbappe's contract is within the economic parameters which are imposed by the regulations of the DNCG and UEFA financial fair play."

PSG signed Lionel Messi last August after Barcelona ran out of money to hand their captain a new contract, and also acquired former Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos at the end of his Santiago Bernabeu stay.

Real Madrid were optimistic about landing Mbappe, but hopes in Spain that he would move to LaLiga were dashed.

Branco said LaLiga was prepared to take action via the administrative court of Paris to seek the quashing of Mbappe's contract.

The lawyer added: "We are going to proceed in the form of a graduated response. We are going to see little by little what is the capacity of the French professional footballing bodies and also regulatory and administrative authorities to react to our appeals and our requests.

"As time goes by, we will increase the pressure."

LaLiga has also complained to UEFA, European football's governing body, about PSG, as well as Manchester City.

Javier Tebas, the Spanish league's president, this week claimed the agreement between PSG and Mbappe was "an insult to football".

Branco said LaLiga would "go upmarket... harden our game" if necessary, saying it considers the French capital giants to be spending on a "fraudulent" scale.

That accusation has been consistently denied by PSG.

Lionel Messi is "on Olympus" as one of the greatest players in history, and former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo cannot believe he brought the star to Ligue 1.

Leonardo departed at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, with former Monaco and Lille transfer guru Luis Campos joining the Ligue 1 champions as a football advisor.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino is also widely expected to be heading for the exit door after failing to deliver in the Champions League, which is the crown jewel in the eyes of PSG owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

However, Pochettino and Leonardo did manage to bring Argentina great Messi to Paris at the start of the season, ending a 17-year spell with Barcelona.

Messi ranked only behind Kylian Mbappe (45) for goal involvements for PSG in Ligue 1, with the former's 20 one more than Neymar, who was the final part of an incredible frontline trio.

Only Mbappe (70) created more chances than Messi (63) as well, but the Blaugrana legend's first year in the French capital was largely viewed as somewhat underwhelming, with just six top-flight goals scored.

Nevertheless, Leonardo reflected gleefully on securing the services of the 34-year-old along with his own achievements with PSG.

"We had thought about it a lot, yes. We had talked about it, but Messi had never thought too much about leaving Barcelona," he told L'Equipe.

"It was the last moments before his arrival that were decisive. Afterwards, everything becomes a bit more normal but, you made Messi's only transfer in his career!

"Chronologically, there is Pele, Maradona, Messi. He is on Olympus.

"So when I take stock of my last three years, I see a Champions League final, a semi-final, the 10th league title, seven national trophies and I signed Messi.

"There are two very significant moments for me, even if I don't like to pick out the best. The first is the signing, on the same day, of [Marco] Verratti and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic [in 2012].

"It was no coincidence that a youngster from the Italian second division and a world football star arrived at the same time. The second is Messi. These are two huge dates."

 

Mbappe rejected the advances of Real Madrid to extend his stay with PSG, signing a lucrative three-year agreement.

Reports indicated the World Cup winner was offered assurances relating to matters on and off the pitch.

While Leonardo has departed and Pochettino appears set to follow, the former suggests he did not know whether the Mbappe agreement held such clauses.

"It was the end of the season and maybe it was the time to decide things for the future," he added. "I wasn't told that, but I don't want to get into that kind of thing.

"The fact that they've managed to hold on to that player, a Frenchman and a Parisian, is important for PSG and for Ligue 1.

"Certain things which are said internally should stay that way. It's what I've experienced with the club. When the club wants to get rid of you, there's no nice way to say it's over."

Arsenal are set to make their first big splash of this transfer period with the signing of 22-year-old Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira.

The Gunners have been linked with various big names – including Raheem Sterling, Youri Tielemans and Christopher Nkunku – but have struggled to get deals over the line for players that could be considered key signings.

Vieira, who has made 20 appearances for Portugal Under-21s, was a move that came out of left-field, but those that call the Emirates Stadium home will hope it proves to be a masterstroke.

 

TOP STORY – VIEIRA'S MOVE TO ARSENAL REACHES FINAL STAGES

According to ESPN, a deal in the range of €40million is said to be in place, with Vieira said to be heading to London for his medical on Friday before finalising a five-year deal.

The talented attacking midfielder – who played in both the number-10 role and as a second striker – finished the Primeira Liga season with six goals and 14 assists from 27 appearances. Nobody in Portugal's top division had more assists.

Vieira reportedly had a €50m release clause with Porto, but the club were happy to accept the reduced figure.

It could be the start of a big week for Arsenal, with ESPN also mentioning they are leading the race for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in a deal that could be worth up to £50 million.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to The Sun, Liverpool remain interested in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, but they will remain patient and not pursue him in this transfer period.

– Inter have turned down a €50m bid from Paris Saint-Germain for Milan Skriniar, holding firm at an asking price of €80m, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Newcastle United target Sven Botman is reportedly favouring Milan if he is to leave Lille, per Football Insider.

– The Telegraph is reporting Southampton have agreed to a deal worth up to £15m for 20-year-old City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, while The Athletic claims they are also interested in 18-year-old City midfielder Romeo Lavia.

Fulham and Wolves will reportedly compete for the signature of Sporting midfielder Joao Palhinha, according to 90min.

Kylian Mbappe could fulfil his "dream" of playing for Real Madrid in the future and chose to remain at Paris Saint-Germain due to "political issues", according to former Los Blancos forward Hugo Sanchez.

Mbappe had been widely expected to join Madrid on a free transfer before the 2018 World Cup winner elected to sign a blockbuster three-year extension to remain with PSG last month.

That decision irked senior figures at Madrid, with president Florentino Perez telling El Chiringuito the striker was "already forgotten" after Carlo Ancelotti's men won a 14th Champions League title last month.

LaLiga have also gotten involved in the saga, with the league's president Javier Tebas lodging a complaint about PSG's spending with UEFA, accusing the Parisians of seeking to "destroy the ecosystem of European football".

But Sanchez, who scored 208 goals in 283 appearances for Madrid between 1985 and 1992, winning five LaLiga titles and finishing as the league's top goalscorer on five occasions, thinks Mbappe could still end up at the Bernabeu in the future.   

"It's very difficult to answer you, because I'm not in his head, in his brain, nor am I him," he told Marca.

"But I sense that he didn't say no to Real Madrid, but he told Real Madrid to 'wait for me a little bit'.

"He has so many pressures, so many external situations, and maybe even family members have pressured him and influenced his decision to [not] choose Real Madrid. It was his wish [to join Madrid], it was his illusion, it was his dream, but that dream, as he said, well, the dream can wait a little while.

"I think he is showing signs that he wants to go to Real Madrid, but now, because of political issues, social issues… economic issues I don't think they are, because he was going to earn a lot of money at Real Madrid, as he is going to earn a lot of money at PSG, so it is not because of money.

"Rather, he has not said no to Real Madrid, rather he said, 'I cannot betray other types of situations that are stronger than money'. You have to understand that."

 

Sanchez was also asked how his own talents compared to those of Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who has been widely tipped to win the Ballon d'Or after recording 59 goal involvements (44 goals, 15 assists) in 46 games last season.

But he refused to engage in such a debate, only saying that true footballing greats would shine in any era and that Brazilian legend Pele was his first idol.

"It is very difficult, these are answers that you must answer first and not me, because I am very respectful in terms of eras and times," he said.

"What I am sure is that players like Pele and [Franz] Beckenbauer, who are older than me, would succeed in today's soccer, and so would all the great players who have been participating in this wonderful sport.

"I feel that because of the physical conditions and the training and preparation that we have today, we can say that people nowadays, like Cristiano Ronaldo or [Lionel] Messi, if they had been born in the time of Pele, Beckenbauer, in our time, would be shining exactly the same way.

"The great talents and the great footballers, the successful people, I believe that they would succeed in any period.

"On my side, my reference was Pele, apart from other Mexican players who were playing professionally when I was a kid."

LaLiga chief Javier Tebas continued his feud with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, explaining the complaint to UEFA over financial fair play was to defend competition.

City were the subject of the first LaLiga complaint back in April, while the league lodged another against PSG on Wednesday regarding breaching financial fair play rulings.

The latter complaint continued Tebas' most recent conflict with the Ligue 1 side, who managed to keep World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe in Paris despite persistent interest from Real Madrid.

Tebas claimed the agreement between PSG and Mbappe was "an insult to football", promising to denounce the French side in court before duly obliging and filing to European football's governing body.

LaLiga cited practices "altering the ecosystem and the sustainability of football" and "only serving to artificially inflate the market with money not generated in football itself".

Tebas, speaking at the Club Consultative Platform (CAP) meeting on Thursday, reiterated his frustrations with PSG and suggested his actions were in the interest of football.

"Do the clubs or the leagues have a responsibility towards our hierarchically superior institutions?" he said. "Am I obliged to report when I consider that there are irregularities?

"I think so, and that is also governance. If we looked the other way in matters of economic control and the cheating that is done, we would breach our governance rules.

"We want the competition to be as clean as possible and these clubs do a lot of damage to economic control."

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also referenced in the LaLiga complaint, with a conflict of interests cited due to his role as European Club Association chairman and his responsibilities as the organisation's delegate to UEFA's executive committee.

Tebas insists the complaint was not solely in the interests of LaLiga, but also for the benefit of European football.

"[There is] a clear conflict of interest," he added. "He is a buyer of UEFA rights, we have to denounce him.

"We are not doing it to defend the Spanish clubs, who have enough with our most demanding economic control, we are doing it to safeguard the ecosystem of European football, which is in danger."

Madrid president Florentino Perez indicated his hopes for a European Super League are still alive earlier in the week, with the judicial process still ongoing.

Juventus and Barcelona are the other two teams harbouring ambitions of a breakaway league, and Tebas says they are right to do so as UEFA and domestic leagues cannot govern over state-run clubs.

"The three clubs in the Super League are trying to strengthen themselves, rightly so, with this argument, they say that UEFA is not capable of fighting against the state clubs and they accuse them, on occasions, of coexistence," he continued.

"For this reason, these state clubs do a lot of damage to the football ecosystem, because they compete unfairly, with an inflating impact in terms of salaries, and question the credibility of UEFA and the financial control system.

"That is why it is important to denounce it and say it clearly."

Florentino Perez says Kylian Mbappe must have "changed his dream" by rejecting Real Madrid to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe had been expected to join Los Blancos as a free agent, but signed a blockbuster new three-year deal with PSG last month.

Madrid president Perez says the Mbappe who snubbed the LaLiga and European champions is not the same character he wanted to bring to the Spanish capital.

He told El Chiringuito: "Mbappe is already forgotten. We have had a perfect season and we will continue to work to get the best players.

"His dream was to play at Real Madrid, we wanted to do it last August and they didn't let him leave, he kept saying he wanted to play at Madrid and like 15 days before he changed the situation.

"This is not the Mbappe I wanted to bring, he is another one, who must have changed his dream. He changes, he is offered other things, he is pressured and he is already another footballer.

"There is no one at Real Madrid above the club. He is a great player, he can win more than others, but it is a collective sport and we have values and principles that we cannot change.

"The Mbappe who was going to come here is not this one. If it is, I prefer him to stay at PSG. I want the one with the dream."

Perez did not rule out making another move for Mbappe when he comes to the end of his new deal.

"Impossible in three years? In three years' time we'll all be bald?" he added.

"This Mbappe is not my Mbappe, who refuses to do a publicity stunt with his national team... I don't want that. It could have been a slip of the tongue, but I think he was mistaken."

Erling Haaland was also linked with Madrid before joining Manchester City, but Perez says Los Blancos did not need the Norway striker when they have Karim Benzema.

He added: "We have the best nine in the world and we weren't going to bring in Haaland to have him on the bench, right? Clause [Haaland reportedly has a release clause in his City contract] in two years?

"I don't know. We have no interest now other than to build the new team with the youngsters we have and some reinforcement."

Zinedine Zidane has always been a man focused on Real Madrid and France and therefore would not take the Paris Saint-Germain role should it become available.

That is the message from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who briefly discussed the potential vacancy at PSG should reports prove to be true that Mauricio Pochettino will depart.

Pochettino lifted the Ligue 1 title with PSG in the 2021-22 season, his first trophy as a coach, but failed to deliver in the Champions League, falling to a last-16 exit against Madrid.

European glory remains the main goal for PSG's QSI ownership, with the understanding that Pochettino and the Ligue 1 giants have held discussions and agreed to part ways.

Zidane emerged as a frontrunner for the PSG job before Pochettino was appointed, but the preference of the 49-year-old remains to be seen.

Many believe Zidane is eyeing the France job should Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus role become available after the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Zidane managed Madrid for two spells between 2016 and 2021, winning 11 trophies with Los Blancos – the second most successful manager in the club's history.

The Les Bleus great has also lifted PSG's much-desired Champions League crown on three occasions as a coach, with three consecutive successes in Europe's premier club competition between 2016 and 2018.

But Perez, speaking to the El Chiringuito programme in Spain, finds it hard to envisage PSG securing the services of Zidane.

 

"Zidane at Paris Saint-Germain? I don't know, but he's always been a man for Real Madrid and the French national team," Perez said. 

"That's what I know about him. But maybe he's now in a different situation."

Christophe Galtier, Julen Lopetegui and Marcelo Gallardo are also said to be among the favourites if Pochettino expectedly departs.

La Liga have filed complaints to UEFA regarding Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for "continuously breaching" financial fair play regulations.

The Spanish division made an initial complaint in April regarding Premier League champions City and has followed it up with another complaint about French giants PSG.

La Liga also cited conflict of interests regarding PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, due to his role as European Club Association chairman and his role as the organisation's delegate to UEFA's executive committee. 

In a statement, La Liga said their complaint was due to the fact that the clubs are "continuously breaching" FFP regulations and believe that "these practices alter the ecosystem and the sustainability of football" and "only serve to artificially inflate the market with money not generated in football itself."

The confirmation of the complaints falls after a big month for both clubs, with PSG confirming a new contract for star striker Kylian Mbappe prior to Real Madrid's Champions League success and City landing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund – with both players previously heavily touted for a move to Spain.

Both City and PSG have previously been investigated for allegedly breaching FFP regulations, with both clubs fined in 2014 and having transfer spending limited – but a ruling to ban City from European competitions due to "serious breaches" was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after appeals from the English side.

PSG boast the two most expensive transfers of all-time with their captures of Mbappe from Monaco and Neymar from Barcelona in 2017, with the deal to sign the Brazilian costing €222 million.

Last year, City made Jack Grealish the most expensive Premier League transfer in history with a £100m transfer from Aston Villa.

Despite La Liga's complaints about the spending of the two clubs, Spanish sides dominate the list of the most expensive signings in football history with five of the top ten all seeing a Spanish side complete the signing.

Real Madrid's new signing Aurelien Tchouameni has revealed that Kylian Mbappe tried to persuade him to join Paris Saint-Germain.

The 22-year-old was officially unveiled by Madrid on Tuesday having completed a €100million move to the Santiago Bernabeu from Monaco, with Carlo Ancelotti's side winning the race for the highly coveted midfielder.

Mbappe, having already snubbed Madrid this window to pen a new deal with PSG, tried to strike again to frustrate Los Blancos by attempting to persuade his compatriot to move to the French capital.

"Kylian knew I was leaving Monaco and he wanted to know if I would join PSG," Tchouameni told a news conference. "But my first choice was Real Madrid and he understood that completely.

"It's true that I had the opportunity to choose, but as soon as I knew Madrid was interested, I didn't hesitate for a second. I want to leave a mark on the history of football and there is no better team for that than Real Madrid."

 

Other options were also on the table for Tchouameni, who confirmed he had received proposals from elsewhere, but he instructed his entourage to push a move to Madrid over the line.

"I had already spoken to other teams, but in my head I was waiting for the call from Madrid," he said. "And when they did, I didn't hesitate for a moment to talk to my family and agent to find the best deal. Being here is wonderful.

"As I said before, as soon as Real Madrid came out in the talks I directly told my agent to close that deal, it was what I wanted most. There were more options, but this is a dream that is fulfilled today."

Tchouameni will wear the number 18 shirt at Madrid – previously worn by Gareth Bale – as his favoured number eight top is taken by Toni Kroos.

Manchester City are looking to make a big midfield signing in this transfer window, with Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips reportedly at the top of their wish-list.

Phillips, 26, has been with Leeds his entire senior career, and excelled on the world stage when he started every game in England's run to the Euro 2020 final.

He was rewarded for his excellent international play with England's 2020-21 Senior Men's Player of the Year award, and may have the opportunity to parlay that into Champions League football at the Etihad Stadium.

 

TOP STORY – CITY SETS SIGHTS ON LEEDS' PHILLIPS

Phillips' stats of one goal and three assists in his past two Premier League campaigns do not tell the story of his impact, as he is arguably England's best defensive midfielder.

After 12 years with Leeds, Phillips has reportedly played his last game for the club, with The Sun claiming City have prepared a £60million bid.

ESPN mentions a factor working in Phillips' favour with City is that he will count as a homegrown player for Champions League purposes, and that Pep Guardiola views him as a strong fit for both the number-six and number-eight roles in his set-up.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Manchester Evening News is reporting Manchester United remain in discussions with Barcelona for Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but they are not willing to pay the current £85m price-tag.

Liverpool and City are both monitoring 17-year-old Barcelona midfielder Gavi, despite his release clause reportedly coming in at £85m, according to Marca.

– RB Leipzig have set a price of £100m for teams chasing Christopher Nkunku due to the Frenchman not desiring a move away this transfer period, with the Independent reporting interest remains from Arsenal, United and Paris Saint-Germain.

– According to the Telegraph, Newcastle United are moving on from Lille defender Sven Botman after the asking price was raised from £30m to £36m.

– The Telegraph is reporting that Tottenham have joined the race for Everton's Richarlison, with the asking price set at £50m.

There has not been a lot of movement among Inter's defensive stocks in recent years, with Milan Skriniar, Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni providing continuity in front of Samir Handanovic.

Skriniar appears set to leave this off-season, however, after five years at the club.

The Nerazzurri are reportedly well-prepared in what looks set to be an active transfer window for them.

 

TOP STORY – INTER PLAN FOR SKRINIAR EXIT AS PSG MOVE NEARS

Inter have identified who they would want to replace Skriniar in the event he departs for PSG, according to Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport.

Gleison Bremer and Nikola Milenkovic are viewed as possible replacements for the 27-year-old Slovakia international, as his move to Ligue 1 appears increasingly likely.

Skriniar's priority is to remain with Inter, where he has been since 2017 after signing from Sampdoria, but would not stand against a move to PSG if it helped Inter financially.

Bremer has reportedly already agreed personal terms with the Nerazzurri, while Milenkovic's agent met with club representatives this week.

ROUND-UP

Roma and Lazio are both keen to sign Napoli forward Dries Mertens, whose contract expires this off-season, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Denzel Dumfries is open to leaving Inter in order to join Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, the Daily Mail reports.

– Meanwhile, the Nerazzurri are set to sign Paulo Dybala on a three-year deal with his contract at Juventus expiring, per Goal.

– Bild claims that Jonjoe Kenny has committed to joining Hertha Berlin on a free transfer from Everton.

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