Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice yet Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe helped Paris Saint-Germain defeat Riyadh All-Stars 5-4 in a thrilling friendly.

The exhibition at King Fahd International Stadium on Thursday saw 21 shots on target, nine goals, a red card for Juan Bernat and a penalty miss from Neymar.

Having had his debut for new club Al Nassr delayed due to a domestic ban carried over from his time at Manchester United, Ronaldo's first game since moving to Saudi Arabia came for a hybrid XI that also contained players from Al Hilal.

It set up a reunion with long-time rival and fellow multiple Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi in what was their first meeting on the pitch of any sort since Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Champions League group stage in 2020.

Messi came out on top in terms of scoreline in this 37th encounter between the pair, with PSG pulling away in a game that the hosts levelled on three occasions, but Ronaldo outscored the 2022 World Cup winner.

Neymar, Mbappe and Messi all combined for the latter to open the scoring inside the opening three minutes, but Ronaldo equalised from a penalty he himself won after being caught in the face by Keylor Navas.

PSG lost Bernat to a straight red card for his last-man challenge just inside the opposition half, though they were soon back in front through a close-range Marquinhos finish from Mbappe's assist.

Neymar missed the chance to extend PSG's lead when having a tame penalty saved, and that proved costly when Ronaldo glanced in a trademark header on the stroke of half-time.

PSG still could not shake off their opponents after Sergio Ramos' strike, teed up by Mbappe, was cancelled out by Jang Hyun-soo's header less than three minutes later.

Mbappe capped an impressive display with a goal of his own from the penalty spot on the hour mark. He was then subbed off, along with Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo.

The tempo of the game dropped from that point but the entertainment continued until full-time as Anderson Talisca pulled back a late goal after Hugo Ekitike had seemingly put PSG out of sight, though the Riyadh All-Stars could not equalise for a fifth time.

Paris Saint-Germain are regularly a topic of transfer speculation, with plenty of discussion around Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi recently.

But Neymar is another who has been linked with a move away from Parc des Princes in the past, having been with PSG since 2017.

The former Barcelona forward signed a contract extension in 2021 after originally joining on a five-year deal.

TOP STORY – PSG OPEN TO OFFERS FOR NEYMAR IN JANUARY

Paris Saint-Germain have put Brazil superstar Neymar up for sale, according to Fichajes.

The French champions are willing to listen to offers for the 30-year-old, who is contracted until 2025.

The report claims PSG have lowered their price to €50million, which may attract the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle United and Manchester City.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mail reports Manchester United have opened talks with Monaco defender Axel Disasi, although the 24-year-old is also being tracked by a few other Premier League clubs.

– Manchester United target Mohammed Kudus has had a £40m price tag slapped on him by his Dutch club Ajax, claims The Star. The 22-year-old Ghana midfielder impressed at the World Cup.

– Real Madrid are bullish about their prospects of beating Liverpool in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, claims Marca.

– Calciomercato reports Madrid will rival Juventus in the chase to sign 18-year-old right-back Ivan Fresneda from Real Valladolid.

– Sevilla are circling to sign Sergio Ramos once his PSG contract expires at the end of this season, claims Fichajes, although he will need to take a pay cut for the move to transpire.

– Fabrizio Romano reports struggling Premier League club Southampton have agreed to a £6m deal to sign Croatia international Mislav Orsic from Dinamo Zagreb.

Mykhaylo Mudryk has informed Shakhtar Donetsk that he wants to join Arsenal amid talk of interest from Chelsea, reports 90min.

Achraf Hakimi has described Sergio Ramos as the "best defender in the world" after the latter was left out of the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique announced his 26-man selection for the upcoming tournament in Qatar on Friday, with Ramos a notable absentee after being a part of the provisional 55-man list.

The former Real Madrid centre-back has 180 caps for Spain, and was a part of the team that won the 2010 World Cup, as well as the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

After an injury-troubled debut season at Paris Saint-Germain following his move from the Santiago Bernabeu in 2021, Ramos has made 19 appearances this campaign already, and recently became the first PSG player to remain undefeated in his first 30 games for the club in all competitions.

However, following the news that the 36-year-old will not be heading to Qatar, his club team-mate Hakimi – who will be representing Morocco at the tournament – posted on Twitter: "Sergio Ramos. Best defend[er] in the world", with an applause emoji.

Ramos was previously left out of the Spain squad for Euro 2020 after an injury-hit final season in Madrid, with his most recent international cap coming against Kosovo in March 2021 in qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Other high-profile names left out of the squad included Manchester United's David De Gea, Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez and Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool.

At his squad announcement press conference on Friday, Luis Enrique explained: "I have a rule not to talk about absences. This happens to all coaches.

"I will not judge those who are not on the list. I thank all those who played. The most important are the 26 who are there. The absentees, I prefer not to comment. I leave it to you."

Sergio Ramos has missed out on a World Cup recall in a Spain squad announcement that saw few surprises.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender was not included in Luis Enrique's 26-man party, having originally been included in La Roja's provisional 55-man list.

Ramos was previously omitted for Euro 2020 following an injury-hit final season at Real Madrid, with his last international cap coming against Kosovo in March 2021 in qualifying for Qatar 2022.

But there had been an outside chance the 36-year-old would have been invited back into the fold for a fifth World Cup, given his improved form and fitness at PSG, as well as his leadership.

Ultimately, Luis Enrique stuck largely with the players he used during Spain's Nations League campaign.

One shock was at centre-back, where Inigo Martinez missed out as Hugo Guillamon was preferred.

There was no recall for Liverpool midfielder Thiago, but Ansu Fati returned despite starting only five matches for Barcelona this season.

Spain squad in full:

David Raya (Brentford), Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao); Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Pau Torres (Villarreal); Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris Saint-Germain), Gavi (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City); Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao).

Cristiano Ronaldo remains in limbo at Manchester United after being exiled after exiting their 2-0 win over Tottenham prematurely last week.

Ronaldo and United manager Erik ten Hag were set for talks before a decision was made on letting him return to first-team training and be considered to play.

The 37-year-old Portuguese apologised for the incident on social media, but the situation appears delicate after an off-season where Ronaldo chased a move away from United.

TOP STORY – TEN HAG WILLING TO LET RONALDO GO IN JANUARY

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is willing to let Cristiano Ronaldo leave in January, reports The Mirror.

The Dutchman has publicly said Ronaldo is wanted at Old Trafford, but is ready to allow him to move on should an appropriate suitor be found, amid fresh links with Chelsea via Sunday World.

Ronaldo had pushed for an off-season move to a Champions League club but was unable to find a home, while he rejected a lucrative offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club.

 

ROUND-UP

– Le10Sport claims that Paris Saint-Germain are open to renewal talks with veteran Spanish defender Sergio Ramos ,   who is out of contract at the end of this season.

Chelsea are eager to sign Inter right-back Denzel Dumfries amid interest from Juventus , claims Calciomercato.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are both weighing up making an offer to sign Juve midfielder Adrien Rabiot , Calciomercato also reports.

Arsenal 's interest in Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka has cooled, according to the Express. West Ham are also interested in the Frenchman.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier confirmed a common Spanish insult was the cause of Sergio Ramos' bizarre red card against Reims, as he claimed referee Pierre Gaillouste failed to control the contest.

Ligue 1 leaders PSG dropped points for just the second time this season on Saturday after a 0-0 draw at Reims, failing to make the breakthrough against their struggling hosts after Ramos' red card.

Ramos received two yellow cards in less than a minute shortly before the break, having remonstrated strongly with the referee after tripping Marshall Munetsi.

The Spaniard's dismissal was the 21st of his league career (in LaLiga and Ligue 1) – at least seven more than any other defender in Europe's top five leagues has received this century.

Speaking after the draw, which leaves PSG three points clear of Marseille at the summit, Galtier stressed his belief that Ramos did not mean to offend Gaillouste.

"I know Sergio Ramos very well, I'm not sure that the insult that came out was directed at the referee," Galtier said. 

"It's an insult that you hear all the time on a training ground, that you hear a lot in Spain. The referee took it from him and kicked him out, I'm not going back [to speak] on that."

PSG faced 24 shots against Reims, the most they have had to contend with in a Ligue 1 match since December 2011 (against Saint Etienne), and Galtier was unhappy with their performance.

"There was a lot of nervousness that I can't explain, on both sides," Galtier added. "There were a lot of duels, clashes, neither of the two teams mastered the events. 

"None of the three parties, the teams and the referee, did control this game and there was a lot of nervousness."

Gaillouste has handed out six red cards in the six Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches he has refereed this season (four in Metz v Guingamp, one in Nantes v PSG, and one in this match).

Although Galtier disagreed with the decision to send Ramos off, he was equally irritated by the "stupid" nature of his red card, particularly given Ramos will now miss a meeting with Marseille next week.

"I will talk about it with them because there are sequences of matches. We need the maximum number of players," Galtier added. "Missing matches because we took stupid cards… obviously we have to fix that. I will talk about it with them."

PSG have only lost one of their last nine Ligue 1 games in which they received a red card and finished against 11 men (W4 D4), a 5-1 loss at Lille in April 2019. 

Paris Saint-Germain were hamstrung by Sergio Ramos' bizarre red card as they toiled to a 0-0 draw with Reims in Ligue 1, dropping points for just the second time this season.

With Lionel Messi absent through injury and Neymar starting on the bench, PSG were less than fluid with 11 men, struggling to make inroads against their stubborn hosts.

Christophe Galtier's men were forced to play the majority of the match with 10 after Ramos' moment of madness, the Spaniard picking up two bookings in quick succession shortly before the break, the second for dissent.

Neymar then came off the bench to squander PSG's best chance of the second half, as the perennial Ligue 1 champions failed to move five points clear of Marseille at the summit. 

Visiting goalkeeper Yehvann Diouf made a strong early save from Fabian Ruiz's curling effort, before Dion Lopy sent a volley over the crossbar at the other end.

PSG struggled for attacking inspiration in the early exchanges, but went close twice in quick succession after 33 minutes; Nordi Mukiele blazing over after Diouf had denied Kylian Mbappe at close range.

The Ligue 1 leaders were dealt an extraordinary blow 10 minutes later, with Ramos being sent off for confronting the referee less than a minute after seeing yellow for tripping Marshall Munetsi.

Gianluigi Donnarumma got down to stop Munetsi's goal-bound effort as Reims continued to press after the break, before Neymar side-footed wide of the near post from Mbappe's well-timed pass following his introduction.

Vitinha then curled over as Neymar's presence energised PSG, but Oscar Garcia's strugglers were ultimately good value for a result that lifts them back out of the relegation zone.

Sergio Ramos and Ansu Fati were left out of Luis Enrique's Spain squad on Friday ahead of Nations League games against Switzerland and Portugal.

Head coach Luis Enrique also excluded in-form forward Iago Aspas but called in the uncapped Borja Iglesias and Nico Williams.

The upcoming games are the last for Spain before Luis Enrique chooses his World Cup squad, so all eyes were on whether former captain Ramos, particularly, would return to favour.

Ramos won a record 180 caps for Spain but may have played his final game for La Roja, unless Luis Enrique has a change of heart before November.

The door has been left ajar, but time is running out for Ramos and Aspas.

"These players have been in the national team. They can return to the national team without any doubt," Luis Enrique said on Friday.

It might be a different story for Fati, who has been in favour when fit and is working his way back to his best shape at Barcelona after an injury-disrupted 2021-22 campaign.

Fati has yet to start a LaLiga game this season but has managed two goals and two assists when coming off the bench, in just 120 minutes of action.

Luis Enrique said such limited action was telling at this stage, adding: "Hopefully we will see the best Ansu again, but today I don't see him on the list. He is in the process of gaining confidence and improving after not playing for a long time."

Speaking at a press conference, Enrique said: "Every time there is a squad list, what draws attention is those who aren't in, but I prefer to talk about those who are. I have 25 players that I consider the best for these matches."

 

Athletic Bilbao's Williams, whose brother Inaki recently switched his football allegiance from Spain to Ghana, was hailed by Luis Enrique as "a pure winger", and a player the coaching staff wanted to see up close.

Luis Enrique knows Betis forward Borja already, having previously coached him at Celta Vigo, and said he appreciated the 29-year-old's "always-smiling style on the pitch". He has four LaLiga goals already this term.

Aspas can probably make plans for November and December that do not involve Qatar 2022. The veteran Celta Vigo striker has been an outstanding performer in LaLiga and has five goals already this term in the competition, just one fewer than top scorer Robert Lewandowski.

More remarkably, Aspas has got his goals despite having an expected goals (xG) tally of just 1.4, indicating he is vastly outperforming what would be expected from him.

However, the 35-year-old last played for Spain in 2019.

Spain face Switzerland at La Romareda in Zaragoza on September 24, and tackle Portugal three days later in Braga.

Spain squad: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford); Pau Torres (Villarreal), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid); Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City), Pedri (Barcelona), Koke, Gavi (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris Saint-Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid); Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Borja Iglesias (Real Betis), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Barcelona).

Christophe Galtier has told Paris Saint-Germain's superstars that a team that defends together can win big together.

New head coach Galtier believes squad spirit is contagious, and that such togetherness holds the key to getting the best out of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi this season.

The man now at the helm at Parc des Princes watched the PSG trio from afar last term, while bossing Nice. They spluttered at times as a combination when they were widely expected to take French and European football by storm.

Rarely have such a starry trio belonged to the same club at the same time, and they will be expected to better last season's performance as PSG again go after their holy grail: Champions League glory.

In Ligue 1 last season, Mbappe rattled in 28 goals in 35 games, but Neymar again missed chunks of the campaign and finished with 13 goals in 22 outings in the competition, while former Barcelona captain Messi hit the back of the net just six times in 26 league appearances, despite having an expected goals (xG) tally of 11.4.

 

Mbappe was absent through suspension for the 4-0 Trophee des Champions thrashing of Nantes last weekend. Messi opened the scoring, Neymar added a double, and Sergio Ramos completed the rout as Galtier, who took over from the sacked Mauricio Pochettino in July, picked up early silverware.

When the Parisians head to Clermont for their league opener on Saturday, Mbappe will be available once more, and that means in all likelihood the front three will be reunited.

"It's a pleasure to have Kylian Mbappe back for the first league game," said Galtier. "He's been involved in our pre-season."

Galtier was asked directly about what the key would be to getting the best out of the front three, but the coach took a tangential path to offering his view, and in doing so indicated he perhaps expects extra effort from Mbappe, Messi and Neymar when it comes to contributing all over the pitch.

"In terms of our defensive set-up we have a collective desire and responsibility. Also, as individuals. There can be periods in matches where it is very tight and the team hasn't yet got on top of the opposition in terms of the scoreline or finding spaces," Galtier said.

"We want to be very focused on not letting the opposition affect our style of play. We have a priority as a team and as individuals.

"When you have team-mates making a big effort, of course, that is contagious, and it means the players around them want to make the same effort. So we need to make sure this is what happens.

"There might be moments in games where it is not going so well. The midfield and defence might need to accept that there can be periods of the game where, for whatever reason, these attackers might find it hard to get back, or that could also go for the wing-backs.

"We have to accept that we all have to defend together, but sometimes the players who might be involved in the first stage of recovery with our pressing game might not be in the right position. So we have to do everything we can to create time for them to get back into the right position in our defensive block."

 

Galtier said he and PSG would benefit from the experience of former Real Madrid captain Ramos, who spent the majority of his first season with the club on the sidelines due to injury woes.

"It is always good to have players like him, and they can bring their experience," said Galtier. "Professionalism. That is what they bring to their team-mates, and to me they also have experiences that I haven't had, so I can learn from that, and they might also have answers to questions that I am asking myself."

In Clermont's debut Ligue 1 season last term, they were beaten 4-0 and 6-1 by PSG on the way to finishing 17th, just avoiding the drop.

PSG have won each of their past seven opening games in Ligue 1, a sequence which has only previously been surpassed by Marseille (10) and Bordeaux (9).

This will be PSG's 50th season in Ligue 1, and it brings them an opportunity to land an 11th league title, which would take them ahead of Saint-Etienne to become the outright most successful team in the competition's history. Anything less would be considered a failure.

Lionel Messi and Neymar were on target as Paris Saint-Germain thumped Nantes 4-0 to win the Trophee des Champions on Sunday.

Kylian Mbappe did not travel to Israel for the clash at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, but his absence was not felt as Christophe Galtier started his reign as PSG boss in style. 

Messi set the Ligue 1 champions on their way in the 22nd minute with a cool finish, before Neymar doubled their advantage with a superb whipped free-kick from 25 yards on the stroke of half-time.

Sergio Ramos made it 3-0 shortly before the hour mark with an improvised finish, then Neymar claimed a second late on from the penalty spot after an incident that saw Jean-Charles Castelletto dismissed.

Achraf Hakimi and Pablo Sarabia went close for PSG inside the opening 10 minutes, while at the other end Ludovic Blas was superbly denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

PSG went ahead in the 22nd minute when Messi rounded Alban Lafont and slotted home after latching onto Neymar's deflected throughball.

Lafont got down well to deny Messi a second shortly before the interval, yet Galtier's men did go in at the break with a two-goal lead courtesy of Neymar's sumptuous free-kick.

Ramos added a third in the 57th minute, the former Real Madrid defender superbly backheeling into the net after Lafont had kept out Sarabia's initial effort. 

Neymar scored his second in the 82nd minute with a calm penalty after he had been brought down in the area by Castelletto, who was shown a red card by referee Orel Grinfeeld.

Lionel Messi won a penalty that Sergio Ramos converted as Paris Saint-Germain got a new era under Christophe Galtier off to a winning start on Friday.

The French champions, who appointed Galtier as Mauricio Pochettino's successor earlier in July, saw off second-tier side Quevilly-Rouen 2-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Galtier named a starting XI containing a mix of big names and younger players, with Messi partnering Mauro Icardi in attack, while Vitinha, signed from Porto, was given a debut in midfield.

Messi played a big part in PSG's opener as he was brought down in the box for a penalty, which Ramos stepped up to convert midway through the first half.

Without Kylian Mbappe and Neymar for their pre-season opener, PSG were rewarded with a second goal early in the second half through 18-year-old academy player Djeidi Gassama.

PSG, who changed their entire side for the second half, will now fly out to Japan ahead of fixtures with Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka.

Sergio Ramos says he has "four or five more years" left at a high level despite struggling for game time since his move to Paris Saint-German. 

The 36-year-old has endured an injury-hit first campaign in the French capital, playing 392 minutes across his seven appearances in all competitions, just four of which were starts. 

However, the former Real Madrid defender impressed on his return to the line-up in PSG's 6-1 thrashing of Clermont last time out, as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe each netted hat-tricks and Lionel Messi claimed three assists. 

Ramos completed 99 of his 105 attempted passes – both of which were game highs – during the Ligue 1 leaders' dominant win. 

The defender now says he believes he can play at the highest level into his forties, insisting he feels back to his physical best. 

"I see myself playing four or five more years at a high level, and then [I'll have] another experience," Ramos told Amazon Prime Video in France. 

"Here in Paris, I have two more years [on my contract], I'll try to make it three, [with] one more, we'll see.  

"As long as my physique holds up, I think my head is very focused. Now, I'm very well, very happy and eager to play." 

Ramos' excellent distribution from the back contributed to PSG completing 93.6 per cent of their passes against Clermont, the highest percentage managed by any Ligue 1 team since Opta began recording such data in the 2006-07 season. 

Meanwhile, Ramos refused to say whether he preferred international football to the club game, having won an incredible 180 caps for Spain during a glittering career that has seen him win one World Cup and two European Championships. 

He never formally retired from international duty despite being left out of Luis Enrique's squad for Euro 2020 and could yet look to fight his way back into the coach's plans for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

"It's a difficult question to answer," Ramos added. "The feeling of your homeland and your country is always something very big. [The feeling] that your team is to whom you owe yourself, [that] you have to play well in your [club] team to be selected.  

"They are both a unique feeling, I can't keep [only] one, although with the national team you can aspire to be a world champion." 

PSG have a 12-point lead over second-placed Marseille in Ligue 1, and Mauricio Pochettino's team can take a huge step towards securing the French title when they face their nearest rivals on Sunday. 

The pressure mounted on Paris Saint-Germain again after another defeat in Ligue 1 this weekend.

The Parisians are 12 points clear at the top but have lost four of their past six games.

Lionel Messi has only netted twice in Ligue 1 since his move from Barcelona, while fellow free signing Sergio Ramos has also only played five times.

 

TOP STORY – PSG TO BLOCK MESSI OR RAMOS RETURNS

Marca reports that PSG would block any potential return to Barcelona or Real Madrid for either Messi or Ramos respectively.

The Ligue 1 giants signed both players last year from those respective clubs, yet there has been reports claiming they may want to return to Spain.

Ramos has struggled with injury while Messi has not been able to discover his best goalscoring form, but PSG are eager to hold on to them.

Messi joined on a two-year deal last August, while Ramos also penned a two-year deal last July.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich have made an opening bid for Ajax's Ryan Gravenberch according to Fabrizio Romano. The fee is approximately €25million but Ajax want more.

- Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG and Madrid are all circling for Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni but the Ligue 1 club will not accept less than €50m for him claims Foot Mercato.

- Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to sign Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella according to El Nacional. Barella's arrival could force Toni Kroos out too.

- Aston Villa are prepared to pay £60m for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips claims The Times.

Leonardo says Mauricio Pochettino has "never asked to leave" Paris Saint-Germain despite links to Manchester United.

Meanwhile, the PSG sporting director also suggested that signing injury-hit defender Sergio Ramos may have been a "mistake".

Pochettino joined PSG in January 2021 and is likely to add this season's Ligue 1 title to the Coupe de France he won last campaign, with his star-studded side opening up a 15-point lead at the top of the table.

However, rumours have continually linked Pochettino to the Old Trafford hot-seat, which caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick is set to vacate at the end of this season, and the PSG coach is said to have long-term admirers within the United hierarchy.

United's football director John Murtough this week said that a "thorough process" to appoint a new manager was underway, but Leonardo insists Pochettino has never voiced a desire to leave the French capital, and that there has not been any contact with rumoured replacement Zinedine Zidane.

"Honestly, we haven't thought about a coaching change," Leonardo told L'Equipe. "[Pochettino] has a year left on his contract.

"We've never contacted Zidane or anyone else. Before he came here, Pochettino was among the best five coaches, and he still is. 

"He may have had moments of doubt, but he's never asked to leave."

Leonardo was also asked about the condition of Ramos, who has been limited to just four Ligue 1 appearances since joining from Real Madrid due to injury.

 

While Leonardo refused to say Ramos' playing career could be over, he expressed regret about the persistent injury woes suffered by the 35-year-old and appeared to hint that his signing may have been a "mistake".

"He was well physically when we signed him," he said of the former Madrid captain.

"Up to now he has played five games [in all competitions]. Unfortunately, it has not happened as we imagined. It's hard for him, for everyone, but our reports are clear. 

"The day it is said he can't play any more, it will be clear for everyone. But it's not the case.

"Not playing makes it difficult for him to be a leader, but we will wait before drawing conclusions; the season is not over. 

"But I'm not afraid to own up to mistakes when I make them."

Kylian Mbappe is widely expected to join Real Madrid at the end of this season.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward is out of contract and has not renewed with the French giants.

Madrid have long admired Mbappe and attempted an audacious bid to sign him in August.

TOP STORY – PSG STEP UP MBAPPE RENEWAL BID

Paris Saint-Germain are ramping up their efforts to convince Mbappe to renew with the club, reports Marca.

Mbappe has previously hinted he will join Madrid at the end of this season when his PSG contract expires.

PSG are pulling out all the stops to persuade Mbappe, who has been with the club since 2017.

 

ROUND-UP

- MLS club LA Galaxy have enquired about PSG defender Sergio Ramos according to Footmercato. Ramos has made five appearances for PSG since his off-season move and may be available on a free transfer.

- Manchester United are not willing to match Napoli's eye-watering £100m price tag for Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen reports the Daily Star.

- Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Juventus are hopeful that they can retain Spanish forward Alvaro Morata, who is on loan from Atletico Madrid.

- Juventus are also in front in the race to sign Roma winger Nicolo Zaniolo, who is yet to recommit to the Giallorossi, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Fulham want to sign ex-Manchester City and Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli if they win promotion back to the Premier League, claims Turkish outfit Star. Balotelli currently plays his football in Turkey with Adana Demirspor, with good form prompting an Italy recall.

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