Dijon 1 – 6 PSG

Kylian Mbappe and Sarabia shined as Paris Saint-Germain easily crushed Dijon 6 – 1 in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

An own goal from Wesley Lautoa opened the scoring for PSG after just 48 seconds, but Thomas Tuchel’s team were answered back by Mounir Chouiar in the 13th minute. Mbappe made it 2 – 1 before half-time. Later on, Thiago Silva and Sarabia made sure of progression to the last four.

PSG’s fifth goal came as Coulibaly inadvertently diverted Mbappe’s shot into the net before the French wonderkid laid an injury-time second on a plate for Sarabia to round off a rout.

Mitchel Bakker, making his full debut after coming off the bench in the previous round, supplied the cross that broke the lock inside the first minute, Lautoa inexplicably sending his low delivery beyond Runar Alex Runarsson.

However, Dijon responded by capitalising on a PSG error, Ander Herrera losing possession in midfield and Chouiar roaming to the edge of the area before finding the bottom-right corner with a precise shot.

Silva presented Jhonder Cadiz with a huge chance to put Dijon ahead before half-time, but the Venezuelan international shot wide when  he was clean through on goal.

Mbappe then showed him how it should be done, confidently giving PSG an advantage after being played down the right side by Draxler. Silva increased PSG’s lead with a decent header from Sarabia’s corner after.

Sarabia also scored by converting on the rebound following an effort from Mbappe, who atoned for a horrible miss with a deflected lob over Runarsson and then presented the former Sevilla player with a 91st-minute goal.

PSG will visit Amiens on Saturday before the away match against Dortmund three days later.

Meunier: “I don’t fear Haaland”

The Belgian international says that while the Bundesliga team is quite dangerous going forward, they can be definitely be exploited defensively.

PSG’s full-back, Thomas Meunier, said that he does not fear the challenge posed to his team by Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid striker Erling Haaland.

Since moving to Borussia in the January transfer window from Red Bull Salzburg, the 19-year-old has been in astonishing form, scoring seven times in just three matches and adding another for good measure in a 3 – 2 DFB Pokal loss over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

The teenager has scored in each game he has played for Dortmund, despite playing less than 200 minutes of football for his new team, and with a Champions League meeting against PSG coming at the end of the month, he will have the opportunity to prove himself on further stages after scoring eight goals for Salzburg in the group phase.

Meunier, who has been in PSG since moving from Club Brugge in the summer of 2016 and has experienced the disappointment of falling out at the last-16 stage of the competition in every season, says that Haaland is not a player who is particularly worry for the Ligue 1 leaders.

“Fear him? I don’t know him especially. He’s got very good numbers, which underline that Dortmund score an enormous number of goals, but they’re also a team that concedes a lot of goals.”

“On paper, PSG can beat any team. It’s up to us to ensure that we qualify.”

Before the encounter with the Germans, PSG have a Sunday derby match-up with Lyon to negotiate then a Coupe de France quarter-final away to Dijon. They will then travel to Amiens and finally face Dortmund on February 18.

PSG are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s loss to Manchester United, when they won 2 – 0 at Old Trafford before choking to a 3 – 1 defeat at home.

Rivaldo: “Cavani would be magnificent for Barcelona”

Barcelona’s legend feels the experienced Uruguayan striker could be the answer for La Liga champions as they seek to bring in another goalscorer.

Edinson Cavani would be “a magnificent improvement for Barcelona’s attack”, says Rivaldo, as Blaugrana are urged to join in on the race for the Paris Saint-Germain striker now that Luis Suarez is injured.

The reigning Liga champions find themselves without a proven striker after seeing the Uruguayan international struck with a serious knee injury, and it could be that they turn to a fellow countryman of Suarez for replacement.

Cavani is looking for a way out of PSG in this winter transfer window and has seen various destinations mooted. Atletico Madrid are considered to be leading the chase when it comes to Spanish acquisitors, but Barca may be tempted to join the hunt if they feel that the 32-year-old could helpt their cause.

Legendary Rivaldo thinks serious consideration should be given to making a move, with the Camp Nou icon telling Betfair: “Cavani would be a magnificent improvement for Barcelona’s attack now that Suarez is out for quite some time.”

“After all, Cavani is a top forward who has always got his goals in Europe’s top leagues. In his case it seems he’s really close to leaving PSG and it would be a very good opportunity.”

Rabiot joining Juventus?


 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 

The French midfielder will become a free agent this summer and could end up making a move to either Italy or England.

Paris Saint-Germain contract rebel Adrien Rabiot has admitted to having held talks with the Italian club – Juventus, while a door has been left open for a potential transfer to Manchester United. If you are a big sports fan, you could use up all your knowledge and dive into Sportsbetting, guessing the outcome of PSG’s, Juventus’s and Man Utd’s matches this summer. As things stand, the France international midfielder will be available for a free transfer in the summer having refused to commit to a new contract with the Ligue 1 title-holders.

That move has led to him to be tossed out of the Parc des Princes, with no appearances made since December 11th, 2018.

Rabiot is, however, a proven football player at the highest level who definitely has the potential for future improvement at just 24 years of age. He represents an attractive proposition to big sides all across Europe and has seen various landing spots marked.

It could be that his next move takes him to the Apennine Peninsula or England, with Serie A champions Juventus FC and Manchester United being heavily interested, and having made formal approaches. Rabiot has told Corriere dello Sport about his current situation: “I’ve spoken with Juventus, it’s a great club where everyone would like to play. I like Italy so much, it’s wonderful here. A demanding season awaits me. At Juventus? Juve watched me and we talked about it, but I can’t say anything. Manchester United? It’s the same as last year, I have to decide. I’m on vacation for now. Soon you will know.”

Rabiot’s switch to Old Trafford has been intensively talked up for some time. Another English giant, Arsenal, have also been credited with an interest in taking him to British football. The two Premier League contenders may, however, have to make quick moves if they have any hope of getting an agreement in place, as Juventus hold great appeal to any player as the dominant force in the Italian and European game.

They have already acquired Wales international Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal to enforce their midfield options, but are obviously in the search for more players of Rabiot’s competence.

The young Frenchman has got a big decision to make this summer after seeing his career stall in Paris. Rabiot, who has made a short stay at Manchester City’s academy system while in his teen years, has been at PSG since 2010 and made 227 competitive appearances for the club.

The team that didn’t qualify

Ciro Immobile, the well-travelled Italy international will not be setting the world alight at the 2018 World Cup. Due to the current way in which teams qualify for the tournament, Italy didn’t qualify whereas other weaker teams such as Panama are seemingly there just to make up the numbers.

Immobile scored an astounding 29 goals in 33 league games for Lazio this season, making him one of the best strikers in the world right now. Another player not making the tournament is Gareth Bale. Bale scored potentially the best goal in UEFA Champions League Final history with an overhead kick to break Liverpool hearts and because Wales weren’t able to qualify for the tournament he’s got to sit at home to watch.

Immobile and Bale aren’t alone, they are part of a super strong starting 11 of players who aren’t at the tournament and you have to think with this plethora of stars not making the cut, France odds to win world cup have shot up.

To see the strongest starting 11 of players whose teams didn’t make the tournament have a look at the infographic we have put together below.

Official: Neymar joins PSG!

Paris Saint-Germain have des the world transfer record by completing the €222 million signing of Neymar from Barca on a five-year contract. 

 

The Brazilian had been continually linked with a move away from Camp Nou over the summer, and had declined to clarify his own future as the PSG rumours grew stronger. 

And after weeks of denials, mixed messages and reports, he has finally been confirmed as the Ligue 1 club’s latest signing on Thursday night.

“Paris Saint-Germain are very pleased to announce the arrival of Neymar Jr,” the Parisiens said in a statement on their official website.

Neymar will wear the number 10 shirt at Paris Saint-Germain. 

Alexis joining PSG?

The Arsenal star was in Paris on Friday for talks with PSG’s sporting director and chief executive ahead of a prospective €50 million move to Ligue 1.

The French club are growing increasingly confident of signing the Arsenal star for a €50 million fee inclusive of add-ons following preliminary talks with the Gunners. PSG say “nothing is done yet” regarding a move for Sanchez but the early signs from France suggest it is likely to happen.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that the club’s stance has not changed and their Chilean talisman will not be sold this summer, but contract talks have not progressed as hoped and Sanchez has shown no sign of committing to an extension which would mean he is available to leave on a free transfer when his deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer.

Wenger is currently in China where Arsenal have almost completed their pre-season trip and spoke on Thursday about where Sanchez will play in the Gunners forward line next season, insisting that he will fit into the team alongside club-record summer signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich has used interest from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to increase the salary demands for his client with Pep Guardiola’s side confident of signing the 28-year-old throughout the summer.

Felicevich, previously dubbed ‘the king of South American football’ by Forbes magazine, is regarded as a tough negotiator and his negotiation tactics were recently described as ‘dishonest’ by an intermediary for Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.

It’s understood that Felicevich was present in the meeting at Le Royal Monceau with his business partner Matias Aldao, while PSG had their chairman and chief executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi representing them alongside Henrique.

Al-Khelaifi has a close relationship with Wenger and the two are in regular contact regarding football matters which sees the Frenchman take part in TV work for beIN Sports, the media network founded by the man dubbed ‘the most powerful figure in French football’.

Alexis scored 24 goals in the Premier League last season and admitted while back home in Chile that it is his “dream” of playing in the Champions League – a competition that Arsenal aren’t involved in this season following last campaign’s fifth-placed finish.

“The truth is that the decision doesn’t depend on me,” said Sanchez. 

“I have made my decision, but now we wait for a response from Arsenal. It depends on them, I have to wait to know what they want.

“My idea is to play and win the Champions League, it is a dream I have had since I was little.”

Arsenal’s stance regarding Sanchez has not changed and they were confident earlier in the week that the player would return to pre-season training at London Colney following his holidays, along with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin, on July 30.

Di Maria wants to stay at PSG


 

Angel Di Maria insists that he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite admitting to difficulties working with Unai Emery last season.

The Argentinian international played 43 times in all competitions in 2016-17 but struggled for form in the early half of the campaign in particular, scoring just once in his first 19 Ligue 1 appearances.

Di Maria has been linked with Inter during recent weeks, despite the Serie A club’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, suggesting that his wage demands would be too high.

But the 29-year-old has no desire to leave Parc des Princes and believes he has become accustomed to the demands of his head coach in the last few months.

“For me, there’s no doubt about it. I want to stay,” he said. “But, for the club, I don’t know. The reality is that my family are well and I’m happy in Paris.

“I know that not everything went well last season. At first, I didn’t quite understand what the coach was asking me. Then we gradually got to know each other and I think people have seen the change in the last few months. I hope I can reproduce that this year.”

PSG claimed a double of Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue trophies in Emery’s first season, but they lost their league title to Monaco and suffered a Champions League exit against Barcelona after a 6-1 hammering in the last-16 second leg.

Di Maria says regaining their domestic crown and battling to reach the final in Europe’s top competition are their primary goals for next term.

“Like every other year: win everything,” he said when asked about PSG’s objectives. “Last season, we won both cups but we lost the championship and we were knocked out of the Champions League.

“This year, we’ll try to go as far as possible in the Champions League and maybe reach the final. Then we have to win back the title and to defend the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.”

Di Maria hopes that Dani Alves, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Juventus, can take PSG a step closer to their first Champions League triumph.

“I’ve only played against him. But I’m happy with his signing as he is a player with huge qualities, who will bring something extra to the team and allow us to improve further,” he added.

Should PSG Move For Sanchez Now?

Arsenal Vs Watford” (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

With 13 goals and 7 assists in 20 games this season, Alexis Sanchez has the best attacking output of anyone in Europe’s top five leagues. As the prolific Arsenal attacker enters his prime he is attracting the interest of top Premier League sides along with the European elite. Paris Saint-Germain have expressed their interest in penning a deal with the player in the summer, but would Unai Emery be wise to make a move for the Gunners’ main cannon in January?

In what has become a drawn out set of negotiations, Sanchez’s Arsenal future is still up in the air. The player has a year left on his current contract and is trying to reach an agreement with the London club for an improved deal to extend his stay. According to the Mirror the Chilean is holding out for a salary increase in excess of £200,000-a-week, but former Arsenal player Martin Keown also believes that Arsene Wenger’s unclear future with the club could also be a factor. The Match of the Day Pundit believes that if Wenger leaves in the summer his star player will seek pastures new as well.

There is also the fact that a player of Sanchez’s undeniable world class quality will desperately desire to challenge for titles year in, year out. The 28-year-old will be considering whether the Emirates is the place he can achieve this. PSG could not only offer the former Barcelona man much improved wages, they could also give him the opportunity to challenge for titles every season domestically and in Europe.

Ever since Zlatan Ibrahimović departed to Manchester United in the summer, PSG have been in desperate need of a strong replacement. Edinson Cavani has taken up the goal scoring mantle well (see video above) with 18 goals in Ligue 1 so far, but the Uruguayan needs someone to share the load and link up with. Jese Rodriguez, the summer signing from Real Madrid was acquired to fill this role, but Emery has admitted that the transfer has not gone according to plan and the Spaniard may be on the move again in this transfer window.

Although reports suggest that Emery will make a £60million swoop for Sanchez in the summer, many fans will be thinking that a shock move for the forward now would make more sense. Ahead of the Red and Blues’ crunch Champions League clash against Barcelona, Emery’s side are 40/1 with Betway to win the tournament. Although Sanchez would be cup-tied and ineligible to play for the Paris club in Europe this season, he would provide exceptionally strong cover to challenge in the league while Emery fields a full strength side against Barca.

PSG’s continued dominance of the French top flight may be about to suffer its first major upset this season as Nice and Monaco are currently ahead of the Paris club in the race for the title. Emery has brought in the attacking midfield pairing of Julian Draxler and Giovani Lo Celso already in 2017 as he seeks to gain ground on PSG’s main rivals. But many will be thinking that an out-and-out striker should be top of the agenda. Currently Cavani is the only specialist goal scorer in the squad, and should he suffer injury Emery won’t have many options. There is also the possibility of fatigue if PSG progress in Europe and also have to keep up the hunt in the domestic title race.

PSG should move for Sanchez now and beat their European rivals in singing the ferocious forward. The time seems ripe while his contract disputes are still unresolved, and the player is increasingly dissatisfied with Arsenal’s apparent lack of ambition. PSG need to sign a striker in the window anyway, so why not go for the Gunners man?

5 Transfer Targets to Take PSG to the Next Level

Money talks or money can’t buy me love; it depends on who you listen to as to the effect that cold hard cash has on people.

One thing is for sure: moolah turns heads in football. PSG are the French champions and, according to Forbes Magazine, the fourth highest grossing club on the planet. And yet they haven’t been able to translate such financial muscle to success in the continent’s premier competition, the Champions League.

So who are the new faces that could help push them forwards on Europe’s biggest stage?

Gonzalo Higuain

The beauty of being amongst the richest clubs in the world is that you can pick up the players of those who aren’t by dangling a blank cheque in the right place at the right time.

Napoli aren’t cash poor by any means, but even they would be vulnerable to a huge offer for their prized asset Gonzalo Higuain.

Rumour has it that the Argentine has a £75 million release clause written into his contract to cover for such an eventuality, and so then the choice would be the striker’s: does he want to leave the club that has been home since 2013?

The prospect of linking up with countryman Angel di Maria, and filling Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s big shoes, may prove tempting to a player who at 28 is yet to make his mark on the latter stages of the Champions League; an opportunity a move to Paris may just afford.

N’Golo Kante

Should France go deep into Euro 2016 and even win it, then mega bucks PSG will be looking to sign a key man or two from that side in an attempt to cash in on such national fervour.

One obvious candidate would be the metronomic midfielder N’Golo Kante, who again impressed in his usual low-key fashion in their 2-1 win over Romania in their tournament opener.

The Leicester man has been linked incessantly with a move away from the Premier League title champions in the past few months, and while the club would be loathe to lose such a key player ultimately they are ran rather shrewdly by their Thai owners; and selling a £6 million asset for in excess of £20 million clearly represents smart business.

It has been reported that the Foxes have offered Kante an improved contract of £100,000 – but even that may not be enough to ward off the interest of the Ligue 1 champions.

Dimitri Payet

Another French star who is sure to be on PSG’s radar is Dimitri Payet. An outstanding strike from the West Ham man sealed the deal for Les Bleus in that win over Romania, and it is not the first time that the 29-year-old has caught the eye with his ball striking abilities.

A vintage campaign for the Hammers has elevated Payet to national prominence in his homeland – he hadn’t really featured at international level prior to that – and so again PSG’s scouts are bound to have sat up and taken an interest.

As with Kante, you wouldn’t imagine there would be an inclination to leave his present employer, but money talks and the lure of Champions League football for Payet may well prove definitive in his decision.

Eden Hazard

Sometimes a rumoured transfer just looks a good fit, and Eden Hazard to PSG makes sense given the Belgian’s issues at Chelsea last season.

The winger was far from his best at the Blues, and was even partly blamed for the sacking of Jose Mourinho amid rumours of a dressing room rift. The Special One has gone of course to be replaced by the Italian One, Antonio Conte, but lest we forget that Stamford Bridge will not be seeing European football of any level next term; surely something of a turn off for their personnel.

Hazard continues to refute that a transfer elsewhere is imminent, but we’re savvy enough to not take a professional footballer’s public-facing virtuousness at face value these days.

Grzegorz Krychowiak

This is one of those potential deals in which we’re joining the dots a little, but given the news that the announcement of Sevilla boss Unai Emery as Laurent Blanc’s replacement in the Stade de France hot seat is imminent, we start to look at his present staff and who he might like to bring with him.

One option would be Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak, who starred in his country’s 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2016 just the other day. The marauding midfielder would be a fine addition in his own right or as a replacement for Marco Verratti, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, Juventus and a host of other clubs in recent times.

The Pole’s all-action style would prove a nice foil to Blaise Matuidi, and obviously the chance to link up with Emery at a club battling it out for Champions League honours will be a mighty temptation for the 26-year-old.