Al-Khelaifi: “Mbappe and Neymar are staying”

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Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has declared that Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are going nowhere despite the constant speculation surrounding their future, with the superstars being backed to stay at Parc des Princes “forever”.

Brazil and France international strikers are yet to plan to fresh terms and can see their respective contracts expire within the summer of 2022. Moves elsewhere are being mooted, amid talk about interest from the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid, but positive progress continues to be made by PSG – with Barcelona knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage this season – and Al-Khelaifi is feeling bullish.

The PSG president has told RMC Sport: “Mbappe and Neymar are Parisians and they will stay in Paris forever.”

Two iconic figures within the global game have continued to play their cards on the brink of their chest when it involves future plans. Neymar is taken into account to be the closest to agreeing an extended stay within the Paris , with a deal on the table there, but no official announcement has been made so far. Mbappe has also sought to steer around questions regarding his intentions, but there are calls from prominent figures at PSG for decisions to be made quickly in order that long-term plans are often put on hold.

For now, the Ligue 1 title holders are revelling within the incontrovertible fact that they need dumped La Liga giants Barca out of Europe. A 4-1 win at Camp Nou laid the groundwork for that success, with Mbappe netting a shocking hat-trick in Catalunya.

Ronald Koeman’s side fought back in Paris, as they sought a repeat of their remarkable turnaround against an equivalent opponents from 2017, but variety of missed opportunities meant that a 1-1 draw was nowhere near enough for them.

Al-Khelaifi said: “It is a great honour to be in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. I have already forgotten what happened four years ago. It will remain in history, but we’ve played and that we have knocked out an excellent Barcelona team. We are within the last eight.”

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.