Blog - Transfer Talk, Clubs, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappé, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Story, Transfers

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ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol react to the top 10 forwards in this year’s FC100 rankings.
Julien Laurens thinks Kylian Mbappe’s value will only go up and Real Madrid cannot afford to wait to sign him.

The transfer windows in Europe’s top leagues are closed, but it’s never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

TOP STORY: Hazard warning ahead for PSG

Kylian Mbappe‘s list of admirers grows longer by the week. First, more than 40 ESPN FC experts from around the world ranked the French star as the No. 3 forward in the ESPN FC 100,  and now Belgian star Eden Hazard has joined Mbappe’s growing legion of fans.

The Real Madrid star admits that he’s a big fan of PSG’s prize asset and, in an interview with Le Parisien, Hazard even suggested that if he could help the move happen by tempting Mbappe to join him, he would do it.

Hazard’s boss Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to bring the sensational Frenchman to the Spanish capital to line up alongside Hazard, although the Los Blancos supremo also knows it would probably take a very high fee, perhaps a record deal, to do so.

Mbappe is contracted to the Parisiens until 2022 but has openly admitted he is up for a new challenge, and Real are one of few clubs who would be able to afford to land one of football’s hottest properties.

Still, Hazard whispering sweet nothings in Mbappe’s direction isn’t going to hurt.

LIVE BLOG

10:24 GMT: Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has opened up in an interview with Canal+ on his decision to stay at Chelsea despite being targeted by Paris Saint-Germain in recent seasons.

PSG had a long-held interest in signing the France international but eventually signed Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera last summer after Kante decided to stay at Chelsea.

Kante, 28, told Canal Football Club: “Sometimes, you do not know where you want to go. However, we know what we have. I know I am with Chelsea and I am good with them.

“If I did not want to join PSG, it was more of a sporting choice. I feel good in London, with the project, and I am happy to stay.”

09.40 GMT: Derby County may not be able to officially register Wayne Rooney as a player until Jan. 1 but the former England captain is set to begin work as a coach at the Championship club this week, according to The Times.

Rooney recently left Major League Soccer club DC United after a 15-month stint in the U.S. in which he scored 23 goals in 49 appearances.

The 34-year-old will start work under Derby boss Phillip Cocu with the club 11th in the table, five points off a playoff spot.

The first for which Rooney will be eligible to play is a home game against Barnsley on Jan. 2.

09.07 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have got themselves a Jadon Sancho issue, according to The Athletic.

With Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid all interested, plus former club Manchester City watching developments closely, the 19-year-old England winger reportedly feels ”frustrated and scapegoated” by recent events at the German club.

Sancho, 19, was taken off after just 36 minutes of Dortmund’s 4-0 defeat away to Bayern Munich. He was hit with an internal suspension ahead of the clash with Borussia Monchengladbach following a late return from international duty with England.

However, he payed the full 90 minutes against Paderborn on Friday, and his goal just after half-time sparked Dortmund’s sensational comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3.

Plenty of clubs will be bidding, should the winger become available, and you can expect his price to exceed €100m.

08.33 GMT: Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa will remain at Flamengo beyond this season, according to the club’s president.

Barbosa joined Flamengo on a season-long loan from Inter Milan and scored two goals in three minutes to help the Brazilian side win the Copa Libertadores on Saturday. In all he has 40 goals in 52 games for the club.

Inter were willing to sell Gabigol to Flamengo for a reported €22m at the end of the loan deal but, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri hope to capitalise on his great form and want a fee of around €35m to €40m.

“He is a great player and the idol of the fans,” Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim told reporters. “Nowhere else will he be as happy as he is here. I really hope he will stay.”

Twenty-four hours after that win over River Plate in Lima, Flamengo won their seventh Brazilian championship after Gremio scored a last-gasp winner against their closest rivals Palmeiras to give Flamengo a 13-point lead with four points remaining. Not since Pele had won the league and the Libertadores Cup with Santos in 1963 had a Brazilian team had won the league and the Libertadores in the same year.

Vickery: ‘Gabigol’ heroics help Flamengo seal Copa Libertadores glory

08.00 GMT: Liverpool, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are all monitoring Wolves’ versatile young defender Owen Otasowie, according to The Sun.

Otasowie, 18, has only made three appearances for Wolves in the EFL Trophy since joining the club this season, but has already attracted plenty of attention.

The Sun reports that PSG became interested in him after a recent Premier League International Cup match between the two club’s U23 sides last week.

Otasowie has represented the United States at U18 level, but is also eligible to play for England and Nigeria.

PAPER TALK (by Tom Fenton): Umtiti doesn’t rule out Lyon return, denting Arsenal’s chances

Samuel Umtiti isn’t ruling out a dramatic return to boyhood club Lyon, Sport reports.

A homecoming for Umtiti would effectively end Arsenal’s hopes of signing the highly rated defender, who is currently tied down to a long-term deal at Barcelona.

The Spanish publication quotes the French international as saying: “Returning to Lyon is a possibility, as a player or as a coach.”

Umtiti played for the Ligue 1 side for five years before joining Barcelona in 2016.

Tap-ins

– The Liverpool hierarchy have given Rhian Brewster the green light to depart on loan, according to the Daily Star.

In addition to Aston Villa’s interest, the paper claims that the 19-year-old is being targeted by the likes of Swansea, Leeds United and Crystal Palace, after failing to make a single Premier League appearance so far this season.

Carlos Sanchez could be headed for a January exit from West Ham, after making just a handful of Premier league appearances this season, according to the Daily Mail.

The 33-year-old, who has been capped 82 times by Colombia, featured in the final half-hour of West Ham’s 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham yesterday — his first outing for the club since a trio of appearances from the bench in August.

– Juventus are keeping tabs on Swedish starlet Dejan Kulusevski, with sporting director Fabio Paratici watching him in action for Parma against Bologna this weekend. That is according to Calciomercato, who also say Inter are monitoring the €30 million target.

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