I Would Like Him To Join Atletico, Says Cavani’s Father

Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani heads the ball during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 12, 2020. Bertrand GUAY / AFP

 

Edinson Cavani wants to join Atletico Madrid and is being treated “unfairly” by Paris Saint-Germain, the Uruguay striker’s father said on Wednesday.

Cavani, 32, has fallen out of favour at PSG, where he is competing with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Mauro Icardi and Angel di Maria for starting spots in the attack.

Several clubs are reportedly keen on signing Cavani, who has scored a club-record 198 goals for PSG and whose contract expires in the summer. Atletico appear to be the 32-year-old’s preferred choice but the La Liga outfit and PSG are yet to agree on a fee.

“I would like him to play there, (Atletico coach Diego) Simeone wants him now but the head coach of Paris Saint-Germain (Thomas Tuchel) says he needs him to help them compete in the Champions League,” Cavani’s father Luis told Spanish television programme El Chiringuito.

“I think there is a strong chance he will go to Atletico. There is also the option to join the club in June. There are lots of other clubs interested but when you give your word to a team, you respect it.

“If he is allowed to leave tomorrow and Atletico still want him, I think he will sign. He is a player who needs time to play and at the moment he only plays four or six minutes per game. PSG are treating him unfairly.”

Atletico have struggled for goals this season and currently sit third in La Liga, eight points behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Cavani would give the club a welcome mid-season boost, with a crunch last-16 tie against Liverpool to come in the Champions League next month.

“Paris Saint-Germain have rejected three bids from Atletico Madrid,” Cavani’s mother Berta Gomez told Madrid newspaper AS on Wednesday.

“My son has asked to leave and we are waiting for an agreement from both clubs.

“He is angry because he does not understand why are blocking him leaving if they do not count on him to play.”

AFP

Lampard Develops Interest In Cavani After Planned PSG Exit

This file photo taken on September 15, 2015 shows Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani celebrating after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Malmo at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP

 

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani’s desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain has stoked the interest of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who has bemoaned his players’ lack of clinical finishing.

Tammy Abraham has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season but Lampard is aware that he needs support.

The 1-0 defeat by Newcastle on Saturday highlighted a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal with defeat preventing Chelsea from extending their advantage over their rivals for a Champions League place.

Fourth-placed Chelsea play Arsenal on Tuesday and are presently five points clear of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Arsenal are 10 points adrift of their London rivals.

Cavani is PSG’s record goalscorer with 198 but the 116-times capped striker told the board he wanted to leave for Atletico Madrid having fallen behind Mauro Icardi in the pecking order this season.

However, Lampard said he would be interested in a striker of the 32-year-old’s class when he was told at the eve of match press conference of  Cavani’s desire to leave PSG.

“He’s a great player,” said Lampard of Cavani.

“I played against him and I always loved his mentality and attitude, and obviously his goal-scoring record speaks for itself.

“I’m not absolutely aware of what the situation is, so we’ll see.

“The idea of bringing in experience is something I’m certainly not absolutely looking away from.

“Because sometimes the young players need a little bit of help, and if that’s the case then that may help us.”

Lampard denied that defeat by Newcastle made it all the more urgent he delve into the transfer market.

“I don’t think Newcastle hastens anything, it’s just we couldn’t do any business in the summer window,” said Lampard referring to the FIFA transfer ban which has now been lifted but which existed in the close season.

“At this point, it’s something (lack of accurate finishing) we’ve seen as a bit of a problem in our home games.

“So we’ve got to work hard with the group here, and then if we can improve in terms of goal scoring, it’s for sure something we have to look at.”

AFP

Neymar Makes Impression As PSG Crush Galatasaray

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Galatasaray at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on December 11, 2019. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Neymar marked his first start in a Champions League game in a year by scoring one goal and setting up two more as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 5-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday.

Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia netted in the first half at the Parc des Princes, with the world’s most expensive player getting his team’s third within two minutes of the restart.

Kylian Mbappe scored the fourth goal and substitute Edinson Cavani added a late penalty as PSG — who had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners – made it 16 points out of a possible 18 in Group A to finish five points ahead of Real Madrid.

However, it was Neymar who made the biggest impression, four days after starring in a 3-1 domestic victory at Montpellier and an injury-ravaged year to the day after his last start in Europe, against Red Star Belgrade.

“Neymar was already super important in a very difficult game at Montpellier. He was decisive in that game and he is improving,” said coach Thomas Tuchel.

“He is working hard off the ball, and going forward he is finding his form. It is easier now for him to accelerate, and he was really, really good.”

Despite PSG already being through and France being in the grip of a transport strike that has almost completely shut down the Paris metro system, the Parc des Princes was still largely full.

That included a sizeable travelling support, and there were incidents outside the stadium ahead of the match between rival fan groups, with police responding by firing tear gas before calm returned.

The game itself carried the air of a training exercise for the home side, with Tuchel resting stars such as Angel Di Maria, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti and goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

There was a start in midfield for the 17-year-old Tanguy Kouassi, who made his senior debut last weekend and has still not signed full professional terms.

A year in the wilderness 

The two biggest stars were on the pitch, though, and both Neymar and Mbappe proved too hot for the Turkish champions to handle.

Mbappe lifted the ball over advancing Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, leaving Icardi with an easy finish to make it 1-0 just after the half-hour mark.

It was Icardi’s 12th goal of the season and it was followed three minutes later by Sarabia controlling Neymar’s pass and firing low into the far corner.

After that Red Star game at the end of last season’s group phase, in which Neymar scored in a 4-1 win, he went on to miss both legs of the last-16 defeat against Manchester United due to injury.

He then sat out the first three games of this European campaign because of suspension, and was injured again for the following match, a 1-0 win over Club Brugge.

Neymar returned for the 2-2 draw at Real Madrid a fortnight ago, but only as a substitute.

The Brazilian collected Mbappe’s lay-off and fired low into the net to make it 3-0 in the 47th minute and then returned the favour, releasing the French World Cup winner to score his fifth Champions League goal of the season and make it 4-0 after the hour mark.

All that was left was for Cavani — the real PSG fans’ favourite currently relegated to the role of back-up — to convert a late penalty, making it 5-0 after Mbappe had been brought down, with Neymar happy for the Uruguay striker to take over penalty duties.

“We are in this together as a team and I hope him giving the penalty to ‘Edi’ is a symbol for the team this season,” added Tuchel.

Galatasaray finish with a paltry one goal and two points in the group and miss out on the consolation of a Europa League spot in the new year to Club Brugge.

AFP

Neymar Left On Bench For PSG Against Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar reacts during the French L1 football match against Lille at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on November 22, 2019. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

 

Neymar has been left on the bench for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League game away at Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The Brazilian played 65 minutes against Lille on Friday after spending six weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Neymar came close to a return to Spain last summer but neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid were able to agree a transfer with PSG.

The French champions have already qualified for the knockout stages and sit top of Group A, five points clear of Madrid, whom they beat 3-0 in Paris in September.

AFP

Diagne Sanctioned By Brugge After PSG Penalty Controversy

Burgge’s Senegalese forward Mbaye Diagne plays the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Club Brugge (Bruges) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on November 6, 2019. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Senegalese forward Mbaye Diagne has been left out of Club Brugge’s game at Royal Antwerp this weekend after insisting on taking a penalty against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

The 28-year-old prevented Brugge captain Hans Vanaken from taking the spot-kick with PSG leading 1-0 in the 76th minute on Wednesday, before seeing his effort saved by Keylor Navas as the Belgians went on to lose in Paris.

Coach Philippe Clement confirmed on Friday that Diagne would be punished.

“He will not appear in the squad for Antwerp on Sunday and I will decide in the coming weeks or months about a possible return to the team,” said Clement, who gesticulated wildly at Diagne to give Vanaken the ball.

“There will also be a very heavy financial penalty.”

Diagne has scored four goals for Brugge since signing on loan from Galatasaray in the close season.

Brugge sit third in Champions League Group A, 10 points behind leaders PSG, and will need to win their final two games against Galatasaray and Real Madrid to have any chance of reaching the last 16.

Verratti Signs New PSG Deal Until 2024

Paris Saint-Germain’s Italian midfielder Marco Verratti  AFP

 

Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has extended his contract with French champions Paris Saint-Germain until 2024, the club said Wednesday.

Verratti, who turns 27 next week, has won six Ligue 1 titles with PSG since joining the club from Pescara in 2012.

“I think I’m coming to the most important moment of my career. I think at 27 you know a lot, you have more experience… I’m really happy to be able to continue here in Paris,” Verratti told the club’s website.

“Like I’ve said since day one, I feel really good here. I feel that I play for a team with big ambitions. That’s the key thing for me because I want to win as much as possible.”

“Here we have that possibility because we have a great team, we have a great coach,” he added. “We can do great things together.”

Verratti has won four French Cups and the French League Cup on five occasions with PSG, although the club have failed to progress beyond the Champions League quarter-finals under Qatari ownership.

AFP

PSG Thrash Club Brugge In Champions League

Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria (R) challenges Club Brugge’s Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Brugge and Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) on October 22, 2019 at the Jan Breydel stadium in Bruges. Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

Substitute Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain moved a step closer to the Champions League last 16 with a 5-0 victory over previously unbeaten Club Brugge on Tuesday.

The World Cup winner, who has only started four games this season due to thigh and hamstring injuries netted three time in the space of 20 minutes to help PSG go five points clear of Real Madrid, who beat Galatasaray 1-0, in second place in Group A.

Maurco Icardi netted the visitors other two goals as fellow Argentinian Angel Di Maria directly set-up three of his side’s efforts.

For the third time in Europe this season PSG’s Thomas Tuchel was unable to start his attacking trio of suspended Neymar and injured Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Brugge coach Philippe Clement, who has guided the club to the top of the Belgian Pro League, was without captain Ruud Vormer as the Netherlands midfielder serves a suspension for a red card he received in the draw at Real.

The visitors claimed an early lead as Di Maria received a long-range ball on the right flank.

The Argentina winger curled in an early cross with the outside of his left foot and Icardi beat Simon Mignolet at his near post after seven minutes.

Champions League debutant Charles De Ketelaere missed a good chance to equalise after half an hour but the 18-year-old failed to worry Keylor Navas.

Icardi had a chance to double the Parisians’ advantage six minutes into the second-half but his effort across goal was well-saved my Mignolet.

 Decisive Di Maria 

Mbappe entered the fray 60 seconds later and instantly dropped deep hungrily looking for possession.

The Ballon d’Or candidate repeated his feats from Friday’s Ligue 1 victory over Nice by scoring and claiming an assist within the final half an hour.

He claimed his first of proceedings with 28 minutes of the game to go after another Di Maria curling cross.

The World Cup winner then set-up Icardi for his fifth in four games less than 60 seconds later.

Mbappe’s second and third goals of the match both came from lovely Di Maria passes as PSG marked their intentions in the competitions with a clinical performance.

The two clubs meet again on November 6 in the French capital with Neymar expected to be sidelined with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty.

AFP

Champions League: Mbappe Set For Role Against Club Brugge

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Lyon (OL) on October 7, 2018 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Still fighting for full fitness France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe will feature for Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League group game at Club Brugge on Tuesday, but will not play 90 minutes according to coach Thomas Tuchel.

The lightening quick 20-year-old forward has been suffering from a thigh strain since early August but came off the bench to score against Nice at the weekend.

“It’s too early for him to play 90 minutes so we need to work out whether we want him to start the match or finish it,” said Tuchel on Monday.

“It’s the same with Edi,” he said referring to Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, who has had a niggling hip complaint.

Mbappe has tried out his thigh three times in his bid for fitness with cameo appearances at Bordeaux and Galatasaray.

“They have been out for a long time and while others have seized their chance we are stronger now they are back,” said Tuchel.

PSG sit top of their Champions League group with six points while Club Brugge are second on two, with Galatasaray and Real Madrid both on one.

PSG President Keeps Silent At Athletics Corruption Hearing

 

Paris Saint-Germain chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi remained silent during questioning by French prosecutors on Doha’s candidacy to stage the world athletics championships, according to official documents seen by AFP on Monday.

“I exercise my right to silence,” the Qatari replied to each of the 28 questions put to him at the June 11 in Paris.

He was charged in May in connection with Doha’s candidacy to stage the championships.

The Qatari capital lost out to London in 2017 but beat off Eugene and Barcelona for the 2019 edition, which took place at the Khalifa International Stadium between September 27 and October 6.

Al-Khelaifi’s lawyers Francis Szpiner and Renaud Semerdjian told AFP their client had refused to cooperate as “all the useful answers had already been supplied”.

“There were no new elements since the last interview,” they added.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the boss of Qatari television channel BeIN Sports, was charged in May. He was unable to attend when first summoned for questioning by investigators that month as he was in Qatar for the domestic cup final.

French prosecutors are looking specifically at two payments of $3.5 million (3.18 million euros) in 2011 by Oryx Qatar Sports Investment, a company run by Nasser’s brother Khalid Al-Khelaifi, to a sports marketing firm run by Papa Massata Diack.

Diack’s father Lamine Diack was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015 and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Injured Neymar Out For Four Weeks

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and OGC Nice at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.
Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar will be out for four weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered playing for Brazil, the French club said on Monday.

Neymar limped off in the 12th minute on Sunday as Brazil drew 1-1 against Nigeria in a friendly in Singapore.

PSG said that an MRI scan showed that their star player had suffered “a grade two lesion” in his left hamstring.

If he is out until November 11, Neymar will miss four French league matches, including a trip to Marseille on October 27, and home and away Champions League games against Bruges.

The world’s most expensive player had been due to make his champions League return against Bruges next Tuesday after serving a two-match suspension.

This latest in a catalogue of injuries since joining PSG in 2017 came after a promising start to the season with four goals in five Ligue 1 matches.

Ligue One: Icardi Scores First Goal As PSG Cruise Past Angers

Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine forward Mauro Icardi celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Angers SCO at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on October 5, 2019. Lucas BARIOULET / AFP

 

Mauro Icardi scored his first Ligue 1 goal as Paris Saint-Germain moved five points clear at the top of the table with a 4-0 thrashing of high-flying Angers on Saturday.

The reigning champions had suffered a shock 2-0 loss in their previous home game against Reims, but had no such trouble at the Parc des Princes on this occasion despite their opponents’ surprisingly strong start to the season.

PSG head into the international break totally in control of the title race, although Nantes, who leapfrogged Angers into second on goal difference, could cut the gap to two points when they host Nice later on Saturday.

Neymar’s late strike rounded off a strong individual display as he continued to repair his relationship with the team’s fans after failing in his effort to force through a return to Barcelona.

Tuchel opted to rest Angel Di Maria, as on-loan Inter Milan striker Icardi was rewarded for his first PSG goal in midweek at Galatasaray with a full Ligue 1 debut.

The capital city club remained without the injured Edinson Cavani, while Kylian Mbappe missed out after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh problem.

But the first opportunity fell to in-form Angers forward Rachid Alioui, but the Algerian dallied on the ball and home goalkeeper Keylor Navas was able to save with his foot.

The hosts took the lead in the 13th minute, though, as Ander Herrera played in Pablo Sarabia, who cut inside and wrong-footed Ludovic Butelle in the Angers goal to net for the first time since joining PSG from Sevilla in the close-season.

The visitors continued to threaten on the counter-attack, with Navas having to beat away Baptiste Santamaria’s long-range drive.

The game was all but ended as a contest eight minutes before the break, as Neymar and Sarabia combined to give Icardi the simplest of tasks to fire into the roof of the net.

Although Spain international Sarabia scuffed a rebound after his inital shot was cleared off the line just before the hour mark, former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was on hand to tap in his first PSG goal.

But there was little respite for Angers, as Neymar launched a one-man mission in his attempt to get on the scoresheet.

The Brazilian was twice denied by Butelle in quick succession, before the goalkeeper produced a brilliant save with his legs when the world’s most expensive player was clean through on goal.

Neymar eventually found a way past Butelle in the final minute, rounding the ‘keeper and slotting into an empty net to complete a straightforward outing for PSG with his fourth goal of the campaign.

AFP

‘I’ll Give My Life To PSG,’ Says Neymar

File Photo: Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

 

Brazilian superstar Neymar pledged Saturday to “give my life to PSG” after his goal kept the French giants top of Ligue 1 with a 1-0 win at Bordeaux.

Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, had been strongly linked to a return to Barcelona over a tumultuous summer.

However, in an attempt to win over PSG fans, many of whom have become unconvinced by the player’s attachment to the French capital, Neymar has looked a rejuvenated figure, scoring for a third time this season.

“I’m very happy to be able to help PSG, it’s better with the fans,” he said.

“It’s like with your girlfriend, one moment you’re bad, but with hugs and a lot of love, it’s better.

“I am here to give my life to PSG. They are my team, my goal is to help my club, to continue to score goals.”

On Saturday, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar played together for the first time this season and combined for the only goal in Bordeaux.

Mbappe, who had been out injured since August 25, started on the bench but, with PSG struggling for a breakthrough, came on after an hour.

The Parisian attack immediately gained a more menacing edge.

Both Mbappe, with a shot, and Neymar, with a header, went close before combining to open the scoring for the game’s only goal in the 70th minute.

Mbappe outpaced the Bordeaux defence on the right. His precise low cross presented Neymar with a tap in at the far post.

“The most important thing is that these goals are decisive, in tight matches, that’s why I’m here,” added Neymar.

“It’s obviously a pleasure to link up with Kylian again. He came back with his smile and with his football talent,” he added.

– Mbappe’s Neymar ‘admiration’ –
French World Cup winner Mbappe said he was delighted to link-up again with Neymar although he admits their partnership remains a work in progress.

“There are things that have been said, but we have always had a relationship based on honesty and admiration,” said Mbappe.

The last time Mbappe and Neymar had appeared together was in the French Cup final last April, a match which ended in defeat.

As Bordeaux pressed, Mbappe and PSG began to carve open the home defence.

He burst through on his own, but goalkeeper Benoit Costil anticipated the chip.

Then Costil again reacted quickly, diving at Angel Di Maria’s feet as the Argentine ran onto Mbappe’s angled through ball.

PSG, who had suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Reims on Wednesday, survived a late video review for a potential Bordeaux penalty to recapture first place.

Angers are second in the table after a 1-1 draw with Amiens.

Nantes, also two points off the pace, had briefly moved to the top when they won 1-0 win at Lyon earlier in the day.

Lyon had the best of the chances but conceded the only goal in freakish fashion just before the hour.

As Samuel Moutoussamy broke into the home area, left-back Fernando Marcal slid in and attempted to poke the ball out for a corner. Instead, it struck his other leg and looped over goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and into the goal.

As the home fans whistled their team, the Lyon players appeared increasingly lost, although the brilliance of Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont was a major factor in their failure.

For Nantes, it was a first win at Lyon since December 1996.

Monaco’s revival continued when a 4-1 home win over Brest allowed them to move into 12th spot.

Monaco have now taken seven points from their last three league games.