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Transfer Talk: Real Madrid want a French star — is it Mbappe or Pogba?

Frank LeBoeuf says Neymar’s father has stoked the fire with his latest comments ahead of his son’s return to action with PSG.

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Real Madrid want a French star — is it Mbappe or Pogba?

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has confirmed that his club are interested in doing a deal with Paris Saint-Germain for forward Kylian Mbappe, but conceded that signing the Frenchman will be a tough task.

Perez has come under fire among Real fans after failing to secure deals for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, whilst also receiving criticism for what has been perceived by some as uninspiring arrivals at the Bernabeu this summer.

“We have gone for Lewandowski for several years and they won’t sell him, it has been the same case for Pogba,” Perez said, as reported by Spanish publication AS.

The subject of Mbappe was brought up by stakeholders at an annual meeting in Madrid on Wednesday, with Perez saying if the 20-year-old is available then he will get him, but PSG, at the moment, will not sell.

Mbappe and Pogba won the 2018 World Cup with France so it was unclear which Les Bleus star Perez was referring to when he said: “Clearly we like a Frenchman that is talked and we want to go for him, but they won’t sell.” 

Mbappe had a stunning campaign in front of goal last season after winning the 2018 World Cup in France, scoring 39 goals in 43 games in all competitions, in a season that saw him convert at better than a goal per game in Ligue 1.

Manchester clubs to move for Mikel

Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City will go head-to-head in the New Year for the signing of Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal, according to reports at Calciomercato.

The 22-year-old is already off the mark this season in La Liga, and had a superb campaign in the 2018-19 season, notching 13 goals and providing a further four assists to help the Basque side to a ninth-placed finish. He carried his superb form into the summer, when he scored his first international goal for Spain in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Sweden.

His form since the turn of the year has turned heads in the Premier League, with the two Manchester clubs now seriously considering meeting the player’s €75 million release clause. Sociedad are in a strong negotiating position, with Oyarzabal’s contract in San Sebastian running until the summer of 2024.

Leon linked with Serie A big boys

Calciomercato claims AC Milan and Roma are leading the chase to sign Bayer Leverkusen forward Leon Bailey.

The 22-year-old has been on the radar of a host of top European clubs thanks to 17 goals in his last two Bundesliga seasons, and the Giallorossi and Rossoneri are now believed to be the two clubs with the most concrete interest in the Jamaica international.

Bailey has started the new season in good form, with goals in both the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal meaning he is well on his way to beating the disappointing five-goal tally from last season.

Both Milan and Roma are desperate for reinforcements after a disappointing campaign saw them miss out on a place in this season’s Champions League, while a disappointing start to the 2019-20 Serie A campaign for both sides has further accelerated their desire to strengthen.

Tap Ins

– Reports in The Mirror claim Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson will sit down for crunch talks with the club’s hierarchy next week to discuss a new deal at Selhurst Park. The 72-year-old’s contract at the London club expires at the end of the season, but the former Inter Milan boss is keen to stay.

– Calciomercato claims Southampton are interested in highly-rated Anderlecht midfielder Yari Verschaeren. The 18-year-old made his debut for Belgium in their Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Scotland this week, and the Saints are believed to be a number of potential suitors for the youngster.

– Former Juventus, Roma and Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo could be set for a surprise return to football with Diego Maradona’s Gimnasia in Argentina’s top flight. The 33-year-old retired in 2016 at the age of 30, but Tuttosport claims the forward has been lured back into the game by compatriot and legend Maradona.

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