Lyon Sporting Director Juninho wanted to sign Franck Ribéry this summer

Speaking in an interview with BeIN Sports, Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas revealed that his newly appointed Sporting Director Juninho this summer wanted to bring French winger and then free agent Franck Ribéry into the club.

“Juninho wanted Franck (this summer). In 2006, I had nearly signed him but Marseille came back strong at the last moment and it did not get done. But I would’ve liked to have Franck, yes.”

Ribéry of course joined Fiorentina this summer instead, where he has made somewhat of an impact in a muddling side, but recently suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of action until 2020.

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PSG would like Sadio Mané should Neymar depart

France Football report that the PSG board have settled on their preferred successor to Brazilian attacker Neymar, should he depart the club in the summer after a tumultuous previous transfer window.

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Last summer, it was Paulo Dybala (Juventus) who for a long time flirted with the possibility of joining PSG were Neymar to quit the French capital, but neither move ultimately came to fruition.

However, in recent weeks, a new name is being discussed enthusiastically amongst the PSG board: 27-year-old Senegalese international and Liverpool winger Sadio Mané.

Les Parisiens like his profile because of the defensive and attacking intensity that the ex-Southampton man brings, alongside his exemplary mentality, and they likely feel that he counters the perceived weak points of Neymar Jr’s game. To many in Paris, he is the “perfect” candidate to replace Ney.

PSG SD Leonardo cautious on Kylian Mbappé & the Olympics: “We need to protect our player.”

Speaking to RMC Sport in Nyon at the Champions’ League Round of 16 draw, in which PSG drew with Borussia Dortmund, Les Parisiens’ Sporting Director Leonardo was asked about Kylian Mbappé’s possible participation at next summer’s Olympic Games.

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“We need to manage our player well, we need to protect our player, not expose him too much. A player like Mbappé must be protected and defended. He needs rest, we will speak calmly (with the FFF) but we will consider all the aspects. We have a clear and direct relationship with the federation and with President Le Graët, of course we will speak about that. But it is always difficult. Today the schedule is very packed, for everyone. Sadly there is a difficulty because there are too many matches in a season, the players are really very occupied. We see the injuries.”

Adrien Tameze wants to leave OGC Nice next month

Our colleagues at Foot Mercato report that OGC Nice midfielder Adrien Tameze wants to quit Les Aiglons next month.

The 25-year-old has played just 519 minutes so far this season and finds himself without a spot in the team’s starting XI. The OGC Nice board, who offered him the chance to leave already in summer when Spartak Moscow and Bologna made bids worth around €10m, are willing to allow him to depart once again.

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Currently, there are no obvious offers on the table for Tameze, but his profile is well-admired in England, and we expect discussions in that direction shortly.

Kylian Mbappé: Ousmane Dembélé told me that Messi is watching me

Speaking in an interview with France Football after being awarded the magazine’s title of Best French Footballer of the Year, Kylian Mbappé discussed his competition with Lionel Messi last season to be the player to have scored the most amount of competitive goals in 2018/19.

“(At the end of last season) Instead of just putting my head under the covers and waiting calmly for the end of the season, I was trying to outdo myself. I saw that I could maybe get this title of the top goalscorer in Europe… But, facing off against me, was Messi. I would score twice on a weekend, he would go and score three; I would score three, he would score four! It was so crazy that I spoke with Ousmane (Dembélé) about it. ‘This is crazy! Is he doing this on purpose?’ He responded to me: ‘Of course he is looking at you!’ I said to myself: ‘Ah, not bad, Messi is surveilling me…’ It is flattering to see that such a player is not overlooking you.”

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Fabinho open to returning to AS Monaco

Speaking as a guest of Téléfoot yesterday, Liverpool defensive midfielder Fabinho confirmed that he would consider returning to AS Monaco one day.

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“I continue to watch Monaco. In the future, I could come back, yes.”

“My ankle is better, I trained alone this week. I am touching the ball again, I feel good and I feel confident.”

The Brazilian also discussed his relationship with Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp:

“There was a change, it was a bit difficult when I started with the club but then he put me in the team.”