Leeds United to land Illan Meslier

Ouest-France report that 19-year-old French goalkeeper Illan Meslier is currently in advanced negotiations with Championship side Leeds United.

Les Merlus boss Christophe Pelissier confirmed this morning that the player is due to leave on loan. Meslier was not at training with FCL this morning.

Paul Nardi will be the club’s #1 goalkeeper this season, therefore Meslier was not going to receive regular playing time for Les Merlus during this campaign.

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Kasper Dolberg & Alexis Claude Maurice to undergo medicals with OGC Nice tomorrow

Nice-Matin and RMC report that Danish international striker Kasper Dolberg and French prospect Alexis Claude-Maurice will undergo medicals with OGC Nice tomorrow morning ahead of signing long-term contracts to become the first two acquisitions of the INEOS era.

The 21-year-old forward will sign a 5-year contract should all medical checks work out, in a €20m deal from Ajax.

Also 21, Claude-Maurice had been coveted by Arsenal, West Ham and Norwich City, but was adamant that the first transfer of his career keep him in France. OGC Nice have beaten Rennes to the player. A deal has been concluded around the €15m mark.

Both men will be in the stands tomorrow to watch their new club play against Mediterranean rivals Marseille.

A third deal has been agreed in recent hours – Nice-Matin report that OGC Nice have agreed a €4m deal with Algerian outfit Paradou AC to sign box-to-box midfielder Hichem Boudaoui. A medical is expected to occur in the next couple of days.

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Official | Al Ahli sign Lucas Lima from Nantes

Saudi side Al Ahli have today confirmed the arrival of left-back Lucas Lima from FC Nantes in a €6m deal.

The 27-year-old has signed a 3-year contract with the Middle Eastern outfit, after playing 117 matches for Les Canaris.

He wanted at all costs to leave FCN this summer – Nantes are actively looking for his replacement.

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Majeed Waris heading for Alaves, not Strasbourg

Ghanaian international attacker Majeed Waris is making a deadline day move to La Liga club Alaves from FC Porto, according to influential agent Paulo Tavares.

The ex-Valenciennes and Nantes forward had been in negotiations to join Les Canaris permanently after last season’s loan spell and Strasbourg had also been after the 27-year-old, but it appears that his future is in Spain.

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Official | Sochaux loan Sofiane Diop from AS Monaco

Ligue 2 side Sochaux today announced the arrival of 19-year-old attacking midfielder Sofiane Diop on loan from French top division outfit AS Monaco.

The deal is a loan without an option to buy for a player who made 22 appearances for the Principality side last season. 14 of those came in Ligue 1 and another 4 came in the Champions’ League.

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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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