David McGeady

David McGeady

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Aulas: PSG signing Neymar for record fee would be risky

The Brazilian star could move to Ligue 1 via PSG, but Lyon’s president does not think it is all positive for French football

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has questioned Paris Saint-Germain’s “risky” pursuit of Barcelona star Neymar, claiming it would not be good for French football’s economy.

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Ligue 1 giants PSG are reportedly ready to meet Neymar’s €222 million release clause as well as offering the Brazil international an annual salary in the region of €30m.

Talk of Neymar — who scored twice against Juventus at the International Champions Cup on Saturday — potentially moving to the French capital has dominated headlines, but Aulas is not convinced.

“I’m not sure if it’s positive for the French football economy, if that’s the case,” Aulas told RMC.

“As an economic analyst, I look at what this investment represents. It is more than €500m over five years.

“When we try to create positive dynamics, with added value but also of economic equilibrium, we think that it is very risky.”

Aulas added: “It seems to me that we are not in a coherent economic logic for the French championship. We are not in England with nearly €3billion in revenue for TV rights…But we are in liberal economy, everyone is free to do what they want.”

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Messi, Suarez & Pique convince Neymar to stay – but Barca are eager to hear from the Brazilian

The two South American forwards and the Catalan defender talked their friend round on Saturday. Now the club want confirmation from the player himself


SPECIAL REPORT


Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique have convinced Neymar to stay at Barcelona, Goal understands, but the Catalan club are still desperate to hear publicly from the Brazilian forward.

Bet on Barcelona winning La Liga

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to pay €222 million to release the 25-year-old forward from his current contract and take the former Santos forward to the Parc des Princes, with negotiations at an advanced stage in the past few days.

Those shock reports set the alarm bells ringing at Camp Nou and even though Barca vice-president Jordi Mestre said he was “200 per cent sure” the Brazilian would stay at the club, the player’s prolonged silence only made senior figures even more nervous about the possibility of losing a footballer brought in to succeed Messi in the long term.

Neymar himself told Goal he was “happy” at Barcelona in an e-mail exchange answered a day after the original story broke, but that seemed like a stock response and may have been written by the player’s people to avoid adding further fuel to the fire.

Neymar Gerard Pique Barcelona ICC

Neymar’s continued silence has irked the Barca board and a pensive post on Instagram (in which he was pictured staring into space and stroking his chin) hardly helped as the Parisian club closed in on a transfer, with the documents said to be missing only the signatures in order to confirm the Brazilian as a PSG player.

‘He stays’ – Pique says Neymar is going nowhere

With a lack of feeling between the Barca squad and the current board, the senior players decided to take matters into their own hands and after Neymar starred with both goals (including a stunning second) in the 2-1 win over Juventus at the ICC Cup on Saturday evening, he was beckoned to talks with Messi, Suarez and Pique back at the team’s hotel in New Jersey.

All three players are said to have told Neymar that he cannot leave the club now and that he is better off staying at Barca than moving to PSG, especially at this stage of his career.

On Sunday, Pique posted a picture on Instagram and Twitter with Neymar taken during a break in Manhattan and alongside the photo, a two-word caption simply said: “He stays”.

Neymar Barcelona

HD Neymar Barcelona ICC

Many Barca followers quickly praised Pique for assuming the role of de facto president in the transfer saga and it was widely assumed that a line had been drawn under the whole matter.

Alba confident Neymar will remain at Barca

However, Neymar has remained silent and was said to be uncommunicative in a meeting with president Josep Maria Bartomeu on the team’s US tour. After Pique’s post, the Catalan club are now confident he will stay at Camp Nou, but PSG are not ready to throw in the towel – especially having come so close to completing a deal.

The player’s father was pictured leaving the MetLife Stadium with Barca directors on Saturday evening, although club chief Bartomeu was not present, and Neymar Sr. is still apparently unconvinved that the Catalan capital is the best place for his son.

Ultimately, however, the decision should lie with the player himself and even though he has been swayed into a stay by several of his close colleagues, Barca are concerned that he could change his mind yet again – and the club hope for a public declaration soon.

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Mendy, Danilo & Walker must try and emulate ‘leader’ Zabaleta at Man City, says Kompany

The Belgium international will have plenty of new faces alongside him in defence this year after Pep Guardiola spent big on reinforcements

Vincent Kompany has welcomed Manchester City’s new full-back cohort to the club, and advised they could learn a lot from the last generation as they settle in at the Etihad Stadium.

Man City favourites to win Premier League

Pep Guardiola made strengthening the defensive flanks a priority during this transfer window after a mixed debut season in the Premier League. 

His efforts to land Dani Alves may have been thwarted, but City nevertheless sealed the signings of Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo in a bold statement of intent from the manager. 

Long-serving stalwarts Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov have in turn moved on, but Kompany believes their influence can inspire the new faces. 

“Bacary, Zaba, Clichy, Kolarov — they were all leaders and had a huge impact at this club,” the captain told reporters at a City community event at the East LA Boys and Girls’ Club, where several high-profile players took part in skills events and unveiled a new mural.

“Look at Zaba, what made him so popular, the way he was. Look at that when you come into a club like this. If you can bring some of that to your game, the way you approach the game, then you’ll always be a success at City.

The biggest transfers of the summer

“We’ve replaced some key players in the team that did a lot of good over the years. But the important thing was replacing them with players of equal ability at least — because they’ve been big players for us down the years.

“It’s good to get some new guys, new faces, who are hungry to win. Everything is there to be achieved for them. But hopefully they will add that spark that we need to be the champions again.”

Kompany enters his 10th season with the Citizens, after suffering a frustrating 2016-17 campaign curtailed by injury. 

Vincent Kompany Manchester City Premier League

The Belgian, however, is looking forward to a new year and is determined to help City’s newcomers find their way on the pitch. 

“Pre-season has been good. I think we are getting what we need to get out of it. We’re having a lot of hours of training and some of the guys are already looking sharp,” he said.

Mendy completes Man City move

“The most important thing is the first game in the Premier League, but if in the meantime we can build it up into some good performances it’ll be good for us.”

“Speaking for myself, I’m someone who communicates a lot. I don’t really wait for it to happen, I get out there and pass on the message I think is the most appropriate when I’m on the pitch.

“I’d do that to anyone I’m playing with so hopefully that will help them find their feet a bit quicker. They are good professionals so you’d expect them to blend in well.”

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Chicharito completes West Ham move from Bayer Leverkusen

The Mexico international returns to the Premier League after spending three seasons away from England’s top flight

West Ham have confirmed the signing of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee worth £16 million. 

The two clubs announced a fee for the striker had been agreed last week, and the Mexico international has now officially joined the Hammers after finalising personal terms and completing a medical. 

Hernandez, 29, joins after spending the past two seasons in the Bundesliga. 

The striker scored 39 goals in 76 competitive games in Germany after moving from Manchester United in 2015, following one season on loan at Real Madrid. 

“I am very happy to join West Ham United,” he said. “For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world and when the opportunity came, I was desperate to sign for this club.

“It was not a difficult decision. West Ham is an historic club, and very ambitious – this summer you can see with the players signed that they are looking to have a very good season.

“I’ve had three fantastic years playing in Spain and Germany, but England was really the first big chapter in my career and I am so happy to be back.

“I am desperate for the season to start and to help the team achieve all their objectives.”

Joint-Chairman David Sullivan added: “We are delighted to welcome Javier as the latest fantastic addition to the West Ham United squad.

“Following the arrivals of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic, he is another top class professional who brings great experience and quality to the Club.

“He has a proven goalscoring record in the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga, as well in the UEFA Champions League and at international level with Mexico.

“We now have some fantastic options in attacking positions and, like all West Ham fans, I am looking forward to seeing Javier score goals in a claret and blue shirt next season.”

Chelsea are 21/10 to beat Bayern

Chicharito became Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer in May, recording his 47th international goal during a friendly against Croatia.

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I always wanted Manchester City, says new signing Mendy

The club’s sixth signing of the transfer window says his mind was made up over the move he described as a “dream” several weeks ago

New Manchester City signing Benjamin Mendy says he decided he wanted to join the club as soon as the Ligue 1 season was over.

The 23-year-old completed his move to Pep Guardiola’s side on Monday for a reported fee of £52million, making him the world’s most expensive defender.

Man City favourites to win Premier League

Mendy, who has signed a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium, has been linked with City for several weeks and he admits that it is a move he has been desperate to make.

“I am very proud of it, this is what I wanted from the beginning,” the France international, who is City’s sixth signing of the transfer window, told the club’s official website.

“As soon as the championship was over, I talked to my family and it was all clear in my head, I wanted to join Manchester City. I was really happy about it.

“I think I am the right person for the group. I adapt easily. There are some players with whom I exchanged a few emails, I knew them from years ago.

“It’s good to be the sixth signing, that means they have excellent staff and are trying to reinforce it. It means Manchester City will have a competitive squad.”

Mendy registered 11 assists in all competitions for Monaco last season and attempted more crosses than any other player in the Champions League in his side’s run to the semi-finals.

The former Marseille man believes his attacking flair will be well suited to City and the Premier League.

“I can bring a lot of creativity to the game, I can offer different solutions, I like to play as a full-back and provide assists for the strikers,” he said.

“I always considered the Premier League the best in Europe. I like the intensity, there’s always an attacking mindset with a team like this one, who play with the ball.

Mendy is the world’s best crosser

“It’s been a dream to play in the Premier League since I was a kid and I will do everything to enjoy it.”

Mendy is also relishing the chance of working with Guardiola, adding: “He likes to motivate and push his players. He is in the same mould as Marcelo Bielsa, the same football family, and I think that can only be beneficial for us and the rest of the team.”

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