AS Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy has reportedly agreed personal terms with Manchester City after snubbing approaches from Chelsea and Liverpool.
While a fee is still to be agreed between the two clubs, Mendy is said to have informed the Ligue 1 champions of his decision to leave.
The 22-year-old is convinced that City is the best place for him at the moment and is eager to work with Pep Guardiola.
Mendy was one of the best players in a hugely impressive Monaco side last season but probably not one of the most high-profile ones.
Here, we take a look at five things you may not have known about the Frenchman.
Mendy has something in common with another Frenchman currently plying his trade in Manchester. Growing up in Longjumeau, in Southern Paris, Mendy came through the famed Le Havre youth academy, just like Paul Pogba.
The left-back went on to make his senior debut with the second tier side, racking up 57 appearances for the first team before joining Marseille.
The modern day full-back has to be among the fittest players on the pitch and Mendy has taken measures to make sure hes up there with the best.
According to former team-mate at Marseille Brice Samba, the biggest change the left-back made to facilitate his development was pay heed to a dietician.
“Since he joined Monaco, he’s notably got someone to help him with his food. It’s one detail among others,” the goalkeeper told Le Parisien.
Mendy loves his time off and has even ventured as far as the middle-east.
He was in the United Arab Emirates just last month and on June 23 uploaded a picture on his Instagram account outside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Mendy is a bit of a joker and has taken it upon himself to welcome Mbappe to the senior squad with a bit of friendly banter.
The defender has repeatedly made fun of the 18-year-old’s age.
When a journalist observed on Twitter that Mbappe hadn’t celebrated with his team-mates on one occasion, Mendy replied, “He has school tomorrow.”
When asked in an interview if he was impressed with the youngster, he answered that he was good at playing Playstation.
Arguably the best full-back in the game, even touted for a Ballon d’Or nomination, Mendy couldn’t have picked a better role model in Real Madrid’s Marcelo.
The young defender is in awe of the 29-year-old Brazilian, who he believes to possess the perfect balance between defence and attack.
“I watch his control, his crossing and I like his defensive qualities. That’s something I miss, to be a little more defensive in my soul. Leonardo Jarim often takes me aside at training to insist upon it,” Mendy told Le Parisien.
Pepe, whose contract expired at Real Madrid at the end of last season, looked to be heading to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer but that deal now seems to be off after a breakdown in talks.
The Portugal international had completed a medical at the Ligue 1 giants but according to Madrid-based newspaper Marca, the terms of the veteran defender’s proposed deal could not be agreed.
It now seems very unlikely that the 34-year-old will link-up with Unai Emery’s team while Turkish club Besiktas have wasted no time in trying to complete a summer transfer for the free agent.
After an extended holiday following his participation in the Confederations Cup, Pepe is expected to arrive in Istanbul next week to seal his switch to the Super Lig side.
The news comes as a blow for PSG as they felt the centre-back’s experience was just what they needed next season.
Atletico Madrid have tied down midfielder Saul Niguez to a new long-term contract.
The 22-year-old has signed a five-year extension which ties him to the Rojiblancos until June 30, 2026.
Saul, who was part of the Spain Under-21 side that lost the Euro 2017 final to Germany on Friday, said on his club’s website: “I’m very happy because at Atleti we are a family and there is no better place to be.”
“I will work as always to repay the trust the club has shown in me on the field. I want to thank all my team-mates and the coaching staff for their help day by day to be able to be the player I am today,” he added.
The highly-rated Saul had been linked with a move to some of Europe’s top clubs, with his stock rising further still during the European Under-21 Championship in Poland as he scored a stunning hat-trick in the 3-1 semi-final win over Italy and finished as the tournament’s top scorer.
But Atletico have secured his services for a further nine years and represents another significant coup for the club, who have already this summer secured new deals with two of their other leading players in Antoine Griezmann and Koke.
Griezmann’s new deal runs until 2022 while Koke has pledged his future to Atletico until 2024.
The importance of tying down their star players became even more pressing for Atletico last month when they lost their appeal against a FIFA-imposed transfer ban, which means they will not be able to register any new players until January.
Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero said Saul – who has been at the club since he was 14 – is a role model for all the youngsters at the Spanish giants and believes he will only get better and better.
He said: “Saul is an example for all the kids in our Academy. An example of giving, teamwork, solitary on the field and an impressive quality.
“He is an all-around player, with great aerial power, an amazing long-range shot, a tireless worker, a young player with lots of experience… We should feel happy for the agreement we reached because he is such a great player and there are no limits to his growth.”