Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim insists he is not worried by the ongoing speculation surrounding the future of star striker Kylian Mbappe amid reports that he is close to joining Paris Saint-Germain.
“I am not going to talk about conjecture. I am staying focused on my work and helping my team to evolve,” Jardim told reporters on Friday.
Mbappe, 18, scored 15 times on Monaco’s remarkable run to the French title last season but has been constantly linked with a move away from the principality over the summer.
Real Madrid and PSG are both reportedly desperate to sign the young France international, who is valued at €180 million.
It is understood that the player himself favours joining PSG, where he would team up in attack with Neymar, signed last week for a world record €222 million. Mbappe hails from the Paris suburbs.
On the possibility of Mbappe joining the club Monaco pipped to the Ligue 1 crown in May, Jardim recalled the day “a leading director of a Portuguese club, with whom I had a meeting, said to me: ‘The transfer market is not just made to strengthen your team, but also to weaken your rivals.
“I think that is a strategy used by many. But I am staying calm.”
This summer Monaco have already sold Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Valere Germain, all key players in their run to the title.
While they appear weakened as a result, they have made a host of new signings, including this week recruiting Algerian international winger Rachid Ghezzal, who was a free agent after leaving Lyon. The transfer window shuts at the end of this month.
“I am waiting calmly for the 31st. I like to make the most of each day…we are here to make the best of Monaco,” added Jardim, whose team visit Dijon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Jardim also evaded a question as to whether Mbappe had informed him of a desire to leave the Stade Louis II.
“The players come to talk to me. I have private conversations with all of them. I try to listen to all of them about their objectives and ambitions.
“It is something I try to do about once a month. And it is not just the case for Kylian.”
Mbappe has started both of Monaco’s games so far this season, although he didn’t score in the 2-1 Champions Trophy defeat to PSG or in last Friday’s 3-2 win over Toulouse that began their title defence.
So is he disturbed by all the talk about his future?
“The start of the season differs for every player. Every player has a different way of reaching the top of his form. After that, when there is a lot of movement in the transfer market, the players cope with more or less difficulty. But that is how it is.”
Angel di Maria is being touted as the man to replace Neymar as Barcelona assess their options in light of the Brazilian’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.
According to Marca, Blaugrana are ready to capture the former Real Madrid star before the closure of this summer’s transfer window.
PSG are thought to be looking to raise cash to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations following their world-record swoop for Neymar.
Di Maria, who signed for the Parc des Princes side in 2015 following a disappointing season with Manchester United, has two years left on his current deal in the French capital and insiders believe PSG can recoup the bulk of the £44m they shelled out on the wing talent.
However, it remains to be seen whether Barca will want to buy a player from PSG following the recent bitter negotiations between the two clubs.
Interestingly, Di Maria had an anti-Barcelona release clause inserted into his contract when he left the Bernabeu in 2014 – meaning Real Madrid would take home a hefty slice of a future transfer fee if he signed for Barca – but that contractual obligation expired after three years and now frees up the 29-year-old’s plans.
Philippe Coutinho could leave Liverpool this summer after submitting a transfer request to the club’s hierarchy.
The Reds’ stance on the player has been consistent throughout the transfer window, with the Merseysiders remaining adamant he is not for sale.
Liverpool have yet to officially comment following Coutinho’s email request but have reportedly rejected his plea.
Here, we look back at the key dates this summer in Barcelona’s pursuit of the Reds star – with the Catalans twice being knocked back with big-money bids.
Liverpool rebuffed a £72million bid from Barcelona for the Brazilian, with Kop boss Jurgen Klopp revealing he would sit down with his star player and underline his importance to the team.
Coutinho has featured throughout most of the club’s pre-season campaign and on July 22 scored a sensational strike in the 2-1 friendly win over Leicester.
Barcelona launched a second bid for the 25-year-old, thought to be in the region of £90million – which was immediately rejected by the Anfield club.
Again, Liverpool reiterated that the playmaker would not be going anywhere ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
The club’s Fenway Sports Group owners released a statement via Liverpool’s social media, stating that Coutinho would not be sold this summer.
It read: “The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer (transfer) window closes.”
German boss Klopp backed up the club’s owners remarks in his pre-Watford press conference.
“If FSG is saying something like this, that’s the statement. That’s the way it will go, nothing else to say about it,” the 50-year-old said.
He also confirmed Coutinho would not be available for the trip to Watford on Saturday due to a back injury.
Rumours started circling online that the Reds’ coveted No.10 had issued a transfer request.
It was later confirmed via credible sources on social media that the player had submitted an email transfer request, asking to end his four-year stay on Merseyside.