Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director Kylian Mbappe has insisted he still believes in the possibility of the superstar forward signing a contract extension.

Mbappe will soon enter the final six months of his contract with PSG, who he joined, initially on loan, from Monaco in 2017.

The striker, who turns 23 on Monday, will be free to sign with another club outside of Ligue 1 on a pre-contract agreement from January, with Real Madrid determined to land the France star.

Los Blancos reportedly had three bids for Mbappe rejected by PSG in August.

Discussions over fresh terms between Mbappe and PSG have been ongoing for some time, but the player has always suggested he does not wish to extend his stay in Paris.

However, Leonardo has not given up hope and, after reiterating PSG's desire to keep Mbappe earlier this week, the Brazilian underlined his belief that an agreement can be reached.

In an interview with Europe 1 and Le Journal du Dimanche (LeJDD), set to be broadcast on Sunday, Leonardo said: "It's a very special situation because we are talking about the best player in the world who is coming to the end of his contract.

"We can say that there were times when we discussed more warmly, but that is part of building a relationship.

"People will think that we say that because we want to prolong it but it is beyond the interest of the club. At 22 years old, almost 23, Kylian has reached an incredible maturity.

"It's a complicated situation in the sense that we would like him to stay all his life and that we have to respect [the family's position]. I think we still have good possibilities to extend [the contract]. I believe in it."

Prior to PSG's Coupe de France clash with Feignies on Sunday, since the start of 2021, only Robert Lewandowski (58) and Erling Haaland (43) have scored more goals across all competitions than Mbappe (41), of players in Europe's "big five" leagues, outperforming his expected goals (xG) of 35.58.

Mbappe averages a goal every 107 minutes and has also provided 16 assists, creating 81 chances for team-mates.

However, his expected assists (xA) value of 10.84 suggests the opportunities laid on for his PSG club-mates have been finished exceptionally well.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino says Sergio Ramos could be involved in Sunday’s Coupe de France clash with fifth-tier Feignies-Aulnoye.

Ramos has only featured once for PSG since arriving from Real Madrid on a free transfer due a calf injury.

The veteran defender made his long-awaited debut in last month’s win at Saint-Etienne, but fresh muscle problems culminated in another spell on the sidelines.

Pochettino revealed he could return on Sunday when the runaway Ligue 1 leaders launch their Coupe de France defence against a side four divisions lower than them and the former Tottenham boss is also set to give young players an opportunity at Stade de Hainaut.

"We think [Sergio] will be in the squad tomorrow. We will see if he starts or is on the bench," Pochettino said.

"He has trained well over the last few days, so we will see if he can help in the game tomorrow.

"It is a good opportunity for the young players to get a chance, and some of them will get to play and be involved with the first team. 

"They are very motivated about that, and it is important for them to feel part of this project."

PSG boast a proud record in the competition, lifting the trophy in six of the last seven years.

They are unbeaten against lower-league opposition since 2010, and you must go back a further 20 years for their last defeat at this stage.

Nevertheless, Pochettino has called for respect and professionalism from his players.

"The priority is always to win. There is no other priority," he added.

"Playing against Feignies-Aulnoye gives us a chance to share something special against a team in the fifth tier. It is a wonderful thing in football that you only get in the cup.

"The motivation and excitement for them to play against Paris Saint-Germain is massive. We know how they play, what they are trying to do against us. 

"But for us, we must show respect, be professional and play in the way that we want to play; try to win and be in the next round."

Barcelona are struggling financially but Xavi is desperate to reinforce his attack following Sergio Aguero's retirement.

Ferran Torres and Edinson Cavani are believed to top Barca's transfer list heading into the January window.

It could be a busy month ahead for the LaLiga outfit.

 

TOP STORY – TORRES, CAVANI TO BARCA?

Manchester City's Ferran Torres and Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani are priority objectives for Barcelona, according to Marca.

Barca continue to be linked with Spain international Torres as Xavi attempts to bolster the embattled LaLiga giants.

Cavani has also emerged as a top target after Sergio Aguero retired from football and the duo could reportedly arrive in January.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are open to selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang next month, but the Gunners are more likely to move on from the former skipper at the end of the season. Aubameyang has been stripped of the captaincy and linked with Barca and Juventus.

Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt are eyeing Yusuf Demir as Diario Sport reports Barca have decided to cut short the 18-year-old's loan spell from Rapid Vienna.

Rafael Leao is poised to sign a contract extension with Milan until 2026, per Nicolo Schira.

- Calciomercato says Arsenal have not given up on signing Juve attacker Dejan Kulusevski. The Sweden international has also been linked to London rivals Tottenham.

Barca are monitoring United sensation Mason Greenwood, reports El Nacional. England international Greenwood is highly rated at Old Trafford.

- Jeunes Footeux says Liverpool have joined the race to sign Lille star Jonathan David. The Canada international is reportedly wanted by Arsenal, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.

Edinson Cavani re-signed with Manchester United at the start of the season but Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford has hampered the Uruguayan.

And following Sergio Aguero's shock retirement, the door has opened for Cavani at Camp Nou.

Cavani is believed to be on the verge of swapping Manchester for Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – CAVANI TO CAMP NOU

Edinson Cavani will join embattled LaLiga giants Barcelona in January to replace Sergio Aguero, according to TyC Sports.

Aguero announced his retirement from football this week due to a heart problem and Barca are on the lookout for a replacement.

Manchester United forward Cavani has emerged as a target, with the Uruguay international reportedly rejecting an offer from Boca Juniors to move to Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of Friday's Gazzetta dello Sport claims Antony Martial is eager to leave United for Serie A giants Juventus. He has also been linked with Atletico MadridCavani, Paris Saint-Germain's Mauro Icardi and former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are believed to be among Juve's targets.

- Barca have held talks regarding a move for Juve winger Federico Bernardeschi, claims Sport. The Italy international is out of contract at the end of the season.

- Neither United nor PSG have opened talks with Barca midfielder Frenkie de Jong, reports Fabrizio Romano. Bayern Munich and Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

Newcastle United have offered £88million (€100m) for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, according to Calciomercato. Vlahovic is wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern, Tottenham, Arsenal, Inter, Juve and Atletico.

Paris Saint-Germain remain committed to trying to retain Kylian Mbappe amid ongoing links with Real Madrid, according to sporting director Leonardo.

Mbappe is out of contract at the end of the season and he is yet to re-sign with Ligue 1 giants PSG.

PSG reportedly rejected three bids – the last one said to be worth up to €200million – from LaLiga powerhouse Madrid for Mbappe heading into the 2021-22 campaign.

Madrid have been tipped to lure Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, though PSG are refusing to give up hope ahead of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

"Kylian Mbappe is 'formidable'. He's different, he's fantastic," Leonardo said at La Sorbonne.

"And yes, you know what we want… it's clear. We'll see."

Amid the mounting speculation, Mbappe – who has spoken openly of his desire to join Madrid at the start of the season – was asked about his future.

"Moving from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain was logical," the France international, who has nine goals and 14 assists for PSG in Ligue 1 this term, told Paris Match.

"But, now as I look ahead, there is room for the unplanned. Having fun, the surprise factor - that's part of the beauty of sport.

"Things can happen that change your mind. It's impossible to predict what I'll do in the next 20 years."

Mbappe became the youngest player in Ligue 1 history to score 100 goals for a single team with his second of the game for PSG against former club Monaco last week.

Aged just 22 years and 357 days, Mbappe is the youngest player to achieve the feat for one club in French top-flight history since Opta began recording data back in 1950-51.

 

The race for Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland is on.

Haaland is reportedly being chased by several top clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Each club will be looking for an edge in the race for the Norwegian.


TOP STORY – BARCELONA NOT KEEN ON POGBA-HAALAND PACKAGE

Barcelona are unlikely to bring in both Haaland and Paul Pogba, reports SPORT.

Agent Mino Raiola, who represents both players, is reported to have recently met with Barca president Joan Laporta.

Young striker Haaland is unmistakably an appealing player to Barcelona, but they would need to find the funds to buy him from Borussia Dortmund. Barcelona, who have major financial issues, are said to be wary of taking on Manchester United star Pogba's wages, and he may not be an ideal technical fit for coach Xavi. Pogba's United contract is due to expire at the end of this season.

Manchester City are also readying themselves to chase Haaland but will not over-spend, reports the Manchester Evening News.

ROUND-UP

- Cashed-up Newcastle United are bullish about their prospects of signing Atletico Madrid's England defender Kieran Trippier in January, according to Football Insider. Talks between the Magpies and Trippier are reportedly already under way.

- Premier League trio Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United could be all set to make a move to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic after he rejected a bumper extension offer, reports Talksport.

- Paris Saint-Germain have joined the queue of clubs hoping to sign out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo, reports Calciomercato. Arthur has also been linked with Lazio.

- Fenerbahce are set to swoop for Luuk de Jong, who is on loan at Barcelona from Sevilla, claims Mundo Deportivo. Barca are eager to let him leave from his loan.

- Barcelona have set an asking price of €90million (£77m) for Frenkie de Jong according to Fichajes, amid interest from Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

Salzburg starlet Karim Adeyemi says he would love to one day join Barcelona but the player's agent has ruled that out in the near future.

The 19-year-old German striker has been linked with several clubs, including Barcelona along with Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund.

Adeyemi attended the Golden Boy ceremony in Turin on Monday where he claimed the web-voted prize, with Pedri winning the major award.

"Barca is a great club, it is a source of pride that they love me and of course I can see myself playing there if given the option," Adeyemi told reporters after the Golden Boy ceremony.

"Now they are feeling the departure of Messi but they will always be in the Champions League."

Adeyemi also clarified that he had not spoken to Barcelona president Joan Laporta who attended the function.

However, Adeyemi's agent Thomas Salomon came out after his player's comments, ruling out a Barcelona move in the near future.

"A few days ago we said 'no' definitively to Barca's proposal for Adeyemi," Salomon said according to Sport. "Barca is no longer an option for Karim. The best thing for him is a German club."

He continued: "They [Barcelona] made a proposal to us, but they never came to present anything to Salzburg."

Salomon did clarify that Adeyemi could potentially move to Camp Nou at another point in his career, keeping his options open.

"In two or three years we will see what can happen," he said.

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos will come up against Real Madrid after Paris Saint-Germain were paired with Los Blancos in the Champions League round of 16, which had to undergo a re-draw.

PSG were initially drawn against Manchester United on Monday, throwing up a tantalising encounter between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, a technical error meant the draw had to take place again and while Messi will not meet Ronaldo just yet, the Barcelona great will go up against his former club's Clasico rivals.

Having finished second in Group A behind Manchester City, who were handed a favourable tie against Sporting CP, PSG will host Madrid in the first leg in February before visiting the Santiago Bernabeu in March.

That means Mbappe, who is a high-profile target for Madrid and could well have already signed a pre-contract agreement with Los Blancos by the time these fixtures roll around, will go up against his suitors.

It also sees Madrid legend Ramos go up against his old club, and it is the same story for Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, who coached PSG from 2011 to 2013.

United, on the other hand, will face Atletico Madrid, who had initially been due to play Bayern Munich. The Bundesliga giants have been drawn against Salzburg.

Liverpool may well lament their luck. Salzburg had been their original opponents, but Jurgen Klopp's team now have to prepare for a tie against Serie A champions Inter - albeit they made light work of the Nerazzurri's rivals Milan in the group stage.

Coincidentally, holders Chelsea were again drawn against Lille, having been set a tie with the Ligue 1 champions during the initial draw. 

Villarreal will take on Juventus and Ajax go up against Benfica.

Champions League last 16 draw in full:

Salzburg v Bayern Munich
Sporting CP v Manchester City
Benfica v Ajax
Chelsea v Lille
Atletico Madrid v Manchester United
Villarreal v Juventus
Inter v Liverpool 
PSG v Real Madrid

UEFA has confirmed the Champions League last-16 draw will have to be re-done after a technical error with the initial procedure.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were set to face each other in the knockout stage, but that headline fixture and the other ties will have to be redrawn after what UEFA labelled as a "technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other."

United were initially drawn to face Villarreal, but the sides were unable to play each other as they had previously featured in the same group.

After complaints from affected clubs, including Atletico Madrid, UEFA later announced the draw would take place again at 1500 CET (1400 GMT).

UEFA's deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, spotted the mistake involving United's ball and ordered the tie to be drawn again. Manchester City were instead picked to go against Villarreal.

Yet United, due to the technical error, were subsequently blocked from being selected as one of the teams eligible to play the next team, which was LaLiga champions Atleti.

Bayern Munich were ultimately picked to face Atleti, while United were drawn in the glamour tie of the round against PSG – a game that would have seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi meet in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2010-11 semi-finals.

The re-draw could well benefit United, given the challenge of facing PSG. However, holders Chelsea and Liverpool were handed favourable draws against Lille and Salzburg respectively.

Inter had been due to face Ajax, while Sporting CP were up against Juventus. Real Madrid had been drawn against Benfica.

UEFA has confirmed the Champions League last-16 draw will have to be re-done after a technical error with the initial procedure.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were set to face each other in the knockout stage, but that headline fixture and the other ties will have to be redrawn after what UEFA labelled as a "technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other."

United were initially drawn to face Villarreal, but the sides were unable to play each other as they had previously featured in the same group.

After complaints from affected clubs, including Atletico Madrid, UEFA later announced the draw would take place again at 1500 CET (1400 GMT).

Paul Pogba's club future continues to be a major topic of speculation.

The 28-year-old is into the final year of his Manchester United contract.

Pogba has flirted with the idea of an extension but has been stalling on a decision.

 

TOP STORY – REAL AND PSG HOME IN ON POGBA

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are both ready to ramp up the race to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United, claims Marca.

Pogba is running down his United contract, meaning he will be a free agent in mid-2022.

Real and PSG will rekindle their interest after new United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said Pogba should not need to be convinced to stay.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has offered his services to Juventus, according to Calciomercato. The Uruguayan veteran has also been linked with Barcelona.

- Barcelona are plotting moves for Chelsea's trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Antonio Rudiger, reports Mundo Deportivo.

- Milan are circling to sign Liverpool's super-sub Divock Origi as they seek a long-term replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, claims Tuttomercato. Atalanta are also interested.

- Calciomercato reports that Roma are considering a move for Spezia midfielder Jiulio Maggiore. The 23-year-old is out of contract in 2023 and valued at €8m (£6.8m).

- Roma are also interested in a move for Norwich City's Max Aarons, according to Corriere dello Sport. Tottenham and Everton are also in the race.

- Lyon are interested in a move for Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma, claims Todofichajes. Manchester United and Barcelona are also tracking the ex-Bournemouth winger.

Mauricio Pochettino has demanded that runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain strive for further improvement following their 2-0 win over Monaco.

Kylian Mbappe scored a first-half brace against his former club at Parc des Princes, including his 100th for PSG in the French top-flight.

Victory saw Pochettino's side restore their commanding 13-point cushion at the summit of the table after 18 matches.

Although, despite stretching their unbeaten league run to nine games, Mbappe's goals marked the hosts’ only two shots on target throughout the contest.

While acknowledging it is difficult given the enviable strength in depth at his disposal, Pochettino wants his squad to focus on building towards producing a dominant performance over 90 minutes.

"In terms of the result, I am happy. In terms of performance, we can do better," he said at the post-game news conference. 

"We are improving in small steps. We are a special team with a squad that has special characteristics. We have to improve to get great things. 

"The ideal scenario is to dominate 90 minutes by creating opportunities. That's the challenge. But the characteristics of our players make it difficult to maintain this level every three days, given the density of the competition [for places]. Every coach is looking for that, but the difficulty is to get there.

"We didn't concede a goal against a good team like Monaco, a great team, athletic, who tried to set the pace, to hinder our passing circuits. 

"We didn't have the performance of the match against Bruges, but we had a serious, professional performance.

"We have improved since the beginning of the season. The challenge is to improve further."

Kylian Mbappe joined a ton-up club with a first-half double against his former team as Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory over Monaco.

PSG were held to consecutive draws by Nice and Lens in their previous two league games, and they almost fell behind at the Parc des Princes on Sunday when Sofiane Diop struck the woodwork in the opening stages.

However, the hosts were soon in control when Mbappe rolled in a penalty before adding a second in the first half – the 22-year-old forward reaching 100 goals for PSG in the French top flight.

Rennes slipped up with a 2-1 loss to Nice earlier, meaning Mauricio Pochettino's PSG side moved 13 points clear of second spot, which is now occupied by Marseille after their 2-0 win at Strasbourg.

Diop was denied by the left post after just two minutes, before a VAR review resulted in a 12th-minute penalty at the other end for an apparent trip by Djibril Sidibe on Angel Di Maria.

Mbappe duly converted into the bottom-left corner from the spot, before a wayward Youssouf Fofana pass allowed PSG's France striker to double his account in the 45th minute.

Lionel Messi intercepted before driving forward and unleashing Mbappe, who curled with pinpoint accuracy into the bottom-right corner to reach his century of goals with PSG.

Messi whipped narrowly over the bar with a free-kick after the interval and then dragged just wide minutes later, while Monaco rarely looked like troubling Gianluigi Donnarumma in an otherwise uneventful second half as PSG cantered to victory.

Kylian Mbappe became the youngest player in Ligue 1 history to score 100 goals for a single team with his second of the game for Paris Saint-Germain against Monaco on Sunday.

The France international opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 12 minutes against his former club at the Parc des Princes following Djibril Sidibe's foul on Angel Di Maria.

Youssouf Fofana's wayward pass then allowed Lionel Messi the chance to attack on the stroke of half-time, the Argentina international offloading to Mbappe, who curled into the bottom-right corner to reach the 100-goal milestone.

Aged just 22 years and 357 days, Mbappe is the youngest player to achieve the feat for one club in French top-flight history since Opta began recording data back in 1950-51.

Mbappe has nine goals and 14 assists to his name in Ligue 1 this season for Mauricio Pochettino's side, who hold a substantial lead at the top of the table.

Messi's assist for Mbappe's landmark goal also means the former Barcelona star has been involved in goals in consecutive games for the first time in his PSG career, having netted a brace against Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit another career milestone after netting his 300th goal across Europe's top five leagues.

The Milan veteran scored a spectacular stoppage-time equaliser against Udinese on Saturday in what was his 450th appearance in the top five leagues.

That took Ibrahimovic to 300 goals in those competitions – the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, LaLiga and Ligue 1.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have reached that mark previously in the 21st century.

Ibrahimovic has featured in four of the top five leagues, with the Bundesliga the only competition missing off his list.

Having joined Juventus in 2004 from Ajax, the Sweden striker has gone on to play for Inter, Barcelona, Milan (over two spells), Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic has now scored seven Serie A goals this term. He netted 15 last season and 10 in 2019-20 after he returned to Milan following a stint in MLS with the LA Galaxy.

The 40-year-old scored 17 goals in his sole full season in the Premier League with United, averaging a strike every 143 minutes.

His best minutes-per-goal ratio across a full league campaign so far came in his final season at PSG in 2015-16 (67), in which he also set up a career-high 13 league goals for team-mates.

Ibrahimovic scored 38 times in Ligue 1 that season, with an impressive shot conversion rate of 24.52 per cent from 155 attempts.

He has scored 30 or more league goals on two occasions, in 2015-16 and in 2012-13, also with PSG.

Ibrahimovic's maiden season in one of the big five leagues produced 16 goals for Juve. He failed to settle at Barca under Pep Guardiola but still contributed 16 LaLiga goals in 2009-10.

Just over half of his goals have have been scored in Italy (154), while 113 came in Ligue 1.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.