Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski have expressed concerns about the lack of rest players will get if plans for a biennial World Cup come to fruition.

FIFA's proposal to host the tournament every two years instead of four has largely been met with scepticism.

Both Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe and Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski are not in favour of the change, with the former suggesting that the quality of the spectacle would suffer if the health of players is not taken into account. 

"We like to play but it's too much," Mbappe said in Dubai, where he was named men's player of the year at the Globe Soccer Awards. "If people want to see quality, we have to take a break.

"Playing the World Cup every two years would make this competition 'normal' and that shouldn't be the case. The World Cup, the Nations League... we love to play but it's too much.

"If people want to see quality, I think we have to take a break."

Lewandowski echoed the France international's sentiments, stating that the schedule is already congested even without the added burden of an increased number of World Cups.

"We have a lot of games in the year, very dense weeks," Lewandowski said at the same event. "If you want to give the fans something different, you need a break.

"We have to look into the future, if we want to play a World Cup every two years, the level will drop. It's impossible for the body and the mind to perform at the same level."

Mauricio Pochettino denied that Paris Saint-Germain pulled off "a miracle" after their late equaliser rescued a point against struggling Lorient. 

The runaway Ligue 1 leaders only managed to scrap a share of the spoils at Stade du Moustoir thanks to Mauro Icardi's stoppage-time header. 

PSG had trailed to Thomas Monconduit's wonderful first-half strike for the 19th-placed hosts, who were on their worst ever run having lost each of their previous seven top-flight matches. 

The visitors were also reduced to 10 men when half-time substitute Sergio Ramos was sent off for two bookable offences but dug deep to narrowly avert a first Ligue 1 defeat in 10 games. 

Although Pochettino acknowledged his players could have performed better, he insisted that they were worthy of at least a point. 

Addressing suggestions his side had pulled off a miracle, the head coach told Canal+: "A miracle? Why a miracle? We scored a very nice goal that I think we deserved earlier. We had a lot of chances in the second half. I think you have to respect Lorient, they are a Ligue 1 team. 

"We started well with Mauro's opportunity and then we didn't have the right placements and every time we lost the ball, we allowed Lorient to have quick transitions.  

"We didn't have a good first half. Sergio [Ramos] entered the second half because we wanted to build with three central defenders and have more rhythm on the wings.  

"We were better in the second half, we had more chances and we could have scored more. The results are consistent for now. But we can still do better." 

Meanwhile, captain Marquinhos paid tribute to PSG's opponents, who produced a spirited display to end their lengthy losing run. 

"Teams are very motivated against PSG," he said. "They put us in trouble by all getting behind the ball. They defended well.  

"Any team that plays against them like that is going to have difficulties too."

Sergio Ramos was sent off as 10-man Paris Saint-Germain scrapped to a 1-1 draw against struggling Lorient at Stade du Moustoir.

On as a half-time substitute, the former Real Madrid defender was making only his third appearance for Mauricio Pochettino's side since making the switch from Santiago Bernabeu.

However, his involvement lasted just 40 minutes as he was dismissed for two bookable offences, while it took a stoppage-time Mauro Icardi header to spare his team-mates' blushes.

Thomas Monconduit's thumping strike just before half-time had looked like it would be enough for the hosts, who at least ended their worst ever run of seven successive defeats.

Seeking a 12th win in 14 league meetings with Lorient, PSG began brightly and almost took the lead in the second minute when Icardi steered Nuno Mendes' cross wide.

At the other end, the hosts squandered a glorious opportunity as Terem Moffi raced clear and sold Keylor Navas the dummy, only to chip the ball straight at the grounded goalkeeper.

The woodwork then came to Lorient's rescue as a fierce Lionel Messi volley rattled the post from Icardi's lay-off.

But the hosts got their just rewards for a positive first-half performance that yielded 11 attempts, Enzo Le Fee teeing up Monconduit, who beat Navas with a thumping 20-yard strike off the underside of the crossbar.

PSG turned up the pressure after the break and Angel Di Maria somehow fired over from 10 yards out with the goal at his mercy, before Paul Nardi produced brilliant reflexes to deny Messi from what was a first shot on target for the visitors.

The league leaders were reduced to 10 men as Ramos was shown a second yellow card for a body check on Moffi, yet they snatched a last-gasp equaliser with Icardi heading in from Achraf Hakimi's cross.

Sergio Ramos was sent off as 10-man Paris Saint-Germain scrapped to a 1-1 draw against struggling Lorient at Stade du Moustoir.

On as a half-time substitute, the former Real Madrid defender was making only his third appearance for Mauricio Pochettino's side since making the switch from Santiago Bernabeu.

However, his involvement lasted just 40 minutes as he was dismissed for two bookable offences, while it took a stoppage-time Mauro Icardi header to spare his team-mates' blushes.

Thomas Monconduit's thumping strike just before half-time had looked like it would be enough for the hosts, who at least ended their worst ever run of seven successive defeats.

 

Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe is capable of continuing his goalscoring form long into his career similarly to Cristiano Ronaldo, regardless of where he is plying his trade from next season.

That is according to Louis Saha, who also told Stats Perform that he expects Lionel Messi to blow Ligue 1 opponents away once he regains full fitness in the new year.

Mbappe is into the final six months of his existing contract at the Parc des Princes and is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of Ligue 1 from January.

Real Madrid had two bids turned down for the France international in the previous transfer window and remain the strong favourites to land the superstar in 2022.

Mbappe has scored 15 goals and assisted 12 more in 24 outings in all competitions this term in a star-studded attack that also contains Messi and the currently injured Neymar.

Only Mohamed Salah (31) and Robert Lewandowski (33) have been directly involved in more goals than Mbappe this campaign among players from Europe's top five leagues.

And while glad to see Mbappe remain in Ligue 1 for the 2021-22 campaign, Saha understands that his compatriot has a big decision to make on his future in the coming weeks.

"The main thing for me was for him to stay at PSG this year," Saha said. "Whatever he does next year, for me, that was logical for football in general throughout the world. 

"We wanted to see this trio of Mbappe, Messi and Neymar. It's incredible to see and today he has his destiny in his hands. He's a player who is exploding and he's reaching more milestones."

 

Mbappe recently 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.

Since making his debut for PSG in September 2017, the 23-year-old has averaged a goal every 104.63 minutes in all competitions.

That ranks Mbappe behind only four others among Europe's elite attackers over that period and marginally ahead of Ronaldo, who averages a goal every 105.8 minutes at club level.

With Ronaldo still scoring regularly as he approaches his 37th birthday, Saha has challenged Mbappe to hit similar heights.

"If he can match Ronaldo's 40 goals a year average from the age of 20, that's something we want to keep seeing from Kylian," Saha said.

"That is not to put pressure on him. Kylian quite simply has the potential to do that."

Mbappe's 27 direct goal involvements this season is substantially more than PSG's next biggest attacking threat, with Messi second on the list with six goals and four assists.

The record seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored just once in 10 Ligue 1 appearances from an expected goals (xG) return of 4.7.

To put that in some context, Mbappe's nine goals in the competition this term have come from an xG of 10.9.

 

But while Messi's PSG career has yet to truly take off, Saha can see that changing once the Barcelona legend gets some regular starts under his belt.

"You can already see players who are not necessarily in great shape like Messi – imagine when he starts to find his form again!" Saha said. "I don't know how teams will cope. 

"PSG are an extraordinary team. I prayed for Mbappe to stay at PSG to see these three exceptional players. Neymar's injury has delayed that, but they have an incredible team. 

"Don't be surprised to see them win the league by 20 or 25 points come the end of the season."

Real Madrid saw Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos leave in the off-season.

The Spanish champions have fared well without them, leading LaLiga comfortably.

But Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to add to their backline.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CONSIDER GOMEZ MOVE

Madrid are lining up a potential move for Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, according to the Daily Mail.

Madrid will monitor the England international defender who has recently returned to fitness ahead of an off-season move.

Los Blancos' priority after 2021-22 is their attack and landing Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, but they do want to bolster their defensive options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are genuine contenders to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland according to Sky Germany. Madrid, Manchester CityManchester United and PSG have been heavily linked with the Norwegian, but the Reds are in the race.

- Mundo Deportivo claims that Manchester UnitedBarcelona and Madrid are all keeping tabs on Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman.

- United forward Anthony Martial wants to join Sevilla on loan in January and will hold talks with the club, claims Sky Sports.

- Hoffenheim midfielder Florian Grillitsch is drawing interest from both Tottenham and Roma who will jostle for his services, reports Sky Germany.

- Everton will look to sign Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson again but will need to pay £10m, reports the Daily Mail.

Paris Saint-Germain will improve in 2022, says Mauricio Pochettino, who is satisfied with the progress he has made at the club so far.

PSG head into their final Ligue 1 game of the year, against Lorient, 13 points clear at the top of the table.

It has been a mixed bag for Pochettino since he took over in January, replacing Thomas Tuchel.

He took PSG to the Champions League semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Manchester City, who would go on to lose to Tuchel's Chelsea in the final.

Pochettino celebrated his first trophy as a coach, winning the delayed 2020 Trophee des Champions, and won the Coupe de France last season, but PSG finished second in Ligue 1 behind Lille.

They are firmly on course to regain that crown this season, with superstar Lionel Messi having arrived to form a formidable attacking trident with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes also signed in a sensational transfer window.

However, doubts linger over Mbappe's future, with PSG rejecting Real Madrid's advances, but the 23-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season. Pochettino's future is also up in the air, with links to Manchester United not going away.

Asked for his thoughts on his first year in the job, Pochettino told a news conference: "You could compare the first six months and the last six months.

"I think it has been positive, because in the first few months you have to settle in, although I already knew the club, it was still new and the start of a project.

"Joining a club that I wanted to be at, where I played, with incredible supporters, I think that is my best memory. We have also achieved some of the success we wanted but I feel the best is to come next year.

"There aren't many bad memories. The most important thing is health, a key topic at the moment during this pandemic, so bad things in sport don't affect us in the day-to-day.

"The bad things are this pandemic made us live in a different way and has caused so much harm to loved ones, in many cases."

PSG have played 62 games in all competitions under Pochettino in 2021, with only two sides in Europe's top five leagues – Chelsea (62) and Man City (65) – playing more.

Only City (51) and Bayern Munich (42) have managed more wins than PSG's tally of 41, with Pochettino's side also ranking third for goals scored (128), while they have lost 10 times in total.

Mbappe has played the most games under Pochettino, tallying 53 appearances, five more than second-ranked Danilo Pereira.

 

The forward's 43 goals, at an average of one strike every 104 minutes, is way out in front of any other player, with Mauro Icardi next on 15.

Mbappe also leads the way for assists (16), but while Messi has gradually worked his way into consistency since signing from Barcelona, it has been a poor year for Neymar by his own standards.

The Brazil star came 16th in the Ballon d'Or voting and has played just 33 times, directly contributing to 19 goals (11 scored – six were penalties – and eight assists).

Neymar, who is injured, and the rest of PSG's South American contingent will be given freedom to return home over Christmas, with Pochettino happy to give his squad a break.

"It has been a year of a pandemic and there have been very high levels of competition," he said.

"Due to the competitiveness and the fact we are pleased with how we are doing, we are going to be back on January 1 to work hard.

"As for the South American players who are going to spend time with their families, they should be back on the 31st, so they have seven or eight days to recover with a specific plan. They will be ready to play at Vannes on January 3."

Mauricio Pochettino said Sergio Ramos' withdrawal at half-time in the 3-0 Coupe de France win over minnows Feignies-Aulnoye was planned as part of his return from injury. 

Sunday's clash against the fifth-tier side – won thanks to a brace from Kylian Mbappe and a Mauro Icardi penalty – was just the 35-year-old's second appearance for PSG, who he joined on a free transfer ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after leaving Real Madrid.

His substitution at the interval suggested he had suffered a further setback in his bid to return to full fitness, but Pochettino insisted there is nothing to be concerned about.

"He's been with us for six months and he had a very difficult start to his adventure," the PSG boss told Eurosport.

"He wants to play. Today was very good. We resume little by little with these 45 minutes. 

"It was important for him and he needs to be in good shape to be able to help us. He still has to work a lot."

The involvement of the likes of Mbappe, Icardi and Marco Verratti was proof that Pochettino did not take PSG's opposition lightly, and the former Tottenham boss said he was pleased with his side's "professional" approach.

"I think they were very professional," he added. "It's never easy in these kinds of matches because these kinds of teams are completely different. You have to be serious and approach the match in the best possible conditions. 

"But I think our game was very professional. It was what we wanted. We have qualified for the next round."

 

Highly-rated teenager Xavi Simons made his first start for the club, impressing on the right-hand side of a front three.

He had five shots and made five key passes – a total bettered only by Verratti on the pitch.

Pochettino was pleased with his display and is confident the club's youngsters will continue to benefit from playing alongside such established stars.

"We have incredible players at PSG, and in particular talented young people who have the opportunity to train with the first team and to play sometimes," he said. 

"We can give them that opportunity. PSG are a special, different club, and they need to play, to learn, but I am very satisfied with what I saw tonight, especially from the young people."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 3-0 win over minnows Feignies-Aulnoye in Sunday's Coupe de France round-of-64 clash

PSG never looked in danger of suffering an upset against their fifth-tier opponents, and they went 2-0 up after 30 minutes through penalties from Mbappe and Mauro Icardi.

Former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was withdrawn at the interval on just his second appearance for the Parisians, perhaps not the best sign as he continues his recovery from injury, before Mbappe added a third goal early in the second period.

The Ligue 1 leaders, who have lifted the trophy in six of the last seven seasons, continued to create chances but ultimately fell short of adding gloss to the scoreline.

PSG went ahead in the 16th minute through Mbappe's penalty after the France international had been brought down inside the area by Ibrahima Diedhiou.

Icardi, who had earlier seen an effort ruled out for offside, inexplicably struck the post from close range midway through the first half, although he made amends on the half-hour mark, stroking home from the spot after Mbappe had been fouled by Gary Gerard Marigard.

Mbappe blazed wide when clean through as PSG failed to add to their tally before the interval, despite taking a whopping 20 shots in the first half.

The 22-year-old grabbed his second in the 51st minute, slotting home Colin Dagba's cut-back from the right.

PSG teenager Ismael Gharbi was denied a first professional goal by substitute goalkeeper Jordan Fernand inside the final 20 minutes as PSG booked their place in the next round with the minimum of fuss.


What does it mean? No complacency from Pochettino's men

By naming the likes of Mbappe, Icardi and Marco Verratti in his starting XI, Mauricio Pochettino made it clear he was not taking PSG's significantly less illustrious opponents lightly.

The one concern from an otherwise routine affair was the withdrawal of Ramos at the interval. It has been a hugely disrupted start to life in France for the former Los Blancos star, and it will be hoped any new setback does not keep him out for long.

Mbappe's constant threat

Unsurprisingly, Mbappe was too hot to handle for Feignies-Aulnoye's defence. The World Cup winner won both penalties, the first of which he converted, and he scored a second goal in a display brimming with his usual blend of electric pace and skill.

Ebimbe squanders chance to shine

Eric Ebimbe rarely looked like opening his account for PSG during a disappointing showing. The 21-year-old, who was replaced in the 64th minute by Gharbi, had just a single shot on target and failed to play a key pass in a display that will surely be considered a missed opportunity.

What's next?

Runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG play their last game of 2021 on Wednesday when they travel to Lorient.

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.

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