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    Marquinhos defends PSG team-mate Neymar in Sakai race row, saying: ‘He’s never uttered racist insults’

    MARQUINHOS has jumped to the defence of Neymar amid claims he made a racist remark to Marseille player Hiroki Sakai.
    The Brazilian striker was one of five players to be sent off when a brawl kicked off after Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 defeat.

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    Paris-Saint Germain star Neymar was sent off for his part in the brawl Credit: Icon Sport – Getty

    Neymar received a two-match ban for punching Marseille star Alvaro Gonzalez.
    According to Spanish radio station Cadena COPE, Neymar called Japanese ace Sakai a “Chinese s***”.
    The radio station reports that Marseille “have evidence” that Neymar said it before his scrap with Gonzalez.
    But PSG star Marquinhos has insisted his team-mate is NOT racist.

    During an interview in Le Parisien-Today, he said: “”I know Neymar, he is someone who has never uttered racist insults.
    “It’s hard to say, because I wasn’t in the field or nearby, and I didn’t see the footage.
    “But for someone who knows Neymar well, he’s never played with lyrics like these, and I think he didn’t. ”
    Neymar accused Gonzalez of calling him a “monkey son of a b****” during the clash.

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    Marquinhos has defended his team-mate amid the race rowCredit: Icon Sport – Getty

    But he has since been accused of calling his rival a “f*****g q***r.”
    All five of the stars involved in the brawl were hit with match bans.
    PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa received a six-match ban.
    Leandro Paredes received the same punishment as Neymar, who has one additional game suspended on top.
    Marseille forward Dario Benedetto, whose challenge sparked the wild scenes, has been given a one-game ban while team-mate Jordan Amavi will miss the next three.

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    Barcelona step up striker transfer chase with Memphis Depay and Lautaro Martinez top targets to replace Luis Suarez

    BARCELONA will reportedly sign a new striker in the coming days to replace Luis Suarez at the Nou Camp.
    The 33-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Ronald Koeman, who allowed him to join rivals Atletico Madrid.

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    Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez is reportedly a target for BarcelonaCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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    Lyon ace Memphis Depay could replace Luis Suarez at the Nou CampCredit: Icon Sport – Getty

    And according to AS, the Bluagrana will act fast in their pursuit to bolster their frontline.

    They state that both Lyon star Memphis Depay and Inter Milan marksman Lautaro Martinez are the club’s top two targets.
    Argentine international Martinez is believed to be the No1 priority for Barca, but it is unlikely he will be brought in.

    It has been said that Barca – who face competition from Real Madrid in the race to sign him – cannot afford to match Inter’s £83million asking price.
    Due to this, it has been claimed that a deal for Depay is more likely to happen, with the player available for a cut-price fee as he has just one year on his contract in France.
    SunSport reported earlier this month how Barca have agreed a £22million deal to bring Depay to Catalonia.
    The ex-Manchester United forward has already confirmed the LaLiga side’s interest in him but he remained tight-lipped on his future.

    Depay – who played under Koeman for the Holland national team – said: “We have to wait to see what happens.

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    “I know about the interest from Barcelona, but I can’t say any more right now.
    “I’ll speak with Lyon soon and we’ll see.
    “I haven’t even spoken much about this with my agent.”

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    PSG star Angel Di Maria given four-game ban for SPITTING on Marseille player before melee which saw five sent off

    ANGEL DI MARIA has been slapped with a four-game ban for spitting at Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez.
    The Paris Saint-Germain forward, 32, gobbed at his opponent during the Ligue 1 clash earlier this month.

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    Angel Di Maria has been banned for four matches after being found guilty of spitting at an opponentCredit: The Mega Agency

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    The Paris Saint-Germain star was caught gobbing towards Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez

    Tempers flared and punches were thrown in injury time with five red cards shown – including to Neymar.
    The Brazilian claimed he was racially abused by Gonzalez and responded by thumping the defender in the back of the head.
    After escaping initial punishment on the field, Di Maria has now been penalised by French footballing authorities after video footage emerged of the vile spitting incident.
    Towards the end of the first half, he jogged past Gonzalez and video footage seems to show the ex-Manchester United man aim in his direction.

    Gonzalez reacted furiously but no action was taken by the referee or VAR.
    Pascal Garibian, technical director of refereeing, said after the game: “This was the subject of a search by video support at that minute and we couldn’t find any images to support this fact.
    “That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but there is no video image which in a convincing manner could support this precise point.”
    Spitting in any context is abhorrent but even more so during the coronavirus pandemic with safety so important.

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    Di Maria and Gonzalez clashed eight minutes before half-time

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    The Spaniard insisted he had been spat on by his rival but VAR did not pick anything up immediately

    And Di Maria will now miss four matches for PSG – but only after this weekend’s fixture against Reims which he is still available for.
    It means the Argentine will miss the French champions’ Ligue 1 clashes against Angers, Nimes, Dijon and Nantes.
    Gonzalez, meanwhile, faces an anxious wait to see if he will be handed a ban of his own – which could be as long as ten matches – as an investigation continues into the allegation of racism.

    Neymar ‘faces SEVEN game ban’ for punching Marseille defender Alvaro as PSG support star amid racism accusations More

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    Petr Cech was behind Chelsea signing new goalkeeper after working with flop Kepa in training as Mendy nears transfer

    CHELSEA boss Frank Lampard has revealed Petr Cech was influential in the imminent signing of Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
    The 28-year-old is set to become the Blues’ seventh summer recruit having completed his medical earlier this week.

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    Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set to sign for Chelsea for £22millionCredit: Icon Sport – Getty

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    Petr Cech is said to have had a huge say in the Blues’ hunt for a new shot-stopperCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Senegal international Mendy is expected to join on a five-year deal, where he will challenge Kepa Arrizabalaga for the No1 spot at Stamford Bridge.
    Speaking ahead of Mendy’s imminent arrival prior to the Carabao Cup clash against Barnsley, Lampard stated he leans on former team-mate Cech for advice.
    He said: “Petr was important in that because goalkeeper is a very particular position.
    “Petr Cech was the best in the world in that position for a long time so he’s obviously had a big say in this situation.

    “From my point of view, I lean heavily on him when it comes to goalkeeping today and in the future.
    “So yes, he was very influential.”
    Chelsea legend Cech – who is now the club’s technical and performance adviser – has admitted that Kepa under-performed for the club last season.
    He told Sport.CZ: “Kepa struggled last season, that is unquestionable.

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    “But the club invested in him and gave him a long-term contract because they believe he has the qualities and attributes to be successful.”
    And prior to Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat against Liverpool, he was seen lending a helping hand to the Spanish shot-stopper in training.
    Former Blues defender Frank Leboeuf has hailed the signing of Mendy, as he claimed he is “far better” than the ex-Athletic Bilbao ace.

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    Chelsea in talks with PSG over selling Tiemoue Bakayoko as Blues demand £32m transfer fee for midfield flop

    PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN have made contact with Chelsea about taking £40million flop Tiemoue Bakayoko off their hands.
    The Blues are desperate to offload the French midfielder who has failed to make any impression since moving to Stamford Bridge three years ago.

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    Bakayoko isn’t in Frank Lampard’s plansCredit: Getty – Contributor

    AC Milan have been trying to push through a deal for the 26-year-old but have failed to come up with a package to satisfy Chelsea.
    And now PSG have declared an interest and have proposed taking Bakayoko on loan this season with the option of making it a permanent move next summer.
    Chelsea value the midfielder at £32m – and are seeking a £4.6m loan fee with the remaining £27.4m to be paid as the full transfer fee.
    Milan have said they have no problem with the loan figure, but say they are only prepared to pay a further £18.3m in a year to seal a permanent deal.

    That is not acceptable to the Blues, who are looking to claw back more of the money they paid Monaco for his services in 2017.
    But if PSG were to come up with a deal which goes anywhere close to their valuation, then the London club would be happy to do business before the window shuts on October 5.
    Bakayoko initially arrived at Stamford Bridge to much fanfare, having helped Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and Champions League semi-finals in 2017.
    But he struggled to make an impact as Antonio Conte’s champions slumped to a disappointing fifth-placed finish.

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    Bakayoko represented AC Milan on loan in the 2018-19 seasonCredit: AFP or licensors

    The Frenchman did help the Blues to FA Cup glory that year as they beat Manchester United under the Wembley arch.
    But that was his last competitive game for the club – although he did briefly resurface during pre-season in 2019.
    Bakayoko has since represented AC Milan and AS Monaco while out on loan over the last two seasons.

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    Bakayoko helped Chelsea to FA Cup glory in 2018Credit: Jamie McPhilimey – The Sun

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    How PSG could line-up with Dele Alli transfer as Tottenham star joins Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Marco Verratti

    PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN are reportedly discussing a deal to rescue Dele Alli from Tottenham.
    The England midfielder, 24, has not even made the bench in the past two Spurs games having been hooked at half-time of their season opener.

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    Reports suggest Dele is “upset and confused” at being dropped by Jose Mourinho.
    Ordered in for extra training while his team-mates beat Southampton 5-2, he will be thrown into the side for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash against Leyton Orient.
    Mourinho is said to believe that Dele does have a future at Tottenham.

    But the decision may be out of his hands after talks between the star and PSG began, according to The Telegraph.
    Thomas Tuchel’s setup does appear ready to accommodate the former MK Dons ace.
    A forward-thinking 4-3-3 formation provides the midfielders with plenty of freedom to join Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe in attack.
    Julian Draxler, Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gueye, Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes would provide plenty of competition to Dele.

    And the German coach has admitted that a new midfielder is on his agenda ahead of the October 5 transfer deadline.

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    Dele Alli is sweating over his Tottenham future amid interest from Paris Saint-GermainCredit: EPA

    Ahead of the weekend win at Nice, he said: “The priorities are clear, we need a forward, a centre-back and a midfielder.
    “We need to replace the players that left, that’s the challenge.
    “The squad is getting smaller and smaller, and there is a risk of entering into a period of injuries and fatigue. My job is to find solutions, and to prepare the team for the next match.”

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    PSG open talks for Dele Alli transfer after being dropped by Spurs boss Jose Mourinho

    PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN have opened talks with Dele Alli over a stunning transfer, according to reports.
    The England midfielder, 24, was dragged off at half-time against Everton a week ago and has not made the last two matchday squads.

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    PSG are reportedly in talks to sign Dele Alli from TottenhamCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    That includes not being involved at all for the win at Southampton.
    And according to The Telegraph, PSG are hoping to take advantage with a plot to land the ex-MK Dons man.
    The French giants are thought to be long-term admirers of Dele.

    But it is unclear whether they would pursue a full permanent transfer or a loan with the option to buy – the latter is more likely.
    Dele – who signed for Tottenham in 2015 and has 62 goals in 223 appearances – was offered to Real Madrid as part of the deal which saw Gareth Bale return to White Hart Lane.
    Inter Milan are also showing interest in the playmaker, who looks to be out of Jose Mourinho’s immediate plans at Tottenham.
    But the chance to reignite his career alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at PSG would surely appeal to the 37-cap Three Lions star.

    Dele was hauled off at the break against Everton with ex-England international Gabriel Agbonlahor claiming that the pair had a bust-up prior to the match.

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    Jose Mourinho left the midfielder out against Lokomotiv Plovdiv and SouthamptonCredit: EPA

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    The two-time PFA Young Player of the Year did not even travel to Bulgaria for the Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday.
    And then he was reportedly left ‘upset and confused’ by his omission at St Mary’s.
    Commenting on his decision to leave Alli out, Mourinho said: “We have a huge squad, a squad with numbers that’s very difficult to manage.
    “I don’t have issues, it’s for me to be here with 18 players, I start with Son, with Lucas, with Harry, on the bench I have Sissoko and Lamela.
    “We have too many players for some positions and some of them are paying the price of this.”
    ‘COP OUT’
    Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle admits Jose Mourinho’s counter-attacking style does not suit Dele but insisted leaving is not the answer.
    Hoddle, 62, said: “That is the easy way out. That’s a cop out. He and Jose have to talk about it and he needs to adjust his game.
    “The manager picks the teams and the way you are going to play. You have to adjust to that.
    “I think he is capable of that but don’t down tools, pick up your tools and add to them.
    “Become a better player in a different way. I think that’s what he will do.”

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