Monaco have done well to capture Eric Ayiah

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Monaco have announced the signing of Charity Stars centre forward Eric Ayiah on a five year contract, after beating off competition from elsewhere in Ligue 1 and Europe to the capture of his services. The 18-year-old has been heralded as a future star in the game, and the likes of Serie A outfit Udinese have been credited with interest in him for some time now. Monaco have spent big this summer and so while Ayiah may be a player they will seek to nurture and develop before throwing him into the first team – especially considering his age – they are ensuring the future availability of a real talent in bringing him in. Whether he arrives with the intention of internal development or if he is earmarked for a loan move away, Ayiah appears to be on the path to success.

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M’Vila signs new three year contract at Saint-Etienne

m'vilaSaint-Etienne midfielder Yann M’Vila has been rewarded for his fine start to life at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a new three year contract, just six months after his arrival at the club. Having struggled at Rubin Kazan in Russia, M’Vila joined Saint-Etienne back in January and started 17 of the 18 remaining games for the campaign, helping the club get back to happier form after a poor start. The truth is, this is a great bit of business for Les Verts in retaining the services of one of the most talented, cultured players in the French top flight. If M’Vila can continue to contribute to such an upturn in fortunes as he has done in his first six months at the club then the future bodes well indeed.

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Golovin agrees Monaco move amid Chelsea interest

golovin2Chelsea representatives are believed to be spreading out across Europe at the moment to try and close several transfer deals ahead of the new Premier League season, but one man they had earmarked as someone they would like to bring in has given them the cold shoulder in favour of signing for Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. Aleksandr Golovin has been heavily linked with relocation to Stamford Bridge since starring in Russia’s World Cup campaign on home soil, but the French Principality have won the race to sign the 22-year-old midfielder. Reports indicate that recent Chelsea signing Jorginho may have had an influence on Golovin’s decision to choose Ligue 1 over the Premier League, with game time seemingly becoming increasingly difficult in west London.

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PSG looking to sign Kante and Vertonghen

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Young Player of the World Cup Kylian Mbappe has revealed that he left “secret notes” for N’Golo Kante urging the Chelsea midfielder to join him at Paris Saint-Germain this summer. The 19-year-old, who lit up the tournament, also confirmed to France Football that PSG President Al Khelaifi had spoken with him about the prospect of getting Kante to make the move. “It is true that he has consulted me, and I said to him once again that Kante would be good for our team. I spoke to N’Golo during the World Cup, but not extensive because I know that when you bombard the brain with transfer stuff. ‘At the end, I left a few words in his pockets, that he would have discovered once he got home (from the World Cup) to properly send a message.”

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Great move for Lille to sign Jose Fonte

fonteRumours have been swirling over the past few days that French Ligue 1 side Lille OSC could be about to complete the transfer of former Southampton and West Ham defender Jose Fonte to bolster their defence. Les Dogues had a tough time of things last season, narrowly avoiding relegation to Ligue 2, winning out in a race which went right to the wire. They survived at the expense of Toulouse, who went down just a single point behind and with a superior goal difference tally. With that in mind, manager Christophe Galtier looks set to complete one of his primary ambitions this summer in getting in some new faces to shore things up, and in Fonte they are getting a player with a wealth of experience and footballing knowledge.

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Paris Saint-Germain shouldn’t need to fight to keep Mbappe

mbappe2Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have reinforced their squad this summer ahead of next season’s title defence, with Juventus and Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon arriving on a one-year contract. With that capture PSG will be looking to keep title rivals Monaco at arm’s length as they bid for another Ligue 1 title, but it seems there may be an oncoming storm in the way of a potential departure. Reports have indicated that La Liga giants Real Madrid have held a keen interest in signing either Neymar or Kylian Mbappe this summer, and while both are said to be happy in Paris Los Blancos are capable of offering the kind of cash that could turn just about anyone’s head!

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Gianluigi Buffon joins PSG

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After 17 years at Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon will defend another goal: PSG’s one. The legendary goalkeeper has reached agreement with the French club on a one-year contract with an optional second one. Buffon and the Old Lady had planned his exit at the end of the 2017/2018 season and the Turin team offered to train him to become either an executive or a coach, but the desire to play was evidently still there.

The 40-year-old goalkeeper collected 656 appearances with Bianconeri and won 11 Scudetti (two revoked for the Calciopoli scandals), four Coppa Italia and five Supercoppa Italia. Continue reading

Top Ligue 1 Strikers in 2017/18 – Edinson Cavani (PSG)

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With the kind of season Edinson Cavani has enjoyed this term, it is perhaps no surprise that he is among the most coveted players on the planet right now. Having arrived at Paris Saint-Germaine from Napoli back in 2013, Cavani has gone from strength to strength – and neutrals and pundits alike have been left watching in awe at some of the things he can do with a ball at his feet. His eye for goal, teamwork ethic and general presence on the pitch strike a mixture of fear and respect into opposing defenders, and so it is perhaps no surprise that he takes the gong for Ligue 1′s best striker in the 2017/18 season.

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Top Ligue 1 Defenders in 2017/18 – Fabinho (Monaco)

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Monaco may not have ended up retaining their Ligue 1 title this season, finishing 2nd behind new champions Paris Saint-Germain on the back of a disappointing 13 point deficit. They have, however, qualified for next season’s Champions League after finished two points clear of third place Lyon and three ahead of Marseille. One of the highlights of Monaco’s season has been the continued performance levels of one Fabinho. Fabinho, full name Fabio Tavares (not to be confused with the Rochdale U18 striker of the same name) capped off a great season by sealing a move to the Premier League, where he will join new club Liverpool in July.

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Top Ligue 1 Goalkeepers in 2017/18 – Benjamin Lecomte (Montpellier)

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Following on from last week’s revelation that Alphonse Areola was the best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 this season, it is time to follow that up with his closest contender. It wasn’t really a close run race in the end, but Montpellier custodian Benjamin Lecomte took the runner-up spot in this season’s goalkeeping charts. The ever-present stopper, signed from Lorient last year, has had a great season in between the Stade de la Mosson sticks, and yet there is something noticeably odd about his positioning as the second best goalkeeper in the French top flight. It is no reflection on his ability or standing in the game of course; no, but what is most unusual is that his Montpellier side actually finished 10th in the table.

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