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AFP

Mbappe could win Ballon d’Or, says Matuidi

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Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines (France) (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe is so good he could one day emulate the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning the Ballon d’Or, his France international team-mate Blaise Matuidi said on Tuesday.

While Mbappe and Matuidi have never been club team-mates, the former joining Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco in August only after the latter had left for Juventus, they have lined up on the same team sheet for the national side.

Sneijder arrives in Nice ahead of Ligue 1 move

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder is on the brink of becoming the latest star name to sign for ambitious Ligue 1 outfit Nice after arriving at the city’s airport on Sunday.

Unfashionable Nice have made a habit of signing top class talent over the last few seasons, with France international Hatem Ben Arfa, Italian striker Mario Balotelli, Brazilian centre-back Dante and Morocco playmaker Younes Belhanda all joining over the past two years.

Ex-France forward Paille dies aged 52

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Lyon (AFP) – Former France international forward Stephane Paille, once a teammate of Eric Cantona, has died at the age of 52 following a “devastating illness”, press in the city of Lyon announced on Tuesday.

Newspaper Le Progres reported Paille had died in a Lyon hospital on Tuesday morning.

Menez to join Antalyaspor from Bordeaux

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Bordeaux (AFP) – France international and former Roma and AC Milan playmaker Jeremy Menez is set to join Turkish outfit Antalyaspor, the player’s current club Bordeaux said on Friday.

Antalyaspor came fifth in the Turkish top flight last season and also have Samuel Eto’o on their books.

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante completes awards double

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London (AFP) – Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante completed a prestigious awards double on Monday when he was named footballer of the year by Britain’s Football Writers’ Association.

The France international, 26, won the Premier League title with Leicester City last season and is closing in on a second successive triumph with Chelsea.

Sidibe adds to Monaco injury woes for PSG final

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Monaco (AFP) – France international full-back Djibril Sidibe is a major doubt for Monaco ahead of Saturday’s French League Cup final against Paris Saint-Germain, his club said on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old injured his ribs in the 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory in Luxembourg last Saturday.

Real blow as Varane sidelined

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s France international central defender Raphael Varane has picked up a hamstring injury and risks missing up to three weeks as the European champions fight on two fronts for silverware.

Real Madrid revealed on their website Friday that Varane suffered the injury in their shock 2-1 defeat at Valencia midweek where he was substituted after 72 minutes.

West Ham rebel Payet signs for Marseille

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London (AFP) Dimitri Payet's acrimonious divorce from West Ham ended late Sunday as the France international signed former club Marseille in a 30 million euro (£25 million ,$31.3m) deal.

The 29-year-old's short tenure with the Hammers came to a premature conclusion when he signed a contract lasting until 2021 in a new record deal for Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.

West Ham rebel Payet signs for Marseille

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London (AFP) Dimitri Payet's acrimonious divorce from West Ham ended late Sunday as the France international signed former club Marseille in a 30 million euro (£25 million ,$31.3m) deal.

The 29-year-old's short tenure with the Hammers came to a premature conclusion when he signed a contract lasting until 2021 in a new record deal for Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.

West Ham to sell Payet to Marseille

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London (AFP) France international Dimitri Payet's long drawn out transfer saga ended on Sunday as Premier League side West Ham agreed to sell him to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for a reported £25million (29.3m euros, $31.3m).

The 29-year-old who starred for the Hammers last season scoring 12 goals had effectively gone on strike at the beginning of the month.

West Ham to sell Payet to Marseille

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London (AFP) France international Dimitri Payet's long drawn out transfer saga ended on Sunday as Premier League side West Ham agreed to sell him to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for a reported £25million (29.3m euros, $31.3m).

The 29-year-old who starred for the Hammers last season scoring 12 goals had effectively gone on strike at the beginning of the month.

Valbuena sex-tape ‘mastermind’ released from detention

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Versailles (France) (AFP) One of the suspected blackmailers in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal has been released from prison, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mustapha Zouaoui was released on Thursday according to his lawyer Serge Money as French law prevents suspects being held in pre-trial detention for longer than four months.

Valbuena sex-tape ‘mastermind’ released from detention

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Versailles (France) (AFP) One of the suspected blackmailers in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal has been released from prison, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mustapha Zouaoui was released on Thursday according to his lawyer Serge Money as French law prevents suspects being held in pre-trial detention for longer than four months.

Ben Arfa remains out in PSG cold

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Paris (AFP) Marquee signing Hatem Ben Arfa's future at Paris Saint-Germain looks increasingly precarious after coach Unai Emery left him out of the match-day squad for the fourth time in a row.

France international Ben Arfa lit up Ligue 1 with Nice last season after his career stalled during a five-year spell in England.

Manchester United

Griezmann Signs New Contract With Same Release Clause

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Antoine Griezmann will sign a new five-year contract with Atletico Madrid that will retain his €100 million release clause, according to the club's president.

The France international had looked on course to join Manchester United for a fee reportedly in the region of €100million (£88m) the release clause in his Atletico contract with Griezmann at one point saying there was a 'six out of 10' chance of him moving to Old Trafford this summer.

1st January Signing Imminent? Road Clears For Manchester United To Sign £30m Star

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Manchester United could be set to make a move for Dimitri Payet after Marseille dropped out of the running due to West Ham's £30m asking price.

The France international has demanded to leave the Hammers and has refused to play again for Slaven Bilic's side although the club are reluctant to sell their star man, particularly in January.

After Griezmann, Manchester United Plan Mega Signing Of Chelsea Target

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Manchester United are planning a move for Monaco winger Bernardo Silva this summer in a deal worth £70 million, according to various reports.

The Red Devils look set for a huge summer with the club widely expected to bring in Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann worth up to €100m.

Reports have even claimed that the France striker has already agreed a deal to join the club while manager Diego Simeone has admitted Atletico Madrid will not stand in his way.

Off To Old Trafford? Atletico Man Gives Big Hint Griezmann Will Be Allowed To Join Man United

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says the club will not try to stand in Antoine Griezmann's way should Manchester United attempt to sign the striker this summer.

The latest reports claim the France international has already agreed a move to Old Trafford and a shirt number in a deal believed to be worth €100m.

Photos: Anthony Martial makes it Man Utd 2-0 Stoke City

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Manchester United striker Anthony Martial has put his side 2-0 up at home to Stoke City. The France international found the net with an impressive...

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Man Utd consider bid for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala

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Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala is rumoured to be a transfer target for Manchester United. Manager David Moyes is still hoping to strengthen his squad before Monday's transfer deadline. But after experiencing a frustrating summer chasing big-name targets, the Scot is ready to but the marquee signings on the backburner to bring Mangala to Old Trafford.

Arsenal

Giroud hat-trick lifts France past Paraguay

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Rennes (France) (AFP) – An Olivier Giroud hat-trick helped France brush aside Paraguay 5-0 in an international friendly at Rennes on Friday.

The Arsenal striker became the first France international to score a treble since David Trezeguet achieved the feat in 2000.

He opened the scoring for Didier Deschamps’s team in the sixth minute, doubling up in the 13th and getting his hat-trick and his 16th international goal in as many games in the 69th minute.

Acting Arsenal captain pulls no punches on Chelsea loss

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There was no thought of looking for excuses or blaming the fact that Arsenal are well and truly out of the Premier League title race after losing to Chelsea, well not from the acting Arsenal captain anyway. Unlike his manager, the France international defender Laurent Koscielny did not even mention the supposed foul on Hector [.

Video: Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud says he wants 25-30 goals this season

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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed he is target 25-30 goals this season. The France international says he wants to score at least 20 goals...

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Arsenal’s Mathieu Debuchy makes Bordeaux debut

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Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy made his debut for loan club Bordeaux yesterday evening. The France international, aged 30, moved to the Ligue 1...

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Olivier Giroud is staying at Arsenal, says agent

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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will not be leaving the club this summer, according to his agent. The France international has been linked with moves to Italy for football reasons and a return to his homeland for personal reasons in recent weeks. But the 27-year-old's agent Michael Manuello says his client has now intention of quitting [.

Laurent Koscielny out of Arsenal vs Swansea clash, could be injured for longer

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Laurent Koscielny will miss Arsenal's game against Swansea tomorrow evening, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed. The France international is undergoing a scan on a calf injury today and could be out of action for even longer. Giving his team news ahead of the Swans clash, Wenger told the club's official website: "We have lost Laurent [.

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud meets agent with links to Galatasaray and PSG

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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been spotted in a meeting with a top agent who has strong links to Galatasaray and Paris Saint-Germain. The France international met UK-based Muzzi Ozcan for a 45-minute discussion on Thursday evening. The meeting took place at Aubaine restaurant in Hampstead at around 5.

Yoann Gourcuff contract talks stall, Arsenal ready to pounce

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Arsenal are said to be on alert after France international Yoann Gourcuff's contract negotiations with current side Lyon ground to a halt. The 27-year-old is under contract until 2015, but the French side want him to sign an extension. They are also in the middle of a drive to reduce their wage budget, and top [.

Manchester City and Arsenal head the queue for transfer listed Valencia defender Adil Rami

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Valencia defender Adil Rami, transfer listed for criticising coach Miroslav Djukic, is a target for Manchester City and Arsenal. Reports in Spain suggest the France international has been fined and also told he can leave the club over an outspoken interview in which he complained of "confusion" at the Mestalla.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew plans talks with Yohan Cabaye after failed Arsenal move

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Alan Pardew will hold talks with midfielder Yohan Cabaye after his decision to go on strike failed to force through a transfer to Arsenal. The Newcastle star refused to play for the club after learning of a £10m bid from Arsenal. But the Gunners refused to meet the Toon's valuation of their star and the [.

Arsenal target Josuha Guilavogui as alternative to Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye

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St Etienne midfielder Josuha Guilavogui is a target for Arsenal if the north London club fail in their attempts to sign Yohan Cabaye from Newcastle. The 22-year-old France international is a defensively-minded midfielder and, at 6ft 2in, is arguably much more like the sort of player the Gunners are lacking at the moment.

Karim Benzema won’t be joining Arsenal, says his agent

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Karim Benzema's agent has dismissed reports linking the Real Madrid striker with a move to Arsenal in the current transfer window. The France international is believed to be Arsene Wenger's top striking target after missing out on Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain. But Wenger himself has admitted that the deal would probably be dependent on [.

Arsenal plan £27m double raid on Newcastle for Tim Krul and Yohan Cabaye

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Arsenal are set to return to Newcastle with an improved £17m bid for Yohan Cabaye and they'll offer £10m for goalkeeper Tim Krul, according to reports in today's newspapers. The Sun on Sunday claims that Arsene Wenger is ready to up his offer for France international midfielder Cabaye from the £10m he initially offered [.

Real Madrid will move for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez if Arsenal sign Karim Benzema

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In a bit of a perverted transfer love triangle, Real Madrid are planning to sign Liverpool's Luis Suarez if they lose Karim Benzema to Arsenal. Suarez, of course, was the Gunners' first-choice for a new striker, but Liverpool have refused to sell to them France international Benzema now appears to be their preferred target, having [.

Arsenal working on deals for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria

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Arsenal are plotting a double-swoop on Real Madrid to sign Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. The Gunners are ready to draw a line under a frustrating period of transfer activity with big-money moves for the two marquee signings. And they aim to shake-off their reputation for thriftiness by spending £100m before the transfer window [.

PSG join Arsenal in the race for Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye

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French side PSG have offered £15m for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye in an effort to beat Arsenal to his signing. According to reports in The Independent, the big-spending Ligue 1 champions have topped the £10m bid made by the Gunners for the France international. The 27-year-old was left out of Newcastle's defeat to Manchester City [.

Transfer Talk

Bafetimbi Gomis says Newcastle deal fell through when they haggled on wages

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Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis claims he had agreed a deal to join Newcastle in the summer. But the transfer collapsed when the Magpies asked him to lower his wage demands. The France international had agreed a deal verbally with the Toon. But when it came to progressing the deal after a fee had been agreed [.

Who Are Ya? Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Mamadou Sakho Age: 23 Position: Defender Signed from: Paris Saint-Germain Fee: Undisclosed (reported £16-18m) Did you know? Sakho is nicknamed Kirikou after a character in a French animated film with a similar hairstyle. What's the deal?

Liverpool hit transfer fee deadlock over defenders Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho

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Liverpool are struggling in their attempts to bring at least one new defender to the club after deal for both their targets ran into problems. The Reds wanted to pay £6m to sign Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori, but the Portuguese side are demanding £17m for the 20-year-old. That's despite the fact that the youngster [.

The Rest

Lionel Messi back in Barcelona training after injury

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi returned to training with Barcelona on Wednesday following three weeks out with a groin injury.

France international defender Samuel Umtiti also returned to training according to a statement on the Catalan giants' website.

"BothLeo MessiandSamuel Umtiti, despite neither yet being declared fit for selection as they battle to recover from injury, were able to join the rest of the team for the workout," said the statement accompanied by a photo showing Argentine Messi at training.