Navas revelling in the company of 'extraordinary' Mbappe at PSG

By Sports Desk October 31, 2019

Kylian Mbappe's willingness to work for the team has made a strong impression with Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Keylor Navas.

Goalkeeper Navas joined the Ligue 1 champion on transfer deadline day in September, penning a four-year deal in the French capital.

The 32-year-old was a three-time Champions League winner at Real Madrid, so it is hoped his pedigree at the highest level of European football can help a talent-stacked squad under Thomas Tuchel take an extra step in the competition.

Mbappe has eight goals in nine appearances across all competitions this season and the 20-year-old's presence in the attack gives Navas plenty of reasons for optimism.

"He is a very young player who does extraordinary things for his age," the Costa Rica international told a news conference ahead of Friday's Ligue 1 game against Dijon.

"In addition to what we already know, and what we can see, he puts his talent at the disposal of the team, with good qualities of movement and always the right gestures."

Following Gianluigi Buffon's return to Juventus and Alphonse Areola's move in the opposite direction to Madrid, Navas has settled quickly into life as PSG's number one.

"I've been here for several weeks now. My adaptation is going very well - at the club, with my teammates but also in this championship," he said. 

"I am happy. The results follow and we progress on a daily basis. I came with humility, but with the desire to bring something. 

"I want to bring my leadership to the field and help everyone move forward."

PSG head into the 12th round of fixtures in Ligue 1 with an eight-point advantage over Nantes at the top of the table, having won nine and lost two of their games so far this season.

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    However, City are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli and Sevilla's Jules Kounde is the "backup option" but a bid has already been turned down.

     

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    - Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

    Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

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    Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

    Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

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    The 29-year-old Koulibaly played as Napoli opened their 2020-21 Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Parma on Sunday and Gattuso hailed the in-demand centre-back, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United.

    "I had no doubts, he is one of the strongest champions in the world in his role," Gattuso said via Sky Sport.

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    Osimhen made his debut for Napoli, coming off the bench to inspire the visitors as Dries Mertens and captain Lorenzo Insigne scored against Parma.

    Gattuso added: "It's not about numbers, but the principles of football. We know Osimhen is an added bonus, but we need to run before we have quality, because quality is not enough on its own.

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    He had earlier hit the crossbar and came close from a couple of his other nine efforts prior to finally finding a way past Emil Audero in the 88th minute.

    And with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner having recently picked up a toe injury on international duty, Pirlo is keen to closely manage his star player's fitness.

    "We are thinking about it and we have talked about it together," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He is not tired at the moment because we have just started the season. But when we come up to less important games, we'll try to give him a rest. 

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    With Paulo Dybala missing the opening game through injury and Gonzalo Higuain finalising a move to Inter Miami on Friday, Pirlo is after a particular type of player to bolster his side.

    "We'll give it our best. It's about finding the right balance," he said. "Quality players are always welcome, as long as they have the characteristics to bring balance to the team. But we want to use as much of our talent as possible."

    Debutant midfielder Dejan Kulusevski netted the first goal of Pirlo's tenure and Leonardo Bonucci was also on target in Turin prior to Ronaldo's clinical finish late on.

    Weston McKennie is another who impressed on his first appearance since joining, while Gianluca Frabotta – a surprise starter at left wing-back – also caught the eye.

    "Frabotta had a good game. Alex Sandro picked up an injury, so I chose the under-23 lad who is training with us very well," Pirlo said. "I didn't consider it a risk at all to use him.

    "McKennie arrived having started pre-season training in Germany, so was in better shape than some others. He made a few errors in his passing, but it was the first game, we can forgive him for that."

    Pirlo has worked under some of the game's most influential coaches but vowed to do things his own way in his first managerial job.

    "It will take time to get all the various ways of playing together. I don't want to just copy and paste anyone's ideas," he said. "I have my own ideas and want to adapt from the teams that inspired me.

    "We haven't had much time, as the pre-season started late and then they were away for international duty. We had only one friendly too, but it was a good debut and we'll keep working on it."

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