Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel insists Edinson Cavani could be in a worse position than having to stay at the club.

The striker had appeared set to leave during the transfer window, with his contract expiring at the end of the season and his place in the first team usurped by Mauro Icardi.

Atletico Madrid were favourites to sign the Uruguay star but reports in Spain suggest they pulled out of the deal due to demands from the player's agent.

A Premier League move was also mooted, with Chelsea and Manchester United keen to sign a striker, but Frank Lampard appeared to confirm no new arrivals would be made on deadline day when stating Olivier Giroud would not be sold.

Tuchel had always been keen to keep Cavani, and he now hopes to see the 32-year-old regain top form as PSG keep up their pursuit of a clean sweep of domestic honours and Champions League glory this season.

"There are worse situations than staying at Paris Saint-Germain," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 match with Montpellier at Parc des Princes.

"Edinson will feel good soon. He needs to regain confidence and rhythm - that's normal for a forward.

"Edi is a great player for the club. The fact the group is not changing is positive because we are used to working together.

"Everyone has a chance to be first choice. Edinson missed several weeks due to injury and his situation. So, we have to be patient and not think he can bring his best game on Saturday.

"If he regains rhythm and confidence, he'll be important for us. We're going to help him regain all his abilities."

Cavani has started just six games in all competitions for PSG in 2019-20, scoring five goals.

PSG are 10 points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1 after 21 games.

Manchester United look set to continue scrambling for strikers throughout deadline day.

While Bruno Fernandes has finally arrived, the Red Devils were reportedly less successful in a surprise bid to bring Bournemouth forward Joshua King back to Old Trafford.

Now, with the countdown well and truly on, a Tottenham target appears to have been removed from United's radar.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED PASS ON WILLIAN JOSE

Though still without Marcus Rashford, United have rejected the chance to sign Willian Jose on loan, according to Sky Sports.

Real Sociedad reportedly failed to gain a bite after offering the Brazilian striker to the Champions League aspirants amid negotiations with another Premier League club in Tottenham.

Spurs earlier looked to be in pole position to sign the 28-year-old permanently, but may now have to settle for a temporary deal as discussions continue.

The prospect of a bolstering their attack following Rashford's injury would have appealed to United, who reportedly failed in an attempt to capture Cherries star King.

The Telegraph claims Eddie Howe's insistence on keeping the Norwegian denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the chance to reunite with the player he coached while in charge of United's reserve side.

 

ROUND-UP

- Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain will keep Edinson Cavani unless LaLiga side Atletico Madrid improve from €15million to €20m, according to ESPN reporter Julien Laurens.

- Juventus midfielder Emre Can will join Borussia Dortmund on loan with an obligation for the Bundesliga club to buy for €30m, reports Goal.

- Manchester City are set to beat Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen to Coritiba's 17-year-old Brazilian right-back Yan Couto, claims Mundo Deportivo. 

- Ricardo Rodriguez is out the door and Milan might have settled on a shock replacement. Sky Sports suggests the Rossoneri have agreed an €11.9m (£10m) deal to take left-back Antonee Robinson from Championship outfit Wigan Athletic. The Serie A side are also said to be on the cusp of signing Anderlecht youngster Alexis Saelemaekers.

- Inter and Lazio are competing to secure Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud before the transfer window shuts, claims Sky Sport Italia. 

Lyon's last-gasp win over Nice means they will face Marseille in a Choc des Olympiques in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

Houssem Aouar's 93rd-minute penalty ensured Lyon's progression on Thursday, with the substitute scoring just four minutes after Adam Ounas had made it 1-1, cancelling out Moussa Dembele's opener.

It means the headline fixture from the last eight will be a derby clash between Lyon and Marseille, who last met in November when Andre Villas-Boas' side won 2-1.

Meanwhile, 12-time winners PSG – who defeated Pau 2-0 in their round of 16 tie – have been handed an away match against Dijon.

Defending champions Rennes will take on fourth-tier Belfort, who defeated Montpellier on penalties in the previous round.

Fellow minnows Epinal also inflicted a shock in the round of 16, defeating Lille, and will face another Ligue 1 side in the form of Saint-Etienne.

The ties will take place on February 11 and 12.

Thomas Tuchel gave Leandro Paredes the captain's armband for Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France win over Pau to show the confidence he has in the midfielder.

Tuchel left Neymar out of his squad for the 2-0 win over the third-tier side, with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria watching from the bench as PSG claimed a 2-0 win to reach the last eight.

Paredes has struggled to justify the outlay PSG spent on him in January. The Ligue 1 champions paid an initial €40million to Zenit, with the fee potentially rising to €47m.

However, he repaid Tuchel's confidence on Wednesday as he scored the opening goal - just his second for the club - with a superb volley in the 25th minute.

Pablo Sarabia's second-half effort effectively put the game beyond doubt.

"By giving the armband to Paredes, it was also the intention to show him the confidence we have in him," Tuchel told Eurosport. "He did well by scoring.

"You can't win if you don't make the effort - everyone thinks it's easy to always win, but it isn't. It always takes effort.

"Look when we scored, the bench players celebrated, and that's great. It's a good sign. I love that. If those on the bench are there for the others, are happy, that's good.

"I feel it every day. I have enormous confidence in my players."

PSG are 10 points clear at the top of the league, with the biggest game on the horizon their Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Tuchel's former club Borussia Dortmund on February 18.

"We are not in Dortmund yet - there is Montpellier this weekend and many other matches, we still have a lot of time," Tuchel added. 

"The best way to prepare for big games is to play every three days, to play and to play again. We are having a good time. We have good results, it is deserved, and it is never easy.

"Outside, there is always an atmosphere against us, and it's good to have managed to make this match and get this result.

"The goal is to find a state of mind in this kind of match - if we don't have it now, we won't find it in close matches. Each match is a small rehearsal, of the things that we do well, but also of those that we do not do well.

"There are of course things that can be improved. But in a club like PSG, it's important to have the victories, to follow up to have confidence and be in good condition.

"I told the players that this match was important, it was necessary to win if we want to win the cup."

Asked about the knee injury right-back Colin Dagba suffered in the second half, Tuchel replied: "No news. He has a lot of pain in the knee, but I don't know more.

"He was very good at the moment, he was very good against Lille, he is able to make an impact as soon as he returns."

Paris Saint-Germain eased into the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France with a routine 2-0 win at Pau.

Neymar was not named in the squad for the trip to the third-tier side, with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria left on the bench for the visit to the Stade du Hameau.

However, neither was needed as the Ligue 1 leaders comfortably saw off the Championnat National promotion chasers with a goal in each half.

Leandro Paredes opened the scoring with only his second goal for the club after 25 minutes and Pablo Sarabia made sure of progression eight minutes into the second half.

PSG had not really threatened when Paredes opened the scoring in style.

Mauro Icardi laid Layvin Kurzawa's cross into the path of the Argentina midfielder, who controlled brilliantly before lashing a volley beyond Alexis Guendouz.

Kurzawa then spurned a chance to double the lead as he lashed across the face of goal, but Sarabia made no mistake after the restart.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting saw his point-blank effort from Mauro Icardi's pull back blocked by Damon Bansais and Sarabia was there to convert on the follow-up.

Pau pushed to try to find a way back into the contest, but a lack of cutting edge in the final third meant an unlikely comeback was never on the cards.

 

Real Madrid have long been touted as favourites to tempt Kylian Mbappe from Paris.

Mbappe idolises Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, who has made no secret of his desire to sign the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

But should Liverpool splash the cash, Mbappe could reportedly find himself at Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE OPEN TO REDS

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe would be open to joining Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool, according to journalist Julien Laurens.

Mbappe has long been tipped to eventually swap PSG for LaLiga giants Real Madrid, where he is coveted by fellow Frenchman and head coach Zinedine Zidane.

However, Laurens claims Liverpool could be an option, should the English side meet PSG's demands.

 

ROUND-UP 

Manchester United want Alexis Sanchez to return to the club at the end of the season, says the Daily Star. On loan at Serie A outfit Inter following a horror spell in Manchester, the Red Devils have decided to give the Chilean forward another chance to prove himself.

- West Ham have offered €40million (£33.7m) to Cagliari for Uruguay international Nahitan Nandez, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

- With Carles Perez edging closer to Roma, Barcelona could also sell Ivan Rakitic. According to Marca, Juventus are keeping tabs on the experienced midfielder.

- Sky Sport Italia claims Roma have contacted Chelsea over veteran forward Pedro, who is out of contract at season's end.

Flamengo have agreed terms with Inter to sign Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa on a permanent basis, reports ESPN Brazil, Globoesporte and Sportitalia.

Juventus are still pondering a swap deal that would see full-back Mattia De Sciglio move to PSG in exchange for Layvin Kurzawa, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Thomas Tuchel hailed Neymar as an "exceptional" player after the Brazil star led Paris Saint-Germain to a 2-0 Ligue 1 win at Lille.

The forward made it 13 goals in as many league games this season as he struck in each half at Stade Pierre-Mauroy for the champions.

With nine goals in his past seven league appearances helping PSG to a 10-point lead at the top of the table, Neymar's spectacular form has won the admiration of his head coach.

"He has an incredible ability to accelerate and dribble. He was exceptional at times," Tuchel said on Sunday.

"He's been playing at this level for weeks and has offered us games of this calibre every three days. 

"He's a boy who is capable of simple things and then exceptional things in the next minute. I'm happy for him as this will give him a lot of confidence."

Tuchel was happy with the way PSG largely nullified the threat of a Lille side whose previous home defeat in the top flight was back in March last year.

"We had a lot of the ball in the first period and a bit less in the second, when our counter-attacks weren't all successful. We lost easy balls sometimes," Tuchel said.

"It was still a good game overall that we managed to control. It wasn't that obvious that we faced a very strong opposing team, unbeaten at home, with a very strong coach and a really good atmosphere."

Thiago Silva was replaced at half-time, but Tuchel stressed the change was a precaution as the centre-back had felt some discomfort.

However, the decision to take off left-back Abdou Diallo with 14 minutes remaining was down to concern about his use of the ball.

"Thiago tried to play through with some pubis pain, but it wasn't very comfortable for him," Tuchel explained. "That's why we took him off at half-time. But I don't think it's too serious.

"As for Diallo, he lost the ball three times and that was pretty dangerous. It was better for him to go off."

Neymar has paid tribute to Kobe Bryant after the basketball icon was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar scored twice as the Ligue 1 leaders ran out 2-0 victors over Lille, and dedicated his second goal to Bryant by holding up two fingers on one hand and four on the other – Bryant having worn the number 24 jersey for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Following the final whistle, Neymar – a basketball fan – hailed Bryant's impact, stating his death is a sad moment for the entire world of sport.

"I looked at the messages at half-time," Neymar told Canal+. "This is a time of immense sadness for the world of sport and for all of us, not just basketball fans.

"I knew him and I made this celebration to pay tribute to him. I hope he rests in peace."

Bryant won five NBA championships and made 18 NBA All-Star teams during a 20-year stint with the Lakers.

Sporting stars from across the globe, including Tom Brady and Neymar, have paid tribute to Kobe Bryant after the Los Angeles Lakers icon was killed in a helicopter crash.

Bryant, 41, died on Sunday in a crash close to the city of Calabasas in Los Angeles County, California.

Eight others on board, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, also lost their lives.

Following the initial reports of Bryant's passing, athletes and teams from across the world of sport posted their tributes to the Lakers great on social media.

New England Patriots great Brady wrote on his Twitter page: "We miss you already, Kobe."

Patrick Mahomes, another superstar NFL quarterback, said: "Man, not Kobe. Prayers to his family and friends!"

Bryant was an Olympic champion like Usain Bolt, the great sprinter, who posted a picture of the former NBA star on his page.

"Still can't believe ⁦[it] @kobebryant," he said.

World number one golfer Brooks Koepka posted a lengthy message in memory of his "hero".

"Kobe Bryant was my HERO growing up. Even to this day he was an inspiration to the way I approached things," he wrote, adding: "His mentality motivated me not only in hard times but throughout my whole life. RIP, Kobe."

Footballer Raheem Sterling said: "Rest easy, legend."

Meanwhile, Neymar, who scored twice in Paris Saint-Germain's win over Lille on Sunday, dedicated his second goal to the Lakers legend.

Drew Brees spoke to ESPN from the Pro Bowl, saying of Bryant: "I had the chance to meet him one time. He was a guy I hoped to have the chance to be around more.

"I had so much respect for him as a competitor. I know he inspired so many people in so many different ways.

"He was one of the great competitors of any generation - not just with sports but the way he approached a lot of things with what he was doing now after basketball.

"I pray for him, I pray for his family. It's a tragic loss."

Neymar scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain claimed a hard-earned 2-0 victory over Lille to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 10 points.

Having opened the scoring with a sublime strike in the 28th minute of Sunday's encounter at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Neymar doubled his tally with a penalty early in the second half.

After netting his second goal, Neymar appeared to pay tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was reported to have died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Lille felt harshly treated by the VAR for PSG's second, though they were fortunate Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe squandered chances to further the visitors' lead as a 14-match unbeaten home league run came to an end.

Luiz Araujo's long-range effort forced Keylor Navas into a save nine minutes in as Lille took the game straight to the league leaders.

But a moment of sheer brilliance from Neymar gave PSG the lead, the Brazil star combining with Marco Verratti before curling an exquisite finish into the top-right corner.

Mbappe would have made it 2-0 if not for Gabriel's block, but Lille might have been level had Presnel Kimpembe not got a toe to Victor Osimhen's strike.

With substitute Nianzou Kouassi having denied Osimhen a tap-in, Mike Maignan made a brave stop to keep out Mbappe at the other end moments later, yet to Lille's chagrin, PSG were awarded a penalty for a handball by Reinildo.

Lille's frustration was compounded by the VAR not deeming there to have been a foul by Idrissa Gueye in the build-up, with Neymar's penalty just squeezing beyond Maignan.

Icardi should have done better with a near-post header and Mbappe failed to beat Maignan as PSG looked to add to their lead, but the visitors ultimately settled for a two-goal cushion, while Loic Remy saw a stoppage-time consolation disallowed for offside.
 

What does it mean? PSG put last season's thrashing well behind them

PSG slumped to a shock 5-1 defeat in the corresponding fixture last term, but despite Lille's positive approach, Thomas Tuchel's side just had too much this time around. They are now 10 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after second-placed Marseille drew at home to Angers.

Neymar lights up the stage with stunning opener

PSG's number 10 missed the chance to set a new club record of goals in consecutive games when he failed to net in the Coupe de la Ligue triumph over Reims last time out, but he rediscovered his scoring form in sensational style here, brilliantly controlling Angel Di Maria's pass before exchanging passes with Verratti and expertly picking out the top corner.

Icardi kept unusually quiet

The form of Inter loanee Icardi has left Edinson Cavani looking for a move away from PSG, but the striker was not at his best on Sunday. Indeed, he only had four touches in Lille's box throughout the 72 minutes he spent on the pitch.

What's next?

Both sides are in Coupe de France action next on Wednesday. PSG visit Pau while Lille face Epinal.

Neymar is "determined to give everything" for Paris Saint-Germain, according to goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Brazil international Neymar was heavily linked with a return to Barcelona in the close season, just two years after leaving them for a world-record fee of €222million.

But the 27-year-old has scored 64 goals in 74 appearances for PSG and this season formed a key part of the 'Fantastic Four' with Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria.

Neymar has reportedly cancelled a party for his upcoming birthday in order to focus solely on PSG, a mentality Navas has taken note of.

Asked about the club's formidable attacking line-up, Navas told Telefoot: "These are players with an incredible level and, for me, it is a privilege to be able to play with them.

"We feel calmer and we believe in them. We know that they will do good work.

"Neymar is a player at a whole different level, in a different world. We are very happy to have him in our team because he helps us a lot, he makes us stronger. And we know that he is determined to give everything."

After being eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for four straight seasons from 2012-13, PSG have exited the competition at the last 16 in their three most recent campaigns.

Thomas Tuchel's side have a tricky tie with his former team Borussia Dortmund in the first knockout round coming up this term, but Navas believes they are ready to break new ground.

"We have a very good squad, all the conditions are there, we are ambitious and we want to win titles," said the Costa Rica international, who arrived from Real Madrid in September.

"This team is of a very high calibre, with players who achieve incredible things individually but the most important thing is that the squad is united 100 per cent.

"I am very happy, everyone here welcomed me really nicely, my family feels good and I have great team-mates. I am really enjoying myself. However, that is never sufficient.

"I always want to win, again and again. I did not come to PSG to have a good time, but to work with humility, desire and above all to win titles because that's what we love."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be linked with a move from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are the latest European heavyweight reportedly interested in the forward.

Aubameyang, 30, is reportedly a target for Barcelona after scoring 16 goals in 26 games for struggling Arsenal this season.

However, with Edinson Cavani potentially leaving, PSG are also eyeing the Gabon international.

 

TOP STORY – PSG INTERESTED IN AUBAMEYANG AMID BARCELONA LINKS

PSG are considering a move for Aubameyang, according to Foot Mercato.

Cavani may leave the Ligue 1 giants for Atletico Madrid during this transfer window and Aubameyang could be his replacement, the report says.

PSG are reportedly discussing a loan with an option to buy Aubameyang.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal are close to a deal for Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, according to ESPN and other reports. The Premier League club will reportedly pay £8.4million (€10m) for the Spaniard.

- Marcos Rojo could be on his way out of Manchester United. After just three Premier League appearances this season, the defender is heading back to Estudiantes – where he started his career – on loan, according to the Mirror.

- Carles Perez is set to join Roma. Sky Sport Italia reports the Barcelona forward will join the Serie A club on loan until the end of the season, with a mandatory purchase option for €13m to be part of the deal.

- Inter are already preparing for a period of dominance, including next season. Sport Italia reports Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne has been offered to Inter, who may land the forward ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

- Inter and Napoli seem to have a decent relationship. CalcioMercato reports Matteo Politano will swap Milan for Naples, where he will sign a deal until 2024 with a medical set for Monday.

- Mauricio Pochettino remains without a job after being sacked by Tottenham in November. The Mirror reports Spurs will be entitled to £10m in compensation if the Argentinian finds another job before the end of the season.

Mattia De Sciglio, Emre Can and Marko Pjaca have been left out of the Juventus squad to face Napoli amid links to moves away from Turin.

Full-back De Sciglio is dealing with a fitness issue but is also a reported target for Paris Saint-Germain in a potential swap deal for Layvin Kurzawa, who is also said to be interesting Arsenal.

Germany international Can is reportedly an option for Borussia Dortmund in his homeland, meanwhile, having joined Juve on a free transfer from Liverpool 18 months ago.

And Pjaca is absent following talk of an imminent switch to Cagliari.

The Bianconeri head to Naples four points clear of second-placed Inter in Serie A, while their Sunday opponents - title challengers in previous campaigns - are struggling in the bottom half.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Can, 26, is out of favour in Turin and has made just two Serie A starts this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder will reportedly be allowed to leave during this transfer window and three European giants are eyeing the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM AND DORTMUND EYE EMRE CAN

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are chasing Juventus' Can, according to SPORT1.

With Euro 2020 coming up later this year, Can wants regular playing time to earn a spot in the Germany squad.

Can made 37 appearances in all competitions for Juve last season, but has played just eight times in 2019-20.

Sportmediaset reports Juve are working on a move for Napoli midfielder Allan to replace Can.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter will wrap up a deal for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen early next week, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Serie A club will pay €18million (£15.2m) plus €2m (£1.7m) in bonuses for Eriksen, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at San Siro and Inter are targeting Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud after recognising it would be difficult to sign Napoli's Fernando Llorente, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Barcelona are making progress in their bid to land Valencia forward Rodrigo, according to Sport. While working on a loan move, Barcelona want an option to buy at season's end, while Valencia want it to be an obligation to purchase for around €60m. The report says Barca are willing to pay Valencia a "penalty fee" if they do not make the loan permanent.

- Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar is close to signing with Premier League club Arsenal, according to El Chiringuito. Lemar has made just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are in talks over a swap deal. Goal reports the clubs are discussing swapping full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Layvin Kurzawa.

- With Marcus Rashford injured, Manchester United have looked at signing Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo and Monaco's Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester City, according to Sky Sports.

The Christian Eriksen saga could reach an end point as soon as Monday.

Reports in Italy indicate the midfielder's move to Inter is all but complete and a medical has been scheduled.

Eriksen's uncertain future has troubled Tottenham since well before Mauricio Pochettino's departure, with the Denmark international due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – ERIKSEN DEAL AGREED

Eriksen, 27, will undergo a medical in Milan at the beginning of next week, according to various reports in Italy.

CalcioMercato claims Tottenham owner Daniel Levy has accepted an offer from Inter worth €15million (£12.6m), plus €5m (£4.2m) in add-ons.

Eriksen's new contract will reportedly run through to 2024 as the playmaker looks for a fresh start after growing stale in the Premier League.

If the move goes ahead, he will become Antonio Conte's third signing of the January transfer window after wing-backs Ashley Young and Victor Moses.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could face frustration in their long-running negotiations for Bruno Fernandes, which The Sun says have "collapsed" due to Sporting CP's valuation.

- United, meanwhile, are considering a shock move to bring Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, 35, back to Old Trafford, claims Tuttosport. The Red Devils are in need of attacking reinforcements after losing Marcus Rashford to injury.

- Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given LaLiga giants Barcelona the green light to begin transfer talks, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- Bayern Munich have commenced "concrete discussions" with Lyon over 19-year-old winger Yaya Soumare, reports L'Equipe. Salzburg and Bayern's Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig are also said to be interested.

- Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta asked Stefano Pioli to be left out of Milan's match against against Brescia because he is keen to leave the club, claims CalcioMercato. Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested.

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