Kylian Mbappe is available to play for Paris Saint-Germain against Nice on Sunday, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

Mbappe has yet to play for PSG in the 2020-21 season after testing positive for coronavirus while on international duty with France.

However, Tuchel said both Ligue 1 and the club doctor have given clearance for Mbappe to make his first appearance for the club since the Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich.

"We need to talk with Kylian. The doctor and the league told us it's possible," he said.

"I don't know if he can play. We have to wait. He's in the squad. We'll see if he can play.

"It's between me and Kylian. We're going to talk after practice. I have to see if he's feeling okay and we'll decide if he starts or ends the game."

PSG will be without defender Juan Bernat for much of the season after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the 1-0 win over Dijon, which marked their first victory of the new campaign.

However, Tuchel is not looking to purchase a replacement, adding: "Bernat is a key player but we have [Layvin] Kurzawa, [Mitchel] Bakker and [Abdou] Diallo. It is not the priority to buy a player for this position."

Tuchel is eyeing reinforcements in the transfer window, however, with Thiago Silva having joined Chelsea and Edinson Cavani also leaving the club.

"It is always the objective to have a group ready to start a championship," said Tuchel. "The priority is clear, we need a striker, a central defender and a midfielder. We must replace the players we lost."

 

Only 5,000 fans per day will be allowed in at the French Open amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

Main-draw matches are scheduled to begin at Roland Garros on September 27 after the grand slam was moved due to COVID-19.

It was announced earlier this month that 11,500 spectators would be allowed in per day, although several players raised concerns after the US Open was held behind closed doors.

France reported 10,593 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday before a reduced capacity for Roland Garros was announced.

"The FFT [French Tennis Federation] will therefore assume the responsibility of organising the tournament with a new lay out," a statement read.

"It is important for the sporting, social and economic life of the country that a major event like Roland Garros can be put on while respecting health imperatives.

"Such will be the case for the 2020 tournament.

"The FFT is conscious of how disappointing this news will be for those who will not be able to come to the stadium due to the reduction in capacity. We would like to thank you for your understanding and your dogged support of the tournament.

"Roland Garros 2020 will set an example by endorsing, promoting and defending its cherished sporting values."

Kylian Mbappe is training individually as Thomas Tuchel aims to welcome his talisman back into the fold at Paris Saint-Germain.

France star Mbappe has been unable to play for PSG after he tested positive while on France duty earlier in September, with six other players from the squad having also contracted the virus previously.

PSG lost their opening two games of the Ligue 1 season but beat Metz 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to Julian Draxler's late goal.

Mbappe was the only one of the seven players who tested positive for COVID-19 to not have returned inside the first three fixtures of PSG's campaign, although Neymar is currently suspended after his red card against Marseille on Sunday.

After Wednesday's success, Tuchel revealed Mbappe did not have any symptoms and had been training individually.

On Thursday, PSG stated tests performed on the player on Wednesday had not returned any abnormal results, and that more information would be communicated in the coming days.

Should Mbappe be allowed to return to the squad, he may be available for selection for PSG's clash with Nice on Sunday.

Norwich City and Middlesbrough are among the teams selected to welcome back a limited number of fans this week as the EFL continues its pilot programme.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, crowds had not been allowed at professional matches across Britain since football returned in June until Cambridge United were able to facilitate spectators last week.

With fans returning to games in France and certain regions of Germany, the EFL has now confirmed an extension of its scheme, with 10 fixtures initially selected for the coming weekend, although Luton Town have opted out.

Following government guidance, crowds will be capped at a 1,000 capacity with social distancing measures in place. Talks are ongoing over the possibility of higher attendances being allowed after October 1.

Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium will be able to house fans for their game against Bournemouth, while Norwich City versus Preston North End is the only other Championship match with spectators in attendance after Luton, who host Derby County, informed the EFL they would not be involved.

In League One, Charlton Athletic, Blackpool, Shrewsbury Town and Hull City have all been given the green light to host fans.

Forest Green Rovers, Carlisle United and Morecambe are the League Two teams selected, following in the footsteps of Cambridge, Morecambe's visitors.

"It's encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week," said EFL chairman Rick Parry.

"The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely.

"By extending across more EFL clubs, we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month."

Borussia Dortmund's season-opening Bundesliga fixture at home to Borussia Monchengladbach is set to be played in front of around 10,000 supporters.

Bundesliga clubs have reportedly been given the green light for fans to return to stadiums for the start of the 2020-21 season in Germany amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2019-20 campaign resumed behind closed doors in May due to COVID-19, which forced the league to be postponed in March.

But with the new Bundesliga season scheduled to kick off on Friday, a trial is set to take place – up to 20 per cent of stadium capacity can be used, while strict hygiene requirements will be imposed, and alcohol banned.

Away fans will not be allowed to attend, though a game would be forced back behind closed doors if the infection rate in the home city is too high over a seven-day period.

Dortmund on Tuesday announced that a small crowd will be in attendance for Saturday's showdown against Gladbach at Signal Iduna Park, where only Dortmund or North Rhine-Westphalia residents will be granted access.

"The Bundesliga teams, but also the clubs and associations of other sports, can be very happy today, and we definitely have this feeling at BVB," said Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke in a statement.

"I would like to thank everyone in politics who contributed to today's decision in the past few weeks. At the same time, I feel a great obligation that we as clubs, together with the fans involved, will handle this probationary period extremely responsibly in the coming weeks. The now approved partial re-admission of viewers is in any case a very important step for all football fans in Germany. "

Last season saw Dortmund finish second to rivals Bayern Munich, while Gladbach secured a top-four spot as they qualified for the Champions League.

Major League Baseball has announced its 2020 postseason schedule, with game one of the World Series to take place on October 20.

Texas Rangers' Globe Life Field in Arlington will host the World Series, which could run until a game seven on October 28.

The plan approved by the MLB Players Association will also see division series and league championship series held at neutral ballparks, with players to be housed in single-location bio-secure bubbles nearby.

The American League and National League's wild card series begin on September 29 and September 30 – launching a format expanded from 10 to 16 franchises that was announced in July.

Globe Life Field will also stage the National League championship series, with Houston's Minute Maid Park sharing hosting duties for the division series.

Petco Park in San Diego will be a venue throughout for the American League, with Dodger Stadium taking some of the division games.

The postseason schedule marks a departure from when MLB's truncated regular season began in July.

It was the only major American sports league that remained committed to travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Around the same time, the NBA, WNBA and MLS opted for one-location bubbles.

However, COVID-19 outbreaks at the Miami Marlins and St Louis Cardinals then put the season in jeopardy. In total, the league has been forced to postpone 43 scheduled games over the course of the health crisis.

Barcelona cannot afford to buy Memphis Depay because of the hit their finances have taken during the COVID-19 crisis, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has claimed.

The dramatic twist on Tuesday evening followed reports that Depay was set to leave Lyon and be reunited with Ronald Koeman, who until recently was his Netherlands coach, at Camp Nou.

The striker looked set to move to Spain in a deal costing Barcelona in the region of 25-30 million euros, various reports indicated.

Yet the deal now looks to be off, with Aulas declaring Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu personally told him the Catalan giants were in no position to make an offer.

In a Twitter message, Aulas pointed to a report from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that suggested a 30 million euros move for the 26-year-old was in the offing.

Aulas wrote: "The president of Barca indicated to me on Sunday that Barca were suffering a lot from the COVID crisis and didn't have the possibility to make an offer. #memphis"

Bartomeu recently said Barcelona faced losing around 30 per cent of their budgeted income because of the coronavirus pandemic, with that figure likely to equate to somewhere close to 300 million euros.

Depay has scored 46 goals in 103 Ligue 1 games for Lyon, Opta statistics show, since joining from Manchester United in the January 2017 transfer window.

Miralem Pjanic is fulfilling a dream by sharing a dressing room with Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and cannot believe his luck having also previously played with Francesco Totti and Cristiano Ronaldo.

New €60million signing Pjanic was belatedly presented as a Barca player on Tuesday, having tested positive for COVID-19 in August which meant the 30-year-old had to go into quarantine.

That delayed the midfielder's arrival in Barcelona until last week, with him working out at the club's training ground for the first time on Saturday prior to their friendly against Gimnastic.

A tumultuous transfer window for Barca saw Messi ask to leave the club before ultimately staying, a decision Pjanic both expected and relished.

"I have met with him two or three days ago," Pjanic told reporters about Messi.

"I have played with Totti, Cristiano and now Messi. That is fortunate, to have players like this as team-mates. They are athletes who have given a lot to football. 

"Today I have the opportunity to share the dressing room with an alien and it will be beautiful. 

"Sharing a dressing room with Messi and not only with Messi, with others too, is a dream for me. 

"But we will be a squad of 25 and all 25 will be important.

"I have played in great teams and I have respected my teams, but today a dream comes true. It is the ultimate dream. I will give everything I can to leave a good memory of me."

Of the transfer saga, which saw Barca refuse to allow the Argentina international leave for free, Pjanic added: "I followed everything that happened about Messi. 

"But I don't see Messi outside of this club. He has made an incredible story for the team and I think this story will end well. Leo is a winner, an achiever. 

"I only imagined Messi at Barca because this is his home. He is perhaps the best player of all time and for us having him is a great asset.

"Messi has grown up here and I've seen him happy. Everyone is going to have a good time here.

"He has made an incredible history with this club and all will be well.

"My will was to play with this player and I had no doubt that it would happen. I did not imagine him being in other colours or a different shirt."

Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Keylor Navas have been included in Paris Saint-Germain's squad for Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Marseille after a period of quarantine.

The quartet missed PSG's 1-0 loss to Lens in their opening game of the 2020-21 campaign last Thursday after contracting COVID-19 during the close season.

However, all four players have since returned negative tests and Thomas Tuchel revealed at his pre-match news conference that the quartet would be considered for selection if they came through training unscathed.

It has now been confirmed that attacking duo Neymar and Di Maria, plus midfielder Paredes and first-choice goalkeeper Navas, are part of PSG's 21-man squad for Le Classique.

Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Marquinhos also returned positive tests last week and remain absent for the clash at the Parc des Princes.

Speaking on the eve of the match, Tuchel questioned why one of the standout fixtures in the Ligue 1 calendar was being staged so early in the campaign.

"I am surprised that such an important game is scheduled for the third match day," he told reporters.

"I think such a game should be scheduled for October or November when both teams have got into a rhythm.

"Everybody wants to win at their best level but it's not possible if it's only the second game in Ligue 1. Personally I don't understand the decision."

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli has joined Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir just weeks after he faced stiff criticism for breaching coronavirus quarantine rules.

Left-back Bolingoli has left the Scottish champions on loan initially, but the Super Lig switch could lead to a permanent deal.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed this week that the club had imposed the maximum fine allowed on Bolingoli after he left the Hoops embarrassed in early August.

The 25-year-old Belgian travelled to Spain without Celtic's knowledge and did not follow coronavirus quarantine rules when returning to Scotland, going on to play in an August 9 match against Kilmarnock.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed dismay over the episode, and Celtic at the time said: "It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation."

Two Celtic matches had to be postponed because of Bolingoli's actions, and immediately his future at Parkhead looked bleak, despite him issuing an apology.

Confirmation of his departure on Sunday came as no surprise.

Istanbul Basaksehir announced on their website: "Our club has loaned Belgian football player Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo for a year with the option to buy."

Victoria Azarenka hopes French Open organisers will put players first "rather than making money".

The rescheduled grand slam is set to start on September 27 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with fans to be in attendance.

Although it will be a limited number of spectators, it comes as COVID-19 cases surge again in France.

After losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka on Saturday, Azarenka urged officials to protect players.

"I'm kind of excited for that, to play on clay. I haven't had the best relationship with clay seasons for years. Last year I kind of had a lot of fun. So I'm looking forward to just slide a little more," she told a news conference.

"It will be very interesting for me to see how French Open is going to handle the situation with the bubble life, with the COVID now.

"I hope they will do a good job of protecting the players first rather than making money. So we'll see."

Azarenka fell short of a third grand slam title and first since 2013, losing 1-6 6-3 6-3 to Osaka in what was her fifth major final.

While accepting the defeat hurt, the Belarusian said she would move on quickly.

"I'm not disappointed. I'm not necessarily disappointed. It's just painful. It's painful to lose. That is what it is. It was close. I was close. But it didn't go my way," Azarenka said.

"Am I going to think about it too long? Not at all. I said it. I win or I lose, I'm not going to change. I'm not going to sit here and be miserable. This was an experience that was just an experience that didn't go my way.

"I had a great two weeks. I enjoyed myself. I did everything I could today. Could I have played better? I think I could. But I left everything I could on the court today. She won the match. All the credit to Naomi. She's a champion.

"As I said, I thought third time is a charm, but I got to try again. That's what I'm going to do."

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has tested positive for coronavirus, the LaLiga club have confirmed.

Atletico's full squad and coaching staff underwent COVID-19 tests on Friday after returning from their pre-season training camp in Los Angeles.

The latest round of testing was prompted by an unnamed member of the travelling party returning a positive on Thursday.

Simeone is now undertaking a period of isolation and is not displaying any symptoms.

"The analysis of these new samples in the laboratory has determined that our trainer, Diego Pablo Simeone, has given a positive result for COVID-19," Atletico said in a statement.

"Fortunately, our technician does not present any symptoms and is at his home isolated and fulfilling the corresponding quarantine after being concentrated with the team since last Monday."

Atletico are due to travel to Cadiz for a friendly on Tuesday before beginning their LaLiga campaign at home to Granada on September 27.

Simeone's side have been granted a later start to the domestic 2021-22 campaign due to their involvement in the latter stages of last season's Champions League, where they lost 2-1 to RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.  

Miralem Pjanic trained at Barcelona for the first time on Saturday after being cleared of coronavirus.

New €60million signing Pjanic tested positive for COVID-19 in August and had to go into quarantine, meaning he only arrived in Barcelona on Thursday.

He worked out at the club's training ground for the first time on Saturday, ahead of Barca's friendly against Gimnastic.

Barcelona posted photos of Pjanic and Jean-Clair Todibo, who has also been kept away from the team after a positive coronavirus test, being put through their paces.

Alongside the images, the club wrote: "[Pjanic] and [Todibo] have received the medical green light after recovering from COVID-19, and have already trained at the Ciutat Esportiva."

Pjanic was not included in a 25-man squad named by Ronald Koeman to face Nastic, but Lionel Messi was selected.

Messi only started training with his team-mates this week after failing to push through a departure from Camp Nou.

Ousmane Dembele could make his return from injury in the friendly, while maiden first-team appearances could be on the cards for new arrivals Francisco Trincao and Pedri.

Ansu Fati will not take part in the match after sustaining a right hip bruise in training on Friday, while Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal - who are reportedly nearing respective moves to Juventus and Inter - were left out.

Leeds Rhinos came from behind to snatch a 13-12 victory over Huddersfield Giants in Super League, despite standing down seven players due to coronavirus concerns.

Rhinos confirmed shortly before kick-off on Thursday that – due to one of their players awaiting the results of a test – a further six members of their squad would not feature as a result of the track-and-trace protocols Super League is following.

However, the Rhinos still came up with a hard-earned win at the Totally Wicked Stadium, with Luke Gale's drop-goal sealing a memorable victory.

Leeds already claimed a golden-point triumph over Huddersfield in their first game back following Super League's restart, and this time they had to come from 10 points down at the break.

Konrad Hurrell and Tom Briscoe got the tries for Leeds, with Gale splitting the sticks with six minutes left.

A drop-goal also proved decisive in Thursday's other clash, with St Helens edging out Hull Kingston Rovers 21-20 on the golden point rule to return to the top of the standings.

Theo Fages was the match-winning hero for Saints on their home turf, with an Ethan Ryan try and a penalty from Will Dagger having forced additional time.

Neymar confirmed he has tested negative for coronavirus and has been given the all-clear to resume training with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Marseille.

The Brazil international was one of seven players ruled out of PSG's 1-0 loss to Lens in their opening game of the season on Thursday after contracting COVID-19.

However, head coach Thomas Tuchel was hopeful of welcoming back at least a few of his quarantined players for this weekend's Classique with Marseille.

Former Barcelona forward Neymar is among those now back in contention after completing a period of self-isolation and being given the go-ahead to link up with his team-mates.

"I went back to training, super happy #CORONAOUT," Neymar posted on Twitter on Friday, accompanied by a 'zany face' emoji.

An error from third-choice goalkeeper Marcin Bulka gifted what proved to be the winning goal to Ignatius Ganago in PSG's loss to Lens at Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

The reigning champions were also without Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Marquinhos and Keylor Navas for the match.

Asked about the possibility of welcoming back those players against Marseille, Tuchel said: "If possible, a few players could play.

"But if they play, they would only have a leg work-out before then. If Neymar, Di Maria play, yes, but they would play after two weeks without training too.

"Physically, I can't wait for them to be the decisive guys. It's always risky. We have to talk with the players, the doctors too."

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