Sead Kolasinac has joined Marseille on a free transfer after the defender was released by Arsenal.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international left the Gunners on Tuesday, having reached an agreement to terminate his contract.

Kolasinac had fallen out of favour at the Premier League club and returned to Schalke on loan last season.

The 28-year-old is on the move again, joining Ligue 1 side Marseille on a deal until the end of the next campaign.

Kolasinac made 118 appearances for Arsenal following his switch from Schalke in June 2017, but only played for Mikel Arteta's men five times this season.

He becomes Marseille's second signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of striker Cedric Bakambu from Beijing Guoan.

Kylian Mbappe is widely expected to join Real Madrid at the end of this season.

The 23-year-old attacker has stalled on a new contract offer at Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid have been circling for Mbappe's signature for a long time and had multiple bids rejected in 2021.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE COULD STILL RE-SIGN WITH PSG

Mbappe could spring a surprise and renew his current PSG deal prior to the end of this season, claims Le Parisien.

The 2018 World Cup winner had been expected to become a free agent when his contract expires on June 30 and join Madrid .

Le Parisien claims that PSG have hope that Mbappe may pen an extension to force a transfer fee from Los Blancos, should they pursue a move. Mbappe is still undecided on his future, according to the report.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United 's superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo has held crisis talks with his agent Jorge Mendes as he considers his future with the Red Devils, according to The Sun. Ronaldo reportedly may leave United depending on their choice of a new permanent manager.

- El Nacional claims that Liverpool are ready to offer Barcelona teenager Gavi a deal worth £80,000 (€96k) per week to secure his signature, while Manchester City are also interested. Barca have a £42m (€50m) release cause in the 17-year-old's contract.

- Arsenal want to sign a new midfielder in January with Lyon's Bruno Guimaraes on their radar while a loan deal for Arthur Melo was discussed but has not advanced to talks with Juventus yet, claims Fabrizio Romano.

- Argentinean forward Dario Benedetto is set to return to his homeland to join Boca Juniors from Marseille although the deal may take several days to complete, reports Cesar Luis Merlo.

- Nicolo Schira claims that Newcastle United have opened discussions with Sevilla on a four-year deal to sign Brazilian defender Diego Carlos .

- West Ham United and Newcastle may be priced out of their pursuit for Marseille's Boubacar Kamara,  who wants a £150,000-per-week (€180k) deal according to The Sun.

Fiorentina's Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic is attracting a long list of suitors.

Vlahovic is under contract at the Stadio Artemio Franchi until June 2023.

Fiorentina are hoping to convince him to extend amid increasing interest in him.

 

TOP STORY – FIORENTINA SET €100M VLAHOVIC PRICE TAG

Fiorentina have set a whopping €100million (£85m) price tag for Vlahovic according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Arsenal, Tottenham, Juventus and Manchester City are all keen on the Serbian striker.

Vlahovic netted 21 Serie A goals last season and has already got 15 to his name this term, making him hot property.  

ROUND-UP

- Marseille defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara is on Manchester United's radar with a view to sign him as a free agent, reports The Athletic.  Wolverhampton and Newcastle are also believed to be interested in Kamara.

- Real Madrid are in the box seat to sign Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger following positive discussions, according to The Guardian. Rudiger is set to exit Chelsea as a free agent at the end of this season.

- Tottenham are set to allow Dele Alli to exit the club in January, claims The Athletic. England international Alli has made eight league appearances for Spurs this season and is understood to not be in new manager Antonio Conte's plans.

- Fichajes claims that Manchester United will join Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for Porto winger Luis Diaz.

- Newcastle wants to sign Lille's 21-year-old defender Sven Botman in January, reports The Guardian.

Tottenham could face Rapid Vienna in the Europa Conference League knockout round play-off with the result of their postponed final group match with Rennes still to be decided.

Spurs' Group G finale, which was due to take place last Thursday, was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

They sit third in the group behind Dutch club Vitesse and it is UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body that will decide which team progresses after the governing body ruled the match with Rennes would not be rescheduled after failing to find a pre-December 31 date that works for both sides.

Vitesse will progress to face the Austrian club if the game is ruled a Rennes win or a draw.

Meanwhile, Tottenham's Premier League rivals Leicester City, who crashed out of the Europa League, were pitted against Randers of Denmark.

Celtic suffered the same fate as the Foxes and the Glasgow giants will take on Bodo/Glimt for a place in the last 16.

They are not the only former European champions in the draw, with Ligue 1 side Marseille drawn against Qarabag and PSV set to face Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

The first legs will take place on February 17 and the return legs a week later.

Conference League knockout round play-off draw in full:

Marseille v Qarabag
PSV v Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Fenerbahce v Slavia Prague
Midtjylland v PAOK
Leicester City v Randers
Celtic v Bodo/Glimt
Sparta Prague v Partizan Belgrade
Rapid Vienna v Vitesse or Tottenham

Zinedine Zidane is not interested in the Manchester United job but he could replace the man who gets it. 

The hottest name in the mix at Old Trafford is Mauricio Pochettino. 

Paris Saint-Germain could have a replacement for him ready and waiting. 

 

TOP STORY – POCHETTINO, ZIDANE IN DELICATE DANCE

Manchester United's manager opening could set off a chain reaction, reports Marca. 

With Mauricio Pochettino perhaps interested in a way out at Paris Saint-Germain, he could head to Old Trafford. 

That would leave the PSG job to Zinedine Zidane, who has made it clear he is not interested in moving to Manchester. 

The Mirror reports United would have to pay PSG €10million (£8.4m) for Pochettino, but Marca says PSG's players believe Zidane's arrival at the Parc des Princes could be "imminent". 

 

 ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich are willing to make Pedri their most expensive signing ever if they can lure him from Barcelona despite his €1billion release clause, reports AS. 

- If Alexandre Lacazette leaves Arsenal for LaLiga, he would prefer Atletico Madrid over Barca, according to El Nacional. Milan and Marseille also reportedly are interested in the 30-year-old. 

- Renato Sanches could be headed for Milan after the season, reports Calciomercato, with Arsenal and Barca also linked to the Lille midfielder. 

- Villarreal are eyeing Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic for a January move, reports the Mirror. 

Lyon will have to play home games without fans in attendance until at least December 8 as a result of the crowd trouble that saw their Ligue 1 fixture with Marseille postponed.

Sunday's match at Groupama Stadium was halted after Marseille star Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle hurled by a spectator. 

The former West Ham playmaker was preparing to take a corner amid a hostile atmosphere when he was struck on the side of the head by a plastic bottle full of liquid.

Payet went to ground and required treatment, with players taken from the field at the direction of referee Ruddy Buquet.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later apologised to Payet and confirmed a spectator had been arrested in connection with the incident.

A statement from the Ligue de Football Professionnel said Lyon's next home match versus Reims will be played without fans, with a disciplinary committee scheduled to announce any further punishment and the outcome of the game versus Marseille on December 8.

Among possible further sanctions is a points deduction, with Nice having been docked two, one of which was suspended, following crowd trouble at their game against Marseille this season.

French football has been plagued by a series of incidents this term, starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was struck by a bottle when celebrating a goal scored by Payet against Montpellier.

Payet was also targeted in late August when Nice fans hurled bottles onto the pitch. Payet threw a bottle back into the stands, which led to a pitch invasion from Nice ultras. On that occasion, the game was abandoned and replayed behind closes doors at Troyes' neutral ground in October, with Nice served their points penalty.

Last month, Saint-Etienne and Angers saw their fixture delayed by an hour after angry supporters hurled flares onto the pitch and demanded the resignation of Saint-Etienne boss Claude Puel. There was also trouble at Saint-Etienne's game against Lyon, while the meeting between Lens and Lille in September was held up after rival fans clashed at half-time.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu told France Info radio: "They have to come to an agreement, this kind of problem is for the league to solve. 

"I think that everyone must understand that it is the survival of French [football] that is at stake."

Lyon's Ligue 1 home match against Marseille was abandoned after Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle hurled by a spectator, heaping fresh embarrassment on the French game.

Former West Ham playmaker Payet was preparing to take a corner amid a hostile atmosphere when he was struck on the side of the head by a plastic bottle full of liquid.

He immediately went to ground and needed treatment, prompting referee Ruddy Buquet to take the players off the pitch. Payet left the field with an ice pack pressed to the side of his head.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later said a spectator had been arrested in connection with the bottle throwing, and offered an apology to Payet.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said its disciplinary chiefs would meet on Monday, describing the rash of violent incidents in Ligue 1 as acts that are "destroying the image of the championship in France and internationally".

Lyon could face a points deduction over the incident, with Nice having been docked two points, one of which was suspended, after crowd trouble at their game against Marseille earlier this season.

The LFP said it "strongly condemns the violent aggression" that Payet suffered. "Dimitri Payet was also the target of discriminatory insults," the LFP said.

It added a firm warning that fan misconduct will lead to sanctions, stating: "Despite the firmness of the decisions of the disciplinary commission of the LFP since the start of the season [withdrawal of points, closed-door match, closure of the stand] and the work carried out with the government authorities to more effectively punish violent individuals in the stadiums, these new serious incidents are a reminder that the safety of the matches is the responsibility of the home club and the local authorities, who are ultimately responsible for resuming or definitively stopping the match."

There was a bizarre sideshow to the serious business of the assault on Payet, as the LFP and local authorities took contrasting views on what happened after the players were hauled off the pitch.

The LFP claimed a decision had been taken by the local Rhone prefecture to resume the game, but those officials hit out at the league authorities and said they had made no such declaration, stressing that Buquet decided it should start again before changing his mind.

Fans stayed inside the Groupama Stadium long after the incident occurred, in the hope of a resumption that never came, even though at one point it looked like doing so when the players returned to the pitch to warm up. 

The Rhone local government officials said in a statement on Twitter that a "crisis meeting" had taken place, attended by their representatives and others, including match officials and presidents of both clubs, at which referee Buquet decided the match should resume.

The Rhone officials issued a subsequent statement taking issue with the LFP take, describing it as "FALSE", adding: "The referee then invites the authorities and club presidents to his dressing room to say that he has changed his mind and that he is stopping the match."

There have been a number of major crowd trouble incidents in French football this season, starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was hit by a bottle while celebrating a goal that Payet scored against Montpellier.

Marseille and Payet were on the receiving end later in August after Nice fans hurled bottles onto the pitch. Payet was struck and hurled the bottle back into the stand, sparking a pitch invasion by Nice ultras. That match was abandoned and replayed behind closed doors at Troyes' neutral ground in October, with Nice served with their points penalty.

Saint-Etienne and Angers were delayed by an hour in starting their October 22 game after angry fans hurled flares onto the pitch and demanded Claude Puel quit as Saint-Etienne boss. There was also trouble at Saint-Etienne's game against Lyon, while the clash between Lens and Lille in September was held up after rival fans clashed at half-time.

Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd early in Lyon's home game with Marseille, causing Sunday's big Ligue 1 clash to be suspended.

Former West Ham playmaker Payet was preparing to take a corner amid a hostile atmosphere when he was struck on the side of the head by a bottle full of liquid.

He immediately went to ground and needed treatment, prompting referee Ruddy Buquet to take the players off the pitch.

Payet left the pitch with an ice pack pressed to the side of his head.

There have been a number of major crowd trouble incidents in French football this season, starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was hit by a bottle while celebrating a goal that Payet scored against Montpellier.

Marseille and Payet were on the receiving end later in August after Nice fans hurled bottles onto the pitch. Payet was struck and hurled the bottle back into the stand, sparking a pitch invasion by Nice ultras. That match was abandoned and replayed behind closed doors at Troyes' neutral ground in October.

It remained to be seen whether Sunday night's game would continue, with the players still off the pitch more than half an hour after Payet was hit.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino declared himself "satisfied" with what he saw from Neymar in the Ligue 1 leaders' 0-0 draw with rivals Marseille in Le Classique.

Neymar returned to the squad after missing PSG's Champions League win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday with a groin injury and started up front alongside Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi on Sunday.

That reunion did not produce the desired effect, with the vaunted attacking trio unable to find the net away to Marseille at the Velodrome. 

PSG were forced to play with 10 men from the 57th minute, when star full-back Achraf Hakimi was sent off.

That tactical disadvantage forced Neymar to drop back into the midfield after Thilo Kehrer replaced Angel Di Maria just past the hour.

Neymar gave way himself in the 83rd minute, as Georginio Wijnaldum came on to see out the draw. 

It was the first 0-0 between Marseille and PSG at the Velodrome in Ligue 1 since November 1998, the end of a 21-match run.

"After the sending off, a choice needed to be made, and at that point, we thought we had to bring on Kehrer and bring Neymar back as a third midfielder," Pochettino told reporters.

He added: "I am very satisfied with Neymar's game, he has sacrificed a lot for the team after returning from the Brazilian national team and being inactive."

Neymar played all 90 minutes in Brazil's CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Uruguay during the international break, producing a goal and two assists as Brazil won the latter fixture 4-1. 

Though the Brazilian has not scored for his club since September 19, PSG have plenty of options.

PSG are unbeaten in their last nine trips to Marseille in Ligue 1 (W6 D3), and remain on a run of three clean sheets at their rivals in the top flight – a first in their history.

None of them came through on Sunday, but Pochettino sounded an upbeat note afterward. 

"There are several positive things to take from the game," he said. "The team was solid, it showed character, it was well-organised with and without the ball.

"It's a shame to have played with 10 men for nearly 40 minutes. But even in these conditions, we controlled the game.

"We don't want to celebrate the point because there's a bitter feeling with this game. But there were some good things from an attacking point of view, we just lacked in finishing. I think we were a bit better than OM, not by much, but we deserved to win."

Mauricio Pochettino believes Paris Saint-Germain displayed "character and personality" in their 0-0 draw with Marseille on Sunday.

PSG largely struggled to break down a stubborn Marseille defence despite starting with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, before their hopes of claiming all three points were dented when Achraf Hakimi received a straight red card in the 57th minute for bringing down Cengiz Under.

Marseille went close to finding a winner in the closing stages, while Messi was chased by a spectator late in the second half, with security slow to apprehend the man.

The result stretched PSG's unbeaten run at Marseille in Ligue 1 to nine games, while they have now kept clean sheets at the Orange Velodrome in three straight matches for the first time in their history.

Despite PSG's lacklustre showing in attack, Pochettino was pleased with his side's efforts in front of a hostile home crowd, who routinely threw objects at PSG players as they took corners.

"I think overall our performance was good," he told RMC Sport. 

"We played almost 40 minutes with 10 men because of Hakimi's red card. Yes, we wanted to win, it was our idea. But, in the end, we are quite happy with this performance.

"I think we played well. Yes, it was a very good game, with different phases. I think we just missed scoring. We did a lot of positive things. I'm pretty happy because it was a very difficult game. 

"The team showed character and personality. By playing with 10 for 40 minutes, I think we showed a lot of character. Of course, we showed identity and style in the game."

 

The result means PSG are seven points clear at the Ligue 1 summit, while Marseille are 10 points behind in fourth, although Jorge Sampaoli's side have a game in hand.

It was their first draw of the season and, while happy with the performance, Pochettino expects his side to return to winning ways soon.

"Obviously, as coach of PSG, we always hope to win, but I can only congratulate the players for what they did today," he added.

"We are in search of a balance. From experience, we know that these periods in October and November are always difficult.

"But I am happy with the progress of the team, I am satisfied with where it is today in its course of evolution."

PSG are next in action on Friday when they host reigning champions Lille at the Parc des Princes.

Achraf Hakimi was sent off for Paris Saint-Germain as the Ligue 1 leaders played out a 0-0 draw with Marseille in Le Classique on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side, who started with the heralded trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, largely struggled to break down their stubborn hosts, even before Hakimi's dismissal in the 57th minute for a foul on Cengiz Under.

Valentin Rongier and Konrad De la Fuente wasted glorious opportunities to find a winner in the closing stages as PSG ultimately held on to take a point back to the capital.

The result means PSG are seven points clear at the Ligue 1 summit, while Marseille are 10 points behind in fourth, although Jorge Sampaoli's side have a game in hand.

PSG thought they had taken a 14th-minute lead when Luan Peres diverted Neymar's mis-hit shot into his own net, but a VAR review showed the Brazilian was in an offside position.

Marseille had an effort of their own ruled out seven minutes later, Pol Lirola straying into an offside position before Arkadiusz Milik found the back of the net.

Moments after Pau Lopez tipped a Lionel Messi header onto the crossbar referee Benoit Bastien stopped play for a few minutes after projectiles were thrown at Neymar as he tried to take a corner.

PSG's hopes of claiming all three points were dealt a blow in the 56th minute when Hakimi was shown a straight red card for bringing down Under outside the penalty area as he bore down on goal.

An unmarked Rongier inexplicably headed wide in the 65th minute, while Konrad fluffed his lines when the ball fell kindly to him at the back post as the game petered out for an uninspiring draw. 

Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed that Mauro Icardi would be available for Sunday's Le Classique clash at Marseille.

The 28-year-old has missed several training sessions and was not named in the squad that beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in the Champions League due to personal issues, but Pochettino has confirmed that the striker is now back in contention.

Icardi is PSG's joint-second highest scorer in the league and, of players at the club to have played at least 300 minutes in the competition, the striker has the best minutes per goal ratio (159.67) and ranks second for expected goals (2.37).

"Mauro is a mentally strong person," Pochettino said. "He trained with us before Leipzig, although he didn't play, and [he came back on Thursday]. 

"He will be in the group [on Sunday]. The club, from the president to the staff, makes sure to support him and be present if necessary. But he's good, available."

Pochettino was also boosted by the availability of Neymar on Friday, but Leandro Paredes remains sidelined, with a return scheduled after the next international break, as do Spanish pair Sergio Ramos - who still has yet to make his debut - and back-up goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who is expected to be back in training in a week.

The former Tottenham and Southampton boss in relishing a special contest between the Ligue 1 leaders and third-placed Marseille.

"Tomorrow's game is different," Pochettino added. "I've experienced it as a player and as a coach last year. 

"We know each other well, it will be a special game. We play for the three points, but also for pride, joy."

PSG are top of Ligue 1 with 27 points from their opening 10 games, winning nine and losing one, while Marseille are third on 17 points, although they have a game in hand.

Is the end nigh for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford?
 
Wan-Bisakka joined Manchester United in a big-money deal in 2019 but the Red Devils are reportedly ready to replace the Englishman.
 
A talented RB Leipzig defender could be the team's next right-back.

 

TOP STORY – NEW RIGHT-BACK SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD?

Manchester United are eyeing RB Leipzig right-back Nordi Mukiele, according Fichajes.net.

United are reportedly keen to sign a replacement after losing patience with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be interested in Leipzig's 23-year-old star Mukiele.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Milan and Juventus are interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi. The 18-year-old has also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Inter are willing to let Alexis Sanchez leave the Serie A champions, reports Calciomercato. Marseille, Real Betis and Sevilla are among the possible options for the 32-year-old Chilean.

Tottenham are weighing up a move for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, per Fichajes. It comes amid continued uncertainty over Spurs star Harry Kane, who has been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus as well as United.

 

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) docked Nice two Ligue 1 points, one of which was suspended, due to their involvement in the chaotic scenes with Marseille last month.

The August 22 clash was suspended and then abandoned after home fans stormed the Allianz Riviera pitch in response to Marseille's Dimitri Payet, who was hit on the back of the neck, throwing a bottle back into the Nice crowd.

The LFP had summoned the two teams to a disciplinary hearing on August 25 to explain the unsavoury scenes, which saw a melee break out on the pitch and subsequently in the dugout.

On Wednesday, the LFP announced its decision to punish Nice with a one-point deduction, while also subjecting the French club to three games behind closed doors.

For inciting the crowd, Marseille star Payet received a one-game suspension while team-mate Alvaro Gonzalez faces a two-match ban for also provoking the home fans.

The fixture with rivals Marseille, which failed to be completed as the visitors refused to come back onto the pitch, will also be rearranged and played on a neutral ground without supporters in attendance.

"After reading the investigation report in the presence of the two clubs, the Commission decided to replay the match on a relocated field," the LFP said in a statement midweek.

"In addition, two penalty points were imposed on OGC Nice, including one suspended point."

Marseille physio Pablo Fernandez was caught on camera punching a Nice fan and, after already being suspended indefinitely by the LFP, he will not return to the touchline until June 30th 2022.

Of Payet and Gonzalez, France football's governing body added: "Regarding the players, defender Alvaro Gonzalez received two games of suspension.

"As for his team-mate Dimitri Payet, he was sanctioned with a suspended match."

Nice have won two of their opening three league matches following an unbeaten start to the season, while Marseille also boast the same record.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) have summoned Nice and Marseille to explain the chaotic scenes that marred their Ligue 1 fixture.

Sunday's contest was suspended and then abandoned after Marseille's Dimitri Payet threw a bottle back into the stands at Nice's Allianz Riviera, prompting home fans to storm the pitch.

A statement from LFP said: "Following the serious incidents of the meeting between Nice and Marseille, the disciplinary commission of the LFP summons the two clubs for the session of Wednesday, 25 August 2021."

Marseille plan to take action to reverse the LFP decision to award Nice a 3-0 victory after OM's players refused to come back out to complete the match.

Captain Steve Mandanda justified his team's refusal to return to the field after supporters had been ushered back into the stands.

"Quite simply, for us players, our safety was no longer guaranteed," the goalkeeper told Marseille's official website.

"We are very clearly shocked by what happened. It is for us something unacceptable that the supporters can come on to the field like that.

"We found each other in danger. A lot of our players have been targeted or affected."

France's minister for sport, Roxana Maracineanu, has called on football's authorities to take action against Nice for the "intolerable" behaviour of their supporters.

"The fight should never have taken place, people should never have been able to enter a field," she told BFM.

"There must be penalties for the club in question so that it affects the fans of the team.

"It's intolerable because the first condition for a match taking place is that the safety of the players on the pitch is assured.

"I hope that the investigation, whether disciplinary or criminal, will make it possible to identify the culprits and to punish them as necessary."

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