Barcelona are reportedly open to "big-money" offers for Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong.

De Jong, who has 40 caps for the Netherlands, arrived at Barcelona from Ajax for a €75million fee in 2019, accumulating 137 appearances for the club in all competitions.

The midfielder has been a key pillar in Barcelona's line-up this season, appearing 44 times, but the Catalan giants may be ready to move on as the interest from United intensifies.

TOP STORY – BARCA ARE CONSIDERING OFFERS FOR DE JONG

The Blaugrana are open-minded about potentially parting ways with De Jong, who is being closely linked with his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag for his new venture at United.

He is one of the main players on the Red Devils' wish-list, which Fichajes reports also includes Southampton's James Ward-Prowse, Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia and West Ham's Jarrod Bowen.

The Telegraph adds that Ten Hag has identified eight players "he can trust" at the club, while being on the fence about Marcus Rashford's future.

ROUND-UP

– L'Equipe is reporting RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku would like to leave the club after this season, with a desire to head to Manchester City, United, Paris Saint-Germain or Milan

Newcastle United have met with the agent of Watford's Ismaila Sarr but will have to match the club's £40million asking price, per FootballTransfers.

Bayer Leverkusen are planning a move for PSG youngster Eric-Junior Dina Ebimbe after failing to secure the deal during the January transfer window, according to RMC Sport.

– Sport is reporting Samuel Umtiti will leave Barcelona in the next transfer window and wants to return to Lyon, who will be competing for his services with Rennes, Montpellier and Nice

– Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is unlikely to sign an extension with the club and could be sold in the next transfer window with his contract set to expire in 2023, according to The Times.

Brendan Rodgers praised Wesley Fofana’s mentality, following his goal to put Leicester City through to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.

Leicester lost 2-1 on the night, but Fofana’s goal upon his return put Leicester through 3-2 on aggregate.

The 21-year-old Frenchman has not played since breaking his leg in pre-season, but along with his goal to separate the teams on aggregate, quickly adapted to a tense European atmosphere.

Rodgers highlighted it was the mark of a top player.

"He’s an amazing player, that’s what top players do,” Rodgers told BT Sport post-match. "He’s only been back in training a few weeks but they want to go and head it and show that determination. That’s what we’ve missed for a lot of the season.

"That’s a top player’s mentality, he’s such a top prospect. Now he’s just got to try and build his fitness up. He was exceptional on the night."

With Lovro Majer back in the Rennes starting XI for the second leg, it was an unsurprisingly fast start and Benjamin Bourigeaud put them up after only eight minutes.

Fofana equalised on 51 minutes, handing Rennes a sizeable task to eventually turn the tie around. Rodgers was still critical of his side’s performance, but was nevertheless relieved progression was secured, given the opposition.

"I think with the ball we were really, really poor," he said.

"Our football in the game, especially in the first half, was nowhere near what I would expect. What we did show tonight was real character, especially with the players missing and lots of young players tasting this level for the first time. It’s character building for them.

"We had to show resilience. You can see they’re a good side, Rennes, so to get through is a fantastic feeling. We knew they were going to make a fast start and come after us.

"They got the early goal as well, but we showed a good mentality, a good concentration level."

Mauricio Pochettino has called for "unity" at Paris Saint-Germain following fan protests during their 1-0 win over Rennes on Friday.

PSG were made to work hard for their three points against the only team to have beaten them in Ligue 1 so far this season.

Kylian Mbappe eventually scored in the 93rd minute, but that strike did little to appease frustrated supporters.

The Collectif Ultras Paris group sent a powerful message as one end of the Parc des Princes was left empty for half an hour at the start of the match, while various banners were later unveiled.

The supporters took issue with a range of issues relating to their club, with PSG's indifferent displays this term – despite a 16-point lead in the league – not helping matters.

This comes as PSG prepare for their biggest match of the season at home to Real Madrid on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

"We need unity," Pochettino said, speaking after the Rennes game. "The fans are very important for a club and they have the right to express themselves, but we need unity.

"We are entering an important moment of the season and we need to be together.

"As I always say, we can sit down at the end of the season to try to correct things, because there are probably things to improve so that our club continues to be one of the biggest in the world."

On the pitch, there remains a clear contrast between PSG's brilliant back-line and a blunt, expensively assembled attack.

The leaders have kept five consecutive home Ligue 1 clean sheets under the same coach for the first time since Unai Emery's side had six in a row in 2016.

And PSG's unbeaten run in the league has now stretched to 15 in the longest active sequence across Europe's top five leagues.

But Pochettino's men had just one shot on target across the entire match, which saw only two including one for Rennes – the lowest total in a Ligue 1 game this season.

A little too accustomed to leaving it late, that sole effort on target was Mbappe's goal and meant PSG have now earned eight points thanks to strikes from the 90th minute onwards.

A late goal from Kylian Mbappe saw Paris Saint-Germain extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 16 points with a 1-0 win against Rennes on Friday.

The PSG number seven had been his team's brightest spark but had to wait until the 93rd minute for a trademark goal from Lionel Messi's pass to spark relief at the Parc des Princes.

To that point, this had hardly been a performance from Mauricio Pochettino's men to leave their upcoming Champions League opponents Real Madrid quaking in their boots.

But Mbappe made the difference against the only side to have beaten PSG in the league so far this season.

Keylor Navas was forced to tip the ball behind in the seventh minute when Benjamin Bourigeaud's volley into the ground threatened to loop in before the goalkeeper intervened.

Mbappe was predictably a thorn in the side of the away team and came close to giving PSG the lead late in the first half when he bent a shot just wide of the far post from the left corner of the penalty area and then hit the post shortly afterwards.

The dynamic Mbappe had the ball in the net on 64 minutes when he raced onto a Messi throughball and rounded Dogan Alemdar before slotting in, but the flag went up and the goal was chalked off.

It looked like the hosts would have to settle for a point only for Messi to find Mbappe just inside the penalty area, and he made no mistake as he placed a low shot past Alemdar and into the net past Alemdar's.

We may only be a week into 2022, but the first major international football tournament of the year is on the horizon, with the Africa Cup of Nations kicking off on Sunday.

It's been a long time coming as well – it was initially due to take place in June and July 2021 but was brought forward to January 2021 due to concerns about the weather. It then had to be pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, fans and teams have had to put up with the usual posturing from those at certain clubs regarding the inconvenience of relinquishing players in the middle of the season, but despite that there remains a healthy selection of big names.

In fact, given the standard the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez and Achraf Hakimi usually play at, some might even argue this is one of the highest-quality groups of players to feature at a single AFCON.

But the beauty of every international tournament is that there's more to them than the big names – there are plenty of promising younger players looking to impress for a global audience.

Kamaldeen Sulemana, 19, winger – Ghana

Hold on to your seats! Kamaldeen is sure to ramp up the excitement at AFCON, such is his rather chaotic approach to attacking – and acrobatic celebration. The teenage winger is immensely tricky and agile, with his 246 take-on attempts in the 2020-21 Danish Superliga nearly twice as many as anyone else – to put that into context, only Lionel Messi managed more (261) in the top five leagues. He's carried that into Ligue 1 following his move to Rennes, with his average of one shot involvements from a ball carry every 43 minutes being the second best in Ligue 1 (min. 900 minutes played) after Kylian Mbappe – that's obviously pretty good.

 

Ibrahim Sangare, 24, defensive midfielder – Ivory Coast

While good performances at AFCON alone may not be enough for players to convince big clubs they're worth a punt on, showing promise might just get a few more eyes on them. Sangare is definitely one of those who could put himself 'in the shop window'. The PSV midfielder has a lot about him, particularly when it comes to defending. In this season's Eredivisie, only three players (at least 500 minutes played) have averaged more than his 3.4 tackles per 90 minutes, while he ranks fifth for interceptions frequency (2.5) and third for middle-third recoveries (5.7). He's also technically proficient and happy on the ball, with only three players attempting more passes (81.1) on a per-90-minute basis than him.

Hannibal Mejbri, 18, attacking midfielder – Tunisia

A former France youth international, Mejbri may have only declared for Tunisia in 2021 but this will already be his second international tournament. The Manchester United midfielder started all six of Tunisia's games as they reached the final of the Arab Cup in December, eventually losing to Algeria in the final. Hannibal may not feature quite as prominently in a full-strength squad, but the midfielder possesses the kind of off-the-cuff abilities that endear him to fans – if not opponents. He is known to be targeted for fouls when playing for United's second team, such is his natural talent.

Ilaix Moriba, 18, central midfielder – Guinea

2021-22 hasn't quite gone as Moriba presumably thought it would. He left Barcelona after failing to agree a new contract, despite having broken into the first-team setup at Camp Nou. The midfielder had shown exceptional promise, particularly on the ball – he averaged 3.2 dribbles per 90 minutes, a total bettered by only four team-mates, and boasted a success rate of 89.3 per cent, with only Miralem Pjanic bettering him. The €16million signing has played just twice in the Bundesliga since the move to Leipzig and will surely be relishing some competitive action.

Edmond Tapsoba, 22, centre-back – Burkina Faso

If Burkina Faso go on to have a good tournament, Tapsoba will almost certainly have had something to do with it. The centre-back is an extremely elegant player for someone roughly the size of a small building and whose name sounds like a hipster bar, and at club level he performs a vital function in getting Leverkusen on the front foot, with his 13.5 progressive ball carries in the Bundesliga this term second only to Alphonso Davies. If he can translate that to the international stage, Burkina Faso will have a real weapon in the middle – even if he doesn't, he'll still give them aerial threat at set-pieces.

 

Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, 17, forward – Ghana

The case of Issahaku is a rather intriguing one. Transfer rumours in 2021 suggested Liverpool had signed him for £1.5million, but that soon turned out to be false. He remains in his native Ghana, but the exciting attacker has seemingly done enough to earn a shot at international level despite being just 17 – he's the second-youngest player at the tournament. But he's used to that sort of situation. After all, before he'd even turned 17 in March he was named Player of the Tournament at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations. While that Liverpool move never materialised, he's got himself another opportunity to shine.

Tottenham's postponed Europa Conference League group game with Rennes will not be rearranged, UEFA announced on Saturday.

European football's governing body indicated a new date for the game could not be agreed upon by the two clubs, after COVID-19 cases in the Spurs camp caused a call-off on Thursday's fixture.

It remains to be seen what UEFA rules, with Tottenham having needed a win from the Rennes game to reach the knockout stage. Rennes sit top of Group G, after three wins and two draws from their five games. All other group-stage games have been completed.

In a statement, UEFA said it had been in contact with Tottenham and Rennes in an effort "to find a viable solution in order to reschedule the match".

"Unfortunately, despite all efforts, a solution that could work for both clubs could not be found," said UEFA. "As a consequence, the match can no longer be played and the matter will, therefore, be referred to the UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary body for a decision to be taken in accordance with annex J of the above-mentioned competition regulations."

This section of regulations states that in the case of it being not possible to reschedule a game by a specific deadline – in this case, December 31 is the specified cut-off – UEFA may impose sanctions.

The UEFA guidelines state: "If it is not possible to reschedule the match within the final deadline... the club that cannot play the match will be held responsible for the match not taking place and the match will be declared by the UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary body to be forfeited by the club, which will be considered to have lost it by 3-0."

The same section of regulations states: "Moreover, the UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary body may take further disciplinary measures if the circumstances so justify."

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said in midweek that eight players and five members of staff at Tottenham had contracted the virus in what he labelled a "serious problem".

Rennes released a statement claiming Tottenham had made a "unilateral" decision to postpone Thursday's clash without UEFA ratification, although the governing body later confirmed the postponement to the French club.

Rennes have two Ligue 1 matches and one Coupe de France game before they take a break over Christmas, resuming their season on January 8.

Spurs' Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday has also been postponed because of the outbreak. Unlike Rennes, they are due to play through the Christmas period.

The draw for the knockout round play-off draw is due to take place on Monday, featuring the eight runners-up from the Europa Conference League group stage and the eight third-placed teams from the Europa League group stage. One seeded place remains unresolved ahead of that draw.

Tottenham sit three points behind Dutch side Vitesse in Group G of the Conference League, as UEFA moves to bring finality to the situation.

Rennes have confirmed their squad is returning to France after their Europa Conference League match with Tottenham was postponed.

Spurs stated on Wednesday that Thursday's encounter with the Ligue 1 side at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium had been called off due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within Antonio Conte's squad.

Conte said that eight players and five members of staff had contracted the virus in what he labelled a "serious problem".

Spurs have reportedly asked the Premier League to postpone Sunday's meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.

However, Rennes released a statement on Wednesday claiming Tottenham had made a "unilateral" decision to postpone Thursday's clash without UEFA ratification.

Confirmation from the governing body has now been given to Rennes, though, with the visiting club's squad and coaching staff travelling back to France following full negative coronavirus test results.

In a statement published on their official website, Rennes, who play Nice on Sunday, made clear that the rearranged fixture must not further congest a hectic schedule or disrupt their mid-season break.

The statement read: "After being informed of the cancellation of tonight's match by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC decided to return to Brittany. The entire delegation that will board at London City Airport has tested negative.

"Stade Rennais FC hope that the interests of the club will be respected given the important sporting deadlines that await the Rouge et Noir this December. 

"Stade Rennais FC is deeply sorry for the Rennes fans who decided to come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to cheer on the Rouge et Noir."

Rennes have two Ligue 1 matches and one Coupe de France game before they take a break over Christmas, resuming their season on January 8.

Rennes have contested Tottenham's announcement of their Europa Conference League game being postponed, claiming it to be a "unilateral" decision that is yet to be ratified by UEFA.

Spurs released a statement on Wednesday informing the public of an apparent agreement to postpone Thursday's visit of Rennes due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Antonio Conte revealed earlier in the day that eight players and five members of staff had tested positive for the illness. As a result, Spurs have shut their first-team training facility.

UEFA rules state teams must fulfil a fixture in the competition if they have 13 players, plus a goalkeeper, available for selection.

But Conte claimed Spurs only have 11 players to choose from, with the club subsequently indicating the Group G showdown had been postponed.

However, Rennes have cast doubt over the situation and accused Spurs of seemingly changing their minds about fulfilling the fixture after the Ligue 1 club had landed in London.

A Rennes statement read: "Following the press release published by Tottenham at 21:00 this Wednesday, Stade Rennais FC would like to clarify the following facts.

"In a video conference at 19:45 between representatives of UEFA, Tottenham and Rennes, the Spurs director of football announced their intention not to play the UEFA Europa Conference League game, [on] Thursday evening, [a] unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.

"The Tottenham representative did not want to announce the number of players affected by COVID-19 when the rule states that a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfielders and a keeper.

"They argued for a decision by the English authorities without advancing any official document. As the match was not officially cancelled by UEFA, Rennes upheld their decision to play.

"Faced with this 'London fog', Rennes reserves the right to approach UEFA. This lack of fair play is all the more glaring as Tottenham had confirmed by email that the match would be held at the start of the afternoon before warning Rennes of their intention not to play just after their landing in London."

Rennes are already assured of top spot in Group G, while second-place Tottenham are level on seven points with Vitesse, who host bottom side Mura on Thursday in the final round of group fixtures.

For so long, Paulo Dybala has been tipped to extend his Juventus contract.

However, Dybala is yet to put pen to paper as his current deal winds down.

Liverpool are reportedly monitoring the situation and are ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA EMERGES AS LIVERPOOL TARGET

Liverpool are interested in signing soon-to-be Juventus free agent Paulo Dybala, according to Calciomercato.

Dybala is out of contract at the end of the season and while there have been negotiations, the Juve star is yet to re-sign in Turin.

The situation has reportedly alerted Premier League giants Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- El Nacional claims Real Madrid are eyeing Rennes sensation Lovro Majer as the successor to fellow Croatian Luka Modric at the Santiago Bernabeu. Modric is out of contract at season's end and has been linked with Premier League champions Manchester City.

Ousmane Dembele wants to rebuild his career away from Barcelona, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Frenchman has been linked with Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Chelsea.

- United forward Edinson Cavani is an option for Barca as they look to bolster their attack, says Mundo Deportivo. Basel's Arthur Cabral has emerged as a possible January option.

Jose Mourinho's job at Roma is not in danger, according to Fabrizio Romano. Roma have only won three of their past nine Serie A fixtures.

- Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is still set to join Serie A champions Inter despite interest from Barca, per Romano.

- Former RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch is an option to join Ralf Rangnick's coaching staff at United. Marsch was sacked by Bundesliga side Leipzig earlier this week.

Real Madrid's pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain's 22-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe has been widely observed.

Los Blancos could not prise the France striker away from PSG during the last transfer window but may be ready to enter the market in a major way next year.

Carlo Ancelotti took over as Madrid head coach in June and is beginning to build his side.

 

TOP STORY –   REAL CONFIDENT OF HUGE DOUBLE SIGNING

The Sun reports that Real Madrid are confident of signing both Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe next year.

The report claims securing Pogba's signature would help Los Blancos clinch a deal for the Paris Saint-Germain star who is a France team-mate.

Pogba is out of contract with Manchester United at the end of this season, while Mbappe has stalled on an extension with PSG and appears set to exit.

ROUND-UP

- Madrid are also interested in signing Italy international Federico Chiesa from Juventus, reports Fichajes.

- Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham are keen on Fiorentina's Serbian forward Dusan Vlahovic, but Mundo Deportivo reports La Viola have set a €70million (£59m) asking price for him.

- Roma are willing to offload Everton target Gonzalo Villar in the January transfer window in order to raise funds to move for Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, claims Tuttomercatoweb.

- Liverpool are leading the race to sign highly sought-after Belgian talent Jeremy Doku who is currently with Rennes, reports RTL.

- Sky Sports reports that Atletico Madrid are eager to complete new deals for Jan Oblak and Thomas Lemar, with talks under way.

- Tottenham's Ryan Sessegnon could be offered a fresh start by Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, according to Takvim.

Mauricio Pochettino was left "frustrated and disappointed" after Paris Saint-Germain failed to register a shot on target in Sunday's shock 2-0 loss to Rennes.

The Ligue 1 leaders' eight-game winning streak to begin their league campaign came to an end at Roazhon Park as goals from Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait proved decisive.

PSG registered 13 shots but failed to test opposition goalkeeper Alfred Gomis from any of those, with Kylian Mbappe having a second-half strike ruled out by VAR for offside.

Mbappe had earlier scuffed a shot over the crossbar with only Gomis to beat, while Neymar was way off target with a volleyed attempt six yards out with the scores still level.

Pochettino also started with fellow superstar forward Lionel Messi, who had a game-high five shots, the most notable of which saw him hit the crossbar from a free-kick.

Angel Di Maria was brought into the side in place of Ander Herrera from Tuesday's 2-0 win over Manchester City, but Pochettino has no regrets over his attack-minded selection.

"I don't think we can look at our system. We played 25 of our best minutes of the season [in the first half]," Pochettino said at his post-match news conference.

"We didn't start the game well, but we then had 25 or 30 minutes of good quality football. It was a shame not to capitalise.

"We then had two psychological blows, conceding just before and just after half-time. The match was then open. We created chances but had a hard time.

"Rennes grew in confidence and we started to become frustrated."

 

The defeat was Messi's first since joining PSG from Barcelona in August, the Argentina international still without a goal in three Ligue 1 matches.

Mbappe, meanwhile, has now had 17 shots since last finding the net in Ligue 1.

While Messi, Mbappe and Di Maria played the full 90 minutes, Neymar was withdrawn 14 minutes from time after managing just that one wayward attempt in the first half.

Rather than point the finger at individuals, however, Pochettino accepted the blame for his side's first league loss since early April, a run of 15 matches.

"When we won against Man City, it was down to a collective effort," he said. "The first person in charge is me. What we did for 25 minutes was of very high quality.

"We must extend that to 90 minutes. I am satisfied with one sector – we created a lot of situations and opportunities."

PSG's 13 attempts without registering a shot on target is their highest in a Ligue 1 match since Opta started collecting such data in 2006-07.

Rather than put the rare setback down to fatigue on the back of a tough European match with Man City five days ago, Pochettino accepts a lack of cutting edge was to blame.

Asked if he was feeling angry, Pochettino said: "Yes, a bit. Nobody likes to lose games. We can't underestimate what Rennes did, but we are frustrated and disappointed.

"We had chances to score and then conceded a couple of goals. Situations like this leave us bitter and disappointed.

"But it's not to do with playing in midweek. We've had five days since then. I repeat, we played 30 minutes of good football today. 

"We had control of the game and conceded when on top. We were immediately 2-0 down in the second half and then it's a different game."

Paris Saint-Germain's winning start to the Ligue 1 campaign came to an end with a shock 2-0 loss to Rennes on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side had won eight out of eight in the league prior to their trip to Roazhon Park and were 15 without defeat in the competition since early April.

But the visitors were made to pay for poor misses from Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait struck for Rennes either side of half-time. 

Mbappe had a goal chalked off for offside and Lionel Messi went close from a free-kick, having earlier struck the crossbar from one, but PSG could not find a response in a rare setback for Pochettino.

 

Travel problems forced PSG's players to make their way to Rennes via road late on Saturday and that appeared to show as they made a sluggish start to the contest.

Rennes failed to truly test Gianluigi Donnarumma during their spell on top, though, and PSG soon got on the front foot as big chances fell the way of Neymar and Mbappe.

But Neymar sliced a volley over from six yards when unmarked and Mbappe scuffed a shot off target with only Alfred Gomis to beat less than two minutes later.

Messi then hit the crossbar from a free-kick and those near misses proved costly when Kamaldeen Sulemana's cross was turned in by Laborde, though Nuno Mendes may have got the final touch.

The home side's second arrived just 18 seconds after half-time as Laborde pulled the ball back for Tait to tuck past Donnarumma when left in plenty of space.

That goal was allowed to stand following a lengthy VAR check and PSG were undone by the technology 21 minutes from time when Mbappe's fine finish was ruled out for offside.

VAR was also required late on to overturn a penalty awarded for an Achraf Hakimi challenge on Laborde, though Rennes comfortably saw out the remainder of the contest.

Paris Saint-Germain's winning start to the Ligue 1 campaign came to an end with a shock 2-0 loss to Rennes on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side had won eight out of eight in the league prior to their trip to Roazhon Park and were 15 without defeat in the competition since early April.

But the visitors were made to pay for poor misses from Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait struck for Rennes either side of half-time. 

Mbappe had a goal chalked off for offside and Lionel Messi went close from a free-kick, having earlier struck the crossbar from one, but PSG could not find a response in a rare setback for Pochettino.

 

Travel problems forced PSG's players to make their way to Rennes via road late on Saturday and that appeared to show as they made a sluggish start to the contest.

Rennes failed to truly test Gianluigi Donnarumma during their spell on top, though, and PSG soon got on the front foot as big chances fell the way of Neymar and Mbappe.

But Neymar sliced a volley over from six yards when unmarked and Mbappe scuffed a shot off target with only Alfred Gomis to beat less than two minutes later.

Messi then hit the crossbar from a free-kick and those near misses proved costly when Kamaldeen Sulemana's cross was turned in by Laborde, though Nuno Mendes may have got the final touch.

The home side's second arrived just 18 seconds after half-time as Laborde pulled the ball back for Tait to tuck past Donnarumma when left in plenty of space.

That goal was allowed to stand following a lengthy VAR check and PSG were undone by the technology 21 minutes from time when Mbappe's fine finish was ruled out for offside.

VAR was also required late on to overturn a penalty awarded for an Achraf Hakimi challenge on Laborde, though Rennes comfortably saw out the remainder of the contest.

Tottenham lost Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn to injury as they played out a 2-2 draw with Ligue 1 side Rennes in Thursday's opening Europa Conference League match.

Lucas played a big part in Tottenham's opener, which was credited as a Loic Bade own goal, before having to make way following a poor challenge from Flavien Tait.

It was Tait who had earlier equalised for Rennes with a curled finish at an atmospheric Roazhon Park, shortly before Bergwijn was withdrawn with an apparent ankle issue.

Gaetan Laborde completed the turnaround 19 minutes from time, only for substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to quickly hit back and earn Spurs a point in the Group G clash.

Tanguy Ndombele was brought into the Tottenham side for his first appearance under Nuno Espirito Santo and played a huge part in the opening goal with 11 minutes played.

The Frenchman kept the ball in play with a fancy backheeled pass in a swift move that culminated in Lucas' attempted cross hitting Bade's boot and wrong-footing Romain Salin.

Serhou Guirassy then had a shot saved by Pierluigi Gollini but exchanged passes with Tait soon after for his team-mate to curl one into the bottom-right corner for the equaliser.

That ended Rennes' 212-minute wait for a goal and the hosts spurned a big chance to edge in front before half-time when Kamaldeen Sulemana headed wide from close range.

The second half had a disrupted feel to it following a number of fouls, one of which led to Lucas' injury, with the Spurs attacker unable to run off the damage.

That all changed when Laborde converted a rebound after Gollini pushed Sulemana's shot into his path, but it took Nuno's side just five minutes to respond through Hojbjerg's poked finish from close range to ensure the points were shared.

Real Madrid signing Eduardo Camavinga insists he is "ready to play" as he looks to make a name for himself quickly in Spain.

The 18-year-old joined on a six-year contract from Rennes in August in a deal reportedly worth up to €45million, the first time Madrid have spent money on a player since Eden Hazard signed from Chelsea for €100m in 2019.

Camavinga made 71 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes and, at 18 years and nine months old, he is the youngest outfield player to feature in that many games in France's top flight since Basile Boli in 1985.

The teenager's breakthrough season with his former club came in 2019-20, attempting 105 tackles in top-flight football. Declan Rice (116) and Wilfred Ndidi (129) were the only players to attempt more across Europe's top-five leagues.

Despite a midfield that boasts Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Federico Valverde, Madrid's new signing declared he is keen to show coach Carlo Ancelotti what he can do.

"I'm ready to play now," Camavinga told reporters at a presentation on Wednesday.

"As I said before, it is true that I am a young player. Maybe I need time to adapt, maybe not. I feel ready.

"I have come to learn and then I have to show the coach that I am ready and enjoy playing time."

 

Camavinga made his senior France debut on September 8 last year, the youngest player to do so since Maurice Gastiger against Luxembourg 107 years ago.

Only Gastiger (17 years and five months) scored for Les Bleus at a younger age than Camavinga, who was 17 years and 11 months old when he netted against Switzerland last October.

Asked how the quality of midfield competition would impact upon him, Camavinga responded: "The competition from those players motivates me a lot.

"And I'm also going to learn a lot from those players, tactically and technically."

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