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Alphonso Davies declares himself ‘ready to start’ for Canada against Belgium

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Alphonso Davies has given the Canadian Men’s National Team a huge boost by declaring himself fit to face Belgium on Wednesday.

Les Rouges open their Group F campaign against the Red Devils looking to make an impression in their first World Cup match since 1986.

Head coach John Herdman has been sweating over the fitness of Davies, as well as FC Porto midfielder Stephen Eustaquio and experienced Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

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Speaking on Saturday, Herdman said of Davies: “He hasn’t hit that top speed yet and when you have hamstring injuries that’s always the key moment. That’s when the hamstring is pushed to its limits.”

However, when questioned on Sunday after an incident-free training session, Davies himself was far more optimistic.

“I’m ready to start,” he bluntly replied when asked by reporters about his fitness for Wednesday’s opener.

Put simply, having Davies fit and healthy might just prove the difference between Canada competing and crashing in Qatar.

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The CanMNT aren’t to be underestimated, of course, with prolific forwards like Jonathan David and Cyle Larin in their ranks. But Davies is a star above all others.

Already one of the best left-backs in the world at club level with Bayern Munich, the former Vancouver Whitecaps man brings attacking thrust and world-class pedigree to Herdman’s side, unlike any other.

Safe to say Davies’ teammates are excited at the prospect of having him ready to face Belgium, who are ranked second in the world.

“We want all our players to be ready and feeling at their best,” said Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio. “For one of our best players [Davies] to say that he’s ready to go, this honestly is a confidence booster for us. Of course we want him on the field, this is our star player.”

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Lille forward Jonathan David added: “It’s a big boost, because we know how important a player he is for us and what he brings to the team. So, of course, if he’s 100 percent, we’re all happy.”

Canada’s chances of pulling of a shock in Group F just significantly improved.



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Borussia Dortmund facing battle to keep hold of Youssoufa Moukoko

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A growing number of clubs believe that Borussia Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko is ready to leave the club at the end of the season, sources have confirmed to 90min.

The 18-year-old, who is at the World Cup finals with Germany, is not yet a first-team regular for Dortmund but has emerged as one of the most feared young strikers in Europe.

Moukoko. who is out of contract at the end of the season, has publicly stated that a decision will be made about his future soon, but sources close to the club and player have told 90min that he’s yet to finalise his plans.

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Dortmund remain hopeful that Moukoko will commit to the club long-term deal – even though talks over a new contract have been going on for the best part of a year – but a host of top teams from around Europe are keeping an eye on his situation, hopeful that they can lure him away.

Cameroon-born Moukoko has scored six goals and contributed three assists in eight Bundesliga starts this season – comfortably his best return since breaking into the Dortmund team. The club believe he is enjoying working for head coach Eden Terzic, and hope his presence can be the deciding factor in whether he signs a new contract.

Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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But Dortmund are acutely aware of the growing interest from elsewhere, most notably from bitter rivals Bayern Munich. The Bavarian giants have made it clear to Moukoko that he’d be welcome at the Allianz Arena, potentially following in the footsteps of a host of big-name stars – most notably Robert Lewandowski.

For the first time, though, other rivals from around Europe believe there’s a genuine chance Moukoko could leave. Manchester United and Liverpool have both been watching him closely, but sources close to Dortmund have told 90min that Barcelona could be the club that pose the biggest threat.

Moukoko is understood to have grown up as a Barcelona fan, and the Catalan giants are aware of his dream to one day play at the Camp Nou.





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Ronaldo’s two suitors; Bayern lead Thuram race

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Cristiano Ronaldo is on the hunt for a new club after agreeing to part ways with Manchester United immediately, and is currently weighing up two options – remaining in the Premier League with Newcastle United or heading to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr. (Marca)

However, other reports claim that Newcastle are not interested in signing Ronaldo, while the likes of Chelsea and Inter Miami are also backing away from a potential deal. (Telegraph)

One option Ronaldo does have on the table is with non-league side AFC Crewe, who are willing to pay him a club-record £35-a-week deal. (Daily Star)

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While Ronaldo is not currently under consideration, Chelsea are close to completing a deal to sign Christopher Nkunku next summer. The RB Leipzig star was recently ruled out of France’s World Cup campaign through injury. (Telegraph)

Bayern Munich are ready to offer Marcus Thuram a €7m-a-season deal to sign for them, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all considering a move. His contract with Borussia Monchengladbach expires at the end of the season. (Calcio Mercato)

England midfield duo Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham will be subjected to a transfer war between Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. (Telegraph)

Arsenal are considering whether to make a fresh move for Palmeiras midfielder Danilo in the January window. (The Sun)

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David Goldblatt & Katie Rood join Shebahn Aherne to have football’s climate conversation about the World Cup in Qatar!

Aurelien Tchouameni has admitted that Liverpool made contact with him over the summer about a transfer, but once Real Madrid made an offer, his heart was set on moving to the Santiago Bernabeu. (Le Parisien)

Borussia Dortmund starlet Youssoufa Moukoko remains in talks to stay at the club beyond this season despite heavy links to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool. (Fabrizio Romano)

Moise Kean‘s loan at Juventus could be cut short with Newcastle ready to take him off of Everton’s hands on a permanent deal. (Calcio Mercato)

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Memphis Depay has admitted he is uncertain about his Barcelona future. Manchester United and Tottenham have been linked with January moves for the out-of-favour Blaugrana forward. (Daily Mirror)



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Borussia Monchengladbach make decision on Marcus Thuram’s future

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Borussia Monchengladbach are ready to sell star forward Marcus Thuram in January, rather than lose him for nothing at the end of the season, sources have confirmed to 90min.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant season so far in Germany, with 10 Bundesliga goals to his name. That form earned him a place in France’s World Cup squad.

Thuram joined Gladbach in 2019 from French side Guingamp in a deal worth around €12m and it is believed the Bundesliga club would like to get their money back for the player.

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Thuram has been watched by a host of clubs including in recent weeks, including Arsenal and Manchester United, although most recently Tottenham as 90min revealed. But another is Newcastle, who sources have confirmed have been alerted to his contract situation.

The son of France legend Lillian Thuram can play anywhere across the front-line and is believed to be very tempted by a move to the Premier League, something his father never experienced in his glittering career amid spells at Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona.

However, there is interest from around Europe including in Germany where it is believed Bayern Munich have held talks about a possible deal. Inter and Atletico Madrid are also among those ready to open talks.

Sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed to 90min that Gladbach are expecting to sell Thuram, and it is a scenario that they have been through before. Just 12 months ago they opted to sell midfielder Denis Zakaria to Juventus, rather than allow him to move for free in the summer.

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“There may be changes in winter, but it may also be the case that there aren’t any,” Gladbach sporting director Roland Virkus said on the broader subject of the January transfer window.

“Of course we’re in talks with the players. I can’t tell you right now whether these players will still play here after the winter or in the coming season.”

David Goldblatt & Katie Rood join Shebahn Aherne to have football’s climate conversation about the World Cup in Qatar!



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