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Christopher Nkunku out of the World Cup after training mishap

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France have been dealt a World Cup blow with the news that striker Christopher Nkunku will miss the tournament through injury.

The RB Leipzig star, who has been linked with a January move to Chelsea, had already hooked up with Didier Deschamps’ squad ahead of the tournament.

However, he came off worse in a 50-50 with Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga at Les Blues’ Clairefontaine training base. While initial reports suggested he was hopeful that the injury was not serious, subsequent scans have proven otherwise and he will now miss out on France’s World Cup defence.

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“Injured in training, Christopher Nkunku must give up participating in the World Cup,” a statement from the French FA said.

“The whole group shares Christopher’s sadness and wishes him a speedy recovery.”

No news has yet emerged about how serious the injury will be, but Chelsea will be watching on nervously. They had earmarked the 25-year-old as the man to inject some life into their failing attack in January.

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Some reports had even claimed the deal was so advanced that a medical had already been done, but it remains to be seen whether a deal will now be viable.

Nkunku has had a blistering season so far, scoring 12 goals in just 14 Bundesliga games for Leipzig.

RMC Sport report that Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani will be drafted into the French World Cup squad as Nkunku’s replacement.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders & Toby Cudworth to look back on Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cups’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

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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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