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Ajax

Casemiro Saudi, Mbappe PSG row and more

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This article was originally published on Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing, a subscription service. If you would like to receive Fabrizio Romano’s exclusive transfer news via email ahead of publication on caughtoffside.com, please sign-up for the service here: thedailybriefing.io

On Sunday evening it was the last appearance for Kylian Mbappe playing for Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes. We saw PSG lose to Toulouse but they celebrated winning Ligue 1 at the end anyway.

As I’ve previously reported, Mbappe is now set to leave PSG for Real Madrid. We’re just waiting for the next steps and then we will have the ‘here we go’ very soon and I will keep you posted on that.

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For now, there have been reports of a big argument between Mbappe and Nasser Al-Khelaifi before the Toulouse game, but PSG sources deny this. They spoke, as they have some things to clarify before Mbappe leaves, so obviously it’s not a great friendship at this moment, but PSG guarantee that it was not a big fight between Mbappe and the president.

I had the chance to meet Mbappe after the game on the pitch – it was a special moment, and the feeling around the stadium was interesting because it was not a normal game for Mbappe. He wanted to celebrate the title and enjoy it with his teammates and with his mother, who was there too.

I noticed that Mbappe and his family seemed really relaxed after three months of media speculation, with his future finally settled, and you could see on his face that Mbappe was really relaxed, and really happy because he’s going to fulfil his dream to play for Real Madrid.

As I’ve previously reported, even if there were links with Premier League clubs, this was never something serious or concrete, and he also didn’t want to consider bids from Saudi Arabia, even when he was being offered crazy money. He was only focused on Real Madrid, only wanting to play for Real Madrid, and now the time is coming.

Still, it’s also important to say that Mbappe really wanted to enjoy the moment with the PSG fans, their ‘Ultras’, who prepared a special tifo for the player, and he also received a standing ovation, so it was a nice moment.

Despite so much being written about Mbappe, he’s always been super professional at PSG, even if it’s not always easy leaving as a free agent. But he never created any problems, and he was really nice and classy when I met him on the pitch, where he was also keen to talk with everybody, instead of just heading down the tunnel.

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All in all, it was a really nice evening and I also met Gianluigi Donnarumma, who keeps on winning and winning more and more titles with PSG, and I also got the shirt of Manuel Ugarte. It was a wonderful night of celebration, even if there’s some sadness that they couldn’t reach the Champions League final this season, but they won the title and Luis Enrique has done well in a super positive season.

Next it will be time for PSG to make some signings in what could be a busy and important summer, while it will also be time for Mbappe to keep an eye on Real Madrid in the Champions League final before being unveiled by the club with president Florentino Perez. It’s all being prepared and I’ll have the final details soon.

Since the Saudi Pro League project started more than one year ago, Bruno Fernandes has always been one of the players most appreciated by Saudi bosses, but at the moment it’s nothing concrete. Fernandes is fully focused on Manchester United and there are no talks – Bruno will not discuss anything until he knows more about the project at United, and possibly the change in manager, so there are many things to clarify at United first. Meanwhile, Fernandes has always been super committed to the club, so let’s see what happens.

I do, however, expect Casemiro to leave United this summer. Saudi clubs really want Casemiro, but we’ll have to see which clubs, and how much they want to invest in terms of salary. But the interest from Saudi is there, and also United are open to letting Casemiro leave, so there are very good chances to see Casemiro moving to Saudi this summer.

Casemiro has had a difficult time at United, but in my opinion, Casemiro remains a legend of the game for what he did at Real Madrid. At Man United all players are struggling, not just him… it’s a general problem, not a single player. We could mention 15 players not performing well for United, and many things not working.

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Deco has not decided anything on the future of Vitor Roque yet. There will be a meeting between all parties in the next days, discussions will follow with all parties involved to decide on the player’s future. Some patience is needed on this case among many, many rumours.

Still, with Financial Fair Play concerns, Barcelona will have to sell some players this summer of course. However, for now I can guarantee they have not decided anything yet, every day on media it looks like one player is leaving but the reality is that at the moment it’s still quiet. For example, Ansu Fati remains one of the players expected to leave and let’s see what kind of proposals they will receive for Raphinha.

Steven Bergwijn could leave Ajax this summer due to their financial situation. There are concrete chances of Bergwijn leaving for around £20m, but there are no negotiations just yet.

West Ham previously showed an interest in Bergwijn, but apart from that I can’t name interested clubs yet. Bergwijn is appreciated in the Premier League – he is on the list of several clubs there, and there have been some calls to be informed on his situation, but let’s see if West Ham decide to try again for him under Julen Lopetegui.

Finally, I’m looking forward to tonight’s big game in the Premier League between Tottenham and Manchester City, with so much riding on this result for both teams.

With Aston Villa dropping points against Liverpool, it gives Spurs a slim hope of catching them and finishing fourth, so I’m sure they will compete at their best level tonight even if getting a result against City helps Arsenal in the title race.

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Still, City have been on fire recently, so I’m sure it will be a fantastic game and it feels too close to call now.



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