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Ligue 1: Monaco Ready to Play Hardball with Manchester United

As the off field frenzy in the January window gathers pace, some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs have been tracking the top players in Ligue 1, and AS Monaco are in a battle to keep one of their brightest stars.

Manchester United have been reported to have made an approach for Monaco’s central defender Axel Disasi but the Ligue 1 giants are keen to hold on the France international. AS Monaco are in a fierce race for a top three position and will be determined to, at least, match their third placed finish of last season. But to do that they need their best players at the club to help them improve on their current position of fourth in the league table.    

Red Devils boss Erik Ten Hag is an admirer of Disasi and, after his side shipped three goals in a defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, he is keen to strengthen his rearguard. Raphael Varane and World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez are his two best defenders at present, but Ten Hag doesn’t seem to trust England’s Harry Maguire and back up is needed. Reports in the France media suggest the Manchester club has made contact with 24 year old Disasi, who’s profile increased dramatically when he featured, alongside Varane, in France’s World Cup team in Qatar.

But Monaco will not be happy to sell their player having lost his centre back partner Benoit Badiashile in a £35m transfer to Chelsea earlier in the window. Head coach Philippe Clement will resist as much as he can but reports suggest AS Monaco would listen to offers in the region of £45m for their defender. Manchester United are not the only club in the frame as Bayern Munich are said to have maid Disasi a priority target this month. A move to Germany would allow the Monaco star to link up with another France international, Dayot Upamecano.

Disasi has been in magnificent form for Monaco this season and the club will fight tooth and nail to keep him; but money talks and it will be a nervy few days for Clement. The latest Ligue 1 2023 betting odds make Monaco fourth favourites for the title and the loss of another big name could damage their top three hopes terminally. 

Is Costil bound for Lille?

Ligue 1: Benoit Costil from AJ Auxerre is likely to join Lille on an 18 month deal as a replacement for Leo Jardim
Goalkeeper Benoit Costil from AJ Auxerre during Ligue 1 away match against FC Nantes at Stade de la Beaujoire

The impending departure of their goalkeeper Leo Jardim has seen 2021 Ligue 1 Champions Lille make a quick move in the market and they look poised to bring Auxerre keeper Benoit Costil to the club. Lille currently sit in sixth place, just outside the European qualification slots while Auxerre are in serious trouble, in 19th place on 13 points from 19 games.

France sports newspaper L’Equipe has reported that the 35 year old Costil is highly likely to join Lille on an 18 month deal as a replacement for Jardim. He joined Auxerre in the summer but he has conceded 41 goals in 19 games for the newly promoted team. And while he was relegated with Bordeaux last season, Costil was called up by Didier Deschamps in 2021. Lille look set to recruit a high quality experienced stopper in the former Rennes man.

In preparation for this move AJ Auxerre are reported to have lined up Inter Milan reserve keeper Ionut Radu as a ready made replacement, with the 25 year old set to arrive at the club on loan with an option to buy. The Romanian goalkeeper has been on loan with Serie A new boys Cremonese and has made nine appearances this season and he has appeared fine times for I Nerazzurri having graduated from the Inter academy.             

PSG determined to keep Mbappe away from Madrid

Last week, here at SBOTOP, we reported on a possible move by Liverpool to secure the services of Kylian Mbappe and that story is still hanging around in the Ligue 1 2023 news. He returned to action in PSG’s match with Rennes last week, coming on as a 55th minute substitute but he couldn’t help the league leaders to avoid a shock 1-0 reversal.

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Recent rumours have emerged on Merseyside that the Reds are in the box seat to secure Mbappe’s signature, as PSG are apparently desperate to prevent him from signing for Real Madrid. There is some bad blood between the two clubs following Madrid’s pursuit of the player last year and, who knows, maybe PSG see Los Blancos as the biggest threat to their Champions League ambitions.   

Any move may be contingent on a takeover of Liverpool, put up for sale by the Fenway Group, with speculation around Qatari involvement in a potential deal. Any sale of the 24 year old will break records; that’s for sure.   




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