Uncertainty surrounds stars of European football

by

August 19, 2017
@Normal:Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (top) celebrates scoring against West Ham United during the English Premier League football match at the London Stadium, on May 14.
Ousmane Dembele celebrates after scoring his side's third goal while on international duty for France against England at the Stade de France in Paris in June.
In this April 19, 2017 file photo Monaco's Kylian Mbappe holds a football after the Champions League quarterfinal second leg match between Monaco and Dortmund at the Louis II stadium in Monaco. Monaco has ordered leading European clubs to stop making unauthorised approaches to 18-year old forward Kylian Mbappe, which it says is in breach football regulations. (AP Photo)
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MANCHESTER (AP):

With two weeks left in European football's summer transfer window it cannot close quickly enough for those teams desperate to keep their best players.

Many football fans can feel short-changed in the early weeks of the season, however, with top players either refusing to play for their teams or not in contention amid uncertainty over their futures.

The 18-year-old France forward Kylian Mbappe from Monaco is one of the hottest properties in world football and determined to seal a dream move to Paris Saint-Germain.

A dream in his eyes because he would play alongside Brazil star Neymar.

Neymar cost a world record €222 million (US$262 million), but signing Mbappe would hit PSG hard in the pocket again since he's valued at upward of €160 million (US$187 million). Real Madrid, reportedly, tried and failed to get him.

Monaco has taken an ambiguous stance on transfers, already selling five players from last season's title-winning campaign despite initially pledging not to sell more than two.

Meanwhile, Barcelona is awash with cash after selling Neymar and Ousmane Dembele has been identified as a replacement. Borussia Dortmund turned down Barcelona's opening bid for Dembele reportedly of €85 million (US$100 million) with another €20 million (US$23.4 million) in add-ons and the German club is yet to receive another.

remains suspended

The 20-year-old Dembele, who played in attack for France alongside Mbappe against England in June, remains suspended after skipping training without permission last week. There are reports that he has refused all contact with the club and the latest indications are that he is no longer in Germany.

Dortmund has reportedly put a price of €150 million ($176 million) on Dembele, who is contracted until 2021 after joining from Rennes last year.

He scored six goals and set up 13 more in 32 league games for Dortmund last season.

Philippe Coutinho the fleet-footed Brazil playmaker has also been courted by Barcelona, which has made three offers to Liverpool for the player the latest coming yesterday and reportedly as much as PS118 million (US$150 million).

no timescale

Liverpool immediately rejected all three bids with its American owners having released a statement last week saying Coutinho is not for sale in this transfer window. Coutinho responded by emailing in a transfer request to the club.

He was missing for Liverpool's first Premier League game - a 3-3 draw at Watford - and its Champions League play-off first leg - a 2-1 win at Hoffenheim - officially because of a back injury. But no timescale was put on his return.

Coutinho has been at Liverpool since January 2013 and is the team's most creative player and a big favourite with the crowd.

Other players whose futures are uncertain are Davinson Sanchez from Ajaz; Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton, and Nikola Kalinic from Fiorentina.

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