Sports Burst - Much Ado About Mbappe

Reuters

By Tim Stannard

 

Despite Real Madrid dream, Mbappe looking to be on a par with Neymar at PSG 

 

Sports Burst doesn't give up that easily with a juicy transfer story. Especially when there isn't exactly a lot else going on in the soccer world. 

24-hours-ago, it was all about (mis)reading Kylian Mbappe's message to the world from Sunday's Ligue 1 awards over a desire to take on new responsibilities - wherever they might be. It was quite the season-ending cliffhanger from Mbappe.  

Such lofty talk was swiftly shot down later in the day by a PSG statement stuffed with declarations of "strong links" and "a shared ambition" with the French World Cup winner.  

 

However, the battle is not yet won by PSG with Real Madrid hovering in the background like a large...hovering sporting franchise. Former Real Madrid boss, Unai Emery, revealed overnight in an interview on Spanish radio show, 'El Larguero', that Mbappe's initial desire was not to join PSG when making a move from Monaco but the Spanish capital instead. 

"He really wanted Real Madrid but we convinced him Paris was a French project and PSG put money on the table," said Emery. 

Marca has a different spin on the story, reporting that Mbappe is still committed to PSG but "greater responsibility" should be interpreted as "more money". The same as Neymar basically, and not without some justification. 

Our Sports Burst live show on the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page will try to make sense of it all with our Gabrielle Amado at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. 

 

Barca legend hints at locker room resentment towards Griezmann 

 

Over at the Camp Nou, Barcelona is dealing with its own wild transfer saga, despite the fact that the season is not yet over and a Copa del Rey final awaits. 

That saga is all about Antoine Griezmann, who last week declared an end of days to his time with Atletico Madrid to much 'meh' and ill-will from the Atletico Madrid fans. 

Xavi Hernandez, in an interview with Sport, has hinted that a locker room that is not all in Camp Griezmann is the reason why a Barcelona move may not happen after he very publicly rejected the club in his infamous "Decision" video. 

 

"I understand the pain he caused, last summer," admitted the very recently retired player who said that were he boss then he would try and persuade the players that the signing was needed. Or maybe make a video instead?

Meanwhile, Xavi is expected to become the next manger of Qatari outfit, Al Sadd, the club he played for, in what looks like being a steady path to becoming Barcelona boss. 'Steady' being 'in December' in the accelerated world of La Liga. 

Post-to-Post: The Soccer Show returns at 5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT today with Jeremy St. Louis to look at all the day's news. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page. 

 

United knocked back by Napoli in Koulibaly chase 

 

Manchester United has reportedly offered over $100 million for Napoli center back, Kalidou Koulibaly, and even more remarkably has had that offer turned down by the second-place Serie A side. Sports Burst suspects this is going to happen a lot this summer. 

Leroy Sane is set to be offloaded by Manchester City - something is not quite right between the German forward and Pep Guardiola - and Bayern Munich could be the perfect fit for the player. 

In Italian manager talk, Juve has apparently settled on Maurizio Sarri as the team's replacement for Max Allegri, leaving Antonio Conte to find a berth at Inter. 

Anyway - time for actual football and the return of two big South American events to beIN SPORTS this week. Wednesday sees the two-legged Recopa clash between Athletico Paranaense and River Plate, the respective winners of last season's Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores titles. 

 

And as a perfect way to get warmed up, Tuesday is the start of the second round of this year's Copa Sudamericana and it all gets underway from 6PM ET / 3PM PT with Colon getting a thorough inspection by River Plate (of Uruguay).