- PSG president sighted in Madrid with Javier Pastore’s agent in tow
Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi arrived in Madrid yesterday along with the agent of Argentine midfielder Javier Pastore, per a report from AS. It is speculated that the ex-Palermo star could be used as a bargaining chip in the French club’s pursuit of Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
While PSG’s interest in Oblak is nothing new, it is also clear that Atleti are keen to hang on to their star keeper. It seems unlikely that Pastore, who notched 3 goals and 8 assists in 18 appearances for PSG last year, will be an overly enticing consolation prize - especially when you consider that he would be unable to join Atleti until the registration ban is lifted in January.
Cadena SER and a later report from AS indicate that Atlético will not negotiate for Oblak and will force PSG to pay his €100m release clause in full. Still, PSG have demonstrated their willingness to activate steep buyout clauses already this summer. As such, it may come down to Oblak deciding whether he wants to renew and stay for another season or head for Paris straight away. Let’s hope for the former.
- Saúl Ñíguez and Filipe Luís sit out practice
AS also note that Saúl and Filipe Luís did not practice with the rest of the team during training yesterday. It is unclear if they will be available for Atlético’s final preseason tune-ups against Getafe this afternoon and Leganés tomorrow.
- Amath Ndiaye off to Getafe
Amath has joined Getafe in a €3 million transfer, though Atlético retain a buyback option on the Senegalese forward. Atleti will see how Amath, who starred for Tenerife as the Canary Islanders nearly won promotion, fares against top-flight opposition and probably make a more permanent decision regarding the player next season. As exciting as the 21-year-old is, he was facing an uphill battle for game time with Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Kévin Gameiro and Ángel Correa set to be Diego Simeone’s forward quartet.
- Estadio Wanda Metropolitano makes appearance in FIFA 18 trailer
EA Sports dropped a new trailer for the next entry in its FIFA video game franchise. The trailer, which highlights new features for this release, includes a glimpse of their rendering of the Colchoneros’ new home. The stadium and a goal celebration from Griezmann can be seen at around the 10 second mark.
FIFA 18 is scheduled to hit stores on Sept. 29. Buy it and remove the cover later.
Talking Point: With the final preseason friendlies this weekend, are there any young players you’d like to see get one last look at before the season gets underway?