Sport shorts: £225m Kylian Mbappe tops most valuable footballer list and Royal Mail unveil Sensible Soccer stamp
Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 7 January
1. Mbappe valued at £225m
If Paris Saint-Germain were to ever sell star striker Kylian Mbappe the French champions could demand a world-record transfer fee of €265m (£225.5m).
That’s according to the CIES Football Observatory which has published a list of the highest estimated transfer values for footballers playing in the big-five leagues in Europe.
At £225.5m France international Mbappe tops the list ahead of Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling (€223.7m/£190.5m) and Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah (€175.1m/£149.2m).
Salah’s Liverpool team-mates Alisson Becker (€77m/£65.5m), Virgil van Dijk (€93m/£79.1m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (€110m/£103.6m) are the highest-valued goalkeeper, centre-back and full-back respectively.
Leicester City’s James Maddison is the highest-valued midfielder at €112m (£95.3m).
Eleven of the 20 players valued at least €100m (£93.6m) play for clubs in the Premier League.
2. Pep: I would never coach Man Utd
Tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Manchester United and holders Manchester City creates plenty of excitement in the press.
Several papers report on what City boss Pep Guardiola had to say when asked if he could ever switch sides in the future.
“I will never train them,” Guardiola said of United. “Like I would not train [Real] Madrid. I will be in the Maldives if I don’t have other offers or on the golf courses.”
The semi-final first leg at Old Trafford kicks off at 8pm and is live on Sky Sports.
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3. Mixed news for Williams F1 team
There’s mixed news today at Formula 1 team ROKiT Williams Racing. The Grove-based outfit have announced that talented female racer Jamie Chadwick will continue in the driver academy. However, it’s also widely reported that major sponsor Rexona has cut ties ahead of the 2020 F1 season.
4. Max extends Red Bull contract
Max Verstappen has vowed that “the best is yet to come” after extending his contract with Red Bull Racing.
The 22-year-old has recently been linked with future moves to both Mercedes and Ferrari. However, the new deal ends that speculation and means he will remain at Red Bull until at least the end of the 2023 season.
Verstappen said: “I want to win with Red Bull and our goal is of course to fight for a world championship together.”
5. Arteta speaks his mind
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta gave his players the hairdryer treatment at half-time last night after they had been given the runaround by Leeds United in the first half of their FA Cup third-round tie.
Reiss Nelson scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory and after the match striker Alexandre Lacazette said: “The manager shouted a lot. He was not happy because we knew they’d play like this and we didn’t respect what he had said.”
6. FA Cup fourth-round draw
Arsenal’s reward for their 1-0 win against Leeds is an FA Cup fourth-round trip to Bournemouth.
Holders Manchester City will face Championship outfit Fulham and Premier League leaders Liverpool will hit the road, playing the winner of next week’s replay between Bristol City and Shrewsbury Town.
Fourth-round ties will be played between Friday 24 January and Monday 27 January.
- Watford or Tranmere Rovers vs. Wolves or Manchester United
- Hull City vs. Chelsea
- Southampton vs. Middlesbrough or Tottenham Hotspur
- Queens Park Rangers vs. Sheffield Wednesday
- Bournemouth vs. Arsenal
- Northampton Town vs. Derby County
- Brentford vs. Leicester City
- Millwall vs. Sheffield United
- Reading or Blackpool vs. Cardiff City or Carlisle United
- West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion
- Burnley vs. Norwich City
- Bristol Rovers or Coventry City vs. Birmingham City
- Manchester City vs. Fulham
- Rochdale or Newcastle United vs. Oxford United
- Portsmouth vs. Barnsley
- Bristol City or Shrewsbury Town vs. Liverpool
7. Sensible Soccer stamp launched
The Royal Mail has launched a new set of stamps to celebrate classic video games. One of the stamps features the iconic Sensible Soccer game and is described by Mundial magazine as “magnificent”. Royal Mail’s video games presentation pack will be on sale from 21 January.
8. Liverpool confirm Nike kit deal
Premier League leaders Liverpool have announced a multi-year partnership with Nike from the 2020-21 season. The sportswear firm will supply the club’s official playing kits, training kit and leisurewear. New Balance has been the club’s official kit supplier since 2015 and will continue until the end of this season.
9. Ronaldo’s 2020 is off to a flyer
Cristiano Ronaldo has started the new year in superb form after scoring his first Serie A hat-trick for Juventus in their 4-0 win against Cagliari yesterday.
Portugal captain Ronaldo netted on 49, 67 and 82 minutes in Turin to keep the Italian champions level on 45 points at the top of Serie A with Inter Milan.
The treble against Cagliari was Ronaldo’s second hat-trick for Juve and 56th in his career. Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s great rival, has scored 53 career hat-tricks.
10. Today’s back pages
Many newspapers today carry the comments of Edward Griffiths, the interim chief executive of Saracens, who admits that England’s dominant rugby club of the last decade might have to take some drastic action in the wake of their record fine for salary cap breaches.
The Times explains that the club may have to “trim their wage bill by offloading players or implementing wage cuts”.
In November Saracens were given a 35-point deduction and fined £5.36m for breaching league salary cap regulations.