Cavani staying at PSG this season; Rennes signs Nzonzi
PARIS (AP) — Edinson Cavani is staying at French league leader Paris Saint-Germain for the rest of the season, after which he will be available on a free transfer.
Cavani wanted to leave because of his lack of game time since the arrival of striker Mauro Icardi, but a move to Atlético Madrid fell through.
PSG reportedly rejected an offer of 15 million euros ($16.5 million) for Cavani, who turns 33 on Feb. 14. The hard-working Uruguay forward is PSG’s record scorer with 198 goals, and his contract runs out in June.
“We couldn’t reach an agreement with anyone,” PSG sporting director Leonardo said on Friday. “At one point we started negotiations but we couldn’t reach an agreement.”
Leonardo also said Juventus changed its mind about signing left back Layvin Kurzawa, who was close to joining the Italian champion.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said Cavani can challenge Icardi — who has 17 goals in 24 games since joining on a season loan from Inter Milan — for a place in the team.
“Competition for places is a good thing. It’s good in a club like PSG,” Tuchel said on Friday ahead of Saturday’s home game against Montpellier. “There are worse situations in life than staying at PSG. He will start feeling well soon. He needs to get his rhythm and confidence back.”
WORLD CUP WINNER JOINS RENNES
Steven Nzonzi joined Rennes on loan from Italian side Roma until the end of the season, with the option for a second season.
The much-traveled defensive midfielder was a part of the France squad which won won the World Cup in Russia two years ago. He is bidding to push his way back into the squad for this year’s European Championship.
Nzonzi, loaned out to Turkish side Galatasaray during the first half of the season, was presented to Rennes fans ahead of Friday night’s home game against Nantes.
“He is joining us with a lot of desire and determination,” said club president Olivier Létang, who added that Rennes beat several clubs to his signature. “He had a lot of other options but he decided to join Rennes.”
The 31-year-old Nzonzi, who has 14 international caps, returns to France after 11 years abroad. He had spells with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke in England’s Premier League, won the Europa League with Spanish club Sevilla in 2016, and joined Roma in Serie A.
LYON SIGNS ANOTHER MIDFIELDER
Lyon signed another young Brazilian midfielder; 20-year-old Camilo has come from second-tier Brazilian side Ponte Preta.
Lyon said it paid 2 million euros ($2.2 million), with Ponte Preta receiving a further 20% of the transfer fee if Lyon sells him.
Lyon sporting director Juninho compared Camilo to Lyon central midfielder Lucas Tousart, who is staying until the end of the season before joining German Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
“This player caught my attention. He has huge physical capacities and speed,” said Lyon sporting director Juninho, who played in midfield for Brazil at the 2006 World Cup. “You have to make gambles and take risks. I hope everything works well and that he’ll give us satisfaction on the field.”
Lyon signed defensive midfielder Bruno Guimares for 20 million euros ($22 million) on Thursday.
ROUX BETTER SCORE GOALS
Struggling Nimes signed veteran striker Nolan Roux from second-tier Guingamp in a bid to boost its chances of staying up.
Nimes is 19th in the first division and has struggled to score.
The 31-year-old Roux, a combative striker with good heading ability, has netted 71 career goals in the top flight.
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