• Transfers: Genoa working on Lazaar

    By Football Italia

    Genoa are in talks to sign Newcastle United full-back Achraf Lazaar as a replacement for Milan-bound Diego Laxalt.

    It’s widely reported a deal is done for Uruguay international Laxalt to join Milan for €14m plus €4m in performance-related bonuses.

    As a replacement, the Grifone are in advanced negotiations with Newcastle United for Lazaar.

    It would be a return to Serie A for the 26-year-old left-back, who already played for Varese, Palermo and Benevento.

    He spent last season on loan at Benevento in the Italian top flight, but the Morocco international fell out of favour.

  • Transfers: Oussama Tannane joins FC Utrecht on loan from St Etienne

  • Transfers: Kevin Malcuit completes Napoli switch

    (ESPN) Napoli have signed full-back Kevin Malcuit from LOSC Lille, the Serie A heavyweights confirmed on Wednesday.

    The 27-year-old arrived in Italy to complete a medical on Monday, with Calciomercato reporting that Napoli beat Southampton to his signature after agreeing a fee of approximately €11.5 million.

    The versatile Malcuit featured 23 times for Les Dogues in Ligue 1 last season, contributing six assists during a troubled campaign in which Lille narrowly evaded relegation to the second tier.

    He signed for Lille in 2017 after two seasons with Saint-Etienne, having previously represented Frejus Saint-Raphael and Chamois Niortais.

    He began his career with AS Monaco, but left the domestic giants in 2012 after just three league appearances.

    The wideman, who will likely compete with Elseid Hysaj for the starting right-back birth at Napoli, is eligible for France, Morocco and Mauriania.

    He was called up by the Atlas Lions in 2016, but is yet to make his debut for the national side.

  • Transfers: Manuel Da Costa in Negotiations with France’s Reims

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – Is Moroccan international football player Manuel Da Costa leaving the Turkish League?

    The summer mercato (transfer window) continues for Moroccan football players as the French league keeps on enrolling Atlas Lions. This time, it’s Istanbul’s Basaksehir defender Da Costa who is linked with France’s Reims.

    According to French outlet France Football, the French club, which is looking for experienced executives to strengthen its team, thinks that the 32-year-old football player will fit perfectly with the club’s needs. Da Costa is currently negotiating with the president of Reims.

    The French-Moroccan-Portuguese footballer, who played in the last World Cup with Morocco, has solid experience. Da Costa was vice-champion of Turkey in his last season with Istanbul Basaksehir.

    The defender, who trained in Nancy, has already played in Italy (with Fiorentina and Sampdoria of Genoa), the Netherlands (with PSV Eindhoven), England (with West Ham) and even Russia (with Lokomotiv Moscow). He also played for the Greek championship between 2015 and 2017 at the Olympiakos.

    Da Costa had a hard choice to make when it came to choosing the country he wanted to play for. Born in France to a Moroccan mother and a Portuguese father, the Atlas Lion was eligible for the three different selections, but he finally chose Morocco. He played with the under-21 selection of Portugal and France before opting for the Atlas Lions under Badou Zaki.

    Da Costa’s first match as a Lion took place on May 23, 2014, when Morocco won a match against Mozambique (4-0). He scored his first goal with the selection on March 27 of the same year, during a match against Uzbekistan. Since then, Manuel da Costa has been vice-captain of the Lions in many games.

  • Transfer News:

    - Oussama Tannane is set to join AZ Alkmaar.

    - Youssef En-Neysiri is set to join Leganes after Malaga accepted a €6 M bid.

    - Bilal Ould Chick is a free agent as Utrecht decided to cancel his contract.

    - Adel Taarabt is linked with Fenerbahce

    -Portuguese side CD Aves signs former international Issam El Adoua.


  • Moroccans Abroad: Tensions Flare between Hakim Ziyech and Ajax Amsterdam Club

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – Is Hakim Ziyech on the verge of leaving Ajax Amsterdam?

    While Ziyech’s future remains a mystery, his relationship with his club has deteriorated.

    The Atlas Lion was not happy to hear that the Dutch club replaced the number 10 jersey he always wore with number 22. The Moroccan football player learned of it through Ajax’s official website.

    The Dutch club is not sure it will keep Ziyech, who has been rumored to possibly transfer to AS Roma, Olympique Lyon, and Arsenal. In the meantime, Ajax decided to give Ziyech’s number to one of their new players, Dusan Tadic.

    The change might help the football player to make up his mind about his future career. Earlier this month, the Moroccan-Dutchman told Dutch outlet 11 Lions that he “is not sure to leave Ajax.” He added, “Football can be unpredictable.”

    Ajax is asking for €23 million to release its midfielder. Earlier this year, Ziyech was named best player of the year in Netherlands’ national league.

    Ziyech chose to represent Morocco’s Atlas Lions when he had the opportunity to join the Netherlands’ team. The football player made his debut with Morocco in a friendly match against Côte d’Ivoire in October 2015.

  • Transfers: Faycal Fajr joins his former club Caen in France from Getafe. He desired to move back in order to be closer to his parents.

  • Moroccans abroad: Schalke's Harit gets suspended sentence for fatal Morocco accident

    (AFP) Morocco's 21-year-old World Cup midfielder Amine Harit has been handed a four-month suspended sentence and 8,600 dirham ($900) fine over a fatal traffic accident, Moroccan media reported late Tuesday.

    Harit, who plays for Bundesliga club Schalke 04, was involved in a traffic accident in Marrakesh in late June that caused the death of a pedestrian.

    The accident occurred while Harit was on holiday in the tourist city after playing in the World Cup in Russia.

    He was part of the Morocco side that were eliminated after losing two and drawing one of their first-round matches.

    Harit was voted man-of-the match in Morocco's game against Iran even though his side lost.

    Born in France to Moroccan parents, Harit made his professional debut in 2012 with FC Nantes, before joining Schalke 04 for four years last summer.

  • Transfers: Adel Taarabt Negotiates with France’s FC Nantes

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – Adel Taarabt may return to the French league. According to sports outlet Goal, the Moroccan international midfielder is currently in discussions with French club FC Nantes for the coming season.

    The Atlas Lion, accompanied by some family members, met the president of FC Nantes, Waldemar Kita, on Monday, July 30, to negotiate a contract.

    Last season Adel Taarabt played 22 Serie A games with Genoa. He made 18 starts and scored two goals and two assists. The Moroccan joined the Italian club in 2017 on loan from Benfica, with whom he has a contract until 2020.

    Taarabt, who trained at RC Lens, has already played with some prestigious clubs, including Tottenham, Fulham, AC Milan, and Benfica.

    However, the 29-year-old football player has developed a bad reputation. In multiple clubs, he has had trouble getting along with his teammates.

    As for his career with the national team, Taarabt has not played for Morocco for over 3 years. Last year, he expressed a wish to be part of Hervé Renard’s list for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Unfortunately, given his controversial past, Taarabt did not make the cut.

    Taarabt made a number of mistakes while playing for the Moroccan team. On the eve of the national team’s match against Algeria during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, he decided to leave the training camp and consequently did not play the match.

    Taarabt immigrated to France with his family when he was only 11 years old. “People, especially Moroccans, do not know that I always felt pressure. People were always expecting me to be the future Zinedine Zidane [former French footballer], a pressure that was always difficult to manage.”

    While he knows he will not be able to forge a better career, Taarabt does not regret what he has done so far. “I have already played for famous international teams, like Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers, Benfica, which itself is an achievement.”

    Taarabt also played for France’s national under-17 and under-19 teams.

  • CAF Confed Cup: Raja Casablanca add to ASEC Mimosas woes

    (Africanfootball.com) Raja Casablanca beat ASEC Mimosas 4-0 in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup Group A match at the Stade Mohammed V in Morocco on Sunday.

    As a result, Morocco's Raja moved back to the top of the group standings, while Ivorian giants Mimosas remained fourth on the table.

    The Green Eagles did most of the attacking in the early exchanges and they deservedly took the lead through their centre forward Mahmoud Benhalib.

    The 22-year-old striker hit the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Raja - 18 minutes into the encounter with Mimosas goalkeeper Aboubacar Bamba well-beaten.

    The Black and Yellows defence was unsettled after conceding an early goal with lively attacker Benhalib causing havoc for the visitors with his movement upfront.

    A mistake by the Mimosas defence led to Benhalib snatching the ball in the 27th minute and he pushed forward with the visitors’ backline exposed.

    Benhalib then step up Zakaria Hadraf and the latter beat former Mimosas shot-stopper Bamba to make it 2-0 to Raja as the hosts’ pressure paid off.

    The Green Eagles piled pressure on the Black and Yellows, and they nearly extended their lead four minutes before the half-hour mark.

    Bamba produced two superb saves to deny Raja duo Anas Jabroun and Soufiane Rahimi. The keeper stopped Jabroun’s effort, before saving Rahimi’s attempt from the rebound.

    However, the Mimosas goal-minder was well-beaten on the stroke of half-time and it was Hadraf, who hit the back of the net to make it 3-0 to Raja.

    The score was 3-0 to Raja at half-time with 28-year-old Hadraf having grabbed a first-half brace.

    Burkina Faso striker Ahmed Traore was introduced by Mimosas at the beginning of the second-half as the visitors looked to pull one back and push for more goals.

    However, the hosts were awarded a penalty just after the hour-mark and the Green Eagles had an opportunity to extend their lead against the Black, and Yellows.

    Benhalib then stepped up, and he converted from the spot-kick to make it 4-0 to Raja with the attacker grabbing his second goal of the game.

    Two-goal hero Hadraf was pulled out by the Green Eagles and he was replaced by fellow attacker Hassan Bouain with 16 minutes left on the clock as the hosts searched for more goals.

    However, the visitors defended much better in the closing stages of the game and they managed to contain Benhalib, who was looking to grab his hat-trick.

    Mimosas were unable to grab a late consolation goal and ultimately, Raja emerged 4-0 winners on the night.

    Raja (3) 4 (Benhalib 18’, 62’, Hadraf 27’, 45’+2)

    Mimosas (0) 0

    Raja: Zniti, Boutayeb, Achchakir, Benoun, Jbira, Bahi, Niasse, Hadraf (Bouain 74’), Rahimi (Alami 67’), Jabroun (Iajour 60’), Benhalib.

    Mimosas: Bamba, Gloudoueu, Coulibaly, Koanda, Samake (Dosso 63’), Coulibaly, Ta Bi (Toure 46’), Badié, Diarrassouba (Sanoko 63’), Diomande, Yao.


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