• ‘I Will not Leave for Another African Nation’: Renard Comments on Rumors

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – After being linked many times to Algeria, Egypt, and lately Cameroon, the coach of Morocco’s national football team has had to defend himself again, slamming those who pretend to speak for him.

    “Some people talk about my future in the media to sow trouble in the Moroccan spirit and if it’s still a little too early to know what will be done, one thing is certain: Out of respect for Morocco and all Moroccans I will not leave in any way for another African nation regardless of it. Those who claim so are wrong,” wrote the French coach on social media.

    The 49-year-old has already said he is committed to the kingdom. Last week, on his flight back home from Russia to Morocco, the Atlas Lions’ coach agreed to answer 2M’s questions about his future, saying that he has a contract with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) until 2022.

    But while Renard is keen to disparage the rumors and “fake news” surrounding his future commitment with the Moroccan national squad, he has not said anything conclusive about whether he will stay.

    The Frenchman’s statements on social media have left many people skeptical about his desire to retain the coaching position with the Atlas Lions, prompting many to ask what he really thinks.

  • Transfers: Nordin Amrabat to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr done deal

    Moroccan international winger Nordin Amrabat has signed a three year contract for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr following his virtuoso displays at the World Cup.

    Despite getting knocked out of the first round, Amrabat showed a lot of grit and determination in his three games for the Lions of the Atlas.

    The deal is believed to be worth around five million dollars for the wide man’s club and 10 million for Amrabat himself to be paid throughout his three years at the Saudi team.

    Last season, the 31-year-old was loaned to Spanish outfit Leganes from his home club Watford and he managed to help them survive another season in La Liga with his two goals and four assists.

    The player represented the English team for one year and a half, coming from Spanish side Malaga and has previously played UEFA Champions League football with Turkish giants Galatasaray.


  • Transfers: Lyon turn to Ziyech as Fekir's replacement

    (Goal.com) With Nabil Fekir set for new Liverpool talks after the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Lyon have opened negotiations with Ajax for Hakim Ziyech's permanent switch, Mirror reports.

    The Ligue 1 club are ready to beat Roma and Liverpool to the signing of the 25-year-old who is yet to confirm a new home after disclosing his intention of leaving Holland.

  • Transfers: Morocco striker Ayoub El Kaabi joins Hebei China Fortune

    BBC Sport

    Morocco striker Ayoub El Kaabi has signed Hebei China Fortune in the Chinese Super Leagure from Moroccan club Renaissance Berkane.

    The two-year deal will cost the Chinese side just over US$7 million with Berkane also guaranteed 30% of any fee Hebei receive for El Kaabi.

    "Ayoub had many offers, but we picked up the Hebei offer," the Moroccan side said on its Facebook page.

    "He will now play alongside stars like Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Mascherano and Gervinho," it added.

    The 25-year-old, who rose to prominence with his nine goals at this year's African Nations Championship, was part of the Morocco squad at the World Cup in Russia.

    He had also been linked to a move to ton Egyptian side Zamalek but instead has chosen to join the Chinese side, who will be coached by the former Wales manager Chris Coleman.

    El Kaabi only joined to Bekane last year from Racing de Casablanca.

  • Transfers: Dortmund sign Morocco full-back Hakimi on loan from Real Madrid

    (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Morocco international Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid on a two-year loan deal, the Bundesliga club announced on Wednesday.

    An attacking full back, Hakimi started all three of Morocco’s games at the World Cup in Russia before they were eliminated in the group stage.

    The 19-year-old Real Madrid academy graduate made nine league appearances for the Spanish club under Zinedine Zidane last season, as well as playing five times in the King’s Cup and twice in the Champions League.

    “Achraf Hakimi is a young, very dynamic full-back who has played at the very highest level with Real Madrid and the Morocco national team,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement.

    Hakimi is new manager Lucien Favre’s latest acquisition in a busy close season following the arrival of goalkeepers Marwin Hitz and Eric Oelschlagel, midfielders Thomas Delaney and Marius Wolf and defender Abdou Diallo.

    He will join the Dortmund squad during the U.S. pre-season tour between July 18-26.

  • Transfers: Ayoub El-Kaabi move to Zamalek falls through

    (KingFut.com) RS Berkane forward Ayoub El-Kaabi’s move to Zamalek has fallen through after the Moroccan international agreed to join a Chinese club.

    El-Kaabi has been linked with a possible transfer to the White Castle and speculation about a potential move increased after Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour confirmed the club were in talks with the forward.

    However, RS Berkane opted to sell the El-Kaabi to a Chinese side after they offered $6.5 million compared to Zamalek’s $2.5 million bid, according to Mortada Mansour.

    “It’s over, Ayoub El-Kaabi will go to China,” Mansour told LTC.

    “The Chinese offer exceeded $6 million and therefore the Moroccan club accepted their offer. RS Berkane president apologized to me,” he added.

    The 25-year-old forward was RS Berkane key man last season, scoring 12 goals and assisting further two in 22 games.

    His impressive performances earned him a national team call-up and he was part of the squad that travelled to Russia to play in the 2018 World Cup.

    He started Morocco’s opening game against Iran and featured against Portugal as the Atlas Lions were eliminated from the group stages.

  • Transfers: Ahly to stick with Moroccan striker Azaro after move to China falls through

    Egyptian champions Ahly announced on Monday that striker Walid Azaro won’t be leaving this summer after a deal for the Moroccan international to join Chinese club Hebei China Fortune F.C fell through.

    Despite the reported lucrative 9,5-million Euros offer, Ahly and their Chinese counterparts failed to agree on some details; with the Cairo giants blaming the buyers of being unprofessional.

    “The file of selling Azaro won’t be discussed anymore as the talks with the Chinese club showed many unprofessional things far of Ahly’s rules,” Ahly’s contracting manager Mohamed Fadl explained in a statement via the club’s official website.

    “Upon the player’s request, the football committee decided to start the negotiations and we already reached an agreement over the deal’s value (8,6 million Euros).

    “Surprisingly and unprofessionally, the Chinese club retreated many of the terms that we agreed before so the football committee decided to stop the negotiations and to inform the technical staff that the player won’t be leaving the summer,” the statement concluded.

    The 23-year old Azaro has been one of Ahly's key players since joining in the summer of 2017 from Moroccan side Difaa El Jadida, enjoying a debut season to remember and establishing himself as the most deadly marksman in Egyptian football.

    He became the highest scoring foreigner in a single season in the Egyptian Premier League's history after netting 18 goals to power Ahly to a third consecutive league title.

    Despite his outstanding performances with Ahly, Azaro did not make Morocco's final cut for the World Cup finals in Russia; where they were eliminated from the first round.

    Now under the guidance of new coach Patrice Carteron, Ahly will be hoping to keep the prolific striker, having become dependent on his pace and finishing skills.

  • Transfers: Karim El Ahmadi joins Saudi Al-Ittihad

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco international and Feyenoord midfielder Karim El Ahamdi (33) has joined Saudi Al-Ittihad on a two-year deal.

  • Transfers: Juve to offer Benatia extension

    By Football Italia

    Juventus will offer defender Mehdi Benatia a contract extension and could turn to Diego Godin if he refuses, according to Tuttosport.

    The Moroccan international made 32 appearances in all competitions for the Old Lady last season, scoring four goals.

    He has been linked with a move away from the Turin club this summer, amid rumours the Serie A champions would be prepared to sell him for around €20m.

    However, the Italian sports daily claims the Bianconeri have had a change of heart and now want the 31-year-old to extend his stay with the club.

    Benatia joined Juve in 2016 and has two years remaining on his current deal.

    Should Benatia not sign, Tuttosport say the Old Lady will turn their attentions to signing Uruguayan centre-back Godin from Atletico Madrid.

  • Transfers: Ziyech can forget Roma move for the moment

    AS Roma technical director Monchi has dismissed speculation that the club are close to signing Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech.

    The Italian side has been heavily linked with the Moroccan midfielder, who was said to have already agreed personal terms on a deal with Roma.

    However, at a press conference, Monchi stated, “I have always loved him, but at the moment we do not need players for his position, I can never say it with 100 percent certainty, but that’s the situation”

    Roma recently signed Javier Pastore, who may be seen as their alternative to Ziyech.

    At the moment, Ziyech remains an Ajax player and may be available for their Champions League qualifier with Sturm Graz later this month.



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