- 25 March
- 1K+ views
Five France stars who could move after the World Cup
World champions France could hardly look more settled ahead of their World Cup semi-final with Morocco, but some of their players have surprisingly uncertain club futures…
France were rocked by injury ahead of the competition, with 2018 winners Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante already missing when Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema pulled out on the eve of the tournament with a torn quadricep.
But despite that, les Bleus continue to look like a winning machine. Tunisia edged them 1-0 with progress from Group D already achieved, but otherwise Didier Deschamps' men have roared past Australia, Denmark, Poland and England, and with a settled XI.
READ: France top scorers of all time: Giroud, Henry and players with most goals
But some of their players could be plying their trade for different clubs sooner rather than later. The most obvious mover has played the second-most minutes for France in Qatar: Adrien Rabiot.
The former PSG midfielder is out of contract with Juventus in the summer and the Old Lady could even cash in in January against the backdrop of a financial investigation which has seen the majority of their board resign.
"I feel attracted by the football, by the Premier League itself and its super competitive nature," Rabiot said recently, reassuring approximately nobody in Turin. "I loved my time there [at Manchester City], even if I was young. I liked the culture and the life; my family liked it too."
🏴 Man Utd— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) July 29, 2022
Benjamin Pavard is a wanted man!@jacobsben explains the latest ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/yZEplub94n
Manchester United came close to signing Rabiot last summer, and if they get their way they could reunite him at club level with Benjamin Pavard - unless Chelsea get there first. But one thing that is clear is that the defender Is willing to leave Bayern Munich.
Pavard is used at right-back by the German champions - and, as it happens, the world champions - but he is frustrated at not being played at centre-back and at club level, at least, he can do something about it.
READ: Barcelona & Chelsea target Benjamin Pavard open to 'new project'
Of all the clubs to have contributed players to the France squad in Qatar, Monaco are perhaps the most prolific sellers. Midfielder Youssouf Fofana and defender Axel Disasi are perhaps on the fringes of the squad - indeed the latter was called up as a replacement for Presnel Kimpembe. But that doesn't mean they won't cash in.
James Rodriguez may have helped Monaco's transfer profit in 2014 having been Colombia's six-goal top scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but he was joined by Radamel Falcao in leaving that summer, while Kylian Mbappé - to the tune of €180 million - was followed out of the Stade Louis II exit by Thomas Lemar and Fabinho that same window in 2018.
Last but not least is Pavard's club and international teammate Kingsley Coman. The Bayern winger has won league titles in each of his last 11 top-flight seasons and is still only 26, but he has constant pressure for his place at Bayern, latterly from the prodigious Jamal Musiala.
Chelsea reportedly had a swap dela involving Christian Pulisic rejected recently, but that doesn't mean Bayern wouldn't sell for the right offer.