Monaco signs Jovetic and Balde as it prepares to sell Mbappe
Aug. 29, 2017
MONACO (AP) — Defending champion Monaco signed forwards Stevan Jovetic from Inter Milan and Keita Balde from Lazio on Tuesday, pre-empting the anticipated departure of Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG is reportedly close to sealing a loan move for Mbappe, with an option to buy the prolific 18-year-old for 180 million euros ($216 million) next season.
PSG is not in a position to buy Mbappe right now. It signed Neymar from Barcelona earlier this month for a world record 222 million euros ($262 million) and is restricted by Financial Fair Play rules designed to curtail excessive spending by clubs each season.
The 22-year-old Balde, who plays for Senegal, scored 16 league goals for Lazio in Serie A last season and has signed a five-year deal. He made his Lazio debut in 2013, scoring 26 goals in 110 league games overall.
The 27-year-old Jovetic, one of the most sought after players in Italy when he burst onto the scene with Fiorentina seven years ago, signed a four-year deal.
Jovetic, who has 23 goals in 46 games for Montenegro, played on loan with Spanish club Sevilla for the second half of last season, scoring six goals in La Liga.
He had two seasons with Manchester City from 2013-15 but started only 11 of 30 league games, scoring eight goals.
The European transfer window shuts Thursday night, and there could still be more activity concerning Monaco — a Champions League semifinalist last season.
Monaco has already sold five key players from last season's title-winning side, but is considering offers from Liverpool for left-sided attacking midfielder Thomas Lemar and from PSG for the technically astute defensive midfielder Fabinho.
Monaco has won the first four games of the league season, scoring 14 goals, and is level with PSG.