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[Sports] Man Utd transfer for Soumare not ruled out by Lille boss Galtier

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The promising central midfielder has said he wants to stay until the end of the season, but nothing has been ruled out by the coach

Lille head coach Christophe Galtier will not guarantee that Boubakary Soumare will still be a player of the Ligue 1 side at the end of January.

The promising midfielder has caught the attention of a glut of clubs after a strong start to the season, with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham among the teams associated with a move for him.

While the player himself has sought to dampen rumours that he could depart the Stade Pierre-Mauroy side, Galtier was not so decisive on the subject.

Asked if Sunday’s clash against Paris Saint-Germain could be the midfielder’s final outing for the club, he replied: “I don’t know. About Bouba Soumare, I don’t know.

“No-one’s told me anything about his situation, maybe it won’t. I don’t know.

“He wants to play and fight with the other players to win on Sunday. That’s certain.”

The 20-year-old central player, who is a graduate of the PSG youth academy, has turned out 25 times in the first half of the season for LOSC, gaining experience in the Champions League by turning out in all of their six fixtures in that competition.

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He has won comparisons to Paul Pogba for his abilities, with club president Gerard Lopez quick to praise his qualities when speaking with Voix du Nord back in October.

“He’s technical, with incredible physical power and wins a great deal of possession. He’s a modern No.6 or 8. We’ll see him in the France team very soon,” he said.

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“He’s a clear vision of where he wants to go and he’s working very hard to get there.”

Lille, though, could be compelled to sell as they are under pressure to balance their budget by French football’s financial watchdog, which recently banned them from signing players for two transfer periods over concerns over their spending.

It is expected that if he does move this month, he will be able to fetch a price in the region of €60 million (£51m/$67m), which would make him Lille’s second-highest sale ever behind only Nicolas Pepe, who joined Arsenal in the summer for around €80m (£67.5m/$88m).

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