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Ben Yedder targets European football with Monaco following move from Sevilla

SoccerNews in La Liga 21 Aug 2019

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Wissam Ben Yedder is determined to help Monaco qualify for European football again after taking the “hard” decision to leave Sevilla.

The France forward signed a five-year contract with the Ligue 1 side last week as part of a deal that saw Rony Lopes move in the opposite direction.

After scoring 38 LaLiga goals during his three seasons with Sevilla, the former Toulouse player had been linked with a move to Spanish champions Barcelona and also Premier League side Manchester United during the close season.

Ben Yedder has instead returned to French football with Monaco – and he is not concerned about last season’s successful battle to avoid relegation, insisting Monaco’s struggles were an “anomaly”.

“It was hard to leave Seville,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday. “There was a lot of emotion, a lot of things happened in Spain for me. 

“But with the vice-president, [Oleg] Petrov, we exchanged a lot about the project. Monaco wants to be at the top of the table. Monaco is my choice. 

“We don’t know what would have happened if I had stayed in Spain. There were many clubs that were interested in me. I chose Monaco and I am satisfied.

“It’s a big club, although the situation is difficult at the moment. But during the last five seasons, there was a Champions League quarter-final and a semi-final. 

“We will make sure that what happened last season is just an anomaly. We will do everything to reach the European competitions.”

Ben Yedder’s arrival at Stade Louis II was expected to pave the way for Radamel Falcao to leave, with Galatasaray heavily linked with the Colombia international.

However, Petrov wants Falcao to stay put and see out the rest of his contract.

“Falcao told us that he wants to play in the Champions League, but we want him to stay in the team,” Petrov said. “Falcao is a very good professional. He has to respect his contract with us.”

Ben Yedder led Monaco’s attack in Falcao’s absence against Metz last weekend but was unable to prevent his new employers slipping to a second successive defeat at the start of the new season.

Rather than replace him, Ben Yedder hopes to get the chance to play alongside the 33-year-old.

“I will be glad if Falcao stays,” he said. “Falcao is an extraordinary player and if he stays we will try to do everything to be at the top of the table, scoring as many goals as possible. 

“I learned a lot from the Spanish league and it’s very important for me to continue and improve.”

Monaco are reported to have paid €40million to trigger Ben Yedder’s buyout clause, offset by receiving €20m for Lopes in a separate deal.

Islam Slimani became the French side’s latest signing of a busy window on Wednesday, following on from the arrivals of Gelson Martins, Benjamin Lecomte, Henry Onyekuru, Ruben Aguilar and Ben Yedder.

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