France's Kylian Mbappe controls the ball ahead of Stve Nzonzi during a training session at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Glebovets, Russia, Monday, July 2, 2018. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

The Latest: Real Madrid says it has no deal to sign Mbappe

July 04, 2018 - 10:40 am

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest at the World Cup (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Real Madrid is back in the thick of intrigue at the World Cup even with Spain having been eliminated.

The Champions League title holder issued a statement Wednesday rejecting reports that it has reached an agreement to sign France forward Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain. This comes two days after Madrid dismissed a report that it had offered to buy Neymar from PSG for a world-record transfer of 310 million euros ($360 million).

Madrid made waves at the start of the tournament when it hired Spain coach Julen Lopetegui to take over after the World Cup. Spain's federation summarily fired Lopetegui days before Spain's first match, saying the coach and club hadn't given it proper notice.


5:08 p.m.

A Moscow court has fined a British fan for vandalizing a statue of a revered Russian soccer player outside a World Cup stadium.

The Tushinsky District Court handed a 3,000-ruble ($47) fine Wednesday to 20-year-old Rufus Hall for inscribing the statue of former Spartak Moscow player Fyodor Cherenkov with the word "England." Hall was detained by police just before England defeated Colombia on Tuesday.

The vandalism prompted an outpouring of criticism of English fans on Russian social networks, with users calling them poor guests. Hall apologized in a video posted online by

Cherenkov is not well known outside Russia but remains a hero to Spartak fans after winning three Soviet titles and one Russian title with the club. Thousands of fans attended his funeral in 2014.


3:03 p.m.

Russian police have briefly detained several activists protesting political repressions outside a World Cup arena.

Police moved quickly to round up four teenagers outside the stadium where Sweden knocked out Switzerland on Tuesday. The four were released a few hours later.

Lika Petrovskaya, a 16-year-old who wore a bloodied white dress at the protest, said their goal was "to attract attention to the political repressions," including the imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. Another five activists were also detained Tuesday while they were distributing leaflets calling for Sentsov's release.

Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia's annexation of Crimea, was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts. He denied the charges and has been on a hunger strike since mid-May.


2:43 p.m.

After impressing at the World Cup, Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson has been sold by Danish team FC Randers to Azerbaijan champion Qarabag.

Iceland exited the tournament at the group stage but Randers' sporting director Soeren Pedersen says the performance of the 34-year Icelander "hasn't gone unnoticed." Halldorsson's tournament was highlighted by saving a penalty kick from Lionel Messi in a 1-1 draw with Argentina.

Pedersen said Wednesday that the club got "a concrete bid from Qarabag, which we have accepted." Details of the deal were not released.

Halldorsson, who played 69 games for the team, said "it is time for me to try something else and embark on a new adventure."

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