So, what is the latest when it comes to Ligue 1 transfer rumours? No need to ask yourself this question anymore. Let’s check out all the gossip surrounding the French top football league and see which moves matter the most.
The best part is that there’s always the next transfer window for those who failed to make moves on time.
Angers SCO: Providing talent for Europe
The mission of smaller clubs in Europe is to develop and supply young prospects to the elite clubs who then win trophies with their new gems. And Angers currently find themselves in the first of the two positions. Their 19-year-old starlet Rayan Aït Nouri who has spent four years within the French club, has now left to join Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The good news for Les Scoïstes’ fans is that his move is temporary in the form of a loan deal. However, keeping him at Stade Raymond Kopa will be challenging because he's already valued at €20 Million, and numerous clubs besides Wolves have also shown interest. Nuno Espirito Santo's team has the option to buy the defender at the end of the loan and will probably capitalize on this opportunity.
Missed chance for a midfielder deal
The departure of the Angers' prominent figure, Baptiste Santamaria, has left an open gap. Stéphane Moulin tried to find solutions to his midfield dilemma during the summer, but his plans fell apart. He tried signing both Le Havre's Pape Gueye and Monaco's Kevin N’Doram, but neither of them agreed on joining Le SCO.
Angers kept on looking for Santamaria's replacement, and some pundits had rumored an exciting name – Franck Ribery. The Frenchmen is currently playing for Fiorentina, and his contract has an undisclosed date of expiration. It's believed that he will become once again a free agent and might look to end his career in his homeland. A late move to Angers or any other smaller club isn't out of the picture.
Bordeaux: Failed move for Nahuel Bustos
Argentinian forward Nahuel Bustos was linked with a long list of European clubs. La Liga sides Real Sociedad and Valencia were interested, Ligue 1 Bordeaux as well. Serie A's Roma was the most eager to attract the Argentinian in who they saw a perfect replacement for Edin Dzeko, who's nearing the end of his career. However, Sociedad and Bordeaux were the ones to make the first step towards signing Bustos, but it wasn’t meant to be
The striker ended up joining City Football Group-owned Girona on deadline day, crushing the hopes of all mentioned squads. The Girondins may resume their interest in the near future, but CFG probably has their own plans for Bustos' future, which may even include a transfer to Manchester City.
Another failed deadline day transfer
Bordeaux suffered losses through the transfer window as another one of their targets was snatched on deadline day. Bayern Munich’s recent singing Michael Cuisance was rumored to be returning to his homeland on loan. And his return became a reality, but it turned out that he joined Marseille instead of Bordeaux. Other Ligue 1 sides, mainly Metz, were lining up to loan the 20-year-old midfielder, but OM ruined their plans.
Brest: Cashing in from selling Ibrahima Diallo
The club went on a shopping spree after their star Ibrahima Diallo was bought by Premier League team Southampton. The sum agreed upon was €16.5 Million, which is roughly a quarter of the whole squad's market value and set the team's record for the highest-paid departure. This can put into perspective how unused to such deals Stade Brest actually is.
€14.5 Million is the profit made from Diallo after buying him for €2 Million just a year ago. This new income allowed The Pirates to buy six new players and loan an additional two while only spending a little over €1 Million.
Big names linked with a possible move to Stade Francis-Le Blé
One of them is the Ivorian veteran Yaya Toure. The 37-year-old has played for Monaco, Barcelona, and most importantly, Manchester City and is now nearing the end of his career. He is a free agent after his contract with the Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai expired in the summer. It's gossiped that Toure has been in talks with Brest's sporting director Gregory Lorenzi, but a deal is yet to be signed.
Similar is the situation with the controversial Mario Balotelli. Being a free agent as well, he was heavily linked with joining Saint-Etienne during the summer, but the deal wasn't finalized. Genoa and AC Milan are also looking to get a hold of him, and Stade Brest has to react fast in order to secure Balotelli's move to France.
Dijon FCO: 300 seconds of transfer saga saw one of their moves fall through.
Reports claimed that the Owls had laid eyes upon Bulgarian FPL side CSKA Sofia's Ali Sowe. Later the news was confirmed with Dijon's official bid of €4 Million seeing the light. For the Bulgarian club, this is a tremendous amount of money, and on deadline day, they agreed upon the transfer. Ali Sowe had already posted a farewell message to his CSKA Sofia fans on social media before the deal fell through.
Dijon was done with the required paperwork and was waiting for their CSKA counterpart to do so too. Reportedly the Bulgarian club's officials were facing technical issues, which led them to officially register the transfer 5 minutes after the window closed. Authorities didn't allow the deal to go through, and Sowe's departure for Ligue 1 didn't happen. Dijon faced similar issues when finalizing Mounir Chouiar’s transfer last season, which ended in success after all.
Another deal failed to see the light
Maxime Gonalons was gossiped to be on the verge of returning to Ligue 1 with Dijon. A product of Olympique Lyon's youth academy, he spent 17 years withing the Kids' structures before being sold to Roma in 2017. He didn't establish himself as a regular starter with the Serie A outfit and was soon offloaded on loans with Sevilla and Granada. Dijon's board inquired Roma to sign Gonalons on loan, but the Giallorossi found a permanent solution by selling the midfielder to Granada.
Lens: Despite all the singings
Looking to last longer in the top-flight, recently promoted Lens went on a shopping spree during the summer. The club spent €19 Million and didn't register a single euro of income. All of the players they bought are relatively young, with the average arrivals age being 22.5 years. It's safe to say that Lens is building a squad for the future.
Even though Lens spent quite a bit for a club of its size, the board is willing to pursue even more players. One of their targets has been Harris Belkebla. Playing with Brest's kit, the midfielder attracted interest through his performances. Steven Gerard's squad Rangers acted fast and was extremely close to snatching the Algerian right under Lens' noses. However, the 26-year-old decided to remain loyal to his current club, and no agreement with either side was reached.
Lost to Lens in his debut, then joined them
France under 18 aspiring forward Arnaud Kalimuendo was loaned by PSG to Lens after the recently promoted club slayed the French colossus in a league game. This match was Kalimuendo’s debut for the Paris Saint Germain, and it seems like he was left impressed by the Sang et Or.
The Frenchmen later joined Lens on a 2-year long loan deal. Having impressive stats with an almost 1:1 appearance to goal ratio in PSG's youth team and France's U18 squad, he's a name that's up to a bright future. Most likely, it won't be at Lens, but the club will try its best to keep the striker for as long as possible.
Lorient: Transfer news about stars in the making
Illan Meslier is likely to be one of the next successful products of Lorient's youth academy. The 20-year-old, towering at 1.97m shot-stopper, was loaned out to Leeds United in 2019 after he impressed in 30 appearances with Lorient’s kit. Leeds' promotion to the Premier League offered the youngster the chance to play in arguably the best league in the world.
Paired with interest from the English side, his permanent transfer was later agreed upon. Meslier has since made four starts for The Peacocks, looking rather solid, and being named Man of the Match in the Yorkshire Derby with Sheffield. He is definitely a talent to keep an eye on, and Lorient is credited with bringing him up.
Reinforcing the defense
Through attracting Inter Milan’s Andrew Gravillon, Pélissier aims to find a solution to any defensive problem. The center back was acquired by the Italian side but is yet to play with Inter’s kit. He has been loaned out to Sassuolo and Ascoli and recently became part of Lorient's lineup again on loan. This time around, though, his contract contains a buy clause. Being unused in the Nerazzurri's first team, he will possibly opt-out sooner rather than later. If he is to settle nicely within Ligue 1, we may also see the French club pressing the issue.
Lille: Rejecting Premier League club’s transfer bids
Lille's squad has attracted significant interest from abroad due to their impressive performances. However, the board is not willing to let players leave that easily. They aren't even moved by some serious offers, including a tremendous amount of money. The club is willing to develop its own players and either use them to win or sell them for double the amount that they are worth today.
Such is the case with France U21 International Boubakary Soumare. Product of both Paris clubs – Paris FC and PSG's youth academies, he joined Lille three years ago in search of playtime. With 56 first-team appearances, it's safe to say he has found that opportunity and meanwhile caught the attention of Premier League club Newcastle United. The Magpies were ready to part ways with €35 Million in order to acquire Soumare. A huge sum considering the midfielder is just 19 years old. It's also a smart move on Lille's behalf to keep the youngster because, as we mentioned before, his value will continue to rise.
Looked to sign another promising talent
Lille was looking to acquire more future prospects. Ligue 2 side LB Châteauroux’s Haissem Hassan was on their target list, but it seems like the effort to sign him wasn't enough. The Frenchmen of Egyptian descent was bought by Villareal's second team to continue to gather experience. He is a star in the making, and if the La Liga club is stubborn to make use of him, we may see LOSC Lille go for another deal in the future.
Lyon: Some big stars rumored to be leaving
Serious interest and gossip have surrounded 2 of Lyonnais’ biggest stars – Memphis Depay and Houssem Aouar, but so far, they both remain with OL. Depay arrived at the club in 2017 from Manchester United for a transfer fee estimated to be around €20 Million. With the Red Devils, the striker managed just two goals in 2 seasons, which forced the Premier League side to offload him. Since then, he has redeemed himself, scoring nine times in 13 league appearances last season and a total of 58 goals for the three years he has spent with The Kids.
Depay is one of Europe's most wanted strikers, and Barcelona is eager to sign him. Currently, worth around €44 Million, it was rumored that his move to the Catalans was practically set, but it didn't see the light. It is believed that in January, Ronald Koeman will reignite negotiations.
Houssem Aouar is another aspiring player linked with numerous clubs. At the beginning of the 2017 campaign, the 22-year-old's value was less than a million euros. He is currently OL's highest-valued player, even above Depay, with the €50 Million that the club asks for him. Arsenal fell short of paying the price with their €36 Million bid. The young midfielder is set for a bright future, and it's possible that he seeks it outside of Lyon. He will probably remain for the current campaign, but the next summer window might see his departure.
Olympique Marseille: Ligue 1 duo making arrangements for Leicester’s forward
After netting nine times in eighteen appearances during a season that was cut short, Monaco was not interested in permanently signing Algerian forward Islam Slimani. He is still owned by the Foxes but hasn't played with their kit for two years now. It seems like there isn't a spot for him in Brendan Rogers' plans, and Leicester doesn't have a reason to try to keep him.
Two French sides showed their interest during the summer in the face of LOSC Lille and Olympique Marseille, but no agreement was reached. It was rumored that Lille had tried to buy the 32-year-old while OM was looking for a loan deal. Slimani's contract with Leicester is due to expire in the summer of 2021, and with seemingly no contract extension coming out of the Premier League side, he will be forced to move on.
An outcast on Villas-Boas' radar
Inter Milan is wondering how to offload their €40 Million flop without losing a severe amount of money. João Mário's value has plummeted and is nowhere near the €40 Million that he was once worth. He has spent the last two seasons on loan with West Ham United and Lokomotiv Moscow and was just recently snatched up by former club Sporting on a year-long loan.
The gossip is that his career in Inter is nearly over, and Villas-Boas is quite keen on the midfielder. Marseille's coach wanted to sign him during the summer, but it was to no success. This means that at the end of the season, João Mário either returns full-time to Sporting for which he already has played in 12 seasons, or Marseille tries to persuade the Portuguese to come to France.
Metz: Another future star on the horizon
Metz has a young prospect on their hands. Currently plying his trade for the club's second team, Yassine Gourari Tebaa has attracted tons of Premier League attention. Playing as a goalkeeper in the fourth tier Championnat National 2, he has done enough to have Everton, Brighton, and Warford knocking on the door for him.
Tebaa remains at Metz after no deal was made during the transfer window. Watford was the first to engage and proposed a three year deal for the 20-year-old. Everton was also serious about signing the goalie but demanded he plays with the club's U23 squad at first. Along with Turkish teams Trabzonspor and Antalyaspor, Brighton was also rumored to be in talks with Gourari Tebaa, but no offers were made on their behalf.
Diallo's gossiped exit was realized
Reports claimed that Metz's primary scorer in recent years, Habib Diallo, is leaving the club to join the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur bid for the striker during the 2020 January transfer window, but the French side couldn't let go of their prominent figure in the middle of the season. Chelsea was also rumored to show interest back then, but neither of the clubs returned for Diallo in the summer. His exit nevertheless followed, but it was fellow Ligue 1 side Strasbourg that attracted him.
Monaco: The Red Devils want Badiashile
The English colossus Manchester United showed their interest in acquiring Monaco's biggest prospect – Benoit Badiashile. Only 19 years of age, the French youth International has been regarded as a future star. Towering at 1,94m, he has displayed impressive performance with Monaco's kit. And it didn't take long for the Red Devils to take notice. He has been linked with a move to both United and Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.
Niko Kovac reportedly had asked the board to reject any offer for the defender. It seems that they agreed with him, and a €25 Million bid was turned down. Monaco has made it clear that unless Manchester United make an irresistible offer like the one that they made for Anthony Martial, a transfer won't be completed.
Pursuit of midfielders was to no success
Kovac wanted to bolster his lineup with several midfield additions. The club spent €39 Million during the summer transfer window but failed to acquire a single midfielder. Two of the most gossiped players to be joining AS Monaco were Sporting CP's Wendel and Borussia Dortmund's Mario Götze. However, both moves resulted ended up being a failure.
A €15 Million bid for Sporting's Wendel was turned down, and the Portugues suggested that they are looking for no less than €25 Million for the Brazilian. During the summer, Mario Götze had become a free agent after his contract with BVB expired. Kovac tried making a move for him, but the veteran preferred joining the Eredivise club PSV Eindhoven.
Montpellier: West Ham keeping tabs on a French striker
West Ham United was keen on acquiring the prominent Montpellier figure Gaëtan Laborde. Reportedly the Hammers have had him on their watchlist for the past three years and even made their interest known to his previous club, Bordeaux. He has also been linked with a move to Arsenal and Liverpool in the past.
However, it seems that the Laborde isn't ready to leave his homeland yet. He has spent the entirety of his career playing football in France, which equals a total of 20 years now. West Ham is looking to reinforce its forward options after fellow Frenchman Sebastian Haller failed to impress in his first season. Gaëtan Laborde's move to London will increase the competition amongst the club's lineup, but he will also contribute with great attacking force.
Struggling to find a new goalkeeper
During the summer of 2020, Montpellier's № one goalie Jonas Omlin left the club and joined FC Basel, which left a vacant spot in the lineup. This led the club to look for a new main goalkeeper, with one of their targets being the controversial keeper Loris Karius. He has been out of favor at Anfield ever since that dreadful performance in the 2018 Champions League final. The following two years he spent on loan with Beşiktaş. Upon his return to England, it was evident that he won't find a place in the squad. Liverpool wanted to offload him, preferably on a permanent deal, with Montpellier keen. Despite this, the German preferred playing in his homeland, joining Union Berlin on loan.
Nantes: The transfer that never saw the light
Nantes was rumored to be in talks with Sporting CP for the transfer of Idrissa Doumbia. Later the Ligue 1 side submitted a €4 Million bid, which was turned down shortly after. The Portuguese club claimed that they are ready to negotiate a deal if Nantes can match their asking price estimated to be at the €8 Million region.
This turned out to be way too costly for The Canaries' taste, who asked Sporting to reconsider the sum. Bought from Akhmat Grozny for €3.8 Million, the Primeira Liga team is looking to make a profit from Doumbia. An agreement was never reached, and The Ivorian went on to join SD Huesca on loan. If Nantes is to better their financial conditions, a future deal isn't out of the picture.
The Canaries’ player wanted all across Europe
France U21 International Imran Louza, who is currently plying his trade while wearing Nantes' kit, has attracted a pair of Elite clubs' interest. The 21-year-old is the team's own product, having already spent 14 years in their formations. Coach Gourcuff said that he wasn't even familiar with the youngster before arriving at the club. He has since been delighted by the midfielder's performances using him rather frequently. Louza’s impressive form was also spotted by AC Milan and local rivals Olympique Lyon. Valued at nearly €10, if he is to be sold, it will provide a significant financial boost for Nantes.
Nice: Youcef Atal has his heart at the club
Nice's right-back Youcef Atal is a key defensive player in the clubs' lineup. He was enjoying his best form before injuring his knee last winter. The Algerian's playstyle is similar to, for example, Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold's, meaning that he is capable of moving the ball forward and delivering long-range passes. His versatility is why teams like Napoli and Watford are keen on signing him.
However, the 24-year-old is feeling comfortable with Nice and isn't looking for a move elsewhere. The club's president Jean-Pierre Rivere claimed that the squad's current goals are to build and develop players for the future. Rivere wants to help his team be a consistent Ligue 1 side and rank recurrently in the top 5.
In the race for Sporting’s talent
A player who is rumored to have attracted the interest of numerous clubs across Europe is Sporting CP's, Jovane Cabral. The 21-year-old displayed an impressive team-oriented performance, which has led to inquiries from several teams. Ligue 1 Rennes and Nice are the most eager ones for the youngster's signature. An agreement was never reached in the summer, so it's believed that the French teams will continue negotiating Cabral's transfer. They will have to spend a generous amount, with Sporting exclaiming that they won't sell the winger for less than €15 Million.
English 2nd tier of football, the Championship has also had many teams reaching out to Sporting's board. An undisclosed Premier League side, which is believed to be Leeds United, has also contacted the Portuguese team.
Nimes: New signing is tracking attention
Birger Meling is a Norwegian footballer who recently became a part of an elite European football league – France's top flight. He has six seasons under his belt in Norway's Eliteserien, formerly known as Tippeligaen. Nimes paid Rosenborg only a single million euro for their left-back in what seems like a potentially huge investment.
The defender has scored his first Ligue 1 goal and also provided two assists in just five appearances this season. If he continues on with this rate, we will see his value skyrocketing by the end of the season and several big clubs knocking on the door for a deal. It's entirely possible that he only spends a single season with the Crocodiles before he has to move again.
Loan move falls through
Taiwo Awoniyi has been owned by Liverpool for five seasons now but is yet to wear the Reds' kit. Since 2015 he has been loaned to 6 different clubs across Europe, and the 7th was rumored to be Nimes. However, the Nigerian ended up joining the Bundesliga team Union Berlin. He will complete another year-long loan far away from Anfield.
Nolan Roux’s future with Nimes seems uncertain. The experienced veteran has played for several French clubs but never settled in any of them. After joining the Crocodiles for a year, he may be looking to opt-out during the next summer. Being 32-years-old he may as well desire to slow down the pace and join a Ligue 2 side to play out his carrier.
PSG: Possible move for Messi?
The 2020 summer transfer window was marked by the rumored exit of Barcelona's main man Lionel Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are the biggest names in the current era of football. Both players are aging, though, but this doesn't stop them from dominating the league they are playing. It was hard to ever imagine Cristiano Ronaldo playing for a club different than Real Madrid, but we all saw that happening. It's even harder to visualize Messi's Barcelona's exit, but it's inevitable.
Heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, the Argentinian was almost persuaded during the summer. PSG is a club that has the possibility of winning his signature, so they won't just sit and observe how Messi's transfer will unfold – they will try to get him to move to Paris. However, he didn't depart from Camp Nou and will most likely finish the campaign with the Catalans before deciding upon his future.
Their star seeking his exit
Kylian Mbappe is one of the world's highest-valued footballers at the moment. The 21-year-old is on the path to becoming one of the greatest ever players in this game. PSG offers him a lot of possibilities for development, so his future in Paris will be beneficial for Mbappe. However, he is reportedly feeling bored without much competition in Ligue 1. He has stated that in 2021 he wants to look for a new club, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, and Liverpool all being a possibility.
Reims: Milan finds Predrag Rajkovic suitable to replace Donnaruma.
One of the biggest Serie A sides could face the possibility of losing their young and promising goalie. Gianluigi Donnarumma spent ten years with Napoli's youth academy, starting to play when he was just four years old. In 2013 Milan acquired the then-teenager and continued developing his skills with their own youth squad. Ever since the beginning of the 2015/2016 season, when he was aged sixteen, he has been the Rossoneri's first-choice goalkeeper.
Donnarumma's contract expires in 2021, and it's evident that AC Milan will offer him an extension. However, what's left unclear is whether the 21-year-old feels ready to move on with his career and look for another club, or he wants to remain loyal to the side that brought him up. We will only understand when that time comes around, but Milan's board does not rely solely on that. The rumor has it that they are looking for a possible replacement for their goalkeeper position, and one of their targets is Reims' Predrag Rajkovic. With a similar height and impressive goalkeeping statistics, the Serbian seems like a coherent successor to Donnarumma.
Groeningen defender preferred Hertha instead of Reims
Deyovaisio Zeefuik was a player linked with a possible move to Reims. The French club inquired his previous team FC Groningen for the 22-year-old Dutch defender. Reports claimed that Southampton was the team leading the race for his signature. In the end, both of those clubs were left empty-handed as Zeefuik chose to join Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
Rennes: Their product attracting tons of interest
The club’s very own talent Eduardo Camavinga has a ton of eyes staring at him. He has already spent seven years with Stade Rennais and is an aspiring prospect. He just recently got his first start for the French National team setting a new record for the youngest goalscorer in the meantime. It's fair to say that the 17-year-old has had a start that would suggest a legendary career, so it's only normal that a club like Real Madrid is already looking to sign him.
It was believed that the move would've been completed in the summer. However, a deal wasn't worked out. Zidane doesn't want to miss out on the opportunity to sign the youngster. He will be a perfect long-term replacement for midfielders Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, who are close to ending their time as footballers. The Bernabeu side has reached an agreement with Camavinga to wait until the 2021 summer transfer window and then settle the deal. Surely though, Los Blancos will face severe competition for the signature of the talent.
Another transfer set to be completed in the summer of 2021
Bayern Munich veteran Javi Martinez's contract expires in the incoming summer, and reportedly he wants to leave Rennais is gossiped to have shown particular interest in signing the defensive midfielder. They can offer him the chance to play in the Champions League and contend the top spot in Ligue 1. However, the Spaniard is believed to have his heart at former club Atletic Bilbao and is keen on making his return. In order to secure the deal, Rennes has to come up with an exciting proposition.
Saint-Etienne: ASSE connected with ex-PSG player Aouchiche
The 18-year-old is dubbed one of France's biggest future stars. Adil Aouchiche spent six years with Paris Saint Germain's academy and played for the senior team on three occasions scoring once. However, he was way too inexperienced to feature in Thomas Tuchel's starting lineup, which led him to search for his luck elsewhere. And there was no shortage of interested sides.
Ligue 1 Rennes, Lille, and Saint-Étienne were gossiped to have targeted the starlet's signature. The youngster's agents claimed that they would be looking for propositions that are focused on the player's growth rather than a big salary. Something which is seen less frequently in modern football. It seems like ASSE had the most to offer in that department, and he is now settled in Saint- Étienne, the French star-in-the-making will. But that doesn't mean that his future is set. Surely interested teams will be once again knocking on the door in the next couple fo transfer windows.
A failed loan move for Rennes' striker
After an unexpected outcome of the saga with M’Baye Niang’s move to Saint- Étienne, the club's board blamed an undisclosed intervention of agents to be what failed the deal. Niang's arrival was so close to done that he had already passed the medical tests. For now, though, he remains at Stade Rennais but allegedly is dissatisfied. The Senegalese is ready to move on and join another club. His stay in Rennes is coming to an end, and ASSE might try to make a deal once again in January.
Strasbourg: Receiving bids for a defender
During the last transfer season, Mohamed Simakan has been linked with numerous moves and quite a few elite teams keen on the 20-year-old. Just last season, he earned his spot in the senior squad and managed to get the best out of it forcing sides like West Ham United and AC Milan to make bids for him.
Additionally, Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen, and Rennes are also keeping tabs on the prospect. Strasbourg was hardly able to keep the Frenchmen from departing, which will be in their favor. Furthermore, by the end of the current campaign, Simakan's price will have risen even further than the €15 Million he is currently valued at.
West Ham’s bid neared the €20 Millon region, so it seems like it takes more to persuade Strasbourg. Milan could only afford a €12 Million proposition. If they have the funds for it, they will resume their interest in the center back in January. Reportedly while doing the negotiations, the Rossoneri had sent a private jet to Strasbourg trying to tempt the youngster.
A Premier League side linked with a Sissoko deal?
In the summer of 2019, English club Newcastle United were keen on signing one of Strasbourg young and promising players – Ibrahima Sissoko. The Magpies were ready to part ways with over €15 Million for the then 21-year-old. However, an agreement never saw the light, and the French club is probably regretting that decision heavily a year later after his value has dropped. This may lead Newcastle to return to negotiations for Sissoko.