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LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — France forward Christopher Nkunku extended his contract with Leipzig through 2026 on Thursday after a breakout season that attracted the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Leipzig technical director Christopher Vivell called Nkunku “one of the best players in the world” after the extension of his contract, which had two more years to go.

The 24-year-old Nkunku won the German Cup with Leipzig last season and scored 20 league goals as he was named Bundesliga player of the season. He also made his debut for France in March and has played all of his country’s six games since then.

“RB Leipzig have made a name for themselves on the international stage in recent years and have shown time and again that we can compete for titles,” Nkunku said in a statement. “We want to build on that going forward and go one step further.”

Nkunku’s performances for Leipzig and France had led to speculation he could move to the Premier League or return to Paris Saint-Germain, where he came through the academy and played until his 2019 move to Leipzig.

___

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Bills Safety Jordan Poyer Breaks Silence Amid Contract Demand

Getty Jordan Poyer looks on before a game against the New England Patriots.

Jordan Poyer may be trying to squeeze a new contract out of the Buffalo Bills, but the All-Pro safety doesn’t seem to harbor any ill feelings toward his team in the process.

Months after publicly asking for a contract extension from the team, Poyer spoke out about his feelings about playing in Buffalo. In one of his first direct comments about the team since making the contract demand through agent Drew Rosenhaus, Poyer made it clear that he loves playing in Buffalo and wants to stay for the long term.

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Poyer Speaks Out

The Bills safety shared his thoughts on the team’s situation during an appearance on the Inside The Garage Podcast. While Poyer hasn’t opened up much personally about his desire for a new contract — letting Rosenhaus make the announcement that his client wanted a new contract — his remarks this week made it clear where he stands with the team.

“I can’t think of a better situation for me to be in than Buffalo right now,” Poyer said.

Poyer spoke about the pride he felt in helping turn around the franchise. He joined the team in 2017, the season that the Bills broke their 17-year playoff drought. The team continued to improve under head coach Sean McDermott and has turned into a top Super Bowl contender this season.

Jordan Poyer can't think of a better place for him to be than Buffalo. https://t.co/b7uw2reSSR

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 1, 2022

Poyer said he’s happy to be part of it and committed to the work — comments that seem to rule out any idea that he may hold out.

“We got the best d**n quarterback in this league so sky is the limit for this team, obviously a lot of expectations of our football team but we’ve got to keep things real. We come into work every day and just work, that’s what we do,” Poyer said.

Poyer Earns Praise

Once seen as one of the league’s most underrated safety duos in the league, Poyer and fellow safety Micah Hyde have both earned plenty of accolades in recent months. Both earned All-Pro honors last season, Hyde to the second team and Poyer on the first team.

In June, the analysis outlet Pro Football Focus named the pair among the league’s top “duos” both on offense and defense and predicted they would remain on top in 2022.

Hyde and Poyer are among the most underrated safety duos in the NFL. The two’s WAR totals each ranked top 15 in 2021, and they both posted 86.0-plus coverage grades last season. With another year in Leslie Frazier’s defense, expect more great things from this talented secondary pairing.

The pair could take on an even more important role in the coming season, especially early. Buffalo’s All-Pro cornerback, Tre’Davious White, is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in November of last season and is expected to miss an early stretch of the season. His replacement will be rookie Kaiir Elam, who has earned some praise from his more experienced teammate in the secondary.

I Want It Bad! pic.twitter.com/Yaz1315TvL

— Kaiir Elam (@kaiirelam5) June 23, 2022

“You can already tell he listens,” Hyde said. “He pays attention. You can tell as I’m saying stuff, he’s taking mental notes. That’s how Tre’Davious was when he first got here. He was battling on the football field, which is what Kaiir is doing, but also just learning from his mistakes and learning from the older guys.”

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