Reports: Zinedine Zidane draws up 4-man shortlist to replace Cristiano Ronaldo after Eden Hazard proves ineffective

Eden Hazard has had a somewhat troubled start to his Real Madrid career, forcing Zinedine Zidane to look elsewhere to replace the goals and leadership of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Diario Gol reports that Zinedine Zidane has realized Eden Hazard isn’t the Cristiano Ronaldo replacement he was hoping for him to be, especially after the Belgian showed up 7 kgs overweight in preseason.

Moreoever, the 7-3 drubbing by Atletico Madrid and the injury to Marco Asensio has also created doubts in the minds of Florentino Perez and Zidane as to the ability in the squad.

Read Also: PSG want €100 million plus two Real Madrid stars for Neymar

The report also states that Cristiano Ronaldo exerted equal if not more leadership on the group than club captain Sergio Ramos – something Real Madrid are finding hard to replace as well.

However, Zidane has drawn up a four-man shortlist with the names Sadio Mane, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah and passed it on to Florentino Perez in hope that at least one of them is brought in in this transfer window.

Read Also: Real Madrid already losing faith in new superstar signing after poor start

Incidentally, Cristiano Ronaldo was in Madrid yesterday to receive his MARCA Legend award for his sporting achievements, joining an elite group alongside Lionel Messi, Michael Schumacher, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Michael Jordan among others.

Stunning statistics prove Benfica academy graduates played more Premier League minutes than Arsenal players in 2018/19

In a stunning statistic, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon youth products were found to have played more Premier League minutes than Arsenal’s own academy graduates in the 2018/19 season.

Despite being one of the fabled ‘top 6’ sides in the Premier League, statistics unearthed by BBC indicate that Arsenal are not even in the list of top 10 clubs whose academy products have garnered most number of minutes in the league in 2018/19.

In fact, in a surprising twist, Portuguese sides Benfica and Sporting Lisbon are both above Arsenal in the top 10.

Unsurprisingly though, Manchester United leads the list by a considerable margin, strongly suggesting that the failure of the club’s infrastructure and youth academy has been thoroughly exaggerated.

(Photo credits: BBC)

United lead the way with 27,395 minutes racked by their youth products in various Premier League sides in the previous season. Tottenham follow in second spot, but with a good 10,000 minutes lesser to their name.

Benfica and Sporting Lisbon are eighth and tenth on the list respectively, with 11,032 and 10,127 minutes notched up to their academy products.

It is also worth noting that the other teams in the top 6 apart from Manchester United and Arsenal, i.e Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester City, all find a place in the top 10.

Read Also: Manchester United legend announces retirement, hopes to fulfil Sir Alex Ferguson dream

Reports: Neymar’s father has agreed personal terms on behalf of the player with his next club

Neymar’s father, who is also his aide and advisor, has reportedly reached personal terms agreement with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez as his son’s PSG exit looms.

Don Balon reports that a panic striken Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has turned to Neymar as an emergency big money buy to save the club from its failings – on the back of the resounding 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Neymar, who has been trying to force through a move to Barcelona for some time, has yet to agree to the terms that Real Madrid have put forth. Similarly, the report also states that PSG is yet to come to an understanding with Real Madrid too.

Read Also: After failed negotiations with Barcelona and Real Madrid, PSG to offer Neymar to Premier League giants

However, what is in the favour of Florentino Perez and Real Madrid in this instance is the bad blood that has developed between the Paris club and Barcelona through the Neymar saga.

The report states that PSG supremo Nasser El Khelaifi would prefer to offload the Brazilian superstar to Real Madrid rather than negotiate a deal with Barcelona – who have been content to allow discontent to brew in the Parisien camp to knock his price down despite the overt come-and-get-me plea issued by Neymar and his camp.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 1/5; As mentioned at the start of the article, Neymar and PSG have yet to agree terms with Real Madrid. There is still a long way to go for this deal to be pushed through.

Reports: Real Madrid galactico found to be 7 kilograms overweight in preseason

New Real Madrid signing Eden Hazard has reportedly shown up for preseason a whooping 7 kilos overweight and Florentino Perez is not a happy man.

Sport is reporting that Real Madrid’s big money galactico signing Eden Hazard weighed in 7 kilograms overweight at preseason when he touched down in Montreal for the final leg of preparations.

The report credits ‘club sources’ with the tip off.

Read Also: Real Madrid already losing faith in new superstar signing after poor start

Florentino Perez, who broke the bank on Eden Hazard after Zinedine Zidane’s insistence on purchasing the player, is apparently blaming the French coach for the acquisition of the Belgian attacker now.

Hazard was touted to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement when he signed on with Real Madrid but that notion was quickly dispelled after his ineffectual display in the 7-3 hammering suffered at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

It was even reported that Real Madrid would be making a last gasp desperate attempt to sign Neymar to replace the Portuguese sensation’s goals after that match, pushing a potential deal for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba to the back burner.

Read Also: Former teammate reveals which Real Madrid player is ‘almost’ on Lionel Messi’s level

Reports: Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane clash over Real Madrid star’s future after shock 7-3 defeat

Real Madrid have intimated James Rodriguez that his immediate future lies at the club after their shock 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid and injury to Marco Asensio.

The 7-3 defeat to arch rivals Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup (ICC) has jolted Real Madrid into reality as the club scrambles through with a last minute transfer strategy rejig ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Marco Asensio’s ACL injury, that is likely to see him ruled out for a considerable portion of the season, has also affected said transfer plans.

One of the players set to benefit from this situation is James Rodriguez, as AS suggests that Florentino Perez doesn’t want to sell him anymore.

The heavy loss to Atletico coupled with Asensio’s injury has apparently changed the Real Madrid supremo’s mind about the future of the Colombian superstar. At the very least, the touted move to Atletico Madrid seems to be off the table.

Napoli is the other club said to be very interested in Rodriguez’s services but a move could now be in jeopardy if he is convinced to stick around at the Bernabeu.

However, the report also states that Zinedine Zidane is not in favour of having the player around despite Florentino Perez’s intention to keep him at the club.

Trouble in paradise?

Read Also: Real Madrid already losing faith in new superstar signing after poor start

Cristiano Ronaldo reveals which club he misses more – Real Madrid or Manchester United

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was at Madrid to collect his Marca Leyenda award and spoke about his love for the city of Madrid – a place he admitted he missed more than even Manchester United.

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke about how he is more connected to the Spanish capital due to the birth of his children at the city and even hinted at one day returning there.

“I miss both [Manchester and Madrid] but because of life’s circumstances I have lived more years in Madrid,;my children and my girl were born here, so I miss Madrid more,” he revealed.

He then went on to thank everyone who had a part in him receiving the coveted Marca Leyenda (Marca Legend) award and join an elite group comprising of outstanding athletes like Rafael Nadal, Lionel Messi, Michael Schumacher, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and others of a similar ilk.

“This trophy will be in a very nice place in my museum. Madrid is special, I travel a lot but there are few cities like Madrid. Much of this award is derived from what I did in Madrid.

“It is a Spanish trophy and leaves me very honoured. Thanks to all those who have helped me to achieve it. It is a pride for me. And I hope to return to Madrid soon,” he concluded.

(Quotes R/T Goal)

WATCH: Fans attempt the ‘Cristiano Ronaldo header challenge’ for £1,000

Serie A giants publicly slam Manchester United for asking ‘too much’ as they try to sign star player

Inter Milan’s interest in Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku is well documented but the England club is holding out for ‘too much’ money according to Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta.

The two clubs have been locked in negotiation for the Belgian striker but cannot yet find middle ground as the transfer window dwindles into its final few days.

Manchester United are said to want in excess of £75 million for the player in order to recoup their outlay for him while Inter Milan were said to have last tabled a bid worth £54 million – that was rejected.

However, it was reported that the clubs resumed contact yesterday after Lukaku flew out to Belgium to meet with his agent in hopes of trashing out a deal.

Yet again though, the clubs apparently failed to agree on a valuation for the player prompting Inter Milan CEO Marotta to indicate to Sky Sports that Manchester United were being unreasonable with their demands.

In fact, Manchester United played against Inter Milan earlier on in their pre-season tour as part of the International Champions Cup in a game that was dominated by the English side.

Eventually, a Mason Greenwood goal was enough to allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to come away with a 1-0 win. Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte, even in the lead up to that game, openly expressed how much he would like to see his team purchase ‘important’ Romelu Lukaku.

Reports: Star player’s agent at Manchester United training ground as record breaking move nears

Harry Maguire’s agent Steven Becks uploaded a photo from Carrington, Manchester United’s training complex, as further confirmation is received that a move is nearing its completion.

Manchester United’s centre back saga has dragged on for over a season with Jose Mourinho famously being denied a move for Harry Maguire from Leicester City at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign.

Fast forward a year though, and it would seem that the Manchester club has almost got its man.

Renowned Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano tweeted out that talks are in the ‘last hours’ between the player and the club after he’s made it clear that he wants to join the 20-time Premier League champions.

In keeping with that, Maguire’s agent Steven Becks has posted an image of him from Carrington, Manchester United’s training complex, that’s doing the rounds on Reddit, suggesting that a deal is indeed close.

It is speculated that the club will need to pay a world record fee for a defender – upwards of around £80 million – to prise the England international away from Leicester City.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have made only two key additions in a transfer window that was promised, would bring much upheaval to the Manchester United squad.

Maguire promises to be their third signing as the window ticks down ahead of a new season that kicks off on August 8.

Also Read: Sir Alex Ferguson advises Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on which midfielder to sign instead of Bruno Fernandes

Reports: Why Ed Woodward is delaying completion of the Harry Maguire deal with Leicester City

Ed Woodward hasn’t sealed the signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester City despite Manchester United being linked with a move for him for over a season now. Here’s why.

Independent.ie reports that Manchester United supremo Ed Woodward hasn’t yet taken out his checkbook to pay up Leicester’s asking price for Harry Maguire as he is waiting on Romelu Lukaku to leave the club and free up some funds first.

The report states that Leicester had earlier rejected a £70 million bid from Manchester United for the centre back but that Woodward is keen to return to the negotiation table with a bid that will see the English man become the most expensive defender in world football.

However, for that to happen, Inter Milan first need to bid an acceptable amount for Romelu Lukaku, who manager Antonio Conte has publicly admired in the past.

Read Also: Sir Alex Ferguson advises Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on which midfielder to sign instead of Bruno Fernandes

Meanwhile, Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers mentioned that there hadn’t been a change in the Maguire situation and that both player and club are relaxed about it all.

“There’s no discussion. I know you guys [the media] are looking for updates but there’s no change from the other night,” he said.

“There’s a lot of speculation around Harry but he’s just got on with it. Like I’ve always said, we’re all pretty relaxed with it.

“Harry has been brilliant since the first day of pre-season and we have no need to sell him. Until something changes, there is nothing more to say,” he concluded.

Reports: Real Madrid to prioritize Cristiano Ronaldo replacement over Paul Pogba after 7-3 Atletico Madrid hammering

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez wants Cristiano Ronaldo replaced by Neymar at the earliest after the 7-3 hammering at the hands of Atletico Madrid and wants to prioritize that move over one for Paul Pogba.

Zinedine Zidane’s interest in Paul Pogba has been well documented but Diario Gol reports that the French manager may not get his way with that transfer as Florentino Perez wants Cristiano Ronaldo to be replaced first.

Despite the addition of Eden Hazard to the mix, Real Madrid are missing the cutting edge of Cristiano Ronaldo – something that was in plan view when they were ripped apart by Atletico Madrid in an ICC friendly yesterday.

Reports: Dressing room rift erupts between Eden Hazard and four Real Madrid heavyweights

The report also states that the likes of Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema are all favoured by Zinedine Zidane but that it may be their last year at the club as Florentino Perez looks to replace an ageing core.

First up though, Perez wants to get Neymar – a man who has proven many times in the past that he has tremendous goalscoring seasons in him – to the club as a replacement for Ronaldo.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 2/5; Real Madrid may wake up to the possibility that they aren’t as good as they thought they were without Cristiano Ronaldo around and make a move for Neymar. Overcoming Barcelona’s interest, however, may be an issue.

 

Reports: Dressing room rift erupts between Eden Hazard and four Real Madrid heavyweights

Eden Hazard may be Real Madrid’s new shiny toy but it would seem that some of the heavyweights in the lockerroom are not too enamoured with the Belgian’s presence.

Diario Gol reports that Eden Hazard’s arrival to Real Madrid as its next big galactico signing has had a negative impact in the dressing room as four of the senior players – namely Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro and Dani Carvajal – feel that their importance has reduced as a result.

Also, with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric all wanting new contracts for some time now, Hazard’s mega money contract hasn’t gone down too well either.

With Gareth Bale already on the outs after falling out with the manager and not gelling with the lockerroom, it would seem that another Premier League export is under threat of turning out the same way – unless Zidane intervenes and smoothens the Belgian’s bedding in process.

Meanwhile, it is entirely plausible that Hazard may not be the only galactico signing of the summer for Madrid as reports suggest Zidane has demanded another attacker to replace Marco Asensio, who has been ruled out by a long-term ACL injury.

The Paul Pogba saga also continues, with Real Madrid hoping to muster up enough cash to purchase the World Cup winner from Manchester United.

 

 

Reports: Real Madrid draw up a five-man attacker list including Manchester United star to replace injured Marco Asensio

Zinedine Zidane has slapped a five-man attacker shortlist on Florentino Perez’s table as Real Madrid move to replace Marco Asensio after he sustained a long term ACL injury.

With Asensio expected to be out of action for large parts of the season, Diario Gol reports that Zinedine Zidane has urged Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign a new player to play from the right wing.

The report also claims that the French manager has submitted a shortlist comprising five names that he would like to see the club make a move for.

Liverpool wingers Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah top the list, but it is expected that they will be priced out of a move especially after winning the Champions League last season.

Read Also: Real Madrid star proclaims himself as ‘no.1 at Real Madrid’ despite poor season

Former Manchester United target Jadon Sancho, of Borussia Dortmund, is also said to be a name on the list. However, the Bundesliga side price him at €100 million meaning that it is yet another unrealistic target.

However, the report claims that Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial would be available for only €50 million and is also a player that Zidane likes.

Hirving Lozano of PSV completes the five-man shortlist.

It remains to be seen if Real Madrid dip their toes into the transfer market for a right winger with their well-publicised pursuit of Paul Pogba still going nowhere and their inability to offload Gareth Bale.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 1/5; Highly unlikely Anthony Martial will leave Manchester United after signing a new long term contract at the turn of the year.

Barcelona midfielder slams club publicly after his shirt number is given to big money signing without asking him

Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena has expressed his displeasure at the club after they failed to consult him before handing his number 21 jersey to new big money signing Frenkie de Jong.

Alena spoke to SPORT and expressed his displeasure at Barcelona after they sanctioned new €75 million signing Frenkie de Jong taking the number 21 jersey for the 2019/20 season without intimating him first.

While de Jong had spoken to Alena about his sentimental reason for wanting 21, the Spanish midfielder still expected the club to have the courtesy to drop him a line – something that they completely overlooked.

“I knew that Frenkie wanted the 21 and it was something between him and me,” he said.

” I would have liked a message from the board because they promised him the shirt without warning me. He was humble, he asked me for it and I gave it to him because it was for a sentimental reason,”

“They promised him it without telling me anything. Frenkie is a good guy and humble. I don’t feel good because I’ve always behaved well with the club, we have good communication. They just needed to drop me a message.”

For his part, de Jong wanted the 21 kit because he wants to honour his paternal grandfather who passed away on the day of his 21st birthday.

“I brought my whole family to my presentation in Barcelona, except my grandfather Hans de Jong, my father’s father. He died on the day of my 21st birthday. Unconsciously it is also a kind of tribute. He was a huge football fan,” said the Dutchman.

(Quotes R/T SPORT)

Read Also: Frenkie de Jong receives new shirt number at Barcelona, reveals emotional reason behind it

14-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo superfan detained by authorities in Singapore after ‘pitch invasion’

The kid who gatecrashed Juventus vs Tottenham ICC game played in Singapore just to meet Cristiano Ronaldo was detained by authorities and threatened with stringent action.

The Sun reports that 14-year-old Kazakhstani Akhmadi Yerzhanov, the kid who ‘invaded’ the pitch to meet Cristiano Ronaldo was later on detained by Singaporean authorities and threatened with a heavy fine for his actions.

Security was prepared to tackle the boy when he ran across the pitch to meet Cristiano Ronaldo, who was seated in the dugout by then, but were waved off by Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri who later claimed that a child cannot be deemed to be a ‘pitch invader.’

However, the law men in Singapore reportedly took a dim view of the incident and detained the boy and his father. The report states that the case had even been transferred to the prosecution, before the Kazakhstan consulate got involved and diffused the situation.

The boy was eventually let off with a stern warning for his actions.

WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo entertains young Singapore fan who ‘invades’ the Juventus dugout

The country’s foreign spokesperson then issued a statement to the media regarding the situation.

“A Kazakhstan teenager and his father were taken to the local police station.Given the very strict laws in Singapore, the boy was threatened with a substantial fine and other administrative measures by the authorities.

“The Consul immediately went to the police station and provided our citizens with consular services, including a translator, as the detainee and his father did not speak English sufficiently.

“The boy was lucky to escape a serious punishment – it is important for everyone not to violate rules of foreign states,” he concluded.

(Quotes R/T Sun)

Read Also: Cristiano Ronaldo issued strong warning by Kathryn Mayorga’s mother after criminal charges on rape case are dropped