Zinedine Zidane: Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez not ready to return for Real Madrid

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are no longer injured but will be kept on ice for this weekend’s LaLiga trip to Eibar.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes to have Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez fit and available after the international break.

Muscle problems will keep both players out of Saturday’s LaLiga game against Eibar despite them being called up to their respective national teams.

Wales winger Bale has not played a minute since a Euro 2020 qualifier close to a month ago, while midfielder James has missed Madrid’s past three matches.

The pair have started individual fitness programmes but will not be considered for selection until they are able to complete full training sessions alongside the rest of the first team.

“They haven’t been fit enough to play,” Zidane said at Friday’s pre-match news conference.

“If they’re going to go [away on international duty], they’re going to go. They’ve got five or six days to see if they’re fit enough to play for their country. They’re not fit enough to play on Saturday.

“They haven’t trained with the team. They’ve been training a little but not at the same pace as their team-mates. If players aren’t training with their team-mates they can’t play.

“They’re not injured right now.”

 

Bale’s injury occurred in the same international fixture that left Croatia midfielder Luka Modric with bruising to his right quadriceps.

The 34-year-old subsequently sat out two club games, leaving Zidane wary of a repeat as his squad prepares to disassemble.

“Hopefully nothing happens, but it could. It’s true in the last call-ups the players got injured,” he said.

“Hopefully the players get away with the national teams, they play, and there are no injuries, and everyone comes back fit and available.”

Amid the probe over why Bale and James have been absent, Zidane was asked to clarify his recent claim that Kylian Mbappe harbours a “dream” of playing for Madrid.

The Los Blancos boss said that he was simply repeating the Paris Saint-Germain star’s own acknowledged ambition.

The comment riled PSG sporting director Leonardo, who called for an end to transfer speculation surrounding Mbappe.

Zidane said: “He’s within his rights to have his opinion and when I get asked a question I will also say what I believe.

“All I said was what [the player] said, that Mbappe’s dream is to one day wear the Real Madrid shirt. There’s not really much to it to be honest.”

Reports: Florentino Perez to offer Real Madrid star to Manchester United & two more Premier League clubs in potential swap deals

Reports: Ex-Real Madrid manager 'begged' club to recall on-loan star before getting sacked

Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, after being linked with a move away from Real Madrid throughout the summer transfer window, stayed put at the club and it seemed as if he’s found his way into manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans. However, an ill-timed injury might have ended his time with Los Blancos as president Florentino Perez is now looking to offload him.

The Colombia international returned from a two-year loan at Bayern Munich in the summer window and was linked with moves to Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli and Atletico Madrid. However, both the moves failed to materialise and ultimately, James was drafted into the Madrid starting XI by Zidane, starting four matches for them in La Liga.

An injury, however, halted his progress and he now looks set to be on his way to the English Premier League, if reports from El Desmarque are to be believed. With Isco making a return from injury, both Perez and Zidane want to give the Spain international a longer rope and have deemed James surplus to requirements.

The report claims that Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers are the three club Perez has offered the 28-year-old to. However, there’s another angle to the story as Real Madrid president wants the aforementioned clubs to include Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen and Ruben Neves respectively in any potential deal for James.

Reports: Two Real Madrid stars leave Santiago Bernabeu 10 minutes before full-time vs Real Betis

Real Madrid failed to take advantage of Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat at Levante to take up the top spot on La Liga table. Los Blancos played out a 0-0 draw with Real Betis which saw them get level on points with the Catalan giants but remained behind them on goal difference.

Manager Zinedine Zidane was without the likes of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, both of whom were seemingly on their way out of the club in the summer, for the match against Betis. And if reports from Marca are to be believed, the duo left the Santiago Bernabeu around 10 minutes before the full-time whistle.

Madrid were looking for a winner with the scores tied at 0-0 when the duo left the stadium. This isn’t the first time that such an incident has taken place as the Welshman left Madrid’s last home match vs Leganes early as well.

The reported reason for their decision to leave the Santiago Bernabeu early is to avoid getting caught in traffic because of construction work going on around the stadium.

 

Reports: Arsenal targeting Real Madrid star as Mesut Ozil replacement

Reports: Arsenal targeting Real Madrid star as Mesut Ozil replacement

Premier League giants Arsenal have identified Real Madrid star James Rodriguez as a potential replacement for Mesut Ozil, according to information from various sources.

Don Balon reports that Arsenal manager Unai Emery is not interested in keeping Ozil in the team for long, and that he is likely to be offloaded next summer amidst interest from Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce among others.

In such a situation, it is obvious that Emery will want a replacement for the former German international who joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013, for a reported transfer fee of €40million.

This is why the former Paris Saint Germain (PSG) manager has turned to Rodriguez, who is also a Real Madrid star. The Colombian international joined Los Blancos post the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but he played with them only until the end of the 2016-17 season.

In 2017 July, He joined Bayern Munich on loan, where he stayed for two seasons before returning to the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this year. Despite coming back, the 28-year-old is yet to find himself as a part of manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans, which is why a move next summer is on the cards for him.

Don Balon further claims that Rodriguez is currently being targeted by both Atletico Madrid and Napoli, and that Arsenal is only the latest entrant in the transfer race to sign him.

Reports: Florentino Perez issues ultimatum to Real Madrid stars, wants them sold in January

Reports: Florentino Perez issues ultimatum to Real Madrid stars, wants them sold in January

As per the latest reports, Real Madrid’s President Florentino Perez has issued a stiff ultimatum to Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, asking them to finalize their next club before the January transfer window. Both players are being targeted by Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain (PSG).

Don Balon claims that Perez no longer wants Bale and Rodriguez in the Real Madrid first team, despite both players doing well for the team right now. According to the Spanish news agency, Perez wants both players to make way for the club’s long-term targets – Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

It has also been reported that Manchester United have already demanded an asking price of €180million for Pogba. It is also expected that Mbappe will cost more than €250million next summer. Hence, if Los Blancos have to sign both players, it means that they will have to shell out at a total of least €430million as transfer fees.

Real Madrid are hence interested in exchanging Bale and Rodriguez in exchange for Pogba and Mbappe, in an attempt to cut down on their expenditure.

Earlier this summer, Pogba said that he would like to leave Manchester United in pursuit of “new challenges” elsewhere in Europe, despite manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reluctance to part ways with him.

Meanwhile, Mbappe has also made it clear that the ongoing 2019-20 season would be his last year in France, before he leaves for Spain or England.

Reports: Real Madrid to include midfielder in swap deal for Spanish superstar

Reports: Zinedine Zidane gives new Real Madrid star ultimatum as flop show continues versus Atletico Madrid

The latest word around the rumour mill is that La Liga giants Real Madrid are ready to part ways with James Rodriguez in exchange for Napoli star Fabian Ruiz.

This is according to Diario Gol, who has reported that Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is no longer keen to let Rodriguez continue at the Santiago Bernabeu. Perez is of the opinion that Los Blancos should start finding younger replacements for the current set of midfielders such as Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Rodriguez – and offloading the Colombian is the best way to kick-off this wave of change, according to him.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, it was reported that Jose Angel Sanchez, the managing director of Real Madrid, attended talks with Aurelio De Laurentiis, the President of Napoli, to negotiate for a deal on Ruiz.

Talks between both teams are said to have reached an advanced stage and it was also understood that former Real Betis star is valued at over €100million by his current employees in the Serie A. However, Real Madrid are not ready to part ways with such a big sum of money as transfer fee, and hence, Perez hopes to agree terms on a swap deal involving Rodriguez, with Napoli’s manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Reports: Real Madrid star ready to leave for Chelsea if Christian Eriksen arrives at Santiago Bernabeu

Chelsea are set to return to the transfer market after completing their one-year transfer ban next summer transfer window and have identified a Real Madrid star as their top target.

With the rise of youngsters like Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, Chelsea, under new manager Frank Lampard, seem to be on the right track. The Blues are now planning for the next summer’s transfer window and have lined up a few players who can improve their squad and help them push for trophies on multiple fronts next season.

In this quest, according to reports in Sportsmole, Roman Abramovich and co. have identified Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez as a potential transfer target. The Colombian returned to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer after spending two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.

Despite multiple reports claiming that James isn’t a part of manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans at the club, he has made as many as seven appearances this season and has a goal and an assist to show for. However, with Madrid targetting Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, the Colombian has decided to move on if the Denmark international arrives.

The report claims that Chelsea have already submitted an offer for the playmaker and the 28-year-old might join the West London outfit before next season.

FIFA 20: Aguero & Ibrahimovic included in first Ultimate Scream pack

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero

EA Sports released the first Ultimate Scream pack, with Sergio Aguero one of four Premier League players included.

Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been included in FIFA 20’s first Ultimate Scream pack ahead of Halloween.

EA Sports announced the release of the FIFA Ultimate Team cards on Friday, with Manchester City striker Aguero and LA Galaxy star Ibrahimovic among the standout names.

Top-rated Aguero is joined in the first batch by fellow Premier League players Dele Alli, Nicolas Otamendi and Bernard, with a second group of players to be released next Friday.

Below, we have the list of FUT cards that are up for grabs.

FUT Ultimate Scream pack

LM: Bernard (Everton) – 84

CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) – 85

LM: Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) – 85

CAM: Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig) – 85

CB: Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) – 86

CDM: William Carvalho (Real Betis) – 86

CAM: Dele Alli (Tottenham) – 87

CAM: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) – 88

CAM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) – 88

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) – 88

ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – 91

Reports: Real Madrid star rejects offer to leave club in exchange for Serie A superstar

Reports: Real Madrid star rejects offer to leave club in exchange for Serie A superstar

According to various sources, La Liga giants Real Madrid are keen to acquire Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz in January, in exchange for James Rodriguez – however, Rodriguez does not want to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, as per new reports.

It is Don Balon that reports that Rodriguez rejected the chance to play a role in the transfer, despite interest in him from Napoli’s boss and Real Madrid’s former manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Spanish publication further adds that the Colombian “is happy at the Santiago Bernabeu,” where he is keen to play an important role under boss Zinedine Zidane.

Rodriguez was a key part of the Madrid side that lifted the Champions League in 2016 and 2017 – but afterwards, he was loaned off to Bayern Munich as he was deemed as surplus to their requirements. He finally returned to Spain, in the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, it has been understood that Ruiz is not the only Napoli player that Real Madrid wants – they are also keeping tabs on defender Kalidou Koulibaly apparently – and Don Balon claims that the only option for Los Blancos to secure the signing of both players, will be to pay the collective transfer fee of €200million that Napoli are asking for the pair.

The Spanish news agency further adds that both clubs have entered negotiations with each other, as Real Madrid is keen to reduce the asking price for both players to at least €150million.

Atletico defender reveals Real Madrid star talked about a possible move to arch-rivals in summer transfer window

Atletico Madrid defender Santiago Arias has revealed that Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez talked about a possible move to the Wanda Metropolitano in the summer transfer window.

The Colombian star, who spent two years at Bayern Munich on loan, was linked with a move away from Santiago Bernabeu in the summer as multiple reports claimed that he wasn’t a part of manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans going forward.

James was first linked with a Napoli move before being offered to Manchester United in a cash plus player deal for Paul Pogba. There were rumours of a move to Atletico Madrid as well but the Colombian stayed put. He has started the season on the front foot and has a goal and an assists to show for in six La Liga matches.

Arias, who is James’s Colombia teammate, revealed that they did talk about a possible move to Atletico Madrid but not in detail as it was down to the two clubs to take a decision.

“We talked about Atleti. I asked him if the rumours were true and I explained how things were here, but not much else.”There were options, but we didn’t speak about it much more because it was down to the clubs,” Arias said while in conversation with Onda Madrid (via Marca).

Dani ​Ceballos has no Real Madrid regrets despite Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez’ Los Blancos revivals

It did not quite happen at Real Madrid for Dani Ceballos, who has no regrets over joining Arsenal on loan for the 2018-19 season

Dani Ceballos says the revivals of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez at Real Madrid does not make him regret leaving Los Blancos for Arsenal.

Bale appeared certain to depart the Spanish capital for Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning after being ostracised by Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, before the board pulled the plug on the deal.

James’ future was equally unclear after he returned from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, but rumoured interest from Napoli and Atletico Madrid failed to materialise.

Both players have subsequently featured regularly for a Madrid side sitting top of LaLiga after eight matches, two points clear of Clasico rivals Barcelona.

Spain international Ceballos opted to make the move to the Premier League with the Gunners on loan after struggling for regular minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu over the past two seasons.

Ceballos has featured on 11 occasions in all competitions so far and is content with the decision he made as he was not enjoying life in Madrid.

“Madrid is pretty good. Yes, they’ve had many injuries but I don’t feel sorry for not being there,” he told a news conference while on international duty.

“I know what I have in my head and that was to play and enjoy. I am very happy at Arsenal, I played 10 (11) games where I showed my best level. Now I am where I want to be.”

 

When asked about Bale and James’ upturn in fortunes at Madrid, he replied: “My idea was clear from the outset, play and enjoy football because in the previous two years I had not and I have been successful going out to Arsenal.”

Ceballos also paid tribute to Madrid great Sergio Ramos, who is set to become Spain’s outright most-capped player during the international break – where Spain face qualifiers against Norway and Sweden – having equalled Iker Casillas’ tally of 167 last month.

“Sergio Ramos has won everything at the club and national team level,” he added.

“Despite having a lot of experience he continues to demonstrate the ambition of a young man, that ambition makes him different from the others.”

Reports: Real Madrid star pulls out of international duty to impress Zinedine Zidane

zidane

Real Madrid star James Rodriguez has had a sort of second coming in the whites of Madrid. After returning from a loan spell at Bayern Munich, James has impressed with his form and is fully committed to making things work again.

There were multiple reports that the Colombian did not feature in manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans before the start of the season. However, Madrid’s inability to add a world-class midfielder to their ranks has forced the Frenchman’s hands into drafting James into the squad.

The 28-year-old has responded in fine fashion and has a goal and an assist to show for in seven appearances across all competitions so far. According to reports in Marca, the attacking midfielder is ready to go the extra length to impress the manager and cement a spot for himself in the starting XI.

James has asked Colombia national team manager Carlos Quieroz to allow him to stay with Madrid during the international break, the report claims. Colombia play Chile and Algeria in two friendlies during the break and James will supposedly miss those to work at Madrid’s training base.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup star scored his first league goal in Real Madrid’s 4-2 win over Granada on Saturday.

Courtois left out of Real Madrid squad following Champions League substitution

Real Madrid have denied Thibaut Courtois has been affected by anxiety, yet he will not play against Granada this weekend.

Thibaut Courtois has been left out of Real Madrid’s squad to face Granada a few hours after the club denied he has an anxiety problem.

Goalkeeper Courtois was substituted at half-time in Madrid’s Champions League draw with Club Brugge in midweek, with head coach Zinedine Zidane saying the player “wasn’t well and couldn’t continue”.

It was subsequently claimed in media reports that the former Chelsea man was affected by anxiety, yet a club statement denied this on Friday, instead revealing he is suffering with gastroenteritis.

As such, Courtois was not named in the Madrid squad to face LaLiga surprise package Granada when Zidane announced his 19-man squad later the same day.

Alphonse Areola, who replaced Courtois against Brugge, will be joined by Castilla goalkeepers Javier Belman and Diego Altube in the group.

Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior both featured in the European clash but were left out of this selection, with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Rodrygo Goes returning.

Zidane had already confirmed Madrid were considering starting Eder Militao at left-back due to a number of defensive injuries, with Marcelo, Ferland Mendy and Nacho all out. Alvaro Odriozola is another option.

Reports: Real Madrid star gains Zinedine Zidane’s confidence, set to stay despite interest from Serie A

Reports: Real Madrid star gains Zidane's confidence, set to stay despite interest from Serie A

According to reports, Real Madrid star James Rodriguez is set to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu next season as well, after he finally appears to have gained manager Zinedine Zidane’s confidence.

Don Balon reports that Zidane himself conveyed the news to Rodriguez, after the Colombian displayed consistent performances for Real Madrid over the past few weeks.

So far, in the ongoing 2019-20 season, Rodriguez has made six appearances – five in the La Liga and one in the Champions League – and has also recorded an assist. He also played the full ninety minutes during the league game against Levante, indicating the level of trust that Zidane seems to have placed on him of late.

After joining Real Madrid following a string of stellar performances for Colombia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Rodriguez won two Champions Leagues with them before joining Bayern Munich on loan in 2017. He returned to Los Blancos this July – however, his manager was more interested in offloading him on a permanent deal, rather than keeping him at the club.

Things changed when Marco Asensio and Isco suffered from injuries. Real Madrid’s situation then went from bad to worse as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric suffered from serious dips in form.

Zidane had to turn to 28-year-old to help rescue his side, and it now looks as if the midfielder has played his role perfectly – forcing the Frenchman to reject all offers for him, according to Don Balon.