Reports: Kylian Mbappe to snub Real Madrid, wants to join Premier League giants instead

Reports: Kylian Mbappe to snub Real Madrid, wants to join Premier League giants instead

According to reports, Paris Saint Germain (PSG)’s Kylian Mbappe has decided to snub Real Madrid in favour of a move to the Premier League, due to Liverpool’s interest in signing him next summer.

It is Don Balon who reports that Mbappe is no longer keen on a move to Real Madrid, as he finds the prospect of joining Liverpool to be more attractive. The report further claims that Liverpool are also ready to shell out as much as €250million for the 20-year-old, as manager Jurgen Klopp is looking for suitable successors to replace Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at Anfield.

Earlier last week, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane and PSG’s Sporting Director Leonardo had engaged in a minor row with each other, after the former claimed that it was the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner’s dream to join Los Blancos someday.

Leonardo had hit back, saying: “Honestly, it [the claims] is a bit irritating, it’s annoying, it’s not the first time this has happened.”

“I think that now is not the time to talk about this. He is a player who has two-and-a-half years left on his contract with us, so to talk about what he wants, his “dream”, every time… if we can just stop this, pause this talk.”

To which Zidane replied: “I’ve said nothing, just what the player said, that his dream was one day to play here. I’ll say it again and I would say it every day. I have nothing more to say about Leonardo, I can say whatever I want.”

But now, Don Balon‘s report says that the tables have turned, with the youngster getting all set for a move to England.

Reports: Barcelona target snubs Lionel Messi, wants Real Madrid move

Reports: Barcelona target snubs Lionel Messi, wants Real Madrid move

Over the past few weeks, Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez had emerged as a key target for Lionel Messi and Barcelona – but the latest reports suggest that the striker is keen on joining their arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Diario Gol claims that Martinez has asked his agent to start discussions with Real Madrid’s President Florentino Perez, with the aim of seeking a move to the Santiago Bernabeu during January or during the summer transfer window at the end of the ongoing 2019-20 season.

The Spanish news agency further reports that Los Blancos themselves are interested in a transfer for the Argentina international, as neither Perez nor manager Zinedine Zidane are satisfied with the performance of Luka Jovic, the Serbian forward who they signed this summer.

In case you do not remember, Jovic was also a target for Barcelona before Real Madrid signed him for €60million from Eintracht Frankfurt in July. The 21-year-old has since played 11 matches under Zidane – nine in La Liga and two in the Champions League – but has scored just one goal so far.

Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez – who joined Inter in 2018 from Racing Club for a reported transfer fee of €25million – has been in good form throughout this year. He scored some important goals for Argentina in the 2019 Copa America, and has recorded eight goals and three assists in just 16 appearances for the Nerazzurri in the ongoing season till date.

Reports: Neymar’s world record asking price revealed amid Barcelona, Real Madrid interest

Reports: Neymar makes big wage demands to Barcelona, Real Madrid

The latest word around the rumour mill is that La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are both keen on renewing their interest in Paris Saint Germain (PSG)’s Neymar.

At the same time, Express has reported that PSG has named a world record asking price of £258million for the Brazilian.

The 27-year-old almost left the Parc des Princes earlier this summer, after openly expressing interest to leave the Parisians in favour of a return to Spain.

He even reportedly held a meeting with PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, requesting him to sanction his move back to Barcelona, who he called “home”.

However, Real Madrid were also interested in a potential sale, and that complicated matters for the winger. And eventually, he has ended up at PSG, although it will only be until the end of the ongoing 2019-20 season.

And all throughout the past couple of months, Thomas Tuchel and co have insisted that Neymar is not for sale despite talk of a return to the La Liga.

But Marca has insisted that the Ligue 1 defending champions are willing to let him go, if they receive an offer of £258million – £58million more than what they paid for him during the 2017 summer transfer window.

Another transfer would hence make him the most expensive footballer in the world, for a second time.

Thibaut Courtois explains how he beat Keylor Navas’ record at Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois explains how he beat Keylor Navas' record at Real Madrid

On Saturday, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois broke Keylor Navas’ La Liga record of not conceding a single goal in 533 minutes, as Los Blancos won 4-0 against Eibar.

The Belgium international kept his fifth consecutive clean sheet for Real Madrid against Eibar and later, he spoke to the press, revealing how he bounced back after starting the season in poor form.

“It’s good for the whole team. It’s not just the goalkeeper’s work but the work of the whole team,” he said, before adding:

“We have to defend together and attack together.”

“It’s very difficult to score against us. I knew that, hence I always remained calm, I know what I’m worth.”

“A goalkeeper of my level expects to stop more.”

“I felt good and the sun always rises. So, I never lost confidence,” Courtois went on.

“It is good for the whole team to keep a clean sheet. It is not only the goalkeeper’s work, but the team’s as a whole.”

“We have to defend and attack as a whole and it’s very hard to score on us that way. We only have to work, have confidence in ourselves and keep working even now that things are looking brighter,” he concluded.

Quotes via Marca.

Karim Benzema overtakes Real Madrid legend, becomes 6th highest LaLiga goalscorer for the club

Karim Benzema overtakes Real Madrid legend, becomes 6th highest LaLiga goalscorer for the club

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema broke yet another record on Saturday, as he overtook Ferenc Puskas to become the 6th highest LaLiga goalscorer for the club. The Frenchman scored a brace against Eibar to take his La Liga goals’ tally to 157 from 323 appearances.

Puskas scored 156 La Liga goals for Real Madrid in 180 appearances between 1958 and 1966, before retiring from the sport.

And Benzema, who started Saturday’s match at 155 La Liga goals, scored in the 17th minute to tie with the Hungarian legend, before scoring off the spot in the 29th minute to move on to 157.

Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo decided to leave Real Madrid in 2018 June, Benzema has gone from strength to strength, as he took on the challenge of providing goals for the club. Despite their poor finish in the La Liga last season, the Frenchman shone like a diamond with 30 league goals to his tally.

In the ongoing 2019-20 season, he has scored 11 goals for Los Blancos so far – nine of those coming from just 11 appearances in the Spanish league.

The 31-year-old striker’s next target would be to surpass Hugo Sanchez’ tally of 164 goals for Real Madrid in the La Liga – to get there, he needs just another eight goals.

It was the complete performance – Zinedine Zidane revels in Real Madrid’s ‘phenomenal’ win at Eibar

Real Madrid cruised to a 4-0 victory away at Eibar thanks to a first-half display that head coach Zinedine Zidane described as “phenomenal”.

Zinedine Zidane hailed Real Madrid’s 4-0 win at Eibar as a “complete performance” and urged his players to maintain their momentum.

Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema scored first-half penalties at Ipurua after the latter opened the scoring with a close-range finish inside 17 minutes.

Federico Valverde added a fourth goal – his first for the club – just after the hour mark, as Madrid moved three points in front of Barcelona ahead of their bitter rivals’ game in hand with Celta Vigo later on Saturday.

“It feels great to win here,” Zidane told Movistar. “This is not an easy stadium to visit. Every time a team comes here they suffer, but we started well.

“The first half was phenomenal in every way. We controlled the areas where the opponent could cause damage. We played very well with the ball, vertically, playing forward, switching sides. It was a complete performance and we can be happy with it.”

 

Madrid have now won four out of five matches in all competitions since a 1-0 loss to Real Mallorca on October 19, with that defeat proving a turning point in the view of Zidane.

“We have worked hard and have believed in what we are doing,” he added. “The game in Mallorca was complicated for us.

“But from there we have been very generous in front of goal and then everything else is easier. We must continue in this was because it’s going to be complicated.”

Zidane’s side have kept five clean sheets in a row in all competitions for the first time since September 2015, scoring 16 times during that run.

 

“Defending is about all the team,” Zidane said. “It was a difficult game for us. It is not only about Thibaut [Courtois] and our defence, but also Benzema, Eden [Hazard], Lucas [Vazquez].

“They are all doing well and must continue. I’m glad for everyone – they all know they can be useful to the team.”

Valverde impressed in his fifth start this season in LaLiga and Zidane said: “When he plays he does things very well. I’m glad for him.

“The dynamics of the team are good. I have to manage the workload of the players, so rotation is important.”

 

Karim Benzema should be in France squad – Zinedine Zidane

Over four years on from his last international cap, Zinedine Zidane believes Karim Benzema deserves to be recalled by France

Zinedine Zidane raised the issue of Karim Benzema’s continued absence from the France team again on Friday ahead of Real Madrid’s trip to Eibar.

Benzema has been one of Europe’s outstanding strikers during a 10-year Madrid career, yet he has not represented his country since 2015.

The Madrid frontman has not featured at international level since he was allegedly involved in a plot to blackmail his then-France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Zidane claims Benzema still wants to represent France, though, and believes his player to be “the best” and worthy of a call-up.

“He’s always wanted to play for the French side,” Zidane told a news conference. “To be honest, I don’t know exactly what’s going on.

 

“But from a football point of view, he’s the best. I think he should definitely have a place in the French national team. It’s beyond my role here, but he should definitely be called up.”

Benzema scored his 50th Champions League goal for Madrid in midweek, surpassing the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano on the club’s all-time list in the process.

 

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.”

Zinedine Zidane compares Real Madrid star’s impact to Cristiano Ronaldo

Reports: Ex-Real Madrid star keen to mend relationship with Zidane, wants to return next summer

Real Madrid regained their best form in the UEFA Champions League last night when they thrashed Galatasaray by six goals to nil. Rodrygo Goes scored a hattrick, while Karim Benzema added a brace. Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for his side and especially one man in particular, who he likened to Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema. The Frenchman was on the scoresheet yet again, as he scored twice in a six-nil thrashing of Galatasaray.

Benzema netted his fiftieth goal for the club in the Champions League, surpassing legend Alfredo di Stefano in the process. Zidane, meanwhile, compared his impact on the club to that of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“His numbers speak for themselves,” Zidane said. (via Marca)

“Those that like football know he’s a quality player. He’s important for the team, for attacking… he does it very well. The only thing that’s changed since Cristiano Ronaldo is that Karim is more mature. He’s a father and well… many things have happened lately which are reflected on the pitch.

“I’m very happy for Karim. It’s true that he’s overtaken a legend of this club like Alfredo di Stefano. He’s now like Cristiano Ronaldo in the history of this club. He’s doing something amazing and we simply have to enjoy it and make the most of it.”

A rejuvenated Real Madrid next face Eibar in La Liga, away from home. The team will then disperse for a two-week-long international break, before coming back together to face Real Sociedad.

Leonardo slams Zinedine Zidane over Kylian Mbappe transfer talk

Leonardo is tired of the constant speculation surrounding Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe’s future.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo hit out at Zinedine Zidane, admitting he was annoyed by the Real Madrid coach talking about Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 20, is consistently linked with a move away from PSG, where he has starred since arriving in 2017.

The France international is reportedly a target for Madrid and Zidane said on Tuesday it was Mbappe’s dream to play for the LaLiga giants.

Leonardo hit out at Zidane after PSG’s 1-0 Champions League win over Club Brugge on Wednesday, saying the star forward should be left alone.

“It annoys a little and it bothers. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two and a half years of contract with us. It’s time to stop all this,” he told RMC Sport.

“He is very important for us. It is the best young player that France has. He is world champion and even the best player in the world.

“This is not the time to destabilise or touch him.”

 

Mbappe has scored nine goals in 11 games so far this season and is contracted in Paris until 2022.

Leonardo accused PSG’s rivals of being jealous as he called for an end to speculation around Mbappe’s future.

“Honestly, I did not see this interview where he said it was a dream for him to play at Madrid. Neither read nor heard, and I never talked to him about it,” he told reporters.

“Maybe he said it one day and it became a Mexican telenovela and we continue like that. I think he is very intelligent.

“He has a contract with us, and has already done a lot of things. And there are still other things to do.

“That’s why I do not understand and I ask even you to stop, because we cannot answer each time the same thing. There are concrete things – his contract, I think he is happy. He is a fabulous player. And I think there is a little jealousy.

“Today, we have Mbappe and Neymar, and if we look around the world where are better players than those? And in addition, we have four, five good strikers. We must be happy. We have great players.”

PSG’s win over Club Brugge was their fourth in as many Group A games as they booked their spot in the last 16.

His game is a real joy to watch – Zinedine Zidane unsurprised by Rodrygo Goes

Rodrygo Goes’ form for Real Madrid has come as no surprise to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

Zinedine Zidane insisted he was unsurprised by Rodrygo Goes’ impressive start at Real Madrid after the teenager’s hat-trick against Galatasaray.

Rodrygo, 18, scored three times and set up another in Madrid’s 6-0 Champions League win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The Brazilian has netted five goals in six games for the club since his move from Santos, leading to plenty of praise.

Zidane was happy with Rodrygo and while he is trying not to put pressure on the forward, the Madrid coach is unsurprised by his displays.

“He is only 18 years old. We are so pleased with him,” Zidane told a news conference.

“When he gets a chance to play he always does well, he did that in every sense. He works hard and does a lot of things. We need to have patience and not pressure him.

“I am not surprised whatsoever, he is very talented. Perhaps we can be surprised by the three goals. He is happy, his game is a real joy to watch.”

Rodrygo scored twice in the opening seven minutes against Galatasaray, while Karim Benzema netted a brace and Sergio Ramos a penalty.

Zidane praised Madrid’s ruthlessness in the victory, which marked their third in four games in all competitions.

“Logically we can be happy with the six goals, but we also kept a clean sheet, defending and respecting our rivals until the end because sometimes when you are four goals up at half-time you can relax, but we didn’t,” he said.

“Whenever we lost the ball we pressed hard and that led to us having a well-rounded game.”

Rodrygo Goes relishes ‘dream’ perfect hat-trick after Real Madrid hit six

Three goals and an assist from a proud Rodrygo Goes took Real Madrid to the brink of a place in the Champions League last 16.

Rodrygo Goes says he is progressing faster than he expected at Real Madrid after scoring a perfect hat-trick on a “dream” night against Galatasaray.

Madrid thumped their Turkish opponents 6-0 at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, with Rodrygo scoring a treble as well as providing an assist to Karim Benzema.

The 18-year-old opened his Champions League account in style – two of his goals coming inside the first seven minutes – while Benzema’s double meant he reached 50 Madrid goals in the competition and Sergio Ramos added a penalty on a brilliant night for the hosts.

It was only Rodrygo’s fourth start after his reported €45million move from Santos but he already has five goals to his name and feels increasingly comfortable alongside his star-studded team-mates.

“It is true that everything is going much quicker than what I expected when I arrived at Real Madrid,” Rodrygo said to Movistar.

“It is a very happy night. It is a dream come true to hear the Bernabeu sing my name.

“But I have to stay calm, be relaxed and continue to work day by day.”

Rodrygo appreciated a gesture from his team-mates, who signed his match ball after a memorable performance, while hailing the quality of fellow attacker Benzema, who set up his stoppage-time third goal to return the favour for the Brazilian’s earlier assist.

The forward added: “Playing with Karim makes everything easier. He’s an amazing player and I’m very happy to play alongside him.

“I’m sure that what they’ve put on the ball is very nice because my team-mates are good people and they give me lots of confidence.”

Zinedine Zidane’s men are now on the brink of sealing a place in the last 16 from Group A. They are comfortable in second place, five points clear of Club Brugge in third with two games to play.

Rodrygo Goes the Raul deal after landmark hat-trick

Raul is one of Real Madrid’s all-time greats and youngster Rodrygo Goes could be heading down the same path after Wednesday’s exploits.

Rodrygo Goes followed in the illustrious footsteps of Real Madrid legend Raul as he became the second youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

At 18 years and 301 days old, the Brazilian netted a perfect treble in Real Madrid’s 6-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday, converting with his left foot, right foot and head.

The only player to have achieved the feat at a more tender age is Raul, who was 188 days younger when he scored three times against Ferencvaros in 1995.

Rodrygo hit the target twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and added the third in stoppage time, also becoming the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe’s premier club competition.

Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray: Rodrygo Goes hat-trick puts hosts on brink of last 16

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Goes scored his first three Champions League goals as Zinedine Zidane’s men emphatically eliminated Galatasaray.

Rodrygo Goes scored a perfect hat-trick and Karim Benzema also hit a double as Real Madrid took a huge step towards reaching the Champions League last 16 with an emphatic 6-0 win over Galatasaray.

Eighteen-year-old Rodrygo netted twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and later added a stoppage-time third as he became the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe’s premier club competition.

Sergio Ramos’ penalty had Madrid three up with the game effectively over after 14 minutes and Benzema scored in each half to reach 50 goals in the competition for Madrid, making him only the fourth player to achieve the feat for a single club.

After a poor start to their Group A campaign, Madrid are now five points clear of third-placed Club Brugge – who lost to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday – with two games to play, while Gala are out as a result of their chastening defeat.

Rodrygo’s opener was impressive as he collected Marcelo’s cross before cutting inside past Mario Lemina to send a fine left-footed finish into the far corner.

He doubled his tally when a mistake from Mariano gave Marcelo the chance to set up his compatriot again, the forward this time heading in a left-wing delivery from eight yards.

VAR ruled in Madrid’s favour when Toni Kroos – who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in Turkey a fortnight ago – complained he had been fouled by Steven Nzonzi right on the 18-yard line, Ramos beating Fernando Muslera with a cheeky Panenka from the resulting spot-kick.

Casemiro had a goal ruled out and Eden Hazard was denied by Muslera, but Benzema ensured it was four in the last minute of the first half with a simple finish, an assist from the impressive Rodrygo coming after a dreadful pass from Yuto Nagatomo put Gala in trouble.

After the break, Muslera denied Kroos before Christian Luyindama blocked Benzema’s follow-up near the goal-line, with the goalkeeper again called into action to keep out substitute Isco from the resulting corner.

Thibaut Courtois thwarted Lemina at the other end, but Benzema struck again after 81 minutes, converting Dani Carvajal’s cross from close range.

And Benzema turned provider two minutes into added time, his throughball cleverly finished by man-of-the-moment Rodrygo.

What does it mean? Madrid well placed after slow start

Madrid missed the chance to go top of LaLiga at the weekend with a poor home draw against Real Betis but after winning just four of their first nine games to start 2019-20, they would probably have taken being level on points with Barcelona and on the brink of a last-16 spot in Europe by early November. Rodrygo gives the Madrid fans something to get excited about, with a possible injury to Marcelo, who was taken off by Zinedine Zidane just before the interval, the only concern.

Rampant Rodrygo making his mark

It was only his fourth Madrid start, but Rodrygo already looks the part having become the second-youngest scorer of a Champions League hat-trick, behind Madrid legend Raul. The ex-Santos star took all three of his goals clinically and showed his creative ability with a clever delivery to set up Benzema’s first goal. It was also a fine night for Benzema, whose strikes ended his four-match streak without scoring in Europe to reach the 50-goal milestone that had only previously been achieved by elite company in Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul.

Key errors cost woeful Gala

Gala are winless in 16 Champions League away games and the best they can now hope for is a Europa League spot. They are the first team in nine years to fail to score in six straight away games in the competition. While the latter stat is on their attacking and creative players, it was defensive mistakes which cost them dearly here, with Mariano, Nzonzi and Nagatomo all guilty of dreadful first-half errors.

Key Opta Facts

– This is just the second time Galatasaray have conceded at least six goals in a Champions League match, also doing so against Madrid back in September 2013.
– Gala have now conceded 27 goals against Madrid in the Champions League – 13 more than against any other side in the competition.
– Benzema has now scored in 15 different Champions League campaigns – only Ryan Giggs has scored in more (16).
– Benzema scored his 50th goal for Madrid in the Champions League, the fourth player to do so for a single side after Lionel Messi (113 for Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (105 for Madrid) and Raul (66 for Madrid).

What’s next?

Madrid are at Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday, with a home game against Paris Saint-Germain next up in this competition on November 26. Gala are away to Gaziantep on domestic business before hosting Club Brugge next in Europe in a key match in the battle to finish third.