Report Claims Real Madrid Star Has ‘Asked for Liverpool Move’ as Milan & Juventus Monitor Situation

Liverpool are leading a race against Juventus and Milan to sign frustrated Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos – after the player reportedly asked his current club if he could join the Reds.

21-year-old Cabellos’ frustrations are growing, after he came on for just 29 seconds in Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Leganes on Wednesday night.

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Italian outlet ​Calciomercato have reported Milan as the latest club to be keen, stating that they enquired about the Spaniard’s availability in January and will retain their interest this summer.

However, they will reportedly face competition from Liverpool and Juventus for the Real Madrid starlet, who came close to joining Barcelona before signing for Los Blancos last summer.

It was claimed earlier this week that​ Liverpool are in pole position to sign Ceballos and according to Spanish outlet El Chiringuito TV (via the Mirror), Ceballos has expressed a desire to join the Reds.

Ceballos’ chances of leaving the Spanish capital have certainly increased, after he vented his frustration at Zinedine Zidane after his 29-second cameo on Wednesday.

Zidane has made it clear that Ceballos is a fringe player in his squad, yet Real Madrid want to almost double their money by demanding €30m if he is to move on in the summer. Ceballos joined Los Blancos on a six-year deal from Real Betis for €16.5m last July.

The Spanish under-21 international has only made seven appearances for Real Madrid in La Liga, and Liverpool could be perfect suitors for him as they look to bolster their midfield. Having lost Coutinho and looking likely to see Emre Can depart, Ceballos joins a long list of midfielder who have been linked with a move to Anfield this summer.


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Real Madrid vs Alaves Preview: Classic Encounter, Team News, Prediction & More

Real took full advantage of their game in hand on Wednesday to reduce the deficit on those above them in the table. Leaders Barcelona are all but out of their reach, sitting an extensive 14 points ahead of their fierce rivals, but Los Blancos could well yet neighbours Atletico Madrid who are seven points above them in second.

Zinedine Zidane’s side were in a real slump over Christmas and into the New Year, but have responded well by winning four on the bounce and going unbeaten in six, crashing in 20 goals in the process.

A victory over Leganes in midweek cemented their place in the Champions League spots, pulling them nine points clear of fifth placed Sevilla. Zidane rested a number of key players in that game, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, but may well go full strength against an Alaves side that have won their last three La Liga games.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know ahead of Saturday’s clash…


Classic Encounter

Real Madrid 5-2Deportivo Alaves (2002)

Luis Figo of Real Madrid

This game included some star names including the likes of Luis Figo, Claude Makelele, Roberto Carlos and current manager Zidane. However, all eyes were on the new signing Ronaldo who was brought by manager Vicente del Bosque to ensure that they lay claim to their 28th Spanish league title.

Ronaldo started on the bench and an early goals from Zidane and Figo saw Los Blancos head into a 2-0 lead. Alaves pulled one back before the big moment came. 

On the 64th minute, Ronaldo was called on for his debut, and it took him just 61 seconds to get his first goal for the Galacticos. Before the match was done, Figo got his second before Ronaldo also managed to bag another in the 79th minute to make it a day to remember for all.


Key Battle

Cristiano Ronaldo v Fernando Pacheco Flores

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Ronaldo has three goals in his last three games against Alaves and it will be interesting if he can get the better of Pacheco who will need to be on his A-game if he wants to stop the Madrid front line.

The amount of goals Pacheco conceded reads nicely, as he’s only let in 33 goals this campaign, which is only five more than what Real have conceded. However, if there’s anyone who likes a shot at goal, it’s the Portuguese forward, who has an average of seven shots a game in La Liga this season. Even though he hasn’t been the same player of last season, he is always a threat no matter what, and Pacheco will need to be focused in order to not let his guard down.


Team News

Leganes v Real Madrid - La Liga

According to Marca, Sergio Ramos will be absent for the game due to suspension. Having picked up a booking in the 3-1 win against Leganes for grabbing Leganes midfielder Nabil El Zhar, he is subsequently suspended for picking up an accumulation of bookings. 

The Spanish skipper will join fellow defenders Marcelo and Jesus Vallejo on the sidelines after they both respectively picked up injuries.

Alaves’ top scorer Munir El Haddadi will miss the match for the same reason as Ramos.


Prediction

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga

If the head-to-head form is anything to go by, then Real Madrid are runaway favourites to take all three points at the Bernabeu on Saturday. The have won each of the last five meetings, scoring 15 goals compared to Alaves’ two.

Although Alaves go into the game on the back of three straight wins, the might of Real’s attacking line may be too much to handle for the Alaves defence. It’s not to say that Madrid will have it easy – because an easy game for Los Blancos this season has become a rarity. 

Alaves will have to fancy their chances in front of goal as Real haven’t kept a clean sheet in eight consecutive games. However, Madrid should have enough firepower to see them over the line.

Score Prediction: Real Madrid 4-2 Alaves


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Spanish Report Claims Liverpool Will Make Summer Swoop for Real Madrid Stopper

​Liverpool are set to make a summer move for Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas – that’s the bold claim made my Spanish publication Diario Gol.

Supposedly there are still lingering doubts over both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius – the latter of which has taken over as number one in recent weeks – and Costa Rica international Navas is apparently the solution to the club’s ongoing problem position.

Real Madrid Training And Press Conference

​Diario Gol claim the Reds would have to pay £17.6m to prize Navas away from the Bernabeu, and state they are targeting him after being put off by Roma’s £70m asking price for Brazilian stopper Alisson.

Earlier in the season, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said: “I’m always going to be with Keylor and Kiko [Casilla]. Kepa’s [Arrizabalaga] a good goalkeeper, sure. There’s no doubt about that. But he’s not my goalkeeper.

“I’m sticking with Keylor and Kiko. We’ll see what happens when they open the market. We’ll see if any one comes and if they can, they can. But I’ve got Keylor and I’m happy with that.”

FC Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

The outlandish report from Diario Gol comes just a short time after manager ​Jurgen Klopp placed his faith in Karius, after dismissing the Jack Butland links.

He said: “It is not a case of ‘get somebody else’, it is get the right solution and the right solution is the one that we already have here. 

“I saw a lot of good things in the games he played in the last few weeks and that is why he is in, but of course Loris has to deliver and he knows that.”


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Real Madrid & Barcelona Among Clubs Questioned as Spanish Youth Football Match Fixing Scandal Erupts

​Twenty people have been arrested as police have launched an investigation into reportedly widespread match fixing scandal in the third and fourth division of Spanish domestic football.

As reported by Spanish outlet Marca, via the ​Sun, 51 matches between 2015-2017 are being investigated, which include games in which Barcelona B and Real Madrid’s Castilla side were in action. However, no players from either side has been implicated in any investigations thus far, and both side’s were only involved in one match that has been looked into further.

Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

With the riches available to both clubs and players at the lower level of the game being minimal in comparison to the top tier, the temptation for corruption can often prove alluring. With online gambling now a huge industry, players could technically earn themselves money from something as innocuous as conceding a corner, or – more seriously – deliberately losing a game.

The European governing body UEFA are reportedly aware of the ongoing investigations, and are assisting the Spanish police and La Liga in their efforts to get to the bottom of the issue. Non-proft organisation Federbet – a company who work to tackle illegal gambling – are believed to have brought the suspicious activity to the attention of La Liga.

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In other news, Real Madrid are believed to be prepared to go head-to-head with Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window, ​as both club’s look to prize scoring sensation Mohamed Salah away from Premier League side Liverpool. The Egyptian dynamo has scored 30 goals already for the Reds this season, and Real could look to test Liverpool’s resolve with a huge transfer offer.

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Real Reportedly Preparing to Sell Gareth Bale Over Consistency & Injury Problems

​Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid career appears to be drawing to a close as reports suggest that he could be sold at the end of the season.

The Welsh wizard has struggled for fitness and form throughout the past 18 months of his four-and-a-half year spell in the Spanish capital, and ​Marca has claimed that Los Blancos wish to sever ties with him when this term draws to a close.

Bale has sat on the substitutes’ bench for the recent wins over Paris Saint-Germain and Leganes and has only been afford 36 minutes’ worth of action in total from those two encounters.

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The 28-year-old has been available for every single Real match since 23rd December after he finally overcame the calf problems that were plaguing his season, but it seems that Bale has fallen down the pecking order at Santiago Bernabeu.

The likes of Marco Asensio and Isco have been preferred to the former Tottenham superstar in recent weeks and it could well be that manager Zinedine Zidane has seen enough of Bale to convince him that he is no longer the player he once was.

Real’s hierarchy is also said to hold the belief that Bale hasn’t shown the consistency required to secure his future with them ever since his injury issues became a major problem, and do not think he can take up Cristiano Ronaldo’s mantle even if they persist with him.

(You may also be interested in ​Paris Saint-Germain Eye Mega Money Move for Real Madrid Superstar Karim Benzema)

In total, Bale has suffered 28 injuries during his Real spell – absences that have led to him missing a whopping 78 games for La Liga’s reigning champions.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett also recently spoke about his client being worth as much as world-record signing Neymar, who moved to PSG for £200m last summer – comments that won’t have helped Bale remain with his current side.

Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea have been credited with interest in Bale over the past 12 months, but it is unclear if either Premier League team would be willing to buy him.

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Leganes 1-3 Real Madrid: Zidane Lets Youngsters Shine as Los Blancos Make it 5 Wins in 6

Real Madrid exacted revenge on rivals Leganes with a 3-1 away win, a month after Leganes dumped them out of the Copa Del Rey at their own ground.

Goals from Lucas Vasquez, Casemiro and a late penalty from Sergio Ramos were enough to cancel out Unai Bustinza’s early effort to give Zinedine Zidane’s side their fifth win in six games.

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The first half began as a very lively affair. With Real boss Zinedine Zidane allowing several fringe players a chance to shine, and Leganes took their opportunity to strike early against a side struggling to gel.

The home side opened the scoring thanks to a calamitous spot of defending from Real Madrid, culminating in a brave diving header from Unai Bustinza from only a foot off the ground as Theo Hernandez failed to clear off the line.

Leganes’ opener signalled the continuation of Madrid’s failure to keep a clean sheet since the first week of December.

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However, the Madrid youngsters managed to pick themselves up quickly, with their equaliser coming a mere five minutes later.

A well worked passing move through the defence let Matteo Kovacic’s through ball fall in to the path of Lucas Vasquez, allowing the Spaniard to shoot across goal and nestle the ball in the bottom left corner.

Bringing the scores level allowed the visitors to get into their stride, with much more advances, especially from Vasquez, who looked dangerous throughout.

Leganes v Real Madrid - La Liga

The smile returned to their manager’s face as Madrid bettered their first goal with a string of one-touch passes in the final third, the last of which made its way to Casemiro, whose classy finish put the visitors firmly in front heading into the break.

Real had a penalty shout early into the second half, as Bustinza’s hand looked to have handled the ball in the area, although the referee waved play on.

Leganes could’ve pulled it level just after the hour mark after Beauvue’s sliding effort was saved brilliantly by keeper Kiko Casilla.

The home side had a penalty shout of their own, with former Liverpool man Nabil el Zhar being tripped in the box by Hernandez.

Whilst the first half was very much a rollercoaster for Madrid, the side struggled to have the same attacking sting in the second 45 minutes, even with the introduction of Gareth Bale for the final quarter of an hour.

Their third goal only came from a penalty after Kovacic was taken down in the box as he ran through in the 89th minute. A cool finish from captain Sergio Ramos cemented the three points for the visitors.

The win for Real Madrid lifts them into third in the table, whilst Leganes remain in 13th in the La Liga table.

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Loaned Out Star James Rodriguez Claims He Has ‘Only Good Memories’ of Real Madrid

​Bayern Munich loanee James Rodriguez has reminisced about his spell with Real Madrid, calling it a ‘unique time’ in his career.

The Colombian moved to Real Madrid for around £60m from AS Monaco after starring in the 2014 World Cup, but never really held down a starting spot at Los Blancos, and moved to Bayern Munich on loan in the summer of 2017.

He has shone since the move and is hoping to reignite his career in Germany. However, despite stalling in the Spanish capital, James only had positive things to say about his time with Real in an interview with UEFA,

Granada CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

”There are only good memories of my time in Madrid, it was three unique years in my career,” he said, as reported by Marca.

”It was a dream come true to play there, one which every child has when you watch those big teams. The dream seems so far away, but as the years go by everything appears much closer, my time with Real Madrid will always stay with me.”

Playing at one of the world’s top clubs brings all kinds of pressure and the Colombian held no shame in admitting it is not always an easy ride.

”At a club like Madrid there is a lot of pressure, you are always under the microscope. To play for Real you have to be prepared for everything, both mentally and on the pitch,” he continued.

”It’s a club that helped me grow in every single aspect, both inside and out.”

James – who has scored four and assisted six in the Bundesliga this season – was substituted in Bayern’s ​5-0 thumping of Besiktas on Tuesday due to a calf problem. He will be hoping the injury does not leave him sidelined for too long and he can continue his impressive stint in Germany.


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Ronaldinho Inspires Real Madrid Wonderkid Vinicius Junior’s Hopes Of Shock World Cup Call Up

Brazilian youngster Vinicius Junior has discussed his desire to go to Russia this summer. The soon-to-be Real Madrid forward has spoken to footballing legend Ronaldinho on his chances, and claims that the words from the former Barcelona man has made him dream of making it to the World Cup.

The attacker is set to make a ​£38.7m move to Los Blancos in the summer, and many seem to believe that Vinicius is the ‘next Neymar’, and possesses the potential to be amongst the world’s elite in the coming years.

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And after a chat with Barcelona legend Ronaldinho, the 2018 World Cup is on the mind of Flamengos latest talent:

“​I dream yes [of going to World Cup],” The 17-year-old admitted, as quoted by Globoesporte.

“These days I was with Ronaldinho and he told me that they always take a younger player. To always concentrate. 

Flamengo v Independiente - Copa CONMEBOL Sudamericana 2017 Final

“I have this dream of wearing the shirt of the Brazilian team. I do not know if it’s going to be this year or next year, but I’m evolving every day at Flamengo to get to the right moment and represent Brazil.”

At 17, simply being at the World Cup would prove to be a massive amount of experience gained, regardless of playing time – if any at all. 

However, with the attacking threat that Brazil hold on the international scale (Neymar being the obvious first choice in Vinicius’ position), he probably won’t be holding his breath just yet.


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Influential Duo Add to Real Madrid’s Injury Woes Ahead of Crucial Champions League Clash With PSG

Real Madrid have confirmed that influential pair Luka Modric and Marcelo have both suffered thigh injuries, with the club unable to offer a time frame on either player’s recovery.

For the time being at least, it makes both Modric and Marcelo doubts for games in the coming weeks, including the Champions League last 16 return leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

Marcelo was forced off inside half an hour during the weekend’s La Liga win over Real Betis, while Modric was left on the bench for the game.

It is not clear how long the pair will be sidelined for, but there are now only two weeks before the UEFA Champions League trip to Paris where a place in the quarter finals is at stake.

Los Blancos have four other games before then to contest as well, all in La Liga, with Leganes (A), Alaves (H), Espanyol (A) and Getafe (H) to play in the space of just 12 days.

Given that Toni Kroos is also considered a doubt for the PSG game as a result of a knee problem suffered in the first leg, Real may have genuine problems despite holding a 3-1 aggregate lead.

Adrien Rabiot’s early away goal from the first leg at the Bernabeu ensures that the runaway Ligue 1 leaders are definitely still in the tie, even after Cristiano Ronaldo (2) and Marcelo gave Real a promising 3-1 advantage at the halfway stage.

However, as things stand, a 2-0 win for PSG in Parc des Princes would see Real eliminated on away goals. Potentially without three key players in Modric, Marceo and Kroos, the reigning European champions suddenly look vulnerable despite their aggregate lead.


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Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Leganes on Wednesday

​The last time Real Madrid faced Leganes they were shockingly dumped out of the Copa del Rey when Leganes scored twice at the Santiago Bernabeu to go through on away goals. 

Madrid will be sure not the make the same mistake again, as they travel to Leganes for this midweek La Liga tie.

Here’s how Madrid could lineup on the night:

Torhüter

  • Navas

    Navas1

​Keylor Navas keeps his place in goal.

Verteidigung

  • Carvajal

    Carvajal2

  • S. Ramos

    S. Ramos4

  • Varane

    Varane5

  • Theo

    Theo15

​Marcelo picked up an hamstring injury in Madrid’s last game against Real Betis and could be a doubt for Wednesday’s fixture. Theo Hernandez was the man brought on the replace the Brazilian against Betis, and could start here. 

Raphael Varane was rested against Betis but could be brought back in to play alongside Sergio Ramos in central defence. First choice right-back Dani Carvajal will likely complete Madrid’s defence.

Mittelfeld

  • Vázquez

    Vázquez17

  • Casemiro

    Casemiro14

  • Kovacic

    Kovacic23

  • Asensio

    Asensio20

​Marco Asensio scored twice for Madrid as they fought back to a victory against Betis. He could be rewarded with another start on Wednesday. 

With Toni Kroos still unavailable due to a sprained knee, Madrid could name an unchanged midfield from the one that eventually won at Real Betis. Mateo Kovacic could continue to fill-in for Kroos alongside Casemiro. Lucas Vazquez could start again on the right of midfield.

Sturm

  • Bale

    Bale11

  • Ronaldo

    Ronaldo7

​Gareth Bale has been in the picture once again after being injured for the majority of the first hal of the season. The Welshman has not scored in any of his last five matches, but will hope to change that this midweek. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is, of course, sure to start for Madrid. Ronaldo has scored six times in his last three matches which included a brace to see off Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League.

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