Real Madrid are set to allow midfielder Marcos Llorente to leave the club this winter, with Premier League giants Chelsea and Tottenham keen.
Talksport have reported that manager Zinedine Zidane is set to review the 22-year-old situation in January, after Llorente has struggled for game time this term.
The Spain U21 international enjoyed a successful loan spell at Alaves last season featuring 32 times, but has struggled for game time on his return to the Bernabeu, making only one appearance of the bench against Deportivo La Coruna.
Madrid were unwilling to listen to offers in the summer but with the midfielder struggling for game time, a move away would benefit both parties with a host of clubs interested in his services.
As well as reported interest from the Blues and Spurs, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all declared their interest in Llorente since his return to Real in the summer.
With the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro in midfield paired with the talent of Isco, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio it is seemingly unlikely that the Spaniard will be able to force his way into the team, perhaps persuading him to exit the current La Liga champions.
Zinedine Zidane has worked wonders at Real Madrid. Since taking over first team duties in January 2016 as a novice at top level management, the former Ballon d’Or winner as a player became the first boss in history to lift back-to-back Champions League trophies with trophies in 2016 and 2017 – while also pipping fierce rivals Barcelona to La Liga title last season.
The pressure as a Real Madrid player is suffocating as tabloid attention and internal politics are virtually unparalleled in the capital.
Therefore, it is very rare in the game that an ex-player will also take the hot seat as manager of the club, especially given the expectations of a club with a winning culture like Real.
However, here are six ex-Madridistas who later in their career became the man in the dugout at the Santiago Bernabeu, with varying levels of success.
1. Zinedine Zidane
This iconic picture shows the moment Zidane wheels away in joy after a magnificent volley in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 to cement his place as one of the greatest players of all time.
As manager of Los Blancos, he has somehow enhanced his status as a football great even further by becoming the first manager to win consecutive Champions League titles, while also lifting a league title in imperious fashion and nurturing young talent like Marco Asensio.
2. Bernd Schuster
An important figure in Spanish football during the eighties and early nineties, German international and European Championship winner Bernd Schuster is a rare example in La Liga of a player who featured for all of: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid.
Winning two La Liga titles and one Copa Del Rey, he was well like by the Real fans, despite his Barça past.
As a manager, Schuster spent just one full season as Real Madrid boss, helping Los Blancos to a La Liga title in 2008. However, his confrontational style and failure in Europe led to his resignation in December of his second campaign.
3. Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez worked wonders as manager at Liverpool with a Champions League victory back in 2005, after surprise La Liga titles for Valencia in 2002 and 2004. However, his time as a Real Madrid man did not go quite to plan,
He started out as a young player in the Real Madrid Castilla, leaving the Santiago Bernabéu after failing to break into the first team.
After success as a manager later in his life, he hoped to achieve what he never could as a player as the chief commander in charge of Los Blancos when appointed Real Madrid boss in 2015.
However, he lasted only six months at the helm, and was replaced by legendary figure Zidane.
4. Vicente Del Bosque
Iconic coach Vicente Del Bosque is a national hero after helping Spain lift their first World Cup in 2010.
As a player at the Santiago Bernabéu, he featured in a period of dominance with Real Madrid lifting four La Liga titles, as well as four Copa del Rey trophies.
He took this form into management, as Del Bosque guided Madrid to two Champions Leagues, and as many league titles.
Shockingly, at the height of the club’s Galactico period, this was not enough to please the Madrid board, who decided to not renew his contract after clinching the league title in 2003.
5. Jorge Valdano
A World Cup winner in a Diego Maradona inspired Argentina side, Jorge Valdano is often overlooked as a secondary figure to greater players for both club and country.
However, during his time at Los Blancos, Valdano performed impressively up front and bagged two La Liga trophies and two UEFA cups in the eighties.
As manager of the club between 1994 and 1996, he lifted one league crown but never earned the same status he had as a player.
An outspoken individual, he also had a spell as director at the Santiago Bernabéu, but was moved on in 2011.
6. Alfredo Di Stefano
Perhaps saving the best for last, Alfredo Di Stefano was a Real Madrid club great before his sad passing in 2014.
Di Stefano created a dynasty in the capital and amassed an amazing five European Cups and eight league titles. He helped to make Real Madrid the most desired team in the world for any player by ushering in a new era of dominance through majestic play in attack.
As a manager during two separate stints, the ‘Blond Arrow’ had less success as a coach, with a terrible first spell in charge as they failed to lift a trophy between 1982 and 1984, and famously lost to a Sir Alex Ferguson led Aberdeen side in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final.
In his second spell in the 1990/91 season, Di Stefano did at least guide his team to a Supercopa de España.
Jose Mourinho is embarking on what could be the most crucial season in his career.
Failure to win the Premier League with Manchester United after two seasons of financial backing could mean failure and even the sack for the Special One.
The Red Devils have started the 2017/18 season in great form and new signings Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof have all started strongly.
Here are seven times throughout his career Mourinho has lived up to his nickname and got his signings bang on.
7. Paulo Ferreira
Paulo Ferreira was one of Mourinho’s first ever signings when at Porto.
He bought him for £1.7m in 2002. Jose converted the young Portugal star from a right midfielder to a right back.
Ferreira went on to win back to back league titles at Porto, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League title. In his two years at Porto he only missed two league games.
Jose was so proud of this signing that he signed him again when appointed Chelsea manager in 2004, this time though for £17m, which shows just how much Ferreira impressed at Porto.
Once again Paulo would go on to achieve back to back league title wins and three in total. As well as four FA Cups, two League Cups, another Champions League title and another Europa League.
6. Mesut Ozil
When Mourinho became manager of Real Madrid in 2010 he faced the mammoth task of trying to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona.
One of the new Madrid bosses first acquisitions was Mesut Ozil, who had shone for Germany at the World Cup, for £15m.
In Ozil’s first season Real Madrid won the Copa Del Rey, but in the league they fell just short of Barcelona’s incredible 96 points.
The following year, Ozil played a crucial role in the Mourinho jigsaw. Scoring four goals and getting 17 assists as Madrid amassed an incredible record breaking 100 points to wrestle La Liga title back from their greatest rivals.
5. Didier Drogba
Drogba is one of the Premier League’s greatest strikers and was signed by Chelsea for £24m in 2004.
While he had a fairly slow start to life at Stamford Bridge, it was in his third season at Chelsea that he would start to become the legend we now know him to be.
Scoring 33 goals in all competitions and winning the golden boot that season, Drogba had the highlight of netting the only goal in a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final.
He would score in many finals for Chelsea, most famously in the Champions League final of 2012, and became the archetypal Mourinho striker against which all other forwards were compared
4. Ricardo Carvalho
Having played under Mourinho at Porto originally, Carvalho played twice more for the Special One – following him to Chelsea in 2004 and Real Madrid in 2010.
It has often been said that to win league titles you need a solid defence, and the acquisition of the Portugal international proved a shrewd move on multiple occasions for Mourinho. There is simply no way a Mourinho all-time signings XI could not feature Carvalho.
Mourinho brought in veteran Brazilian Lucio in his final (but most important) season at Internazionale in 2009 for just under £6m – an absolute bargain even if Lucio was 31 at the time.
Lucio would be pivotal that season in helping Inter achieve an historic treble ending a 45-year wait to be crowned European Champions and delivering Jose’s second Champions League title.
If you ever want to understand what it means to play with heart and without fear just watch Lucio’s performance against Barcelona in the second leg of the semi final of the Champions League.
2. Luka Modric
Mourinho signed the magic Croatian in 2012 for an absolute steal at around £30m.
In his first season in the Spanish capital, Modric completed the most passes in the team and in his time at Madrid, he has so far won a league title, a Copa del Rey, three Champions Leagues and voted La Liga’s best midfielder twice.
1. Ashley Cole
What makes the Cole signing so significant? Well, in landing the Arsenal left back Mourinho and Chelsea managed to capture the greatest left back in the world, in his prime, on the cheap and get one over on their biggest rivals at the same time.
Cole may not be a well-loved figure in the game. However, what is undeniable even to his biggest critics, is his talent.
If Mourinho’s signings can emulate the quality and success of Cole, Man Utd fans will probably be celebrating their first league title since Fergie.
Footage has emerged of Real Madrid Star Marcelo showcasing his awesome skills in front of goal in a training session for the La Liga giants.
Depsite the fact that the seasoned defender is embarking on his 12th season at the Bernabeu, the 29-year-old looks to be in the prime of his playing career.
The video, posted by the club’s official twitter, shows Marcelo superbly controlling a crossed ball in the box, before elegantly taking it round two defenders and slowly sliding it in the net past the keeper.
Madrid began their latest La Liga campaign with a crushing 3-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna, but Zinedine Zidane’s side were frustrated by a stubborn Valencia side that held them to a 2-2 draw.
Zidane will hope his side can ease their way past Levante on Saturday as the Frenchman looks to put their struggle against Valencia behind them.
Real also begin their Champions League campaign against Cypriot First Division side Apoel Nicosia who travel to the Bernabeu next Wednesday.
Zidane will be looking to make history this season with a third consecutive Champions League conquest.
Cristiano Ronaldo is only half way through his suspension for pushing a match official in Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. The Portugal star will miss games against Levante and Real Sociedad.
Promising youngster Marco Asensio has stepped up for Real in Ronaldo’s absence, with the 21-year-old scoring a brace in Real’s stalemate against Valencia.
Brazil legend Pele has set Cristiano Ronaldo a target to match his own prolific goalscoring record.
The Real Madrid forward took his international tally to 77 with a hat-trick for Portugal against the Faroe Islands, matching Pele’s total, although in considerably more appearances.
Pele, however, has heaped praise on Ronaldo, particularly for his spectacular scissor kick goal in victory over the Faroe Islands.
Cristiano Ronaldo has now been directly involved in 18 goals in his last 12 games for Portugal.
15 goals ⚽️ 3 assists ️
Does it all. pic.twitter.com/Ao5SBD1iri
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 3, 2017
“I saw the goal, It was really special,” Pele told Goal. “It was a really nice play.”
Pele reached his Brazil total in just 92 games, helping his nation to three world cups along the way. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has played 145 times for Portugal, last year winning the European Championship.
But Pele has admitted that football is in a very different state now than back in his most successful days as a player.
“Of course, these are different times,” he said. “But the beautiful thing about football is the goals. And I take this opportunity to send a big greeting to Cristiano Ronaldo for that victory.”
But he couldn’t resist adding: “Now he has to score more than 1,283 goals!”
Ronaldo found it more difficult in Portugal’s last outing, a 1-0 win against Hungary in which he was fortunate to avoid a red card for a petulant kick late in the second half.
Portugal now trail group leaders Switzerland by three points with just two games of the World Cup qualifying campaign remaining. Yet after the game, manager Fernando Santos admitted that his side had not convinced in victory over Hungary.
“We were by far the best team on the pitch for the first 30 minutes,” he said. “At the interval I told them not to lose their focus. We came back very well afterwards and we scored the goal and from then on we had control of the game, but it was always a dangerous situation.”
Luka Modric has blasted FIFA officials for their handling of the rescheduled match between rivals Croatia and Kosovo stating that the organisation has shown that “they don’t care about players”.
The match had to be abandoned on Saturday after just 22 minutes of play due to a downpour at the Maksimir Stadium which rendered the pitch unplayable.
The teams reconvened a day later to finish the match with Croatia narrowly coming away with the win after they bombarded the Kosovo goal with chances, but it took until the 74th minute for Domagoj Vida to head home a Modric cross for the win.
While the win puts them two points clear of Ukraine at the top of Group I, Four Four Two report the Real Madrid star’s fiery account of how the events unfolded.
He said: “Last night we got information the match will not be played. Of course, you go to bed a little later and then in the morning they woke us all up like they would in the army! Of course, we didn’t have good preparation for the match.
“FIFA showed they don’t care about the players, the only thing that mattered to them was the match to be played.
“On Saturday, I didn’t want to play further and the referee told me he was against it from the beginning. During those 20 minutes, there were more situations for funniest home video than serious football!”
The Croatian players will now have just one rest day before they face off against Turkey on Tuesday and Modric added that this fixture should have been moved.
He said: “On Saturday, it was hard to play at that pitch but no one seemed to care. If they did care, they would have postponed the Turkey – Croatia game to Wednesday.”
The two sides will meet at the New Eskişehir Stadium where Croatia will look to cement their place at the top.
Back to back Champions League winners Real Madrid have released their squad list for the 2017/18 competition. Los Blancos face a tough group consisting of Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL.
Manager Zinedine Zidane has named a characteristically strong squad of players, which features every player in from their league squad, as well as several youngsters – including his son and third-choice goalkeeper Luca Zidane.
11-time winners Real begin their group stage fixtures by hosting Cypriot title winners APOEL at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 13, before travelling to Dortmund on September 26.
See below for full squad list:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla, LZidane.
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Jesus Vallejo, Marcelo, Theo Hernandez, Alvaro Tejero, Luismi Quezada, Manu Hernando, Jose Leon Bernal.
Midfielders: Casemiro, Marcos Llorente, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Isco, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio.
On Saturday evening, Spain gave Italy a harsh lesson in the trials and tribulations of elite international football, ending the Gli Azzurri’s incredible 11-year – 59 game – unbeaten qualification run, with a comprehensive and awe-inspiring 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
One player who truly encapsulated La Roja’s performance, was that of Real Madrid’s enigmatic midfielder Isco, would produced a masterclass display – just ask Italian star Marco Verratti, who was left grounded in one instant by his Spanish counterpart.
Isco dominated the middle of the field, scoring two of Spain’s three goals to secure their lead in the World Cup qualifying group stage, and no one was more impressed than by Verratti who hailed the Real Madrid man.
“I suffered a lot against Isco”, Verratti told Spanish media in the Bernabeu mixed zone.
“I was taken aback by his performance. Not even Messi has come close to that level. When I saw his nutmeg, I felt like standing up and applauding too.”
Verratti and Italy’s disappointing performance came after Iniesta’s words of praise for the PSG ace.
“He [Verratti] is an amazing midfielder. He has an amazing sense of position and we will have to be very careful when we’ll defend tomorrow night”, Iniesta said on the eve of the game.
Real Madrid’s tenacious midfielder Toni Kroos has put both his match shirt and medal from the SuperCopa win over Barcelona up for sale, for charity. The German was part of the side that saw Madrid beat their arch rivals 5-1 over two legs.
However he has decided to not keep the important mementos from the game and instead he has put the shirt and medal up for sale on the United Charity website. There are 19 days left to get your hands on this incredible auction item, which has an estimated value of around £4,500.
The charity is said to fulfil the wishes of seriously handicapped children and relieve the affected families with financial support in this difficult situation.
So, Kroos is proving that not only is he a star on the pitch but off it as well. Nice one Toni.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly issued Manchester United target Gareth Bale a warning to return to form, or risk losing his spot in the side.
Bale was heavily linked with the Red Devils throughout the summer transfer window and has since struggled to find a consistent level of form, with those at the Bernabeu whistling the Welshman off the field last month following a less than impressive performance from the forward.
According to Spanish outlet Don Balon, Zidane has thrown down a warning to the 28-year-old to re-discover his best form or run the risk of losing his automatic spot in the side to Marco Asensio, who rose to prominence during an injury-plagued season for Bale last term.
Following a summer of rumours and speculation over his future, which even suggested a £90m fee had been agreed between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Zidane is said to be understanding of Bale’s predicament.
However, after refusing to make the move to Old Trafford this summer after deciding his future remains at the Bernabeu, Zidane now expects his star forward to put in the effort on the field and deliver for the club.
If the French manager fails to see an improvement in work-rate, it has been suggested that Asensio – who has scored four goals in his last five appearances – will be elevated to a more prominent role in the first-team in place of the 28-year-old.
After winning seven major honours in just a year-and-a-half at the helm of Real Madrid, Zidane has proved to be ruthless and will seemingly not hesitate to relegate Bale to the bench if he does not see the up-turn in performances which are required to defend their La Liga and Champions League double this season.