Romelu Lukaku Names the Man Utd Player He Wants to Emulate at Old Trafford

​Following his big money move to Old Trafford earlier this summer, Romelu Lukaku has set the bar high, claiming he wants to replicate Cristiano Ronaldo’s achievements. 

United’s £75m investment may weigh heavy on the Belgian’s shoulders, but he is aiming to prove his doubters wrong by helping his new side win trophies next year. 

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The 24-year-old has scored 104 goals in the past five seasons, but the ​Express have reported that he intends on improving, insisting he is nowhere near the complete package yet. 

“I’m 24, so can’t say I’m the complete package,” he said. “I can’t say I’m in my prime. There is a lot of work to be done and I’m delighted that there is still work to be done. That means I can become even better than I am.

“I’m far from the level of Ronaldo and Lewandowski. That’s the level I want to aim for. How do I reach that level? Keep improving. There is always room to improve. 

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“I just want to become the best player I can be. I’ll never say it’s good enough. It’s a pressure I put on myself. When you play for United you have to perform every week.”

In an effort to continue improving, Lukaku claims he spends hours watching footage of his performances to spot any weaknesses. 

“Every year, at the end of the season, I will look to all of the games that I have played and I will look to the negatives, to the positives and take it further into the next year.

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“I think the key to me scoring more and more every year is that I work during the off-season on my negative points and it helps me a lot.”

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Monaco Reject Claims They Have Agreed to Sell Real Madrid Kylian Mbappe

​Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco have issued a strong denial regarding rumours of an agreement between themselves and Real Madrid for the sale of French starlet Kylian Mbappe.

The forward rose to fame last season after producing a stellar personal campaign in front of goal during which he registered 26 goals and eight assists. He has since become a target for several clubs around Europe, including Madrid of course, who are possibly prepared to make him the most expensive player in the world.

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Reports of an agreement between the French and Spanish champions surfaced on Monday, claiming that the two clubs had arrived at a deal in which Mbappe would sign a six-year contract and immediately return to Monaco on loan.

However, the Ligue 1 outfit told Sky Sports (H/T ​Eurosport) that no such understanding has been reached, and are now threatening to approach the French Football League, as well as FIFA, in order to deal with the situation they describe as ‘unacceptable’.

“To put an end to this unacceptable situation, AS Monaco is considering asking the French Football League and FIFA to open disciplinary procedures against offending clubs,” they said in a statement which didn’t name any of the clubs.

According to FIFA stipulations: “A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform the player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him.”

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Whether or not Madrid – in particular – have fallen afoul of the rule is yet to be revealed, but it doesn’t look like the French side have any intention of allowing their player to leave just yet.

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VIDEO: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Heel Chop to Feature in FIFA 18 After 360 Degree Motion Capture Session

​Modern technology is allowing video games to become more vivid than ever before.

FIFA 17 was praised for its realism, but it looks as though its successor is upping the stakes to provide gamers with a greater, more immersive experience. 

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Motion capture has been used in video games, television and movies before and now Cristiano Ronaldo has gotten in on the act, being filmed in a 360 degree video clip for the upcoming football simulation.

The Real Madrid forward recreated his famous heel chop skill, so when we’re all using the trademark move while playing with the Portugal international in FIFA 18 it will feel as real as seeing it live.

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​​Ronaldo has replaced Borussia Dortmund man Marco Reus as the cover star of EA Sports’ prominent yearly release and the video has whet the appetites of many gamers waiting for FIFA 18’s launch in September.

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​​FIFA have previously released a trailer for the upcoming game and revealed FIFA 17’s new mode, The Journey, will also return.

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Zinedine Zidane Denies Asking for Big-Name Signings at Real Madrid to Replace Departing Stars

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has dismissed claims that he has asked for a big summer signing, insisting that he is happy with his current group of players. 

Zidane’s star-studded side continued their relentless dominance in Europe with a third Champions League title in four years last season, as well as an elusive Spanish title last season.

But with the departures of Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez and Danilo and speculation persisting about potential moves for Kylian Mbappe and Paulo Dybala, Zidane played down suggestions that Real will necessarily make bring in big money summer replacements when ​speaking after Sunday night’s friendly against Manchester United. 

Real Madrid had their ban on signing players halved following a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year and unlike their cross-city rivals Atletico, for whom the ruling stood, Los Blancos are now able to buy players.

However, asked if the Spanish giants were pursuing any targets following his side’s penalty shootout defeat to Manchester United, the former France captain seemed relaxed about the prospect of Real sticking with their current squad. 

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“No – and I’m sure you already know that,” he said. “I’m not going to ask for anything. I will continue chatting to the president.

“We have 28 players in the squad, and I’m happy with how all of the players are working. But after that we’ll see what happens, up until 31 August anything can happen. But I haven’t asked for anything.

“We have a complete squad and for the time being that’s how it will continue. It’s possible that a player could arrive or one could leave but right now I am very happy with the squad I’ve got.”


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Man City Ready to Step Up Mbappe Interest as Paris Saint-Germain Make Alexis Sanchez Top Priority

​Manchester City are considering re-focusing their attention on Monaco’s teenage talent Kylian Mbappe, as Paris Saint-Germain’s interest in City’s other big attacking target Alexis Sanchez intensifies.

Goal report that PSG’s surge in interest towards Sanchez could leave Pep Guardiola and his recruitment team focusing on Mbappe if Sanchez swaps the Premier League for Ligue 1, despite Monaco releasing a statement perceived tapping up by ‘important European clubs’ tapping up last week. 

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PSG also stole Dani Alves from City’s grasp at the 11th hour, despite Alves’ past relationship with Guardiola at Barcelona. Reports have claimed that Sanchez has agreed terms with City and met with Guardiola on a number of occasions. Yet Sanchez was allegedly in Paris on Friday to discuss a big-money move to the French giants.

Guardiola has already spent £200m this summer, including £50m and £51m on Kyle Waker and Benjamin Mendy respectively, but wants to sign another forward to support Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up front. 

Monaco’s hefty asking price of £110m for the teenager seems even beyond City’s capabilities at the moment, though they are monitoring developments as the transfer window progresses. 

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City’s bid would also be determined by how much they can recoup for the sale of players this summer, such as left-back Aleksandar Kolarov’s £4.4m move to Roma, and Kelechi Iheanacho’s impending move to Leicester City for £20m. Fabian Delph and Fernando are also likely to move, whilst the futures of Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala remain uncertain. 

City have also set their sights on a centre-back, and were willing to let Nicholas Otamendi go in order to fund it. But with Kolarov’s move to Roma a surprise, and efforts to sign Virgil van Dijk and Leonardo Bonucci failing, Guardiola has made his forward line a bigger priority, with alternatives to Mbappe established such as Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele and Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman on the list to speed up City’s attacking threat. 

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Mateo Kovacic Tells Real Madrid He Wants to Leave as Tottenham Show Interest

Croatian international Mateo Kovacic has told Real Madrid he wants to leave the club this summer in search of regular first-team football.

The Daily Star reports that Tottenham Hotspur have begun preliminary talks with last season’s Champions League winners over a deal for the £22m-rated midfielder.

Kovacic was used largely off the bench last season, and despite playing 27 matches in La Liga as Real stormed to the title, he has grown frustrated at his bit-part role, as competition for places in the starting 11 grows. 

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The ex-Inter Milan player, who signed for Real in the summer of 2015 for €29million, has only scored three goals for the club in 73 appearances in all competitions. 

Tottenham, who sold right-back Kyle Walker to Manchester City for £50m last week, are keen to reinvest at least some of this money, with manager Marucio Pochettino keen to bolster his squad after what has been a somewhat quiet transfer window so far for the North Londoners. 

Spurs haven’t signed any new first team players thus far, with Pochettino seemingly keen to focus on keeping his current crop of players together.

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Spurs have also been linked with Monaco player Thomas Lemar, who is also a target for rivals Arsenal. Furthermore, Dinamo Zagreb defender Filip Benkovic has been linked with a £13.5m move to Tottenham. 

The 20-year old centre-back is regarded as one of Croatia’s biggest prospects, and since making his debut in 2015 has scored twice in 22 appearances.​

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Cristiano Ronaldo Tells Neymar to Reject PSG Deal and Wait for Manchester United

​Real Madrid forward has contacted Barcelona’s Neymar, telling him to reject Paris-Saint Germain and wait for Manchester United.

Neymar is reportedly eager to leave Barcelona after some media outlets claimed the Brazil international was fed up playing in teammate Lionel Messi’s shadow since joining the club in 2013.

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Spanish sports newspaper ​Diario Gol claims Ronaldo has reportedly got in touch with Neymar and told him to hold off interest from PSG, who are reportedly willing to break the world transfer record in order to sign the former Santos man.

United have also been touted as a potential destination for Neymar, with the Red Devils showing in recent transfer windows that they are financially strong in securing deals for midfielder Paul Pogba and striker Romelu Lukaku.

Ronaldo reportedly contacted Neymar through WhatsApp, telling the 25-year-old he would be dropping down a number of levels in order to play for PSG, whose record in Europe is incomparable to Barcelona’s. 

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PSG have failed to win the Champions League while Neymar has already tasted success in the competition with Barcelona before, scoring in the final of the 2014-15 edition of the competition as the Catalan giants beat Juventus 3-1. 

Ronaldo apparently pointed out that Ligue 1 currently lacks the appeal of Spain and England’s top divisions and has urged Neymar to hold out and sign for his former club in the future instead. 

Neymar has scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for Barcelona since joining the club, winning two La Liga titles and three Copa del Rey cups.  

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Real Madrid Announce Their New Number 10 Following James Rodriguez Departure

​Real Madrid have announced who will be wearing their famous number 10 jersey for the 2017/18 season, and it’s a pretty apt choice.

There has been a reshuffling at the Bernabeu following the departure of James Rodriguez on loan to Bayern for two years.

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Many expected Isco to inherit the coveted shirt number given his recent rise to prominence, but it has been handed to former Tottenham star Luka Modric, who was originally holding number 19, as displayed on the club’s ​official website.

Modric has established himself as a vital cog in the Madrid midfield and is now viewed by many as one of the best midfielders in the world, alongside Toni Kroos and Casemiro.

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He was signed back in 2012 for £33m, which now looks like an absolute snip when one looks at today’s transfer market, and has emerged as Los Blancos metronome in the middle of the park, and arguably a better player than Mesut Ozil was.

Modric follows in the footsteps of Luis Figo, Ferenc Puskas, Michael Laudrup, Clarence Seedorf, Robinho, Wesley Sneijder, Ozil and Rodriguez to have worn the iconic shirt, and it remains to be seen whether he will go up another level – if there’s anywhere to go up to… 

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Zinedine Zidane Bemoans Loss of Morata & Addresses Ongoing Mbappe Rumours

​Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has expressed his disappointment at losing striker Àlvaro Morata to Premier League champions Chelsea. The Spanish international recently joined the Blues for a club record fee of £58m. 

Zidane’s side enjoyed a glorious 2016/17 campaign, in which they won both the La Liga title and the Champions League trophy in emphatic style. Speaking following his side’s Saturday pre-season training session, via Marca, the two-time Champions League-winning manager addressed the departure of the 24-year-old striker, as well as the future of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the possible purchase of Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappé:

“At the moment, we are missing a striker. Morata gave us a lot last year”.

Despite playing a bit-part role for Los Blancos last season, perpetually in the immense shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo, Morata still managed to score 15 league goals for his club. Morata has also impressed during his showings for the Spanish national team, scoring nine goals in 20 appearances thus far. Real will certainly wish to secure a solid replacement for the goal-scorer.

Addressing the possible signing of Monaco’s highly sought after striker Kylian Mbappé, Zidane kept his cards close to his chest, stating:

We always try to improve, the player is good and interests many clubs, but now I’m thinking about tomorrow’s game.”

The comings and goings at the Bernabéu Stadium show no sign of stopping, as the likes of Danilo and James Rodríguez have already left the club this summer. The future of footballing icon Cristiano Ronaldo is also believed to be uncertain, given that the player is rumoured to be keen to leave Spain amid tax controversies. Addressing the issue of Ronaldo, Zidane claimed:

“As you say there has been a lot of talk about Cristiano. When I talk to him he is calm and enjoying his holiday. I look and listen as everyone does, but what matters to me is what he wants to do with Madrid and I think it’s going to stay.”


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Madrid Defender Bids Farewell to Teammates With Man City Transfer to Be Finalised Shortly

​Yesterday Real Madrid full-back Danilo said his final goodbyes to his teammates at the Spanish club’s training camp in Los Angeles, according to Spanish news outlet ​Marca.

The Brazilian is following in the footsteps of former teammate Alvaro Morata, who left the training camp on Wednesday, to join the Premier League after a deal worth around £27m was agreed between Man City and the Spanish champions.

Danilo, who was also linked with a move to Premier League champions Chelsea, is set to sign a deal that will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2022 and is the second right-back to move to the blue side of Manchester after former Spurs defender Kyle Walker signed last week.

The former FC Porto full-back started his career at his native América MG before impressive performances for Santos saw him sign for the Portuguese giants in 2012. A move to the Spanish capital was made in 2015 and the Brazilian achieved successive Champions League titles alongside winning the La Liga during his time with Los Blancos

It is understood that manager Zinedine Zidane did not want the full-back to leave, but was resigned to seeing the Brazilian’s departure after he expressed a desire for first team football. Spanish defender Dani Carvajal was Madrid’s first choice right-back for much of last season and with the World Cup just one year away, Danilo saw an exit from the Bernabeu as a necessity if he was to win back a place in the Brazilian national side.

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Despite Danilo’s imminent departure it is believed that Madrid will not seek a replacement, with defender Nacho and even winger Lucas Vazquez deemed good enough to provide cover for Carvajal at right-back if necessary.

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