Toni Kroos Insists ‘Everything Is Fine’ as He Clarifies Previous Criticism of Leroy Sane

Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has attempted to clarify his comments regarding Manchester City starlet Leroy Sane.

The Madrid star had questioned Sane’s body language during the last international break but has since played down the assessment, insisting that things are fine between himself and the youngster.

Germany Training Session And Press Conference

“It was forgotten that I praised him in the first three minutes. I couldn’t see that anywhere, but that was clear to me. I’m not stupid,” Kroos said during a press conference (via FourFourTwo).

“Back then I didn’t say that he doesn’t care. I said that sometimes it seems that he doesn’t care. You always have to be careful. I know that something like this gets interpreted in a negative way, but I don’t care.

“I have a good relationship with Leroy. Back then it was a pity that he had to leave after the first game. He played well against France after the substitution. He makes a good impression.

“I don’t need to repeat those first three minutes of my praise. I’m looking forward to playing with him for a while, because I know his qualities. And I’ve already mentioned that.

Germany Training And Press Conference

“Everything is fine. We don’t see each other that often, so it’s difficult to find a big change. But he doesn’t have to change much.”

The ​City star responded to ​Kroos’ criticism earlier in the week, claiming he respected the senior star’s opinion while also refuting the suggestion.

“If I play bad, then it’s not like I don’t care,” he told reporters. “I always want us to win our games.

“It’s OK for me that it might look different for other people. I also respect it when criticism is addressed personally. I’ll then try to work on it. 

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“I don’t have any problem with criticism. It’s an incentive to refine myself.”

Germany will play Holland in the UEFA Nations League this Saturday before facing off with World Cup winners France on Tuesday.


Luka Modric to Inter Links Resurface After Report Claims He Is ‘Sad’ at Real Madrid

Luka Modric’s Inter transfer saga looked as if it died with the closure of the European transfer window, ​but recent reports in Italy have resurrected the rumours – with some claiming that the player is ‘sad’ at Real Madrid and wants a move to Milan.

According to the print edition of Gazzetta Dello Sport (via ​Football Italia) the UEFA Player of the Year isn’t happy at the club, especially after Julen Lopetegui’s poor start as manager, and the idea of leaving is ‘still in his thoughts’ after summer speculation surrounding his departure.

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander

Summer reports of his seemingly imminent move went into overdrive, with some claiming that ​Real reported Inter to FIFA for alleged tapping up, before it was revealed that ​Modric himself had initiated the contact in an attempt to kick-start the move.

The Croatian, who helped his country to the World Cup final before losing out to France, was a crucial part of Real’s famous three successive Champions League trophies, but saw manager Zinedine Zidane and talisman ​Cristiano Ronaldo leave in the following months.

Udinese v Juventus - Serie A

Reports then surfaced that he wanted to leave for ​Inter in the summer when the club were still on top – but the move didn’t materialise, and Real have since gone on to struggle in both La LIga and the Champions League, losing to CSKA Moscow in the group stages.

However, it appears as if he may get the move after all, with multiple newspaper reports claiming it may be back on.

Another Gazzetta Dello Sport report (this time via ​Calcio Mercato) states that Modric remains firmly in Inter’s thoughts despite Real’s reluctance to sell.

Croatia Training Session

It also states that there have been no talks between Modric and the club despite president Florentino Perez’ best efforts to open negotiations, adding fuel to the fire of the rumours.


6 Shock Signings by Big Clubs as Man Utd Weigh Up Bizarre Andreas Granqvist Transfer

Helsingborg defender and Swedish World Cup hero Andreas Granqvist claimed earlier this month during an interview in his homeland that Manchester United are interested in signing him and that both he and his current club would accept if there is a formal offer submitted in January.

The veteran centre-back, who briefly played in the Premier League for Wigan Athletic for just 13 months over a decade ago, led Sweden to the quarter finals of the World Cup in summer and it isn’t unfeasible that his no nonsense defending and vast experience would be of appeal.

33-year-old Granqvist had been playing with Krasnodar in Russia until the World Cup, at which point he returned home to join Helsingborg in the second tier of Swedish football.

Notwithstanding any vague logic, jumping from the Superettan to Old Trafford would be a massive shock. Yet should United bizarrely go ahead with the alleged interest, they would be far from the first big club to make a such a surprise signing straight from ‘left-field’.

Here’s a look back at six examples that have actually happened…  

6. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (PSG)

Scoring just five Premier League goals in a single season with Stoke that ended relegation was all that it took for Paris Saint-Germain to snap up Cameroon international Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on a free transfer during the summer.

Instead of Peter Crouch, Saido Berahino and Tom Ince, the 29-year-old now counts Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani among his attacking colleagues.  

5. Dale Jennings (Bayern Munich)

Dale Jennings might have been forgiven for thinking that his chance to make it at the top level was gone when he was released by Liverpool at the age of 16 and joined Tranmere. However, rather bizarrely, Bayern Munich swooped in and took him to Germany three years later.

Jennings spent two years in Bavaria, playing for Bayern’s second string, and returned to England in 2013 to join Barnsley. He later dropped out of professional football in 2016 and has since returned to play at non-league level after resurrecting his career.

4. Michael Hector (Chelsea)

Michael Hector is still contracted to Chelsea three years after surprisingly joining the club and it remains something of a mystery as to why he was signed in the first place.

Prior to 2015, Hector had enjoyed a very modest career and at the age of 23 a solitary full season in the Championship with Reading was his best achievement. 

Now 26, the Jamaica international is still yet to play a game for Chelsea, having spent every season out on loan.  

3. Park Chu-young (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s capture of striker Park Chu-young never made sense from the off. The Gunners snatched the South Korean national hero from under the nose of Lille as part of a spree of desperate late deals in the summer of 2011 and proceeded to hand him the number nine shirt.

That is seemingly where the faith ended, however, as the Gunners realised their odd mistake. Park played just six first team games and was later loaned to Celta Vigo and Watford.  

2. Bebe (Manchester United)

Just one year after playing in the 2009 European Street Football Festival, Portuguese winger Bebe found himself joining Manchester United for the significant sum of £8m.

20-year-old Bebe had spent his teenage years raised in a shelter in Lisbon after being abandoned by his parents and being placed under the care of the church. He signed for Vitoria de Guimaraes in 2010 and just five weeks later found himself at Old Trafford, after being recommended to Sir Alex Ferguson by Carlos Queiroz.

Bebe, real name Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, made a total of seven appearances for United in his first campaign and was loaned out for the remaining years of his contract. 

1. Julien Faubert (Real Madrid)

French winger Julien Faubert went from struggling to make an impact with West Ham in the Premier League to joining Real Madrid in January 2009 after completing a shock loan move. Faubert’s career in the Spanish capital was predictably bad, though.

He once apparently skipped training when he mistakenly thought he had a day off and even fell asleep on the bench during a game. He made only two appearances and Real opted against exercising their option to make the move permanent.


‘Leave Me Alone’: Karim Benzema Fires Back at French Football President’s ‘Out of Shape’ Claims

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has fired back at the president of the French Football Federation Noel Le Graet after claims were made that the​ attacker is in poor shape.

Speaking to Ouest-France as quoted by Marca, Le Graet took aim at Benzema’s fitness and all but confirmed the forward would not play for Les Bleus again.

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander

“I think the ‘bleus’ are over for him, and he’s in the worst shape for a while now. I have nothing against Karim, he always behaved well with the French team, but I think now his time is over.”

Despite not enjoying the most prolific of seasons last term, ​Benzema is on the shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or and the decorated forward took to social media to make his feelings felt over Le Graet’s comments.

He posted: “Mr. Le Graet, I ask you to forget about me and leave me alone, please. France are the world champions.”

Benzema has been exiled from a number of France squads in recent years. In 2010 he was omitted over a lack of game time, in 2016 he was left out due to a publicised scandal including blackmail, and in 2018 he allegedly didn’t make the cut because of tactical reasons. 

Antoine Griezmann and ​Kylian Mbappe fired France to World Cup glory earlier this year with ​Olivier Giroud also featuring up front, while ​Alexandre Lacazette is also pushing for a recall after some brilliant performances for Arsenal.


Real Madrid Will Take Legal Action Against Portuguese Newspaper for Ronaldo Settlement Claims

​Real Madrid have launched legal action against a Portuguese newspaper which insinuated that the club were aware of information relating to the Cristiano Ronaldo sexual assault case.

Ronaldo is accused of raping an American woman, Kathryn Mayorga, in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. He had just signed for Real Madrid at the time and remained at the club until he joined Juventus earlier this year.

Correio da Manhã, a daily tabloid published in Lisbon, claimed that ​Real Madrid had forced ​Ronaldo to pay off his alleged victim to ensure her silence. On Thursday, the La Liga club issued a firm denial.

“Real Madrid C. F. can today announce that the club has taken legal action against the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã for publishing categorically false information in an effort to seriously damage the image of this club,” they said in ​an official statement.

“Real Madrid has absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which it had no knowledge. 

“Real Madrid has demanded total rectification of the situation from the aforementioned newspaper.”

Mayorga, 34, claims that she was paid to sign a non-disclosure agreement in 2010 but has now decided to go public with her allegations.

On Wednesday, Ronaldo’s lawyers ​denied the legitimacy of documents relating to the alleged incident, claiming that they had been “altered and fabricated” as part of an “intentional defamation campaign” against the Portuguese player.

Der Spiegel, the newspaper which saw the documents last week, has responded by claiming that the documents are actually genuine.


Eden Hazard Admits He ‘Won’t Leave Chelsea in January’ Despite Ballon d’Or Ambitions

​Eden Hazard has clarified reports about his future, insisting that he will not leave Chelsea before the end of the 2018/19 season.

​Hazard recently revealed that he was torn between signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge and the allure of a dream move to Real Madrid, who were linked with him during the summer.

“I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything,” he said. 

“I don’t want to say: ‘Yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing. So I will see. Sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go.”

This led to speculation that ​Hazard could join Los Blancos in the next transfer window. However, reports earlier this week claimed that Real ​had made no plans to sign Hazard in January.

Speaking to ​Sky Sports News, Hazard confirmed that he wanted to move to Spain at some point to give himself a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or, but said that he would stay at ​Chelsea for the remainder of this season at least.


This is a massive boost for Maurizio Sarri’s team, who are joint top of the Premier League after eight matches, thanks largely to the excellent form of Hazard.

In those matches he has scored seven goals and provided three assists, as well as scoring a world-class winning goal against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

He also scored twice for Belgium during the last international break and has been called up again for the Red Devils’ matches against Switzerland and the Netherlands this week.


Marcelo Will Be Back for Real Madrid’s Next Match After Returning to Training This Week

​Marcelo will be fit for Real Madrid’s next La Liga match against Levante on October 20 after completing his third training session of the week on Wednesday.

The Brazilian international has missed Real’s last three matches against Atletico Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Alaves due to a muscle injury suffered in the 3-0 defeat to Sevilla on September 26.

He was not called up for the international break, but ​Marca reports that he has been training properly and will be back to full fitness by the time the league resumes.

Dani Carvajal and ​Karim Benzema did not train with the squad on Wednesday as they are slightly less far along in their recovery processes.

Carvajal limped out of the Champions League defeat in Moscow with a calf injury, while Benzema was taken off at half time against Alaves with a hamstring injury which will keep him sidelined for two weeks.

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander

​Isco is also on the road to recovery after missing the last three La Liga matches with appendicitis. He will be targeting the Clasico against ​Barcelona on October 28 for his return.

Wednesday’s training session took place with a depleted squad as most of ​Real’s players are away on international duty.

​Marcelo, Benzema and Isco were all named on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or which was announced on Monday. Real was the best represented club with eight nominees.


Real Madrid Considering Move for Manchester City Star as Contract Negotiations Drag On

​Real Madrid are believed to be closely monitoring Raheem Sterling’s contract situation with Manchester City, with a view to a potential move in the near future.

City have been in the process of renewing the contracts of their key players, but Sterling is yet to pen a new deal with the club. There have been multiple reports that both parties are nowhere near agreeing terms on a new contract, leaving Sterling with just two years left on his current deal.


Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones revealed on ​Twitter that ​Real Madrid are seriously interested in ​Sterling, and will monitor any progress in the discussions over the coming months. 

These claims have also been echoed by ​ESPN FC, who state that both Sterling and ​City are keen to arrange a new contract, but Real Madrid will remain interested until Sterling officially renews his deal in Manchester.

As he will enter the final 18 months of his contract in January, there is a concern from club officials that Sterling’s value will drastically decrease, meaning that they may be forced to accept a paltry offer if they cannot agree on terms for a new deal.

The likes of ​Kevin de Bruyne and ​Sergio Aguero have recently signed new contracts at the club, whilst Pep Guardiola also renewed his contract earlier this year. The Spaniard has made it clear that he would like Sterling to remain in Manchester, but is aware that sometimes agreements simply cannot be reached.

Guardiola is quoted by ​ESPN as saying: “We are delighted with him and would like Raheem to stay.

“We’ll do our effort to make him feel we count on him. And we count on him. We arrived after a difficult season [two years ago] and I told him I want to help him and would like him to be happy.


“In the end, the agents may not have agreements and that may not happen. But he knows and his agent knows we like him and want him a lot.”

Sterling has been a key player for City since arriving at the club, racking up and impressive 48 goals and 51 assists in his 150 appearances.


Chelsea Keeping Tabs on Antonio Conte’s Next Managerial Move With Compensation Deal Not Yet Agreed

Chelsea are keeping tabs on Antonio Conte’s next managerial move, with the West London club yet to agree a compensation packet with the Italian. 

The Italian was sacked by Chelsea during the summer after helping the club win the Premier League title and the FA Cup during his two seasons in charge at Stamford Bridge, though he is yet to receive pay off.

A report in the Telegraph now claims that Chelsea – who are believed to owe the 49-year-old around £9m as a result of his sacking – are monitoring his next move closely, with Conte having been linked with moves to Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in recent days. 


The heavyweight trio have all had stuttering starts to their respective league campaigns, prompting speculation that Conte could be lined up to step into the breach. A move to any of the three is unlikely to happen though before Conte’s compensation package is finalised.

If he were to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United before the New Year, it’s thought that Conte would lose out on around £5m – with an agreement in place that any compensation would be wavered were he to join another Premier League side. That would not apply however, were he to join Bayern or Real. 

Irrespective of where he ends up, Chelsea are unwilling to pay the full amount owed because they believe the outspoken former Italy boss contributed to his own dismissal – with no agreement between the two parties likely to result in court proceedings.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Since Conte’s departure from Stamford Bridge, fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri has taken over the reins – where he has gone unbeaten in his first eight Premier League matches.


Real Madrid Defender Puts Premier League Clubs on Alert as He Reveals Desire to Play in England

Real Madrid full-back Dani Carvajal has said that he would love to play in the Premier League before the end of his career, possibly putting several top flight clubs on alert.

The Spaniard – who has spent all of his senior career with Los Blancos, save a single season with Bayer Leverkusen before a buy-back clause was activated – insists he’s happy at Madrid wearing their famous white strip. However, he has wondered about a Premier League spell.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Santander

Speaking in an interview with Libero (via Goal), Carvajal was asked if he still thinks of playing abroad.

“I do think about it,” the ​Madrid man explained. “And I am clear that I want to play in the Premier League. It is an experience that I really want to have.

“I don’t want to be left wondering what it would be like. But, on the other hand, I would like to spend my whole career here, which would be something very nice, too.”

Real Madrid  v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League Group G

The 26-year-old had moved to Germany to join Leverkusen in 2012 after getting frustrated over limited playing time. However, Real returned for him the following year and he has since cemented his place as the club’s choice at right back.

Carvajal, often rated as one of the game’s finest full backs, would present quite the interesting prospect for the Premier League’s bigger sides. However, it’s unlikely Madrid will be letting him leave the Santiago Bernabeu anytime soon, even with younger stars like Alvaro Odriozola pushing for game time.