Roma Look to Extend Allison’s Contract Amid Interest From Real Madrid & Liverpool

​Serie A giants Roma are looking to extend the contract of their in-demand Brazilian keeper Allison, in order to stave off any summer moves for their prized asset, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato. 

The 25-year-old stopper, who is preferred over Manchester City’s Ederson in the Brazilian national team, was touted to leave the Stadio Olimpico in January when a number of clubs, including Liverpool and Real Madrid, were linked with a move.

The Brazilian international Joined the Serie A outfit from Brazilian second tier side Internacional in 2016. Initially, he struggled to displace Wojciech Szczęsny as the starting keeper and was handed limited playing time via cup competitions. 

After Szczesny left to Juventus in the summer, Allison grasped the opportunity with both hands and his scintillating form has seen him propelled into Tite’s World Cup plans. 

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed in Europe either, and it was heavily reported in January that he was about to join Liverpool. Real Madrid were also said to be interested, with Los Blancos looking to freshen up the position which is currently occupied by the veteran duo of Navas and Casilla. 

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In what would appear to be a blow to both team’s chances of signing Allison, the Giallorossi are set to offer the player a contract extension which he is expected to sign if his demands are met. 

As per the report, the 25-year-old is asking for €5m per season including bonuses, a significant increase on the €1.5m he currently receives. In return, Roma wish to raise his release clause to €90m, although it would only be valid for teams outside of Italy. 

The report also notes that the club would consider any substantial bid for the prized asset given their delicate Financial Fair Play situation. 

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Gareth Bale’s Agent Claims Wales Star Is Worth ‘at Least’ as Much as €222m Neymar

​The agent of Gareth Bale has insisted the winger is worth at least €222m – the sum paid by Paris Saint-German to Barcelona last summer for Neymar.

The superstar recently returned from injury for Zinedine Zidane’s side and has been an important player for the Frenchman in recent weeks.

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He is being carefully managed in a bid to prevent the recurrence of any more injuries, and was rested for the 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad over the weekend with the PSG Champions League clash in mind.

Bale’s talent, although often forgotten, is undeniable and in the eyes of his agent Jonathan Barnett, he is as valuable a player as world’s most expensive transfer Neymar.

He told tuttosport, as quoted by ​Marca: “He’s worth at least the 222 million paid for Neymar. Gareth is very happy with Real Madrid. He loves Madrid. Gareth doesn’t need Cristiano Ronaldo to leave. Bale is already a star at Real Madrid.”

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Speculation had been rife earlier in the season that 2017/18 would be the final season at the Bernabeu for the Welshman, because the board were becoming frustrated with his lack of game time through injury.

Reports had linked him – ​some are still doing so – with a move to either Manchester United or a return to Tottenham, but if Bale can remain fit the club will surely do everything in their power to keep him.

He will be hoping to take the game to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, with the Champions League Real’s last hope of silverware this season.

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‘He Loves Madrid’: Gareth Bale’s Agent Buries Manchester United Rumours Amid Rife Transfer Talk

Real Madrid and Wales star Gareth Bale has been linked with a return to the Premier League, specifically Manchester United, for the past few seasons. 

But the player’s agent has put an end to all of the speculation by claiming that his client loves his current club and isn’t keen on leaving at all.

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Bale joined Los Blancos from Tottenham in 2013 and has helped the Spanish side conquer Europe on two occasions, as well as win the ever-elusive Primer Division title last year.

Rumours of him looking to leave the Bernabeu have surfaced every transfer window since his arrival at the club, yet the player has stayed put and according to his representative, Jonathan Barnett, the Welshman is going nowhere.

“I think I am the best agent in the world. My agency Stellar has more than 100 players, it’s the biggest one out there. I really respect (Mino) Raiola and Jorge Mendes, we are like the Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar of agents,” Barnett said to Tuttosport (H/T Goal).

“Bale? I think he’s worth as much as Neymar. He loves Real Madrid and doesn’t want to leave. Gareth does not need Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid, he is already a top star of the club.

“Bale is such a positive example for children. You will never see him in a fast food restaurant. He goes to bed early and I don’t think he is worse than Neymar.

“He can also battle it out for the Ballon d’Or in the future. When he joined Real Madrid Florentino Perez gifted me a pen to sign contracts. I always have it with me now.”

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Gareth Bale’s Agent Lifts Lid on Interest From Serie A Club and Daniel Levy’s Negotiation Tactics

​Ahead of Tottenham Hotspurs’ Champions League last 16 clash against Juventus, the Italian media have been covering the North London club intensely.

As part of their coverage they have been interviewing a number of figures associated with the club, both past and present.

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Among those interviewed was former Spurs star Gareth Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, with Turin-based news outlet ​Tuttosport speaking to the associate of the Welsh superstar.

When Bale made the switch from Spurs to Real Madrid in 2013, there were rumours linking him with a move to Juventus, upon being questioned on the truth of these links Barnett said: “No. The most concrete interest was from another Italian club, but I cannot tell you more: these are reserved matters. Tottenham, however, said no.”

There is speculation that the aforementioned, unnamed Serie A club was Inter Milan.

As the interview continued, Barnett was asked about the speculation surrounding Harry Kane’s future however, he refused to make a statement on the 24-year-old England international, saying he won’t speak about footballers he doesn’t represent.

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When asked about Spurs’ negotiation tactics and how they so often seem to play hard ball, Barnett explained it was all due to the large ambitions the club had.

The president, Daniel Levy, has done a great job: now Tottenham are among the big 6 of the Premier. And thanks to the new stadium, really world class, he can grow them further,” he explained.

Spurs have been enjoying some impressive form recently, with the most recent game seeing them triumph 1-0 over fierce North London rivals, Arsenal, with Harry Kane notching the only goal of the game to hand the hosts all three points.

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Marcelo & Carli Lloyd Join Messi & Kroos as Pepsi Continue Assembling All-Star Squad

Pepsi® continues to kick off 2018 by revealing three-time Champions League winner Marcelo and Women’s Best Player of the Year Carli Lloyd in its new world-class line up of global footballers, part of the ongoing #LoveItLiveIt campaign.

Pepsi began the year by naming Barcelona living legend Lionel Messi and Real Madrid midfield maestro Toni Kroos in an all-star squad of players.

Marcelo, who first joined Real Madrid in 2007 as a teenager, has shared a video via his official Facebook page paying tribute to his grandfather as a constant source of support and inspiration on his journey into professional football.

“Football and family are two halves of my soul,” Marcelo said.

“My grandfather Pedro: my hero. Through him I fell in love with the game. Through his sacrifice, I learnt patience, to hold onto my dreams and never give up. Because, one day, young Marcelo, you’ll make it. The dream came true.”

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For Lloyd, who temporarily moved to Europe in 2017 to fulfil a dream of playing in the Women’s Champions League, a defining moment in her glittering career came when she was dropped from the US Under-21 team. Instead of killing her desire to reach the top, it spurred her on.

PepsiCo is an official partner of the UEFA Champions League, with more to come from Pepsi throughout the year. Watch this space, #LoveItLiveIt

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Cristiano Ronaldo Criticises Real Madrid Fans for Booing Karim Benzema

Real Madrid returned to winning ways on Saturday, inflicting a 5-2 defeat on Real Sociedad, but that did not stop Madrid fans from booing Karim Benzema. Madrid were already leading 5-2 when Benzema had missed a really good chance that led to a shower of boos from the fans.

However, Marca reported that Madrid starlet Cristiano Ronaldo was not best pleased by the show fo disrespect for the French striker. Ronaldo intervened in the situation to protect his teammate from the boos from the fans. 

Ronaldo who scored a hattrick in the game was picked up on waving his finger at some supporters, before gesturing for applause by clapping his hands.

The small civil war between players and fans continued, as before the game started the singing section of the Santiago Bernabeu went on strike. Their protest came off the fact that Los Blancos’ players have not been greeting them during recent away trips.

Madrid fans have been stuck in the realm of pessimism which saw their club experience a bad run of form from. It was a bad run of form that saw Madrid fall back 16 points adrift from La Liga leaders Barcelona. Perhaps the fans will need to experience more of the good times before their hard exterior melts away.

The 5-2 victory over Sociedad comes at just the right moment for Madrid, as the Champions League returns from its hiatus on Tuesday. Madrid will want to establish a good run of form as they prepare to defend their Champion’s League crown.

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Man Utd Boss Mourinho Claims David de Gea Sale ‘Makes No Sense’ as Real Madrid Remain Interested

​Manchester United manager José Mourinho has claimed that selling David de Gea to Real Madrid wouldn’t be a nonsensical piece of business – as the club is aiming to attract quality players rather than sell them.

Speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League encounter against Newcastle United, via Sky Sports, the Portuguese manager was quizzed on the future of the talented goalkeeper, and hit out at claims that the club could sell him to Real Madrid at the end of the season. Mourinho said:

Do you think a club that is trying to attract the best players is the club that is open to sell the best players? It makes no sense.

If you want to go to that level (title winners), we have to attract the best players like we did with Alexis (Sanchez), (Nemanja) Matic, (Paul) Pogba and so on, and don’t let our best players go.”

Man Utd fans will be desperate to hold on to the Spaniard, who has become arguably the finest goalkeeper in the Premier League since making the switch from Atlético Madrid in 2011. Real Madrid are in the market for a goalkeeper next summer, as Zinedine Zidane is rumoured to be losing patience with his current first choice stopper Keylor Navas.

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If De Gea decides to stay at Old Trafford, Los Blancos may well move for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – ​who admitted earlier in the week that his ‘heart is in Madrid’. The Belgian’s children live in the Spanish capital with their mother, and the father of three is reportedly desperate to move closer to his sons and daughter.

With the Blues enduring an abysmal run of form, they could lose both Courtois and talismanic forward Eden Hazard in the summer transfer window – if Antonio Conte’s side are unable to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League. The battle for the top four is set to be intense, with Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs all vying for the spots below Man City.

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Zinedine Zidane Claims ‘We’re Ready for PSG’ After 5-2 Thrashing of La Liga Rivals Real Sociedad

​Zinedine Zidane confidently asserted his Real Madrid charges were ready for the visit of the French champions in midweek after his side’s comfortable 5-2 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Per ​Real Madrid’s official website, the French coach praised his side’s fast start as the catalyst for the victory, noting: 

Scoring early helped us. Throughout that first half we played with great intensity, determination and will, we got a great result to take into the break. It was 45 minutes at a high level, good play, chances and goals.” 

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“We can be satisfied with the result. We have prepared well for Wednesday. Now we have to rest up, and tomorrow turn our attentions to the Champions League. We are all raring to go on Wednesday and that is our main concern.”

With the visit of the Parisiens in the pick of the last-16 ties on Wednesday night, the Madrid legend stressed the importance of not underestimating the challenge they face, stating, “We need to remained centred on the Champions League game this Wednesday. We know there is a great challenge lying in wait, it is of paramount importance to us.”

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“It will be a different game in a different competition and we will have extra motivation. we will be geared up for it.”

On the subject of Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted a hat-trick on Saturday after much criticism this season, the Frenchman paid tribute to his talisman’s commitment, musing, “We all know that he always wants to score goals and create chance. He lives and breathes goals.”

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“He got three tonight and PSG will certainly have to keep close tabs on him. It’s always a positive for the team when he gets his name on the scoresheet.”

Finally, Zidane took the opportunity to recognise a brilliant performance by Marcelo, who assisted Ronaldo for the first of his three goals. The Brazilian full-back has been one of the bright lights of an otherwise stuttering season at the Bernabeu. and overall was instrumental in the hosts’ attacking prowess, 

His manager gave him his due, saying, “I’m pleased with Marcelo’s performance. We all know what a fine player he is and that he offers a great deal in the attacking third, as he proved in our second goal.”


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Real Madrid 5-2 Real Sociedad: Ronaldo Treble Helps Los Blancos to Routine Win

​Real Madrid had the perfect preparation for Wednesday night’s blockbuster last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain, comfortably downing Real Sociedad 5-2 at the Bernabeu on Saturday evening. 

Zinedine Zidane’s men were four goals up at the break through a Cristiano Ronaldo brace and goals from Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez, and never looked like relinquishing their lead on the way to an easy three points.

With an indifferent first half of the season in the Spanish capital, the champions were under immense pressure to deliver a performance ahead of a major threat to their Champions League defence in midweek. 

A distant 19 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona, the home side got off to the best possible start, with Lucas Vazquez beautifully heading home a Ronaldo cross from the left wing, after just 49 seconds, for the opener.

The Portuguese talisman, who turned 33 this week, combined brilliantly with Marco Asensio and Marcelo to double Real’s lead. 

The Brazilian left-back latched on to a pinpoint through ball from Asensio, and swept a low ball into the box, for Ronaldo to place out of the reach of Geronimo Rulli in the Sociedad net.

Los Blancos added a third soon after, with Sociedad no match for the blistering attacking play on show. Vazquez centred the ball across the box for Toni Kroos to caress the ball home in his trademark style, with the German scoring his fourth goal of the season.

It was a much-needed boost for the Madridistas, with the home side faltering in their title defence, and meekly surrendering to basement dwellers Leganes in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, suffering an embarrassing 2-1 defeat at the Bernabeu to bow out of the competition. 

Ahead of the midweek showdown with the Parisiens, Zidane’s charges urgently needed a pick-me-up.

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It got even better before half-time, with Luka Modric whipping in a cross from the right flank which Cristiano Ronaldo met for his second and Real’s fourth, powering a header into the roof of the net for their third goal in ten minutes.

Los Merengues took their foot off the boil in the second half, choosing to save some energy, with the game already won and a tricky few weeks ahead. Substitute Jon Bautista reduced the arrears for the visitors with 15 minutes to go.

The Portuguese completed his hat-trick with ten minutes to go, to finish off a perfect Real performance. 

Former Madrid man Asier Illarramendi added a second consolation strike seven minutes from time to make the scoreline slightly more respectable for the travelling Basques, but the end result was a definitive victory for the capital side, who moved into third place ahead of Valencia.

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Spanish Football Expert Claims Real Targets Courtois & De Gea Want Release Clauses in New Deals

​Spanish football expert Guillem Balague thinks that Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea will demand a release clause be included in his new contract, potentially giving him the chance to leave for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid are likely to look for a new keeper in the summer and, after coming so close to signing him in 2015, many think De Gea will be the man they go after once more.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is also reportedly ​on Madrid’s radar and is set to make the same demand De Gea is.

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In his column for Sky Sports, Balague said: ”Chelsea have made an offer for Courtois to renew which would make him the best paid goalkeeper in the world. PSG want him as well.

”In the case of De Gea, negotiations have not started with Manchester United yet. I’m sure De Gea would welcome an offer for a renewal but I believe both goalkeepers are considering the possibility of including a clause in any new contract in case somebody comes in for them.

”They may want a figure agreed, which if met would see them leave. That has to be accepted by the clubs because that’s not part of the deal Chelsea have put on the table to Courtois.

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”Real will have to determine which one they want but as they normally do, they have two or three goalkeepers in mind and they’ll end up going for one and getting one.”

Chelsea and United fans alike will be praying that they can keep hold of their men in-between the sticks because they are currently two of the best keepers in world football and would be very hard to replace. 


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