Real Madrid Fear Late Mbappe Swoop From Barcelona as Neymar Prepares for Final Goodbyes

The latest twist in the unbelievable Neymar saga could see Barcelona sensationally gazump hated rivals Real Madrid in the chase for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe, with gossip from Spain suggesting Los Blancos president Florentino Perez fears the worst.

There had been little doubt that Mbappe would ultimately end up at Real when he felt it was right to leave Monaco, with the only real questions over the fee that would be paid to the French champions and assurances for the player about game time.

Sporting CP v AS Monaco - Pre-Season Friendly

Earlier this week it was reported that a deal totalling €180m was agreed, but Diego Torres Romano of Madrid-based newspaper El Pais, a journalist with close ties to Real, has suggested that Perez actually fears Mbappe has an agreement with Barça in light of the Neymar sale.

With the anticipated €220m windfall, finances certainly wouldn’t be an issue at Camp Nou if they wished to trade like for like in a one in/one out kind of deal.

Unlike at Real, with Neymar gone from Barça there wouldn’t be the same need to convince Mbappe that he would be guaranteed a decent amount of playing time. As things stands, Real would have to move someone on to give the youngster the chances he would crave.

That relies on another club buying one of their stars, most likely Gareth Bale, and makes their attempt to sign Mbappe a lot more complicated than Barça’s would be.


And Neymar’s exit to Paris Saint-Germain that would make it possible seems to be edging closer and closer to reality. One thing potentially holding up the deal was uncertainty with regard to how it would affect the club in relation to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

If there was any chance PSG could be sanctioned and banned from the Champions League for falling foul of the rules again, Neymar would understandably want to steer clear. But UEFA’s Head of Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play, Andrea Traverso, appears to have little issue with it if his comments in a column for ​Gazzetta dello Sport are anything to go by.

“Clubs like Manchester City and PSG do not do what they want, they have respected our agreements. They have enormous revenues and can act. The rules are the same for everyone. If a club buys, we assume it has done the maths. Otherwise, it will be sanctioned. But we cannot stop them from buying,” Traverso explained.


“Football is growing at 10% per year. Everyone is surprised by the Neymar figures, but the revenues of these clubs have increased and they probably have the right accounts to be able to spend.”

In a further update on Neymar’s increasingly likely exit, Marcelo Bechler of Esporte Interativo, who first brought news that the player was willing to accept PSG’s incredible offer, has tweeted that Neymar will not now return to Barcelona after their summer tour of America.

He claims to have been given word by the club that Neymar won’t be going back with the squad.


F2 Freestylers Claim Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Wouldn’t Stand a Chance’ in Skills Competition

YouTube stars the F2 Freestylers have claimed that Ballon d’Or holder and four-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo ‘wouldn’t stand a chance’, if he were to enter a freestyle competition. 

Duo Jeremy Lynch and Billy Wingrove boast nearly six million subscribers on YouTube from posting videos of them performing skills and trick shots with various football stars from all over the world including Neymar, Mesut Ozil and Lionel Messi.

In a recent interview with the Mirror, they explained that the life and training of a real freestyler is so focused on improving their footballing tricks, that Ronaldo simply wouldn’t be able to cut it against the pros.

Wingrove said: “He wouldn’t stand a chance. Ronaldo practises his freestyle freely, these guys practise seven hours a day to be in professional tournaments.

“It all comes down to how much time you would dedicate to the sport. Obviously, Ronaldo can’t dedicate that time – there’s no knowing how good he would be if he did.

Wingrove added that Ronaldo’s worldwide fame would mean that he would win on popularity alone, saying: “He would win hands down through a public vote.” 


He also admitted that putting the freestylers in an 11-a-side match would leave them in a similar position, adding: “if you put all the players on a pitch, they would be just as far away from Ronaldo.”


On-Loan James Rodriguez Says Bayern Munich Could Be ‘Even Bigger’ Than Real Madrid

​James Rodriguez has claimed that Bayern Munich could be “even bigger” than Real Madrid after joining the Bundesliga champions on a two-year loan deal earlier this month.

The 26-year-old midfielder struggled to establish himself at the Bernabeu following his big money move from Monaco in 2014, and has the option of a permanent transfer to Bayern in 2019.

And Rodriguez has insisted upon his arrival that Bayern are just as reputable a club as Los Blancos, with an equally talented squad.

“Bayern Munich is just as big a club as Real Madrid, if not even bigger,” he told ​Bild. “I always had a lot of respect for Bayern but when I was mulling over the move to Munich, I looked at the squad and thought: ‘There’s just as many stars here as at Real and the quality is exactly the same.'”

Asked about his knowledge of the club’s history, Rodriguez said: “Above all I remember Oliver Kahn — one of the biggest personalities in world football.

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“He always represented FC Bayern’s never-say-die mentality. Oliver Kahn has a very strong character and he always wanted to win, something I connect to this club. Many players have become legends in Munich.”

Rodriguez has credited coach Carlo Ancelotti, with whom he played under at Real Madrid, as a major factor in his decision to join Bayern:

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“We haven’t worked together the past couple of years but we always stayed in touch,” he said. “That helped me a great deal and I missed the ‘Mister’ as a coach. We have a super relationship, it’s fun to work with Carlo and I’m pleased that we are reunited again.”


Monaco Chief Claims Club Are in Talks Over Mbappe New Contract & Denies Reports of Real Madrid Deal

​Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has revealed that the club are in talks with in-demand striker Kylian Mbappe over a contract extension, while denying reports that the club have agreed a record-breaking deal for the 18-year-old to move to Real Madrid.

The highly-rated 18-year-old has been strongly linked with an eye-watering £160m move to Real Madrid, while Manchester City have also been rumoured to be considering an offer.

Vasilyev has admitted that Monaco have received a number of “serious” enquires over the availability of the teenager but denied there have been been any agreements.

“I assure you there is no agreement with a club,” he said, quoted by ​Eurosport. “We have very great demand for Mbappe. He’s the biggest prospect in world football.”

He added: “We are in discussions over a contract extension with Kylian and we hope to reach an agreement.”

Monaco earlier this month complained of illegal approaches for Mbappe by some of Europe’s top clubs.

Sporting CP v AS Monaco - Pre-Season Friendly

The Ligue 1 champions claimed that “important European clubs” made contact with the French forward without permission.

City are believed to be the only English club accused of potentially tapping up Mbappe. The Citizens still reportedly have an interest in signing Mbappe, although they have accepted over the last two days that he appears to be destined for Real Madrid.

Manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that City’s wealth may not be enough in itself to secure the signing of Mbappe.

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“In the end if depends on what the player, the agent and the clubs want, not just economic power,” he said. 

“Logically the best players only go to the best teams.”


Zinedine Zidane’s Managerial Success Is Praised by Former Teammate as They Meet in LA

​Zinedine Zidane’s foray into management has been an unmitigated success; a Champions League in his first year, followed by ending a five-year drought for the league title and an incredible retention of the Champions League. 

Real’s victory in Cardiff, against Juventus, made them the first team ever to retain the Champions League and take their tally to a record number of European Cups.

An honours list not too bad for someone who is only in his second year of first-team management – and as such, the ​Daily Mail reports that David Beckham is ‘proud’ of his ex teammate’s achievements.


Beckham commented that: “Last season was a special one. The final months of the season were incredible.

“To see the team play as they did made me very proud. I’m very happy to see Zidane doing such a good job. Everyone likes Zidane.”

Beckham met up with other past and present Real players, such as Raul, Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos. 

Beckham was at their pre-season camp in Beverly Hills as Zidane looks to add another trophy to his CV in the International Champions Cup. Real will look to better their result against Manchester United by beating fellow Manchester club Manchester City.

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​​The galacticos will then take on their own rivals Barcelona in Miami, July 30th.


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. 


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. 


“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.”


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.

Sporting CP v AS Monaco - Pre-Season Friendly

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.


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. 


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.


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.”




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.