Spanish Report Claims Fatigue & Pressure Could See Zinedine Zidane Quit Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is under increasing pressure at the Bernabeu after a disastrous defence of the Spanish title Los Blancos won last season, with suggestions the Frenchman could walk away from the club by the end of the campaign.

Real have only won two of their last seven La Liga games, even losing twice in successive home fixtures. It means they are 19 points behind fierce rivals Barcelona, while their biggest challenge is to stay in the top four amid pressure from Villarreal and Sevilla.

But it is not simply that Zidane, who delivered two Champions League titles in his first 18 months in charge, could be sacked by demanding president Florentino Perez for a sub-par season.

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According to Marca, there is a belief at Real that the former three-time FIFA World Player of the Year and 1998 Ballon d’Or winner is increasingly likely to quit of his own accord.

The Spanish report notes that Zidane has already achieved everything he can hope to since taking over, while also suggesting that the 45-year-old is ‘struggling to cope’ as a result of fatigue and having to deal with having the lofty expectations on his shoulders.

It is reminiscent of Luis Enrique walking away from Barcelona at the end of last season.

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Marca claims Germany coach Joachim Low and ​Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino are early favourites for the potentially vacant Bernabeu hot-seat.

Speaking after a narrow 1-0 win over Leganes in the Copa del Rey on Thursday night, Zidane expressed hope that the positive result may now act as a catalyst for the coming weeks.

“We’ve got a long way to go. We need to get our confidence back, score goals and stop conceding,” he explained (via RealMadrid.com).

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“We cannot sit here and say we played well but we got an important result for the tie and that is positive. There are moments when the going gets tough, but we need to have a little patience and know that together we can move forward.

“This win could well be a turning point for us and we may well go on to get three or four positive results.”

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Reports Claim Jose Mourinho Has Advised Real Madrid’s President to Appoint Mauricio Pochettino

​Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has purportedly recommended Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino to Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Perez, as a replacement for Zinedine Zidane.

​​The Frenchman is under increasing pressure at the Bernabeu, after Madrid’s progressively worsening form has seen them fall 19 points behind rivals Barcelona in the league, and reports have claimed Real’s hierarchy will dismiss the 45 year old at the end of the season.

In light of this, according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, via ​Sport Witness, Perez has reportedly spoken to his former employee Mourinho in regards to a replacement, with the 54-year-old offering up Pochettino as Madrid’s best option.

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The former Madrid manager has previously lauded the Spurs manager for the job he has done in north London, with the Argentinian nurturing an inexperienced team to second in the Premier League last year, four places above Mourinho’s United side.

While such news will no doubt be a cause for concern for Tottenham’s supporters, and indeed players, Pochettino’s contract extension signed last year will provide some comfort. 

The 45-year-old tactician (three months senior to Madrid’s current manager) is signed up with Spurs until 2021, providing the Tottenham hierarchy with the upper hand, if any negotiations were to take place.

However, the Argentinian was admittedly coy when speaking to Spanish radio station ​Onda Cero last week, declaring: “I’m happy where I am just now.


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“Football will take me where I want to go. Jorge Griffa, who is like a father to me, once told me to not think too much, enjoy the present, be professional and responsible, and football will take you where you want.”

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Real Reportedly Draw Up Plans to Replace ‘BBC’ With New Fearsome Attacking Trio

​Real Madrid are reportedly drawing up plans to replace their famous ‘BBC’ attacking front three with a new fearsome trio.

​Marca has alleged that Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale could soon be on the way out of Santiago Bernabeu as club president Florentino Perez eyes a new Galactico triumvirate to lead his side to glory.

World-record signing and former ​Barcelona superstar Neymar, who plays for Paris-Saint Germain, tops Florentino’s wishlist.

And the Brazil international, who has been tipped to join Real in the future, would be joined in the capital by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

Ronaldo’s, Benzema’s and Bale’s days appear numbered due to a variety of reasons that haven’t helped to alleviate the pressure on Real to defend their titles already this term.

The veteran Portugal attacker has been linked with a Los Blancos departure over concerns that talks about a new deal are not going to play, while Benzema and Bale have been the subject of criticism from Real’s fanbase for the level of performance in recent times.

(You may also be interested in ​Cristiano Ronaldo Linked With Chinese Club Tianjin Quanjin as European Options Run Dry)

Of course, issues would arise if Real have their heart set of Neymar, Hazard and Lewandowski with none of their current clubs likely to roll over and let the reigning ​La Liga champions poach them.

Neymar would not come cheap after he only moved to Paris six months ago and, backed by wealthy Qatari owners, PSG have no concerns over selling their star man.

​Chelsea, meanwhile, are close to securing Hazard’s immediate future after the Belgian flier admitted he was on the cusp of penning a contract extension to remain at Stamford Bridge.

Real had been tipped to land the Belgium international last summer but reports of their interest cooled for an unknown reason.

Lewandowski is also the jewel in ​Bayern’s crown of attacking talent and, at 30 years of age, would not really provide value for money for ​Real at this stage of his career.

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​Tottenham hotshot Harry Kane and ​Inter captain Mauro Icardi are seen as potential Lewandowski replacements if Real decide not to pursue the Poland international but would also command high transfer fees.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Linked With Chinese Club Tianjin Quanjian as European Options Run Dry

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly attracting interest from the Chinese Super League as his future at the Bernabeu grows increasingly uncertain.

In has been heavily rumoured in recent weeks that Ronaldo is seeking a new contract from Real to return him to the status of highest paid player in the world as both Lionel Messi and Neymar have overtaken the Portuguese in that respect since his last extension.

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But it has equally been speculated that ​Real are unwilling to meet his demands. Ronaldo is contracted to the club to 2021 as it is, while his recent form and Los Blancos‘ disappointing ​La Liga campaign mean it isn’t the time to be rewarding him with a bumper new contract.

For the first time in his career, Ronaldo, soon to turn 33 years of age, doesn’t hold the power.

He has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and ​Manchester United, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner doesn’t offer any real value to the European giants. Step forward, China.

According to expert transfer journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian are keeping tabs on the situation and could make Ronaldo an offer.

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It would, however, require some shuffling on their part as Tianjin already have four foreign players and only three are permitted to play at any one time under Chinese Super League rules.

Brazil’s Alexandre Pato, Belgium’s Axel Witsel and France’s Anthony Modeste are the star overseas names, while Tianjin also signed South Korea international Kwon Kyung-won in 2017.

The ‘+ 1’ rule which permitted clubs to use a player from another Asian country in addition to their capped foreigners was scrapped at the end of 2016, meaning Kwon is part of the quota.

You may also be interested in ‘UEFA Report Reveals Huge % of Recent Club Takeovers Involved Chinese Investors’

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Inter Milan Join Liverpool in the Fight to Sign Real Madrid Star Dani Ceballos

Inter Milan have reportedly entered the battle to sign Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, rivaling Liverpool for his signature.

Ceballos joined Los Blancos in the summer from Real Betis for a fee of around €18m on a six-year deal. But the Spaniard has played just 15 times for the Spanish side this season, scoring two goals. Just six of those appearances came in the ​La Liga, getting only two starts in those games.

​Liverpool are reportedly chasing the Real Madrid midfielder after they began talks with his representatives in December. But the Reds look set to have competition for the player, with Inter Milan apparently looking at Ceballos.

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According to Tuttosport via Team Talk, ​Inter Milan are ready to battle Liverpool for the Real Madrid star. The Spanish U21 international is seen as an alternative option, in case they fail in their attempt to sign ​Barcelona star Rafinha. 

Cellabos reportedly wants more minutes on the pitch and is apparently looking for a move to get more first-team action. The Spaniard has a 500m buy-out clause in his contract, but ​Real Madrid could allow the 21-year-old to leave for about £25m.

Inter Milan are currently third in ​Serie A, nine points behind league leaders ​Napoli. They have been struggling for form in recent games, with no wins in their last five league games. The Italian side’s last league win came at the beginning of December, with a 5-0 win over Chievo.

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Inter Milan will be looking to put pressure on the teams above them when they play Roma at home in their next league game this weekend.

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Zinedine Zidane Insists He ‘Cannot Imagine’ Real Madrid Without Ronaldo Amid Transfer Rumours

Zinedine Zidane has claimed that a Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo is unfathomable and the player is still a prized asset, despite his current struggles and rumours of a spectacular exit.

The Ballon d’Or winner is reportedly unhappy over form and broken promises at the club, with whom he has been since joining from Manchester United in 2009.

Ronaldo has only managed to find the back of the net on four occasions in fourteen La Liga appearances and, despite nine goals in the Champions League group stages, he has drawn plenty of criticism, while reports have claimed that president ​Florentino Perez is ready to cut the cord on the Portuguese forward in order to rebuild his squad.

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Zidane remains resolute the 32-year-old is still a vital cog in the machine, when speaking in a pre-match press conference for the Copa del Rey clash against CD Leganes (as quoted by ​Marca).

“I am not worried – we know that you can talk and argue outside, but inside here, Cristiano has to think about playing as always he has done,” Zidane said.

“I would prefer to talk about his performances and what he gives to the team.

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“I cannot imagine a ​Madrid without Cristiano. This is his club and where he should be. The club, the fans and everyone loves him.

“I do not want to talk about this, the contract and these things. Cristiano is [too] old for all this. It is the club that needs to talk with him.”

Los Blancos are currently in turmoil and sit a massive nineteen points off of rivals Barcelona, following the defeat at home to Villarreal. The loss means Madrid have not won in La Liga in three attempts, as they look a shadow of the side that finished first last season and won their twelfth European Cup.

Marca put Ronaldo, as well as teammates Karim Benzema and Marcelo in La Liga’s worst XI of the half season, despite awarding him their player of the month award for December.

Despite the turbulent form and La Liga seemingly out of sight, Zidane remains cool-headed in the face of overwhelming scrutiny, believing hard work is the cure to the team’s ills.

“I am not imagining anything – I go from day to day. I always do this and my way of thinking will not change,” the Frenchman added.

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“Everyone can look at the situation how they want, and, for me, when there are difficult moments, I work and try to do good things on the pitch. I have experience of being a player and I know the best thing about football is there is a game every three days, and that all can change.”

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VIDEO: Sergio Ramos’ Bitterly Disappointing Instagram ‘Challenge’ Goes Viral

​Sergio Ramos has released a challenge to his Instagram followers that is beginning to go viral; and before you ask, no – it isn’t to do with seeing how many off the ground two footed tackles you can hit strangers with… frustratingly.

In fact, it’s much more boring than that. It’s not like the cinnamon challenge where a participant literally risks their life to eat a spoon of cinnamon. Nor is it fun like the Rolex challenge, where good friends Ayo and Teo challenged us to cut some outrageous shapes to their hit song ‘Rolex’.

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No, instead, we’re throwing it back to Year 4 PE, and seeing how many kick ups we can do with various balls:

(You may also be interested in: VIDEO: Sergio Ramos Broke His Nose After Getting His Face Smashed to Pieces in Draw With Atletico)

​​Now, the Real Madrid skipper hasn’t specifically said that this is a ‘challenge’ per se; but Spanish news outlet Marca seem to think it is. So you know, go kick a ball a few times, send it to Sergio and see what he thinks of it.

Or don’t.

It doesn’t really matter. Absolute shocker that a professional footballer – who has won the World Cup, the European Championship twice, and the Champions League three times – can keep a tennis ball in the air.

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Bit of fun? No, not really. But here you go anyway – fortunately for Ramos, he’s beautiful, and loved for his utter craziness on the pitch, so we give him the attention he wants.

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Spanish Report Claims Arsenal Add Real Madrid Ace to Wishlist as Hunt for Sánchez Heir Intensifies

​Reports from Spain have claimed that Arsenal have added £40m-rated Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to their January transfer wishlist, as the north London side step up their efforts to find a successor to Alexis Sánchez – ​who is rumoured to be joining Manchester United this week.

As reported by Don Balón, the French international joins Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux’s Malcolm on Gunners manager Arsène Wenger’s shortlist of potential candidates to replace the tenacious Chilean. However, the source of the website’s information is unclear, suggesting the claims are part of the traditional January rumour-mill.

Real Madrid have endured a dismal La Liga campaign thus far, and are currently sitting fourth in the league table – a staggering 19 points off league leaders Barcelona. The reigning champions suffered a shock 1-0 home loss to Villarreal last weekend, a result which sees their run of league games without a league win extend to over a month.

While a move for Benzema is unlikely – despite the temptation the forward may have to jump ship – Gunners fans have reacted with feverish excitement to the social media actions of their defender Héctor Bellerín, ​who was reported to have followed BVB’s want-away striker Aubameyang on both Twitter and Instagram.

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It will be an intriguing week full of twists and turns in the Premier League, as the future of Sánchez is likely to effect a number of top tier sides. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is hotly tipped to join the Gunners should Sánchez make the switch to Old Trafford, while champions Chelsea are believed to making a late swoop to snatch the former Barcelona man from United’s grasp.


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An abject display saw Wenger’s men give up the lead to lose 2-1 to Bournemouth in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the Vitality Stadium. The lack of attacking endeavour shown by his side is bound to spark the long-serving manager into action, with the unthinkable outcome of failing to qualify for the Champions League for a second season in a row looming large.

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FanView: How Real Madrid’s Lack of Summer Transfer Activity Has Come Back to Haunt Them This Season

It was 16th August 2017 when Real Madrid sealed a second piece of silverware in the space of a week, after a 2-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu against El Clasico rivals Barcelona sealed an emphatic 5-1 aggregate Spanish Super Cup win to go with their 2-1 UEFA Super Cup success against ​Manchester United eight days prior.

Seemingly the kings of Europe after their La Liga and Champions League double in the previous season, August now seems a million miles away for a Los Blancos side who appear to be a shadow of their former selves, with a fairly inactive summer transfer window a problem that has now caught up with them. 

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It’s been no secret that Real Madrid have indeed struggled this season to put it kindly. Currently sat 4th behind Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, Zinedine Zidane’s side are an astounding 19 points off the summit of La Liga, they are actually in fact closer to the relegation zone, 14 points to be precise. 

Examining their summer transfer window can shed some light onto their current plight: 

Departures​ Arrivals​
Player​ ​Club ​Fee ​Player ​Club ​Fee
​Alvaro Morata ​Chelsea ​£55.8 ​Theo Hernandez ​Atletico Madrid ​£27m
​Danilo ​Manchester City ​£27 ​Dani Ceballos ​Real Betis ​£14.85m
​James Rodriguez ​Bayern Munich ​Loan – £11.7m fee
​Mariano Diaz ​Olympique Lyonnais ​£7.2m
​Diego Llorente ​Real Sociedad ​£6.3m
​Fabio Coentrao ​Sporting CP ​Loan – £0.9m
​Pepe ​Besiktas ​Free
​Total: ​£108.9m ​£41.85m

Not only does Madrid’s intake vastly outweigh their outspend, it is the positions they have lost those players in which has weakened Zidane’s squad. While their incomings in the shape of Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos have failed to make their mark at Real Madrid so far, it is they players they’ve lost and failed to directly replace that has hurt them. 

Morata and Mariano both left in the summer, leaving the La Liga giants with Karim Benzema and Borja Mayoral as their recognised strikers. Benzema and Mayoral have scored a combined total of three league goals this season, while Morata has 10 Premier League goals and ​Mariano, who is enjoying himself in France, has 13 Ligue 1 goals. 

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Real Madrid’s lack of transfer activity, especially in an attacking areas, has resulted in a heavier burden placed on the pair of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. 

While the Welshman is one of Europe’s most revered forwards, the 28-year-old has been hampered with injuries, meaning his presence cannot always be a given. Despite scoring four goals in eight league games this season, Bale has missed more than half the season because of injury, with his pace and dynamism greatly missed in a somewhat static front line in his absence. 

Then there’s the curious case of Cristiano Ronaldo. His struggles have been well documented this season, scoring more Champions League goals than La Liga goals, 9-4. ​Cutting an unhappy figure this season, Ronaldo is now 32, meaning the majority of his work is now done within the width of the 18-yard box and cannot be the explosive, pacey forward that Madrid signed in 2009 and are currently crying out for today.

It is not the front line that should only be scrutinised however, as the problems for Zidane’s side stretches throughout the entirety of the team. Question marks remain over Casemrio, who does vacate his holding midfield position far too often, which can leave the back-four exposed.

While the number of goals Madrid have conceded isn’t especially high (17), the manner of defeats and goals conceded have been a recurring theme.

Real Madrid’s defeat to Villarreal on Saturday mirrored their Real Betis loss in September, a 1-0 scoreline, conceding late into the game and being caught on the counter-attack. While the defending leaves a lot to be desired in both instances, the fact that Madrid have little to call on from the bench to help break down teams is as a result of a poor transfer window.

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Isco and Marco Asensio are good options to have off the bench, yet the pair are very similar in an attacking sense, while Lucas Vasquez isn’t an attacker who opposing defenders will necessarily fear when he comes on, while Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane are two world-class centre-backs in their own right, yet the departure of Pepe makes them very light in that area of the pitch. 

It’s not only their La Liga performances that have been affected this season, with their second place finish in a Champions League group containing the likes of Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund meaning they have a last-16 tie against the French juggernaut that is Paris Saint-Germain, a proposition the Spanish side would’ve preferred to deal with later into the competition. 

Real Madrid have been linked with a plethora of stars in a bid to fix the problem, with ​Mohamed Salah, ​Neymar and ​Kepa Arrizabalaga to name a few, while ​Eden Hazard remains firmly at the top of Zidane’s shopping list. It also appears that Zidane is sticking to the principles of giving youth a chance a club that prefers to buy stars rather that produce their own, with Achraf Hakimi, Marco Asensio a positive nod to the future. 

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While the approach is commendable, the investment of youth is something that takes time, a commodity that even Real Madrid cannot afford at the minute, and can go along way to rectifying a poor summer transfer window with the addition of some marquee names this window and in the summer, and ​turn around a situation Zidane has described as “f***ed up”. 

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Report Claims Ronaldo Has Told Real Madrid Teammates to Focus on Cup Success Amid La Liga Struggles

Cristiano Ronaldo has urged his Real Madrid teammates to forget about their woes in La Liga and focus on winning the Copa del Rey, according to reports in Spain.

Los Blancos are 19 points off the pace set by arch rivals ​Barcelona, with Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Villarreal effectively ending any hopes ​Real had of defending their league title.

According to ​Marca, Ronaldo joined manager Zinedine Zidane in speaking to the team at training on January 9, where he reiterated the importance of winning trophies at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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The Portuguese superstar allegedly told the squad after they drew away at Celto Vigo: “The Champions League and the Cup are our priorities, we’re going for them.”

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s attempt to motivate his colleagues is one of many frustrations Ronaldo is believed to be feeling at the moment, with reports suggesting he is attempting to force a move away from the Spanish capital after a ​breakdown in his relationship with the club.

The 32-year old is experiencing his most difficult campaign on a personal note, scoring just four league goals this term in 14 league outings.

Despite their woeful performances in the league, the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League remain realistic targets as Los Meringues attempt to resurrect their dismal season, with Real set to face French champions Paris Saint-Germain in a mouthwatering last 16 contest.

Real will look to get their league campaign back on track when they travel to Leganes this weekend, with Zidane’s side now coming to terms with the notion that a top four finish would resemble something of a success.


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Failure to do so would result in failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League, an embarrassing prospect for a side who conquered European football last season.

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