Luka Jovic on Real Madrid’s Radar as Scouts Watch Eintracht Frankfurt Star in Europa League Action

​Real Madrid scouts were in attendance at the Estadio Da Luz on Thursday night to watch Luka Jovic in action as Eintracht Frankfurt took on Benfica in the Europa League.

The Serbian striker has emerged as one of the most highly-coveted forwards in Europe this season, having scored 17 goals in 26 Bundesliga appearances and eight in 11 Europa League outings, including one in the 4-2 defeat to Benfica in midweek.

Jovic’s Frankfurt side may have been on the losing end of that game, but the 21-year-old’s fine goalscoring form continued. According to ​Marca, ​Real Madrid are among the clubs interested in a move for the Serbian and sent scouts to watch their man in action on Thursday.

The presence of Madrid officials at the Europa League clash seems to indicate a concrete interest on their part in moving for Jovic, though it is suggested that they will face competition from La Liga rivals ​Barcelona and ​Atletico Madrid in any move to sign the Bundesliga star.

Scouts of the three Spanish sides were apparently in attendance at the Estadio Da Luz, though Atletico may have been keeping an even closer eye on Benfica star Ruben Dias on the night.

Any potential sale of Jovic is complicated by the fact that Frankfurt would owe 20 per cent of any fee they receive for the striker to Benfica. The striker is currently on loan at the Bundesliga side from the Lisbon-based outfit, but is set to complete a permanent switch to Germany.

However, with scouts from ​Manchester City, ​Manchester United and ​Bayern Munich also said to have been watching with interest on Thursday night, Jovic is likely to complete a swift move away from Frankfurt in the summer.

Jardel,Luka Jovic

The German side’s obligation to pay that percentage to parent club Benfica is likely to see Frankfurt demand a hefty sum before selling their prized asset, with a potential bidding war among some of Europe’s elite sides appearing likely. 


Real Madrid Star Sergio Ramos Set for Spell on Sidelines After Suffering Calf Injury

​Real Madrid have confirmed that centre-back Sergio Ramos has suffered a calf injury and faces a period on the sidelines.

The 33-year-old was rested for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Eibar, but now appears to have been forced out of action for the coming weeks.

​Real confirmed ​Ramos’ injury in a post on their ​official website, writing: “After the tests conducted today on our player Sergio Ramos by the Medical Services of Real Madrid, he has been diagnosed with a grade I injury in the left soleus.”

There is no confirmation of how long Ramos will be unavailable, but ​AS claim that the Spaniard could miss around 15 days as he recovers from this muscular injury.

As a result, Ramos is expected to miss Monday’s trip to Leganes, and could also miss matches with Athletic Bilbao, Getafe and Rayo Vallecano.

The news will come as a huge blow to Los Blancos, who are currently locked in a battle with cross-town rivals ​Atletico Madrid for second place in ​La Liga standings. Real currently sit two points behind in third, but just one swing of results could see them overtake Diego Simeone’s side.

Real have struggled greatly with injuries in recent weeks. Alongside Ramos, the club have missed Dani Carvajal, ​Thibaut Courtois and Vinicius Junior, and it is expected that the group are at least a few games away from recovery.

Sergio Ramos

In Ramos’ absence, ​Raphael Varane started alongside Nacho Fernandez against Eibar, with 22-year-old Jesus Vallejo taking a place on the bench. Manager Zinedine Zidane will likely use a similar lineup until he can welcome his captain back to the lineup.


Gareth Bale: Real Madrid are Dreaming if They Think They Can Get €130m for the Forward

​The transfer saga surrounding Gareth Bale’s move away from Real Madrid rolls into its umpteenth week, and we’re still no clearer on where he is actually going, or if he even goes anywhere.

First it was Manchester United, then it was Liverpool, then it was Manchester United again, then it was a return to Tottenham, and then it was Manchester United, and now it’s…Bayern, perhaps? A reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus? China, where he will become the highest paid man in history on £5m per week?

We don’t know much for certain, but we do know that the 29-year-old is having a bit of a rough time of it in the Spanish capital. He’s struggled here and there with injury, he hasn’t been playing particularly well, and his relationship with the fans has reached breaking point. Boos and whistles ring out around the Bernabeu every time he takes a touch and doesn’t score with it,  and he doesn’t look as if he is coping well with the hostility at all. 

We also know, beyond reasonable doubt, that ​Real Madrid are bracing for a squad overhaul in the summer. Having gone 12 whole months without a trophy, Zinedine Zidane is back with a  vengeance, and they are prepared to spend ​anywhere between £300m and £1.7bn on however many players it takes to bring the glory back to the Bernabeu. In order to do so, they will surely have to offload a few players.

Put that together, and it is a reasonable assumption that Bale will be one of those marked for  sale. That logic supports the word from various reports, and it does seem as if his days in La Liga, having scored over 100 goals and lifted a multitude of trophies, are coming to an end. 

The logical train of thought stops in its tracks, however, when you get to the fee that is being touted around to secure his services. Madrid are ​reported to be after as much as €130m before they will let him go, which is just a bit ludicrous. 


Of course, that could just be a fee that is plucked out of thin air by a tabloid that somehow made it into circulation, but it does seem to originate from a pretty detailed, sensible-looking report from Spain…so let’s assume for now that there is some element of truth in it, and deliberate on just now insane that fee is. 

If they are genuinely hoping to secure that sort of fee, then they are more nuts than we ever thought they were to start with, and that, in itself, was at the Snickers end of the spectrum. That’s highlighted by a quick rundown of the clubs who would realistically be interested. 

The Premier League is where the money is, and that’s where he has been most heavily linked, so let’s start there. 

Manchester City tend to favour younger attackers, and unless there are some serious outgoings in their attacking third – Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva all regularly feature in wide positions – it’s not even clear where Bale would get in. For a fraction of the price, you could see it, but upwards of £100m for a guy approaching his 30s and isn’t an obvious long-term upgrade? Unlikely. 

Gareth Bale

He doesn’t even come close to fitting Liverpool’s signing M.O. under Jurgen Klopp, so they’re effectively ruled out unless we see something astonishingly mad happening. Neither Arsenal or Spurs really have the financial muscle for that sort of fee, while Chelsea can’t sign anyone owing to their transfer ban. 

That leaves Manchester United in England. It seemed plausible a year ago, but with the renovation job they are looking at now under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, putting all of their eggs in one basket with Bale would be a step in the wrong direction. 

Unless they decide to be pretty irresponsible, it doesn’t look like a goer. 

Gareth Bale,Luke Shaw

In Europe, you’ve got Bayern, who are a slightly more realistic option than United, but they’re facing a similar rebuilding job, with the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery needing replaced with younger players. A move for Bale, while just about achieving that, would be  similarly risky and unprofitable at that price.

PSG? You could just about see it, but forking out a similar fee for Bale to what they did for Kylian Mbappe a year ago would sting.

None of those teams, realistically, are going to shell out what Real are seemingly demanding. Juventus certainly won’t. They signed Cristiano Ronaldo, best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo, Champions League all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, for less than the fee being touted for Bale, which only further highlights just how ridiculous, blind, and unattainable that €130m is. 

Even taking inflation into account, the guys that have historically gone for the money we’re talking here have been one of two things. They have either been exceptionally promising – the likes of Ousmane Dembele, who tore the Bundesliga to shreds as a teenager – or they have been one of the best in the world on both form and ability at the time; like Neymar, or Paul Pogba. 

Bale fell into both categories when he moved to Madrid for €100m six years ago. Bale, now, with eight La Liga goals this season, hits neither. 

Let’s not kid ourselves on, then. Unless someone has a spectacular lapse of judgement, he’ll either stay and fight for his place as a Galactico, or he’ll go for the €70m-ish fee his ability probably merits in today’s market. €130m, or anything else north of the £100m barrier, is just not happening. 


Toni Kroos Takes to Social Media to Reject ‘Absolutely False’ Real Madrid Exit Rumours

​Toni Kroos has taken to Twitter to discredit a report linking him with a move away from Real Madrid this summer, saying the information given surrounding his situation is ‘absolutely false.’

Kroos has been one of several senior players touted for an exit at the Bernabeu in the months to come, with the returning Zinedine Zidane seemingly planning something of a squad overhaul. 

The likes of Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Luka Modric have all been linked with moves elsewhere, and the latest report in relation to Kroos comes from ​AS, who say it is the German’s intention to move on. 

The report claims that Kroos wants to leave, with the likes of ​Manchester United touted as potential destinations, and that ​Real would be open to his departure, but only for the right price.

However, Kroos, it seems, was having none of it as he quoted a tweet of the report, condemning it as “absolutely false information” with several red exclamation marks to show just how serious he is. 

While Kroos can’t speak for Real’s plans for him, he can certainly comment on his own intentions, and it seems he is keen to make it clear that he is not about to disrespect the club in any way. 


His form has dipped this season, but if no move away is forthcoming, it doesn’t seem likely he will find himself in the cold under Zidane, given that he is still one of the world’s leading central midfielders.

While it is only fair to take the 29-year-old at face value for now, however, it’s not likely to signal an end to the speculation, and it’s still very possible that his situation could change between now and the opening of the transfer window. 


Real Madrid Set to Pressure Sadio Mane Into Forcing Summer Move From Liverpool

Liverpool will look to undergo a fact-finding mission over Sadio Mané’s future at the club as Real Madrid continue to be linked with a move for the Senegal international.

The 27-year-old has been in fine form this season and filled in well when star man Mohamed Salah has been off the pace, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League already this season – surpassing his tally of 16 in the Austrian Bundesliga during the 2012/13 campaign.

Sadio Mane

His form has once again caught the attention of Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, who was interested in Mané before leaving the Spanish capital last summer.

El Confidencial explains that the Senegal international would be a luxury target for Real Madrid this summer, pointing out that Mané would also have to follow in Eden Hazard’s footsteps to secure a deal.

The Belgian winger has stressed to the Chelsea hierarchy that he doesn’t want to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this season, and Real Madrid would ask Mané to do the same if a move to the Santiago Bernabéu props up.

It’s added, however, that Mané would still cost over €150m for Real Madrid this summer as the winger has four years left on his contract at Anfield, unlike Hazard who becomes a free agent in 2020.

Real Madrid’s transfer plans are still largely unknown, but it looks increasingly likely that Chelsea’s Hazard will be their go-to player as he fits the Galáctico mould and would be a significantly cheaper option than Mané.


Paul Pogba to Real Madrid: Spanish Media Ups Campaign for Transfer With Outlandish Claims

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba ‘wants to leave’ the club as a result of a ‘fading’ relationship with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the outlandish claim from AS as the unscrupulous media circus concerning the Frenchman’s future drags on.

The accuracy of the report quickly becomes problematic as Solskjaer explained literally this week that he ‘cannot see’ Pogba leaving United for anyone this summer.

Sergio Busquets,Paul Pogba

“I cannot see him not playing for Manchester United next season,” the Norwegian said.

Such a bold statement is not indicative of a relationship that is allegedly deteriorating.

Add to that the fact that Pogba has been in his best form at United since Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho back in December, even making the World Cup winner captain on occasion.

Sport Witness highlights another enormous problem with what AS are claiming. The story the Spanish outlet that declares ‘a separation is on the way’ is actually credited to French publication Le Parisien. But Sport Witness notes that Pogba hasn’t been mentioned in Le Parisien.

“We haven’t got a clue where [AS] got this from,” SW say, “…but we’re pretty sure it’s not from Le Parisien, who haven’t mentioned the word ‘Pogba’ once in their newspaper this week.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,Paul Pogba

The Pogba saga appears to be much more complicated. It is well established that Spanish media outlets are often utilised as a device to exert pressure on players and clubs with such stories about Real Madrid or Barcelona transfer targets.

It happened for 12 months before Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real in 2009, it happened with David de Gea for several years and it is happening now with Eden Hazard and Pogba.

On the other hand, Pogba could be using the Real interest and the press frenzy associated with it to further his own gain at his current club.

A report from El Confidencial, a source that Sport Witness describes as ‘usually well informed on Real Madrid transfers’, suggests that is exactly what the United star is doing. According to them, the 25-year-old is ‘using Madrid’ for leverage on a new United contract worth €16m per year.

Paul Pogba

It is certainly not a new tactic among top players, with both Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular flirting with United in recent memory, only to sign new contracts in Madrid.

Rather than genuinely pushing for a transfer, that appears to be a much more logical aim for Pogba at this moment in time.

The same report from El Confidencial notes that there are two main factors why a move to Real probably won’t happen. United actively don’t want to sell, while the money involved in terms of fees, agent commission and wages would quickly make the cost ‘exorbitant’.

In that version of events, Real are first and foremost targeting Hazard, Adrien Rabiot, who is soon to be a free agent, and emerging Serbian forward Luka Jovic. The likes Pogba and fellow rumoured target Sadio Mane are seen as vastly expensive, too expensive, and therefore ‘luxury’.

Pogba flat out refused to speak about joining Real after facing Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night, telling El Chiringuito, “I will not answer that.”


Vinicius Jr Edging Closer to Fitness as Potential Real Madrid Return Date Is Revealed

​Real Madrid look to have been handed a significant injury boost, as reports in Spain claim Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr. could be set for an ahead of schedule return against either Athletic Bilbao or Getafe.

After enduring a slow start to life in Madrid following his summer arrival from Brazilian side Flamengo, things finally looked to be clicking for the 18-year-old, having made himself a regular in the first team since the turn of the year, before rupturing his ankle ligaments in the Champions League defeat to Ajax early last month.


He hasn’t been seen since, and although his return to the side was initially pencilled in for ​Los Blancos’ April 28th trip to Rayo Vallecano, ​Marca report that it could come sooner than expected.

His recovery is said to be going well, and pending final medical checks, he could find himself back in the fray as early as next Sunday, when Real play host to Athletic Bilbao.

Failing that, the next target would be the following Thursday’s visit to Getafe, as Real look to finish the season strongly under the returning Zinedine Zidane and overtake city rivals ​Atletico in second place, while clawing back some of the 13 points that sit between themselves and leaders ​Barcelona. 

It remains to be seen, incidentally, what Vinicius’ role in the side will be under Zidane. Zizou’s return to the hotseat came shortly after the extent of his injury came to light, so he is yet to play under the Frenchman.

Though he could find himself having to earn his way back into the side under his third manager of the campaign, however, Zidane’s recent tendency to rotate his front three suggests he should play some football between now and the end of the season. 


​Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Brahim Diaz and Lucas Vasquez have all featured from the start in recent weeks, so it stands to reason that Vinicius will be restored once he is fit, at least temporarily. 


West Ham Adamant Felipe Anderson Is Not for Sale Amid Reported Interest From Real Madrid

​West Ham have absolutely no intention of selling Felipe Anderson this summer, despite reported interest from Real Madrid.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a fabulous first season in English football, scoring nine times and providing four assists in the 37 matches he has played so far this season.


Statistics aside, Anderson has adapted to the rigours and demands of the ​Premier League admirably after a shaky start, with a number of impressive performances helping West Ham overcome a poor opening to the season.

His form is understood to have caught the attention of ​Real Madrid, who are rumoured to be keen on a move if they fail to sign number one target Eden Hazard, but ​Sky Sports report that chairman David Sullivan will not consider any bids for Anderson this summer.

Anderson is said to be happy to stay at the club, and still has three years to run on the four-year contract he signed last summer when he arrived at the London Stadium for a club-record fee of £35m.

The Hammers also have the option to tag an additional year on to his current deal, meaning they are in a strong position to demand significant money for Anderson, should any offers come in.

The intention to keep Anderson, however, is another signal to supporters that Manuel Pellegrini will likely be backed again this summer as he aims to strengthen ​West Ham and turn them into a side capable of challenging for the top six.


Pellegrini’s side were strongly linked with a move for Celta striker Maxi Gomez in January, and have also been credited with an interest in signing Liverpool full-back Nathaniel Clyne, as well as Roma striker Edin Džeko, who won two Premier League titles during a four year stay at Manchester City.


Gareth Bale’s Agent Insists Winger Is Happy at Real Madrid But Refuses to Rule Out England Return

Gareth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett has insisted his client remains happy at Real Madrid despite jeers from the Santiago Bernabeu crowd, but remained coy over the winger’s future beyond the end of the season.

Bale has had an underwhelming season with Los Blancos since the spectre of Cristiano Ronaldo was removed from Madrid, once again struggling to retain match fitness throughout the season and notching just 14 goals and five assists across competitions. 


This came to a head on Saturday when, despite Real earning a 2-1 win over Eibar, the Welshman was booed for a poor showing in a rare opportunity to shine from the start. ​

But, speaking to Deportes Cuatro, as quoted by ​AS, after the game, Barnett insisted: “He is very happy here. He is a Real Madrid player and right now he is not thinking about a return to England.”

The former Tottenham star has been consistently linked with a return to the ​Premier League for a while now, and despite that proclamation, Barnett was still coy on whether the Welshman would remain at Real, responding to such questions by declaring: “I can’t predict the future, but for now he is happy.”

And Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane took a page from the same play book when ​he was probed on the 29-year-old’s future, asserting: “We will see [whether Bale will still be at the club next season]. Gareth is a ​Real Madrid player with two years left on his contract.”

On the hostility from the home crowd, the Frenchman proclaimed: “We’re not happy about the whistles, but the public comes to see their team do well. There was a reaction and I’m left with that, the public knows that the season is over, that we play to try and finish second.”


Alex Sandro Close to €50m PSG Switch as Juventus Eye Up Real Madrid Ace as Replacement

​Juventus defender Alex Sandro is closing in on a €50m switch to Paris Saint-Germain, as the Old Lady eye up Real Madrid’s Marcelo as a potential replacement. 

Sandro has been in Turin since joining from Porto back in August 2015 for £23.4m, making 121 appearances for the club and notching nine goals and 20 assists in that time. 

However, for the past two seasons he has been strongly linked with a move away, with Chelsea and Manchester United among the suitors coveting him heavily last summer.

Pedro Pereira,Alex Sandro

According to ​AS, it is now PSG who lead the charge, having entered into talks with Sandro’s club after making the 28-year-old Brazilian their top priority this summer. 

This is despite the left back signing a contract extension with ​I Bianconeri just five months ago which tied him to the club until June 2023. Upon that announcement in December, the Serie A leaders had ended their hunt for a new full back. 


However, these latest talks have prompted a return to the transfer market, and a return to the links with Marcelo. It has been mooted that, during the dark days of the Santiago Solari era, the Brazilian was so desperate to depart the Santiago Bernabeu that he handed in a transfer request.

However, his happiness has returned with the arrival of Zinedine Zidane, making the recruiting job slightly harder for Juve. The best negotiating chip they may possess is Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been sending thinly veiled come-and-join-me pleas to the defender ever since his arrival in Italy.

Marcelo,Carlos Soler

Another plus is that, despite Zidane’s return making the player himself happy, it has not coincided with a return to form, casting doubt over his future in ​Madrid. Should this also succeed in putting off the Italian side, they may seek an alternative in Benfica’s 23-year-old Alex Grimaldo.