Gareth Bale ‘Not Going Anywhere’ Amid Real Madrid Exit Talk & Discusses Being a ‘Robot’ in Football

​Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid is still undecided after another twist in the saga suggests the winger has no intention of leaving the club, despite being frozen out of the La Liga side in recent weeks.

Speculation surrounding the Welshman’s future has all leaned towards a summer exit from the Bernabeu, with Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane opting to leave the forward out of the squad entirely for recent games.

Gareth Bale

The former ​Tottenham player was eager to say goodbye to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, in what he had hoped would be his final home appearance, but instead Zidane chose to keep ​Bale on the bench against Real Betis. Moves such as that from the manager have only heightened exit talk this summer, although ​AS have been told by a source close to the 29-year-old that he is ‘not going anywhere’.

His fractured relationship with both the club and its fans has left an unfortunate blotch on his ​Madrid career, despite netting over 100 times since moving to ​La Liga back in 2013. While matters for Bale on the pitch are beginning to arise, it appears issues exist off it too. 

Speaking on the upcoming BT Sport Film entitled ‘State of Play’, Bale discussed the tribulations of life as a modern footballer, insisting their are made to live a robotic existence, with little ‘freedom’ remaining in their structured lives.


“It’s like we’re basically just robots. We’re told where to be, when to be there, what time we have to eat, what time we have to report for the coach. It’s as though you lose your freedom in a way,” he said, via ​AS.

​”When you become a professional there are all types of pressure, of expectation, of people saying negative things about you all the time, and you lose that feeling you had as a kid.”

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James Rodriguez Decides to Leave Bayern Munich as German Giants Opt Against Pursuing Permanent Deal

James Rodriguez wants to leave Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga champions will not look to activate his buyout clause this summer.

The Colombia international struggled to make a mark at Real Madrid before his loan to Bayern, but after failing to offer much consistency for the German outfit they will not look to extend his two-season loan deal.

James Rodriguez

The ​attacking midfielder was a huge target for a number of top clubs after his performances at the 2014 World Cup, yet ​Real Madrid were the ones to capture his signature.

After making a limited amount of appearances for Los Blancos throughout the 2016/17 season, the South American was loaned to the ​Bundesliga giants where he has spent the last two years.

Amid question marks over his future, ​Sky Sports Germany report that the 27-year-old ‘does not see his future in Munich’ and wants a return to either his parent club or another outfit of similar prestige.

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Rodriguez scored a mediocre seven goals in 20 Bundesliga games for ​Die Roten in the 2018/19 campaign, managing three of those during a ​6-0 win over Mainz in March.

Rodriguez will be a wanted man this summer if he is granted an exit from Real Madrid, who he is contracted with until 2021. Italian giants ​Juventus have been linked, but a concrete offer from the Serie A side is yet to be submitted.

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Despite no indication that Juve have made Rodriquez a priority signing in the summer transfer window, the midfielder would offer rich experience for La Vecchia Signora if they were to pursue his signature.

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Real Madrid Kit 2019/20: First Images of Los Blancos’ Classy New Home Strip in Store

Pictures have emerged Real Madrid’s new home kit in a shop, with the 2019/20 home strip once again designed by adidas.

By Real’s usual standards, the season just gone was pretty dismal on all fronts, and the Bernabeu faithful will be hoping their new kit can bring more luck in the next campaign.


As shown by ​Footy Headlines, the new design sees the return of the white and gold combination that proved very popular in the 2011/12 season. In fact, the design from eight years ago has been one of the most well-received Madrid jerseys of the 21st century.

This time it comes with a simpler collar, but still boasts the same elegant, classy look as before. 

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

As in 2011/12, the design has gone down well with supporters and is expected to fly off the shelves once it is officially launched by the Spanish giants.

However, some supporters have been left disappointed, as they hoped adidas would show a little more adventure with the Madrid kit for the upcoming season. In fairness to these people, the Real home strips have shown little invention for some time now.


​Real Madrid home kits since the 2008/09 season have, to all intents and purposes, been carbon copies of one another, just with a change of colour to the trim.

Having trialled gold, black, white and various shades of blue, it seems Los Blancos supporters will have to wait a little longer for adidas to be more experimental with the design of their home jersey. 

That said, Madrid supporters will, of course, take comfort, that adidas did not opt for a bizarre checkered design like their rivals Barcelona.

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France Squad Call-Ups: 7 Premier League Stars Feature, Lenglet Earns Spot & Lacazette Snubbed

​​Arsenal striker ​Alexandre Lacazette has been left out of the France squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, while ​Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet has been included for the first time.

Depsite being named the Gunners’ Player of the Season earlier this month, there is no place for Lacazette in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man squad, which instead includes ​Chelsea’s ​Olivier Giroud and Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder for June’s qualifiers against Turkey and Andorra.


Deschamps, explaining Lacazette’s omission, said via the ​Metro: “There’s no reason for us not to see him again, I had a difficult choice to make, with Ben Yedder coming out of a big season too.

“I have a choice to make and I chose Wissam [Ben Yedder]. He has scored 30 goals in all competitions this season. He scored in big games, he knows how to play in alone in attack. He’s named in this group of attackers as another option at one time or another.”

Meanwhile, Barça centre-back Lenglet has been included for the first time after an impressive debut season at the Camp Nou, where he has made 44 appearances and edged compatriot Samuel Umtiti out of the starting lineup.

​Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte, however, is snubbed yet again by Deschamps despite starring in the Citizens’ treble-winning season and being named in the PFA Team of the Year, with Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma among the preferred defenders after an impressive season on loan at ​Everton.

Kurt Zouma

Lenglet isn’t the only new face in this French camp, as Lyon full-back Leo Dubois and Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan prepare to join up with the World Cup winners for the first time next month.

Chelsea midfielder ​N’Golo Kante has struggled with injury of late, but having returned to training ahead of the Europa League final, the 28-year-old has been named among Deschamps’ midfielders alongside ​Manchester United’s ​Paul Pogba.

N'golo Kante,Paul Pogba

Les Bleus take on Bolivia in a friendly on June 2, before two qualifiers away from home against Turkey on June 6 and Andorra on June 11. 


GoalkeepersAlphonse Areola, Benjamin Lecomte, Hugo Lloris, Mike Maignan.

Defenders: Lucas Digne, Clement Lenglet, Ferland Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Leo Dubois, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Kurt Zouma

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Tanguy Ndombele, Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder, Kingsley Coman, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin.

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Raphael Varane Confirms He’s Staying at Real Madrid Despite Interest From PSG & Man Utd

​Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane has confirmed he is staying with the club, ending speculation over a potential move to Manchester United. 

The World Cup winner is a long-time United target and has been linked with a move away following a disappointing season for Real. Los Blancos made their way through three managers but even the return of Zinedine Zidane failed to inspire an improvement in form – the club finishing third with just 68 points.

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However, French international Varane has reaffirmed his commitment to the club. Speaking in an interview with ​MARCA, the defender said: “I’m going to continue here next year, I’m sure we’re going to relive strong emotions.

“We have fought and we have tried hard, we can not blame anything, but it is true that we missed that spark in the difficult moments.”

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Varane has developed into a key player for ​Real since joining in 2011 and was crucial to the three consecutive ​Champions League wins under Zidane. However, like the whole team, his levels dropped this season and Varane emphasised the need to improve going into 2019/20.

“They are cycles, I have not been at my best level but I will see the best Varane again,” he added.

“We have to evolve and Zidane is clear about it, we have to rebuild, we have to change things as in a change of cycle.”

Varane’s commitment to Madrid will come as a blow to potential suitors.

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According to ​L’Equipe, Manchester United and PSG both spoke to the defender’s entourage, while ​Juventus have also been linked. However, none of the interested parties have been able to convince Varane of a move away from the Spanish capital.

Real have always been committed to keeping Varane at the Bernabeu, insisting that he would ​only be sold if his €500m release clause is met. The Spanish club have also considered offering the defender a pay rise to keep him in Spain.

Real manager Zidane has also been clear in his intent to keep hold of Varane, and the 26-year-old will continue to be a key part of the club’s plans as they look to recover from a miserable 2018/19 season.

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Transfer Rumours: Lukaku to Inter, Malcom to Dortmund, Real Madrid Hesitate Over Jovic & More

It will come as no surprise to learn that the summer transfer window is going to be a busy one – at least it will be if all the various rumours actually come to fruition.

We’ve got big money moves for some of the biggest clubs in Europe to discuss, a spanner in the works for Real Madrid’s plans to sign Luka Jovic and, most importantly, transfer news involving Carl Jenkinson.

Here’s the latest edition of the transfer rumour mill.


Carl Jenkinson Deemed Surplus to Requirements By Arsenal​

Carl Jenkinson

No one really understands why Carl Jenkinson is still lingering about at the Emirates in the first place, but the right-back’s time with ​Arsenal appears to be coming to an end this summer.

TEAMtalk are reporting that Arsenal have spoken with the right-back and are happy for him to seek pastures new this summer. If any bids do come in for the 27-year-old, Arsenal will not stand in the way and, given that his current deal expires next year, you can understand why the Gunners are looking to sell him as soon as possible.

Playoff finalists ​Aston Villa are said to be the leading candidates to land the full back, but their interest may hinge on whether they are able to overcome Derby at Wembley next week.


Liverpool Join the Race to Sign Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser’s future remains rather uncertain and his current contract situation has provided some encouragement for a host of top teams who are looking to bolster their attacking ranks this summer.

The ​Bournemouth winger has been a top target for Arsenal for quite some time but, according to ​The Sun, they’ll face some stiff competition from ​Liverpool this summer. The Cherries aren’t willing to part ways with Fraser too easily, but they’ll be well aware that his current deal expires next summer, so they may be forced to consider a generous bid.

The Sun claim that £30m is likely to be enough to twist Bournemouth’s arm, but they also suggest that Liverpool’s interest is with a view to snapping him up on a free deal next summer. 


Borussia Dortmund Eyeing Up Move for Barcelona’s Malcom

Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira

​Borussia Dortmund already know that Christian Pulisic is leaving for Chelsea, so finding a suitable replacement will be at the top of their wishlist for the summer transfer window.

After the successful signing of ​Barcelona outcast Paco Alcacer last year, BVB are once again looking to the fringes of the Blaugrana’s squad for inspiration. ​Sport are reporting that Dortmund have been keeping tabs on Malcom for quite some time and are seriously considering a move for the 22-year-old – although it is unclear whether it will be a loan offer or a permanent bid.

Barcelona are well aware of the fact that Malcom will be widely sought-after and they may be more willing to let the Brazilian leave for the Premier League in order to make a profit on the 41m they paid last summer.


Atletico Madrid Express Interest in Giovani Lo Celso and Mario Fernandes

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​Atletico Madrid look set for an extensive overhaul this summer, with the likes of Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann and Juanfran all heading for the exit door.

Reinforcements are already being lined up and, according to Spanish journalist ​Antonio Ruiz, Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso and CSKA Moscow right-back ​Mario Fernandes have been added to Atletico’s summer portfolio.

Lo Celso only recently joined Betis on a permanent deal when the Spanish outfit triggered an option to buy clause in his loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, but that fact hasn’t distracted Atletico from remaining interested.


Real Madrid Hesitate Over Luka Jovic Fee

Luka Jovic

Various reports suggested that ​Real Madrid had already agreed a deal to sign Bundesliga hotshot Luka Jovic last week, but it now appears that Los Blancos are starting to hesitate over the signing.

Spanish television channel ​El Chiringuito claim that Real Madrid are now saying no to the asking price of 100m for the Serbian striker, which could potentially open the door for Barcelona to make an approach.

Despite this, Spanish journalist Sergio Valentin has commented on the matter, writing on ​Twitter: “I’ll just say one little thing: the players play where they want. Jovic wants to play at Real Madrid.”


Romelu Lukaku’s Name At the Top of Inter’s List

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Romelu Lukaku has previously expressed his desire to play in Italy and it now appears that his wishes may be coming reality a little sooner than expected.

​Inter are already planning for next season – despite having not yet qualified for the Champions League – and are in contact with Lukaku’s representatives over a potential deal. Inter are looking for a replacement for the troublesome Mauro Icardi and ​FCInterNews are reporting that CEO Giuseppe Marotta has identified Lukaku as his top target. 

Inter may well present €20-30m plus Ivan Perisic as a potential bargaining chip to secure the deal and ​Manchester United are looking increasingly likely to allow the Belgian striker to make the move over to Milan.


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PSG Issue Statement on Kylian Mbappe’s Future Amid Speculation Over Summer Departure

​Paris Saint-Germain have said that the ‘strong bond’ between the club and striker Kylian Mbappe will continue next season, nipping in the bud speculation that the 20-year-old could move on this summer. 

Mbappe’s 32 goals in 28 league games won him the Ligue 1 player of the year award, and he has been linked frequently with his countryman Zinedine Zidane’s squad overhaul at Real Madrid.

Speaking in an acceptance speech for the award on Sunday, he alluded to potential ‘greater responsibility elsewhere’ which led many to the assessment that he would indeed be departing from the French champions. It seems now as if his comments may have been misinterpreted, however, with the club releasing a statement on Twitter which cleared things up. 


The ​brief statement, released in French, translates to: “For two years, a strong bond has been formed between PSG and Kylian Mbappe, and this story will continue next season with a shared ambition to make European football history in the year of the 50th anniversary of this club.”

Having joined from Monaco in the summer of 2017, with a fee of around €180m including add-ons agreed, Mbappe has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s best strikers. 


​​In addition to his goalscoring exploits in Paris – with 59 goals in 86 games in total – he also fired France to a World Cup in the summer, earning himself a reputation as an international superstar at such a young age. 

A ​Champions League win would ensure he has won virtually everything there is to win at club level, and it seems as if PSG have intentions of doing just that when the 2019/20 season gets underway. 

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Real Madrid Transfers: Deciding Which Players to Keep and Sell This Summer

​The 2018/19 season has been near enough a disaster for Real Madrid from beginning to end. 

So much has happened in the last months that it is easy to forget that it all started when Madrid’s appointment of Julen Lopetegui led to the Spaniard being sacked as the national team’s head coach on the literal eve of the 2018 World Cup.

This debacle was a sign of things to come, as Lopetegui struggled as manager of a Madrid side adapting to life after Cristiano Ronaldo. Alas, just ten games into the season, the former Spain boss was relieved of his duties following a 5-1 demolishing from bitter rivals Barcelona – a scoreline which flattered Madrid on the day.

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After a similarly brief spell for Santiago Solari, Los Blancos went full circle and re-appointed last season’s manager Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman hasn’t fared much better in the final third of the campaign, as Real finished in third spot, suffering three defeats in their final four games.

With the ​La Liga and ​Champions League titles conceded before Zidane’s arrival, the vision from the board was likely looking ahead to a summer of rebuilding. This will undoubtedly involve significant movement in the transfer market, as ​Madrid will look to rid themselves of some dead wood from an ageing squad.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at every Real Madrid first team player and whether the club should keep or sell them.


Goalkeepers

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Thibaut Courtois – KEEP – Despite only playing three games for Zidane due to a hamstring problem suffered late in the season, Courtois’ wages are likely to put other clubs off making an approach. Madrid would be better served sticking with the former Chelsea man.

Keylor Navas – KEEP – The Costa Rican has been Zidane’s preferred choice between the sticks, but appeared discontent at playing second fiddle to Courtois for the first two-thirds of the season. At best, he is a quality first-choice stopper and at worst he provides solid competition for the number one jersey. A useful asset at the club.

Luca Zidane – LOAN – His inclusion in the Madrid squad is a source on scepticism for many who believe he is there simply because of his father. However, the 21-year-old has shown some promise and could do with getting some first-team action out on loan.


Full Backs

Marcelo

Marcelo – SELL – The Brazilian has been an incredible servant to Madrid, but at 31, his club may be better served by moving him on. With Ronaldo reportedly keen to see his old mate join him in Turin, now may be the perfect time to cash in on the left-back.

Dani Carvajal – KEEP – Injuries aside, Carvajal had a fairly consistent season for Los Blancos and continues to be one of the brightest right-backs in Europe. No need for much improvement here.

Alvaro Odriozola – KEEP – The Spaniard has been in and out of the squad this year, but performed well when called upon. Having grabbed four assists in his 14 appearances, the 23-year-old is a capable backup and eventual successor for Carvajal.

Sergio Reguilon – KEEP – Similarly to the man above, Reguilon has shown himself to be solid when called upon. Should Madrid seek to replace Marcelo, the Spanish full-back would be a good rotation player, who – if he pushes himself – could make the left-back berth his own.


Central Defenders

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos – KEEP – Mr. Real Madrid. Ramos is the man everybody loves to hate, but his importance the Madrid team cannot be underestimated. Despite a poor season by his measures, Zidane would be wise to keep the 33-year-old.

Raphael Varane – KEEP – It is no coincidence that the Frenchman has a World Cup winner’s medal to his name. Still only 26, Varane has a lot to offer his club and could be at the Bernabeu for years to come.

Nacho – KEEP – Despite starting the season as a full-back, Nacho has adapted to his central position reasonably well when called upon. He won’t trouble the starting pair when both fit but acts as an able deputy.

Jesus Vallejo – SELL – Following his move from Real Zaragoza, the Spaniard has not developed as Madrid would have wished. However, a successful spell on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt a couple of seasons ago suggests he does have something to offer and could be sold for a decent fee.


Central Midfielders

Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos – KEEP – The German midfielder has just signed a new four-year deal at the Bernabeu, so Madrid’s intentions are pretty clear.

Luka Modric – KEEP – At the age of 33, it might be easy to think Madrid need some fresh legs in the middle of the park, but Modric continues to be one of the club’s most consistent performers. The little Croatian will be valuable for a few more years yet.

Casemiro – KEEP – As the youngest and arguably most underrated of Zidane’s preferred midfield trio, Casemiro is likely to stay put at the Bernabeu.

Casemiro

Federico Valverde – KEEP – The Uruguayan has impressed during his spells in the team this season. Aged just 20, Valverde could be the long-term replacement for Casemiro.

Marcos Llorente – SELL – With injury keeping him out for a large chunk of the season, Llorente has not progressed as hoped this season and would be better off looking for first-team football away from the Bernabeu.


Attacking Midfielders & Wingers

Marco Asensio

Marco Asensio – SELL – Tipped as the man to fill Ronaldo’s shoes this season, Asensio’s return of one goal and six assists has been underwhelming to say the least. Despite this, the Spaniard has a big reputation and could be sold for a fair whack to free up funds to bring other players in.

Isco – KEEP – His form during Zidane’s previous spell at the club gives fans hope that Isco will return to his best. Performances from the Spaniard this year have been well below par, and the Bernabeu faithful will be hoping he can find form next season.

Brahim Diaz – KEEP – The 19-year-old signed from ​Manchester City in January and is clearly seen as a prospect for the future. After failing to feature in a single City squad during the first half of the season, Diaz has started five times since making the move to the Spanish capital and will no doubt want to continue his progression next season.

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Dani Ceballos – KEEP – The 22-year-old featured consistently during the spells of Lopetgeui and Solari, but has lost his place under Zidane. However, some of the performances he put in over the first half of the season show he is worth keeping around if only to provide firm competition to more senior players.


Forwards

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale – SELL – Los Blancos don’t need any convincing here. Zidane is clearly desperate to offload the Welshman, but the former Spurs man seems perfectly content to warm the bench. Given the talent that Bale clearly has, it is safe to say most football fans want this man to leave Madrid and start lighting the world up with his skill whilst he is still young enough to do so.

Karim Benzema – KEEP – Never mind what the gossip columns tell you three times a day every transfer window – Benzema needs to stay at Madrid. The loss of Ronaldo last summer showed that quality players are not easy to replace. With 21 goals in 36 league games, Los Merengues simply cannot afford to let the French​man go.

Mariano Diaz – KEEP – His time in the Spanish capital has been blighted by injury since his move from Lyon last summer. However, 18 goals for the French club in the previous season suggest the Dominican Republic striker does have something to give, provided he can stay fit.

Lucas Vazquez – SELL – Used primarily as a substitute during Zidane’s tenure, the Spaniard doesn’t seem to be valued at the club. At the age of 27, Madrid may be better served moving the winger on whilst he can still demand a half-decent transfer fee.

Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Junior – KEEP – The Brazilian emerged as one of the brightest talents in world football this season and is one to watch for the future. Sadly the winger suffered a nasty injury which saw him miss the majority of the final third of the season. Even at the age of 18, Vinicius could go into next season as the first choice for Zidane.

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Transfer Rumours: Firpo to Madrid, Willems to Newcastle, Spurs in for Portuguese Starlet and More

​To paraphrase Smash Mouth, the rumours have started coming, and they won’t stop coming.

Of course, they were talking about time passing you by, and not about being bogged down by wave after wave of transfer speculation, invented specifically to give us all something to talk about in the purgatory between seasons, but we can only take things as they apply to us. 

Here are six of Monday’s transfer rumours, ranging from the red-hot to the lukewarm at best. 


Junior Firpo Comments on Real Madrid Speculation

Rodrigo Moreno,Junior Firpo

Back in March, shortly after they had reappointed Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid had been linked with as many as ​20 summer signings with a total transfer value well in excess of £1bn, so god only knows what that figure stands at now. 

The latest player linked with a move to Los Blancos, anyway, is Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo, who has enjoyed a stellar season in La Liga, and had this to say about a potential switch to Madrid, via ​Mundo Deportivo.

“My father is excited when he is related to ​Real Madrid, because he knows there is a lot of work behind and it is not easy to reach the level we are at.”

So…not a lot to go on there really, but regardless it seems far from an unlikely move for the 22-year-old. 


Darren Fletcher Advises Manchester United on Teenage Centre-Back

If there are two things ​Manchester United are really good at being linked with, it’s young players who are in all likelihood miles off first team quality and centre-backs. The ​Sun have combined the two, here and tell us that United will make an offer for Stoke City’s Nathan Collins.

The 18-year-old has made a handful of first team appearances for Stoke since their relegation from the Premier League, and United’s interest reportedly comes as a result of a summer transfer policy centred around taking the advice of their former players. The report adds that interest in Daniel James comes from Ryan Giggs, while Rio Ferdinand recommended Ben Godfrey of Norwich, and now Darren Fletcher – still on the books at Stoke – has scouted Collins. 

It would be horribly cynical to suggest that this could be lazy journalism and that the links have only arisen because Fletcher, a former Manchester United player, is indeed currently at Stoke. 


Tottenham ‘Step Up’ Interest in Highly Rated Benfica Winger

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It seems almost dead-certain that ​Tottenham will call an end to their self-imposed transfer embargo before the summer is out, especially with that unexpected Champions League final windfall set to swell up the coffers. But it remains to be seen where – and who – they will recruit. 

Portuguese newspaper Record report, as per ​Sky, say that a move for Benfica winger Jota – not the Wolves one – could be on the table, with Mauricio Pochettino ‘stepping up’ his interest in the 20-year-old.

They seem to be ahead of the game with this one. All the spotlight is on Joao Felix at present, and Jota’s eight goals and eight assists in 20 Primeira Liga appearances have gone somewhat under the radar as a result. He is reported to have a release clause of around £26m in his contract, so if Spurs move quickly, he looks like a very good addition.


Arsenal Make ‘First Contact’ Over Petr Cech Replacement 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,Norberto Murara Neto,Jose Luis Gaya

Petr Cech will retire from football this summer, leaving Arsenal with a space to fill between the sticks for European games and on the bench the rest of the time. 

With a questionable translated headline that reads ‘Arsenal gropes Neto’, Spanish outlet ​Plaza Deportiva report that the Gunners see Valencia keeper Neto as the solution to that, and have made initial contact over securing the 29-year-old’s services for next season. 

He featured in both legs of the Europa League semi-final, which Arsenal won quite comfortably, and although he is believed to have been ‘unconvinced’ by their initial advances, it is believed a deal could be done with a bit of persistence – especially if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League next week. 

The report also notes interest in Keylor Navas of Real Madrid, but it seems unlikely he’d be happy to work as an understudy to Bernd Leno.


Newcastle and Fulham ‘Interested’ in Eintracht Frankfurt Left-Back

Jetro Willems

​Newcastle could be in line for a cut-price move for Eintracht Frankfurt left-back Jetro Willems, as a report from Germany claims both the Magpies and Fulham are ‘interested’ in a move for the Dutch defender. 

Once one of the most highly-rated young defenders on the planet while at PSV, the 25-year-old has had a rough couple of years since moving to Germany in 2017, and having been used in a number of positions and failing to nail down a starting spot this season, he looks set to move on in the summer.

​Bild say that both Newcastle and Fulham could come in with a bid around the €4.5m Frankfurt paid for him two years ago, with the Magpies’ Premier League status giving them the edge. 


Christian Fuchs Opens Door to Extended Leicester City Stay

Christian Fuchs

After signing a one-year contract extension, Leicester’s back-up left-back and former title winner will hang around for another season – but has left the door open to staying beyond the expiry of his new deal.

Fuchs has been expected to leave in each of the last two close seasons to join his family in New York, but each time has opted to stay put, and if his words are anything to go by, he could do so again in 12 months.

“I want to keep playing, I definitely want to keep playing,” he said, via ​Leicester Mercury. “It might be my last year over there, but you can never say never, especially in this sport, but as of right now, it’s going to be my last season in England and then I want to come to New York and be with my family.”

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Zinedine Zidane Reveals Why Gareth Bale Was Left on the Bench in Real Madrid’s Final La Liga Game

Zinedine Zidane has revealed that Gareth Bale’s day-to-day attitude resulted in the winger being left on the bench for Real Madrid’s final La Liga game of the season.

Real Madrid finished their 2018/19 campaign in disappointing fashion, slipping to a 2-0 defeat against Real Betis. Bale – whose future in the Spanish capital is looking decidedly bleak – was not called on by Zidane and he left down the tunnel as soon as the final whistle was blown.

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Speaking after the game, Zidane insisted that ​Bale’s attitude in training meant that he didn’t deserve the chance to feature.

“​It is true, I did not [give Bale a chance to say goodbye],” the ​Real Madrid boss said, per ​ESPN.

“But I have to look at the day-to-day, and make decisions. And when there is something I do not like, or does not fit for me, I must do what I think best. It might be difficult for the player.

“We cannot forget all he has done here, but I must live in the present, think of the future. We will see [if Bale continues]. I don’t know what will happen, truthfully.”

There has also been some confusion surrounding a specific quote from Zidane in the same press conference, where it has been reported that he claimed he still wouldn’t have brought Bale on if he had a fourth substitute to play with. 

Spanish football journalist ​Ben Hayward has insisted that the quote has been misinterpreted and that Zidane instead said: “If I had brought on another player, the same thing would have happened.” – referring to the notion that questions would be asked regardless of who was left on the bench.

Bale’s contract at Real Madrid lasts until 2022 and, although it seems unlikely he will ever get a chance to feature while Zidane remains in charge, it is still unclear whether he will be leaving the club this summer.

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