Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic Return to Real Madrid Training Ahead of Sevilla Clash

​Real Madrid have been boosted by the return of both Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic to training, while Gareth Bale is also set to feature in the La Liga clash with Sevilla on Saturday.

Benzema missed the Supercope de Espana with a bruised leg while Jovic had not been involved in training since Madrid returned from Saudi Arabia.

The experienced Frenchman was a big miss for his side in the final as Real beat Atletico on penalties, with neither side able to break the deadlock in normal or extra time. Benzema has scored 18 goals in 24 games in all competitions this season.

Karim Benzema

Jovic took Benzema’s starting position but failed to add to his one goal for Madrid this season. He did not, however, stay on the pitch long enough to take a penalty as the Serbian was substituted in the 83rd minute.

A number of key men also featured in this training session ahead of Zidane’s side’s clash with Sevilla, per ​the Daily Mail, as Bale has fought off an infection to regain his fitness. The Welshman missed the Super Cup but is expected to be fit in time for Madrid’s next match.

Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio also trained having previously been sidelined with long-term injuries but both remain far off from returning to first-team action and won’t feature at the weekend.

Getafe CF v Real Madrid CF  - La Liga

Sergio Ramos picked up a foot injury in the final, despite scoring a penalty, and remains a doubt as he has just started gym work and training on grass by himself on Thursday. Federico Valverde received a red card in the 115th minute of the Super Cup final after hacking down a clean-through Alvaro Morata and will be suspended against Sevilla.

Real are level on points with current La Liga leaders Barcelona and will be hoping their rivals slip up in the Sunday clash with Granada.

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Real Madrid Willing to Host Unionistas de Salamanca in Copa del Rey Amid Stadium Concerns

Real Madrid have offered Unionistas de Salamanca the chance to use the Bernabeu for the Copa del Rey clash on 22 January amid concerns over the latter’s stadium.

Unionistas’ Estadio Las Pistas del Helmantico has a capacity of just 3,000, approximately 27 times smaller than Los Blancos’ home ground. A lack of facilities at the former has drawn questions from the Spanish media, who deem the stadium unsuitable.


According to news outlet ​Bernabeu Digital, Zinedine Zidane’s side are more than happy to let their third-tier opposition keep the gate receipts from their encounter, should they choose to accept the offer.

It’s claimed Unionistas will agree to the switch of venue if they’re forced to change location by the footballing authorities.

In doing so, they would avoid having to use Estadio Helmantico – the home of their fierce rivals Salmantino – which is situated within 100 metres of Las Pistas.

Unionistas reached the last 32 of the Copa del Rey courtesy of a penalty-shootout win over Deportivo La Coruna, with that match taking place at their usual ground.

FBL-KSA-ESP-SUPERCUP-REAL MADRID-ATLETICO

​Real, meanwhile, had a bye into the next round of the tournament due to their Supercopa de Espana commitments.

Zidane guided them to victory in the competition, though they likewise needed a shootout to overcome ​Atletico Madrid in the final, having beaten Valencia the round prior.

This will be by far the biggest game in Unionistas’ seven-year history, with cameras capturing the players’ wild celebrations following the draw for this stage.

The club is jointly-owned by over 2,000 different members of their fan base, with each individual having their say on executive decisions.

2018/19 was Unionistas’ first season in the third division of Spanish football after they secured three promotions in the space of four years to rise up the leagues and qualify for the Copa del Rey.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter

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Real Madrid vs Sevilla Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Real Madrid return to La Liga action following their Supercopa de España triumph as they host Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.

It’s so far so good this season for Los Blancos, with Zinedine Zidane’s side neck and neck with Barcelona at the top of La Liga, seeing off Getafe in an emphatic 3-0 victory last time out. With Barça not playing until Sunday, Zinedine Zidane’s side can temporarily leapfrog their rivals with a win over Sevilla and apply some pressure on their counterparts. 

Despite their recent shortcomings in the league, Sevilla continue to fight for a Champions League spot, currently residing in fourth place – level on points with Atlético Madrid. Los Palanganas have won just two of their last five La Liga outings, though, registering draws against Osasuna and Athletic, while falling to defeat at home to Villarreal. 

FBL-KSA-ESP-SUPERCUP-REAL MADRID-ATLETICO

This top of the table clash promises to be an interesting match up, with neither team wanting to give up ground in the race for their respective objectives.

Here is 90min’s preview of Saturday’s fixture. 


Where To Watch

When Is Kick Off? ​Saturday 18 January
What Time Is Kick Off? ​15:00 (GMT)
Where Is It Played? ​Santiago Bernabeu
TV Channel/Live Stream? ​Premier Player HD
Referee? ​Juan Martínez Munuera

Team News

​Los Merengu​es have a host of first-team injuries to contend with ahead of Saturday’s game against Sevilla, with Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio all ruled out.

Hazard has a foot injury, Benzema is still recovering a hamstring problem and Asensio is continuing to rehabilitate after suffering an ACL tear during pre-season. Gareth Bale should return after illness but Federico Valverde is suspended.

FBL-C1-EUR-REAL MADRID-PSG

Sevilla have comparatively less to be concerned about, with Sergio Escudero their only notable injury worry.

The 30-year-old left-back has resumed training this week after picking up an eye injury, but he’s unlikely to play . 


Predicted Lineups

Real Madrid:​ ​Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Rodrygo, Bale, Jovic
Sevilla: ​Bounou; Navas, Gudelj, Gomez, Rodriguez; Vazquez, Jordan, Torres; Ocampos, De Jong, Nolito

Head to Head Record

As expected, Real Madrid edge proceedings against their Andalusian counterparts, with Zidane’s charges winning 76 of the 144 meetings between the two.

Luuk De Jong

Real Madrid have won the previous two fixtures between the two clubs, although Sevilla have won two of the last four meetings. Moreover, Los Blancos have won 65% of their last 20 league games at home, while Sevilla have lost 45% of their last 20 away league encounters. 


Recent Form

Despite being unbeaten in their last 16 games across all competitions, Real Madrid have faltered in recent weeks, drawing three of their last six fixtures. 

Los Merengues did, however, hoover up the first trophy of the season, overcoming city rivals Atlético Madrid on penalties for Zidane’s tenth trophy of his relatively short tenure.

Spain’s most successful side have, however, been unable to capitalise on Barcelona’s inconsistencies this season and remain behind their arch rivals on goal difference.

FBL-KSA-ESP-SUPERCUP-REAL MADRID-ATLETICO

Sevilla have Champions League aspirations of their own and will be looking to take another stride towards securing a qualification berth with a surprise victory.

Julen Lopetegui’s side have three wins in their last five matches in all competitions, coming against Escobedo, Mallorca and Bergantiños, although Saturday’s opponents will represent a very different threat entirely. 

Here is how both sides have fared in their previous five fixtures. 

Real Madrid​ Sevilla
Real Madrid 0-0 (4-1) Atlético (12/01) ​Escobedo 0-5 Sevilla (12/01)
​Valencia 1-3 Real Madrid (08/01) ​Sevilla 1-1 Athletic Bilbao (03/01)
​Getafe 0-3 Real Madrid (04/01) ​Mallorca 0-2 Sevilla (21/12)
Real Madrid 0-0 Athletic Bilbao (22/12) ​Bergantiños 0-1 Sevilla (18/12)
​Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid (18/12) Sevilla 1-2 Villarreal (15/12)

Prediction

Real Madrid have been frustrating to watch at times, but have been brilliant on other occasions. Raphael Varane has been brilliant in defence, while Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have looked razor sharp at times.

​Sevilla’s struggles against Real on the road are well documented, so it’s difficult to envisage anything other than a win for Zinedine Zidane’s side. 

Toni Kroos

Sevilla have only failed to score twice since October, but Madrid have the joint best defensive record in ​La Liga, conceding a meagre 12 goals so far this season. A home win should be a safe prediction.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla

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Lionel Messi Insists Rivalry With Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Will Last Forever’

​Lionel Messi has hailed his former duels with Cristiano Ronaldo as memories that will ‘last forever’, citing the longevity of their rivalry as one of the key reasons for it being so special.

The pair haven’t faced off against each other since Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in the summer of 2018, starving football fans around the world of two of the game’s greatest ever players going head-to-head.

TOPSHOT-FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-REAL MADRID

As the figureheads of ​​Barcelona and ​Madrid respectively, El Clasico always carried extra significance as two of the world’s leading sides faced off. Their rivalry extended beyond just their club duties though, as both fought to secure the coveted Ballon d’Or, winning all but one of the last 12 awards.

It was a battle that ​Messi insists will live long in the memory for a variety of reasons, but pointed to the pair’s ability to continue battling for such an extended period of time as one of its highlights.

“It was a duel that will last forever because it went on for many years, and it isn’t easy to keep at your highest level for so long – especially at those two clubs we were at, which were so demanding, in Madrid and Barça, the best in the world,” the Argentine told ​​DAZN.

“Competing head to head for so many years will be remembered forever. The sporting rivalry between us was very nice on a personal level. I think that the fans also enjoyed it, be they Madrid or Barça supporters, and those who just like football will also have enjoyed it.”

Lionel Messi,Cristiano Ronaldo

Both ​Ronaldo and Messi put up ludicrous scoring records during their respective times in La Liga together, with Ronaldo netting 450 goals in 438 matches, compared to Messi’s 472 in 476 outings so far. Plenty of those goals came in El Clasico, with the 32-year-old declaring those clashes had extra significance with Ronaldo in the Madrid side.

“When Cristiano was at Madrid, games against them were always special,” he added. “Real Madrid, because of what those games mean, made it much more special, but those times are behind us and things go on.”

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Date for Next Clasico Meeting Between Real Madrid & Barcelona Is Revealed

​It has been confirmed that the next Clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona will take place on Sunday 1 March.

Political protests in Catalonia had seen the initial clash between the sides at the back end of last year postponed on numerous occasions. There were fears the Camp Nou encounter could become engulfed in protests  – relating to the sentencing of prominent figures in the Catalan separatist movement – but those fears were put to bed and the match went ahead on a re-scheduled date of December 18.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF  - La Liga

That in turn prompted their second meeting in to be pushed back to a previously unknown date, but now it has been confirmed that the clash at Santiago Bernabeu will go ahead on March 1. This match will kick off at 9pm local time (8pm GMT).

The previous meeting between the two failed to live up to the hype surrounding it, as Madrid left Catalonia with a fully deserved point after neither side could break the deadlock in a 0-0 stalemate.

Neither side have been in glittering form for the rest of this season either, however, it is ​La Blaugrana who sit atop ​La Liga with 40 points after 19 matches, narrowly edging in front of Madrid on goal difference.

Despite being top, some uninspiring results under Ernesto Valverde saw the Spaniard relieved of his duties in charge of the club, who were swift to appoint Quique Setien in his stead. Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, is embarking on his second spell in charge of ​Los Blancos, and has succeeded in seeing his side hold the joint-best defensive record in the division, as well as lose just one top-flight fixture all season.

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Donny van de Beek ‘Likely’ to Join Real Madrid During Summer Transfer Window

​Donny van de Beek’s future appears to finally be set in stone, with a summer move to Real Madrid now classed as ‘likely’.

Los Blancos have been in pursuit of the Ajax man since the end of last season, when the midfielder helped his side secure a domestic double and reach the semi-final stages of the Champions League.


His exemplary performances have courted the attentions of sides across Europe, notably ​Manchester United but none more so than ​Madrid, who have been extensively linked with the Dutchman for a number of months. 

Just recently, the 22-year-old ​declared his intention to remain at the club until the end of the season – and possibly beyond – but the latest updates suggest that this campaign will be his final swan-song with the Eredivisie champions.

Those are the claims coming from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf (via ​Marca), who state that everything is in place for De Beek to join Madrid in the summer in a deal worth €55m (£47m).

Given his age, De Beek fits the current profile of player Madrid are trying to tie down. A pursuit of Christian Eriksen was eventually dropped, as the club look to bring in talent with a long-term goal in mind. Furthermore, Luka Modric is nearing the end of his time in ​La Liga, with rumours of a Major League Soccer switch ​gathering momentum in recent weeks.

Donny van de Beek

At present, Zidane boasts a bloated squad in the midfield department, with Toni Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, James Rodriguez, Isco and Federico Valverde all vying for a spot in the middle of the park. The latter of those has been a sensation this season, with it initially thought that De Beek may no longer become an option for the club due to the Uruguayan’s emergence.

However, these murmurs appear to indicate that departures will follow over the summer, with Rodriquez and Isco struggling for game time this season and Modric likely to take on a new challenge. Thus opening the door for Los Blancos to seal a deal for the highly-rated playmaker.

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Deloitte Football Money League: 5 Biggest Takeaways From the 2020 Rich List

Barcelona generated more money than any other club in European football last season, bringing in a staggering £741.1m in revenue during the 2018/19 campaign. 

This saw them replace Real Madrid at the top of the list, with their fierce rivals earning £667.5m, while Manchester United remained in third place. 

In the 23rd edition of Deloitte’s Football Money League​, Barça claimed top spot by bringing in £73.6m more than second-placed Real. There has never been such a large gap between the top two since the inception of the rich list.

With their findings now released, we have decided that this is the perfect opportunity to have a look at five things we learned from the Deloitte Football Money League…


Barcelona in a League of Their Own

Lionel Messi

As previously mentioned, Barcelona reached the top of the Money League for the very first time as they stole top spot away from fierce rivals Real Madrid. 

La Blaugrana became the first club to break the €800m barrier as they earned a whopping €840.8m (£741.1m). Moreover, Barcelonabrought in £73.6m more than second-placed Madrid – the gap between the top two has never been bigger in the 23 years in which Deloitte has tracked income. 

Perhaps what is most impressive (or frightening) is that Barça are expected to continue to grow at an alarming rate, with the club expected to break the €1bn barrier in the coming years. Their rapid growth is said to be put down to their decision to take charge of their own merchandise and licensing operations. 

​Deloitte’s official 2020 report states: “The club has a published 2015-21 strategic plan which focuses on diversifying and internationalising sources of revenue. 

“Barça is a clear example of a club adapting to changing market conditions, reducing its reliance on broadcast revenue and focussing on growing revenues within their control.”

Fair play, Barcelona.


Spurs Richest London Club

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-BRIGHTON

​Tottenham Hotspur moved above ​Arsenal and ​Chelsea into eighth place in the Money League and, as a result, they became London’s richest club. 

The north London side move up to eighth by increasing revenue 21% to £459.3m (€521.1m). Deloitte claim that Spurs’ increased revenue was ‘largely attributable to revenue from broadcasters’ and ‘commercial sources’.

Broadcast revenue growth of £43.2m (22%) was driven by the fact that the north London side were able to make the final of the Champions League last season, while commercial growth of £30.7m (30%) was ‘fuelled’ by additional bonuses from major commercial partners (AIA and Nike).

Spurs are expected to continue growing, with the completion of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium also playing a vital role in their upward trajectory. 


Premier League Clubs Continue to Dominate Top 20 

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-MAN CITY

While one Premier League side may have dropped out of the top 20 in this year’s Money League, English clubs still dominate the standings. Overall, eight of the top 20 teams are English, whereas in comparison, there are only four Italian sides (Juventus, Inter, Roma and Napoli) inside the top 20.

Elsewhere, there are three Spanish sides (Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid), while there are also three German sides (Bayern Munich, ​Borussia Dortmund and Schalke). Lastly, there are two French sides (Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon). 

The top English side was Manchester United once again , who finished third, while ​Everton placed 19th in the standings – two places lower than in Deloitte’s last report. ​Liverpool remain in seventh, despite their Champions League success. 


Importance of Champions League Football

UEFA Champions League"Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FC"

The Champions League is a competition every club wants to be involved in, and Deloitte’s Money League has once again underlined the importance of it in a financial sense. 

​Manchester United’s revenue increased by £37.3m (6%) and Deloitte claim that this was ‘almost wholly driven’ by a return to the Champions League, the ‘improved distribution from UEFA’ for the new rights cycle, and also because the Red Devils reached the quarter final of the competition last season. 

However, it is not all positive news for the Red Devils…actually, far from it. 

The report adds: “With the club failing to qualify for the Champions League in 2019/20, Manchester United find themselves in a precarious position in Money League terms.

“The risks the club are facing in Money League terms could be further exacerbated by the likely negative revenue impact to some key commercial deals of a failure to participate in the Champions League for two or more consecutive seasons.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

United predict revenue of £560-580m in 2019/20 and this will likely see the club fall to its lowest ever Money League position in Deloitte’s next edition.

“This could also put the Red Devils at risk of losing its position as the Premier League’s highest revenue generating club for the first time in Money League history,” the report continues.

As for Arsenal, they fell two places to 11th – the club’s lowest position in the Money League since 2000/01. Deloitte claim that this highlights the financial consequences of their absence from the Champions League for a second consecutive season. 

While they did reach the Europa League final last season, this was not enough to see them keep their place inside the top ten. They are also no longer north London’s highest revenue generating club, with Spurs having overtaken them. 


The CR7 Effect 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Fans will long argue over whether Lionel Messi is a better player than ​Cristiano Ronaldo, or in other words, who the G.O.A.T. really is. 

However, what cannot be argued with is the fact that Ronaldo has a very large fanbase. In fact, Deloitte note that the Portuguese superstar actually has more followers on Instagram than both Real Madrid and Barcelona combined – combined!

As a result, he ‘undoubtedly’ increased ​Juventus’ commercial appeal. The Italian side regained their spot inside the top ten, with their revenue increasing by €65.2m (17%).

Ronaldo’s arrival has clearly had a massive impact on the club. Deloitte said: “Juve were able to leverage this position, notably with adidas, who paid a €15m resigning bonus, in part due to an increase in brand visibility in 2018/19.”


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Unionistas de Salamanca: Brief History of Real Madrid’s Opponents as Celebration Video Goes Viral

Third tier ​Unionistas de Salamanca are celebrating being drawn with Real Madrid in the third round of the Copa del Rey. However, the club didn’t even come into existence until 2013 and when they played their debut season in 2014/15, Real were reigning European champions.

Both clubs have actually enjoyed much success in recent years. Having finally managed their elusive Decima in the Champions League in 2014, Real reclaimed the trophy for an 11th time in 2015/16, went on to become the first club in the post-1992 era to retain it a year later, before then managing to complete a historic ‘three-peat’ in 2017/18 – a 13th title overall.

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID

Since 2013, Real have also won the Copa del Rey, La Liga and four FIFA Club World Cups.

Unionistas have had their own success. In their very first season, the club won promotion from provincial sixth tier, followed by a second immediate promotion from the fifth tier Primera Regional.

Two seasons in the fourth tier Tercera Division ended with promotion to Segunda Division B Group 2 in 2018, the same level of the Spanish football pyramid as many of the country’s top-flight B teams, including those of Athletic Club, Real Sociedad and Osasuna.

Last season, in their first year in the third tier, Unionistas finished ninth of 20 in Group 1 of the regionalised league. They also reached the Copa del Rey second round in their first-ever entry into the national cup competition, but fell to fourth tier Lorca.

This season, Unionistas are having a difficult league season and face relegation back to the Tercera Division unless things improve in the second half of the campaign. But their glamour – more than glamour, even – Copa tie with Real Madrid is the perfect respite.

Unionistas have reached the third round of the competition, which equates to the last 32, by beating Mallorca-based Atletico Balaeres by a single goal to nil in round one and then prevailing 8-7 against Deportivo La Coruna on penalties in the second round.

Deportivo may have fallen on hard times since being crowned La Liga champions back in 2000, but Unionistas’ win was still a significant upset against a second tier side.

The next round will be played on 22 January in Salamanca. And while it will more than likely be a heavily rotated Real side without most of the club’s star names, it will still be by far the biggest night in Unionistas’ short history. Seeing Real’s name drawn was cause for celebration alone.

Unionistas’ existence is even more romantic than simply a new club facing Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. High level football did previously exist in the city Salamanca, but UD Salamanca were dissolved in 2013 after 90 years of history, folding under a cloud of financial trouble.

UD were a La Liga club for much of the 1970s and spent three further seasons in the top flight as recently as the late 1990s. Back in 1977, they even reached the last four of the Copa del Rey.

What Unionistas are is a phoenix club, the creation of heartbroken UD fans determined to protect the legacy of football in Salamanca. Facing Real Madrid is further proof it was all worth it.


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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Real Madrid Join Race for Timo Werner After Growing Frustrated With Current Strikers

​Real Madrid are the latest side to express an interest in RB Leipzig hitman Timo Werner, having grown frustrated with their lack of depth at striker this season.

Karim Benzema has been a star for Real this season, but neither Luka Jović nor Mariano Díaz has impressed behind him. Jović, who joined for £54m during the summer, has managed just one goal in 17 appearances, while Mariano is yet to actually feature in either La Liga or the Champions League this season.

Manuel Akanji,Timo Werner

Fortunately, ​Benzema has been on a tear this year, racking up 16 goals and seven assists in 24 games, but Zinedine Zidane wants more competition for places. According to ​Sky Deutschland, Werner is seen as the perfect candidate to offer exactly that.

However, they are only interested in a summer move for the German, who sits on 23 goals and ten assists in just 25 appearances, and Leipzig are not even thought to be prepared to sell in January as they currently find themselves top of the ​Bundesliga.

Speaking on the Transfer Update Show, Marc Behrenbeck revealed that it is seen as just a matter of time before ​Real approach Werner.

Luka Jovic

“Karim Benzema is very likely to renew his contract again, but they are not satisfied with Luka Jović and Mariano Díaz,” Behrenbeck confirmed.

“A new striker should arrive soon, and Timo Werner is at the top of the list. His release clause should be between €30m and €60m, depending on how successful he is. For a player of his calibre, that’s relatively little money.”

Real like the fact that Werner has a release clause which, even at its highest point of €60m, is comfortably affordable. They would be able to negotiate with him with very little effort, which appeals to Los Blancos.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-DUSSELDORF-LEIPZIG

However, the main concern is the potential competition they may face. Long-term admirers ​Bayern Munich may choose to involve themselves in discussions, while Werner is also understood to be on ​Chelsea’s list of potential targets.

If he continues this form, there will be plenty of other suitors who cannot resist trying to sign him, which makes for an incredibly intriguing saga.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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The Bulls**t-O-Meter: Ranking How Ridiculous January’s Transfer Rumours Really Are

It feels like no time at all since the halcyon days of the summer, when the temperatures reached double figures, the taps were well and truly aff, and we were awash in nonsensical transfer speculation surrounding a ‘who’s who’ of Europe’s top players.

It’s been a quick few months since, with plenty of actual football to pass the time, but now the January window is open, it’s time to dust ourselves down and do it all again. 

In the modern climate where anything with a searchable headline passes as ‘news’, however, we need some help in filtering the good from the bad, the worthwhile from the worthless, and the genuine from the just not happening. 

To aid us with that, we’ve dug out, dusted off, and plugged in the old Bulls**t-O-Meter, and run a few of January’s most talked-about transfer rumours through it. 


Jarrad Branthwaite

Ben Chapman,Jarrad Branthwaite

Linked Clubs: Aston Villa, Celtic, Everton, Leicester, Newcastle, Rangers

Carlisle United’s ‘giant starlet’, as he has hilariously been monikered, looks to have attracted Premier League interest with his performances in League Two this season. The humungous man-child, the Cumbrian De Ligt (who is actually only around 6ft 3′ according to our Blues correspondent ​Chris Deeley) looks dead certain to be signing elsewhere this month. 

He’s been linked with virtually every mid-range club in the ​Premier League, as well as the big two in Scotland, although it’s the Toffees who currently lead the way – it seems they have tabled at least one bid as things stand. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Absolutely Nailed On

Likelihood of January Move: Very Strong

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 1/10


Christian Eriksen​

Christian Eriksen

Linked Clubs: Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United

​The Danish midfielder has been flirting with leaving ​Tottenham for about two years now, but on the first of the month, he entered the final six months of his deal – signalling his availability for pre-contract negotiations.

With no new deal in sight since the appointment of José Mourinho, his departure either now or in the summer looks a tacked-on certainty. Inter look to be the current favourite, as they target a £20m deal that would see him join the club immediately, and that may make sense for Spurs to avoid losing a valuable asset for free. 

Minimal poo here, with perhaps only some lazy reporting giving it the distant hint of a faecal aroma. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Nailed On

Likelihood of January Move: Fairly Strong

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 2/10


Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho


Linked Clubs: Chelsea, Manchester United 

Since moving to ​Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City’s youth academy, Jadon Sancho has been nothing short of a Bundesliga revelation. He has been obscenely good, and only seems to be getting better, having tallied up 19 goal-involvements in 15 league appearances since August. 

With that sort of form of course comes interest from his homeland, and while it seems unlikely that Dortmund will sign off on a departure for anything short of a stupendous transfer fee this month, it does seem likely he will return to England down the line. 

A good deal of the reporting on it has of course been virtually made-up for clicks, making it near-impossible to tell what is legit and what isn’t. But the fact there seems to be plenty substance buried in it somewhere means it can’t rank too highly. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Strong

Likelihood of January Move: Unlikely

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 4/10


Cristhian Stuani

Cristhian Stuani

Linked Clubs: Barcelona

Oh for the love of…

Ok, so the story here goes that Barcelona are in need of short-term cover up front (thanks, Luis Suarez’s knee) and aren’t prepared to go for another high-profile Kevin Prince-Boateng type, since that stung their palms last January. 

Their search has, apparently, led them towards the on-fire Stuani, who hammered in 19 La Liga goals for Girona last season, and has followed that up with 16 in 18 in the Segunda Division following their relegation. 

Who knows with this one? It could simply be as lazy a rumour as it gets, simply because he currently plays in Catalonia, but it could equally just be a really unambitious move from Barcelona that would likely lead to riots on the streets. Time will tell which…

Possibility of Future Transfer: Barcelona or bust

Likelihood of January Move: Reasonable

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 5/10


Christian Kabasele

Andy Madley,Christian Kabasele

Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle, West Ham

Watford have five good games, and all of a sudden their 28-year-old centre-back – who missed their last game with a red card suspension – is a target for Arsenal and Manchester United. Smells like the transfer window. 

Come on. Just…come on. West Ham and Newcastle interested, you could almost see. Manchester United and Arsenal? Behave yourselves. 

No surprise this one originated from the least trustworthy tabloid of them all, the ever-reputable [information redacted for liability purposes]. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Reasonable? Depends on Watford’s survival? Who knows

Likelihood of January Move: Not hugely likely

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 7/10


Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly

Linked Clubs: Manchester City, Manchester United

The stench of sh*t on this one doesn’t come from the suggestion that Kalidou Koulibaly, once considered the best defender in history before Virgil van Dijk knocked him off his pedestal with a towering header, could leave Napoli in future. It comes from claims that he could leave in January. For Manchester United.

The idea that either of the Manchester clubs, in fact, would invest north of £70m on a new centre-back mid-season, regardless of how inhumanly good that centre-back is, is just silly. We all know how particular Pep Guardiola is with his central defenders, and Manchester United literally just broke the world transfer record for a defender in the summer to land Harry Maguire (ok, that hasn’t quite worked out for them, but still).

Think about these things before you mindlessly report them. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Mild

Likelihood of January Move: Not happening is it? 

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 8/10


Kylian Mbappe

TOPSHOT-FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-MONACO

Linked Clubs: Liverpool, Real Madrid

*screams endlessly into the abyss*​

Believe it or not, there are Liverpool fans out there who actually think, and expect, Kylian Mbappé to join them. If not this month, then in the summer.

What on earth are they all taking? There is not a chance – and I mean that, not a single chance – that they will sign him in the foreseeable future. 

They don’t need it, they’re not even close to needing it. They are not even in the same postcode as a team that needs it. Nor can they afford it, really, considering it would surely cost a world record fee to lure him to Anfield. 

This one would require Sadio Mané or Mo Salah to rock the boat with a surprise transfer request, but even if that happened, it’s likely the Reds would turn their attentions to making another star, rather than buying one. 

So, a request to you fools who ​have #Mbappe2020 trending, just because both Liverpool and Mbappé are sponsored by Nike: stop it. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Possible-ish, if PSG’s owners withdraw their funding, or Real Madrid bid Jeff Bezos’ entire net worth

Likelihood of January Move: *bangs head off desk at the thought of reading another story about it*

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: *DING DING DING* 10/10!!!


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