Real Madrid Ready Summer Swoop for Liverpool Target Alisson

​Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker is reportedly top of a shortlist of stoppers lined up by Real Madrid to take over from Keylor Navas at the Bernabeu.

The Brazilian goalkeeper has been a standout performer for Roma this season, with Liverpool among those thought to be interested in the keeper.

According to Spanish publication ​Mundo Deportivo, Alisson could prove an attractive proposition for Los Blancos due to a lower asking price than they would be expected to come up with for Manchester United keeper David De Gea, Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois, AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and even Jan Oblak from Real’s city rivals Atletico.

Alisson has made 28 appearances for Roma in all competitions this season, keeping 12 clean sheets in the process.

By comparison, Real keeper Keylor Navas has kept six clean sheets in 21 appearances across all competitions this season.

Real have had a relatively disappointing season, and they currently sit fourth in La Liga, 19 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona but with a game in hand.

Los Blancos’ poor form this season has also led to speculation surrounding the future of manager Zinedine Zidane, ​with reports suggesting that the Frenchman could be close to leaving the Bernabeu.

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Wales Manager Ryan Giggs Insists Star Man Gareth Bale Is Happy at Real Madrid

Ryan Giggs has said that ‘there is no doubt’ that Gareth Bale wants to stay at Real Madrid.

Last month, reports surfaced that ​Bale had agreed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester United, however Ryan Giggs’ latest quotes seem to have put any possibility of that to bed.

“He’s happy at Real Madrid, he wants to stay, there’s no doubt,” Giggs told ​Marca. “He knows that the coach and the club respect him and he wants to show the fans what he is capable of.

“Bale has no intention of leaving and Real Madrid won’t sell the player. It’s clear that (Manchester) United would’ve been very good for him, but I don’t think that’s an option at the moment, he’s not going to leave Real Madrid.”

The Wales manager also issued Bale with some advice on managing his injury problems. “I played more than 1,000 games and I didn’t achieve it without managing myself properly, without listening to my body,” said Giggs.

“It is essential that the player knows how far he can go. At the beginning of my career I had hamstring problems and I missed a lot of United games, but I beat them.

“What I have told Gareth is that he must be calm and the rest will come. I know it’s not easy to do it, but you don’t have to be obsessed.

“Bale is a great player, one of the best, and for us [Wales], as has been demonstrated in recent months, he is fundamental. It’s clear that the team comes first, but in that team we need the best players and Bale is the best.

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“Gareth is a player who unbalances opponents. When he has been able to demonstrate his quality at Real Madrid, he has shown that his style of football is fundamental to winning games.”

The Wales manager, who spent his playing career with Manchester United, could not fault Bale’s work rate and desire to improve. “Gareth works hard to be the best.

“I think that today Messi and Ronaldo are above the rest, as they have been demonstrating for the last ten years.”

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Newcastle United Eye Deadline Day Loan for Real Madrid Outcast Marcos Llorente

Real Madrid starlet Marcos Llorente could leave the Santiago Bernabéu before the January transfer window closes, as Newcastle United look to secure a short-term loan for the 23-year-old.

The Magpies will have to go toe-to-toe with Deportivo La Coruña in the race for Llorente’s signature, with the Los Blancos hierarchy understood to be keen on letting the midfielder leave on loan, according to a report from AS.

However, Llorente is believed to want to stay in the Spanish capital for the second half of the season, with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane also eager to see the Madrileño stay at the club.

Llorente emerged as one of the most promising defensive midfielders in Europe last season while on loan with La Liga outfit Deportivo Alavés.

Since returning to Real Madrid in the summer, the 23-year-old has been granted six league appearances – completing 90 minutes on just one occasion.

(You may also like Newcastle Increase Bid for Feyenoord Striker Nicolai Jorgensen)

It is no surprise therefore that Llorente has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabéu this month. Despite being very much in Real Madrid’s long-term plans, their poor form this season hasn’t allowed much room for rotation in the squad.

Rafa Benítez has also already shown a willingness this season to delve into the Spanish market, with Joselu, Javier Manquillo and Mikel Merino all moving to St James’ Park during the summer.


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Agent of Inter Defender Milan Skriniar Teases News €65m Bid for Slovakian Star From European Giants

​The agent of Internazionale defender Milan Skriniar has confirmed that an unnamed European side made a €65m offer for his client this month.

According to ​Gazzanet, one of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United or Manchester City allegedly made the bid for the Slovakia international, who has starred for the Nerazzurri this season after his £20.7m move from fellow Serie A side Sampdoria in the summer. 

The 22-year-old has earned rave reviews for his performances, although Skriniar’s agent Karol Csonto, confirmed his client wouldn’t be leaving San Siro this month.

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He said: “I can not be too specific, but one of those clubs that came out, made an offer of €65m. He’s an excellent player and it’s no accident that these clubs are watching him. 

“We already knew yesterday and even the first day that Inter would not have sold Milan in January so it was useless. 

“One of these clubs was very interested as I said, I checked and we spoke with Inter and the answer was clear; at this point they can not afford to lose Milan Skriniar. 

Skriniar has featured in every Serie A game for Inter this season, scoring three goals as they sit fourth in the table. Skriniar also has international pedigree, amassing 14 caps for Slovakia since his debut in 2016. 

Now one of Europe’s most revered centre backs at the age of 22, Csonto did fan the flames of a potential move for his client once the summer rolls around.

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He stated: “We have to remember one thing, in the summer it will be a completely different situation.

“Until then, it remains for seven months and many things can happen until then. It could be a completely new situation.”


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La Liga President Javier Tebas Wants Neymar Return to Spain Amid Reported Real Madrid Interest

La Liga president Javier Tebas wants Brazilian superstar Neymar to return to Spain, with the ex-​Barcelona man being linked with a move to ​Real Madrid.

Paris Saint-Germain smashed the previous world-record fee of £89m for Paul Pogba, with the outrageous €222m acquisition of 2017 Ballon d’Or contender Neymar in August.

Since making the switch to Ligue 1 the 25-year-old has scored 26 goals in 24 appearances, while registering 16 assists in all competitions for the French giants.

However, rumours continue to circulate that the player isn’t entirely happy in the French capital and he has been strongly linked to the 12-time European champions.

But club and international teammate Marquinhos insists that the noise surrounding Neymar is nothing but a ploy from Spanish media outlets to unsettle the player.

Tebas – who threatened to block Neymar’s move to PSG over FFP concerns – now claims that he would be happy for Neymar to return and join up with Los Blancos.

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“I would like Neymar to return to Spanish football,” Tebas told reporters at the Spanish Sports Press Awards (via as).

“The team doesn’t have to be the same, but here [in Spain] we have to be the best and Neymar is it.”


​​PSG take on Real Madrid at the Bernabeu next month in the first round of the Champions League knockout stages, in a mouthwatering fixture football fans the world over will be watching.

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‘I Know My Qualities’: Soon-to-Be Madrid Starlet Vinicius Says He Has No Fear Over Upcoming Move

La Liga giants Real Madriid certainly left the masses surprised after agreeing a €43m move to bring in an unproven youngster from Brazil before he even made a first-team start. But they must know something other clubs don’t.

Los Blancos are expected to sign 17-year-old Flamengo forward Vinicius soon, although the timeline is still unclear.

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The player recently opened up on his impending move to Spain in an interview with Sport TV, and insisted that he was unperturbed by the magnitude of it all, despite Real being one of the biggest clubs in world football.

“I’m not afraid, I know my qualities and I know how far I can go,” he declared. “With the help of everyone at Flamengo and my family, I know I will fulfill my dreams.

“The people around me help me keep myself at peace.”

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Although he knows his days at Flamengo are numbered, the attacker says he’s only focused on the Brazilian side at the moment and wants to ensure that he’s ready when Madrid finally come calling.

“For now I’m only thinking about Flamengo, because until July anything can happen,” he added. “I have to learn a lot with people like Juan and Diego.

“I want to gain enough experience so that when the time comes, I’m prepared. I’m living every moment here as if it’s my last because I don’t know when they are going to take me.

“I met Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo and Casemiro, all the players I see in video games. I got to know them and it gave me a lot of joy.”

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Monaco VP Vadim Vasilyev Claims PSG Wonderkid Kylian Mbappe Snubbed Real Madrid in the Summer

​Monaco’s vice president Vadim Vasilyev has claimed that 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe rejected an offer to join ​Real Madrid from Monaco in the summer, despite Los Blancos matching Paris Saint-Germain‘s offer for the French superstar.

All eyes were on the striking prodigy last season as he tore through teams in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, and it looked a formality that he would join a star studded outfit at the Bernabeu, as Zinedine Zidane’s newest galactico.

However, PSG swooped and secured the player on loan with a view to buy next season for £166m. Real Madrid have since had a turbulent term and are currently placed a seemingly insurmountable 19 points behind rivals ​Barcelona.

Vardim Vasilyev claims that Mbappe wished to join PSG over the 12-time European champions as he felt he would get more game time at the Parc des Princes, despite being a huge admirer of Los Blancos.

“Real Madrid offered the same amount as the PSG,” Vasilyev said on the Duga program, directed by former French international Christian Dugarry on Radio Montecarlo (via ​Marca).

“I have always been clear and I won’t hide it, but I don’t like strengthening a direct competitor… I wouldn’t have done it, but I respected Kylian and his family’s wishes.”

Mbappe’s league leaders square off against the defending champions;​ in the first round of Champions League knockouts in February in a mouthwatering clash at the Bernabeu.

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Why Florentino Perez’s Mistakes Over a Decade Ago Could Spell the End of Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid

​”Zidanes y Pavones“, or in today’s terms Los Galacticos, was a vision crafted by Spanish businessman Florentino Perez 18 years ago on the dawn of a new age for Real Madrid. 

The ideology that a club, who ironically oppose an establishment donning the mantra “mes que un club”, could rule supreme while offering a sample of both otherworldly alien stars as well as homegrown talent. 

This mandate, in addition to a promise to rectify Los Blancos’ financial troubles as the 

Millennium drew closer, was the crux of Perez’s manifesto which finally secured him the 

Santiago Bernabeu presidency at the second time of asking. 

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Luis Figo was the first to become a modern day Alfredo Di Stefano as he switched Catalonia for the capital in a world-record deal, a strategic move which was as much about psychology as providing then-manager Vicente del Bosque with a world-renowned orchestrator. 

The Spaniard had taken the first step on his path of overseeing footballing dominance, proving to each of his voters and the Madridistas that predecessor Lorenzo Sanz’s reign was now simply a speck of history. 

However, it did not stop there. Perez’s innate drive to become all-conquering saw the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham sport the gleaming white, all the while still maintaining the heritage of “Pavones”

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The Spaniard’s globetrotter methodology saw instant success, claiming La Liga and the Supercopa in his first 12 months of office, before adding the Champions League, European Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup the following season. 

It seemed the golden trail for this golden generation was to be never ending for Los Merengues, who yielded another league title and Supercopa the term following. However, then came the poisoned fruit. 

Zidanes y Pavones” was derived from Zidane and Francisco Pavon, a defender from the production line of La Fabrica (The Factory). 

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While the idea of a balanced mix of homegrown, “Pavones”, and names that sell shirts, Zidanes”, seemed to flourish in its adolescence, maturing and maintaining the proposition was another issue. 

An imbalance across the XI due to Perez’s shortsightedness catalysed an unprecedented modern-day barren spell in the Bernabeu, resulting in four years from 2003 to 2007 without domestic silverware and failing to reach beyond the last 16 of the Champions League for seven consecutive seasons. 

Fast forward to January 2016. Zidane has been appointed as Rafa Benitez’s replacement at the top table of Los Blancos. Just six months later Europe’s biggest club prize is his. Then again the next year, although this time alongside it the Spanish title, the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup. 

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Again, the trend continues, this season’s Uefa Super Cup, Fifa Club World Cup and the Supercopa, however, that is where the book stops, and will most likely do so for the remainder of the term.

There will be no Copa del Rey in Madrid this summer, nor, unless a drastic turnaround, a league title, but we have been here before, just over a decade ago, have we not? 

While the mid-2000 failings fell upon the failure of a “Pavones” generation, today it is the Zidanes” who hold the secret. Los Galacticos is not a phrase adjacent to the modern-day Los Vikingos, simply because they are not a minority, aside from one. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the face of Los Blancos. A marketing extravaganza in itself. The one man who has his fragrance circling the pitch-side advertising hoardings as he struggles to find form on it.   

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However, could it be here where the problem lies? 

Perez’s resilience was an uncomprehendingly grand factor in his phoenix’s rise from the ashes 11 years ago, but the businessman is not naive enough to make the same mistake twice. 

Yes, Ronaldo has pulling power like no other on the planet within the footballing world, surpassing that on a brand level of even Lionel Messi or Neymar, however the president must now decipher which is more important for the longevity of his beloved Madrid.

Over the next six to 12 months, Perez could be embarking on a time which defines his legacy in the eyes of the Madridistas, and he will face one decision more difficult than any other. 

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Simply, Ronaldo, or no Ronaldo? 

While the former maintains the brand’s new levels of esteem around the globe, with it also comes a repeat of the oft-told shadows from a decade ago. The latter, meanwhile, offers the opportunity to rebuild, to return to type and to regain Perez’s Zidanes y Pavones” heritage. 

By no means is Ronaldo a spent force, however, should Perez put into practice mistakes learnt from history, his day in the Madrid sun could soon be coming to an end. 


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Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo Reportedly Open to the Idea of Summer Move to Chelsea

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly open to the idea of a summer move to Premier League champions  Chelsea.

According to the Mirror, the Portuguese star is said to be unhappy at the Bernabeu and would be open to the idea of a move back to England. The report claims that Ronaldo could be used in a deal to bring Belgian Eden Hazard to Spain. 

Speculation has surrounded Ronaldo all season long, especially with the former  Manchester United man struggling in front of goal this campaign with only 20 goals in all competitions – pretty low by his standards.

There has been talk for years now of Ronaldo returning to the Premier League and it seems quite unlikely that the Portuguese forward would be making a comeback anytime soon. With 426 goals in 420 games for Madrid, Ronaldo is a cult hero at Madrid and has recently dismissed rumors of a move away from the Bernabeu.

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 After a successful two years under Zinedine Zidane, Madrid seem to be hitting a block in the road – with a major upheaval expected in the summer. 

Madrid currently sit fourth in La Liga, 19 points behind leaders Barcelona.


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Lionel Messi Takes Another Record Away From Cristiano Ronaldo With Winning Barcelona Free-Kick

​A Monday morning in my life nowadays seems to be pretty much set in stone. Get up, breakfast, shower, walk the dog and then write about how Lionel Messi reached another milestone over the weekend. 

Well, today, once again, is no different. 

During Barcelona’s comeback win, which saw opponents Deportivo Alaves take a shock lead midway through the first half through former Manchester City flop John Guidetti before Luis Suarez evened things up with just under 20 minutes to go, the Argentine wizard of course had to have his say in proceedings. 

Despite a below par performance from the Blaugrana, including full debutant Philippe Coutinho, Ernesto Valverde’s side claimed yet another three points in their pursuit of La Liga title, and they had Messi to thank for it. 

With just over five minutes remaining on the clock, the 30-year-old was offered the opportunity to slot the ball past helpless goalkeeper Fernando Pachecho from a 20-yard free-kick, and although arguably the greatest player to have ever lived recently claimed his motivation is solely team based, he will take great pride in securing another personal milestone. 

With the converted dead-ball, according to ​OptaJose, the attacking maestro overtook rival Cristiano Ronaldo with the highest number of goals from a direct free-kick in La Liga since the 2003/04 season; 21 to 20. 

However, as well as that, Messi’s finish marked his 20th in the Spanish top-flight this campaign, a remarkable 10th consecutive year he has reached that feat, and considering he has not scored less than 23 times in the league since the 2008/09 term, I can see my Monday mornings continuing in the same vein for some time. 


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