Arsenal Set to Finally Make a Move for Real Madrid Striker Karim Benzema

​Karim Benzema, the experienced 29-year old-striker, finally looks like he will make his long awaited move from the Spanish La Liga to the English Premier League sooner rather than later. 

During most recent transfer windows his name is regularly mentioned with a move to these shores, but now it seems that this will finally materialise as this proposed transfer gathers credibility. 

The French international has long been a top transfer target for Arsenal, however they are one of a number of major clubs interested in capturing his signature. Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has long been an admirer of his fellow countryman and is very keen to secure his services to add to his array of talented striking options.

Spanish transfer outlet Don​ Balon are reporting that ex-Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is aware of the Gunners’ continued interest and has been for while due to his strong connection with the Spanish giants. 

The Manchester United manager seems to believe that Los Blancos would be extremely interested in negotiating a transfer to acquire significant funding, which will then allow them to pursue their own top target of Harry Kane, from Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, to freshen up their own attack.

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Karim Benzema is recognised as a possible replacement for the unsettled pair of Chilean international Alexis Sanchez and German international Mesut Ozil. 

Both players look increasingly likely to be leaving the orth Londoners over the next couple of transfer windows as they have failed to agree new contracts. 


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Report Claims Real Madrid Superstars Name Barcelona Goalkeeper as Perfect Summer Signing

Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo are desperate to see a new goalkeeper arrive at Real Madrid, with the former suggesting Marc-André ter Stegen as the ideal signing for club president Florentino Pérez, according to Don Balon.

The German shot-stopper is Barcelona’s top goalkeeper, establishing himself in La Liga after a €12m move from hometown club Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2014. Ter Stegen has gone on to feature in 104 games for the Catalonian giants, keeping an impressive 43 clean sheets.

Firmly established as Die Mannschaft’s second choice goalkeeper behind Manuel Neuer, and ahead of Bernd Leno and Ralf Fährmann, the Blaugrana keeper has caught the eye of Real Madrid’s key duo.

Ramos, the Spain and Los Blancos captain, has reportedly held talks with the club president in an attempt to convince Pérez of opening his chequebook to sign ter Stegen.

Ronaldo is keen on the prospect of seeing a new face between the sicks at the Santiago Bernabéu, the Portuguese star also interested in seeing ter Stegen swap Catalonia for Madrid, the Daily Star suggests. 

Borussia Moenchengladbach v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga

However, Ronaldo would also like to see the club make a move for long-term target David De Gea, as well as Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois or Madrid-based rival Jan Oblak.

Ter Stegen has a contract at the Camp Nou until 2022 and it would take a hefty fee, especially from Real Madrid, before the idea of allowing the German to leave is even considered.


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Brazilian Legend Kaka Wants to Hang Up His Boots: I Don’t Enjoy Playing Football Anymore

​Brazil legend Kaka has let out that he is interested in becoming a manager someday. 

The 35-year-old World Cup winner is currently playing his football in the MLS with Orlando City, but isn’t exactly having that great of a time.

2017 MLS All-Star Game: Real Madrid v MLS All-Stars

And with his contract set to expire at the end of the year, it’s looking like he’s ready to finally hang up the boots.

“I’d like to do like Zizou. He stopped playing, took some time off, he saw that he liked to coach and paid his dues in the youth system,” the Brazilian told Globoesporte (H/T ​Gianlucadimarzio.com).

“I could do like him. Continue playing? I don’t find enjoyment playing football anymore, I feel pain after every match. My body feels it and at the age of 35 it’s hard to recuperate”

New York City FC v Orlando City SC

Kaka started his career with Brazilian side Sao Paulo before moving to AC Milan, where he would lift the Champions League trophy, as well as conquer Serie A. 

He left for Real Madrid in 2009 after a six-year stint in Milan, but things hardly went as planned, with injuries slighting his career in Spain.

The player returned to Milan for a single season in 2013, later moving to United States to play for Orlando City, where he has been for the last three years.

Fans would surely love it if the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner tried his luck at coaching. It’s quite likely he’d be good at that too.

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Tottenham Pair Head Real Madrid Transfer List After Missing Out on Primary Target Kylian Mbappe

Real Madrid are looking to secure the signing of Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Harry Kane after failing to get Kylian Mbappé’s signature last summer, according to Marca.

Los Blancos were desperate to sign the French teenager after his breakout season with AS Monaco, going on to lift the Ligue 1 title ahead of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain. 

However, it was the Parisians who convinced Mbappé to return to the French capital, the 18-year-old agreeing to a loan move that includes an obligation to buy next summer.

Although Real Madrid have, to some extent, moved away from their Galactico transfer policy, fans at the Santiago Bernabéu are once again demanding high profile signings to maintain their European dominance.

Karim Benzema is one player whose position in the Real Madrid squad could be under threat as club president Florentino Pérez looks to Tottenham striker Kane as a possible new signing in the Spanish capital.

Despite previous links with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Spurs’ 24-year-old striker could be the perfect player to guide Madrid to further domestic and European glory over a long period.

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Alli is also a player being considered by Real Madrid, the 21-year-old being one of the hottest prospects in world football. 

However, the former MK Dons man would have to wait until one of Madrid’s star players left before a first-team spot would be guaranteed, with Isco, Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale all at risk of seeing their time with Los Blancos cut short.

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Former Agent Reveals the Shocking Events That Led to Claude Makelele Joining Real Madrid From Celta

​Former French Super agent Marc Roger has released a biography replete with several startling details pertinent to some of yesteryear’s biggest transfers, per ​AS.

Roger represented stars such as Thierry Henry, Laurent Blanc, Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira back in the day, and one of his stories, if not all of them, are sure to anger a lot of people.

Makelele, who played two years at Celta Vigo before moving to Real Madrid, will certainly go down as one of the best players to ever grace the Bernabeu, despite his stay being a short one.

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo X

The Frenchman left for Chelsea after a three-year stint with Los Blancos. But the circumstances surrounding his departure were certainly less shocking.

According to Roger, Celta were forced into allowing the ex-midfielder to leave to Join Real Madrid after a fake report was made to Spanish police.

“To force Celta’s hand we presented a complaint to the police stating that fans had attacked the player’s car,” Roger said. “But I threw the stones at his car windows, with Makelele’s consent of course.”

It’s crazy what people will do to force through a move! Would that sort of thing happen today? It’s unlikely to think Real would need to resort to such tactics given the money and lure they have. 


 


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PHOTO: Real Madrid Star Theo Hernandez Posts Extraordinary Pics With Gun Wielding Dwarfs

Real Madrid’s Theo Hernandez turned 20 years old on Friday and it certainly seems as though he had an outlandish party to celebrate.

The pictures released from the party involved guns, dwarfs and policeman, making for a very strange scene:

The image, released on the player’s personal Instagram account, clearly shows a strange scene where a couple of dwarfs in Real Madrid kits are holding a gun to the Real new boy’s head.

Hernandez clearly enjoyed his birthday shenanigans, which also included the less extraordinary family and cake pictures, with his caption reading:

“Many thanks to everyone for the congratulations, it has been and unforgettable day.”

The 20-year-old left back is also seen in a similar picture where he appears to be surrendering to the policeman, in what is another hilarious photo.

Hernandez only moved to Real Madrid this summer, for around £28m from Madrid rivals Atletico, but already seems to have pledged his allegiance to Real with the most recent images. 

Despite this, the left-back has been used frequently by Madrid so far this season, making just three appearances for the club, with two of them coming in La Liga.

The 20-year-old played in an astounding 32 games for Atletico last season in La Liga, but is clearly seen as one for the future by Real boss Zidane.


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Portugal Boss Fernando Santos Explains Decision to Start Ronaldo on the Bench Against Andorra

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has opened up on his decision to start Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench against Andorra on Saturday.

The Euro 16 champions bagged a 2-0 victory on the day, but only after Ronaldo came on to open the scoring with what was his 15th goal of his nation’s World Cup qualifying run.

Andorra v Portugal - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

The 32-year-old was also a booking away from missing Portugal’s last group match which comes against Switzerland on Tuesday.

And speaking to RTP (H/T ​Goal), Santos explained the thinking behind his opting to leave the forward out of the starting lineup. 

“I thought a lot. I thought, well, Ronaldo did not train 100 per cent in two of the days of work,” the coach insisted.

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“There were many factors that led to this decision. Games are complicated, I tried to manage and do what was best.

“Whether it was questionable or not… we ended up winning and that’s what matters.”

Ronaldo struck to give Portugal the lead in the 63rd minute of the match, then handed Andre Silva the assist for the second goal with a cross four minutes from time.

“We knew it was going to be difficult and it was notable the team had difficulties adapting to the pitch, and then with their defence very close, [we were] lacking momentum,” Santos added.

“I had to put Ronaldo on the field, another forward and everything improved. There was a period of adaptation, but from a certain moment we created situations. We ended up winning as well, as we wanted.

“We also had the goal of not taking cards and ending up without injuries. In the first half, we lacked momentum. They wanted it, but it was not easy because the ball was difficult to control.”


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Arsenal Eyeing Up Huge Swoop for Real Madrid Star as Potential Replacement for Wantaway Forward

​Arsenal are believed to be eyeing up Real Madrid star Karim Benzema as a potential replacement for Alexis Sánchez, as the Gunners have given up all hope of convincing the tenacious Chilean to sign a new contract. 

Sánchez is in the final year of his deal, and Arsenal could cash-in on the player in January to avoid losing him for nothing in the summer.

As reported by Spanish news site Don Balon, via the Daily Star, Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger is eager to lure the French international away from Los Blancos, and feels that he’ll be able to secure a reasonable fee for the player given his recent hamstring injury. Benzema hasn’t played for his side since early September, but is set to return after the international break.

The 29-year-old has a solid scoring record in La Liga, having netted 122 goals in 247 appearances despite having to play second fiddle to global footballing icon Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid have struggled so far this season, and currently sit seven points behind their arch-rivals Barcelona in a hotly contested race for the 2017/18 league title.

Benzema would certainly be quality addition to Arsenal, and the French connection he has with Wenger could go a long way in convincing him to join the Gunners. The former Lyon man has 81 caps for his country, and has scored 27 goals. 

Wenger’s side could also benefit from the player’s extensive experience of winning, as the player has racked up four Ligue Un titles, two La Ligas and three Champions League trophies during his illustrious career. 


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Player Power: Luka Modric Rant Leads to Zlatko Dalic Replacing Ante Cacic as Croatia Manager

​Croatia’s draw against Finland in Rijeka on Friday evening has put the national team at risk of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Croatian national team’s most influential player and captain, Luka Modric was upset with the team’s result and blamed manager Ante Cacic for their poor form.

2017 China Cup International Football Championship - Third Place Match

As a result of the 32-year-old’s rant, the Croatia board have sacked Cacic and appointed Zlatko Dalic as the new manager, the ​Independent reports.

Following Croatia’s draw with Finland which saw Iceland go top of group I in the qualifiers, Modric took to the press to vent his frustrations at Cacic: 

“What do we do now? We started with him and now we have to just keep going,” the captain said. “Until our match with Iceland, everything was fine and now all of a sudden nothing is of any worth.

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“That’s the honest truth, the situation is catastrophic, but we still have a chance to make it right.”

In order for Croatia to qualify for the tournament, they will have to beat Ukraine in their upcoming match with the new manager at the helm.

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Modric showed his lack of trust in Cacic after brutally being honest about the plight of the Croatia side’s performance recently.

“What happened? Nothing, we have only just compromised our path to the World Cup,” he said.  “When we were looking for the goal, we had a few chances and initiative. When we scored, it was unbelievable that we would retreat against Finland, of all teams.

Al Shabab v Al Ain: Arabian Gulf Cup

“That Croatia was waiting for the final whistle against that kind of national team is…It is unbelievable that we are struggling against teams like Kosovo and Finland, where before we would have beaten them with ease.”

With Dalic in charge, many of the Croatia faithful including Modric will expect the team to get the win necessary to qualify for Russia.


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5 Unlikely Stars Who’ve Outscored Cristiano Ronaldo So Far This Season

After a long run of good form, picking up the Champions League, the La Liga title and the Supercopa de España, Cristiano Ronaldo’s good from looks to have stagnated so far this season, with the Portuguese man enduring an unprecedented goal drought in the league.

If not for his form in the Champions League, the Real Madrid star would be without any competitive goals this season. 

With Ronaldo having only netted only four goals from six appearances (a poor return by his impeccable standards), here are five undistinguished players who have notched more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo so far this season…

1. Simone Zaza

Appearances: 7 

Goals: 6

After a calamitous loan spell at West Ham United and Euro 2016 campaign, Simone Zaza looks as though he has finally put the memories of that Italy penalty miss to rest and is once again finding his feet.

After a six month loan spell with Valencia in the second half of the 2016/17 season, Zaza made his switch from Juventus to Los Murcielagos permanent in the summer and he has repaid his new club in kind. 

This season, the Italian forward has notched six goals from seven league appearances, including a hat-trick against Malaga, seeing him surge to second in the La Liga goalscoring charts, his tally for the season being bettered only by Lionel Messi.

2. Jamie Vardy

Appearances: 7

Goals: 5

Jamie Vardy looks to have another impressive season ahead of him in the Premier League. After notching only 13 league goals last season, the 30-year-old England man looks to have returned to the kind of form that helped Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2015/16.

Having already netted five times in the league this season, averaging a goal every 122 minutes, Vardy could well be on his way to notching upwards of 20 goals this season if his current form continues. A big contrast to his tally from last season and therefore warranting a spot in this list. 

3. Mario Balotelli

Appearances: 9

Goals: 7

Ever since leaving AC Milan for Liverpool, Balotelli has struggled to recapture the kind of form he enjoyed in his early playing days with Inter and Manchester City. However, a move to OGC Nice seems to have revitalised ‘Super’ Mario’s career.

So far this season Balotelli has been unstoppable in Ligue 1, notching five goals from five games, averaging an astounding goal every 72 minutes. The Italian’s two other goals have come in European competition as he scored in the Champions League qualifiers and Europa League group stage.

4. Vagner Love

Appearances: 7

Goals: 7

The Brazilian journeyman, Vagner Love, is currently plying his trade in the Turkish Super Lig with Aytemiz Alanyaspor. 

Although his side is currently sitting eighth in the league, one point behind Fenerbahce, Love is currently the league’s joint top goalscorer. Among the other three players to net seven in the league this season is former Swansea and Marseille man, Bafetimbi Gomis.

5. Wout Weghorst

Appearances: 8

Goals:8

AZ Alkmaar’s Wout Weghorst has proven pivotal to his side’s performances so far this season as he has netted over half of all their league goals so far this campaign. As well as displaying good form in the Eredivisie, Weghorst has been influential in the KNVB Beker, notching a brace in a 3-2 win over second tier side, MVV Maastricht.

Since joining AZ in 2016, Weghorst has proven to be invaluable to the Alkmaar-Zaanstreek outfit, scoring 13 league goals in his debut season, and the 25-year-old Dutchman looks set to build upon that tally this season.

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