West Ham Dzeko links return

Edin Dzeko

West Ham could be lining up a summer move for AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to reports in the Express. Dzeko, 33, played under Hammers manager Mauricio Pellegrini at Manchester City, with the Bosnian scoring 50 goals in 130 matches, on his way to winning the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, League Cup and Community shield. West Ham have struggled for goals this term, currently having netted 41 times in the league, and their top scorer is midfielder Felipe Anderson, on 8 goals. Dzeko’s goalscoring has also slowed…

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Gotze makes new Liverpool hint

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze has spoken again of his admiration for ex-boss Jurgen Klopp, prompting rumours of a potential reunion in the Summer. Gotze, 26, played under Klopp at Dortmund before both departed, with the Germany international heading to Bayern Munich for 3 years, before returning to the Signal-Iduna-Park stadium in 2016. But with just one year left on his contract, the World Cup winner, with 63 caps, has hinted that a potential link up with his old boss could be something he’d want to consider, having had discussions…

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Will Zidane make Real Madrid a force again?

Zinedine Zidane

There was widespread surprise amongst residents of planet football in March as Frenchman Zinedine Zidane announced he would return as manager of Real Madrid just 10 months after leaving the La Liga kingpins. The former player walked in May of last year after guiding Blancos to a third straight Champions League trophy, but the club has struggled to find success following the Frenchman’s departure and were delighted to see him sign a deal that would keep him in charge until 2022. Zidane arrives at the Bernabeu with the 33-time Spanish…

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Why Alvaro Morata is not the answer to Chelsea’s lack of goals

Back when at Real Madrid, he was the future of the Santiago Bernabeu, and indeed of Spanish football.  In 2012/13 he had made his breakthrough under Jose Mourinho, making regular appearances and even starting in el clasico, playing a key role in a 2-1 victory, and made 12 league appearances that year, netting twice. 2013/14 saw further progress, 23 league matches, scoring 8 goals as Carlo Ancelotti joined the club and Morata found his place in rotation with Karem Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria and an emerging…

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Chelsea sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £58m

Chelsea have signed Borussia Dortmund forward Christian Pulisic for 64m euros (£58m) but will loan him to the German club until the end of the season. The 20-year-old United States international, who was linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, joined Dortmund as a youth player in 2015. Pulisic has scored nine goals in 23 games for the US. 🤝 @cpulisic_10 wechselt im Sommer zum @ChelseaFC! Der BVB hat sich mit dem FC Chelsea auf einen Transfer von Christian #Pulisic mit sofortiger Wirkung geeinigt, Chelsea wiederum leiht den 20-Jährigen bis zum Saisonende an den…

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Mateo Kovacic eyes permanent stay at Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic has admitted he “can imagine” staying on at Chelsea, but acknowledges that Real Madrid will have the final say on his future. The midfielder joined the London club on a season-long loan from the European champions after becoming frustrated at a lack of regular playing time in Spain. Kovacic has taken to life in the English capital, playing 23 times in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, and with the possibility of a permanent switch now being mooted, the 24-year-old is open to staying if all parties reach an agreement. “I…

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Timothy Weah confirms January loan move away from PSG

Timothy Weah has confirmed he will leave Paris Saint-Germain on loan next month in order to gain more first-team experience. The United States international broke into the PSG squad at the end of last season, but has struggled to hold down a place in the current campaign and has not been in the matchday squad since August. He has only played three games in all competitions this season and hopes a loan move will help him improve as a player and put him in a better position to be a PSG regular…

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Lille reveal price for hotshot Arsenal target Nicolas Pepe

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe will only be allowed to leave the club for a fee of €80 million (£72m), according to the club’s sporting director. The 23-year-old has been linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs following an impressive start to the season that has seen him score 12 goals and provide five assists in 19 Ligue 1 appearances. Arsenal have consistently been mooted as a potential destination for the Ivorian international. “I hope he will stay this winter. We’ll do everything to keep him,” Lille sporting director Luis Campos…

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Peter Bosz set for Bundesliga return with Bayer Leverkusen

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Peter Bosz will make a return to the Bundesliga after being appointed by Bayer Leverkusen. The club confirmed the move on Sunday, as they announced Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his duties. Leverkusen beat Hertha BSC 3-1 on Saturday in the final game before the winter break. However, they have now let Herrlich go with the club ninth in the Bundesliga and seven points adrift of the Champions League spots. Bosz will take over the side in January. Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of…

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Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio ruled out with thigh injury

Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio will be out of action for sometime after suffering a thigh injury in his side’s 3-1 win over Kashima Antlers in the semifinal of the Fifa Club World Cup. The club revealed on Friday morning that the player has a grade II muscle strain in the right quadricep and that they are evaluating the situation. Asensio medical report.#RealMadrid https://t.co/Jx1Lnazh6Q — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 21, 2018 It is unclear how long Asensio will be out for but the 22-year-old will definitely miss the…

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Barcelona sign Valencia defender Jeison Murillo on initial loan deal

Barcelona have announced the signing of Valencia defender Jeison Murillo on loan for the rest of the season, with the option to make it permanent for £22.6m. The 26-year-old Colombia international joined Valencia on a permanent deal in the summer following a season-long loan spell from Inter Milan. However he has only played three times all season for Marcelino’s side – with his sole La Liga game in September. He has previously played for Granada, Cadiz and Las Palmas in Spain. Murillo will be officially presented as a Barca player…

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Lionel Messi wins record fifth European Golden Shoe award

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says he “never imagined having so much success” after being presented with a record fifth European Golden Shoe award. The Argentine scored 34 goals in 36 La Liga appearances in 2017-18, making him the highest goalscorer in Europe ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (32). Messi’s latest Golden Shoe award moves him one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won four in total. “The truth is I had no idea this would happen when I started,” said Messi. “I dreamt of playing professional football and enjoying success,…

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Barcelona’s Rafinha ordered to wear Adidas boots or pay fine

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha has been ordered to wear Adidas boots again – or face a fine of up to 1m euros. The 25-year-old thought his sponsorship deal ended in the summer and switched to wearing blacked-out Mizuno boots, but has been sued by the German sportswear giants. Rafinha said Adidas had not supported him through two earlier serious injuries and buried the five-year extension in his contract. “Although he is no legal expert, he knows how sponsor deals work,” the judge said. The player is actually out for the season after tearing…

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Arsenal face familiar opponents in BATE as Chelsea draw Malmo in Europa League

Arsenal face a reunion with their former midfielder Alexander Hleb after being drawn against Belarussian side BATE Borisov in the Round of 32 of the Europa League. Chelsea, who won the competition in 2013, take on Swedish side Malmo, with Scottish champions Celtic drawn to face Spanish side Valencia. The two-legged ties will be played on 14 and 21 February 2019. Arsenal are at home in the second leg of their tie and the game will kick off at 17:55 GMT on Thursday, 21 February to avoid a clash with Chelsea’s…

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Atletico’s Filipe Luis sidelined with hamstring injury

Atlético Madrid defender Filipe Luis looks set to be out of action for around three weeks after the club confirmed he has suffered a hamstring strain. The Brazilian left-back was forced off an hour into Atlético’s dramatic 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday. Atlético announced on Monday that, following an MRI scan, the 33-year-old sustained a grade one strain. Although the club have not set a specific return date, a rest period of three weeks is recommended after such injuries. As such, Filipe Luis will most likely miss Saturday’s visit of Espanyol and…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Yaya Toure leaves Olympiakos three months after rejoining Greek club

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has left Olympiakos, just three months after rejoining the Greek club. The 35-year-old’s contract has been terminated by “mutual agreement”. Toure, who was a free agent in the summer after leaving City, chose to join Olympiakos in September, where he spent the 2005-06 season. The former Ivory Coast international, who also played for Barcelona, made just two starts and two substitute appearances while in Athens. “Olympiakos and Yaya Toure would like to announce to the fans that they have mutually agreed to end their cooperation,”…

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Villarreal sack coach Javi Calleja after poor run of results

Villarreal have sacked coach Javi Calleja with the club just three points above the relegation zone in La Liga. A former Villarreal midfielder, Calleja took over as coach in September 2017, leading the Yellow Submarine to a fifth-placed finish and Europa League football last season. However, this campaign the club has struggled, winning just once in La Liga since September and progress through to the knockout stages in Europe is still in the balance. “Villareal has decided to rescind Javi Callejas contract as first-team coach. The club would like to…

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Ronaldo challenges Messi to leave Barcelona and La Liga

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that Lionel Messi “maybe needs more” after so long at Barcelona and has invited his eternal rival to join him in Serie A. Two talismanic performers who have cemented standings among the all-time greats spent nine years battling for supremacy in Spain prior to a stunning summer transfer window. Ronaldo’s decision to leave Real Madrid for Turin in a £90m deal has left Messi as the standalone five-time Ballon d’Or winner in LaLiga. Ronaldo has called on his great rival to join him in Serie…

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AC Milan Keeping Champions League Dreams Alive

Even though AC Milan have gone through a bad spell in the few past seasons. The once Italian giants are back to claim their spot in Europe. Their brave and fierce performances have led them to become competitive in the Serie A. Numbers don’t lie mind you, so that means from where they are this season it clearly shows great progress. This is actually brilliant compared to the other previous seasons. According to some USA sports betting sites, AC Milan is currently sitting on the fourth position in the Serie…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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Postponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Santiago Bernabeu

Conmebol has confirmed that the postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at the Bernabéu stadium, more than 6,000 miles away from the original venue, on 9 December. Fans of both sides will be given an equal allocation of tickets. Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday. However, three Boca players, including the former Manchester…

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Manchester United activate one-year extension on David de Gea contract

Manchester United have triggered the one-year option on goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract to avoid any uncertainty over his future heading into the January transfer window, according to a report in the BBC. His contract was due to end in the summer, allowing him to talk to overseas clubs from 1 January and sign a pre-contract agreement. However, United have extended his deal for another year. As manager Jose Mourinho confirmed after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Young Boys, United are keen to hold on to the keeper, who has won…

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Borussia Dortmund bus attacker sentenced to 14 years in prison

A German court has convicted a man on 28 counts of attempted murder during last year’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus. The defendant, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy rules, was sentenced to 14 years by the Dortmund state court on Tuesday. The Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team’s bus as it left a hotel for a Champions League home game on 11 April 2017. Prosecutors alleged that W took out a loan to place a bet that Dortmund’s…

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