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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Eden Hazard drops hints at 2019 Chelsea exit

Eden Hazard has dropped his biggest hint yet he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Belgium international has 18 months remaining on his contract and has been linked with both Real Madrid and Paris St Germain and admits a summer departure from Stamford Bridge is possible. Football punters have also been backing his exit with an offer from betdaq, at odds that are surely likely to only get shorter as the summer nears. Hazard himself has played up his interest in joining Real in the past, saying…

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Luis Suarez urges Ousmane Dembele to be ‘more responsible’

Luis Suarez has said Barcelona teammate Ousmane Dembele should be “more responsible” after he reportedly missed training following a marathon nocturnal video gaming session. Dembele was dropped by the Spanish champions for last week’s shock 4-3 home defeat to Real Betis following what coach Ernesto Valverde called a “sporting assessment”. But sports daily AS reports that the Catalans are worried not only that he might be addicted to gaming, but also that it might ruin his career at the club. And Suarez, no stranger to disciplinary issues himself, says that…

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Barcelona confirm Ivan Rakitic hamstring injury

Barcelona have confirmed Ivan Rakitic has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury. Rakitic was substituted midway through the second half of Croatia’s 3-2 Nations League win against Spain, in which Tin Jedvaj scored a late winner. Coach Zlatko Dalic subsequently confirmed Rakitic would not travel with Croatia to London for Sunday’s decisive clash with England. And Barcelona announced on Saturday scans have found Rakitic has a hamstring injury in his right leg, with no timescale given for his recovery. ❗ [INJURY NEWS] @ivanrakitic has a hamstring strain in his right leg. His return…

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Griezmann reveals reason behind Barcelona snub

Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann has revealed playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona was a factor in his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann was heavily linked with a switch to Camp Nou before the World Cup as many Barca fans became excited at the prospect of seeing the France international playing alongside Messi. The striker seemed set for the move before doing a U-turn and pledging his future to Atleti in a Twitter video, Griezmann ultimately signing a contract extension until 2023 in June. Speaking about the transfer saga to Canal Plus on Sunday, Griezmann admitted…

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Real Madrid confirm Solari appointment as permanent manager

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari’s appointment as their permanent manager after receiving approval from the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday. With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the…

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Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui after Clasico rout

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Real Madrid manager after just 14 matches that culminated in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Barcelona in el Clasico at the Nou Camp. Former Real player and current coach of the Castilla Santiago Solari will “provisionally” be in charge of the first team until a successor is named, the club confirmed in a statement Monday night. The Spaniard succeeded Zinedine Zidane in June and took a training session on Monday but his fate was confirmed following a board meeting. Real, Champions League winners for the past three…

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De Gea breaks silence amid Manchester United contract uncertainty

David de Gea has said that his focus remains on his on-field performances amid uncertainty over his Manchester United future. Manager Jose Mourinho admitted that he is not optimistic that the goalkeeper will pen a new deal with the club, with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season. The club retain the right to extending De Gea’s deal automatically by another year but that has not stopped transfer links with Juventus, with reports suggesting they’ll swoop in to sign the Spaniard on a free. Despite…

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Real Madrid and Barcelona Aiming to Make Amends

Luis Suarez, Barcelona

So often dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid, the level of genuine competition for the league title in Spain is often called into question, however, the start of the 2018-19 campaign in LaLiga has been anything but straightforward for the two habitual favourites. Real Madrid have been struggling to find their form and rhythm under Julen Lopetegui of late, particularly finding the back of the net, while many believe the team is missing a vital component following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer. Especially after the…

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Jose Mourinho denies interest in Real Madrid job for a second time

Jose Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over at Real Madrid, stating he wishes to stay as Manchester United manager beyond his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2020. Reports in Spain have claimed Mourinho is seen by Real as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui following the European champions’ disappointing start to the season. They sit seventh in La Liga, four points behind the leaders Barcelona, following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante. Yet asked about potentially becoming Real manager for a second time having managed the…

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Lionel Messi ruled out of clasico with fractured arm in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi will miss next week’s clasico against Real Madrid with a fracture in his right arm, Barcelona have announced. Messi was injured when he fell awkwardly in the first half of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Sevilla, and the Argentinian now faces three weeks out. Barcelona said on Twitter: “Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks. FuerzaLeo.” ❗ [INJURY NEWS] Tests carried out on…

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Lopetegui ‘encouraged’ despite historic Real Madrid loss

Julen Lopetegui has said he his not worried about losing his job after his Real Madrid side slumped to a surprising 2-1 defeat at home to Levante. The loss was Real’s fourth in five games and the result has put further pressure on coach Lopetegui, whose side remain fifth in La Liga, three points behind leaders Alaves and a point behind Barcelona, who have yet to play. “Right now that is the last thing that I’m thinking about,” said Lopetegui when asked if he was worried about losing his job. “I…

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Real Madrid make contact with Antonio Conte – reports

Real Madrid contacted Antonio Conte this week as the Italian is their first choice to replace Julen Lopetegui if he fails to turn his side’s fortunes around, according to reports in his native Italy. The club’s directors have held initial talks with Conte to see if the former Chelsea boss would be keen on taking over the reins. Italian publication Corriere dello Sport suggest current Real Madrid boss Lopetegui has just three games to save his job after a topsy-turvy start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu. Lopetegui will reportedly be sacked if…

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Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen ruled out for six weeks with hamstring injury

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to miss six weeks of action with a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with Belgium, the club has confirmed. The centre-back was forced off during Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines. The news comes as a blow to Barcelona with Samuel Umtiti also sidelined curently with a knee problem. There have been different reports over the severity of the French defender’s injury, and it’s still unclear when he will return to…

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Real Madrid sue over claims club forced Ronaldo to settle in rape case

Real Madrid have taken legal action against a Portuguese newspaper that reported the club forced Cristiano Ronaldo to settle with the woman who accused him of rape. Real said the information published by Correio da Manhã is “categorically false” and was printed in an effort to “seriously damage the image of this club”. Real said they have “absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which…

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Eden Hazard torn between new Chelsea contract and ‘dream’ Real Madrid move

Eden Hazard has admitted he is undecided between signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge and a “dream” move to Real Madrid. The Belgium forward has two years remaining on his contract with the Blues, but was linked with a move to the European champions in the summer. Hazard has scored seven times in the Premier League already this season. “I don’t want to say, ‘yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing,” the 27-year-old told the media. “I want what’s…

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Gareth Bale out of Wales friendly with Spain, doubtful for Ireland clash

Gareth Bale is out of Wales’ friendly against Spain on Thursday and is “50-50” for the Nations League match with the Republic of Ireland on 16 October. The 29-year-old forward was replaced in the 80th minute of Real Madrid’s 1-0 La Liga loss at Alaves on Saturday. “Gareth has got a little bit of muscle fatigue and he won’t be involved against Spain,” Wales manager Ryan Giggs confirmed. “We don’t want to take any risks and we are monitoring it every day.” Bale sat out training with the Wales squad…

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French Court set to rule on whether Benzema must stand trial

The Paris Appeal Court said on Thursday that it will rule next month on the validity of a blackmail case against Real Madrid star Karim Benzema and five other men. At a long-awaited hearing on Thursday, prosecutors asked the court confirm the validity of a police investigation into Benzema for his role an alleged attempt to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. In July 2017, France’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, annulled an earlier decision to send Benzema to trial and ordered the Paris court to review the…

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Ronaldo denies attack accusation, calls rape ‘abominable crime’

Cristiano Ronaldo has categorically denied accusations by a former model who says the soccer star raped her in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse suite in 2009. “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” tweeted the 33-year-old, who plays for Juventus in Italy’s Serie A. “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.” “Keen as I may be to clear my name I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense,” he said. I…

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Valencia apologises after ‘liking’ Instagram post calling for Manchester United to sack their manager

Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has apologised for inadvertently ‘liking’ an Instagram post calling for manager Jose Mourinho to be sacked. The Red Devils manager came under increasing pressure on Tuesday following a 0-0 draw with Spanish club Valencia at Old Trafford in the Champions League, a result that stretches their winless run to four matches after the draw against Wolves and losses to Derby County and West Ham. Fuel was poured on the fire by the 33-year-old, who liked an Instagram post criticising the manager after the draw, spurring new…

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Keylor Navas admits Real Madrid are missing Ronaldo after shock loss

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas admitted the La Liga giants are missing Cristiano Ronaldo after their goalless run continued on Tuesday. Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, extending their winless and goalless streaks to three matches. Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus in July, having scored at an incredible rate at the club, including 44 times last season. While Navas is keen to move on from the Portuguese superstar, he said his team had a big hole to fill following Ronaldo’s departure. “Cristiano left…

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Maradona urges Lionel Messi to quit Argentina and ‘send them to hell’

Diego Maradona has advised Lionel Messi to walk away from the Argentina national team and send everyone “to hell.” Messi has been omitted from the last two Argentina squads in the wake of a fraught World Cup campaign and doubt surrounds the Barcelona star’s international future. Argentina icon and former coach Maradona was asked what advice he would give Messi. “What would I tell Messi? To not come back any more. To retire,” Maradona told Clarin. “The Under-15s lose and it is Messi’s fault, the fixture list in Argentina puts…

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Real Madrid’s Isco set for surgery after appendicitis diagnosis

Real Madrid’s Isco could miss a month of action after the club revealed on Tuesday lunchtime that he has been diagnosed with acute appendicitis. In a statement published on their official website, Real said that the Spaniard is to have surgery “in the coming hours”, having been a surprise omission from Los Blancos’ final training session ahead of Wednesday’s league fixture at Sevilla. Real have failed to win any of their last four trips to Sevilla in all competitions, losing three of those games, and the loss of Isco is a blow…

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Modric breaks Ronaldo-Messi dominance to win top FIFA award

Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time. He beat Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah to the prize. Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each. At 33, Croatia’s run to the final was…

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Ernesto Valverde noncommittal over Barcelona future

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has admitted he is not sure if he will still be manager of the club next season. Valverde’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign and he confirmed on Saturday he has an option to extend the deal by another year. “I have a contract and I have a possibility to extend it a year more,” Valerde said. “The contract is there but we know what can happen in a season and the season is long. You have to see how the team does.…

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