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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Is it time for Chelsea to sack Maurizio Sarri?

Chelsea were once again defeated in the Premier League on Sunday by Everton for 2-0. Maurizio Sarri said that his team has reached a ‘limit’ and in fact, this could be true in lots of different ways. The Italian boss was probably thinking about the different in his side’s first and second half performance. He also said that in the first 45 minutes he saw the best performance of the season while in the second half his side had a ‘recurrent’ mental block. But will the limit he was talking…

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Solskjaer edges nearer and nearer towards full time United job

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as Man Utd caretaker manager following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho back in December, opinion was divided. The United faithful were ecstatic to have a club legend back at Old Trafford, but many neutrals argued that Solskjaer’s sole foray into management in England had been little short of disastrous. The Norwegian had been sacked from Cardiff following the Bluebirds’ relegation from the Premier League back in 2014, lasting just a few games into the Championship campaign before his dismissal. He returned to Molde –…

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Guardiola plans Gundogan renewal

Man City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated his desire to keep Ilkay Gundogan at the club beyond the end of his current contract, which expires next year. The Germany international refused to commit his future to the Citizens, admitting he could be tempted by challenges elsewhere when his current deal is finished. He did also imply that he is happy at the club, however – and so the former Barcelona boss is seemingly no closer to knowing whether to plan for life without Gundogan beyond next season’s climax or not.…

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Why fans should concentrate on supporting their teams the traditional way

It is not a common sight. You attend a football match generally to enjoy the entertainment on display, surrounded by hundreds or thousands – depending on the size of your club’s following – of like-minded individuals all gathering together to support and cheer on your team of choice. There are the usual matchday rituals, of course – and the walk to the stadium among a sea of shirts displaying your team’s colours always gets the hairs on the back of the neck to rise a little. When the game kicks…

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Ecstasy in Paris Has Luke Sure Solskjaer Will Get the Job

If it were up to Manchester United’s left-back Luke Shaw, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would immediately be awarded the job at Old Trafford on a full-time basis. Shaw was speaking after what can only be described as pandemonium in Paris as Manchester United pulled off one of the great escapes and gave their supporters a night in France’s capital that they will never forget. The 23-year-old is ‘certain’ that Solskjaer will get the job and in all honesty, Shaw probably speaks for everyone in the footballing world. Few things convince the…

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Claudio Ranieri Has Struggled To Turn Fulham Around

Right around this time of year, we start to zero in on the race fo the Premier League title. This year that’s looking like a particularly fun race, with Liverpool and Manchester City in position to battle down the stretch, and Tottenham not entirely out of the picture yet. Not everything is about the top of the table, however, and looking toward the bottom there’s an interesting story beginning to develop. Early season hire Claudio Ranieri has struggled mightily to turn Fulham around, and with the Cottagers facing the very…

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Pochettino rules out move for Rossi as Italian looks to prove fitness

Following reports on Thursday linking Giuseppe Rossi with a move to Tottenham, Coach Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out a move for the Italian-American in his weekly press conference. After being asked about the reports, Pochettino said: “There are many names that appear in every transfer window. I think he is another name to add on the list but it is only a rumour. We have not considered him.” The Spurs manager will be without star striker Harry Kane for up to 10 matches with an ankle injury, while Heung-Min Son will…

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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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Juventus confirm interest in Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey

Juventus have officially signalled their interest in signing Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey whose contract expires in the summer, and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs. The midfielder was set to sign a new contract at the club before it was withdrawn amid a cloud of mystery earlier this season. With only six months left on his deal, the 28-year-old is now free to negotiate with foreign clubs under the Bosman ruling. The Juventus sporting director, Fabio Paratici, said of Ramsey: “He’s a great player, we really like…

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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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West Ham sign Samir Nasri on day doping ban ends

West Ham have signed former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri – on the day he completes a doping ban. The 31-year-old Frenchman has been without a club since 31 January, after leaving Turkish club Antalyaspor. Nasri, who has signed a deal until the end of the season, served an 18-month doping ban for using an intravenous drip treatment but is available to play again from 1 January. He won two Premier League titles and the League Cup in six years with City. “Coming back to the most competitive…

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery fined for Brighton bottle incident

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been fined £8,000 by the Football Association for kicking a bottle which hit a Brighton fan during last week’s Premier League match between the sides. The FA charged Emery with improper conduct following the incident near the end of the 1-1 draw on 26 December. The Spaniard apologised for the incident, which was not included in the officials’ match report. “I said to them I’m sorry,” Emery said after the game. “It wasn’t hard but it touched one supporter.” An FA spokesperson said Emery had “accepted the…

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Tottenham extend Toby Alderweireld deal but activate £25m release clause

Tottenham will trigger the extension clause in defender Toby Alderweireld’s contract, but have also included a £25m release clause, manager Mauricio Pochettino says. The Belgium international’s current deal runs out next year but the club has an option to extend it until 2020. The release clause of £25m will apply up to the last two weeks of the summer transfer window. Pochettino said on Thursday: “It is the same situation as Jan [Vertonghen].” Spurs announced earlier in December that the club had extended Vertonghen’s contract until 2020. The Belgium defender is back…

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Napoli threaten to walk off over alleged racist chanting

Napoli have threatened to walk off the pitch if there is a repeat of the alleged racial abuse that defender Kalidou Koulibaly suffered during their 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan at the San Siro. The Senegal international lost his temper after being booked for a foul on Matteo Politano in the 81st minute and was sent off for applauding the referee’s decision. Ancelotti said Napoli had asked three times for the match to be stopped after Koulibaly was subjected to alleged racist chanting from the stands. Announcements were made on…

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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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Manchester City receive timely boost with Silva return

Manchester City have been handed a timely reprieve from injuries as the club announced David Silva returned to training on Christmas Day and is in the running to face Leicester. The Spanish midfielder had been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in City’s loss at Chelsea earlier this month, missing games against Hoffenheim, Everton, and the shock home defeat to Crystal Palace. The 32-year-old is now in the frame to play when City travel to Leicester on Boxing Day as Pep Guardiola’s side aim to claw back the four-point…

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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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Arsenal dealt injury blow as Mkhitaryan is ruled out for up to six weeks

Arsenal have been handed a blow in the packed festive season after midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was ruled out of action for up to six weeks with a fractured metatarsal in his right foot. Mkhitaryan, 29, was replaced at half-time during the Carabao Cup quarter-final loss to Tottenham and missed the Premier League win over Burnley. The Armenian has scored four goals and provided three assists for the Emirates Stadium side this season. He joins a lengthy injury list for Arsenal that also includes long-term absentees Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding, with both not…

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MLS Champions Atlanta United hire Frank de Boer as new head coach

Atlanta United have announced the appointment of Frank de Boer as the club’s new head coach. The former Ajax and Crystal Palace boss was only recently linked to the job vacated by Argentinean coach Tata Martino, and the club have now confirmed the hiring of only the second ever manager in its history. New chapter. Same mission.#ATLUTD name @FdeBoerOfficial as 2nd head coach in club history 📝 https://t.co/H2VX85UytQ pic.twitter.com/AT7rLstHHf — Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) December 23, 2018 “Frank de Boer has a distinguished background, both as manager and player, and…

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Inter Milan suspend Radja Nainggolan for ‘disciplinary reasons’

Inter Milan have suspended midfielder Radja Nainggolan for ‘disciplinary reasons’, the club confirmed in a statement on Sunday. The 30-year-old, who reportedly arrived late for training on three separate occasions in the last week, has also been fined a substantial sum of money. Nainggolan joined Inter from Roma for €38m in the summer and has since made 11 Serie A appearances for the club, with the latest a 67-minute appearance at Chievo on Saturday in a 1-1 draw. It is unlikelyNainggolan will feature in the Boxing Day fixture against Napoli. Inter are…

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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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Turkish club declare interest in Arsenal’s Ozil

Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir have declared an interest in signing Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil. The World Cup winner has endured a difficult season under new manager Unai Emery with many rumours of a breakdown in relationship between the two men. Ozil has been linked with an exit from the club with a return to Real Madrid or a switch to Inter Milan mooted as potential destinations but Istanbul Basaksehir president Goksel Gumusdag has thrown his side’s hat into the ring. “Mesut Özil is a very valuable player,” Gumusdag told BILD. “I hope that…

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Kaboul contract terminated by Watford by mutual consent

Watford have terminated the contract of Younes Kaboul by mutual consent, bringing an end to the defender’s two-and-a-half-year association with the club. Kaboul joined Watford from Sunderland in a reported £4 million deal in August 2016 and featured heavily in his debut campaign at Vicarage Road. The former Tottenham and Portsmouth centre-back has struggled with injuries since then, however, and has not been used since a 2-0 Premier League win over Southampton 15 months ago. 🐝 | The Hornets have agreed to cancel the contract of defender Younès Kaboul by mutual consent. Everyone at #watfordfc wishes Younès…

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