Daily Archives: April 6, 2017
Marco Asensio focused on Real Madrid
Marco Asensio insists he does not think about playing elsewhere despite his lack of regular first-team football at Real Madrid. Asensio is in his first full season at Real Madrid but has managed only seven league starts this term under coach Zinedine Zidane. The playmaker was a regular while out on loan at Espanyol last term, while he was a key first-team player at his former club Mallorca. Despite his lack of regular first-team football, the 21-year-old is adamant that he is not thinking about playing elsewhere. “In the end I do not think about other teams or if I could play in other teams, I always think about Madrid,” he is quoted as saying in AS. “I found it difficult at first, but you have to work in the training sessions and be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes. “I already said that I wanted to stay and that I was going to fight for minutes.”
Bayern want to extend Alcantara contract
Bayern Munich want to extend Thiago Alcantara’s contract, according to Kicker. The 25-year-old, who has been one of the Bundesliga’s Players of the Season, is under contract at the Allianz Arena until 2019. Should he agree to extend his deal, Kicker claim Thiago would be worthy of a contact Bayern reserve for their ‘top class’ of players on the highest wages. Note that the 25-year-old midfielder has made 33 appearances for Bundesliga side during this season.
Patrick Kluivert: “Wenger to PSG? 0%”
The likelihood of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger taking charge of Paris Saint-Germain this summer is "zero percent", according to Patrick Kluivert. The PSG director addressed the rumour following their 4-0 Coupe de France victory over Avranches on Wednesday night. "Wenger at PSG? This is false," Kluivert told TV channel France 3. "Not true. There is a zero percent chance that this will happen." It's a move which Wenger has also denied, with the Frenchman insisting that there has been no contact with the Ligue 1 club.
Gerrard believes Hazard is among the top echelon of players in world football
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard believes Chelsea's Eden Hazard is not far off the absolute elite individuals worldwide. "Eden Hazard is operating at a level where he's just below the world's best," he said on BT Sport. "If you look at the top five players in the world, he's pushing them really close. His performance was phenomenal from start to finish. He's been the match-winner again for Chelsea. "People questioned him last year for downing tools, for not being committed, because his form wasn't good enough. They said that was one of the reasons Chelsea slumped but he's been firing on all cylinders this year. He's back to his best."
Jose Mourinho plots amazing £400M double transfer raid
Spanish sources are understood Jose Mourinho has plans for an amazing double transfer coup for Manchester United. According to Don Balon, the 54-year-old specialist is actively working on a long-term project to bring together Real Madrid star Gareth Bale and Barcelona ace Neymar in the same United team. The Red Devils head coach has told advisers he believes he can sign Neymar this summer and then land ex-Tottenham attacking midfielder Bale back to Premier League in the summer of 2018. Both deals, reportedly, could be worth £350-400 million in total.
Ter Stegen on Manchester United radar
Manchester United are eyeing Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The Premier League side head coach Jose Mourinho still faces a battle to keep hold of David de Gea amid Real Madrid's aggressive pursuit. And according to Don Balon, the 54-year-old specialist has drawn up a shortlist of potential replacements in the event they lose the Spain international. Gianluigi Donnarumma, Bernd Leno, Jan Oblak and Kasper Schmeichel are all under consideration, along with Ter Stegen. Note that just this week, the Germany international keeper refused to rule out leaving Barcelona this summer.
Arsenal to be fined for “not having a captain”
Arsenal will have to pay a fine for breaching a Premier League rule during the game vs Manchester City. Arsene Wenger was unaware of the fact that the team remained without a captain after Laurent Koscielny's substitution. The French defender who wore the captain armband in the absence of Per Mertesacker, suffered an Achilles injury and was forced to be replaced after the half-time break. A club that brakes this rule is liable to pay a penalty of £300 for a first breach. The fine is doubled to £600 for a second breach and doubled again, to £1,200, for a third. Wenger couldn't remember who was the designated skipper after Koscielny's substitution, saying, "No, it is a good question. Nobody asked me who is captain."
Wenger reveals reasons of Ozil bad form
Mesut Ozil struggled mentally after Arsenal were dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich, according to Arsene Wenger. Gary Neville questioned Ozil's work rate and suggested he could be holding out "for a £270,000 a week contract" before committing himself to the Emirates. However, Ozil grabbed the headlines on Wednesday night after a sparkling display with the opening goal - his first in nearly four months - in the 3-0 defeat of West Ham. He also assisted Theo Walcott's strike. "I feel that he is back physically. He is focused. I know him quite well," said Wenger reflecting on Ozil's struggles that followed the 10-2 aggregate defeat by Bayern on March 7. "He was hit hard by us going out in the Champions League - it took some time for him to recovery mentally."
Conte confirms: his future is tied with Chelsea
Antonio Conte has reiterated his commitment to Chelsea, dismissing speculation he could be tempted by a move back to his native Italy. The 47-year-old revealed in March that his family, based in Italy, were missing him. They are due to join him in London before next season. There has been an interest from Inter Milan, with Sky in Italy reporting that the Nerazzurri have contacted Conte's representatives over his availability. There has also been reported contact from Inter's rivals, AC Milan.
Zidane: “Nothing should be read into Rodriguez’s angry reaction”
Zinedine Zidane insists nothing should be read into James Rodriguez's angry reaction at being substituted in Real Madrid's 4-2 win at Leganes. The Colombian scored Real's opener in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, but the 25-year-old - who has been heavily linked with a move away from Madrid - was frustrated at being hauled off by Zidane in the 61st minute. "It's to be expected that he gets angry because they all went to play a full game," Zidane told the club's website. "These things happen and what I take away with me is his performance because he played very well. "I haven't got anything against James, quite the opposite. I bring him off a lot, but that's because he's an attacking player and he works very hard. There's nothing more to it."