Casemiro welcomes the interest of Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has welcomed the interest of Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho. The 25-year-old midfielder was linked with Red Devils this week, where 54-year-old specialist, who worked with him at Real, sees the Brazilian as an ideal midfield partner for Paul Pogba. According to Don Balon, the player's camp has welcomed the chatter, as they want to use this as leverage in new contract talks. Casemiro is happy at the Zidane squad, where this season he has established himself as a first-choice. Nonetheless, he could threaten to leave if Real refuse to consider new contract talks with his agents in the coming weeks.
Daniel Alves pushed to return to Barcelona last month
Juventus fullback Daniel Alves pushed to return to Barcelona last month, it has been revealed. According to El Mundo Deportivo, the 33-year-old defender contacted Barcelona directors during January transfer window about a return when learning they were concerned about their fullback options. Having only made the move last summer, Alves has struggled to settle in Turin and has battled with injury. The La Liga side chiefs thanked Alves for his offer, but assured him he was not needed and that it was best for both parties to continue their separate paths. This revelation came just a day after Alves took aim at Barca's board over the way his departure was handled.
Valencia fullback on PSG radar
PSG are eyeing Valencia fullback Jose Luis Gaya. According to RadioEsport, the Paris club have posted scout Sylvain N'Diaye to watch Gaya in recent weeks. PSG chief Patrick Kluivert is in the market for a new defender as veteran Maxwell will leave when his contract expires in June. The La Liga side will be reluctant to sell Gaya, particularly after losing Paco Alcacer in August, nevertheless PSG do have the spending power to tempt Los Che into a sale. Luis Gaya has made 21 appearances during this season.
Europa League round of 16 draw results revealed
The results of UEFA Europa League draw are now revealed. Among the other clashes, the German derby Shalke 04 vs Borussia Monchengladbach and French-Italian drama Lyon vs Roma stand out. Jose Mourinho's Manchester United also got to know their opponents in the face of Russian club Rostov. Below we present all eight pairs to be played within the boundaries of UEFA Europa League round of 16. Celta vs Krasnodar APOEL vs Anderlecht Shalke 04 vs Borussia Monchengladbach Lyon vs Roma Rostov vs Manchester United Olympiacos vs Besiktas Gent vs Genk Kobenhavn vs Ajax The first-leg clashes will kick off on March 9. Second-leg games will take place a week later, on March 16.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona. PREVIEW
Spanish La Liga, week 24 February 26, 16:15 CET Venue: Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz Overview on Forms Atletico Madrid → W_W_W_D_W Atletico are on a 10-match undefeated run in Spanish La Liga. Last time they lost a clash in any of the competitions was the Copa del Rey semifinal game against Barcelona themselves (1-2). Not only they show results, they also how a pretty attacking football recently. It is enough to mention that in three last clashes in all competitions the Madrid side scored at least three goals, also showing impressive away game against Bayern Leverkusen within the boundaries of Champions League round of 16 first-leg (2-4). Barcelona → W_L_W_D_W Barcelona, in turn, are undefeated in their last 16 La Liga clashes. Last time they lost in La Liga was back in October. However, those who are following Barcelona in all the competitions, would have noticed that Luis Enrique’s side do not show the game they used to show. Alongside with the horrible game collapse in Champions League game at Parc des Princes (PSG 4-0 Barcelona), Barcelona won their last La Liga clash against Leganes only due to luck in the face of last-minute penalty. Many believe that Barcelona’s lack of ball possession in the recent matches give high chance to Atletico Madrid ahead to the clash at Vicente Calderon. Head to Head Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have met three times during the season 2016/2017. First time they met in September at Camp Nou, where the teams did not reveal the stronger one (1-1). What is more important however, is the fact that these teams played a two-game tie within the boundaries of Copa del Rey semifinals. These games can be a good indicator for the current forms for the teams, as the clashes were played in the beginning of February. Barcelona was obviously dominating the first clash in Madrid (1-2), however failed to win at home (1-1). Important to note that Atletico Madrid’s home clash statistics against Barcelona are worse than that of the away games. The Madrid side lost four out of last five last Barcelona clashes at home, though the only one won was the game which led Atletico Madrid to the Champions League final of season 2015/16. Missing Players Both of the teams lack defensive forces ahead of the Sunday clash. Juanfran is still sidelined for Atletico due to injury, while Diego Godin is doubtful for the clash. A severe injury in ankle fracture injury picked up in Alaves clash (0-6) keeps Aleix Vidal off the squad. The full list of sidelined players is presented below: Atletico Madrid → Tiago, Juanfran, Obrak, Fernandez (all injured) Barcelona → Turan, Mascherano, Vidal (all injured) Probable Lineups
Negotiations over Messi’s new contract have stalled
Negotiations over Lionel Messi’s new contract at Barcelona have stalled, reports AS. Barca’s star player is out of contract in the summer of 2018 and the Camp Nou giants are no closer to tying him down to a new deal. The forward’s father Jorge Messi, who also acts as his representative, recently spent time in Spain but he has returned to Argentina, having not advanced contract renewal talks with Barca. Messi has made 34 appearances during this season, scoring the same number of goals.
Real Madrid eye Monaco starlet
According to Marca, Real Madrid are the latest side to monitor Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old striker, who scored for Monaco in their 5-3 defeat at Manchester City earlier this week, is arguably the hottest prospect in French football and has prompted admiring glances from suitors across Europe. Real Madrid have been scouting Monaco matches for some time due to their long-standing interest in Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva but they are now interested in his teenage team-mate Mbappe too. The Bernabeu giants have received several positive reports on the 18-year-old, whose contract at Monaco expires in 2019.
Zinedine Zidane eye Monaco striker
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is taking a personal interest in Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe's profile has exploded this season and he already boasts a first senior hat-trick. Zidane has been following Mbappe since the youngster turned down a move to Real at 14. Despite the striker's decision, Zidane hasn't held a grudge and remains a big fan of the teen. The Real coach is convinced by Mbappe's potential and believes swooping for him now would be canny business for president Florentino Perez.
Petit: “Griezmann will join Manchester United”
Antoine Griezmann will leave Atletico Madrid and definitely become a Manchester United player, says Emmanuel Petit. "I think he will come to Manchester United, definitely,” Petit told Soccer AM. "He has a great partnership with Pogba in the national team, they are very good friends as well. "He will bring goals, assists and his winning mentality as well."
Zidane to make final decision on Isco
Zinedine Zidane will make the final decision over whether or not Real Madrid offer Isco a new contract, reports Cadena SER. Isco’s current deal expires in 2018 and the Spanish playmaker reportedly rejected an initial contract offer from the club as he wanted to see how much regular first-team football he would have in the second half of the season. Now, according to Cadena SER, club chiefs will wait to listen to coach Zidane’s opinion before deciding whether to offer the midfielder a new deal once again. Various clubs are interested in signing Isco but they could wait until the summer of 2018, when he will be available on a free transfer, to make a move for him.