‘Unless you are Maradona, you don’t win alone’ – Ronaldo’s Juventus arrival doesn’t worry Hamsik & Napoli

New Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo will need assistance if he is to elevate the Turin club to Champions League winners, Napoli star Marek Hamsik has said.

The 30-year-old was part of the team that threatened to deny Juve a seventh-successive Serie A crown last season but ultimately came up short.

Nevertheless, he has seemed to hint that the arrival of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for a fee of €100 million (£88m/$117m) is unlikely to alter the dynamic of the league in any dramatic manner.

Indeed, his views seem to echo those of club president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who claimed he turned down Ronaldo, albeit for financial reasons.

“A single player, only one, never wins anything – even if you’re the best in the world,” Hamsik told Corriere dello Sport. “If you’re not Diego Maradona, you can’t win matches alone.”

[embedded content]

Maradona’s presence in Napoli from 1984 to 1991 heralded the club’s golden age, but with head coach Carlo Ancelotti arriving this summer to replace Maurizio Sarri, who belatedly moved to Chelsea, Hamsik is confident that they can reclaim the glory days after their near miss.

“We are always those same guys, one year older, interesting signings and team-mate who are returning from the serious injuries that stole them away from us last season,” he said. 

“The coup is Ancelotti, if you don’t mind me saying. Napoli has landed the most successful coach available. When Ancelotti told me that he wanted to take us over, he gave me more motivation.”

Certainly, Hamsik feels that there is no shortage of quality among his team-mates.

“This is a team that has gone very close to the dream twice, which is back in the Champions League. Lorenzo Insigne is one of the strongest players around at the moment. And if you’re the best player in a country like this, you’re a top player,” he said.

Article continues below

“Kalidou Koulibaly is valued at €100m, so if that’s his price, what would you call him?

“Then we will see what Piotr Zielinski will become: he’s a talent in its purest form. And they you can add Dries Mertens, who has scored how many goals in the last two years? Someone who scores 50 goals in a couple of seasons is what if not a top player?”

Napoli finished only four points behind Juve last season, and go into this campaign seeking to overturn that gap.


Matuidi invites Pogba to return to Juventus after World Cup win

Paul Pogba has been invited back to Juventus by Blaise Matuidi, with a current Bianconeri star eager to see the Manchester United midfielder join Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin.

A summer transfer for the 25-year-old has been mooted, with speculation having built steadily towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

With Pogba having seen his form and mentality questioned during a testing season at Old Trafford, various landing spots were touted for a man yet to truly convince under Jose Mourinho.

A second spell at Juve has been mentioned just two years on from an £89 million ($118m) exit.

Pogba is, however, now a World Cup winner, with his efforts having helped France to global glory at Russia 2018.

[embedded content]

He was on target in a 4-2 final triumph over Croatia, having starred throughout the competition after being granted the freedom by his country which is often denied him at club level.

United would be reluctant to part with a man buoyed by the biggest prize in football, with more now expected of him in 2018-19, but Matuidi would still like to see a fellow countryman back in Italy.

As France revelled in their World Cup win on Sunday, Pogba took to Instagram as he celebrated with his team-mates.

Matuidi was among those to get in on the act, with the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder telling a jubilant colleague: “Remember to come to Juventus.”

Pogba jokingly replied by saying “Ooh, the Old Lady, the Old Lady”, with spirits running high inside the French camp.

Any approach from Juve to bring Pogba back onto their books this summer appears unlikely, with their recruitment focus currently locked on other targets.

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to be the marquee addition in Turin, with the Portuguese superstar on the verge of completing a €100m (£88m/$117m) switch from Real Madrid.

Movement through the exits could free up funds for other additions, but Matuidi may be left disappointed as United look for Pogba to replicate his international form on a domestic and European stage.


African All Stars Transfer News & Rumours: Fenerbahce reach agreement with Bolasie

Fenerbahce reach agreement with Bolasie

Everton winger Yannick Bolasie has agreed terms with Fenerbahce as he closes in on a loan move to the Turkish Super Lig, Fanatik claims.

The DR Congo international is expected to join the Istanbul outfit in a matter of days following Marco Silva’s approval for the winger’s temporary departure.

Bissouma close to Brighton switch

Brighton and Hove Albion are close to completing an £18 million swoop for Lille midfielder Yves Bissouma, according to Record.

The Seagulls are set to beat Porto to the signature of the versatile 21-year-old who had a fine campaign in the French Ligue 1 last season.

The Mali international could be the second African player to join Chris Hughton’s side this summer after Nigeria’s Leon Balogun.

Trabzonspor keen on Didier Ndong

Trabzonspor have intensified their chase for Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong by submitting an undisclosed offer for the midfielder, according to Taka.

Ndong has attracted interests from Cardiff City and Serie A clubs including Fiorentina and Atalanta after seeing a £6.6million move to Italian side Torino fizzle out this summer.

The Gabon international is one of the top earners at the Stadium of Light that the club want to get off their books as they prepare for life in the third tier of the English league.

Napoli demand £80 million-plus for Koulibaly

Napoli have placed an £80 million price tag on Kalidou Koulibaly to fend off interest from Chelsea, Mirror reports.

The centre-back has been a long term target for the Blues but the Partenopei are reluctant to see one of their key players follow former manager Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho to the Stamford Bridge.

Olympiacos terminate Emenike’s contract

Greek giants Olympiacos have released Nigeria international Emmanuel Emenike after struggling regain top form, according to Gunes .

The 31-year-old is now a free agent this summer despite having a year remaining in his contract with the Legends.

Emenike joined Olympiacos from Fenerbahce in July 2017 and was sent out to Las Palmas on loan where he didn’t play a single game in the second part of last season.

Gael Kakuta returns to Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano have reunited with Gael Kakuta after the DR Congo international signed a four-year deal. 

The former Chelsea forward joins the La Liga club from Hebei China Fortune after spending last season on loan at Amiens. 

Check out the full story on Goal! 

Leicester City to offer Ndidi improved contract 

Leicester City are set to have talks with Wilfred Ndidi over an improved deal as a reward for his impressive displays in the past campaign, DailyMail claims.

The Nigeria international who was the best tackler in the English Premier League last season , currently earns £35,000 per week at the King Power Stadium.

Napoli in advanced talks with Sabaly

Napoli held a positive meeting with Youssouf Sabaly’s agents over a possible move, according to Sky Italia .

The Serie A side want to agree terms with the Senegal international before coming to the table with Bordeaux who have requested around €12 million for the right-back.

Wilfried Bony wants Championship fight with Swansea 

Wilfried Bony is keen on staying with Swansea City next season and help them return to the English Premier League despite reported interests from Besiktas, according to BBC .

The Ivorian managed just two goals in 15 appearances before a torn ACL ruled him out for the rest of last season.

Bony is eager to repay the club’s faith but the Swans need to drop their top earners in order to balance their books and adapt to the Championship.

Sako turns down new Crystal Palace offer

Mali international Bakary Sako has rejected a new contract offered by Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

The 30-year-old is out of contract this summer and might bring an end to his three-year stay at the Selhurst Park.

Sako’s former club Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly interested in signing him on a free transfer as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury he picked up in January.

More to follow on Goal !

Bournemouth, Hull City after Kasimpasa’s Diagne

English clubs including Bournemouth, Hull City and Reading are locked in talks for Kasimpasa attacker Mbaye Diagne, Turkish Football claims.

The Senegal international could be set to leave the Turkish Super Lig club less than seven months after joining them from Tianjin Teda in January.

Diagne scored 12 goals in 17 league games in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign – a run that attracted interests from England.

Ayew, Bolasie close to joining Fenerbahce

Swansea City forward and Ghana international Andre Ayew is close to joining Fenerbahce on a season-long loan, according to Ghanasoccernet .

Ayew who returned to the Liberty Stadium from West Ham in January, is keen on top-flight football after the Swans were demoted to the Championship last season.

Meanwhile Fanatik reports that the Turkish Super Lig side representatives are in England to convince Everton winger Yannick Bolasie over a loan move this summer.

The DR Congo international has struggled for form at the Goodison Park due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for over a year.

Stoke want Liverpool’s Sheyi Ojo in Shaqiri deal

Stoke City want Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo as part of the deal to take Xherdan Shaqiri to Anfield, according to The Sun .

The Potters are in talks with last season’s Champions League finalist to take the Anglo-Nigerian on loan as Shaqiri edges closer to a £13.5million move to the Merseyside club.

Ojo was on loan at Fulham last season and played a key part in ensuring the Cottagers return to the English top-flight next season.

Brighton in talks for Yves Bissouma swoop

Brighton and Hove Albion are in talks with French Ligue 1 club Lille over a summer swoop for midfielder Yves Bissouma,  according to DailyMail .

The Mali international is priced at £17.7 million and still has three years left in his contract with the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit.

Bissouma who moved to the French top-flight from Real Bamako in 2016, has attracted interests from Everton, Schalke 04, Tottenham Hotspur and Monaco.

Badou Ndiaye set for Galatasaray return

Senegal international Badou Ndiaye is for a return to Galatasaray this summer – after spending less than seven months in the English Premier League, Milliyet claims.

Following Stoke City relegation to the Championship, the 27-year-old is pushing for a move to the Turkish Super Lig and he is ready for a €750,000 pay cut from his current earning of €2.75 million per-year at the bet365 Stadium.

Chelsea agree to end Koulibaly hunt

Chelsea will no longer chase Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly after reaching an agreement with Napoli to sign just Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho, according to Napoli CalcioLive .

Jorginho is expected to join Sarri at the Stamford Bridge when he succeeds Antonio Conte but the Italian club will still have Jose Callejon, Elseid Hysaj and the centre-back in Naples.

Koulibaly has been strongly linked with the Blues this summer following his fine defensive displays last season.

Nabil Maaloul leaves Tunisia for Qatari club

Nabil Maaloul has joined Qatar Stars League champions Al Duhail after leaving his position as Tunisia coach.

The 55-year-old guided the north African country to the World Cup in Russia as his side managed a win and two defeats before their group stage exit.

Check the full story on Goal! 

Lyon turn to Ziyech as Fekir’s replacement

With Nabil Fekir set for new Liverpool talks after the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Lyon have opened negotiations with Ajax for Hakim Ziyech’s permanent switch, Mirror reports.

The Ligue 1 club are ready to beat Roma and Liverpool to the signing of the 25-year-old who is yet to confirm a new home after disclosing his intention of leaving Holland.

Last month, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag revealed that the Morocco international has a deal in place elsewhere .

Wahbi Khazri close to joining Saint-Etienne

Tunisia international Wahbi Khazri is finalising his permanent move from Sunderland to French top-flight club Saint-Etienne, Fox Sports claims.

The 27-year-old is set to ink a four-year deal with Les Verts that will see him earn an annual salary of €4 million [ £3.5 million].

Khazri was on loan at Rennes last campaign where he returned nine goals in 24 matches across all competitions.

Article continues below

Genoa approach Christian Kouame

Genoa have offered Serie B side Cittadella €4 million [£3.5 million] for the signing of Ivorian forward Christian Kouame, according to Football365 .

The 20-year-old could be heading to the Italian top-flight this summer after an impressive form of 12 goals and 11 assists in 43 league appearances last term.


Ronaldo arrives for Juventus medical ahead of sensational €100m transfer

Cristiano Ronaldo is undergoing a medical with Juventus as he finalises a sensational transfer from Real Madrid.

The striker agreed terms last week over a €100 million (£88m/$117m) switch to Serie A, a move that shook the world of football in the middle of the World Cup. 

Under the deal, Ronaldo will receive a bumper €30 million (£26.5m/$35m) a season contract that will run for the next four years. 

And, ahead of a presentation as Juve’s latest summer signing on Monday afternoon, he is in Turin to complete the formalities of the transfer. 

Ronaldo will be put through his paces in a series of physical tests before being introduced to the world as a Bianconeri player. 

[embedded content]

On Sunday he was snapped landing at Caselle airport in the company of partner Georgina Rodriguez.

Having spent a night in new surroundings, the 33-year-old was back under the spotlight on Monday morning as he headed for his medical.

A jubilant Juve fan base got their first look at the club’s new arrival, with thousands of supporters in attendance at the J-Medical centre – with many chanting “Ronaldo, bring us the Champions League”.

Ronaldo moves to Serie A after nine trophy and record-laden seasons at Madrid, where he arrived in turn from Manchester United in 2009. 

Article continues below

The Portugal star lifted an incredible four Champions League trophies with the Merengue, including three in the last three seasons. 

Madrid also took the Liga title twice during his time at the club, while Ronaldo was honoured with four Ballon d’Or awards. 

In total the striker smashed 450 goals in 438 official Madrid games, a strike-rate of over a goal a game and a mark that establishes him as the highest scorer in Blancos history.


Ronaldo trading Real Madrid for Juventus in an effort to remain motivated – Kaka

Kaka believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire to remain motivated at the highest level was the determining factor in his decision to swap Real Madrid for Juventus.

Ronaldo will be presented as a Juve player on Monday after nine trophy-laden years at the Santiago Bernabeu that have also seen him become the Spanish club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Achieving that level of success can lead to a player becoming stale and former Madrid attacking midfielder Kaka says Ronaldo knows now is the right time to seek a new challenge elsewhere.

“I think Cristiano is a very experienced player now, 33 years old so he knows and understands the situation very well,” the Brazilian told Omnisport.

“This decision to move from Madrid to Juventus, it’s a very conscious decision. He knows [it’s] time to move.

[embedded content]

“[He’s probably thinking] I achieved everything I could with Real Madrid and now it’s time to do something different to keep motivated. 

“That’s what moved him to accept the offer from Juve to change from Real Madrid to the Italian team.”

Juve have paid €112 million (£99m/$131m) to sign the Portuguese and handed him a four-year deal but Kaka hinted it was money well spent for a player of Ronaldo’s calibre.

Asked if the Italian champions were getting one of the greatest-ever players, he added: “I think so. Ronaldo, with his numbers, says that.

Article continues below

“Everybody who had the privilege to watch him play… in my case, I had the privilege of training with him every day for four years.

“I saw how professional he is, how strong he is, how motivated he is, how strong in his mind he is, and [can] see that he still wants to get to a different level.

“I think Ronaldo will be remembered as one of the best players in the world.”