Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Real Madrid lower Bale asking price

Real Madrid drop Bale asking price

Gareth Bale’s price tag has dropped to €70 million as Real Madrid hope to spark interest, according to Don Balon.

Madrid president Florentino Perez wants Bale out this summer, but realises his price tag is putting teams off.

By dropping the price down, Perez hopes to spark a bidding war between clubs to get Bale’s eventual fee back over €100 million.

La Liga confirms Iniesta exit?

La Liga’s social media accounts have strongly hinted that Andres Iniesta is on his way out at Barcelona.

The Spanish international has received an offer to leave the club, though he has denied anything official has been agreed to.

However, La Liga posted a tweet after he scored in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey victory which reads: “THE Final of Iniesta” and an image on Instagram thanking the midfielder.

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Mourinho splits United dressing room

Jose Mourinho may have split the Manchester United dressing room with his criticism of his players, according to the Sun.

Mourinho has come under fire after blasting the team in their recent FA Cup win over Brighton.

He is also barely speaking with star Paul Pogba and has annoyed others by his treatment of Luke Shaw, which has been compared to his exile of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

PSG confident of landing Sessegnon

Paris Saint-Germain are confident they will beat Manchester United to the signature of teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon, according to the Daily and Sunday Express.

Sessegnon has admirers in Tottenham, Liverpool and Real Madrid as well, though Fulham have slapped a £50 million price tag on him.

The Cottagers hope to keep him if they earn promotion back to the Premier League, but face an uphill battle to do so even in that circumstance.

Conte’s £10 million payout keeping him at Chelsea

Antonio Conte’s sizable £10 million payout if he is fired is holding up his dismissal from Chelsea, the Mirror reports.

The Blues want to move on from Conte at the end of the season, but do not want to be on the hook for that amount.

Chelsea are confident Conte will negotiate a compromise as numerous big jobs are likely to come open this summer.

Guardiola believes Vieira is ready for Arsenal

Pep Guardiola has voiced confidence that New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira is ready to step in for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal if the Gunners come calling for their former player.

Vieira previously led Manchester City’s youth teams before leading their sister club, and is seen by some as a potential heir to Guardiola himself when he departs the club.

Guardiola declared Vieira is already a top manager, though Vieira himself has downplayed the links, saying he is flattered but happy with NYCFC.

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Six clubs trying to sign Fellaini

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is being pursued by six teams as his contract at Old Trafford winds down, reports the Mirror.

Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Besiktas, Monaco, West Ham and Leciester City all hope to secure the Belgian international’s signature on a free this summer.

PSG and Juventus are considered the favorites, while David Moyes’ dreams of a reunion with Fellaini may be undermined by the uncertainty in his status for next season.

Chelsea and Arsenal battle for Enrique

London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal both are hoping to secure the signature of ex-Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, according to the Sun.

The Blues have balked at Enrique’s extensive backroom demands allowing Arsenal to enter the frame.

Both clubs are also keeping an eye on Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri and former Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti, who previously managed Chelsea in the Premier League. 

Hoffenheim boss dismisses Premier League rumours

Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann has dismissed talk he is in the frame for jobs at Arsenal and Chelsea.

The 30-year-old Nagelsmann has been talked about as a candidate for bigger clubs before, as he was mentioned as a possibility for Bayern Munich.

However, he believes reports linking him to England as a replacement for Arsene Wenger or Antonio Conte are simply rumours with little validity to them.

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Barca eye Salah in Dembele swap deal

Barcelona are plotting a swap deal involving Ousmane Dembele that they hope will convince Mohamed Salah to leave Anfield for Camp Nou, according to Diario Gol .

The report suggests that such a proposal pleases Lionel Messi, who would prefer not to see Antoine Griezmann join the Catalan side as he feels they would overlap too often on the pitch.

The acquisition of Salah would mean Barcelona have a player at the peak of his powers rather than having to wait for Dembele to fully develop, and also means Coutinho could concentrate more on replacing Andres Iniesta in midfield rather than working on the flank.

Pep wants Lewandowski

Pep Guardiola has asked Man City to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, Don Balon  claims.

Real Madrid had been tipped as favourites to lure the striker away from Bavaria, but the Spanish outlet suggests Pep’s relationship with the Pole means a deal could be possible.

Should Lewandowski make the move, Sergio Aguero would likely leave the Etihad.

Luis Enrique hopes for Messi at Arsenal

Luis Enrique would like to bring Lionel Messi to the Premier League if he is appointed as Arsenal manager, according to the Express .

The Spanish coach has an excellent working relationship with the Argentine superstar from their time together at Barcelona, and is hopeful that this will help put the Gunners at the top of the pile if Messi decides to leave Camp Nou.

CSL club confident over Iniesta deal

CSL club Chongqing Lifan are confident of completing a deal for Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, if their main sponsor is to be believed.

Gong Daxing, the chairman of club sponsor SWM, has revealed he is “positive on introducing Iniesta”, with the Barca star having been linked with various clubs in China, including Chongqing Lifan.

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Wenger set for PSG?

After announcing his decision to stand down as Arsenal manager in the summer, Arsene Wenger’s next destination could be PSG, according to L’Equipe .

The French champions reportedly see the veteran boss as a perfect general manager as they seek to win a first Champions League.


Hoffenheim manager Nagelsmann downplays Arsenal & Chelsea rumours

Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann has dismissed rumours he is being discussed for Premier League jobs that will come open this summer.

The 30-year-old Nagelsmann has been talked about as a future manager at a big club before, with speculation earlier in the season linking him with Bayern Munich before that job that went to Eintracht Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac.

Nagelsmann has also been mentioned as a possibility for Borussia Dortmund and, with the announced departure of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and the rumoured exit of Antonio Conte at Chelsea, he has been discussed as an option for one of the Premier League giants as well.

However, Nagelsmann doubts the validity of those reports, dismissing them as rumours.

“I do not think so, no. As they say, there are rumors,” Nagelsmann told Sky on demand, when asked if he thought the reports were true.

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However, despite not believing the rumours, the Hoffenheim boss says he is not bothered by them, as he keeps his focus squarely on his club and the task before him.

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“I’m not annoyed by the discussions,” Nagelsmann added. “I focus on myself and my team and want to make a good game here today, the focus is on nothing else.”

Nagelsmann and Hoffenheim came away with an important 5-3 away victory against RB Leipzig on Saturday, which vaulted them into fifth place in the Bundesliga.

They now sit two points back of fourth place and a Champions League spot, and are two points above Eintracht Frankfurt in seventh for a place in the Europa League.


Have La Liga confirmed Andres Iniesta’s Barcelona exit?

With rumours swirling that Andres Iniesta is on his way out of Barcelona at the end of the season, with a deal in China reportedly on the cards for the 33-year-old, La Liga may well have confirmed the end of his time with the Catalans. 

Barcelona claimed the Copa del Rey on Saturday with a 5-0 win over Sevilla in the final, Iniesta scoring a goal in what may well be his last final in a glittering career for the Blaugrana. 

Iniesta himself was in no mood to make his future clear, telling reporters: “This week I will talk about the decision I will make, we still need to win La Liga and there is time to enjoy.

“Nothing has changed.”

However, after the match La Liga posted and image of the midfielder on social media with “thank you” captioned in several languages, along with a tweet that reads, in part: “THE Final of Iniesta”.  

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?ANDRÉS INIESTA ? GRACIAS ? THANK YOU ? MERCI ? GRÀCIES ? OBRIGADO ? ????? ? ?? • #Iniesta #Barça #CopdelRey #LaLiga

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu also confirmed that Iniesta has received an offer to leave the club, though did not go so far as to confirm that the Spaniard would leave the club. 

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“I know that Iniesta has an offer, but Barca is the club of his life and he has a lifetime contract,” Bartomeu is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo .

“We have the best in the world who is [Lionel] Messi, but Iniesta marks a time in the history of Barca and football.”

Iniesta has won 31 major trophies in his time with Barcelona, including eight La Liga, six Copa del Rey and four Champions League titles. 


Modric could follow Ibrahimovic to MLS

Luka Modric is hopeful Zlatan Ibrahimovic keeps playing football and admits he could envision himself playing in MLS one day.

Ibrahimovic left Manchester United in March to sign on with the LA Galaxy, a decision which has paid immediate dividends for the big Swede and his new team.

He has already scored three goals in three games, two of which proved to be game-winners for the Galaxy, as Ibrahimovic has shrugged off fitness woes to make a fast start to life in MLS.

And Real Madrid’s Modric wants Ibrahimovic to keep his career going, in order to keep producing the “magic” that so many have enjoyed over the years.

“You know he was such a big player in Europe last 10-20 years,” Modric told SVT Sport. “One of the best strikers and it’s his decision. Hopefully he will enjoy [Los Angeles].

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“I would like him to play football a bit longer, to watch him, to see his magic like he did past years and we’ll see. But I wish him all the best.”

Unfortunately for Modric, he admitted the time zone situation – the Galaxy play on the west coast of the United States which is nine hours behind Spain – may make it difficult for him to watch Ibrahimovic’s MLS exploits.

“It’s difficult [to watch the games],” Modric said. “Sometimes I watch the games when they are early in Europe.

“But you know, it would be very difficult because we have our schedule that is huge. A lot of things, training, and we have to sleep early.”

Following in Ibrahimovic’s footsteps to MLS is something Modric could see himself doing in the future when his contract with Real Madrid is finished. However, that would be more of a fallback option for the Croatia international, as his dream is to finish out his career with the capital club.

“You never know what can happen,” Modric said. “I still have two more years on my contract with Real Madrid.

“I’m happy. I always said that I would like to finish my career in Madrid if it’s possible. But if not, maybe I can see myself also [in America].”

But while he looks to the future, Modric also considered what could have been in the past.

Ibrahimovic was eligible to play international football for Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia before eventually choosing Sweden to represent on the international level.

A different choice would have seen Ibrahimovic and Modric as team-mates internationally, and Modric does admit he would have preferred the striker have picked Croatia instead.

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“Of course, who wouldn’t like to have this kind of player?” Modric said. “Zlatan is one of the best players in modern generation and it is a shame that he didn’t pick Croatia.

“But you know, it is how it is, we have another great strikers in our team, but he would be amazing for us. That’s for sure.”

SVT Sport will have the full Modric interview on Sunday.


ISL: ATK rope in Sheikh Faiaz; in talks with Malsawmzuala

Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK have managed to secure the signature of Sheikh Faiaz for the 2018/19 season, Goal can confirm.

The 23-year-old winger was an integral part of Mohun Bagan’s run in the recently concluded Super Cup, where the Mariners were ousted by eventual champions Bengaluru FC in the semi-final.

Formerly of Mohammedan SC, Faiaz joined the Green and Maroons earlier this season and managed to establish himself in the Calcutta Football League (CFL), where they ended runners-up.

The winger can play on either flank and made an appearance in all 21 games for Mohun Bagan this season, starting in 11 of them, scoring three goals.

It is also reliably learnt that the Sourav Ganguly co-owned outfit are in advanced talks with Mizoram-born Malsawmzuala.

The Bengaluru FC midfielder did not get a single minute of playing time in the 2017/18 ISL despite being named on the bench six times as his side ended runners-up to Chennaiyin FC.

Malsawmzuala Bengaluru FC training session

Fondly known as ‘Sawmtea’, he has however started in all 7 AFC Cup games for the Blues, where Albert Roca has mostly named second-string sides. 

The former Delhi Dynamos man made only a single appearance in the Super Cup, coming on in injury time in the semi-final when Bengaluru were already leading 4-1 against Mohun Bagan.

After a disappointing campaign where the Kolkata side ended ninth in the league, the management have made quick moves to strengthen the team for the upcoming season.

Faiaz will join his Mohun Bagan teammate Ricky Lallawmawma at ATK. The likes of Kalu Uche and John Johnson have already been signed while negotiations with Arnab Mondal and Cavin Lobo are ongoing.