Ronaldo Ready To Quit Madrid
Spanish giants Real Madrid are set for one of the toughest transfer periods after it has been revealed that star player Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to quit the club.
The Portuguese superstar has been embroiled in a lawsuit over tax avoidance allegations after Spanish prosecutors believed the 32-year-old should have paid tax on image rights income. He is being accused of defrauding the tax office of nearly £13million.
Madrid have released a statement this week strongly defending Ronaldo but the Portuguese is far from happy with the whole issue.
According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Ronaldo has made an ‘irreversible’ decision to leave Madrid and Spain altogether. It is being reported that Ronaldo has informed club president Florentino Perez of this decision.
A Bola add Ronaldo is ‘outraged’ and ‘indignant’ about what he feels amounts to persecution.The treatment he has received leaves his future very much up in the air and opened the door to a move.
Ronaldo has been at the Bernabeu since 2009 and is contracted up until 2021. But he is ready to quit and will push for a transfer next month shortly after the small break following the Confederations Cup.
Arsenal To Use Giroud As Bait
Arsenal are prepared to use Olivier Giroud as a makeweight in any deal to sign Kylian Mbappé or Alexandre Lacazette.
Manager Arsene Wenger has publicly declared he would like to keep the 30-year-old but the club’s pursuit of a big-name striker this summer is a clear indication Giroud is viewed as inadequate for the challenges that lie ahead.
Arsenal have already had an informal £87 million bid for Mbappé rejected by Monaco — although the Gunners officially deny any offer — and are considering whether to make another attempt now France have concluded their summer fixtures.
The fee is likely to top £100m and although that is towards the upper limit of the Gunners’ budget, Wenger can balance the books by offloading a number of other players and offering Giroud in a part-exchange deal.
Standard Sport understands using Giroud in this way has been discussed as a possible strategy to help secure Mbappé or Lacazette, for whom Arsenal have been quoted a fee of about £60m
In Other News
There is “mutual tension” between Chelsea and their manager Antonio Conte after the Italian told striker Diego Costa by text message that he is not part of the plans for next season. (Gazzetta dello Sport – in Italian)
The club wish to patch things up with Costa, 28, who is willing to discuss his future, but Conte is refusing to back down. (Sun)
Conte has also set a number of conditions which include a direct line of communication to owner Roman Abramovich, if he is to stay as manager at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Record)
Also at Chelsea, contract negotiations with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 25, have stalled over his wage demands. The Belgium keeper is on a £100,000-a-week deal, which comes to an end in two years’ time.(Times – subscription required)
Jose Mourinho has valued Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, 26, at £100m amid interest from Real Madrid and has told the La Liga champions they can sign the Spaniard for £45m plus striker Alvaro Morata, 24. (Daily Star)
But Real say they want £78m for Morata despite details of a “hugely attractive package” being agreed with Manchester United. (Independent)
Meanwhile, Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, 28, is already planning for life as a Manchester United player. The two clubs are yet to agree a fee for the £44m-rated Croatia player. (Manchester Evening News)
After completing a deal for defender Victor Lindelof, Manchester United could go back to Benfica to sign £15m-rated midfielder Anderson Talisca, 23, who spent last season on loan at Besiktas. (Daily Mirror)
Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, 27, remains a target for Everton despite the Merseyside club signing Dutchman Davy Klaassen. (Wales Online)
Liverpool want to raise about £60m on player sales by offloading defender Mamadou Sakho, 27, for £30m, full-back Alberto Moreno, 24, for £12m and 23-year-old forward Lazar Markovic for £20m. (Times – subscription required)
New Watford manager Marco Silva could move for Markovic, having worked with the player last season when the Serbia player was on loan at Hull. (Times – subscription required)
Arsenal have had a £17.6m bid rejected for Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado, 29, but the Serie A champions are looking for about £30m for the former Chelsea player. (Sun)
The Gunners have also made a £10.5m bid for Fenerbahce centre-back Simon Kjaer, 28, who is also wanted by city rivals AC and Inter Milan. (Turksvoetbal – in Turkish)
Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal, 31, says he is “almost certain” fellow full-back Hector Bellerin, 22, will stay at the club next season amid interest from Barcelona. (Evening Standard)
West Ham have dropped their interest in £15m-rated Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, 27, but Everton, Newcastle and West Brom are all keen. (Daily Star)
Manchester City striker Patrick Roberts, 20, who scored 11 goals on loan at Celtic last season, has held talks with French side Nice over another loan move. (Sun)
But newly promoted Huddersfield are set to offer him the chance to play in the Premier League. (Daily Record)
Tottenham are a number of clubs interested in signing Lazio forward Keita Balde, 22, who is valued at £30m by the Serie A club. (Daily Mirror)
Southampton intend to interview former Ajax boss Frank de Boer and ex-Valencia manager Mauricio Pellegrino to replace the sacked Claude Puel and hope to make an appointment by the end of next week. (Daily Telegraph)
However former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel has ruled himself out of the Southampton vacancy. (Sky Sports)
Stoke would want more than the British record £30m Everton paid to sign Jordan Pickford, if they were to sell goalkeeper Jack Butland, 24. (Stoke Sentinel)
Several Premier League clubs, most notably Newcastle, have enquired about Valencia’s £13.1m-rated centre-back Aymen Abdennour, 27. (Foot Mercato)
Marseille are trying to sign full-back Bacary Sagna, 34, who is a free agent after being released by Manchester City. (Daily Mirror)
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 18, has rejected the club’s offer of a new £80,000-a-week contract. His current deal expires in 2018. (Gazzetta dello Sport – in Italian)
Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare has made a bid to appoint Oxford manager Michael Appleton as his assistant. (Daily Mail)