Reports: Florentino Perez wants Real Madrid great to replace Zinedine Zidane

Simeone on whether Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Real Sociedad was a ‘lesson’

The latest word around the rumour mill is that Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is eyeing a move for former star Xabi Alonso, to replace Zinedine Zidane as the manager.

According to AS, Zidane is likely to be axed from his role at the helm of Real Madrid soon, due to a series of disappointing results. It all began in the pre-season itself, when the likes of Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham, AS Roma defeated Los Blancos convincingly.

Later, as the 2019-20 season began, Real Madrid managed an easy 3-1 win against Celta Vigo in their La Liga opener. However, their next couple of games against Real Valladolid and Villarreal ended in draws.

And finally, on Wednesday, Real Madrid suffered an embarrassing loss in their 2019-20 Champions League opener, against a PSG team that lacked both their main superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Despite their absence, PSG were able to pull off a convincing 3-0 victory against the Spanish giants.

Under such circumstances, AS claims that Zidane’s sacking is inevitable. Meanwhile, Florentino Perez is reportedly trying to convince ex-Real Madrid and Liverpool great Xabi Alonso to take up the responsibility.

The Spanish publication further clarifies that the club is yet to arrive at an official decision regarding the issue, as Jose Mourinho has also been named as another person who is equally likely to replace the Frenchman at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Reports: Gareth Bale among six Real Madrid players to ask for Zinedine Zidane’s sacking

Simeone on whether Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Real Sociedad was a ‘lesson’

The latest word around the rumour mill is that six Real Madrid stars, including Gareth Bale, have asked club President Florentino Perez for the sacking of manager Zinedine Zidane.

This is according to Diario Gol, who reports that there are all signs of a potential mutiny brewing within Real Madrid’s squad as they are generally disappointed with the manner in which Zidane is managing the team. The lack of a positive mentality within the team has also started affecting their results in an adverse fashion – the latest of them being an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

During the post-match press conference, Zidane has slammed various players for the poor result, while also accusing them of not displaying the kind of intensity that was expected from the team.

“They [PSG] were better than us in every department. In the play, in midfield, and the thing that annoys me most is the intensity,” he said, before adding:

 

“They are good at creating chances – that is not what worries me, it is seeing my team without the necessary intensity at the high level of this competition.”

And now, it appears that the feeling of hatred between Zidane and the Real Madrid squad is of a mutual nature, as it has been reported by Diario Gol that Bale, along with Isco, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez and Marco Asensio, are keen to see the Frenchman leave the club at the earliest.

The Spanish publication also claims that the above-mentioned players had a meeting with Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, demanding the sacking of the three-time Champions League-winning manager.

As per other sources, Los Blancos are yet to make a final decision regarding Zidane’s future.

Novak Djokovic provides update on injury ahead of Tokyo Open, Shanghai Masters

Unseeded Camila Giorgi drops just 3 games to thrash Sloane Stephens in Osaka

World No.1 star Novak Djokovic has provided an update on his shoulder injury ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Open and Shanghai Masters.

It was expected that the Serb could make a quick recovery and return to the court at the earliest, but Djokovic himself has admitted that as of now, it seems very unlikely that he will play in the Tokyo Open and the Shanghai Masters.

“I don’t know when I will return. I hope it will be soon. The injury is more serious than I imagined and I need another week to see how it evolves,” he said, before adding:

“Ideally, I could be for Tokyo but, right now, I don’t know.”

In case you did not know, Djokovic had to retire from the court, while playing against Stanislas Wawrinka in the round-of-16, in the recently-concluded US Open on 2nd September. The injury was on his left shoulder, and though it has been nearly two weeks since the incident, it seems that he is yet to recover completely.

“I monitor the results of rehabilitation every day. I have also been monitoring how the shoulder is responding to the recovery.”

“Unfortunately, the injury was of a more serious nature. It prevented me from continuing the tournament in New York. I’m very sorry,” he concluded.

Quotes via Marca.

Valencia fans protest on Twitter against Singaporean owner after sacking manager Marcelino

Simeone on whether Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Real Sociedad was a ‘lesson’

The move of sacking Marcelino was executed by Lim on September 11th, just six days prior to Valencia’s first group stage match in the 2019-20 Champions League, against last season’s Europa League winners Chelsea.

Although former Spain Under-21s manager Albert Celades has already replaced Marcelino, reports suggest that the club’s management has been thrown into a state of total chaos.

Tensions were quite visible among fans as Valencia played Barcelona in what looked like a repeat of the 2018-19 Copa del Rey final – only that this time around, Barcelona humiliated Los Ches with the final scoreline reading 5-2.

Quite understandably, fans have started protesting against Peter Lim for sacking Marcelino, with the hashtag “#LimGoHome” trending across Spain and several other parts of the world.

Take a look at some of the best reactions right below:

Zach Lowy, a football writer for Soccer Laduma, wrote: “The tension between owner Peter Lim and Marcelino and sporting director Mateu Alemany reached a boiling point this summer, when Lim wanted to interfere in transfers.”

“Valencia are throwing years of progress out the window by doing this. They are firing a manager who oversaw a steadily successful spell at Villarreal, and who led Valencia to back-to-back Champions League finishes,” he added, before concluding:

“They won’t find anyone better for the job than Marcelino.”

Reports: Why Manchester United failed to sign Bruno Fernandes this summer

‘Why should we be concerned’ – Solskaer on Man United’s away form

​According to reports, Premier League giants Manchester United pulled out of a possible deal for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes because the club’s scouts claimed that he takes too many risks while holding the ball.

The 24-year-old Portuguese midfielder was linked to Manchester United for almost the whole of this summer, and for a brief while, Tottenham Hotspur also joined them in the transfer race to sign him.

This was after Fernandes notched a staggering 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 appearances for Sporting, in the 2018-19 season.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was initially interested in the attacking midfielder, but according to Daily Mail, the Norwegian dropped the idea after the scouts claimed that he gives the ball away too frequently, which in turn does not match his style of playing.

Daily Mail further claims that Solskjaer has always been keen to sign players that were reliable in possession – something that he made evident with the signing of ex-Leicester City center-back Harry Maguire.

However, Fernandes continues to be in red-hot form in the 2019-20 Primeira Liga as well, where he has scored two goals and recorded four assists in just four appearances so far.

With Manchester United running out of options in midfield, it is expected that they will soon return to sign him – in the January transfer window next year.

Real Madrid President reveals why they did not sign Neymar, Paul Pogba

‘Why should we be concerned’ – Solskaer on Man United’s away form

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez recently revealed why the club did not sign Neymar, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the recent summer transfer window.

“We have never invested so much in players even though we already had a great squad,” he said, while reflecting the fact that Real Madrid spent over €310million in transfers alone, this summer.

Though Los Blancos signed the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Rodrygo Goes and Eder Militao, they could not sign Pogba, Neymar and Bruno Fernandes, three of the most important transfer targets that Real Madrid are believed to have had on their shopping list.

When asked about the deal for Pogba, Florentino Perez is believed to have stated that Manchester United – the Frenchman’s current employers – did not want to sell, according to the Mirror.

About Neymar’s potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu, he suggested that most of the rumours came from the media, rather than the club themselves.

The President was further pushed on to reveal his club’s plans for the next summer transfer window, and according to the English news agency, he has refused to rule out a potential move for Bruno Fernandes.

“We are working to bring great players in the future,” he is reported to have added.

Quotes via Mirror.

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After US Open, former World No.1 challenges Rafael Nadal to win tournament he’s never won before

Highlights – Daniil Medvedev vs Rafael Nadal

Has Rafael Nadal proved himself to be the best tennis player of the year by winning the US Open? According to former World No.1 Jim Courier, the answer is a resounding NO.

In his most recent interview, Courier said that Nadal needs to go and prove a point to his rivals, by taking home the winners’ trophy at the ATP Finals, scheduled to be held at London during 2019 November.

“I agree with that Nadal is clearly is in the lead [in terms of being the best player of 2019] and certainly in the lead as far as finishing the year on top [of the rankings],” he said to Tennis Channel.

Watch the video below:

“But there is one tournament that he has never won that would be a nice feather in his cap and that’s the year-end championships in London,” he further added.

“Nadal has struggled at times at that point of the season and he doesn’t love it necessarily but that would be a real marker for him after winning his fourth US Open.”

“Djokovic is hanging on by a pretty thin thread at No.1 [in the rankings] right now.”

“And when we are evaluating their careers weeks at No.1 is another factor, Roger Federer has the most, Nadal is not close but Djokovic could get him.”

Quotes via Express.

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Reports: Lionel Messi unhappy with Barcelona for not signing Neymar

‘Why should we be concerned’ – Solskaer on Man United’s away form

Lionel Messi is very unhappy with Barcelona for their lack of initiative in Neymar’s transfer situation. According to reports, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and club President Josep Maria Bartomeu are the two main people who have attracted the ire of their top player.

Don Balon reports that Messi has voiced his displeasure about the failure of Neymar’s potential summer move, to both Valverde and Bartmoeu, in the form of two separate, strongly-worded statements.

The Spanish news agency further claims that the Argentine legend has, however, given Barcelona another chance to sign the Brazilian next summer – and if the Catalans fail yet again, he may leave the club by using the clause in his contract, that allows him to walk away at any given point of time.

Earlier, it was reported that three Barcelona stars – namely, Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti – are no longer on talking terms with Messi, the reason being the Argentine’s favouritism towards the Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star.

Though the Parisians repeatedly stressed that they would like to recoup most of Neymar’s €220million transfer fee from 2017 and nothing else, Messi insisted that the Blaugrana are willing to pay only a part of the asking price in cash, as he was keen to offload the three stars in a swap deal as mentioned above.

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Rafael Nadal reveals how he can surpass Novak Djokovic to become World No.1

Highlights – Daniil Medvedev vs Rafael Nadal

Though Rafael Nadal claims that he has given little attention to his battle with Novak Djokovic to become World No.1 by the end of the year, the Spaniard remains sure of what he has to do next, to get there.

After his US Open win at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York on Tuesday, Nadal revealed that chasing the World No.1 rank is not the ultimate goal for him at this day and age. However, he added that he will look to continue his brilliant form in the upcoming tournaments as well, and see if that can help him overtake Djokovic by the end of the year.

Upon asked how much it means to be competing for the No.1 ranking at 33 years of age, the Spaniard told reporters: “I don’t compete for it. I just do it my way.”

“If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today, it is not my main goal,” he further added.

“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try to be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.”

“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.”

“For me, my main goal is to play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No.1, you are going to lose years of your career,” Nadal explained, before concluding.

“But I am there. If I am able to play well until the end of the season, I going to have my chances. That is going to be amazing. But I always say the same: it’s not my main goal today.”

Quotes via Metro.

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Ex-Barcelona star reveals he was approached by Real Madrid over move

Simeone on whether Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Real Sociedad was a ‘lesson’

Former Barcelona and Spain star Cesc Fabregas has revealed that he was approached by Real Madrid over a move to the La Liga, even before had considered joining their arch-rivals FC Barcelona.

Speaking to the Spanish news agency AS, Fabregas said:

‘They [Real Madrid] called me more than once or twice. The first time, I was very young. I was 18 and they offered me a big salary, but I felt like I belonged at Arsenal.”

 

“[Arsene] Wenger had bet the farm on me. I couldn’t leave. In any case, I’ll always be grateful to Real Madrid for the way they treated me.”

 

“When I was 23 I had a serious calf injury and they sent me a really nice message.”

 

“I’m grateful for their interest in me but I always dreamed of playing for Barcelona and if I felt that way it was for a reason. It all worked out pretty well for me,” the midfielder explained.

Earlier this year, the 32-year-old left the Premier League and join French club AS Monaco. According to AS, he has also begun to think about a coaching career, once he hangs up his boots.

“I still want to play,” Fabregas said. “I’m still enthusiastic and in my head, I’m still in the zone.”

 

“I’m happy when I go in to train and I get angry when I lose a game. As long as that’s still the case I’ll keep going,” he further added, before concluding:

 

“Although it’s true that now I analyse the game more than I used to and I feel a coaching instinct that I didn’t have before. We’ll see.”

Quotes via Metro.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho wanted back in Spain by La Liga President

Simeone on whether Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Real Sociedad was a ‘lesson’

La Liga President Javier Tebas proved that he continues to be a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, by revealing in a recent interview that he wishes to see both of them return to Spain soon.

He also said that the doors of the Spanish league will always be open for the two legends, provided they wanted to make a return sometime during their respective careers.

“I would like to have Cristiano Ronaldo back and for Jose Mourinho to be coaching a Spanish team,” Tebas told Canal+.

Speaking about Mourinho, he further added: “He [Mourinho] is a great coach and a great name to promote our league.”

And when asked about Ronaldo who spent nine years with Real Madrid in the La Liga, he said: “I thought that his departure would affect us more, to be honest. However, I prefer the Spanish league with Ronaldo in it than without.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, who won four Ballon d’Or titles during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, left for Serie A side Juventus during the summer of 2018. In the nine seasons that he played at Real Madrid, he scored 450 goals from 438 matches and also helped his side win four Champions League trophies – in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Meanwhile, Mourinho who briefly coached the Portuguese star at Los Blancos, severed ties with the club back in 2013. He helped Real Madrid win the La Liga title in 2011-12, and in 2013, he left to join Chelsea on a second spell with them.

Quotes via Goal.

Former World No.1 makes big Federer-Nadal-Djokovic prediction at US Open

Highlights – Daniil Medvedev vs Rafael Nadal

Tennis legend and former World No.1 Jim Courier has predicted that the era of the ‘big-three’ – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – is about to meet its end, and that it may even happen during the ongoing US Open, much earlier than it is otherwise expected.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic won the last eleven Grand Slams between them and have also accounted for a total of 54 Grand Slam triumphs since 2003 when they all emerged into the spotlight.

Though Federer and Djokovic are already out of the ongoing US Open, Nadal is a part of the final four who are still battling it out for the coveted title and hence, the above-mentioned numbers could continue to rise.

However, Jim Courier feels that it may not be long before the number of competitors in the sport increases, making it hard to predict who would win a tournament.

In a recent interview with Reuters, the former World No.1 said: “Sure, it has been difficult for American men to win majors but it has been difficult for anyone outside of the top four or five players to win in the last 15 years.”

“It has been more of a question of the era in many ways as opposed to a singular American problem.”

“I think there is going to be a lot of open road for our players in the next five years or so when these incredible legends [Federer, Nadal and Djokovic] eventually leave the game.”

“I think we’ll get a little more of a return to normalcy where players are going to win six or seven majors but not 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 – where they are just hoarding all of them.”

Quotes via Express.

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19-year-old star reveals how she feels about facing Serena Williams in US Open final

Highlights – Daniil Medvedev vs Rafael Nadal

On Friday, Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu revealed her excitement about facing Serena Williams in the US Open final, which will also be her first-ever Grand Slam final. She said that she is eagerly awaiting the all-important clash, which will be held on Saturday.

“I’ve wanted to play her. I remember always telling my team I would have always wanted to play her right before she retires. I’m really looking forward to it. She’s an amazing champion on and off the court. It’s going to be fun,” Andreescu said, after her US Open semi-finals game against Belinda Bencic, which she won in straight sets 7-6, 7-5.

 

“A lot of emotions are running through my body right now. A lot of thoughts, too. But right now I’m just trying to take in the victory of tonight.”

 

“Hopefully I can just keep the momentum going for the finals. Hopefully, I can play a little bit better than I did today,” she further added.

The 19-year-old star is currently playing at just her fourth Grand Slam, after enjoying a rapid rise over the past nine months since finishing 2018 as World no. 178th.

The victory in the semi-finals against Swiss 13th seed Bencic, also made Andreescu only the second Canadian woman ever – after Eugene Bouchard – to reach the finals of any Grand Slam.

“If someone told me a year ago I would be in the US Open final this year, I’d tell them they were crazy,” Andreescu said, before concluding:

 

“I don’t think I would have believed them. I was ranked, like, outside of the 150, I think. It’s just crazy what a year can do.”

Quotes via News 18.

Rafael Nadal’s coach gives verdict on Roger Federer’s early US Open exit

Highlights – Daniil Medvedev vs Rafael Nadal

On Wednesday, Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer was knocked out of the US Open by Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals of the competition. However, Federer’s defeat was no surprise, according to Rafael Nadal’s coach Francisco Roig.

“We know that everything can happen,” Roig told Radio Marcador in an interview on Thursday.

“[Grigor] Dimitrov beat [Roger] Federer, a tennis player who has enormous potential that despite not having had a good year, everything is possible,” he further added, before concluding:

“At the end, in the world of tennis everything happens and it has been seen in the case of Federer.”

The 38-year-old star went down 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to Dimitrov in the US Open quarter-final. He has, in fact, not reached the finals of any US Open tournament since 2008.

Federer has won 20 Grand Slam titles so far. At second place in the all-time list is Francisco Roig’s disciple Rafael Nadal.

Having won 18 Grand Slam titles so far, Nadal is out on the hunt for his nineteenth title at the US Open – which means that. should he lift the crown at Flushing Meadows, he will be just one behind Roger Federer’s tally.

Meanwhile, Federer will end the season without a Major win but will look for more titles on the ATP Tour. However, he will still look to join forces with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini for the Bjorn Borg-captained team at the Laver Cup from September 20.

Quotes via Express.