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Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
The Gunners have been constantly linked with Benzema over the years, inshort there is no transfer window that the French man hasn’t been linked with a move to the Emirates and I am sure Gooners must have been fed up with these links.
Benzema has been a key member of the Spanish club since he joined them in 2009 but can no longer be considered as the top striker that he was once known as, after his subpar performances in the last two seasons.
Since he was embroiled in a sex scandal in 2014, which cost him his place in the France national team, Benzema has never hit those heights that made him feared by opposition defenders.
According to Diario Gol via the Daily Cannon, Madrid are now willing to sell Benzema before the transfer window closes, as Zinedine Zidane tries to trim his squad.
While that doesn’t make sense because Benzema is the only recognised centre forward at Madrid at the Moment, the report took its ridiculousness to the next level by claiming Arsenal would be interested in signing the striker as a replacement for Sanchez.
Wenger was a big admirer of the striker in his early days and I believe that is the only reason we continue to be linked with the striker.
I’m certain that Wenger isn’t interested in Benzema because we have enough options upfront and there is no way he can be considered as a replacement for Sanchez who plays primarily as a winger.
With ten points separating La Liga leaders Barcelona and third placed Real Madrid heading into this weekend’s El Clasico, the fixture does perhaps not provide quite the hype in which has surrounded past meetings between the two. However, after a dominating 4-0 victory for Barcelona earlier on in the season, Zinedine Zidane will be determined to make amends as he comes up against old foe Luis Enrique for the first time as a manager. Over the years the two men have encountered each other many times on the field, and now bring their rivalry to the managerial stage as they take charge of their respective sides. Enrique will be looking to continue his excellent record against Madrid, having won over half of his El Clasico fixtures as a Barcelona player.
Aiming to win their fourth back to back La Liga title, Barcelona go into the fixture against a wounded animal in Madrid, who have struggled for consistency throughout this season. With key battles taking place all over the pitch, many will be hoping that the post match talk surrounds the football, rather than on pitch shenanigans and unsporting behaviour in which has marred recent matches.
The BBC vs MSN is gaining much of the attention in the build up to the game. Barcelona’s trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar Jr have been in scintillating form this season, contributing to a combined sixty nine La Liga goals between them. Meanwhile, Real’s front three of Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have lacked their usual firepower in front of goal, leading to the downfall of the Bernabeu side so far this campaign. They will certainly have to bring their A game if Madrid are to achieve their first victory at the Nou Camp since 2012. Head to https://sports.betway.com/ where Zidane’s men are 5/1 on to close the gap on Barcelona come Saturday night.
The rivalry between the two teams has only heightened in recent years, with the battles between the likes of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola bringing a whole new element to the historic fixture. Zidane will certainly be hoping to have a long reign with Madrid, and if he does so will no doubt have to improve his side’s recent record against the Catalan giants. The Frenchman will be doing his all to maintain a sense of calm within his team, with past occasions in the past on occasion being dominated by disciplinary issues. Madrid are 3/1 to have a man sent off at the Nou Camp.
Rafa Benitez appears to be on collision course with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after claiming in his first press conference that he would not think twice about resting the Portuguese. Ronaldo appears to be on a mission to achieve new records in football. He has already broken several since coming to the fore in 2009. While the Ronaldo of Manchester United may have been criticised slightly for not tracking back, the Ronaldo at Real Madrid has become obsessed with scoring goals. It is an ambition that the 30-year-old has been able to match so far in his career.
This has been largely due to a strict fitness regime. Ronaldo is clearly the fittest player in the world and he appears to be in great shape despite his age. The tone muscles and sixpacks may have slowed him down a bit, but it has in turn helped him to even play as a striker on some occasions. In order to achieve the phenomenal muscles, one can not just survive on regular workouts. Even a player like Ronaldo will have to go through a rich supplement of proteins, which can be sourced from protein powder available at Supps R Us.
Ronaldo is currently in Japan for promotional work, but he will return to Madrid in the next few days in order to join up with the rest of the squad for the pre-season tour. Real Madrid will be involved in the International Champions Cup. Their first match is against Roma on July 18 followed by games against Manchester City, Inter Milan, and AC Milan. Madrid will be hoping for a strong start to the first few games of the Rafa Benitez era at the Santiago Bernebeu. The season opener is not far away with la Liga yet to reveal the fixtures for the new season.
Speculation linking Luis Suarez with a move to Spain intensified after the player’s father-in-law stated that the 27-year-old is considering a move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona. Suarez has been subjected to transfer speculation for more than a year now. There has been no respite in the transfer rumours linking him with a move to Spain, despite signing a new four year contract towards the end of 2013. Suarez is now one of the highest earning players in the Premier League with wages of around £220,000 per week.
However, Suarez’ father-in-law, Gustavo Balbi, hinted that a potential move could not be about money and that the player needs to prove himself in another tough league. According to the Mirror, he said: “Luis has nothing left to prove in England. It’d be the right time to move to Spain.”
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s one team or the other (Madrid or Barcelona). He will not go to another team in England out of respect for Liverpool.”
Despite the talk of Suarez having achieved a lot with Liverpool, the fact that still remains his that he is yet to lift any major title with the club. He has only lifted the League Cup until now. He came close to winning the Premier League last season. Even though Liverpool will once again be playing in the Champions League next season, it may just be a case of wanting to lift more titles. At 27, Suarez is at the peak of his career and top clubs are not likely to show interest in him after a few years.
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]apoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has hinted that he may be ready to join Barcelona in the summer. According to several reports, Barcelona have already agreed a contract with Higuain. They are set to hold negotiations with Napoli over the next few weeks. Higuain came to Napoli only last summer from Real Madrid for just over £ 35 million. He has been one of the finest strikers in the Italian Serie A this campaign after banging in more than 20 goals.
However, Napoli’s inability to challenge for top honours last campaign is thought to have put Higuain in doubt about his future at the club. This coupled with the interest from Barcelona seems to have swayed his mind, as the striker said after Argentina’s 2-1 win over Bosnia that he may be ready to join the Spanish outfit in the upcoming transfer window. He said:
“Yes, of course [I would like to play alongside Messi at Barcelona]. Obviously it would be an enormous pleasure. I am pleased by the Barca interest — any player would be.
“But I am focused now on the World Cup. There will be another time to talk about my future. I am here now, focused on this dream, trying for us all to be able to achieve our objectives.”
Higuain was a major reason in Argentina getting the win from their first group match at the World Cup 2014. He provided the assist from Lionel Messi, who is thought to have a major say in the club’s transfer policy with regard to signing strikers. Barcelona were heavily linked with Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, who is a great friend of Messi. After having been rebuffed in their attempts to sign the former Atletico Madrid man, the Catalans appear to have turned their attention towards Higuain.
His Real Madrid connections may not be enough to prevent him from moving to the Camp Nou.
Real Madrid star Luka Modric has revealed that Barcelona have managed to sign Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Barcelona have been holding negotiations with Sevilla regarding the transfer of the 26-year-old for the last few weeks. Since they have been unable to arrive at a conclusion, the deals to sell players like Cesc Fabregas have been taking time. Modric has confirmed that Rakitic to Barcelona is a done deal. It has not been officially announced by the club of the player. Modric says that he wanted Real Madrid to sign the 26-year-old, who played a key role in Sevilla’s Europa League success last season. The club also finished fifth in the league. According to ESPN, Modric said:
“He [Rakitic] has gone to Barca. I am very happy for him — he deserves it. To go to a big club like Barca, with a global dimension, is an important step in his career.
“Everyone has seen this season what he is capable of doing. He is a great footballer who is improving. I am convinced that his performances in the coming seasons will be even better.”
Barcelona have been expected to undergo widespread changes after experiencing one of the poorest campaigns in the last decade. They finished without a major trophy despite the presence of numerous stars like Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. Players like Victor Valdes and Carlos Puyol, who have been influential of the club for the last decade, have already left the club. Xavi Hernandez is also expected to move on to play in the MLS or the Qatar leagues.
Rakitic’s signing will also allow Barcelona to sell Fabregas to Chelsea for €33 million. The deal is thought to have been agreed between the two clubs, but Barcelona have been waiting in order to complete the Rakitic deal before selling Fabregas.
Carlo Ancelotti has stated that there will be no signings at Real Madrid during the World Cup 2014. He says that the club may try to bring in a couple of players before the start of the new season. After winning the 10th Champions League title, expectations will be sky-high in the coming campaign. Despite possessing a team that just won the European Cup, Madrid have once again been linked with a few galaticos in the last few weeks.
The most notable name has been Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who was linked with the club even last summer. After a spectacular season with the English club, Suarez has been regarded as one of the strikers in the world. Since Madrid lack a real alternative to Karim Benzema, it has been rumoured that they would try to bring in Suarez. Reports of a £72 million bid from the European champions have been going around the tabloids. Ancelotti said: “We’re in no rush and we don’t need to bring in a lot of players. We have until 31st August.”
Liverpool rejected a £40 million bid from Arsenal last summer and his price would have almost doubled after the stunning campaign in which he won the PFA Player of the Year award by scoring more than 30 goals.
Ancelotti’s target will be to get the league title along with European trophies like the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Despite being in the title hunt until the end of the campaign, Mariners finished in a disappointing third-place. Ancelotti also hinted that Angel di Maria will stay. He continued: “I have no doubt that he’ll stay”.
The stage was set for a thrilling encounter between Real Madrid and Barcelona last night in the neutral city of Valencia, where the steep-sided Mestalla Stadium added atmosphere to a Copa del Rey final that both teams were desperate to win.
Missing for the match was Real Madrid’s star striker Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored 45 goals in all competitions this season after straining a hamstring in their Champions League encounter with Dortmund, and with still five matches remaining in La Liga Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti did not want to risk him in the cup final preferring to rest him for Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on April 23.
One man who would be playing though was Los Blanco’s record signing Gareth Bale who despite having joined Madrid from Tottenham last summer for 100 million euro’s had failed to live up to all the hype from the media.
Sceptics of the young Welsh winger will all be quiet on Thursday though after Bale scored the winning goal with just five minutes left to play when he charged down the side-lines from the halfway mark beating Barcelona defender Marc Bartra for speed before heading into the penalty area to expertly place the ball between the legs of Barca shot stopper Jose Manuel Pinto to claim a special victory and a meeting with the king.
When asked by Sky Sports how it felt to win his first trophy in Spain the Welsh wizard said:
“It is great to win trophies and I am very happy to have won my first title with Real Madrid.
“It’s a dream come true, not just because I scored but because of the work of the whole team.
“This win is for all the fans and we hope that it will be the first of many to come. Thank you all for your support during the season. We have worked hard as a team.”
When asked about his brilliant goal Bale said: “I had to run, Bartra pushed me and tried to block me but he couldn’t.”
“I had to get around him. It was great to score the goal but better to win the match and the Cup.”
Real Madrid is still involved in the race for the La Liga title and also through to the semi-final of the Champions League where they will meet Bayern Munich in the first-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday night.
“It was really special. We’ve won the first of the three available titles and we have to keep fighting for everything. But now we have to be thinking about the next game and nothing else,” said Bale.
You can watch Bale’s amazing goal in the video below.
Real Madrid is maintaining their top place in the La Liga table with a narrow win against Malaga, but their mental strength has been tested with this match.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half goal keep them ahead with the city rival Atletico Madrid and defending champions Barcelona.
Barcelona score seven goals against Osasuna and Lionel Messi set a new record of all-time top scorer in Barcelona.
Real Madrid continue their unbeaten 30 matches run and next week match against Barcelona will decide a big name in title race.
The Whites manager Carlo Ancelotti said they are ready to face Barcelona, but with revenge plan for early stage lost against them.
Ancelotti said of last performance: “This team is playing consistently,”
“There are matches in which we have to play to different strengths. Our players’ attitude in defence was great and they worked hard. I think we are ready to play the Clasico.”
“This was a very good and important result because winning here wasn’t easy but we managed to do it,”
He added: “We had plenty of chances to kill off the game but were lacking in terms of the final ball. It was a normal game against a very motivated side, like all the teams are at this stage of the season.
We also have to praise Malaga. They played a good match in which they put a lot of pressure on us and worked really hard. You can’t always win 2-0 or 3-0.
I am happy because the team was solid, had a good attitude and worked hard together, which is a good thing.”
Ronaldo and Gareth Bale is still being a good pair to make chances, but Karim Benzema’s injury has to rectify before the big clash.