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Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ronaldo became first ever footballer to be a billionaire


Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer in history to become a billionaire during his career.

According to Forbes, the Juventus star made $105 million (£83m) before tax in the last year, taking his total worth over the $1 billion (£789m) mark.

The 35-year-old attacker has been named the fourth-highest earning celebrity in 2020 by the magazine, behind tennis legend Roger Federer, rapper Kanye West and Kylie Jenner.

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who Forbes said earned $104m (£82m) in the last year, came in fifth while Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar took seventh place with $95.5m (£75m).

After golf icon Tiger Woods and former boxer Floyd Mayweather, Ronaldo is just the third athlete ever to accumulate such wealth and the first to do so in a team sport.

The Portugal international is said to have made $650m (£513m) in wages over his 17 years as a professional athlete, with the rest made from endorsements. He has been tied to a lucrative lifetime deal with Nike since 2016 and is attached to several other big-name brands.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is also building a business empire, with his fashion and lifestyle brand, hotel chain and the CR7 museum in his hometown of Funchal in Madeira.

His 2020 earnings have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as his salary has dropped after the Juventus squad agreed to take a 30 percent pay cut.

Although Messi’s salary this year was drastically reduced by 70% because the crisis, Forbes predicts the Argentine sensation will join his eternal rival in the billionaire’s club next year.

Having been on hiatus since March, Serie A will return later this month, with Juve facing an away trip to Bologna on their first game back on June 22. They will then host Lecce four days later.

The Turin giants are a point ahead of Lazio in Serie A with 12 games left to play.

Maurizio Sarri’s team are chasing down a ninth consecutive title, while Ronaldo is trailing Lazio star Ciro Immobile in the goal charts.

The Portugal hero has netted 21 times in 22 games, while Italy international Immobile is on 27.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid To Sell Bale To Newcastle To Buy Bayern's Coman


The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the new rumours floating around Europe's big leagues and beyond.

TOP STORY: Real Madrid to sell Bale to Newcastle to buy Bayern's Coman

Could the saga finally be over? Is Gareth Bale set to leave Real Madrid after years of speculation?

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Well, FourFourTwo.Es reports that once their £300m Saudi-backed takeover goes through, Newcastle United are ready to offer €60m for the 30-year-old winger.

Bale would relish a chance to return to the Premier League, with former side Tottenham and MLS newboys Inter Miami reportedly the only other clubs who could pay the Welshman's salary. Obviously he won't be earning the €600,000-a-week he gets at Real, but he would still command a hefty sum, while his exit would free up the wage bill at the Bernabeu for other targets.

Sky Germany reports that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City are all interested in Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, with Real in particular looking at a €60m deal that would see him replace Bale.

However, the 23-year-old is on record as saying that former boss Pep Guardiola, now in charge of Man City, is the best coach he has worked with. And City could be looking for their own wing replacement if Leroy Sane moves to Bayern.

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LIVE BLOG

23.00 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!

22.37 BST: PSG or Chelsea to thwart Barcelona's move for Juventus playmaker Miralem Pjanic?

While Barca remain the favourites to land the Bosnian midfielder -- possibly in a swap deal for Arthur, Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal -- PSG are also interested in the 30-year-old. Transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio claims that PSG are interested in the free-kick ace, possibly in a swap deal for Leandro Paredes. Paredes has been a bit-part player since arriving for an initial €40 million in January, while Pjanic has featured in Ligue 1 with Metz and Lyon.

Juve could also try and sell Chelsea on the Bosnian, as Maurizio Sarri reportedly is open to a reunion with his old pal Jorginho, and could use Pjanic to make a deal work.

Pjanic looks as if he will be in the move this summer but will it be Barcelona, PSG or elsewhere? Only time will tell.

22.05 BST: One that might interest our Tottenham readers...

Turkish outlet Fanatik is reporting that West Brom are leading the race to sign Fenerbahce -- and Spurs target -- Vedat Muric. The report claims that if West Brom seal promotion to the Premier League, they will land the Kosovo international for a price around €20 million. The 26-year-old Muric has 13 goals and five assists this season and has long been rumoured with a move to North London and Tottenham.

One thing to consider here is Slaven Bilic's connections, as the Croatian manager previously coached in Istanbul with Besiktas.

21.16 BST: Everton looking at Brazilian midfielder?

Esporte News Mundo claims that Everton and Napoli are both interested in securing the signature of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Wendel. The 22-year-old, who previously played at Fluminense with Toffees star Richarlison, has a contract with Sporting through 2023 and has previously turned out for Brazil's Under-23s.

20.33 BST: Napoli and Tottenham are set to do battle over breakout Betis star Loren Moron, according to Estadio Deportivo.

The 26-year-old, who leads Betis with nine goals. Has put his name in the shop window, and has been linked with the two aforementioned clubs, as well as Barcelona. The Spanish outlet reports that Betis are asking for €60 million for Moron, but that both Napoli and Spurs would price themselves out of negotiations at around half that figure.

19.49 BST: Amid the coronavirus outbreak we have a DONE DEAL!

Ligue 2's Guingamp have signed France turned Cameroon international Paul-Georges Ntep. The 27-year-old winger starred in France first with Auxerre and then with Rennes between 2012-2017 but has fallen on hard times since.

Signed by Wolfsburg for £5 million in 2017, Ntep has bounced around since, spending time on loan at Saint-Etienne and Kayserispor, before being released by Wolfsburg in February. Having once scored nine goals and laid on seven assists for Rennes in a single season, Ntep will hope to reignite his career and help Guingamp to promotion in 2020-21.

19.02 BST: Tottenham have renewed their interest in Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo, according to Italian outlet Leggo.

The report states that due to financial strains, Roma might be forced to sell the 20-year-old Italy international, who is currently recovering from an ACL tear. Tottenham are the not the only club that reamain in Zaniolo, though, as Leggo lists Manchester United and Juventus as two other potential landing spots for the €60 million-rated forward.

Zaniolo's future could come down to whether Roma -- currently three points off of fourth --- qualify for the Champions League. Serie A announced on Wednesday that with government approval, the league will resume on June 13.

18.14 BST: Jean Makoun, remember him? Well the Cameroon international, who has played for Lyon, Lille, Aston Villa and Olympiacos among others, recently claimed he was talking with Congolese side TP Mazembe.

Unfortunately, it looks like Makoun, 36, will need to look elsewhere for his next club. Mazembe, five-time CAF Champions League winners, refuted Makoun's claims on their website:

"The TPM wishes to provide a formal denial about possible contacts or a signature with the former Cameroonian international Jean Makoun," the club wrote on their website.

"The club generally regrets the publication of erroneous and unverified information to its communications department.

Makoun has been out of contract since the expiration of his deal with Cypriot side Merit Alsancak Yesilova SK in January.

17.31 BST: Man United have reportedly enquired about a lesser-known Bundesliga attacker, according to a report in Germany.

Sky Germany understands that the Red Devils have made contact with Borussia Monchengladbach regarding French forward Alassane Plea. The former Nice star has been a hit in Germany since arriving in 2018, scoring 23 goals and adding 12 assists in 63 games with the Rhine-based club.

Plea, 27, can play on either flank or as a centre-forward and is reportedly valued at £21 million by Gladbach,

16.45 BST: Roma winger Cengiz Under could be allowed to leave the club for around €25m in the upcoming transfer window, says Sky Italia.

Under, 22, had been tipped as one of the best young players in Europe a few years ago and was being linked with Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea. However, only three goals in 20 appearances this season has seen the Turkey international's price drop considerably.

As a result, Everton and Bayern are reportedly keeping a close eye on his future with a view to a cheap deal.

15.53 BST: Barcelona's chances of signing Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez could be thwarted after La Liga president Javier Tebas said the league's financial regulations will be strictly enforced next season.

Tebas has told clubs they will not be allowed to spend beyond their means and warned they will have to enforce wage cuts to deal with the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sources close to Barca have told ESPN the club remain optimistic they will be able to structure a deal for Martinez, while the Catalan club are also interested in signing Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

"We have seen the cash flows for each club and right now they have squads which exceed the [financial] limits we will establish for next season," Tebas told the Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Deportivo.

"That brings consequences. Clubs are going to have to look at their academies and come up with a strategy to reduce salaries. There's no other solution. Transfers that exceed financial limits will not be allowed -- impossible."

14.51 BST: Barcelona have reportedly lowered their asking price for winger Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele, 22, joined for an initial €105m, rising to €140m, from Dortmund in 2017 but has struggled with injuries and Marca claims that his new pricetag has Liverpool on red alert.

14.20 BST: Corriere dello Sport says that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants Edouard Michut, a 17-year-old youth player at Paris Saint-Germain, "immediately."

Michut has also caught the eye of Juventus and Barcelona, but Sky Sports reported a few days ago that the midfielder (who has been compared to PSG's Marco Verratti in profile) is high on Guardiola's list.

The France U17 international has impressed for the PSG U19 side and is a free agent in 2021.

13.26 BST: The Football Association (FA) will battle FIFA in court next month over its punishment in relation to Chelsea's transfer ban.

The FA is challenging the disciplinary process and the accusation that there was mismanagement in the registration of minors. The case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on June 26.

"The FA has cooperated fully with FIFA's investigation. As this is an ongoing legal process it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time," an FA spokesperson told ESPN.

13.09 BST: Could Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola really return to Barcelona?

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1:24

Sid Lowe outlines Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta's goal to bring Man City's Pep Guardiola back.

12.39 BST: Tottenham want to sign Real Betis midfielder William Carvalho, according to AS.

Carvalho, 28, has struggled with injuries in recent years but has still attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Leicester, Wolves, Inter Milan and Monaco. Betis want to recoup at least €20m on the Portugal international and his former club Sporting Lisbon still own 25% of his rights.

12.04 BST: It's been about five minutes since FC Salzburg sold one of their stars and now it's midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai in the spotlight.

Szoboszlai, 19, is rated at around €35m and has been linked to Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Lazio and RB Leipzig. But Tuttosport claims that Liverpool have joined the race for the Hungary international's signature.

11.23 BST: Marca reports that, while Barcelona are keen to send Arthur Melo to Juventus in exchange for Miralem Pjanic, they will not force the Brazil midfielder to move to Italy against his will. Arthur, 23, has reiterated his desire to stay at Camp Nou and last week he released a statement saying he did not want to go anywhere.

Nelson Semedo could be on the move, though. Marca say talks over a new contract (his terms expire in 2022) have stopped and his agent, Jorge Mendes, is looking for a buyer.

Barca are hopeful of including him as a makeweight in a deal for Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez or Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, but would also be open to offers for the Portuguese right-back. They could then use that money to invest elsewhere (see below).

10.35 BST: Barcelona's search for a new centre-back has taken them to Italy, with Juventus' Daniele Rugani and Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar both on their radar, according to separate reports in Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Barca are reported to have asked Juventus about Matthijs de Ligt -- who they tried to sign when he left Ajax last year -- but were instead offered Rugani. The Italian centre-back is one of a number of names to be placed on the table as the two clubs discuss various possible swap deals. Miralem Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio have also come up as possible pawns in exchange for Barca players Arthur Melo, Nelson Semedo and Jean Clair Todibo.

Mundo Deportivo also reports that Barca are keen on Inter's Skriniar, while the Italian club could be tempted by Samuel Umtiti in exchange. However, with Skriniar valued much higher than Umtiti -- coupled with €111m Inter striker Lautaro Martinez being Barca's priority -- the Catalan club may not have the funds to move for the Slovakia international.

Meanwhile, The Daily Mirror says that Barcelona have rather oddly landed on Tottenham's Juan Foyth as an alternative target. Foyth, 22, who has not been selected in any of Jose Mourinho's Premier League or Champions League squads, is keen to move on and could head to Camp Nou in search of more regular game time.

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1:49

Julien Laurens explains why Barcelona adding Juve's Miralem Pjanic doesn't make sense on the pitch.

09.52 BST: Manchester United are to press ahead with moves for their next generation of British talent in the form of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham, says the MEN.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho would still cost upwards of £100m in these market conditions, while Aston Villa midfielder Grealish would command at least £50m and Birmingham's Bellingham is rated at £30m, despite only being 16.

So that's an outlay of around £180m on three players ... Which can only mean that some balancing of the books will be required. Paul Pogba, anyone?

09.30 BST: AS says that "everything is on hold until August" at Atletico Madrid, who won't make any moves in the transfer market until the season is over.

So if you see any gossip about the futures of Saul, Diego Costa, Thomas Lemar, Thomas Partey or Joao Felix you can just ignore them completely. Ok? OK?

08.32 BST: Paris Saint-Germain are looking to renegotiate with Inter Milan the terms to purchase Mauro Icardi this summer, Sky Italia reports.

The Argentina international, 27, joined PSG on loan with a €65m purchase option included in the deal. PSG have until the end of this month to notify Inter if they wish to activate that clause.

PSG want Icardi to remain at the club, with the striker having scored 12 goals and set up three more in 20 league appearances to help the Paris outfit clinch the title. However, PSG are looking to renegotiate the terms based on the current situation in football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Icardi's contract with Inter is due to expire in 2022.

08.00 BST: Joan Laporta has said he wants Pep Guardiola to return as Barcelona coach next summer if he is successfully elected as the club's president.

Laporta has announced his intention to stand in the club's 2021 election in a bid to return to the post he previously held between 2003 and 2010. During that period, he appointed Guardiola as the coach of Barca B and then promoted him to the first team job in 2008.

Guardiola, 49, has since gone on to coach Bayern Munich and Manchester City. He has been in charge of the English side since 2016 and has a contract until the end of next season -- just before the Camp Nou elections are due to take place.

"I would really like Guardiola to return, but right now he's at City and it's a decision he must make," Laporta told Spanish television station TV3. "He is a reference point for this club and many supporters would love to see him coaching Barca again.

"When the moment is right, I will speak with the person we believe should be Barca's manager from 2021."

Guardiola, who won 14 trophies as Barca boss, has previously stated he does not see himself coaching the club again, although he has left the door open to a role with the academy.

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3:05

Craig Burley reacts to Christian Pulisic's comments surrounding his not-so-warm welcome at Chelsea.

PAPER TALK (by Shaun Reynolds) Chelsea confident they have Gomes deal tied up

Chelsea believe they are in the driving seat to lure Angel Gomes away from Old Trafford after the Mirror reported that the midfielder has recruited "super-agent" Pini Zahavi to lead talks between himself and Blues' transfer chief Marina Granovskaia.

• When does the transfer window reopen?• Kuper: Coronavirus' impact on transfers• Barnwell's best moves: 100-51 | 50-1• This summer's top free agents• January transfer grades• Latest completed major transfers

Gomes, who is out of contract with Manchester United next month, reportedly turned down a new deal worth £30,000 per week recently. It has since emerged that Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan are interested in signing the 19-year-old.

But the Mirror's report suggests Frank Lampard currently leads the race to snap up the talented teenager, though the article adds that United chief Ole Gunner Solskjaer remains hopeful that a new contract can be successfully negotiated.

Negotiations could hinge on Solskjaer promising the youngster more game time given that he has only been handed six first-team appearances this season.

Mourinho plots double Serie A swoop

In attempt to boost his options at full-back, Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho will look to complete a double Serie A swoop this summer by signing Alex Sandro and Timothy Castagne from Juventus and Atalanta respectively.

That's according to Tuttomercato, who have said the Portuguese boss is keen to strengthen his defensive options amid doubt surrounding the futures of Serge Aurier and Danny Rose in north London.

Tuttomercato claims Spurs are offering Juventus Aurier-plus-cash for the services of Sandro, who has been valued at £44m by the Italian club. It is hoped by Spurs that an exchange deal will significantly lower that value.

Meanwhile, the same source mentioned in the article has also linked Tottenham with Belgium international Castagne. The 24-year-old has scored two goals and recorded two assists in 19 games this season.

Tap-Ins

- Fiorentina chief executive Joe Barone has confirmed to Gazzetta Dello Sport that several English clubs are knocking on the door to sign 22-year-old winger Federico Chiesa. Confirmation from Barone follows previous reports that Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are in the race to snap up the Italian, whose contract with Fiorentina runs out in the summer of 2022.

- After losing out on securing his services in January, Celtic are now plotting a move to bring in Tottenham forward Jack Clarke. Football Insider reported that the 19-year-old continues to be the subject of close attention from the Hoops' scouting team, with a season-long loan move possible for next term.

FA Set For CAS Date With FIFA Over Chelsea Transfer Ban


The Football Association (FA) will face FIFA in court next month to challenge a ruling relating to Chelsea's transfer ban.

Chelsea were punished in February 2019 for breaches of the rules pertaining to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Initially barred from making any signings for two transfer windows while also hit with a fine, the Premier League club had their punishments reduced on appeal.

The FA, meanwhile, was fined 510,000 Swiss francs (£391,000 as it processes player registrations. However, an appeal saw the amount lowered to 350,000 Swiss francs by a FIFA committee.

MORE: Premier League needs to consider July start date, says Gary Neville

English football's governing body has now escalated the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. A hearing is due to take place on June 26.

When contacted by Stats Perform, an FA spokesperson said: "The FA has cooperated fully with FIFA’s investigation. As this is an ongoing legal process it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."

U.S. Soccer's Chief Legal Officer Lydia Wahlke Resigns Amid Investigation


Foudy reacts to judge ruling against USWNT's unequal pay claim (2:14)

Julie Foudy discusses a judge ruling against the USWNT in favor of US soccer in equal pay lawsuit. (2:14)

Lydia Wahlke has resigned as the U.S. Soccer Federation's chief legal officer, the USSF has confirmed to ESPN.

Grant Wahl was the first to report the news.

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In a statement to ESPN, the USSF said that Wahlke had resigned her position and "agreed to provide consulting services as requested through Sept. 15. We would like to thank Lydia for all her hard work and dedication during her time with U.S. Soccer, and wish her the best in her future endeavors."

Wahlke's decision comes in the wake of an investigation by an outside law firm into the USSF's legal strategy as it pertained to the equal pay lawsuit filed by members of the U.S. Women's national team. Earlier this year, the USSF and its lawyers filed documents containing inflammatory language stating that the players didn't have the same skill, ability, and responsibility as their male counterparts.

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Then-USSF president Carlos Cordeiro said he hadn't read the filing before it was submitted to the court, but the uproar that ensued resulted in his resignation, with Cindy Parlow Cone replacing him.

"It should be clear that while Carlos Cordeiro did not review or approve of the offensive language in the filing, by personally resigning he decided to put the best interest of U.S. Soccer first," Parlow Cone said in a statement.

The USSF also switched law firms, and the inflammatory language was removed in subsequent filings. Wahlke was placed on administrative leave while the investigation took place.

It later emerged that Cone was part of an internal litigation committee that included USSF board members Patti Hart and Tim Turney. In a conference call with reporters back in March, Cone said that neither she nor any other board member had seen the filing before it was submitted, and that this was down to an "error" in the USSF's internal processes.

The USSF said it wouldn't make the findings of the investigation public.

No board members are expected to lose their positions as a result of the investigation.

"With the lawsuit still pending, we have been advised by our attorneys that we should not publish the report or disclose the entire substance of counsel's conclusions, and we are following that advice," the USSF said.

The statement added: "Moving forward, substantial legal filings of this nature will be required to be shared with the president, members of our board, and others within the federation for review in a timely manner to ensure we do not encounter a similar situation where language inserted by outside counsel would be in contrast with the federation's philosophy and beliefs."

In filing the suit, the players had alleged that the USSF had violated the Equal Pay Act as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by paying them less than members of the U.S. Men's national team. Earlier this month in federal court, Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled against the players on many of the key points in the suite, granting the USSF partial summary judgement on the Equal Pay Act claims, and some of the Title VII claims, leaving only Title VII issues regarding discrimination in charter flights and hotel accommodations and medical and training support. The players have appealed Klausner's ruling

Manchester city to know their fate on June 8

In a situation Manchester City are not delighted to be in, they have at least so far been given what they wanted at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
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The Premier League side's landmark court battle with UEFA has been confirmed for the second week of June, a three-day hearing squeezed into the schedule starting on June 8.
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It remains to be seen whether they will be successful in their attempt to have a two-year ban thrown out - such a decision would not say a lot for the original decision of football's governing body - but the club have maintained confidence throughout the process that an independent review will clear their name

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