More stories

  • in

    Tottenham line up transfer move for Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak as Hugo Lloris’ long-term replacement

    TOTTENHAM are lining upJan Oblak as a long-term replacement to Hugo Lloris, according to reports.The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper has attracted the interest of boss Antonio Conte after impressing for years in Spain.
    Hugo Lloris is an injury doubt ahead of Saturday’s huge North London DerbyCredit: Alamy
    Oblak has impressive for years as Atletico Madrid’s no.1Credit: Reuters
    Spurs are believed to be putting into place a plan to replace Lloris, who has been at the club for over a decade now.
    The reliable Frenchman has made 425 appearances for the London club but his contract runs out in 2024.
    The Evening Standard reports that the 35-year-old is not expected to sign a new one and so Spurs are putting a long-term replacement plan in place.
    Top of their list is Oblak, who has been Atletico’s goalkeeper since 2014.
    He has regularly been ranked as among the best keepers in Europe and played a crucial role in the Atletico team who won La Liga in 2021.
    The Slovenian also starred as the Spanish side reached the 2016 Champions League final.
    Conte and managing director Fabio Paratici have spoken about landing the stopper, but could find him difficult to prise away.
    Oblak’s contract runs until 2028, which offers Diego Simeone and the club security, and he reportedly had a release clause of £107m.
    Most read in Football

    But the Standard reports that clause is believed to have been lowered significantly.
    Tottenham may face a fight from their Premier League rivals to secure Oblak’s signature.
    Manchester United are believed to be monitoring the 29-year-old’s situation closely, and could themselves be contemplating a move to replace a long-term keeper in David De Gea.
    While Chelsea have previously made contact with Oblak via their former goalkeeper and technical advisor Petr Cech during Frank Lampard’s reign. More

  • in

    Antoine Griezmann wins Atletico Madrid Player of the Month despite only starting ONE MATCH as Barcelona spat continues

    ANTOINE GRIEZMANN won Atletico Madrid’s Player of the Month despite starting just ONE MATCH, with the transfer spat with Barcelona still ongoing. The Frenchman, 31, rejoined Atletico from Barca on a two-year loan deal following an unsuccessful two years at the Nou Camp.
    Griezmann won Atletico’s Player of the Month awardCredit: Rex
    Despite Barca paying over £100million for Griezmann in 2019, they inserted a cut-price fee of £35m in his Atletico loan.
    However, that will only be triggered if the World Cup winner plays a certain amount of games.
    And to avoid triggering the buy option, Atletico have only played Griezmann for less than 30 minutes per match – which is under the threshold to be counted as a game in the terms.
    A new deal could be negotiated for around £22m to end the stalemate and give Griezmann the game time he deserves ahead of France’s world title defence in Qatar later this year.
    Barca have threatened legal action against Atletico regarding their seeming exploitation of this loophole, and unless a deal is hashed out before January to sort it Griezmann may be recalled.
    Griezmann won Atletico’s Player of the Month for September, despite starting just ONE MATCH, paying testament to his bench cameos.
    He got a goal and an assist across all competitions in the month, including a last-gasp Champions League winner over Porto.
    Whether Atletico and Barca come to an agreement is yet to be seen.
    Most read in Football

    But other clubs are starting to sniff around Griezmann.
    Premier League giants Manchester United, as well as Serie A title-chasing Juventus are said to be keen. More

  • in

    Liverpool looking to land Memphis Depay in shock swap transfer with Roberto Firmino joining Barcelona

    LIVERPOOL are eyeing an audacious swap deal to land Barcelona star Memphis Depay, reports suggest.Depay, 28, was heavily linked with a Barcelona exit over the summer.
    Memphis Depay was in action for the Netherlands over the international breakCredit: AFP
    Roberto Firmino playing for Liverpool in the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    But with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving to join Chelsea instead, the Dutchman ended up staying at Barcelona to play second fiddle to Robert Lewandowski.
    However, this has not stopped rumours about his future at the Camp Nou.
    And the latest reports from Sport indicate there could be movement in the January window between him and Liverpool.
    The Reds are said to be plotting a swap deal for Depay with cult hero Roberto Firmino.
    Firmino, 30, joined Liverpool in 2015, scoring 101 goals and registering 77 assists since.
    With less than a year left on his current deal though, they are keen to try and move him on.
    He has fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Darwin Nunez and established stars such as Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.
    Both Depay and Firmino share a similar player profile, and a swap deal in January could benefit all parties – as opposed to both clubs losing their respective players for nothing next summer.
    Most read in Football
    Of course, Depay’s history as a former Manchester United player could mean his welcome from the crowd is less than warm.
    Firmino stepped into the starting XI brilliantly this season against Bournemouth, scoring twice and adding three assists.
    He then scored the equaliser one week later against Newcastle at Anfield.
    Depay has made the most of his rare starts, scoring in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Elche, albeit after starting on the left wing.
    Liverpool have also been eyeing up midfield reinforcements, with Jude Bellingham and Mosies Caicedo earmarked as their first choice transfer targets to rejuvenate their midfield. More

  • in

    Shakira and Gerard Pique watch son play baseball but pair keep awkward distance after bitter split

    POP SENSATION Shakira and her ex-footie star fella Gerard Pique were spotted watching their son play baseball – but kept well away from each other.The former couple both showed up to watch nine-year-old Milan in action on Saturday in Barcelona.
    Shakira kept a lengthy distance from her ex-Gerard Pique as they watched their son play baseballCredit: Splash
    The Barcelona defender was spotted with his mother watching the gameCredit: Splash
    Spanish World Cup winner Pique was decked out in a cap and denim jacketCredit: Splash
    The former partners stood at separate ends of the pitchCredit: Splash
    Barca defender Pique, 35, and the Colombian broke up this summer after 12 years together and are now finalising their bitter split.
    And the tension seemed to be in the air two days ago as they headed out to support their boy.
    Pique was spotted sat with his mother in one of the stands at the baseball venue, while Shakira attended the game with her own mom and some pals, who sat either side of her.
    She was then also even spotted sitting in the team’s dug-out.
    The pair remained several metres apart throughout the afternoon and allegedly hardly looked at each other throughout the baseball game, according to TMZ Sport.
    And it was not until their other son Shasa, aged seven, went to say goodbye to Shakira that the ex-lovers went anywhere near each other.
    The singer, 45, has been rocked by Gerard’s new relationship with PR girl Clara Chia Marti, 23, who is believed to have met him while working on events at his sports investment firm Kosmos.
    Hips Don’t Lie hitmaker Shakira, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, has recently opened up about her break-up.
    Most read in Football
    She spoke about their children Milan and Sasha being her “medicine” and said writing music is like her “therapy” during her “darkest hours”.
    Shakira met Gerard after he featured in the video to her song Waka Waka, released for the 2010 World Cup.
    The pair split in June, with the Colombian singer confirming a separation by releasing a statement.
    It was alleged by the Spanish media that Pique cheated on Shakira, although that has never been confirmed.
    But months after they went their separate ways, the ex-Man Utd star went public with his new relationship with student Clara – and was seen kissing her at the Summerfest Cerdanya festival in Catalonia.
    Meanwhile, Shakira is said to face up to eight years in jail if she is found guilty of an alleged £12million tax fraud.
    She has been accused of defrauding the Spanish treasury from 2012-2014.
    Shakira even took some time for herself as she sat in the dug-outCredit: Splash
    Shakira was at the game with her motherCredit: Splash
    Pique’s other son Shasa was also in attendance to watch his brother MilanCredit: Splash
    The couple before their bitter splitCredit: Getty More

  • in

    Man Utd joined by Juventus in Antoine Griezmann transfer chase as move from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid stalls

    MANCHESTER UNITED have been joined in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann by Juventus, according to reports. Griezmann, 31, is free to leave Barcelona after flopping at the club and is currently on loan at rivals Atletico Madrid.
    Antoine Griezmann is wanted by Man United and Juventus if Atletico do not sign him permanentlyCredit: Rex
    Griezmann captained France in their 2-0 loss to DenmarkCredit: AFP
    There is an clause in his loan deal which could see him sign permanently for Atletico for a cut-price fee of £35million, although recent reports suggest it could be as low as £22m.
    However, the clause inserted into the deal means the full transfer is only triggered if the Frenchman plays a certain amount of games.
    And to avoid triggering the buy option Atletico have only played Griezmann for less than 30 minutes per match – which is under the threshold to be counted as a game in the terms.
    If Atletico continue to do this, he won’t automatically become their player, which would allow interested parties such as United and Juventus to sign him.
    Barcelona have threatened legal action against Atletico regarding their seeming exploitation of this loophole, and unless a deal is hashed out before January to sort it Griezmann may be recalled.
    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus are keeping an eye on the situation and are alert to any changes ahead of a potential transfer.
    Massimiliano Allegri’s side have struggled in Serie A this season and are way off the pace of getting close to winning a Scudetto.
    Consequently, they are already looking at reinforcements in January and next summer.
    Most read in Football
    The likes of Marco Asensio and Christian Pulisic are among their targets who are at a reduced price, with Griezmann the latest addition to the list.
    Man Utd’s interest dates back to the summer, but the 2018 World Cup winner was not entertaining moves away from Madrid and snubbed a potential move.
    However, the current situation is leaving all parties frustrated and could end with United making an approach in January. More

  • in

    Ex-England boss Fabio Capello says he was ‘proud’ of selling Ronaldo due to Brazil legend’s ‘love of parties and women’

    FABIO CAPELLO has revealed he was “proud” to sell Ronaldo because the Brazil legend loved “parties and women”.The ex-England chief even found it “funny” when AC Milan signed the striker from him at Real Madrid in 2007 – as he had WARNED the Italian giants about Ronaldo skipping training.
    Ronaldo, pictured with then girlfriend Susana Werner, took the attention OFF the fieldCredit: AFP
    Ronaldo enjoyed a good party, according to his former boss Fabio CapelloCredit: EPA
    Italian disciplinarian Capello was amused when Milan signed RonaldoCredit: AP:Associated Press
    The Italian, 76, was known as a disciplinarian, even clamping down on family visits for the Three Lions’ ill-fated 2010 World Cup.
    So it could hardly have been a bigger clasher of off-field styles when he managed Ronaldo during in his second spell in charge of Real.
    The two-time Ballon d’Or winner was in the last of his five years at the Bernabeu when matters with Capello came to a head.
    Ronaldo, 30 at the time had previously played for Barcelona and Inter Milan, as well as winning the World Cup in 1994 and 2002. 
    But Capello explained the strains of life with the Rio de Janeiro icon.
    He told A Bola: “Being a Real Madrid coach is a huge responsibility. In my second spell, the decision to send Ronaldo away and sign Cassano helped to create a winning spirit in the team.
    ‘I remember Silvio Berlusconi [former AC Milan owner] calling me to ask how Ronaldo was doing. 
    “I told him that he didn’t even train himself and that he was very fond of parties and women, so hiring him would be a mistake. 
    Most read in Football
    “The next day I saw the headline in the newspaper and it was Ronaldo in Milan. It was very funny.’ 
    Ronaldo, now 46, was offloaded to the San Siro for £8million, despite his 83 goals in 127 games for Real.
    He then finished his career back home in Brazil with Corinthians from 2009-11.
    Ronaldo poses with one of his exes, Racia, and David and Victoria BeckhamCredit: Rex
    The legendary Brazilian striker led a hectic lifestyle at Real MadridCredit: Rex
    Fabio Capello was happy to sell Brazil great Ronaldo to AC MilanCredit: PA:Press Association More

  • in

    David Beckham in Inter Miami transfer blow as Xavi demands Barcelona hand captain Sergio Busquets new contract

    DAVID Beckham might fail in his attempts to bring Barcelona star Sergio Busquets to Inter Miami.That’s because Barca manager Xavi wants to keep the midfielder beyond the expiration of his current deal next summer, according to Culemani.
    Busquets’ current Barca deal runs out in 2023Credit: AFP
    Despite turning 34 earlier this summer, Busquets remains a key player in midfield for Barcelona.
    After all, the Spain international is captain of the club and has already made five starts this season.
    And Xavi will know all about Busquets’ qualities first-hand after playing alongside him for seven years prior to his move to Qatar.
    The pair won five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues together, with Andres Iniesta the other part of what was a memorable midfield trio.
    And Busquets now looks set to continue what has been an incredible career at the Nou Camp.
    He has made almost 700 appearances for Barcelona, winning more than 25 trophies across a career spanning more than 14 years.
    But a contract extension would come as a blow for Beckham, who was reportedly trying to bring Busquets to Miami.
    Miami are currently inside the play-offs in the Eastern Conference after beating Wayne Rooney’s DC United 3-2 last weekend.
    Most read in Football
    Beckham is still looking for reinforcements, though, with Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain his most high-profile signing to date.
    But with Busquets likely to remain with his boyhood club, Beckham will have to look elsewhere if he wants to sign another footballing giant.
    Busquets played alongside his current manager for seven yearsCredit: Getty – Contributor More

  • in

    Barcelona ‘rushing to finalise Antoine Griezmann’s Atletico Madrid transfer’ amid interest from Man Utd

    BARCELONA are reportedly trying to rush through a cut-price £22million deal for Antoine Griezmann to join Atletico Madrid permanently.The Frenchman, 31, has hit the headlines this term due to the bizarre clause inserted into his loan agreement.
    Barcelona are trying to push through an agreement with Atletico for Antoine GriezmannCredit: Getty
    He has only been appearing off the bench after the hour mark for Diego Simeone’s side.
    That is due to Atletico being obliged to pay Barcelona £35m if he plays in 50 per cent of their game time during his loan period.
    Forward Griezmann is growing increasingly frustrated over his substitute appearances, which has sparked Manchester United’s interest.
    Erik ten Hag is believed to be plotting a January swoop for the World Cup winner if his current situation at Atletico remains unsolved.
    However, now a fresh report from Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona are looking to negotiate a transfer with their LaLiga rival’s for a reduced £22m.
    And they want the deal completed by January 7 – the date the two teams face each other for the first time this season in LaLiga.
    Barca could still take legal action if it is not resolved but they would rather try to find an amicable compromise first.
    The Catalan team are insisting that Atletico have already triggered the option to buy during the first of his two-year loan when he featured for over 50 per cent of their game time.
    Most read in Football
    From his eight games this campaign, Griezmann has chipped in with three goals – two of which have come in LaLiga.
    All of his outings in the Spanish top-flight have come after the 60th-minute this season.
    Atletico boss Simeone has strongly hinted that the restrictions have been placed on him from the higher-ups at the club. More