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    Chelsea will not have new transfer guru in place for World Cup as Boehly forced to delay hunt after Freund snub

    CHELSEA are set to delay plans to recruit a transfer guru until after the World Cup.Chairman Todd Boehly and right-hand man Behdad Eghbali are scouring the globe for a sporting director to help buy the biggest names and source up-and-coming talent.
    Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly wants to bring in a transfer guruCredit: AP
    But the American won’t have one in place to aid Graham Potter until after the World CupCredit: GETTY
    The two Americans had hoped to get a new person before November’s finals in Qatar which is a huge showcase for players.
    But after a potential move for Red Bull Salzburg’s Christoph Freund failed to happen, Boehly is prepared to take his time with the appointment.
    Bayer Leverkusen’s Tim Steidten is another linked with a move to the Blues.
    But Chelsea are looking at many candidates and finding the right person is the priority above getting somebody in quick.
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    Blues boss Graham Potter is assisting with the recruitment process. Boehly is also looking to take on a technical director to help Potter on a more nuts and bolts level.
    Lead physio Thierry Laurent was relieved of his duties after 17 years at the club on Tuesday as part of a shake-up.
    On the playing front, Chelsea are optimistic that their France midfielder N’Golo Kante will be fit to play for his country at the World Cup.
    Kante, 31, has only just resumed light training following the latest in a line of hamstring strains.
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    He is still some way off even contemplating a first-team return and the World Cup kicks off in 52 days.
    Potter wants the inspirational midfielder to be carefully managed as he returns to fitness given the player’s age and recent injury problems.
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    France boss Didier Deschamps is expected to name his provisional squad for the Qatar tournament next month.
    Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday at Crystal Palace.
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    Cristiano Ronaldo was open to mega £210m transfer from Man Utd to Saudi Arabia with deal only failing over transfer ban

    CRISTIANO Ronaldo was open to a £210million transfer to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal before the deal fell through, it has been claimed. The club’s president Fahad ben Nafel claims the move only collapsed due to the side having a transfer ban and it was not the player rejecting the move.
    Cristiano Ronaldo was offered a huge package by Al-HilalCredit: Getty
    He also insisted he held talks with the 37-year-old striker who wanted to leave Man Utd in the summer.
    Ronaldo was offered an eye-watering £2million-a-week contract for two years.
    He was set to pocket £210m while there was also a £25m transfer fee going to United.
    Ben Nafel said: “Yes, we negotiated with Ronaldo. The problem was not in the money or the principle. 
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    “Al-Hilal is able to bring in the stars of the world, but it was in the decision of the Sports Arbitration Centre that prevented us from registering the players.
    “We did not stop negotiating with the players despite the decision to ban, but we were delaying entering the final stage of the negotiations until the ban was lifted.”
    Al-Hilal have a transfer ban due to a fiasco with signing Mohmed Kanno when he was accidently registered for two clubs at the same time.
    If the statements from Ben Nafel are true then despite Ronaldo supposedly wanting out of Old Trafford for Champions League football it didn’t stop him not listening to Al-Hilal.
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    The size of the bid in full is incredible given CR7’s age and his lack of form recently.
    He has netted just once this season – a penalty in the Europa League versus Sheriff Tiraspol.
    The Portuguese international has also had his minutes limited this season as he is often used off the bench by Erik ten Hag.
    Ronaldo continues to start for his country though despite some questioning whether he should given his underwhelming performances.
    If Al-Hilal did add Ronaldo to their squad then he would join a team with some familiar faces.
    Ex-United striker Odion Ighalo, former West Brom star Matheus Pereira and ex-Porto forward Moussa Marega are all at the club. More

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    Cristiano Ronaldo ‘DIDN’T reject’ Al-Hilal transfer as Saudi chief reveals why mega-money move from Man Utd fell through

    CRISTIANO RONALDO “didn’t reject” a summer transfer to Al-Hilal, according to the club’s president.And he revealed the two parties were heading into the final stages of negotiations before the mega-money move collapsed.
    Cristiano Ronaldo was linked with a summer transfer to Saudi Arabian side Al-HilalCredit: PA
    But Fahad ben Nafel insisted it was not Ronaldo who pulled the plug.
    Instead, he claimed a transfer ban placed on the Saudi Arabian side proved the critical blow.
    Nafel told the Thamanya YouTube channel: “Yes, we negotiated with Ronaldo.
    “The problem was not in the money or the principle, Al-Hilal is able to bring in the stars of the world.
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    “But it was in the decision of the Sports Arbitration Centre that prevented us from registering the players.
    “We did not stop negotiating with the players despite the decision to ban, but we were delaying entering the final stage of the negotiations until the ban was lifted.”
    Ronaldo, 37, looked on course to quit United in the summer after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League with just 12 months left on his Old Trafford contract.
    He was linked with Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli but they all opted against trying to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
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    That meant a switch to the Middle East looked more likely with massive wages up to £2million per week on offer.
    Al-Hilal appeared to be in pole position.
    However, they were slapped with the sanctions which prevented them bringing in any new players after Mohamed Kanno’s transfer fiasco saw him registered for two clubs at the same time.
    Ronaldo has started just once in the Premier League this season – the 4-0 drubbing at Brentford – with Marcus Rashford claiming the No9 spot.
    The Portugal superstar did get his first goal of the season from the penalty spot as United beat Sheriff 2-0 in the Europa League.
    However, SunSport revealed his team-mates believe he will push for a move once again in January. More

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    Lionel Messi to decide future after World Cup with PSG contract expiring next summer… but has no current transfer offers

    LIONEL MESSI will decide his future after the World Cup – but has so far had no offers from any club. The Argentine hero signed a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
    Lionel Messi’s current PSG contract expires in the summer and his future is unclearCredit: AP
    The Argentina icon hopes to lead his country to World Cup glory in QatarCredit: Getty
    But with that contract expiring next summer, it remains unclear where he will be playing his football in the 2023-24 season. 
    And SunSport can reveal the Argentine hero currently has no concrete options.
    Despite suggestions PSG want to offer him a one-year extension, the French giants are yet to table that deal. 
    Messi, 35, has not been sent any contracts from elsewhere, either, which as it stands would make him a free agent again in nine months.
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    However, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is focused on the World Cup as he looks to lead Argentina to glory.
    Lionel Scaloni’s side face Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in November’s group stages and they will be desperate to go one better than their runner-up finish in 2014 by lifting the iconic trophy in Doha on December 18. 
    After the tournament finishes, Messi will then sit down to make a call on his club career.  
    Despite rumours of a transfer return, former club Barcelona have made zero contact with the player directly since his emotional exit in August 2021. 
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    Messi left his boyhood club when his contract expired last year and the club could not afford to give him a new deal. 
    The player was willing to take a huge pay cut to stay but employment law in Spain combined with LaLiga financial regulations prevented any extension from being possible.
    Messi joined PSG on a free transfer, forming a deadly strike force with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe but endured a tough first season at the Parc des Princes – despite winning the title.
    He scored just six league goals in his lowest tally since becoming a Barcelona regular in 2005-06. 
    But the ex-Barca captain has already managed four in eight appearances this term as Christophe Galtier’s men sit two points clear at the top of the table.
    After scoring a sublime chip on international duty last weekend, Messi revealed he was finally enjoying his football again after his struggles.
    He said: “I feel good, I feel different from last year. I knew it was going to be like this.
    “I’m more comfortable with the club, the dressing room, my team-mates, the game.
    “I feel very good again, so I’m starting to enjoy it again.”
    Messi left Barcelona in emotional scenes when his contract could not be renewedCredit: Getty
    He joined PSG as a free agent on a two-year deal until 2023Credit: Getty
    After struggling for goals last season, he has started the new campaign in red-hot formCredit: AFP More

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    Arsenal joined by Newcastle in Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer race as Toon consider £50m bid for Shakhtar winger

    NEWCASTLE have joined the race for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk, according to reports.Mudryk, 21, is hot property – wanted by a handful of clubs across Europe.
    Newcastle are said to be lining up a £50m transfer bid for Ukranian MudrykCredit: Kenny Ramsay
    i News claim that Toon bosses are considering joining the race for his signature.
    The Ukrainian side have named a pricetag just short of £50million and the Magpies are looking for a winger.
    A Prem senior recruiter is reported to have said: “It’s an absolute certainty that he will be playing in the Premier League in the next 12 months”.
    The forward is in demand following his stunning start to the season where he has caught the eye in the opening two Champions League matches.
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    Mudryk chipped in with a goal and two assists in the 4-1 victory over RB Leipzig, before he got on the score sheet in this month’s 1-1 draw with Celtic.
    Newcastle’s top flight rivals Arsenal know all too well about his qualities having tracked the forward – dubbed the ‘Ukrainian Neymar’ – in the summer.
    It was even said how the Gunners had agreed personal terms with the player, but a move failed to materialise.
    Mikel Arteta remains a huge admirer of Mudryk, with it understood the North London outfit will go back in for him in January to provide competition for Gabriel Martinelli.
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    Mudryk has even talked up a switch to the Emirates after insisting he “can’t say no to Arsenal”, but stressed the club have to reach an agreement with Shakhtar.
    Everton and Brentford are also said to be keen on the youngster. More

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    David De Gea wanted by Juventus on free transfer amid uncertainty over keeper’s Man Utd future under Erik ten Hag

    JUVENTUS could make a move to land Manchester United star David De Gea at the end of the season, reports suggest.De Gea’s contract, which earns him around £350,000 per week, runs out in June and United manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly not convinced he wants his deal to be extended.
    Manchester United star David De Gea is being targeted by JuventusCredit: Getty
    According to Calciomercato, Juve could swoop in if the star goalkeeper becomes a free agent in the summer.
    The Bianconeri are keen on signing a new keeper with ex-Arsenal ace Wojciech Szczesny’s deal expiring in 2024.
    Meanwhile, United could consider bringing Everton star Jordan Pickford as De Gea’s replacement between the sticks.
    Pickford has various clubs carefully monitoring his situation as he will have just one year left on his contract at the end of the season.
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    The England No1 is also a homegrown player, which is very appealing to his suitors.
    De Gea, who was omitted from Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the international break, suffered a poor start to the season with a raft of errors most notably at Brentford.
    And United are dealing with a high wage bill that reached a Premier League record of £384million last season.
    The Red Devils recently announced that their salaries have increased by a staggering £61.6m from the previous year.
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    Cristiano Ronaldo’s comeback as well as Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane’s arrivals led to a 19.1 per cent increase in their salary bill as well as a net loss amounting to £115.5m.
    United are assessing their long-term plans and a change in goal can’t be ruled out, even though De Gea has improved recently and has been integral in the last 11 years at Old Trafford. More

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    Newcastle close to snapping up Australian prodigy Garang Kuol, 18, despite transfer interest from Dortmund

    NEWCASTLE are reportedly on the verge of signing Australian wonderkid Garang Kuol.The 18-year-old only made his international debut over the weekend, but is being billed as the next big thing Down Under.
    Garang Kuol is reportedly close to signing for NewcastleCredit: Getty
    Toon chiefs have made it a priority to sign some of the world’s best young talents through an extensive scouting network, according to Sky Sports.
    And teenage prodigy Kuol is reported to be on Newcastle’s wishlist.
    The club are claimed to be close to finalising a deal to bring Kuol to Tyneside from Aussie club Central Coast Mariners.
    That’s despite interest in the young striker from German giants Borussia Dortmund.
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    The Bundesliga club have a reputation for signing young talents and turning them into world class stars.
    But it’s Newcastle who are close to signing the teenage sensation.
    Kuol has scored an impressive four goals in nine league games for Central Coast Mariners.
    His form saw him earn a maiden Australia call-up this month.
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    Kuol came off the bench for a 17 minute cameo in Sunday’s 2-0 win over New Zealand, becoming the sixth youngest player in Socceroos history.
    But Kuol isn’t Toon’s only transfer target.
    Howe is reportedly lining up SIX potential January incomings as he looks to propel his squad towards a challenge for Europe. More

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    Man Utd ‘interested in transfer of Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko’ with star in last year of contract

    MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly plotting a swoop for Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko.New Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag has already brought in several new arrivals over the summer as he attempts to transform the club back to its past glories.
    Youssoufa Moukoko is allegedly wanted by Manchester UnitedCredit: Rex
    Now a fresh report from Italy has claimed that he and United are among a host of teams chasing forward Moukoko.
    The 17-year-old burst onto the scene a year ago with the Bundesliga giants.
    He made his debut a day after turning 16, and he has gone on to make a further 45 appearances for Dortmund.
    During that time he has scored seven times, and now it seems his exploits have caught the eye of a number of Europe’s big guns.
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    Moukoko is only under contract with Dortmund until June 2023 and is yet to agree to an extension.
    Now Calcio Mercato are stating that United are tracking the attacker as they consider a summer move.
    However, Ten Hag faces some stiff competition to secure the teenage star’s signature.
    Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG are also all allegedly keen.
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    Moukoko was handed a senior call-up after scoring 141 goals in just 88 matches for the club’s youth team.
    That soon earned him recognition at international level where he’s found the net six times in five outings for Germany’s Under-21 side.
    He initially started out at rivals St Pauli before moving to Dortmund in 2016. More