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Real Madrid considering £88m Ronaldo Juventus bid

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Real Madrid are considering an offer of about 100m euros (£88m) from Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 33-year-old Portugal forward is Real’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals.

However his age, and Real’s need to reshape a squad that finished 17 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona last season, has encouraged the Italian champions to make their move.

Ronaldo won his fifth Champions League title with Madrid in May.

Since that victory over Liverpool in Kiev, Real boss Zinedine Zidane has left the club and been replaced by former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future has been the subject of intense debate over the past few years, and his relationship with Real president Florentino Perez has also been questioned.

Any move would eclipse Juventus’ record transfer fee of 90m euros (£79m), which they paid for Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain in 2016.

It would also be more than the £80m Real paid Manchester United for Ronaldo in 2009.

Reports of Cristiano Ronaldo’s unhappiness at Real Madrid have become an all-too-predictable annual occurrence, and in the past they have always resulted in the Portuguese having his ego stroked, his pay packet boosted and the problem solved.

So when Ronaldo once again revealed his disenchantment with the club in the immediate aftermath of the Champions League final victory over Liverpool, at first nobody took him seriously.

But this is starting to look a little bit different, and there’s a growing sense within Spain that this might actually be the summer when Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid.

That suspicion has arisen partly because the club has not done too much – publicly, at least – to fight to keep him, fuelling speculation that all-powerful president Florentino Perez believes this is the right time to cash in.

If Real can command a fee of 100m euros from Juventus, Perez could well see that as great business for a player who will be 34 by the end of next season.

Lurking in the background is the figure of Neymar. For a long time it has appeared to be just a matter of time before the flamboyant Brazilian ends his Parisian sojourn and moves to Madrid, where his combination of prodigious footballing talent and enormous marketing power would make him a perfect signing.

If Neymar does come this summer, it’s hard to see how both his and Ronaldo’s egos could coexist happily on the pitch or in the dressing room, and the older man would need to make way.

Even if Neymar isn’t captured, Perez is also a big admirer of another PSG star, Kylian Mbappe, whose eye-catching World Cup performances have made him an even more appealing prospect.

All things considered, it could well be time for a changing of the guard at the Bernabeu.

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Alleged corruption: Pinnick drags Obono-Obla, SPIP to court

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The last might not have been heard of the alleged corruption against Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), as the CAF vice president, through the NFF lawyer, Mamman Nasir, has dragged Okoi Obono-Obla, the head of Special Presidential Investigatory Panel (SPIP) on the recovery of public property, and the entire panel, to court.

This is according to a letter from Nasir obtained by Breaking Times. The football house, through its lawyer, lamented what it called the orchestrated media campaign against NFF officials.

Consequently, the NFF, through the lawyer, warned against persecution and public show trial of its officials by SPIP.

“It must be pointed out that while these publications of the news of the warrant of arrest started on Wednesday, January 9, the date on the face of the eventual published warrant unlawfully obtained from a magistrate’s court in Abuja was Thursday, January 10”, the statement stated.

The counsel to the NFF questioned why a warrant of arrest will be obtained from a Magistrate Court instead of a High Court as prescribed by the law setting up the SPIP.

“More grievous to the rights of our client and its officials is the fact that Chief Obono-Obla and SPIP went to secure a warrant of arrest from a Magistrate Court contrary to the clear provisions of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, the law setting up the SPIP, that ONLY the Federal High Court is vested with the jurisdiction to issue warrants for the SPIP.

He, however, stated that he has filed a suit against the SPIP in the FCT High Court, Abuja. ”Our client and the affected NFF officials have also taken the additional step to file a suit, FC/ABJ/ CS/17/2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

“The suit is to allow this whole sordid matter to be ventilated in the court of the land and to check the oppression of our client and its officials

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BREAKING: Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United have sacked José Mourinho following Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, ending a tenure that began in May 2016.

A poor start to the Premier League season has seen United slip 19 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, and fall off the pace in the hunt for a top-four place. They have won only once in six league matches, drawing during that sequence with struggling Southampton and Crystal Palace.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning which read: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.

“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future. A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

Relations between the manager and the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, also seemed strained after the club did not sign a central defender this summer. The club concluded that of the players in that position targeted by Mourinho whom they could potentially land, none was an upgrade on the existing squad.

A sense of disunity at United was encapsulated when Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy before a Carabao Cup defeat by Derby County and confronted him at training the following morning. The manager has criticised his players’ “mental approach”, attitude and quality.

Mourinho has seemed less than happy since the buildup to the season, when he described preparations as “very bad” because many of his senior players were resting after the World Cup.

The manager demanded “respect, respect, respect” for his three Premier League titles following United’s 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham in late August but will not get a chance to add a fourth at Old Trafford.

In two full seasons at Old Trafford, Mourinho won the Europa League and League Cup (2016-17) before finishing second in the Premier League last season and reaching the FA Cup final. In that period since replacing Louis van Gaal, United’s spending stands at £364.3m on eight buys.

Source: The Guardian UK

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Luka Modric ‘beats’ Ronaldo to win 2018 Ballon d’ Or award

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Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award, the prestigious prize given to the best football in the world.

Modric beat five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to the honour at a glamorous ceremony in Paris, France.

Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or.

The Croatia captain has proved a crucial part both of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League triumph, beating Liverpool in the final 3-1, and as captain in Croatia’s impressive run to the World Cup final which earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball.

In 2018, Modric won his third consecutive Champions League trophy with club side Real Madrid and led Croatia to their first World Cup final, losing 4-2 to France.

The 33-year-old’s prize sees an end to the 10-year duopoly of Messi, who finished fifth overall in his lowest ranking since 2006, and Ronaldo, who came second. France and Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann finished third, with his France team-mate Mbappe fourth.

Harry Kane, the only English player on the 30-man shortlist, ranked 10th in the poll after winning the World Cup Golden Boot in Russia as he captained England to their best finish in 28 years.

Premier League trio Mohamed Salah (6), Eden Hazard (8) and Kevin De Bruyne (9) were also in the top 10.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year’s poll.

World Cup winners N’Golo Kante (11) and Paul Pogba (15) finished in the top 20 after being recognised for their performances in Russia.

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