Martin Odegaard deserves Real Madrid chance

Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard looks set to leave Real Madrid on a two-year loan deal to Dutch giants Ajax, according to the latest speculation. The Norwegian has starred during a series of loan stints in the Netherlands, and surely deserves a chance in the first-team squad at Los Blancos.

The 20-year-old is currently on loan at Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem after previously making 43 first-team appearances on loan at Heerenveen, with both his stats and reviews this campaign showing a marked sign of progress. The midfielder has impressed once again in the Eredivisie this campaign by netting eight goals and providing nine assists to help Vitesse into a top seven spot. Continue reading

Keylor Navas set for Real Madrid exit

Keylor Navas

A multitude of reports in the Spanish press on Monday stated that Real Madrid had informed long-serving goalkeeper Keylor Navas that his time at the club was up. The 32-year-old’s final game at the club is set to be against Real Betis on Sunday, in an opportunity for him to say his goodbyes to the fans after five years in the Spanish capital.

The Costa Rican appeared certain to leave the European champions last summer whenever their €40m deal for Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea was completed. However, the Costa Rican number one stuck it out in the Spanish capital and continually referenced his contract at the club and even stating ‘he would rather die’ than leave the Bernabeu. Continue reading

Real Betis will not sign wayward Jese Rodriguez

Jese

The story of Jese Rodriguez is one of missed opportunity, bad decisions and misfortune. As he rose through the youth ranks at Real Madrid and into the first-team squad, his style of play drew comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo and he was widely recognised as one of the best players in the world.

Three months ago, Jese celebrated his 26th birthday and even though he should be approaching an age where most elite footballers reach their peak, his career is lurching from one underperformance to the next. Reports in Spain now say Real Betis, where he is currently on loan, will not exercise the option to sign him permanently. Continue reading

Ernesto Valverde under growing pressure at Barcelona

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As soon as Barcelona went a goal down at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, you could sense what was about to unfold. Liverpool, three goals down from the first leg, were shorn of attacking stars Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. This was as close to an unassailable lead for the Blaugrana as they were ever likely to get in the competition.

The manner of their collapse would be bad enough in isolation but held up against what had happened the previous year against Roma at the quarter-final stage, it really is close to unforgivable. Ernesto Valverde’s side held a 4-1 lead (in what did not reflect the play of the Camp Nou clash) before being blown away by a hungry, energetic side in the return. Continue reading

Koulibaly set for summer transfer tug of war

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With the Serie A season almost over, gossip pages in both Italy and elsewhere in Europe and going to need something to fill their pages over the summer months.

Transfer speculation is set to dominate, with the biggest story already well underway – where next for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaily?

The Sengalese international has remained open ended on his future when asked this season, consistently stating that he and his agent would sit down with the club in May to decide on the future.

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Fabio Quagliarella aiming to break 58-year record

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Despite Sampdoria’s Serie A season fizzling out in recent weeks, with one win in five games, the story of Fabio Quagliarella remains huge news in Italian football.

The uber-veteran striker has rolled back the years time and again this season, to notch 23 Serie A goals, with four games of the season still to play for Marco Giampaolo’s side.

The 36-year old is enjoying an extended autumn summer in Genoa, during his second spell at the club, with the past two seasons seeing his highest ever league goal return.

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Milan confident of overhauling Europa League rivals

milantorino

With the Serie A season approaching its final straight, the race for the Europpean places is set to go down to the wire.

With Juventus having already secured their title, and Napoli and Inter Milan looking strong to secure a Champions League finish, the battle for Europe is spread across seven sides.

Atalanta and Roma look set to fight it out for fourth place, and Champions League football for 2019-20.

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Rayo will fight La Liga relegation to the last day

Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid

 

Rayo Vallecano’s 1-0 win over Real Madrid in Vallecas sparked epic scenes in the crowd at full time, as they beat their city rivals in La Liga for the first time 22 years.

However, more importantly, it gives Paco Jemez’s side a real chance of staying in the top flight – with the confidence that result can give.

The Mexican boss was clear post-match that defeat to Zinedine Zidane’s side would have meant an immediate return to the Segunda – but this win will give hope.

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Celta Vigo to avoid La Liga relegation

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Celta Vigo look to have already done enough to secure their La Liga status, after a brilliant turnaround in form in recent weeks moving them up to 15th in the table.

Twelve points from their last seven games has seen them move away from the relegation zone, with three matches still to play.

Fans will not be happy until their safety is confirmed, but they will be getting increasingly confident of remaining in the top flight for the 2019-20 campaign.

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Valencia eye Champions League spot via the Europa League

Goncalo Guedes

Valencia could secure an alternative route into next season’s Champions League, as their La Liga top four continues to falter.

Back to back defeats against Atletico Madrid and Eibar, in league action, has pushed Marcelino’s side down to sixth place, three points behind Getafe and Sevilla, with three games to go.

However it is not over yet in terms of a second successive season in Europe’s premier competition for Los Che.

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