Juventus will reportedly play this summer’s International Champions Cup in Asia so Cristiano Ronaldo avoids being possibly detained by US authorities. According to the New York Times, ICC organisers have kept Juve out of the US due to Ronaldo’s ‘legal troubles’ concerning the rape allegations brought against him by Kathryn Mayorga. The newspaper writes the Bianconeri ‘would have drawn unwanted scrutiny’ if they had travelled to America without the No 7, who has always maintained his innocence. Consequently, the Old Lady are expected to play their ICC friendlies in China and Singapore. A spokesperson for the club told the New York Times that ‘going east was normal’, given they had spent recent preseasons in the US. It comes after Las Vegas police issued a warrant in January to obtain Ronaldo’s DNA to see if it matched the one found on Mayorga’s dress.
Sevilla technical director Monchi has revealed why he turned down Arsenal to take a job at his former club last week.
The Gunners were keen to bring the Spaniard to the Emirates to fill their vacant technical director position following the departure of Sven Mislintat, who left his role as the club’s head of recruitment last month.
Monchi, who stepped down from his position as Roma’s sporting director last month, decided to return to Spain before thanking the Premier League side for their interest in him.
He said: “I thank Arsenal for their interest. It has been the club that has shown the most interest in me but, in the end, I evaluated all of the offers I had on the table and I chose the one that convinced me most.
“I had other options, and very important ones that were flashier, but I’ve chosen Sevilla because its sporting project convinced me.
“I want to thank everyone that contributed to my return to what I consider to be my home.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery attended Valencia’s clash with Getafe on Sunday to scout Togolese defender Djene Dakonam, report Diario AS. The Togolese international – primarily a central defender but who is also used at right-back – has excelled for Los Azulones since joining the Madrid-based club in 2017 from Belgian club Sint-Truden. The 27-year-old is said to be in high demand, with Barcelona and Sevilla reportedly among the leading clubs in Spain interested in his signature. Back in December, Marca quoted Getafe president Angel Torres as saying: “If I decide to sell Djene then [Getafe Coach, Pepe] Bordalas is gone!” The defender is said to hold a €35m release clause in his current deal and the club do not appear likely to budge on such a clause.
Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City are capable of withstanding a potential transfer ban. FIFA are investigating the Premier League champions over transfers of youngsters and determining whether they are in breach of rules. Chelsea were slapped with a two-window suspension last month and City are thought to be in line for similar punishment. ‘It (the squad) is good,’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s really good. I answered lots of questions about that last week. I’m not even the right guy. ‘The club says and they do it. They don’t call me to tell me. I’m (only) concerned about what I have to do in my job. I’m very clear: the club made a statement. That’s all.’ Asked if he thinks they can cope without the ability to sign new players, Guardiola replied: ‘Of course, of course.’
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo believes his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League ‘is why this club signed me’.
The Portuguese forward netted a remarkable treble against Los Rojiblancos – two headers and a spot-kick – as Juve secured their place in the last eight of the competition.
“It had to be a special night and it was, not just for the goals, but for the team and their incredible attitude. This is the mentality you need in the Champions League and we are on the right track,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia.
“This is why Juve brought me in, to help on magic nights like this. Atleti are a really tough team to face, but we are strong too and proved we deserved to go through.
“It’s too early to talk about the Final, let’s take it one step at a time.”
Zinedine Zidane has dashed Neymar’s hope of playing for Real Madrid after the gaffer’s return to the Bernabeu. The Frenchman would prefer to make Kylian Mbappe his top target and Neymar’s chances of the transfer have ‘been and gone’, according to AS. Zidane was named as Santiago Solari’s replacement and started his second spell as Real boss this week following his departure last year. He is an admirer of Neymar but not to the extent of club president Florentino Perez, who has always desperately sought a move for the former Barcelona forward. Zidane thinks the exorbitant sum needed to bring Neymar from PSG would go further in different areas of the squad and there is the belief that the showman may not comply with Zidane’s focus on squad harmony. Neymar is currently out with a foot injury and has been plagued by physical issues over the last couple of seasons