Lautaro Martinez’s agent rubbishes Barcelona, Real Madrid speculation

Lautaro Martinez’s agent assures there is “nothing” in Barcelona and Real Madrid speculation, even if “the best teams are looking” at the Inter striker.

The two clubs have been linked with bringing Lautaro to Spain, but Beto Yaque made it clear the Argentine was “focused” on Inter, while openly stating he has “talked to lots of people” and the top sides have shown “interest”.

“It’s been said that Barcelona and Real Madrid both want him, but for him it’s like nothing is happening. Others wouldn’t sleep at night,” Yaque told Radio del Plata as cited by Football Italia.

“He never calls me to ask if the rumours are true, he’s focused on where he is and his work.

“We’ve talked to lots of people, but nothing more than that. For now, those who are calling me aren’t directly registered by various clubs.

“There’s nothing formal or serious. Being wanted on the market is something you dream of, but he’s not expecting anything: all he wants to do is play and score goals.

“His constant growth means the best teams in the world are looking at Lautaro with interest. We hope his efforts will be rewarded like they deserve to.”

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Two former Chelsea managers Mourinho, Ancelotti name their best XIs (Check blues legends in the line-ups here)

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho and Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti have named their all-time best XIs, which include a number of Chelsea legends despite the two of them handling several other top clubs in Europe.

While the football season remains on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Marca listed their ideal line-ups.

Ancelotti’s XI is based on players he has coached, prior to those he worked with at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Napoli and Everton.

Gianluigi Buffon, Cafu, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka, Ibrahimovic and Andriy Shevchenko are all included, as is ex-Milan defender Thiago Silva and Juventus old boy Zinedine Zidane.

Finally, only Javier Zanetti from Inter is included in Mourinho’s best XI, despite the Nerazzurri winning the Treble under his watch in 2010.

Ancelotti*: Buffon; Cafu, Thiago Silva, Terry, Maldini; Zidane, Pirlo, Lampard; Kaka; Ibrahimovic, Shevchenko

Mourinho*: Cech; Zanetti, Terry, Carvalho, Gallas; Makelele, Lampard, Ozil, Hazard; Drogba, Ronaldo

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Lionel Messi reveals why Barcelona stars accepted huge pay cuts

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his club have confirmed their first-team squad have accepted a wage cut of over 70% due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The statements confirm that the player’s accepting the cut will allow the club’s non-sporting staff – on significantly lower salaries – not to have any salary reduction enforced upon them.

The first statement came from Argentine star Messi on Monday morning on his Instagram account, claiming that the player’s would always act with the best interests of the club at heart – and took a thinly-veiled aim at sources within the club who had suggested this would not be the case.

“It is time to confirm that, as well as the 70% reduction in our salaries during the state of emergency, we are going to make contributions too so that club employees can receive 100% of their salaries while this situation lasts,” the statement read.

“Our wish has always been to take a pay reduction, because we understand perfectly that this is an exceptional situation. That is why it has surprised us that within the club people have tried to put us under scrutiny and put pressure on us to do something we were always going to carry out.

“This has only taken time as we tried to find a formula to help the club and also its workers in this difficult time. We only want to find the solutions for the club.”

Twenty minutes later, the club released their own statement to confirm the pay reduction had been agreed and would be actioned immediately.

“In relation to the first team, the reduction will be more than the 70% initially proposed by the club,” the statement read as cited by Football Espana.

“That additional contribution from the squad…allows us to guarantee the full salaries of all non-sporting staff.”

Last week, a report in Cadena Cope reveals how the club are set to trigger an ERTE – meaning that all of its players will lose the majority of their income due to exceptional circumstances under Spain’s current state of emergency.

The club’s captains were said to have been in discussions with the board of directors over the decision they have not found an agreement, and the club are now willing to push on despite the lack of consensus.

An ERTE is Spain’s temporary redundancy scheme which is activated by the state of emergency within the country, with businesses losing access to their profits.

Chelsea table €40m for AC Milan star, but Serie A club demand €60m as Real Madrid, PSG join chase

Reports in Italy claim Chelsea have made €40m offer to AC Milan for goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as Real Madrid and PSG will provide competition for the Serie star.

According to the latest from Sportitalia journalist Alessandro Jacobone, Chelsea have made their move for Donnarumma by offering a five-year contract worth €8m-a-year plus bonuses, therefore a contract worth over €40m in total.

However, Jacobone also claims that Donnarumma wants to try and explore a solution whereby he can stay at Milan, his boyhood club whom he recently reiterated his love for.

AC Milan have, however, reached out to agent Mino Raiola to offer goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma a bumper contract, according to

Then, the Sunday Express stated earlier today that Chelsea have asked Raiola to keep them updated on contract talks between Milan and his client, with the Rossoneri still hopeful of tying the 21-year-old down to a long-term deal.

Raiola is apparently also aware of interest from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and Milan are set to demand £55million (€60m) for their prized young asset if they are to sell him in the summer, but the fee is ‘not a problem’ for the Premier League side.

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Former Manchester United star Nani says “I taught Cristiano Ronaldo a lot”

Luis Nani has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo “learned a lot from me”, as he picked two Serie A players in his five-a-side line-up of former teammates.

Ronaldo is an obvious choice when the current Orlando City star picks his best five-a-side consisting of former teammates, but he also makes space for Portuguese compatriot and Parma captain Bruno Alves.

“In goal, I pick [Manchester United goalkeeper David] De Gea. For me, he’s one of the best in the world,” Nani said in a video released by MLS as cited by Football Italia.

“He’s a good friend of mine, but he must bring his glasses because he doesn’t see anything without them. It’s true.

“The other four players; Deco, one of my idols. I learned a lot from him, and his technique fits very well in the five vs five.

“I would put a defender, Bruno Alves, who is very technical for a defender. If you need to play, he can play, if you need to destroy, he’s there.

“Cristiano Ronaldo, with all these skills, fast feet… All I taught him in the youth, you know. He learned a lot from me. He knows, he knows,” laughed Nani.

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Pedro corrects mistranslated interview over his Chelsea future, comments on Blues fans reaction

Pedro has moved to correct mistranslated interviews that claim the Spaniard is ‘terminating’ his Chelsea contract.

The Spaniard’s future has long been in doubt, with boss Frank Lampard often opting to deploy younger options on the flank this season.

He told the club’s website: “As many people know, my contract is up in May,’ he says, ‘but I still haven’t spoken to the club about whether or not it will be renewed and whether I’ll carry on.

“I’ve seen loads of messages from Chelsea fans saying goodbye and thanking me for the time I’ve spent here, which I appreciate, but I’d like to tell all the fans simply that my current contract is coming to an end but I still have to talk to the club.

“I don’t know whether I’ll keep playing here or not. That conversation is still to come. But I have not signed for any other club. I belong to Chelsea. I have a contract.

“My wish is to be able to stay here but obviously we don’t know what will happen. I have to speak to the club and let’s see what happens.”

Cadena Ser had earlier quoted the 32-year-old as saying: “I’m terminating my contract, but right now it’s not the most important thing, nor have I stopped to think about it.

“The most important thing is for everyone to show solidarity. Whatever happens regarding my future will happen but right now is not important as we don’t even know when we will return to training.

“We have been in quarantine because one of our players [Callum Hudson-Odoi] tested positive for coronavirus, he is now well and we are very happy for him.”

Chelsea to pay £21million upfront for Antonio Conte’s top target

Reports in Italy claim Chelsea are prepared to pay £21million upfront to sign Hellas Verona star Marash Kumbulla.

Kumbulla is a rising star in Serie A, only turned 20 in February and is a top target of Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan.

However, Italian publication L’Arena claim Chelsea are keen to beat their former manager to the signing and have indicated they will pay a significant sum for the young centre-back.

Frank Lampard wants to continue altering his Chelsea squad and is targeting the addition of fledgling talent, as well as established stars.

Ajax star Hakim Ziyech became Lampard’s first major signing and Chelsea are working on a way to make sure Kumbulla joins the attacking midfielder at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are willing to pay the transfer fee upfront, which could set them apart from Inter despite the fact the Italian club has already held extensive talks with the player and Hellas, report the Metro.

The Blues are set to back their manager in the coming summer window after a transfer ban and Lampard is plotting a big summer window.

But the Chelsea boss’ plans might be derailed by the coronavirus pandemic which has forced football to go into shutdown.

The Premier League has extended the 2019/2020 season indefinitely and talks are underway about what to do with the summer transfer window.

Photo Credit: Twitter @ HellasVeronaFC

REVEALED: Why Frank Lampard is desperate to sign Barcelona youngster at end of season

Fresh information has emerged as to why Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is keen to sign Barcelona-owned Getafe full-back Marc Cucurella.

Spanish media outlet Diario Sport, as quoted by Football Espana, report that the 21-year-old represents a significantly cheaper option than Chelsea FC’s other targets to strengthen at left-back as the Blues eye FC Porto’s Alex Telles and Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell.

The Spain U21 international’s performances have equally attracted Napoli and Bundesliga pair Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.

Football Espana claim that his contract situation at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez is complicated however, with Getafe almost certain to exercise their purchase option in the summer.

Cucurella can joined the club as part of a pre-agreed €6M deal, with Barcelona retaining a 40% of any future sell on fee for the 21-year old.

The reported deal on offer from Getafe would also include a €25M release clause, which all of the interested parties would be confident of matching should he want to leave.

Eden Hazard opens up on his first season performance at Real Madrid

Eden Hazard has admitted his first year at Real Madrid since signing from Chelsea last summer has been “bad”.

The Belgium international moved to the Bernabeu for a fee that could rise to £130m but has been limited to just 15 appearances due to several injuries.

He told Belgian broadcaster RTBF: “My first season at Madrid has been bad – but not all of it.

“It’s been a season of adaptation. I’ll be judged on the second one. It’s up to me to be in good shape next year.

“The group is good; it’s been a great experience for me. I still have four years on my contract.”

Messi-Ronaldo rivalry: Brazil legend Pele picks best player in the world

Pele has picked Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world, and that he is the greatest player in history.

The former striker gave an interview to YouTube channel Pilhado and was asked whom he believes to be the world’s best player.

“Today the best player in the world is Cristiano Ronaldo,” Pele told the channel as cited by Football Italia.

“I think he’s the best, because he’s more consistent, but you can’t forget about [Lionel] Messi, of course, but he’s not a striker.”

Pele was then pressed on who will go down as the greatest player in the history of the game.

“It is a question that is difficult to answer. We cannot forget about Zico, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo.

“And in Europe, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff.

Now, it’s not my fault, but I think Pele was better than them all.”

It’s hardly surprising that Pele omitted Diego Maradona from the list, given the rivalry between the duo over the years.