Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has sensationally refused to rule out Cristiano Ronaldo’s return as reports emerged that the star has held informal talks with the club.
The ex-Manchester United superstar, 36, could be heading for the Juventus exit door at the end of the season.
Juventus crashed out of the Champions League round of 16 for the second consecutive year at the hands of Porto during the week. And they are facing serious financial problems due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To help boost the coffers, the club would reportedly be open to letting Ronaldo leave to get his £500,000-a-week wages off the books a year before his contract ends.
With speculation over his next move growing, it was revealed how his agent Jorge Mendes held ‘informal’ talks with a return to Real Madrid.
And Zidane said: “You know what Cristiano Ronaldo means for Real Madrid. You know the affection we have for him at Real Madrid. What he did here was magnificent.
“Right now he’s a Juventus player and he’s doing really well there. I can’t say anything about all the many things they say. I can only say that he is a Juventus player and we have to respect that.”
Thomas Tuchel has declared that Christian Pulisic is part of plan at Chelsea amid growing concern over whether the American winger will remain a Blues player heading into next season following a lack of game time under the German gaffer.
Pulisic has played a total of 50 minutes in Chelsea’s last three Premier League games, with Tuchel preferring Callum Hudson-Odoi along with others in his five-at-the-back system.
He took the Premier League by storm after his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in 2019, but he has struggled a little since, struggling with injury issues this season, in particular.
Thomas Tuchel has explained why Christian Pulisic has yet to start a Premier League match for him at Chelsea since he took over from Frank Lampard in January.
Tuchel said about Pulisic: “If he starts tomorrow, if he does brilliantly and if he starts against Atletico and if he scores two goals, then maybe he is the captain next season.
“I know what you mean but this is too far ahead.
“We have so many games and he is in my plans. He is an important player and has the potential to be decisive for us off the bench.
“His job is to be ready like everybody else and when the moment comes, he has to be ready. This is what you sign up for at a club like Chelsea. There is no difference between Christian or anybody else.
“When you sign and play for Chelsea, it is part of the job description of a player to be impatient and patient at the same time. Impatient because all of my players are competitors and want to play every single minute, and this is what they all show every day, the hunger and the desire. This is what Christian shows.”
Marcelo Bielsa has revealed how he intends to handle Chelsea’s defence that has conceded just two goals since Frank Lampard left the Stamford Bridge club.
The Whites host their more illustrious rivals in Saturday’s early kick-off, with Leeds looking to snap a two-match losing streak, but will come up against a Blues side rejuvenated under Thomas Tuchel.
Reacting to the way the Blues play since Tuchel took over as manager, Leeds boss told Leeds Live that: “They are in a positive dynamic in terms of results and they have a confidence in how they manage the ball.”
Chelsea’s run under new manager Thomas Tuchel has seen the Blues win eight and draw three of the German’s first 11 games in charge.
Tuchel has not yet overseen a defeat as the man in the boss’ chair at Stamford Bridge, scoring 13 times and conceding just twice.
When asked how he intends to go about breaking a team like Chelsea down with a solid defence and with the talent and firepower to score goals at the other end, Bielsa said: “We have to try to defend well and attack better than they do.”
Javier Mascherano has opened up on his ugly Liverpool exit – revealing he REFUSED to play in order to seal a dream move to Barcelona.
Mascherano claims the Reds had agreed to let him leave the club should a ‘decent offer’ come in. But after apparently going back on their word, the Argentine took matters into his own hands and went on strike – ultimately forcing a £22million move to Barcelona in 2010.
Mascherano told FourFourTwo: ‘There was an agreement between us that if Liverpool received a decent offer for me, I’d be permitted to leave. We’d spoken about extending my contract, but it seemed like the directors didn’t care about me. In the pre-season after Rafa [Benitez] left, Roy Hodgson arrived.
‘We had a meeting with the managing director, Christian Purslow, who told me I could go if a good offer came in. Then there was an offer on the table, but Liverpool were looking the other way. I was quite angry that they weren’t keeping their word.”
Mascherano continued by saying sitting out a huge clash with Manchester City was his way to make his feelings clear.
The Argentine continued: “Refusing to play at City was the way I found to show my annoyance. I’d told the club I wanted to leave for family reasons, so I was very upset to have to act the way I did. There was no other option – otherwise, Liverpool wouldn’t keep their promise.”
Ronald Koeman has begged Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona, telling the superstar he can have ‘no doubts about the future of the team’.
Messi, 33, is out of contract this summer and is expected to call time on his incredible Nou Camp adventure.
And after Barca crashed out the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain last night, Koeman said: “In general, Leo has seen that the team is getting better and better.
“With the changes we’ve made, bringing in young players, Messi can have no doubts about the future of this team.
“[Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo out of Champions League?] I don’t know if Leo will be annoyed. It’s a shame because they are two great players, but you have to accept it. As for Leo’s future, it’s up to him to decide. Nobody can help him.
“He has seen for a long time that there is a lot of promise in this team. That’s not going to be an argument for him not to stay.”