Carlo Ancelotti predicts Champions League finalists after defeating Liverpool

March 16th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Carlo Ancelotti has one hope going into the Champions League quarter-final, for Real Madrid to avoid his former club Milan. ‘I’d like us to meet in the Final in Istanbul.’

The Merengues are the tournament holders, having won it last season with Ancelotti at the helm, and swept Liverpool aside 1-0 on Wednesday, 6-2 on aggregate.

There are three Italian teams in the final eight – Milan, Inter and Napoli – and four Italian coaches, represented by Ancelotti, Stefano Pioli, Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti.

The other quarter-finalists are Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City and Benfica.

“To be honest, the ideal would be for us to meet Milan in the Final in Istanbul, but there is a long way to go,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia.

Ironically, Istanbul was also the host city when Ancelotti’s Milan lost to Liverpool on penalties after fumbling a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 in 2005.

“Napoli are doing very well, they are dominating Serie A and can therefore concentrate entirely on the Champions League. All the potential opponents in the quarter-final are dangerous, it will be a real battle.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told Sky Sport Italia yesterday that Napoli are the best team in Europe, but much like Spalletti already stated, Ancelotti sees through the mind games.

“I wouldn’t put too much importance on that. Manchester City scored seven goals past RB Leipzig yesterday… It will be a battle at the quarter-finals, then if we reach the semi-finals it’ll be a battle there too.”

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Real Madrid star Casemiro reveals his discussion with Neymar amid Los Blancos interest in Brazilian

February 22nd, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has explained how he speaks to Neymar ‘most days’ and would love his fellow Brazilian in the Spanish capital.

The former Santos forwad has continually been linked with a return to Spain since his departure with Barcelona and Los Blancos said to be keen on a future transfer.

However, despite a prolonged saga of multiple reports claiming that the clubs were in negotiations and a deal was on the verge of completion, no move has yet to materialise, report Football Espana.

“Me and Neymar talk more days, and I would love to have him here at Real Madrid,” Casemiro explained to Onda Cero.

“Both of them (Neymar and Kylian Mbappe) are two explosive players and totally different.

Casemiro also heaped praise on current Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane: “It is an honour to have Zidane in the locker room. He knows how to speak very well with the players and for us he is the best thing that can happen is to have him as a Coach.

“Our success is down to luck? That is ridiculous, we work very hard and prepare for every game and outcome.”

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Isco tells Real Madrid President about his decision over Chelsea move

December 27th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Real Madrid star Isco has reportedly told club President Florentino Perez not to sell him to Chelsea.

There are reports that the Los Blancos have offered the 27-year-old to the London club for £44 million as the Spanish giants are planning to raise money for January transfer deals.

Spanish publication El Desmarque claim Isco has confirmed his decision to Perez.

Isco has distanced himself from joining the Stamford Bridge club in favour of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, where he’s viewed as a long-term successor to David Silva.

Chelsea are expected to be active in the transfer market with the hope of strenghtening their team after CAS halved their two-window transfer ban.

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Half-Time Report: Benzema hands Real Madrid lead PSG as Courtois red card, penalty overturned by VAR

November 26th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Karim Benzema’s goal separates the two sides at the break, but that is far from the big talking point, despite the hosts having the better chances.

Thibaut Courtois was given his marching orders right on half time after a foul on Mauro Icardi.

However his dismissal and the subsequent penalty were overturned by VAR!!!

Just a sensational 45 minutes of football with all the skill, wit, intensity, strategy and creativity you could possibly wish for.

Madrid the better side, for sure, but with no margin for error. Hazard’s best game in white.

Paris head to their dressing room frustrated not to be level, but they should likewise feel relieved not to be further behind.

Madrid had the better of an absorbing first 45 minutes and the visitors – kept in the game by Navas – will need to channel their frustration after the break if they wish to turn this match around.

Photo Credit: Twitter

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Chelsea star offered to Real Madrid

November 24th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports Chelsea star Willian has been offered to Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer.

The 31-year-old is in the last year of his current deal at Stamford Bridge and becomes a free agent in July – with Barcelona also monitoring the situation.

But reports in Spain claim the player’s representatives are contacting clubs to stir up interest.

Spanish website Defensa Central report Real Madrid have been sounded out to see if they are keen on bringing the Brazilian to the Santiago Bernabeu.

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REVEALED: Why Gareth Bale’s €1m-per-week China move was called off

July 28th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports that Gareth Bale’s proposed transfer to Jiangsu Suning has been called off.

Bale looked to be headed for Jiangsu and possibly Inter, the forward having reportedly agreed a €1m wage with the Chinese club.

However, BBC Sport and Sky Sports are now claiming the deal is no more and that the 30-year-old will stay at Madrid this summer.

The Telegraph, in particular, explains the move was vetoed by Los Blancos’ board and he will therefore not join Jiangsu before Wednesday’s deadline.

The report from David Ornstein adds that Madrid have called off the proposed move – following on from a season-ending injury to Marco Asensio.

Asensio is expected to miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

Bale celebrated his 30th birthday last week and is said not to be part of Zinedine Zidane’s plans at the Bernabeu, while the Madrid fans have turned on him.

It now remains to be seen whether the Welshman can patch things up with Coach Zinedine Zidane after he publicly discarded the player.

In turn, according to Football Italia, Madrid may let Napoli target James Rodriguez move on, although there is still no suggestion that they will accept anything other than a permanent sale.

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Solskjaer changes his mind over Paul Pogba move, tells Manchester United his latest decision on midfielder

June 21st, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports in England state that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Manchester United bosses he wants to sell Paul Pogba as Real Madrid and Juventus intensify efforts to sign the Old Trafford club’s midfielder.

The former Old Lady’s star has been heavily linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu and Turin club. He recently admitted that he was looking for a ‘new challenge’ .

According to the Metro, Solskjaer want to offload the Frenchman so he can reinvest the funds in improving his squad.

United have maintained that Pogba is not for sale and it would take an enormous offer to change that stance, but the Daily Star claim Solskjaer is ready to sanction a move.

The Red Devils have only given Solskjaer a summer transfer kitty of £100million to spend after failing to qualify for the Champions League, meaning they have just £27m left once Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s move is finalised.

But Solskjaer knows his rebuild will cost far more than that, with a centre-back, defensive midfielder and playmaker all on his agenda, and is ready to sacrifice Pogba to bolster the funds available to him.

United will demand in excess of £140m for Pogba, all of which will be given to Solskjaer to continue his summer rebuild, while they also hope to raise funds from the sales of players like Romelu Lukaku and Matteo Darmian.

Solskjaer’s modest budget has seen United pull out of the running for the likes of Jadon Sancho and Kalidou Koulibaly, while they fear being blow out of the water by rivals City in the race for Harry Maguire.

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