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Thứ Sáu, 6 tháng 11, 2015

Sevilla hosting Real will split loyalties of Konoplyanka and Cheryshev

Dmitri Cheryshev was coaching in Kazakhstan when the call came through. On the other end of the line was Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, commonly known as Monchi, Sevilla's acclaimed sporting director. He had a proposal. The club had made a big financial bet on bringing in Ukrainian international Yevhen Konoplyanka and he wanted Cheryshev to join their coaching staff to assist in the winger's adaptation to Spain and its football.
Cheryshev travelled to Seville for brief and successful negotiations. "We talked for two or three days before I gave my response," the former Dynamo Moscow and Sporting Gijon forward, and Real Madrid youth coach, told ABC Sevilla. "But as soon as I left the stadium I knew that it was an opportunity I could not afford to miss out on."
The former Russian international had made a similar move from Eastern Europe to Spain during his own playing career and was well aware of the hurdles awaiting his new charge. "Ukraine and Spain are completely different," he explained. "Not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room and in everyday life. Everything is different."
The arrival of Cheryshev was one of a number of steps Sevilla took to ensure that their star signing had the best possible chance of bridging those differences. They brought in Juan Candau, a fitness coach with a solid grasp of Russian following his two years at CSKA Moscow, and also signed promising Ukrainian forward Maryan Shved from Karpaty Lviv.
While Cheryshev and Candau helped Konoplyanka -- who spoke not a word of Spanish or English upon his arrival in Seville -- through the language barrier in training, Shved became his socialising partner and confidant.
Konoplyanka quickly showed his quality with the ball at his feet with a superb strike in the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Barcelona but struggled to come to terms with the defensive tasks assigned to him by coach Unai Emery. His playing time generally came as a substitute, with Emery perhaps feeling that it would be difficult to incorporate both Konoplyanka and Jose Antonio Reyes into his starting XI without sacrificing his side's defensive solidity.
But boosted by some promising performances off the bench, Konoplyanka has started ahead of Reyes in each of Sevilla's past four matches. His numbers (two goals and an assist in that span) tell the story of a player who is starting to find his feet in new surroundings.
The 26-year-old has notched four goals and one assist in 12 appearances (five starts) in league and Champions League action to date. That works out to a direct contribution to 0.61 goals per 90 minutes. At this stage, he already is good for a goal or assist every two games; a very solid output in a team that has struggled for results during the early part of the campaign.
Yet there is still a feeling that there is more to come. There were certainly signs of a burgeoning partnership with left-back Benoit Tremoulinas in the defeat away to Manchester City last month. The pair had more touches of the ball in the attacking half than any of their teammates and combined directly on more occasions than any other pair of players. It was Konoplyanka who swept in the opening goal of the match from the centre of the area.
"I am adapting, slowly, slowly," he explained, with Cheryshev as his translator, on returning to Seville after being named UEFA's man of the match. "Things will be much better when I can understand perfectly what my teammates are saying to me in Spanish, but I am already in a position to compete. There is a lot of competition in the squad, but I'm ready."
Denis Cheryshev, right, has found minutes at Real Madrid hard to come by this season.
Real Madrid are the next visitors to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this Sunday, and among their midst will be a member of the Cheryshev family who hasn't enjoyed anywhere near as successful a start to his season's work. Dmitri's son, Denis Cheryshev, returned to Madrid this summer following an excellent year out on loan at Villarreal but has so far been given less than a hour of playing time by new coach Rafael Benitez.
The 24-year-old had a brief stay of his own in Seville back in the 2013-14 season but endured a difficult year, ravaged by injuries that restricted him to just five appearances. His playing time looks likely to be similarly sparse this season given that not only are the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale ahead of him in the pecking order, but also Jese Rodriguez and Lucas Vazquez.
Cheryshev would dearly love to take part on Sunday with his father there to watch on at close quarters from the opposition bench. His chances of doing so have been boosted by the injury suffered by left-back Marcelo in midweek, as he remains an option for that position given Madrid's lack of naturally left-footed replacements for its regular occupant.
The best result for the family would of course be a draw in which Cheryshev and Konoplyanka both play and score. But whatever the outcome, afterwards there are certain to be words of support and encouragement exchanged between two generations of a family whose loyalties will be divided only for 90 minutes.

Real Madrid Transfer News: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale Out? Eden Hazard, Memphis Depay In?

Cristiano Ronaldo
Even for a player who is no stranger to headlines, the spotlight has shone particularly brightly on Cristiano Ronaldo over the past week. As well as declaring that, “in my mind I’m always the best,” the Portuguese star came face-to-face with the club that are widely thought to be courting him ahead of a potential mammoth transfer next summer.
It is what happened during Paris Saint-Germain’s visit to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday that continues to be the subject of much speculation. Ronaldo was seen after the final whistle talking into the ear of PSG manager Laurent Blanc, and French publication Le Parisien now claims it knows what Ronaldo said.
"Your team plays very well,” the newspaper reports him as saying. “I would love to work with you.”
Le Parisien also suggests that signing Ronaldo is the priority for PSG next summer. Such a move makes sense because the club’s highest earner, and one of the world’s best-paid players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will be out of contract and is expected to depart at the end of the current season.
There is also some foundation supporting the idea that Ronaldo could move on. By the time this season finishes, the 30-year-old will be about to enter the final two years of his contract. It would realistically be the last time for Real Madrid to cash in on their prized asset.
However, on Friday, Ronaldo’s high-profile agent, Jorge Mendes, has claimed he believes his biggest client will be staying at the Bernabeu for some time to come.
“There is lots of speculation and a new story every day,” he said. “But if you ask me, I would say Cristiano will finish his career with Real Madrid and be there for many, many years.”
Still, Le Parisien suggests that a sale of Ronaldo would allow Real Madrid to pursue Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The Belgian attacking midfielder has also been the subject of plenty of rumors in recent weeks, after a difficult start to the season for both him and his club. The Player of the Year in England last season, Hazard has yet to score this season, and on Wednesday, not for the first time of late, he found himself benched by manager Jose Mourinho. With Mourinho having also publicly criticized Hazard, it appears the 24-year-old may seek a future away from Stamford Bridge, if Mourinho survives Chelsea’s slump in form.
Stories elsewhere, though, claim that it is another winger who Real Madrid have their eye on as a potential replacement for Ronaldo. Spanish publication Don Balon reports that Madrid are keen on Manchester United’s Memphis Depay, and are willing to pay €65 million to take him from Old Trafford.
Memphis only joined the Premier League club from PSV Eindhoven this summer, but he has found the transition to English soccer difficult and has been out of favor with manager Louis van Gaal of late. That might mean that United wouldn’t be too reluctant to cash in on the Netherlands international, yet it would also make it a surprise were Real Madrid prepared to hand over significantly larger check than United paid for him just a few months ago.
But any deal for Memphis could potentially be linked to Manchester United’s seemingly ongoing pursuit of Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. United have been keen to bring Bale back to the Premier League almost ever since his record transfer to the Bernabeu in 2013. And, according to the Sunday People, they are planning on a £90 million (€126 million) move for the Wales international next summer.
Yet, despite Manchester United’s ongoing interest, there have yet to be any indications that Real Madrid and Bale are ready to part ways. Indeed, it is widely believed that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez urged new manager Rafael Benitez to make Bale a more focal part of the team this season, which he has done by putting the 26-year-old in a central position.

Thứ Bảy, 12 tháng 9, 2015

Gareth Bale made a decision early in his career that has cost him millions of pounds to date

WHEN Gareth Bale was a teenager, all he wanted to be was a professional football player. While he’s anything but poor, he made a decision all those years ago that has cost him millions of pounds.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett said his star client’s call to pledge his allegiance to Wales instead of England has seen him lose the opportunity to add a hefty amount to his bank balance.
The Real Madrid star was eligible to represent England through his grandmother, even though he was born in Cardiff to Welsh parents.
Speaking at the Soccerex Convention in Manchester, Barnett revealed just how hostile a reaction he received when he floated the idea of the young gun one day wearing the Three Lions crest.
“When we first got together when he was 15, we talked about whether he was going to play for England or Wales. I nearly got my head bitten off by his dad, who is fanatically Welsh, and his mum,” said Barnett.
“He could have qualified through his grandmother and I tell you that it has cost him millions and millions of pounds. You can imagine what it would have been like if he were playing for England next summer in the Euros...but he does love playing for Wales.”
Bale has been busy trying to earn the love of Real Madrid supporters.
Bale has been busy trying to earn the love of Real Madrid supporters. Source: AP
Bale recently scored the winning goal for Wales in their clash against Cyprus as they look to qualify for the European Championships for the first time in their history.
They need just one point from their next two group matches to secure a place at the 2016 tournament.
On Bale’s attitude towards playing for his homeland, Barnett said: “It’s an obsession”.
“He loves playing for Wales more than anything in the world.”
Along with Ryan Giggs, Bale is one of Wales’ greatest footballing products and he has forged a successful career in Europe.
He began his journey at Southampton before cementing himself as one of the most valuable players in the English Premier League during his time at Tottenham.
His irresistible form was rewarded when Spanish giants Real Madrid signed the winger in 2013, where he impressed in his debut season despite a stuttering start due to injury, eventually helping the side win the Champions League.
His second season was less profitable, but his agent is adamant that being given a different role by new coach Rafael Benitez has the 26-year-old primed for a special campaign.
“Last season he didn’t get the ball that much and when he did it was slow. By the time he received it, there were already three men on him,” said Barnett.
“Now, he is not playing wide right, he is playing more centrally and that is going to suit him more and give him the sort of freedom he has with Wales. He enjoys that role because he was getting a little frustrated.”
The dynamic midfielder has netted 18 goals in 51 appearances for the national side since debuting in 2006.

Gareth Bale feels 'more involved' this season at Real Madrid under Rafael Benitez

Gareth Bale played his part in Real Madrid's 6-0 demolition of Espanyol and admitted that he returns to his club after international duty these days feeling on top of the world.

After setting up two of Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals and winning a penalty that the Portuguese scored he also said that he now feels more involved under Rafa Benitez than he did last season under Carlo Ancelotti.

On the effect of returning to his club after such stunning international results, Bale said: 'We have worked so hard with Wales over the last six to eight years and that shows in our ranking. Over the last four years we have gone from 117th to tenth. We have got a style of play and a plan in place and we are keeping to that out on the pitch.'

Welsh attacker Gareth Bale played a big role in Real Madrid’s 6-0 away demolition of Espanyol 

Welsh attacker Gareth Bale played a big role in Real Madrid's 6-0 away demolition of Espanyol 

Bale now feels more involved under Rafa Benitez (right) than he did last season under Carlo Ancelotti

Bale now feels more involved under Rafa Benitez (right) than he did last season under Carlo Ancelotti

Some players come back complaining of fatigue after international exploits but there was no such luck for Espanyol as Real Madrid's forward line showed the kind of form it displayed the season before last when they finished up with 99 goals.

Bale crossed from the left for Ronaldo to score in the first half and then from the right for him to do the same in the second period. He was also brought down by Alvaro Gonzalez to win the spot kick that Ronaldo scored from.

On the return to the kind of form shown in his first season he admitted to feeling more involved under coach Rafa Benitez than he did in his second season under Carlo Ancelotti.

He said: 'I feel like I am more involved this year now. The first year you are running off adrenalin from having just signed – you are so happy to be at the club and that drives you on.

'But in the second year I felt a little bit left out wide and not getting so much of the ball. Now I feel involved in the play and I think that is showing in the games that I am able to assist goals and score goals. We are all working hard on the training ground and on the pitch and it's coming together. We just want to score as many goals as we can.'

Bale scored twice agaist Betis in Real Madrid's last game before the international break, and after a goalless draw in their first game they have now won their last two matches with a 11-0 goal average.

Bale set up two of Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals and won a penalty that the Portuguese scored

Bale set up two of Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals and won a penalty that the Portuguese scored

He said: 'The most important thing was to keep winning. We knew there was going to be a big game between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid this weekend and that somebody was bound to drop points so we had to take advantage of that.
'It was a bit strange with the transfer window shutting so late but we have been focused since day one. It was not the greatest result from the first game but we have come back very strong with a 5-0 and a 6-0. We are feeling confident and looking strong.'

Thanks in part to Bale's contribution Ronaldo scored five in the win and went past both Alfredo Di Stefano and Raul as Real Madrid's all-time top scorer in the league. 

Bale (second right) jumps for the ball at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in the Province of Barcelona

Bale (second right) jumps for the ball at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in the Province of Barcelona

Raul had needed 550 games to reach his 228 goals; Ronaldo has now scored 230 goals in just 204 matches.
Of his team-mate's achievement Bale said: 'To break any record held by such great names is, I'm sure, a great honour for him.'

Real have no World Club Cup distraction this season but when asked if he felt Barcelona going to Japan this December to contest that trophy would help Madrid, Bale said: 'We need to concentrate on ourselves and on every single game. Every point matters in this league. If we concentrate on ourselves then hopefully we can take care of business.' 

Bale was brought down by Alvaro Gonzalez to win the spot kick that Ronaldo scored from

Bale was brought down by Alvaro Gonzalez to win the spot kick that Ronaldo scored from.

Thứ Hai, 17 tháng 8, 2015

Bernabéu Trophy beckoning Bale

Bernabéu Trophy beckoning Bale

It has been almost three months since Real Madrid last trotted out at the Bernabéu. On that occasion, 23rd May,Gareth Bale watched on from the bench for the full 90 minutes as his teammates closed out the club's league campaign against Getafe. 

This Tuesday, 18th August, the Welshman will return to the 'Los Blancos' bastion to make his debut in the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy. The ideal springboard for Bale to set about proving his worth again and silencing the doubters that have emerged over the course of his first two years at the club. 

In 2013, Bale's signing came a few days too late for the legendary summer dress rehearsal, when the game was billed as a Raúl González testimonial. Meanwhile, last year the club's pre-season schedule was so packed that they couldn't find space for the tournament, meaning it wasn't staged for the first time in 36 years.

Bale is raring to pull on his boots again and to show that he has what it takes to be the team's fulcrum in attack. He is still getting used to Rafa Benítez's new system, in which he enjoys more freedom to roam, get involved in the build-up and drift into the box - the idea being to play to his strengths and enable him to be more prolific. For that to happen, however, the number 11 knows he needs to forge a better connection with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. He believes he is up to the task.

Real Madrid transfer news: 3 in, 4 out as De Gea to join from Man Utd, Arsenal target to replace Liverpool target & more

Real Madrid transfer news: 3 in, 4 out as De Gea to join from Man Utd, Arsenal target to replace Liverpool target & more

Real Madrid transfer news sees three arrivals as quartet sold.

In today’s Real Madrid transfer news, it looks like four players could be heading out of the Bernabeu before the end of the summer, with three new additions coming in, though Karim Benzema seems set to STAY in the Spanish capital.
Read on to see the changes expected to be made by Rafael Benitez in the final weeks of the transfer window, plus how the new-look line up could look in an awesome 4-4-2 diamond formation…
Out – Isco
Linked with Juventus and other top clubs, it has emerged today that Spanish playmaker Isco can leave the club for £28m this summer, with Gareth Bale now set to move centrally.
In – William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)
Coming in in defensive midfield should be Sporting Lisbon starlet and Arsenal target William Carvalho, who is one of the finest young players in Europe in his position.
William Carvalho
Eight transfers set to cost £50m or MORE this summer: De Bruyne, Pogba plus Man Utd, Liverpool & Chelsea targets

Chủ Nhật, 2 tháng 8, 2015

Manchester United Transfer News: Latest Pedro and Gareth Bale Rumours

Manchester United Transfer News: Latest Pedro and Gareth Bale Rumours 
Manchester United are seemingly closing in on the capture of Barcelona forward Pedro, who is expected to head to Old Traffordin the coming days.
That’s according to Spanish newspaper Sport, which stated the 28-year-old will arrive in Manchester just after the club kick off their 2015/16 campaign against Tottenham Hotspur—via Footie Writer:
Plus, family friend and president of the star’s first club Jaime Lorenzo told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that Pedro has bid farewell to his family as he prepares to start life in England—via Pete Jenson ofMailOnline:
“The player was here working at a soccer school a few weeks back and his friends already know he is going. And the other day I saw Pedro’s mum in a furniture shop and she told me that he is going to England. I believe it's a good challenge for him and it means he will get more playing time.”
While encouraging news for United fans, it also likely means the end of the road for Angel Di Maria at Old Trafford.
The Argentine signed for a club-record fee this time last year but failed to impress with a string of below-par performances in the 2014/15 campaign.
Still, with Di Maria seemingly on the way to PSG for £45 million, via the Daily Telegraph, United now have the funds to bring in Pedro and still have change to invest in another top player.
It’s where Pedro fits into United’s setup that’s troubling, though. Louis Van Gaal will likely play Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay as the front two from the start, which could restrict Pedro to a wide role or a place on the bench.
Plus, if United’s next rumoured target makes the switch to Old Trafford, playing time could be even more scarce for the Spaniard.

Gareth Bale
Here we go again—more rumours on Real Madrid star Gareth Bale packing his bags and returning to England.
This time, though, it’s not Manchester United that want the winger in red, but new kit sponsor Adidas.
According to John Richardson of the Daily Express, the Red Devils haven’t given up on landing Bale due to Adidas’ desire to bring him to Old Trafford for marketing purposes. No, seriously.
Richardson wrote that the Welshman would set United back a world-record transfer fee—believed to be over £86 million—but it hasn’t deterred executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.
That’s because the sports company are pumping £750 million into OldTrafford over the next 10 years to be on the famous kit, making the staggering transfer fee appear pocket change.
Plus, the Red Devils have David De Gea to use as bait in their pursuit of Bale, and could well opt to table a player-plus-cash bid.
Still, it all seems rather ridiculous—Real Madrid being sponsored by Adidas until 2020 is one of many reasons why this is something of a head-scratching tale.
Should United land Pedro, their attacking line would be all but sorted. Instead, United need to focus on their shaky defence.
However, rumoured long-term target Nicolas Otamendi is apparently not on the club’s wish list—per James Robson of Manchester Evening News:
Plus, the Sergio Ramos transfer saga is forever going against United, so Van Gaal needs to turn his attention elsewhere to land the perfect anchor in his defensive line.
The club will be bringing a centre-back in to steady the ship as it’s seemingly a necessity rather than a luxury, while any more attacking transfers after Pedro are unlikely.

Thứ Tư, 29 tháng 7, 2015

Jese Rodriguez, Nacho and Casemiro all vital for Benitez's squad rotation

Rafa Benitez has not shied away from the fact that he will place big importance on Real Madrid as a squad and not just Real Madrid as a team this season. The former Napoli and Liverpool coach was one of the modern pioneers of squad rotation and that is something he will continue in the Spanish capital.
The Madrid-born coach has been criticised for his rotation policy in the past but, in contrast, former Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was questioned over his stubborn approach in failing to give a rest to some of his star names last season. While Barcelona flourished under Luis Enrique's clever rotation, Madrid suffered from tired legs.
Managing a squad with the talent of Madrid's will be tricky but rotation will be required if Los Blancos are set to experience success on more than one front this season, something that is always demanded. That means those players who perhaps would not command a regular first-team place will be crucial in Benitez's plans. Ronaldo and company will need some help if they are to return to winning ways in 2015-16.
Here are five Madrid players who may not be first-team regulars next season but who will be crucial pieces in Benitez's jigsaw.
Nacho
The 25-year-old progressed through the club's youth ranks but has never managed to secure a regular place in the first-team. However, he has proven to be more than useful on a number of fronts for Madrid in recent seasons.
He made just five starts in La Liga last season and nine more from the bench but on most occasions the defender has been an extremely handy back-up when called upon. He can play across the back line, on the right, left and in the centre, and his versatility should prove useful again for his latest coach.
Nacho was part of the Madrid team that came unstuck with a 4-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid but that poor performance was the exception rather than the rule last term. In that match he played alongside a talented but still young Raphael Varane. next to a more senior member of the Madrid defence, such as Sergio Ramos or Pepe, he looks more comfortable.
Madrid have bolstered their competition for places in defence with the arrival of Danilo but Nacho should still play an important role this season.

Casemiro

The Brazilian's future looked to be elsewhere when he moved on loan to Porto last season with a view to a permanent deal. The Portuguese giants activated the clause to buy him after a successful season but Madrid also included a clause to deactivate it and bring him back to the Spanish capital for a cost.
That cost, at €7.5 million, shows the midfielder's worth to Madrid and Benitez, who is said to have had a say in his future. That he also takes up a non-EU place, which means a likely loan away from Madrid for fellow countryman Lucas Silva, indicates he will not just be a Bernabeu bench-warmer.
Madrid were lacking depth in the central midfield department last season, especially on the defensive-side, and Casemiro will be able to give rest to the legs of Toni Kroos, who complained of tiredness early last season, and Luka Modric.
He will not just provide rest and recovery time for Madrid's midfield pair, however, he will also provide something different. The German's role sitting deeper in front of the back four last season was a new one for him and although his first season was a success on a personal level, the Brazilian offers a more natural tackling nature in breaking up the play and a more rounded defensive output.

Lucas Vazquez

Another player in the same mould as Casemiro, in that he was loaned elsewhere, to Espanyol, and bought back by Madrid for a fee this summer, the midfielder has returned to the Bernabeu at the request of his coach.
Madrid's 'BBC' of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were "non-negotiable" last season under Ancelotti but by the end of the season the trio needed a rest. On top of Jese, Benitez asked for more options in attack and Vazquez gives him that option.
With a preference of playing wide on the right, Vazquez could act as a replacement for any of the three attackers Benitez has been using behind a sole striker in his probable 4-2-3-1 formation. He can replace Bale, who has been used in the middle and as a striker in pre-season, on the right and in-turn allow a rest to either Ronaldo or James Rodriguez, who are likely to line-up alongside Bale when Benitez fields his strongest XI.
Vazquez came through the Madrid youth set-up and honed his skills in Catalonia with Espanyol, being one of Sergio's key players last season. He could be a handy substitute or a viable alternative from the start for Madrid this season.
Rather than Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, it could be Jese Rodriguez, Nacho and Casemiro that dictate the fate of Real's season.

Jese Rodriguez

After a long spell on the sidelines through injury, the Las Palmas-born attacker slowly returned to form and fitness last season and will be hoping to return to the kind of form that got Madrid fans on the edge of their seats in his breakthrough season with the first team in 2013-14.
Jese has been linked with a loan move away from the Bernabeu in search of more regular minutes but after scoring in Madrid's 3-0 friendly victory against Inter Milan he told the gathered press that he wants to stay at the club and fight for his place.
If that burst of speed that saw him stand out two seasons ago returns, Madrid will have a top young player on their hands this season and one who will cause La Liga defences plenty of problems.
He can play as an out-and-out forward or on either flank and admitted after that friendly win that he likes playing in every position across the forward line -- something that will be music to Rafa Benitez's ears.

Denis Cheryshev

Cheryshev's immediate future is still up in the air but Benitez has kept a watchful eye over the Russian during preseason, featuring him in every friendly match so far.
The midfielder played 45 minutes in matches against Inter Milan and Roma and he scored a goal in the 25 minutes he played in during Madrid's 4-1 victory over Manchester City in Melbourne.
Like Jese, Cheryshev says he wants to stay at the club and fight for minutes on the pitch and although his task of doing just that may be tougher than the Spain U21 international, he is being handed every chance to prove his worth by his new coach.
With his skills being honed at loan spells with Sevilla and Villarreal, it's a case of now or never for the 24-year-old. His presence at Madrid this season will be a bonus for Benitez but if the right price comes in for the player, who has been linked with Liverpool and a return to Villarreal, Madrid may cash in.

Real Madrid Transfer News: Cristiano Ronaldo To PSG Or Manchester United? Gareth Bale Staying At Bernabeu?

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 2015
Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Getty Images
It's of little surprise that big questions loom over the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Major changes to Real Madrid's roster were widely expected with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s fates both intertwined and in doubt with the arrival of new manager Rafael Benitez after a disappointing 2014-2015 season under Carlo Ancelotti. The query most often put to Los Blancos supporters is: Should Ronaldo or Bale leave? And at certain points this summer it appeared Madrid president Florentino Perez was close to ending one or both of the player’s stays at the Bernabeu.
For now, it appears Ronaldo’s transfer speculation fire continues to burn while Bale’s future seems more intact with the Spanish giants.
Over the weekend, reports surfaced in the Middle East that Paris Saint-Germain, owned by Qatar Investment Authority, placed a £85.5 million bid on Ronaldo only to have Madrid reject the attempt,according to AS.
Evidently, Perez met with PSG’s ownership on July 4 and the bid was made while questions arose over whether Ronaldo was happy with the switch of managers from Ancelotti to Benitez. Furthermore, Madrid’s perceived favoritism towards Bale was also viewed as reason enough for Ronaldo to desire a new club.
However, Perez staunchly turned down what would be a new record transfer fee and the speculation surrounding Ronaldo’s future continues to swirl in Madrid. Most recently, the possibility of Ronaldo returning to Manchester United keeps rearing its head. United manager Louis van Gaal once again stoked the transfer fire in his comments to Express.
“He may come,” Van Gaal said, “Yes, of course the fans would love it and so would I. But it’s not possible. Why not? Because you have his club Real Madrid, you have Ronaldo and then you have Manchester United – and how much Manchester United want to spend.
“Of course, we are still looking. When it is possible to buy players from that level at a reasonable price then we shall do that because they can contribute and make us better. We are looking for much more creativity.”
The Dutch coach has scoured the globe for more attacking talent, and Ronaldo could certainly help the Red Devils make a run back atop the Premier League table after coming in fourth last year. Ronaldo has spoken very fondly of his time at Old Trafford, but as Van Gaal mentioned, the price would be very high even for the likes of United. Though Van Gaal spoke in a roundabout way, and didn’t really nix the chance of what would be the biggest transfer of this or perhaps the last five summers.
At no point has it been suggested that Ronaldo’s handed Madrid an ultimatum with himself and Bale at the center, but it certainly appears like Los Blancos are weighing the possibility of letting at least one go.
The 30-year-old Ronaldo is coming off one of his greatest seasons, totaling 61 goals, and he is under contract until 2018. However, Madrid may question whether or not Ronaldo has enough left in his legs to guide the squad deep into Champions League at least one more time. There might be the perception that if there was a time to let Ronaldo go, this might be the best time.
Bale is four years Ronaldo’s junior, and though his form fell off in his second season with Madrid, much of the lag in play was attributed to Ronaldo’s perceived ball hogging and Ancelotti’s insistence on playing Bale away from his desired position on the pitch.
And for what it’s worth, Wales manager Chris Coleman believes his star will remain in Madrid despite the interest from such top clubs like United, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
“There is pressure in playing for  Real Madrid  but Gareth is one of those players who can handle that,”Coleman told The Guardian. “The demands of playing in the Premier League and the demands of playing in La Liga are different. From our point of view we get a fresh Gareth Bale – if he’s in the English Premier League physically it’s more demanding.”
The likelihood of both players leaving Madrid seems all the more unlikely given the heavy speculation surrounding forward Karim Benzema. Daily Telegraph reported Arsenal are preparing to up their bid to £35 million for the masterful French scorer, and his exit would almost certainly cause Madrid to reconsider any move for Bale or Ronaldo.
 
 
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