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Monday, March 25, 2019

Real Madrid have played down reports that they have made an offer for Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.
There are lots of figures that are being bandied about but the club have come out and categorically rejected any speculation that they are looking to bring the 2018 World Cup winner to the club.
Just like every season, Madrid find themselves at the heart of all of the transfer rumours.
However, different to previous years, they have quickly quashed all rumours which have speculated that they are interested in the Frenchman, who is thought to be worth around 280 million euros.
Zinedine Zidane, who has recently returned as Madrid's coach, will be looking to do everything in his power to get Madrid back to winning ways, but he has made it clear that he has not spoken to Mbappe about a potential move to the
Logically, the coach and the president will have discussed transfer dealings but Mbappe has not been a source of their conversations.
Madrid are still yet to publicly come out and state who they are after in the summer transfer window as Zidane wishes to take a full evaluation of his squad before deciding who the ins and outs will be.
One player's name who refuses to go away is that of Liverpool's Sadio Mane, who it is rumoured Zidane wanted to sign during his first spell at the club before the Frenchman's surprise resignation last summer.
Neither Zidane nor Florentino Perez are thinking about signing Mbappe at this moment in time and they are keen to maintain their perfect relationship with PSG.

That's according to legendary former Juve striker Alessandro del Piero.
Ronaldo's scintillating hat-trick against Atletico Madrid rescued the Bianconeri's European campaign from the jaws of defeat.
Juventus have lost a record seven Champions League finals, the two most recent coming at the hands of Ronaldo and Real Madrid.
The domestically dominant 'Old Lady' are obsessed with becoming European champions for the third time.
And once the Portuguese forward became available last summer, there was little hesitation that shelling out £85m would be money well spent if he could land them the prized silverware.
And Del Piero, Juve's top goalscorer in UEFA competition history, believes that the Ronaldo 'plan' is going perfectly so far.
"That's what Juventus bought him for," the former Italy striker told Marca of Ronaldo's exploits.
"He is a champion who has won this title and who knows what it's like to play these difficult matches, with good football and by scoring goals.
"He is focused on the objective. Juventus signed him for this and the plan is going perfectly so far."
Quizzed on whether it would be a failure if Max Allegri's side missed out on the Champions League crown this season, Del Piero added: "Failure is a really big word. I wouldn't use it.
"The project is about winning the Champions League with Ronaldo and he signed for four years.
"If you can win it in the first year then even better."
Asked if he was surprised that CR7 made the switch from Spain to Italy, he added: "Yes, a little, but not too much.
"Ronaldo could pick whatever team he wanted to go to in the world and it was a good piece of business that he picked Juventus."
Juventus must overcome with a two-legged quarter-final clash with Ajax in order to progress the the Champions League semi-finals.
The Dutch side stunned Ronaldo's former team in the previous round, eliminating Los Blancos 5-3 on aggregate.

Arsenal are eyeing Manchester United Bosman prospect Ander Herrera.
Herrera is unhappy the club have allowed talks to drag on as the clock runs down after initially offering him little more than some of the junior first-team players at United, says the Daily Mail.
It's believed he is looking for a significant increase on his current £80,000-a-week deal to closer to £150,000 having re-established himself as a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
PSG have opened talks with his representatives over a lucrative move to France.
And Arsenal have also registered an interest in Herrera if he decides to leave United at the end of the season after five years at Old Trafford.
Both clubs can offer him more favourable terms because there would be no transfer fee involved.

England manager Gareth Southgate was saddened and dismayed by “unacceptable” racist abuse endured by his players in Montenegro and vowed to report it to UEFA.

This was always likely to be a difficult evening for the Three Lions, whose players were made aware of what could lie in store in Podgorica by the management team in the build-up.

Southgate said there had been “no evidence of any racism” on the eve of the game, but sadly that changed in Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier at the Gradski Stadion.

Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants at the end of the impressive 5-1 comeback win in Montenegro, where earlier abuse led Raheem Sterling to celebrate the final goal of the night by pulling out his ears in front of the home fans.

“Best way to silence the haters (yeah I mean racists),” the England forward posted on social media with a picture of the celebration and the ‘hear-no-evil’ monkey emoji.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, the 18-year-old whose impressive first start was overshadowed, called for action to be taken, with England manager Southgate confirming Montenegro would be reported to UEFA.

“Firstly, very sad,” Southgate said at the post-match press conference.

“We had an excellent performance and we’ve got an 18-year-old being interviewed after the game and he’s having to respond to what’s happened when his evening should be about the joy of his full debut.

“I didn’t hear (anything) during the early part of the game, but I’m told there were things in the early part of the game as well.

“But I certainly heard when Danny Rose was booked and it’s unacceptable. I’ve spoken to our players individually. We’ve got to support them. We will report it.

“But I think that reporting is already in place because so many people in other areas of the ground have heard it. I believe the UEFA delegate also heard it.

“So, our part will be to make sure that process is followed, but more importantly for me is that the players in the dressing room know that as a group of staff and as an organisation we’re there for them. That’s the most important thing.”

Real offer James for Pogba
The Manchester United midfielder has stated his admiration for Real Madrid
Real Madrid have offered James Rodriguez as a makeweight as the team pushes to sign Paul Pogba, according to Don Balon.
Pogba recently stated that it is a "dream" to play for Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, and the club is keen to make that dream come true.
But Manchester United are not happy with Rodriguez as the makeweight in the deal, instead insisting on a deal involving Gareth Bale.
Moreno set to sign with Barca
Alberto Moreno is set to sign a contract with Barcelona, according to Sport.
The full-back is out of contract with Liverpool this summer, having served as backup to Andrew Robertson for the better part of two seasons.
Moreno previously played in La Liga with Sevilla, having won a Europa League crown with the club.
Kovacic offered to Inter and Bayern
Real Madrid have offered Matteo Kovacic to Inter and Bayern Munich, but neither side is enthused by the idea of signing the Croatian, according to FCInterNews.
Kovacic is currently on loan with Chelsea and, given the club's transfer ban, a stay in London is unlikely.
Zinedine Zidane, who has worked with him before at Real Madrid, is willing to let Kovacic move on, but Bayern and Inter are not very interested in the midfielder.
Negotiations between Gressel and Atlanta come to a halt
Negotiations between Atlanta United and Julian Gressell have come to a halt, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Gressell's contract with the club runs through 2020 and the German-born midfielder has proven to be a vital piece throughout the past two seasons.
However, the two sides have stepped away from negotiations.
Pirlo: Inter better with Lautaro over Icardi
Andrea Pirlo says Inter play better with Lautaro Martinez while adding Mauro Icardi's stance has been weakened due to his long-term absence.
The former Italy midfielder says that he is unsure how Inter can adapt to Icardi's return while saying the younger Argentine is a better fit with the current group.

Essendon coach John Worsfold admits vice-captain Zach Merrett played poorly in the Bombers' 72-point AFL opening-round loss to GWS but says he was far from alone.
Merrett, an All-Australian in 2017, drew criticism from club greats Tim Watson and Matthew Lloyd for a lack of effort early in the match.
"Zach had a poor game, I think - he didn't really impact at anywhere near the level where we know he can," Worsfold said on Tuesday.
"But in fairness to Zach, if you extended out any period of play you would see several other players also not playing with the intensity that we needed to play at.
"Whether it's Zach as our vice-captain, whether it's (captain) Dyson (Heppell) or whether it's our young players, there are plenty of examples there across the board where we didn't put the effort in that's required at this level."
Merrett was held to 16 possessions by the Giants - more than 10 below his average in each of the past three seasons - but it was a half-hearted tackle attempt late in the first quarter that drew the ire of Watson and Lloyd.
"It's almost as if he's given up. This is as bad as it can possibly be," Watson told Channel Seven's Talking Footy on Monday night.
"This is tough on Zach Merrett, he's a youngish type player - that is not AFL standard.
"There is not a coach in the competition that would accept that as effort."
Lloyd also singled out the efforts of Merrett.
"Zach Merrett wouldn't do this last year, just put an arm out there," Lloyd told Footy Classified.
"Either he's injured or bereft of confidence. You can't be lacking confidence in round one."
Merrett battled an ankle problem during the pre-season but Worsfold insisted on Tuesday that he was now fully fit.
Much was expected of Essendon this year after they won 10 of their last 14 games in 2018 and recruited on-baller Dylan Shiel during the trade period.
But after two losses in the pre-season competition and the round-one drubbing they are already under pressure heading into Saturday's clash against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.
"They're (the players) telling me that they're disappointed, that it wasn't what they stand for, it wasn't what they want to be known for and they want to address that," Worsfold said.
The Bombers lost the contested possession count against GWS by 41, the biggest discrepancy during Worsfold's tenure.

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