Rumour Has It: Benzema to sign Madrid deal as Man Utd eye Calvert-Lewin & Arsenal star nears exit

By Sports Desk December 31, 2019

Some of Europe's top clubs are already making signings ahead of the January transfer window, but Real Madrid's focus, at least for now, looks to be on securing the services of a current player.

Karim Benzema remains one of Madrid's key men, with 12 goals in 17 LaLiga matches this term.

Los Blancos will reportedly reward the striker's fine form with a contract renewal in the coming months, keeping him at the Santiago Bernabeu for another two seasons.

 

TOP STORY – BENZEMA TO STAY UNTIL 2022

Karim Benzema has agreed to sign a new contract with LaLiga giants Real Madrid, according to Marca.

Benzema's current deal had been set to expire in 2021, but an extension is imminent. The newspaper reports the Frenchman will be rewarded improved terms on a new contract to run until 2022 due to his outstanding form.

With Madrid enjoying a midseason break, they are said to have agreed a deal with Benzema that will be made formal at the end of the campaign.

Benzema's future is apparently a priority for Madrid, with the report suggesting the deal was only capped at an additional year as the player is determined not to outstay his welcome, leaving before his outstanding career wanes.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United reportedly have an interest in Benfica star Gedson Fernandes. Sky Sports say the 20-year-old midfielder, who has fallen out of favour with his club, could be available for £34million (€39.8m) following a loan, rather than for a loftier release clause of £102m. United are desperate to bolster their midfield, with Nemanja Matic tipped to join Inter, Milan or Atletico Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Suns says United are eyeing £50m-rated Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Erling Haaland signed for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will leave Emirates Stadium at the end of the season in pursuit of silverware. Aubameyang has 18 months remaining on his contract.

Chelsea have made enquiries about the release clause in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner's contract, says The Telegraph. Werner has been linked to Liverpool, United and Bayern Munich.

- El Desmarque says Everton are leading the race to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti worked with James during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Serie A champions Juventus lead the race to sign Dejan Kulusevski, according to Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport. The 19-year-old, on loan at Parma from Atalanta, has been linked to United, Arsenal, Napoli, Inter and Liverpool. But Juve are reportedly poised to pay Atalanta €40-50m, while allowing Kulusevski to remain on loan at Parma until the end of the season.

- Calciomercato.com reports Jean-Clair Todibo has an offer from Milan. A deal is said to be done for the Barcelona defender - an initial loan, followed by a €20m fee with no buyback option - but he has not yet agreed to the transfer.

- Having already signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan must move on others in the next month. However, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are only interested in selling Ricardo Rodriguez and Suso, rather than accommodating loan deals that would suit Watford and Sevilla, respectively.

Napoli are set to announce the signing of Stanislav Lobotka for an initial €16m, according to Calciomercato.com. The midfielder will leave Celta Vigo and sign a contract with the Partenopei until 2024.

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    With all 20 Premier League teams now back in action, fantasy football managers around the world are tinkering and tweaking as they look to find that perfect balance of solid but deadly.

    It's fair to say that we've already had a few surprises (for the fantasy football world, at least) this season, with Manchester United players barely making a splash at home to Crystal Palace (looking at you, Bruno Fernandes), Liverpool shipping three to promoted Leeds United on day one and Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the scoring chart.

    Everything's been all over the place – you need as much help as you can get, and hopefully that's where we can help.

    Using Opta data, here are a few tips that might enable you get back on track, or even – for those of you lucky enough – build on an emphatic start…

    RUI PATRICIO

    Despite the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, Wolves appear set for another encouraging season, having seemingly recruited well and retained most of their key players.

    Among those is Rui Patricio, who is second only to Ederson (0.45) in terms of goals conceded per game (0.82) since the Premier League resumed in June, while the Portugal international's six clean sheets in that time is also the second best in the division.

    Up next for Wolves is a trip to West Ham, who have lost both of their first two games of the season, scoring just one goal in the process.

    MICHAEL KEANE

    Goal-scoring perhaps isn't a key factor for many when considering which defenders to choose in their fantasy team, but picking one who has a habit of finding the net can give you the edge.

    Michael Keane heads into the weekend having scored twice since the June resumption, a record beaten by no other defender, while he also boasts the best shot conversion rate (40 per cent) among defenders to have attempted at least five in that time period.

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    SADIO MANE

    This one's quite simple – Sadio Mane loves playing against Arsenal.

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    MATHEUS PEREIRA

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    RAUL JIMENEZ

    Two games, two goals – Jimenez has picked up right where he left off last season, the Mexican continuing to be the go-to man in attack for Wolves.

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    GABRIEL JESUS

    With Sergio Aguero out for the time being, Gabriel Jesus has the chance to find some form and enjoy a run of regular starts – he'll likely be encouraged by what's to come as well.

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    DANNY INGS

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  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd to make final Sancho bid, Madrid face Camavinga competition Rumour Has It: Man Utd to make final Sancho bid, Madrid face Camavinga competition

    Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United, but he remains in Germany.

    Sancho's valuation has proved a stumbling block for United, who have made the England international their number one transfer target.

    United, though, are not giving up hope as they reportedly make one last attempt to sign the 20-year-old.

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED SET FOR FINAL SANCHO OFFER

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    ROUND-UP

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  • FIFA’s bad boys – T&T joins long list of countries falling afoul of football federation laws FIFA’s bad boys – T&T joins long list of countries falling afoul of football federation laws

    The standoff between FIFA and Trinidad and Tobago ended with the Caribbean country joining a long list of others suspended after various disputes with the parent association.

    Oftentimes, the reasons nations find themselves blacklisted by the sport’s global governing body are many and varied by the outcome is often the same.

    The twin-island republic becomes the second Caribbean nation suspended by FIFA, following in the footsteps of Antigua and Barbuda who were banned in 2003 for one year after infighting broke out within the association.

    In each case, the length of suspension dished out to the associations varies widely, with the ball often in the member association court as to how long it takes to rectify the affair that has caused them to fall afoul of FIFA’s statues in the first place.  The list below features 24 countries that have been suspended in the last 17 years and some of the reasons provided.

     

     

    List of country’s suspended

     

    Country - Azerbaijan

    Date - 15 April 2003 - 23 May 2003

    Reason - External pressure, violations of

    fundamental principles

    Outcome - Parties agreed to respect a FIFA

    moderated agreement

     

    Country - Antigua and

    Barbuda

    Date - 20 May 2003 - 29 June 2005

    Reason - Non-specified

    Outcome- Suspension lifted after situation

    had improved

     

    Country - Guatemala

    Date - 9 Jan. 2004 - 17 May 2004

    Reason - Governmental interference: FA and

    elected FA officials replaced

    Outcome - Re-installment of elected FA

    leadership, recognition of FAs’

    competencies

     

    Country - Kenya

    Date - 2 June 2004 - 6 Aug. 2004

    Reason - Governmental interference: FA

    officials replaced due to

    mismanagement and fraud

    Outcome - Installment of a normalization

    committee to improve

    transparency and accountability

     

     

    Country – Macau

    Date - 15 Feb. 2005 - 6 March 2005

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-specified

    Outcome - Suspension lifted after

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    Country -Yemen

    Date -12 Aug. 2005 - 9 Nov. 2005

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-specified

    Outcome - Suspension lifted after concessions

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    Country - Greece

    Date - 3 July 2006 - 12 July 2006

    Reason - Governmental interference: National

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    Outcome - Legislation amended according to

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    Country - Kenya

    Date - 25 Oct. 2006 - 9 March 2007

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-implementation of

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    Outcome - Government agrees to abstain

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    proceedings are withdrawn,

    reinstallation of elected officials

     

    Country – Iran

    Date- 23 Nov. 2006 - 20 Dec. 2006

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-independence of

    decision-making and election

    processes

    Outcome - Implementation of FIFA’s

    demands

     

    Country - Kuwait

    Date - 29 Oct. 2007 - 20 Dec. 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference: FA

    officials replaced

    Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

    after new elections are

    announced, reinstallation of

    FIFA’s transition committee,

    amendment of FA’s statutes

     

    Country - Albania

    Date -14 March 2008 - 26 April 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Government initiated legal

    proceedings against new FA

    statutes

    Outcome - Legal proceedings stopped,

    creation of a working-group

     

    Country - Madagascar

    Date - 19 March 2008 - 19 May 2008 Governmental interference:

    Ministerial decree dissolved FA

    Outcome - Madagascan Supreme Court

    declared decree null and void,

    re-installment of FA

     

    Country - Chad

    Date - 28 March 2008 - 7 May 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Government replaced FA

    officials and intended to hold

    new elections

    Outcome - Decree revoked, reinstallation of

    elected FA officials

     

    Country - Iraq

    Date - 26 May 2008 - 29 May 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Governmental decree dissolved

    all sport organizations

    Outcome - Exclusion of FA from dissolution

    decree

     

    Country – Ethiopia

    Date - 29 July 2008 – July 22 2009

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Dismissal of elected officials,

    non-compliance with FIFA

    roadmap

    Outcome - New leaders elected for the country's soccer federation.

     

    Country – Samoa

    Date - 24 Oct. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

    Reason -Repeated management problems

    Outcome - Resolved

     

    Country - Peru

    Date - 25 Nov. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

    Reason -Governmental interference:

    Non-specified

    Outcome- Resolved

     

    Country - Brunei Darussalam

    Date -29 Sept. 2009 - 1 June 2011 Governmental interference:

    Dissolution of FA and creation

    of new government-controlled

    body

    Outcome - FIFA’s conditions fulfilled and

    statues amended according to

    FIFA Statutes

     

    Country - Iraq

    Date - 20 Nov. 2009 - 19 March 2010

    Reason - Governmental interference: Government

    controlled NOC dissolved FA

    Outcome - Dissolution of FA withdrawn

     

    Country - El Salvador

    Date - 11 May 2010 - 27 May 2010

    Reason - Governmental interference: Government

    did not accept FIFA’s normalization

    committee and new FA statutes

    Outcome - Legitimacy of normalization

    committee and new statutes

    recognized

     

    Country – Nigeria

    Date - 4 Oct. 2010 - 8 Oct. 2010

    Reason - Governmental interference: Court actions

    against FA officials, government

    forced resignation of officials,

    government started league without

    relegation from previous season

    Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

    after claimant withdrew legal

    actions and FA leadership and

    FA control over league were

    reinstalled

     

    Country – Bosnia

    Date -1 April 2011 1 - Jun 2011

     Reason - Mismanagement due to ethnic

    divisions

    Outcome - FA statutes amended according to

    FIFA’s demands

     

    Country - Belize

    17 June 2011 7- July 2011

    Reason - Failure of government to provide

    security for national team matches

    Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

    due to positive developments,

    match played outside Belize

     

    Country – Cameroon

    Date - 4 July 2013 - 22 July 2013

    Reason - Governmental interference: Government refused to accept results of FA

    elections

    Outcome - New elections organized, finally

    reinstallation of elected FA officials

     

    Country – Nigeria  

    Jul 9, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014

    Reason – Government interference:

    Court proceedings and an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF executive committee members, and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football

    Outcome – Orders rescinded

     

    Country – Kuwait

    Date - Oct 16, 2015 - Dec 6, 2017

    Reason – Government interference

    Outcome – Gulf state's parliament adopted a law meant to end government interference in the sport.

     

    Country - Guatemala

    Date – Oct 28, 2016 - May 31, 2018

    Reason – Government interference: Local authorities had intervened with Normalisation Committee

    Outcome – Normalisation Committee recognized

     

    Country - Sierra Leone

    Date - Oct 5, 2018 - Jun 3, 2019

    Reason - Government interference.

    Third-party interference in the running of the country's FA.

    Outcome – Resolved

     

    Country – Trinidad and Tobago

    Date – September 24, 2020 – Unknown

    Reason – Refusal to acknowledge normalization committee by the previous board.  Issue was taken to High Court.

    Outcome - Unknown

     

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