Rumour Has It: Real Madrid fighting Man Utd over Sancho, Inter want Aguero in Skriniar swap

By Sports Desk June 29, 2020

Real Madrid or Manchester United? 

The two European giants appear to be the likeliest options for Jadon Sancho, who continues to be linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund. 

Sancho has been tipped to make the move to Old Trafford but the England international could be set to grace the Santiago Bernabeu instead. 

 

TOP STORY – MADRID AND UNITED FIGHTING OVER SANCHO

Real Madrid and Manchester United are going head-to-head to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho has been tipped to leave Dortmund for United, though Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all emerged as possible destinations.

Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants to bring Sancho to Madrid as Dortmund demand a huge fee.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Sergio Aguero and Milan Skriniar be set to swap clubs? Calciomercato reports Inter are eyeing Manchester City star Aguero in a deal that would see Nerazzurri defender Skriniar move in the opposite direction. Inter could be in the market for a forward as Barca eye Lautaro Martinez, while Pep Guardiola's City are desperate to bolster their defence.

- There has been no decision on David Alaba's future, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Bayern Munich star has been linked to City, Juventus, Chelsea and PSG.

Mauricio Pochettino is in talks to take over Portuguese giants Benfica, Record says. Pochettino has been out of work since he was sacked by Tottenham in November.

- Calciomercato claims Milan's hierarchy will confront Mino Raiola in the next 48 hours to try to finalise a new contract for star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Arsenal have made an offer for Levante midfielder Enis Bardhi, reports Onda Cero. Fiorentina and an unnamed Bundesliga club are also interested.

Barca and Juve are expected to announce the swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic on Monday after undergoing medicals, according to widespread speculation. Arthur will join Juve, while Pjanic is set to replace the Brazilian at Barca.

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  • We'll take the plane or bus - Guardiola relaxed as Istanbul Champions League final is placed in flux We'll take the plane or bus - Guardiola relaxed as Istanbul Champions League final is placed in flux

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unconcerned over where the Champions League final will take place amid fresh doubts over whether the showpiece will take place in Istanbul.

    City beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in midweek to close out a 4-1 aggregate triumph and book their place in a maiden Champions League final.

    Chelsea ensured it would be an all-English affair as they overcame Real Madrid by the same scoreline on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge to prevail 3-1 on aggregate.

    The make-up of the final already led to speculation over whether the match might be moved, given Turkey is currently under lockdown due to spiking COVID-19 rates as the UK loosens restrictions thanks in part to a successful vaccine roll out.

    UEFA insisted it was committed to the game remaining at the Ataturk Stadium but the situation became more complicated on Friday when the UK government added Turkey to its travel "red list".

    That means anyone travelling to the country – including fans, players and staff from both clubs – must quarantine for 10 days in government-approved hotels upon their return to the UK.

    Unless exemptions can be secured for players, this would be particularly problematic given Euro 2020 and the 2021 Copa America start on June 11, 13 days after the Champions League final.

    The change in status is effective from May 17, the same day Turkey's own national lockdown is set to end, and will not be reviewed for three weeks, meaning there is no prospect of a change in the UK government stance before the final.

    UEFA is in discussions with the Football Association (FA) over the next steps, with Villa Park touted as a potential alternative venue as Wembley is slated to host the Championship play-off final on May 29.

    "I'm pretty sure UEFA will decide the best for everyone," Guardiola said, speaking prior to the UK government decision.

    "If we go to Istanbul, it will be a pleasure. I think the situation depends on the pandemic there but if they decide to move on or stay here in this country or another place, we'll take the plane or the bus and we will be there."

    Stats Perform News understands City will await further guidance from UEFA over the Champions League final venue and will not lobby for the game to be moved to a stadium on home soil.

    City host Chelsea on Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the final, knowing victory at the Etihad Stadium will secure a third Premier League crown in four seasons with three games to spare.

    However, Guardiola insists that would not be a cue to rest the players who have established themselves as a settled first XI in European matches.

    The Catalan's often-repeated mantra of players needing to be in "rhythm" will not be allowed to slide with a defining night on the horizon.

    "I want to be honest, the players will not be rested to think about the Champions League final," Guardiola said.

    "Now we have a period of six days [between] Chelsea [and the trip to] Newcastle, so now the schedule is a little bit more fresh.

    "Now it's time to try to… it's in our hands and we don't depend on other results to win the Premier League as quickly as possible. It won't be easy because of the opponent we have.

    "It's not necessary to tell them to be focused on the last game of the season because nobody in the club has been there before apart from Ilkay [Gundogan], who played in the [2013 Champions League] final. The rest, everyone will be so focused to arrive in this final in the best condition possible."

    After their trip to St James' Park, City face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on May 18 before rounding out their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on May 23.

  • Nine Super League clubs welcomed back by UEFA but Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid given stern warning Nine Super League clubs welcomed back by UEFA but Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid given stern warning

    Nine of the clubs involved in the proposed European Super League have escaped a possible ban from the Champions League and Europa League after being welcomed back by UEFA.

    The Premier League's 'big six' and Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid have affirmed their commitment to UEFA competitions after acknowledging "the Super League project was a mistake" and apologising "to fans, national associations, national leagues, fellow European clubs and UEFA".

    All nine clubs must abide by a set of "reintegration measures" in order to be allowed back into the UEFA fold.

    These include commitments to UEFA Statutes and to competing in existing UEFA competitions for which they qualify, rejoining the European Club Association and taking "all steps within their power" to terminate their involvement in the company established to run the Super League.

    The clubs will also contribute to a €15million goodwill fund to be used for youth and grassroots football in Europe, while they will see five per cent of UEFA club competition revenues withheld for one season. UEFA says that revenue money will also be redistributed.

    Should any of the nine clubs attempt a similar breakaway in future, they will be fined €100m. Breaching any other aspect of the Club Commitment Declaration – the agreement signed to enable their return to UEFA competitions – will incur a fine of €50m.

    Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Milan, Inter and Atletico all renounced the Super League following significant opposition from fans, players and sponsors over their proposed involvement.

    However, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have so far refused to follow suit and all three could now face strong punishment by UEFA, with the matter referred to disciplinary bodies.

    UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "I said at the UEFA Congress two weeks ago that it takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.
     
    "In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit. 
     
    "The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA. They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK. 
     
    "These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football. The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called 'Super League' and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently."

  • Istanbul Champions League final in doubt after UK puts Turkey on 'red list' Istanbul Champions League final in doubt after UK puts Turkey on 'red list'

    UEFA and the Football Association are in talks over moving the Champions League final from Istanbul to the UK after Turkey was placed on the country's travel "red list"

    Manchester City and Chelsea qualified for the May 29 showpiece with respective victories over Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid this week.

    On Thursday, UEFA said it remained committed to staging the game in the Turkish capital, despite the country being under a coronavirus lockdown until May 17 and having the eighth-highest amount of active COVID-19 cases in the world.

    UEFA also intended to operate with a reduced capacity at the Ataturk Stadium, although new government rules announced on Friday mean City and Chelsea fans travelling would have to quarantine in government-approved hotels upon their return.

    Turkey's red list status, which is effective from May 17 and will not be reviewed for three weeks, would also add significant complications for players returning to the UK before linking up with their national teams for Euro 2020 and the Copa America, unless exemptions can be secured.

    Both international tournaments begin on June 11, 13 days after the Champions League final.

    Speaking at a news conference on Friday, the UK's secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps said: "Fans should not travel to Turkey. The FA are in discussions with UEFA on this.

    "We are very open to hosting the final but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA."

    Wembley is set to host the Championship play-off final on May 29, casting doubt over any prospect of moving the Champions League final to England's national stadium.

    Sky Sports reported on Thursday that Aston Villa had offered to host the game at Villa Park, with Birmingham holding an appeal in being roughly equidistant between Manchester and London.

    UEFA is understood to be taking time to reflect upon the red list decision before making its next move.

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