Rumour Has It: Real Madrid can't afford Mbappe, Chelsea lead Alaba race

By Sports Desk December 01, 2020

Real Madrid's dream of signing Kylian Mbappe may have to wait.

Mbappe, 21, has regularly been linked with LaLiga's champions after starring for Paris Saint-Germain.

But the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are seemingly set to hurt Madrid's chances of landing the star.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CAN'T AFFORD MBAPPE NEXT YEAR

Madrid cannot afford a deal to sign PSG star Mbappe next year, according to Le Parisien.

It comes with finances of clubs around the world hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mbappe, who is contracted until 2022, has scored nine goals in 11 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Out of contract at the end of the season, David Alaba looks set to leave Bayern Munich. AS reports Chelsea believe they will be in pole position to sign the defender with their offer.

- Linked with a move to Manchester United, Hakan Calhanoglu could yet stay at Milan. CalcioMercato reports Milan remain hopeful of re-signing the midfielder, whose contract expires at season's end, and a decisive meeting between the parties is nearing.

- Barcelona want to sign a centre-back in January and Manchester City defender Eric Garcia remains a target, according to Mundo Deportivo. The report says Barca also have experienced targets if City do not want to sell Garcia.

- Staying at Barcelona and Sport reports the Catalan giants are interested in Hoffenheim defender Melayro Bogarde, whose uncle Winston played for the club from 1998 to 2000.

- Manchester City are reportedly close to landing a teenage attacker. Fabrizio Romano says the Premier League side are in advanced negotiations to sign Dario Sarmiento, 17, from Argentine club Estudiantes after an opening bid of £17million (€19m).

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  • European Super League: Gundogan labels UEFA's new Champions League format 'the lesser of two evils' European Super League: Gundogan labels UEFA's new Champions League format 'the lesser of two evils'

    Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan has pleaded with UEFA to think more about player workloads after changes were made to the Champions League.

    On Sunday, City were one of 12 leading clubs to announce their intention to join the European Super League – a breakaway competition with a closed-shop element.

    By Tuesday evening, City were the first team to officially confirm their withdrawal from that league, with the other English teams swiftly following suit amid widespread criticism and pressure from fellow clubs, UEFA, politicians, the Premier League and the Football Association.

    Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan have also withdrawn, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus the other teams who signed up to the project.

    Sunday's reports and subsequent announcement of the 12-team proposal came a day ahead of UEFA confirming changes to the format of the Champions League.

    From 2024, there will be 36 teams featured in the tournament, with each club guaranteed a minimum of 10 games.

    While the European Super League has taken much of the flack, the Champions League alterations would also seemingly guarantee more dominance to the bigger teams, while also congesting an already packed fixture schedule, something which Gundogan is not on board with.

    "With all the Super League stuff going on... can we please also speak about the new Champions League format?" the Germany international tweeted on Thursday.

    "More and more and more games, is no one thinking about us players? The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League.

    "The UCL format right now works great and that is why it's the most popular club competition in the world – for us players and for the fans."

    City have progressed to the Champions League semi-finals this season, for only the second time in their history.

    One of the proposed sanctions against the 12 clubs by UEFA was the possibility of banning them from its competitions.

    It remains to be seen what punishment, if any, the teams will receive from UEFA or their domestic leagues after the attempted breakaway.

  • Atletico Madrid 2-0 Huesca: Correa and Carrasco return Atleti to the summit Atletico Madrid 2-0 Huesca: Correa and Carrasco return Atleti to the summit

    Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco were on target as Atletico Madrid returned to the top of LaLiga with a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Huesca.

    Correa struck twice in a 5-0 thrashing of Eibar on Sunday and he opened the scoring at the Wanda Metropolitano on Thursday with a deflected strike.

    Carrasco eased the nerves with a second goal - his third in as many matches - 10 minutes from time to put Atleti three points clear of Real Madrid with six games to go.

    Diego Simeone's Atletico side ought to have won by a more emphatic margin a day after they confirmed their withdrawal from the collapsed European Super League.

    Yet Dimitrios Siovas should have given Huesca a shock third-minute lead when he shot straight at Jan Oblak from close range after Atleti failed to deal with a free-kick from the left.

    Alvaro Fernandez produced a sharp double save at the other end to deny Carrasco and Saul Niguez, and then Correa opened the scoring six minutes before the break.

    The in-form forward turned sharply after taking a pass from Marcos Llorente and beat Pablo Insua before finding the back of the net with a deflected left-footed strike.

    Atleti picked up where they left off following the interval, with Fernandez making himself big to keep out Koke's effort from close range.

    The busy Huesca goalkeeper was called into action again to palm Renan Lodi's drive away for a corner as Simeone's men continued to dominate.

    Sergio Gomez came agonisingly close to equalising when his free-kick flashed wide of the post before Fernandez beat away another effort from Niguez.

    Carrasco gave Atleti breathing space, tapping in after Llorente unselfishly squared the ball as Huesca appealed for offside. The goal was awarded following a VAR check.

    Dani Escriche should have pulled a goal back in the closing stages when he stabbed wide from point-blank range, as Huesca's survival hopes suffered a blow.

  • European Super League: Barcelona say not joining would have been an 'historical error' European Super League: Barcelona say not joining would have been an 'historical error'

    Barcelona said it would have been an "historical error" not to sign up for the European Super League and the club remains convinced structural reform is needed to protect the financial future of football.

    The Blaugrana were announced on Sunday as one of 12 founding members of the highly controversial breakaway league, which received widespread criticism due to the closed-shop nature of the competition.

    Less than 48 hours, all six of the Premier League teams that had agreed to sign up all withdrew their participation following a fierce backlash from fans, players, supporters, the Football Association and the UK government.

    Atletico Madrid and Serie A rivals Milan and Inter later followed suit, seemingly leaving the league dead in the water before it even took off the ground.

    But Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli – leading figures in the Super League – both launched a staunch defence of a competition they remain convinced has to happen as clubs struggle to contend with the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Newly re-elected Barca president Joan Laporta earlier said the lucrative Super League was "absolutely necessary" and a club statement struck a similarly pleading tone about their belief that change is a must.

    "FC Barcelona shares the view of most major European football clubs, and even more so given the current socio-economic climate, that there is a need for structural reforms to guarantee the financial sustainability and feasibility of world football by improving the product that is offered to fans around the world and by consolidating and even increasing the fan base on which this sport is sustained, which is its mainstay and greatest strength," the statement began.

    "In this context, the FC Barcelona Board of Directors accepted, as a matter of immediate urgency, the offer to form part, as the founding member, of the Super League, a competition designed to improve the quality and attractiveness of the product offered to the football fans and, at the same time, and as one of FC Barcelona's most inalienable principles, seek new formulas for solidarity with the football family as a whole.

    "The decision was made in the conviction that it would have been a historical error to turn down the opportunity to be part of this project as one of its founding members. As one of the world's top sports club, our intention shall always be to be at the forefront, this being an indispensable part of the club's identity and its sporting, social and institutional spirit."

    Despite the project seemingly being left in tatters, Perez insisted the project the Super League is "not dead" in an interview with Spanish radio station El Larguero.

    Barca said more analysis is clearly needed but said such examination must take place in the absence of "unjustified pressure and intimidation".

    The statement added: "Given the public reaction that the aforementioned project has generated in many and various spheres, there is no question that FC Barcelona appreciates that a much more in-depth analysis is required into the reasons that have caused this reaction in order to reconsider, if necessary, and to the required extent, the proposal as originally formulated and resolve all those issues, always for the good of the general interest of the football world. Such in-depth analysis needs time and the necessary composure to avoid taking any rash action.

    "We feel it is equally important to highlight the objective fact that a Court of Justice has already granted urgent legal protection as requested, thus confirming right of the initiative on the part of the founding clubs of the Super League project.

    "In this regard, FC Barcelona considers that it would be improper for the necessary process of reflection and debate to be established under criteria of unjustified pressure and intimidation.

    "Despite being perfectly aware of the importance and interest raised by this matter, as well as the need to always act with the utmost transparency, FC Barcelona shall act at all times with due prudence and asks for the utmost understanding, respect and most of all patience among FC Barcelona supporters and public opinion in general."

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