Diego Lopez ready to leave Real Madrid

The 32-year-old lost his place to Iker Casillas at the end of last season and is poised to drop to third choice with the imminent arrival of Keylor Navas


By Alberto Pinero in Madrid

Diego Lopez

is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer because of serious concerns over a lack of regular playing time.

The 32-year-old established himself as coach Carlo Ancelotti’s preferred choice for Liga games last season, only to then lose his place to Iker Casillas during the closing stages of the campaign.

Madrid have had a deal in place to sign Costa Rica international Keylor Navas for several weeks – a move that will finally be ratified on Monday after president Florentino Perez asked Levante to delay confirmation until the squad have returned to Spain from their pre-season base in the United States.

After weeks of uncertainty over the goalkeeping situation with three top-level keepers set to be on the books, Perez led discussions over the issue after joining up with the group this week.

Following talks, club sources now say Lopez is likely to be the man who slips down to third choice in the race to start. Consequently, he is prepared to leave the Santiago Bernabeu and will consider his options in the days ahead.

Ancelotti has decided that Spain international Casillas will begin the 2014-15 campaign as first choice – despite his error in last season’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid and a calamitous showing at the World Cup.

The Italian coach has also indicated that he does not want to rotate his goalkeepers as much as he did during the 2013-14 campaign, meaning Lopez’s chances of nailing down a regular berth in the Blancos line-up are even slimmer.

A departure for Lopez would leave new arrival Navas clear to put pressure on Casillas, who is now set to stay at the club having been linked with a move away earlier in the summer.

Monaco and Napoli have been amongst the clubs credited with an interest in Lopez, although Madrid are expecting a number of other top sides to express an interest after his successful 18-month spell at the club.

The former Villarreal and Sevilla shot stopper still has three years left on his Madrid contract.

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08 2014
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Cazorla and Chicharito not on our agenda, claims Atletico president

Enrique Cerezo says he is not pursuing the duo, Fernando Torres or Jose Callejon, and believes Antoine Griezmann to be a better signing than James Rodriguez


Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo claims his side are not currently pursuing deals for Premier League trio Santi Cazorla, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and Fernando Torres.

All three attacking players have been heavily linked with the Spanish champions in recent weeks as they look to reinvest the funds from the sales of Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, with coach Diego Simeone admitting Mexico international Chicharito was “a great option”.

Cerezo, however, has poured cold water on any imminent approaches for the England-based trio and Napoli winger Jose Callejon.

“Many names have been said, but Cazorla, Torres, Chicharito, Callejon – none of them are on our agenda,” he told Radio Marca.

Atletico have already reached an agreement with Real Sociedad for Antoine Griezmann, believed to be worth €25 million, and Cerezo believes the France international will be the best transfer this summer – better, even, than James Rodriguez to Real Madrid.

“He is the signing of the summer. He is comparable to players like Luis Suarez. James is not the same as he does not yet have a defined path,” said Cerezo.

“It’s a great boost for the club, we made a great effort to bring him in. Although he had many offers, he decided on a club as serious and important as Atletico.”

Reports have emerged to suggest Chelsea could be plotting a move to take Miranda to Stamford Bridge this summer, and while Cerezo has rubbished the rumours, he admits players could be tempted to leave the club should significant financial offers be forthcoming.

“I have no idea about any offer, and if I’ve not heard anything it’s because he is going to stay, I’m sure of that,” he added. “Koke preferred to stay, that’s clear. If a player wants to leave, it’s not becaue he is not comfortable here, it’s due to financial reasons.”

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07 2014
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Di Maria would be welcome at PSG, says Cavani

The Uruguayan forward has hailed the talents of the Real Madrid winger while maintaining that he hopes to stay in Paris until the end of his contract in 2018

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Paris Saint Germain striker Edinson Cavani has declared that Angel Di Maria would be a welcome addition to Laurent Blanc’s squad.

Speculation surrounding Di Maria’s future at Real Madrid has steadily increased after the July additions of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez for a combined fee of close to €105 million.

Madrid have considered cashing in on the Argentina international – valued at €60m – in order to recoup funds for further transfer activity this summer, with Monaco striker Radamel Falcao on their radar.

Manchester United have also long been linked with a move for Di Maria, although PSG are believed to be in a stronger position over a deal, and Cavani admits he would relish the chance to link up with the player at Parc des Princes.

“We are always looking to add new elements to the team,” said Cavani to L’Equipe.

“[Di Maria] has a lot of quality, is a fantastic player and he would be welcome in Paris.”

The 27-year-old, whose contract runs until 2018, also went on to confirm that he was not looking for a move away from Paris, but hinted that it was ultimately down to the club.

Cavani is another player to have been linked with United in recent months, with PSG under pressure to limit their financial losses this summer due to Financial Fair Play sanctions and having already spent €50m on David Luiz.

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31

07 2014
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James: I hope 'winner' Falcao joins Madrid

The Colombian star wants to see his compatriot follow him to the Spanish capital from Monaco, arguing that the forward has everything required to succeed at the club


New Real Madrid signing James Rodriguez is hoping that his fellow Colombian Radamel Falcao joins him at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.

The 23-year-old old attacking midfielder enjoyed a stellar World Cup as his side reached the quarter-finals, claiming the Golden Boot and earning a move to the Spanish capital in the process.

The European champions have also been linked with a move for Falcao, whom James played alongside at both Monaco and Porto, and the young playmaker hopes to be reunited with the former Atletico Madrid forward before the start of the new season.

“I’m sure he can play here,” James told AS. “But I’m not the one who decides whether or not he goes. It’s up to the president (Florentino Perez).

“But he could come here because he was the quality and attitude of a winner.

“I’ve played with him for four years, we were only apart when he left for Atletico. He has a winning mentality and that’s what he had at Madrid. Hopefully he comes here.”

James joined Madrid for a sum of €80 million but the 23-year-old is not taking his place in Carlo Ancelotti’s first XI for granted.

“First, I have to train well to be among the XI,” he insisted. “Almost all of the others have been together for three or four years.

“I have to respect them and come in little by little and when I get opportunities, show a high level. I’m happy because a dream is being fulfilled.

“Hopefully, everything goes well, I’m very excited and looking forward. I want to win titles with this great club.

“Since I found out that Madrid wanted me, I did everything in my power to go. It’s big and it means that you have to be at a very high level.”

James also admitted that he was not happy with the added media attention that has been forced upon him since his move to the Bernabeu.

“I don’t like it at all,” he confessed. “Leaving home and having the cameras all over you … There’s nothing better than going out and being calm. But I’m not at a point where I can do that.

“I understand and know how to handle it. I’m at a big club for the media.”

Finally, Falcao urged his Colombia team-mates to try to persuade coach Jose Pekerman to remain in charge of the national team, despite reported interest from the Argentine FA.

“We all have to force Jose to stay,” he declared. “He changed everything in our team for the better. He made good changes.

“If he doesn’t continue, it will be sad and there will be a high barrier for his successor.”

31

07 2014
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Garcia sets sights on Scudetto after Real Madrid scalp

Roma secured a 1-0 win over the European champions in a pre-season clash in America but their head coach has warned they are still far behind challenging for the Champions League


Roma head coach Rudi Garcia has set his sights firmly on winning the Serie A title after their pre-season victory over Champions League holders Real Madrid.

Francesco Totti’s 58th-minute goal handed Roma a 1-0 victory in the International Champions Cup at the Cotton Bowl in Texas on Tuesday.

Garcia, while praising the triumph, was keen for Roma not to get ahead of themselves and insisted that his team still have much work to do to get to the level of the European champions.

“Real Madrid are ahead of us,” Garcia said.

“We won a friendly match. Of course it is always better to win. We are ambitious and it is nice to dream, because if you do not dream then you get bored.

“In the Champions League we are thinking of progressing from the group stage. Our priority is the league and we want to finish on top.

“There are so many good teams but we want to finish out ahead.

“What do Roma lack for the Champions League right now? It’s hard to say, we still have much to do. However, we are on the right track.”

Roma finished second in Italy’s top flight last season and veteran captain Totti has urged the team to fight to go one better this time around.

“Is the objective the Scudetto? Yes, we want to do better than last season. This club must fight for the Scudetto,” he added.

30

07 2014
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