Raphael Varane Considering Future at Real Madrid Despite Zinedine Zidane’s Return to Los Blancos

?Raphael Varane, it seems, is considering heading for the exit door at Real Madrid in the summer, as the Galacticos brace for a turbulent period of transition in the months to come. 

Zinedine Zidane’s return to the managerial hotseat following the sacking of Santiago Solari restored some much-needed positivity after a difficult season, but the club remains in a state of self-inflicted crisis after crashing out of the Champions League against Ajax at the Bernabeu earlier this month. 

Luka Modric

As a result, a number of players are expected to be on their way out, but few would have expected World Cup winner Raphael Varane to be among them. 

Reports in France, however, say that may just be the case, with ?L’Equipe citing a desire to ‘challenge himself’ as the reason behind some second thoughts over his future in Madrid 

It comes as a particular surprise given how close the 25-year-old reportedly is to his compatriot Zidane, but perhaps it is testament to just how unsettled he is that he could be seeking an exit despite Zizou’s renewed presence at ?Real. 

Assuming the rumblings are true, one club likely to be alerted is ?Manchester United, who are heavily rumoured to be looking for a quality addition to their defence in the summer.

They were linked with Varane ?as recently as last month, and should he become available, it would be difficult to see a better option on the market given how impressive he has been in recent seasons. 

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He has made 268 appearances for the La Liga side, and has four Champions League medals to his name, having featured in the famous three successive victories between 2016-18. 

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7 Footballing Legacies That Could Be Passed Down a Generation in the Near Future

It’s pretty rare that world class footballing ability is passed down a generation. There have been countless stories of professionals having a stab at following in their parent’s footsteps, but never really materialising as a top-level talent. 

Rarer still, though not unheard of, are the cases where young players go on to match, and then surpass, the gauntlet laid down to them by their family name.

With Ryan Giggs ?confirming on Monday that his 12-year-old son is in the embryonic stages of an attempt at just that, however, we’ve thrown together a list of seven famous players whose legacies could soon find themselves under threat by the emergence of their offspring. 


Enzo, Luca, Theo and Elyaz Zidane

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?By sheer balance of probability, it’s current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane who is most at risk of being upstaged by one of his kid’s – simply because there are four of them on the scene. 

As the legendary Frenchman takes over ?Real for the second time, Luca, the most established of the Zidane fraternity, will serve as his third-choice goalkeeper, behind Thibaut Courtois and Keylor Navas. 

23-year-old Enzo, meanwhile, plays for La Liga 2 side Raya Majadahonda on loan from Swiss side Lausanne-Sport having come through the Real academy. Theo and Elyaz – 16 and 13 respectively – currently play for the Galacticos youth sides.


Timothy Weah 

Timothy Weah

There are high hopes for Weah – son of PSG and AC Milan legend George – as he progresses towards a first team role with the former, and at 19, he’s currently making a name for himself on loan at Celtic.

He has quite a bit to live up to, mind you. While his dad’s spell in the Premier League with Chelsea and later Manchester City were short-lived and underwhelming, he scored 194 goals in 413 games over a career largely spent at the highest level throughout the late 80s and 90s.

And he went on to become the president of Liberia. Your move, Timo.


Marcus and Khéphren Thuram

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Lilian Thuram, 47, is the most capped player in the history of the France national team and counts two Serie A titles, a World Cup and a European Championship among an extensive list of honours. Marcus Thuram, 21, is a striker for Guingamp, and hasn’t yet won anything at senior level. 

Still, he’s showing a lot of promise. He’s become a first team regular for the Ligue 1 side this season, scoring eight goals in 24 league appearances, and has incidentally already surpassed his dad’s career total of ten goals.

And then there’s 17-year-old midfielder Khéphren, who is developing impressively in Monaco’s renowned youth academy. It seems the Thuram name will live on.


Isaac Drogba

Didier Drogba,Isaac Drogba,Ron Gourlay

?Also plying his trade at Guingamp, Didier Drogba’s son Isaac made headlines when he moved from his dad’s old stomping ground in the summer, and is yet to graduate into the first team – but is widely expected to impress when he does. 

And if he proves to be even half the player his old man was, then they have a find on their hands. Ivorian Didier is thought of as one of the best strikers in Premier League history, scoring 164 goals in 381 games for the Blues. 

He also managed 23 in 49 for Guingamp back in the day, so the bar is set for his 18-year-old heir.


Justin Kluivert

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?At just 19, Justin Kluivert is already a pretty established player in his own right. The winger has already cut his teeth at Ajax and earned himself a high-profile move to Roma, where things have stalled somewhat due to their indifferent domestic form.

If he continues to develop, he has a decent chance of escaping his father’s shadow, although that won’t be an easy task. Patrick Kluivert is one of European football’s best-known names, having scored incredible amounts of goals with both Ajax and Barcelona, lifting a Champions League and two Eredivisie titles with the former. 


Giovanni Simeone

Giovanni Simeone

?Diego Simeone is best known as the hugely successful manager of Atletico Madrid, but his playing career was nothing to scoff at either. Playing in midfield, he achieved a good deal of domestic success with both Atletico and Lazio, and lifted a UEFA Cup in a brief spell with Inter. 

In many ways, 23-year-old Giovanni’s career has paralleled that somewhat in its early stages, as he left Argentina to join a major European side in Fiorentina at a young age. He’s yet to lift any silverware, but that will likely come for the striker in a career showing some serious promise. 


Joe van der Sar

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There were no pictures of Edwin van der Sar’s son Joe available, so here’s a snap of his dad looking rather suave against the majestic backdrop of Johan Cruyff ArenA. 

Currently the CEO of Ajax, Edwin’s career speaks for itself. He won virtually everything with Manchester United, and was still at the club when his son Joe joined the youth ranks at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old has since gone on to link up with his old man at Ajax, before joining Den Haag then RKC Waalwijk, where he currently plies his trade in the KNVB reserve league.

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Kylian Mbappe’s Relative Admits He Sees Forward Playing for Real Madrid One Day

?A relative of PSG forward Kylian Mbappe has said he sees the 20-year-old playing for Real Madrid one day, as rumours linking Los Blancos with a move for the French superstar have gone into overdrive in recent weeks.

Real are routinely linked with the best young talent in the world, and vague rumblings of a sensational swoop for the France international striker have been ongoing since before his move to Paris Saint-German last summer.

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The Ligue 1 leaders’ Champions League exit to ?Manchester United, however, shortly followed by ?Real’s re-appointment of Zinedine Zidane, has breathed new life into the speculation, with the feeling being that he may fancy a change of surroundings to work under his compatriot. 

While both club and player have remained largely lip-tight over the speculation – a clear joke from Real president Florentino Perez about a ?desire to land both Mbappe and Neymar this summer acting as the only acknowledgement from either party – an unnamed relative of the player has given us something to work with, admitting he sees the move happening at some stage. 

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“If I go there [Madrid] at 18, what will I do at 23?” he told Le Journal du Dimanche, via ?Marca.

“I see Mbappe playing for Real Madrid.”

Los Blancos are expected to spend big this summer, as they wind down an unprecedented trophy-less season that has seen them sack two permanent managers, and settle on bringing Zidane back into the fray just ten months after he walked out in 2018. 

Zinedine Zidane

They have been linked with ?Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and ?Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, but there would be no bigger statement signing than World Cup winner Mbappe, whose £120m move to Paris from Monaco was made official less than a year ago. 

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Keylor Navas Claims He Proved the Critics Wrong as He Returns to Real Madrid’s Starting XI

?Keylor Navas proved his critics wrong as he returned to the Real Madrid starting XI in place of Thibaut Courtois in Zinedine Zidane’s first game back in charge.

Navas has played second fiddle to big money signing Courtois who arrived from Chelsea for £35m on deadline day last summer, but has answered his critics with a recent recall to the team.

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The Costa Rican goalkeeper was accused of training poorly in the media and commented on his alleged bad attitude and training habits.

As quoted by ?Marca, Navas said: “The people who said that I had trained badly now have to admit [they were wrong] because either they don’t know me or never saw a training session at Valdebebas [Madrid’s training ground].

“Everybody there knows how I train. At the end of the tunnel, there is always light and that’s how I have always worked.

“I haven’t played for a long time and I’m very happy. The future will be seen but I’m happy here and will work as I always do.” 

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?Madrid have two highly experienced goalkeepers who both want to play every week, and one of the keepers may have to leave the club in search for regular football. 

“Thinking about the future distorts the present, as I said, but what is important is that I worked hard and was given an opportunity as a result of it,” Navas added.

“My family and myself are both happy here and we will see what happens in the future, but my desire hasn’t changed and my intention is to fulfil the contract I have.”

Madrid have won back to back games against Real Valladolid and Celta respectively and will look to push rivals ?Atletico Madrid in the battle for second as they aim to finish in the top two of ?La Liga.

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11 Players Who Could Be Available in Cut-Price Deals This Summer

All the talk this year has been surrounding players who will become free agents this summer and rightly there’s been a lot of excitement for teams to pick up a new star player for absolutely nothing at the end of the season.

But pushing your Aaron Ramseys and Adrien Rabiots to one side, there is also a pool of talent which could be put up for sale this summer as club’s risk losing their best players for free in 2020.

Here are 11 players from Europe’s top five leagues who can be snapped up for less than their normal asking price this summer.


Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Eden Hazard

It should be no surprise to see Chelsea’s Eden Hazard on this list, as the news of the club’s transfer ban has only increased speculation that he will be allowed to leave the club in a budget deal this summer.

Long-term admirers Real Madrid are still sniffing around the Belgian’s signature and although other sides have been linked, Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Santiago Bernabéu appears to have all but confirmed where Hazard will be playing his club football next season.

Potential suitors: Real Madrid.


Thorgan Hazard – Borussia Mönchengladbach

Thorgan Hazard

It’s not just Chelsea’s talisman who will be in this year’s summer sale, but two-thirds of the Hazard brothers could actually be on the move as Thorgan – the middle of the three – is also out of contract in 2020.

He’s spent the last five years in the west of Germany, making almost 200 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach during that time. Hazard’s currently enjoying his most fruitful season at Borussia-Park, reaching double figures in both goals and assists.

Potential suitors: Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Liverpool & Chelsea. 


Pablo Sarabia – Sevilla

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He might have rejected a move to Chelsea during the January transfer window, but Sevilla’s Pablo Sarabia will struggle to turn his nose up at offers which are bound to come his way this summer.

The 26-year-old midfielder has had a bit of a sudden rise to stardom in Spain, as the former Real Madrid Castilla player was brought in by Sevilla for just £900k three years ago.

This season, Sarabia has scored 20 goals for Los Nervionenses across all competitions, while also assisting his teammates 13 times in Andalusia.

Potential suitors: Manchester United, Chelsea & Real Madrid.


Stephan El Shaarawy – AS Roma

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It seems like a lifetime ago that Stephan El Shaarawy was breaking through as the next big wonderkid at AC Milan, alongside the likes of Alexandre Pato, Kaká and Robinho.

But after a few years out of the limelight, El Shaarawy is currently enjoying his best goalscoring season in Serie A since the 2012/13 campaign.

The Italy international has already claimed that he wants to extend his contract with AS Roma, but the Giallorossi are holding off on talks for the time being.

Potential suitors: Fiorentina, Hebei China Fortune & Guangzhou Evergrande.


Nabil Fekir – Olympique Lyonnais

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Former Liverpool target Nabil Fekir has been able to step out of Alexandre Lacazette’s shadow at Lyon over the last two years and is now among the most in-demand midfielders in European football.

His stock in the transfer market has risen tremendously since Arsenal’s Lacazette left the Groupama Stadium in 2017, and Fekir’s gone on to cement his place in France’s squad, lift the World Cup with Les Bleus, as well as become Lyon’s full-time captain.

But the 26-year-old hasn’t signed a contract extension since 2015 and looks increasingly likely to leave at the end of this season in a budget deal, as opposed to running down his contract to walk away as a free agent.

Potential suitors: Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich & Real Madrid.


Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspur

Christian Eriksen

Tottenham lead the way in many ways in regards to how a football club should be run, but Mauricio Pochettino’s have picked up a bad habit from their north London rivals by allowing Christian Eriksen’s contract run down.

While their dealings with Harry KaneDele Alli and Son Heung-min’s contracts show that what is happening with Eriksen is just an isolated incident, Tottenham are now having to accept the fact that the Dane could leave on the cheap at the end of the season.

That was until we saw a ?report saying Spurs were holding out for £200m. Dream on, lads.

Potential suitors: Real Madrid, Barcelona & Paris Saint-Germain.


Timo Werner – RB Leipzig

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Over a decade after Mario Gómez broke through as the Bundesliga’s most exciting attacking talent, going on to lead the line for Die Mannschaft for a generation of fans, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner looks set to take over the mantle as Joachim Löw’s main man.

The 23-year-old has taken some time to adapt to life through the middle – he started out on the wings at Stuttgart – but he’s now become one of the most established centre forwards on the continent.

Werner is far from a clinical striker like the likes of Robert Lewandowski or Luis Suárez, but the Germany international’s devastating speed make him one of the most feared players in Europe and an ideal signing for any counter-attacking side.

Potential suitors: Liverpool, Bayern Munich & Real Madrid.


Nacho Fernández – Real Madrid

Nacho Fernandez

It’s all a bit chaotic at Real Madrid following their third managerial appointment over the last 12 months, where Zinedine Zidane stepped in for the sacked Santiago Solari, who in turn was a stop gap after Julen Lopetegui’s short reign last year.

But as Los Blancos start to compose themselves once again, questions will now need to be asked over some of their first team players and most notably Nacho Fernández.

While many expect that Éder Militão’s arrival this summer will bring Jesús Vallejo’s time with the club to an end, Nacho’s current contract situation could actually put him at the most risk of the chop at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Potential suitors: Arsenal & AS Roma.


Moise Kean – Juventus

Moise Kean

This isn’t the first time that Juventus wonderkid Moise Kean has been linked with a move away from Turin, although the days of tractors being used in negotiations do at least appear to be behind us after that fiasco in 2017.

Kean, the first player born after the millennium to play a competitive fixture in Europe’s top five leagues, has been on Juve’s books since 2011 but has only ever signed one professional contract with the club.

That deal runs out next year, and the 19-year-old striker looks set to leave having only ever made 10 appearances for Juventus’ first team.

Potential suitors: AS Monaco, Leeds United & Olympique de Marseille.


10. Allan Saint-Maximin – OGC Nice

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Any youngster who can somewhat do a step over these days are hyped beyond belief, but for OGC Nice’s skilful Allan Saint-Maximin, he’s been living with pressure and expectations for the majority of his professional career.

The 22-year-old struggled to establish himself at AS Monaco between 2015 and 2017, where he was having to fight for minutes alongside the likes of Thomas LemarBernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappé.

But he’s gone on to make 65 appearances across all competitions since moving to the Allianz Riviera and is already being scouted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Potential suitors: AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, West Ham.


Ryan Sessegnon – Fulham

Ryan Sessegnon

All the talk right now might be surrounding Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi in regards to English youngsters who are out of contract next year, but west London rival Ryan Sessegnon is also just one season away from becoming a free agent.

The 18-year-old has seen his progress stunted somewhat following Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League, but he remains one of the most talked about English players and has been linked with a handful of Premier League giants ever since his debut in August 2016.

Fulham do have the option to extend Sessegnon’s contract by two more years, but they could be forced to cash in regardless this summer if they’ve relegated back to the Championship next season.

Potential suitors: Tottenham, Manchester United & Arsenal.

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