Real Madrid Could End Interest in Eden Hazard as Los Blancos Step Up Pursuit of Neymar

?Real Madrid could bring their long-term interest in Eden Hazard to an end, as they continue to set their sights on snapping up Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Los Blancos have come under fire in recent years for their lack of marquee signings and are yet to fill the gap left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese superstar made the switch to Juventus last summer.

According to ?The Times, ?Real have now firmly set their sights on signing ?Neymar this summer and are prepared to top his current salary which sits at more than £25m a year.

In contrast to recent ?comments made by Neymar’s father, the Brazilian is said to have welcomed the interest from Los Blancos and is more than interested in moving over to the Spanish capital.

The deal has been made all the more likely after the emergence of ?Kylian Mbappe at PSG, coupled with the pressure the club are under to adhere to Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations. 

If PSG were to sell Neymar, then they would free up some valuable space on their wage bill, as well as making back a significant portion of the fee they originally payed ?Barcelona back in 2017.

Eden Hazard

If a deal is agreed for Neymar, this would subsequently bring an end to Real’s pursuit of Hazard, as Real would no longer have the financial means to match Chelsea’s lofty valuation of the 28-year-old.

Negotiations surrounding a new contract have been ongoing, but an agreement has yet to be reached – in spite of the fact that Hazard previously claimed to have come to decision about his future.

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Giorgio Chiellini Names World’s Best Defender & Calls Atletico Madrid ‘More Italian Than Spanish’

?Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that Atletico Madrid are ‘more Italian than Spanish’ ahead of the meeting between the two clubs in the Champions League round of 16. 

Famed for their miserly defence under manager Diego Simeone, Los Rojiblancos currently have the best defensive record in La Liga this season, conceding just 17 goals – only two more than current Serie A leaders Juve have conceded domestically. 

Speaking ahead of their first-leg meeting at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday, the 34-year-old centre back praised that Atletico Madrid’s pragmatism, a quality synonymous with Italian football. 

“I think Atletico Madrid are more Italian than Spanish,” the veteran centre-back told ?Marca.

“In terms of mentality and approach to games, they’re closer to our football. Simeone is ready to line up four midfielders to stop Juventus: Rodrigo, Thomas, Saul and Koke. I hope to return to this stadium for the final on June 1.”

Chiellini is aiming to win his first Champions League final with ?Juventus, having lost his previous two finals in 2015 and 2017 to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. However, with the addition of ?Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer, are considered one of the favourites to lift to trophy in the Spanish capital.

As well as the upcoming Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid, Chiellini was also asked if he believed he was the best central defender in the world at present, although the Italian named one of Ronaldo’s former teammates instead. 

Asked the question, Chiellini replied: “No, Atletico have one of them in Diego Godin. When he’s not there, Atletico change. He knows what distances to keep and I think he is the soul of Atletico and I know his renewal situation is complicated.”

Sergio Ramos

Later in the interview, he added: “I said it last year, but now he [Sergio Ramos] even takes penalties, he is the best defender in the world. He hardly ever makes a mistake and if he does it’s because other things went wrong.
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?”He’s a leader on and off the pitch and is one of those players that can influence both teams. He makes others play and that’s the difference between a good player and a champion. Sergio is the best.”

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Leonardo Bonucci Reveals He Rejected Real Madrid to Return ‘Home’ to Juventus

Juventus centre back Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that he rejected the chance to join reigning European champions Real Madrid when he opted to leave AC Milan last summer, instead re-signing for I Bianconeri just 13 months after leaving.

Bonucci surprisingly left Juve in 2017 after a spat with coach Massimiliano Allegri. But after failing to reach his former level with his new club, the Italian international made his way back to Turin after only one season in a swap deal with Mattia Caldara valued at €35m.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-CHIEVO-JUVENTUS

He could have joined Real Madrid at that point, but the 31-year-old has revealed to Spanish outlet AS that his desire to feel ‘at home’ once more after being away from his family, who had remained in Turin when he joined Milan, was a bigger pull.

“It is truth: Madrid looked at me,” Bonucci explained.

“It has been a pride and a pleasure to be on their radar, it means that I have worked well over the years. But the call of Juventus and the desire to return to feel at home made my heart decide that the Bianconeri colours suit me better,” he added.

Bonucci would have followed in the footsteps of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro had he taken the plunge and accepted the call from the Bernabeu. But some things are bigger and more important than football.

Leonardo Bonucci

With his young son Matteo suffering from serious illness, something that even led the player to consider retirement in 2017, Bonucci found being away from his family hard.

“Last year I was almost always in Milan and my children never saw me. That reasons that pushed me to return [to Juventus],” he said.

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Gareth Bale Rejects Offers From Manchester United & Chelsea in Favour of Real Madrid Stay

Gareth Bale has reportedly rejected interest from Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea in favour of staying at Real Madrid.

The Wales international has come under fire in recent weeks following public criticism from several teammates including Marcelo and Thibaut Courtois, over his apparent unwillingness to embrace the Spanish lifestyle.

UEFA Champions League'Ajax v Real Madrid'

Despite reports suggesting that Bale was angling for a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, ?The Times have now claimed that the 29-year-old has turned down offers from both ?Chelsea and ?Manchester United in order to continue plying his trade with Madrid.

The report adds that the Welshman, whose contract with Los Blancos runs until the summer of 2022, prefers to stay with Madrid over making a return to the ?Premier League.

?Bale has also been at the centre of controversy in the past week for an alleged gesture towards Atletico fans after celebrating his goal in ?Madrid’s? 3-1 win over their derby rivals.

According to Spanish publication ?AS, La Liga have opened up a disciplinary case against the former Tottenham star in relation to the incident, with suggestions that he could face up to a 12-match ban for his actions. 

AS report that the move by La Liga has angered the reigning Champions League holders, with Santiago Solari’s side now waiting to find out for how long Bale could potentially be ruled out of action.

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Marcelo Hits Back at Criticism From Real Madrid Fans After La Liga Defeat to Girona

Marcelo has fired back at criticism aimed at him from Real Madrid fans after Los Blancos’ shock defeat to Girona.

Santiago Solari’s side suffered an embarrassing loss at the weekend, as they were beaten 2-1 by the relegation battlers at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Karim Benzema,Toni Kroos

The slip up has left Madrid nine points behind arch-rivals Barcelona in the title race, after the Catalan giants picked up a comfortable home win over Real Valladolid.

Brazilian left-back ?Marcelo has come under fire in recent weeks for his performances amidst uncertainty over his long-term future at the club.

After another disappointing showing on Sunday evening, ?Real have now managed just one win in their last nine league matches with the Brazil international in the side.

With youngster Sergio Reguilon impressing in midweek, one fan compared recent results when the two left-backs have been in the side, leading Marcelo to sarcastically respond on ?Instagram: “it’s all my fault. We move on!”

Despite Solari insisting that the 30-year-old played well in his post-match press conference, rumours have intensified in recent weeks that Los Blancos manager could promote Reguilon to being his first choice at left-back.

Sergio Reguilon

Following? Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to ?Juventus last summer, Marcelo has also now been tipped to make the move to Turin at the end of the season, and potentially reunite with his former Real teammate

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