Feyenood manager Ronald Koeman has revealed that he was approached by Royston Drenthe in the summer about a possible return to the club where the player first made his name.
The midfielder attempted to contact the Rotterdam club after his Real Madrid contract was not renewed in the close season. However, a move did not work out.
“I phoned Royston to speak to him because he tried to contact us,” Koeman told Voetbal International.
“I explained that we have enough players in the [his] positions and that we wanted to spend little money, and only on a striker.“
Drenthe, who spent time on loan at Everton and Hercules following his transfer to the Bernabeu, began his career in the Eredivisie and spent two seasons with Feyenoord between 2005 and 2007.
Premier League champions Manchester City kick-off their Champions League campaign against Real Madrid, with Sergio Aguero taking a place on the bench as Matija Nastasic makes his debut for the club.
Roberto Mancini’s side stuttered to a 1-1 draw at Stoke in their last league game and the Italian has made three changes from that side, with Nastasic coming in for Joleon Lescott at the heart of the defence being the only difference at the back.
In midfield Javi Garcia retained his place as he is set to start against one of his former clubs, while Gareth Barry makes his first start of the season after a lower abdomen problem, replacing Scott Sinclair.
More to follow…
Real Madrid XI: Casillas,Varane, Pepe, Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Alonso, Essien, Arbeloa, Higuaín, Di María
Manchester City starting XI: Hart, Clichy, Kompany, Nastasic, Maicon, Toure Y, Nasri, Barry, Silva, Garcia, Tevez
Liverpool midfielder Nuri Sahin says he chose a move to the Premier League as it was the “missing part” of his footballing CV.
Sahin joined the Reds on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid in August after a drawn-out transfer saga, with Arsenal also in the hunt for his signature before eventually pulling out.
And Sahin insists he has made the right choice coming to the Premier League, and in particular, Liverpool.
He told Ntvspor: “I want to play football. I talked about this with Jose Mourinho. The best offer came from Liverpool, and I chose them.
“I am going to learn lots of things here from Steven Gerrard. I have played in the Bundesliga and in La Liga but the Premier League was the missing part.”
His Liverpool side face Manchester United on Sunday in what is set to be one of the most heated matches in recent years, but Sahin feels the Red Devils will struggle to get out of their Champions League group.
Before then, United open their Champions League campaign against Turkish giants Galatasaray on Wednesday evening, and Sahin is backing his countrymen to cause a shock.
The 24-year-old said: “Galatasaray have a strong squad. They will finish at the top of the group.”
Sahin also revealed how Real Madrid playmaker Kaka could be leaving the club in January and confessed that the Brazilian has an offer on the table from a Turkish club.
“Kaka has an offer from Turkey,” he revealed. “I know what he is going to choose in January, but I cannot say what it is.”
Former Real Madrid boss John Toshack has claimed that Los Blancos’ players are partly to blame for the side’s current malaise in form.
The capital club are in the middle of a dire run of results – having won only one of their first four league games and a one-nil defeat at Sevilla on Saturday has done little to lift the mood around the Santiago Bernabeu.
But despite coach Jose Mourinho saying he is the one responsible for slump, ex-boss Toshack believes the players have to shoulder some of the blame.
“It is clear that the players are partly responsible,” he told Esports Cope. “Sometimes a coach does not get the performance he wants, so it is fair that they share the blame.
“Mourinho’s pride will be hurt terribly. It is a horrible start for the team, and as long as this continues, the pressure will keep on coming. And even more so if things don’t go well against Manchester City.
“It is going to be a difficult fight for the league. They will have to win the next game at Camp Nou [against Barcelona]”.
Real Madrid travel to Catalunya on November 6.
Spanish champions and last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Real Madrid have proved one of the most popular selections with the betting public, with punters seemingly undeterred by their poor start to the season.
Madrid are available at 8/13 (1.62) to start their European campaign off with a win against the English champions and if they are to do, many would expect Cristiano Ronaldo to be on the scoresheet.
have enhanced his wincast price ahead of the game, allowing punters to back Ronaldo to score anytime and Real Madrid to win at 6/4 (2.50), rather than the 11/10 (2.10) previously available.
Ronaldo has two goals to his name in La Liga this season and also scored the winning goal in Real Madrid’s Super Copa second leg against rivals Barcelona.
Manchester City will also look to their big names to fire on the European stage and they will need several good performances to progress from a group which sees them face the champions of Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Carlos Tevez will be hoping to make an impression on the game and with Madrid’s defence looking particularly suspect in the early part of the season, the Argentina international will hope he can continue his good goalscoring touch after notching three goals in four league appearances for City so far.
Tevez to score in a Manchester City win was previously priced at 11/2 (6.50) with but that price has been enhanced to 9/1 (10.0) ahead of the game. For those who believe Roberto Mancini’s side could be set to surprise a Real Madrid team who have lost three of their last five matches, that price may appeal.
Sign up with for a £25 free bet. Using it on Ronaldo to score and Real Madrid to win at the enhanced price would return £62.50
Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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