Iker Casillas to Join Porto Backroom Staff as He Continues Recovery From Heart Attack

?Iker Casillas has confirmed that he will take up a role as a director at Porto, as he continues his recovery from a heart attack.

After being hospitalised in May, Casillas recently returned to pre-season training with Porto, although he was still expected to take plenty of rest until he has fully recovered from the serious health scare.

Iker Casillas

Speaking to ?Porto Canal, Casillas revealed that he intends to work closely with the club during his recovery.

He said: “I’m going to do something different than I usually did, which was to be on the pitch. I’ll try to make the connection between the squad and the club officials. 

“The manager talked to me last season when my situation happened and he told me that he wanted me to stay with them, close to the players, near the younger players, because there would be a lot of changes. I will try to do my best to help my teammates.

“We will prepare to do as well as possible at the beginning of the season. We already have several weeks of work but there are still a couple of weeks left until the first official matches. 

“May we all have a great season together so that we can win the championship, the cups and do as well as possible in Europe.”

There was no mention of retirement for the former ?Real Madrid star, who clearly intends to come back and fight for his place in the first team once he feels physically able to do so.

Iker Casillas

In Casillas’ absence, Vana Alves will likely continue in goal, whilst there could be chances for Joao Costa or 19-year-old Diogo Costa, who has enjoyed a number of impressive seasons as part of Porto’s academy sides.

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Eden Hazard Chooses Number 23 Real Madrid Shirt as Tribute to Basketball Legends

?Eden Hazard has requested to wear number 23 on his Real Madrid shirt, as a sign of his love for NBA icons Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

His preferred number 10 is currently being worn by Luka Modric, whilst number seven is also taken up by Mariano Diaz, so after being presented to fans without a number on his shirt, Hazard was forced to come up with another set of digits to wear.

Eden Hazard,Florentino Perez

Fortunately, according to ?Marca, this was not a hard decision for ?Hazard to make, as he specifically requested to wear the number 23 on his new shirt.

He chose that number due to his love for basketball. 23 has an iconic status in the NBA, largely thanks to Michael Jordan’s rise to prominence with the Chicago Bulls during the 1980s and 1990s.

More recently, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has also worn number 23, including during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in his career.


Back in the football world, ?Real’s number 23 is synonymous with David Beckham, who enjoyed a number of successful years with 23 on his back between 2003 and 2007. Since then, it has been worn by ?Isco and Sergio Reguilon, but Hazard is ready to become the next player to sport the number.

He was heavily rumoured to take the number seven shirt but, with Mariano’s determination to stay and fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu, Hazard has opted to choose another number.

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With 23 on his back, Hazard will be eager to replicate the success of both Jordan and James during his time with Los Blancos, who will call on Hazard to help them bounce back from a disappointing year last season.

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Manchester United Set Paul Pogba Transfer Deadline in Bid to Ward Off Interest From Real Madrid

?Manchester United are insistent that their valuation of Paul Pogba will be fixed this summer in a bid to ward off any potential interest from Real Madrid.

After a somewhat mixed 2018/19 campaign at Old Trafford, Pogba’s future has been thrown into question this summer, as a number of top European sides are said to be considering an approach for the 26-year-old.

Paul Pogba

It has been widely reported that ?Manchester United’s original valuation of ?Pogba sits at around £150m and, according to ?The Mirror, the Red Devils will not be budging on that stance as they look to dissuade the likes ?Real Madrid who remain front runners to land the Frenchman’s signature.

What’s more, the report from The Mirror also claims that United will not be accepting any offers for Pogba once the English transfer window shuts on August 8.

La Liga clubs have until September 2 before their window shuts, but Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has made it clear that United cannot consider selling Pogba if they do not have the opportunity to find an adequate replacement in the transfer market.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,Paul Pogba

While United’s original valuation may have initially sat at £150m, there is a chance that Real Madrid may have to cough up even more if they are to convince the Red Devils to part ways with Pogba.

?The Daily Mail have claimed that United have added £30m to their valuation, which means they will only be considering offers in the region of £180m. This decision is said to have come about as a result of the actions of Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, who has been fuelling transfer rumours in an attempt to secure his client a big-money move.

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Sadio Mane Tipped to Make Real Madrid Move by Senegal FA Chief as Liverpool Prepare to Reject Offers

?Senegal FA chief Saee Seck has urged Sadio Mane to leave Liverpool and join Real Madrid, even hinting that Los Blancos have already made an approach for the winger.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a stunning few seasons with Liverpool and has established himself as one of the most prolific wingers around. Links to Real are not new for Mane, although the La Liga giants have been tipped to reignite their interest this summer.

Sadio Mane

Seck, speaking to ?The Mirror, claimed that ?Mane has accomplished everything he needs to at Anfield and should capitalise on ?Real’s interest during this transfer window.

He said: “Everybody in the world knows that Mane is in the top ten best footballers in the world and he has achieved significant success at ?Liverpool in the past season.

“He alongside ?Mohamed Salah and ?Roberto Firmino are phenomenal. But this is football and he won the ?Champions League last season and he has the chance to go to Madrid. For me I think it’s the best club in the world, even if I am a ?Barcelona fan I still think Real is the best and Mane should be thinking of that offer seriously.

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“The career of a footballer is very short and sometimes you don’t get the chance a lot so if it’s there, and I think Zidane likes him, why not? 

“He played in ?Southampton and when the chance came he took it and went to Liverpool and he has held the challenge well in England. I think he will do well with another challenge in another country.”

However, whilst Seck suggested that there is already an offer on the table for Mane, the ?Liverpool Echo insist that the Reds are yet to receive any bids for the Senegalese winger and they are not prepared to even consider any approaches for Mane, who they view as a vital part of their squad.

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The Echo even suggest that, if Seck’s claims are true, that Real may have made an illegal approach for Mane, similar to the ?current controversy surrounding Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona.

Last season, Mane racked up a stunning 26 goals and five assists in all competitions for Liverpool, forming a dominant attacking trio alongside Salah and Firmino. He finished as the ?Premier League‘s top scorer, and his form will be crucial for the Reds as they push for the title next season.

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Napoli President Asks Real Madrid to ‘Do More’ to Facilitate James Rodriguez Deal

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has seemingly requested a lower price for Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodríguez, while the Serie A club are in no hurry for a deal.

The 27-year-old is bracing himself for a Santiago Bernabeu exit after months of speculation regarding his long-term future. He’s spent the last two season on loan at Bayern Munich, but the Bavarians opted against making the deal permanent this summer.

Napoli have long been favourites for James’ signature but are looking to negotiate a lower fee for the out-of-favour star.

James Rodriguez

?Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis spoke to Sky Italia, via ?Football Espana, about the Rodríguez transfer and what it takes to secure him.

 

“We are willing to make sacrifices to secure a deal for James, but Real Madrid must do more,” he is quoted as saying. “We do want to buy him, but we are not in any hurry.

“We have not given up hope on securing a deal, but Madrid must consider that it is better to sell him, or loan him, rather than have him unhappy at the club.”

Carlo Ancelotti,James Rodriguez

The outspoken president also confirmed that there has been no direct contact between himself and the Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy over a new offer but indicated that manager Carlo Ancelotti has viewed James as the priority in the transfer market.

This comes as no surprise as the illustrious manager previously worked with the playmaker during his time in charge of both ?Real and ?Bayern. 

The 2014 Golden Boot winner has found himself on the bottom of the pecking order as his relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane slowly deteriorated over time with Zidane’s decision to leave James out of the Champions League final squad in 2017 being the tipping point.

James Rodriguez

With one of the biggest summer spending sprees in history, the 13-time Champions League winners are eager to recoup the majority of the €75m fee they splashed out five years ago when signing Rodriguez from Monaco in order to fund some more transfer dealings with Paul Pogba among those linked. 

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