Cristiano Ronaldo Accepts €18.8m Fine & 23 Month Suspended Sentence for Tax Fraud

?Juventus and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted an €18.8m fine and a suspended sentence after being found guilty of tax fraud in Spain. 

The charge relates to unpaid tax on image-rights earnings between 2011-2014, when the 33-year-old was at Real Madrid, with the forward defrauding the tax authorities of approximately €14.7m. 

As a result, media outlet ?Reuters have reported that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who pleaded guilty to the offence, has been fined €18.8m due to the unpaid fees to the relevant tax authorities. 

?Ronaldo has also accepted a 23-month suspended prison sentence, although won’t serve any of that time due to Spanish laws dictating that any offence under two years can be served on probation if it’s the defendant’s first offence.  

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This is the second legal case that Ronaldo has had to contend with in a matter of months, with the Juve forward also being accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in Las Vegas a decade ago. 

?The Portuguese international has strenuously denied the allegations against him while the investigation has gone on, insisting that the encounter was consensual. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo moved to ?Juventus from ?Real Madrid over the summer in a deal worth £105m, with the forward netting an impressive 16 goals in 28 games for the Old Lady across all competitions. 

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Transfer Rumours: Bernardo Silva to Real Madrid, Benatia to Fulham, Martins to Arsenal and More

As the transfer window enters its 10-day countdown, we’ve got another fresh dose of rumour goodness for you to catch up on.

Kick back and enjoy this latest dosage of gossip from the world of football…

1. Bernardo Silva in Real Madrid Cross-Hairs Ahead of Potential Summer Move

Bernardo Silva

Real Madrid completed a hit-and-run on Manchester City for Brahim Diaz earlier this month, and rumour has it they could be about to ransack the Premier League champions once again in the summer, with a move for 24-year-old playmaker Bernardo Silva. 

The Mirror claim the Portuguese midfielder has become Los Blancos’ primary target as they plan to evolve the face of their side in the summer, with a reported fee of £70m banded about. 

Having become one of Pep Guardiola’s star creators in midfield since his £45m move from Monaco at the beginning of last season, it’s difficult to see why they would let him go for anything short of an astronomical fee – but that hasn’t stopped Real in the past. 

2. Roman Abramovich Makes Late Move for Barcelona Starlet

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich is reported to be very keen on Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba, so much so that SPORT are reporting the Stamford Bridge side have made a late move to bring the 16-year-old to London this month. 

Talk is that a meeting between Chelsea representatives and the highly-rated midfielder’s agent went well, and while a deal isn’t quite done yet, they’ve become firm favourites to sign him on a professional deal ahead of Barca and Manchester City.

If it does come off, fans of Vitesse Arnhem will have a lot to be excited about ahead of his loan there in 2020/21. 

3. Watford in for Lyon Winger and South Korean Defender as Javi Gracia Looks to Bolster Squad

UEFA Champions League'Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City'

Watford are interested in moves for Lyon forward Maxwel Cornet and South Korean defender Kim Min-Jae, according to Sky Sports .

Both 22, the former scored twice against Manchester City in the Champions League earlier this season, while Min-Jae is affectionately nicknamed ‘the Monster’ by fans of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. That’s always encouraging for a centre-back. 

East Asia’s Virgil van Dijk? Time might tell. 

4. Fulham Make Ambitious Offer for Juventus Defender Medhi Benatia

Gonzalo Higuain,Medhi Benatia

Claudio Ranieri is reported to have approached Juventus over a potential move for out-of-favour defender Medhi Benatia, as he seeks to reinforce his new side’s defensive options. 

Benatia has been heavily involved in Bundesliga and Serie A winning sides in the past, but having found himself firmly behind Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the pecking order, Tutto Mercato report that Fulham could be the next step in his career as the 31-year-old enters his twilight years. 

What that means about their heavily reported move for Gary Cahill remains to be seen. 

5. Stewart Downing Set for Middlesborough Exit Due to Contract Clause Dispute

Stewart Downing

In a move straight out of the Football Manager video-game handbook, Middlesborough are rumoured to be offloading Stewart Downing after 149 appearances with the club, because they don’t want to give the former Liverpool winger the pay-rise that would come with his 150th. 

The Telegraph say his current £35,000 per week wages would rise sharply if he made one more start for the club, due to a clause put in his contract when he signed for them in 2015, and they are not prepared to pay up due to the club’s financial situation.

They are keen to cut their wage bill, and after negotiations with the 34-year-old, they are reportedly set to transfer-list him and check ‘accept all offers’. 

6. Julian Weigl Staying at Dortmund Amid Reports of PSG Interest

Yussuf Poulsen,Julian Weigl

Disappointing news for those of a Paris persuasion comes as Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has ruled out Julian Weigl leaving in January, after it had been reported that PSG saw him as the solution to their midfield troubles.

Weigl had been used sparingly by Bundesliga leaders Dortmund this season, but played 90 minutes at centre-back in wins over Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig either side of the winter break, leading to Zorc speaking out on the player’s future via ESPN.

He said: “Julian Weigl will stay in Dortmund. He has already played very well against Gladbach before the winter break and once again showed a brilliant performance tonight — especially when keeping in mind that he usually plays in midfield.” 

7. Arsenal to Rival Thierry Henry’s Monaco for Signing of Gelson Martins

Gelson Martins

Arsenal look set to go toe-to-toe with club legend Thierry Henry over the signature of Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins, as reports have emerged linking both the Gunners and Monaco with the 23-year-old.

The winger signed for Atletico Madrid from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, but has since started just once in La Liga, and Sky Sports now say that they could be about to revive their interest and once again attempt to bring him to London – with Henry’s Monaco offering the biggest stumbling block. 

With Unai Emery saying only loan deals are likely in the January window, a loan with an option to buy in the summer doesn’t look entirely out of the picture should he somehow deem north London a more attractive destination than the south of France.

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Mesut Ozil: 5 Clubs the Out of Favour Arsenal Star Could Join During the January Transfer Window

After Mesut Ozil signed his bumper three-and-a-half year contract extension, worth £350k-a-week, in February last year, it seemed that rumours surrounding the German’s future could finally be put to bed.

That hasn’t been the case, however, with new boss Unai Emery repeatedly leaving the Arsenal top-earner out of the starting XI.

Having been frozen out of the Gunners’ team, due to a combination of injuries and ‘tactical reasons’, Arsenal could look to cash in on the ex-Germany international and remove his astronomical pay packet from their wage bill.

With that in mind, here are some possible destinations for Arsenal’s number ten this January transfer window.

5. Manchester United

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League

While transfers between top clubs in England is rare, Arsenal and Manchester United have history, the most recent of which involving the swap between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

With the likes of Juan Mata not getting any younger, Mesut Ozil could fit the role of number ten at Old Trafford. However, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having taken temporary charge, splashing the cash to acquire Ozil’s services may not be their top priority at present.

Furthermore, the slow, lethargic football played under Mourinho desperately cried out for pace and intensity, something Ozil’s explicitly lacks. 

4. Real Madrid

Mesut Ozil

Ozil announced himself on the world stage thanks to his performances for Germany at the 2010 World Cup, resulting in Real Madrid signing the player from Werder Bremen that year.

He spent three assist-filled seasons at the Bernabau, before moving to Arsenal for £42.5m in 2013. During his time at Madrid, he stated that he would like to “end” his career at Real Madrid, a wish that could be granted as Real’s spending power knows no ends.

A return to Madrid could prove a great move for all parties involved, with many Real fans believing Ozil left too early, while the 30-year-old need not worry about acclimatising to a new club – should he go back for a second spell.

3. Inter

Mesut Ozil

Italian giants Inter have been linked with Ozil in the past, and were one of a number of clubs that expressed an interest in the German prior to him signing his extension at Arsenal.

The Mirror reports that Emery has gone as far as to offer Ozil to I Nerazzurri, as he desperately looks to free up some funds for him to sign players this window, as opposed to the loans he stated are his only option in January.

As someone who accused his own national side of racism, before retiring from the German national team, Ozil might not be too enthused by Inter’s recent stadium ban for such abhorrent behaviour. However, he could certainly make an impression at the San Siro if he were to join the Italian giants. 

2. Fenerbahce

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Of Turkish-origin, Ozil has previously stated he is in fact a Fenerbahce fan, and has been quoted as saying he would one day like to play in the Super Lig.

While his wage demands and the transfer fee required would likely be out of Fenerbahce’s reach, it would grant the player a move he’s wanted, as well as an escape from the Emirates stands, where he’s spent most of the season.

1. Juventus

Aaron Ramsey,Mesut Ozil

With teammate Aaron Ramsey all but certain to make the move to Turin in the summer, the same report from The Mirror claims that Emery has told the Juventus hierarchy that Ozil is up for grabs too.

Due to their similar traits and position on the pitch, Ozil and Ramsey often find themselves featuring for Arsenal at different times. However, with Juventus so dominant in Serie A, they are free to play more creative players at any given time, thus allowing for the two players to possibly thrive together. 

That said, there are plenty of other world class talents in that squad Ozil would need to overthrow first.

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PSG Superstar Neymar Plays Down Talk of Return to La Liga Despite Admitting Adjustment Struggles

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has dismissed rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid, despite admitting that he has found it difficult to adjust to life in France.

The Brazil international arrived at the Parc des Princes in 2017 in a world record €222m move from Barcelona, and has been in prolific form for the French giants this season.

Neymar Jr

Having spent nearly 18 months in the French capital, Neymar admitted that he initially struggled to adapt to the city, but now considers PSG his home.

Speaking to ?Canal+, he said: “Adapting to Ligue 1 was easier than I expected – it was more straightforward because it resembles ?La Liga a lot.

“I had a bit of difficulty adapting to the city and I suffered a little. Now I feel at home.”

Despite growing speculation in recent weeks that Neymar desires a return to Spain to either ?Real Madrid or ?Barcelona, the 26-year-old was quick to play down the links, and insisted that when something became ‘concrete’, he would let people know.

He added: “There is always speculation about me. Since I became a professional football player, there has been speculation that I was going to leave one club for another – not always concrete.

“As soon as something is certain, rest assured I will speak with everybody.”

Under new manager Thomas Tuchel, Neymar has enjoyed a blistering start to the campaign with 13 goals in 13 games in Ligue 1, and a further five in the group stages of the Champions League.

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Paris Saint-Germain Superstar Kylian Mbappe Hints at Mega Money Move to Real Madrid Next Summer

?Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has insisted he is not currently thinking about a move to Real Madrid, but added that his situation could change at the end of the season.

The 20-year-old has firmly established himself as one of the world’s finest talents, finishing fourth in the 2018 Ballon d’Or award standings. He has already racked up 18 goals and ten assists in 22 appearances this season, and has often been linked with a monumental move to Real.


Speaking to ?AS after netting a hat-trick in PSG’s 9-0 victory over Guingamp, ?Mbappe opened the door to a possible move to ?Real in the future. He said: “I am very happy with my present at Paris Saint-Germain, I have a contract until 2021 or 2022 and it is not the time to think about something else.”

However, when asked if a move to Real would interest him, Mbappe said: “I feel very good here, but in football and the future you never know, I am certain that I am going to finish the year here and then we will see.”

Kylian Mbappe

Finally, discussing his side’s comprehensive victory over Guingamp, Mbappe said: “We played a great game, winning with authority and determination, having spent a few days together helped the group a lot. 

“I’m worried about Marco [Verratti]’s injury because of the importance he has in the team, he’s a player indispensable, I hope to return as soon as possible.

“We all know that we need reinforcement, there are people who work for it, we played a full game, with rhythm and intensity, we are in the moment of truth, we have a different spirit.”

Kylian Mbappe

Real have endured a challenging ?La Liga campaign this season and find themselves seven points behind ?Barcelona in the league table. Consistency has proven to be a real concern for the side, with the likes of ?Isco and ?Gareth Bale struggling to impress since ?Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

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