Real must resist any Benzema offers

The rumours probably won’t stop until the transfer window closes, but Real Madrid would be crazy to entertain the prospect of selling Karim Benzema.

It is quickly becoming an annual story that Benzema is wanted by clubs in the Premier League, with Arsenal the most heavily linked with a bid for the France international this year.

Arsene Wenger has dismissed the speculation as ‘media talk’, but that has not stopped the rumours from claiming Arsenal are ready to bid £45million for Benzema and hand him a four-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.












     by  xavnal 

Given Benzema’s record at both former club Lyon and Real, such a fee would probably be a bargain, but there is no indication the 27-year-old is going to be moving before the transfer deadline.

Benzema’s agent has stated the striker is ‘1,000 per cent certain’ to be staying at Real and new coach Rafa Benitez has also insisted that he does not want to lose him.

So, if Benzema wants to stay and Benitez wants to keep him, where does the constant speculation come from?

Much of it seems to emanate from the fact that Benitez is ready to play Gareth Bale in a more central role this season, which could lead to reduced opportunities for Benzema. But there seems no reason why Bale can’t play in the No.10 role in behind Benzema, with Cristiano Ronaldo and one other offering support from wide.

Keeping Benzema on the bench simply to play Bale and Ronaldo through the middle would be a serious misjudgement of the contribution the Frenchman has made during his six years at Real.

He may have only reached 20 goals in a season in La Liga once, but he contributes much more than just putting the ball in the net. In the last three seasons, Benzema also has 30 assists to his name in La Liga. It is a perfect demonstration of why he is a valuable team player for the club to have around, and again an example of why he is coveted by other clubs.

Benzema also boasts an excellent record in the Champions League. During his time at Real, he has scored 30 goals and supplied 17 assists in 54 appearances in the competition.

Given Real do have history for selling a big-name player late in the transfer window, then it’s unlikely the rumours about Benzema’s future will go away until September. But taking the money for Benzema would make Real a much less attractive proposition in the La Liga betting compared to Barcelona when it comes to who will win the title.

For a start, Real are not exactly overflowing with other striking options in the squad following the end of Javier Hernandez’s loan spell last season. Jese can offer cover, but he is nowhere near being on a par with Benzema.

It’s not beyond Real’s imagination to pluck a big-name signing out of the air, but they are leaving it very late to line up such a player. And they will be hard-pressed to find someone who can come in and do the same job as Benzema.

He may not capture the headlines or hog the spotlight in the way Ronaldo and Bale do, but Benzema is important in allowing those two stars to play and Real would be wise to consider that, if any offers come in.

Who will blink first between Real and Man Utd?

It’s the deal that everyone wants, yet no-one is prepared to give an inch to make it happen.

Real Madrid want to sign David de Gea and the Manchester United goalkeeper wants to move to the Santiago Bernabeu. United want to sign Sergio Ramos and the Real defender reportedly wants to move to Old Trafford.

But, while the football odds suggest De Gea will join Real, it’s looking increasingly unlikely to happen this summer as two of football’s biggest clubs engage in a game of high-stakes poker to see who blinks first.

De Gea











by Saul Tevelez

De Gea has just a year left on his contract at United and it is reported that the Spaniard will not sign an extension. That leaves United in the position of either selling him now to recoup some money or seeing him leave for nothing at the end of the season.

United certainly don’t need the money and, given how important De Gea was to them qualifying for the Champions League last season, it’s worth the risk to keep him for another year. Getting into the Champions League again will more than make up for watching De Gea go to Real on a free transfer.

The Premier League club are willing to let De Gea go this summer, though, but they want Ramos in exchange. United’s position is understandable. If they’re going to lose a key player, they need to replace him with someone who can be similarly influential. And, while there may be concerns about Ramos’ ability to adapt to defending in the Premier League, he has the type of leadership credentials United are looking for. So much so, Real are reportedly going to name Ramos captain following Iker Casillas’ departure.

Is that just a ploy from Real to force United to increase their offer for Ramos? Maybe. After all, reports persist that Ramos is unhappy at Real, despite a recent hug with president Florentino Perez and new coach Rafa Benitez saying the centre-half isn’t leaving.

From Real’s point of view, you can see why they don’t want to just let Ramos go. For all of the problems there may be in his relationship with the board, he has been an integral figure in the club’s success over the past decade.











It certainly seems that Real are willing to wait another year to sign De Gea for nothing, rather than accept Ramos’ exit as an inevitable consequence of signing the keeper now.

Real have been busy making plans, in any case. Keylor Navas has been given the No.1 shirt, although that is probably more a token gesture than anything else, while Kiko Casilla has been signed from Espanyol to ensure Real don’t need to sign De Gea now.

With Marca claiming that there have been no talks between United and Real over De Gea for a week, the stand-off between the two clubs is unlikely to end soon.

But, while De Gea has travelled with the United squad for their pre-season tour to the United States, an injury has so far prevented him from playing any games. That has only fuelled the rumours that a deal could still happen this summer.

It’s going to be a fascinating final few weeks of the summer transfer window. It’s a situation where both clubs could win, if a deal takes place. But, equally, if a deal doesn’t happen, then both clubs could lose as they will be left with players who would rather be elsewhere.

Arturo Vidal – the newest Galactico?

According to the Chilean newspaper “La Tercera” Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal will join Real Madrid this summer on a five year contract.

La Tercera is one of the most popular media sources in Chile, so this report could actually be true.
“Arturo Vidal is just hours away from becoming a Real Madrid player. The midfielder just needs to sign his contract in order to join the Spanish capital. There’s an agreement between Vidal and the Spanish club” – one of Vidal’s advisers. According to that same source, he will sign a five-year deal and a big salary. Vidal’s family assumed the deal and told La Tercera that they are packing and getting ready to travel to Spain.

Real Madrid could really use a player like Vidal, because he would probably be “the one” for Rafa Benitez’s tactics. Also, everyone knows that Florentino Perez isn’t affraid to throw huge ammounts of money for new players, so this rumour might actually be true.

Injury Blow for Portugal as Coentrao Ruled Out Of World Cup 2014

Fabio Coentrao’s World Cup could have been put to a premature end after the Real Madrid defender has been ruled out for the next 10 days with a groin injury. Coentrao was injured in Portugal’s opening match against Germany, which ended in a 4-0 thumping for Paulo Bento’s team. More worryingly, their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition have been dealt a major blow with Coentrao’s injury.

Bento is also likely to be without striker Hugo Almeida, who suffered a hamstring injury. It was an afternoon to forget for the Portuguese, who came into the tournament with high hopes. Key players for the national team like Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, and Coentrao came on the back of winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s fitness has been a worrying problem for the Portuguese leading up to this match. Betfair expects Ronaldo to be Portugal’s top goalscorer at odds of 11/10.

It seemed like one of those afternoons when everything seemed to go wrong for the Portuguese. Pepe was given a straight red card following his head-butt on Thomas Müller. Further, Ronaldo did not have much influence in the match.

Despite the defence conceding four goals, Coentrao was one of the better players. He made several contributions by doing overlapping runs. Ironically, the injury came through one of those runs, as he appeared to stretch just a little too much in order to grab an over hit pass. It had become straightaway clear that Coentrao’s injury was serious, as he went down clutching his groin. Portugal’s worst fears were confirmed after team doctor Henrique Jones said that Coentrao and Almeida were likely to be out for 10 days.

This would rule them out of the group matches against Ghana and the United States. Given Portugal’s heavy defeat against Germany and the USA winning against Ghana, Bento’s team have been put by Betfair as the third favourites to reach the knockout stages.

Despite the injury news, Bento says that he is confident of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup 2014. Portugal did well in the Euro 2012, but they were ripped apart by a clinical German team. Müller scored a hat-trick while Mat Hummels was also on the scoresheet.

Coentrao came into the tournament after having just scored in the warm-up friendly against Republic of Ireland. If possible make it to the World Cup last 16 stage, there is a possibility of Coentrao coming back into the team.

Ronaldo injury fears calmed

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has calmed the fears of both Real Madrid and Portugal fans by revealing Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t suffer a serious injury against Borussia Dortmund.

The current Ballon d’Or winner was forced from the field during the latter stages of Real’s 3-0 victory against Dortmund in their Champions League first leg clash with an apparent knee problem – but Ancelotti has come out to insist the substitution was merely a precaution.

“He was bothered a bit by his knee, we needed to defend and to avoid any risks, we’ve substituted him. It’s not a problem. He isn’t injured.”

“At this moment we’re not concerned by the niggle. If it continues, naturally we’ll rest him but we’re not thinking about that because the player is calm. There’s not a problem at the moment,” said Ancelotti.

With Real facing a crucial few weeks, having a fully fit Ronaldo is essential to the Spanish giants hopes between now and the end of the season, which sees the club being tipped by a number of Betfair fans to go on and win the treble.

And with the World Cup edging closer, Portugal fans are rightly nervous about anything happening to their talisman and captain ahead of this summer’s tournament in Brazil. The presence of Ronaldo in the Portugal side makes them a tempting bet for many Betfair punters who believe the team could be possible dark horses for the title this summer.

Ronaldo has once again been in prolific goalscoring form again for Madrid this season, scoring his side’s third against Dortmund to earn himself a place in the record books alongside Lionel Messi and Jose Altafini on 14 goals scored in a single European Cup season. One more goal to his name and Ronaldo will have 50 goals in all competitions this season.

Odds on Real Madrid to win La Liga

As with every season there are 2 main runners for the La Liga this year, those being Real Madrid and Barcelona. There have only been 5 seasons in the past 30 where somebody else has won the title, those teams being Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Deportivo La Conruna and Valencia twice. The only team that looks like it could challenge the titans this year are Atletico Madrid, currently second on 18 points, coming in with odds at 20/1 whilst Real Madrid stand at 6/4 and Barcelona come in with short odds of 4/7.

Although Barcelona have been dominant in recent years and the arrival of Neymar, who is possibly the hottest prospect in football right now and the prospect of a dream partnership with players such as Messi and Iniesta many would bet against Madrid. But personally Real Madrid are in with a very good chance, as they demonstrated in pre-season brushing aside teams like Chelsea, LA Galaxy, Everton, with such ease and proving to be such a dominant force throughout the past few seasons reaching three Champions League semi-finals, 2 cup finals, and winning the 2012 La Liga title. They will also be looking for revenge on their arch rivals after gifting FC Barcelona the title last season, Real Madrid will be out to prove a point this year by winning they’re thirty third La Liga title.

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Real woes continue

Madrid had won their last seven league meetings against Getafe and appeared set for another triumph when Gonzalo Higuain put them ahead in the 27th minute.

However, Getafe hit back in the second half to stun their star-studded opponents with goals from Juan Valera and Abdelaziz Barrada.

That completed a forgettable first week to the new campaign for Jose Mourinho’s side, who started their title defence with a 1-1 home draw against Valencia last weekend before losing 3-2 to arch rivals Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa on Thursday.

Barca had earlier battled back from a half-time deficit to beat Osasuna 2-1 away but precisely the opposite happened to Madrid at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez and they now find themselves five points adrift of the leading sides in La Liga.

Few of the divisions big guns relish going to Getafe, who last season beat Barca, Valencia, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid at home, but Real have dominated their neighbours in recent years and looked on course for another victory midway through this latest game.

Mourinho’s men really have should have taken the lead in the 16th minute but Mesut Ozil somehow contrived to miss an open goal from five yards out.

The Germany international and Cristiano Ronaldo combined superbly to rip open the Getafe defence but, after Ronaldo had unselfishly rolled the ball across the edge of the six-yard box – leaving home goalkeeper Miguel Moya stranded in the process – Ozil side-footed his shot against the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

That miss did not look like being too costly though as Madrid took the lead 11 minutes later through Higuain.

Angel Di Maria’s pinpoint pass found Higuain on the edge of the area and, despite the combined efforts of Alexis, he managed to skip past Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Moya and slot home left-footed.

That goal separated the sides at the break, but parity was restored just seven minutes after the restart when Valera sent a glancing header from Barrada’s right-wing free-kick past Iker Casillas and inside the far post.

It was to get even worse for Madrid in the 75th minute as Getafe took the lead.

Adrian Colunga got goal-side of Raul Albiol as he brought down a high ball near the halfway line and he immediately sped away from the Madrid defender before laying the ball inside to Barrada, who charged into the area before thumping a rising shot past Casillas.

It very nearly became 3-1 two minutes later but Casillas was able to parry away Xavi Torres’ low shot to keep shellshocked Madrid still in the game.

The visitors, despite an embarrassment of attacking talent on the pitch, could not capitalise on that save though as the Getafe defence kept them at bay in the closing stages to claim their first points of the season.

Primera Liga round-up

Barcelona appeared set for their first defeat under coach Tito Vilanova, who was sent from the dug-out for complaining to the referee, before Messi came to the rescue.

The visitors, who were guilty of missing a host of chances, went behind after a 17th minute goal from Joseba Llorente.

Osasuna’s Francisco Punal was also given his marching orders as Barca pounced on the numerical advantage with Messi strikes in the 75th and 80th minutes to claim the points.

Victory has provisionally taken Barcelona to the top of the early-season standings, above Rayo Vallecano on goal difference.


Real Madrid let a first-half lead slip at the hands of Getafe, who came away 2-1 victors.

Gonzalo Higuain netted in the 27th minute from a tight angle but Jose Mourinho’s men failed to stop Juan Valera from equalising.

Abdelaziz Barrada later capitalised on a Raul Albiol mistake to claim their first win of the season, as Madrid slumped to 15th in the table after two games.

Granada found themselves a man down when Inigo Lopez was given a red card for a foul in the box but came away with a point at home to Sevilla.

Guillherme Siqueira had his spot-kick saved before Mikel Rico netted for the hosts. Alvaro Negredo replied on the stroke of half-time for the visitors.

Valencia and Deportivo were a late kick-off (10pm).

Sahin ‘proud’ to join Reds

The Turkey international was a target for several Premier League clubs after struggling to make an impact at Real last season following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal had shown an interest in the 23-year-old, but Sahin has tied up a switch to Liverpool after successfully coming through a medical.

He is looking forward to the challenge of making an impact at Anfield and is hoping he can cap his year on Merseyside by winning a trophy.


“I am happy to be here and I am looking forward to playing for Liverpool,” Sahin told the club’s official website.

“After the first conversation we had, I was left impressed by Brendan Rodgers. He told me about how he wants to play football and what the goals are he wants to reach with Liverpool.”

Nuri Sahin

“It makes me proud to have joined such a big club like Liverpool Football Club.

“After the first conversation we had, I was left impressed by Brendan Rodgers. He told me about how he wants to play football and what the goals are he wants to reach with Liverpool.

“I am looking forward to meeting the fans. I hope it will be a nice year with trophies.”

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sahin, who was the Bundesliga’s Player of the Year in 2010/11, will fit into his style of play.

Rodgers said: “We are delighted to welcome Nuri to Liverpool and also to say thank you to Real Madrid for loaning us such an exciting talent.

“Nuri Sahin is a player with great technique and motivation and someone who will fit in smoothly to our playing model.

“We welcome Nuri into the Liverpool family and wish him good luck in his efforts to make us successful in our future.”

Reds confirm Sahin loan

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers revealed after Thursday’s Europa League win over Hearts that Sahin was close to making a loan switch to Anfield.

A number of clubs, including Arsenal have been chasing Sahin, but Rodgers has won the race for the highly-rated Turkish international.

Sahin joined Real last summer from Borussia Dortmund, but he struggled to establish himself in Jose Mourinho’s star-studded side.

Mourinho is happy to loan out Sahin as he wants him to get some regular first-team action under his belt.

Sahin is now set to undergo a medical at Anfield and if he comes through that he will become Rodgers’ fourth signing of the summer.