MADRID SET LIMIT FOR BALE
Real Madrid are willing to pay a maximum of £45million for Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, according to The Daily Mirror.
The Wales international, along with the likes Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani, is among the game’s most wanted players, and his future at White Hart Lane is believed to depend on Spurs qualifying for the Champions League.
Despite Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insisting he won’t sell Bale to Madrid, the Spanish giants are lining up a bid. Bale has scored 23 goals this season from an advanced midfield role and if Spurs don’t finish in the top four a bidding war is likely to begin.
RIO READY TO SIGN
Rio Ferdinand is expected to agree a new one-year deal at Manchester United.
The 34-year-old has enjoyed one of his best season’s for the club and wanted to focus on helping secure a 20th title before discussing terms.
Ferdinand wants to play on at Old Trafford for as along as possible so while United offer only 12-month contracts to players in their 30s, he is targeting two more years at least.
There have been offers for Ferdinand to play in China and the US, but theformer England skipper is keen to extend his 11 years at the club.
Paul Scholes, 38, meanwhile, who has not played since 26 January due to a knee injury, is expected to announce his retirement at the end of the season, for a second time.
BARCA CROWN SLIPPING
They may have been tipped to go through their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, but no one predicted Bayern’s 4-0 first leg demolition of the Catalan kings at the Allianz Arena last night.
No-one that is except Munich coach Jupp Heynckes, the 67-year-old who is being ‘retired’ at the end of the season with Pep Guardiola taking his place.
“It was not a really big surprise to me that we scored four goals. We have played to a high level all season,” said Heynckes, who could depart having guided Bayern to the treble with his side in the final of the German Cup, and having won the Bundesliga title in record time.
Lionel Messi was virtually anonymous in the game and Barca defender Gerard Pique admitted: “They’ve been faster, stronger and played the better football. It’s almost impossible for us.”
ON THE CONTINENT
The Gazzetta dello Sport is claiming Juventus have offered Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic a four-year contract.
Melbourne Victory’s Marco Rojas is this week expected to complete a move to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart.
Lazio defender Modibo Diakite’s proposed move to Napoli has broken down.
A late Jordan Rhodes penalty gave Blackburn a 2-1 win at Millwall that sent them five points clear of the Championship drop zone. Millwall are fours point ahead of third bottom Wolves but have a game in hand on the teams around them.
Chelsea have launched an investigation into abuse of Yossi Benayoun by their own fans.
Julio Arca’s Middlesbrough contract has been cancelled by mutual consent with the 32-year-old returning to Argentina.