KEEN FOR KANE
With Real Madrid fifth in La Liga, 19 points off the pace of leaders Barcelona, president Florentino Perez has some work to do. The Times report that he ‘wants to rebuild his club’s forward line,’ with Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale all under pressure.
Jonathan Northcroft throws four names into the mix: Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, and Lord Harry Kane of Tottenhamshire. And they are willing to spend a world-record £200million on the last of that quartet.
Kane is key to Real’s planned ‘radical and expensive summer overhaul’. He is earning less at Tottenham than Ross Barkley is at Chelsea, and the Spanish giants believe they can tempt him away.
Daniel Levy, being Daniel Levy, has warned that ‘he will not sell at any price’. But if Tottenham fail to qualify for the Champions League this season, the financial pressure of moving into a new stadium will increase. Kane may also push to leave if his desire for trophies is not matched.
As it stands, Tottenham are ‘determined to resist’ any move.
Sticking with the Sunday Times, Duncan Castles brings us the latest on Chelsea’s quest to sign a really tall person. Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch and Edin Dzeko may well be off the cards, and so next is Islam Slimani of Leicester.
Leicester are ‘receptive’ to selling Slimani, but are unlikely to recoup all of their initial £29m summer 2016 outlay. A loan move is far more likely for a striker with two Premier League starts this season.
The Algerian would also be eligible in the Champions League, and would suit Antonio Conte’s desire for an ‘experienced back-up in the centre-forward role’.
Just trust Michy Batshuayi more, pal.
Congratulations to the Daily Express, who were the first English outlet to jump on Don Balon’s recent claims regarding Toni Kroos and Jurgen Klopp. ‘Liverpool transfer alert: Real Madrid star Toni Kroos wants to work with Jurgen Klopp,’ reads the Express headline.
Further in the story, they report that Kroos ‘is keen to jump ship and work with his fellow countryman’ Klopp at Liverpool. That is the claim attributed to Don Balon, but they add later on in the story that ‘according reports in Spain, the Germany international has been earmarked as a potential candidate to sell.’
So to Don Balon, who confirm that the future of Kroos ‘is not as determined’ as you might think. The German ‘has offers to leave’, and ‘will not hesitate’ to accept them if there are no changes at the Bernabeu.
Which is where Klopp comes in, but seemingly not as the Express claim. Don Balon confirm that Kroos ‘wants to work with’ Klopp, but the insinuation is more that he wants Real to appoint Klopp, as opposed to Kroos joining Liverpool. Those cheeky Express b*stards.
For what it’s worth, Don Balon say Kroos is pretty smitten with his compatriot. He has shown ‘that he is a football improver,’ and Kroos indeed ‘believes that he can still improve with Klopp as coach’. Just at Real.
AND THE REST
Real Madrid have told Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo that he can leave in the summer, with Paris St-Germain and Manchester United both interested in the 32-year-old… Tottenham are interested in Bordeaux’s 20-year-old Brazilian attacker Malcom, but want to be the only bidders to avoid his value rising… Manchester City have held talks with Shakhtar Donetsk about a deal to sign 24-year-old midfielder Fred, who would join in the summer… Valencia are planning to use the uncertainty over Manchester United winger Juan Mata’s future at the club by signing the 29-year-old Spain international on a free transfer during the summer… Tottenham are interested in signing Atletico Madrid striker Kevin Gameiro, 30, on loan if he is not sold by the Spanish club this January… Southampton are in talks to sign Monaco striker Guido Carrillo, 26, and the Spartak Moscow winger Quincy Promes, 26, in deals that would cost a combined £50m… Roma want Manchester United‘s 28-year-old Italian full-back Matteo Darmian, but only on loan… Chelsea‘s Ghanaian full-back Baba Rahman, 23, could join Schalke on loan for a second spell during his time at Stamford Bridge… West Ham are considering an approach to take Portugal midfielder Joao Mario on loan from Inter Milan, with the 25-year-old struggling for form in the wake of his £38m move from Sporting Lisbon… Leicester City and Everton are interested in Besiktas’ 33-year-old Serbian centre-back Dusko Tosic… Stoke have made a bid for New York City FC’s England Under-21 midfielder Jack Harrison, 21… Crystal Palace are set to sign Benfica’s 21-year-old Swedish midfielder Erdal Rakip on loan for the rest of the season.