Cristiano Ronaldo and his long-standing agent Jorge Mendes may very well be set to half firm, whereas Chelsea are nonetheless seeking to splash some severe money on a Ukraine worldwide coveted by Arsenal ESPN’s Insider Notebook has the newest.
Ronaldo’s relationship with agent under strain
Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-standing relationship with agent Jorge Mendes is under mounting strain following his transfer to Saudi Arabian membership Al Nassr, sources have advised ESPN.
Mendes, whose different purchasers embrace Jose Mourinho, Darwin Nunez and Joao Felix, has represented Ronaldo all through his illustrious profession, however the 37-year-old’s frustrations date again to a scarcity of choices when looking for a switch final summer time.
After Manchester United didn’t qualify for the Champions League, Mendes met with a collection of golf equipment together with Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Sporting CP, however a concrete provide from a high European membership didn’t materialise. Sources mentioned that Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly was curious about exploring a deal for Ronaldo, however then-head coach Thomas Tuchel repeatedly dismissed the concept.
Although a transfer to Saudi Arabia was a risk in the course of the summer time switch window, Ronaldo selected to remain at United within the hope both his fortunes would enhance or a optimistic displaying on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would tempt a European membership into making a proposal to signal him. However, Ronaldo discovered himself marginalised by United boss Erik ten Hag and his contract was finally terminated by mutual consent in November after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, earlier than he was benched by Portugal boss Fernando Santos for each their knockout matches on the World Cup.
Despite Ronaldo turning into a free agent, Mendes was as soon as once more unable to generate any concrete curiosity from a aspect able to giving the ahead an opportunity to win a sixth Ballon d’Or award or sixth Champions League trophy.
Sources mentioned that Ronaldo’s private supervisor of just about 20 years, Ricardo Regufe, was closely concerned within the negotiations to signal for Al Nassr. One supply advised that there was no agent formally concerned within the deal with Al Nassr, tallying with hypothesis that the relationship between Ronaldo and Mendes may quickly come to an finish.
Sources haven’t been in a position to corroborate hypothesis of a proper break up, and Mendes’ company, Gestifute, didn’t reply to a request for remark when contacted by ESPN. — James Olley.
Chelsea nonetheless in talks over Mudryk regardless of Felix arrival
Arsenal’s hopes of getting a transparent path to finish a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk following Felix’s mortgage transfer to Chelsea have been dashed, with sources telling ESPN that the Gunners’ London rivals are nonetheless trying to signal him.
Mudryk, 22, is Arsenal’s major goal in the course of the January switch window, however the Premier League leaders have didn’t make a breakthrough throughout talks with Shakhtar. An preliminary €65 million bid was rejected by the Ukrainian group and an elevated second provide has additionally been inadequate to tempt Shakhtar, who’re holding out for a €100m payment.
ESPN reported on Jan. 3 that Chelsea had emerged as a rival to Arsenal for Mudryk’s signature, with the membership holding talks with Darijo Srna, Shakhtar’s director of soccer, in London final week.
But with Chelsea as an alternative shifting their focus to signal Portugal worldwide Felix from Atletico Madrid on mortgage till the tip of the season, following accidents to Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, it had appeared that Arsenal would take pole place within the race for Mudryk, who’s engaged on his health with Shakhtar at their winter coaching camp in Turkey.
However, sources have advised ESPN that talks over a deal for Mudryk are nonetheless ongoing with each Arsenal and Chelsea and that the Felix deal has not altered Chelsea’s dedication to signal the Ukraine worldwide. — Mark Ogden.
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How would Mudryk match into Arteta’s plans at Arsenal?
Don Hutchison and Julien Laurens clarify what Mykhailo Mudryk may deliver to Arsenal.
De Gea and Fred wait over new Man United contracts
Manchester United are in talks with David de Gea about extending his contract, sources have advised ESPN, however need the goalkeeper to just accept an extended contract on lowered wages.
De Gea, 32, signed a brand new deal in 2019 price round £375,000 per week, however United are actually reluctant to match that wage. The membership haven’t but triggered a one-year extension within the Spaniard’s deal, on account of expire in June, and want to agree on a decrease wage earlier than they commit.
Meanwhile, United are making midfielder Fred wait earlier than beginning new contract talks, sources have advised ESPN. The membership have triggered a one-year possibility within the Brazilian’s deal, which can hold him at Old Trafford till June 2024. United have carried out the identical with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, however whereas negotiations have began with the England pair in an effort to tie them to longer contracts, Fred must earn a brand new deal with his performances over the following 18 months.
Fred has slipped down the pecking order under supervisor Erik ten Hag and, after being picked for the defeats to Brighton and Brentford in August, has since began simply two video games within the Premier League. The 29-year-old, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018, may face much more competitors for his place subsequent season with United trying so as to add a world-class midfielder forward of the summer time switch window. — Rob Dawson.
Barcelona embarrassed as Barca TV goes on strike
Barcelona had been left red-faced as their very own TV channel had no protection of Spanish LaLiga video games towards Espanyol and Atletico Madrid, with staff happening strike this month.
Employees of the station are demanding vital enhancements to their working situations and their salaries, which have been frozen since 2015. Some staff have even needed to dip into their very own pockets to pay for journeys to cowl Barca’s away video games, solely to then wait months for the cash to be reimbursed.
Barca pay third-party firm Telefonica round €7m yearly to run the channel, with the Catalan authorities performing as a mediator in talks between the Spanish telecommunications large and Barca TV employees. A passable settlement has nonetheless not been reached, although, and additional motion has not been dominated out forward of extra talks on Friday.
The contract with Telefonica expires this summer time and it has been advised Barca may deliver the station again in-house under the bracket of Barca Studios, which the membership offered a piece of final summer time to fund €150m of recent signings within the switch market. Just under 50% of the manufacturing firm — which now additionally focuses on digital, NFT and Web.3 initiatives — was purchased by Socios.com and Orpheus Media for a complete of €200m. — Sam Marsden.
Atletico shut on Soyuncu and a No. 9 striker
Atletico Madrid want to strengthen their squad in the course of the January switch window by bringing in Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, in addition to a No. 9 striker to cowl the departures of Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha, sources have advised ESPN.
The LaLiga membership have already got an settlement with the 26-year-old Soyuncu for a free switch when his contract expires subsequent summer time, however sources mentioned Atletico would now wish to deliver his arrival ahead by paying a minimal payment to Leicester within the January window.
The Turkey worldwide has made only one Premier League look this season — having been an everyday starter for Leicester of their three earlier campaigns — with supervisor Brendan Rodgers preferring a partnership of Wout Faes and Daniel Amartey in latest weeks.
Atletico want to transfer on their error-prone defender Felipe to make room for Soyuncu, however the Brazilian has to date proved reluctant to depart.
Coach Diego Simeone additionally desires to usher in a centre-forward to compete for a spot within the group with Alvaro Morata, following Cunha’s transfer to Wolves and Joao Felix becoming a member of Chelsea on mortgage, and so they have stepped up their curiosity in Barcelona’s Memphis Depay. — Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.