Real Madrid ready to sell Marco Asensio amid Chelsea and Liverpool transfer links

Asensio could be sold by Real (Picture: Getty)Real Madrid are ready to cash in on Marco Asensio and have set a £100million asking price, according to reports in Spain.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have long been linked with a move for the exciting youngster, who is regarded as one of the best emerging talents in Spain.

Asensio has struggled for form this season despite seeing his playing time increase in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Madrid.

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Marca claim new Real boss Julen Lopetegui has decided to cut Asensio loose, providing a £100m asking price is met.

Real are open to selling Asensio in January, which would presumably spark a major bidding war among the top clubs in Europe.

A host of clubs would submit offers for Asensio, including big-spending French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

(Picture: Getty)United covet several of Real’s biggest stars including midfielder Toni Kroos and forward Gareth Bale, but signing Asensio would be a major coup for any side.

Asensio is under contract at Real until 2023, and is already established in the Spain national team with 18 appearances since the summer of 2016.

The 22-year-old has repeatedly said he has no desire to leave Real and sees his future at the club.

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Can Jose Mourinho break his Stamford Bridge hoodoo and will Mesut Ozil return for Arsenal?

The Premier League returns this weekend and all eyes will be on Stamford Bridge as Chelsea welcome Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side to west London.

The Blues returned to joint-top of the table before the international break, while Mourinho gave himself some breathing space thanks to a last minute winner from Alexis Sanchez against Newcastle.

Elsewhere, Liverpool are sweating over a number of injury concerns before their trip to Huddersfield and Unai Emery has a selection dillemma on his hands for the visit of Leicester.

Can Jose Mourinho break his Stamford Bridge hoodoo?

Jose Mourinho needs a result at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)The self-proclaimed Special One has returned to his old stomping ground on three occasions with Manchester United…and left empty-handed each time.

Mourinho was once a ‘big game specialist’ but Antonio Conte’s Chelsea trounced United 4-0 in 2016 before beating them in the FA Cup later on in the season. Alvaro Morata’s header was enough to give the Blues a 1-0 victory last term.

Mourinho faces an FA charge for supposed use of foul language (Picture: BT Sport)Nobody will be more desperate than Mourinho to get a result at Stamford Bridge but Maurizio Sarri’s side have been the most impressive outfit so far this term and in Eden Hazard have the Premier League’s in-form player.

United’s trip to west London kicks off a daunting run of fixtures that sees them take on Juventus, Manchester City and Arsenal in the next six weeks.

Reports before United’s comeback against Newcastle before the international break claimed Mourinho would be sacked regardless of the result and though the nature of the comeback will undoubtedly boost morale in the camp, it only papered over the cracks of what’s been a desperate start to the Premier League season.

Defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will put United back in crisis mode so Mourinho will be hoping he can finally break his duck.

Xherdan Shaqiri has chance to shine against Huddersfield

Xherdan Shaqiri has a good chance of starting against Huddersfield (Picture: Getty)He’s had to bide his time at Anfield and been limited to just one Premier League start but Shaqiri’s opportunity may finally arrive this weekend against Huddersfield.

Sadio Mane has undergone surgery on a thumb issue, while Mohamed Salah is struggling with a thigh injury. Though Salah is likely to recover in time, Mane is a major doubt and that is likely to see Shaqiri given a chance from the start against the Terriers.

Liverpool’s front three have been far from their blistering best so far this term and with a hectic fixture schedule coming up, Shaqiri has the chance to impress Klopp and to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.

Shaqiri’s started just one Premier League match this term (Picture: Getty)Shaqiri’s looked little more than a squad player since joining from Stoke and the Switzerland international admitted earlier this week that he’s found it tough at Anfield.

‘I decided to move to Liverpool fully aware that I would have a harder time in a club of this standing than, for example, other clubs that tried to help me,’ said Shaqiri.

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Huddersfield are yet to win this season and have shipped 17 goals in their eight matches so far this term. Liverpool went unbeaten through a difficult period before the International break in which they faced Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City and they face Cardiff at home after taking on Huddersfield.

There’s probably not a better fixture for Liverpool – or Shaqiri – to have right now.

Cardiff take on Fulham looking for first win of the season

Neil Warnock’s men are without a win in their first eight matches (Picture: Getty)After picking up two points in their first three matches, Cardiff have lost five on the bounce and are in danger of being cut adrift in the relegation zone.

Neil Warnock’s men reduced Spurs to minimal chances in their 1-0 defeat at Wembley before the break and were unlucky not to equalise when Josh Murphy had an effort cleared off the line by Toby Alderweireld.

Cardiff left Wembley empty-handed (Picture: Getty)Nevertheless, the Bluebirds face a trip to Anfield after their clash against Fulham and Warnock will be desperate to get a first win under his belt this term against the Lilywhites.

Fulham were torn apart by Arsenal in a 5-1 mauling at Craven Cottage a fortnight ago and could be the perfect opposition for Cardiff to get off the mark.

Will Mesut Ozil return for Arsenal?

Ozil has returned to full training (Picture: Getty)Henrikh Mkhitaryan neither scored nor assisted during Arsenal’s 5-1 win against Fulham but the Armenian was at his mercurial best in a no.10 role in Mesut Ozil’s absence.

The German missed the game with a back spasm and has had the international break to recover given his self-imposed unavailbility from Germany’s national squad.

Unai Emery has started Ozil and Mkhitaryan together just twice so far this season and that was in the Gunners’ opening two defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea.

Mkhitaryan deserves to keep his spot (Picture: Getty)Ozil has tended to get the nod in recent weeks but Mkhitaryan’s performance at Craven Cottage has given Emery a selection headache.

The win against Fulham was Arsenal’s ninth in a row in all competitions and Emery could be tempted to name an unchanged side against the Foxes.

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Lorenzo Insigne attracting transfer interest from Liverpool

Insigne is in superb form in Italy (Picture: Getty)Liverpool are considering a big money move for Lorenzo Insigne after the Napoli forward’s brilliant start to the season, reports say.

Insigne has long been linked with a transfer to the Premier League, with Chelsea the most recent side to be credited with an interest.

The 27-year-old is well known to Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, having coached him while in charge at Napoli.

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Chelsea’s interest in Insigne could well heat up, but Rai Sport claim Liverpool will rival the Blues for the goalscorer’s signature.

Jurgen Klopp got an up close view of Insigne’s talents when the Italian scored a late winner for Napoli in a recent Champions League group game.

Insigne still has four years left to run on his current Napoli deal and the club would presumably demand a huge fee for their prized asset.

(Picture: Getty)But Klopp wants to add more firepower to his striker department and Insigne could be the perfect fit at Anfield.

Only Genoa sensation Krzysztof Piatek has scored more goals in Serie A than Insigne this season, as Napoli continue to stake their claim to be champions.

But two costly defeats early in the season mean Napoli sit six points behind Juventus, who are yet to drop any points this campaign.

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Insigne scored a late winner against Liverpool recently (Picture: Getty)Insigne is unlikely to exit Napoli mid-way through a season, which means Liverpool may have to wait until the summer to make their move.

Sarri recently named Insigne as the best Italian player in Serie A, sparking speculation that Chelsea could be considering the forward as their next big signing.

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Chelsea ‘top club in England’ ahead of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, claims Olivier Giroud

Giroud believes Chelsea are England’s top club (Picture: AFP/Getty)Olivier Giroud believes Chelsea are the ‘top club in England’ ahead of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and former club Arsenal.

The Blues ditched the Emirates for Stamford Bridge in January, but his new side failed to qualify for the Champions League and will spend this campaign in the Europa League.

It’s been an up-and-down few years for the west London club, but Chelsea have won as many Premier League titles over the past decade as their main rivals, and Giroud – who was linked with a move away in the summer – is convinced they are the ‘top club’ in the country.

When asked about leaving Chelsea in the summer, he told L’Equipe: ‘It did not go as far as we could say.

Giroud left Arsenal in January (Picture: Getty)‘There was really a contact [from Marseille] last year, but nothing really concrete this summer.

‘I had just arrived at Chelsea, it was not the time to pack my bags again three months later.

‘For me, Chelsea is the top club in England, the one that has won the most titles over the last ten years.

‘I am where I wanted to be. So why leave?’

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Aaron Ramsey open to joining Manchester United or Chelsea with Arsenal exit likely

Aaron Ramsey is expected to leave Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Aaron Ramsey is open to joining Manchester United or Chelsea if he leaves Arsenal on a free transfer, reports say.

The Wales midfielder has developed into a key player for Arsenal since being signed by Arsene Wenger from Cardiff City in 2008.

With his current contract set to expire next summer, Ramsey had been locked in talks with the Gunners over a new deal.

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But Arsenal dramatically withdrew their contract offer at the end of last month and Ramsey is now expected to leave the Emirates, either in January or the summer.

The 27-year-old has attracted interest from a number of European clubs but ESPN FC say he is willing to join one of Arsenal’s direct rivals.

It is claimed both Manchester United and Chelsea intend to monitor his situation in north London ahead of possible moves, although Liverpool are unlikely to bid.

Maurizio Sarri reveals what Jurgen Klopp told him before Liverpool’s equaliser against Chelsea

The two managers enjoyed plenty of touchline banter in their recent meeting (Picture: Getty)Maurizio Sarri has revealed that Jurgen Klopp was laughing and joking with him on the sidelines even while Liverpool were losing against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The two managers faced off twice in a matter of days, first in the Carabao Cup at Anfield – which Chelsea won – and then in west London in the Premier League.

Eden Hazard’s first-half goal appeared to be the difference as time was running out, despite both sides creating hordes of chances in an open and entertaining match, before Daniel Sturridge snatched a point with a wonder goal from range.

Klopp was revelling in Liverpool’s play even before Sturridge scored late on (Getty)In fact, it was such an enjoyable contest that Klopp was appreciating it even when his team were 1-0 down.

Sarri told Corriere dello Sport: ‘There are moments when the grand spectacle of it all convinces you to put aside any regrets. Even if you concede at the last minute or five minutes into stoppages.

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‘That was an extraordinary show. Just 10 minutes earlier, I saw Klopp looking at me with the game going on. I asked: “Why are you smiling?” He replied: “Aren’t you having fun?”

Klopp and Sarri knew they’d been involved in a real humdinger (Picture: Getty)‘I said: “So much” and he added “Me too”. He was losing at the time. Even after the equaliser, remembering that moment, we hugged like two old friends.

‘I’m sure he would’ve done the same even if Liverpool hadn’t equalised. The Premier League has this joy of football.’

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Aaron Ramsey speaks out on leaving Arsenal for Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool in January

Will he leave Arsenal in January? (Picture: Getty)Aaron Ramsey will not push for a move away from Arsenal in the January transfer window and plans to see out the remainder of his contract which expires at the end of the season.

The Welshman is set to leave the Emirates after a decade of service in north London. The 27-year-old had been close to agreeing a new deal but Arsenal recently withdrew their offer amid input from head coach Unai Emery.

Ramsey’s impending exit has sparked interest from around Europe, particularly among Serie A’s elite clubs, while Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all monitoring his situation.

Emery is not planning on keeping Ramsey (Picture: Getty)

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However, Ramsey announced his intentions to stay with the club until the season’s end.

‘Will I stay for the rest of the season? Of course, yeah,’ he said on international duty.

‘I am contracted to Arsenal and I am going to do my best now this season to try and achieve something special.

‘Everything has been going great with the club. We thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal but that’s no longer the case.

Manchester United and Arsenal to miss out on Premier League top four – Matt Le Tissier

Premier League legend and Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier (Picture: Getty)Manchester United and Arsenal will miss out on a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, according to Matt Le Tissier.

Three teams are currently joint-top, with defending champions Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool separated only by goal difference.

Arsenal are fourth, having won their last nine games in all competitions, but north London rivals Tottenham are hot on their heels.

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Jose Mourinho’s United, meanwhile, are down in eighth after a poor start to the campaign.

The Red Devils finished second last season on 81 points but Le Tissier cannot see them securing a top-four place this term.

‘I think I will go with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs for the top four,’ Le Tissier told Sky Sports.

Jose Mourinho faces a fight to finish in the top four (Picture: Getty)‘As long as Christian Eriksen doesn’t spend to long out of the team for Tottenham… because I think they miss him quite a bit.

‘Manchester United have got some ground to make up if they are going to be in contention.’

The Southampton legend added: ‘I still think Manchester City will win the title.

Le Tissier is backing Manchester City to defend the title (Picture: Getty)‘They have so much quality and strength in depth and over the course of the season that will give them the edge.

‘Even without someone who was considered to be their best player last season in Kevin De Bruyne, they’re still sitting top of the table after eight games.

‘Many people thought they were going to miss him a lot and obviously that quality of player is going to be a bit of a miss.

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‘But their strength in depth is just incredible and what they’ve got in terms of quality forward players and being able to hurt teams in different areas of the pitch.

‘They should be a couple of points clear but Riyad Mahrez’s penalty against Liverpool was an absolute shocker.

‘I don’t think they will win it by 19 points again like last season but I’d expect Man City to win it by a handful of points.’

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Real Madrid star Dani Carvajal puts Premier League clubs on alert

Dani Carvajal could leave Real Madrid (Picture: Getty)Real Madrid star Dani Carvajal has admitted he dreams about moving to the Premier League.

The Spaniard has been a mainstay in Madrid’s side since making his debut in 2013 and he has 20 caps for the national team.

The 26-year-old has a contract at the Bernabeu until 2022 but the La Liga giants signed Alvaro Odriozola for £40m last summer and Carvajal fears for his summer.

And Carvajal has suggested he could leave the club by admitting he would like to play in England.

Carvajal’s Madrid contract runs until 2022 (Picture: Getty)‘I would love to play in the Premier League,’ said Carvajal.

‘It’s an experience that I would love to have and I don’t want to be left cursing not having experienced it.’

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Carvajal is valued at around £45m but at 26 he would represent a shrewd investment in a market short of top quality defenders.

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Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba & Eden Hazard join Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on Ballon d’Or shortlist

Hazard is nominated for the Ballon d’or this year (Picture: PA Wire)Premier League stars Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

France Football are announcing the stars to make the list all through Monday, with Premier League winners Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero among the first ten to make the cut.

Cristiano Ronaldo was also confirmed amid allegations the former Real Madrid star raped an American woman in Las Vegas in 2009.

Ronaldo is the defending champion, having won his fifth Ballon d’Or in 2017.

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30 nominees have been announced, with the ceremony scheduled for 3 December.

NOMINEES…

Alisson (BRA/Liverpool)

Sadio Mane (SEN/Liverpool)

Roberto Firmino (BRA/Liverpool)

Thibaut Courtois (BEL/Chelsea)

N’Golo Kante (FRA/Chelsea)

Eden Hazard (BEL/Chelsea)

Harry Kane (ENG/Tottenham)

Hugo Lloris (FRA/Tottenham)

Sergio Aguero (ARG/Man City)

Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/Man City)

Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Juventus)

Antoine Griezmann (FRA/Atletico Madrid)

Isco (ESP/Real Madrid)

Gareth Bale (ENG/Real Madrid)

Karim Benzema (FRA/Real Madrid)

Edinson Cavani (URU/PSG)

Diego Godin (URU/Atletico Madrid)

Mario Mandzukic (CRO/Juventus)

Marcelo (BRA/Real Madrid)

Kylian Mbappe (FRA/PSG)

Lionel Messi (ARG/Barcelona)

Luka Modric (CRO/Real Madrid)

Neymar (BRA/PSG)

Jan Oblak (SLO/Atletico Madrid)

Paul Pogba (FRA/Manchester United)

Ivan Rakitic (CRO/Barcelona)

Sergio Ramos (SPA/Real Madrid)

Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool)

Luis Suarez (URU/Barcelona)

Raphael Varane (FRA/Real Madrid)

Aguero and De Bruyne also make the list (Picture: Getty)The Ballon d’Or is run by France Football, after confirmation this year Fifa had broken away from the award.

A panel of journalists, one from every country, will decide the winner and will grade their nominees in three categories: performances during the calendar year, talent and fair play, and achievements throughout a career.

As does Ronaldo (Picture: Getty)England’s Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby are nominated for the Women’s Ballon d’Or, with Orlando Pride star Marta also on the 15-woman shortlist.

WOMEN’S BALLON D’OR…

Fran Kirby (ENG/Lyon)

Lucy Bronze (ENG/Chelsea)

Pernille Harder (DEN/Wolfsburg)

Ada Hegerberg (NOR/Lyon)

Amandine Henry (FRA/Lyon)

Lindsey Horan (USA/Portland)

Sam Kerr (AUS/Chicago Red Stars)

Saki Kumagai (JAP/Lyon)

Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER/Lyon)

Amel Majri (FRA/Lyon)

Marta (BRA/Orlando)

Lieke Martens (NL/Barcelona)

Megan Rapinoe (USA/Seattle)

Wendie Renard (FRA/Lyon)

Christine Sinclair (CAN/Portland)

England star Kirby is nominated for the Women’s Ballon d’Or (Picture: Getty)The shortlist for the inaugural Kopa Trophy was also announced, an award which will name the best player under the age of 21.

Kylian Mbappe is nominated for his World Cup heroics, while Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold also makes the cut.

10-MAN KOPA TROPHY SHORTLIST…

Houssem Aouar (FRA/Lyon)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (ENG/Liverpool)

Patrick Cutrone (ITA/AC Milan)

Ritsu Doan (JAP/Groningen)

Gianluigi Donnarumma (ITA/AC Milan)

Amadou Haidara (MAL/Red Bull Salzburg)

Justin Kluivert (NL/Ajax)

Kylian Mbappe (FRA/PSG)

Christian Pulisic (USA/Dortmund)

Rodrygo (BRA/Santos)

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