Sergio Ramos accused of failing doping test after Real Madrid beat Juventus in Champions League final

Sergio Ramos has been accused of failing a doping test (Soccrates/Getty Images)Sergio Ramos failed a doping test after Real Madrid’s victory over Juventus in the Champions League final last year, according to documents obtained by Football Leaks and Der Spiegel.

The report from Der Spiegel alleges that the Real Madrid captain tested positive for Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) during competitions.

Dexamethasone is permitted for use before matches, as long as doping control are notified.

But Der Spiegel report that Ramos received two injections of dexamethasone in his knee and shoulder the day before the match against Juventus and Madrid’s team doctor did not declare to UEFA that the substance had been used.

Instead, it’s reported that Madrid’s team doctor declared that Ramos was innocent and that a ‘human error’ was to blame for the failure to notify UEFA that the defender had received dexamethasone.

Ramos played in the 4-1 victory over Juventus last year (Getty Images)Der Spiegel reported that UEFA accepted the explanation from Madrid’s team doctor and urged the club’s medical staff to make more of an effort to correctly declare the exact medication their players have received.

Ramos is also accused of obstructing a doping official after Real Madrid faced Malaga in April.

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The 32-year-old old was warned by an official from the Spanish anti-doping agency that he was unable to take a shower after the game until he had provided a urine sample as players could potentially manipulate the results of the test.

But Ramos reportedly defied the instruction and showered before providing a urine and blood sample.

Ramos was found to have no banned substances in the samples he provided, but Madrid did not respond to the Spanish anti-doping agency when asked about the defender’s conduct after the game.

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Barcelona to demand £88m from Liverpool to sign Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona are considering selling Ousmane Dembele (Getty Images)Barcelona will demand €100 million (£88.7m) from Liverpool for Ousmane Dembele, according to reports in Spain.

The 21-year-old’s long-term future at Camp Nou is in major doubt as Barcelona are weighing up the prospect of selling the winger next summer.

During his time at the club, Dembele has regularly turned up late for training and has been dropped from the matchday squad on several occasions by Ernesto Valverde.

According to Sport, Barcelona have issued Dembele with an ultimatum by telling him to improve his attitude, but the club’s hierarchy are not convinced that the winger will change.

Dembele has been issued an ultimatum by Barca’s hierarchy (Getty Images)More: Football

And should Dembele fail to improve, Barcelona are open to selling him at the end of the season but will demand a €100m (£88.7m) transfer fee.

The Spanish champions spent an initial £96.8m on signing Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, although that figure could potential rise to £135.5m after bonuses.

Liverpool and Arsenal have both been heavily linked with a move for the midfielder, with reports claiming last week that Jurgen Klopp is ready to make a move in the January transfer window.

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Ousmane Dembele’s agent rates chances of Barcelona star joining Arsenal or Liverpool

Ousmane Dembele is not leaving Barcelona, claims his agent (PA Images)Ousmane Dembele’s agent insists there is ‘no doubt’ that the French winger will stay at Barcelona despite his ongoing problems at Camp Nou.

Reports have claimed that Barcelona’s senior players are frustrated by the 21-year-old turning up late to training and his lack of professionalism.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked with the France international but the player’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, is adamant that he will remain at Barca.

‘There is no doubt about his future, at all, Ousmane continues to work, he is in a big club and [Ernesto] Valverde loves him, and he is also in the national team and Deschamps continues to trust him,’ Sissoko told RMC Sport.

‘If he is with France today it is because he deserves it, I also spoke with Eric Abidal and he told me that he is very happy with him, that he is training very well.’

Dembele has been linked with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool (Getty Images)Sissoko also clarified reports claiming that Dembele did not contact Barcelona when he missed training due to an illness last week.

‘It is true that Ousmane was sick [before the Real Betis game],’ Sissoko said.

‘He had not slept all night, he was very tired.

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‘He missed the morning training and what the club has blamed us is that he did not warn a little before that a doctor can see his mismanagement at home. He did it a little late.

‘But he was sick, the club confirmed he had a [gastrointestinal illness], he missed the training because of that. And I am surprised that we also make controversy when he is sick.’

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Cristiano Ronaldo names his five picks to win the Ballon d’Or and snubs Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo says Lionel Messi will struggle to finish in the top three (EPA)Cristiano Ronaldo has named Mohamed Salah as one of the five players who he thinks are capable of winning the Ballon d’Or this year.

The Juventus forward won the Champions League with Real Madrid earlier this year but faces strong competition to secure the sixth Ballon d’Or title of his career.

Ronaldo believes Lionel Messi will struggle to finish inside the top three and feels France’s World Cup-winning trio of Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe all have a good chance of lifting the trophy for the first time in their careers.

‘Of course I want to win, this sixth Ballon d’Or,’ Ronaldo told France Football.

‘It would be a lie to tell you the opposite.’

Ronaldo is aiming to win the sixth Ballon d’Or of his career this year (Getty Images)When asked to name his Ballon d’Or rivals, Ronaldo replied: ‘The same as usual, even if I don’t know if Messi will be on the podium this time.

‘So, let’s say Salah, Modric, Griezmann, Varane, Mbappe – the French in general because they are world champions.

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‘But I will wait and see if all these players are still at the top in 10 years, like Messi and I have done, and like we continue to do.

‘Still there, on the podium, since more than 10 years.’

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Can foreign teams still buy Premier League players after the transfer window closes?

Paul Pogba’s future is in doubt (Picture: PA)The Premier League made the bold step of moving the dates of the transfer window quite significantly this year, and it could have a big impact long past when the deadline passes in England.

The summer transfer has been slamming shut at the end of August in recent years, but the Premier League clubs voted to move it earlier, so it closed when the season started.

With the campaign beginning on the evening of Friday, 10 August 2018, the transfer window will close at 5pm on Thursday, 9 August.

But with foreign clubs not closing their transfer windows at this point, does that mean they can still buy players from English clubs after 9 August?

Thibaut Courtois looks set to leave Chelsea (Picture: AP Photo)Yes, it does.

Whilst Premier League and EFL clubs won’t be able to buy players past their 5pm deadline on Thursday, they will still be prone to having their players whisked away to foreign climes.

Clubs across Europe will be able to buy players until their deadlines past, which mostly fall on 31 August.

English clubs are going to be much less likely to sell their best players as they will not be able to bring in replacements, but the deals are very much able to be done.

Anthony Martial could still be out of the Old Trafford exit door (Picture: Getty Images)When does the transfer window close across Europe?

In Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Scotland, Netherlands and Russia the transfer deadline is on 31 August.

In Portugal, the transfer window doesn’t close until 22 September, whilst Turkey closes on 8 September.

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Yerry Mina’s agent issues response to Liverpool transfer link

Yerry Mina has been linked with a move to Liverpool. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Yerry Mina has no plans to leave Barcelona after being linked with a move to Liverpool, according to the defender’s uncle and agent.

The 23-year-old was signed from Palmeiras for €11.8 million (£10.5m) in January but made only six appearances for Barca until the end of the season.

Mina has impressed during Colombia’s World Cup campaign, which ended on Tuesday evening after they were eliminated by England via a dramatic penalty shootout.

And the centre-back has subsequently been linked with Liverpool, Everton and Fenerbahce.

‘I’m not aware of any bids,’ Jair Mina told RAC1.

Mina scored a superb header in the defeat to England. (TASS via Getty Images)‘The player has a contract with Barcelona and wants to stay at Barcelona. We’re going to see what the situation is with the club, but we don’t have any information [regarding a move].

‘He moved in January to succeed at a big club and Barca are a big club.

‘He is convinced he will get the chance to do big things and our idea is that he stays where he is.’

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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak sends transfer message to Liverpool

Jan Oblak has suggested he wants to stay at Atletico Madrid. (Getty Images)Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has indicated that he is happy to stay at the club after being linked with a move to Liverpool.

The 25-year-old has established himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers following his superb performances for Atletico.

And as a result, the Slovenia international has attracted interest from several clubs, including Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

But Atletico are keen to keep hold of Oblak and would be unwilling to sell their No.1 goalkeeper for a fee lower than his €100 million (£88m) release clause.

Oblak is wanted by Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain. (Getty Images)More: Football

And when asked by AS if he wanted to remain at Atletico this summer, Oblak replied: ‘I have a contract.’

The Slovenian is also buoyed by Atletico’s decision to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco, as well as Antoine Griezmann committing to a new contract.

‘Of course, I like the team we are building,’ he said.

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Liverpool ready to spend £158m to sign Marco Asensio from Real Madrid

Liverpool are ready to make a huge offer for Marco Asensio. (Getty Images)Liverpool are ready to spend €180 million (£158m) to sign Marco Asensio from Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

Jurgen Klopp is in the market to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new season and his side were close to completing a £53m move for Nabil Fekir before pulling out of the deal with Lyon earlier this month.

Marca report that Asensio has been monitored by Liverpool for several years and the club are ready to make their move this summer.

Along with a £158m offer, Marca claim that Liverpool would be prepared to make the 22-year-old one of their highest-paid players at the club.

Real Madrid, who have appointed Julen Lopetegui as their manager to replace Zinedine Zidane, have yet to hold talks with Asensio about his future and will wait until the end of Spain’s World Cup campaign.

Marco Asensio helped guide Real Madrid to victory in the Champions League last season. (Getty Images)Asensio has made just two appearances as a substitute at the World Cup and admitted earlier this week that he is concentrating solely on the tournament.

‘When the World Cup is over, we’ll talk about that sort of thing, now I’m focused on selection,’ Asensio said on Tuesday.

‘I’m glad Julen [Lopetegui] has signed up for Real Madrid [to become manager], after the World Cup we’ll talk things over with him.’

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Mohamed Salah offered to Barcelona with Liverpool star open to move

Mohamed Salah’s agents have offered the Liverpool star to Barcelona. (Getty Images)Mohamed Salah’s representatives have offered the Liverpool forward to Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.

The Egypt international was Liverpool’s star man this season after scoring 44 goals in his first campaign at Anfield.

But according to AS, Salah’s agents have had several meetings with Barcelona and have offered the Spanish champions the chance to sign the 25-year-old this summer.

The report also claims that Barcelona have been made aware that Salah is interested in a move to Camp Nou, while the club are currently working out the potential cost of the transfer.

Salah was signed for an initial £36.9 million fee from Roma last summer, although that figure could rise to £43.9m with add-ons.

Salah scored 44 goals in his first season at Liverpool. (Getty Images)More: Football

The Egyptian would now cost significantly more following his impressive debut season under Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp insisted towards the end of Liverpool’s campaign that he is not even entertaining the prospect of selling Salah this summer.

‘It’s not a situation I would even think about it,’ he said.

Jurgen Klopp insists he is not entertaining the idea of Salah leaving Liverpool. (AMA/Getty Images)Barcelona, meanwhile, are in the market for a new attacker and Salah would be viewed as an alternative signing to Antoine Griezmann.

The France international has a €100m (£88m) buyout clause in his contract with Atletico Madrid and the Spanish club will not accept offers for lower than that figure.

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Barcelona open to selling Luis Suarez if they sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid

Barcelona chiefs are considering selling Luis Suarez. (AFP/Getty Images)Barcelona’s hierarchy have discussed the prospect of selling Luis Suarez this summer, according to reports in Spain.

The newly crowned Spanish champions are expected to complete a deal for Antoine Griezmann this summer by activating the player’s release clause with Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann signed a new contract shortly after his failed move to Manchester United last summer, and a stipulation in that deal will see his release clause halved from €200 million (£175m) to €100m (£87m) from July 1.

And according to Catalunya Radio, if Barcelona complete the signing of Griezmann, Suarez could leave Camp Nou.

The report claims that Barcelona’s board members have already floated the idea of Suarez’s sale, providing they receive a good enough offer.

Barcelona want to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer. (Getty Images)Barcelona paid £65m to sign Suarez from Liverpool nearly four years ago.

And during his time at Camp Nou, the Uruguay international has won 11 trophies, five of which came in his first season.

Speaking about Griezmann last week, Suarez admitted he would welcome the France international’s arrival.

‘It makes the club proud to bring players of this quality like Antoine, like [Ousmane] Dembele and [Philippe] Coutinho came,’ the former Liverpool striker told Spanish station Radio Rincon.

Suarez’s contract with Barcelona expires in 2021. (Getty Images)‘He’s a player who brings a huge amount, he has a lot of years playing at the highest level, always fighting.

‘He rules up front for Atletico and that is fundamental.

‘He is not coming to take the place of anyone, but with the ambition of winning important things.

‘He will be welcomed.’

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