Cristiano Ronaldo and his old agent Jorge Mendes could be set to part ways with the company, while Chelsea are still looking to plow some serious cash on an aspiring Ukraine international from ESPN’s Arsenal Insider Notebook programme.
Ronaldo’s relationship with the agent is under pressure
Cristiano RonaldoSources told ESPN that his long-term relationship with agent Jorge Mendes is under increasing pressure after his move to Saudi club Al-Nasr.
Mendes, whose other clients include Jose Mourinho, Darwin Nunez And Joao FelixLike Ronaldo throughout his illustrious career, the 37-year-old’s frustrations stemmed from a lack of options when seeking a transfer last summer.
After Manchester United failed to qualify for the Champions League, Mendes met with a string of clubs including Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Sporting CP, but a concrete offer from a major European club failed to materialise. Sources said Chelsea co-owner Todd Boyle had been interested in exploring a deal for Ronaldo, but manager Thomas Tuchel had repeatedly rejected the idea.
Although a move to Saudi Arabia was considered a possibility during the summer transfer window, Ronaldo opted to remain at United in the hope that his fortunes would improve or that a positive appearance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would tempt a European club to make an offer to sign him. However, Ronaldo found himself sidelined by United manager Erik ten Hag, and his contract was eventually terminated by mutual consent in November following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, before being benched by Portugal coach Fernando Santos for both of the two knockout matches in the tournament. world Cup.
Despite Ronaldo becoming a free agent, Mendes was again unable to generate any concrete interest from a side capable of giving the striker a chance to win a sixth Ballon d’Or or a sixth Champions League trophy.
Sources said Ronaldo’s personal manager for nearly 20 years, Ricardo Regoff, was heavily involved in negotiations to sign Al-Nasr. And one of the sources indicated that there is no official agent involved in the deal with Al-Nasr, with speculation that the relationship between Ronaldo and Mendes may end soon.
Sources were unable to confirm speculation of an official split, and Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by ESPN. – James Uley.
Chelsea are still in talks for Modric despite Felix’s arrival
Arsenal hopes to get a clear path to complete a deal for the Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Modric After Felix’s loan move to Chelsea has been shattered, sources tell ESPN that Arsenal’s London rivals are still trying to sign him.
Modric, 22, is Arsenal’s primary target during the January transfer window, but the Premier League leaders failed to make a breakthrough during talks with Shakhtar. The Ukrainian team rejected an initial bid of €65m, and a second, increased bid was also not enough to entice Shakhtar, who are reluctant to pay the €100m fee.
ESPN reported on Jan. 3 that Chelsea have emerged as a contender for Arsenal to sign Modric, with the club holding talks with Darigo Srina, director of football at Shakhtar, in London last week.
But with Chelsea instead shifting their focus to signing Portugal international Felix from Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the season, following an injury. Raheem Sterling And Christian PulisicHowever, it was looking like Arsenal would take center stage in the race for Modric, who is working on his fitness with Shakhtar at their winter training camp in Turkey.
However, sources have told ESPN that talks over a deal for Modric are still ongoing with both Arsenal and Chelsea and that the Felix deal has not changed Chelsea’s determination to sign the Ukraine international. – Mark Ogden.
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How will Modric fit into Arteta’s plans at Arsenal?
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De Gea and Fred are awaiting new Man United contracts
Manchester United in talks with David De Gea About extending his contract, sources told ESPN, but they want the goalkeeper to accept a longer contract on reduced wages.
De Gea, 32, signed a new deal in 2019 worth around £375,000-a-week but United are now reluctant to match that salary. The club has not yet initiated a one-year contract extension for the Spaniard, which is due to expire in June, and would like to agree on a lower salary before committing.
Meanwhile, United are making a midfielder unique Wait before starting new contract talks, sources tell ESPN. The club have launched a one-year option on the Brazilian’s deal, which will keep him at Old Trafford until June 2024. United have done the same with Marcus Rashford And Luke ShawHowever, while negotiations have begun with the English pair in a bid to tie them up on longer contracts, Fred will have to earn a new deal with his performances over the next 18 months.
Fred fell down the pecking order under manager Eric ten Hag and, after being picked for losses to Brighton and Brentford in August, has since started just two Premier League matches. The 29-year-old, who signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018, could face more competition for his place next season as United look to add a world-class midfielder ahead of the summer transfer window. – Rob Dawson.
Barcelona is embarrassed by the entry of Barcelona TV into the strike
Barcelona were in the blush because their TV channel was not covering La Liga matches against Espanyol and Atletico Madrid, as workers went on strike this month.
Station staff are demanding significant improvements to their working conditions and salaries, which have been frozen since 2015. Some workers have even had to dip into their own pockets to pay for flights to cover Barcelona’s away matches, then wait months. Money to be paid.
Barcelona pays third-party Telefonica around €7m a year to operate the channel, with the Catalan government acting as a go-between in talks between the Spanish telecoms giant and Barca TV employees. However, no satisfactory agreement has yet been reached, and further action has not been ruled out before further talks on Friday.
The contract with Telefonica expires this summer, and it has been suggested that Barcelona bring the station home under a tranche of Barca Studios, which the club sold a large part of last summer to fund €150m in new signings in the transfer market. Just under 50% of the production company – which now also focuses on digital projects, NFT and Web.3 – was bought by Socios.com and Orpheus Media for a total of €200 million. – Sam Marsden.
Atletico close to Soyunko and striker number 9
Atletico Madrid are looking to bolster their squad during the January transfer window by signing Leicester City’s centre-back Caglar SoyonkoAs well as striker number 9 to cover the departure of Joao Felix and Mathews Cunhasources told ESPN.
LaLiga have already agreed 26-year-old Soyunko on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer, but sources said Atletico would now like to delay his arrival by paying a minimum fee to Leicester in the January window.
The Turkey international has made just one Premier League appearance this season – having been a regular starter for Leicester in his previous three campaigns – as manager Brendan Rodgers preferred a partnership with Leicester. Wout fails And Daniel Amartey in recent weeks.
Atlético would like to switch to an error-prone defender Felipe to make room for Soyunko, but the Brazilian has so far proved reluctant to leave.
Coach Diego Simeone also wants to bring in a striker to compete for a place in the squad Alvaro Morataafter Cunha moved to Wolverhampton and Joao Felix joined Chelsea on loan, they have intensified their interest in Barcelona. Memphis Depay. – Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Weiz.