The ULTIMATE return for Ronaldo?
Cristiano Ronaldo has offered his services to former club Real Madrid as he attempts to push through a Manchester United exit. The Sun (via Sport) report that the former Madridista wants to return to the Spanish capital in January and as a replacement for Karim Benzema – who was forced to withdraw from France’s World Cup squad due to a thigh injury. Ronaldo is desperate to leave Old Trafford following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan, but his eye-watering wage demands are said to be a stumbling block for prospective buyers.
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Paper Round’s view: Ronaldo is clearly desperate to leave Manchester United. There is no future for him at the club after that interview… but it’s unclear whether he has had any offers to help facilitate his departure. There are probably questions regarding whether he is worth his salary demands and surrounding his attitude after his shocking interview with Piers Morgan. It’s unlikely Real Madrid will turn to their former player to save their season. It’s unclear how long Benzema will be sidelined, but re-signing Ronaldo probably isn’t the answer to their problems.
How England line up against Iran
England look to be shaping up in a 4-3-3 formation for their opening World Cup group match against Iran. The Mail have revealed the players expected to start for Gareth Southgate in the Three Lions’ opening fixture in Group B. Bukayo Saka has pipped Phil Foden to a starting spot, while Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham are set to partner Declan Rice in midfield. Harry Maguire is backed by his manager despite his struggles for form and minutes this year and will partner John Stones at centre-back.
Paper Round’s view: This will come as good news for England supporters who have been worried for weeks that Southgate would set up with a back five against Iran. It’s an exciting line-up that should start the tournament with a bang. The most exciting thing about the current England squad is the depth. People will always complain that one player is missing from the starting eleven, but there are just so many top-quality stars involved now.
Kane could face suspension due to armband
The Mail report that Harry Kane could end up with a one-match ban if he defies FIFA to wear the OneLove armband at the World Cup. It is being reported that captains could be shown yellow cards if they disobey the rules from FIFA. FA chiefs are currently engaged in conversation with FIFA regarding the rules and are “determined” for Kane to wear the armband in Qatar. If the England captain wears it in both matches and receives bookings for his gesture, he will end up with a suspension for the final group match against Wales.
Paper Round’s view: It’s a bizarre rule if FIFA do choose to implement it. Surely you can’t book a player for taking a stance. Maybe you can fine the nation if they wear it, but we have never seen a booking for something like this before. It will become a huge story if captains are cautioned with yellow cards for wearing the OneLove armband.
Barca lead race for Moukoko
Barcelona are keen on signing Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko next summer as he rapidly approaches the end of his current contract with the German club. The 18-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, despite Dortmund’s desire to renew his contract. Moukoko may be convinced to stay if Dortmund qualify for next season’s Champions League and if an acceptable release clause is put into his contract. If not, Barcelona lead the race for his signature and Sport report that the youngster “would love to play at Camp Nou”.
Paper Round’s view: Next summer could be devastating for Dortmund. It looks like Jude Bellingham will leave and Moukoko could follow the England international out too. Moukoko wants Champions League football and Dortmund are currently sixth in the Bundesliga after 15 matches. Barcelona seem like a strong candidate to win the battle to sign the wonderkid – especially due to Moukoko’s fondness for the Catalan club.
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