Rumour Has It: Real Madrid plot move for Liverpool's Salah

By Sports Desk July 16, 2021

Real Madrid's desire to sign a new forward is not a secret.

The Spanish giants missed out on silverware in 2020-21, much to their dismay.

Carlo Ancelotti has replaced Zinedine Zidane as head coach with big expectations.

 

TOP STORY - MADRID TARGET SALAH IF MBAPPE FAILS

Ancelotti has told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez he wants to sign Liverpool's Mohamed Salah , reports Fichajes.

The Italian believes Los Blancos needs another forward, with Salah seen as his back-up plan if they fail to land Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

Madrid's financial situation is complicated, with the club not making any major signings in 2020-21 amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but they appear determined to land a major forward this off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

- 90min reports that Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has emerged as a target for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, having caught Diego Simeone's eye during his loan spell at West Ham United.

- Chelsea have shopped around striker Tammy Abraham and Arsenal are interested, according to The Telegraph.

- The Athletic believes Tottenham may make a move for Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini, although he has a £26m (€30m) release clause.

-  Poor relations between Spurs and Southampton, stemming from 2020's Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg deal, may scupper a proposed move for Danny Ings, according to Standard Sport.

- Newly promoted Brentford are set to splash a club record transfer fee of £13.5m to land Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, claims The Telegraph.

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    Nuno Espirito Santo is unsure if Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn will be available for Tottenham's Premier League clash with Chelsea after limping off in the 2-2 draw with Rennes on Thursday.

    Tottenham hit back through Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg's deft finish to claim a point in their opening Europa Conference League group match after Flavien Tait and Gaetan Laborde had struck to cancel out an early Loic Bade own goal.

    The draw at Roazhon Park came at a cost for Nuno, however, as Bergwijn hobbled off in the first half with an ankle problem and Lucas was replaced before the hour after being caught by a strong challenge from Tait.

    Spurs are already without Son Heung-min due to an injury sustained on international duty last week, while Eric Dier is also sidelined and a trio of South American players – Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez – are in quarantine.

    With a huge home match against London rivals Chelsea up next in three days' time, Nuno has been left to rue his side's growing list of absentees. 

    "It's been terrible, I must be honest," he said at his post-match news conference. "Let's not hide behind anything.  After the Watford game, everything that has happened has not been very good for us. 

    "But this is football. And we know it’s a moment we have to overcome. Today, we tried to show the players solutions, thinking about the game on Sunday. But it's about overcoming obstacles. That will make us stronger for the future, for sure."

    Asked if either of the pair will be ready to take on Chelsea, Nuno said: "It's too early to say. The physios are working with them." 

    Star striker Harry Kane played just under an hour of the Rennes match and had only one shot in total – albeit an improvement on the zero attempts and zero touches in the opposition box managed against Crystal Palace last Saturday.

    Kane was one of four players to retain his place in the side from that 3-0 loss at Selhurst Park as Spurs battled to a share of the spoils in their Group G opener at a raucous Roazhon Park.

    Tottenham took the lead when Bade turned Lucas' cross into his own net, but Tait curled an impressive equaliser past Pierluigi Gollini and the Spurs keeper could only push Kamaldeen Sulemana's shot into the path of Laborde for Rennes' second.

    Substitute Hojbjerg rescued a point, however, and Nuno was pleased with the overall display to take a point back to north London in what was his side's toughest fixture on paper, with Vitesse and Slovenian side Mura also in the pool.

    "We scored then we lost control," Nuno said. "We played a good team who caused some problems. It is hard to judge the game, but I think we finished well against a hard team to play against. 

    "But the attitude was good and with a lot of players playing out of position it is hard to properly judge."

  • Rennes 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs lose Lucas and Bergwijn to injury in Europa Conference League opener Rennes 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs lose Lucas and Bergwijn to injury in Europa Conference League opener

    Tottenham lost Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn to injury as they played out a 2-2 draw with Ligue 1 side Rennes in Thursday's opening Europa Conference League match.

    Lucas played a big part in Tottenham's opener, which was credited as a Loic Bade own goal, before having to make way following a poor challenge from Flavien Tait.

    It was Tait who had earlier equalised for Rennes with a curled finish at an atmospheric Roazhon Park, shortly before Bergwijn was withdrawn with an apparent ankle issue.

    Gaetan Laborde completed the turnaround 19 minutes from time, only for substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to quickly hit back and earn Spurs a point in the Group G clash.

    Tanguy Ndombele was brought into the Tottenham side for his first appearance under Nuno Espirito Santo and played a huge part in the opening goal with 11 minutes played.

    The Frenchman kept the ball in play with a fancy backheeled pass in a swift move that culminated in Lucas' attempted cross hitting Bade's boot and wrong-footing Romain Salin.

    Serhou Guirassy then had a shot saved by Pierluigi Gollini but exchanged passes with Tait soon after for his team-mate to curl one into the bottom-right corner for the equaliser.

    That ended Rennes' 212-minute wait for a goal and the hosts spurned a big chance to edge in front before half-time when Kamaldeen Sulemana headed wide from close range.

    The second half had a disrupted feel to it following a number of fouls, one of which led to Lucas' injury, with the Spurs attacker unable to run off the damage.

    That all changed when Laborde converted a rebound after Gollini pushed Sulemana's shot into his path, but it took Nuno's side just five minutes to respond through Hojbjerg's poked finish from close range to ensure the points were shared.

  • Real Betis 4-3 Celtic: Bhoys beaten after stunning start in Seville Real Betis 4-3 Celtic: Bhoys beaten after stunning start in Seville

    Celtic suffered a 4-3 Europa League defeat at Real Betis after an impressive opening half an hour had Ange Postecoglu's men two up in Seville.

    A tricky first Group G fixture for the Bhoys initially went entirely to plan as Albian Ajeti broke the deadlock and Josip Juranovic's penalty doubled their lead.

    But Betis' class told as Juan Miranda and Juanmi netted in quick succession before half-time, a feat the hosts repeated after the break.

    Borja Iglesias and a second for Juanmi did the damage for Betis, with Anthony Ralston's late header not enough to ignite an unlikely Celtic fightback as a trip that promised so much ended in disappointment, although their sublime start suggested they could yet have a major part to play in a tough group.

    Ajeti, signed by Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham, was influential against his former coach, turning in Jota's cross – the goal awarded after a lengthy VAR review, having initially been ruled out for handball – and then winning a penalty from Claudio Bravo, which Juranovic dispatched.

    Joe Hart, who also played for Pellegrini and was replaced by Bravo at Manchester City, made two strong stops between those goals, but he was eventually beaten after 32 minutes.

    Moments after a deflected drive struck the post, Miranda burst into the Celtic box to stab past Hart, and the visitors' lead was wiped out completely just 156 seconds later when Joaquin's delicate pass set Iglesias clear to square for Juanmi in front of an open goal.

    Betis needed only five minutes of the second half to complete the turnaround, Iglesias meeting Sergio Canales' low left-wing cross with a smart flick.

    Again, one goal followed another, with Juanmi controlling on his chest in the area following a corner and firing beyond the rooted Hart.

    Tomas Rogic thundered against the foot of the post before Ralston nodded in David Turnbull's free-kick to set up a grandstand finish, but Betis held on.

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