Everyone wants a piece of Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian teenager has taken Europe by storm this season. First with Salzburg and now with Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland's exploits have reportedly alerted Real Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID MAKE CONTACT FOR HAALAND

Real Madrid have held talks with Borussia Dortmund over the signing of star striker Erling Haaland, according to Radio Marca.

Haaland has enjoyed a record-breaking start to life at Bundesliga outfit Dortmund after arriving from Salzburg in January, having turned down Manchester United.

But the 19-year-old's time with Dortmund could be brief as LaLiga giants Madrid reportedly circle amid their goalscoring woes.

 

ROUND-UP

- La Gazzetta Dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira claims Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. With veteran centre-back Thiago Silva out of contract at the end of the season and facing an uncertain future, Ligue 1 champions PSG are set to turn to Koulibaly, who has been linked to the likes of United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham. Napoli are reportedly set to demand at least €100-110million.

Madrid are also reportedly interested in Koulibaly, while El Desmarque says Zinedine Zidane is tracking Inter defender Milan Skriniar.

Tottenham are monitoring Manchester United defender and Roma loanee Chris Smalling, reports Calciomercato. Roma want to sign Smalling permanently.

- According to Football Insider, City have identified Everton defender Mason Holgate as a primary transfer target. Pep Guardiola is determined to bolster his defensive options after an injury-plagued season.

- Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is wanted by LaLiga champions Barcelona but Madrid are ready to go head-to-head with their rivals for the Argentina star, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Milan are eyeing a move for Udinese star Rodrigo De Paul at season's end, reports Schira.

Vinicius Junior believes decisions always go against Real Madrid after their 2-1 Champions League loss to Manchester City.

Madrid were stunned in the last-16 first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday as Kevin De Bruyne's 83rd-minute penalty earned City a come-from-behind win.

Gabriel Jesus cancelled out Isco's opener, although Madrid complained about a push from the City forward on Sergio Ramos, who was later sent off for a foul on the Brazilian.

Vinicius lamented the decision not to penalise Jesus for a foul on Ramos for the equaliser.

"The whole stadium saw Gabriel Jesus push Ramos. He did the same as me with [Riyad] Mahrez in the first half," he said.

"They give us bad calls. We are the team with the most Champions Leagues and it will always be that way.

"It has been a very clear foul and I don't understand why he hasn't called it."

Madrid had appeared in control courtesy of Isco's opener on the hour-mark, only to collapse late.

But Vinicius remains confident in his side's ability to turn the tie around in Manchester on March 17.

"We've got to keep cool, we're going to win there and pull off the comeback," he said.

"We lacked focus in that final 15-minute period and that's why they got the two goals. We have to improve.

"We know that the return leg will be tough, but we'll pull off the comeback."

Zinedine Zidane lamented Real Madrid's loss of concentration against Manchester City but insisted the Champions League last-16 tie is far from over following a 2-1 defeat.

Madrid collapsed at home to Pep Guardiola's City, who scored twice in five minutes late in the second half to snatch the momentum after the opening leg on Wednesday.

Winners of four of the past six Champions League titles, LaLiga giants Madrid earned a 1-0 lead courtesy of Isco on the hour-mark at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Madrid saw their advantage crumble away as Gabriel Jesus headed in a 78th-minute equaliser before Kevin De Bruyne completed the comeback via the penalty spot five minutes later, with Sergio Ramos' late red card compounding Zidane's woes.

"We're gutted to have lost, but we know the tie is over 180 minute and no matter what happens that's the way it is," head coach Zidane told reporters. "Even if we'd won. We did the hard work scoring, and then in 10 minutes they scored two."

Madrid captain Ramos will miss the return leg in Manchester after bringing down Jesus with four minutes remaining and Zidane said: "That's football. We can't change it. We need to focus on the positives.

"In a result like that there aren't many positive things, we played well but for the last 10 or 15 minutes. Now we need to go there and win if we want to go through."

"They are mistakes and you pay when you make mistakes," Zidane continued. "That's it. But mistakes are a part of football and that's the way it is.

"We gave everything on the pitch, we lacked 10 minutes of concentration more. It was a very physical, even game and at the end we paid for it."

Madrid, who have only won one of their past five fixtures across all competitions, will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face City on March 17.

Pep Guardiola says there is not a striker in world football who has as much intensity off the ball as Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian played a starring role in Wednesday's win over Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old was chosen ahead of Sergio Aguero for the Champions League last-16 first leg and repaid his manager's faith with a fine display.

Isco's opener on the hour looked handed Madrid the advantage in the tie, but Jesus – starting on the left flank alongside a more central Kevin De Bruyne – pulled City level.

Belgium international De Bruyne then sealed a memorable win from the penalty spot.  

Guardiola was fulsome in his praise of Jesus afterwards, telling a media conference: "There is not one striker in the world who has the intensity without the ball like Gabriel.

"He is a guy who makes incredible runs in behind. He is not an especially good player when he receives the ball to the front, but when he starts from the side to make diagonal runs, he is so fast, so good.

"We decided to play without a proper striker because of the way Madrid defend. They defend a special way. They are so aggressive, man-to-man at the goal-kicks, so high and when this happens you have to make the pitch wide.

"If you don't it's so difficult to put balls in front of Sergio Ramos, [Raphael] Varane, [Luka] Modric and [Federico] Valverde.

"We want to put the balls in diagonals to the wingers as quickly as possible and in the first minutes we suffered but after 15 minutes we got [Ilkay] Gundogan and Rodri involved and more fluidity with that."

Guardiola insists the tie is far from over, though, and says Madrid's rich history in the competition means they are more than capable of turning things around in Manchester on March 17.

"Now, I am pretty sure Zidane and his people will look at what I have done and the second game will be different," he added.

"Today we're happy but the second leg will be close. I'm not worried but still it is not over and if there's one team in the world which can overcome it, with their history, it is Real Madrid.

"Hopefully we can put in a good performance and go through."

Casemiro pinpointed a drop in intensity as the reason for Real Madrid's 2-1 Champions League loss to Manchester City – but remains confident they can still overturn the first-leg deficit.

Madrid appeared on course to take an advantage to the Etihad Stadium when Isco put them ahead on the hour mark at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

However, Gabriel Jesus' header levelled matters for City before Kevin De Bruyne completed the turnaround from the penalty spot.

Sergio Ramos was sent off four minutes from the end of normal time, meaning Madrid will be without their captain for a return leg on March 17 in which they will need to score at least twice to progress.

Midfielder Casemiro is optimistic Madrid can still achieve that difficult task, having pinpointed exactly where they went wrong on home turf.

"The explanation is obvious," he told Movistar

"We did 75 minutes really well and then we didn't have any intensity, we lost control of the game, we sat back and they are a great rival, they attacked twice and scored.

"There's no excuse. At the weekend we've got a tough game against Barcelona. We need to start thinking about that."

On the second leg, he added: "If there's one team capable to turning this around it's Real Madrid.

"But I think what's important is that we played really well for 75 minutes, against a great side, and for 15 minutes we didn't do what we had to. And they came back to win.

"It's not over, but there's a lot of work ahead."

Pep Guardiola joked Manchester City's tactics would not be getting praised if they had not won after his side came from behind to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League.

City had the better of a fast-paced first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, yet Isco's opener on the hour looked set to be handing Madrid the advantage in their last-16 tie.

However, a tactical tweak from Guardiola – who started Kevin De Bruyne in an advanced role and Gabriel Jesus on the left – saw Raheem Sterling enter the fray and spark a late revival.

Sterling's introduction gave De Bruyne license to roam, with the playmaker setting up Jesus' equaliser before the Belgian slotted in a winning penalty with seven minutes remaining.

Sergio Ramos saw red for Madrid as their capitulation worsened, with City holding firm to take a lead back to Manchester for the second leg on March 17.

"Only because we won, it doesn't count if not," Guardiola told BT Sport when asked if it was a perfect gameplan.

"The important thing is the way we played. We came here to win the game and we did it in this stadium, it's just the first part.

"If one team can overcome this situation, it will be [Real Madrid]. Of course, it's a good result.

"I am so proud, but it is just the first part. We have another game, so it is not over. It will be so hard. But be calm, enjoy the moment.

"On Sunday we have [the EFL Cup] final and then keep going in the Premier League and prepare the second game against Madrid."

City missed several chances prior to Isco's opener, which came from a mix-up between Nicolas Otamendi and Rodri, while Kyle Walker also failed to cover himself in glory, and Guardiola acknowledged his team are still prone to too many lapses.

"We were the better side and we conceded a goal that we should not have conceded and then, when Madrid were better, we scored. But that is competition, that is football," he added.

"I remember two seasons ago in the quarter-finals at Anfield we played incredibly well, but [Liverpool] had three shots on target and scored three goals.

"Against Tottenham [last season] we showed incredible personality as well, but we have to improve, we cannot gift them the goal we conceded, but it's part of the game and in the future we will grow."

De Bruyne's winner was his 50th goal in all competitions for City, and the 28-year-old said he and his team-mates are now getting used to Guardiola's tactical tinkering.

"I think in the four years [under Pep] there has always been surprises," De Bruyne told BT Sport.

"We don't sometimes really know until the game starts what we need to do. Some moments were good, we had some lesser moments but in a quality game like this you're going to struggle sometimes, but we fought really well together."

The tension was palpable as Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to take his penalty at the Santiago Bernabeu.

No doubt Manchester City's issues from the spot were going through the Belgian's mind – he had even been asked about the apparent problem after Sergio Aguero's miss against Leicester City was their fourth successive spot-kick failure.

But there needn't have been any worries in the heads of City fans, players or coaching staff. De Bruyne coolly slotted to his left, calmly placing his kick right into the bottom corner with the kind of assuredness we have come to expect from the midfield dynamo.

It was a just reward for an exceptional display from De Bruyne, who was the driving force behind much of City's best moves, laying on an unmatched four key passes.

Understandably De Bruyne will take many of the plaudits following City's impressive 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Gabriel Jesus more than played his part with a selfless, yet similarly crucial role.

The Brazilian was picked ahead of City's all-time leading scorer, Aguero, causing many-an-eyebrow to raise pre-match and concerning some fans after Thomas Muller's recent suggestion Pep Guardiola overthinks his selections ahead of the biggest games.

When asked if it was a reward for scoring the winner against Leicester after replacing Aguero from the bench late on, Guardiola denied it but kept his cards close to his chest.

Although initially appearing to be lining up as a lone frontman, Jesus started the contest from the left and worked tirelessly on the flank, tracking back but also proving a lively presence in attack.

The 22-year-old ended up with four shots – no one on the pitch had more – despite being asked to play such a role, one akin to the job Wayne Rooney was often tasked with performing for Manchester United on the biggest occasions.

Jesus' locale on the left actually led to him carving out the first chance of the match as he darted into the box from his wide position, cut inside Sergio Ramos and shot at Thibaut Courtois.

On this occasion the finish didn't quite live up to the build-up play.

Playing from the left is by no means a new phenomenon for Jesus, having done so on many occasions as a youngster with Palmeiras and Brazil's youth teams.

But performing such a role in the Champions League, away to Real Madrid, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Jesus' work ethic was highlighted by the fact no one on the pitch engaged in more duels (14) than him. Eight players were involved in 10 or more, but none came out on top more often than the City forward (57 per cent).

He also completed two tackles, a figure bettered by no one, and two interceptions – only three players made more.

But to only focus on that side of Jesus' performance would be doing him a huge disservice.

De Bruyne was the single player to produce more than Jesus' three key passes, while he was there in the right place at the right time to score City's equaliser.

Peeling away from Ramos and cheekily giving him a slight nudge to maximise the space, Jesus headed De Bruyne's 78th-minute delivery into the ground and the bounce helped in deceiving Courtois as the Brazilian made light of the cross' lack of pace.

He might have got himself a second goal as he darted in behind Ramos four minutes from time, but he at least succeeded in luring the Spanish centre-back into earning the 26th red card of his professional career.

Guardiola made a bold move in selecting Jesus ahead of the ever-reliable Aguero, but the Argentinian could never have produced a comparable display in such a role.

Jesus more than justified Guardiola's faith – his industriousness and work ethic effectively inspiring one of the most famous results in City's history.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola surpassed Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti for the most wins by a manager in the Champions League knockout stage.

Guardiola's side came from behind to stun Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

A two-time Champions League winner while at the helm of Barcelona, Guardiola made history courtesy of City's victory.

It was his 28th win in the Champions League knockout stage, moving him past Ferguson, Mourinho and Ancelotti, who all have 27.

Guardiola also became the manager with the most wins (10) against Madrid in all competitions in the 21st century, surpassing Ernesto Valverde and Diego Simeone.

Sergio Ramos was shown the 26th red card of his career as the Real Madrid captain equalled a Champions League record in the loss to Manchester City.

Ramos was sent off late in the 2-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu after bringing down Gabriel Jesus on the edge of the area on Wednesday.

Incredibly, it was the 26th red card of Ramos' illustrious career and also his fourth in the Champions League.

Ramos joined Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edgar Davids on a record four red cards in the Champions League.

The 33-year-old will miss the second leg of the last-16 tie, which City lead after Jesus cancelled out Isco's opener and Kevin De Bruyne converted an 83rd-minute penalty.

Manchester City completed a stunning comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu as Kevin De Bruyne's penalty secured a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Despite being the better side for much of a frenetic encounter in Spain, City – who lost Aymeric Laporte to injury in the first half – looked set to be heading for a defeat when Isco put Madrid ahead on the hour.

But De Bruyne, a peripheral figure in the first half, led the fightback, supplying the cross from which Gabriel Jesus headed home an equaliser before coolly slotting in from 12 yards after Dani Carvajal had brought down substitute Raheem Sterling.

And Madrid's frustrations were compounded with four minutes remaining, captain Sergio Ramos seeing red for a last-man challenge on Jesus as City secured a lead to take back to Manchester.

Aymeric Laporte's injury woes continued as the Manchester City defender hobbled off midway through the first half of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

Laporte, who has missed the majority of the season with a serious knee injury sustained in August, only returned to action on January 21 against Sheffield United.

The 25-year-old suffered a knock in that match which kept him out until February 19, though he had started in City's previous two Premier League matches before their trip to Santiago Bernabeu.

However, Laporte lasted just 33 minutes in Madrid, with the centre-back unable to continue after sustaining an injury during a collision with Karim Benzema in City's area, and Pep Guardiola could now be without the former Athletic Bilbao man for another extended period.

He was replaced by Fernandinho, who has filled in as a defender for much of the campaign.

City face Aston Villa in the EFL Cup final on Sunday, before travelling to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup.

Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have been named on the bench by Pep Guardiola for the first leg of Manchester City's Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid.

Sterling has missed the majority of February due to a thigh strain, but Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday the 25-year-old – who has five Champions League goals to his name this season – would be fit to return at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The England forward has only been deemed fit enough to take a place among the substitutes however, and he is joined on the bench by City's leading scorer, Aguero.

Gabriel Jesus, who replaced Aguero and scored the winning goal against Leicester City on Saturday, starts up front in one of two changes to City's team – the Brazil international has scored four goals in five Champions League games this term.

Jesus' compatriot Fernandinho is a surprise omission, with Nicolas Otamendi partnering Aymeric Laporte at the back.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, has made three alterations to his side following a 1-0 defeat at Levante last time out.

Toni Kroos is replaced by Federico Valverde in midfield, while Ferland Mendy is in for Marcelo at left-back and the injured Eden Hazard makes way for Vinicius Junior, who is preferred to Gareth Bale.

Karim Benzema leads Madrid's line and will become the sixth player to make 100 Champions League appearances for the club, with Sergio Ramos making a record 124th start.

Manchester City have formally appealed against their two-season ban from UEFA competitions, the Court of Arbitration has confirmed.

City were fined £25million by European football's governing body on February 14 as well as being barred from the Champions League and the Europa League for the next two seasons, on account of "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations between 2012-16.

The Premier League champions had already stated their intention to appeal and confirmation that it had been lodged with CAS arrived on Wednesday.

A CAS statement read: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City Football Club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

"The appeal is directed against the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which Manchester City was deemed to have contravened UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from the next two seasons of UEFA club competitions for which the club would qualify and ordered to pay a fine of EUR 30 million (£25m)."

The ramifications of a delayed verdict could be widespread with Premier League clubs currently fighting to play in either the Champions League or Europa League in 2020-21 potentially heading into the close season uncertain as to whether they have qualified.

CAS, however, were unable to give any timeframe on when a decision will be reached.

The statement continued: "Generally speaking, CAS appeal arbitration procedures involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a Panel of CAS arbitrators is being convened.

"Once the Panel has been formally constituted it issues procedural directions, including, inter alia, with respect to the holding of a hearing. Following the hearing, the Panel deliberates and then issues its decision in the form of an Arbitral Award.

"It is not possible to indicate at this time when a final award in this matter will be issued."

City boss Pep Guardiola has already stated his intention to remain at the Etihad Stadium irrespective of the outcome while financial experts believe a two-season absence from the Champions League could cost the club in the region of £250m in lost revenue.

 

Manchester City have formally appealed against their two-season ban from UEFA competitions, the Court of Arbitration has confirmed.

City were fined £25million by European football's governing body on February 14 as well as being barred from the Champions League and the Europa League for the next two seasons, on account of "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations between 2012-16.

The Premier League champions had already stated their intention to appeal and confirmation that it had been lodged with CAS arrived on Wednesday.

A CAS statement read: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City Football Club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

"The appeal is directed against the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which Manchester City was deemed to have contravened UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from the next two seasons of UEFA club competitions for which the club would qualify and ordered to pay a fine of EUR 30 million (£25m)."

The ramifications of a delayed verdict could be widespread with Premier League clubs currently fighting to play in either the Champions League or Europa League in 2020-21 potentially heading into the close season uncertain as to whether they have qualified.

CAS, however, were unable to give any timeframe on when a decision will be reached.

The statement continued: "Generally speaking, CAS appeal arbitration procedures involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a Panel of CAS arbitrators is being convened.

"Once the Panel has been formally constituted it issues procedural directions, including, inter alia, with respect to the holding of a hearing. Following the hearing, the Panel deliberates and then issues its decision in the form of an Arbitral Award.

"It is not possible to indicate at this time when a final award in this matter will be issued."

City boss Pep Guardiola has already stated his intention to remain at the Etihad Stadium irrespective of the outcome while financial experts believe a two-season absence from the Champions League could cost the club in the region of £250m in lost revenue.

 

Two titans collide in the Champions League on Wednesday when Real Madrid host Manchester City, while Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to continue his remarkable goal-scoring record in the knockout phase.

Ronaldo has come a long way since the days critics suggested he did not perform in the biggest matches, as he now boasts an astonishing record in the latter stages of Europe's elite competition.

He will fancy his chances of being decisive yet again in this tie, with Juve firm favourites against Lyon.

Nevertheless, most eyes will be on the Santiago Bernabeu, as Pep Guardiola takes City to the setting of some of his most chaotic matches as a coach, having previously been in charge of Barcelona.

Ahead of those two matches, we take a look at the key data below.

Real Madrid v Manchester City

4 - Madrid have prevailed in their previous four Champions League knockout ties against English opposition: 5-0 on aggregate v Tottenham (2010-11 quarter-finals), 3-2 v Manchester United (2012-13 last 16), 1-0 v Manchester City (2015-16 semi-finals), 3-1 v Liverpool (2017-18 final).

23 - Los Blancos are into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 23rd consecutive season, the longest run in the history of the tournament and a streak that began in 1997-98.

22 - Madrid have scored in each of their previous 22 home games in the knockout stages of the Champions League; the last team to stop them from scoring were Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in the 2010-11 semi-finals (0-2). However, they have failed to win their past three knockout matches at the Santiago Bernabeu (D1 L2); Madrid have never gone four matches in a row without a victory.

3 - City boss Guardiola is facing Madrid in a Champions League knockout tie for the third time, with a third different club – he won 3-1 on aggregate with Barcelona in the 2010-11 semi-finals and he lost 5-0 on aggregate with Bayern in the 2013-14 semi-finals.

10 - Sterling has scored 10 goals in his previous 13 Champions League appearances, one more goal than in the 34 matches in this competition (nine) prior to that run. Only Lionel Messi (six) and Ronaldo (five) scored more times than Sterling in last season's knockout stages (four).

Lyon v Juventus

11 - Lyon have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League more times than any other French club (11). However, it has been 10 years since they progressed past the round of 16 (2009-10). They have scored only three goals in their previous nine knockout games in this competition (W1 D2 L6).

6 - Juve are in the Champions League knockout stages for the sixth straight season, their longest ever run. In the past five campaigns, they have made it past the last 16 on four occasions, only failing to do so in 2015-16 when they were eliminated by Bayern Munich (4-6 on aggregate).

2 - Lyon won two of their six group games (D2 L2), the lowest tally alongside Atalanta among the remaining 16 teams.

45 - Memphis Depay (six goals, four assists) has been directly involved in 45 per cent of Lyon's Champions League goals since the start of last season (10/22), however they will be without the Dutch forward for this match due to injury.

65 - Among the seven players with 50+ goals in the Champions League, Juve striker Ronaldo is the only one to have scored more goals in the knockout stages (65) than in the group phase (63). He has also registered more assists in the competition against Lyon (four) than any other side.

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