Cristiano Ronaldo

The Cristiano Ronaldo career watch will begin … now


Reports out of Spain are rampant that Cristiano Ronaldo, certainly one of the world’s top players, has indicated that he will not sign a new deal with Real Madrid. His current contract runs through 2015.

While Ronaldo won’t be going anywhere soon, Real Madrid will certainly want to make top strategic use of the Portuguese star. Translation: they would be foolish not to maximize profit for a man who could potentially break the all-time transfer fee record.

Assuming Ronaldo is serious about not re-upping for the Spanish giants – that is, assuming this is not just another “sad” period – the most likely move would come this summer, when transfer movement spikes. (“Spikes,” that is, relative to the secondary winter window, when movement tends to be more auxiliary, generally about filling gaps and such.)

He will be 28 years old next summer. Still moody, in all likelihood, but still young enough to be at the top of his game. Perhaps at the very pinnacle, considering that he’s still “young enough to do,” but now “old enough to know,” as they say.

If Madrid waits until the summer of 2014, they could potentially lose Ronaldo with no compensation if he signs a pre-contract to move once his Madrid deal is up.

Expect to see a lot of speculation over two clubs here:

First is Manchester United, where Ronaldo launched his career of fabulous.

And then there’s Paris Saint-Germain, where the well of funds seems bottomless. The speculation is already pedal-to-the-metal that Ronaldo will wind up at Parc des Princes.

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.

Mourinho “working like never before” to turn Chelsea around

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea FC
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Jose Mourinho got the dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.

Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:

“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.

“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”

What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.

[ MORE: Ozil, Coquelin say Arsenal can win the title this season ]

The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.