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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Giroud to Dortmund; Nainggolan to Chelsea, Man United

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Olivier Giroud has admitted he is unsure if he will be an Arsenal player next season and the vultures already appear to be circling.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Daily Mirror reports that up to five clubs want to sign the 30-year-old striker, with Borussia Dortmund the latest to express their interest.

Are Dortmund preparing for the exit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Let’s wait and see, but there’s no doubt that Giroud would be a hit in the Bundesliga with his phsyical play and aerial ability perfect for a team like Dortmund who love to get the ball wide early and often, then cause havoc with crosses into the box.

Per the report Everton, West Ham, AC Milan and Marseille are all interested in signing Giroud who has been pushed further down the pecking order at Arsenal after the arrival of club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette for $64.1 million. Ironically Giroud starts ahead of Lacazette for the French national team, but it appears that won’t be the case at Arsenal.

Giroud and Lacazette both came on as second half subs in Arsenal’s 2-0 friendly win against Sydney FC in Australia on Thursday, with Lacazette scoring on his Gunners debut.

It appears increasingly likely that Giroud will be playing elsewhere this season as his five-year stay at Arsenal is coming to an end. He’s won three FA Cups and scored 98 goals in 226 games in all competitions for the Gunners but with his role a bit-part one last season, he can expect more of the same and that’s not what he needs in a World Cup year.


Radja Nainggolan could become the new Romelu Lukaku. Confused?

The Daily Mail reports that Manchester United and Chelsea are set to tussle for Nainggolan in the same way they battled it out for Lukaku and we all know how that ended up. Ah. The penny has dropped.

Nainggolan has been a long-time target for plenty of Premier League clubs and it appears United may make a move for the Belgian international with Tiemoue Bakayoko heading to Chelsea and reports stating the Blues are unwilling to sell Nemanja Matic to United and their former boss Jose Mourinho.

Reports also state that United also want to sign Eric Dier from Tottenham Hotspur, but with Spurs seemingly not keen to do that deal United may turn to 29-year-old Nainggolan.

A true terrier, the man with the blonde Mohawk has been a sensation for Roma since joining in 2014 but it is believed new Sporting Director Monchi may be willing to let him leave. Imagine Nainggolan and Ander Herrera snapping into tackles in United’s engine room? Very Mourinho-esque.

Per the report, Antonio Conte is a big fan of Nainggolan and is willing to add him along with Bakayoko as Chelsea’s boss wants more protection for his defense from his midfielders. All of this sets up an intriguing few weeks in the window as United and Chelsea continue to battle it out for the same players.

Ronaldo: “Usually players of my age go to Qatar or China”

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TURIN, Italy (AP) — At the age of 33, many football players are past their peak. Cristiano Ronaldo vows to show he is not one of them.

[ VIDEO: Juventus unveil Cristiano Ronaldo ]

Juventus signed Ronaldo from Real Madrid last week for $131.5 million — an Italian league record sum — and the world player of the year penned a four-year contract.

Some see it as an extravagant sum for a player who, although a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, is entering the latter stages of a glittering career.

At his first news conference as a Juventus player on Monday, Ronaldo insisted he was motivated by a new challenge and keen to step out of his comfort zone after nine years at Madrid.

“With all due respect, usually players of my age go to Qatar or China, so coming to such an outstanding club at this stage in my career makes me very happy,” he said.

“I’m different from all the other players who think their career is over at my age. I want to show that I’m not like the others, I’m different. It’s an emotional moment for me because I’m not 23, I’m 33.

[ MORE: Hazard hints at Chelsea exit, has “preferred destination” in mind ]

“I’m not here on holiday,” he added. “I want to mark the history of Juventus. I hope I can surprise everyone one last time and I’m very, very confident.”

Ronaldo has always been credited with a phenomenal workrate, and he has promised to continue that at Juventus in order to prolong his longevity.

The Portugal forward moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009, and became the Spanish club’s all-time leading scorer with 451 in 438 matches. He helped Madrid win four Champions Leagues — beating Juventus in the final in 2017 — and also won La Liga and the Copa del Rey twice each.

Ronaldo, who also led Portugal to the European Championship in 2016, also won the Champions League at Manchester United as well as three Premier Leagues and the FA Cup.

He expects his winning ways to continue at the Serie A champion.

“It will be tough, I know that,” Ronaldo said. “The league is very tough but Juve is ready and I will be ready. The age is not important. I feel good, I feel motivated. I will try to do my best like always. I’m looking forward to starting the league well and to try to win every title.”

[ MORE: Courtois to join Hazard in Chelsea exit? ]

On his arrival at Allianz Stadium for his medical on Monday, Ronaldo was greeted by hundreds of fans, who chanted his name and “Portaci la Champions” (“Bring us the Champions League trophy”).

Juventus hasn’t won the Champions League since 1996. It has been on the losing side in the final five times since then, including twice in the past four editions.

Juventus has won the Serie A for the last seven seasons — and done the league and Italian Cup double for the past four — but has struggled to transfer its domestic supremacy to the European stage.

Ronaldo has won the Champions League four times in the past five seasons. He has a record 120 Champions League goals, 105 of them at Madrid, 12 more than Juventus as a team managed in that same period.

“Juventus has been one step away from it and couldn’t win,” Ronaldo said. “I hope I can be the lucky charm.”

VIDEO: Top 10 goals in 2018 World Cup

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Missing the 2018 World Cup already? Yeah, me too.

But it’s okay, only 1,588 days until the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar kicks off…

[ MORE: Review of 2018 World Cup ]

With that in mind, now seems like the best time to go back through the 169 goals scored at the World Cup this summer and pick out the top 10.

It was ridiculously hard to do that given the extreme quality of strikes, but here it goes as you can watch the top goals in the videos below.

Enjoy.


Nacho: Portugal v Spain, June 15, 2018


Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal v Spain, June 15, 2018


Toni Kroos: Germany v Sweden, June 23, 2018


Jesse Lingard: England v Panama, June 24, 2018


Ricardo Quaresma: Iran v Portugal, June 25, 2018


Lionel Messi: Nigeria v Argentina, June 26, 2018


Angel di Maria: France v Argentina, June 30, 2018


Benjamin Pavard: France v Argentina, June 30, 2018


Kevin De Bruyne: Brazil v Belgium, July 6, 2018

Denis Cheyshev: Russia v Croatia, July 7, 2018

The 2 Robbies Podcast: 2018 World Cup final review

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In the final instalment of The 2 Robbies podcast during the 2018 World Cup, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe break down an intriguing World Cup final.

With France victorious over Croatia, it was anything but a straightforward win for Les Bleus despite the 4-2 scoreline suggesting so.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ] 

Listen to the pod in full below as the lads analyze the key themes from a drama packed final in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

https://art19.com/shows/the-2-robbies/episodes/10ae6a3c-01c4-4929-af62-63b730c84b49

Alexis Sanchez to miss start of Man United’s US tour

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Alexis Sanchez did not fly out to the United States of America with Manchester United on Sunday.

[ MORE: Review of 2018 World Cup

The Chilean star, 29, may end up linking up with the Red Devils further down the line but he will miss the first chunk of their 15-day tour Stateside as Jose Mourinho’s men return to the U.S. after a hugely successful batch of summer games and training camps in LA last year.

Manchester United released a statement via a spokesman which read: “Alexis Sanchez did not travel due to a personal administrative issue.”

Speculation suggests that Sanchez was unable to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. after he accepted a 16-month suspended jail sentence in Spain after being found guilty of tax evasion with regards to a $1.17 million image rights issue.

It is believed that Sanchez and his agents are working on trying to secure a visa waiver but the process is taking longer than expected.

The former Barcelona and Arsenal star last played in the USA in the summer of 2016 as he starred for Chile who won the Copa America Centenario by beating Argentina in the final at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

United have a busy preseason schedule coming up as they play against Club America in Phoenix on Thursday, then against the San Jose Earthquakes in Santa Clara on Sunday.

Mourinho’s men end their tour with three huge International Champions Cup matches against AC Milan in LA (July 25), Liverpool at Michigan Stadium (July 28) and then Real Madrid in Miami (July 31) before heading back to Europe for the final days of preseason.

With so many of their star players not due back until the first week of the 2018/19 campaign due to the World Cup, Mourinho will have been hoping to use Sanchez often during preseason as the Chilean forward took advantage of a rare summer off as his country failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

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