Florentino Perez

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Report: Real Madrid wants to sign USWNT star Rapinoe as ‘Galactica’

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Megan Rapinoe is looking at a return to Europe, and her preferred club’s rivals lurk with interest.

The FIFA’s Best award winner for 2019 has expressed her love for Barcelona, with AS in Spain reporting that her love for the Blaugranas won’t stop Real Madrid from courting the Seattle Reign star and USMNT living legend.

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Real is taking over the Deportivo Tacon team and rebranding it as the first Real Madrid’s women’s team in 2020, and president Florentino Perez loves a splashy signing. The term ‘Galactica‘ is being thrown around in a nod to Real’s habit of signing massive money signings on the men’s side.

Rapinoe has played for Sydney FC in Australia and Lyon in France, winning a French title and finishing as runner-up in the 2012-13 UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Imagine the offer that could be headed Rapinoe’s way from Perez.

The 158-times capped Rapinoe is a two-time World Cup champion, has a pair of NWSL Shields, and has won Olympic gold. The idea of spearheading a first-year Real team would have to be interesting, but Barca is far closer to a UWCL title.

In fact, Barca is already in the Round of 16 and faces Belarusian side Minsk. The Blaugranes have world superstars Lieke Martens, Caroline Hansen, and Vicky Losada in the fold. A pretty attractive proposition, to be sure.

Perez: Sergio Ramos requested free transfer to China

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Florentino Perez has revealed that Sergio Ramos asked to leave Real Madrid on a free transfer due to a generous off in the Chinese Super League.

Perez shot the idea down in a pretty obvious move, as the 33-year-old captain would still garner a pretty glorious transfer fee even at his advanced age.

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Ramos allegedly told Perez that the CSL team was unable to offer a transfer fee due to league constraints.

“What was I going to tell him? We said this couldn’t happen but we’d speak to the club to satisfy him but that Real Madrid could not afford to let its captain leave for free as that would set a terrible precedent for other players,” Perez said, via Sky Sports.

The dominant but ever-controversial defender has been with Real since 2005, when he arrived from Sevilla. Reports say he wants a clean break from Real due to backlash from his suspension for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Final versus Ajax.

That, by the way, could easily be placed on Real’s poor depth at center back.

Ramos remains the captain of the Spanish national team, his 163 caps four shy of Iker Casillas’ record.

Transfermarkt pegs Ramos’ value at around $37 million. Would Perez be willing to accept something in that neighborhood for his captain, or would he reach for much more?

And, given Perez’s sensational nature, could he just be exaggerating the issue or creating it out of whole cloth?

With ‘batteries recharged’ Zidane ‘couldn’t say no’ to Real return

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If Florentino Perez was going to ask, Zinedine Zidane was always going to say yes.

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So, on Monday, it was announced to the world that Perez had indeed asked, and Zidane said “couldn’t say no” to the chance to return for a second stint as manager of Real Madrid.

Fewer than 12 months after walking away from the job — with a three-peat of UEFA Champions League glory forever etched next to his name — Zidane said on Monday that his batteries have been “recharged” and “now I’m ready again for the experience of being Real Madrid’s coach. I’m motivated to be coaching again.”

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One can only imagine the exhaustive toll of managing arguably the world’s biggest — and, without a doubt, the most demanding — club. Two and a half seasons was all Zidane, still a relatively green manager at the age of 46, could handle. He will almost certainly be better equipped to deal with the stressors of the job the second time around, considering he had never before been a first-team manager.

“I’m very happy to be back home. I’ve recharged my batteries and now I’m ready again for the experience of being Real Madrid’s coach. I’m motivated to be coaching again. What I want to do now is return to work and put the club back where it belongs.”

“I love this club, and when the president called me, I couldn’t say no. I’ll give everything I have to make this club better.”

“It has been difficult from the outside looking in. I have been living here in Madrid, doing my things. … I’m ready to coach this great club again.”

Zidane’s greatest challenge won’t begin until the summer, when he’ll almost certainly oversee a massive overhaul of an aging and expensive first-team squad desperate for an injection of youth and fresh blood. He’s already proven he can steady a (star-studded) ship over troubled waters, but we’ll see if he can build his own juggernaut from the ground up.

Mourinho ‘first option’ for Real Madrid’s next managerial hire

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Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says there’s a very good chance that Jose Mourinho will return to the Bernabeu next season with a healthy transfer budget.

Calling Mourinho “the only manager that Florentino Perez respects,” Calderson says the current Real president is thinking about Mourinho, with Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino also in the picture.

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“I have no doubt Mourinho is the first option for the president,” Calderon said. “He’s been called in the last weeks.”

Santiago Solari is the current interim boss of Real, who lost to Barcelona twice before growing the losing streak with Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League dismissal at the hands of Ajax.

Calderon expects major changes due to fan and club unrest, saying, “There’s been three or four months moaning now, lamenting and regretting what we did planning this team.”

Real won La Liga in 2011-12 under Mourinho, as well as the 2010-11 Copa del Rey. He left the club after three seasons.

Report: Real Madrid to fire Lopetegui within 24 hours

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Fire a coach early in the season? Don’t threaten Florentino Perez with a good time.

Real Madrid will reportedly cut ties with Julen Lopetegui, heaping misery on a man whose 2018 has gone about as poorly as possible.

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Dismissed from the Spain job on the eve of the World Cup for negotiating with Real Madrid, Lopetegui’s tenure at the Bernabeu is reportedly over after a 2-1 home loss to Levante left the three-time reigning Champions League winners with 14 points through nine matches.

VAVEL’s Mootaz Chehade has the report, saying the announcement will come in the next day.

Real started 4W-1D in La Liga, but has now lost three of four in the league. Los Meringues beat Roma but lost to CSKA Moscow so far in the Champions League, and lost to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

A trip to Barcelona is next for El Clasico after a midweek Champions League visit from Viktoria Plzen.