Is £99m for 33-year-old Ronaldo good value for Juventus?

Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his 112m euros (£99.2m) move from Real Madrid to Juventus after 450 goals in 438 games for the club.

But can that possibly be good value for a 33-year-old? And is he in decline?

Where does the deal rank in all-time list?

Ronaldo's move to Juventus makes him the fourth most expensive player of all time (he is also the seventh for his 2009 move to Real from Manchester United) - third if you exclude Kylian Mbappe's expected 180m euros (£159m) move to Paris St-Germain.

It almost trebles the most expensive transfer fee ever for a player aged 30 or more. Leonardo Bonucci's reported 40m euros (£35.1m) move from Juventus to AC Milan last summer was the record.

Is Ronaldo in decline?

Not really. His 44 goals for Real Madrid last season was his third lowest total in nine years at the Bernabeu - but it was still exactly one goal per game. Including Portugal goals, 54 in total, it was his lowest scoring season for club and country since 2009-10. But he did manage 22 goals in his final 13 La Liga appearances...

He has won the past two Ballons d'Or for the world's top player - and four of the past five. He has also been named in the past 11 Fifa Fifpro World XI and Uefa Teams of the Year.

He has won the Champions League for three consecutive years - and has won the Golden Boot in that tournament in each of the past six seasons - including one season when he was joint top scorer - and also won it once 10 years ago with Manchester United.

Of his 15 goals last season, three were against Juventus including a sensation bicycle kick which earned him a standing ovation from the Juventus Stadium faithful.

As well as winning the Champions League Golden Boot, Ronaldo also managed to finish second top scorer in La Liga - despite scoring only four times in the first half of the season. He hit 22 league goals from January onwards, despite not playing in seven games.

He is still the second top scorer at the ongoing World Cup, with four goals including a hat-trick against Spain, despite Portugal's last-16 elimination. Those goals made him the second top scorer in the history of international football with 85.

£99m for a 33-year-old? 'A sensible signing financially'

Interesting, the answer is yes according to a football financial expert.

Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University says: "Even at about £100m the marketing leverage that Juventus will be able to create will be significant. Added to that the likelihood that he will strengthen the team, it seems plausible that they will be more successful domestically and qualify routinely for the Champions League. That means more sponsors, more TV money and more prize money."

He thinks the money Juventus, who have won seven consecutive league titles, earn from Ronaldo "should more than cover the transfer fee and his wages. It should also attract other players and help with the younger members of the squad".

"Winning the Champions League can be worth as much as 100m euros (£88.5m) and he will undoubtedly help achieve goals like that. The added exposure and marketing potential make it a sensible signing, despite his age. I'm sure, barring significant injury, he has many years left at the top table."

What about his fitness?

The 44 games he played last season were the fewest since his opening Real Madrid season.

But he only missed two games because of injury last term and was rested for several domestic games as Real, who were never in the title race, concentrated on the Champions League.

He no longer has the legs of the swashbuckling wide player he once was, reinventing himself as a centre forward. Of his 44 Real appearances last season, 31 of them were as a striker with 13 on the wing. Back in 2013-14 he made only one centre-forward appearance.

In May, Ronaldo said: "Right now I have a biological age of 23. I've still got a long time left, I can keep playing until I'm 41."

During the World Cup, his Portugal coach Fernando Santos said: "He is like a Port wine. He knows how to refine his capacity and age at his best.

"He is constantly evolving, contradictorily to the other players. He knows himself and he knows what he can do.

"What he does now is not what he did three or four years ago, and not what he will be doing in a few years from now."

And his international boss thinks he could play at the next World Cup at the age of 37.

He added: "Cristiano is the best in the world and I hope in Qatar once again he is going to score in a World Cup."

Source: BBC NEWS

Celtic start Champions League campaign with win in Armenia

Celtic took a big step towards the second round of Champions League qualifying with a 3-0 win over Alashkert in Yerevan

Goals from Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest and Callum McGregor gave Celtic victory in the first leg of the Champions League first qualifying round tie against Alashkert.

In their first competitive outing of the season, Brendan Rodgers' side were tested in the searing Yerevan heat.

Celtic's superior finishing proved the difference as Edouard and Forrest struck either side of the break.

McGregor's goal at the death turned a good win into an emphatic one.

The second leg takes place at Celtic Park on Wednesday, 18 July.

Scotland's champions must negotiate an extra qualifying round if they are to make the Champions League group stage this season, with this the first of four potential ties.

The most intriguing aspect of the Celtic starting line-up was the decision of manager Rodgers, who so often deploys a lone striker, to pair French duo Moussa Dembele and Edouard in attack.

Dembele twice came close to finding the scoring touch in the opening minutes, almost intercepting a loose backpass and then just failing to apply the necessary contact to a superb Kieran Tierney cross.

A double scare soon came at the other end. Uros Nenadovic skipped away from Jozo Simunovic and his rasping drive had to be beaten away by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon. Moments later, the Serbian striker tried his luck from the corner of the penalty area but his strike sailed over the bar.

Dembele drew a good save from Ognjen Cancarevic in the Alashkert goal as Celtic searched for the opener, while James Forrest found space and drove towards the box but could not keep his shot down.

Tierney was running Alashkert right-back Artak Yedigaryan ragged, with most of Celtic's joy emanating from that flank.

McGregor flashed a shot across goal and while the Scottish champions were well on top, they were given regular reminders of the home side's threats.

Artak Dashyan fed Nenadovic inside the Celtic penalty box and only a well-timed intervention from Simunovic prevented Gordon being called into action. Artur Yedigaryan then tried his luck from the edge of the box but the captain's shot was off-target.

Dembele was denied by Cancarevic after getting in behind the home defence but, just as it looked like the Armenian champions had made it to the break intact, Celtic struck in first-half stoppage time.

Edouard, who signed a permanent deal in the summer after a successful loan spell from Paris St-Germain last season, turned the ball home from 12 yards after meeting Forrest's mishit shot first time.

That should have settled any nerves in the Celtic ranks, but early in the second half defender Jack Hendry was robbed of possession by Jefferson Reis, who should have done much better than to tamely stab the ball straight at Gordon from 12 yards.

Cancarevic almost contrived to gift Celtic a second goal. The keeper raced from his goal to mop up a loose ball only to be dispossessed by Dembele, but managed to clean up his own mess before any damage was done.

With the temperature around 30C, and with early-season rust no doubt playing a part, Celtic were not exerting their superiority. Artak Yedigaryan stung the palms of Gordon with a fierce 22-yard strike as Alashkert threatened to level things up.

Cesar Romero and Reis saw chances come and go as the visitors began to sit in, seemingly content to take a one-goal aggregate lead back to Glasgow.

However, after a goalmouth scramble the ball dropped to Forrest to lash home Celtic's second 11 minutes from the end.

And with almost the last kick of the game, McGregor fired a measured low finish into the net to all but guarantee next week's second leg is nothing more than a formality.

Source: BBC NEWS

West Ham Target Yarmolenko Has 'Completed Medical'

Andriy Yarmolenko has completed a medical with West Ham ahead of a now likely move from ​Borussia Dortmund.

The Ukrainian winger emerged as a transfer target for the Hammers following the fact that their current pursuit of Lazio's Felipe Anderson has recently stalled. Yarmolenko signed for BVB last summer after signing from Dynamo Kyiv, but has failed to nail down a place in the starting XI for the German outfit - making just 26 appearances in all competitions.

He did however manage to bag himself a reasonable six goals and six assists in those 26 appearances, which has done enough to catch the eye of West Ham, who are looking to rebuild their squad under their new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

A permanent deal was said to be being negotiated between the two clubs with the ​Daily Mail reporting that West Ham had laid down a £17.5m bid for the 28-year-old.

Now, the deal looks set to become a certainty as Ukrainian news outlet ​​Zbirna​ are claiming that West Ham completed a medical with Yarmolenko on Saturday evening. Furthermore, German outlet ​Kicker are reporting that the transfer will be announced tomorrow.


Borussia Dortmund v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga


If West Ham are able to push the deal over the line then then Yarmolenko would be the next in a procession of new players joining the Hammers this summer.


Hebei China Fortune v Shanghai SIPG - China Super League


Time will tell as to whether Yarmolenko is a success in east London given his relative lack of experience playing at the top level. His solitary season with Dortmund has been his only one outside of playing in Ukraine so he may well be a high risk signing.


Crystal Palace Transfer Target Arrives in Italy Ahead of Expected Fiorentina Switch

​Toulouse goalkeeper Alban Lafont has arrived in Italy ahead of his €8.5m transfer to Fiorentina, according to reports.

According to Italian media outlet ​Calciomercato, the 19-year-old keeper is in Florence to undergo a medical ahead of his move to the Serie A this summer.

Lafont stated: “I’m very happy to be here, Forza Viola!”, as he checked into the Ponte Nuovo Clinic ahead of his medical testing.

The young shot stopper is expected to sign a five year contract with Fiorentina and take over as their new first choice goalkeeper following the departure of Marco Sportiello.

Alban Lafont isn’t expected to join training with the Tuscan club until August as he is set to represent France at the European Under-19 Championship which begins in mid-July.

Toulouse finished 18th in Ligue 1 last season, but only conceded 54 goals throughout the campaign, one of the lower tallies in the bottom half of the table.

Lafont made 42 appearances for Toulouse across all competitions last season, and played a pivotal role in keeping his current side in Ligue 1.

Having made his Ligue 1 debut in 2015, Lafont became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in France’s top flight, aged just 16 years and 310 days old.


Paris St-Germain: Uefa to review decision to clear French champions of breaking FFP rules

The decision to clear Paris St-Germain of breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules will be reviewed by Uefa.European football's governing body opened an investigation into the French champions' spending in September 2017.It cleared the club last month but said PSG's transfer dealings would remain "under close scrutiny". However the chairman of Uefa's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said the decision to close the investigation will now be reviewed."This announcement does not pre-judge in any way the result of the review to be conducted by the adjudicatory chamber of the CFCB," Uefa said in a statement on Tuesday. PSG confirmed it had been informed of the decision to review the closing of the investigation. The club also said it had successfully carried out "an important number of transfers in recent days" in compliance with the CFCB's original decision. In 2013, Uefa introduced FFP 'break-even' rules, requiring clubs to balance their spending with their revenue.In closing the PSG investigation in June, Uefa said the "break-even result of the club remains within acceptable deviation" for the past three financial years.

What has happened at PSG?

In 2017, PSG broke the world-record transfer fee when they signed Neymar. The Brazil forward arrived from Barcelona for 222m euros (£200m) last August - more than double the previous transfer record.The French club also signed Kylian Mbappe on loan from Monaco in a deal that is set to be made permanent for £165.7m this summer.After those major signings, PSG were accused of "financial doping" by La Liga president Javier Tebas.PSG have been owned by the Gulf state of Qatar, via its Qatar Sports Investments fund, since 2011.They were punished for breaking FFP rules in 2014. A sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority was deemed to have an unfair value by Uefa's independent investigation panel. Source: BBC NEWS

RB Leipzig Join Tottenham Hotspur in Race to Sign Lyon Starlet Ndombele

RB Leipzig have shown interested in signing Tottenham transfer target and Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, according to reports.According to German newspaper BILD, RB Leipzig are looking to sign the 21-year-old as a replacement for Liverpool bound Naby Keita.Ralf Rangnick’s side will be hoping to bolster their midfield for next season following their sixth place finish in the Bundesliga last campaign.


Mauricio Pochettino’s side are also believed to be interested in Ndombele as a potential like for like replacement for Mousa Dembele, who has been linked with a move away from Spurs.Tottenham are thought to have made an enquiry in June, with the Ligue 1 side demanding a substantial transfer fee for the defensive midfielder.Fellow Premier League outlet Liverpool have been linked with Ndombele in recent times, despite also tracking a potential move for fellow Lyon player Nabil Fekir.Lyon won’t let Ndombele go easy however, having only signed the middle man on a permanent deal this summer from Amiens, following a successful loan spell.Tanguy Ndombele made 50 appearances for Lyon in all competitions last season, finding the net just once from his deep lying central midfield position.

[embedded content]The young midfielder has made nine appearances for his home nation France at Under-21 level, and is very likely to make his way into the first team in the years to come.


Juventus 'Begin' Stunning €120m Cristiano Ronaldo Move With Real Madrid Prepared to Negotiate

Juventus have begun a serious move to liberate Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid after an incredible nine-year stint in the Spanish capital.

Ronaldo has made noises about wanting to depart from Los Blancos before, usually in a bid to earn a better contract to keep him up at the top table of earners with Neymar and Lionel Messi, but the institutional chaos at Real surrounding Zinedine Zidane's departure and Julen Lopetegui's controversial appointment have given the Italian side a space to move into.

Marca report that Juventus are looking to take advantage of 'insurmountable' differences between Ronaldo and club president Florentino Perez, whose grip on the club's dealings has become tighter than ever following the departure of Zidane - one of the few Real managers to have the clout, thanks to his playing career and unrivalled success in the Champions League, to truly challenge the president on transfers.

Despite recent rumours to the contrary, Ronaldo's release clause remains locked in at €1,000m - but Perez is willing to listen to realistic offers for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who turned 33 earlier this year.

The Spanish report claims that Ronaldo and Real have a deal which will see them allow him to leave for less than his outlandish release clause, reached in January, which puts an entirely new complexion on the situation as the Champions League holders begin to consider building a future in which their ageing star is not the foundation.

Marca claim that Juventus are close to agreeing basic terms with Ronaldo which would see him earn €30m a year until 2022 - €5m a year more than Real have offered him, and on an extended deal which would take him through to the age of 37.

The principle of the deal is that the move is not solely about money - Ronaldo is a rich enough man - but the respect and worth that the money would symbolise, for a player who above all has a pathological need to be wanted and valued.


Former Watford Loanee Set for Napoli Medical as Italian Giants Close on Double Signing

Italian outfit S.S.C. Napoli are closing in on a double swoop for Udinese goalkeepers Alex Meret and Orestis Karnezis, according to reports.

The latter of the two goalkeepers spent last season on loan in the Premier League with Watford, but the Greece international was limited to just 16 appearances across all competitions - most of which came in the new year.


The former, one of two goalkeeping prodigy's at Udinese, has spent the last two years with Italian minnows SPAL 2013. The 21-year-old helped Gli Estensi gain promotion to the Serie A in 2017 as well as keeping them away from relegation last season.

Italian outlet Gianluca Di Marzio have reported that medical for Karnezis and Meret have been pencilled in for Wednesday and Thursday this week. The two will become Napoli's fifth and sixth signing of the summer.

I Ciucciarelli have spent over £22m to bring Bologna winger Simone Verdi to the club this summer, while only £3.6m was spent on signing Brazilian forward Vinícius from Portuguese side Real Sport Clube.

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti will also have Amato Ciciretti join the club on a free transfer from domestic rivals Benevento, while Ajax winger Amin Younes is still expected to move to the Stadio San Paolo ahead of the new season.

Napoli have been in desperate need of a new goalkeeper this summer following the departure of Pepe Reina, who will work as an understudy to Gianluigi Donnarumma at AC Milan. Back up 'keeper Rafael has also left the club to become a free agent.


Ligue 1 Conforama pre-season friendly schedules

Check out the full roster of pre-season friendlies awaiting Ligue 1 Conforama's 20 clubs before the beginning of season 2018-19 on Friday, 10 August.

Ligue 1 Conforama clubs have begun announcing their pre-season preparation schedules with friendly fixtures before Ligue 1 Conforama swings back into action (10, 11 and 12 August).

Pre-season friendly schedule by club:

 Amiens SC:
Friday 13 July: UNFP
Friday 20 July: Paris FC
(Other matches to be determined)

 Angers SCO:
Saturday 21 July: FC Lorient
(Other matches to be determined)

 Girondins de Bordeaux:
Friday 13 July: Gazélec FC Ajaccio
(Other matches to be determined)

 SM Caen:
Saturday 14 July: US Concarneau (N1)
Friday 20 July: Le Havre AC
Wednesday 25 July: Angers SCO
Saturday 28 July: EA Guingamp

 Dijon FCO:
Saturday 21 July: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard
(Other matches to be determined)

 EA Guingamp:
Saturday 4 August: Nîmes Olympique
Friday 20 July: Stade Brestois 29
(Other matches to be determined)

(To be determined)

 Olympique Lyonnais:
Friday 13 July: FC Sion (SUI)
Wednesday 25 July: Huddersfield Town (ENG)
Saturday 4 August: Inter Milan (ITA)
Tuesday 7 August: Chelsea FC (ENG)
(Other matches to be determined)

 Olympique de Marseille:
(To be determined)

 AS Monaco:
Saturday 7 July: Wisla Krakow (POL)
Saturday 14 July: Cercle Bruges (BEL)
Saturday 21 July: SC Paderborn (GER)
Wednesday 25 July: VfL Bochum (GER)
Saturday 28 July: Hamburger SV (GER)

 Montpellier HSC:
Saturday 14 July: Clermont Foot
Wednesday 25 July: Villarreal CF (ESP)
Sunday 29 July: Burnley FC (ENG)

 FC Nantes:
(To be determined)

 OGC Nice:
Saturday 7 July: FC Stade Nyonnais (SUI)
(Other matches to be determined)

Nîmes Olympique:
Saturday 7 July: AS Béziers
Wednesday 11 July: RC Lens
Friday 20 July: Gazélec FC Ajaccio
Saturday 28 July: Toulouse FC
Wednesday 1er August: UNFP
Saturday 4 August: EA Guingamp

 Paris Saint-Germain:
Saturday 21 July: Bayern Munich (GER)
Saturday 28 July: Arsenal (ENG)
Monday 30 July: Atlético Madrid (ESP)
(Other matches to be determined)

 Stade de Reims:
Wednesday 18 July: Red Star FC
(Other matches to be determined)

 Stade Rennais FC:
Tuesday 10 July: SV Rapid Lienz (AUT)
Saturday 14 July: Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)
Saturday 21 July: RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
(Other matches to be determined)

 AS Saint-Etienne:
Saturday 7 July: ASF Andrézieux-Bouthéon
Saturday 21 July: RC Lens
(Other matches to be determined)

 RC Strasbourg Alsace:
Tuesday 10 July: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard
Friday 20 July: AS Nancy Lorraine
Saturday 4 August: UNFP
(Other matches to be determined)

 Toulouse FC:
Friday 6 July: Red Star FC (50 minutes)
Saturday 14 July: AC Ajaccio
Saturday 21 July: UNFP
Saturday 28 July: Nîmes Olympique
(Other matches to be determined)


Sporting Lisbon: Mihajlovic named as club's new manager

New Sporting Lisbon manager Sinisa Mihajlovic says his first objective for the troubled club is to "do better than last year".

A group of 50 fans reportedly attacked players and staff in May, after the club missed out on a Champions League place on the final day of the season.

Nine players have terminated their contracts in response to the incident.

One of those - Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who is in Russia for the World Cup - joined Wolves on Monday.

Serb Mihajlovic, 49, replaces Jorge Jesus, who left the club on 6 June.

He has previously managed six Italian teams, including AC Milan, and Serbia's national team.

Three of Patricio's Portugal team-mates - William Carvalho, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes - have also left Sporting, as have Ruben Ribeiro, Bas Dost, Daniel Podence, Rafael Leao and Rodrigo Battaglia.

The players wrote to the club citing "just cause" following the attack at Sporting's training base on 15 May, five days before they lost in the Portuguese Cup final.

In April, president Bruno de Carvalho claimed to have suspended 19 first-team players after a Europa League defeat by Atletico Madrid, although he deleted the post on social media and most of the players featured in their next game.

Source: BBC NEWS