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Denis Zakaria & Hakim Ziyech free to leave Chelsea in January

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Chelsea are looking to terminate Denis Zakaria’s loan move in January, 90min understands, with the Blues also ready to listen to offers for winger Hakim Ziyech as well.

Zakaria joined Chelsea on deadline day during the summer but is yet to play a single minute for the club and has not featured in a single Premier League matchday squad thus far.

Sources have confirmed to 90min that Zakaria does not feature in the plans of current boss Graham Potter, who even handed a debut to young Carney Chukwuemeka ahead of naming the Swiss international on his bench for the recent 3-0 victory over Wolves.

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The dilemma for Chelsea is, however, that Zakaria made two appearances for Juventus this season before moving to Stamford Bridge and FIFA rules dictate that a player cannot represent more than two teams across one campaign. Should he play a minute for the Blues, he will be unable to join a third side.

Chelsea hope to return Zakaria to parent club Juventus but the Serie A side have no obligation to take him, and so the Blues are hopeful that current Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri is relieved of his duties before the January transfer window and his hypothetical replacement wants Zakaria back.

While that matter is largely out of their hands, Chelsea are also understood to be looking to offload Ziyech once the January transfer window opens.

Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth are joined by Tom Gott in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Erling Haaland’s Manchester City release clause, Mason Mount’s future at Chelsea and their sporting director plans, and what the future could hold for 700-goal Cristiano Ronaldo at Man Utd. Available on all audio platforms.

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

The Morocco international was on the fringes under former manager Thomas Tuchel and has struggled for minutes under Potter, and sources have confirmed that he is once again free to leave the club in January.

As was the case last summer, both Ajax and AC Milan are interested in pursuing a deal. Chelsea are prepared to allow Ziyech to leave on loan, perhaps for 18 months, but co-owner Todd Boehly is pushing for a permanent departure to raise funds and free up space in the squad.

Boehly is looking to overhaul the team’s forward line and is already deep in talks with Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig, while he has also asked the Bundesliga side about incoming striker Benjamin Sesko, who will join from Red Bull Salzburg next summer.

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EPL

Al-Nassr offer Cristiano Ronaldo record-breaking contract

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Al-Nassr have offered Cristiano Ronaldo a contract that could make him the highest paid footballer in history, according to report.

The 37-year-old sensationally left Manchester United by mutual agreement earlier this month after he criticised the club’s players, manager and hierarchy in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

Ronaldo, who is currently away at the World Cup with Portugal, has been targeted by clubs in Saudi Arabia before, and turned down the opportunity to join Al-Hilal in the summer despite being offered over £300m to do so.

90min previously revealed that Al-Hilal were preparing a fresh offer for Ronaldo, but it’s believed they have turned their attention to Lionel Messi and other priorities – paving the way for Al-Nassr to try and engineer a move of their own.

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Ronaldo’s current intention is to remain in Europe, where he can continue to compete in the Champions League, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Al-Nassr have put forward a blockbuster contract offer to take him to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Nassr’s offer is believed to be a three-year deal worth close to £250m a year once add-ons, incentives and bonuses are factored in – eclipsing the huge contract Kylian Mbappe penned earlier this summer to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo is yet to respond to Al-Nassr’s proposal, but his desire to continue competing at the highest level was made clear in the interview he conducted with Morgan.

Newcastle United, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Chelsea are two Premier League teams to have previously been linked with Ronaldo.

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Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration

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Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.

The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.

Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:

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“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”

Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.

“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!



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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player

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Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.

Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.

On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.

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It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.

Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.

Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.

He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.





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