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Man City deny Cristiano Ronaldo’s claims of ‘close’ 2021 transfer

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Manchester City have denied suggestions from Cristiano Ronaldo that he came ‘close’ to signing for them in the summer of 2021.

Ronaldo sought to leave Juventus following three seasons in Turin, and it was reported in August 2021 that a move to the Etihad Stadium was possible.

The Portugal international claimed in his recent TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan that a deal to join City was ‘close’, only for him to re-sign for Manchester United following an intervention from Sir Alex Ferguson.

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However, ESPN report that City are disputing this version of events, insisting that their interest in Ronaldo was merely ‘mild’.

At the time, Pep Guardiola’s side were actively in the market for a new striker, having had an approach for Tottenham’s Harry Kane knocked back earlier in that transfer window.

Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher & Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cups’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

City were unable to bring in a new central forward and spent their 2021/22 title-winning season using a series of wide players and midfielders as false nines, with their only natural striker – Gabriel Jesus – bizarrely shunted out to the wing.

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Jesus departed for Arsenal in the summer of 2022, while City won the race to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, scored 24 goals in all competitions in his first campaign back at Old Trafford, but Man Utd slumped to their worst ever Premier League points tally.



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Conor Coady responds to ‘daft’ question about Liverpool allegiance

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Conor Coady has told England teammate Jordan Henderson to do better in his goading after the Liverpool captain taunted him over his Everton connection.

Coady was a product of the Liverpool youth system and made a solitary appearance for his boyhood club in the 2012 Europa League. He has since moved on to Huddersfield Town and Wolves before joining Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton on loan last summer.

Speaking on the latest episode of Lion’s Den from England’s World Cup camp, though, Henderson could not resist trying to wind up Coady by quizzing him on his allegiances.

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“Conor, we are all England here,” Henderson said. “But what I really want to know is: are you blue or red?”

Henderson then started laughing, which prompted a similar response from Coady, who appeared both irritated and amused by the question.

“It’s so poor from him,” Coady said while smiling. “We have banter all the time. Of course, I am playing for Everton. He knows deep down.

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 here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“So, for him to come out there and ask that question is daft. Of course, I am blue. Of course, I am blue, without a shadow of a doubt.

“For him to say that…you know what I am going to go back there sit down and have a coffee with him. I will give him a bit. That’s nowhere near good enough from the big fella. Blue all day long.”

Everton have a clause allowing them to sign Coady permanently from Wolves this summer for a fee of just £4.5m.

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Club director leaves door open to Chelsea transfer in January

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Dynamo Moscow director Dmitry Gafin has admitted young midfielder Arsen Zakharyan could seal his move to Chelsea in January.

The Blues attempted to sign the 19-year-old during the summer transfer window but complexities involved in dealing with a Russian club left them unable to complete a deal for Zakharyan before the window closed.

Since then, sources have informed 90min that Chelsea have not given up on Zakharyan, who comes with a release clause of around £12.6m, and have remained in contact with all relevant authorities in an attempt to conclude a transfer.

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Talks have been held between Chelsea and FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League to try and find a way to work within the current rules regarding dealing with Russian clubs, with Blues co-owner Todd Boehly still very keen to get a deal done.

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!

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

In Moscow, club director Gafin has conceded that talks with Chelsea could reignite in January.

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“We cannot rule out the resumption of history with Chelsea in winter, I cannot comment on the information that appears and will appear,” he told TASS.

Gafin was, however, quick to question claims that Zakharyan has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea, insisting Dynamo Moscow have not given the club permission to speak with the Russia international just yet.

“Regarding his alleged contract with Chelsea, we don’t know anything about this, we did not give permission for such contacts,” he said. “I think this is from the rumour mill.”



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Antonee Robinson praises career revival of USMNT & Fulham teammate Tim Ream

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United States Men’s National Team full-back Antonee Robinson has heaped praise on his club and international teammate Tim Ream for his late-career renaissance.

At 35 years old, Ream has gone from being on the outside of the USMNT setup, picking up just one cap in 2020, to being a rock at the heart of Gregg Berhalter’s defense in Qatar.

Ream’s revival has been thanks to his incredible form in the Premier League with Fulham, with the veteran center-back coming first among his teammates in a number of key metrics so far, such as interceptions (21), blocks (23), clearances (50), and passes completed (715).

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The man next to him both at club and international level, Robinson, has enjoyed Ream’s career turnaround firsthand and has revealed just how much it means to him.

“The standard that [Ream] has been at, it’s been amazing,” Robinson told ESPN. “He’s such a calming presence on the ball. It’s no shock to me. I’ve played with him for a long-enough time now to know what he’s all about. But to see him actually come out on this stage, when it was at one point looking like he wouldn’t be here, and raise his level even more than he has done already this season, it means a lot to me.”

Ream and the USMNT have a great chance to reach the World Cup knockout stages when they face Iran on Tuesday, with a victory enough to see them finish at least second in Group B. Anything less and they’ll find themselves on the next plane home from Qatar and planning for their 2026 campaign as co-hosts.

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

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