Premier League Elite on Alert as Real Madrid Lower Asking Price of Attacking Star to £60m

A host of top Premier League sides are believed to be considering making a summer move for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, after Los Blancos president Florentino Perez reportedly dropped the player’s asking price from £90m to £60m.

As reported by Spanish outlet Don Balón, the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs are all believed to be interested in the Welsh sensation. Real Madrid – after an underwhelming season in La Liga – are believed to be planning a major overhaul of their squad this summer, and Bale could well sold in order to build a formidable transfer budget to sign new talents.

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Man Utd are long term admirers of Bale, and would feel confident of beating their rivals to sign the 28-year-old. Meanwhile Chelsea could use Eden Hazard or Thibaut Courtois as a  bargaining chip in their pursuit, while Spurs offer the allure of a brand new stadium and a chance to return to the club where he made his name as a top quality player. Liverpool may also look to sign Bale, as they look to push on to challenge for the Premier League title next season. 

The former Southampton man has experienced mixed fortunes since moving to the Bernabéu in 2013. Despite scoring an impressive 81 league goals in 183 matches, Bale has persistently been targeted for abuse by the home supporters – with his individual performances often called into question when the team are struggling.


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Meanwhile,? Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is moving closer to signing a lucrative new deal with the club, that would keep him extend his stay until 2021. 

The Portuguese legend is thought to be planning to sign a new deal before the World Cup this summer, and could see his earnings rise to a staggering €30m per year with additional bonuses on top of that.

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Leon Bailey’s Leverkusen Future in Doubt After Agent and Adoptive Father’s Furious Social Media Rant

Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey could leave the club this summer, even though the player’s contract runs until 2022, after an extraordinary rant from his father and agent on Instagram.

According to the Mirror, the Bundesliga club would be unlikely to reject an offer of more than £35m for the 20-year-old, who has taken German football by storm since moving to the BayArena from Belgian side Genk last year.

Bailey has netted 12 goals this season, helping to propel Leverkusen to third place in the Bundesliga.

However, the club’s relationship with Bailey’s agent Craig Butler – who is also his adoptive father – is bound to be extremely strained, after Butler publicly criticised the way Bailey was used in a 6-2 drubbing by Bayern Munich in the German Cup semi-final.

In a strongly-worded Instagram post, Butler wrote: “They put him on the bench. They put him on at left-back. They don’t pass to him. The opponent double teams him. They kick him down. “What does he do? Gets up and put the free kick in the back of the damn net.”

?In addition, Bailey has admitted that he aspires to move to a bigger club than Leverkusen, even though he is content at the BayArena for now. Speaking in February, he said: “Leverkusen is perfect for me. I want to develop and then I can take the next step. When I move to a big club, the people there will want to know me.”

Although he is Jamaican-born and has represented the Reggae Boyz at Under-23 level, Bailey is yet to pledge his allegiance to any nation at senior level.


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Among other countries, he is reportedly eligible for England, which has given rise to speculation that he may yet represent the Three Lions – though ?his agent has also reportedly claimed he could represent Germany.

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FanView: Chelsea Don’t Need to Embark on Another Striker Hunt in the Summer Despite Morata Struggles

?When Chelsea bought Alvaro Morata in the summer, they knew what they were getting. Having come off the back of a Premier League title win, the club spent a record amount on the Spaniard to bring him in from Real Madrid after missing out on Romelu Lukaku.

Opinions are still split on Antonio Conte always wanting Morata and not Lukaku, but that hardly matters now.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

In the Spain striker, the Blues knew they were getting a talented attacker who had a great eye for goal, but one who wasn’t used to being first-choice. It was always going to be a season of adjustment for the 24-year-old, but he seemed to settle in quite well, scoring and assisting a goal on his debut and recording seven strikes in his first seven appearances for the Blues.

Heading towards the end of 2017, however, Morata suddenly went cold – and it wasn’t due to a lack of chances. He simply refused to take them. And his profligacy in front of goal cost him his spot in Spain’s set-up during the last international break.

He has since explained that his drought was helped by persistent back problems and has scored a few goals this year. But his shocking miss during the ?2-1 win against Burnley on Thursday night has done well to underpin the frustrations.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

Morata has scored 14 goals and handed out six assists in 42 appearances for the Blues. Being involved in 20 goals in a little over 40 outings is decent. Yet it’s simply not good enough for someone who’s supposed to be world-class; at a top club such as Chelsea at that.

So do the Blues need to embark on another striker hunt in the summer? Well they might, yet it isn’t all that necessary.

They have another great option in Olivier Giroud, while Michy Batshuayi should recover from his unfortunate injury by then. The Belgian has shone brightly during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund this season and was unlucky to get hit with an ankle injury that has ended his season, yet he is expected to be ready for the World Cup and could get his chance at Chelsea if the club decide to keep him.

Even in Morata, the Blues still possess a really good striker. The Spaniard is quick, has good feet and looks to be standing his ground again as opposed to hitting the deck at every opportunity.

A good pre-season should be good enough to sort him out set him straight. He only needs to work on his first touch, his decision-making, and his finishing, of course. There’s also the need for a sprinkle of confidence, something he has clearly been lacking.

While the Blues do need to strengthen in the summer, the striker department really is okay for now, although fans wouldn’t dare complain if another forward was brought in.  


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A likely managerial change, though, could prove the decisive factor as it relates to summer spending.

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The Superb Stat That Shows How Well Antonio Conte Has Performed in the Premier League

?Much has been made of Antonio Conte’s future with Chelsea over the past few months, and it’s still unclear if he’ll be in charge of them next term.

The Italian’s grips with the club’s transfer policy and comments about potentially heading back home means that it’s expected that he’ll depart Stamford Bridge this summer, but there’s no denying that he’s done a sound job in west London.

Indeed, one stat posted on social media by OptaJoe reveals just how good Conte has been for the Blues during his almost two-year long reign.

(You may also be interested in ?Antonio Conte Explains Decision to Bench Eden Hazard & Backs Alvaro Morata After Angry Outburst)

With only Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho posting a better win ratio than Conte throughout the Premier League era, the 45-year-old should leave the capital with all the best wishes of Chelsea’s fervent supporter base.

Admittedly this term hasn’t been as good as last season’s, but it wouldn’t be unless Chelsea had managed to retain their top flight crown and build on that with another trophy success.


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There’s still the chance that they can lift this season’s FA Cup, and that may be the best way to give Conte the send off he deserves for his spell with the Londoners.

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Burnley 1-2 Chelsea: Blues Claim Crucial Away Win to Keep Slim Top 4 Hopes Alive

Chelsea emerged 2-1 winners over Burnley at Turf Moor on Thursday night, keeping their quest for a top four finish alive through a huge performance from one of their wing-backs

The Clarets began their season by beating the Blues at Stamford Bridge on the opening day, and came into this one as the top flight’s most in-form sides – off the back of a five-game winning streak – knowing that completing the double against the evening’s opposition would all but solidify their place in a European spot, as well as take them above Arsenal into sixth place.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

Antonio Conte, quite desperate to build on ?Saturday’s win against Southampton, started both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud up front and kept Eden Hazard on the bench. The Italian, though, was unable to field Marcos Alonso due to the Spaniard picking up a three-match ban for his challenge on Shane Long during the Saints victory.

Alonso’s absence saw Emerson Palmieri make his first Premier League start for the Londoners since his January switch from AS Roma.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

The Blues started rather brightly. Giroud looked a threat quite early on and linked up quite well with his strike partner Morata, who forced a save from Nick Pope from a tight ankle around 10 minutes in.

Their efforts would pay off during minute 19, when Victor Moses forced an own goal from defender Kevin Long with a cross from the right side. The Nigerian’s attempt to find Giroud was thwarted by Pope, but it was hit straight into Long, who couldn’t avoid knocking the ball into the back of his own net.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

Morata nearly doubled the lead moments later after receiving a neatly-threaded through ball from Giroud, but Pope stepped up to get a touch on his attempted dink to put the ball out for a corner.

Conte’s men went into half time quite comfortably, but with the most marginal of leads. And coming on in the second half, they were just as dominant in the early going.

The Clarets were let off big time 10 minutes into the second period after N’Golo Kante released Morata with a neat pass from the Chelsea half that ultimately set him one-on-one with Pope. The Spaniard somehow missed the target, despite having enough time and space to pick his spot.

Replays later showed that Pope may have gotten the slightest of touches on the striker’s shot.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

The home side made the visitors pay for their wastefulness in the 64th minute, but it was as fortuitous as the own goal was for Chelsea, with Ashley Barnes deflecting a wayward shot from Johann Berg Gudmundsson off his heel and into the back of the Blues’ net.

The Londoners were back in front just four minutes later, however, reclaiming their lead through a strike from Moses, following a whipped cross from Palmieri from the left flank.

Hazard came on for the last 20 minutes as an angry Morata made way, and the Belgian made a menace of himself in the attacking half.

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

The Blues were able to retain their lead past the 90 and after four minutes of stoppage time, bringing an end to Burnley’s winning streak and keeping their 35-year unbeaten run at Turf Moor alive.

The victory brings them to within five points of fourth-placed Spurs, also keeping their Champions League hopes afloat.


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Lineups

Burnley XI: Pope, Ward, Tarkowski, Long, Lowton, Gudmundsson, Westwood, Cork, Lennon, Barnes, Wood.

Substitutes: Heaton, Taylor, Marney, Vokes, Hendrick, Wells, Bardsley.

Chelsea XI: Courtois, Rudiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Emerson, Bakayoko, Kante, Moses, Giroud, Morata, Pedro.

Substitutes: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Barkley, Willian, Hazard.

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