Month: October 2016

Gareth Bale set to become Real Madrid’s best paid player

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has extended his contract with the Spanish giant in a deal that could see him become the best-paid player in the world.

Real had confirmed on Sunday that the Welshman has committed his long-term future to the club he joined in September 2013 for a then world-record transfer fee of £85m.

“Real Madrid and Gareth Bale have agreed to the extension of the player’s contract, which ties him to the club until June 30, 2022,” read a club statement.

Bale, 27, is due to speak to the media later today. He joins former Tottenham teammate Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez in committing his future to Los Blancos in recent weeks.

His previous deal would have saw his contract expired by 2019.

Negotiations over an extension have been continuing for several months between Real and Bale’s representative, Jonathan Barnett, with an agreement reached a few weeks ago.

It is understood the contract has a buyout clause set at €1bn (£900m) – one of the biggest in the history of the sport. This would easily dismiss lingering doubts that Bale would remain in Spain despite speculations that he could make a return to the Premier League.

Additionally, Bale’s salary would rise to the equivalent to around £350,000 a week after tax, more than the estimated £288,000 Real pay Cristiano Ronaldo.

Negotiations over a contract extension for the Portuguese Captain have not yet been finalized – even as Real sought to tie down their leading players in the face of a transfer ban that runs until 2018.

Mata delivers for United as Devils knock out Champions City

A Juan Mata goal proved sufficient for Manchester United to defeat former EFL Cup champions Manchester City by 1-0 and help the Red Devils advance into the quarter finals.

After a dreary first half in which neither of the bitter rivals managed a shot on target, the game came alive with Paul Pogba hitting a post moments before Mata found his mark.

Nine minutes after the break, the Spaniard scored as Zlatan Ibrahimovic holds off Nicolas Otamendi, and then squares for Mata to sidefoot home from eight yards out.

City boss Pep Guardiola had made nine changes to his side, who are now six games without a win in all competitions – his worst run as a manager.

However, the former Bayern Munich coach appears to have little interest or intent for a victory in the domestic cup competition, leaving vital offensive playmakers  such as David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and star striker Sergio Aguero on the bench.

Their best chance arrived early on when Kelechi Iheanacho headed over from six yards, while second-half substitutes Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero made little impact.

Victory was also United’s second in five matches, and only Jose Mourinho’s fourth win in 18 meetings with Guardiola.

His team will now face West Ham in the quarter-finals, while Hull City hosts Newcastle, Liverpool face Leeds and Southampton plays Arsenal from November 29-30.

Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann named La Liga’s best player

Atletico Madrid dominated last season’s La Liga awards, with French forward Antoine Griezmann claiming the award for the best player in Spain.

Jan Oblak and Diego Godin, also Atletico players, won the Best Goalkeeper and Best Defender awards respectively.

Atletico’s Argentinian coach Diego Simeone also edged out Celta Vigo boss Toto Berizzo and former Villarreal chief Marcelino to win his third gong in the category of Best Coach.

“I’m lucky because since I’ve arrived I’ve encountered a group of men who are more than just football players,” Simeone told the audience.

This year also proved to be the end of several reigns in different player categories.

As a start, Godin’s gong marks the end of Sergio Ramos’ dominance in the defensive category – having won in each of the last four years – whilst Oblak became the second Atleti keeper to claim the keeping gong after Thibaut Courtois’ 2012/13 victory.

More prominently, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were the only players to have won the Best Player prize before French striker Griezmann held off the competition for the 2015/16 edition.

In addition, Godin and Griezmann were also the first Rojiblancos outfield players to seal a La Liga end of year award since the ceremony’s 2008/09 inception – marking an incredible year for Atletico despite having to finish last season without a major trophy.