Papers: City surprised to hear Ronaldo was ‘close’ to joining

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Friday’s newspapers…


Manchester City were surprised to hear Cristiano Ronaldo claim he came “close” to moving to the Etihad in the summer of 2021.

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates have shunned the five-star hotel treatment for student accommodation at the World Cup so they can host barbeques.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been offered a Manchester United escape route this Christmas… to Australia.

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In an interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, Cristiano Ronaldo claimed that young players ‘don’t care’ and are different from his generation

Chelsea midfielder Cesare Casadei insists he has no regrets about signing for the Blues despite zero first-team minutes.

Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has admitted he would like to come back to the club.

Peter Crouch has revealed horrific abuse from the stands early in his career drove him to consider quitting football.


David Beckham is facing further criticism for his role as an ambassador for Qatar after claiming the World Cup would be a platform for progress, inclusivity and tolerance.

Liverpool and Juventus are keeping track of the growing uncertainty around Mason Mount’s future after Chelsea’s talks with the England midfielder over a new deal were put on hold until after the World Cup.

Mason Mount
Image: Chelsea attacking midfielder Mason Mount’s current deal expires in the summer of 2024


Only three days before kick-off, the Qatari hosts were putting pressure on FIFA to perform a complete U-turn on the beer policy at the World Cup and stop selling Budweiser at the eight World Cup stadiums altogether.

England are set to hold talks over whether they will take the knee at the World Cup in Qatar before Monday’s opening group game against Iran.

Mauricio Pochettino has said he is “open” to the idea of managing England as Gareth Southgate prepares for the tournament which will define his tenure.

The disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has claimed he is still confident of avoiding extradition from Trinidad to the United States despite losing an appeal to the Privy Council in London.


Gareth Bale is using a golf simulator ahead of the World Cup in Qatar after being banned from playing at a Doha course.

Erling Haaland’s agent Rafaela Pimenta has declared there are no concrete plans for the Norwegian striker’s future as of yet amid rumours linking him with a move away from Manchester City before the end of his current deal.

Lionel Messi has decided he wants to room alone at the World Cup in Qatar with Argentina following Sergio Aguero’s retirement.


Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group has confirmed that Jurgen Klopp’s key executive ally Michael Gordon is “stepping back” from day-to-day duties in a significant power shift at Anfield.

The Football Association will take on FIFA by meeting on the eve of the World Cup to ask why it has not acted to improve the rights of migrant workers in Qatar.


Cristiano Ronaldo has hailed his long-term rival Lionel Messi as an “amazing player” – and insisted there is a deep level of respect between the two superstars.

Lionel Messi has spoken of his “happiness” in Paris as he appears to have poured cold water on Joan Laporta’s attempts to bring him back to Barcelona.


Gareth Southgate excluded Ivan Toney from England’s World Cup squad on “footballing grounds”, according to the Football Association’s chief executive Mark Bullingham.


Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was left bemused by a congratulatory message from the Spanish FA on his retirement from international duty – despite being yet to hang up his gloves.

Arsenal will reportedly host Juventus in their final warm-up match before the resumption of the Premier League season on Boxing Day, while the Serie A side have also scheduled another clash with Barcelona during the World Cup break.

Leicester believe they can reach an agreement with Youri Tielemans that will stop their star midfielder leaving on a free transfer next summer.

Christopher Nkunku has defended his France team-mate Eduardo Camavinga after he was subjected to vile racist abuse this week.


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