Real Madrid Legend Toni Kroos Blasts Gabri Viega’s Transfer to Al-Ahli; Calls it ‘Embarrassing’ – News18

Toni Kroos blasted Gabri Viega’s transfer to Al-Ahli as ’embarassing’ and called out the player for going after the money rather than sporting achievements. (Image: Instagram_

After making the move to Saudi Arabia at such a young age, Real Madrid legend, Toni Kroos blasted the Spanish midfielder calling the transfer ’embarrassing.’

Amidst confirmation regarding the transfer of young Spanish central-midfielder, Gabri Viega to Saudi Arabian side, Al-Ahli, it has prompted a reaction from German international and Real Madrid star, Toni Kroos.

The Real Madrid veteran termed the transfer to Al-Ahli as ’embarrassing’, as he commented on the Instagram post from popular football journalist, Fabrizio Romano. The journalist had made the post confirming the transfer of the Spanish midfielder to Al-Ahli.

Viega was reportedly set to make the move to Serie-A champions, Napoli, but the move fell through due to the Italian club making changes in the terms of the agreement despite verbally agreeing to the terms beforehand which caused the move to collapse.

To put some context into Kroos’s comment, he had mentioned in his podcast that he was not a big fan of young players making the move to Saudi Arabia which provides a massive financial incentive that European football is finding hard to compete with.

He mentioned his understanding of veteran stars like Cristiano Ronaldo or Karim Benzema making the move to Saudi Arabia since they have won most of football’s accolades in Europe and have cemented themselves as legends of the sport.

READ MORE: Neymar Set to Join Al Hilal in €100 Million Move From PSG: Report – News18

Kroos believes that it sets a bad example for younger players when stars make the move to Saudi Arabia or any other region just for financial gains rather than keeping sporting goals as the priority.

The current manager of Celta Vigo, Rafa Benitez commented on the transfer of Viega, he said, “When important offers come in, you assess the financial aspect for the club and the interest of the player. At the beginning, we thought he could go to a team playing Champions League football. Then the situation changed.” This is in reference to Viega’s failed move to Napoli. He was not able to secure a move to a Champions League club which prompted him to take the financial stability route and make the move to Saudi Arabia.

Viega will be amongst many others who made the move to Saudi Arabia following the footsteps of legends like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Neymar and many others who have also made the switch.

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‘It’s going to be a hell of journey’: PV Sindhu announces partnership with Malaysian coach in ‘Fabrizio style’

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu on Tuesday announced Malaysian Mohammad Hafiz Hashim as her new coach, saying he has all the traits, including the “pedigree” and “attacking instinct”, that she was seeking ahead of next year’s Paris Olympics.

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu with her new Malaysian coach Mohammad Hafiz Hashim(Twitter/Pvsindhu1)

PTI had reported earlier that Sindhu had written to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), seeking its approval to train under the former All England champion Malaysian as part of the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

“HERE WE GO!! In typical Fabrizio style, I am thrilled to announce Hafiz Hashim as my new coach!!,” Sindhu, who is currently in Yeosu for the Korea Open Super 500 tournament, wrote in a social media post.

“After a long, drawn-out process, I am ecstatic to declare that I have chosen the incredible Hafiz Hashim as my coach.

“Hafiz possesses all the traits I was seeking in a coach, including the height, speed, and an attacking instinct. As a former All England champion in 2003, he sure has the pedigree as well. Having coach (Misbun) Sidek as his old coach, just adds this aura to him.”

Sindhu has been battling an inconsistent form and, with the Olympic qualification period for the 2024 Games having started from May 1, the Indian was looking for someone to guide her in her preparation for the Games, where she is eyeing the coveted gold.

“I extend a warm welcome aboard, Coach Hashim. Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a hell of journey with captain Hafiz at the helm!!”

Sindhu has looked off colour this season after returning from a five-month long injury layoff following a stress fracture on her ankle enroute her Commonwealth Games gold in August last year.

In February, the 28-year-old from Hyderabad parted ways with Korean coach Park Tae-Sang, who was instrumental in her winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The highlight this season for her has been a final finish at the Madrid Spain Masters Super 300 and semifinal finishes at Malaysia Masters Super 500 and Canada Open Super 500. However, she made early exits from a series of events at the start of the year.

The inconsistent run affected her ranking as Sindhu, the 2019 world champion, slipped out of the top 10 in April for the first time since 2016 and slumped to world number 17 on Tuesday in the latest BWF chart.

Sindhu was working with SAI coach Vidhi Chaudhary after the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) had approved her proposal to financially assist him towards accompanying her to the All England Championships, Swiss Open, and Spain Masters.

Sindhu had worked with Hafiz at the Suchitra Badminton Academy ahead of the Canada Open.

While national chief coach Pullela Gopichand has been her mentor, Sindhu has worked briefly with Kim Ju Hyun on way to her World Championships gold in Basel. Since Kim left abruptly, she has been training with Park.

Hafiz, the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, was a junior coach at the Badminton Association of Malaysia before he joined the Suchitra Academy in Hyderabad in February on a three-year contract.

Sindhu had sought the guidance of the 40-year-old, who was also the coach of Awadhe Warriors in the Premier Badminton League, during her visit to the Suchitra Academy where she goes for strength and conditioning coaching under trainer Srikanth Verma.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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‘Not True’: Ilkay Gundogan’s Agent Rubbishes Rumours About His Manchester City Future

Last Updated: June 06, 2023, 15:09 IST

Ilhan Gundogan, the uncle and agent of Ilkay Gundogan, has confirmed that the footballer has not yet finalised his destination for the next season. During an interaction with transfer market specialist Fabrizio Romano, Ilhan revealed that the Manchester City captain has not signed any new contract with his current club or any other side. Ilhan further added that Ilkay is not quite bothered about his transfer rumours. Instead, the 32-year-old midfielder is putting his entire focus on the upcoming major assignment, the Champions League final. “The recent reports are not true. Ilkay is only focused on the final,” Ilhan said as quoted by Romano on Twitter.

Ilkay Gundogan will become free to move on when the summer transfer window opens later this month. Arsenal and Barcelona have shown their interest in signing the German midfielder but City have not yet confirmed anything about his future.

Gundogan was the top performer in Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3. He scored the opener only 12 minutes after the game began at Wembley which is now the quickest goal in the history of the tournament. United could make it all square with Bruno Fernandes converting a penalty in the 33rd minute. In the early phase of the second half, Gundogan once again struck the opposition net with a stunning volley to make it 2-1, a scoreline that persisted till the final whistle.

Ilkay Gundogan has netted six goals in the last five games for Manchester City. His recent flourish of form eliminated doubts that the German international will leave the Etihad after his contract expires this summer. While being asked about his future plans after the FA Cup triumph, Gundogan said, “To be quite honest, I don’t require days like these to feel valued and special at this club. Given all the ups and downs I’ve experienced thus far, I am aware of this and have been here for seven years. We will wait and see since nothing has been decided as of yet.”

Boss Pep Guardiola also wanted Gundogan to stay at Manchester City. Speaking to the BBC after the FA Cup final, Guardiola termed Gundogan “a good friend,” saying, “Director Txiki Begiristain is working on it. I hope he has a chance to succeed. Gundogan has been a good friend of mine for many years because we are neighbours and share the same floor.”

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Arsenal to Battle Spanish Powerhouse to Acquire Service of Joao Cancelo: Report

Published By: Ritayan Basu

Last Updated: June 05, 2023, 12:22 IST

Joao Cancelo at Bayern Munich (Twitter)

Apart from Arsenal, Barcelona are also in the hunt for a right-back and can consider Joao Cancelo as an option

Arsenal are reportedly to battle another powerhouse club in order to acquire the signature of Joao Cancelo. Manchester City loaned out the Portuguese side-back to Bayern Munich last season after Pep Guardiola ignored him frequently in City’s starting eleven. But the German club is not taking up the £60 million option to permanently sign Cancelo. In this scenario, the footballer will return to the Premier League club. Fabrizio Romano, a transfer market expert, has revealed to GiveMeSport that City are planning to sell Cancelo in the upcoming summer transfer. Apart from Arsenal, Barcelona are also in the hunt for a right-back and can consider Cancello as an option. “Barcelona are really interested in Cancelo,” Romano said.

One thing that could come as an obstacle for Arsenal was Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s consent. It won’t actually matter because Guardiola believes Mikel Arteta to be a “good friend” after spending a long period together at the Etihad, according to journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. Even though Joao Cancelo was a regular starter for City at the start of the season, Guardiola has already turned his back on the Portuguese international. In addition to playing along the right wing, Cancelo was often used as a centre-back during his time at City and the footballer was able to showcase his versatility.

Arsenal signed a couple of first-team players from Manchester City last season. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus who shifted their base from the Etihad to the Emirates, played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s return to the Champions League next season. But the Gunners fell slightly short of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title. Guardiola’s boys once again showed their domination and took home their fifth silverware in the last six seasons. After becoming the champions of England, City won the FA Cup final and can complete the treble by winning the Champions League final, scheduled for June 11.

Before returning to the European Championship, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will look to reconstruct the squad. Alongside Joao Cancelo, Arsenal are also keeping their eyes on another Manchester City player, IIkay Gundogan. The German midfielder, who scored a brace in City’s 2-1 win against Manchester United in the FA Cup final, can search for a new club when the transfer window opens. But City has not yet brought out any official statement regarding Gundogan’s future at the Etihad.

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Real Madrid To Chase Chelsea Forward Kai Havertz, According to Report

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has reportedly come under the radar of Real Madrid. With Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti thinking about reshaping the squad in the coming season, Havertz’s name has been included in the list of players, who can make a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Fabrizio Romano, a transfer market specialist, was the one who brought the topic to light through a tweet. According to Romano, Real Madrid possess “a concrete interest in Havertz and the Chelsea forward is one of the favourites of coach Ancelotti. “Understand Chelsea are open to discussing Havertz’s exit but they want an important fee, no way for a loan and similar,” the tweet further read.

A significant modification is expected to happen after Real Madrid failed to showcase their top form this season. They were ousted by Barcelona in the La Liga title race and suffered a humiliating elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Manchester City. With news coming out about Karim Benzema’s departure, Madrid seem to be desperate to shortlist the possible options to replace the long-serving striker.

ALSO READ| Football Transfers 2023: Joao Moutinho and Diego Costa to Leave Wolves, Adama Traore in Talks to Stay

Al Ittihad, a Saudi Pro League side, is known to be interested in signing Karim Benzema with a mouth-watering deal reportedly on the table. But the 25-year-old footballer has expressed his desire to remain at Santiago Bernabeu for one more season.

Kai Havertz might not be a perfect replacement for Karim Benzema but the German international’s inclusion could bolster Madrid’s attacking third. Since shifting his base to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in September 2020, Havertz has endured a mixed spell at the West London club. He was the sailor of the ship when Chelsea lifted the Champions League title in the 2020-21 season, scoring the winning goal against Manchester City in the final.

Although, Havertz was not at his best this season, which saw Chelsea finish 12th in the Premier League table. The Blues could win just 11 out of their 38 league games. Havertz made 47 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions and could manage just 9 goals. During his period at Stamford Bridge, Havertz has played 139 games in the Chelsea colours and has netted 32 goals while providing 15 assists.

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