Real Madrid’s grand spending spree in 2019 has moved past the €300 million-mark with the official capture of Lyon and France left-back Ferland Mendy.
Mendy, 24, was widely reported to have agreed a €48m move last week and had undergone medical checks while on international duty. He arrives at Santiago Bernabeu alongside Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, Eintracht Frankfurt attacker Luka Jovic, Porto centre-back Eder Militao and Santos starlet Rodrygo.
“Real Madrid C. F. and Lyon have agreed the transfer of Ferland Mendy,” a tweet from Los Blancos’ official account stated on Wednesday night.
“The player has signed a contract with the club for the next six seasons, running to the 30th of June 2025.
“Mendy will be presented on Wednesday the 19th of June at 1:00pm CEST in the VIP box at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Mendy will then set foot on the Santiago Bernabeu pitch for the first time wearing a Real Madrid C.F. jersey and speak to the press.”
Head coach Zinedine Zidane is rumoured to desire another addition at centre midfield. Spanish sports daily AS has stated that Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz has joined a list of targets that includes Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen.
The likes of Wales forward Gareth Bale and Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez continue to be linked with moves away from the Bernabeu, as Madrid attempt to balance their books.
Debuts for some of the pre-season additions could come in next month’s 2019 International Champions Cup, which kicks off in Houston, United States on July 20 versus Bayern Munich.
Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe shrugged off rumours linking him to Real Madrid, stating it is not the right time to talk about his future.
Speculation of a Madrid move has intensified ever since the World Cup winner publicly cast doubts over his future at PSG last month.
There are only a few clubs that can afford the youngster who cost the Parisians €135 million, Los Blancos being one of them.
However, Madrid have already splashed the cash this window, adding the likes of Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Rodrygo and potentially Ferland Mendy to their ranks. It’s unlikely that they will go after the French star in the same window, especially given their pursuits of midfielders Paul Pgba and Christian Eriksen.
Mbappe appeared frustrated, given he has had to deal with this question on many occasions. He reiterated that this is not the right time to talk about Madrid.
“Now is not the time to talk about Real Madrid,” he said when asked about a potential move to Los Blancos after France’s 4-0 win over Andorra, according to Marca.
“You always ask me the same thing, but it’s not the time.”
Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale has shaken off his end-of-season rust and is ready to finish the campaign on a high with Wales.
Giggs’ side meet Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday, with precious Euro 2020 qualifying points at stake.
Wales hope to claw back the three-point deficit on Group E leaders Hungary and are looking to captain Bale to end his goal drought at the Groupama Arena.
The Real Madrid star has gone three months without a goal for club and country, and has suffered huge frustration in Spain after losing his first-team place towards the end of the season.
“I was happy with Gareth’s performance in Croatia,” Giggs said of the 2-1 defeat in Osijek on Saturday which dropped Wales to third place in the group.
“He had a couple of chances and on another day they go in.
“It was his first game in six weeks, we had a great build-up in Portugal and a great week at Colliers Park (their training facility in Wrexham).
“Gareth grew into the game, not playing for six weeks that might be understandable. Hopefully’s he’s saving it for Hungary.”
Some 3,000 seats will be unfilled at the venue after UEFA ordered a partial stadium closure following the behaviour of Hungary supporters in Slovakia in March.
Hungary fans were found guilty of racist behaviour, vandalism and the setting off of fireworks. The Hungarian Football Federation must display a banner with the wording ‘EqualGame’ on it in the closed sector.
“There will be less fans in the stadium but I understand it’s a very good atmosphere,” Giggs said when asked about the threat of racism from Hungary fans.
“I’ve talked before about sanctions on racism not being strong enough. They need to be stronger.
“But for me it’s all about concentrating on the game. I’ve got enough to worry about with winning this game.”
Wales are set to carry a potent attacking threat with David Brooks, who scored a consolation goal after coming on as a second-half substitute, expected to prove his fitness after an ankle problem.
Brooks should form a front-three with Bale and Daniel James, Swansea’s Manchester United-bound winger who drew high praise from Hungary manager Marco Rossi at the Italian’s pre-match press conference.
Rossi admits he has been astonished by the speed of James, comparing him to former sprint champion Usain Bolt and ex-Brazil striker Ronaldo.
“In the past I played against a very fast player who, according to me, was the best after Maradona – Ronaldo,” said Rossi, the former Brescia and Sampdoria defender.
“His acceleration looked like James. He was just not known for speed but for everything. James’ speed reminds of Usain Bolt – to be so fast like him is really incredible.
“In the last years I don’t remember one player that gave me this sensation.”
Copy provided by Press Association Sport