Franck Ribery to end 12-year stay at Bayern Munich

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Franck Ribery will leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires in the summer after the French midfielder decided against extending his deal.

Ribery has scored 123 goals in 422 appearances since moving to Bayern in June 2007 from Marseille, helping the Bavarian giants to 21 trophies, including eight Bundesliga titles and the 2012-13 Champions League.

The 36-year-old said in quotes on Bayern’s website: “When I came to Bayern, it was a dream come true.

“It won’t be easy to say goodbye, but we must never forget what we’ve achieved together, we’ve won so much together – more than 20 honours.”

Ribery will join fellow veteran winger Arjen Robben in leaving Bayern at the end of the season. The pair, instrumental for the club for much of the last decade, will be given a testimonial next year.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: “Franck and Arjen are great players. FC Bayern owes a lot to both of them and we will give them a wonderful and emotional farewell.

“They’ve helped shape FC Bayern’s most successful decade with fantastic football.”

Bayern are closing in on another Bundesliga crown, though Ribery has been largely on the periphery this season due to injury.

He did, however, make his return to action on Saturday and got on the scoresheet in the 3-1 win over Hannover.

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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Transfer predictor: Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid rumour gets a 6

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Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Christian Eriksen

RUMOUR: Tottenham ->  €150m -> Real Madrid

Tottenham midfielder Eriksen could join Real Madrid this summer, according to AS.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

With the expected decline of Luka Modric leaving a gaping hole in Madrid’s midfield, there is an immediate need for the European champions to sign a creative midfielder.

The recent poor form of Modric has forced forward Karim Benzema to drop deep, involve himself in build-up play and create chances. The Frenchman has stepped up this season but it would be unwise for him to take on some of Modric’s duties for next season too.

With just one year left on his contract, it shouldn’t be hard for Madrid to convince Spurs to sell the Dane for a more affordable price.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

With rumours linking Ajax rising star Donny van de Beek with a switch to the Bernabeu, Madrid could decide to opt for the Dutchman instead, with age and potential on his side.

This would be the better option if Los Blancos are looking at the bigger picture. But, as it stands, they are in need of a short term fix and Eriksen, in his prime, could provide just that.

Also, it’s worth noting that if Spurs manage to win the Champions League, the 27-year-old could be coerced into staying in North London.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10

WILLIAN 

Willian-Chelsea (1)

RUMOUR: Chelsea ->  €35m -> Barcelona

Barcelona are interested in securing the signature of Brazilian winger Willian from Chelsea, claims The Sun.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

It’s clear that Malcom – despite his talent – has failed to win Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde over. And with Ousmane Dembele picking up injuries on a regular basis, the La Liga champions could find themselves in need of wing reinforcements.

The Spanish giants have spent lots of money on wingers over the past two seasons and it’s likely they could opt for a cheap, short-term option like Willian.

Although the odds of this happening are impossible, we are talking about a team that signed Kevin-Prince Boateng when he was way past his prime, so don’t rule any move out.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Willian has been dismal for Chelsea this term, a team who are not having the best of seasons in the league themselves.

The winger has declined and clearly lacks the quality to play for a top club, let alone Barcelona.

Although Dembele has shown vulnerability to injuries, he has also displayed great potential and moments of individual brilliance.

Willian’s arrival will only hinder Dembele’s development and Valverde will know better than to make a panic signing.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 2/10

NICOLAS PEPE

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe

RUMOUR: Lille ->  €70m -> Manchester United

Manchester United are among the many clubs fighting for the signature of Lille sensation Nicolas Pepe, according to Daily Express.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

United are in need of drastic change this summer, especially with the poor form of Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a player with grit, determination and renewed optimism, something that Pepe offers in droves.

If the English side play their cards right, they could convince the Lille star to join them in the summer.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

United are just not what they used to be. A decade ago, some of the best players in the world flocked to the Theatre of Dreams to have their skills honed by one of the best managers of all time.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, United have been just another team. There is no reason why Pepe should be choosing United over the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, given how the Red Devils lack a structured sporting plan and are slowly losing their identity.

If United fail to achieve Champions League football for next season, it’s unlikely that the winger would decide to ply his trade with the Manchester side.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 5/10

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Video: Zinedine Zidane reacts to rumours linking Real Madrid with Paul Pogba move

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Zinedine Zidane attempted to pour cold water on rumours linking Real Madrid with a summer move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, although the Los Blancos head coach also seemed to suggest a pursuit is possible.

The club are expected to be busy in the transfer window, but Zidane refused to comment on a possible move for his compatriot.

“All I am saying is that, if you ask me about Pogba now, I will tell you that Pogba is a Manchester United player,” said the French coach. “That is all. He is very good, he plays for Manchester United.”

Real, who have endured a difficult season, host Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.


Zidane will continue to experiment with his side having little to play for – Real are third, nine points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid and 10 clear of Getafe in fourth with three games of the season remaining.








Real have struggled for consistency under the Frenchman with four wins, two draws and two defeats since he returned in the wake of their Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax.



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