By Tim Stannard
1) Agent confirms multi-million dollars offer for Ronaldo
The end of the football year was ending in far too much of a flimsy fashion.
No enormous winter signings on the cards. James not playing ball by staying at Real Madrid. A dearth of dramatic, headline-grabbing results from England. So thankfully, the heady combination of the most powerful agent in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, and China came together at the end for the outlandishly tall tale that CR7 and Real Madrid had been handed an ‘Indecent Proposal’ style offer to move to China by an un-named club and earn $100m a year with Madrid pocketing over $300m in the deal.
Jorge Mendes confirmed the offer on Thursday evening but advised that it had been politely declined so that Carlos Tevez does not seem like an exploited fast-food worker in the USA at his new Chinese Super League club in comparison.
2) King Zlatan takes side in Ronaldo v Ronaldo debate
Might as well stick with the Cristiano Ronaldo topic with comments from King Zlatan through ESPN Brazil that Ronaldo The First was the more natural talent out of the two, saying that the Real Madrid man was born out of hard work and training, as opposed to innate genius. “Ronaldo was natural, he was born to be what he was. It was not something he trained to become. This type of player is not made, he is born. He is unique.”
3) Hull City kicks off yet another EPL round
Well, God Rest Those Merry Gentlemen in England with another batch of games on Friday to make sure Her Majesty’s subjects do not have to go 24-hours without some ball-kicking action. Round 19 of the Premier League screeches into gear with the very struggling Hull City hosting the very ‘meh’ Everton. Hull are currently bottom-of-the-table with just the single league victory since the end of August. “I don’t see any signs of heads dropping,” roared Tigers boss, Mike Phelan, after three consecutive defeats for Hull.
The top four are also in action in the Championship as well, with Brighton hosting Cardiff and Newcastle United in a tasty fixture against Nottingham Forest. Catch all of today’s highlights and results on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT. Or there will be trouble. That is followed by a special edition of the Locker Room which looks back at 2016 in European Football.
4) Wenger brands Chelsea as EPL “super favorites”
Arsenal are not in action until New Year’s Day on Sunday, but Arsene Wenger has been chuntering away ahead of the clash against Crystal Palace on all manner of subjects including club mascots gone rogue and the matter of who are favorites to win the Premier League this season. Naturally, it isn’t Arsenal. "Chelsea are the super favorites, it is there's to lose,” opined the Arsenal boss.
5) Chelsea to make swan dive for Fernando Llorente
Friday’s transfer rumor mill has Swansea City’s Spanish striker, Fernando Llorente, popping over to Chelsea in what would be a very surprising move. Less of a shock would be Everton and former Barcelona forward, Gerard Deulofeu, joining Milan on loan. The Spaniard has only made four starts for the Premier League team this season. The XTRA will bring you the latest transfer gossip from around the world as well as the word on what the football stars have been getting up to whilst on vacation.
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