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Man City 'surprised' to hear Cristiano Ronaldo say he was close to joining - Paper Talk

Plus: 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

Paper talk

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 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.

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

A poll has found that 45 per cent of football fans in England are intending to watch games from home rather than go to pubs and other venues, with most saying the decision came down to finances.

Bayer Leverkusen are keeping their fingers crossed Chelsea will not recall Callum Hudson-Odoi from his loan spell in January.

John Askey says York City bosses asked him to go to the printer to collect a file which turned out to be a letter telling him he had been sacked from his role as head coach.


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 a 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 Norway 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.

Tottenham will have to act quickly to snap up Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario in January, according to reports in Italy, with Juventus set to make their move for the 26-year-old and Roma also interested.

Barcelona are reported to be keeping tabs on Arsenal youngster Charlie Patino, who has impressed during a loan spell with Championship club Blackpool so far this season.


Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group has confirmed 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.

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In an interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, Cristiano Ronaldo claims Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag provoked him in to walking out of the stadium against Tottenham


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.

Co-owner Will Ferrell says Cristiano Ronaldo would be made welcome at LAFC if he decides to give MLS a try before the end of his career, although he admitted "we can't pay you that much" and hoped great golf courses and beaches could make up for that.

One cheeky migrant worker urged Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong to join Liverpool in January, the Barcelona midfielder has revealed after visiting World Cup facilities in Qatar.


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

Ivan Toney celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Brentford and Gillingham
Image: Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been charged over 232 alleged breaches of betting rules


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 the 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.

Australia head coach Graham Arnold says a double battle with Covid-19 has enabled him to become a better communicator and feels his previous "iron-fist" regime has thankfully come to an end.

Olivier Giroud has provided Australia with some ammunition ahead of their World Cup opener next week by admitting France are yet to start doing their homework on the Socceroos and he has no idea who is in their squad.

FIFA are facing criticism over a decision not to provide water fountains at venues, including fan parks and fan zones, sparking fears that 33 degree temperatures could lead to visitors suffering heatstroke and severe dehydration while queueing for bottled water.


Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin is confident loan stars Leighton Clarkson (Liverpool) and Liam Scales (Celtic) will be allowed to see out the season at Pittodrie despite January recall options.

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