By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite all of their attacking prowess in midfield, Real Madrid look to be facing a crisis when it comes to fielding a midfield stopper.
Sami Khedira is set to miss six weeks due to a torn muscle in his left thigh, leaving Real Madrid weakened in the back. It’s unfortunate timing for the Estadio Bernabéu side, following the departure of Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich earlier this week.
Khedira’s injury was confirmed during his time training with the German national team, which is preparing to take on Argentina in a rematch of this summer’s World Cup final.
The World Cup Champions insist that they were sent an already-injured Khedira, while Real Madrid responded that the player was fully fit after the club’s 3-2 loss to Sevilla earlier in the week.
Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Wednesday morning:
DI MARIA QUESTIONS FRIENDLY WITH GERMANY
There’s been noise from the Argentine camp as well. Just days after making his Manchester United debut, Angel Di Maria said he is far from excited at the prospect at getting revenge over Germany in their anticipated friendly.
The British record midfielder with the idea of facing Germany in the midst of an already busy year, as Di Maria said he would prefer not to take part in such a game during an already busy slate of fixtures.
“The season is very long, with the Copa America too at the end of the year,” Di Maria said. “I believe these games, sometimes, I would prefer to avoid them. This is not about revenge, it is just a friendly game, nothing more.”
“They are the world champions and we are coming to their party. They will present the trophy. But, well, we will try to do our best.”
PSG OWNER CLAIMS $52 MILLION MARQUINHOS BID FROM BARCELONA
In preparation for the club’s now-ongoing transfer ban, Barcelona were looking to add one more defender to their ranks ahead of the close of the summer transfer window. However, an offer hovering around $52 million was not enough to budge fellow giants Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona’s big-money bid for defender Marquinhos was rejected by the Parisians, as club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insists that the 20-year old is seen as a huge part of the club’s future plans.
“We have received a huge offer from Barcelona for Marquinhos, one worth more than ($52 million),” said El-Khelaifi. “But Paris Saint-Germain are not a club that buys players to sell them on again. We are not here to do business and try to make profit on a player. We are here to build a great club with some amazing players.
“If it was our aim to sell players and make profits, we could have sold three or four players this summer. But that’s not our philosophy.”
MONACO FANS IN SEARCH OF REFUNDS FOLLOWING DEPARTURES OF RODRIGUEZ, FALCAO
Just one year removed from the start of the club’s attempt to join Europe’s elite, AS Monaco’s ambitious efforts appears all but finished, and the club’s supporters are not happy about it.
Having lost stars James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, supporters have released a statement against the club’s hike in season ticket prices.
“With these two departures and with almost no new signings during the whole transfer window, Monaco fans are swinging between anger, confusion and frustration,” the statement said. “The fans feel betrayed today – for having believed the club’s promises and having accepted a significant increase in season ticket prices at Stade Louis II.
“There’s nothing to indicate the club will accept these demands, but at least they will show our general unhappiness.”
Defender Vincent Kompany’s could feature in Belgium’s friendly with Australia after a knee injury picked up in training proved not to be serious. (REPORT)
England goalkeeper Ben Foster has returned to West Bromwich Albion after picking up an injury. (REPORT)
AZ Alkmaar coach Marco van Basten will not return to the team until mid-September due to health issues. (REPORT)
Real Madrid add defender Guillermo Varela on loan from Manchester United. (REPORT)