Mateo Kovacic

Manchester City agree deal to sign Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic

Premier League champions Manchester City have bolstered their midfield by agreeing to a £30 million deal with Chelsea to sign midfielder Mateo Kovacic. As per the deal, Manchester City will pay an initial £25 million for the 29-year-old Croatia international, with a further £5 million to follow in potential add-ons.

Kovacic, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2018, is entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge. Manchester City will now look to complete the formalities of a move with the player. If everything goes as per plan, Kovacic will become City’s first signing of the summer and give manager Pep Guardiola more midfield options at a time when captain Ilkay Gundogan’s future is uncertain.

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

Kovacic has won the Champions League three times with Real Madrid and once with Chelsea, could be one of several summer departures from the London club as new manager Mauricio Pochettino trims his squad.

Besides Kovacic, there are also talks about Manchester City looking to propose a swap deal for Declan Rice involving a winger in exchange for the Three Lions’ starlet. The Pep Guardiola-led side is looking to strengthen their defence by bringing in RB Leipzig player Josko Gvardiol.

Manchester City will be seeing a lot of players make their way out of the club this season. The biggest of them all will be Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva. While it is not certain where Gundogan will go, Bernardo Silva will be plying his trade for Barcelona or Paris St. Germain. Man City are also looking to sell Riyad Mahrez this summer. Mahrez is attracting interest from Saudi Arabian clubs. His contract expires in 2024.

Joselu re-signs with Real Madrid - God of Sports

Former Espanyol striker Joselu is a Real Madrid player, again!!!

Looks like the search for Karim Benzema’s replacement is over. Real Madrid has announced the signing of Spain striker Joselu from relegated team Espanyol. In a statement released by Madrid, the club stated, “Real Madrid and Espanyol have agreed on the loan of Joselu, who will be at the club for next season with an option to buy at the end of it.”

Joselu joined Real Madrid’s youth academy in 2010 and played for Castilla. In the two seasons with their reserve team, he was the top scorer in the team. In the second of them, the 2011-12, he proved to be instrumental in winning promotion to the Second Division as champion of the division. He scored 19 goals in the regular league and 7 more in the promotion play-offs.

Joselu had a superb season. The forward finished as La Liga’s third top goalscorer with 16 goals despite Espanyol’s relegation, earning him a call-up to the national team squad for the Nations League final four.

As per the statement, Joselu arrives at the Santiago Bernabeu on a season-long loan deal, with Real Madrid understood to have paid a loan fee of €500,000. As for the permanent purchase option, it is believed to be non-mandatory and worth around €1.5 million.

Real Madrid is seeing a lot of new faces in the squad. Recently, the team announced the signing of England international Jude Bellingham. The club has also announced the signing of talented left-back Fran Garcia from Rayo Vallecano and Brahim Diaz from AC Milan.

Remembering the forgotten legends of Indian Sports

Remembering the forgotten legends of Indian Sports

Athletes compete, passion ablaze,

Fields and courts, where legends amaze,

Graceful movements, battles unfurled,

Sports, a symphony that stirs the world.

Sports. A spirit that lies within us and an activity that holds a special place in every Indian’s heart. Be it hockey the national sport of  India or cricket- the soul of every sports enthusiast Indians look forward to these events. 

Indians are mad and passionate about sports. Be it cricket or football or hockey, every Indian wears his/her passion on their sleeve to support their favourite athlete.

Did you know India houses the world’s oldest stadium with terraced stands located in Dholavira, Gujarat? Such is the rich history of our country which has produced many sporting legends who have done miraculous tasks on the field to inspire future generations.

In such a sportingly rich country, it is a shame that we have some of our sporting heroes who aren’t being credited as much. Their dedication, sacrifices and bravery deserve wide recognition and appreciation from us.

In this article, we have a look at some of the forgotten legends of India’s sports history. 

The Forgotten Legends of India’s Sports History

Jimmy George- The Flying Indian

Jimmy George- The Flying Indian

Jimmy George, the renowned Indian volleyball player and former captain of the Indian national volleyball team, is widely recognized as one of the greatest volleyball players in history. Often referred to as the “God of Indian volleyball,” he achieved remarkable heights in his career. An important aspect of volleyball is the net, which stands at a height of 2.43 metres. Jimmy’s exceptional attack reach extended to 3.44 metres, nearly one metre more than the net height.

Jimmy George initially played as an amateur for both Kerala and the Indian national team. However, he went on to make history by becoming the first Indian to transition into a professional volleyball player. He competed for professional clubs overseas, most notably in Italy. Jimmy’s skills and talent were widely acknowledged, and he gained significant recognition during his time playing in Italy.

Yet, tragedy struck when the world least expected it. At the tender age of 32, Jimmy’s life was cut short in a devastating road accident in Italy. The news shattered hearts and dimmed the light of Indian volleyball. A void was left, an emptiness that could never be filled.

But even in his untimely departure, George’s legacy remains indelible. His name will forever be whispered with reverence, his memory cherished by those who witnessed his greatness. He will forever be remembered as the youngest volleyball player to receive the prestigious Arjuna Award, a testament to his exceptional contributions to Indian sports.

Nirmal Kaur Saini

Nirmal Kaur Saini

Legends have said, “Behind every successful man is a woman”. We all know Milkha Singh- The Flying Sikh, the track and field sprinter who made India proud by winning various prestigious trophies and medals around the world.  

Nirmal Kaur Saini was the wife of Milkha Singh and the mother of their son Jeev Milkha Singh but very few people know that she was an Indian volleyball player and captain of the India women’s national volleyball team. She was a member of the Punjab volleyball team and has consequently won tournaments while playing with the team. She was the captain of the Indian Volleyball team in the Indo-Ceylon tour held in Sri Lanka.  

Sally Joseph 

Sally Joseph 

Sally Joseph, a Kerala native, was a remarkable and highly skilled volleyball player who left a lasting impact on the sport. Her exceptional abilities on the court set her apart and made her a standout figure among the volleyball players from Kerala. Known for her mesmerising playstyle, she possessed a unique skill set that often overshadowed even male players. Sally Joseph was particularly renowned for her captivating counter-attacking skills, displaying beautiful action and delivering thunderous spikes.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to Indian volleyball, Sally Joseph was honoured with the prestigious “Arjuna Award” in 1984. This esteemed award is granted to athletes who have exhibited exceptional performances and achieved remarkable milestones in their respective sports.

Sally Joseph’s legacy as a highly talented volleyball player from Kerala continues to inspire aspiring athletes. Her extraordinary skills, combined with the recognition of receiving the Arjuna Award, solidify her place among the noteworthy volleyball players in the history of Indian sports.

Nandu Natekar

Nandu Natekar

Nandu M. Natekar was the recipient of the first Arjuna Award instituted in 1961. He was the first Indian badminton player to play and win an international title back in 1956. He has won over 100 international and national titles. Nandu M. Natekar has participated in a number of matches, of which he won 12 out of the 16 singles matches and 8 out of 16 in doubles as part of the Indian team at the Thomas Cup held between 1951 and 1963.

During his playing career, Nandu Natekar represented India in numerous international tournaments and brought home several accolades. He won the National Badminton Championships of India for seven consecutive years from 1953 to 1959, showcasing his dominance and consistency in the sport. He also led the country in the tournament in 1959, 1961 and 1963. He also entered the quarterfinals of the coveted All England Championships in 1954 when he was just 21. 

MJ Gopalan

MJ Gopalan - Indian Sports Legend

Morappakam Josyam Gopalan, fondly called MJ Gopalan was a prominent figure in the field of Indian cricket. He played a significant role as an all-rounder and was associated with the Madras (now Chennai) cricket team.

Gopalan was an exceptional right-arm fast-medium bowler, known for his ability to swing the ball effectively. He represented the Madras cricket team in various tournaments and played a crucial part in their successes.

Gopalan’s cricketing career spanned from the late 1930s to the early 1950s, during which he showcased his skills in both domestic and international matches. His dedication and talent led him to earn the prestigious Madras Presidency cap, a symbol of recognition for exceptional cricketers in the region.

He was more successful in first-class cricket, taking 194 wickets as a fast bowler as well as scoring 2916 runs in 78 matches. Gopalan was a double international, who also represented India at hockey as a centre-half. In 1936, he was faced with a difficult choice when he was picked for both the cricket tour of England and for the hockey team at the Berlin Olympics. Gopalan bowled the first delivery in the Ranji Trophy, against Mysore at Madras in November 1934. 

Raj Singh Dungarpur

Raj Singh Dungarpur - Indian Sports Legend

Raj Singh Dungarpur held the position of president at the Board of Control for Cricket in India. In his role as the chairman of the selection committee, Dungarpur played a pivotal role in introducing Sachin Tendulkar to the international cricket scene. Tendulkar was handpicked by Dungarpur and included in India’s 1989 tour of Pakistan when he was a mere 16 years old. Dungarpur is also acknowledged for his efforts in establishing the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

During his cricketing career, Dungarpur represented the Rajasthan cricket team as well as the Central Zone cricket team. He participated in 86 first-class cricket matches spanning from 1955 to 1971, showcasing his skills as a medium-pace bowler and claiming a total of 206 wickets. Among his notable performances, his standout figures of 7 for 88 and 5 for 55 came during Rajasthan’s triumph over Vidarbha in the 1967-68 season. Moreover, Dungarpur assumed the role of Manager for the Indian Cricket team on multiple occasions, contributing to the team’s management and coordination.

Neville D’souza

Neville D’souza - Indian Sports Legend

Neville D’souza played hockey during his academics and represented the Bombay State hockey team in the National Hockey Championship from 1953 to 1955. He began his football career after playing for football clubs in Goa. He scored 4 goals in the 1956 Summer Olympics and was known as one of the finest strikers back in his time.

S. Narayan a former Indian international who played with Neville at the 1956 Summer Olympics said about Neville D’Souza.

Whenever I think about Indian football, his name comes to my mind. After we won, I remember the Australians calling our victory a “fluke” and demanding a rematch at Sydney after the Games ended. They were so stunned at the Olympic loss despite the home advantage that they were adamant about playing us again. We won the re-match with Neville scoring twice. Television was not around when Neville was playing for India at the Olympics and nor were video recordings possible, so people have no way of knowing how good he was in the goalmouth.”

The Mumbai Football Association began organising U-17 Neville D’Souza Trophy for teenagers from seventeen districts in Maharashtra.

Shanti Mullick

Shanti Mullick Indian Legend Of Sports

Shanti Mullick is an Indian former women’s footballer who played as a forward for the India women’s national football team. Mullick is the first Indian women’s footballer to receive the Arjuna Award, the second-highest Indian sports award.

Mullick was born in Kalighat, Kolkata, West Bengal and her father was also a footballer who served in the military.

Mullick represented India at the AFC Women’s Championships where the team reached the finals twice and finished as runners-up in the 1980 and 1983 editions. She played for the national team managed by legendary Sushil Bhattacharya. Her team also finished in third place in the 1981 edition. She captained the Indian team between 1981 and 1983. Mullick was the first women’s footballer to score a hat-trick for India in a 5–0 victory over Singapore in the 1981 AFC Women’s Championship.

Yolanda D’Souza

Yolanda D'Souza Indian Sports Legend

Yolanda D’Souza Kammermeier, known as ‘The Hat-Trick Queen,’ holds the distinction of being the first woman to achieve an international hat-trick for India. Although she grew up in Calangute, young Yolanda never anticipated that she would become a pivotal figure in the history of Indian women’s football during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Yolanda’s career in football was truly remarkable, garnering her numerous accolades. In 1979, she was honoured with the prestigious Bakshi Bahaddar Jivba Dada Kerkar Award by the Government of Goa. Recognizing her exceptional talent and contributions to the sport, Yolanda was later bestowed with the esteemed title of “Player of the Decade” by the Women’s Football Federation of India (WFFI) in 1980.

One of Yolanda’s significant achievements was being the first female player to score an international hat trick for India. She accomplished this remarkable feat against the Swedish club BET in 1976, etching her name in the annals of Indian football history.

Nirupama Mankad

Nirupama Mankad - Legend of indian sports

Nirupama Mankad is a former Indian tennis player and also the daughter of Tennis legend G. Vasant. Mankad won the Asian women’s tennis championship in 1965 at the age of 17. She introduced Tennis to India before it became mainstream. She was active from 1964 to 1979 and contested 25 finals and won 18 singles titles.

Nirupama Mankad achieved several notable milestones throughout her career. In 1987, she became the first Indian woman to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament when she qualified for the Wimbledon Championships. Her perseverance and skill earned her recognition as a trailblazer for Indian women in tennis.

During her professional tennis career, Mankad participated in both singles and doubles competitions. She was known for her strong baseline game, versatility, and mental toughness on the court. Mankad’s dedication and hard work led to her achieving a career-high singles ranking of 134 in the world.

Nirupama Mankad also represented India in the Fed Cup, the premier international team competition in women’s tennis. Her commitment to the sport and her country helped raise the profile of Indian women’s tennis on the global stage.

After retiring from professional tennis, Mankad continued to contribute to the sport as a coach and mentor. She has been actively involved in nurturing young tennis talents in India and promoting the growth of the game at the grassroots level.

Nirupama Mankad’s achievements and her pioneering role in Indian women’s tennis have left a lasting impact on the sport in the country. She remains an inspiration for aspiring tennis players and a symbol of excellence in Indian tennis history.

Football Team Of Spain

Spain beats Croatia on penalties to lift the Nations League cup

2010 World Cup winners Spain have defeated Croatia in the finals to be crowned the champions of the 2023 UEFA Nations League. The team won in the penalties 5-4 thanks to right back Dani Carvajal’s decisive spot-kick.

This is the second time that Spain has reached the final of the UEFA Nations League, while Luka Modric’s Croatia played their first-ever Nations League Final. Spain lost the 2020/21 finals against France and was looking to finish on the right side of the result this time around.

After the game, Spain manager Luis de La Fuente praised his new-formed side and said that their winning mentality is back within the lads.

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

“These players are used to winning,” de La Fuente told reporters after the game. “They have won so much coming through the ranks and this can continue, I think this competitive streak is back and we can look forward to winning more.”

“I know this generation of players very well and I knew they wouldn’t let me down,” de La Fuente said. “We’ve been very relaxed throughout this week and enjoyed our training sessions. I told them to stay calm because they had done a brilliant job. We would have deserved to win the game earlier, but this makes the win even more epic. I would have been happy even if we hadn’t won tonight, but winning adds the gloss and of course, makes everyone happier,” the manager of Spain added.

In the semi-finals of the Nations League, Croatia defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in an exciting encounter that went down to extra time. Meanwhile, Spain beat Italy 2-1 thanks to an 88th-minute winner from striker Joselu.

Indian Football Team Captain Chhetri with Team

India are the champions of Hero Intercontinental Cup

Team India is on the rise in football. After keeping a clean sheet throughout the Hero Intercontinental Cup, the 101-ranked team defeated Lebanon in the finals of the prestigious tournament to lift the cup. Sunil Chhetri and Lallianzuala Chhangte were the heroes of the grand finale winning the match 2-0.

This is India’s second title triumph in the tournament, following their win in the inaugural edition in 2018. Korea won in 2019. In the last leg of his career, the 38-year-old Chhetri found the back of the net in the 46th minute of the title clash, breaking the deadlock right after play resumed after a goalless first half.

Buoyed by the lead and backed by a near-capacity crowd at the Kalinga Stadium, India consolidated their position when Lallianzuala Chhangte, the provider of the first goal, found the target in the 66th-minute, leaving the fans delighted and their 99th-ranked opponents stunned.

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

Soon after the accomplishment, it was announced by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that a whopping ₹1 crore cash prize will be given to the team for their success.

Patnaik said, “It is a matter of great pride for our State to host this prestigious Intercontinental Cup. Congratulations to India on their victory in the face of stiff competition. It is our intention to hold many more football events in Odisha and support the growth of the sport in Odisha and India.”

With this title win, the focus will shift to SAFF Championship in Bengaluru. The hosts will play Pakistan in their opening game on June 21.

Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham officially signs for Real Madrid

Spanish club giants Real Madrid have broken the Internet. The club has officially signed England’s young sensation Jude Bellingham from Borrusia Dortmund. The 19-year-old has completed his £115 million move, making him the most expensive British player of all time.

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

Real Madrid announced his arrival on Twitter with a picture of him in the club’s new shirt with a caption saying “Hey Jude” as a reference to the famous Beatles song.

The club released a statement confirming the transfer, revealing that Bellingham will be presented to the fans on Thursday. The official statement read: “Real Madrid CF and Borussia Dortmund have agreed on the transfer of the player Jude Bellingham, who will remain linked to our club for the next six seasons.”

It further read, “Tomorrow, Thursday, June 15, at 12:00 noon at Real Madrid City, the presentation ceremony for Jude Bellingham as a new Real Madrid player will take place.”

The move is a massive plus for Madrid. Bellingham has been rated as one of the best of his generation. He has scored 24 goals in 132 games for Dortmund, winning the German Cup in 2021. Additionally, he has impressed everyone with his leadership skills at Borussia Dortmund.

With Karim Benzema departing from Real Madrid this season, Bellingham will be a great option to lead Real Madrid’s attack. Besides Bellingham, Real Madrid has also announced the signing of Rayo Vallecano left-back Fran Garcia to bolster their defence.

Players Manchester United should target this transfer season

Players Manchester United should target this transfer season

Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United have had a remarkable season. The Premier League club finished 3rd on the points table. Also, the Red Devils were able to win silverware this season. The Old Trafford-based club won the FA Cup final against Newcastle United; landing the club their first trophy in over 6 years.

Manchester United are looking in formidable form. All their departments are firing in unions. However, there is one concern. The club is plagued with injuries to vital players at the wrong time. Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Donny Van de Beek, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and many others missed important games this season due to serious injuries. Ensuring these important players are injury-free is a huge challenge for Ten Hag.

To make matters easy for the club, Erik Ten Hag will be looking to bolster his squad with some new faces. There have been rumours that Ten Hag is looking to bring England star Harry Kane to Manchester United. Just imagine what would happen when this happens. The Internet would definitely break. Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane linking up to provide goals for Manchester United. A sight to behold!!!

Under Erik Ten Hag, Manchester United have definitely improved a lot. They have started playing attacking football and are looking a real threat to Premier League champions Manchester City. However, they can’t become champions until they develop a “champion squad”.

In this article, we will have a look at the top players Manchester United will be looking to target this transfer season.

Harry Kane | ST | Tottenham

Harry Kane becomes second all-time Premier League top scorer

Creator: Clive Rose | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2023 Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur endured another season without a trophy. The last time Tottenham Hotspurs won any prestigious tournament was way back in 2008. Such a long time. However, Harry Kane, the current skipper of the England football team doesn’t want to rely on individual laurels. He has expressed many times that he wants to win trophies.

Numerous teams have expressed interest in him as a result of his achievements, but Manchester United is desperately interested in signing the England captain.

Manchester United are looking for a proper striker. Since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, they have been left without a striker. Bringing Kane to the club will help fill that void. However, it won’t be easy. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are also trying to get the superstar to sign for their team.

To bring Kane to United, the club must overcome his rumoured £90 million asking price, which is a barrier.

Market Value: €89.8M

Mason Mount | CM | Chelsea

Mason Mount next club odds: Manchester United odds-on favourites for Chelsea midfielder

Creator: JUSTIN TALLIS | Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Another England star is on Manchester United’s radar. Once considered Chelsea’s star boy, Mason Mount has fallen out of reckoning in the Blues lineup.

With the Frenkie de Jong signing not going as per the plan, Manchester United will look to bring Mason Mount to the club. Mount’s contract with Chelsea expires in the summer of 2024 and the club would want to avoid losing him for free next year.

Although Mount’s form has dropped in the recent campaign, he has been a crucial player for the Blues over the past four seasons.

Bringing Mount to Old Trafford will strengthen United’s midfield. Imagine Bruno Fernandes, Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford; all three in unison in a match!!!!

Market Value: €68.9M

Illan Meslier | GK | Leeds United

Man United eye Leeds United's Illan Meslier as David de Gea successor - Football Today

Creator: Stu Forster | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2023 Getty Images

With David de Gea not being at his absolute best, Manchester United will be looking to bring in a world-class goalkeeper who can be the difference between the two sides during the game. Illan Meslier, who joined Leeds United in the summer of 2020, has been identified as one of the primary targets for Manchester United.

David de Gea is currently in talks to extend his contract with United willing to give £ 250,000 a week, a significant reduction from his current wage of £ 375,000 a week. The Spaniard has to accept a pay cut in order to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

Leeds United have been relegated to The Championship this season after having a disastrous season. And Meslier will be looking to play for a Premier League club. The deal looks solid with both parties getting what they want.

Market Value: €28.6M

Declan Rice | CDM | West Ham United

Declan Rice will leave West Ham this summer | PlanetSport

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo Copyright: Credit: SPP Sport Press Photo. / Alamy Stock Photo

One player that is on the list of Manchester United for long is West Ham United skipper Declan Rice. Primarily a centre-half, Rice has progressed to a midfield role at West Ham United. He has performed brilliantly to earn 7 caps for England and possibly even upstaging Eric Dier to a permanent spot under Gareth Southgate.

Still only 24, Rice has a glorious future ahead of him in the Premier League and is waiting to be swept up by a top side. United could be that club with a reported fee of around £70m.

Bagging the superstar’s sign won’t be easy as big clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal are after the superstar. Will United be able to sign Rice? Only time will tell.

Market Value: €62.5M

Kim Min-Jae | DF | Napoli

Kim Min-jae has accepted transfer to Man Utd, Man Utd ready to trigger €56m release clause - Man Utd News

Creator: Francesco Pecoraro | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2023 Getty Images

Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae is making the headlines for his physical ability and strong man-marking skills. Manchester United will be looking to sign the Napoli defender. It is believed that United’s management has made it clear to the representatives of Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae that they are interested in signing him.

With former skipper Harry Maguire not getting regular game time, it is believed that he is leaving the club for Tottenham Hotspur. Min-Jae signing for Manchester United will be good news as it will help Ten Hag execute his style of gameplay with freedom. However, the Red Devils need to be wary of Chelsea who are also on the lookout for signing a good defensive option.

Market Value: €25M

Final Thoughts

Manchester United is a strong club with good players and a terrific manager in the form of Erik Ten Hag. But they need new faces to win trophies. Do you think Manchester United should bring any other players to the club to once again become “Champions of Europe”? If so, comment down your answers in the comment box.

Kylian Mbappe

Breaking: Kylian Mbappe to not extend his PSG contract

Paris St. Germain star Kylian Mbappe has informed the authorities about his decision to not extend his contract. As per a report in L’Équipé, Mbappe’s contract which is due to expire in June 2024 has an option wherein the footballer can extend for one more year. However, it appears the footballer doesn’t want to extend his stay in the French capital.

Mbappe has been at the club since 2018 after signing from Monaco in a transfer worth a reported $190 million. He has been a pivotal figure for PSG winning five French league titles with the club. However, with Mbappe’s decision, PSG is left with nothing but to sell the player before his contract expires. PSG would not allow Mbappe to leave as a free agent, thus raising the possibility of a transfer battle between clubs this season. Real Madrid who saw their star striker Karim Benzema depart from the club this season will be in the lines to get their hands on the French superstar and strengthen their attacking options. Manchester United and Chelsea will also be looking to sign the superstar.

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

With this decision by Mbappe, PSG fans are left stunned. The club saw Lionel Messi leave them and join Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. Neymar Jr. who is also an important player for the club is also being reported to be approached by Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal.

Meanwhile, all things aren’t bad for PSG. It is reported that Manchester City star Bernardo Silva is joining Paris St. Germain. Silva has been a big part of Manchester City’s defence and will be a vital cog in PSG’s midfield.

Footballers available on a free transfer

These are the footballers who are available on a free transfer

There are now just weeks to go until all players with expiring contracts in Europe become free agents. The players will become free agents once their current contracts expire on June 30—the official conclusion of the 2022–23 football season.

This can happen if a football player negotiates an early termination or If both sides decide not to renew the contract. Players look for free agency for a variety of reasons. To demonstrate their abilities and advance their objectives, some people opt for fresh challenges and a change of scenery.

Financial factors like better contracts or higher pay can also come into play. Players may look into free agency for greater career chances as a result of disagreements with club management, a lack of playing time, or lacklustre advancement.

Let’s look at the top 9 free agents in football who are available for grabs this summer.

Eden Hazard | FW | Real Madrid

B.V. Eden Hazard

Real Madrid: The saddest part about Eden Hazard’s current situation Creator: Soccrates Images | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2020 Soccrates Images

Eden Hazard agreed to have his contract terminated a year early, and Real Madrid made the announcement that he will depart the team at the end of the current campaign. When the former Chelsea player joined Real Madrid in 2019, he cost close to €140 million (£123.3m/$149.4m), making him the most expensive acquisition in the club’s history. After a dismal performance with Belgium at the 2022 World Cup, when they were eliminated in the group stage, Hazard recently announced his retirement from international football. Since that time, he has battled with his form and health.

“Real Madrid Football Club and Eden Hazard have reached an agreement whereby the player will leave the club as of 30 June 2023. Eden Hazard has been part of our club for four seasons, during which time he has won 8 titles: 1 European Cup, 1 Club World Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 2 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey and 2 Spanish Super Cups. Real Madrid would like to express our affection to Eden Hazard and we wish him and his family the best of luck for the next stage of his career,” read a statement from the club.

The Belgian International will now need to find a new challenge after having a dreadful experience at the Santiago Bernabeu after joining there from Chelsea in 2019.

The Belgian was mulling retiring after finishing up his contract with Real Madrid next summer, but his exact future move is yet unknown.

N’Golo Kante | MF | Chelsea

N'Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante’s 2020/21 heroics will be rewarded greatly by Chelsea Creator: Quality Sport Images | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2021 Quality Sport Images

In the summer of 2023, N’Golo Kante’s current agreement with Chelsea will come to an end and is a free agent in football who is available for grabs. The French international midfielder first joined Chelsea from Leicester City in 2016, and in 2018, he signed a new five-year deal that will expire at the end of the current campaign.

According to recent reports, the midfielder may be poised to do a U-turn and quit Stamford Bridge, contrary to previous reports that he will sign a new deal to prolong his time there.

Ilkay Gundogan | MF | Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan: Manchester City’s unlikely legend Credit: Alamy Stock Photo Copyright: Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Ilkay Gundogan, who transferred from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City in 2016, has had a standout Premier League career thus far. Although his current contract is scheduled to expire in the summer, City is eager to keep him at the Etihad Stadium and has extended an offer to him.

Should the German international leave City in the upcoming weeks, teams like Barcelona and Arsenal are interested in grabbing him.

Karim Benzema | FW | Real Madrid

Karim Benzema

UEFA Champions League 2022/23 Group Stage Draw
ISTANBUL, TURKIYE- AUGUST 25: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF poses for a photograph with the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award after the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 Group Stage Draw at Halic Congress Centre on August 25, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkiye. (Photo by Lukas Schulze – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Karim Benzema was prepared to extend his Real Madrid contract by one year, but current rumours in Spain suggest that he may go for Saudi Arabia when it expires in the summer.

A Saudi Pro League team, most likely Al-Ittihad, is said to have offered the striker up to €100 million a season, plus incentives, and the Frenchman may go to Asia as a result.

Sergio Busquets | MF | Barcelona

 Sergio Busquets

Barcelona summon agent of Sergio Busquets to discuss salary reduction Creator: Quality Sport Images | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2021 Quality Sport Images

After 15 years at Barcelona, Sergio Busquets’ contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2022–23 season.

Busquets is also a target for Saudi Arabian teams, and MLS may now show interest in him this summer.

Luka Modric | MF | Real Madrid

Luka Modric

Real Madrid fans will be happy with Luka Modric news Creator: Quality Sport Images | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2023 Quality Sport Images

Luka Modric’s Real Madrid contract was set to expire in 2022 but the Croatian midfielder signed a one-year contract extension in June. Reports suggest he is set to do the same thing again this summer, keeping him in the Spanish capital until 2024.

Naby Keita | MF | Liverpool

Footballer Naby Keita

Naby Keita offered to Inter Milan on free transfer Creator: Eric Alonso | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2022 Getty Images

Naby Keita will leave Anfield this summer and has been connected to a free-agency transfer to Crystal Palace. Galatasaray and Inter Milan are both keeping an eye on the midfielder.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic | FW | AC Milan

Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic

I need to realise I’m not Superman’ – How 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic is inspiring Milan’s title charge | Sporting News Canada Creator: ISABELLA BONOTTO | Credit: AFP via Getty Images

There were suggestions that Zlatan Ibrahimovic might leave Milan before the start of the 2022–23 season, but those reports were dispelled when the Swedish forward agreed to a new contract that would keep him at Milan until the present season. Zlatan didn’t play as per the massive expectations from him. He was injured for most of the season. 

The veteran player has announced his retirement from football. 

Marcus Thuram | FW | Borussia Monchengladbach

Footballer Marcus Thuram

Why Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram deserves to be called up by France | Bundesliga Creator: Lars Baron | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2020 Getty Images

Marcus Thuram, a standout for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga, will not extend his contract when it expires in the summer. Along with Serie A powerhouses Juventus and Inter, he is being watched by a number of major teams, including Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

Which players from this lot should your favourite football club buy? Let us know in the comments section.

A cup of 2023 UEFE Champions Leauge Final

2023 UEFA Champions League Final Inter Milan vs Manchester City: Match Timings, Venue, Live Telecast and Expected Lineup

It’s the biggest day of the football season. Two giants from the world of football will be clashing with each other. On one hand, we have Manchester City, who will be looking to win their first-ever Champions League final. While on the other hand, we have Inter Milan, who will be looking to do a repeat of their 2009-10 feat.

For Manchester City, this will be their second UEFA Champions League final in three years after falling short in the 2020-21 title clash against Chelsea.

Manchester City, who have already won the English Premier League and FA Cup this season, are looking to complete the treble. If they win Sunday’s UCL final to secure their first European title, the Cityzens will emulate their arch-rivals Manchester United’s feat from 1998-99.

A win in the UCL final will also make Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola only the second manager to win three or more UCL trophies after Carlo Ancelotti (four). The Spanish manager won two UEFA Champions League finals with Barcelona (2008–09 and 2010–11).

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

Meanwhile, Inter Milan, who have won the UEFA Champions League trophy thrice (1963-64, 1965, 2009-10) are chasing their fourth title, having last won the European crown under Jose Mourinho in 2009-10.

The Simone Inzaghi-coached Inter had a much easier route to the final compared to their English opponents. Inter Milan beat Porto in their round of 16 clash before eliminating Benfica and city rivals AC Milan in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

Both teams look strong on paper. Who will prevail and emerge as the winners of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League? Let’s find out.

Everything you need to know about the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League Final between Man City and Inter

When is the 2023 UEFA Champions League happening?

The Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan is scheduled to take place on June 11, 2023. Kickoff for the final will happen at 12:30 AM IST.

Who is playing in the 2023 UEFA Champions League final?

The 2023 UEFA Champions League final is happening between Premier League club Manchester United and Serie A club Inter Milan.

How to watch the 2023 UEFA Champions League final?

Sony Pictures Sports Network (Sony & Ten Channels) has the rights to show UEFA Conference Europa League matches in India. The 2023 UEFA Champions League final will also be available on streaming mobile applications SonyLIV app and JioTV, allowing supporters to watch multiple games simultaneously and catch the replay of matches in their preferred language.

What is the head-to-head record between the two teams?

The two teams have clashed twice in the recent past with both the teams winning one game each.

Football & Studs

Football & Studs

What is the expected lineup for the 2023 UEFA Champions League final?

The expected lineup of Manchester City is as follows:

Ederson Moraes (gk), Nathan Aké, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Rodri, John Stones, Jack Grealish, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland

The expected lineup of Inter Milan is as follows:

Andre Onana (gk), Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni, Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Federico Dimarco, Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko

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