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Angels Links: Spain’s Prime Minister does not want Neymar at Real Madrid

When soccer is apparently state business?

Toulouse v Paris Saint Germain - Ligue 1 Photo by Manuel Blondeau/Icon Sport

Spain’s Prime Minister says Real Madrid should not sign Neymar

Mariano Rajoy, the Prime Minister of Spain, says that he would rather Real Madrid (whom he supports) not sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain. Rumors have been flying that Madrid may target the ex-Barcelona forward in a bombshell move, and Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, and Marcelo have all mentioned the possibility of Neymar moving to Madrid. On top of that, Madrid and Neymar’s PSG will clash in the Champions League Round of 16. Rajoy expressed his confidence in the strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema.

“I wouldn’t like to see Neymar in the white shirt,” Rajoy said. “I don’t know about [Kylian Mbappe] but Bale, Benzema and Cristiano were great, and within a few months, people are doubting them. We should have a bit more perspective. I believe in them.”

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette ruled out with injury

Arsenal’s French international Striker, Alexandre Lacazette, will be sidelined with a left knee injury. Lacazette had surgery on his knee, which will keep him out for six weeks. After scoring nine goals in 26 appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League, it was expected that Lacazette would get some significant time in the Gunners’ Europa League campaign, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club’s record signing, playing in the Premier League. However, outside of Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arsenal lost the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott in the winter window, which means Danny Welbeck may be the point striker behind Aubameyang.

Argentina’s FA President hopes Lionel Messi plays fewer games for Barcelona

Argentina’s Football Association President, Claudio Tapia, might be rooting against Barcelona in the Champions League this season. Tapia said he would be pleased if Argentine Barcelona star Lionel Messi played fewer games for the Catalan club so that he can arrive for World Cup 2018 in peak condition.

“We hope all the players arrive at the level they are at, which is very high.

”[Sergio] Aguero’s [level] is terrific and Messi is always there, high up. This is important for us, the executives, and the coaching staff to see the level that he [Messi] is at.

”With Messi, we spoke about looking after him, playing less than he has, and if there are games that don’t merit Messi to be present, then for him not to play in order to take care of himself a bit more I think that’s good.”

Manchester United could sell Old Trafford naming rights for £26m PER SEASON

A new study held by independent financial advisor Duff & Phelps, run by former Chelsea CEO Trevor Birch, says that Manchester United’s stadium naming rights for Old Trafford are by far the most expensive in the league if United were to sell them, at £26.2 million per season. Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium is the second-most expensive, at £19.1 million. The study shows the naming rights costs for all the clubs in the Premier League and encourages the clubs to use that as another revenue stream.

“We have seen enormous increases in rights values of the elite clubs over the last couple of years, especially regarding shirt branding and product endorsement.

”Although the UK hasn’t embraced stadium naming rights as enthusiastically as the United States, its potential to become an important revenue stream is highlighted by these figures.

”Clubs are continually looking at ways to generate extra value, and given the gilt-edged international demand for the Premier League TV rights, we may be entering a period where we start to see clubs monetising their stadium rights.

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