As bombshells go they don’t explode with more force than the one dropped by Talksport, which claims that Real Madrid will strip four of the Sky Blues’s title-winning squad this summer.
The quartet whose loyalty is being queried are Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and John Stones. The broadcaster says that Real Madrid are “plotting a stunning raid” in the close season.
As they demonstrated on Wednesday evening in edging past Bayern Munich in a forgettable Champions League semi-final first leg, this Real Madrid vintage is rather flat and doesn’t have much of a future. The fact they have long since ceded the La Liga title to Barcelona is another reason why the board intends to overhaul the squad.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
While Real have been linked in recent weeks with Eden Hazard and Mo Salah, in reality the European champions acknowledge there is little chance they’ll be able to prise the pair from Chelsea and Liverpool. Instead they’re focusing on Manchester City. Talksport says that their “ financial power” – expected to increase with the sale of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema this summer – should see them make the Sky Blues an irresistible offer.
While City could be tempted to part with defender John Stones, and maybe even Sterling, there are claims they will “strongly resist” any attempt to entice De Bruyne and Sane from the Etihad given their importance to Pep Guardiola.
Apparently Real are particularly interested in Sane. Reports in Spain suggest they’re preparing a “£70m offer” for the 22-year-old. This is some way short of the £130m price tag City have placed around the German’s talented neck.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.