Don Balon was once a highly esteemed publication. Founded in Spain in 1975, it was a magazine of international renown – distributed in five continents and responsible for an influential annual list of the world’s top 100 young players.
But things started to go downhill when Rogello Rengel took the reins as editor. He tried to con an old man out of millions of euros and was jailed for 10 years as the magazine collapsed in 2011 amid Spain’s economic crisis, leaving the great name of Don Balon to be tarnished forever by sensationalist internet transfer stories that make ridiculous claims, such as Harry Kane being “in love” with Zinedine Zidane.
And that’s not an example made up for comic effect. That is actually the latest news coming out of the pages Don Balon.com today.
The article in question – translated for your convenience by the Daily Star – reveals that Real Madrid have set their sights on the Tottenham striker and see him as “a natural successor to Cristiano Ronaldo” up front. Which makes sense, because they are just so similar.
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Moreover, Kane is reported to have “fallen in love” not just with coach Zidane, but also with Real president Florentino Perez. Guess that’s the kind of thing that can happen to a man when someone tells you you’re the new Ronaldo.
Sadly for Harry, he is apparently only Real’s “Plan B” transfer target, with Zidane still hoping to seal a January deal for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez as his “Plan A”.
Sadly for Alexis, half the players in the Madrid dressing room – including captain Sergio Ramos – don’t want him at the Bernabeu due to his filthy Barcelona past. That’s what Don Balon says anyway.
Manchester United eye two signings
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly sent scouts to watch a couple of potential “Michael Carrick replacements” in midfield.
The Sun says Red Devils representatives attended Roma’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid last week to cast an eye over rival midfielders Radja Nainggolan and Saul Niguez.
Whether United actually need a Carrick “replacement”, given that he hasn’t played a single minute this season and they’ve already bought Nemanja Matic, is evidently of no interest to the Sun.
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Elsewhere, it has been claimed that Leicester rejected offers from Tottenham and Bournemouth for promising winger Demarai Gray in the summer (Mirror).
Everton manager Ronald Koeman will leave the club’s January transfer window entirely in the hands of Director of Football Steve Walsh (Liverpool Echo).
And – last but not least – ITV bosses have offered Sam Allardyce a “six-figure sum” to appear in the next series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here (Sun). Now they just need to throw in a couple of pints of wine and he’s theirs.