World Football Gossip Roundup: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Mario Balotelli
Cristiano Ronaldo looks much happier these days in Real Madrid white, but does that mean he's staying in the Spanish capital past this season?
That story leads this Wednesday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Inside, we also have news on Barcelona's interest in Neymar (now with official confirmation) and Mario Balotelli's tribute to himself.
Keep reading for all the details.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Decide Real Madrid Future in Summer?
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says Cristiano Ronaldo will decide his future this summer, according to talkSPORT.
Ronaldo, 28, joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in a world-record £80 million transfer in 2009. His current contract has more than two years remaining, but he has been linked with a return to United.
“I think Ronaldo has rejected the chance to talk about a new deal because, at the end of the year, he will wait and see what his future looks like at Real Madrid," said Calderon. “What’s going to happen at the end of the contract? I don’t know. I would like him to stay. He’s doing very well at Real Madrid, he’s playing fantastically and is a very important part of the team.”
Barcelona Confirm Interest in Neymar
FC Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed the club's interest in Brazilian striker Neymar (AS via ESPN FC).
Neymar, 21, has a contract with Santos through the 2014 World Cup, which will be held in Brazil. He has scored 129 goals for Santos in 209 appearances.
“He is wanted by half the world. When he says he wants to leave Santos, the club (Barca) will be there to try and sign him,” said Bartomeu.
Meanwhile, Bartomeu also said that Barcelona will not force David Villa to remain at the club against his wishes (via talkSPORT). Villa, a 31-year-old Spanish international forward, has been linked with Arsenal.
Marouane Fellaini Wanted by Real Madrid, Chelsea?
Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in Everton's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, according to the Daily Mail.
Fellaini, 25, joined Everton from Standard Liege in 2008 and has scored 31 goals for the Toffees. He has expressed interest in playing in the UEFA Champions League.
PSG to Bid on Wayne Rooney?
Paris Saint-Germain could bid on Manchester United's England international forward Wayne Rooney this summer, according to The Times.
For those without a subscription, ESPN FC cites the report here.
The bid would be around £40 million. Rooney, 27, is thought to make about £250,000 per week.
Rooney's current contract expires in 2015. He joined United from Everton in 2004.
Mario Balotelli Commissions Statue of Himself?
AC Milan's Italian international striker Mario Balotelli has commissioned a statue of himself in the pose he struck after scoring against Germany at Euro 2012, according to an Italian report cited by Football Italia.
Italian newspaper Il Giornale di Brescia quotes artist Livio Scarpella as saying the statue will stand in Balotelli's home in Brescia.
“I presented various sketches, but Mario wanted to be immortalized in the pose after a goal: muscles in evidence and an expression to challenge the opponents,” Scarpella said.
Balotelli, 22, signed for AC Milan from Manchester City last month. He has scored five goals in 17 senior appearances for Italy.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to sign German central midfielder Sebastian Rode from Eintracht Frankfurt for £7.5 million (via The Sun).
Sevilla want £15 million for midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. Manchester City are thought to be interested (via talkSPORT).
AS Roma are planning moves for Genoa defender Luca Antonelli and Udinese wing-back Dusan Basta (via Goal.com).
Sevilla defender Emir Spahic is set to join Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala on loan until the end of the season (via Sky Sports).
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says Gareth Bale is not yet on the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (via The Guardian).
Sunderland's James McClean shuts down Twitter account after tweet about IRA song (via The Independent).
Dennis Bergkamp will be immortalized with a statue outside the Emirates Stadium (via Daily Telegraph).