How Real Madrid almost signed Maradona, Chelsea open contract renewal talks with star and more news


The footballing icon, who died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack, is remembered by many for the ‘Hand of God’ goal that knocked England out of the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Real Madrid came extremely close to signing Diego Maradona after the Argentine superstar’s unceremonious departure from Napoli.

Maradona’s seven-year-stay in Naples, which came on the back of his controversial departure from Barcelona, had helped the Neapolitans clinch their first two Serie A titles. However, due to his troubled relationship with the drugs and other unsavory off-the-pitch antics, Gli Azzurri ultimate decided to wash its hands off the Argentine in 1991.

It was at this time, reports Don Balon, that Maradona approached Madrid with an offer of him playing for Los Blancos. The Santiago Bernabeu outfit agreed to his proposal and even drew up a contract that would have made the Argentine, for the third time in his career, the highest-paid player on the planet.

However, after the forward failed a drug test for cocaine – which allowed Italy’s football authorities to slap him with a 15-month ban, Los Blancos pulled their contract offer and one of the most high-profile transfers in history of the game failed to materialize.

How Real Madrid almost signed Maradona
He led Napoli to the club's first ever Scudetto in 1987 (Image Copyright: imago images / Buzzi)

Top News 2: Chelsea open contract renewal talks with Thiago Silva

Chelsea open contract renewal talks with star
Thiago Silva has added solidity to the Blues' back four (Image Copyright: imago images / FedericoPestellini / Panoramic)

Since arriving on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, the Brazilian center-back has added a much-needed solidity to the Blues’ back line.

Chelsea have begun contract renewal negotiations with Thiago Silva’s representatives over extending the Brazilian’s deal with the club beyond next summer, per Tuttomercatoweb .

Frank Lampard’s side completed the signing of the 36-year-old on a free transfer following Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League final defeat in August. Les Parisiens wanted Silva to extend his stay at Parc des Princes but the center-back decided to move on.

The Stamford Bridge outfit signed the Brazilian on a one-year deal, but it was reported at the time that his contract with the Blues has a clause that allows both parties to extend it by another year, thereby ensuring that Silva stays put in the Premier League until 2022.

Silva’s presence in the Blues’ back four has brought a much-needed solidity to the Chelsea backline, with Frank Lampard’s side conceding only five goals in the nine games in which the Brazilian has featured for them this season.

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Top News 3: Jordan Henderson gives Liverpool huge injury boost

Jordan Henderson gives Liverpool huge injury boost
(Image Copyright: imago images / Xinhua)

With their skipper watching from the sidelines, the reigning Premier League champions were defeated 2-0 by Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Jordan Henderson has given Liverpool a much-needed injury boost ahead of their weekend clash with Brighton, reports Liverpool Echo.

The Reds’ skipper returned to full training on Thursday and is in contention to be named in their starting XI for their Saturday’s clash with the Seagulls.

Henderson suffered a hamstring problem while on international duty with England earlier this month, and subsequently missed Jurgen Klopp’s side’s Premier League victory over Leicester City. He was also forced to watch from the sidelines as Atalanta put Liverpool to the sword on Wednesday.

However, while the return of their skipper is a huge boost for the injury-ravaged Reds, four midfielder are still going to miss out on the game, with Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri all expected not to be a part of Liverpool’s trip to the South Coast.

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