Real Madrid to swoop for Liverpool target Nabil Fekir

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Champions League winners Real Madrid want to sign long-term Liverpool target Nabil Fekir, it has been claimed.

Fekir’s club president, Jean-Michel Aulas, made the claim on French television station RT France. He added that the reason Fekir’s £53 million transfer to Liverpool collapsed is not because of medical issues – as the Reds said – but because he had pulled the deal as it was taking too long to complete.

Once the deal was off, Madrid were alerted and new manager Julien Lopetegui is interested in making a move for him.

This will come as a blow to Liverpool who are reportedly keen to resurrect the deal.

“It was foreseen that he [Fekir] would go to Liverpool, I had given it the green light to go ahead. But it just took too long, things were too drawn out,” Aulas said.

“The fact things didn’t conclude with Liverpool… has piqued the interest of a lot of other clubs, Real Madrid but not just Real Madrid… there is a lot of interest from other camps.”

That said, Aulas wants to keep Fekir at Lyon but added that if he really wants to leave, they will find the biggest club for him “to match his talent.”

Meanwhile Fekir himself is still keen on a move to Anfield. The French forward hopes that a deal can be restructured that takes into account fears over a previous cruciate ligament injury.

However, nothing will be decided until after France’s involvement in the World Cup is over.

Tottenham Hotspur line up bid for Croatia World Cup star

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Tottenham Hotspur are planning to make a £26 million bid for Croatian winger Ante Rebic, it has been reported.

Rebic, who scored Croatia’s first in their 3-0 win over Argentina, currently plays for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, who are said to be willing to sell him for £26.3 million.

Tottenham have yet to make any signing this summer – unless you count tying Harry Kane to a new long-term deal – but they are looking at attacking reinforcements to take the pressure off Kane and Christian Eriksen.

The Express reported that Spurs are keen to add Rebic who, at a shade over £26 million, could be considered good value.

However, any deal will likely have to wait until Croatia are out of the World Cup – which won’t be for some time as they are through to the knockout stage with a game to spare.

All the factz on Serbia v Switzerland in group E at the World Cup, including which TV channel its on

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The fourth match in group E sees Serbia take on Switzerland, with both sides needing to win. The match kicks off at 7pm BST and it is live on BBC1. Here are the factz you need to know:

• The sides have never met before.
• A win for Serbia would send them through to the knockout stage. A draw would leave their fate in their own hands in the final group match. A loss would mean they would have to beat Brazil in their final group match to progress.
• If Switzerland win, it will leave their fate in their own hands in the final group match against Costa Rica. A draw will mean they have to win their final match to qualify. A loss will make it difficult to qualify.
• Branislav Ivanovic wins his 105th cap for Serbia – he is now the record appearance maker for the country.
• Alexander Mitrovic has scored 14 goals in his last 17 appearances for Serbia.
• Switzerland are in form: they’ve lost just one of their last 23 matches – to Portugal – winning 16.
• Against Brazil, Valon Behrami became the first Swiss man to appear in four World Cup finals (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018)
• Serbia have won 7 of their last 11 matches, losing 3.
• If Serbia win, it will be the first time they have made it past the group stage, in their third appearance.
• Switzerland have made the quarter finals of the World Cup on 3 occasions – 1934, 1938 and 1954.

All the factz on Brazil v Costa Rica in World Cup group E, including which TV channel its on

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Brazil and Costa Rica will both be looking to kick-start their World Cup campaigns after disappointing opening matches. The match kicks off at 1pm BST, and it is live on ITV. Here are the factz you need to know:

• If Brazil win, it will take them to 4 points, and leave their fate in their own hands in the final group match against Serbia. A draw will mean they need to win their final match. A loss, and they are relying on other results going their way.
• For Costa Rica, a win will also mean they have their fate in their own hands in the final match. A draw means they will have to win their final match. A loss and they could be out, if Serbia or Switzerland win.
• This is the 11th meeting between the sides – Brazil have won 9 of the previous 10.
• Costa Rica’s only victory over Brazil – in a friendly – came in 1960.
• Neymar was fouled 10 times against Switzerland – the most anyone has been fouled in a match since Alan Shearer was fouled 11 times against Tunisia in 1998.
• Brazil haven’t won for 3 matches at the World Cup – 1 draw, 2 losses – their worst run since the 1970s.
• Brazil are unbeaten in 17 matches, having won 14 of those.
• Costa Rica have lost 6 of their last 11 matches, winning just 3.
• Bryan Ruis is Costa Rica’s most experienced player in the squad with 111 caps. He also has the most goals – 24.
• Meanwhile Neymar may be only 26, but he is the most capped player in Brazil’s squad, with 86. He also has the most goals – 55.