Tuesday Kickoff: Robben confident of Bayern extension; Atletico linked with Benteke; and more

ArjenRobbenBayernMunich1-EintrachtBraunschweig (AFP)

By DAN KARELL

After winning five trophies in the last 12 months with Bayern Munich, Arjen Robben doesn’t have any plans of leaving the club in the near future.

According to a report in the Süddeutschen Zeitung in Germany, Robben has said that he feels he has at least three more years of top-flight soccer left in him and that the club has backed him to continue his stellar form. Earlier this month, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that the club will begin discussions over an extension very soon.

Currently sidelined with a knee injury following a collision with an opposition goalkeeper, the 29-year-old is aiming to not only repeat last season’s accomplishments at club level but bring a World Cup title to the Netherlands next summer.

Already this year, Robben has improved his goal-scoring form, bagging 13 goals in all competitions for Bayern. The former Chelsea winger is expected to return to the field in mid-January.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Christmas Eve:

ATLETICO INTERESTED IN BENTEKE AS POTENTIAL COSTA REPLACEMENT

With Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa’s stock rising fast, the club are already planning on finding a new striker to replace the Brazilian native up top.

If Costa does leave, reports in Spain state that the Atletico front office will try to sign Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke, who they tried to sign last summer when Radamel Falcao left. The Belgian international scored a tremendous 19 goals last season in the EPL but this season has struggled with injury and hasn’t been on form at all. Through 15 games, Benteke has just five goals in all competitions.

Atletico feel that they could make a profit on the two transfers, with Costa expected to cost teams upwards of €38 million as part of his release clause while it would take €30 million to tempt Benteke away from Aston Villa.

RONALDINHO NOT MOVING TO TURKEY

Former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho is at the end of his current contract with Atletico Mineiro, but the latest indications point to him signing a new deal with o Galo (The Rooster).

Turkish club Besiktas have reportedly ended their recruitment of the Brazilian star after failing to open negotiations with Ronaldinho and his brother/agent, Assis. Reports in Brazil also state that Gremio were interested in bringing back Ronaldinho, but they pulled out due to “financial issues.”

The 33-year-old midfielder is now expected to re-sign with Atletico Mineiro for another season. Ronaldinho recently scored twice for Atletico Mineiro in the Club World Cup on two beautiful free kicks, but was sent off for a late tackle in the 87th minute.

QUICK KICKS

Angel Di Maria will reportedly now stay at Real Madrid until June, with the club willing to listen to offers from abroad after the World Cup. (REPORT)

Swansea City will be without forward Michu for the next six weeks after undergoing ankle surgery. (REPORT)

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is still struggling to overcome his knee issues, not making the Catalonia squad for their annual winter friendly. (REPORT)

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has ruled out any sale for Ross Barkley, even if it would break the world record transfer fee. (REPORT)

Portugal have scheduled a pre-World Cup friendly match against Greece on May 31. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Think Robben can play at a high level for three more years? Do you see Benteke moving to Atletico? Hope Ronaldinho returns to Europe?

Share your thoughts below.

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6 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Robben confident of Bayern extension; Atletico linked with Benteke; and more

  1. argh says:

    Gotta say. Robben has been more or less WORLD CLASS since his move to Bayern

    and sure collected the trophies

    arrogant such as his countrymen RVP and Sneijder but he delivers

    1 season wonder Benteke is expected to cost 30 million? Only in the Premier League are players so overhyped and to be oversold.

  2. Helium-3 says:

    Too late for Ronaldinho to come to MLS?

  3. patrick says:

    that’s cute that martinez thinks he’d have any say in an overpriced sale of Barkley

    • Sly says:

      He’s available for 30 million. Especially once Martinez sees what his transfer budget looks like next summer. The Belgian and Barry were both loans replacing a 20 goal a season premier league striker will be very difficult.

  4. RB says:

    Roma is considering selling Bradley to EPL team