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Transfer Rater: Otamendi to Madrid?

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Transfer Rater: Kroos to Man United

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 By Rob Train

Real Madrid caught cold in disappointing 2-1 defeat at Valencia

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Shaka Hislop blame poor preparation and lack of creativity for Real's loss against Valencia.

The curse of Mestalla struck again as Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Los Che. Early goals from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana set the home side up for victory and although Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back in the "psychological" zone just before the half-time whistle, Valencia saw out a win that went some way to ensuring their safety while also dealing a blow to Real's title charge.

Positives

This was a game in hand and Real still maintain a one-point advantage over Barcelona...

Madrid blow chance to stretch lead as Zaza powers new-look Valencia to win

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Shaka Hislop blame poor preparation and lack of creativity for Real's loss against Valencia.
After Madrid's loss to Valencia, the FC crew debate if they're still favourites to win La Liga, or if Barca can make a run.

Three thoughts from Wednesday's rescheduled La Liga game at Mestalla, as Real Madrid miss a chance to take control at the top of the table with a 2-1 defeat at Valencia.

1. Madrid blow chance to stretch lead

Early goals by new signings Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana brought a shock 2-1 La Liga victory for Valencia at home to Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo's 44th-minute header was not enough, as the La Liga leaders blew a chance to move further ahead of Barcelona and Sevilla...

Rotated Real Madrid set for tricky road test at suddenly revitalised Valencia

Zinedine Zidane expects his Real Madrid side to be tested by a rejuvenated Valencia.
Nani says Valencia will enjoy the challenge of facing Real Madrid, as they try to pull clear of the bottom teams in Spain.
Zinedine Zidane is pleased to have Gareth Bale back and scoring after the Welshman was sidelined for three months.

Every team in La Liga plays each opponent twice, which gives a sense of fairness to the whole competition. You need to be consistent for nine months, facing the same set of rivals as everyone else. However, the season is long, and competitors evolve -- or, in some cases, regress -- in such ways that a team that might sound like a mighty opponent at some point could become an easy target a few weeks later.

In the case of Real Madrid's next fixture, the exact opposite has happened. They were due...

Transfer Rater: Cedric Soares to Barcelona, Otamendi to Real Madrid

Craig Burley assesses the latest from the rumour mill, with Celtic's Moussa Dembele reportedly drawing a lot of attention.
The Emerging Whispers for Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The latest transfer rumours from around the world.

Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper.

Here are today's top five emerging whispers for the summer. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for the latest gossip.

Cedric Soares to Barcelona

Southampton's Cedric Soares is on Barcelona's shortlist of right-backs ahead of the summer transfer window, according to the Daily...

 By Rob Train

Bale's timely return can ease burden on Ronaldo as Real Madrid chase title

Shaka Hislop breaks down Gareth Bale's impact for Real Madrid in his return to the lineup against Espanyol.
Zinedine Zidane is pleased to have Gareth Bale back and scoring after the Welshman was sidelined for three months.

Christmas came early for Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on Saturday when Gareth Bale came off the bench and scored 13 minutes later to seal a 2-0 victory over Espanyol. The result was never really in doubt, but Real Madrid required extra impetus to get over the line against a side set up more to avoid defeat than to inflict one.

Madrid's La Liga title challenge was in a similar state in January as Zidane's side spluttered rather than fired on all cylinders. The leaders dropped points only...

Transfer Rater: Toni Kroos to Man United, Mario Gotze to Liverpool

Craig Burley assesses the latest from the rumour mill, with Celtic's Moussa Dembele reportedly drawing a lot of attention.
5 keys to Sevilla's success
The latest transfer rumours from around the world.

Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper.

Here are today's top five emerging whispers for the summer. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for the latest gossip.

Mario Gotze to Liverpool

Borussia Dortmund's World Cup-winning attacker Mario Gotze has emerged as a target for his former manager Jurgen Klopp, according...