Football

Madrid in talks to host Champions League final, says its mayor

Madrid's mayor has said the Spanish capital is in talks about hosting this year's Champions League final if organisers decide to move it from Istanbul due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

European football's biggest game was scheduled to be played at Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 30, before the competition was postponed at the last-16 stage in March due to the crisis.

"I know arrangements are being made, and I want to declare the city hall's absolute support for this Champions League final being held in Madrid," the city's mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida told network 13TV yesterday.

"We have the adequate safety conditions, the infrastructure and public services to hold it, and it would send a message to the world that despite all the drama we have lived, Madrid isn't giving up and is on the rise again."

No official announcement has been made about whether the re-arranged final will take place in Istanbul.

A New York Times report last month said the showpiece event will not be held in the Turkish city and alternative venues were being considered.

Uefa, which declined to comment on Martinez-Almeida's remarks, said that a working group had been set up and "a variety of options" were being looked at, adding that an Executive Committee meeting on June 17 would provide more clarity. - REUTERS

Everton, Milan keen on Thiago Silva, who is set to leave PSG

Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva will be leaving the Ligue 1 champions after eight years at the club, French media have reported.

The Brazilian defender, 35, was hoping to stay with PSG for two more years, but was informed by the club's sporting director Leonardo that his contract would not be extended beyond the end of the Champions League campaign, L'Equipe reported on Monday.

Silva joined the French side from AC Milan in 2012 and made over 300 appearances, winning seven league titles, five League Cups and four French Cups.

However, the Brazilian will not be short of offers this summer, as both Everton and Milan are interested in signing him, reported the Daily Mail.

Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti wants to strengthen his side's options in the heart of defence, having navigated the 2019/20 season with only three senior central defenders.

Ancelotti, who worked with Silva at PSG, wants to add experience to his backline, which includes Yerry Mina (25), Mason Holgate (23) and Michael Keane (27).

However, Everton will face competition from Milan, with Calciomercato reporting on Saturday that Silva's agent has offered the player's services on a free transfer to the Rossoneri. - REUTERS

Football