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Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Have Manchester United found the answer to their biggest problem?

Have Manchester United found the answer to their biggest problem?

Are United ready for the new season?

Six wins out of seven in the pre-season matches and Manchester United have been solid rather than spectacular.


But they have been scoring goals and that was the major problem in the league last season which cost them a place in the top four.
New players like Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof have been in since day one of the warm-up period but while Nemanja Matic is in catch-up mode, he looked the kind of buy United's midfield needed against Sampdoria on his Reds debut.

His defensive foundation should help the attackers attack.

Real Madrid have two Spanish Super Cup matches against Barcelona coming up before their La Liga opener on August 20 against Deportivo La Coruna.

Real are behind United in match fitness having only played four warm-ups so far but this will the biggest barometer yet of the Reds' qualities.
Gareth Bale can post a message to Mourinho

We've had the David de Gea to Madrid stories and the brief, spurious teasers that Cristiano Ronaldo could return to United.

Now the issue is Gareth Bale.
United have been encouraged by some of the reports coming out of Spain but knocked back by the Welsh international's agent who says he wants to stay at the Bernabeu.

The cooling of the Ivan Perisic pursuit has got hopes up that a move for Bale is the priority.

He has had an ankle injury but could play in Skopje. Even if he cannot send a message on the pitch there could the chance for some dialogue between the two clubs.
pre-season so he'll surely want one final look at his strongest team against the Spaniards.

And if he wants that piece of silverware at the expense of the European champions then he'll have to show his hand.
Can Romelu Lukaku can put down a Euro marker?

United's £75m summer buy from Everton is proven in the Premier League. We know he can overpower and outwit defences in England.

But United also want to put in a credible challenge on their return to the Champions League this season and the Belgian's goals are going to be crucial.

United's No.9 has not had a taste of the group stages on the top European stage and facing the likes of Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane in Skopje will be an early indicator of how he will cope with the next level.
Read more ...

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Manchester United complete signing of Chelsea midfielder

Nemanja Matic was left out of Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East by manager Antonio Conte
Nemanja Matic was left out of Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East by manager Antonio Conte

Manchester United have completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m on a three-year deal.

The midfielder, 28, becomes United's third summer buy after £31m defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and £75m striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

United manager Jose Mourinho described Matic as a "team player" who has "everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition".

Matic said he was "delighted" to be joining at "an exciting time".

The Serbia midfielder added: "To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn't turn down.

"I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them."

Former Chelsea manager Mourinho spent £21m to sign Matic from Benfica for a second spell at Stamford Bridge in January 2014.

He had been valued at less than £5m when he left as a makeweight in a deal for defender David Luiz in January 2011, two years after he first joined the Blues in a £1.5m move from Slovakian club MFK Kosice.

Matic scored once in 35 Premier League appearances during Chelsea's title-winning 2016-17 season, also striking spectacularly in their FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham in April.

His exit had been expected after the Blues signed France international Tiemoue Bakayoko, 22, from French champions Monaco in a reported £40m deal earlier in July.

Italian champions Juventus were also understood to be keen on Matic
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Manchester United Looking To Extend Spanish Duo

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Manchester United secured the signing of Nemanja Matic this Monday. The former Chelsea midfielder will undoubtedly boost the team’s depth. And he has the potential to be a valuable contributor from day one.

However, The Red Devils are far from over when it comes to their activity on the market. Now they are on the stage of extending some of their core players. Two of the players that are close to sign new deals are Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.

Herrera and Mata have existing deals that run until next summer. However, United have the option of triggering automatic one-year extensions. The club is keen to negotiate with both players to seal the deals before the season starts. If accepted, both players would extend their deals until 2019.

Herrera has emerged as one of the leaders on the team since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, and has captained the club at times. In fact, Mourinho constantly praises him, and he seems to be the team’s most consistent midfielder since the Paul Scholes days. United have always looked for a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick, but Ander seems to be the one who would fit that mold better.

On the other hand, Mata has turned around Mourinho’s initial opinion about him. The Spaniard was not expected to gain a big role, but he grew as a player. He progressed to the point he is now one of the most versatile playmakers on the squad. The 29-year-old was a key man for the club last season, making 42 appearances and scoring 10 goals.

Manchester United are confident both Herrera and Mata want to stay having become key figures under Jose Mourinho, and talks should progress smoothly. If everything goes according to plan, both Spaniards should extend their tenure with the club sooner than later.
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Denis Irwin expects Premier League title challenge following arrival of ‘tremendous’ Nemanja Matic

Denis Irwin expects Premier League title challenge following arrival of ‘tremendous’ Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic has completed his move to Old Trafford

Manchester United legend Denis Irwin is expecting the Red Devils to finally challenge for the Premier League title again this season following another productive summer transfer window.

The signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, confirmed on Monday, took United’s summer spending to around £145million, with Jose Mourinho strengthening his squad in key places ahead of the new campaign.

READ MORE: Nemanja Matic joins Manchester United from Chelsea on three-year contract

Matic’s arrival – alongside fellow summer signings Romelu Lukaku and defender Victor Lindelof – is a big boost for Mourinho’s plans at Old Trafford, having enjoyed success with the midfielder during his second spell as Chelsea.

But Irwin admitted his astonishment that Chelsea allowed one of their main first-team players to join a direct rival.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, Irwin – winner of seven Premier League titles with the Red Devils – said: “I was a little bit surprised by the fact Chelsea are selling to their rivals who will be challenging for the Premier league next year.

“But Matic has done a fantastic job for Chelsea over the last few years and I suppose it was a bit of a thank you [to let him join United].

“Manchester United have got a tremendous player, a tremendous holding player, and they’ve needed somebody of that ilk.

“I think it’s a very good signing.”

talkSPORT co-host and former Sunderland star Micky Gray believes Matic could be the final piece of the puzzle for Mourinho as he aims to forge a Man United side capable of winning top honours again.

And Irwin agrees, saying - following their latest bunch of summer signings - he expects the Red Devils to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

The Irishman added: “Since Jose has come to the club, the seven players they’ve signed a lot of them are tall, physical players – players you need for the Premier League. There’s a good mixture of youth and experience too.

“There’s great competition in the squad now, there’s a good mixture of midfielders and attackers and I think that the club will be close to challenging this year.

“They need to show more consistency and score more goals than last year, but they’re in a better position now to challenge with the squad they’ve got.

“Lukaku is a 25 goals-a-season striker, I expect Marcus [Rashford] to even better this year and I see [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan improving a lot as well, so I expect to see more goals.

“I expect them to challenge [for the title] this year.”
Read more ...

Sevilla sign ex-Manchester City winger on four-year contract


Sevilla sign ex-Manchester City winger on four-year contract
Jesus Navas could break Sevilla's appearance record this season

Spain winger Jesus Navas has rejoined Sevilla on a free transfer after he was released by Manchester City.

Navas, 31, joined City from the La Liga side on a four-year deal worth £14.9m in June 2013.

He made 173 appearances for City, scoring eight goals, but played just 24 league games last season.

Navas' contract with City expired in the summer, leading him to return to Sevilla, where he began his career, on a four-year deal.

He was part of the Sevilla side that won the Uefa Cup in 2006 and 2007 but suffered from chronic homesickness, which led him to turn down a move to Chelsea in 2006.

Navas will break Sevilla's appearance record if he makes 27 more appearances for the club. He played 393 times in his first spell, with Juan Arza Inigo holding the record on 419.
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Monday, 31 July 2017

Phil Jones banned as Uefa confirm Man Utd have been charged with breaching anti-doping rules

Phil Jones banned as Uefa confirm Man Utd have been charged with breaching anti-doping rules
Phil Jones banned as Uefa confirm Man Utd have been charged with breaching anti-doping rules

Manchester United have have been charged with breaching UEFA anti-doping regulations and have been fined €10,000 (£8,951.20) following last season’s Europa League final against Ajax.
United won the trophy following a 2-0 victory at the Friends Arena in Sweden in May.
As reported by Uefa’s official website, defender Phil Jones has been given a two-game European ban and has been fined €5,000 (£4474.48) after he was charged with insulting and directing abusive language towards a doping control officer. Jones will miss the Super Cup game against Real Madrid on August 8th as well as United’s first Champions League group stage fixture.

Meanwhile, Daley Blind has been charged for violation and non-compliance of the doping procedure, and has also been fined €5,000.

Blind played the full 90 minutes against Ajax, while Jones was an un-used substitute.

United have the option to appeal the charges.
Read more ...

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss on £300m Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and massive transfer fees


The Arsenal manager also believes Neymar could becomes the first £300million player.
Arsenal have so far signed just two players this summer, with Sead Kolasinac costing them nothing.

Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival from Marseille broke the Gunners’ transfer record.

But while Wenger confirmed his club will continue to look at deals this summer, he remains frustrated with the current valuations of average players.

"What’s next is to remain active," he said on Arsenal’s website. "Not a lot [has] happened.

"I believe there are actually two ways to improve the team. First of all to improve the quality of what we do in training to improve the squad and improve the players we have, and secondly to bring more top-level players in.

"The difficulty is to bring top-level players in because you pay a huge amount of money for very normal players at the moment. As well, all the big clubs are chasing the same players and that provokes huge inflation. Maybe this will be the first time we [football clubs] pay over £200m, maybe over £300m with Neymar and around £200m with Mbappe.

"So there is a huge inflation. But we are active, we are working hard and I think we have done well with Kolasinac, we have done well with Lacazette and we are continuing to work.”
Wenger was in for Mbappe earlier this summer but Monaco rejected their £87m bid for the player.

As for Neymar, Maris Saint-Germain want to sign the Barcelona striker and are eyeing his £196m release clause.

Arsenal are in action today against Benfica in the Emirates Cup.

They face Chelsea next week in the Community Shield at Wembley before their Premier League season kicks off with a home clash against Leicester.
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Could Guardiola’s Inspiration For Unlocking Chelsea’s 3-4-3 Lie In Genoa?

Could Guardiola’s Inspiration For Unlocking Chelsea’s 3-4-3 Lie In Genoa?

Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte have been furiously plotting each other’s downfall this week, as one of the most intriguing tactical battles in years approaches. The Premier League leaders, Chelsea, travel to Manchester City with a solitary point’s advantage in tow.

For the neutral, it is comforting to know both managers have enjoyed a full week to prepare for their meeting at the Etihad, with a multitude of tactical facets undoubtedly scrutinised until the early hours each day.

One of those will be how City prevent Chelsea’s back three from playing out of the back. And while Tottenham provided a glimpse of a solution last weekend – positioning Son Heung-min in an advanced position to stall Victor Moses’ buccaneering runs forwards – Guardiola will hope to oversee a more thorough job. Pep’s admiration for Conte is well documented and while the game will not merely be decided by City’s effectiveness in unsettling the Blues’ back three, it is sure to have an enormous bearing on the outcome. Mauricio Pochettino scoffed earlier in the season when quizzed as to whether he had implemented a back three in reaction to Chelsea’s surge up the table after implementing the system, though it has undoubtedly gained in popularity: success breeds imitation from rivals.
Juventus, who continue to utilise a back three under Massimiliano Allegri, endured a torrid time last weekend against Genoa, who potentially offered up a better approach than Spurs on how to disrupt the back three. Admittedly Allegri was forced to use Dani Alves and Mehdi Benatia alongside Leonardo Bonucci with Andrea Barzagli injured and Giorgio Chiellini only able to take a place on the bench. Genoa boss Ivan Juric – who guided Crotone to Serie A promotion last season – tasked Geo Simeone with triggering the Grifone’s high press and committed as many as five of his front seven players into advanced areas dependent on the side of the pitch the Old Lady shifted possession to.

It seems as if Saturday’s game will also unveil a similar pattern, with Chelsea forced to play through a swarm of City players into a less congested central area when in possession – a refreshing change from yesteryear’s top four battles. Conte’s advantage over Allegri’s side last weekend is the dynamism of N’Golo Kante, who must surely scurry across the width of the pitch to offer neat triangles to play around City’s press. That is something that none of Miralem Pjanic, Hernanes – who was far too static – or Sami Khedira could muster in a furious opening to the game at the Marassi.

David Luiz will occupy the role of Leonardo Bonucci, as the ball-player at the back. The Brazilian will likely be tasked with playing a more ambitious role than he has done to this point in his second spell at the club though. Luca Rigoni, who flanked Simeone with Lucas Ocampos, was particularly effective at moving inside to disrupt Bonucci and should Raheem Sterling overcome a slight knock, this will surely be his job. If, as expected, Pep implements both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in behind Aguero, dropping Yaya Toure back down to the bench, it presents the ultimate test of Conte’s 3-4-3 at Chelsea. Marcos Alonso, who doesn’t possess the quickest feet, and Victor Moses – enjoying the form of his life – will have to strike a balance between tracking back to assist Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill and maintaining a high and wide position to provide an outlet.

While other issues could arise to determine the outcome of this huge game, the effectiveness of Conte’s back three to negotiate the ball up the field is bound to be vital. Pep will be aware of Genoa and Spurs’ success, now he must refine his approach if he is to slow Chelsea’s resurgence.
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Chelsea boss Conte's weight-loss secret: touchline passion

Chelsea boss Conte's weight-loss secret: touchline passion
Chelsea coach Antonio Conte is renowned for his touchline antics
SINGAPORE (AFP) -
Passionate Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he loses up to three kilos during games because of his touchline antics and often feels "destroyed" afterwards.

The 47-year-old Italian made a stunning impact in guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England after arriving last year.

But the former international midfielder also quickly won a reputation for displaying his full range of emotions on the sidelines, including jumping into the arms of Chelsea fans to celebrate goals.

He admits he will need to tone down his behaviour one day.

"I finish the game and I'm destroyed. I think I lose 2-3 kilos (over six pounds) during the game," he told reporters in Singapore, where Chelsea are on a pre-season tour.

"I try to transfer all my passion into my work. I know that in the future it will be very difficult to continue to have this because to stay on the touchline and have this passion, you must have a lot of strength.

"In the future my strength will be less and then maybe I will try to keep myself calm and more seated."

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Bale Will Resist Real Attempts to Sell Him to United

Bale Will Resist Real Attempts to Sell Him to United

Yesterday a few words from the Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, gave us hope that Gareth Bale might be heading to Old Trafford.

Zidane had remarked that he couldn`t guarantee the Welsh superstar would be at the Bernabeu come the start of the new La Liga season.

We suggested those words might have seen the door that was slightly ajar kicked wide open.

Alas, it looks as if those hopes have now been dashed.

Today, the esteemed folk of The Times are championing the suggestion, just as we feared, Gareth Bale has no intentions of leaving Real Madrid.

In fact, our referenced source is suggesting that Bale will actively resist any attempts by the Spanish giants to sell him to Manchester United.

Is it the end of a dream or were we just all daydreaming?

Your thoughts on the above subject matter would be most appreciated.


Read more ...

Barcelona to remain 'discreet' in pursuit of Liverpool's Coutinho

Barcelona to remain 'discreet' in pursuit of Liverpool's Coutinho

BARCELONA CONSIDER
 Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho to be “a great player”, but plan to remain “discreet” in pursuit of any transfer.
The Brazil international continues to be heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou, possibly as a replacement for fellow countryman Neymar – who is a top target for Paris Saint-Germain.
Liverpool have sought to play down the exit talk surrounding their prized asset, with there an understandable reluctance on their part to sanction a big-money sale.
Barca appreciate that stance and have vowed to carry out any recruitment business in a professional manner away from prying eyes.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu told reporters in America ahead of an International Champions Cup clash with Clasico rivals Real Madrid: “Coutinho? He’s a great player, but we can’t say anything. You have to be discreet.
“[Ernesto] Valverde wants a competitive team that understand his needs very well.
“More players will come, certainly one in the middle.”
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Barcelona give PSG ultimatum over world record move for Brazilian superstar Neymar

Barcelona issue ultimatum to PSG
Barcelona issue ultimatum to PSG

Barcelona have given Paris Saint-Germain an ultimatum over their world record move for Neymar - pay up and he can go.

The French giants are reported to have agreed a five-year deal for the Brazilian superstar but have yet to agree a fee for his signature.


Neymar has a £197million buy-out clause in his contract, but it is believed PSG want to pay less than that figure and a deal is far from being completed.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has made it clear the club will not change their valuation and has told PSG to pay up or end their interest.
Bartomeu, speaking to ESPN in Miami, said: "We want Neymar to stay, but there are clauses. If he wants to leave, (the club need to) pay and leave.

"They have to pay the clause, to the last peseta . UEFA has fair play controls and if any club exceeds them, they will be sanctioned. "

Neymar's future continues to dominate the headlines and the transfer saga looks to be affecting him following his training ground bust-up with team-mate Nelson Semedo in Miami.
The talented forward had to be held back by team-mate Sergio Busquets and stormed off the pitch after throwing his vest to the ground and kicking the ball away in anger.

Bartomeu, who is also out in America, insists he has not sat down with Neymar to discuss his future and will wait until they get back to Spain.

Bartomeu added: "When we go home we will sit with him."
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Barcelona Chopping Block: Which players are in danger of leaving this summer?


Naturally, every summer supporters of their favorite clubs will turn their attention to who will be purchased in order to strengthen the previous years squad. No where is this more prevalent than at Barcelona, especially considering it was a year that saw Real Madrid claim the league title for the first time since 2012, all the while repeating as Champions of Europe. To date, the club have attempted to do just that, signing Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon for a combined €47.5 million.

Eventually, Barca will have to take care of some financial stumbling blocks as well. With the highest wage bill in Europe, space will need to be freed in order to bring the number down from La Liga's threshold, in addition to replenishing a once flush transfer budget.

None of last summer's signings particularly lived up to their billing, but unless a desperate club submits an outrageous offer, all four (Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne, Paco Alcacer and Dennis Suarez) are expected to be given a second chance to adjust to their surroundings at Camp Nou.

With that, lets take a look at who presently is the most probable (%) to leave the club.

Neymar (75%) - With more plot twists than a M. Night Shyamalan movie, the Neymar saga continues to be the transfer roller coaster of the summer. With each passing hour, the truth becomes harder to decipher and an annoyance to pursue. Just yesterday, a report via Esporte Interativo claimed that Ney had decided to join PSG and would announce his decision after a sponsorship event in China ends. Early this morning, that very event was cancelled when one of China's largest travel agencies, Ctrip, revealed Neymar wouldn't be attending due to ongoing "transfer issues."

Although Pique had us all convinced a week ago that the Brazilian was in fact staying via a misleading tweet, the scales are now heavily leaning towards a likely divorce. Ultimately, the decision will have huge ramifications either way, but until anything becomes official, the club's business will remain in limbo.

Arda Turan (60%) - Behind possibly only Josep Bartomeu, no person currently sits in worse standing amongst the Barcelona faithful than the Turk. Though there were some improvements and the odd impressive performance as the occasional deputy for Neymar a season ago, the 30 year old has been unable to prove himself in a midfield that could desperately use the cover. While there was a reported interest from Arsenal early in the summer, the latest chatter has Turan returning to his former club Galatasaray on loan. As one of the few expendable players on the squad who could bring back a sizable return, Barca would be prudent to hold off for the most lucrative offer.
Rafinha (50%) - Under Luis Enrique — a manager in which he shared a uniquely special bond with — the Brazilian was able to flash some of the potential that at one time made him a treasured commodity in La Maisa. Unfortunately, just as it appeared a corner was about to be turned, injuries would constantly disrupt any chances he may have had at cracking Barcelona's first team. Although still valuable to the squad, Rafinha has made it known that he craves regular minutes ahead of next summers World Cup. Much like his brother Thiago who moved from Barca to Bayern Munich in 2013, a fresh start could benefit the 24-year old going forward. A move to the Premier League looks to be the most likely, with Arsenal currently rumored as the heavy favorites.

Munir (60%) - After Barca's UEFA Youth League win in 2014 followed by a goal in his first team debut against Elche, the sky looked to be the limit for Munir El Haddadi. Three years on, a once illuminating future has arrived to a slow and steady dim. On loan at Valencia this past season, the option to sign him this summer for €12m was turned down due to a litany of erratic performances.

Barca were hopeful he would agree to terms with Zenit Saint Petersburg with the Russians set to offer close to the €30 million price tag Barcelona are requesting for his services. However, the deal fell apart in the final stages as Munir expressed his reluctance to move to Russia. The club would like to a get a deal done as quick as possible, but they are adamant with their price evaluation. Meanwhile, Munir is perfectly content with waiting for the right situation. After his experience at a Valencia project in turmoil, he wants to join a stable club and a manager who will show faith in him.

Sergi Roberto (5%) - While the idea of Sergi Roberto changing clubs is not one being presently pursued by the player or Barcelona, Chelsea are reportedly doing their utmost to change that. According to respected journalist Gerard Romero, the Premier League champions are prepared to pay his €40 million release clause and have already informed Sergi of their intention. With the acquisition of Nelson Semedo from Benfica, Roberto's starting position at RB is anything but secure. The player prefers a move back to the midfield but just how much game time is he likely to see there either? For this reason alone, Chelsea could be tempting. While it's certainly something to think about, all signs point to Roberto fanning off interest and staying put.

Douglas, Thomas Vermaelen (100%) - Not much to say here. They gone
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Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks revels in comparisons with Barcelona star Andres Iniesta

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks revels in comparisons with Barcelona star Andres Iniesta

Mauricio Pochettino's roots Espanyol don’t often allow him room for much adulation of local rivals Barcelona.

But for Harry Winks, the Spurs boss makes an exception.


For in Pochettino ’s eyes the 21-year-old Tottenham star is such a gem insiders say he privately calls Winks his ‘Little Iniesta’ in homage to the Barcelona midfielder who has been at the heart of the Nou Camp success for a decade and a half.

“That’s news to me” smiled Winks “I haven’t been told that - but I’d love him to. It’s not a bad title to have!

“I can only go off what I am like as a player. And I would say I am myself, I can’t really compare myself to anyone else.

“Players like Andres Iniesta are top, top players and I’m not at that level just yet. But I like to draw different types of models and games from different players.

“And Iniesta is certainly the type of player I could look up to and I would like to draw parts of his game into mine.”

Winks might have boy band good looks, but he’s a tough competitor with a big future ahead.
Sadly, his rapid progress into the first team last season was cut short by a freak accident at Burnley in April that left him with severe ankle ligament damage after crashing into a drinks crate in front of the dugout at Turf Moor.

But he’s all set to play a role for Pochettino this season after regaining full fitness - even though he’s still in pain from the injury.
“The injury was probably the hardest and most difficult time of my career so far because when you are doing really well you start to get opportunities” says Winks.

“There were big games coming up like the FA Cup semi final and the North London derby last season just as I was starting to get involved, so it was tough.

“I still get a lot of pain and a few symptoms and stiffness in the ankle which is normal, it’s part of an ankle injury.

“I just have to play through it and hopefully in the next few months it will disappear slowly.

“Now I am back fit and playing it makes you have that little bit more determination when you are back out on the field.
“I’ve been out for nearly four months and when you have been out that long you start to miss the game and when you get back out there you realise just how much you really do live it and enjoy it.”

Spurs are under pressure to join the cash crazy transfer merry-go-round – but Winks believes, under Pochettino, Tottenham are close to a trophy breakthrough.

Speaking at a coaching clinic for youngsters at Tennessee Soccer Club in Nashville where Spurs play Manchester City on Saturday, Winks said: “Yeah, we want to.

“That’s the aim and the ambition in the team” he says. “We feel we’re good enough to win a trophy this year, every year.

“It’s a long season, we can’t say we’re going to win one. Every year we go in aiming for that but it’s difficult to say now that we’re going to win one. We’re strong enough and the belief is there.
“We’ve got world class players within the squad, people like Harry Kane, Mousa, Dele, Eriksen. We’ve got top players in the team but if every player wants to keep improving then there’s no reason we can’t go one step further and win the league this year.”

Aside from Iniesta, Winks has another link to Spain having a Spanish mother and grandparents.
But having played every England youth level from 17 through to the Under-21s it’s never crossed his mind to play for Spain.
“I consider myself English. I’ve got Spanish grandparents and that’s my connection with Spain. But I want to play for England. That’s what I’ve said all along.

“Obviously I have goals and ambitions that I’d love to achieve and of course I’d love to play for England this year, but that’s not something I’m saying I’m going to set myself to do. I’m just going to take it step by step in getting into the Spurs team first.”
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Neymar’s PSG signing could be completed by Monday or Tuesday


Impending transfer
The biggest transfer in footballing history could be coming to a dramatic end with suggestions that a deal from Barcelona to PSG could be completed by Monday or Tuesday.
Rumours of a potential deal were initially rebuffed with the idea of Neymar swapping Barcelona for PSG too much for many people to believe.
Soon, murmurs become too loud for football fans to ignore as they continually picked up pace over the past few weeks.
There were then suggestions a deal was near completion and on Friday it was confirmed that Neymar would miss media obligations due to a transfer related event.
Even further so, there have been suggestions today that Neymar’s team hope to have a deal formally concluded by Monday or Tuesday next week in what will be by far the most expensive transfer in history.
The Brazilian’s release clause of €222m comfortably beats that of Paul Pogba’s £89m move to Manchester United, dwarfs it in fact.
Should a deal get done by Tuesday, it will certainly send shockwaves through the world of football that Paris Saint Germain mean business.
Neymar cancels event
It is safe to say that the alarm bells were ringing when news broke that Neymar would miss some media obligations that were talked about an awful lot.
Alarm bells were ringing even further when reports suggesting the event had been cancelled also explained that his reasoning was due to an impending transfer.
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TRANSFER NEWS: ANTONIO CONTE PLOTS DOUBLE SUMMER SWOOP FOR ENGLAND STARS ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN AND ROSS BARKLEY

Chelsea on the cards?
Chelsea on the cards?

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is reportedly planning a double swoop for English stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley
According to a report by The Sun, Chelsea are seeking summer deals for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley as Conte aims to increase the number of home-grown talents.
The Blues have been interested in both these players for a while now and it will be interesting to see how they manage to pry either of these players from their respective clubs.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has endured several changes in position for a good majority of last season. He took up varying roles in the central midfield area, played at wing back and also worked from his traditional right wing position.
He was phenomenal as a wing back and adapted to that position in the best way as it was evident to see. Growing frustration among the fans led to Arsene Wenger making an unusual change in his formation as he employed a three-man back line, and that system greatly benefited the former Southampton player.
Ross Barkley, on the other hand, has been a hot prospect ever since he burst onto the scene with Everton, having progressed quickly through the ranks at the club. The 23-year-old went on to establish himself as a mainstay for both club and country while also establishing himself as one of the most exciting talents in England.
Eyeing a Chelsea move?
Eyeing a Chelsea move? 
Barkley has recorded more than 150 appearances for Everton and has only gone from strength-to-strength under Ronald Koeman, hence drawing the attention of last season’s Premier League winners.
Chelsea are in dire need of a new right wing-back especially after their failure to land Danilo, which leaves Victor Moses as the only option ahead of the new season. Antonio Conte wants to add depth and a player at the position to provide competition to Moses.

Ox can fill that need perfectly while Barkley can prove to be a value addition up front. The Blues look currently have just Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro to choose from currently, and Conte will need attacking reinforcements before the next season.
Regardless of whether or not Conte manages to seal deals for both these players, a deal for even one of them is likely to do wonders for the squad as they will need to cope with the added responsibility of defending the coveted Premier League trophy next season.

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Friday, 28 July 2017

Paul Pogba drops shock transfer hint after Manchester United defeat to Barcelona

Paul Pogba drops shock transfer hint after Manchester United defeat to Barcelona

Paul Pogba has made Manchester United fans very anxious after ‘liking’ an Instagram post that suggested he should leave Old Trafford and join Barcelona instead.
The French midfielder was one of United’s better performers in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Barca in Maryland, and was pictured laughing and joking with the Catalan club’s stars afterwards.
Many assumed ‘Agent Pogba’ was up to his old tricks as he chatted to Neymar and Lionel Messi, but now it seems as though, if they were discussing any possible transfer, it might have been Pogba to Camp Nou.
Pogba and the rest of the United squad have only just touched back down in England after their pre-season tour, with the 24-year-old seemingly catching up on his social media in the evening.
And late on Thursday night he liked a comment that read: ‘Pogba to Barca in the the [sic] next couple of years?’
Understandably, Pogba’s actions have not gone down well with United fans, who are fearing the possibility of having to say goodbye to their star midfielder for a second time after he left the club to join Juventus five years ago.
Barca were interested in Pogba prior to his move to Old Trafford last summer, as were a host of top European clubs including Real Madrid, though Jose Mourinho convinced him to return to the Theatre of Dreams.

NEWSSPORT

Paul Pogba drops shock transfer hint after Manchester United defeat to Barcelona

Metro Sport Reporter for Metro.co.uk
Thursday 27 Jul 2017 11:40 pm
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Paul Pogba drops shock transfer hint after Manchester United defeat to Barcelona
Pogba was a class apart from his teammates in the defeat to Barca in Maryland (Picture: Getty)
Paul Pogba has made Manchester United fans very anxious after ‘liking’ an Instagram post that suggested he should leave Old Trafford and join Barcelona instead.


Lukaku revenge? Chelsea make shock move to sign Man Utd's £44m target
The French midfielder was one of United’s better performers in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Barca in Maryland, and was pictured laughing and joking with the Catalan club’s stars afterwards.

Many assumed ‘Agent Pogba’ was up to his old tricks as he chatted to Neymar and Lionel Messi, but now it seems as though, if they were discussing any possible transfer, it might have been Pogba to Camp Nou.


Pogba and the rest of the United squad have only just touched back down in England after their pre-season tour, with the 24-year-old seemingly catching up on his social media in the evening.

And late on Thursday night he liked a comment that read: ‘Pogba to Barca in the the [sic] next couple of years?’

Paul Pogba drops shock transfer hint after Manchester United defeat to Barcelona
Pogba surprisingly liked a comment suggeting he should move to Barca (Picture: Instagram/@paulpogba)
Understandably, Pogba’s actions have not gone down well with United fans, who are fearing the possibility of having to say goodbye to their star midfielder for a second time after he left the club to join Juventus five years ago.


Barca were interested in Pogba prior to his move to Old Trafford last summer, as were a host of top European clubs including Real Madrid, though Jose Mourinho convinced him to return to the Theatre of Dreams.

Paul Pogba drops shock transfer hint after Manchester United defeat to Barcelona
Talking transfers? Neymar could soon eclipse Pogba as the world’s most expensive player (Picture: MUTV)
His curious social media activity comes just a single day after Mourinho had put Pogba on the same level as Messi and Neymar following his display against Barca.

‘Messi and Neymar, there is only one; there is not two. [Luis] Suarez, [Andres] Iniesta, [Gerard] Pique, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Gareth] Bale, [Luka] Modric, Toni Kroos; there is only one so they can only play for one club, not for two clubs.
‘We can’t have them; they belong to the clubs. But I have to say that one of my players today, Paul Pogba; he showed the level, he showed he belongs to that level.’
Some fans had hoped Pogba was chatting to Neymar about joining United, with the Brazilian seemingly desperate to escape Messi’s shadow, though he appears destined to join PSG if he does leave the club this summer.

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Manchester United: Could Gareth Bale actually return to England?

Manchester United: Could Gareth Bale actually return to England?

Manchester United: Could Gareth Bale actually return to England?


With Kylian Mbappe heavily rumored to head to Real Madrid, could Gareth Bale be headed out of Madrid to a new club this summer? Manchester United fans will hope this rings true and hope the Welshman makes a move to Manchester. Kylian Mbappe has been reported by several sources that he is closing to agreeing a move to Los Blancos for a world record fee. He can play anywhere on the front three, which may make Bale a surplus to requirements for Zinedine Zidane. When Bale went down injured last season, Isco came into the team and performed brilliantly. Zidane changed the team tactically and allowed Isco to have a lot of freedom. This led Madrid to win the Champions League without Bale on the field. The Welsh winger has been long rumored for a move to Manchester United but it has never been anything more than a rumor. It would be doubtful for Bale to move to United after all of his successful years with Tottenham. If somehow Jose Mourinho were to capture the signature of Bale, the Red Devils attack would be practically unstoppable. United could have a front four that could involve Romelu Lukaku, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford, and Bale. Premier League defenses would be terrified to go up against that front four. While it would be a dream for United to capture Bale, it is very doubtful the deal will get done. Manchester United and Real Madrid have had their transfer issues, with the deals of David De Gea and Alvaro Morata never going through. It would be unlikely that both sides could reach an agreement for the Wales’ best player. Any sort of move for Gareth Bale will depend on the sale of Mbappe to Madrid from Monaco. It has been reported that Monaco have entered negotiations for a new contract for the Frenchman. It is likely he will stay in Monaco and Bale will stay in Madrid as well. Although, stranger things have happened in the past transfer windows.
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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Manchester United plan to agree deal for Bundesliga assist king

Manchester United plan to agree deal for Bundesliga assist king
Manchester United plan to agree deal for Bundesliga assist king.

Manchester United are reportedly lining up a move for RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg after admitting defeat in the pursuit of Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic. The Sweden international starred for Leipzig during their maiden Bundesliga campaign as they finished runners-up to Bayern Munich.
United boss Jose Mourinho has already revealed his intention to add a central midfielder and winger to his ranks, but the club have so far been unsuccessful in their quest to pursue their prime targets. Perisic had been underlined as the preferred choice to bolster the wing position, but the Nerazzurri’s £44.6m asking price has put them off from reviving their interest.

According to Calciomercato, Mourinho has now set his sights on pursuing Forsberg, who shares the same agent as United summer signing Victor Lindelof. The Red Devils have already made contact with the player’s representative with the manager keen on completing most of his transfer business ahead of the new season.



Forsberg assisted 19 goals in addition to his eight scored in the Bundesliga last term, and this presents a far better record than Perisic’s tally of 11 goals and eight assists. The Swede’s haul of 19 assists is also the highest in Europe’s top five leagues one ahead of Manchester City ace Kevin de Bruyne.

Leipzig have been reluctant to lose their key players during the course of the transfer window, but United could test their resolve with a £44.6m offer – similar to that Inter Milan are demanding – given he is nearly three years younger than Perisic.
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Manchester City thrash Real Madrid 4-1 in Los Angeles as Danilo makes debut

Manchester City thrash Real Madrid 4-1 in Los Angeles as Danilo makes debut

Manchester City thrashed Real Madrid 4-1 in Los Angeles as defender Danilo made his debut against his former club.

The 26-year-old Brazil international started at left-back having signed for a fee believed to be £26.5m.

After a goalless first-half Nicolas Otamendi fired in a rebound from a John Stones header to break the deadlock.
Kevin de Bruyne controlled the game for the Premier League side as goals from Raheem Sterling, Stones and 17-year-old Brahim Diaz sealed victory.

In front of 93,000 fans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Pep Guardiola's side secured their first pre-season win with an impressive attacking display against the Spanish giants.

The Manchester club have spent almost £175m this summer - England international Kyle Walker (£45m), Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva (£43m), Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes (£35m) and most recently defender Benjamin Mendy (£52m) having all joined Guardiola's ranks.

But despite the influx of defenders, it was City's attacking play that saw them to an easy victory as De Bryune set up three goals.

The Belgian flicked a deft pass pass through to Sterling, before picking out defender Stones for his goal, and then linking up with Spanish teenager Diaz, who scored with a superb strike from outside the area.

Madrid pulled one back with the last effort of the game - a stunning goal from Oscar Rodriguez - but City were the dominant side.

Guardiola played down his side's victory but praised their intensity saying "at that level we can compete with everyone".

On new signing Mendy, he said: "Mendy and Gundogan are not ready yet. Mendy needs two or three more weeks due to a muscle injury. David Silva will be fit for the start of the season though."

United end tour with defeat
Manchester United ended their pre-season tour of the United States with defeat by Barcelona - a game that manager Jose Mourinho said "was important to lose".

Barcelona secured a 1-0 win with a first-half goal from Neymar at the International Champions Cup in Washington - United's first pre-season defeat.

Neymar, who also scored twice in Barcelona's 2-1 friendly win over Juventus on Saturday, has been linked with a move to Paris St-Germain and the French club have reportedly met the Brazilian's 222m euro (£199m) release clause.
But the 25-year-old ignored the ongoing speculation and capitalised on United full-back Antonio Valencia's mistake in the 31st minute before being taken off at half-time.

Barcelona would have been out of sight in the first half but for a string of fine saves from United goalkeeper David de Gea.

"I think it would be very bad for us to leave the US without a defeat, playing against teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City - it would be very bad to go home with just victories," said Mourinho.

Manchester United now face Norwegian side Valerenga on Sunday before playing Italians Sampdoria in their final pre-season match in Dublin on Wednesday.

They meet Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup on 8 August.

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