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Showing posts with label Manchester United. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manchester United. 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
Read more ...

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.
Read more ...

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 ...

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

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 ...

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.
Read more ...

Man Utd Close-In On Deal To Sign this player for £40million

Man Utd Close-In On Deal To Sign this player for £40million
Man Utd Close-In On Deal To Sign this player for £40million.

Managers are now pressing ahead with their plans for the summer transfer window so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip from around the globe. Today, Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is close to joining Man Utd…
Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is close to securing a move to Manchester United after Juventus turned their attention to other targets, according to a report in the Express.
Matic is expected to leave the Premier League champions following the arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco and he was left out of Chelsea’s pre-season tour squad to allow him to resolve his future.

The Serbian international has been strongly linked with both Man Utd and Juventus but the Mirror reported recently that the Red Devils moved in to pole position after the Serie A champions baulked at Chelsea’s £40m asking price.

The Express are now citing a report from Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio who claims Matic wants to join United is now on the verge of securing his moving to Old Trafford.

It’s stated in the newspaper that Juventus have conceded defeat in the race to sign Matic and have now turned their attention to landing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi instead.

Jose Mourinho has vented his frustration at United’s lack of movement in the transfer market as they’ve only managed to wrap-up deals to sign centre-back Victor Lindelof and striker Romelu Lukaku so far.

The Portuguese coach is looking to bring in a central midfielder to act as a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick and it seems Mourinho is on the verge of a reunion with Matic.
The ‘Special One’ re-signed the 28-year-old for Chelsea back in 2014 and he played a key role in helping them win the title that season so it seems Mourinho is hoping he’ll have the same affect in Manchester.
Mourinho seemingly believes Matic will be the perfect foil for Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in his United midfield this season and I think he’ll be an excellent addition if they manage to get this proposed deal over the line.
Read more ...

Monday, 24 July 2017

Jose Mourinho says he didn't choose his best penalty kickers against Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho says he didn't choose his best penalty kickers against Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho says he didn't choose his best penalty kickers against Real Madrid

Manchester United beat the reigning European champions in a pre-season encounter in the States by virtue of penalties.

Nothing separated the two sides after 90 minutes following their 1-1 draw with Casemiro levelling after Jesse Lingard’s opener.

And in the shoot-out, only three of the 10 spot-kicks from United and Real were converted.

Amongst the takers for United were new boy Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial, who all missed from 12 yards out.
And when asked for his thoughts on the shoot-out, Mourinho said: “Three out of 10 penalties - that's pre-season.

“I didn't choose my best penalty takers.”

When quizzed on what his wider thoughts on the game were, Mourinho took a slightly critical tone over the second-half display.

He added: “It was a good training session.
“A very good first half against a top Real side. In the second half we lost motivation, intensity and appetite to play against their youngsters.

“The players in the second half were disappointed not to play against their best players.”

Manchester United will take on Real again in the Super Cup on August 8.
Read more ...

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Four Manchester United starters confirmed vs Real Madrid

Four Manchester United starters confirmed vs Real Madrid
Four Manchester United starters confirmed vs Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho has confirmed Axel Tuanzebe will start alongside Victor Lindelof for Manchester United against Real Madrid on Sunday.

Mourinho said after United's win over Manchester City Lindelof would be paired with a different defender after lining up with Smalling in Houston and Phil Jones at Real Salt Lake.

Tuanzebe, 19, played in Mourinho's first United match at Wigan just over a year ago and was included in their tour squad for China before he made his competitive debut against Wigan in January.

The Rochdale-raised defender is one of at least three academy graduates who will line up against the Champions League winners at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday.

"I keep saying we can’t have better training sessions than playing against the best teams, but more important than the results is the work, is the minutes I give to every player, to try different things.

"We play three matches in three different systems, three at the back, four at the back with one or six in front and the last match with the number 10, we are trying different things, we are working.
"The players are getting their form step-by-step and tomorrow obviously, you say a test, it's probably the right word but I prefer to say the experiences, for us as a team and those who didn’t play the last match will play.
"I'm going to play Timo Fosu-Mensah, Axel, Darmian, Mitchell, I’m going to play other players and give rest to some players because pre-season is not for accumulation and some of them played 75 minutes against City, so now it's time for others."

Mourinho also suggested Sergio Romero might make his first start of the tour.

"Tomorrow I play Romero, David, 45-45," he added.
Read more ...

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Jose Mourinho is in support of Chelsea's decision to sign Morata

Jose Mourinho is in support of Chelsea's decision to sign Morata
Jose Mourinho is in support of Chelsea's decision to sign Morata
Jose Mourinho has backed Chelsea’s move to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, claiming that the Premier League champions are getting a ‘very good player’.

Chelsea have been forced to switch targets after they were beaten by Manchester United in the race to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Antonio Conte’s side agreed on a transfer fee with Madrid for Morata which will initially cost £58 million but could rise to £70m after add-ons.
The Spain international was close to joining up with Mourinho this summer and had agreed terms on a move to Old Trafford, but United were not willing to meet Madrid’s asking price.
When asked about Chelsea’s decision to sign Morata in his press conference on Thursday, Mourinho replied: ‘I’m not interested in what Chelsea does, really.

‘We needed a striker, we needed, with Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] in his best condition, one to give cover, to give options, him and Marcus [Rashford] was not enough, especially after Zlatan’s injury.

‘We got a big player [in Romeu Lukaku]. A player I can’t compare with what he was a few years ago because he worked with me a few months four or five years ago.
‘His development was very, very good. We think we have a player that is now a top player in Europe, has to prove it at the highest level, there’s always that point, he now has to do it for Manchester United, he has to do it in Champions League matches.

‘But I think he has amazing qualities.
‘I think Chelsea was obvious they were going to sign a striker especially after the situation with the manager [Conte] and Diego [Costa] was clear they were going to sign a striker.

‘They did it with Alvaro and Alvaro is a very good player for them.’
Read more ...

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Am disappointed : Manchester United wants to buy this player for £42 million

Am disappointed : Manchester United wants to buy this player for £42 million
Manchester United wants to buy this player for £42 million
Bayern Munich have confirmed that Renato Sanches could be sold during the current transfer window – but interested clubs must cough up over £40million.
The 19-year-old midfielder was targeted by Manchester United last summer and reports suggest Jose Mourinho could yet revive his interest.
Despite being rated very highly in Germany and costing Bayern £30m last May, Sanches only started nine games last season under Carlo Ancelotti.

After previously admitting that the Portuguese star was likely to be sent out on loan, Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has now revealed the club are open to a permanent transfer.
‘He [Renato Sanches] won’t have lot of game [time] next season and we are open to discuss his possible sale,’ Rummenigge said.

‘We can sell him on loan or on a permanent deal, I am not the manager but I believe Renato needs regular game time.
‘AC Milan are interested in signing him, I can confirm that, but talks have been put on hold after last week’s meeting.’
Rummenigge also named a potential price for the midfielder and claimed AC Milan were unable to meet such a valuation.

He added: ‘Clubs interested must be aware that they’d need a huge offer to sign him and I believe AC Milan can’t match our asking price.
‘I think that an offer in the region of €48 million could be enough to sign him.’

Read more ...

All Premier League pre-season fixtures and results

All Premier League pre-season fixtures and results
All Premier League pre-season fixtures and results

Premier League clubs are flying all over the world on their pre-season tours as they prepare for another gruelling top-flight season.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham are in the United States, while Chelsea and Arsenal will face each other in Beijing.

Everton have played in Tanzania and are off to the Netherlands and Belgium, while Leicester City, West Brom, Crystal Palace and Liverpool are all in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong.

As teams aim to strike the perfect balance between fitness and finance, here's a rundown of pre-season fixtures and results for all 20 Premier League clubs.

Pre-season fixture list:


13 July: Sydney FC 0-2 Arsenal ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia. Goals: Mertesacker, Lacazette

15 July: Western Sydney Wanderers 1-3 Arsenal ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia. Goals: Lustica; Giroud, Ramsey, Elneny

19 July: Bayern Munich (Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China)

22 July: Chelsea (Bird's Nest Stadium, Beijing, China)

29 July: Benfica (Emirates Stadium)

30 July: Sevilla (Emirates Stadium)

6 August: Chelsea (Community Shield, Wembley)


15 July: Estoril Praia 1-2 Bournemouth Stadium Municipal, Marbella, Spain. Goals: Eduardo; Ibe, Gradel

22 July: Portsmouth (Fratton Park)

29 July: Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road)

30 July: Valencia (Vitality Stadium)

2 August: Yeovil Town (Huish Park)

6 August: Napoli (Vitality Stadium)

Brighton and Hove Albion

14 July: Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-2 Brighton Sportplatz St Ulrich, Austria. Goals: Murphy, Hemed

22 July: Crawley Town ( Stadium)

25 July: Southend United (Roots Hall)

29 July: Norwich City (Carrow Road)

1 August: Girona FC (Nou Estadi Municipal de Palamos, Catalonia, Spain)

6 August: Atletico Madrid (Amex Stadium)


14 July: Shamrock Rovers 0-4 Burnley Tallaght Stadium, Dublin. Goals: Walters, Barnes, Brady, Vokes

22 July: Kidderminster Harriers (Aggborough Stadium)

22 July: Alfreton Town (The Impact Arena)

25 July: Preston North End (Deepdale)

29 July: Nottingham Forest (City Ground)

1 August: Celta Vigo (Turf Moor)

5 August: Hannover 96 (Turf Moor)


22 July: Arsenal (Bird's Nest Stadium, Beijing, China)

25 July: Bayern Munich (National Stadium, Singapore)

29 July: Inter Milan (National Stadium, Singapore)

6 August: Arsenal (Community Shield, Wembley)

Crystal Palace

15 July: Maidstone United 1-3 Crystal Palace (Gallagher Stadium). Goals: Pigott; Mutch (2), Berkeley

19 July: Liverpool (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

22 July: Leicester City or West Brom (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

5 August: Shalke 04 (Selhurst Park)


13 July: Gor Mahia FC 1-2 Everton (National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania). Goals: Tuyisenge; Rooney, Dowell

19 July: FC Twente (SV De Lutte, Overijssel, Netherlands)

22 July: KRC Genk (Luminus Arena, Genk, Belgium)

6 August: Sevilla (Goodison Park)

Huddersfield Town

12 July: Accrington Stanley 0-1 Huddersfield (Wham Stadium). Goal: Ince

16 July: Bury 1-3 Huddersfield (Gigg Lane). Goals: Beckford; Mounie, Ince, Kachunga (pen)

18 July: SV Sandhausen 3-2 Huddersfield (BWT Stadium, Sandhausen, Germany). Goals: Vollmann, Daghfous, Holer; Ince, Mounie.

22 July: Barnsley (Oakwell)

1 August: Stuttgart (Schwaz, Austria)

4 August: Torino (Jenbach, Austria)

Leicester City

19 July: West Brom (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

22 July: Crystal Palace or Liverpool (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

26 July: Luton Town (Kenilworth Road)

28 July: MK Dons (Stadium MK)

29 July: Wolverhampton Wanderers (Molineux Stadium)

1 August: Burton Albion (Pirelli Stadium)

4 August: Borussia Monchengladbach (King Power Stadium)


12 July: Tranmere Rovers 0-4 Liverpool Prenton Park. Goals: Milner (pen), Grujic, Chirivella, Woodburn

14 July: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Liverpool DW Stadium. Goals: Gilbey; Salah

19 July: Crystal Palace (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

22 July: Leicester City or West Brom (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

29 July: Hertha Berlin (Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany)

1 August: Bayern Munich (Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany)

2 August: Atletico Madrid or Napoli (Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany)

5 August: Athletic Club (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)

Manchester City

21 July: Manchester United (NRG Stadium, Houston, USA)

27 July: Real Madrid (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA)

29 July: Tottenham Hotspur (Nissan Stadium, Nashville, USA)

4 August: West Ham United (Laugardalsvollur National Stadium, Reykjavik, Iceland)

Manchester United

16 July: LA Galaxy 2-5 Manchester United (Stubhub Centre, Los Angeles, USA). Goals: Dos Santos, Romney; Rashford (2), Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, Martial

18 July: Real Salt Lake 1-2 Manchester United (Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, USA). Goals: Silva; Mkhitaryan, Lukaku

21 July: Manchester City (NRG Stadium, Houston, USA)

23 July: Real Madrid (Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, USA)

27 July: Barcelona (FedExField, Washington DC, USA)

30 July: Valerenga (Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, Norway)

2 August: Sampdoria (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)

8 August: Real Madrid (Uefa Super Cup, Philip II Arena, Skopje, FYR Macedonia)

Newcastle United

14 July: Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Newcastle Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh. Goals: Walker; Gayle 2

22 July: Preston North End (Deepdale)

26 July: Bradford City (Northern Commercials Stadium)

29 July: FSV Mainz 05 (Opel Arena, Mainz, Germany)

2 August: Wolfsburg (AOK Stadion, Wolfsburg, Germany)

6 August: Hellas Verona (St James' Park)


22 July: Brentford (Griffin Park)

29 July: Saint-Etienne (Stade Municipal de Chambery, France)

2 August: Augsburg (St Mary's)

5 August: Sevilla (St Mary's)

Stoke City

10 July: Neuchatel Xamax 0-1 Stoke City Tissot Arena, Biel, Switzerland. Goal: Sejmenovic og

12 July: Young Boys Bern 2-2 Stoke City Stoke win 4-3 on pens. Tissot Arena. Goals: Guillaume, Yoric; Adam (pen), Muniesa

15 July: Monaco 4-2 Stoke City Stade d'Octodure, Martigny, Switzerland. Goals: Fabinho, Saint-Maximin, Falcao, N'Doram; Berahino, Diouf

25 July: Sheffield United (Bramall Lane)

29 July: Bolton Wanderers (Macron Stadium)

5 August: RB Leipzig (Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany)

Swansea City

12 July: Barnet 1-0 Swansea The Hive Stadium. Goal: Akinde

15 July: Philadelphia Union 2-2 Swansea (Talen Energy Stadium, Philadelphia, USA). Goals: Sapong, Simpson; Bartley, Ayew

19 July: Richmond Kickers (City Stadium, Richmond, USA)

22 July: North Carolina FC (Sahlen's Stadium, Cary, USA)

29 July: Birmingham City (St Andrew's)

5 August: Sampdoria (Liberty Stadium)

Tottenham Hotspur

23 July: Paris St-Germain (Camping World Stadium, Orlando, USA)

26 July: Roma (Red Bull Arena, Harrison, USA)

29 July: Manchester City (Nissan Stadium, Nashville, USA)

5 August: Juventus (Wembley)


8 July: Woking 1-1 Watford Laithwaite Community Stadium. Goals: Bawling; Jakubiak

15 July: AFC Wimbledon 3-2 Watford Cherry Red Records Stadium. Goals: McDonald (2), Egan; Watson, Berghuis

18 July: Viktoria Plzen 0-1 Watford (Austria). Goal: Okaka.

22 July: SD Eibar (Austria)

29 July: Aston Villa (Villa Park)

5 August: Real Sociedad (Vicarage Road)

West Bromwich Albion

12 July: SK Slavia Prague 2-1 West Brom Kumberg Stadium, Kumberg, Austria. Goals: Deli, Frydrych; McClean

19 July: Leicester City (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

22 July: Crystal Palace or Liverpool (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)

26 July: Walsall (Banks' Stadium)

26 July: Burton Albion (Pirelli Stadium)

29 July: Bristol Rovers (Memorial Stadium)

29 July: Slough Town (Kevin McGoldrick testimonial, Arbour Park)

1 August: Kidderminster Harriers (Aggborough Stadium)

1 August: Port Vale (Vale Park)

5 August Deportivo La Coruna (Estadio Riazor, A Coruna, Spain)

West Ham United

28 July: Werder Bremen (Osterwald Stadion, Schneverdingen, Germany)

29 July: Werder Bremen (Heinz-Dettmer Stadion, Lohne, Germany)

1 August: Altona 93 (Adolf-Jager-Kampfbahn Stadium, Hamburg, Germany)

4 August: Manchester City (Laugardalsvollur National Stadium, Reykjavik, Iceland)

All fixtures are subject to change. Mfon Elisha's Blog is not responsible for any changes.

How do clubs choose where to travel?

It is a tough balancing act between getting the players ready for that new campaign and exploiting sponsorship opportunities, says football finance expert Rob Wilson.

"Last year, China seemed to be the significant market and a lot of teams focused on that - but the North American market is the one the teams have been looking at this summer, largely because of sponsorship values," Wilson told BBC Sport.

"The clubs will be looking to pick up affluent sponsors and there is a nice alignment between American brands and sponsorship deals for the clubs to exploit."

Wilson, from Sheffield Hallam University, says it is difficult to get the right pre-season training while reaping the financial benefits of a tour.

"The choice of friendlies in Germany and Austria is about season preparation being at the forefront of clubs' minds, rather than looking for sponsorship deals," he said.

"Arsenal have always been very good at that in the past - putting football first. Others are much more focused on commercial drive.

"When you look at Manchester United, they are heavily sponsored by American companies.

"It also ties in with the increased interest in MLS. The infrastructure is already in place, the stadiums are there and fans' interest is there. Clubs already have associations with football in America.

"In the Far East it is more difficult to sort out, logistically, so clubs have to work much harder to make a success of a tour."

He says the focus has switched slightly this summer.

"Clubs do tend to work on a cyclical basis - there was a lot of activity in the Far East last year. I was half expecting teams to do some work in Japan this summer, especially a club like Chelsea, who have their Yokohama shirt deal.," he adds.

"But maybe it is because China are concentrating much more on the Chinese Super League, so there is a bit of a conflict and the tours would not get as much attention.

"In terms of other countries - such as Africa - there are problems of infrastructure. It is getting to the point, though, where a club might need to do something different."

What impact does long-haul travel have on players?

Former QPR midfielder Bradley Simmonds is a fitness coach to players including former Chelsea and England captain John Terry and Arsenal forward Theo Walcott. He says there are some benefits to the long-distance travelling.

"Lots of teams go to different countries to experience playing against different sides, so if they come to play in the Champions League they are used to playing against a range of top sides," he said.

"Obviously the travelling is going to take its toll, but the staff at these clubs know what they're doing. Jet lag can cause a problem, but coaches and medical staff will make sure the players get enough rest.

"You can become stiff during long-haul flights especially after training, so your body needs to recover. But these players travel first class on flights so they will be able to stretch their legs and get rest."

While the clubs might be looking at the financial benefits, Simmonds says the players will be solely focused on their fitness.

"They'll be looking to get lots of game time, even players who may not play regularly during the season will play in as many games as possible.

"It's all about strength and conditioning, making sure the core and glutes have been worked on.

"They've had four or five weeks off so they need to get the brain switched on. The players that have been drinking or not looking after their body quite as much as maybe they should need to get back into it."
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Could Jose Mourinho be planning on leaving Manchester United this summer

Could Jose Mourinho be planning on leaving Manchester United this summer
Could Jose Mourinho be planning on leaving Manchester United this summer

Manchester United let go Louis van Gaal and hired the services of Jose Mourinho last summer.
The former Chelsea boss helped United win the Community Shield, EFL Cup and the Europa League. However, the Red Devils were dismal in the Premier League and could only finish 6th in the table.

So, the Portuguese manager was able to win silverware for the club in his first season but things need to improve big time in the next campaign for him to have a future at Old Trafford.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN, the £312,500-a-week man (Daily Star) has stated that he wants to be at Manchester United for long term. The 54-year-old boss claimed that he is ready to stay for the next 15 years:

“I am ready for this,”  “I am ready for the next 15, I would say. Here? Yes, why not? I have to admit that it is very difficult because of the pressure around our jobs, everybody putting pressure on managers and things that people say — that we have to win, but in reality only one can win and every year it is getting more difficult.”

Mourinho claimed that staying at a club for years is good for stability but nowadays, it is not easy because one bad season can make you lose your job.

United have already signed Lindelof and Lukaku this summer and we can expect them to further strengthen their squad by luring other top stars. Can they win the Premier League title next season?
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Confirmed : Manchester United wants to sign this midfielder

Confirmed : Manchester United wants to sign this midfielder
Confirmed : Manchester United wants to sign this midfielder 

According to reports from Tuttomercato, Manchester United are have joined the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti has established himself as arguably one of the best midfielders in the world since joining Paris Saint-Germain from Pescara back in 2012 and the Italian international has been crucial in establishing the French giants as a European power over the years.

According to reports from Tuttomercato, Manchester United are have joined the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti.
Marco Verratti has established himself as arguably one of the best midfielders in the world since joining Paris Saint-Germain from Pescara back in 2012 and the Italian international has been crucial in establishing the French giants as a European power over the years.
As a result, it has been no surprise to see a host of clubs expressing their interest in signing Verratti this summer and Barcelana were believed to be pulling out all the stops in order to acquire the talented midfielder.

However, the proposed move seems to have cooled as PSG are not willing to sell Verratti and Barcelona are currently said to have focused their attentions to targets elsewhere.
Despite PSG’s stance on Verratti though, reports from Tuttomercato have claimed that Premier League giants Manchester United have now registered their interest in signing the 24-year-old.
It has been claimed that Jose Mayorga – one of United’s top scouts – has held talks with Verratti’s camp and that the Italian star is a ‘dream’ signing of Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho.

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Mourinho opens up about his failure to sign this Real Madrid striker

Mourinho opens up about his failure to sign this Real Madrid striker
Mourinho opens up about his failure to sign this Real Madrid striker

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has opened up about the club’s failures to secure a deal to bring Spain and Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata to Old Trafford, as reported by the Express.

The Red Devils were strongly linked with a move for Madrid frontman Morata after Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced he would be leaving the club once his contract expired, as per the Express.

Mourinho has since confirmed that the club had in fact tabled a bid for the Spaniard, however the asking price Los Blancos has set for Morata was too high, reports the Express, with United opting to go for Everton forward Romelu Lukaku instead.

Lukaku has joined United along with Swedish international Victor Lindelof as United’s only summer signings so far with Mourinho, according to the Express, still wanting a few more recruits before the window shuts on August 31st.
It appears that United boss Mourinho isn’t having it all his own way this transfer window.
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Friday, 14 July 2017

Could Lukaku fail at Manchester United? See reasons why he could

Could Lukaku fail at Manchester United? See reasons why he could
Could Lukaku fail at Manchester United? See reasons why he could
It is strange that Romelu Lukaku, of all players, might go on to become the most expensive player of all time should United pay the add-ons. In a deal where the Red Devils are set to pay £75 million upfront and £15 million in add-ons, they have gotten one of the Premier League’s most proven strikers.

Indeed, the former West Brom man’s record speaks for itself as he has constantly been among the best scorers in the league. Hence, as a result, Manchester United decided to splash the cash on him and would be hoping that their investment pays off.

However, there is a good chance that it won’t be recouped. Here are five reasons why Lukaku would fail at United.

#5 That damned first touch.

How does that matter when he has scored over 20 goals for Everton in each of his last three seasons though?For starters, Manchester United like to keep the ball more than Everton, who rely on the counter. Given that United have some of the finest players in their attack, it is only natural for opponents to mark them closely and shut down the channels quickly.Last season, the Red Devils enjoyed an average of 55% possession per game while Everton kept an average of 51%. But this is what is worrying: United had more percentage of their touches (31%) in the opposition third than Everton (28%).While 3% might not seem like much, it does make a difference. We have seen a lot of cases where the first touch of a player actually sets him up for the rest of the move, eventually leading to a goal.More touches in the final third are also accompanied by more passes, which is also not good news for the Belgian as he is…

#4 Not so good at link up play.

Aside from his infamous first touch, it is this attribute that reveals his limitations as a forward. In Jose Mourinho’s erratic career, one thing has remained constant: he has always worked with strikers that have the ability to link up play well.
From Didier Drogba to Karim Benzema, Mourinho has worked best with forwards who can bring their team-mates into the game. Lukaku, however, just doesn’t have that skill – and that is not a good thing for the system United play.Last season, United played 471 short passes per game, which is 83 more than Everton’s 388. This means Lukaku will feature in a team that likes to play short passes to build attacks.This is not good news for the Belgian who had a pass success rate of 65.5% in the league last season – the worst among the top five goal-scorers in the league. Mata and Herrera will look for clever one-twos with Lukaku, but they are more than likely to be upset by the return.There is no denying that the former Chelsea forward is a brilliant finisher and can play with his back to goal, but when it comes to bringing team-mates into the fray, he is not among the best in the world. And, given that United like to work the ball into the box rather than just pump it in, the Belgian might struggle to cope.

#3 Huge transfer tag.

Some of the best players in the world, for all their skill and ability, fail to make an impact for their new team after a big money move. When Real Madrid signed Kaka from AC Milan, they acquired the services of a Ballon d’Or winner.
And yet, after his €65 million move to Madrid, he not only failed to reach the heights that he enjoyed at Milan, but failed to string together even a couple of decent performances. And this was Kaka, who already had the experience of playing on the biggest stage.Even Gareth Bale hasn’t been at his best at Real Madrid even four years since his €100 million move to the Galacticos. While the price tag, in retrospect, might seem like a trivial issue, the truth is that it is not.We live in a time when social media has made it very easy to get our opinions across. If Lukaku makes the smallest of mistakes following his big-money move, he will be labelled as a “£75/90 million flop” or ridiculed with the “waste of £75/90 million” taunt.

#2 The pressure of playing for United.

As if the pressure of being the most expensive player of all time, potentially, isn't enough, there is also the added stress that comes from being a Manchester United player. Let’s face it, Manchester United are, commercially, the biggest club in the world, with fans all around the globe.
Indeed, the Red Devils not winning silverware is more of a problem for the sponsors than the team itself. Despite not winning major trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson left – except for the Europa League last season – Manchester United are the richest club in the world, ahead of even the champions of Europe, Real Madrid.This is no ordinary club, this is Manchester United – the Theatre of Dreams and the bastion of glory – and playing for them requires certain mental attributes. Every move that Lukaku makes will be scrutinised like never before – he will be dissected, researched and judged.At Everton, there wasn’t as much pressure to win like there is at United. Obviously. While the season target for the Toffees was to finish in the top 6 or 7, United always aim for the stars – and the margin for error is too little here.  As Mourinho said about the Belgian some years ago, “it is one thing to play for Everton and another thing to play for Chelsea.” That just as easily applies to Manchester United as well.

#1 The Jose Mourinho factor.

Jose Mourinho is regarded by many as one of the most astute tacticians in the world. At one point, he was also one of the best motivators in the game, but that attribute seems to have waned ever since his tenure at Real Madrid.
Another thing the Portuguese is known for is his reluctance to work with younger players. At Real Madrid, he rarely gave Alvaro Morata a chance, while at Chelsea, he refused to guarantee playing time for the former Anderlecht player, Lukaku.This prompted the Belgian to leave the club on a permanent basis and Mourinho revealed the reason for it."Romelu was always very clear with us in his mentality and his approach was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea. He wanted to be clearly the first-choice striker.”The former Porto boss is known for his ruthlessness. If Lukaku fails to deliver in a few games, it is very likely that the Portuguese would drop him in favour of someone else, which could damage his morale even further.For Mourinho, results matter over anything else. If Lukaku is deemed a liability, he will not shy away from wielding the axe. 
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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Confirmed : Manchester United is trying to sign a playmaker. Who is he?

Confirmed : Manchester United is trying to sign a playmaker. Who is he?
Confirmed : Manchester United is trying to sign a playmaker. Who is he?

Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio has confirmed that Manchester United are trying to sign playmaker Ivan Perisic.

But he insisted that to Sky Sports Italy that the Italian giants have rejected all the offers tabled so far for the versatile attacker.

The Guardian recently reported that United boss Jose Mourinho was eager to secure the 28-year-old’s deal before Tuesday, when Inter jet off to China for their pre-season tour.

The newspaper claimed that the Internazionale manager Luciano Spalletti doesn’t want to sell the Croatia international, yet the player is keen on a move to Old Trafford.

Ausilio, the Inter director, has furthered the notion that the club do not want him to leave and has said that they are yet to consider any of United’s previous offers.

During an interview with Sky Sports Italia, the Inter chief was quoted on their official website speaking about the striker’s future: “It’s not happening. He is training with us,” He said. “We have not considered anything that they [Manchester United] have offered us.”

Perisic joined the Inter Milan team from Wolfsburg in 2015 for a fee over £16 million, and his contract is set to expire in 2020.

Since joining the Croat has made a large impact at the club, as he has scored a total of 20 goals and provided a further 18 assists throughout his 79 appearances across all competitions.

Mourinho’s chances of signing the attacker now look slim, which will disappoint the Old Trafford manager.

The United boss has made two signings so far during the summer transfer window, after he secured Benfica defender Victor Lindelof and most recently Everton’s top goal scorer Romelu Lukaku in a stunning £72 million deal.

Mourinho will be hoping to bolster his squad ahead of the club’s 2017/18 campaign, as the former Chelsea manager will be looking to secure his fourth Premier League title during his second season at Old Trafford.
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Manchester United desperately want to sign this players

Manchester United are ready to move for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan as Tottenham continue to resist bids for Eric Dier, according to the Daily Mail .

The report claims Nainggolan, who was a top target for Chelsea last summer, would be open to leaving the Italian capital.



Tottenham insist that Eric Dier is not for sale amid links with Manchester United, according to Sky Sports .

Reports on Wednesday claimed that United were willing to bid £60 million for the midfielder, but Spurs have received no offers and have no interest in allowing him to leave.


Manchester United remain £9 million short of Inter's valuation of Ivan Perisic, according to The Telegraph .

The Red Devils have made the Croatian winger a top target and Ed Woodward has not joined the club in America as he seeks to tie up a deal which could cost close to £50m.


Manchester United are ready to reward Ander Herrera with a new contract after telling Barcelona the midfielder is not for sale, according to Sport .

Herrera was reportedly keen to explore a move to Camp Nou, but Barcelona have abandoned their interest after learning Jose Mourinho has no intention of letting the player go.

Manchester United will hand Zlatan Ibrahimovic a short-term contract in October after being impressed by his recovery from a knee injury, reports The Sun .

The Swedish striker was released at the end of an initial 12-month deal at Old Trafford, but has been working on his fitness at United's training ground under the watchful eye of the Red Devils' coaching staff.
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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Breakthrough : Pogba puts Manchester United ahead of Ajax with a splendid goal

Huge pricetag, and a huge goal from Paul Pogba. After a poor few minutes, Manchester United lead!

It comes with a large slice of fortune as United tee up Pogba bang in the centre, maybe 25 yards out, he hits it left footed, it takes a deflection off Davinson Sanchez and past Andre Onana.

Could the keeper have done more?

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