Jul 27 2016

Real Madrid looking to block Manchester United’s fourth summer signing

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Juventus v Bayern Munich - Juventus Stadium

Real Madrid are looking to block Manchester United’s move in signing of Paul Pogba after their manager Zinedine Zidane revealed his side’s interest in Juventus midfielder.

The 23-year-old’s contract with his current employers runs down in the summer of 2019. He joined the Turin club from the Red Devils on a free contract in 2012. Since joining them, Pogba has become one of the star midfielders in the world.

Juventus star was part of France squad in the Euro 2016 in his homeland. Disappointing it was for Pogba as he saw his national side suffer a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal in the final as Eder’s goal in the extra time saw Portugal beat France to win the European championship.

Pogba is currently on a holiday and is expected to join Juventus’ training session next month. He has been linked with a world-record move to Old Trafford. United are ready to break the bank and pay a fee of £100 million in landing the talented midfielder, according to the Daily Mail.

“In this moment we are still working [on a move for Pogba], and I cannot say anything more,” Zidane explained.

“Until August 31 anything can happen, but today he is not a Real Madrid player and I cannot talk about what will happen.”

“I always say how things are, but now is not the time to talk about this. A lot of clubs are interested in Pogba.”

“Real Madrid always want the best players. But we owe Juventus respect, and I can’t say anything more out of respect.”

Zidane’s latest comments could only complicate it for United as they had set their sights on making Pogba as their fourth summer signing. Jose Mourinho has already helped the Red Devils complete three signings as Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have all moved to Old Trafford this summer.

Jul 26 2016

Liverpool’s €40m bid confirmed for Manchester United summer target

Joao Mario

Sporting star Joao Mario’s father has confirmed the midfielder has received an offer from Premier League club Liverpool.

The 23-year-old was a part of the Portugal squad that defeated France 1-0 in the extra time of the Euro 2016 final to win the European championship. He was impressive for his national side in the recently concluded tournament hosted by France.

The Portuguese international has been linked with a move away from his current employers and was attracting interest from the top flight clubs in England. According to The Sun, Manchester United and their rivals Chelsea were looking at the option of signing him, along with Serie A outfit Inter Milan.

Mario was not spotted in his side’s recent friendly defeat to Lyon. That sparked rumours of him leaving Sporting in the summer transfer window. His father has now confirmed Jurgen Klopp’s side tabled a €40 million, which has been rejected by the Portuguese club.

“Proposals for the lad don’t come directly to me,” Mario’s father said, as quoted by Football Italia.

“They go to his agent, Kia Joorabchian, and the Sporting President. I was informed, however, that the club said no to €35m plus €10m in bonuses from Inter and to €40m from Liverpool. Nothing particular has happened, my son is a professional and knows he has a contract with Sporting.”

“At the same time, we’re talking about a very valuable player for the club, who would aspire to bigger projects in the course of his career.”

Jul 26 2016

Record transfer boosts Manchester United’s chances of completing fourth signing

Gonzalo Higuain

Juventus have confirmed they have completed a deal in signing Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli for a transfer fee of €90 million on Tuesday.

The Italian club will pay the fee over the two financial years and the Argentine international will become the third most expensive player in the history of football behind Gareth Bale and Cristaino Ronaldo as Real Madrid paid the fee to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respectively.

Higuain’s move from Napoli to the Turin club is Serie A record transfer. He will sign a five-year deal with the Italian champions.

A statement on Juventus’ official website read, ” Juventus Football Club can today confirm that it has purchased the registration rights of Gonzalo Higuain for €90 million, payable in two financial years. The player has agreed a five-year contract with the club.”

Higuain’s move to Juventus could boost Manchester United as they are chasing their midfielder Paul Pogba. The France international, who joined the Old Lady from the Red Devils is linked with a move back to Old Trafford.

The Sun reports that this could pave the way for the former United midfielder to rejoin the Premier League giants on a world-record fee of £100m in the current transfer window. Pogba’s sale will help Juventus to recover the money they paid in landing Higuain.

Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta has refused to comment on the ongoing situation with Pogba. He said, “Pogba to Manchester United? We will see when everything is over. Right now we are in the same situation.”

Jose Mourinho has made signing Pogba as a priority in the summer transfer window. United have already helped the former Chelsea boss completed three signings as the Red Devils landed Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Jul 26 2016

Club confirms rejecting Arsenal’s €35m bid for Manchester United summer target

Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have confirmed they have rejected a €35 million bid from Arsenal for their star player Alexandre Lacazette.

The 25-year-old has been in fine form for the Ligue 1 outfit in the last few seasons. In the 2015-16 campaign, he scored 23 goals in all competitions, which includes 21 goals in the league from 34 appearances.

His form for the club has seen him attract interest from the north London club. They are not the only club interested in signing Lacazette. The Mirror reported that the Gunners’ league rivals Manchester United and Liverpool are also looking at the option of signing him in the summer transfer window.

However, it was believed that Arsene Wenger’s side are leading the race for the striker’s signature. The France international is wanted by his compatriot at the Emirates and made a bid to land him this summer.

Arsenal’s approach of £29 million has now been revealed and Lyon also denied that they have received a €48 million bid for Lacazette.

“Olympique Lyonnais denies categorically having received a €48m offer from Arsenal for the transfer of Alexandre Lacazette as Le Progres stated in its issue this morning,” Lyon confirmed the communication via their official Twitter account.

“The club regrets once again that the publication has not bothered to contact us before publishing the false information which creates confusion on the day we publish annual turnover of £183m, up 111% compared to 2014/2015.

“The reality is that the Arsenal made ??an offer of €35m which Olympique Lyonnais did not respond to for one reason only: OL wants to keep Alexandre Lacazette because he is irreplaceable and one of the major leaders of Bruno Genesio’s group.”

Lyon’s latest statement will be a blow for Arsenal and Wenger, who were chasing Lacazette. For United and Liverpool, they have strengthened in that position, but Jose Mourinho could bring in a striker if he decides to allow James Wilson and Will Keane leave Old Trafford on loan. Should he allow the duo to leave United, Lacazette could be an option to fill in that position. 

Jul 26 2016

Photo: Jose Mourinho’s United summer signing star arrives in Manchester


Manchester United summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has arrived in Manchester as he was spotted leaving his hotel on Tuesday, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The 34-year-old was Jose Mourinho’s second signing of the current transfer window, following the arrival of defender Eric Bailly. He retired from international football after Sweden crashed out of the group stages of the Euro 2016.

The former Juventus and Barcelona striker joined the Red Devils as a free agent after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired at the end of the last season. United faced Wigan Athletic in the first pre-season fixture at the DW Stadium.

Mourinho’s side, then travelled to China, where they were set to face Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City. The clash against the Bundesliga outfit saw United suffer a 4-1 defeat, while the derby against Pep Guardiola’s City was cancelled due to bad weather in Beijing.

Ibrahimovic, who was officially unveiled as a United player earlier this month was not a part of the squad. He is in Manchester and will join the training with his new teammates for the first time as they prepare for the upcoming friendly fixture against Galatasaray in Gothenburg, Sweden on Saturday.

Zlatan 2

United’s new star could be in line to make his first appearance for the Premier League giants in his homeland.

Jul 25 2016

Ryan Giggs reveals when he came to know he is leaving Manchester United

Ryan Giggs takes his seat in the dugout before Manchester United v Norwich at Old Trafford.

Manchester United announced that Jose Mourinho will be their new manager in May and after the latter took charge at Old Trafford, he decided against including the Red Devils legend Ryan Giggs in his backroom staff.

The Welshman was a part of the coaching staff under David Moyes, where he had the role of a player-coach. However, the former Everton boss was sacked just 10 months into his six year contract and Giggs managed United in the final four matches of the 2013-14 season.

Louis van Gaal replaced Moyes at United and the Dutchman had Giggs as his assistant manager. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager was relieved of his duties after he guided the Red Devils to the FA Cup success in May and along with him, even his backroom staff also left their positions at United.

However, Giggs’ future was not resolved and he finally left the club on July 2. United legend admitted that it was only a month ago, he knew that he will not be part of Mourinho’s coaching staff, which forced him to leave the club after spending 29 years at United.

Giggs also admitted that he has not been offered any jobs in the management following his exit from Old Trafford.

 “I didn’t know that I was leaving United, maybe a month ago I did and it is a short window and most clubs have got their managers, more or less, and they want to work with them pre-season,” Giggs told Goal.

“Unfortunately, managerial jobs can be very short, who knows what happens in the next four or five months.

“I’ve not had any managerial offers, not at the moment. I’ve been just enjoying myself, did a bit of media work during the Euros and now have come here [India] to be in the Premier Futsal. So, now I am relaxing and enjoying a bit of free time.”

Jul 25 2016

Manchester United chief Woodward reveals reason for latest disappointment

Ed Woodward

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has expressed his disappointment after the International Champions Cup clash against Manchester City at the National Stadium, Beijing on Monday was cancelled due to the bad weather in the Chinese city.

The Red Devils made a trip to the Far East to play in two pre-season fixtures. The first one was against Borussia Dortmund and Jose Mourinho saw his side suffer a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Bundesliga outfit in Shanghai. From there, United made a trip to Beijing and were scheduled to face City.

Woodward revealed that the decision was taken keeping players’ safety as the top priority. United chief went on to admit that the Premier League giants will return to Beijing in the future to play a pre-season fixture.

“It’s extremely disappointing not to be able to play the game in this amazing stadium but the recent torrential rain would have caused problems anywhere in the world and has left the pitch unplayable,” Woodward explained, as quoted by United’s official website.

“We know our fans in China will, like the players and staff, be saddened by the cancellation of the match but I am sure they appreciate that the player safety has to be the top priority. I am sure we will return to the Bird’s Nest in the future to give them the chance to see the team in action.”

United issued a full statement on their official website and it suggested that it was a collective decision to call off the match from both United and City and also the organisers.

A statement on their website read, “Relevent Sports, LeSports, Beijing Football Association, Manchester City and Manchester United today announced the cancellation of the International Champions Cup China 2016 fixture between Manchester City and Manchester United, scheduled to be played at the National Stadium, Beijing, at 19:35 Beijing time today, July 25, 2016.”

“The cancellation was made in the interest of player safety and comes following extreme weather events in Beijing over a multiple day period, that have left the playing surface in a condition deemed to be unfit for play.

“The conditions experienced in Beijing on July 19 and July 20 were reported as being some of the most extreme weather conditions the capital of China has experienced in recent history. Regular rain occurred also on July 21 and July 22.

“The decision was made collectively by tournament organisers, participating clubs, the China Football Association, the Beijing Football Association and the management of the National Stadium.

“Due to international travel schedules and planned sporting commitments, the match cancellation is definitive and the match will not be re-scheduled,” it added.


Jul 23 2016

Manchester United target also wanted by PSG confirms receiving £71.1m bid

James Rodriguez

Real Madrid star James Rodriguez has revealed that the Champions League winners have received a €85 million (£71.1 million) bid for his services, but he stressed that he will not leave the Spanish capital club in the summer transfer window.

The 25-year-old joined the Spanish giants from AS Monaco in the summer of 2014. He had an impressive spell with Colombia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where they lost to host nation Brazil in the quarter-final.

Since joining Madrid, things have not gone as per Rodriguez’s plan. Even change of manager before the start of last season made no impact has he spent majority of the first half of the 2015-16 campaign on the sidelines.

After Zinedine Zidane took replaced Rafael Benitez, he even saw his first team opportunities being limited. Last season, he made only 17 starts in the La Liga. This has seen him linked with a move away from his current employers.

The Manchester Evening News reported that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is looking at the option of signing the Colombian international in the summer transfer window. In addition to this, Spanish newspaper AS claimed that Paris Saint-Germain are also looking at Rodriguez.

However, the former FC Porto star has put the recent speculations linking him with a move away from Madrid to bed by suggesting that he is happy at the club.

“I know that the club received an €85m bid for me, but I’m not leaving. I will stay at Real Madrid, I will succeed here. I will fight to earn my place. That’s my dream,” Rodriguez told Marca.

Rodriguez will join Real squad later this month and Zidane admitted that he will hold talks to discuss regarding his future.

“James Rodriguez is a Real Madrid player. He will be back on July 26 with Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric. I will speak to him then, like I will with everybody,” Zidane said.

“I won’t say that James isn’t part of the first team. He is important to us, sure he has played less, but I don’t see him as a substitute. Every time he could play he picked him, and the same will happen this year. We have a very big squad, and it is tough to pick the team. But I will always do the same thing: play the most competitive side.” 

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