What the papers say

Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United this summer, confirms agent

What the papers say - Fri, 07/05/2019 - 18:35
• Paul wants to move and we’re in the process of that, says Raiola
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær expects another two signings this summer

Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has admitted for a first time that the midfielder is trying to force an exit from Manchester United this summer.

Pogba is believed to favour a move to Real Madrid after becoming unsettled at United, with the coach, Zinedine Zidane, an admirer of the 26-year-old.

Related: Transfer window 2019 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues

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Premier League pre-season 2019: a full list of all the clubs’ friendlies

What the papers say - Fri, 07/05/2019 - 09:47

From Yankee Stadium in New York to New York Stadium in Rotherham, here are the 20 clubs’ fixtures before 9 August

All dates and kick-off times BST. All information correct at time of publication

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Ander Herrera signs five-year deal with PSG after leaving Manchester United

What the papers say - Thu, 07/04/2019 - 20:22
• Midfielder had been a free agent after last season
• Herrera believed to have signed a £350,000 a week contract

Ander Herrera has signed a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain following his departure from Manchester United.

The Spanish midfielder, 29, was a free agent after ending his five-year spell with United. He said: “Paris Saint-Germain are the greatest club in France. They keep on improving and compete to win every possible title. I was looking forward to coming to Paris and wearing the colours.”

Related: Transfer window 2019 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues

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Manchester United hopeful David de Gea will sign new contract

What the papers say - Tue, 07/02/2019 - 10:14
• Goalkeeper’s deal expires next summer
• United do not want to lose him on a free

Manchester United have not given up hope David de Gea will sign a new contract, though club and player remain some distance from an agreement.

De Gea’s terms expire next summer after United were forced to trigger the goalkeeper’s one-year extension clause. The Spaniard’s representatives are in discussions with United’s hierarchy. Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, and Matt Judge, the head of corporate development, remain optimistic De Gea can be persuaded to commit his future.

Related: Marcus Rashford signs four-year contract at Manchester United

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Marcus Rashford signs four-year contract at Manchester United

What the papers say - Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:59
• Deal increases 21-year-old’s salary to £250k per week
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær calls Rashford ‘a shining example’

Marcus Rashford has agreed a four-year contract with Manchester United with an option of a further 12 months, in a deal that makes the 21-year-old one of the club’s highest-paid players.

The news is sizeable boost for Ole Gunnar Solskjær as he seeks to make United credible challengers again. The manager views Rashford as his first-choice No 9 and he fits the profile of young, fast players the manager wants to make up his team.

Related: Aaron Wan-Bissaka can shine at Old Trafford but patience will be needed | Dominic Fifield

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The history of works teams: from Atlético Madrid to British Airways FC

What the papers say - Mon, 07/01/2019 - 13:51

Manchester United, Arsenal, PSV and Civil Service FC were all started to give staff some exercise and entertainment

By Chris Evans for The Set Pieces

On the face of it, Atlético Madrid have little in common with an amateur club in the 10th tier of English football. Although, if you look beyond the world-class players, their 68,000-capacity stadium and string of major trophies, Atléti have similar roots to British Airways FC of the Combined Counties Football League. Both sides once served as a leisure activity for airline workers. While BA’s club still carries the airline’s name, Atlético have given up the Athletic Aviacion de Madrid tag they carried from 1939 to 1947 after a merger with a team set up by members of the Spanish Air Force.

There are works teams throughout Europe. Manchester United fans may know their club used to be called Newton Heath, but perhaps some are not aware that the name originated from a group of employees who worked for the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. The team initially played fixtures against other departments and other rail companies – wearing green and gold – at North Road, a ground chosen more for its proximity to the railway than its suitability for football.

Related: The Englishman who went skiing and became a football manager | Cam Melling

Related: This is PSV: from a team for factory workers to champions of Holland

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Just being Frank is a feelgood hit, but will it win trophies for Chelsea? | Jacob Steinberg

What the papers say - Mon, 07/01/2019 - 13:28
Lampard gets it, Solskjær too. Sentimentality goes a long way in football – but it takes more to win a title

In most lines of work your job application would discarded straight away if you listed “getting it” as a key skill. Be aware that it might come across as slightly vague, a bit fluffy, damning evidence of a lack of substance. You would probably be written off as a spoofer attempting to blag your way through life. A bluffer. A charlatan. A fraud.

Unless, of course, you happen to be applying for a job as manager of a football club grasping for a way to connect with a discontented fanbase. Then it makes perfect sense to place a heavy focus on getting it, even if the meaning of “it” is not immediately possible to define, and take your cue from Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who built his initial success at Manchester United largely on making heavy reference to an important goal in Barcelona 20 years ago.

Related: Frank Lampard excused from Derby pre-season training for Chelsea talks

Supporters want to feel special ... They want to believe that Lampard is one of them

Related: Rafael Benítez says he would have stayed if Newcastle shared his vision

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Long contracts, big pay-offs: Premier League remains a manager's market

What the papers say - Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:44

Rafa Benítez running down his Newcastle contract is a rarity in the Premier League, with managers still being offered long-term deals in an era of high turnover

Rafael Benítez’s departure from Newcastle United may not have been amicable, but it represented a relative Premier League rarity – a manager seeing out the full term of his contract.

On Sunday, Benítez’s three-year tenure on Tyneside comes to an end – on the same day David Moyes’ six-year assignment at Manchester United was due to expire. Moyes lasted nine months at Old Trafford. The end of Benítez’s reign comes a year ahead of the infamous eight-year deal Alan Pardew signed with Newcastle in September 2012.

Related: Six years on, David Moyes’ contract at Manchester United finally nears its end

Arsenal Unai Emery, contracted until 2021
Aston Villa  Dean Smith, 2021
Bournemouth Eddie Howe, 2020
Brighton Graham Potter, 2023
Burnley Sean Dyche, 2022
Chelsea Position vacant 
Crystal Palace Roy Hodgson, 2020
Everton Marco Silva, 2021
Leicester Brendan Rodgers, 2022
Liverpool Jürgen Klopp, 2022
Manchester City Pep Guardiola, 2021
Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjær, 2022
Newcastle Position vacant from 1 July
Norwich: Daniel Farke, 2022
Sheffield United Chris Wllder, 2021
Southampton Ralph Hasenhüttl, 2021
Tottenham Mauricio Pochettino, 2023
Watford Javi Gracia, 2023
West Ham Manuel Pellegrini, 2021
Wolves Nuno Espírito Santo, 2021

Related: Benítez bows out after collision of control freaks at Newcastle

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Manchester United complete £45m signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka

What the papers say - Sat, 06/29/2019 - 12:16
  • Full-back is most expensive uncapped British player
  • Wan-Bissaka: ‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’

Manchester United have completed the signing of Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The 21-year-old swaps Selhurst Park for Old Trafford for an initial fee understood to be £45m, with another £5m possible in add-ons. Wan-Bissaka becomes the most expensive uncapped British player of all-time and has signed a five-year deal at United, with the option of a further year.

Related: Aaron Wan-Bissaka can shine at Old Trafford but patience will be needed | Dominic Fifield

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Internazionale to step up efforts to sign Romelu Lukaku with £62.8m offer

What the papers say - Wed, 06/26/2019 - 23:42
  • Italians plan two-year loan deal with obligation to buy
  • Belgian striker is keen to join Antonio Conte in Serie A

Internazionale are preparing their first bid for Romelu Lukaku as they attempt to sign the forward from Manchester United this summer.

The Italian club met with the Belgian’s representative, Federico Pastorello, on Wednesday and were told that Lukaku wants a move to Inter to work with their new coach, Antonio Conte.

Related: Aaron Wan-Bissaka can shine at Old Trafford but patience will be needed | Dominic Fifield

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka can shine at Old Trafford but patience will be needed | Dominic Fifield

What the papers say - Wed, 06/26/2019 - 20:00
Manchester United are buying potential in a right-back with great energy and tackling ability but areas to improve

There is no real preparation for what is about to happen to Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Sure, he had been offered a glimpse of what is to come while drawing the focus with that stoppage‑time own goal which condemned England’s under-21s to a damaging defeat by France at the European Championship. Aidy Boothroyd put an uncharacteristically frazzled display that night down to the unsettling nature of the tortuous negotiations over his transfer to Manchester United. In effect, the full-back had been distracted in Cesena.

Yet, now that a compromise over a fee has been thrashed out and the youngster from New Addington is about to be confirmed as a United signing in a £45m deal that could rise to £50m, the real scrutiny kicks in. A player with only 46 senior appearances, and a solitary full season with Crystal Palace, will be expected to hit the ground running at United.

Related: Manchester United agree deal to sign Wan-Bissaka for initial £45m fee

A youngster who was never taught how to tackle has become a £45m full-back in 16 months

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Six years on, David Moyes’ contract at Manchester United finally nears its end

What the papers say - Wed, 06/26/2019 - 13:55
It sums up recent Old Trafford troubles and the perilous nature of management that Moyes was so swiftly moved on

In the parallel universe of where Manchester United imagined they would be six years ago David Moyes is planning a little party this weekend, inviting a few close friends around to mark the successful completion of his first Old Trafford contract. The manager has long known he would be staying at United for many years more than that – he basically gave himself the right to draw up his own terms in his annus mirabilis season of 2015-16, when he signed Jamie Vardy, won the league and the FA Cup and succeeded in persuading David Gill to return in place of floundering chief executive Ed Woodward. But with last season’s European success against Manchester City still fresh in the memory he thinks it would be appropriate to remind everyone that he was initially offered only a six-year deal.

Related: Manchester United agree deal to sign Wan-Bissaka for initial £45m fee

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Manchester United agree deal to sign Wan-Bissaka for initial £45m fee

What the papers say - Wed, 06/26/2019 - 13:13
• United able to keep 20% sell-on clause for Wilfried Zaha
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær keen to make further signings

Manchester United are set to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £45m from Crystal Palace with the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, adding a second signing who fits his desired profile of a young player with potential.

The 21-year-old right-back is expected to join imminently in a deal that with add-ons may push the final price to around £50m. Solskjær has already added Daniel James, also 21, to his squad, the winger being bought from Swansea City for £15m this month.

Related: Transfer window 2019 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues

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Super-agent Mino Raiola is a player’s dream and a manager’s nightmare | Richard Williams

What the papers say - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 15:16
The middleman has brokered some of football’s biggest transfers but his tactics have made him one of the game’s most controversial figures

One morning in late 1992, at Ajax’s old training ground, Bryan Roy arrived to clear out his locker and say his goodbyes. After four years with his hometown club, he was on his way from Amsterdam to join Foggia in the first of Mino Raiola’s many significant transnational deals between football clubs. The previous evening, when Ajax had played Feyenoord, a fan held up a hand-lettered placard. “Bryan bedankt,” it said. Thanks, Bryan.

Not always have football fans expressed such gratitude on the departure of one of Raiola’s clients. This summer, depending on how things work out, Manchester United’s supporters are unlikely to send Paul Pogba on his way with warm wishes for a successful future in Madrid or Turin. The prospect of that £100m-plus deal became more likely last week when, during a promotional visit to Japan, the French midfielder volunteered his readiness to accept a “new challenge” away from Old Trafford. Some might think that helping Ole Gunnar Solskjær to rescue a great club from the doldrums represents enough of a challenge for anyone, but that would not be Raiola’s way.

Related: Paul Pogba left exposed by Mino Raiola’s war of words with Pep Guardiola | Daniel Taylor

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Manchester United meet Crystal Palace to try to seal Wan-Bissaka deal

What the papers say - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 10:49
• Monday meeting follows improved offer at the weekend
• Palace will push for removal of Zaha sell-on clause in deal

Manchester United and Crystal Palace officials will meet on Monday afternoon with a view to thrashing out the finer details of a deal to take Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Old Trafford after an improved bid was tabled over the weekend.

Talks between the clubs appeared to have broken down late last week with United’s offers having fallen well short of Palace’s valuation of the England Under-21 defender. The Palace chairman, Steve Parish, who is under no real pressure to sell, has consistently sought to raise a guaranteed £50m for an academy graduate who excelled while making 39 appearances over his first full season in the senior set-up last term, and that stance has not shifted.

Related: Manchester United and the mystery of the missing director of football | Jacob Steinberg

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Manchester United and the mystery of the missing director of football | Jacob Steinberg

What the papers say - Sun, 06/23/2019 - 12:50
Manchester United have been looking at a director of football for some time now but nothing has happened. No wonder players are thinking twice about joining

Spare a thought for Ed Woodward. As if Paul Pogba issuing a come-and-get-me plea so unsubtle he might as well have jumped out of a cake in the shape of the Bernabéu wasn’t distracting enough, now there are claims that Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman is having trouble with an unruly board member pushing for Steve Walsh to fill the director of football role at Old Trafford.

Related: Manchester United’s ‘culture’ is overrated. Busby and Ferguson swam against the tide | Barney Ronay

Related: Liverpool and City make X-rated fees normal in scary pursuit of perfection | Paul Wilson

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Liverpool and City make X-rated fees normal in scary pursuit of perfection | Paul Wilson

What the papers say - Sat, 06/22/2019 - 12:00

Reds were ahead of the curve with £75m Virgil van Dijk transfer but champions could trump that for Harry Maguire as a duopoly emerges in the Premier League

There are weeks of the transfer window still to go, an opportunity to keep spending money stretching ahead of Premier League clubs like the seemingly endless summer holidays of schoolchild memory, yet it is already clear that the prices being quoted are not only adult but in some cases X-rated.

It was said when Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool for £75m that in a short space of time the fee would look a bargain, and that time has now arrived. If Manchester City succeed in persuading Harry Maguire to reject Manchester United’s overtures and sign for the champions instead, the price Leicester will ask is likely to match or even exceed what Liverpool paid for Van Dijk.

Related: Inter keen to sign Romelu Lukaku but need to sell Mauro Icardi first

United supporters will be disappointed the transfer window has arrived without a director of football

Related: Manchester United close to Aaron Wan-Bissaka deal with Crystal Palace

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Manchester United’s ‘culture’ is overrated. Busby and Ferguson swam against the tide | Barney Ronay

What the papers say - Sat, 06/22/2019 - 08:15

Another summer of rebuilding appears under way at Old Trafford but attempts to recreate the philosophies and glories of previous eras look doomed to fail

There was an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 this week about the notorious Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish. The man o’ war is of course the alpha of the jellyfish world, the big swinging tentacle of the deep ocean trench, not to mention the only jellyfish most people have heard of besides the ones that appear on English beaches in spring looking sad and dead and reproachful, surrounded by bottle tops and cigarette butts.

Except it turns out the man o’ war isn’t a jellyfish at all. It is instead a kind of co-operative, a fusion of many small lifeforms into one large, successful stinging thing. The overall effect is a high-functioning mini-society of cells and organs and venomous pincers, the marine equivalent of a furiously angry rolling maul in a 1980s rugby union international, all eye-gouges and V-signs and furious Scottish oaths. In the programme the man o’ war was presented as a successful quirk of evolution, the survival of the collective as opposed to the individual, sustained by that shared culture and purpose. And also as a metaphor for modern city life with its many diverse, interlinked, self-sustaining parts.

Related: Manchester United should sell Paul Pogba even if they make a loss | Paul Wilson

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Inter keen to sign Romelu Lukaku but need to sell Mauro Icardi first

What the papers say - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 12:31
• Inter hope to raise £60m from Icardi sale
• Antonio Conte wanted to sign Lukaku while at Chelsea

Internazionale would like to sign the Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku this summer but would have to offload Mauro Icardi first to have any chance of financing the deal.

Related: Transfer window 2019 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues

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Manchester United close to Wan-Bissaka deal with Crystal Palace

What the papers say - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 16:22
• Palace want at least £50m for England Under-21 right-back
• Aidy Boothroyd says player’s head turned by United interest

Aidy Boothroyd believes Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s head has been turned by Manchester United, with the club close to agreeing a deal for the Crystal Palace defender.

United and Palace officials have been in talks since the weekend over a fee for the England Under-21 right-back, with his boyhood club wanting at least £50m guaranteed for the 21-year-old. Palace rejected United’s first offer last month but progress has been made on the terms in recent days. Palace also want United to remove the sell-on clause that was part of the deal that took Wilfried Zaha back to Palace in January 2015.

Related: Manchester United should sell Paul Pogba even if they make a loss | Paul Wilson

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