What the papers say

Pep Guardiola laughs off United coup and hits back at Aleksander Ceferin

What the papers say - Thu, 01/25/2024 - 22:30
  • ‘Maybe United thinks everything is going to change’
  • Omar Berrada is leaving City to become CEO at Old Trafford

Pep Guardiola has said ­Manchester United are deluded if they believe that taking Omar Berrada from ­Manchester City to be their chief executive will solve their problems at a stroke.

Berrada has been placed on gardening leave after agreeing to leave his post as chief football operations officer at City Football Group and join United. The move has been regarded as a coup for United but Guardiola pointed out that it would not suddenly shift the ­balance of power in Manchester.

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How ‘charismatic’ Altay Bayindir earned Manchester United chance

What the papers say - Thu, 01/25/2024 - 08:00

Turkish £4.7m goalkeeper set to make his debut in FA Cup with André Onana away at Africa Cup of Nations

Altay Bayindir knows how to seize his chance and after months of watching on from the bench he will finally get one for Manchester United. The Turkey international has played in plenty of intimidating atmospheres in his homeland so should not be fazed by a trip to League Two Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

At the age of 20 he was the third-choice goalkeeper for the Turkish Super Lig side Ankaragucu, looking on while others made mistakes, when he was thrust into the team. After signing for United from Fenerbahce in the summer, he may have expected to have featured before late January but André Onana played every minute this season, despite underwhelming form, before his departure for the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Real Madrid leapfrog Manchester City to top Deloitte Football Money League

What the papers say - Thu, 01/25/2024 - 00:00
  • Spanish giants return to summit with £723m revenue
  • Liverpool drop from third to seventh, the biggest fall in top 20

Manchester City have been knocked off their financial perch by Real Madrid in the annual Deloitte Football Money League, despite winning the treble last season.

There was another surprise in the report, which found that the revenue of the top 20 richest men’s clubs rose by 14% to £9bn last season, as Tottenham overtook Chelsea to become the richest club in London.

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Manchester United’s Anthony Martial ruled out until April due to groin injury

What the papers say - Wed, 01/24/2024 - 13:17
  • Striker has had surgery and will be out ‘for about 10 weeks’
  • Frenchman out of contract this summer and likely to leave

The Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has been ruled out until April after surgery on a groin injury. The 28-year-old is out of contract this summer and has managed 19 appearances and two goals in another disrupted campaign.

Martial has not featured since United fans cheered his substitution in the 3-0 home loss to Bournemouth on 9 December. The club said: “Anthony Martial has completed successful surgery to address a groin complaint and will be out of action for about 10 weeks as he rehabilitates We wish Anthony a speedy recovery and look forward to his return.”

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Brailsford has not turned his back on cycling, insists new Ineos CEO

What the papers say - Tue, 01/23/2024 - 17:41
  • Director of Ineos Sport focused despite new role at United
  • Team’s budget remains fixed after football investment

John Allert, the new chief executive of the Ineos Grenadiers, has denied suggestions that Dave Brailsford has turned his back on cycling to devote himself to his new role at Manchester United.

Allert explained that Brailsford, who is immersed in an audit of Manchester United after the Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a minority stake at the club, has a job title that allows him to have oversight across a number of sports in the company’s stable.

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Manchester United poach City exec Omar Berrada as Brailsford exits cycling

What the papers say - Sat, 01/20/2024 - 19:24
  • Berrada joined City in 2011 and has been COO since 2016
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s advisor Brailsford to conduct audit of club

Sir Dave Brailsford, the mastermind behind Team Sky and its Ineos-Grenadiers successor, has stepped away from cycling to focus on his new role at Manchester United. As the chief sporting adviser to the Ineos chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Brailsford is to concentrate on an audit into the club Ratcliffe paid £1.25bn to buy a quarter share of and take control of sporting affairs.

Brailsford, after his success as performance director of British Cycling, founded Team Sky in 2010, winning its first Tour de France in 2012, Bradley Wiggins taking the first of seven of eight editions until 2019 by four riders, Chris Froome collecting four. The team collected five further Grand Tours under the Sky and Ineos banner that followed a rebrand in 2019.

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Long-term vision: why sporting directors are now vital for elite football clubs | Karen Carney

What the papers say - Thu, 01/18/2024 - 12:03

The days of the all-powerful manager are over so Manchester United’s search for a sporting director is crucial for the club

When I was playing for England, Dan Ashworth was always there. He sat in the back of meetings, attended matches and came to training sessions in his role as director of elite development at the Football Association but he never openly interjected, keeping himself to himself. At the time I wondered what he was doing but gradually you could see the effect he had when everything around England improved.

Ashworth has gone on to have great success at Brighton and Newcastle in his understated way as a sporting director. The role was often misunderstood in the UK, more often used abroad, but it is a valuable part of a club’s structure. Ashworth is one of many who are showing the importance of employing someone with oversight of what is happening, giving a club a long-term vision that can bring success on the pitch.

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Football transfer rumours: Karim Benzema to join Arsenal or Chelsea?

What the papers say - Thu, 01/18/2024 - 09:18

This page is to the birds

With Joelinton’s prognosis on his muscle injury not looking at all good, Newcastle really need a midfielder. They’re in the hunt for Kalvin Phillips, who is this window’s most recurring name, give or take Ivan Toney. Phillips, with no real chance of playing for Manchester City, is wanted by a long list that includes Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. There’s Juventus, too, while a loan move to West Ham or Crystal Palace would keep him in Gareth Southgate’s sightlines. A £7m loan fee is the asking price.

There is an alternative for Newcastle, namely Ederson at Atalanta even if the Serie A club do not want to sell. How about Conor Gallagher, on the market as Chelsea address their own profit and sustainability concerns. Another means to achieve that is the sale of Armando Broja, valued around £50m, a prohibitive price for those interested, including West Ham, Fulham and Wolves. Broja, like Gallagher, having been youth team hewn, counts as pure profit on the FFP chitty for the Bridge money men. That high price arrived via a weighting on Manchester United paying £64m for Rasmus Højlund, their similarly goal-shy striker.

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Manchester United say Qatari bidder failed to provide financial guarantees

What the papers say - Wed, 01/17/2024 - 18:53
  • US SEC filings said Sheikh Jassim did not respond to requests
  • Jim Ratcliffe gave United Christmas Day deadline to accept offer

The Qatari bidder for Manchester United, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, dropped out of the race to buy the club after failing to prove he had sufficient finance for the deal, according to a document submitted to American authorities.

In filings made to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to confirm Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 27.69% of the club, Jassim (referred to as “Bidder A”) is described as having failed to respond to requests to show where his money was coming from. It was also revealed that ­­Ratcliffe issued a Christmas Day deadline for ­acceptance of his final offer, threatening to walk away if there was no progress.

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Premier League weekend awards: De Bruyne’s magic and Onana on corners

What the papers say - Tue, 01/16/2024 - 13:01

From Kevin de Bruyne’s instant impact to Chelsea’s PR stunt, we hand out honours (and dishonours) from the Premier League weekend

It would have been hard to script it any better. After missing five months with a hamstring injury, Kevin De Bruyne came off the bench against Newcastle to turn a 2-1 defeat into a 3-2 victory, providing a goal and an assist.

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Premier League: talking points from the weekend’s action

What the papers say - Mon, 01/15/2024 - 08:00

Right-backs steal the show at Old Trafford, questions for Howe and a turning point for Chelsea?

Full-backs don’t often grab the headlines, and sure enough they didn’t at Old Trafford as Rodrigo Bentancur, Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford all scored classy goals. But the best player on either side, according to the WhoScored.com ratings, was the right-back. For Spurs, Pedro Porro earned 8.1 out of 10 for a fearless attacking display that included an assist when his pinpoint corner picked out the peroxide head of Richarlison. Ange Postecoglou says he wants his players to stop thinking of themselves as defenders or attackers, and Porro is both at once. For Manchester United, Diogo Dalot did even better with a rating of 8.2. If he was less buccaneering than Porro, he was the more polished defender, making crucial interceptions and heading off the line. One of the two, surely, should have been player of the match – but another right-back, Gary Neville, gave the award to Bentancur. Tim de Lisle

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'My players are giving me everything': Ange Postecoglou on draw with Man Utd – video

What the papers say - Mon, 01/15/2024 - 03:05

Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou said his players 'are giving me everything' after his side’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Spurs were without both long-term injured players and players such as Son Heung-min, who is playing for South Korea at the Asian Cup. Rasmus Hojlund opened the scoring early on for the home side, before Richarlison equalised with a header from a corner in the 19th minute. The result leaves Spurs in fifth place in the table, with 40 points from 21 games so far this campaign. After the match Postecoglou said 'the only reason we're in the position we are is because we've had players who are prepared to put aside whatever adversity we're going through and give everything they have'.

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Erik ten Hag tells United to ‘grow up’ after conceding soft goals against Spurs

What the papers say - Sun, 01/14/2024 - 21:14
  • ‘We should be more man when we have to defend corners’
  • Manager says team feel ‘insecure’ after forwards’ goal drought

Erik ten Hag criticised his Manches­ter United players for not being “more man” at corners as his team twice let the lead slip in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

Goals from Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford put United ahead on three and 40 minutes but ­Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur pegged the hosts back.

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Timo Werner continues to pose questions rather than provide goals and answers | Jonathan Wilson

What the papers say - Sun, 01/14/2024 - 19:50

Spurs have signed German on loan and against Manchester United he produced finishing that Chelsea fans got used to

How long do you wait for promise? How many seasons can you give potential before accepting that it has curdled into unfulfillment? How many years of not quite hitting the heights before doubts begin to be expressed about just how much promise there really was in the first place? Timo Werner is 27 now. He’s an experienced player. He should be somewhere near his peak. And yet still the question remains: just how good is he?

This loan spell at Tottenham feels critical. Succeed over the next five months and there is still time for Werner to emerge as a Premier League player of serious repute. Fail and his chances of a career in England are probably done, his hopes of a return to the Germany squad diminishing.

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Tottenham fight back twice to earn point at Manchester United

What the papers say - Sun, 01/14/2024 - 18:39

Before a watching Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United were an athletic, vibrant proposition who came up against the precise same entity in Tottenham in this sense-tingling, rip-roarer of an encounter.

As United’s incoming 25% owner, Ratcliffe could also be warmed by the fight and unity of Erik ten Hag’s team, elements not always visible this season. Spurs showed similar, as they twice went behind and fought back to depart as they arrived: in fifth place, eight points ahead of United, who are down in seventh with a goal difference of minus five.

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Manchester United v Tottenham: Premier League – live

What the papers say - Sun, 01/14/2024 - 17:27
  • Updates from the 4.30pm GMT kick-off at Old Trafford
  • Get in touch: send Tim an email or a tweet

3 min The first foul is committed by Fernandes. Does he accept the ref’s decision calmly? Have a guess.

1 min And they’re off! With Spurs going back to Vicario and Bruno Fernandes pressing him hard. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is on the left for United, Diogo Dalot the right, rather than the other way round.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United buy-in is most exciting deal he has done

What the papers say - Sun, 01/14/2024 - 16:36
  • Billionaire at Old Trafford for first time since agreement struck
  • He expects Premier League to sign off on deal by mid-February

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says his involvement with Manchester United is the most exciting thing he has done and expects his partial takeover to be ratified by mid-February. The 71-year-old billionaire was at Old Trafford on Sunday to attend his first United match since agreeing to buy a 25% stake in the club.

Before kick-off against Tottenham, Ratcliffe spoke publicly for the first time since the Christmas Eve announcement of his deal. “It’s the first match for me since we sort of got there, if you like,” he said, introducing himself to members of the media in the press conference room.

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Ten Hag wants ‘hungry players’ to fire Manchester United up the table

What the papers say - Sat, 01/13/2024 - 22:30
  • ‘You need players with personalities,’ says manager
  • United trail leaders by 14 points before hosting Tottenham

Manchester United need players who will “fight for the badge”, according to Erik ten Hag, as they try to climb the table. Ten Hag’s side sit 14 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, after 20 matches and welcome fifth-placed Tottenham to Old Trafford on Sunday.

“If you want to perform you need hungry players,” Ten Hag said. “You need players with personalities and who are hungry to fight for the badge and fight for this club. And they need to do this in a team. It’s not about discipline. It’s about normal behaviour. That is what you can expect from a top professional.”

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Manchester United’s pay structure needs reboot after wasted millions

What the papers say - Sat, 01/13/2024 - 11:00

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his lieutenants must address the club’s tale of bloated wages that can be traced across the last decade

Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, Jadon Sancho and Raphaël Varane would be the poster boys in any Sir Jim Ratcliffe white paper examining how Manchester United’s flatlining squad could be moved to a more modest or even performance-related pay structure.

In the elite football world of hyper-inflated salaries performance-related pay is a pipe-dream but imagine if the United footballer’s lucrative base rate salary was slashed and generous incentives predicated on, for instance, goal ratio and minutes played, were built in.

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'We hope he brings joy': Terzic and Ten Hag on Sancho's loan to Dortmund – video

What the papers say - Fri, 01/12/2024 - 16:58

The Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has given a brief message to out-of-favour forward Jadon Sancho, following the England forward's move to Borussia Dortmund on loan. Sancho has been frozen out at Old Trafford after refusing to apologise to the Dutchman for effectively calling him a liar. Ten Hag said he hopes that Sancho is doing well and wished him well in Germany during his press conference on Friday. The Dortmund manager Edin Terzic was far more willing to discuss the player, who spent four seasons with the club, saying he wants to help Sancho 'feel joy' again.

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