What the papers say

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Updated: 2 hours 55 min ago

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 00:30

Two cerebral coaches meet at the Emirates, shaky Spurs head to Vicarage Road and can United really end Liverpool’s unbeaten season?

Gedson Fernandes started only three league games in 2019 – and was substituted at half-time in one of those – and though he is richly talented there is no guarantee he will enjoy more success at Spurs than his largely underwhelming compatriots Ricardo Rocha, Pedro Mendes (he of the disallowed goal from the halfway line at Old Trafford), Helder Postiga and José Dominguez, the entertaining if only occasionally effective winger who was a light in the darkness of the Gerry Francis-Christian Gross era. Fernandes’ fitness levels are unknown but there are easier debuts than against an in-form Watford side that have discovered their collective mettle. The former Tottenham midfielder Étienne Capoue is providing many of the qualities José Mourinho could use from the base of midfield. In their next four league games, Spurs play three of the current bottom four in Watford, Norwich and Aston Villa, an excellent opportunity to address the rocky form that has meant they won one and lost three of their last five league matches. But on current form, and with Harry Kane injured, there seems little to choose between these sides. SB

Watford v Tottenham, Saturday 12.30pm (all times GMT)

Related: Ismaïla Sarr aims to follow path of his Senegal ‘big brother’ Sadio Mané | Ed Aarons

Arsenal v Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm

Liverpool v Manchester United, Sunday 4.30pm

Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Saturday 3pm

Related: Quique Setién at Barça, Mata's magic and Love Island – Football Weekly Extra

Norwich v Bournemouth, Saturday 3pm

Newcastle v Chelsea, Saturday 5.30pm

Southampton v Wolves, Saturday 3pm

Related: Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 top scorers 2019-20

Brighton v Aston Villa, Saturday 3pm

West Ham v Everton, Saturday 3pm

Burnley v Leicester City, Sunday 2pm

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Inter agree £1.3m fee with Manchester United for full-back Ashley Young

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 20:08
  • Full-back to undergo medical in Milan on Friday
  • England international set for 18-month contract

Internazionale have agreed a €1.5m (£1.3m) fee with Manchester United for the full-back and club captain Ashley Young.

The 34-year-old will undergo a medical in Italy on Friday before signing an 18-month contract with Antonio Conte’s side. Young is set to leave Old Trafford after almost nine years at the club, having joined from Aston Villa in 2011.

Related: Transfer window January 2020 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues

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Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford faces fitness fight for Liverpool trip

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 22:47
• Forward injures back in FA Cup replay win over Wolves
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær admits substitution ‘backfired’

Marcus Rashford is a doubt for Manchester United’s visit to Liverpool on Sunday after Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted the striker’s introduction as a substitute in the FA Cup replay win over Wolves “backfired”.

The manager brought United’s top scorer on midway through the second half at Old Trafford but he had to be taken off after only 15 minutes. Matt Doherty appeared to knock Rashford, who will have tests to determine his availability for the match against the league leaders at Anfield.

Never want to feel like I’ve let my teammates, the club and most importantly the fans down so did my very best to carry on tonight and was gutted to come off.

Top work from the lads to get into the next round pic.twitter.com/ZLpxiqhtq3

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Juan Mata strikes for Manchester United to inflict knockout blow on Wolves

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 21:41

Manchester United will travel to Liverpool on Sunday in high spirits after this elimination of Wolves. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side next meet Tranmere Rovers or Watford in the fourth round and can take on their fiercest rival boosted by a second win of the week.

Before a below capacity crowd of 67,075 the contest dipped following the break but of more concern for United is how Marcus Rashford, on as a 64th-minute replacement, lasted only 15 minutes before being hurt, having to be replaced himself by Jesse Lingard.

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Manchester United v Wolves: FA Cup third-round replay – live!

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 18:45

5.32pm GMT

Wolves last won the FA Cup in 1960. Here’s their legendary captain Bill Slater hoisting the famous old pot at the famous old Wembley, moments after Stan Cullis’s side saw off Blackburn Rovers 3-0.

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Manchester United cancel Middle East winter break over safety fears

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 22:30
• Squad were looking to spend February break in Qatar
• They have 15 days off after Wolves game on 1 February

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has revealed that fears over safety in the Middle East mean Manchester United have changed their plans to spend the winter break there.

The intention had been to take the team to the region, with Qatar’s Aspire Academy a potential destination, for a pause in the season that begins after Wolves’ visit to Old Trafford on 1 February and ends with the trip to Chelsea 16 days later.

Related: Solskjær warns Mason Greenwood will put Manchester United before England

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Solskjær warns Mason Greenwood will put Manchester United before England

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 10:46
• Solskjær: ‘Let the boy settle in before we talk about England’
• Euros concern for national team with Kane hamstring injury

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has advised caution regarding Mason Greenwood potentially receiving an England call-up, the manager believing the 18-year-old has to focus on performing for Manchester United.

Greenwood has impressed in his first full season, the forward scoring nine times in 26 appearances while also proving a creative force. Harry Kane’s hamstring injury has placed in jeopardy the availability of England’s first-choice No 9 for the summer’s European Championship.

Related: Manchester United ready to firm up interest in Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes

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Manchester United ready to firm up interest in Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:13
• United prepared to offer £60m for Portugal midfielder
• Fernandes earmarked as main January transfer target

Manchester United are ready to firm up their interest in Bruno Fernandes, with the Sporting Lisbon midfielder keen on a move priced at around €70m (£60m).

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has identified the 25-year-old as an option to strengthen a position depleted by the departures of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini plus the long-term injury to Scott McTominay.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 08:25

Bournemouth need to find goals fast, Aubameyang’s red card has caused a headache at Arsenal and Ings is in England form

Bournemouth’s defending left a lot to be desired as they crumbled against Watford but their failure to penetrate Nigel Pearson’s improving side was equally alarming. No team has scored fewer goals in the Premier League this season and those front–foot displays of yesteryear – they scored almost 100 goals en route to promotion in 2015 and more than any team outside the top six last season – feel a distant memory following a ninth defeat in 11 league matches. “Historically we have always been free-scoring and we have always had goals in us,” their manager, Eddie Howe, said. “We have always had the ability – even if we have conceded first – to come back and win games. That is probably where the feeling has gone missing, the creativity and that feeling we are going to score. We have to do better in that respect.” Ben Fisher

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 01/12/2020 - 20:00

Hero tatts and upside down play in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures

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Solskjær hails 'top class' Marcus Rashford after brace in 200th Manchester United appearance – video

Sat, 01/11/2020 - 20:12

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said Marcus Rashford will only improve after his striker marked his 200th appearance for Manchester United with two goals against Norwich.

“He’s got everything to be a top class player,” Solskjær said. Adding: “You know them goals he scored today from inside the six yard box? More of them and then he’ll be exceptional”

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Manchester United thump Norwich as Marcus Rashford celebrates in style

Sat, 01/11/2020 - 16:58

Marcus Rashford decorated his 200th Manchester United appearance with a two-goal display of menace that ensured victory over a hapless Norwich. The forward was taken off just before the hour and headed for the changing room so Ole Gunnar Solskjær will hope the player who has become United’s fulcrum is not seriously injured.

His finishes took Rashford to 19 for the season and sent his side on the way to a first league win of 2020. In this season of boom and bust for United the three points will quieten the noise around Solskjær and side but for how long who knows.

Related: Chelsea v Burnley, Manchester United v Norwich and more – live!

Related: Tottenham v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

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Tranmere and Rochdale’s TV snub suggests FA Cup replays have had their day | Paul Wilson

Sat, 01/11/2020 - 12:00

League One pair have cause for excitement this week but the rewards may be slim – so why not ditch replays until the semis?

The FA Cup, once the competition that brought all of English football together, has become incredibly divisive. As the third‑round replays get under way this coming week, it will be hard not to notice that Wolves did not actually want an extra game at Old Trafford. It will be their 38th of an already long season, it will still be only mid-January, and Nuno Espírito Santo would have been perfectly happy for the matter to have been settled on penalties at Molineux.

Traditionalists keen to hang on to the magic of the Cup will have been more encouraged by Tranmere’s performance at Watford. Not only the three-goal second‑half fightback that earned them a draw, but the eagerness with which Micky Mellon embraced Tuesday’s Prenton Park replay. “It’s the sort of distraction our bank manager enjoys,” the Rovers manager said. “I’d like 10 replays.”

Related: The joy of the FA Cup: Osaze Urhoghide provides antidote to critics | Paul MacInnes

Yes, replays can be a financial lifeline to smaller clubs, but the FA Cup will never make a comeback as a charity

Related: St Andrew’s empty stands a sign of FA Cup’s fading, but not forgotten, magic | Jonathan Liew

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Why Manchester United can’t see the Woodward for the trees | Barney Ronay

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 17:12

Batter your way through every executive vice-chairman the club can hire and you still come up against disengaged vulture capitalists

It’s the question on every Manchester United supporter’s mind right now. Is there any sales tactic, any favour to be called in that may persuade Internazionale to sign Ed Woodward?

This is perhaps a bridge too far. But as the transfer window thrums into gear it’s hard to avoid the feeling January has become the most Manchester United time of the year. Not for the actual signings, because there haven’t been many of those beyond the odd goalkeeper and the one-man reactor core meltdown that is Alexis Sánchez.

Related: Manchester United ‘warrior’ Harry Maguire may be fit for Saturday

Getting rid of Woodward wouldn’t solve all the problems but it would solve one: they wouldn’t have him around any more

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Manchester United v Norwich: match preview

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 13:45

Manchester United’s season-long groundhog day of struggle has entered the period where a rebound from a loss – Tuesday’s near-surrender to Manchester City – with a win is again required. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side beat Norwich 3-1 in October’s reverse fixture yet should they lose – as they might – to the bottom team expect another inquiry into where United are heading. Jamie Jackson

Saturday 3pm

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Manchester United ‘warrior’ Harry Maguire may be fit for Saturday

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 10:24
• Initial fear was Maguire faced long absence with hip injury
• Solskjær sees ‘perfect’ chance to bounce back from City defeat

Harry Maguire will undergo a fitness test on his injured hip before Norwich City’s visit to Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær describing the Manchester United centre-back as a “warrior”.

United believed earlier in the week that Maguire would be out for a prolonged period because of the severity of the problem yet he is determined to play.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Football transfer rumours: Fellaini to be denied reunion with Moyes?

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 08:49

This fluff knows what it likes

When you think about it, it’s a glaringly obvious transfer link-up. Marouane Fellaini and David Moyes, the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the English Premier League, hooking up for a third time. With Moysey getting his feet under the table at West Ham and ‘Big Felly’, as his old Everton and Manchester United boss calls him, facing a 75% paycut at Shandong Luneng due to new regulations in China, it looks a match remade in heaven. Except, except, others in the know suggest that the Hammers have no interest in the king of chest control. That’s the thing about transfer rumours, they can’t always come true, no matter how much you might want them to.

West Ham have no interest in signing Marouane Fellaini #whufc

Related: Inter offer £3.4m for Olivier Giroud but Chelsea holding out for £8.5m

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 00:01

Odds are against depleted Spurs, Everton need to respond after their derby woe while Solskjær is feeling the heat again

José Mourinho’s life in football can be measured out in vendettas. There are two clubs he reserves a special enmity for, and for much the same reason. Both Barcelona and Liverpool passed over his services, choosing instead to turn to Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benítez, by little consequence two managers he has most enjoyed getting the better of. Only recently arrived at Tottenham, his latest club are near powerless to stop Liverpool’s procession to the Premier League title, save for performing the unlikely act of ending the leaders’ unbeaten run. To do so would be one of the shocks of the season. Where Liverpool have suffered a fair share of injuries, with James Milner’s muscle injury adding to a shortfall in midfield, Tottenham are completely riven, with Moussa Sissoko out until April and Tanguy Ndombele succumbed to a hip injury that in the words of Mourinho offers “no continuity in his development”. And, crucially, there will be no Harry Kane, a huge loss for a manager with such a tactical reliance on centre-forwards, and no obvious replacement within a squad he already appears dissatisfied with. JB

Related: Cup crackers, brilliant Bielsa and the Saudi Supercopa – Football Weekly Extra

Related: Unassuming icon Trent Alexander-Arnold leads Liverpool’s league quest | Eni Aluko

Related: Atlético Madrid stun Barcelona in Super Cup thanks to Ángel Correa winner

Related: Patrick Cutrone set to join Fiorentina after only five months at Wolves

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Manchester United’s Harry Maguire faces long absence with hip injury

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 18:01

• Centre-back suffered problem in FA Cup draw at Wolves
• Marcus Rashford says United can recover in Carabao Cup semi

Harry Maguire faces a prolonged period out after tearing a hip muscle, adding yet another name to Manchester United’s list of injured defenders. The 26-year-old centre-back, the defensive lynchpin of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side, suffered a problem during Saturday’s goalless draw at Wolves and was ruled out of Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

After the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, Solskjær hoped Maguire could be available for the weekend visit of Norwich but he has now been ruled out. Maguire joins Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo as unavailable central defenders and leaves Solskjær with Victor Lindelöf and Phil Jones as his only senior players in the position. The manager also has Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on his injured list while Luke Shaw is yet to return following illness.

Related: Manchester City's 3-1 defeat of United took 15 minutes to plan, says De Bruyne

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It took City 15 minutes to plan 3-1 defeat of United, says Kevin De Bruyne

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 12:20
• Guardiola’s tactical switch helped City surge into three-goal lead
• ‘We did 15 minutes this morning [on tactics] – that’s about it’

Kevin De Bruyne has revealed it took all of 15 minutes in training for Pep Guardiola to plan Manchester City’s 3-1 mauling of their neighbours Manchester United in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

City were beaten by United in the Premier League last month but on Tuesday evening at Old Trafford Guardiola made an astute tactical change. With centre forwards Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus on the bench, he played with a false nine in a fluid front line of two No 10s.

Related: Shape-shifting City almost disappear from sight as United grandees look on | Jonathan Liew

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