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Updated: 2 hours 1 min ago

Football transfer rumours: Diego Costa heading for Everton?

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 09:26

Today’s gossip came from the foot of our stairs

Arsenal are not giving up on signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. As well as that derisory/prudent £40m initial bid for the winger, they are prepared to offer three players they value as worth another £40m into the deal. Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson may be running out at the Selhurst Colosseum if a deal now worth £80m in book value goes through. Palace, meanwhile, would prefer £70m straight out if they are to lose their Ivorian jewel.

Diego Costa back in the Premier League just as VAR comes in? Marco Silva wants the striker, who is surplus to requirements at Atlético Madrid, to be part of his Everton revolution, though director of football Marcel Brands is resistant to the arrival of a player as old as 30. Juventus’ Moise Kean, 19, and Lille’s Nicolas Pépé, 24, are more comfortably in that Brands bracket.

Related: Inter meet Manchester United to discuss Romelu Lukaku transfer

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Inter meet Manchester United to discuss Romelu Lukaku transfer

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 09:13
• Inter sporting director in London for talks with United
• Serie A club’s offer worth €70m to be paid over two years

The Internazionale sporting director, Piero Ausilio, has travelled to London to meet Manchester United to see if his club’s offer to sign Romelu Lukaku has any chance of succeeding.

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

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Manchester United are under no pressure to sell players, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 07:51
  • Paul Pogba is a ‘top bloke’, says United boss
  • Business as usual for team on pre-season trip to Perth

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has told Paul Pogba and any other wantaway players that Manchester United do not have to sell anyone. For the first time in 62 days, the United manager faced the media at the Waca Ground in Perth, where the press conference was dominated by the happiness of their record signing.

Pogba’s public declaration that he would be keen to leave for a “new challenge” has been compounded in recent days by the midfielder’s agent, with Mino Raiola saying he was “in the process” of arranging a move for the World Cup winner.

Related: Paul Pogba deserves Manchester United protection amid criticism, says agent

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Paul Pogba deserves Manchester United protection amid criticism, says agent

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 12:01
• Mino Raiola says Pogba ‘respectful’ despite wanting transfer
• Agent claims club should have taken stand to help midfielder

Paul Pogba is showing Manchester United “respect” despite the midfielder’s determination to force himself out of the club, according to his agent, Mino Raiola.

The 26-year-old has stated he wants a new “challenge” and last week Raiola spoke of Pogba’s “willingness to move on”. This is despite Pogba being contracted until 2021 and being one of United’s highest-paid players.

Related: Manchester United go for potential but can Solskjær nurture it? | Paul Doyle

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Football rumours: John Terry to take over at Newcastle United?

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 08:37

Today’s tell-all is weighing up its options

A penny for John Terry’s thoughts. It only took one season in the Derby dugout for his old mucker Frank Lampard to be summoned back to Stamford Bridge for the top job. And that was after missing out on promotion to an Aston Villa side inspired, of course, by JT.

The former England captain has been cutting his teeth as an assistant to Villa’s Dean Smith but must have looked on with a tinge of envy as Lampard was unveiled by Chelsea last week at the age of only 41 – the same age as José Mourinho when he first arrived in 2004. While the Mill has no doubt that Terry wishes the man he shared a dressing room with for 13 years all the best in his new post, rumours that he could be in line to take over from Rafael Benítez at Newcastle should come as no surprise given his penchant for the limelight.

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

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Manchester United go for potential but can Solskjær nurture it? | Paul Doyle

Sun, 07/07/2019 - 21:00

The policy of targeting players with a point to prove is fine provided the club has the right people to guide them

With Manchester United on the hunt for a centre-back who could do for them what Virgil van Dijk has done for Liverpool, it is no wonder they are sniffing around Leicester City. After all, if Van Dijk’s solidity is encapsulated in that oft-repeated statistic about no player managing to dribble past him last season, then it makes sense for United to pursue the defender who was just below the Dutchman in that ranking, the next best. Taking due care to eliminate daft outliers by restricting analysis to central defenders who played at least 1,500 minutes in last season’s Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjær is no doubt aware that at the heart of Leicester’s rearguard there was a colossus who was beaten once by a dribble in the entire campaign. So the only question is: are United willing to go as high as £90m for Wes Morgan?

Ah, statistics! They are to judgment what Twitter is to conversation. The things to note here about Morgan – before we get on to Harry Maguire, on whom United really are hot – is that, at the age of 35, he is not as agile as he was, so last season he could not always get himself into positions where opponents needed to dribble past him; nonetheless, he remains savvy and very big, so when forwards did try to get around him they found it tough. Maguire (beaten six times in dribbles last season, if you must know, the same number as Chris Smalling) is also very big and has a slew of other valuable assets. But how savvy is he? And, even more importantly given United’s apparent transfer strategy, how savvy is Solskjær?

Related: Paul Pogba stalemate a pain for Manchester United manager and fans | Paul Wilson

Related: Manchester United in pole position to sign Leicester’s Harry Maguire

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Paul Pogba arrives for Manchester United tour despite doubts over future

Sun, 07/07/2019 - 13:58
• Midfielder named in list of players due to travel on Sunday
• Romelu Lukaku also due to be on flight to Australia

Paul Pogba has been photographed at Manchester Airport as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s squad fly out to Australia on Sunday afternoon to start their summer tour.

The midfielder’s presence had been in doubt ever since his agent, Mino Raiola, admitted on Friday that the 26-year-old is trying to force his way out of the club.

Related: Paul Pogba stalemate a pain for Manchester United manager and fans | Paul Wilson

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Paul Pogba stalemate a pain for Manchester United manager and fans | Paul Wilson

Sat, 07/06/2019 - 16:30
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is in a tricky position with United ready to sell the midfielder but at a price beyond Europe’s top clubs

Ole Gunnar Solskjær will seek face‑to-face discussions with Paul Pogba before Manchester United make any decision over the unsettled midfielder’s future. Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola created a stir just before United’s pre-season trip to Australia by indicating his client’s “willingness to move on”, yet though his comments to the Times were interpreted as an attempt to force the club’s hand and bring about a transfer, the language was carefully nonspecific. The player has been in New York for the past week, even posting videos of himself keeping fit in Central Park as late as Friday, though United expect him back in time to join the rest of the squad on Sunday’s flight to Perth.

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

Related: Manchester United in pole position to sign Leicester’s Harry Maguire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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