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Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Ryan Giggs tells Daniel James: be yourself and you’ll succeed at United

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 13:39
• Wales international set to join Manchester United in £18m deal
• ‘I know United fans will get behind him and enjoy watching him’

The Wales manager, Ryan Giggs, has told Daniel James to “enjoy the challenge” and just be himself when he joins up with Manchester United later this summer. The 21-year-old winger is set to join United next week after the two clubs agreed a fee that could rise to £18m.

Giggs, talking before Wales’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifer in Croatia on Saturday, praised James for the way he has coped with the death of his father, Kevan, last month as well as the upheaval of moving clubs.

Related: England fans say police raised batons amid ‘dangerous crushing’ at semi-final

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Football transfer rumours: João Cancelo to Manchester City?

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:02

Today’s tell-all is ruing another international semi-final defeat

One of several England defenders who failed to impress against the Netherlands last night, Kyle Walker may be disheartened to learn Manchester City are hitching their skirts at Juventus right-back, João Cancelo. Bought from Real Madrid for £26m, Danilo is expected to leave the Etihad this summer and City are reported to have rejected a £13m bid from Inter for the Brazilian. With Juve also believed to be interested in the full-back, a player-plus-cash deal could be in the offing.

One man who had a more enjoyable evening in Guimaraes was Matthijs de Ligt, who has been consistently linked with a move to Barcelona but is now being tipped to join Paris Saint-Germain. With Leonardo due to return to his former role as sporting director with the French champions, ESPN say the Brazilian has been in constant contact with Mino Raiola, the player’s agent and is apparently more inclined to meet what are described as the broker’s “high commission demands” than Barcelona. PSG are also believed to have offered Tottenham Julian Draxler in exchange for Christian Eriksen.

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

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Manchester United set to seal £15m signing of Swansea winger Daniel James

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 11:02

• James having medical after fee rising to around £18m agreed
• Wales international to be Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s first signing

Daniel James is set to become Manchester United’s first signing of the summer after Swansea City accepted a fee that could rise to around £18m for the Wales international. The 21-year-old is undergoing a medical at United on Thursday, after Wales gave him permission to leave their training camp, with the winger poised to sign a long-term contract.

United’s interest in James first surfaced towards the end of the season but the move was put on hold after the player’s father, Kevan, died suddenly. With James back in the international fold this week, after telling Ryan Giggs, the Wales manager, that he felt up to joining up with the squad, the wheels were set in motion for his transfer to go through.

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

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Juventus tell Manchester United they are interested in signing Paul Pogba

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 19:00
• Dybala, Alex Sandro or Douglas Costa possible makeweights
• Juventus told by Lazio that Milinkovic-Savic would cost €90m

Juventus have made contact with Manchester United to see whether they would consider selling Paul Pogba this summer.

The Serie A champions are keen to sign a world-class midfielder before next season starts and they were initially looking at Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and made an offer of €60m (£53.2m) last month but ended their interest in the Serb when Lazio said they are holding out for €90m.

Related: Maurizio Sarri tells Chelsea he wants to return to Italy with Juventus

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

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Louis van Gaal: ‘I thought Manchester United could buy every player’

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 09:00
United’s former manager on Rooney, tactics, why the club is too commercial and being ‘very surprised’ at Solskjær’s appointment

The Guardian sat down with Louis van Gaal at Noordwijk’s Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, three years since his dismissal by Manchester United.

Jamie Jackson: Did you feel betrayed because Manchester United wanted you to do three years and then one day after you won the FA Cup final they turned around and said goodbye?

Related: Ryan Giggs: ‘It didn’t work for United but Van Gaal was brilliant for me’

Manchester United need a manager with experience, not a manager who has trained at one or two teams and on a lower level

We were not defending and we were looking for tactical solutions adapted to the level of our players.

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Football transfer rumours: Roberto Martínez to take over at Barcelona?

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 08:46

Today’s tittle-tattle is gonna take a little time

Following Barcelona’s defeat at the hands of Valencia in last weekend’s Copa del Rey final, the future of Ernesto Valverde is in doubt – and Catalan radio station RAC1 have identified the Belgium manager, Roberto Martínez, as the favourite to succeed him. Signed for both Wigan and Everton by Martínez, jokes about James McCarthy replacing Sergio Busquets at the Camp Nou are already doing the rounds. The Everton midfielder might not get his dream move if one of Unai Emery, Ronald Koeman or Max Allegri, who are also believed to be on Barca’s four-man shortlist, get the job.

In other managerial news, the Mail report that Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has already agreed a deal with Juventus that would net him an added £1.2m per year and put an end to the thinly-veiled xenophobia he has to put up with from certain sections of the British media. Elsewhere, France Football claim André Villas-Boas, who was also much-maligned during his time in England, is on the verge of taking over at Marseille.

Related: Manchester United start rebuilding with Daniel James on summer shopping list

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Manchester United start rebuilding with Daniel James on summer shopping list

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 14:12
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær identifies Swansea player as target
• Manager rebuilding squad after patchy league campaign

Manchester United are confident of a successful summer in the transfer market, with Swansea City’s Daniel James one of the targets identified by Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the recruitment department.

James, a pacy wide player, impressed last season, making 40 appearances for Swansea and Wales. He scored a memorable winner against Slovakia in February’s Euro 2020 qualifier on his competitive international debut and United face competition to sign the 21-year-old from other top-six clubs.

Related: Manchester United players need to fear someone, says Wayne Rooney

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Lothar Matthäus: ‘With Putin I talked football, judo and Brexit'

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:04

The German legend discusses Bayern’s defeat by Manchester United 20 years on, Maradona and meeting Russia’s president

It is hard to define Lothar Matthäus. A box-to-box midfielder or a libero? Germany’s most-capped player but perhaps still a little unloved? Exceptional in the air but only 5ft 9in tall. A Bayern Munich legend who probably played his best club football at Internazionale. The ultimate team player but with arrogance and an ego that all the greats of the game seem to possess. How well he fits into an interview series about 1990s footballers could even be questioned, given his career spanned four decades, but it is his highest and lowest moments that bookend the 90s, captaining West Germany to World Cup glory in 1990 and watching on as Bayern capitulated to Manchester United in 1999, almost exactly 20 years ago to the day. In perfect English, he speaks quickly and agitatedly, as though the clock at the Camp Nou is still ticking.

Related: Karel Poborsky: ‘They put me into a coma. All my face muscles were paralysed’

Related: On Second Thoughts: Italia 90 | Rob Smyth

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Related: Real Madrid v Bayern Munich: the night Juanito kicked Matthäus in the face

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Premier League finances: the full club-by-club breakdown and verdict

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 19:41
Club accounts for 2017-18 show Manchester United spent the most on wages while champions Manchester City had the third-highest bill

Financial figures for 2017-18, for the 20 clubs who were in the Premier League during that season. All details from the most recently published annual reports at Companies House. Net debt is as stated in the accounts; debts minus cash held at the bank. The separate categories of turnover are each rounded down or up, so added together they do not always tally with the total turnover figure.

Related: Premier League clubs’ record £4.8bn revenues widens gap to rest of Europe

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Wayne Rooney says Manchester United’s players must feel the fear

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 13:56
• Team need to be afraid of Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Rooney says
• Rooney criticises current players’ lack of accountability

Wayne Rooney believes Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s coaching team need to strike fear into those Manchester United players that have shown they are happy to hide.

After enjoying a remarkable caretaker stint when replacing José Mourinho late last year, things have gone awry in the last few months for Solskjær.

Related: Massimiliano Allegri to leave Juventus at end of season

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Ed Woodward backs Solskjær after Manchester United post strong finances

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 18:58
• Club posts revenues of £152.1m for the quarter
• Executive vice-chairman says finances offer a solid foundation

Ed Woodward reflected on a “turbulent season” for Manchester United but the executive vice-chairman gave his unequivocal backing to Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Woodward recognised the upheaval at Old Trafford, where José Mourinho was replaced by Solskjær in December. His appointment as permanent manager coincided with United’s season running out of steam and they missed out on qualifying for the Champions League.

Related: Nice guy managers become puppets, says Mourinho in dig at Solskjær

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Nice guy managers become puppets, says Mourinho in dig at Solskjær

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 23:25

• Former Manchester United manager scathing over successor
• José Mourinho says some United players have too much power

José Mourinho has appeared to suggest Ole Gunnar Solskjær has become “a puppet” at Manchester United, with the former manager admitting certain players at the club have too much power.

Solskjær’s promising start at Old Trafford after succeeding Mourinho initially on an interim basis in December was undone after United lost six of their 10 matches following the decision to reward him with a three-year contract at the end of March.

Related: Manchester City’s defence of ‘battered’ song is seriously misguided

Related: Derby book Wembley final after Jack Marriott stuns Leeds in thriller

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Premier League 2018-19 review: our predictions versus reality

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 12:42

We thought Manchester City would pip Liverpool to the title, but we also said Watford would go down

What we said: “Pep Guardiola’s talented side look well placed to become the first team to retain the Premier League title since Manchester United did it in 2009.”

Related: Premier League 2018-19 review: the big quiz of the season

Related: Premier League 2018-19 season review: our writers’ best and worst

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Unforgettable photos: the best of the 2018-19 Premier League season

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 13:28

Photo editor Jonny Weeks reviews a tumultuous football season through some of its best, weirdest and most defining images

On an average weekend, The Guardian receives around 12,000 photographs from Premier League matches via its staff, agency and contributor photographers. That’s almost half a million images per season. Some capture extraordinary joy and despair; some bear witness to defining moments in the title race; some owe greatly to the creativity of the men and women behind the lenses; and some, like this first one from August, feature the rare but always amusing sight of a referee nearly getting thwacked by a ball.

Click on the images to see full captions and credits.

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Manchester United need time to reclaim Premier League, says Ander Herrera

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 17:22
• Midfielder says team take blame for season and backs Solskjær
• Herrera is expected to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer

Ander Herrera has warned that it will take time before Manchester United can compete for the league title again and that the players are to blame for the club’s dismal ending to this season.

The midfielder is leaving Old Trafford after five years, with the club experiencing an awful end to the campaign. The 2-0 home defeat against Cardiff meant they won only two of their last 12 games, missing out on a place in next season’s Champions League in the process.

Related: The Fiver | After all the flipping, flopping and incessant leap-frogging … it's over

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Manner of Ander Herrera’s exit reflects distorted priorities of United owners | Barry Glendenning

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 11:00
Manchester United’s status as the greatest club in England is increasingly in doubt under a Glazer stewardship that makes commercial considerations the priority

While Ander Herrera’s decision to leave Manchester United has come as no great surprise to the club’s fans, the manner in which he announced his going has left many understandably enraged. In a saccharine sweet and emotional farewell video that will almost certainly be widely lampooned by more self-aware social media departments at football clubs elsewhere in the coming weeks, the softly spoken Spain midfielder left viewers in little or no doubt United will always have a special place in his heart and is a club he would be prepared to do absolutely anything for, except play. He is set to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer having reportedly agreed a three-year deal worth £25m.

Related: Manchester United’s top four failure just not good enough, admits Young

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær: 'the big plus for Manchester United is the season is over' – video

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 23:06

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted Manchester United have 'hit a brick wall' in recent weeks as a dispiriting campaign ended on a fittingly low note with defeat to relegated Cardiff City.  

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The Dozen: the final weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 22:18

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from England’s top flight

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Premier League 2018-19: the highs and lows of the season – video review

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 19:19

Liverpool's attempt to dethrone Manchester City as Premier League champions ended in failure with the reigning champions completing the season with one more point than their title rivals.

City claimed 98 points, just two shy of last season's record-breaking 100, while Liverpool earned 97 – by far the largest tally for a Premier League runners-up.

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur completed the top four, while Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Cardiff City were relegated. Here's a look at some of the key moments this season

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Cardiff mark top-flight departure with victory at Manchester United

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 17:03

Manchester United require a serious reboot in the summer after their season ended in concerning fashion. This dire defeat to already-relegated Cardiff City followed last Sunday’s draw at the also already-down Huddersfield Town and means Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side have flat-lined since he was made permanent manager.

That was in late March and since then only Watford and West Ham United have been beaten in a run of two wins and eight defeats in all competitions.

Related: Manchester City pip Liverpool to title with crushing win at Brighton

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