TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid chief Butragueno: Our players are stupendousby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid chief Emilio Butragueno has defended the players after defeat to Real Sociedad.La Real shocked Madrid 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.Butragueno was asked about additions this month given their poor start to the year.But he insisted, “This squad has players with loads of talent and I think that it is a good day to reinforce that message. “They have won many titles. The Club World Cup isn’t nothing, three consecutive Champions Leagues. These players are stupendous.”
Arsenal appointing first loans managerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal are appointing a first loans manager.The Sun says Arsenal will make football data analyst Ben Knapper their first loans manager from next month – in charge of starlets like Reiss Nelson.The Gunners are following a rising trend in the Premier League of appointing a supremo to oversee the rising number of players out on loan.Knapper is being promoted from his role as lead analyst after joining the Gunners from sports data and technology company Prozone in 2010.His main roles will be to decide which players to loan out and where. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Pogba dig at Mourinho after Man Utd win: When you play free and you have manager’s trust…by Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePaul Pogba was delighted with Manchester United’s victory at Tottenham.Pogba laid on Marcus Rashford’s first-half matchwinning goal.“I love playing big matches,” he told Sky Sports after the game. “I love playing against the best players, that is where we improve, progress and get more experience. “Obviously it was a good one for us and everyone played well, we were all determined because we wanted to win this game. I think the players helped me and we all enjoy playing football and playing together and that is what we did today.”Pogba added: “Everything comes when you play free and you have the trust of the manager and players who make it easy for me. I know [Nemanja] Matic will be there and we can press high and when we get the ball I am already there so I can shoot, I can pass and that is what I have been doing since the manager came. I know I have security behind me so I have the freedom to go so the manager has helped me.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Huddersfield enquire about Stoke forward Bojan Krkicby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town are reportedly interested in Stoke City forward Bojan Krkic.The 28-year-old has made 15 appearances for the Potters this season. He spent the previous two seasons on loan at Alaves and Mainz.Terriers boss David Wagner is desperate to strengthen his squad this month. According to The Sun, Wagner wants to sign Krkic to help increase his side’s paltry goal tally of 13 from 22 games.The Catalan was a prodigious young talent who broke through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, before making over 100 appearances for the club’s first-team.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say New Nice owner Ratcliffe remains interested buying Premier League clubby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNew Nice owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe remains interested in buying a Premier League club.It’s understood he looked at Newcastle and Chelsea this year – and he may return to buy a top flight club at a later date, says the Mirror.Those close to the man, who started life in a council house in Greater Manchester, insist they haven’t ruled out Ratcliffe making a Premier League impact one day.A business confidante said: “Jim was genuinely interested in buying a leading Premier League club. At the same time he wants value for money and after considering the cost involved and the necessary investment he chose Nice ahead of Premier League clubs he was in negotiations with.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Chelsea manager Lampard positive Kante will face Lilleby Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed N’Golo Kante is a chance to face Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday night.Injuries have disrupted Kante all season, with a hamstring niggle the latest ailment that caused him to miss Saturday’s win over Brighton.But the World Cup winner returned to training on Tuesday and Lampard was confident he could play against the Ligue 1 outfit.”He trained this morning and he got through training okay,” said Lampard.”He is still one we have to assess in the morning but we are positive he will be fit to play.”The injury doesn’t relate to the Europa League final. What that injury did do, regardless of whether he played that game, was meant he had a broken pre-season.”It’s a slight domino effect. The main injury is now feeling good, but he’s probably got a couple of niggles since that, and a tackle at Manchester United in the first game that affected him on the ankle.”There’s a bit of bad luck in there as well. Everyone is working towards getting him regularly fit so he can play continuous games, and I’m hoping that’s coming really soon.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Mourinho adamant about Man Utd striker Rashford: He’s not a target manby Freddie Taylor5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is adamant Marcus Rashford is not a target man.Mourinho was speaking after Rashford scored in United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.”When we beat Liverpool a couple of years ago, we played with Rashford and Romelu Lukaku up front. He is not a target man, he is a man of movement,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.”I do not think he is a pure nine. If Ole is going to play him as he did today then I think he is the perfect player for him.”He’s young but he is experienced. With 21 years he probably has more matches than some players who are 24, 25. For me he is potentially a very good player, in some models and in some positions.”As a number nine I don’t think he has the 30 goals a season in him. I don’t think he can get better as a target man. To be better as a target man is difficult for him.”
Palestine celebrated their first point in Asian Cup history after holding Syria to a 0-0 draw in Sharjah on Sunday despite playing the final 22 minutes with 10 men.Beaten in each of their three matches on debut in 2015, unheralded Palestine were more competitive on this occasion as they succeeded in frustrating stronger opposition despite Mohammed Saleh’s harsh dismissal.The defender received a second yellow card in the 68th minute following a clash of heads with Omar Khrbin but Syria, who have designs on a place in the knockout rounds after impressing in World Cup qualifying, were unable to make their numerical advantage count. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? An inability to capitalise on a pair of first-half chances allowed Palestine to grow into the contest and Noureddine Ould Ali’s men capably navigated the closing stages in a positive start to their Group B campaign.Syria, though absent from the Asian Cup in 2015, were expected to prove too strong and twice went close in the opening 30 minutes.If you’re enjoying #AsianCup2019 raise your phone. pic.twitter.com/02mTPwJC1b— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 6, 2019The lively Khrbin was at the centre of both opportunities, first seeing Abdallah Jaber make a miraculous goal-line block early in proceedings, before Rami Hamada – whose handling error initiated the first chance – palmed clear a threatening header.Bernd Stange’s side were well on top when Osama Omari went down clutching his knee before half-time and had to be taken off on a stretcher.Their hopes of extracting three points were given a boost with just over 20 minutes remaining as referee Ravshan Irmatov deemed Saleh’s routine aerial challenge with Khrbin worthy of a second booking.Palestine, though, remained as obdurate as they had been until that point and deservedly secured a draw that sets them up nicely for Friday’s date with Australia, who earlier lost to Syria’s next opponents Jordan.
New AC Milan signing Krzysztof Piatek hopes his goals can fire the club he supported as a boy back to the Champions League.The striker completed a move to San Siro on Wednesday, agreeing a four-and-a-half-year deal after Milan paid Genoa a fee believed to be in the region of €35 million (£30m/$40m).AdChoices广告Piatek’s transfer went through on the same day that Gonzalo Higuain cut short his loan move from Juventus to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, and the Poland international joins the Rossoneri having netted 13 goals in 19 Serie A games this season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And the 23-year-old already has his sights set on European club football’s premier competition, which has not been graced by seven-time champions Milan since 2013-14.Gennaro Gattuso’s side occupy the fourth and final qualification berth, with a one-point advantage over fifth-placed Roma.”I was born ready,” Piatek told a news conference on Thursday. “I will do everything to return AC Milan to the Champions League.”I didn’t think I’d ever get here. Next to me is [Paolo] Maldini, whom I’ve always admired. For me it’s a great honour to be here. I hope I can show my talent in every game…but everything will be decided on the field.”It’s a pleasure for me to be here. I’m a striker, I want to score in every game, work very hard and then we’ll see what happens on the field.”I’ve always believed in myself. I wanted to show something good in Serie A when I joined Genoa. It’s great to play at San Siro, but I think everything will always be about what happens on the pitch. I’m focused on that and I’ll do everything to do my best and score goals.”Piatek confirmed that pictures of him as a boy with a Milan towel were genuine, while he revealed his surprise at attracting attention from San Siro after only half a season in Italy.”The picture of me wearing an AC Milan towel was real. It was always my dream to be here,” he said.”This is football for you, unexpected. I never thought after scoring 13 goals other clubs, such as Milan, would be interested in me but this is the beauty of football.”
“I expect top performances from him.” When James Rodriguez steps onto the football field, it is expected that he will be a gamechanger. Not just by fans, but by coaches and managers as well. Niko Kovac confirmed last week that the Colombia international was fit to return for Bayern Munich after missing eight games with a knee problem, but included the disclaimer that he wanted Rodriguez to show no signs of rustiness.”I know he’s a top player, I know what he can do,” Kovac told reporters. “He’s shown that not just here but at other big clubs. I expect top performances from him, just like I do any other player. We finished the first half of the season strongly, and competition for places is fierce, as is always the case. Now it’s down to him to show he deserves a place in the team again.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Rodriguez has found game time harder to come by under new Bayern boss Kovac, having been a huge success under Jupp Heynckes in his first season in Munich. Last season, he finished with eight goals and 14 assists in 39 games in all competitions, but has found himself being left out of the starting XI more often in 2018-19.As a result, the 27 year old has been the focus of many transfer rumours throughout the season, with talk of a January loan to Arsenal even cropping up in recent weeks. Reports in Spain have long insisted that Rodriguez is unhappy with his role in Munich, while he is said to have told Kovac “We are not in Frankfurt” following a disappointing draw against Ajax.However, everything Rodriguez has said in public has indicated that he has no problems with either Munich or the coach. He admitted that the only thing on his mind was returning to full fitness and getting back on the pitch.”There are no issues with the coach or any staff,” James told reporters in December. “At the moment I am with Bayern and I have a contract with the club until June and I am happy here, I am calm and in the future we will see what happens. I am only thinking about Bayern, I am recovering well from my injury and I have lots of motivation to return better than ever.”His return to action on Friday was a 12-minute cameo against Hoffenheim, where he had little time on the pitch but still put in a display worthy of being called a “top performance”. With Hoffenheim pushing for a late equaliser, Bayern secured a 3-1 win as Rodriguez played a perfect pass to Thomas Muller, who had all the time to cross for Robert Lewandowski to score from close range. While it did not count as an assist for the Colombian, who has provided the final ball for just two goals in 12 games in 2018-19, the goal was purely Rodriguez’s creation. His vision picked out Muller, who was able to break through the defence and find Lewandowski.It also showed that Rodriguez should not simply be seen as a backup option for Muller, but can also play alongside the World Cup winner in a dynamic attack. Until now, Muller or Rodriguez was an either/or option for Kovac, but the brief cameo last weekend proves that the duo can work together in support of Lewandowski, and combine to great effect.Muller is suspended for both of Bayern’s games against Liverpool in the Champions League, with the first leg taking place on February 19, almost three weeks after the end of the transfer window. They will need Rodriguez for these matches if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the tournament, while it has now become an annual tradition for Bayern to have an injury crisis in the latter stage of the season. Usually, this is not a huge problem domestically, but 2018-19 has not been as easy as usual for the Bavarians on home soil and they find themselves chasing Borussia Dortmund after half the season.Success is expected in Munich, with the Bundesliga title almost an afterthought in recent years as they chase the Champions League. Kovac’s best chance of being successful this season – and keeping his job – is with Rodriguez, who can help create the goals to propel them to the title and onwards in Europe. Letting him leave now would be madness.