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Stamford Bridge shakes as Chelsea suffer shock defeat to Crystal Palace

The fine run of Chelsea Football Club in the English Premier League was halted on Saturday as relegation battlers, Crystal Palace, handed them a shock 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

The development has seen the Blues’ lead at the top of the Premier League table cut to seven points as Crystal Palace masterfully halted their title charge

All of the goals in Saturday’s game came in the opening 11 minutes during an action-packed London derby, with Cesc Fabregas opening the scoring before Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke responded to quick goals in the 9th and 11th minute

The win also keeps Palace four points clear of the relegation zone having now won four consecutive matches for the first time since April 2015.

Elsewhere, Leicester City continued their perfect run under new manager, Craig Shakespeare; beating Stoke City 2-0 at the King Powers stadium.

Nigeria international, Wilfred Ndidi, scored his first Premier League goal in that encounter and it was a beauty to behold as he gave the Foxes a 1-0 lead by half time.

The points were effectively sealed for the defending champions when Jamie Vardy two minutes into the second half registered his name on the scorers’ sheet to give Leicester 2-0 lead and that was the final score.

In other centers, hopes of Sunderland escaping relegation got slimmer as they were beaten 1-0 by Sunderland at the Vicrage on Saturday.

Hull City on their part gave their survival chase a big boost; coming from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1.

There was no goals at Old Tafford as a stubborn West Brom side forced Manchester United to a goalless draw.

In the early kickoff, Liverpool again claimed the bragging rights in the Merseyside derby as they beat their fierce rivals Everton 3-1.

Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton

Burnley 0 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea 1 – 2 Crystal Palace

Hull City 2 – 1 West Ham United

Leicester City 2 – 0 Stoke City

Manchester United 0 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

Watford 1 – 0 Sunderland


Source: Premium Times

Manchester United debt increases by £71.6m

Manchester United’s net debt has increased by £71.6 million in the space of three months to £409.3m, the club’s quarterly financial report has confirmed.

The report, which covers three months up to December 31, 2016, shows that the club’s total overheads rose 27.1 per cent between September 2016 and the end of the calendar year. This comes despite the new Premier League TV deal coming into effect, with the gains being offset by the loss of Champions League revenue.

United have put the loss down in no small part to the significant drop in the value of the pound since the referendum in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, citing the strengthened US dollar as another factor.

However, United do expect to return record revenues once more after topping the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time in over a decade in 2015-16.

In delivering the report, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “We are pleased to be competing for the first available trophy of the season when we travel to Wembley to face Southampton in the EFL Cup final this month.

“The robustness of our business model continues to be reflected in our strong quarterly financial results and we remain on track to deliver record revenues for the year.”

One curiosity in the report is the inclusion of Bastian Schweinsteiger under ‘exceptional items’, with the German midfielder’s return to Jose Mourinho’s plans in recent months being reflected in the accounts as a £4.8m boost to the squad’s value.

Schweinsteiger was excluded from the first team by Mourinho at the start of the season but has since made a comeback and has been added to their list of players eligible to feature in the Europa League. United begin the knockout stage with the first leg of their tie against Saint-Etienne on February 16.

EPL: Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp Satisfied With Draw.

Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, wants his players to stop spurning chances after they needed an 84th-minute equalizer from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to rescue a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.


Only seven of United’s 32 Premier League goals this season have been scored in the first 35 minutes and Mourinho wants his team to stop letting their opponents off the hook.


United, who had won their previous nine matches in all competitions, remain sixth, four points off the top four.


On the flipside, Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp believes his team dominated play and deserved more from the game.


A James Milner penalty handed the visitors the lead in the 27th minute after Paul Pogba handled the ball in the box.


After the game, Klopp was quick to praise the performance of his Liverpool side but admitted that while a draw was satisfactory, the performance merited more.

Mark Clattenburg named world’s best referee

Mark Clattenburg has been voted the Best Referee in the world at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

The 41-year-old Premier League official, received the prize ahead of many top referees from every major league in Europe.

Clattenburg completed a remarkable treble in 2016, handling the FA Cup final, Champions League final and Euro 2016 final.

He is rumoured to be coveted in the Chinese Super League and other foreign leagues.

Clattenburg, who was in charge for the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Watford on Boxing Day, received the trophy in Dubai.

Why Chelsea will not win Premier League title – Gary Neville

Former Manchester United defender, Gary Neville, has said he is not sure Chelsea will finish this season as Premier League champions.


The Blues have been in impressive form and are currently on an 11-game winning run, six points ahead of the chasing pack at Christmas.


Neville, however, is not convinced they have what it takes to finish the job next May.


The Sky Sports analyst said: “I didn’t think they would be champions at the start of the season. I’m still not sure, I wouldn’t fully trust any of them yet, but they do like they are producing the type (champions) performances.

“The Southampton away one, that’s the one where I thought, that’s a championship winning performance. But it is too early in the season to hand them the title.


“You still have to have doubts over them through the fact, for instance, if you got an injury to Eden Hazard, an injury to Diego Costa.


“You have to throw in the doubts that exist. They are such important players.”

Harry Kane extends his contract with Tottenham

England and Tottenham striker, Harry Kane, has signed a new contract to keep him at White Hart Lane till 2022.

This will come as a relief to manager Mauricio Pochettino after the striker was linked with a move to various other teams, including Manchester United.

Kane said after signing the deal, “It’s amazing. Everyone knows how much I love this team and what I feel for this club.”

The 23-year-old England striker made his debut in 2011 against Hearts in the Europa League, and had since gone on to score 70 goals in 173 appearances.

The new contract will see him stay at the club till 2022, having signed a five-year deal in 2015 and is also believed to substantially increase his wages.

Kane, who had loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City, before getting a regular chance at Spurs, has been the club’s top goal scorer for the last two seasons and he won the Premier League’s Golden Boot award in May.

Kane has become one of the most sought after forwards in world football, with Manchester United and Real Madrid both said to have been following developments closely.

However, any speculation regarding the Englishman’s future can now well and truly be put to bed after he committed his future to the club for another five-and-half years.

EPL: Another Nigerian set to join Leicester City

Another Nigeria international, Wilfred Ndidi, is set for a move to the Premier League where reigning champions, Leicester City, are about sorting out lose ends with his Belgian club, Genk.

Leicester City already have Super Eagles star, Ahmed Musa, in their squad.

The club have suggested in multiple reports across England that Ndidi would be joining his compatriot all things being equal during the January transfer window.

The UK Mirror reports that The Foxes have raised the stakes after opening the bidding with a £16 million approach for the Nigeria international.

Ndidi, 19, has been in spectacular form of late and his performances as caught the eye of a number of clubs including Chelsea and Tottenham.

But Leicester are trying to steal a march on their rivals with the early move and are confident of landing Ndidi when the transfer window reopens next month.

Coach Claudio Ranieri has earmarked Ndidi as his long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante who quit the champions to join league leaders Chelsea last summer.

Only on Tuesday, statistics released threw Ndidi up as the player who has the highest tackles and interceptions in the Europa League so far this season.

This puts him ahead of the likes of the world most expensive player, Paul Pogba who is also playing in the Europa League with Manchester United.

Ndidi, who can play in centre of defence or as a midfielder in front of the back four, will require a work permit to complete a dream move to England.

Rooney rejected move from Manchester United to China.

Wayne Rooney’s agent met with Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan, according to the club’s chairman

Wayne Rooney said he wanted to stay at Manchester United when offered a move to China, says Beijing Guoan’s honorary chairman.

Lou Ning claims the Chinese Super League side approached the 31-year-old United captain in the summer, and met with Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford ahead of the new Premier League season.

However, according to Ning, Rooney has shown a desire to remain in the English top-flight until factors out of his control determine otherwise.

“We indeed made an approach for Rooney at the beginning of the season but he’s informed us that he wants to stay in Manchester United,” Ning told a Beijing radio sports show.

“Rooney says he’ll keep playing in the Premier League as long as his health allows. We even met with his agent.”

Jose Mourinho has left Rooney out of his starting line-up on a number of occasions this season, while the England skipper also lost his place in interim manager Gareth Southgate’s team.

Rooney is under contract at United until 2019 and Mourinho has insisted the former Everton striker is “going nowhere”, despite being linked with a move back to the Toffees as well as abroad.

Ronald Koeman also fuelled suggestions Rooney could return to where he began his career when the Dutchman admitted he would be pleased to have him back at Goodison Park.

Manchester City Leave Star Out Of Champions League Squad

If Manchester City thought that Yaya Toure and his agent kicked up a fuss when they forgot to buy him a birthday cake then they’re about to receive a barrage of abuse for leaving the Ivorian out of their Champions League squad.

The big midfielder was always expected to be doomed when City announced the signing of Guardiola as their new manager back in January but so far the former Barcelona midfielder has stuck around the Etihad. Still though now he’s around he might have expected some football.

Pep Guardiola

Yaya was sold by Pep to City when the pair were at the Camp Nou so perhaps his omission isn’t that big a surprise but after he didn’t get a move in the summer it seemed he might play some part in the sky blues season but clearly not. Here’s the full squad:


Claudio Bravo, Willy Caballero


Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi


Fernando, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Fernandinho


Nolito, Sergio Aguero, Kelechi Iheanacho

Yaya Toure

The move by the former Bayern Munich manager will likely speed up the process of Toure leaving the Manchester club with a move to China or the MLS likely once their transfer windows open later in the season, after all no one else can afford his ridiculous wages.

Time for Toure to buy himself some cake and find a nice spot on the sofa!


Via – The Sport Bible

Pogba Will Play Against Southampton, Mourinho Confirms

The France international was unavailable for the Red Devils’ first Premier League fixture because of a suspension carried over from Juventus but could feature against the Saints

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Paul Pogba is ready to play ‘some minutes’ in Manchester United’s clash with Southampton on Friday.

The midfielder missed out on the Red Devils’ first Premier League match of the season due to a suspension carried over from his time at Juventus, while a lack of pre-season training had also cast doubts.

However, Mourinho revealed that the Frenchman is nearing full fitness and is likely to feature against the Saints.

“We played against Leicester with players with less training than him and we saw that match as a way to improve them and accelerate the process,” the Portuguese told MUTV.

“With Paul it’s a bit the same – he hasn’t played in one single minute of any pre-season matches but has done almost two weeks of work with us, sometimes with the group, sometimes separately, and he is okay now to play some minutes.”

Arsenal ‘Ready’ To Spend Money In Transfer Market – Wenger

Arsene Wenger says he is prepared to enter the transfer market before the window closes on 31 August.


The Arsenal boss has been criticised by fans for a lack of signings in recent years but his squad has suffered a spate of recent injuries.


I can reassure people we’re ready to spend the money we have,” Wenger said.


It’s important to spend money but more important to spend it the right way. There are two markets, one for English clubs, one for the rest of Europe.


The Gunners saw Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi go off in their opening Premier League defeat against Liverpool on Sunday, while Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Jack Wilshere were injured in pre-season and Danny Welbeck is a long-term absentee.

Wenger said Ramsey “should be back after the international break”, ruling him out of league matches at Leicester on Saturday and Watford on 27 August and making him doubtful for Wales’ opening World Cup qualifier with Moldova on 5 September.


The 66-year-old Frenchman, who has been in charge of the Gunners since October 1996, urged the fans to trust his judgement and said he had completed over 400 transfers during his time at Arsenal.


It is dangerous. English clubs suffocate themselves by buying players at a high price with high wages, if it goes wrong you are left with players with high wages,” he said.

The identity of the buyer multiplies transfers by two or three or even 10 times more.

FA Confirm Paul Pogba Will Be Suspended For Manchester United vs. Bournemouth

The world’s most expensive player picked up two yellow cards during last season’s Coppa Italia, meaning the subsequent one-match ban has been transferred to the Premier League

Manchester United fans will have to wait to see Paul Pogba in action for the first time after the Football Association announced the world’s most expensive player is to serve a one-match ban.

The 23-year-old’s two bookings in last season’s Coppa Italia, in the win over Inter in March and the final against AC Milan on May 21 in his final outing for Juventus, has been transferred across to England.

Pogba was not expected to start against Bournemouth on Sunday, being tipped for a place on the bench having only recently returned from holiday, but will now miss the trip to Dean Court.

Pogba could now make his first appearance in a United shirt against Southampton at Old Trafford the following Friday.

This Season’s Result Will Determine My Future At Arsenal – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that his future as Arsenal manager hinges on the new season’s results, but stressed that he planned to keep working no matter what.


Wenger has just one year left on his contract and, as he enters his 21st season as Arsenal boss, faces pressure to deliver a major title. The Frenchman — who has said he will not make a decision about his future until next summer — told BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday that “what I will do after will depend a little bit on how the season goes.”


Wenger, speaking at the Premier League launch day in London, also told Sky Sports that he realised his tenure might be coming to an end. “You never know. You have to do it as if it is your whole life, but you know as well that you can stop at any moment,” he said. Discussing links to the England job following the departure of Roy Hodgson after a dismal Euro 2016 campaign, Wenger said: “I think I have shown that I respect my contracts and I respect loyalty highly. I did always that with Arsenal.”

But the manager, who recently said he was “scared” of retirement, added that he had no plans to walk away from football if he did not get a new deal with the Gunners. “What I will do is continue to work as long as I have the physical potential to work, no matter in what kind of position,” he said. “I will always work.”


Although Wenger’s future is likely to remain a topic of discussion throughout the season, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere said it would remain business as usual. “I have not seen anything different in him,” the England international told Sky Sports. “I see the same hunger, if not even more. “For me, he has been great over the years and he continues to be. I think he shows that with his hunger every year. He just keeps going each year.


“I think he really feels like he can win and do something special with this team.”

United To Pay Pogba Transfer Fee In Two Years

Manchester United bought Paul Pogba for a world-record €105m plus a potential bonus fee of €5m, Juventus confirmed Tuesday.

“Juventus Football Club can today confirm that Paul Pogba has completed a move to Manchester United for a fee of €105m to be paid in two financial years,” the Italian club said in a statement.

“The consideration may increase by €5m on achieving given conditions in the course of the duration of the contract.”

The sum beats the previous record set by the transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, “thus making Pogba the most valuable player in the sport’s history”, Juventus said.

United said earlier that Pogba had signed a five-year contract but did not reveal the cost. The British media had put it at £89m (€105m), not including agent’s fees.

The sum paid for the 23-year-old French superstar eclipses the £85m Real Madrid splashed out for Bale.

Mark Clattenburg Gets Tattoos in Memory Of Refereeing Champions League And Euro 2016 Finals

Mark Clattenburg has had the Champions League and Euro 2016 logos tattooed on his arm in memory of refereeing the finals of both competitions this year.

The English referee will be enjoying his summer after getting to officiate in two of football’s biggest matches.

He was awarded Real Madrid against Atletico in the San Siro in May as reward for consistently strong showings in England and in Europe.

Then he was given the final of the European Championships in France, taking charge of the hosts against Portugal in a match which passed without incident.

Clattenburg obviously realises just how big an achievement it is to get both of these games in the same year.

And he plans on remembering a stellar season with the help of these two tattoos.

Mick Mahon Tattoo in Benalmadena, Spain was paid a visit by the English whistler recently and the shop’s owner was quick to share pictures of the tattoos on Facebook:

Optimized-Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.49.04Optimized-Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.49.24

Some might make fun of Clattenburg for his tattoos, but we know we’d be doing similar if we’d just reached the pinnacle of refereeing in football.

We’re also looking forward to seeing these on Clattenburg’s arm at points throughout the coming English season.

Arsenal Legend Lauren Claims Gunners Don’t Need Riyad Mahrez… As They Have Theo Walcott

According to reports Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has met with Arsene Wenger and is ready to sign for Arsenal, however one Gunners legend isn’t a fan of the move.

Yes, ex-Arsenal defender Lauren believes the north London club don’t need Mahrez as they already have a plethora of attacking talent, including Theo Walcott.

Speaking to Standard Sport, the 39-year-old said Arsenal need to sign players who are more direct and aggressive.

He said: “Mahrez is not needed at Arsenal.

“He is a very good player, but how many similar players in terms of technically proficient, creative midfielders and widemen do Arsenal have already?”

Lauren spent six years at Arsenal and is widely considered one of the clubs best ever right-backs, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups.

He added: “They have Mesut Ozil, they have Jack Wilshere, they have Aaron Ramsey, they have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, they have Theo Walcott – Arsenal don’t need Mahrez.

“Arsenal have always had dynamic players – but they need to change that style a little bit, maybe be a little more direct, with more aggressiveness, and determination – which means players with a different style than Mahrez can offer.”

Lauren’s comments will surely worry the Arsenal faithful, who were left infuriated by a string of poor performances from Walcott last season.

Meanwhile Mahrez won the Premier League Player of the Year trophy as the Foxes went all the way to win their first Premier League title.

Manchester City Sign Sane

The 20-year-old winger has joined the Citizens from Schalke on a five-year deal for an initial fee believed to be in the region of £37m, which could rise to £42m based on add-ons

Manchester City have completed the signing of Schalke winger Leroy Sane on a five-year deal.

Sane had been linked with a number of clubs throughout the summer but has opted to move to the Citizens, with the Premier League club parting with a reported £37 million to secure the signature of the 20-year-old.

It is also understood that the deal could eventually rise to £42m due to add-ons.

Sane, who came through the youth ranks at Schalke, scored 13 goals in 57 senior appearances for the club and was also named in the Germany squad for Euro 2016.

And the young attacker has now revealed that he cannot wait to begin work under Pep Guardiola as the new Premier League season draws near.

“I feel really good, I’m happy to be here and happy that it has all worked out. Now I can settle here in Manchester and play for City,” he said.

“One of the reasons I decided to join City was Pep Guardiola; he convinced me to come here and that I can continue to progress. I know I will learn a lot under him and now I can take the next step in my career.

“I followed Pep at Barcelona and at Bayern where he achieved a lot and worked really well with young players.

“I think he can make me a more complete player. I think I will need a bit of time to start with because it’s another league and there’s a different style of play but I think I can adapt very quickly.”

Sane becomes Guardiola’s fifth signing of the summer, following the acquisitions of Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aaron Mooy, and the Catalan coach has lavished praise on his latest recruit.

“He is a special talent, and an exciting player that I think our supporters will enjoy watching,” he added.

“He has great technical ability, is comfortable on the ball and there is much to admire about the way he plays football. He is fast, enjoys creating chances for others, works hard for the team and scores goals, too. He also has a very positive attitude and will fit in well with our squad.

“At 20, he is still developing as a player but he is already a member of the German national side and I think he will be a fantastic asset to our Club. We are very happy he decided to join us.”

“I Was Unfairly Treated At Manchester United” – Moyes

The Scot, now Sunderland manager, insists that he was not given a fair crack of the whip at Old Trafford, but maintains that his spell at the club made him better

David Moyes believes he was harshly treated by former club Manchester United as he looks ahead to his tenure with Sunderland.

Fronting the media as Sunderland manager, Moyes opened up on his time at Old Trafford, where he was sacked less than a season into a six-year deal with the Premier League giants.

However, Moyes – who was ultimately replaced by Louis van Gaal ahead of the 2014-15 campaign – has now hit back at his former employers after his move to the Stadium of Light.

“I’ve said all along that I was (unfairly treated). When you sign a six-year contract and you end up there ten months, yeah, I believe I was,” said the Scot.

“But that is life in football. Ultimately the key is to win football matches. I didn’t win enough football matches.

“You must say there were mitigating circumstances. And I think you could say there are maybe things that have gone on since then, that would actually justify that even more so.”

Nevertheless, Moyes believes that his brief spell at United did wonders for his career.

“It gave me an unbelievable idea of what it is at the top,” he added.

“I believe that’s where I can work and that’s where I should be working, and my level is that, because that is what I saw in the time I was there.

“You don’t get offered those jobs, you don’t get offered big jobs, if you’ve not done something. You don’t get offered the Real Madrid job, the Barcelona job, the Manchester United job, if you’ve not had something to suggest that there’s a reason for that job.

“Yeah I am better [as a manager]. I have had several opportunities, big ones, but timing is so positive. The timing for this job at Sunderland was right. It feels good to me.”

After being fired from Old Trafford, Moyes went on to coach Real Sociedad in La Liga, where he was also sacked after a promising start.

Wenger: ‘Powerful’ Oxlade-Chamberlain Has It All

The England international was on target for the Gunners against Guadalajara and the manager is desperate to have him at full fitness for the new season

Arsene Wenger is keen to get Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fit for the start of Arsenal’s Premier League campaign because “he has it all”.

Oxlade-Chamberlain initially suffered knee ligament damage in the Champions League clash with Barcelona in February, but a further injury in May ruled him out of England’s Euro 2016 campaign.

The 22-year-old scored his second goal of pre-season in Sunday’s 3-1 friendly victory over Guadalajara with a sublime solo effort and the Arsenal boss is eager to have him ready for competitive action when they face Liverpool in the top-flight opener on August 14.

“[He gives us] power, penetration. He has it all, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It’s difficult [to say] what he doesn’t have – that’s why I would like him to get to the level he can go to,” Wenger said.

“Maybe he doesn’t completely believe himself how good he can be and that’s the final step for him.

“It’s a very important season for him. He has been out for a long, long time. He has been injured and did not go to the European Championship, like he should have done if he had been fit.

“That’s why I’m cautious with him. I gave him 45 minutes [against MLS All-Stars], now 70 minutes [against Guadalajara]. I hope I can get him through and fit for the start of the season.”

Granit Xhaka has been Arsenal’s only big-name signing of the close-season, but the club have been linked to the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Riyad Mahrez and Alexandre Lacazette.

Wenger, however, would not be drawn on whether any new additions were imminent.

“We have not closed any deal with anybody at the moment,” he said.

“You speak about Mustafi. Is it Mustafi or anybody else – we haven’t concluded anything at the moment.

Source –

Arsene Wenger May Buy An “Experienced Striker” Soon.

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has admitted that he is trying to sign an “experienced” striker this summer.


The Gunners have already signed Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Tasumo Akano, but with only Olivier Giroud as their recognised forward, Wenger is still searching for a new player.


Speaking after his team defeated the MLS All-Stars 2-1 in San Jose, Wenger said: “At the moment I have not too many attacking options in terms of experienced players,” he said.


“But let’s not forget we still have a few players at home.


“There are also a few players who did not play [against the MLS All-Star team], like [Santi] Cazorla and of course [Mesut] Ozil and [Aaron] Ramsey are at home. [Olivier] Giroud is also not here.


“So we have options but we will still look outside to find one more.”

EPL Transfer Funds: “Rivals’ Budget Quite Scary” – Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says “it’s quite scary” to look at the money being spent to strengthen his Premier League rivals ahead of the new season.


Wenger spent £30 million on Granit Xhaka in May, but has yet to make another major signing, while the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have both brought in several expensive reinforcements.


Manchester City are also closing in on a big-money deal for John Stones that could reach as much as £50 million, while United have agreed a record-breaking fee of €120m to buy Paul Pogba from Juventus, sources have told ESPN FC.


Wenger is still searching for a striker and a forward as the Gunners try to improve on their second-place finish with a first Premier League title since 2004. But the Frenchman has acknowledged that the money being spent by other clubs will make things a lot more difficult in the upcoming campaign.


“It’s a big ask, because when you look at the Premier League, every club is hugely ambitious,” Wenger said after Arsenal beat the MLS All-Stars 2-1 in San Jose, California.


“You look at the cheques that everybody signs and it’s quite scary. That’s what the Premier League is about at the moment.”


Wenger is entering the final year of his contract and is under huge pressure to deliver a big title. When asked if another top-four finish in the league — which he has delivered in all 20 of his previous seasons — would be enough this time, the Arsenal boss said: “It’s never enough. I personally believe that no matter what you do, it’s never enough.


“You have to give absolutely everything to take the best out of the team. I believe that we know what we have to do, because we were second last year, we had 18 teams behind us.”


The Gunners will have to make do without Per Mertesacker for several months after the centre-back sustained a serious knee injury and Wenger reiterated in an interview with ESPN that he still wants an offensive and a defensive signing before the end of the summer transfer window.


“We were a bit short on goals scored [last season], so we will try certainly to strengthen a little bit in that department,” Wenger said. “Defensively we need to bring some more experience into our squad. I think in the middle of the park we have enough players.”


Meanwhile Arsenal’s rivals continue to splash the cash.

Official: Antonio Conte Confirmed As New Chelsea Manager

The Italy coach will remain in charge of the Azzurri at Euro 2016, after which he will take the reins at Stamford Bridge having beaten off plenty of competition to land the job

Antonio Conte is the new manager of Chelsea, the club have confirmed, with the Italy boss ending months of speculation by finally penning terms in London on Monday.

The 46-year-old has put pen to paper on an THREE-year contract but will not take charge of the club until after the European Championship in France this summer, where he is looking to guide the Azzurri to only their second continental win.

Chelsea have been looking for a long-term successor to Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese was sacked in December, with popular interim boss Guus Hiddink unwilling to take on the job permanently.

The Blues are still unbeaten in the Premier League since the Dutchman took over – their 15-game streak is the longest undefeated run in the division this season – and still have a slim chance of qualifying for Europe.

The lack of Champions League football has not put Conte off, however, with the Italian beating off competition from the likes of Copa America-winning coach Jorge Sampaoli to land the Stamford Bridge job.

Conte arrives in England with a hugely impressive CV, having won the Scudetto in three consecutive seasons with Juventus between 2011 and 2014 and helping lay the foundations for the Old Lady’s recent dominance of Italian football.

He fared less well in the cup competitions, however, losing the Coppa Italia final to Napoli and failing to progress further than the quarter-finals of the Champions League – even crashing out at the group stage in his final season at the club.

After replacing Cesare Prandelli as Italy manager two years ago, Conte oversaw an unbeaten qualification campaign for Euro 2016, though he will step down to take charge of Chelsea after this summer’s tournament.

“I Could Retire In The Summer” – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The 34-year-old had previously confirmed interest from the Premier League, but his next move could be one that no-one had anticipated as he considers calling it a day

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said that he could retire in the summer, when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain will expire.

The 34-year-old Swede has been subject to a great deal of transfer speculation with his time in France apparently winding down, with clubs all over the world interested in the free agent. However, the veteran attacker, who is on course of his best ever scoring season, has produced a curve ball by suggesting he could hang up his boots.

“Anything could happen next summer… maybe I’ll just retire,” he told TV4. “Nobody’s thought of that possibility. I would prefer to go out at the top.”

Ibrahimovic has previously confirmed that there has been interest from England, where West Ham have confirmed they are seeking to make an eye-catching move for the striker, and though he reiterated this, he said there is some way to go before any decision is made.

“When all the cards are on the table, I’ll see which direction I want to take,” he said.

Vardy: I Pinch Myself Every Day

The striker says he would “never in a million years” have thought he would be the Premier League’s top scorer

Jamie Vardy has admitted he “pinches himself every day” after reflecting on his remarkable journey to becoming the Premier League’s top goalscorer.

Vardy’s 18-goal haul has helped to fire Leicester City to the top of the Premier League – five points clear of second-placed Tottenham.

The Foxes defeated Manchester City 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to cap off a dream week that saw him sign a new three-and-a-half year deal.

“I do have to pinch myself every day really but it has taken a lot of hard work to be honest,” said Vardy, who was playing non-league football and working a full-time job only three years ago.

“It wasn’t nice playing and having to work full-time all day, so I had to put the work in at first just to get a half-decent club.

“It’s a rise that I wouldn’t have predicted to happen but it’s credit to me for the work I’ve put in as well.

“I literally wish I could play football every day and can carry on playing.”

The 29-year-old said his apprenticeship in the game made him appreciate his job more than most professional footballers.

“You hear some players say that it’s just a job for them but for me it is nothing like that,” he said.

“I’ve worked so hard to get here and I want to keep being here as long as I can. I enjoy every minute of it.

“When I was at Halifax I never thought I would earn a move to the Conference but I got that, then kicked on and from there you would never have thought there would be a move to Leicester, then playing for England.

“You would never have thought it in a million years. But it has happened. It has all worked out well but there has been so much hard work put in it’s untrue.”

Arsenal Paid Price For Stadium – Toure

The former Gunners defender believes the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006 cost them several Premier League titles

Former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure says the club’s Emirates stadium is the reason behind their 10-year wait for a Premier League title.

The Gunners played at Highbury before electing to build a new 60,000-capacity ground, which they moved into in 2006.

Arsenal’s last league title came in 2003-04, when the club went unbeaten for the whole season – and they have only won four trophies since.

But Toure has heaped praise on manager Arsene Wenger for his efforts since then, after the club forced to drastically reduce costs for several years to help balance the books.

“I am not inside any more but there has been a lot of change. A lot of players left the club, guys like Patrick Vieira, leaders left the club and it was quite difficult, but this policy started when they started the new stadium,” the Liverpool defender

“Everything changed. They needed to sell some players, cut the wage bill and that is all about it.

“I think they lost so many experienced players. Patrick Vieira was a leader, Robert Pires was a top player, Thierry Henry left and sometimes you need experience at the club and then a young player can learn, that is one of the things.”

He added: “Wenger is a top manager, he has shown that unbelievably. The thing I like is this manager can make an average player one of the best players in the world.

“He did that with so many players – [George] Weah… Vieira was in Milan not playing a lot… Thierry Henry was at Juventus and he made him one of the best ever.

“He did that with me because I started from nowhere. He took me to the next level and I always respect him for that.”

Arsenal are top of the Premier League ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Liverpool at Anfield.

Rooney Slams Man Utd Defence After Conceding ‘Silly’ Goals Against Newcastle

The Red Devils captain was in fine form at St James’s Park, scoring two goals and setting up another, but was disappointed to see his side twice throw away a lead in the 3-3 draw

Wayne Rooney expressed his frustration with the “silly” and “avoidable” goals Manchester United conceded in their 3-3 draw against Newcastle United.

Rooney turned in arguably his best performance of the season at St James’s Park, scoring two goals and creating another to twice put Louis van Gaal’s side ahead.

But Newcastle battled back from two goals down to level the score at 2-2 and then responded again when the England captain seemed to have won the game late on.

And Rooney feels his side made it easy for their hosts, insisting they should have held out for the three points.

“I think after going 2-0 up we were in control of the game, and then we’ve let them back into it,” Rooney told MUTV. “To then get our third goal and concede again was disappointing from us.

“I think they were silly goals to concede on our behalf and they were avoidable. They have cost us two points so we’re disappointed.

“We can’t keep going on conceding three goals every game so we have to work on that and create the chances without giving goals away.

‘De Bruyne Agreed Bayern Munich Move Before Manchester City Transfer’- Agent

The Belgian’s agent admits only the German champions’ refusal to meet Wolfsburg’s asking price stopped the midfielder from remaining in the Bundesliga

Kevin De Bruyne had agreed a deal to join Bayern Munich before ending up a Manchester City, according to the midfielder’s agent.

The Belgium international joined City at the end of August in a club-record move that cost upwards of £55 million, including add-ons.

But now De Bruyne’s representative, Patrick De Koster, reveals that the 24-year-old would have ended up at Pep Guardiola’s side if the German champions had paid the asking price.

“Kevin’s heart was beating for the Bundesliga, where he broke through at Bremen and became a star at Wolfsburg,” De Koster told Sport / Foot Magazine.

“I’m convinced he would have played for Bayern if they had been able to pay the asking price.

“We reached a personal agreement with Bayern after two meetings. The deal has collapsed on the asking price.

“I think that Bayern wanted to pay €50 million, but no more. In the end City won the race and Kevin is super happy with his move. He adapted fast on and off the pitch.”

Guardiola: I Want To Manage In The Premier League

The 44-year-old insists he has not yet decided on his next destination but claims he needs a new challenge after Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola admits that the reason why he has chosen not to extend his contract with Bayern Munich is because he wants to manage in the Premier League.

Goal understands Manchester City are confident that Guardiola will opt to join them next summer, with the Spaniard key to their transfer plans next summer.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have also been linked with a move for Guardiola, whose deal with Bayern expires at the end of the season, but the 44-year-old insists he has not decided his next move.

“The reason I have not extended my contract is simple. I want to manage in the Premier League,” said Guardiola.

“I haven’t decided on a new club yet.

“I’m very happy and grateful to Bayern for the trust they’ve shown in me but I need a new challenge.

“I have an opportunity to work in England. I think I’m at the right age and I feel it is the right move for me.”

Carlo Ancelotti has already been appointed as Guardiola’s successor and the Spaniard insists his side will remain a success under the Italian.

“Coaches come and go but I think Carlo Ancelotti is a perfect choice to take over and I wish him the very best,” said Guardiola.

“The squad won trophies under Heyckes and for me too. They’ll be successful with Ancelotti in charge as well.”

More to follow…

Source –

Van Gaal: Man Utd Need Signings – But It won’t Be Easy!

The Red Devils have been widely criticised for their style of play this season, and the Dutchman says that they will look to strengthen their squad in the “difficult” window

Louis van Gaal wants to add to his Manchester United squad in the upcoming transfer window but says January is a “more difficult” market than the summer.

United sit third in the Premier League table ahead of Saturday’s home game against West Ham but, despite being just one point adrift of leaders Manchester City, Van Gaal has faced criticism for his side’s functional and often underwhelming recent performances.

The club have scored just seven goals in their last nine matches in all competitions and are suffering with a raft of injury problems, leading to speculation that Van Gaal may attempt to bring in more firepower when the transfer window reopens next month.

However, speaking at his pre-West Ham media conference on Friday, Van Gaal sounded a warning about his chances of strengthening the squad before the end of the season.

“They are always contact injuries and you cannot afford that. We have a lot of contact injuries and also long-lasting injuries so that’s our problem,” the Dutchman explained.

“So we are looking [at players for January] but as you know it is not so easy to buy players and in January it is more difficult. We are looking but it is not for sure.”

Van Gaal also revealed that captain Wayne Rooney is out of Saturday’s match and may miss next week’s crucial Champions League trip to Wolfsburg due to a “nasty” ankle injury, while defender Marcos Rojo is facing a spell on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder in training.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “It Is Too Late For Premier League Move”

The striker has been linked with a move to England but says it’s unlikely he will play there at this stage of his career

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has all but ruled out a move to the Premier League at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old’s contract with PSG expires at the end of the season and he has yet to make a decision about his long-term future.

Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to Manchester United, but a transfer to England now appears unlikely.

“I think it is too late to come to England,” the striker told Sportsmail. “I am very happy at PSG. I have six months to go on my contract and we will see what happens afterwards.

“I am enjoying it, I enjoy every day on the field. While I am playing at the top level I just want to enjoy it and do my thing. I do not know where I will finish my career, let’s wait and see.”

Ibrahimovic netted twice in Sweden’s 2-2 draw with Denmark on Tuesday to send his county through to Euro 2016 and he has admitted he will probably retire from international duty after the tournament in France.

“I am looking forward to the Euros,” he added. “It is probably going to be my last tournament with the national team and I am very excited because before these two play-off games there was all this kind of talk that we were not able to beat Denmark.

“Now we are very happy and I am satisfied. It will be magic for everyone.”

Barcelona Or Real Madrid Wouldn’t Win The Premier League – Pique

The Catalan defender, who has played for Manchester United, believes it would be too tough for Spain’s biggest clubs to win the title in England

Barcelona would not win the Premier League if they were given the chance to compete in England’s top flight, according to the Catalan side’s defender Gerard Pique.

The 28-year-old, who played for Manchester United between 2004 and 2008, says that neither Barca nor Real Madrid would stand a chance in their first season because going to places like Stoke City is “really tough”.

Manchester City have been knocked out of the Champions League to Luis Enrique’s side for the last two seasons, while Madrid and Atletico have both accounted for Manchester United and Chelsea recently.

Pique, however, doesn’t believe dominance in Europe would be reflected if Spain’s biggest clubs tried their luck in the English league.

“I think that if Barcelona or Real Madrid goes to the Premier League then the first year of playing there, there is no chance of winning it,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“I think [this] because if you go to Stoke, or other types of teams, then it will be really tough.”

The Spain international, who recaptured his best form last season as Barca won the treble, also feels that English teams would struggle if they had to make the move to the Mediterranean.

“It’s a debate – we could spend hours on it,” he continued.

“If Manchester United or Chelsea go to Spain then the same. No chance to win the league.”

Vardy Named Premier League Player Of The Month

The England international has been in brilliant form, helping Claudio Ranieri’s side climb to third in the league, just a point behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has been named the Premier League Player of the Month for October, continuing a remarkable season for the Foxes. 

Vardy has been in blistering form so far this season, netting five goals in four games in the month of October, helping Claudio Ranieri’s side on the way to three victories.

Leicester currently sit third in the Premier League table, one point behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, having defied all expectations ahead of the start of the season. 

The 28-year-old has been at the heart of the Foxes good form, rising to the top of the league scoring charts with 12 goals already this season and can match Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in ten consecutive Premier League matches when Leicester take on Newcastle on November 21.

Vardy’s latest, becoming his ninth goal in successive games, came with a penalty in the 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday, taking his form into November.

“Manchester United Must Start Making Life Easier For Themselves”- Bastian Schweinsteiger

The German says he experienced 10-man defences in the Bundesliga

Manchester United are making strides towards breaking down defensive opponents says Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The Reds finally shattered West Brom’s 10-man blockade at Old Trafford on Saturday with second half goals from Jesse Lingard and a late Juan Mata penalty.

But the German midfielder concedes the Reds still have to get better and understands the fans frustration with United’s possession style and lack of excitement.

“You recognise what the supporters are saying but football is not only attack,” says the 31-year-old.

“There are teams with different game styles and they also win titles. But especially in home matches we have to press and go forward.

“We did well offensively against West Brom. When you are playing a team who defend with ten men it is not easy to find the gaps. There is still room for improvement but we did improve on breaking a team down.

Schweinsteiger speaks excellent English
Schweinsteiger speaks excellent English

“Teams defending is not exclusive to England. In Munich it was exactly the same. It was difficult then with opponents defending heavily. I saw recently Bayern drew 0-0 at Frankfurt because Frankfurt were defending.

“It happens but you have to find solutions and this is where we can still improve to make it easier for ourselves.”

Wenger Reveals The Quality He Admires Most In Sir Alex Ferguson

The pair were rivals during Arsenal’s title battles with Manchester United but the Frenchman has revealed that he keeps in touch with his former adversary

Arsene Wenger admits the quality he admires in Sir Alex Ferguson is the former Manchester Unitedmanager’s ability to “reinvent himself”.

The duo were long-time rivals during United’s title battles with Arsenal but the Frenchman has revealed that he remains in contact with Ferguson, who won 38 trophies in his time at Old Trafford.

“For me, at this level, Ferguson is an example,” the Arsenal manager said in an interview with L’Equipe’s Sport & Style Magazine.

“For starters, he always knew how to reinvent himself, how to evolve. He did not stand still in success. It is a quality of his that I appreciate. He always knew how to challenge himself. Even if he did it instinctively.

“But he had other passions. He liked horses. Wine. He knew red wine better than I did. Recently, I met with him and I said to him: “Alex, do you not miss it?”. He responded to me “not at all”. I was at that moment disappointed and comforted. It gives me a reason to hope for myself.”

When asked about the prospect of retirement and whether he had a passion outside of football, Wenger replied: “No. That is where my natural anxiety comes from.

“I am not Ferguson. I do not have a substitute and I am not interested in looking back either. Like writing a book about what on my experiences. I suffer when I see former players who come back to see me and who are no longer fully happy.

“To be presented as Mr X, the former Arsenal player, and not for what he is today is painful. Having to be what you once were is a form of suffering. I hope, in my after-life [life after football], that I can be something other than the former manager of Arsenal. Coach kids. Be useful.”

Mourinho: I Might Not Watch Chelsea’s Clash With Stoke

The former Real Madrid manager is banned from the Britannia Stadium due to an FA disciplinary charge, but says his assistants are prepared for all circumstances

Jose Mourinho admits he does not know if he will watch Chelsea‘s clash with Stoke City after rejecting the chance to appeal his stadium ban.

Mourinho saw his appeal against a suspended stadium suspension relating to comments made to the media rejected on Thursday, and he insists he “already knows the result” of a potential second appeal after being punished for his behaviour during the club’s 2-1 loss to West Ham.

The Blues boss will travel with the side to the Britannia Stadium before leaving the team in the hands of his assistants, and claims he has made no plans as to where he will watch the match.

“I have no plans, maybe I sit in street corner with my iPad, I don’t know,” he told reporters.

“If I cannot contact with the game maybe I don’t even watch the game. I can’t contact with the game so what’s the point? Live score, results, maybe.”

Mourinho, though, says the Blues are well-prepared for every eventuality, with the Portuguese having thoroughly briefed his backroom team.

“If the first 10 minutes we are playing with seven men they are not prepared for that, they have to decide themselves. The game isn’t predictable, you don’t know the direction but we can try to reduce that and that we did,” he added.

“The most incredible scenarios that you can imagine, let’s go to extreme scenarios. At half-time winning 4-0, at half-time losing 4-0 and in between those you have 1000 options. Be dominating and controlling the game, being dominated and not having control, having problems in this area, in that area, injuries, four red cards, we went through all these different scenarios and they are prepared.

“What I think is important is for them to feel protected by the fact that it is my responsibility and it is just for the players to play and for the assistants to be with them and be supportive.”

Chelsea were knocked out of the League Cup by Stoke on penalties, but rubbished the suggestion that his side would go in search of revenge, insisting they have nothing to avenge.

“Revenge for what? What’s the problem? Why? We played a good game, people were nice to us, our supporters were fantastic, no problems between supporters, a great football match, a good referee, a good show for everyone,” he added.

“One team scores one more penalty, one team left happy, one team left unhappy, everything was normal, revenge for what?”

Gareth Bale Set To Be Fit For El-Clasico

Despite missing Wales’ friendly with Netherlands, Chris Coleman says the Real Madrid star is expected to be fit for El Clasico later this month

Wales boss Chris Coleman has suggested Gareth Bale will be fit in time for El Clasico on November 21 despite not being selected for the friendly with Netherlands in Cardiff.

Bale is not in the squad for the friendly at Cardiff City Stadium on November 13, with Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey also not selected, as the pair recover from calf and hamstring problems respectively.

Madrid forward Bale limped out of his side’s 3-0 win over Levante in the first game back following the international break, in which he helped Wales qualify for Euro 2016.

And Coleman explained it was a case of not wishing to gamble on Bale’s fitness rather than anything more concerning.

“I think, having [had] the correspondence with Madrid, he’ll probably figure in the next game for them [after the international break] I would imagine,” he explained.

“But they want to use this time wisely and carefully and get him up to speed. We respect that.

“Gareth also wants to do what’s right. It’s not in our nature to take risks with players.”

Bale is likely to be involved against Barca in the first Clasico of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu – the rivals currently level on points at the top of La Liga.

On Sunday, Bale posted a picture of his return to training on Twitter with the message: “Back on the pitch stepping up my rehab!”

“Kelechi Iheanacho Is More Than A Finisher” – Manchester City Coach Pellegrini

Manchester City and Nigerian youth prodigy,Kelechi Iheanacho scored one and gave two classic assist as city beat Crystal Palace 5-1.
The Nigerian youth prodigy has been receiving rave reviews from coach Pellegrini and city fans.

Manuel Pellegrini hailed new Blue hero Kelechi Iheanacho for his goalscoring full debut … but it was the two assists that really made the boss smile.

And the Engineer, usually reticent to lavish praise on individuals, especially young ones, said he had “no doubts” the Nigerian has a big future.

His performance evoked memories of Daniel Sturridge – and he has the same self-confident swagger,
on and off the field.

The 19-year-old grabbed the attention as the Blues cruised into the League Cup quarter-finals with a 5-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace to set up a home tie with Championship side Hull.

But for Pellegrini, the way he squared the ball for Kevin de Bruyne to score the second, and then expertly teed up Manu Garcia for his first City goal, meant much more.

“Kelechi for me is not just a finisher,” said Pellegrini. “He played very well. He must improve his control.

“But he always played with his head up so he made two important assists. He set up Kevin de Bruyne and after that, with more space, made a goal for Manu Garcia.
He can play behind the striker and arrive in the box to finish, as he did for his goal.

“It was very important for him to make a very good performance – he is a very good player.

Van Gaal Blasts Critics: I’m Sick Of Rooney Questions!

The Dutch coach is refusing to entertain any more questions about the Manchester United captain after his side fired blanks once again, this time in the Manchester derby

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal lashed out at critics for constantly discussing Wayne Rooney, saying he would not answer more questions about the striker because he is “sick of it”.

The Old Trafford side missed the opportunity to go top of the Premier League with a dull 0-0 draw against neighbours Manchester City, with an attack led by captain Rooney guilty of firing blanks.

However, his boss Van Gaal has had enough of the scrutiny being placed on the 30-year-old, and struck out at the England forward’s critics following the result.

“I have to talk every week about Rooney, why?” the Dutchman said to reporters.
“Write it down, it’s your opinion. I don’t give any more answers about Rooney because I’m sick of it.”

The striker has endured a underwhelming start to the season in front of goal, netting only twice in nine Premier League outings so far.

I’ve Taken Over From Suarez As Premier League Villain – Costa

The Spain international feels he has assumed the mantle of the league’s bad guy from the now Barcelona star, voicing concerns over his treatment

Chelsea striker Diego Costa believes he is unfairly treated by some in England and has now taken over the role of Premier League villain from Luis Suarez.

Costa has been the centre of controversy on a number of occasions during his time in London – most recently earning a three-match ban for his clash with Laurent Koscielny in last month’s derby with Arsenal.

The 27-year-old also tangled with Gabriel, attracting criticism from Arsene Wenger and sections of the media, and Costa has now echoed complaints made by ex-Liverpool man Suarez before his move to Spain.

“I think Luis Suarez left this country because of how he was treated and made out to be the bad guy,” he told the London Evening Standard.

“Do I feel like I have taken his place? That is crystal clear. It is obvious that there are people after me. If you do something wrong and it makes the papers, then okay, that’s fair.

“But when people are after you all of the time, when you’re always the headline that’s not fair. I hope they’re not after me. I hope it’s not the case. I hope it’s something that’s just in my head.”

Costa’s behaviour against Arsenal was branded “unacceptable” by Wenger prior to his ban, with the Brazil-born frontman always ready to make his presence felt among opposition defenders.

“The critics have to carry on what they do but they should always be truthful,” he continued.

“If I do something wrong, I am the first one to accept the criticism, I have no problem with that.

“For example, my behaviour in the game against Arsenal [where he earned his ban for raising his hands towards Koscielny] was not the best. I know that, but it was not just me. There was someone else involved.

“Many, many times I get kicked, I get elbowed – that’s part of football. It happens on the pitch but I never complain. Football is a contact sport and people have to understand they can’t change it into theatre.

“Football has always been a contact sport, these things have always happened. But we are professionals and what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch. So after the game it’s all good.

“But if I keep getting banned for three games, it’s going to be hard to maintain my level.”

“Arsenal Are Better Off Without Champions League Football” – Ian Wright

Ahead of the clash with Bayern Munich, the Gunners legend claims an early European exit would allow Arsenal to concentrate on the Premier League title race

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes an early elimination from the Champions League would give the Gunners the edge in the Premier League title race.

Arsene Wenger’s side find themselves in a difficult position in Group F with no points from two games after defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos, and a double header against leaders Bayern Munich looming.

Domestically, however, Arsenal are on sizzling form and currently sit in second place, two points behind early Premier League pace-setters Manchester City, following Sunday’s 3-0 win at Watford.

Wright claims it would not necessarily be a disaster if his former club don’t make it out of their Champions League group, as it would give them an advantage of their domestic title rivals.

“We all saw with Liverpool a couple of seasons ago how not being in Europe at all can really boost your chances,” Wright wrote in his column for The Sun.

Ifreke Inyang: 5 Things To Look Out For As The EPL Returns This Weekend

1. Flying without Ings

What a welcome Jurgen Klopp has received. But that will count for nothing, if he does not get a positive result at Tottenham in the early kick-off on Saturday. Already, the former Dortmund boss has to deal with a double injury blow, as Danny Ings and Joe Gomez are both out for the season. Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke and Jordan Henderson are all unavailable this weekend. But the media will be unforgiving if it goes wrong. He needs to hit the ground running.

2. Are they Gunner beat Watford?

It is almost a surprise that Arsenal are second in the league, after such an uncertain start to the campaign. But this is the Premier League and anything can happen. Before the international break, the Gunners were at their mesmeric best, tearing Manchester United apart at the Emirates. Up next is a trip to Watford, with an in-form Odion Ighalo. Let’s see how they square up to a different challenge.

3. Martial arts

Anthony Martial has been rewarded for his excellent start to his United career, with the September Player of the Month. The 19-year-old has brought pace and directness to Louis van Gaal’s side, although he could not save his team, as Arsenal ran riot the last time. It is time to fight back though. They are away at Everton. And Roberto Martinez’s men enjoying playing against the big boys.

4. Mou misery for Chelsea?

Jose Mourinho looks like a man possessed these days. The Portuguese is renowned for his caustic soundbites and mind games, but nothing seems to be working. Chelsea has come out to back their manager, but you do feel that anything other than a win against Aston Villa on Saturday might spell the end for the Special One.

5. Salt to injuries?

It has been a bad international break for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini. Sergio Aguero – who scored five times against Newcastle – and David Silva will miss the next month through injuries. Vincent Kompany does not appear fully fit either. The table toppers welcome Bournemouth to the Etihad this week and will be eager to put their injury woes behind them.


‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor is associates

Martial Named Premier League Player Of The Month For September

The 19-year-old scored three goals in four league games for Manchester United, while Tottenham boss Pochettino has been named Manager of the Month

Anthony Martial has been rewarded for his sensational start to his Manchester United career by being named the Barclays Player of the Month for September.

The France international’s arrival shortly before deadline day was met with much scepticism, largely due to United’a decision to shell out an initial £36 million on an unproven talent.

But the 19-year-old has responded with three Premier League goals in his opening four games for his new club including one 21 minutes into his debut in the 3-0 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Tottenham boss Pochettino, meanwhile, lands the Manager of the Month award after guiding Spurs to three wins in September, including a 4-1 victory at home to Manchester City.

“It’s a collective honour because we must recognise first our players, all coaching staff and the fans,” said the Tottenham manager.

“It’s good not just for me but for the whole club. It’s very important. Okay it’s ‘manager of the month’ but we need to recognise all people involved in the team. The whole club deserve this award.

“It was a fantastic month for us that started at Sunderland, which was a big win, and afterwards Palace and Manchester City. The Sunderland win very important because, after many draws, the team played well but we needed to win, and it confirmed our way.

“Also, Palace were a team who played very well since the start of the season. It’s true that the headlines will be the win against Manchester City. After you beat them, it was exciting for all, but every victory was very important.”

Spain To Play Belgium In November Friendly

The Euro 2012 champions will prepare for the tournament in France with an added match against Marc Wilmots’ side

European champions Spain will step up their preparations for Euro 2016 with an international friendly againstBelgium in November.

Spain will travel to Belgium on November 17, four days after hosting England in Alicante.

Spain and Belgium have qualified for next year’s European Championships in France after topping their respective groups.

Next month’s fixture will be the first meeting between Spain and Belgium since 2009.

David Silva and David Villa scored braces as Spain routed Belgium 5-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Belgium have not beaten Spain since their quarter-final penalty shoot-out win at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Manchester United Move Appealed To Me – Xavi

The Spanish legend joined Al Sadd from Barcelona in the summer but he has now revealed that he would have been open to a move to Old Trafford or Liverpool earlier in his career

Xavi admits he would have been open to a move to Manchester United or Liverpool during his time atBarcelona.

The veteran midfielder joined Al Sadd in the summer, calling time on a glittering 24-year spell at the club he joined as a child.

However, he has now revealed that he would have liked to have experienced the Premier League, and says a move to United would have had particular appeal.

 “To be honest, the Premier League is a big attraction for any player. It’s brilliant – the stadiums, the pitches, the fans and how they live football over there – it’s all incredible over there”, he told Eurosport.

“There are many great sides like Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool. If I had to select one, it would have to be a club with a great history; maybe Manchester United or Liverpool.

“I know that there are clubs who have emerged quite recently, like Manchester City for example, but United is my favourite historically-speaking.”

Xavi made over 700 appearances for Barca, winning La Liga eight times and the Champions League four times.

Arsenal Goal Keeper Petr Cech Offers Thoughts On The Mourinho Vs Arsene Wenger Rivalry

The former Blues goalkeeper, who moved to the Emirates, in the transfer window has offered his thoughts on the two club’s managers

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has suggested manager Arsene Wenger and his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho are regularly at odds because of similar personalities.

Wenger and Mourinho have experienced a fractious relationship on the touchline in their 15 head-to-head meetings – the Frenchman coming out on top just once at the Community Shield in August.

Mourinho has previously labelled his opposite number a “specialist in failure” and the pair also clashed on the touchline at Stamford Bridge last season.

Cech – who swapped the Premier League champions for Arsenal in June – suggested the pair’s winning mentalities could be a factor behind their feisty relationship.

“It’s more a question for them. But, yes, sometimes two pluses doesn’t make a plus,” he told Sportmagazine.

“The similarity is that everybody wants to win. If you ask Jose Mourinho or Arsene Wenger if they want to win everything: yes they do.

“You can see they don’t like losing games and I think this is something you need to have in you if you want to be successful.”

Cech was the only close-season arrival at the Emirates Stadium, with many suggesting Wenger’s lack of recruitment could hinder Arsenal’s title ambitions.

However, the 33-year-old claimed Wenger – and the Frenchman’s plans for the coming seasons -were key factors in his decision to leave Chelsea after 11 trophy-laden years.

“[Wenger] introduced me to the vision the club has for the coming years, to the reason why certain things are the way they are now and how they will be next year and the year after,” he added.

“I really liked the project in the way it matches my ambition and motivations. It’s a difficult decision to go from Chelsea to Arsenal, but I believed it was the right decision because I wanted to be part of the Premier League at a club that matches my ambitions. 

“With Arsenal, that all came together. In football everything changes fast, so you need to have a clear vision and support from people at the club. Obviously the board and everyone at Arsenal believe in the manager – that’s why he’s still here.

“It’s not just for the way you are – it must be for the way you work, too. The public only see the game, they don’t see all the things that are happening behind the scenes. 

“So, sometimes, judging people only on the fraction of the time you see them working can lead to different opinions.”

I Am ‘The Normal One’ – Jurgen Klopp

The former Borussia Dortmund manager was asked about Jose Mourinho’s infamous ‘Special One’ comment when he arrived at Chelsea, but he played down his own abilities

New Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed he is ‘The Normal One’ after taking over the reins at Anfield.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager was asked how he would describe himself after Jose Mourinho’s infamous ‘Special One’ comment on his arrival at Chelsea, but he was not willing to talk up his own abilities.

More to follow…

Chelsea Can Still Win The Premier League – Mata

The ex-Blues midfielder is refusing to rule out his former club challenging for the league this season, even with the defending champions trailing the leaders by 10 points

Manchester United star Juan Mata feels his former club Chelsea should still be considered contenders for the Premier League title.

Jose Mourinho has admitted the champions will struggle to retain their title after a start to the season that has seen them pick up just eight points from as many games, the Chelsea boss insisting a top-four finish has become their priority.

Mata, though, does not think the west Londoners should be discounted from the race to win the trophy when they still have so much time to recover their form. 

“Chelsea are in an unusual situation,” the 27-year-old, who swapped Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford in January 2014, told Onda Cero.

“It is somewhat circumstantial and I do not think it will go on for an extended period of time. They do not have a squad that should have them in that position in the Premier League.

“We have seen the gap of 10 points arrive in two months and I think Chelsea will come out of that situation quickly. In fact, I do not rule them out of the title fight.”

Mata spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Blues prior to joining United and said Mourinho, who was in charge for his final season at the club, is just one of many big characters in the game today.

The Spain international continued: “He is not the most incredible character I have ever encountered in football. There are many characters in football, though perhaps they are not all as well known.

“Journalists always say in England that he gives them a lot of work and play, so I guess he is good for journalists.”

Cazorla: Arsenal’s Changed Mentality Made The Difference

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla was delighted with the win over Manchester United and feels their changed mentality made the difference.

Santi Cazorla has voiced his delight with Arsenal‘s 3-0 Premier League win over Manchester United and feels it was crucial they changed their mentality and believed in themselves again after the surprise loss in the Champions League versus Olympiacos last week.

A brace from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil’s goal saw Arsene Wenger’s men grab a three-goal lead within the opening 20 minutes and they were never really troubled in the remainder of the game.

Sunday’s victory at the Emirates saw Arsenal climb to second spot in the table, leapfrogging United in the process and moving to within two points of leaders Manchester City

“We needed to believe after the loss against Olympiacos. We needed to change the mentality and the team was very compact and focused for the game against a big team,” Cazorla told the official Arsenal website.

“This is the most important thing for the team. It was very important for us. Together we played very well. Three points is very important for us and we need to keep at the same level in the next game.

“We need to play together and in the first half we did very well and this is vital for us. United have very good players with [Michael] Carrick, [Juan] Mata and [Wayne] Rooney.”

After the international break, Arsenal resume their league campaign with an away game against Watford. 

‘Mourinho Is Obsessed With Wenger’ – Ian Wright

The two managers have clashed repeatedly in recent seasons and their war of words has continued following Chelsea’s recent 2-0 win over Arsenal

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright says Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is “obsessed” with Arsenal bossArsene Wenger.

The two managers have clashed repeatedly in recent seasons, with the latest spat between the pair coming on the back of Chelsea’s 2-0 win over the Gunners two weeks ago.

Mourinho was incensed that Diego Costa received a retrospective three-match ban after Wenger had urged officials to punish the striker in the aftermath of the game following an incident involving Laurent Koscielny.

The Portuguese then claimed his rival boss receives preferential treatment from officials before again criticising his failure to win the Premier League in the last 10 years.

“His obsession with Wenger is mystifying. I just can’t understand it,” Wright told The Sun.

“There’s something that happens with him whenever he talks or thinks about Arsene. He gets antagonised all the time.

“I think the big problem is that Jose looks at Arsene and his treatment from the media.

“Jose rightly feels Arsene hasn’t achieved as much as he has. I think his issue is that Arsene has not won as much or achieved as much as he has – yet still gets as many plaudits. It just irks him that Arsene doesn’t get more criticism.

“What I can’t understand is why it irks him so much when he’s got the medals to show everybody what he’s about. He just can’t be happy with himself, for some reason, even though what he does is brilliant.”

Zouma Sorry For Costa ‘Cheat’ Remark

The defender says he didn’t mean to label his team-mate a “cheat” after attempting to defend him over his role in Gabriel’s red card in Chelsea’s victory over Arsenal on Saturday

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has apologised for calling Diego Costa a “cheat” while trying to defend him in an interview on Monday.

Costa was roundly criticised for his part in Gabriel’s red card as the Blues beat Arsenal 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and has repeatedly been singled out for his aggressive behaviour during his time in both La Liga and the Premier League.

But Zouma, who scored the opening goal against the Gunners, insisted he and the rest of his team-mates were happy with the striker’s confrontational style.

Asked whether he was shocked by Costa’s actions by beIN Sport, he replied: “No, we’re not surprised because we know Diego.

“Everyone knows Diego and this guy likes to cheat a lot and put the opponent out of his game.

“That happened in the game but he’s a really nice guy. We’re proud to have him, like the other players, and we’re happy to win this game.”

However, in a message later posted on Twitter, Zouman apologised for his use of the word “cheat” but reiterated his support for Costa.

Manchester United Announce Record Sponsor Revenues

The Red Devils missed out on broadcast money and matchday income having failed to qualify for the Champions League, but could break records in 2016


Manchester United have announced record income from sponsorship deals but a decrease in matchday and broadcast revenues for the 2015 fiscal year.

United were expected to reveal a sharp decrease in money earned from TV revenue as a result of missing out on Champions League football last season following David Moyes’ disastrous spell in charge of the club.

However, while the club have confirmed a drop of more than 20 per cent in broadcast money to £107.7 million and a 16.2% decrease in matchday income to £90.6m, they remain in a healthy financial position thanks largely to new sponsorship deals.

The club have enjoyed a record £154.9m sponsorship revenue – an increase of 14.1% – due in the main to a total of 11 new lucrative partnerships, while a decrease of 5.5%  in the total wage bill has softened the blow of a lack of European football.

A mammoth 10-year contract with kit sponsor Adidas, worth £75m per year, has also contributed to a commercial revenue of £196.6m – a 4% increase on 2014.

Though United’s total revenue for 2015 has dropped from £432m to £395m, a growth of 10%in the most recent quarter underlines that income is on the up, while net debt has now dropped to £255m despite a 20% rise in gross debt to £411m as a result of the strengthening of the US dollar.

Crucially, the 20-time Premier League champions have also confirmed they expect total revenue of between £500m and £510m for the 2016 fiscal year, which would be a club record.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “As we look to the new season, we are enthusiastic about our strong position, both on and off the pitch.

“In recent weeks we have further strengthened our squad with an exciting mix of experience and youth, qualified for the group stage of the Champions League, and seen an impressive launch of our partnership with Adidas.

“Our record revenue and EBITDA guidance for 2016 reflects the underlying strength of our business and our confidence in its continued growth.”

Joshua Jesse Kelvin: The NFF Meeting With The NSE- Beyond The Horizon.

It is no longer news that sports and sporting activities have left the realm of merely creating entertainment alone as it used to be in the past it has now become a major player in the economy.Moreso analysis and researches by most sports experts have come to a conclusion that there is a need for sports particularly football to combine sporting performance with financial performance.

Nigerian football has been overshadowed by a number of challenges ranging from government intervention in running of football (which is contrary to Article 17 of the FIFA regulation) to administrative and funding problems. Whatever prompted the visit of Amaju Pinnick led NFF to No. 2-4 Customs streets Lagos the Headquarters of the Nigerian stock exchange (NSE) one can’t tell. Whether it was to perform the increasing popular of function of ringing the closing bell at the floor of the NSE which is more like a tradition these days or actually to cement a relationship between the two institutions as they claimed only God can tell.

However the visit and the purported aspirations of pinnick  in which he expressed his hope that one day a clubs of the  NPFL would be quoted on the stock exchange was the pedestal of this piece.
We take a look of how investment in sports(football) could impacts on country’s economy.

  * Source of Revenue

The Barclay’s football as it is now called has the highest revenue of any football league in the world, with a total club revenue of 2.479billion in 2009/2010. It has also amassed a lot income from sell of television rights. For instance it was reported that television rights alone for 2010 – 2013 was purchased for 1.782 billion. In 2002 the premier league was awarded the Queens award for Enterprise in international trade category by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll. Where it was recognized for its astounding contribution to international trade.

* Creates Value for the Media and Broadcasting industry

Aside from the benefits of revenue generation, it also creates value for broadcasting and media outfits. Perhaps  we’ve had of heard of Sky sports, ESPN , BBC etc. This media outfits have achieved tremendous success and international reputation from their collaboration with the BPL.

*Serves as a source of income and job creation

The Bpl  has continue to serve as a means of livelyhood to many both British and non British. It has also jobs to many as well.

  *Infrastructural development
Their has  been a lot of infrastructural developments witnessed in Britain as a result of the Bpl. It ranges from Erecting of stadiums to building good roads , hospitals, hotels and whaterview.

*Destination for Sports tourist
Many soccer fans are in the habit of travelling to watch their club play live and this will boost the tourism sector.

*Development of the Capital Market
Bpl clubs like Manchester and Arsenal are quoted on the stock exchange. What this implies is that they could decide to raise capital freely through the buying and selling of shares.

  *Source of Revenue to the Government
The Bpl also serves as a room for generation of revenue to the government through tax.

*Boost for the transport industry
We all know Heathrow and Gatwick Airports as one of the biggest in the world. Perhaps this wouldn’t have been possible without the Bpl.
By Joshua Jesse Kelvin a graduate of University of Maiduguri and a free lance writer.

Twitter handle @RealDrjj

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Van Gaal Targets Revenge Against Swansea

The Swans recorded a historic double over Manchester United last season, including victory in the manager’s opening game, but the Dutchman says his squad is now more prepared

Louis van Gaal is targeting revenge as he prepares his Manchester United squad to face Swansea City.

Goals from Ki Sung-yueng and Gylfi Sigurdsson saw Van Gaal lose his first game in charge of United 12 months ago, before Garry Monk masterminded a second victory at the Liberty Stadium in March.

Van Gaal, who is now approaching his 50th game in charge, insists his squad are in better shape ahead of Sunday’s clash but feels a victory is still a tall order.

“I don’t want to lose again,” he told reporters. “It’s the only club we could not beat or gain one point against [last season]. I hope we can improve and that we can show that we are better than last year.

“My first match was against Swansea and we lost – now I have my 50th and I hope we can show we have improved. It will be difficult to beat them but we are better prepared than this time last year.

“Adnan Januzaj was injured and because of that he was out of the team. He shall not play against Swansea.”

United were placed against PSV, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg on Thursday’s Champions League group stage draw and Van Gaal says preparation is already underway ahead of the September 15 kick-off

“It could be worse but it could be better also,” he said. “I am not so interested, we have to look now to the clubs because these days shape is more important than it was in the past.

“Marcel [Bout, United’s chief scout] is already going to the matches of Wolfsburg and also PSV. PSV have to play Feyenoord so that’s a big match in Holland – we have to analyse now.”

Chelsea Target Stones, Hands In Transfer Request At Everton

Having become frustrated by the Merseysiders’ determination to block his move to Stamford Bridge, the 21-year-old has now made his desire to leave official

John Stones has handed in a formal transfer request to Everton as he bids to force through a summer move to Chelsea, Goal understands.

Chelsea have already seen offers of £20 million and £26m rejected for the 21-year-old defender this summer but earlier this month Goal reported that the Premier League champions were confident an improved bid of £30m would be enough to persuade Everton to sell their prized asset.

Stones informed boss Roberto Martinez earlier in the summer that he would like to move to Stamford Bridge and has now made his desire to leave Goodison Park official.

The 21-year-old’s decision comes only a day after West Brom confirmed that they had rejected a similar request from striker Saido Berahino amid persistent interest from Tottenham.

Everton are likely to follow a similar course but despite Martinez’s public insistence that Stones is going nowhere, there is a growing acceptance around Goodison Park that Chelsea will get their man with an offer around the £30m mark.

Jose Mourinho has identified Stones as the perfect long-term replacement for club captain John Terry, whose first-team future is the subject of renewed speculation after his half-time substitution against Manchester City and straight red card for hauling down Salomon Rondon against West Brom on Sunday.

Martinez has expressed his anger on several occasions with Chelsea’s public pursuit of Stones, who has started all three of Everton’s Premier League matches this season despite the uncertainty over his future.

But the pressure on the Merseysiders to accept the departure of one of English football’s brightest young talents will only increase now the player has taken matters into his own hands.

Wenger: Picking An Arsenal Midfield Is An Impossible Job

The Gunners manager has to juggle several impressive players in the middle of the park, carefully trying to maintain competition for places while keeping everyone happy

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that picking his midfield in each game is “an impossible job”.

The Gunners are well stocked for creative players and left Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench against Crystal Palace on August 16 despite a bright start in their first game of the season, while Mikel Arteta was also on the bench and Jack Wilshere is out injured.

Wenger, who must select a starting XI to beat Liverpool on Monday, says that balancing competition for places between so many talented players is a difficult tightrope to walk.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s an impossible job but that’s why I tell you I always get asked two questions: ‘Why don’t you buy more players?’ and ‘How do you keep them all happy now?’

“I believe that competition is part of our job. On the other hand, you have to get the number right – too many players in the squad goes against competition. If you have a certain number of players who think they never have a chance to play, they killed something. Not enough players creates too much of a comfort zone.”

Santi Cazorla is one of the men being juggled by Wenger, who notes that deciding whether to field the diminutive Spaniard on the left flank or deep in midfield has been a particularly close call.

“It is tricky because he is an important player in the build-up of our game. He is naturally a guy who brings fluidity and gets you out of tight situations,” the Frenchman observed.

“My thinking [putting him out wide] was more about physical power in the centre of the park, to win the ball back and be capable of winning challenges [as] Santi is a more technical player and also to get him higher up, next to [Mesut] Ozil, to play through the lines, find those two, and combine in the final third.

“It worked sometimes – and sometimes not. The first goal in these games is vital but, anyway, against West Ham, I changed in the second half and brought Cazorla back to central midfield.”

Having recovered to a win at Palace following a defeat to West Ham in their first game of the campaign, Wenger is hopeful that his side have shown enough so far to put them in good stead against the Reds.

“[We must] play at the level we played at Crystal Palace, with good pace,” he declared. “I think Liverpool will be a different game than West Ham. Against West Ham, we conceded a set-piece and, after that, another goal just before half time.

“After that, it was difficult but, if you look well – and you have to analyse the game well – against West Ham we didn’t give chances away. You play this game 20 times, you win it 19 because they had very, very, very few chances. Their goals came from our mistakes. That’s why we had to look at ourselves.”

Official: Manchester City Sign Otamendi

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of centre-back Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia on a five-year deal.

The Argentina international, previously targeted by Manchester United, moves to the Etihad Stadium for a fee in the region of €45 million (£31.7m).

“I am here to give my best, to fight game by game and push City to the highest peaks for as long as possible, and I wish we will be able to win several cups and titles,” Otamendi told the club’s official website.

“That’s the most important. To be here inside a club that looks so wonderful from the outside is a dream.”

Manuel Pellegrini added: “Nicolas Otamendi was arguably the best defender in La Liga last season and so naturally I’m delighted to have added a player of his quality.

“He is an established international for one of the best nations in world football and I have no doubt that he has the right mentality to fit into a squad where he will find many familiar faces, including Eliaquim and Fernando who he played alongside in Portugal.

“As a footballer, Nicolas has all of the qualities to be a success in the Premier League – he’s strong, he’s excellent in the tackle and he’s very good technically.

“I am sure he will become another Argentine player our fans will enjoy watching.”

More to follow…

Memphis Can Take Manchester United To The Title – Robben

The forward’s Netherlands international team-mate believes that he could “become one of the top players in the world” under the guidance of Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford


New Manchester United star Memphis Depay can become one of the world’s best players and propel the club to trophy glory, according to Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.

Memphis dazzled Red Devils fans with two goals against Club Brugge in the Champions League qualifier on Tuesday in only his third competitive game since joining the English giants from PSV.

His Netherlands international team-mate feels that working regularly with former Oranje coach Louis van Gaal can only be a good thing for the young forward and says that the Premier League title could be within reach this season.

“He can become one of the top players in the world at Manchester United,” Robben told the Daily Mirror of Memphis.

“He is already at such a high level but, playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world, he will get even better. Manchester United will want to get back to winning trophies and he will be a big part of that.

“I know that there was ­Liverpool and Manchester United ­interested in him but it was an easy decision for him. There would have been no reason for him to join a club not playing in the Champions League and Louis van Gaal is one of the best coaches in the world – Memphis can become the complete player under his guidance.

“It will not be easy – it never is when there are so many new players to settle in – but I think Louis could win the league with Manchester United this year.

“It’s his team now, his players, and, if the new signings settle quickly, I think it’s possible.”

Verratti: I’m Open To Premier League Move But Barcelona’s Interest Is Flattering

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder stresses that he is happy at Parc des Princes but would consider a new league and is appreciative of the Catalan giants’

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti says that the Premier League would be an option for him if he were to leave the French club.

The Italy international is on Barcelona’s wishlist for 2016 after some impressive performances for the Ligue 1 champions and admits that he admires the Catalans’ style of play.

Asked by Goal if England might suit him, Verratti stressed his happiness at Parc des Princes but confirmed his openness to a challenge overseas.

“You never know what the future brings,” he remarked. “I am fine where I am now and I am not thinking about a transfer.

“I will consider my options the day I no longer feel good at PSG or when the club wants to sell me but England, Spain and Italy are all options. What matters most is the project.”

Verratti’s agent has previously indicated that the midfielder would relish the chance to play for Barca and the 22-year-old confessed his admiration for the Spanish champions.


I Was Right To Leave Liverpool For Barcelona, Admits Suarez

The former Reds striker left the club last summer and, after winning four major honours since his arrival at Camp Nou, he is sure that he made the correct choice to move to Spain

Luis Suarez says that winning the treble in his first season at Barcelona more than justified his decision to leave Liverpool last summer.

Suarez made the switch from Anfield to Camp Nou last August and was immediately rewarded with silverware as Barca swept the board last term.

Luis Enrique’s side added the Uefa Super Cup to their bulging trophy cabinet on Tuesday, meaning Suarez has now won four major honours in a little over 12 months at the club – a feat that convinced the Uruguayan a move away from Anfield was definitely the right option.

Speaking to Sport360, Suarez revealed: “It was the right decision [to sign for Barca].”

“Winning trophies was a part of my decision in joining Barcelona, but also as a family we knew it was the right decision even before I won a trophy.

“I am very happy at Barcelona – I am at the best club in the world.

“It couldn’t have gone better, to achieve what we did in my first season was a dream.”

And Suarez is eager to replicate last season’s success.

He added: “If you look at some of the players here they have won trophies season after season, and that is my aim now.

“We enjoyed our moment last season, but now it is about a new challenge.”

Depay Handed Manchester United No.7 Shirt

The summer signing from PSV Eindhoven will don the jersey previously worn by the likes of Robson, Cantona, Beckham and Ronaldo at Old Trafford

Memphis Depay has been handed Manchester United‘s iconic No. 7 shirt following the departure of Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain, the club confirmed on Friday.

The Dutchman, who arrived from PSV in a deal worth around £22.3 million this summer, takes on the number previously worn by club legends including Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will wear the same number 31 he used at Bayern Munich, with Marouane Fellaini taking on the No.27 shirt to allow the Germany captain his favoured shirt.

Meanwhile, fellow summer additions Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian will wear No.28 and No.36 respectively, the same shirts they were handed during United’s pre-season tour of the USA.

There are notable changes elsewhere, with Luke Shaw taking up his preferred number 23 shirt, which he wore both as a Southampton player and at the 2014 World Cup with England. Meanwhile, striker James Wilson has swapped number 49 for 19.

David De Gea retains the No.1 shirt, despite his manager revealing on Friday that he will not start Saturday’s clash with Tottenham at Old Trafford, with Sergio Romero – his possible replacement – being handed the No.20 shirt.

Wenger : Chelsea Are Favourites For The Title

The Gunners boss believes that Jose Mourinho’s side are the team to beat this season but insists that the Gunners are ready to push them all the way.

Arsene Wenger has vowed that Arsenal are ready to fight for the Premier League title but concedes that Chelsea remain the favourites to retain their crown.

He told reporters: “Chelsea won it by a margin last year so they must be favourites.

“We are ready to fight for the championship. We missed our start to the season last year, let’s try to start strong. But we have a difficult start with two derbies and Liverpool in our first three games.”

More to follow…

Official: Paris Saint-Germain Sign Di Maria From Manchester United

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of Angel Di Maria from Manchester United.

The Argentina international has penned a four-year contract with the Ligue 1 champions, just 12 months after arriving at Old Trafford from Real Madrid.

United paid Los Blancos a British-record £59.7 million for Di Maria but, despite making a flying start to his Old Trafford career, the winger fell out of favour with manager Louis van Gaal over the course of the 2014-15 campaign.

After being given an extended summer break following his exertions at this summer’s Copa America in Chile, Di Maria ultimately failed to join up with United on their pre-season tour of the United States. 

The 27-year-old subsequently travelled to Qatar to undergo a medical with PSG on Tuesday and has now sealed his €60 million switch to the Parc des Princes. 

“I am very proud, and can’t wait to wear the colours of Paris Saint-Germain,” Di Maria told his new club’s official website on Thursday.

“I want to win every competition we enter, both in France and Europe. I want to win the Champions League, which is a dream for all footballers, for a second time. 

“We will do everything we can to bring Europe’s biggest trophy to France and the fans of Paris Saint-Germain.”

Meanwhile, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was understandably delighted at having finally acquired a player that the capital club courted last summer.

“We are very proud that Angel Di Maria has chosen Paris Saint-Germain,” he added. “He is an incredibly talented player, with frightening speed and ability to beat opposition players. 

“He adds his name to the club’s strong South American community and, above all, the big Paris Saint-Germain family.

“By signing Angel Di Maria, Paris Saint-Germain is once again showing the club’s constant ambition to reach the summits of the European game.”

Guardiola Warns Manchester United: Schweinsteiger Has Not Been Fit For Two Years

New Manchester United signing Bastian Schweinsteiger has not been fit for two years, according to Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.

Schweinsteiger, 31, completed a summer move to Old Trafford for around £12 million having spent his whole career with Bayern, but has struggled with injury problems in recent seasons.

The Germany captain made just 15 Bundesliga starts for Bayern last term as Guardiola’s side collected their third consecutive league title, and the Spaniard says his fitness issues are a concern.

“When he does not have injury problems, I am completely convinced he will do very well at Manchester United,” Guardiola told reporters. “He is a top, top player.

“Unfortunately, he has had some problems with injuries in the past two years and he was not always 100 per cent fit. He is going to play really good [at United]. I really hope that is going to happen.”

Schweinsteiger’s move to the Premier League sees him reunite with Louis van Gaal, who coached him at Bayern between 2009 and 2011.

The 31-year-old midfielder led Germany to success in the 2014 World Cup, but struggled for fitness before and after the tournament.

Upon returning from Brazil, Schweinsteiger managed just 20 league appearances in Bayern’s title-winning campaign and missed six of 12 Champions League ties.

Manchester United Target Pedro Can Play For Any Team In The World – Pep Guardiola

The 28-year-old Spain international is a target for Louis van Gaal, and the Bayern boss believes the forward would be a success at Old Trafford

Manchester United target Pedro has the ability to play for “any team in the world,” according to Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola.

Pedro, 28, is reportedly being lined up by the Red Devils who have agreed to sell Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain for £44.5 million

Spain international Pedro has been frustrated by a lack of opportunities at Camp Nou and Guardiola – who promoted Pedro from Barcelona’s B side to the first-team squad – is confident the forward will succeed if he moves to Old Trafford.

“Pedro has played millions of games for Barcelona … so that shows the quality he has,” he told reporters.

“He is a world champion; he is a European champion; he has won the Champions League and many league titles.

“There is no doubt about his quality and he has the ability to play in any team in the world.”

Wilshere: Arsenal Can Be Successful This Season If…

Jack Wilshere is confident Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title this season provided they are quick out of the blocks.

Arsene Wenger’s men won 19 of their last 26 matches in all competitions in a strong finish to the 2014-15 campaign but a worst ever start under the manager saw them win two of their opening eight league matches.

Arsenal finished the season in third place -12 points adrift of eventual champions Chelsea – and Wilshere is keen to build on their late-season form, highlighting Petr Cech’s arrival as a sign of the club’s ambition.

“We didn’t start the season well last year but the way we finished it, if we had played the whole season like that then we could have been champions,” Wilshere told the club’s official website.

“If we continue our form from the end of last season when we dominated games with our possession, and we won the ball back in better positions high up the pitch, then we’ve got a real chance.

“We want to win the league, of course we do. We feel we’ve been together a few years now, we’ve brought in world-class players who have had time to settle, we’ve added a world-class keeper with all of his experience, he’s been there and he’s done it, he’s won everything.

“So we really feel we’re in a strong position.”

Official : Liverpool Sign Christian Benteke From Aston Villa

Liverpool have completed the £32.5 million signing of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa.

KOKOMANSION MEDIA can emphatically say that the Belgium international striker has signed a five-year contract with the club, which will see Liverpool pay £16 million up front with the remainder of the fee payable over the course of his contract.

ESPN reports that the structure for payments was then agreed last weekend, allowing the Reds to enter talks with the 24-year-old over personal terms.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is a long-time admirer of the forward, who Villa bought from Belgian club Genk for £7 million in August 2012.

“I’m very happy to be here and I would like to thank the owners, Ian [Ayre, chief executive who pushed the deal through] and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here,”the striker told

benteke at liverpool

“I think it was the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and I wanted to be part of his project.

“I know Liverpool is a big story. They’ve won league titles and the Champions League five times and of course the UEFA Cup and a lot of trophies. I know it’s a big club.

“I’m very happy to be part of the Liverpool family now and I will do everything to make them happy and work hard for them and my teammates.”

Benteke will not meet most of his new teammates until they return after Friday’s match against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.

He is no stranger to some of them — goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi — from the Belgian national team and believes the summer recruitment has given the Reds a chance of winning silverware.

“I think there are quality players, a lot of good players with big names of course,” he added.

“I’m happy to be part of this team and will [try] to help this team reach its goals.

“I want to be the best and I want to reach the best of myself.

“I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team.”

Benteke missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with an Achilles injury, and after returning to fitness, had to wait until December to score his first Premier League goal of last season.

He hit form over the closing three months of the campaign, though, scoring 12 goals in his final 13 matches for Villa as they avoided relegation and reached the FA Cup final.

Liverpool Signs James Milner From Man City

Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign England midfielder James Milner from Manchester City on a free transfer after he agreed to around £150,000 a week.

The 29-year-old will join The Reds when his contract at the Etihad expires on 1 July, subject to passing a medical.

Milner won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the League Cup during his five years at City.

He has won 53 England caps and scored eight goals for City last season.

More to follow…

Liverpool Can Finish Top Four Despite Defeat – Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is refusing to write off their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League after their 1-0 defeat at Hull City.

However, it is significant that he is already planning how to strengthen his team ahead of next season.

Rodgers is realistic enough to know that their Champions League ambitions are surely over as they lie seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with an inferior goal difference and only four games to play.

A place in the Europa League is also far from assured, underlining why Rodgers is under pressure after a season when they have not been able to cope with the sale of Luis Suarez and injuries to Daniel Sturridge, the two men whose goals were so important to Liverpool last season.

“You can’t hide the fact we’ve lost over 50 goals,” said Rodgers.

“Even with those players we weren’t tipped to get in the top four and we haven’t got those players now. We have to work with what we’ve got.

“Now we have to look to improve the squad and it’s always great if you can get marquee players to come in and help you. The owners will support that.

“We want to be in the top four, but that was always going to be difficult because we were playing catch up for a lot of the season.

“We lost a couple of big games which dented our confidence a bit. I need to build a team that can get through the rough waters as well. We need a team that can get through the smooth and the rough.

“That will be my challenge – to rebuild a group that can get through the rough waters.”

Whether they will be able to lure them to Anfield without the attraction of the Champions League is debatable, but the fact that Liverpool require at least two of those ‘marquee men’ was obvious in their latest setback at the KC Stadium where Michael Dawson scored the 37th minute winner for Hull.

Dawson’s goal was his first in 16 months and Hull manager Steve Bruce insisted that it earned them a success that their performance warranted.

“We deserved it because of the way we played,” said Bruce, who has had a tough season a year after guiding them to the FA Cup final.

“We caused a threat all night and defended well, which you have to do against Liverpool,” he said.

“We have 34 points but I don’t think 34 is enough, so we still need a couple of results, but we are certainly in a better position that four days ago. The job isn’t done and got to stay resilient for the next four games.”

Dawson said: “We really needed this win because back-to-back wins are so hard to get in this league and we’ve done it against a top team.

“If you give Liverpool too much respect, they will hurt you because they have good players, but the commitment from back to front was great,” added the former Spurs captain.

Steve Harper, the Hull goalkeeper who was 40 last month, was also a key influence on the outcome as he made several excellent saves.
“He was coolness personified. You could tell he wanted to keep a clean sheet,” Bruce said.

5 Things To Expect In The UEFA Champions League This Week By Ifreke Inyang

Arsenal might come close
When Arsenal hit top gear and find fluidity in their game, their football is right up there. Like last weekend, when they battered West Ham, even without trying. I expect them to carry on against Monaco on Tuesday night. But it is looking a little too late for the Gunners. And the Ligue 1 side are a tough nut defensively – they have conceded just four goals in their last 17 matches.
City heading out

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were lazy and limp at Burnley last weekend. It appeared the season is over in their minds and they can’t wait to be on some random beach this summer. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona prepared for the second leg of their tie, with a comfortable 2-0 away win against Eibar. The signs are not looking good for Manchester City really.
Messi magic

Barca would have had one leg in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, if Lionel Messi converted his last-minute penalty at the Etihad. But they still lead 2-1 on aggregate and you would expect the little Argentine, to make up for that blip with a sterling performance. Of course, there is also the little matter of surpassing Ronaldo in the scoring charts.
Dortmund to overturn it

Jurgen Klopp’s men almost got a decent result in Italy, but were defeated because of silly defensive errors. With the return leg to be played at Signal Iduna Park, I expect the Bundesliga side to turn it around and progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Final eight confirmed

On Wednesday night, the last eight teams standing in the Champions League will be confirmed. Put a gun to my head and I will go for Monaco, Barcelona, Dortmund and Atletico to join PSG, Bayern, Real Madrid and Porto.

‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke

Gus Poyet Sacked by Sunderland

The Uruguayan successfully guided the Black Cats to safety in his first season but has presided over just four Premier League wins this term

Gus Poyet has been sacked by Sunderland after just 18 months in charge, the club have confirmed.

Earlier on Monday Goal reported that Black Cats sporting director Lee Congerton has already lined up a temporary replacement for Poyet as he attempts to halt the club’s slide towards the relegation zone.

Poyet took charge at the Stadium of Light in October 2013 following the sacking of Paolo Di Canio and succesfully guided the club to safety despite a disappointing start under the controversial Italian.

But Sunderland have failed to kick-on this term and have won just four Premier League matches, leaving them just one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Chairman Ellis Short said: “I would like to thank Gus for his endeavours during his time at the club, in particular last season’s ‘great escape’ and cup final appearance, which will live long in the memory of every Sunderland fan.

“Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed.”

Poyet’s position became untenable on Saturday when fellow relegation strugglers Aston Villa scored four first-half goals at the Stadium of Light, prompting a torrent of abuse from the stands and thousands to leave the ground well before the final whistle.

The result leaves Sunderland languishing in 17th in the Premier League after 29 matches, just one point ahead of Burnley who recorded a surprise win over title-chasing Manchester City on Saturday.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Out for Three Weeks With Injury

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista if set for two to three weeks spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed.

The Brazilian centre-back picked up the injury during the first half of his side’s 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers (QPR) on Wednesday night.

Gabriel will therefore miss Monday night’s FA Cup sixth round game at Manchester United.

“Gabriel has a little hamstring injury and will be out for two to three weeks. He will not be available for the weekend or West Ham or Monaco,” Wenger said in a news conference at the club’s Conley facility on Friday.

Gabriel Paulista Out for Three Weeks With Hamstring Injury. Image: Getty.

Wenger added that “everybody else will be available” except Nacho Monreal who will have a late fitness test.

The better news for Arsenal fans on the goalkeeping front pertains to the return of Wojciech Szczesny, who is in contention for the game at Old Trafford.

“He (Szczesny) has a test today, Wenger said. “If he gets through that test he will play on Monday night.

“Wojciech is used to playing in big games and he’ll take that as a big challenge to show his quality. He works very hard in training.”

The last (Premier League) meeting between both sides in November ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils thanks to Kieran Gibbs’ own-goal and Wayne Rooney’s second-half strike.

Di Maria was Sold By Real Madrid For Being ‘Too Ugly’, Claims Barcelona Chief

Di Maria was sold by Real Madrid for being ‘too ugly’, claims Barcelona chief –

Angel Di Maria was sold by Real Madrid because he was “too ugly” for the club, claims Barcelona‘s assistant director of football, Carles Rexach.

After helping Madrid win the Champions League last year, the Argentina international joined Manchester United for a British-record fee of £59.7 million but has struggled to find form under Louis van Gaal this season.

And Rexach believes that Madrid’s concerns over their brand and image was the main reason behind Di Maria’s departure.

“Florentino Perez [Madrid’s president] looks at the world market and wants a team of Galacticos for everyone to admire. Do you understand what I mean?” Rexach told Regio7.

“[Cristiano] Ronaldo is the flagship of the club. Perez is selling an international brand.

“Vicente del Bosque and Di Maria are too ugly for Real Madrid. They are different from Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.”

Victor Valdes Set For Man United Debut As Chris Smalling Reveals Goalkeeper Is Answering Questions On His Barca Days

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, is set to make his Manchester United bow this Friday, in the FA Cup fourth round tie against Cambridge.

The 33-year-old signed an 18-month deal to become David De Gea’s understudy this month, after training with the Old Trafford outfit for a while.

It will mark a return to action for the Spanish stopper, who ruptured his knee ligaments 10 months ago, while he was still at the Camp Nou.

Defender Chris Smalling says he has been impressed by what he has seen in training.

“He is someone who we all look up to through what he’s achieved already in his career, but you can see that he’s nowhere near done yet,” Smalling said.

“On the training field he’s so sharp and you can see that he’s very agile. He’s such a great addition and is a name that really belongs here at Manchester United.”

“He is someone who we all look up to through what he’s achieved already in his career, but you can see that he’s nowhere near done yet,” said the centre-half.

“On the training field he’s so sharp and you can see that he’s very agile. He’s such a great addition and is a name that really belongs here at Manchester United.”

The hugely-decorated Valdes won 21 major trophies at the Nou Camp, including three Champions Leagues, and Smalling says the players have been quizzing him about his experiences.

“We’ve heard a few stories from him and quite a few people here have asked him questions,” he told MUTV.

“Barcelona is another great club and you want to get some insight of what happens abroad as well.”

5 things We Learnt From Manchester City vs Arsenal By Ifreke Inyang

Wenger finally delivers a master class
Today is the day most Arsenal fans have been waiting for. When the Frenchman will tactically set up his men against a big team, to grab a result. Last season, the Gunners left themselves exposed and were hammered 6-3. Today, Wenger opted to control City and their waves of attack, while hitting them on fast breaks. It worked a great treat.

No Yaya, no party
The statistics are damning. When the big Ivorian doesn’t play, City hardly win. Gooners may be forgiven for feeling a tingle, as they saw Aguero and Silva on City’s team sheet, but at the end of the day, they missed the power and drive of Yaya Toure. Pellegrini must be praying for Cote d’Ivoire to exit the Africa Cup of Nations quickly.

Cazorla, the two-footed magician
What a time to hit form for the little Spaniard. The former Malaga man has been sensational for Arsenal in the past few games and he was magnificent today again. He expertly tucked away the penalty after Vincent Kompany fouled Nacho Monreal and then provided a pin=point free-kick for Olivier Giroud to seal the points in the second half. All that, with a certain Mesut Ozil watching from the bench.

What did you mean to say, Pellegrini?
So first, Pellegrini claims it was not a penalty. Then he turns around and says Kompany shouldn’t have barged into Monreal the way he did. I really don’t understand what the Chilean was on about. Whatever the case, Mike Dean – who Arsenal fans have been moaning about all week – pointed the spot.

It’s all going down at the Bridge
City’s next Premier League clash? Away to Chelsea. What a tasty tie this will be! Arsenal’s victory means the Premier League champions are now five points behind the Blues. They need to get a result against Jose Mourinho or else the title race might well and truly be over.

‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke

Views expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views of nor its associates

Fenerbahce Deny Emenike Move To Tottenham

Fenerbahce remain adamant that Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike is not set for a move to English Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur.

With Spurs reportedly looking for a striker to take the goal scoring burden off Harry Kane, there has been talk that Eminike is a target for the north London club.

Emenike’s agent, Erdem Konyar, has been happy to fuel this fire, recently saying: “Tottenham only really have one striker right now so it is not a surprise that they are interested.”

Konyar, however, admits that Fenerbahce have not received any interest yet.

“However, I do not think Fenerbahce have received an official bid yet. If Fenerbahce give us permission we could enter negotiations,” he said.

The club have made it clear they do not plan to let go of their prized asset, who has scored 25 goals in 40 games since arriving from Spartak Moscow in an £11.2m move 18 months ago.

“Emmanuel Emenike is a Fenerbahce player and has a contract with us until 2017, there are currently no transfer talks,” read a club statement.

It has also emerged that the Istanbul-based team have already rejected an offer for Emenike from Spurs.

“The offer for Emenike came and they offered 10 million euros. However, I trust him; therefore, I rejected the offer

Di Maria In Contention For Manchester United’s Clash With Aston Villa

Louis van Gaal has revealed Angel Di Maria is in contention to be on the bench for Manchester United’s trip to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Di Maria has not featured since United’s 3-0 win over Hull City on November 29 due to a hamstring injury, but Van Gaal revealed in his press conference on Friday that the Argentina international has now resumed full training.

More to follow…

Switch To 4-4-2 Means £25m Rated EPL Striker Could Become A Gunner

When a transfer window is close to reopening, smaller clubs inevitably starts getting weary about the possibility that the financially endowed clubs could come knocking for some of their prized assets. One of such club and player is Swansea’s Wilfred Bony. The Ivorian international who is in his second season with the Welsh side has again started attracting interest from other clubs. The 25 year old is currently the highest scorer in the Premier League for the calendar year, 2014. And he is likely to keep that record until the year ends.

As a result of renewed speculations about his future, Swansea City manager Garry Monk has claimed that it would take something huge to take Bony away from the Liberty Stadium.

“We are not a selling club, we don’t have to sell anyone. We’re very much committed with our players and they are committed to us. It’s a good achievement for Wilfred (to be the top Premier League scorer in 2014) because he works incredibly hard on the training ground. Money does dictate things but it would take an astronomical fee for anyone to take him anywhere.” he said.

In one go, he claims that Swansea City are not a selling club, and in another go, he states a huge fee could force the club’s hands to part with the player. Going by the goals he has scored since he joined Swansea from Dutch side FC Twente for £12 million, his price is expected to have doubled since that time. Reports last summer claim the player could be bought for £25m.

Now, his availability is subject to how high any club is willing to go to pay for his services, this could arouse a number of clubs including Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s recent switch to a 4-4-2 formation could open the door for the club to sign another striker. And what better player than Wilfred Bony who has strived in the Premier League since he arrived England, making mockery of the myth that players from the lesser European leagues cannot hit the ground running when they come to the Premier League.

He has remained in the radar of Arsenal for sometime, and the club followed his progress when he was lighting up the Dutch League, he was linked several times to Arsenal when speculation heighten in January that Arsene Wenger could bring in a striker to complement Oliver Giroud. But it still did not go further than speculations.

Having proved that he can indeed extend his art and craft from the Eredivise to the Premier League, he is very unlikely to stay in Wales for a long time; it would be a matter of time before he joins a bigger club. And if Arsene Wenger decides to embrace a 4-4-2 formation with more regularity, then the club could well have need for another striker after all.

Source – arse talks .com

Man City Would Be The Last European Club I Play For – Kun Aguero

Sergio Aguero has pledged his commitment to Manchester City.

The striker continues to be linked with Real Madrid.

“I want to be here and stick to the new contract I signed a few months ago,” he told City’s site.

“I want to keep winning things with the club and I want to stay at this level, scoring goals and having individual success. But the most important thing is to win titles. Ideally we would win one title every year.

“I want to be at City until my contract ends and then my plans are to go back to Argentina in the long term future. I want to be at this level while I am here and I want City to be the last team I play for in Europe.”

Van Gaal Slams EPL December Fixtures

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, has labelled the Premier League’s December fixtures as ‘crazy’.

The Red Devils are preparing to play six league games in December, starting with the visit of Stoke City on Tuesday.

United will also play three matches in the space of eight days over Christmas against Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.

“I cannot change it, I don’t think it is good for the players that they play within two days of a match,” said Van Gaal.

“December shall be like that, and we have also family. I also have a wife, and kids and grandchildren and I cannot see them at Christmas.

“But, I want to work in the Premier League so I have to adapt and I shall adapt.”

The Old Trafford outfit are not in the Champions League this season, but the 63-year-old insists it does not give them any advantage in the league.

“Anderson is the least intelligent footballer I’ve played with” – Wes Brown

Sunderland defender Wes Brown sat down for a quick-fire interview with the club’s official YouTube channel and had some revealing information about his time at Manchester United

Brown certainly did not have the kindest words to say about United flopAnderson when he was asked who was the least intelligent player he has ever played with. 

“I’m not going to say anyone here (at Sunderland) because that could get back,” he said when the question came up at 1:45 in the video above.

“I’ll go Anderson. Just because when I was with him he was probably there for five or six years and honestly, still, I don’t think he can speak English.”

It’s a good thing Anderson won’t be able to understand the interview, if that’s the case, otherwise he might get upset.

Sturridge Set For Mega Deal, As Liverpool Offer Bumper Sum

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, is close to signing a new five-year contract with the club this week.

The England international, who is currently recovering from injury, has been locked in negotiations with the club since the summer and a deal has now been agreed in principle.

Sturridge is expected to join the big earners at Anfield, as his new contract will see him take home around £150,000 a week. Steven Gerrard is currently the highest earner with a £150,000-a-week package.

The former Chelsea man has scored 36 times for the Reds in 46 starts, since he arrived from Stamford Bridge and he is expected to step up this season, with Luis Suarez leaving for Barcelona.

Aaron Ramsey To Miss Six Weeks With Hamstring Tear

Aaron Ramsey will be out of action for up to six weeks, after scans confirmed a grade two hamstring injury.

The midfielder picked up the injury during Saturday’s North London derby, as Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw.

Injuries is beginning to take its toll on Arsene Wenger’s team, as there are doubts over Jack Wilshere’s fitness. The England international turned his ankle under a challenge from Danny Rose in the first half. Mikel Arteta will also miss up to three weeks with a calf complait.

“I don’t know how long they will be out but they will be out next week,” Wenger said post-match. “I think Ramsey is a hamstring, and Arteta is a calf. Wilshere is an ankle.”

He added: “Ramsey [is] a concern. He had a good rest this week, I didn’t play him against Southampton on Tuesday night, it’s a surprise because he’s usually a resistant boy.”

Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy are almost certain not play again this year too.