Showing posts with label SPORTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SPORTS. Show all posts
Pep Guardiola sent clear 115 FFP Man City charges message as Jurgen Klopp Liverpool debate rages on

Pep Guardiola sent clear 115 FFP Man City charges message as Jurgen Klopp Liverpool debate rages on

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has given his verdict on the debate over who has been the better manager between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola - and says FFP charges could be the deciding factor.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has shared his thoughts on the ongoing debate about who is the better manager: Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola. The pundit also believes the ongoing charges hanging over Man City could end up being a deciding factor.

The rivalry between Klopp's Liverpool and Guardiola's Man City has led to several head-to-head battles in the Premier League title races. In the past five seasons, Liverpool and Man City have been the top two teams three times.

On Sunday, Liverpool and Man City drew 1-1 at Anfield in the Premier League. The two clubs are only one point apart with 10 games left, setting the stage for another title race, with Arsenal also in contention.

Wright was a guest on Sky Sports Monday Night Football alongside Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher. He was asked to choose who he thought was the better manager between Klopp and Guardiola.

Wright suggested that Klopp might deserve the title. He also mentioned how the 115 charges currently against Man City from the Premier League could affect how the rivalry between Klopp and Guardiola is perceived.

"I think when you look at the trophy cabinet that Pep [Guardiola] has done very well, but then you look at what Klopp has done to try and catch Manchester City and the way he has built that team to get them there," said Wright.

"You have to say, yes, it's been easier for Pep with what he's done. But, Klopp has a lot of love, but it's there for everyone to see in respect to the amount of trophies."

"But, we can't speak about City without talking about the 115 charges around them. The one thing I would like more than anything else is for that to be gone so you can give the team and the manager the flowers they deserve because when you speak about them, it's like there is an elephant in the room."

"You want to speak about them, but this rivalry, it's not fair on the players and it's not fair on the club. The sooner that's gone [115 charges], the better for them. You can't look at what Klopp's done and the amount of trophies Guardiola has won and say that Guardiola has not done better."
Manchester United transfer news Rasmus Hojlund update as Real Madrid 'want' Man United target

Manchester United transfer news Rasmus Hojlund update as Real Madrid 'want' Man United target

All the very latest Man United news, views and transfer updates from the Manchester Evening News.

Manchester United will be targeting a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup when they face Liverpool at the quarter-final stage at Old Trafford this weekend. Before then, however, the transfer and manager news continues to be a real talking point.

United reached the FA Cup Final last year, only to lose to Manchester City at Wembley. They will be hoping to go one better this season and clinch their second piece of silverware of the Erik ten Hag era - and it may be crucial to the Dutchman saving his job.

A cluster of managers continue to be linked with the prospect of replacing Ten Hag in M16. The Dutchman's position is still understood to be uncertain after a patchy run of results in recent weeks. The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Gareth Southgate, Graham Potter and more have been linked with the post.

And with Sir Jim Ratcliffe coming in as co-owner, there will be a significant rebuild of the squad in the summer, and United continue to be linked with a number of players. It promises to be a busy few months.

Have your say on Ratcliffe's 'Wembley of the North' plan

Following the announcement of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's plan to build a 'Wembley of the North', a lot of debate and discussions have been had.

We're now inviting you to have your say on the new United co-owner's grand ambitions. You can do that by participating in the comment section below.
Jose Mourinho has already approved Man United candidate to replace Erik ten Hag

Jose Mourinho has already approved Man United candidate to replace Erik ten Hag

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho told Gareth Southgate that he was capable of doing any job after managing his country, with the England boss now being linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho predicted that Gareth Southgate would be capable of doing "any job" in the future amid reports linking the England manager with Manchester United.

The Red Devils are currently managed by Erik ten Hag, however, the Dutchman's position is in jeopardy with United lagging some way behind the rest of the Premier League's elite. They are currently 11 points off fourth place and failure to qualify for the Champions League is likely to prove fatal for the former Ajax chief.

While new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has yet to decide whether to make a managerial change, several top coaches have been linked with the job in recent weeks. Southgate is the latest to be touted as a target, according to a new report from ESPN.

The England manager is preparing for this summer's European Championships but his contract with The Football Association expires in December. And he revealed at the turn of the year that Mourinho - formerly of United - had told him he would be capable of doing any job after the experience of managing his country.

Southgate told Sky Sports: "I was 35 years old when I managed in the Premier League and we finished 12th and 13th. I knew nothing like what I know now. There isn’t a job in world football that would intimidate or daunt you, having lived this one.

"I remember talking to Jose (Mourinho) when he was at Man United and he said to me: 'When you've done the role you're in now you'll be able to do anything really'. I thought that was probably right, but seven years into it it's definitely right. I'm confident in this role and whatever might be in the future.

"Of course, I'm not going to be here for 20/30 years and I don't know what the future will be. I'm very calm about that, but I'm not worried about what that might be."
Gareth Southgate has been linked with Manchester United (
Image: Anadolu via Getty Images)

Although Ratcliffe has failed to publicly endorse Ten Hag since taking control of sporting operations at Old Trafford, the Manchester United chief insisted recently that he is not worried about his job.

He told reporters recently amid speculation: "I'm under contract for three seasons, so I don't care. I am in this process, I'm only focusing on the process, so I don't care what's going on around me.

"I have many talks with Sir Jim Ratcliffe, also with Sir Dave Brailsford and others in that group, so I know where we are talking about and I have a strong belief and I feel that they believe in me."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calls out two Man United stars over dressing room leaks

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calls out two Man United stars over dressing room leaks

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lifted the lid on his relationship with the players, admitting he struggled to keep everyone at the club happy

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up about his time managing Manchester United, revealing there were players who would 'leak things because they were unhappy'.

Solskjaer spent three years in charge at Old Trafford and insists that he and his staff had a 'very good rapport with the players', but that United's squad was simply too big for him to keep every player happy.

"I felt we [coaching staff] had a very good rapport with the players, but there are always one or two in a squad that leak things because they are unhappy," Solskjaer said in an appearance on the Stick to Football podcast, in association with Sky Bet.

"Being a manager, you play a game Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, you sack about 14 players every game and the next morning you have to tell them they have another chance. There are only a certain amount of times you can say, 'I'll give you that game, you've got a chance'.

"In the end, they go sour, we had a big squad with too many players. If you have too many players, they get unhappy."

Solskjaer was sacked by United in 2021 and has not taken on another management job since, despite having received plenty of offers, with the 51-year-old stating he only wants to join a club that will allow him to "be myself".

He added: "I needed time out [after leaving Manchester United], and I have properly enjoyed it. Just prioritised myself, family – and I have had a few offers with [other clubs] and it's like, 'Nah, I'm not ready'.

Solskjaer was sacked by United in 2021 and has not taken a new job since (
Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"It's one of them, it's got to be somewhere where I can be myself, not like anyone dictating, 'You need to do this, you need to do this', because when you've been at United, you manage them, you learn a few things, and you want to do it your way next time.

"So, yeah, I've enjoyed myself. That's the thing, you think, 'I don't really need a job', but then if something pops up then yeah, why not? I don't think there's a magic wand [at Manchester United] as in, 'We've changed the owners'.

"Obviously, they've got their ways of working – the Glazers have still got their commercial – who knows how it's going to be in football with that side of it. Obviously Erik [ten Hag], I hope he's going to be successful."
Breaking News: Man United prepared to take huge loss on Antony and sell Brazilian star in summer after disastrous season with Erik ten Hag's side

Breaking News: Man United prepared to take huge loss on Antony and sell Brazilian star in summer after disastrous season with Erik ten Hag's side

The winger joined from Ajax in the summer of 2022, signing for an eye-watering sum of £86 million ($109m) and amid much fanfare. But manager Erik ten Hag, who spearheaded the approach having managed him in the Netherlands, is yet to get the best out of him. With no goals or assists in 20 league games Antony has gone down as one of the worst signings in Premier League history. Indeed, the Daily Mail reports that United may finally be willing to admit their mistake and let him go.

That decision will reportedly be made as part of a summer of change at the club, when minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe takes over footballing operations and drives the approach for the coming transfer window. The British billionaire is expected to scrutinise the effectiveness of United's squad - which was recently revealed to be the most expensive in football history - with Antony one of many to face the chopping block. The Mail's report even notes that the club would be prepared to lose over half the £86m fee paid in order to get him gone.

Antony's struggles at United have been clear to see in recent weeks. Even Ten Hag, who has remained one of his staunch defenders when the likes of Jadon Sancho and Facundo Pellistri were afforded no such leniency, has looked elswhere of late. The Brazilian has started just one of United's last eight matches, and has seen youngsters Omari Forson and Amad Diallo brought on ahead of him from the bench.

Ten Hag has pointed towards Antony's struggles with domestic abuse allegations - which he vehemently denies - being behind his poor form this season. But his dire record of nine goals in 70 matches across his entire United career makes for grim reading, and will likely lead to his eventual sale in the summer. Antony has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in the past.
Manchester United players asked for day off after defeat by Fulham

Manchester United players asked for day off after defeat by Fulham

A number of Manchester United ­players complained to coaching staff that they wanted Sunday off after the 2-1 defeat by Fulham on ­Satur­day despite Erik ten Hag’s squad ­usually going in after a match day for warm‑downs and video analysis.

The request caused surprise given the insipid display and it being part of the manager’s normal routine. It was rejected by staff, who reminded the players of their commitments, with Ten Hag thought to be unaware.

In November the Guardian revealed that a section of United’s players believed the team’s poor start was down to Ten Hag overworking the squad in pre-season. They complained of beginning the campaign feeling as tired as when they finished the previous one.

The defeat by Fulham ended a run of five consecutive wins, ­United’s best sequence of an uneven ­campaign. Ten Hag is under particular scrutiny ­following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 27.7% buy-in and with the side being sixth, eight points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

The Ineos owner is conducting a structural review. He has made significant moves by hiring Omar ­Berrada to become chief executive and ­moving to take Dan Ashworth from Newcastle to replace John ­Murtough to lead the football department. It is expected Murtough will be offered a new role and will consider whether to accept it.

Ten Hag claimed before the FA Cup fifth-round tie at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday that Jamie Carragher was biased when assessing his management after the pundit’s comments on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. Carragher claimed United’s defending at the start of the Fulham game was unlike any he had seen. Ten Hag said: “First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments [and offer] very good advice; some are very ­subjective. Jamie Carragher from the first moment has criticised and now he wants to make his point.”

Ten Hag did agree, though, with Carragher. “Probably in the first half an hour, yeah, he had a point. Fulham in their midfield set up a little bit ­surprising and then we have to find the solutions.”

The Dutchman offered Antony support after preferring the 19‑year‑old Omari Forson to start on the right wing against Fulham.

“Antony: I backed him for a long time,” he said. “I know his abilities, great abilities. I know from the past he is unstoppable, no defender can stop him because he’s one of the quickest in the first 10 yards. I’m sure he will perform. He is resilient, he is a character and he will fight back and I back him and he now has to wait for his chance and once he is there he has to pick up [his form].”

Harry Maguire will miss the Forest game because of injury and Bruno Fernandes and Raphaël Varane are doubtful.
Manchester United are prepared to offer €200m to land Vinicius Junior

Manchester United are prepared to offer €200m to land Vinicius Junior

Manchester United could be about to smash their own and the British transfer record with an outlandish offer for Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior.

News broke earlier this week that Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Kylian Mbappe to arrive in the summer window.

Despite technically being a free transfer, the BBC report that “he is set to sign a five-year deal with Real, earning 15m euros (£12.8m) a season, plus a 150m euro (£128m) signing-on bonus to be paid over five years, and he will keep a percentage of his image rights”.

Therefore, Los Blancos will probably need to raise cash for the deal and also have the problem of what to do with their talented Brazilian, Vinicius Junior, who occupies the same terrain on the pitch as a left sided attacker.

It has been reported numerous times in Spain that Madrid could seek to sell off the Brazil international to generate income and also free up space in their squad.

Le10Sport (via DefensaCentral), DefensaCentral, now assert that United could do the Spanish league leaders the biggest of favours.

The Spanish site relays that after the Mbappe deal, “there are many rumours about a possible important sale in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad. Obviously, not everyone fits in the attacking zone and there are those who put Rodrygo and even Vinicius in the focus” to be sold.

According to this media outlet, “Manchester United would be interested in acquiring the services of the ‘7’ Merengue. Furthermore, they point out, it would put €200 million on the table”.

Such reports seem the definition of pollyannaish for both Real Madrid and Manchester United.

In the current economic climate, it would be a massive surprise if any team in world football could reach a figure close to €200m, especially Manchester United.

The Red Devils have received new life with INEOS’ takeover being made official this week but that still does not mean the club has suddenly shed all its Financial Fair Play responsibilities.

Another major obstacle is that Vinicius, for all intents and purposes, is happy at Madrid and would probably be licking his lips at the prospect of playing alongside Mbappe and Jude Bellingham.

And a final problem with the potential deal would be it is a slap in the face of the ethos INEOS will reportedly try to create.

The petro-chemicals company want to sign young, British based players who see United as a step up in their career. The Brazil international will clearly not see this as the case, should he make the switch to England.

Therefore, Madrid will most likely need to find another dance partner to help bail them out of this potentially gigantic financial outlay they are about to undertake.
Better than Salah & Saka: Scott McTominay has earned 12 points for Man Utd this season

Better than Salah & Saka: Scott McTominay has earned 12 points for Man Utd this season

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay made another terrific contribution yesterday as he scored a late winner against Aston Villa coming off the bench.

The Red Devils looked second best for most of the second half, but McTominay helped them secure a third successive league win with his 85th-minute goal.

The Scotland international timed his run into the Villa box with perfection before heading home a precise cross from Diogo Dalot from the right flank.

With the result, the Red Devils have moved within six points off the top four. The club now have a genuine chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Meanwhile, McTominay has scored seven goals in the English top-flight this term. Each of his goals have come with a purpose and The Athletic reveal the same.

As per the outlet, the midfielder has directly helped United gain 12 extra points from his seven goals.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min is second on the list with 10 points gained for the London side.

Elsewhere, Erling Braut Haaland, Bukayo Saka and Mohamed Salah have helped their respective clubs gain eight points from their goals in the Premier League.

McTominay has perfected role of super-sub at United

Back in the summer, McTominay was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford and there were suggestions that he could be sold for around £40 million.

West Ham United were one of the contenders to land his signature but ultimately, a deal did not materialise due to his valuation not being met by his suitors.

It has proved a blessing in disguise for the Red Devils. McTominay has been hugely influential despite his limited role. Of late, he has perfected the role of a super-sub.

The Scot is blessed with the ability to make late runs into the box to finish off chances. He has been terrific this term and has helped the club to stay in the top four race.

Without his goals, the club would be languishing in the 12th spot with 29 points and a negative goal difference. Manager Erik ten Hag may have lost his job too.
AFCON final: Hosts Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 to win third title

AFCON final: Hosts Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 to win third title

Hosts, Cote d’Ivoire are the champions after beating Super Eagles 2-1 in the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday night at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

The tournament marked the 34th edition of the continent’s competition.

The Super Eagles are gunning for a fourth AFCON title, while the Elephants are seeking to have their third title, having only won in 1992 and 2015.

Both teams advanced from Group A, with Equatorial Guinea topping the table with a joint seven points and three goals difference. However, the Elephants made it out as the fourth third-place team.

See the team list:

Stanley Nwabali

5. Williams Troost-Ekong

6. Semi Ajayi

21. Calvin Bassey

3. Sanusi Zaidu

8. Frank Onyeka

17. Alex Iwobi

2. Ola Aina

18. Ademola Lookman

11. Samuel Chukwueze

9. Victor Osimhen

Follow live updates below:


90+3′ We are about to witness a subsitution. Lazare Amani (Ivory Coast) for Jean Michael Seri.
90′ There will be a minimum of 7 min. of added time.
90′ Dahane Beida shows a yellow card to Ola Aina (Nigeria) for his blatant foul.
88′ Here is a change. Seko Fofana is going off and Emerse Fae gives the last tactical orders to Ibrahim Sangare (Ivory Coast).
87′ Dahane Beida rightly pulls out a yellow card and shows it to Seko Fofana (Ivory Coast).
87′ Substitution. Terem Moffi (Nigeria) has come on for Frank Onyeka.
86′ Jose Peseiro has decided to substitute Zaidu and he is replaced by Joe Aribo (Nigeria).
85′ The corner by Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) lacks accuracy as it’s hit with too much power. The ball is off of the pitch and it’s a goal kick for Ivory Coast.
85′ A good clearance by a defender means the corner comes to nothing for Nigeria. Nigeria have been awarded a corner kick. The referee and one of his assistants both point at the corner flag.
85′ Nigeria failed to take advantage of the corner as the opposition’s defence was alert and averted the threat. The referee points to the corner flag and Nigeria will take a corner.
81′ 1 – 2 The ball is inside the net! Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) is the scorer of the goal.
81′ Oumar Diakite (Ivory Coast) dinks a cross into the box in an attempt to find one of his teammates, but the defence manages to clear.
79′ Jose Peseiro has decided to make a change. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) replaces Ademola Lookman.
79′ It’s time for a substitution. Alhassan Yusuf (Nigeria) comes on in place of Alex Iwobi.

Cooling break!

75′ It’s hot out there so the ref signals there will be a cooling break for the players to take on some fluids.
75′ Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) unleashes a shot, but his effort isn’t precise at all and it flies well wide of the left post.
70′ Emerse Fae prepares a substitution. Max Gradel is replaced by Oumar Diakite (Ivory Coast).
70′ Substitution. Serge Aurier makes way for Wilfried Singo (Ivory Coast).
69′ William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) creates himself some space around the penalty spot and connects with the free kick. His header is badly mistimed and sails high over the bar.
68′ Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) fouls an opponent. At least that’s what referee Dahane Beida signals.
65′ The game is interrupted now, Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) picks up a knock and the physio has to come on.
63′ 1 – 1 Goal! Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast) puts the ball past the goalkeeper!
62′ Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast) produces a ferocious strike from the edge of the box. His dangerous effort towards the bottom left corner is blocked by Stanley Nwabili, who pulls off a superb save to keep the ball out of the net. The ball goes out for a corner. Ivory Coast can continue in their attacking effort.
59′ Jean Michael Seri (Ivory Coast) gets a shot away from distance, but wasn’t really set to take it and fires well wide of the left post.
56′ The referee signals that it is time for a substitution and Moses Simon (Nigeria) is coming onto the pitch as Samuel Chukwueze cannot continue after picking up an injury.
54′ The expression of the referee Dahane Beida is crystal clear. This behaviour won’t be tolerated. Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) is shown a yellow card.
53′ Stanley Nwabili (Nigeria) violates the rules and gets a yellow card.
49′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) is first to the rebound but his shot is blocked. Wow, what an escape there for the opposition.
49′ Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) sends a pass into the box, but his attempt is thwarted and cleared.
49′ A direct free kick from a promising position, taken by Max Gradel (Ivory Coast), is struck into one of the defending players who deals with the threat.
49′ Zaidu (Nigeria) makes a rough challenge and the referee blows for a foul. Ivory Coast get a free kick.
47′ Evan Ndicka (Ivory Coast) commits a rough foul. Dahane Beida stops the game and makes a call.
46′ Referee Dahane Beida blows his whistle to start the second half.

45+5′ The match has reached half-time.

45+5′ Seko Fofana (Ivory Coast) had a good opportunity from long range. His shot was directed towards the middle of the goal, but Stanley Nwabili was alert and made a comfortable save
45′ 4 additional min. will be played.
43′ Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) whips the ball into the penalty area, but one of the defenders is alert and spanks it away.
40′ Dangerous play by Zaidu (Nigeria). Dahane Beida blows his whistle for a foul.
38′ 1 – 0 Goal! William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) heads, which goes past the goalkeeper!
37′ Zaidu (Nigeria) expertly controls the pass inside the penalty area and shoots, but it’s inadvertently blocked a defender. The linesman makes the right call and Nigeria will have a corner.
35′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) swings in the corner kick, but one of the defenders leaps highest to head the ball away.
34′ Stanley Nwabili was forced into action to thwart Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast). He found himself some space after latching on to a pass and unleashed a shot to the right post but couldn’t beat the keeper. The referee and his assistant both point at the corner flag. Ivory Coast will have an opportunity to threaten the opposition’s goal.

Cooling break!

28′ Jose Peseiro is stunned as referee Dahane Beida shows him a yellow card. What was that for?
27′ Rough tackle by Victor Osimhen (Nigeria). The referee blows his whistle for a foul.
24′ Dahane Beida blows his whistle as Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) used excessive force in the tackle during an attack.
21′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) beats the defender to the ball in the box and shoots, but the ball flashes just wide of the left post.
21′ Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) looks like he will be the one to try and deliver a quality ball into the penalty box from the corner kick.
19′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) makes a rough challenge and Dahane Beida blows his whistle for a foul.
17′ Ademola Lookman (Nigeria) swings in a cross, but the ball is cleared to safety by one of the defending players.
14′ Jean Michael Seri (Ivory Coast) shoots from the edge of the penalty area. The ball travels low towards the middle of the target, but Stanley Nwabili easily deals with the threat.
14′ The corner from Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) is intercepted by the defence.
13′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) sends a beautiful cross into the penalty area, but the opposition’s defence manages to clear the ball to safety. The ball goes out of play and Ivory Coast have been awarded a corner kick.
10′ Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast) is clearly asking for some medical attention with his painful gestures. The extent of his injury is yet to be discovered.
9′ Dahane Beida couldn’t ignore the rough tackle by Calvin Bassey (Nigeria) and blew his whistle. Ivory Coast will take a free kick.
8′ Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) bursts into the box and only has the keeper to beat, but sends a poor shot well over the crossbar.
6′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) launches the ball from the resulting corner, but one of the defenders is first to the ball and deals with the threat.
6′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) looks to break free, but an opposing player clears the ball away. Ivory Coast win a corner.
2′ Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) deprives his opponent of the ball, but the referee blows his whistle for a foul. He’s not happy with the decision!

1′ The first half has just begun.

Frenkie de Jong ready to U-turn on Barcelona stance as Man United reignite transfer interest

Frenkie de Jong ready to U-turn on Barcelona stance as Man United reignite transfer interest

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is once again linked with a move to Manchester United and this time, he could be more receptive to the idea of upping sticks to Old Trafford

Frenkie de Jong has been linked with a move to Manchester United ever since the summer of 2022 when Erik ten Hag took the reins at Old Trafford.

United's Dutch manager is well versed in what De Jong's main strengths are, given the pair worked closely during their shared time at Eredivisie giants Ajax. Now at Barcelona, De Jong is often a name that crops up on the transfer wishlists of Premier League clubs.

He has hardly set the world alight since his switch to the Camp Nou in 2019, but that would have been difficult considering the number of obstacles the club has faced on and off the pitch in that time. Regardless, in the past De Jong has pledged his loyalty to Barcelona.

Looking back at comments from the Netherlands international made last summer, De Jong reaffirmed his commitment to the Barcelona cause. He told El Periodico: "I always wanted to be at Barca.

"In these first years, we had not won the League, nor gone far in the Champions League. We had only won one Copa del Rey. To succeed at Barca I had a lot left.

"And I also saw that the team was improving that summer. High-level players arrived. And that's why I wanted to continue. It is the club of my dreams and I want to be here all my life. I didn't want to leave suddenly."

However, it seems like something has changed in the six months that have passed since those remarks from De Jong. Half a year later, it appears that the technically gifted midfield maestro is now more open to the idea of leaving Barcelona as speculation over a move to Manchester rears its head once again.

The La Liga giants yet again find themselves in a precarious financial position and as a result, De Jong could be deemed as a sellable asset that would generate some much-needed funds. Ten Hag's stance on the talent is unlikely to have changed.
Breaking News: Lille ready to agree £51.2m deal to sell Jonathan David to Man United

Breaking News: Lille ready to agree £51.2m deal to sell Jonathan David to Man United

Manchester United were linked with Jonathan David in the winter transfer window but ended up signing no one to reinforce their squad.

If the latest reports in the media are anything to go by then the Red Devils have officially contacted Lille to inquire about the Canadian striker.

According to Voetbalkrant, Man Utd and Chelsea want to open talks to sign the 24-year-old striker and the French club is prepared to cash in.

The news source have mentioned that Lille are ready to agree a deal of at least £51.2m (60 million euros) to sell Jonathan David to United or the Blues.

It is reported that the two Premier League clubs can easily afford to meet the £51.2m fee to hire the services of the former Gent center forward.

The 45-capped Canadian has so far featured in 29 games for the Ligue 1 side this term, scored 13 goals and provided 6 assists.

At Old Trafford, Hojlund is currently the leader of the strike-force and the good thing is he has found his feet in the Premier League with four goals in the last many outings.

However, depth is a major concern as Martial, who has only started five PL games this season, is out injured and Ten Hag has not replaced the likes of Cavani and Ronaldo as yet.

In your view, should Man Utd agree a deal worth £51.2m to sign Jonathan David in the summer?
AFCON: ‘Don’t come back,’ South Africans threaten Stanley Nwabali

AFCON: ‘Don’t come back,’ South Africans threaten Stanley Nwabali

Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili who plays his professional football with Chippa Utd of South Africa says he knows the players.

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali has reportedly been threatened by South Africans not to return to his clubside, Chippa United following his heroics against the country.

Nwabali, who has been impressive for Super Eagles in the AFCON so far, plies his trade for Chippa United in South Africa.

While speaking on Channels Television on Thursday, former Super Eagles international, Idah Peterside made known the threats.

Peterside said some fans have already told the Super Eagles shot-stopper not to return to Chippa United after the tournament.

He said, however, that there have only been threats, and no violence has been recorded.

It is said that some South Africans are not pleased that the goalkeeper prevented their team from making it to the finals.

Nwabali was excellent during the semi-final clash against the Bafana Bafana in the semi-final clash on Wednesday.

The goalkeeper stopped multiple attempts by South African players during regulation time before going on to save two spot-kicks during the penalty shootout.
“My father said I’m still a legend despite Grammy loss” – Davido

“My father said I’m still a legend despite Grammy loss” – Davido

Popular Nigerian singer David Adeleke, better known as Davido, has declared that having a nomination for the just-finished 66th Grammy Awards is reason enough for him to be proud of himself.

Recall that he did not win an award at the Grammy Awards, which took place at the Arena in Los Angeles, despite receiving three nominations.

First-time Grammy nominee Davido disclosed that, even in the face of defeat, his millionaire father, Mr. Adedeji Adeleke, sent him words of encouragement.

In his most recent interview with Rolling Stone, the “Unavailable” singer talked about his rise to fame and said that his father told him he was still a legend.

He said;

“Being nominated alone is enough to make me proud of myself. I just want my song to be heard on the radio once or twice in the beginning, but for it to transcend to this is just amazing and God’s doing.

I was on the phone with my dad yesterday and he was like ‘Son no matter what happens, you are still a legend’. So yeah, he is a big fan.”
Man United News LIVE: Rashford to PSG transfer, Ratcliffe's four targets and Old Trafford plan

Man United News LIVE: Rashford to PSG transfer, Ratcliffe's four targets and Old Trafford plan

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is once again being eyed by Paris Saint-Germain as a replacement for Kylian Mbappe, while Sir Jim Ratcliffe is edging closer to officially becoming a 25 per cent shareholder and making clear his plans for the club and Old Trafford.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's era at Manchester United is on the brink of being official - but he's already laid the groundwork for some seismic changes at Old Trafford.

Firstly and quite literally, it's emerged that Ratcliffe wants to transform Old Trafford into the 'Wembley of the north' as part of a £2billion regeneration protect. But it's what happens on the hallowed turf which will dictate how supporters view his time running the show alongside the much-maligned Glazers, having been voted in by United's stakeholders on Monday.

Alongside his right-hand men at INEOS, Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc, the British petrochemicals tycoon is identifying the causes of United's poor performance over the last decade, with recruitment at the fore. That's why Ratcliffe has already developed a transfer strategy ahead of the summer window, with four targets emerging who'll no-doubt excite United fans.

Scroll down to find LIVE updates on everything Manchester United throughout Wednesday.

Eriksen offered return by Brentford boss

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has opened the door for Christian Eriksen to end his struggles at Manchester United and return to the London club.

Frank told Tipsbladet: "He will always be welcome back! Christian will always be. I think he knows that well. And we know he had a good time here."

Image:Getty Images)

Who'll replace Martinez against Aston Villa?

Erik ten Hag has a dilemma on his hands ahead of Sunday's trip to Aston Villa.

With Lisandro Martinez out injured, the Manchester United boss will have to select his preferred centre-back pairing out of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Jonny Evans and young Willy Kambwala.

Image:Getty Images)

ICYMI: PSG have one condition before making Rashford move

Paris Saint-Germain remain keen to sign Marcus Rashford as a replacement for Kylian Mbappe, but only if he truly wants to join the Ligue 1 champions.

Rashford's long-term future at Manchester United has been questioned in recent weeks amid his poor form and following a boozy trip to Belfast.

According to reports, PSG want the 26-year-old England internationals to signal his desire to leave Old Trafford before approaching United, who'd no-doubt drive a hard bargain.

Image:Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Neville concerned over next generation

Gary Neville has admitted that he worries Manchester United's up-and-coming talent won't be able to thrive at Old Trafford due to a lack of leaders in the dressing room.

Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho and are all showing great signs, but Neville believes that the right influences are needed around them.

Image:Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)