TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd target Pochettino’s Levy loyalty won’t keep him at Spursby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino’s relationship with chairman Daniel Levy won’t prevent him from leaving for Manchester United.The Daily Mail says Pochettino will not let his relationship with Levy stop him walking away from Tottenham.Pochettino is Manchester United’s first choice to become their next permanent boss, while the Argentine is also a long-term target for Real Madrid.The highly-rated manager has established a substantial power base at the north London club in recent seasons, working closely with supremo Levy to reshape the Tottenham squad since his arrival in 2014.But sources close to Pochettino insist the coach will have no qualms about walking away this summer should he decide his future lies elsewhere.
Fenerbahce chasing Watford defender Sebastian Prodlby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford face a battle to keep hold of defender Sebastian Prodl. The Watford Observer says Prodl is a target for Fenerbahce during the January transfer window.The Turkish side are said to be in the market for a new central defender and reports from Turkey claim the Istanbul club are set to offer €1.5million to sign the Austrian defender.Although the 32-year-old has been sidelined with injury, he has struggled for game time under Javi Gracia this season and has played just 13 minutes in the Premier League. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Aston Villa boss Smith reveals face-to-face Abraham talks about Wolvesby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa boss Dean Smith has urged Tammy Abraham to stay and fire them into the Premier League.Smith talked face-to-face with the 21-year-old on-loan Chelsea striker to find out if he was still keen on a temporary switch to Wolves.“Monday was an agreed day off for Tammy,” said Smith. “He came back in on Tuesday. I spoke to him then about his attitude, and it’s been spot-on since then.”He’s been happy here. I asked if he was looking to go elsewhere and he reiterated he was happy to be at Villa , was enjoying playing here and enjoying scoring goals — and nothing more was really said to him. I’ve said right from the outset I couldn’t see him going anywhere, and I’d have been amazed if he had.“The way I look at it, he’s scored 23 goals in this league before with Bristol City. He’s got 16 now. He’s got 20 games to go, if he scores another ten he’s never playing in the Championship again. He’s a Premier League player who’s here, playing in the Championship with us. We’re hoping he can score the goals to take us to the Premier League.”On the prospect of Wolves taking Abraham on-loan, Smith added: “I don’t believe a recall to send him on loan again would have made sense. He’s been on loan three times already. He’s enjoying his football here and long may that continue.“I think everyone knew there was a release clause if Chelsea wanted to pull him back. But my understanding is that if they had activated it it would be for him to play for them, because they had no intention of selling him.“His state of mind is fine. This has been going on for two or three weeks now and he’s scored goals in that time.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be a bubblier and more positive sounding manager than the other recent figures in the Manchester United dugout, but Jesse Lingard says the Norwegian isn’t averse to dishing out some Sir Alex Ferguson-style hairdryer treatment if required.Having taken over after the sacking of Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer’s caretaker reign has seen the Red Devils pick up five straight wins, with the team seemingly playing with a freedom and confidence that hasn’t been seen for some time.But while the mood in the camp is positive, Sunday’s match up with Tottenham sees the interim boss take in the toughest test of his tenure to date and Lingard says that his friendly gaffer isn’t afraid to get tough if he feels the team aren’t giving their all. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “He’s got a hairdryer in him,” Lingard told Sky Sports, referencing Fergie’s famous close-quarters motivational talks.“He’ll put his foot down and tell you how it is. That’s what you need sometimes if a game is going well, you need a pick me up to remind yourself that you are a Man Utd player and you play with pride and passion.“It’s not all jokes and smiles. We work hard and that’s what he wants. He wants 100 per cent from each player and everybody to know their job on gameday. We’re clued up through the week on what we need to do.”Solskjaer isn’t the only old face to have returned to the club following Mourinho’s dismissal, with former player and coach Mike Phelan having been reinstated to help get United back to something resembling their old selves.And Lingard feels it’s working, adding: “It feels like the old Man Utd with Phelan being there too.“He’s brought that motivation side to the team. [Phelan, Solskjaer and Michael Carrick] stay on you to keep getting better and we keep doing that.”A break in club football has allowed the squad to take in a warm weather training camp in Dubai, giving Solskjaer a more intimate look at what his players are capable of as well as giving the new boss time to bond with his squad.“He’s got to know us a bit better and got to know how each player plays, what position they like and how they feel on the pitch,” Lingard said.“He’s worked on that and got a base for us to attack team, play with confidence, and if you lose the ball, win it back. If you make a mistake, it doesn’t matter, go again and get the ball.“As a United player he wants people to get on the ball whether you’re having a good game or a bad game. He wants you to drive the team and try to win the game.“There’s kind of a no-fear factor in the way we approach games now. I think Dubai has helped as a good bonding trip for Ole to get to know the players and staff a bit more.“We worked hard, got what we needed and now we’re ready to face Tottenham. It’ll be a test but we’re going there to win the match.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Paul Pogba responded to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s bottle cap challenge in double the style.LA Galaxy star Ibrahimovic, Pogba’s former Manchester United team-mate, did the bottle cap challenge – the latest viral craze – on Thursday, prior delivering a brace in a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC that also featured the star striker having his name misspelled on his jersey . After completing the challenge on his Instagram account, Ibrahimovic delivered an invite to the France midfielder, telling him he was next. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Pogba – whose agent Mino Raiola confirmed on Friday he wanted to leave United amid links to Real Madrid – responded in his own way less than 24 hours later.The 26-year-old attempted to top Ibrahimovic by opting to kick the lids off two bottles rather than the usual one.”@iamzlatanibrahimovic thanks for the #bottlecapchallenge invite!!” Pogba wrote on Instagram alongside a video of him kicking the lids off.”I’ve just put my pogtouch? If you don’t mind 2bottles challenge now?”The United star succeeded in this challenge, but he may well face a more difficult task in getting an exit from Old Trafford.Amid reported interest from Juventus and Real Madrid, Pogba admitted in June he would be interested in a new challenge, but has a contract with the Red Devils through 2021.Raiola claimed Friday “everyone” at the club was aware of Pogba’s wish to leave United, and that the process for that to happen had already begun. United head to Australia on a pre-season trip on Sunday with Pogba’s status for that tour uncertain, with Raiola refusing to discuss if his client will link up with his teammates. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Algeria defeated Nigeria 2-1 to reach the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Sunday evening.Riyad Mahrez scored the winning goal for the Desert Foxes in additional time after Odion Ighalo’s effort had cancelled out William Troost-Ekong’s own goal.Gernot Rohr stuck to the team that defeated South Africa in the quarter-final, with Samuel Chukwueze, who found the back of the net against Bafana Bafana starting his second game in the tournament. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? On the other hand, Djamel Belmadi replaced Youcef Attal, who suffered a fractured collarbone against Ivory Coast with Mehdi Zeffane while Baghdad Bounedjah spearheaded the Desert Foxes’ attack.Having met eight times previously in the biennial tournament with a balanced record of three wins for each side and two draws, both sides were eager to outwit each other at Cairo International Stadium and the Super Eagles were the first to get close to scoring through Oghenekaro Etebo’s free-kick.Algeria had a wonderful chance in the eighth minute when Youcef Belaili crossed the ball into the area but Bounedjah missed the target.The Desert Foxes were awarded a free-kick in the quarter-half-hour mark after Chidozie Awaziem fouled Belaili. Ismael Bennacer delivered a fine cross into the area but Ramy Bensebaini’s header flew off the crossbar.Algeria continued to dominate possession, dictating the pace in the early minutes of the encounter but failed to get a reward for their effort.Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi made a fine save from Bounedjah moments before the half-hour mark after the Al Sadd striker stole the ball from Kenneth Omeruo.Chukwueze had a chance to open the scoring for the Super Eagles in the 31sst minute but his free-kick was well dealt with by goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi.Algeria finally broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Troost-Ekong turned Mahrez’s cross into the back of his own net.After the restart, the Desert Foxes continued to dominate the game with Sofiane Feghouli trying a shot on goal but his effort went off target.Oghenekaro Etebo fired a long-range effort which was blocked by Aissa Mandi, however, after referee Bakary Papa Gassama consulted with the VAR, Mandi was adjudged to have handled the ball in his area.The Super Eagles were awarded a penalty and Odion Ighalo dispatched his effort from the spot to bring the Super Eagles back into contention.Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr introduced Galatasaray forward Henry Onuekuru for Chukwueze in the 78th minute as the Super Eagles searched for the winning goal.In additional time, Manchester City winger Mahrez scored the decisive goal with a well-taken free-kick to help the Desert Foxes into the final.The Desert Foxes will slug it out with Senegal in the final of the continental competition at Cairo International Stadium on Friday. read more
Jasper Cillessen had grown tired of sitting on the bench at Barcelona and does not view his move to Valencia as a backward step.Valencia shelled out €35 million ($39m, £31m) in June to sign Cillessen, who spent three seasons at Barca acting as back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.The 30-year-old won five major trophies at Camp Nou, including two La Liga titles, but was never able to earn a regular place in Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The Netherlands international made just 12 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants last season and believes the transfer to Valencia is a positive move for him at this stage of his career.”I have not had problems with Barcelona or with any team. For me, the most important thing is to play. It’s the only reason I’m here,” Cillessen told Marca.”For me to come to Valencia is not a step back. Between being on the bench of Barcelona or playing at Valencia, playing at Valencia is much better. It is easy. It is not a step back.”When I arrived at Barcelona, Ter Stegen was on a different level than now. And after three years he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”I think we both improved, but it was time for me to leave.”Valencia are reportedly interested in Barca midfielder Rafinha and Cillessen hopes the Brazilian, who has been out of action since November due to a serious left knee injury, follows him in heading to Mestalla.The Dutchman said of Rafinha: “He is a very good player, he has had very bad luck with injuries. But he is a great player, it would be very important here with this system and for the coach.”He is my friend and I want him to come here.”Valencia kicked off their latest pre-season campaign with a 1-0 defeat against Monaco on Saturday, with a clash against Sion up next tomorrow.Los Ches’ first match of the 2019-20 season is against Real Sociedad at the Mestalla on August 17, which is followed by a trip to Celta Vigo a week later.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp cannot wait for his team’s star men to return to the fold at Anfield as the Reds’ ‘strange’ pre-season came to an end with another defeat on Sunday against Napoli.The 3-0 to reverse to the Serie A club at a sold out Murrayfield in Edinburgh made it four winless friendlies in a row for a Reds side missing several vital pieces.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Alisson are all missing because of extended holidays after international commitments. Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita have been absent through injury. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The German coach admitted that being without those players had caused problems for pre-season but did find a silver lining.“Finally, this period is over,” the 52-year-old told LFCTV after the game.“I never had a preseason like this, without six players missing a complete pre-season. It’s just strange.“Tomorrow a couple of them come back, it would be better if they had come earlier, but that’s how it is.“The best news is [Manchester] City have no idea who they face next week because we will surprise ourselves probably!”Klopp’s side face City in the Community Shield at Wembley on August 4.The traditional curtain-raiser to the English season will be a chance for the Merseyside club to make a statement against the side that beat them to the Premier League title by one point last season.They are expected to welcome back five of the six absentees this week, with only Mane, who helped guide Senegal to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, remaining away from the group.Keita and Shaqiri have resumed training and may play a part in Liverpool’s final warm-up game on Wednesday against Ligue 1 side Lyon.“Shaqiri and Keita as well, they trained already with us once, one session. They will come tomorrow and they should be a step further,” Klopp said.“We will see, hopefully they can play a couple of minutes on Wednesday. Five of six back, which is good.”After the Community Shield, Liverpool open the Premier League season with a game against newly promoted Norwich City on August 9. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeye helmet is seen on the sidelines prior to the start of the game during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)The preseason is almost over for Ohio State. The Buckeyes open up the 2018 campaign on Saturday against Oregon State.In the meantime, some more of OSU’s heralded freshman class are earning their place on the roster. Two more frosh have shed their black stripes.The latest Buckeyes to lose the stripe and officially be welcomed to the program are a pair of four-stars: defensive end Tyreke Smith and cornerback Sevyn Banks.Ohio State announced the news moments ago on Twitter:⬛️? #BlackStripe for @almighty_ty5! Welcome to the #Rushmen ‼️#GoBucks #WinTheMoment pic.twitter.com/w7tGSCgDNh— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 28, 2018⬛️? That’s a #BIABlackStripe for @BanksNiko! Welcome to the #DBU family ‼️#GoBucks #WinTheMoment pic.twitter.com/mZ5j33CNdP— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 28, 2018In case you didn’t know, when a player–usually a newcomer or veteran walk-on–officially “earns” his place on the roster at Ohio State, he loses the black stripe on his helmet. It is a huge deal.The Buckeyes will open up the 2018 season at home Saturday against Oregon State. It is the first of three games without head coach Urban Meyer, who is serving a suspension related to his handling of the Zach Smith situation.Kickoff is set for noon Saturday on ABC.