Solskjaer plans mass Utd changes in the summer

Manchester United’s new permanent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could face one of the busiest summers in the club’s recent memory, according to Sky Sports, with up to six first team regulars preparing to depart Old Trafford for pastures new. The futures of some other players are also up in the air, while prospective transfer targets look as though they may be difficult – or at the very least highly expensive – to bring in as the club seeks to return towards the top of the Premier League next season. Ander…

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Real Madrid close to Hazard agreement

Chelsea star Eden Hazard is ‘on the cusp’ of agreeing a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to a report in The Sun this morning. Last week it was reported that moves had begun to bring the Belgian to the Bernabeu, but those links appear to have grown over the weekend, and an agreement for a summer transfer could be found this week. It is thought a fee of £100m will be accepted. Hazard, 28, has been linked with a Stamford Bridge in the last two close seasons, but…

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West Ham Dzeko links return

Edin Dzeko

West Ham could be lining up a summer move for AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to reports in the Express. Dzeko, 33, played under Hammers manager Mauricio Pellegrini at Manchester City, with the Bosnian scoring 50 goals in 130 matches, on his way to winning the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, League Cup and Community shield. West Ham have struggled for goals this term, currently having netted 41 times in the league, and their top scorer is midfielder Felipe Anderson, on 8 goals. Dzeko’s goalscoring has also slowed…

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Gotze makes new Liverpool hint

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze has spoken again of his admiration for ex-boss Jurgen Klopp, prompting rumours of a potential reunion in the Summer. Gotze, 26, played under Klopp at Dortmund before both departed, with the Germany international heading to Bayern Munich for 3 years, before returning to the Signal-Iduna-Park stadium in 2016. But with just one year left on his contract, the World Cup winner, with 63 caps, has hinted that a potential link up with his old boss could be something he’d want to consider, having had discussions…

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Juventus confirm interest in Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey

Juventus have officially signalled their interest in signing Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey whose contract expires in the summer, and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs. The midfielder was set to sign a new contract at the club before it was withdrawn amid a cloud of mystery earlier this season. With only six months left on his deal, the 28-year-old is now free to negotiate with foreign clubs under the Bosman ruling. The Juventus sporting director, Fabio Paratici, said of Ramsey: “He’s a great player, we really like…

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Chelsea sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £58m

Chelsea have signed Borussia Dortmund forward Christian Pulisic for 64m euros (£58m) but will loan him to the German club until the end of the season. The 20-year-old United States international, who was linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, joined Dortmund as a youth player in 2015. Pulisic has scored nine goals in 23 games for the US. 🤝 @cpulisic_10 wechselt im Sommer zum @ChelseaFC! Der BVB hat sich mit dem FC Chelsea auf einen Transfer von Christian #Pulisic mit sofortiger Wirkung geeinigt, Chelsea wiederum leiht den 20-Jährigen bis zum Saisonende an den…

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West Ham sign Samir Nasri on day doping ban ends

West Ham have signed former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri – on the day he completes a doping ban. The 31-year-old Frenchman has been without a club since 31 January, after leaving Turkish club Antalyaspor. Nasri, who has signed a deal until the end of the season, served an 18-month doping ban for using an intravenous drip treatment but is available to play again from 1 January. He won two Premier League titles and the League Cup in six years with City. “Coming back to the most competitive…

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery fined for Brighton bottle incident

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been fined £8,000 by the Football Association for kicking a bottle which hit a Brighton fan during last week’s Premier League match between the sides. The FA charged Emery with improper conduct following the incident near the end of the 1-1 draw on 26 December. The Spaniard apologised for the incident, which was not included in the officials’ match report. “I said to them I’m sorry,” Emery said after the game. “It wasn’t hard but it touched one supporter.” An FA spokesperson said Emery had “accepted the…

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Tottenham extend Toby Alderweireld deal but activate £25m release clause

Tottenham will trigger the extension clause in defender Toby Alderweireld’s contract, but have also included a £25m release clause, manager Mauricio Pochettino says. The Belgium international’s current deal runs out next year but the club has an option to extend it until 2020. The release clause of £25m will apply up to the last two weeks of the summer transfer window. Pochettino said on Thursday: “It is the same situation as Jan [Vertonghen].” Spurs announced earlier in December that the club had extended Vertonghen’s contract until 2020. The Belgium defender is back…

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Napoli threaten to walk off over alleged racist chanting

Napoli have threatened to walk off the pitch if there is a repeat of the alleged racial abuse that defender Kalidou Koulibaly suffered during their 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan at the San Siro. The Senegal international lost his temper after being booked for a foul on Matteo Politano in the 81st minute and was sent off for applauding the referee’s decision. Ancelotti said Napoli had asked three times for the match to be stopped after Koulibaly was subjected to alleged racist chanting from the stands. Announcements were made on…

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Mateo Kovacic eyes permanent stay at Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic has admitted he “can imagine” staying on at Chelsea, but acknowledges that Real Madrid will have the final say on his future. The midfielder joined the London club on a season-long loan from the European champions after becoming frustrated at a lack of regular playing time in Spain. Kovacic has taken to life in the English capital, playing 23 times in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, and with the possibility of a permanent switch now being mooted, the 24-year-old is open to staying if all parties reach an agreement. “I…

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Manchester City receive timely boost with Silva return

Manchester City have been handed a timely reprieve from injuries as the club announced David Silva returned to training on Christmas Day and is in the running to face Leicester. The Spanish midfielder had been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in City’s loss at Chelsea earlier this month, missing games against Hoffenheim, Everton, and the shock home defeat to Crystal Palace. The 32-year-old is now in the frame to play when City travel to Leicester on Boxing Day as Pep Guardiola’s side aim to claw back the four-point…

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Timothy Weah confirms January loan move away from PSG

Timothy Weah has confirmed he will leave Paris Saint-Germain on loan next month in order to gain more first-team experience. The United States international broke into the PSG squad at the end of last season, but has struggled to hold down a place in the current campaign and has not been in the matchday squad since August. He has only played three games in all competitions this season and hopes a loan move will help him improve as a player and put him in a better position to be a PSG regular…

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Lille reveal price for hotshot Arsenal target Nicolas Pepe

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe will only be allowed to leave the club for a fee of €80 million (£72m), according to the club’s sporting director. The 23-year-old has been linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs following an impressive start to the season that has seen him score 12 goals and provide five assists in 19 Ligue 1 appearances. Arsenal have consistently been mooted as a potential destination for the Ivorian international. “I hope he will stay this winter. We’ll do everything to keep him,” Lille sporting director Luis Campos…

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Arsenal dealt injury blow as Mkhitaryan is ruled out for up to six weeks

Arsenal have been handed a blow in the packed festive season after midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was ruled out of action for up to six weeks with a fractured metatarsal in his right foot. Mkhitaryan, 29, was replaced at half-time during the Carabao Cup quarter-final loss to Tottenham and missed the Premier League win over Burnley. The Armenian has scored four goals and provided three assists for the Emirates Stadium side this season. He joins a lengthy injury list for Arsenal that also includes long-term absentees Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding, with both not…

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MLS Champions Atlanta United hire Frank de Boer as new head coach

Atlanta United have announced the appointment of Frank de Boer as the club’s new head coach. The former Ajax and Crystal Palace boss was only recently linked to the job vacated by Argentinean coach Tata Martino, and the club have now confirmed the hiring of only the second ever manager in its history. New chapter. Same mission.#ATLUTD name @FdeBoerOfficial as 2nd head coach in club history 📝 https://t.co/H2VX85UytQ pic.twitter.com/AT7rLstHHf — Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) December 23, 2018 “Frank de Boer has a distinguished background, both as manager and player, and…

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Inter Milan suspend Radja Nainggolan for ‘disciplinary reasons’

Inter Milan have suspended midfielder Radja Nainggolan for ‘disciplinary reasons’, the club confirmed in a statement on Sunday. The 30-year-old, who reportedly arrived late for training on three separate occasions in the last week, has also been fined a substantial sum of money. Nainggolan joined Inter from Roma for €38m in the summer and has since made 11 Serie A appearances for the club, with the latest a 67-minute appearance at Chievo on Saturday in a 1-1 draw. It is unlikelyNainggolan will feature in the Boxing Day fixture against Napoli. Inter are…

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Peter Bosz set for Bundesliga return with Bayer Leverkusen

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Peter Bosz will make a return to the Bundesliga after being appointed by Bayer Leverkusen. The club confirmed the move on Sunday, as they announced Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his duties. Leverkusen beat Hertha BSC 3-1 on Saturday in the final game before the winter break. However, they have now let Herrlich go with the club ninth in the Bundesliga and seven points adrift of the Champions League spots. Bosz will take over the side in January. Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of…

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Turkish club declare interest in Arsenal’s Ozil

Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir have declared an interest in signing Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil. The World Cup winner has endured a difficult season under new manager Unai Emery with many rumours of a breakdown in relationship between the two men. Ozil has been linked with an exit from the club with a return to Real Madrid or a switch to Inter Milan mooted as potential destinations but Istanbul Basaksehir president Goksel Gumusdag has thrown his side’s hat into the ring. “Mesut Özil is a very valuable player,” Gumusdag told BILD. “I hope that…

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Kaboul contract terminated by Watford by mutual consent

Watford have terminated the contract of Younes Kaboul by mutual consent, bringing an end to the defender’s two-and-a-half-year association with the club. Kaboul joined Watford from Sunderland in a reported £4 million deal in August 2016 and featured heavily in his debut campaign at Vicarage Road. The former Tottenham and Portsmouth centre-back has struggled with injuries since then, however, and has not been used since a 2-0 Premier League win over Southampton 15 months ago. 🐝 | The Hornets have agreed to cancel the contract of defender Younès Kaboul by mutual consent. Everyone at #watfordfc wishes Younès…

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Sarri admits Drinkwater can leave Chelsea if he wants

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said that midfielder Danny Drinkwater is free to leave Chelsea if he so chooses. The 28-year-old has completely fallen off the radar under Sarri, having made his only Blues appearance of the season in the Community Shield back in August. Drinkwater signed for Chelsea from Leicester City in September 2017 for a £35 million fee, and featured sparingly in his first season at Stamford Bridge. Under Antonio Conte, Drinkwater made 22 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last season. But after Sarri took over the England midfielder has fallen out…

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Lukaku set to miss Solskjaer’s first game at Cardiff

Romelu Lukaku is set to miss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge of Manchester United against Cardiff City on Saturday. The former United striker was asked about the Belgian’s availability at his first press conference and revealed that the former Everton forward is likely to be missing. When asked about the 25-year-old’s availability, Solskjaer told reporters: “Lukaku has had a couple of days off, I’ve not seen him yet and I’ve not seen Alexis because he’s on his way back as well. “I’m looking forward to seeing them.” Reports have claimed that Lukaku’s absence is due to compassionate leave and…

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Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio ruled out with thigh injury

Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio will be out of action for sometime after suffering a thigh injury in his side’s 3-1 win over Kashima Antlers in the semifinal of the Fifa Club World Cup. The club revealed on Friday morning that the player has a grade II muscle strain in the right quadricep and that they are evaluating the situation. Asensio medical report.#RealMadrid https://t.co/Jx1Lnazh6Q — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 21, 2018 It is unclear how long Asensio will be out for but the 22-year-old will definitely miss the…

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Barcelona sign Valencia defender Jeison Murillo on initial loan deal

Barcelona have announced the signing of Valencia defender Jeison Murillo on loan for the rest of the season, with the option to make it permanent for £22.6m. The 26-year-old Colombia international joined Valencia on a permanent deal in the summer following a season-long loan spell from Inter Milan. However he has only played three times all season for Marcelino’s side – with his sole La Liga game in September. He has previously played for Granada, Cadiz and Las Palmas in Spain. Murillo will be officially presented as a Barca player…

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Lionel Messi wins record fifth European Golden Shoe award

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says he “never imagined having so much success” after being presented with a record fifth European Golden Shoe award. The Argentine scored 34 goals in 36 La Liga appearances in 2017-18, making him the highest goalscorer in Europe ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (32). Messi’s latest Golden Shoe award moves him one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won four in total. “The truth is I had no idea this would happen when I started,” said Messi. “I dreamt of playing professional football and enjoying success,…

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