Reports: Blow for Manchester United as Real Madrid, Barcelona join race for Serie A star

Reports: Manchester United fans demand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sign top target in January

Several areas of concern remain for Manchester United despite a big spending spree in the summer. The Red Devils have already lost four of their twelve matches in the league and are outside the top four spots. The English giants had pinned down one player as a potential target but now might face difficulties in signing him as Real Madrid and Barcelona have entered the race. 

According to a report by Corriere dello Sport, via Mirror, Real Madrid and Barcelona have joined Manchester United in the race for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar. The Red Devils were reportedly keeping tabs on the Slovakian centre-back this summer and even had a bid rejected in the region of £50 Million before they decided to sign Harry Maguire.

Now, both Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are also after his services, as they look to replace key parts of their backline. While Los Blancos are looking for a long-term replacement for captain Sergio Ramos, the Blaugrana are hoping to replace Samuel Umtiti.

However, signing Skriniar won’t be easy for any interested club. The Inter Milan star recently signed a new long-term contract and is a key part of Antonio Conte’s side. He has started every game for the Nerazzurri so far in the domestic league and the UEFA Champions League.

Reports: Chelsea enter race for £70 Million rated Brazilian wonder-kid

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard

There might just be light at the end of the tunnel for Chelsea FC, with Court of Arbitration for Sports set to hear their appeal regarding a transfer ban. The Blues will appear in front of the CAS on November 20 and will hope to get a verdict before the January window begins. They have identified a player to sign as well, should the ban be lifted. 

According to a report by Express, Chelsea FC have entered the race for Brazilian wonder-kid Reinier Jesus. The 17-year-old is the latest South American talent to create waves with his displays, with top European clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, vying for his signature.

The report states that the Blues have identified the youngster as one of their top targets, as they look to add squad depth and prepare for the eventual departures of Pedro and Willian. However, they must hope that their transfer embargo is lifted in time for the January window before they can make an official move. If the rumours are to be believed, Flamengo will ask any interested club £60-£70 Million for his services.

Meanwhile, Arsenal too are said to be keen on the attacking midfielder, especially after the success of Gabriel Martinelli. The Gunners have reportedly contacted Reinier’s father in order to discuss a potential move to the Emirates.

OFFICIAL: Vietnam announce 23-man squad for Thailand game; two players replaced

Two ASEAN heavyweights meet in the FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, second round, as Vietnam take on Thailand. The 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup champions are looking to extend their lead in Group G and have named their final 23-man squad for the upcoming match. 

Park Hang-seo has added Nguyen Trong Hung and Le Van Dai ahead of Vietnam’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Thailand. The pair replace Nguyen Huy Hung and Nguyen Huu Tuan in the squad.

The Golden Dragons currently stand on top of Group G rankings with ten points. Thailand, meanwhile, are second with seven.

Here is the 23-man squad for Vietnam’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Thailand – 

GOALKEEPERS (3): Dang Van Lam (Muangthong United), Nguyen Tuan Manh (Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN), Pham Van Cuong (Quang Nam)

DEFENDERS (6): Nguyen Thanh Chung (Ha Noi), Do Duy Manh (Ha Noi), Doan Van Hau (Heerenveen SC), Que Ngoc Hai (Viettel), Bui Tien Dung (Viettel), Le Van Dai (Thanh Hoa)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Vu Van Thanh (HAGL), Nguyen Phong Hong Duy (HAGL), Nguyen Tuan Anh (HAGL), Pham Duc Huy (Ha Noi), Nguyen Quang Hai (Ha Noi), Do Hung Dung (Ha Noi), Nguyen Trong Hoang (Viettel), Nguyen Hoang Duc (Viettel)

FORWARDS (6): Nguyen Van Toan (HAGL), Nguyen Cong Phuong (Sint Truidense), Nguyen Anh Duc (Becamex Binh Duong), Ha Minh Tuan (Quang Nam), Nguyen Tien Linh (Becamex Binh Duong), Nguyen Trong Hung (Thanh Hoa)

Reports: Arsenal set sack deadline for Unai Emery amid fears over club’s loss of identity

Singapore legend and Arsenal supporter Aleksandar Duric ‘not a fan’ of Unai Emery

Unai Emery’s second season at Arsenal is slowly turning into a disaster. The Spanish football coach has lost much of the fan support following questionable team selection and poor results. A new report now claims that Emery has been given a deadline to save his job although fears over the bigger picture remain. 

According to a report by the Mirror, Unai Emery has one month to save his Arsenal job. The Gunners are in a poor spell at the moment and are without a league win in since mid-October, having lost two and drawn two in the same period. However, there is further fear inside the club that the legacy Arsene Wenger left behind has already been tarnished.

Mirror quoted one source who voiced his concerns regarding the club’s loss of identity, following a spell of disastrous appointments and personnel changes.

“The DNA that made ­Arsenal the club it was has slowly but surely drained away,” the source said.

“Appointments have been made – both before and after Wenger’s departure – that either didn’t work out or aren’t working out. Long-serving members of staff have been shocked by what’s ­happening to the club.”

Arsenal next face struggling Southampton in the Premier League, with both teams in need of a win.

Reports: Manchester United list two strikers as Erling Haaland alternatives

Manchester United are seemingly on the road to recovery following a poor start to the season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have already lost four games in the league this season but are still within range of a top-four spot. They have identified Erling Haaland as a player to improve their offence and have also listed his alternatives in case a move to bring him to Old Trafford breaks down. 

According to a report by ESPN, Manchester United have also listed Moussa Dembele of Lyon and Callum Wilson of Bournemouth in their striker shortlist. Erling Haaland, meanwhile, remains the club’s key target up front following incredible start to the season which has seen him score twenty-six times in eighteen appearances.

Haaland is courted by Europe’s top clubs, including Juventus, Real Madrid, and Manchester City. Manchester United, however, have a slight advantage with the player familiar with head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The pair were together for a short while at Molde before Solskjaer joined United and Haaland signed for RB Salzburg.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, have reportedly drawn up an eight-man shortlist, containing the likes of Haaland, Wilson, and Dembele. They are also after England international Jadon Sancho and Premier League breakout star, John McGinn.

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema snubbed by international team after plea of switching allegiance

Karim Benzema’s exclusion from the France National Team continues to be the case, following his alleged involvement in a scandal involving former teammate Mathieu Valbuena. The Real Madrid star recently asked FFF to allow him to change nations but he has now been rejected by the only eligible choice. 

Algeria National Team head coach, Djamel Belmadi, has revealed that he would not take Karim Benzema over his current line-up of strikers. Belmadi’s comments come after Benzema had revealed his desire to play for another country with Algeria being the only eligible nation.

“I have (Baghdad) Bounedjah, Islam (Slimani), (Andy) Delort, (Hillal) Soudani. I’m very happy with the players I have,” Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi told Algerian football website DZFoot. (via Daily Mail)

The Real Madrid star had personally asked French Football Federation President Noel le Graët to allow him to play for another country after the latter reiterated that his national team stint was over.

“Noel, I thought you weren’t interfering with the coach’s decisions!

“I want you to know that I and I alone would end my international career. If you think I’m finished, let me play for one of the countries that I’m eligible for and we’ll see.”

Benzema had indeed been approached by Algeria, albeit when he was still playing at a youth level. During his Under-21 days back in December 2006, the Real Madrid striker was approached by the then Algerian Football Federation President Hamid Haddadj and head coach Jean-Michel Cavalli concerning a potential switch. However, he turned them down to focus on playing for France instead.

He played eighty-one times, scoring twenty-seven goals, for the France Senior Team between 2007 and 2016.

WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘steals’ Diogo Jota’s goal to score his 99th for Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his ninety-ninth international goal against Luxembourg, as he took Portugal to the 2020 UEFA Euro. However, the skipper seemed to have caused quite the uproar for ‘stealing’ the goal from Diogo Jota, who was close to breaking his national team duck. Watch the goal here. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his ninety-ninth international goal as he helped Portugal beat Luxembourg and confirm their spot in the 2020 UEFA Euro. However, fans did criticize the national team captain for stealing Diogo Jota’s goal off the line, with the ball seemingly headed into the net.

Watch the goal below:

A similar situation happened with Cristiano Ronaldo himself earlier this month. Juventus faced Lokomotiv Moscow and the Bianconeri were given a free-kick early in the match, with the Portuguese superstar stepping up to take it.

Ronaldo hit the freekick which seemed to be headed for the goal after goalkeeper Guilherme had spilt it. However, Aaron Ramsey applied a boot to it at the last moment to steal the goal off his teammate, for which he later apologized.

Meanwhile, Portugal advanced to the 2020 UEFA Euro following a two-nil win over Luxembourg. The reigning Euro and UEFA Nations League champions finished second in their qualifier group, behind Ukraine and could face a nightmare draw.

Harry Redknapp believes Manchester United, Arsenal will miss out on key target this season

Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham have begun the season on a disappointing note. All three teams are currently situated outside of the top four in the Premier League table. According to Harry Redknapp, two of those teams will finish outside the Champions League spots at the end of the season. 

Former Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, believes that Manchester United and Arsenal will miss out on top four this year. As per Redknapp, the two English giants will finish outside the Champions League spots unless there is a ‘big improvement’.

“Tottenham have it all on now to get in the top four this year,” Redknapp told The Sun.

“The only thing now in their favour is that Arsenal look so poor. Chelsea are doing great, they’re going to be challenging. Leicester are going to be bang in there.

“But you’re looking at Arsenal — and Manchester United — and wondering if they are going to make it this year. I can see both of those two not making the top four unless there is a big improvement.

“It’s been a disappointing season so far for Spurs. I really thought they would be close to Manchester City and Liverpool and challenging.

“It’s difficult. The players haven’t hit the form they did last year. I’m a big fan of the manager and hopefully, they can turn it around.”

Liverpool, Leicester City, Chelsea, and Manchester City make up the top four at present, with surprise package Sheffield United the closest challengers. Arsenal and Manchester United and sixth and seventh in the table respectively, behind the cut-off point by eight points. Tottenham, meanwhile, are fourteenth with fourteen points.

Barcelona sporting director Eric Aidal confirms club’s interest in Argentina star

The search for Luis Suarez’s replacement at Barcelona is underway. The Blaugrana are reportedly keen on several players, including one Argentina international. And now, the club’s sporting director, Eric Abidal, has confirmed their interest in the attacker. 

Barcelona sporting director praised Inter Milan striker and reported club target, Lautaro Martinez. Abidal claimed that the Argentine striker is indeed a player they are following with a view over a future move.

“He is a complete player, I think he is performing at a great level,” Abidal told Mundo Deportivo.

“He is a player we know, there are other players who also have a lot of quality.

“I know Barca, I know what adaptation is like, but I don’t pay much attention to the player who plays every weekend, I look at others.”

Meanwhile, Abidal also revealed that he has informed Luis Suarez that a search for his replacement is already underway, a notion which the Uruguayan seemingly accepted.

“I am transparent with the players, Luis can tell you because last year I already told him that it was going to be like that, that we were going to look for an offensive player and I don’t say he did not accept it, he accepted it because he wants the best for the team.

“Today I can tell you that there is no priority, the planning will always be done, no matter the position in the field, the only change will be the decision. It may be the first signing, the second, it depends on whether there are injuries, exits, ethics, etc.”

Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga with twenty-five points, edging rivals Real Madrid on goal difference.

Former Chelsea star says Eden Hazard ‘didn’t like to train hard’; reveals hardest worker he has played with

Real Madrid star Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard’s slow start at Real Madrid has earned him criticism. Los Blancos spent a considerable amount of money on the Belgian, whom they brought in from Chelsea. Questions over his weight and commitment have also been asked, but one of his ex-teammates reveals that he was always lazy and yet turned up on matchdays. 

Former Chelsea star, John Obi Mikel, has revealed Eden Hazard’s lazy antics in training. The Nigerian international revealed that Hazard just stood by waiting for others to finish training but still managed to star in games over the weekend.

“Hazard has an incredible talent,” Mikel told beIN Sports in Turkey. (via Goal)

“Maybe not as good as [Lionel] Messi, but he can do whatever he wants with the ball at his feet.

“He didn’t like to train hard. While we were working he was waiting for us to finish training just standing there. But on Sundays he was always the man of the match, it was unbelievable.”

Furthermore, Mikel was also asked to name the hardest working player he ever played with. He gave that tag to his former midfield partner and current Chelsea head coach, Frank Lampard.

Lampard finished his career at Stamford Bridge as the Blues’ leading scorer of all time. Stints at Manchester City and New York City FC followed before he hung up his boots. After a few appearances as a pundit, Lampard then joined Derby County as their manager for the 2018/19 season and led them all the way through to the Championships play-off Final, where they lost to Aston Villa.

Chelsea brought their club legend back on board as the head coach ahead of the 2019/20 season. His team currently sits third in the league table, ahead of rivals Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Manchester City.

Reports: Arsenal look to take lead in race for Brazil wonder-kid by contacting his father

As things stand, Gabriel Martinelli is looking like one of the signings of the season. The young Brazilian attacker was signed by Arsenal for just 6 Million and has since scored seven times. Meanwhile, the Gunners are now looking to replicate their success with Martinelli by signing another Brazilian wonderkid. Reports claim that they have made direct contact with his father too! 

According to a report by Mundo Deportivo, via The Sun, Arsenal have contacted the father of Brazilian wonderkid, Reinier Jesus, to discuss a possible move. Reinier’s father is said to have visited Europe in order to find the perfect club for his son, following interest from some heavyweights such as Real Madrid and Juventus.

The 17-year-old, meanwhile, confirmed the interest of at least one club – Atletico Madrid – recently, when he claimed he was honoured to be linked with them.

“It’s an honour that Atlético are interested in me because they are a huge club,” he said.

“It’s another honour to know that one of the biggest clubs in the world is watching me. But I’m a Flamengo player and my objective is to keep doing a good job here to win many titles in Brazil.”

Nevertheless, Arsenal will have to submit a huge bid if they hope to sign the Brazil starlet. Reports claim that his current club, Flamengo, inserted a £60 Million release clause in his contract given the interest in their player.

Eden Hazard gives verdict on ex-club Chelsea; reveals what they need to be champions again

Eden Hazard left Chelsea as a club great after seven years in London. The Belgium international joined Real Madrid after winning multiple titles with the club. Speaking while on international duty, Hazard lavished praise on his former side and also detailed what they require in order to be the champions again. 

Former Chelsea star, Eden Hazard, has praised Frank Lampard’s side and claimed that they aren’t far away from contending for the title. The Real Madrid man stated that he is happy for his ex-team but that they will require more players to challenge for the top spot.

“I don’t know, maybe with two or three more players, they will be first,” Hazard said. (via The Sun)

“It’s nice they play together.

“I still have good friends there and I follow them all the time.

“They are winning at the moment, so I’m just happy for them.”

Frank Lampard’s men have started the season brightly and are currently third in the table. The Blues have accumulated twenty-six points in twelve matches, and are ahead of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham.

Chelsea next fave current champions Manchester City in a crunch-tie and a win would see them increase the gap between their rivals to four points.

Reports: Manchester United monitoring Championship revelation ahead of possible move

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides injury update on Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire after Manchester United's win over Chelsea

Manchester United are already planning for the future, with the next transfer windows earmarked for several signings. The Red Devils have taken to a somewhat new strategy and have moved away from ‘Galacticos’ to focus on players which fit the team. One Championship player, as such, is being monitored ahead of a potential move. 

According to a report by the Mirror, Manchester United are monitoring the development of on-loan West Bromwich Albion star, Matheus Pereira. The 23-year-old has joined the Baggies from Sporting Club de Portugal for the season and is helping them push on for promotion to the Premier League.

West Brom currently have the option to make Pereira’s move permanent for £8.25 Million – a clause which they could trigger towards the end of the current season. However, with the Red Devils interested, the young Brazilian might reject the chance to join Slaven Bilic’s men on a permanent basis.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are linked with several other names such as Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish, and John McGinn. The former Premier League champions’ somewhat new policy sees them focus on talent in close proximity, such as the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, and Harry Maguire, who were signed this summer.

Manchester United great defends the Glazers, takes dig at their critics

Avram and Joel Glazer with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United Gary Neville may have invited the wrath of the fans as he extended his support to the Glazers. The club owners have come under immense scrutiny in recent years, with a major chunk of the fanbase against them. 

Rumours recently arose of a potential sale of the club, however, Neville says that the Glazers will ‘sell when they want to sell’.

“I know the Glazer family, met them probably five times in my life, but whatever Gary Neville says they are not going to do anything. Trust me. They’re going to sell when they want to sell,” he told The Times.

“They’re hardened business people who lived through a campaign of green and gold for two years where the fans were essentially battering them, effigies everywhere and they didn’t budge one inch.

“If Gary Neville comes out tomorrow and says ‘the Glazer ownership is bad for Manchester United’ they’ll just shrug their shoulders and say ‘there’s another one’.”

Neville also admitted that while the Glazers may not be the best active owners, there is no better alternative out there.

“What is the alternative [to the Glazers]? It [the club] is either going to go to a Russian family, Chinese family, Asian family, a Saudi Arabian family. If it gets sold for £3 billion, it is going to be basically people who have £15-20 billion.

“What are they going to be like? Human rights issues of countries I’ve just mentioned. There is no ideal here.”

Finally, the Manchester United great also appeared to take a subtle dig at fans who oppose the owners, stating that he won’t join their campaign.

“The idea of screaming about the Glazers every ten minutes, saying they are not good owners of Manchester United, doesn’t get us anywhere. I’d love owners that pump every penny back into the club on to the pitch, that didn’t take out £20 million a year, or whatever they take out in debt against the club. But I can’t do anything about it.

“Just stand there and campaign and whinge? Stand on the front of Old Trafford in front of Best, Law and Charlton with my placard up saying ‘Glazers out’. I’m not going to do that because I haven’t got the solution.”

Manchester United next face Sheffield United in the Premier League and a defeat could see the fanbase continue their campaign against the owners and the board.