Mino Raiola and Manchester United have had a bitter history, with fans pinpointing him as the reason behind client Paul Pogba’s unrest. The Red Devils’ supporters turned on him again following Matthijs de Ligt and Erling Haaland transfer sagas. However, the agent has now slammed the club for their poor project.
Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has launched a stunning rant on Manchester United, stating that the club would ruin the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona. He has also claimed that his client Pogba needs a better project, like the one he was a part of at Juventus.
“Pogba’s problem is Manchester United,” he said. (Daily Mail)
It’s a club out of touch with reality and without a sporting project. I wouldn’t take anyone there, they would even ruin Maradona, Pele and Maldini. Paul needs a club and a squad, one like Juventus was before.”
However, Raiola ruled out any immediate move for his client, albeit stating that he wants his client to win trophies in Manchester.
“Is that strange? Am I the only one that’s worried? I think that everybody that is in love with Manchester United is worried about it. I’m worried about that for my player. As long as Paul is in Manchester United, he wants to win trophies with Manchester United.
‘Clearly they are not where they think they should be.”
The Red Devils are back in action on January 1, 2020, as they face rivals Arsenal.
Chelsea and Arsenal are two clubs expected to be heavily involved in the transfer market. The two London outfit are looking to reinforce their sqaud and their search for new players has led them to one player. As a result, reports claim that the pair is set to battle it out in the market for his services.
According to a report by Daily Mail, both Chelsea and Arsenal are looking to sign Athletico Paranaense starlet Bruno Guimaraes. The 22-year-old central midfielder has put in some good displays this year leading to a widespread interest in his services.
Meanwhile, the English pair are set to face further competition for Guimaraes from other European giants. Both Atletico Madrid and SL Benfica are said to be keen on the midfielder as well. Guimaraes, in turn, has been capped by the Brazil U-23 team and also holds a Spanish passport.
The report suggests that Chelsea had retained an interest in the midfielder from before their transfer ban while Arsenal are looking for a replacement for Granit Xhaka. The Swiss central midfielder is said to be closing in on a return to Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin.
Both the London giants seemingly sent scouts to keep a close eye on the player and could make a possible move for him in the upcoming transfer window.
Chelsea finished their decade on a high as they beat rivals Arsenal by two goals to one. The Blues were trailing until the eighty-third minute before goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham gave them the win. Abraham, meanwhile, busted out an infamous Didier Drogba celebration after scoring the winner and the club great has now responded to it!
Chelsea great Didier Drogba took to Twitter to comment on Tammy Abraham copying his celebration. The youngster scored the winner against Arsenal at the Emirates before rushing to the corner flag with his arms stretched out wide – a trademark celebration of the Ivorian.
“I get goosebumps re-playing this goal and the celebration after [Tammy Abraham] [Chelsea FC]; what a win at the Emirates. Come on you bluuuues!!!!” said Drogba.
Drogba himself is no stranger to scoring goals against Arsenal. The Ivory Coast international was especially lethal when playing opposite to the Gunners and scored thirteen times. Eight of those goals came in the Premier League itself!
Abraham, meanwhile, netted his first against a ‘top six’ side this season, when he shrugged off Shkodran Mustafi before slotting the ball past Bernd Leno in goal. The England international now has twelve league goals in his first season as a Blues’ starter and is the joint-third top-scorer currently.
Cristiano Ronaldo is looking to put a mediocre year behind him, as he prepares for 2020. The Juventus star was snubbed again for the Ballon d’Or and endured multiple injuries throughout the year. However, the Portuguese star is ready for a fresh start and has sported a fresh hairstyle for the same. Fans, however, have had a lot to say about it.
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in the latest Juventus training with the infamous ‘man-bun’, sending the social media in a frenzy. Some compared him to ex-teammate Gareth Bale while others did so to former Arsenal and Juventus player, Nicklas Bendtner.
Here are some of the best reactions to his new hairstyle from Twitter:
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently back in training at Juventus after flying out to Dubai for the Globe Soccer Awards. The Juventus star was named the Men’s Player of the Year at the ceremony after missing out on the 2019 Ballon d’Or. He is expected to be involved in the Bianconeri’s next Serie A match against surprise package of the season – Cagliari.
Juventus currently sit second in the league behind Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. Both teams have the exact same number of points – forty-two – after seventeen games, albeit Inter lead their rivals on goal difference.
Despite much persuasion, Manchester United lost the race for young striker Erling Braut Haaland to Borussia Dortmund. The Norwegian forward joined them on a five-year contract after the Red Devils supposedly decided to retract their offer at the last moment. Here’s how much he is said to have cost the German side.
Borussia Dortmund snapped up Norwegian wonder-kid Erling Haaland after triggering his release clause, reportedly €20 Million. However, a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport, via Football Italia, the forward seemingly cost the German side much more than that.
In addition to his release clause, Dortmund reportedly paid €15 Million in commission to agent Mino Raiola. Furthermore, the Bundesliga side also paid €10 Million signing on fee to Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland. German outlet Bild also claimed that the striker will earn €8 Million per season in net wages until 2024, should he remain at the club by then.
Manchester United, Juventus, and RB Leipzig were also said to be interested in the striker. However, both United and Juventus decided to withdraw their proposals as they were unwilling to accept Raiola’s terms.
Haaland will officially register as a new Dortmund player once the January window is open. He is expected to make his debut against FC Koln on January 25, 2019. He will also be available to play against Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, following the scrapping of the cup-tied rule.
If reports are to be believed, Manchester United are gearing up for a big winter transfer window. The Red Devils are in the hunt for reinforcements, which in turn may see some stalwarts depart. One such player is edging closer to the exit and has reportedly been given time off from first-team duty to sort out his future.
According to a report by Manchester Evening News, Manchester United have given defender Marcos Rojo some extra time off to sort his future out. The Argentina international is said to be currently in his native country for the holidays but the club has kept him on standby as they sort his future out.
Rojo was expected to leave the club in the summer window of 2019 following the arrival of Harry Maguire on a world-record fee. However, a deadline day move to Everton broke down on deadline day and the Argentinian ended up staying at Old Trafford.
Nevertheless, with Eric Bailly set to return from his injury, along with the current centre-back options Manchester United have, the club are seemingly okay with letting Rojo leave for the right offer.
United themselves are in the hunt for new players in the market. The club is looking to sign a forward to add depth in their attack but recently missed out on Erling Haaland and Mario Mandzukic, both of whom were their targets at some point.
In two days, the 2020 January transfer window will be officially open, thereby allowing clubs to register new players. Chelsea will be looking to bring in reinforcements during the next thirty-one days as well following a decent start to the season. The Blues are expected to strengthen their attack and thus, we look at four forwards they can sign next month and one they probably should.
#5 Josh Maja (Girondins de Bordeaux)
Josh Maja is a part of a very small group of England-born players currently plying their trade in other elite leagues. The Lewisham-born forward, who has chosen to represent Nigeria internationally, is in France at the moment, where he is showcasing his talents at Bordeaux.
Maja played football as a youngster around Chelsea. The forward was initially a part of the Crystal Palace youth academy before joining the Blues’ rivals Fulham. However, it was at Sunderland where Maja was finally given a starting spot and he used it as a springboard to move on to greener pastures.
Now in Bordeaux, Maja has scored seven times for the club. The Nigerian striker joined the Ligue 1 side in January 2019 and has only become a starter this season. He has netter five times in the league in sixteen appearances and has already been linked with a move back to London, albeit this time to Chelsea.
#4 Moussa Dembele (Lyon)
Like Josh Maja, Moussa Dembele too once played his football close to Chelsea. The Frenchman joined the Fulham academy from Paris Saint Germain back in 2012 before breaking through into the first-team a year later. He scored nineteen times for the club, with fifteen of those goals coming in the second division.
From Fulham, Dembele moved on to Scotland to play for Celtic. It was at Celtic Park where the Frenchman enjoyed the best years of his young career, as he spearheaded the Bhoys to back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles.
Lyon came calling for the striker in 2018 and he decided to return to his native country. In the year and a half since Dembele has developed into an all-around striker. He has twenty-nine goals to his name in sixty-two appearances and is widely considered one of the most promising forwards of the current era.
The one player that Chelsea, or any other top European club, haven’t been linked with is Wolves star, Raul Jimenez. The Mexican’s snub across the European top divisions is somewhat curious, given the numbers he has put up in the last two years while playing in multiple systems.
The Wolves forward is what some may refer to as a complete ‘number 9’, meaning that he ticks a lot of boxes while playing centre forward. Jimenez’s finishing and heading are top-notch while his ability to hold the ball high up is also remarkable. His link-up play with other attackers allows him to seamlessly fit into several systems and he is prolific from the spot too.
Jimenez has had a hand a whopping fifty-one goals since moving to England. The Mexico international has scored thirty-four and made seventeen more in just seventy-four appearances. Chelsea are currently in need of a striker to act as back-up, alternative, and mentor to Tammy Abraham. Jimenez could prove to be exactly that, should the Blues decide to take a chance on him.
#2 Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Sir Alex Ferguson was the first to spot the talent of Wilfried Zaha and proceeded to bring him to Manchester United as his final signing for the club. It didn’t work out for the Ivorian at Old Trafford and he left to re-join former side Crystal Palace n 2015. Since then, the attacker has built his reputation back up, with clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal vying for his services.
While Zaha may not be an out-and-out striker, his versatility allows him to play across the three positions up-front. The Ivorian can play on either wing while also act as a centre-forward when required. He has been deployed both as a striker and as a winger by Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace and has arguably been the club’s best player in the past four years.
As with Raul Jimenez, Zaha’s Premier League experience is another arrow in his quiver. Although Palace’s high transfer fee demands, which reportedly lie in the range of £50 – £70 Million, could scupper a move to a bigger club.
#1 Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
Timo Werner’s time at RB Leipzig seems to be coming to an end. Although it is not because the striker has failed to live up to the mark but rather the opposite. The German international has developed into a free-flowing scoring machine in his native country and is currently on the radar of Chelsea.
Werner has netted twenty-three times in twenty-four appearances this season. He is the second-leading scorer in the Bundesliga and also occupies the same spot in the European Golden Shoe race. The German international’s exploits have also helped Julian Nagelsmann’s side qualify for the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen while also occupy the top spot in their domestic league.
Reports claim that the forward has a £27 Million release clause in his contract – which Chelsea are also looking to match. Should the Blues be able to pull this off, it will be considered quite the coup, with the 23-year-old forward one of the hottest prospects in the sport at the moment.
Chelsea registered their first come-from-behind win of the season against rivals Arsenal. The Blues came from a goal down to score twice in the final ten minutes to end their decade on a high. Head coach Frank Lampard has now revealed his half-time strategy which saw the players turn their game around.
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has revealed that he stood back and let the players go against each other at half-time in their win over Arsenal. The Englishman reveals that the mood in the dressing room was aggressive following a torrid first forty-five.
“I like the fact that we had that inquest because I don’t want 11 quiet players who just get on with it and trot out again,” Lampard said.
“I said my piece and was pretty firm because you can’t just come here and have nothing about you and think you’re going to get anything. Then the lads started talking and it was a bit aggressive which is a good thing. And the response was everything I wanted because we’ve been rightly been questioned after our recent games against Everton and Southampton.
“We showed today that we can have a right go and win a game with fighting spirit. We were so awful for 30 minutes, slow, lethargic, nervous. I don’t think we can get to where we want to get without aggression. We’ve had the majority of possession in every League game we’ve played but we’re fourth for a reason so we can get more aggressive and be more clinical in the box.”
Chelsea next face Brighton in the league on New Year’s Day as they look to maintain their top-four spot.
The Asian transfer season is in full swing, as teams across the continent prepare for their domestic leagues. The Japanese J1 League is among them, with the 2020 edition set to begin shortly after the turn of the year. One team has laid their eyes on Vietnam star Dang Van Lam and will attempt to bring him in ahead of the new season.
According to a report by The Thao 24/7, J1 league side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo are eyeing a move for Vietnam international Dang Van Lam. The goalkeeper is currently on the books of Thailand club, Muangthong United, who he joined in 2019.
However, the report also claims the Consadole will decide to take either Van Lam or midfielder Martin Lo for the season. They recently hired a Vietnamese-Japanese translator indicating that a move for a Vietnam player may be made in the near future. Reports earlier indicated that the Japanese side attempted to land attacked Nguyen Quang Hai initially, however, he turned the move down in favour of staying at Hanoi FC.
Consadole Sapporo finished tenth in the 2019 J1 League, slipping down six positions from the previous season. The Sapporo-based side wrapped up their season with forty-six points, one behind Gamba Osaka, Vissel Kobe, and Oita Trinita.
The AFC U-23 Championship returns in 2020, with some of the continent’s best young teams vying for supremacy. The two-week-long competition will feature sixteen nations with two – Thailand and Vietnam – contending on behalf of Southeast Asia. Here are the twenty-three players who will represent Thailand.
Thailand have announced the twenty-three names which will represent in next month’s home tournament – the AFC U-23 Championship. The War Elephants will seek the support of the home crowd to record their best-ever finish in the competition. The two previous times they played in the final tournament, they failed to qualify from the group stage.
Nevertheless, the hosts have been put into a tough group alongside Australia, Iraq, and Bahrain. While both Australia and Iraq have featured in the knockout stages of the competition before, with Iraq even winning the competition in 2013, Bahrain are making their first appearance. It is against them that Thailand will play their opening match.
Here is the 23-man Thailand squad for the AFC U-23 Championship in full –
Jurgen Klopp has earned plenty of plaudits for his role in turning Liverpool into a European giant again. Under his managerial spell, the Reds have won the UEFA Champions League and are on track to win the Premier League with a record points total. It comes as no surprise then, that another such club tried to persuade him to join them.
According to a report by the Mirror, Paris Saint Germain attempted to entice Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp into joining them – an approach which the German is said to have turned down. The football manager reportedly held an hour-long phone call with PSG sporting director Leonardo, during which the latter laid down a proposal for him to become the next coach of the Parisien club.
Leonardo is said to have talked to Klopp about the project he wished to implement at PSG over the coming months, which he wanted the German to spearhead. Nevertheless, Klopp, who recently signed a new five-year deal at Anfield, reportedly rejected any advances.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss is currently working hard to end Liverpool’s league title drought. The Reds came close before on several occasions but currently look set to win their first-ever Premier League title, that too with a record points total. They remain unbeaten in the league after seventeen rounds of matches and have won all but one of their games so far.
Arsenal are expected to dip into the January transfer market to provide new boss Mikel Arteta with cover in several positions. The Gunners are currently eleventh on the table and have already changed two managers. Latest reports link them with an Atletico Madrid star who is yet to show his true talents with the Rojiblancos.
According to a report by AS, via The Sun, Arsenal are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid star, Thomas Lemar. The French winger, who joined the Rojiblancos in 2018, is yet to show his best form for the Spanish giants and could now be heading out instead.
Arsenal are said to be eyeing a loan deal for the France international, with an option to purchase him outright at the end of his spell. The Gunners were initially interested in Lemar following his successful AS Monaco spell, however, he instead chose to join Diego Simeone’s side. Presently, the London side is said to be back in for him with Ligue 1 club Lyon also keen.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have been linked with several players following the appointment of Mikel Arteta. Reports state that they are eyeing moves for Bundesliga pair, Kevin Volland and Dayot Upamecano. Granit Xhaka, on the other hand, is edging closer to the exit.
Philippines international Neil Etheridge became the first from his country to play in the Premier League last year. The shot-stopper was the number one choice for Cardiff City throughout the season which, for them, ended in relegation. However, the custodian earned rave reviews for his displays and could return to the top-flight soon.
According to a report by The Sun, Premier League side West Ham United is eyeing a move for Philippines goalkeeper Neil Etheridge in the winter window. The Hammers, however, are also targetting former goalkeeper Darren Randolph and will only approach Etheridge should the deal for Randolph fall through.
Etheridge became the first player from the Philippines to feature regularly in the league in the 2018/19 season. The shot-stopper was deployed by Neil Warnock for Cardiff City and ended the season by collecting more clean sheets than Manchester United’s David de Gea. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to save the Bluebirds from dropping back into the Championship.
West Ham have run into trouble this season, especially in the goalkeeping department. The Hammers brought in Roberto and David Martin to act as back-up to Lukasz Fabianski prior to the start of the season but both have failed to step up to the mark. As a result, they are now looking to add another goalkeeper in the mix and solidify the position. Roberto, meanwhile, is also linked with a move away from the club.
Currently, the Hammers are searching for a new manager after they sacked Manuel Pellegrini following a loss against Leicester City.
Jose Mourinho may have returned to the Premier League but his torrid spell with Manchester United is not yet forgotten. The Portuguese football coach did win the Europa League while at the club but left after two and a half years after failing to win the league. Now, one player’s partner has slammed him for poor treatment!
Anthony Martial’s wife, Melanie Martial Da Cruz, has slammed former Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho for treating the Frenchman poorly. She reveals that the French forward often shut himself out after being snubbed continuously by the manager.
“During our first two years together in Manchester, I experienced a very difficult period because Jose Mourinho did not play him,” she told L’Equipe. (via Mirror)
“In these cases, Anthony shuts himself out. You know he’s suffering, but he doesn’t say it. I felt trapped in my sense of injustice because, as a wife, you can’t say anything.
“We’re just watching our man go down. I was experiencing it so badly that I didn’t go to certain events so as not to meet the coach.”
When asked about whether she thought about confronting Mourinho, Melanie stated that it was not an option.
“No, never, because Anthony doesn’t want to. You have to stay where you belong. On the other hand, when he came in and scored, I wanted to scream out my pride.”
Martial, now a regular for Manchester United scored in the team’s latest win over Burnley. The Frenchman netted the game’s opening goal before Marcus Rashford put the finishing touches in second-half stoppage time to seal all three points.