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Author Archive for Jamie Jackson

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I will do better for Manchester United this season, says Henrikh Mkhitaryan

• Armenian forward believes last year’s troubles will drive him on
• Mkhitaryan says he is ready to play wherever Mourinho decides

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has no regrets at joining Manchester United despite having to deal with accusations he is not the same footballer he was at his former club, Borussia Dortmund.

Related: José Mourinho guarantees David de Gea is staying with Manchester United

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Joe Hart joins West Ham on season-long loan from Manchester City

• Goalkeeper keen to secure regular football ahead of World Cup
• Hart spent last season at Torino after losing No1 slot at City

Joe Hart has joined West Ham from Manchester City on a season-long loan after completing a medical at the London club.

The England No1 spent last season on loan at Torino after losing his starting place at City and Pep Guardiola has signed the Benfica goalkeeper Ederson for £34.7m for the upcoming campaign.

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Manchester United ambassadorial role will remain open for Wayne Rooney

• Old Trafford post on offer after retirement despite player joining Everton
• Rooney is club’s record goalscorer and still viewed as an ideal ambassador

Wayne Rooney still has the offer of an ambassadorial role at Manchester United on retirement despite having left the club for Everton.

When signing his last agreement at Old Trafford in February 2014, Rooney expected to finish his playing career at United. The terms also included an ambassadorial position but the contractually binding nature of this ended when the player left for Goodison Park.

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Manchester City make £2.5m bid for Napoli’s Pepe Reina

• Spanish goalkeeper seen as experienced deputy to Ederson
• Reina’s arrival would end Claudio Bravo’s torrid time at City

Manchester City want to buy Napoli’s Pepe Reina in a transfer which, if successful, would mean the end of Claudio Bravo’s torrid time at the club.

City are understood to have made an initial bid of around £2.5m for the 34-year-old, who spent nine years at Liverpool, and has also played for Barcelona, Villlarreal, and Bayern Munich. He would offer Pep Guardiola, the City manager, vast experience.

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Manchester United expect Real Madrid to renew interest in David de Gea

• United determined to reject bid for 26-year-old goalkeeper
• Spanish club attempted to sign De Gea two years ago

Manchester United expect David de Gea to be the subject of another Real Madrid bid this summer despite their determined stance that the goalkeeper will not be sold.

Real are aware of United’s position but are undeterred and may soon indicate their desire to prise the 26-year-old away from Old Trafford.

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Wayne Rooney: a Manchester United great who departs to muted applause

The striker is leaving for Everton as a record scorer and multiple trophy winner but a large constituency of fans will not mourn his departure

The oddity of Wayne Rooney’s glittering 13-year Manchester United career is that he departs for Everton to only muted applause. Despite a record that features a glut of trophies and personal achievements a strong sense of “Ta-ra Wayne, it’s about time” prevails among supporters.

This can be traced to the perception Rooney never adopted the fitness regime required to reach the heights of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and the disquiet he caused when twice in three years nearly exiting the club.

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Five questions to determine the success of Manchester United’s season | Jamie Jackson

Who will be the next big-name signing? How strong is the bond between José Mourinho and Ed Woodward? As United embark upon a gruelling pre-season tour of the US, here’s what will shape the club’s upcoming campaign

For £75m (plus £15m add-ons) José Mourinho acquires a proven prolific Premier League goal scorer in the Belgian and throws the gauntlet down to Manchester United’s home-grown starlet: can the 19-year-old Marcus Rashford continue his upward trajectory despite Lukaku starting as the first choice No9? Rashford has played most of his 71 senior appearances as a wide forward yet his natural position is in central attack. There may be a clue here regarding how he can prosper. When coming through the Old Trafford youth ranks Rashford often operated as an impressive No10. Mourinho wants pace and power (Rashford can add muscle to a still developing frame) in the role, so during pre-season may take a look at him as the man to potentially play behind Lukaku.

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Wayne Rooney in Everton talks over return from Manchester United

• Boyhood Everton fan in discussions over his £250,000-a-week wages
• Rooney’s other option appears to be a move to Major League Soccer

Wayne Rooney is in advanced talks with Everton about rejoining his boyhood team with the move centring on the club matching the £250,000-a-week basic salary he earns at Manchester United.

Rooney has a year left on his contract and is intent on having his wage matched. The 31-year-old has previously stated Everton are the only Premier League side he would leave United for and they believe this strengthens their position. Rooney’s only other option appears to be a move to Major League Soccer, where he would not earn as much, with interest from China fading.

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England Under-19s aiming to make a splash to offer more hope for the future

England play their first game at the under-19 European Championship on Monday and, even without a full-strength squad, are setting their sights high after the success of Under-20 and Under-21 teams

The challenge for England Under-19s at Euro 2017 is to be the latest age group offering real hope for the senior side’s future. On Monday Keith Downing’s team face Bulgaria at Tbilisi’s Mikheil Meskhi Stadium as they attempt to follow Paul Simpson’s Under-20 world champions and Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21s, who last week lost a semi-final shootout to the eventual European champions, Germany.

Downing, who has been at the Football Association since 2015 and has also coached the Under-20s, says: “Hopefully the success has given a bit of optimism to people. There are players in our system who are more than capable of playing against the elite players across Europe and the world – as with the World Cup with Paul Simpson’s team.”

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José Mourinho frustrated at lack of Manchester United summer signings

• Manager concerned no more signings will be done before pre-season tour
• Deals for Nemanja Matic and Álvaro Morata have stalled

José Mourinho is becoming increasingly frustrated at adding only Victor Lindelof to his sqaud in the current transfer window, with the Manchester United manager concerned no more major signings will be in place when the pre-season tour starts on Sunday.

After United won the Europa League final against Ajax in late May Mourinho publicly stated it was down to Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, to ensure his targets were secured as soon as possible.

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José Mourinho frustrated at lack of Manchester United summer signings

• Manager concerned no more signings will be done before pre-season tour
• Deals for Nemanja Matic and Álvaro Morata have stalled

José Mourinho is becoming increasingly frustrated at adding only Victor Lindelof to his sqaud in the current transfer window, with the Manchester United manager concerned no more major signings will be in place when the pre-season tour starts on Sunday.

After United won the Europa League final against Ajax in late May Mourinho publicly stated it was down to Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, to ensure his targets were secured as soon as possible.

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Pep Guardiola under pressure while he oversees Manchester City spending spree | Jamie Jackson

The manager faces a defining season at City after an underwhelming opening campaign and his summer rebuild could cost the club around £250m

“I have high confidence we are going in the right direction. I am very excited about how we are developing as a team, how Pep has taken the squad and really started a process of going through that natural cycle of development.”

Khaldoon al-Mubarak, Manchester City chairman, May 2017

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Manchester City confident of signing Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal

• Sánchez keen to play under his former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola
• Dani Alves set to join City after terminating contract at Juventus

Manchester City are increasingly confident of signing Alexis Sánchez, despite Arsenal’s reluctance to sell, because of the forward’s desire to play under Pep Guardiola, with the potential fee in the region of £50m.

Although Arsène Wenger is minded against allowing his finest player to leave, he is aware of Sánchez’s desire to join City. If the Arsenal manager does not sanction a sale this summer he faces losing Sánchez in 12 months on a free.

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Manchester City to promote trio of youngsters to Pep Guardiola’s first team

• Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Brahim Díaz to join up with first team
• ‘These are players that are extremely talented,’ says chairman Mubarak

The Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, has said Pep Guardiola will promote Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Brahim Díaz to the first team, after the manager previously questioned whether youth players face enough competition to develop in England.

The forwards Díaz and Sancho, who are each 17, and the 18-year-old midfielder Foden were key members of the team that reached the FA Youth Cup final last season. Foden was also an unused substitute for City’s Champions League group game at home to Celtic in December.

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Manchester United ready to resist Real Madrid approach for David de Gea

• United’s stance is to not allow sale of players they wish to keep
• Champions League football could help tempt Griezmann to Old Trafford

Manchester United have no intention of selling David de Gea, despite Real Madrid’s interest, because the goalkeeper is not seeking a move and the stance at Old Trafford is no player will leave unless the club decide so.

Real are hoping to sign De Gea after coming close to securing him in summer 2015. His move broke down on transfer deadline day because of missing paperwork, with the clubs disagreeing over who was to blame. De Gea stayed at Old Trafford and agreed a new four-year deal in September that year.

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Sergio Agüero set to stay at Manchester City, declares chairman

• Khaldoon al-Mubarak says speculation about striker’s future is ‘ridiculous’
• Club ready to announce the signing of Benfica goalkeeper Ederson

Sergio Agüero is set to stay at Manchester City with the club chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, describing as “ridiculous” the view he could leave despite the striker being dropped by Pep Guardiola on occasions last season. The chairman did admit City’s trophy-less campaign was a disappointment.

Agüero was axed at the start of February in favour of Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, but the latter suffered a broken foot that allowed Agüero to re-establish himself.

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How Manchester United can be improved to compete with the elite | Jamie Jackson

The triumph over Ajax ensured qualification for the Champions League. So what should José Mourinho do to make United credible challengers next season?

How the manager recruits in the transfer window will be key and the priority is a top-class goalscorer. Antoine Griezmann got 27 goals for Atlético Madrid this season. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku scored 25 in the Premier League. Ideally the manager would like both: Lukaku to be the spearhead in the mould of a Didier Drogba at Chelsea or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Griezmann to play off him – or Marcus Rashford – as Mourinho has reservations about Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial. In midfield, Michael Carrick is 36 in July so support is required for Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini. Another centre-back may also be on the list as this season Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo were hardly ever available at the same time because of a variety of injuries. Daley Blind performed well in the position in the Europa League final but the sense is one of Smalling and Jones may leave.

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Juan Mata: José Mourinho is the man to take Manchester United back to the top

• United face Ajax on Wednesday evening in the Europa League final
• Mata says he wants to stay at the club beyond contract expiry in 2018

Juan Mata believes Manchester United finally have the right manager in José Mourinho, with the Spain international hopeful a new era of success can be kick-started by winning the Europa League.

United face Ajax in Wednesday’s final in Stockholm. If Mourinho’s side win they will claim their second trophy of the season, following the EFL Cup, as well as qualifying for the Champions League next season.

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Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney may miss out on Old Trafford send-off

• Wayne Rooney could leave Manchester United without home farewell
• Paul Pogba to feature in youthful team against Crystal Palace

Wayne Rooney may have no Old Trafford send-off to his 13-year Manchester United career after José Mourinho stated the captain will probably not feature in Sunday’s final home game against Crystal Palace.

Rooney’s future at the club is in doubt as the 31-year-old may depart in the summer. If so United’s record goal-scorer and longest serving player, having joined in August 2004, would end a stellar period at the club with no chance of saying goodbye to the home crowd.

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Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked me, says Pep Guardiola

• Manchester City manager says he would have lost his job by now at old clubs
• Guardiola rejects idea that some Premier League teams are on ‘holiday’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked him if he had achieved similar results to those of his disappointing first season at Manchester City.

Guardiola won the Spanish and German titles in his first seasons at both Barça and Bayern but can finish no higher than third with City. He will end the campaign without a trophy after City were eliminated from the Champions League last 16, two stages earlier than last season when Manuel Pellegrini was in charge. Guardiola’s team host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night knowing wins against Tony Pulis’s side and at Watford on the final day will enable City to finish third.

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