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Author Archive for Jamie Jackson

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Darren Ferguson: ‘Arsène Wenger is sorting the tickets for my father at Arsenal’

Doncaster’s manager will recreate a famous touchline pairing when he takes on Arsenal in the Carabao Cup. He discusses Wenger, Sir Alex’s advice and his Premier League ambitions

In his office overlooking Doncaster Rovers’ lush training pitches Darren Ferguson is telling a story that neatly illustrates how close his father, Sir Alex, and Arsène Wenger are these days. Ferguson Jr’s side play Arsenal on Wednesday night in a Carabao Cup tie that pits two famous managerial names against each other again.

Ferguson Sr and Wenger were sworn enemies during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Manchester United and Arsenal duelled as English football’s pre‑eminent forces. The enmity, though, has faded and Wenger’s friendship with the retired Scot is borne out by the fact the Frenchman is helping Ferguson Sr to be at the Emirates to see his son’s side take on the Gunners.

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Manchester City’s spend piles on title pressure, says Ander Herrera

• Manchester United midfielder believes rivals are Premier League favourites
• Herrera says United ‘need to win titles’ to keep David de Gea at club

Ander Herrera believes Manchester City are under pressure to be the Premier League champions because of their record-breaking summer transfer spend and their lack of silverware last season.

United’s 4-0 victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday made José Mourinho’s side joint-leaders with their neighbours. United and City have an identical record of 13 points and a positive goal difference of 14 after five games.

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Wayne Rooney deserves legend’s welcome on United return, says José Mourinho

• Forward returns to Old Trafford with Everton on Sunday
• ‘He’s one of the most important players in the history of Manchester United’

Wayne Rooney should receive the welcome he deserves as a “genuine Manchester United legend” when making a first return with Everton on Sunday, according to José Mourinho.

Rooney is set to line up at Old Trafford against the side for which scored a record 253 goals, and his former manager is in no doubt regarding how the Liverpudlian should be greeted.

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Manchester United’s Paul Pogba may be out for a month with hamstring injury

• Midfielder suffered injury in 3-0 win over Basel on Tuesday
• Pogba could miss six matches if worst fears are confirmed

Paul Pogba fears he may be out for at least a month because of a hamstring injury suffered in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Basel on Tuesday.

The midfielder was in some pain after being forced off in the 19th minute of United’s opening Champions League group game at Old Trafford. He required crutches afterwards and although Pogba is awaiting the results of tests he is not optimistic.

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José Mourinho refused to shake Mark Hughes’s hand after believing he was sworn at

• Incident occurred after Stoke drew 2-2 with Manchester United
• Stoke manager Hughes earlier pushed Mourinho

José Mourinho refused to shake Mark Hughes hand at the end of Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City because he believed he was told to “fuck off” during the game by the Welshman.

In the second half at the Bet365 Stadium Mourinho and Hughes clashed and at the close the Portuguese shook hands with some Stoke staff but not their manager.

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Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany out of Liverpool game with calf injury

• City captain suffered the knock in Belgium’s 9-0 victory over Gibraltar
• Guardiola says there was ‘zero chance’ of Raheem Sterling going to Arsenal

Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of Manchester City’s match against Liverpool with a calf problem, an injury that will revive concern about the captain’s long-term availability.

Kompany suffered the knock in Belgium’s 9-0 victory over Gibraltar during the international break. It brings an end to the 31-year-old’s run of 11 consecutive appearances, the longest for three years due to his serial injuries.

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Pep Guardiola’s central problem not dispelled by Manchester City’s spending

Pep Guardiola has spent £158m on his rearguard but not bought a centre-back and a shortage in that position could be exposed by Liverpool, which would augur badly for the season

Despite a £226m summer transfer splurge, Manchester City are still vulnerable in central defence as Pep Guardiola’s team welcome Liverpool for the early kick‑off on Saturday. Premier League hostilities resume at the Etihad Stadium after the international break against a Jürgen Klopp swarm‑and‑attack unit that should offer a gauge of how City’s failure to strengthen at centre-back may affect their 2017‑18 campaign.

Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolás Otamendi are the manager’s leading players in the position. With Guardiola now preferring to utilise a three‑man defence and wing-backs, injury or loss of form for one of those will leave a hole as the only deputies at centre‑back are the unfancied Eliaquim Mangala and the inexperienced Tosin Adarabioyo.

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Alexis Sánchez: Manchester City make improved bid for Arsenal forward

• City’s offer for Sánchez thought to be in region of £55m plus add-ons
• Arsenal will not accept that or sell without finding a replacement

Manchester City have lodged a second bid for Alexis Sánchez, thought to be in the region of £55m plus add-ons.

That is still some way below Arsenal’s valuation of the Chile forward. They are believed to want around £65m before extras to countenance a sale.

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Manchester City offer Raheem Sterling in bid to sign Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez

• City attempt to break Arsenal’s resolve to keep Chile forward
• England winger Sterling understood to be open to move

Manchester City have attempted to break the impasse over Alexis Sánchez’s future at Arsenal by indicating that they would be prepared to include Raheem Sterling in a deal for the Chilean forward.

Sterling, who joined City in 2015 from Liverpool for a British record transfer fee of £49m, has been offered to Arsenal in part-exchange after being informed he can leave.

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José Mourinho says there are no guarantees for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

• Manchester United manager says Swede is ‘one more striker’
• Mourinho praises Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s start to the season

Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have to accept “that’s life” if José Mourinho selects Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford before him when he is available again for Manchester United.

On Thursday Ibrahimovic re-signed on a one-year deal but is still recovering from a serious knee injury and Mourinho believes the 35-year-old will not be ready for action until next year. The manager is insistent that, if Ibrahimovic proves deserving of first-choice status, he will receive it. By the same token the striker will have to settle for a substitute’s berth if Lukaku and Rashford are on form.

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Manchester City’s parent company agrees deal to major stake in Girona

• Catalan side promoted to La Liga set to be added to CFG’s global portfolio
• City may need to sell Mangala and Bony before making more signings

Manchester City’s parent company, the City Football Group, is set to make Girona the sixth side of its growing portfolio, with a deal all but sealed for the purchase of a major stake in the Spanish club.

The proposed terms are understood to give CFG a near-50% share along with Media Base, the agency owned by Pere Guardiola, the brother of Pep, the City manager. The remainder will continue to be owned by a Girona fans association. The club were promoted to La Liga for the first time this summer and started their season with a 2-2 home draw against Atlético Madrid.

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Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola ponders pluses and pitfalls of attacking riches

The manager has a wealth of forward talent at his disposal for Monday’s game against Everton but will need success to keep all his star players happy

For the largest embarrassment of attacking riches in the Premier League’s 25-year history, look no further than Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. At the Etihad Stadium for Monday night’s match with Everton the manager can choose from Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sané, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Yaya Touré, Ilkay Gündogan and Sergio Agüero.

After the 2-0 victory in their opening game at Brighton & Hove Albion, Guardiola also mentioned Phil Foden, a 17-year-old who impressed in pre-season and was an unused substitute. If Guardiola’s pursuit of Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez proves successful he will have a full XI at his disposal to fill a maximum of five places, if a three-centre-back system is used.

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Manchester City plan new Jonny Evans bid but Pep Guardiola wary of rising fee

• West Brom rejected initial £18m bid with player keen on move
• Guardiola has identified other options if fee cannot be agreed

Manchester City will not be held to ransom over Jonny Evans, with Pep Guardiola having identified other options at centre-back should West Bromwich Albion not agree with their valuation of the Northern Irishman.

City are set to make a renewed bid for Evans after having one in the region of £18m rejected by the Midlands club. Tony Pulis made Evans West Brom captain after Darren Fletcher left for Stoke City and the manager is adamant City will have to offer an acceptable fee if he is to be transferred.

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José Mourinho dispels talk of Manchester United ‘dream team’

• Mourinho encouraged by 4-0 opening-day win against West Ham
• Portuguese repeats wish for transfer deadline to be mid-August

José Mourinho has denied Manchester United are now a “dream team” following Sunday’s 4-0 win over West Ham United at Old Trafford.

The victory was arguably the best display of the Portuguese’s 12-month tenure as a Romelu Lukaku double plus strikes from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba made United the early Premier League leaders on goal difference.

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Eric Bailly: ‘We are going to demonstrate that Manchester United are world class’

Having once juggled football with a job managing phone boxes, the Ivory Coast centre-back has worked hard to get where he is – and having impressed in his first season at Old Trafford he is keen to follow in the footsteps of club legends

Following Eric Bailly’s impressive opening season at Manchester United his ambition to be a warrior centre-back for José Mourinho and emulate Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand as club legends is firmly on track.

When Bailly arrived last summer from Villarreal the manager viewed him as having potential but requiring time to adjust to English football. Yet after starting the opening victory at Bournemouth the 23-year-old impressed and became an instant first choice. Despite the disruption of October’s knee injury that ruled him out for six weeks, Bailly closed the campaign with 38 appearances in all competitions, a League Cup winners’ medal, and he would have started May’s Europa League final triumph if not suspended.

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Manchester City identify West Brom’s Jonny Evans as possible target

• Pep Guardiola wants to increase centre-back options at the Etihad
• Only five men have played for both Manchester clubs in Premier League era

Manchester City are targeting West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans in a move that could make the former Manchester United defender only the sixth footballer to represent both Manchester clubs in the Premier League era.

Evans, 29, had been identified by Pep Guardiola as precisely the kind of ball-playing centre-back the manager wants to bolster an area of the defence that lacks depth and quality. Guardiola, it is understood, has a firm interest in Evans. If City can prise the Northern Irishman away from West Brom he will be given a chance to compete for a first-team berth.

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Pep Guardiola hands Mangala chance to rebuild his Manchester City career

• £42m centre-half is back training with the City first-team squad
• Manager urges strikers to improve ‘poor’ conversion of chances

Eliaquim Mangala could earn a surprise reprieve at Manchester City after the defender returned to training with Pep Guardiola’s squad, though Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Jason Denayer are all set to leave as they are not involved with the main group.

Related: Manchester City: Pep Guardiola needs big dip into bottomless purse to work

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Manchester United one of seven teams who can win title, says José Mourinho

• United manager remains defiant despite summer injury setbacks
• Still hopes to sign a wide player before transfer window closes

José Mourinho believes Manchester United can win the title this season, despite starting the campaign at a similar level to last summer – with the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof balanced out by injuries to Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young.

Related: Manchester United: José Mourinho’s giants need to uphold second-season feat

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José Mourinho: Manchester United have ‘a giant on our chest’

• Manager admits United are long way behind Spanish powerhouses
• Mourinho says United will be humble on their return to Champions League

José Mourinho has compared Manchester United’s struggle in the Champions League to having “a giant on our chest” before their return to the competition.

United lost Tuesday’s Uefa Super Cup 2-1 to Real Madrid, who have won the European Cup for the past two seasons, the first club to do so in the Champions League era. United will enter at the group stage of the tournament when it starts next month.

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Ugly but effective: Marouane Fellaini proves his worth to Mourinho again

Introduction of the big Belgian almost rescued the Super Cup final for Manchester United and showed why José Mourinho rates him so highly

For a footballer who suffers a near-constant dose of over-the-top criticism, look no further than Marouane Fellaini. For a man who handles this with dignity and a disarming sense of self-deprecation, again take note of the Belgium midfielder.

Yet he is also, despite the naysayers, a very effective player. When José Mourinho wanted to wrest control of the Uefa Super Cup final away from Real Madrid at Skopje’s Philip II Stadium on Tuesday night, it was to Fellaini whom the manager turned.

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