Mourinho £91m Man Utd Bid for Serie A Defender?

​Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to discuss rumours linking him with a move for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, neither confirming nor denying reports of a £91m bid.

United were heavily linked with a number of centre-backs during the summer, with the likes of Jerome Boateng, Diego Godin and Harry Maguire all reportedly targeted by the Red Devils. The club failed to strengthen in the position, but Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to sign a new defender in the immediate future.

Speaking after ​United's 2-2 draw with ​Southampton on Saturday, Mourinho refused to discuss the rumours of a £91m bid for the Senegalese defender. He is quoted by the ​Manchester Evening News as saying: "I cannot answer to your question.

"If is true, if is not true, I cannot answer to your question. Maybe your question is the first one about the market and maybe the next press conference I have two more questions, and maybe the next press conference I have three more. The only thing I can tell you is Koulibaly is a ​Napoli player. And I don't speak about players from other clubs."

In October. reports from Italy emerged suggesting that ​Napoli have rejected an offer of around £80m for Koulibaly, with the club said to be holding out for an offer of at least twice that value. ​Real Madrid and ​Barcelona were both linked with the defender, and the likes of ​Chelsea and ​Arsenal have also been touted as potential suitors for Koulibaly in the past.

Since joining Napoli in a £7m deal in 2014, Koulibaly has developed into one of the world's finest defenders. He was a key player under former manager Maurizio Sarri, using his unique blend of physicality and technical ability to assert himself as an elite defender. During the summer, there were rumours that Koulibaly would follow Sarri to Chelsea, but he remained in Naples.


SSC Napoli v AC Milan - Serie A


He has played every minute of Carlo Ancelotti's young reign at Napoli, helping the Partenopei to second in ​Serie A. Koulibaly has also been a vital player for the side in the Champions League, guiding Napoli to positive results against both ​Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.


Man United Still in Hunt for Napoli Star as Report Dismisses Talk of €90m Bid

​After reports earlier this week claimed Manchester United had already seen a €90m bid for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly rejected, it has now been revealed that this was a mistranslation, while the rest of Europe's elite remain in the hunt for the defender.

According to ​Sport Witness, using Sunday's reports from La Repubblica, the misunderstanding centred around the use of 'maxi offer', which some publications thought signified the use of a club's maximum offer, when it actually just means a 'huge bid'.

Thus, the report actually explained: "​United would be willing to put on the plate a €90m maxi offer, but Naples will send it back to the sender."

It also revealed that the Red Devils, as well as other English clubs, had also been rebuffed in their advances for the Napoli defender during last summer's transfer window.

While the ​Partenopei have repeatedly stated that the 27-year-old Senegalese international is not for sale, that report claimed his transfer value is over €100m - a figure north of the record outlay for a defender set by Liverpool's £75m signing of Virgil van Dijk.

And fellow Italian publication Corriero Dello Sport have also cited the figure needed to pry Koulibaly away from Southern Italy as €100m+.



They have gone one step further though, and proclaimed that, while Jose Mourinho's side retain interest in the centre back, they will face considerable competition from ​Manchester City, ​Bayern Munich, ​Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and ​Real Madrid.

Koulibaly, who was born in France and came up throught the ranks at local side SR Saint-Die and later FC Metz, joined the Serie A side from KRC Genk in 2014 for a €7.75m fee. He has gone on to make 180 appearances for Gli Azzurri, picking up eight goals and six assists.


Fred set for Old Trafford medical!

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred is expected to finalise his move to Manchester United early this week.

The Brazilian came on as a second-half substitute in his side's 2-0 win against Croatia at Anfield on Sunday.

It is now anticipated 25-year-old Fred will have a medical at United before completing his switch to Old Trafford for a reported £52m.

Brazil coach Tite says he wants his players' domestic futures sorted ahead of this month's World Cup in Russia.

"When this happens, and it is inevitable, they are going to come to us and our advice to them is resolve this as soon as you can so your head is back with us and focusing on the national team," he said after Sunday's friendly.

"If I was a manager I'd ask to sign him as well."

Provided the deal goes through as anticipated, Fred would be United boss Jose Mourinho's first signing of the summer, although he is also closing in on the transfer of 19-year-old Porto full-back Diogo Dalot.

Fred joined Shakhtar in 2013 and was part of the Brazil squad for the 2015 Copa America.

Fred scored 10 goals in 53 appearance for Shakhtar after signing for the Ukrainian side in 2013

Source: BBC NEWS

Sir Alex Ferguson remains in intensive care

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson remains in intensive care after having emergency surgery on Saturday for a brain haemorrhage.

A United statement said the procedure "had gone very well" but there is no update on the 76-year-old's condition.

The Scot retired as United manager in May 2013 after winning 38 trophies during 26 years in charge.

He was at Old Trafford last Sunday when he presented Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger with a commemorative trophy.

Ferguson's family have requested privacy as he recovers in Salford Royal Hospital.

"We will keep Sir Alex and his loved ones in our thoughts during this time, and we are united in our wish to see him make a comfortable, speedy recovery," United later said in a tweet.

"He needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery."

The most successful manager in the history of the British game, Ferguson's trophy haul at Old Trafford included 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

Ferguson famously won the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999, the year in which he was knighted.

United's club captain Michael Carrick said he was "devastated" to learn his former manager had needed emergency surgery.

"All my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Be strong boss," he posted on Twitter.

Ferguson has been married to wife Cathy since 1966. His son Darren manages Doncaster Rovers but did not not take charge of their League One match against Wigan on Saturday.

Ferguson began his playing career with Scottish club Queen's Park as a 16-year-old striker while working as an apprentice tool-worker at Clyde Shipyards.

His most notable spell as a player came in a two-year stint at Rangers from 1967. He retired as a player in 1974 when he was on Ayr United's books.

He began his managerial career as a 32-year-old at East Stirlingshire before going to St Mirren, where he won his first trophy by taking the Scottish first division title in 1977.

Ferguson moved on to Aberdeen and turned them into a major force in a Scottish top division in which Rangers and Celtic had dominated.

He led them to three Scottish titles, four Scottish FA Cups, one League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983 by beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Man Utd trophies
Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004 Uefa Super Cup: 1992
League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010 Inter-Continental Cup: 1999
Champions League: 1999, 2008 Fifa Club World Cup: 2008
Cup Winners Cup: 1991

Ferguson managed Scotland in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico following the death of Jock Stein, although he was unable to take his country past the group stage.

He became Manchester United manager later that year.

United celebrated their first Premier League triumph under Ferguson in 1993, the club's first league title for 26 years.

Willie Miller, who served as Aberdeen captain under Ferguson, said he was "staggered" to hear the news.

"My thoughts are with the boss, Cathy and the boys. Hoping the great man does what he does best and wins this challenge," he added.

Everton manager Sam Allardyce said: "I hope he's in good hands and I hope the operation is a major success. As a personal friend, I hope he has a full recovery."

'Keep fighting boss' - reaction from the football world

Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham: Keep fighting boss. Sending prayers and love to Cathy and the whole family.

Mike Phelan, who was Ferguson's assistant for five years: You've won more than most and if anyone can, you can boss.

United defender Ashley Young: Gutted to hear the news tonight about Sir Alex. Don't really know what else to say other than thoughts and prayers with you and your family, boss.

Former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar: Devastated about the news about Sir Alex and knowing all too well about the situation ourselves. Stay strong and hope together with everyone you recover.

United defender Chris Smalling: Gutted to hear the news about Sir Alex. Stay strong boss. Thoughts are with you and your family.

Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker: Very sorry to hear the news that Sir Alex Ferguson is seriously ill in hospital. Wish him all the very best.

Aberdeen FC: The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected with Aberdeen Football Club are with our former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his family following tonight's news.

Liverpool FC: A great rival but also a great friend who supported this club during its most difficult time, it is hoped that Sir Alex will make a full recovery.

Manchester City: Everyone at Manchester City wishes Sir Alex Ferguson a full and speedy recovery after his surgery.

World football governing body Fifa: We join many across the world of football in sending our best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson.

What is a brain haemorrhage?
A type of stroke caused by bleeding in and around the brain.
It results from the rupture of a cerebral aneurysm - a ballooning in an artery wall, causing it to thin and become weak.
There are usually no warning signs, but it can sometimes happen during physical effort or straining.
Symptoms include a sudden and very severe headache, being sick, seizures and loss of consciousness.
It accounts for 5% of all strokes in the UK.

Source: BBC NEWS

Rising wage bill hits Manchester United profits

A rising wage bill for players has cut into the latest quarterly profits from Manchester United.

For the three months to 31 December the club made an operating profit of £28.7m, down 23% on the same period in the previous year.

Wages, which make up half of the clubs costs, rose 9.4% to £69.6m.

Players were paid more because Manchester United was back in the UEFA Champions League, but that also meant higher income from TV.

Broadcasting revenue was £61.6m, up 17% on the previous year, with total revenue for the quarter up 3.8% to £163.9m.

As well as UEFA Champions League games, income during the quarter was boosted by two extra Premier League games that were broadcast live.

"Our solid business model has allowed us to invest in the future of the Club with the extension of Jose Mourinho's contract as manager and the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez. We look forward to the remainder of the season with confidence," said Ed Woodward, Executive Vice Chairman of Manchester United.

Last season, the club won the Europa League competition, securing it a slot in the lucrative Champions League for the current season.

The club has reached the last 16 of that competition and is currently second in the Premier League.

Source: BBC NEWS

West Ham set to sign ex-Man Utd left-back Evra

UPDATE: Patrice Evra has completed his free transfer to West Ham and signed a contract until the end of the season.


West Ham are set to sign former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra until the end of the season.

The Frenchman, 36, has been without a club since he left Marseille by mutual consent in November after kicking one of the club's fans before a Europa League match.

Evra was banned from Uefa competition for the rest of the season, but is able to play domestically for West Ham.

He played for Hammers boss David Moyes when he managed Manchester United.

Evra then left Old Trafford for Juventus in 2014, and had three seasons in Italy before moving to Marseille in January 2017.

He played 379 games for United between 2006 and 2014 and won nine major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.

Evra made nine appearances for Marseille this season, most recently in October, before the incident prior to a European game against Vitoria Guimaraes on 2 November.

Source: BBC NEWS

Manchester United's Andreas Pereira keen to stay on at Valencia

Manchester United's Andreas Pereira has said he wants to remain at Valencia beyond his current loan deal.

The 21-year-old midfielder joined the Spanish side for the 2017-18 campaign on Sept. 1 in search of playing time and has made nine league appearances, including four as a starter, for a side that is second in the La Liga standings, just three points behind leaders Barcelona after 11 rounds.

Asked if he would like to play for Los Che beyond June 2018, Pereira told Valencia-based sports newspaper Superdeporte: "Of course, that would be a very good option for me, it would be positive. I'm happy at Valencia CF.

"Valencia is a big club and seeing our current form, everyone wants to remain here.

"Everything is going so well, everyone in the squad is happy. We want to maintain this."

Pereira signed a one-year contract extension with United shortly after arriving at Valencia and is tied to the Premier League side until June 2019.

United do have an option to recall Pereira during the winter transfer window but the Brazil under-21 player wants to remain at the Mestalla stadium at least until June 2018.

"In my mind I want to be here and help Valencia until June," Pereira said. "That was my intention when I came here. I know there is a clause inserted into the loan deal and I will have to wait and see. But my focus is on Valencia and I would like to stay here."

Pereira impressed while on loan at Granada last season where he scored five goals and set up three more in 34 La Liga starts.

However, the Andalusian club finished bottom of the standings and were relegated.

Pereira has been likened to former Manchester United great Paul Scholes, including by former United player Phil Neville.

"It gives me great pride and to hear those words is beautiful," he said. "I really liked Paul Scholes, he was my coach when I was young. For me, he was one of the best and I was lucky that he coached me. Paul is one of the football greats."

Jose Mourinho said he was disappointed Pereira chose to join Valencia on loan instead of fighting for a starting place at United this season.

However, Pereira says he is learning a lot from Valencia coach Marcelino and has heaped praise on the former Villarreal boss.

"He has given me a lot of confidence and I feel important in this team," the Belgium-born Pereira said. "Marcelino tells me what I have to do. He is the one that has created all of this, this great environment. All that we are achieving is because he has built this group. He is a great coach. He tells us with clarity what one in particular has to do as well as what the team has to do at a given moment.

"I think if we continue to listen to him, we can go very, very far. I want to continue doing what I'm doing, helping the team win and offering the best of my football for the collective aim that we have, which is to continue winning games."

Valencia head into Sunday's game at Espanyol unbeaten in La Liga and on an eight-game winning run in the league, which is their best ever start to the competition.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


I lost respect for Mourinho after cat jibe: Benzema

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has told Canal + he began to lose respect for Jose Mourinho after a 2011 news conference in which his then coach compared him to a cat.

Speaking on documentary "LeKBenzema," he revealed his irritation over the remark.

Mourinho told reporters: "If I can't hunt with a dog, I will hunt with a cat. With a dog you hunt more and you hunt better.

"But if you have not got a dog and you have got a cat, you hunt with a cat."

Benzema said it had been the cue for what had been "a good relationship" to begin showing strain.

He added: "After that, there were expressions and statements that were not necessarily well intended.

"I had the impression that it made him laugh. Even if he's someone I respect, after a while I started to lose it."

Benzema said he had an hour-long discussion with Mourinho in which he told him: "I'm a football player, you're my manager, I respect you, respect me as a player."

And he added: "From then on, there were no cats, no dogs or anything.

"I'm shy but if you make fun of me, I'll be straight. When you speak your mind, things are always better."


Celtic and Manchester United express support for Liam Miller

Celtic and Manchester United have expressed their support for former midfielder Liam Miller after reports that the 36-year-old is battling pancreatic cancer.

The former Republic of Ireland player is reportedly receiving treatment in the United States, where he last played for Wilmington Hammerheads.

Celtic wrote on their official Twitter account: "The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic Football Club are with Liam Miller and his family at this time."

Miller made his professional debut for Celtic in 2000 after coming through the youth ranks at Parkhead and helped them win the Scottish Premier League title in 2004.

He then moved south to United on a free transfer, making 22 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson in two seasons - which included a spell on loan at Leeds - before joining Sunderland in 2006.

Miller was part of the Black Cats' squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2007 but he was on the move again in 2009, this time to QPR.

A short spell at Loftus Road was followed by stints at Hibernian, Australian clubs Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City, home-town club Cork City and, most recently, Wilmington.

Many of his former clubs and colleagues have publicly expressed their support for Miller through social media.

John Hartson, who played alongside Miller at Celtic, tweeted: "My thoughts are with Liam miller and his family this morning. Hope he can get through this difficult time of his life."

Jacob Burns, the former Leeds and Australia midfielder who is now head of football at Perth Glory, tweeted: "In shock! Thoughts and prayers are with my old team Mate and friend Liam Miller as he and his beautiful family fight through this battle!"

Miller won 21 caps for the Republic between 2004 and 2009, and current Ireland international David Meyler said the squad are thinking about their compatriot.

The Hull midfielder told a press conference on Monday: " Obviously we heard the news, we're unsure about the details, but our thoughts go out to his family and we're just thinking about him and we just hope he can pull through and he's strong. That's from the whole team and everyone."

Source: PA

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Manchester City want to beat United to Espanyol's Aaron Martin - sources

Manchester City are interested in signing Espanyol left-back Aaron Martin after sending scouts to watch him in Monday's 1-0 win over Real Betis, sources close to City have told ESPN FC.

Martin played the full 90 minutes and City boss Pep Guardiola is ready to make a move to sign him in January as he wants to bring in a left-back to replace the injured Benjamin Mendy.

Mendy is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious cruciate knee ligament injury and Guardiola has been forced to play midfielder Fabian Delph in a left-back role in the Frenchman's absence.

The City boss has admitted he may be forced into the transfer market when the window reopens in January and sources have told ESPN FC that Martin has emerged as his top target after watching him in action on several occasions in the last few weeks.

Last month, sources told ESPN FC that Manchester United had an interest in Martin, but City are now ready to beat their rivals to the 22-year-old's signature.

Martin is regarded as one of the best young full-backs in Europe after catching the eye at Espanyol since breaking into the first team last October.

He was handed a new contract until 2020 soon after making his Espanyol debut, is a Spanish U-21 international and has also represented the Catalonia senior team.