Football transfer rumours: Rúben Dias and João Felix to Manchester United?


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Today’s tell-all is preparing for the apocalypse

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s permanent appointment as Manchester United manager has yet to be confirmed, but that minor detail hasn’t stopped the Norwegian identifying a whole host of potential signings for next season. The Mirror say Ole wants to create a little Portuguese enclave at Old Trafford by bringing in teenage playmaker João Felix and 21-year-old centre-back Rúben Dias from Benfica, along with midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting. Combined, the trio would cost United about £250m, but the club are unlikely to have it all their own way considering a host of the usual European big guns also have their sights set on these players. United are also continuing their courtship of Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, but have been told they will have to make a record-breaking offer to get him.

Related: Mauricio Pochettino finds cooked-up pressures a little hot to handle Continue reading “Football transfer rumours: Rúben Dias and João Felix to Manchester United?”

Gibraltar 0-1 Republic of Ireland: Euro 2020 qualifier – as it happened


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Jeff Hendrick scored a second-half winner as Mick McCarthy’s reign began in unconvincing fashion

Ireland got there in the end, courtesy of a second-half strike from Jeff Hendrick that won them three points in Mick McCarthy’s first game back in charge.

Related: Jeff Hendrick gives Republic of Ireland narrow win over stubborn Gibraltar

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FAI statement ahoy! Meanwhile, the word on Twitter is that the Football Association of Ireland will be releasing yet another statement tonight regarding the controversy surrounding an apparent “bridging loan” given by their chief executive, John Delaney, to his employers, the FAI (no, really) back in 2017.

It’s worth noting that the FAI have form in the field of releasing statements late on Saturday night, usually in an attempt to get in front of a story they know is going to be published about Continue reading “Gibraltar 0-1 Republic of Ireland: Euro 2020 qualifier – as it happened”

Bournemouth 0-1 Man City, Manchester United 3-2 Southampton – as it happened


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  • Man City leapfrog Liverpool to go top for one day at least
  • Wins for Man Utd, Palace, Wolves and Brighton
  • Norwich win at Millwall to go top of the Championship

Premier League: Roy Hodgson’s side pulled further clear of the relegation zone with an emphatic win over Burnley at Turf Moor.

Related: Wilfried Zaha’s strike caps comfortable win for Crystal Palace at Burnley

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Premier League: Republic of Ireland international Declan Rice, who has three caps to his name, puts West Ham one up against Newcastle United with a header from close range. Simon Burnton has the latest.

Related: West Ham v Newcastle: Premier League – live!

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Football transfer rumours: Stoke to offload Saido Berahino after arrest?


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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Today’s fluff is here, at least

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to abandon their recent policy of not signing any new players by dipping into the market next summer. A spanking new defender is high on Mauricio Pochettino’s shopping list and the name of Real Betis’s Aïssa Mandi is being named in dispatches. A right-back who can fill in at centre-back if required, the 27-year-old Algerian international is also inching his way across Arsenal’s radar.

According to reports in Spain, Unai Emery is also interested in signing Éver Banega from Sevilla. The reformed party boy is a firm favourite of Arsenal’s Spanish manager, who coached him at both Valencia and Sevilla, and more recently tried unsuccessfully to bring him to the Emirates in January. Contracted to Sevilla until 2020, the 30-year-old Argentinian midfielder is valued at about £17m.

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Football transfer rumours: Stoke to offload Saido Berahino after arrest?


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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Today’s fluff is here, at least

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to abandon their recent policy of not signing any new players by dipping into the market next summer. A spanking new defender is high on Mauricio Pochettino’s shopping list and the name of Real Betis’s Aïssa Mandi is being named in dispatches. A right-back who can fill in at centre-back if required, the 27-year-old Algerian international is also inching his way across Arsenal’s radar.

According to reports in Spain, Unai Emery is also interested in signing Éver Banega from Sevilla. The reformed party boy is a firm favourite of Arsenal’s Spanish manager, who coached him at both Valencia and Sevilla, and more recently tried unsuccessfully to bring him to the Emirates in January. Contracted to Sevilla until 2020, the 30-year-old Argentinian midfielder is valued at about £17m.

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The Fiver | This rag-tag collection of multi-millionaire footballers


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Following a weekend of FA Cup ties that produced no upsets whatsoever, it is left to the plucky minnows of Chelsea to go all Mills & Boon on the fifth-round romance stakes by slaying Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Two places and one point behind United in the English league pyramid, it has been left to this rag-tag collection of butchers, carpenters and postmen – or, at the very least, multi-millionaire footballers who may know their local butcher, carpenter or postman – to fly the flag for the little guy when United’s juggernaut rolls up with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

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Football transfer rumours: Zinedine Zidane to Chelsea?


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Today’s tell-all is standing here beside itself

As Chelsea embark on a crucial make-or-break nine-day period in their season, the mood of their manager Maurizio Sarri is unlikely to be improved by talk linking Zinedine Zidane with his job. Chelsea entertain Manchester United in the FA Cup tonight and in the wake of humiliating defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Manchester City, Sarri is a man under pressure. Assorted news outlets say Zidane would be interested in replacing him, but only if he’s guaranteed a £200m war-chest, a major say in recruitment, an assurance that Eden Hazard will stay at the club and the moon in a pail of water.

Related: Maurizio Sarri must be given more time to adapt Chelsea, says Gianfranco Zola

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Dyed beards and lucky stones: Crazy Gang lives on at AFC Wimbledon | Barry Glendenning


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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The successors to the 1988 FA Cup-winning side have revealed the unusual practices they hope will help them beat MillwallWhile his teammate Scott Wagstaff sits in the home dressing room at Kingsmeadow getting his bushy ginger beard dyed bright blue and yellow, the AFC Wimbledon midfielder Anthony Wordsworth is in the President’s Lounge telling reporters about his lucky stones. The original FA Cup-winning Crazy Gang may have been uprooted and moved to Milton Keynes many moons ago, but at the fan-owned phoenix club which replaced it there is still an apparent undercurrent of madness.

Quiet and unassuming, Wordsworth is anything but deranged, although at one point he teetered on the brink. As a Southend player, he suffered the trauma of losing his beloved older brother, Steven, to a heart attack, a bereavement that led to a slump in form and eventually left him without a club. Picked up by Continue reading “Dyed beards and lucky stones: Crazy Gang lives on at AFC Wimbledon | Barry Glendenning”

The Fiver | Unfit to face inferior players who have hardly run a lap since Christmas


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Buoyed, cheered and generally heartened by the sight of Tottenham Hotspur piling some Big Cup hurt on German league leaders Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, Arsenal fans can look forward to some fun of their own when their team goes toe to toe with the works team of a tractor factory in Belarus tonight in Euro Vase. Bate Borisov are the opposition in the first knockout round and while most of their players are unknown outside their native country, there will at least be one recognisable face among the ranks.

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Ajax v Real Madrid: Champions League – live!


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Football transfer rumours: Barcelona to trump Chelsea for Luka Jovic?


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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This morning’s guff is walking on by

Move along. There’s little or nothing to see here. The eagerly awaited return of the Champions League means transfer tittle-tattle takes a back seat in today’s back pages, although speculation does abound over how much Aaron Ramsey will be trousering when he heads to Juventus in the summer. The Arsenal and Wales midfielder has signed a pre-contract agreement with Juventus and while some reports suggest he’ll be getting an eye-watering £400,000 per week over four years, others say he’ll be forced to get by on a paltry £250,000 stipend once the Italian taxman gets his cut.

Related: Un-brie-lievable: VIP cheese room at new Spurs stadium melts away

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The Fiver | A name scribbled into the now customary Chelsea statement


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So fond of a cigarette he gets through three or four lighters a day, The Fiver shudders to imagine how many coffin-nails Maurizio Sarri sucked down to the butt as he subjected himself to the torment of re-watching that Chelsea horror show against Manchester City. Between the smoke billowing out of various facial apertures, the piping hot steam hissing out of his lug-holes and dense cloud of ash swirling around his head, old Maurizio will have resembled the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and his mood will have been similarly volcanic.

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Football transfer rumours: Juventus to bid £175m for Liverpool’s Mo Salah?


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Today’s tell-all is more tangled Slinky than coiled spring

With their nerves already jangling thanks to the white-knuckle ride that is the title race, Liverpool fans will be further traumatised by rumours suggesting Juventus have their beady eye on Mohamed Salah. Word on the outer reaches of cyberspace suggests the Italian champions have earmarked the Egyptian as a potential £175m replacement for Paolo Dybala, who has scored just twice in 20 appearances for the club this season. In more heartwarming news for Liverpool, the Old Lady may decide to hitch her skirts at Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio instead.

Related: Rafael Benítez backs Miguel Almirón to make instant impact at Newcastle

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Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth, Atlético Madrid 1-3 Real Madrid – as it all happened


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The Fiver | Albert Einstein hadn’t reckoned with Alfredo Morelos


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Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Of course, old Albert hadn’t reckoned with the Pope’s Newc O’Rangers’ hot-headed Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos, who has now been sent off in three different matches against Aberdeen this season, all of which have finished with – you’ve guessed it – different results: a draw, an Aberdeen win at Ibrox and most recently, a victory for O’Rangers at Pittodrie on a freezing Scottish Wednesday night.

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Football transfer rumours: Spurs target Christian Eriksen replacement?


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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Today’s fluff is punctual

Tottenham are worried that mild-mannered Dane Christian Eriksen might leave for pastures new in the summer and have inked the name of Leicester City midfielder James Maddison on their Big Whiteboard O’Potential Replacements. Real Madrid are interested in Eriksen, but only if Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard – a man who changes his mind more often than the Rumour Mill changes its socks – decides he’s not all that fussed about moving to the Spanish capital after all. Should Hazard decide he’s finally had enough of life at Stamford Bridge, Real will have to stump up £100m but may try to fob Chelsea off with Isco or Marco Asensio as makeweights in any deal. Chelsea, for their part, may rescue Philippe Coutinho from his Barcelona purgatory by offering him a return to the Premier League. They may also struggle to hold on to their Brazilian winger Willian Continue reading “Football transfer rumours: Spurs target Christian Eriksen replacement?”

FA Cup fourth-round replays: Newport 2-0 Middlesbrough and more – as it happened


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The Fiver | More nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs


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When Liverpool took just one point from the three available against Leicester last week, their more optimistic fans fell over themselves in the rush to view what others might consider a setback as a huge positive. Manchester City had somehow lost against Newcastle the night before, after all, which meant Jürgen Klopp’s side were still five points clear and that was still one hell of a cushion. Having seen City swat Arsenal aside over the weekend, Liverpool had the chance to restore the gap against West Ham, but were again forced to settle for a point. While undeniably better than the no points they almost certainly deserved, this particular one has not been welcomed quite as effusively by supporters who had to sit through another performance that was more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full Continue reading “The Fiver | More nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs”

Football transfer rumours: David Brooks to Tottenham Hotspur?


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Today’s tell-all is slightly discombobulated because it is facing the other way

Unlike trigger-happy, shotgun-wielding Elmer Fudd in his welentless pursuit of Bugs Bunny, Barcelona are rumoured to have given up their well-documented hunt for a well known Wabi … sorry, Rabiot. An outcast at Paris Saint-Germain, for whom he has not played since early December, Adrien Rabiot was suspended by his employers after telling them he would not be signing a new contract. The midfielder was expected to move to the Camp Nou during the January window, but was left high and dry after Barcelona cooled their interest and signed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax instead. With Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea all expected to try to hitch their skirts at Rabiot when his contract expires this summer, Arsenal are also ready to throw their fez in the ring and believe they may have the edge due to Continue reading “Football transfer rumours: David Brooks to Tottenham Hotspur?”

Chelsea 5-0 Huddersfield, Everton 1-3 Wolves and more football – as it happened


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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