Stoke City would have been better off if Tony Pulis had remained as manager

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> At this point in the season, Stoke City fans are rightfully becoming more distraught as their club flirts with relegation. They currently sit in 17th in the table with a mere 23 points, just one point more than the Saints, who sit in 18th. But when looking at the Potters’ record and form this season, it’s no surprise that they’re in the position they’re in. They’ve only managed to win six games while drawing five and losing 13. And half of the games they’ve won have come against the bottom of the table (Southampton, Swansea and West Brom). But the main reason Stoke have struggled so much recently relates to their extremely poor goal difference. The Potters have the worst goal difference of any team in the Premier League with a whopping minus 25. In their 13 losses, seven have been by three or more goals (Chelsea 4-0, Man City
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‘Superstar’ Sanchez the right fit for ManUtd, says Giggs

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – Ryan Giggs says Alexis Sanchez is a ready-made “superstar” who can give Manchester United a lift as they bid to chase down Premier League rivals Manchester City. Sanchez on Monday sealed a move to United from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, saying he was “thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world”. The 29-year-old Chile striker, who came close to joining Manchester City last summer, has signed what is believed to be a four-and-a-half-year contract that will make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League. It has been widely reported that Sanchez will earn a pre-tax salary of £500,000 ($697,000, 569,000 euros) a week at Old Trafford. “Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez is similar to Robin van Persie in the sense that they’re getting a ready-made superstar and you’re seeing the contribution already with Anthony Martial upping his performances,” new Wales Continue reading "‘Superstar’ Sanchez the right fit for ManUtd, says Giggs"

Premier League has 14 of the 30 highest-earning clubs in the world

• Manchester United biggest earners in world football with £581m
• Leicester City’s share of TV billions help puts them at No 14 The Premier League makes so much more money from its multibillion-pound sales of television rights, tickets and commercial income that 14 of its clubs are in the highest-earning 30 in the world. According to European football clubs’ 2016-17 financial information, collated by the accountants Deloitte, Manchester United made the most money of any club on the planet last year, £581m in total. Continue reading...

Barcelona loan Brazilian Rafinha to Inter Milan

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona midfielder Rafinha will join Inter Milan on loan until the end of the season with an option to buy, the Spanish club announced on Monday. In a statement, Barcelona revealed Inter “have an option to purchase the player for 35 million euros ($43m) plus 3 million euros in variables, which must be confirmed before the end of the current season”. The 24-year-old Brazil international, who was out of action for eight months last year due to a knee injury, joined Barcelona aged 13 and rose through the ranks. He has scored one goal in two games for the Selecao but injuries blighted his Barca first team chances. He needed surgery and was out for more than six months after tearing a cruciate knee ligament against Roma at the end of 2015. He then went under the knife again last year after suffering a meniscus injury against Continue reading "Barcelona loan Brazilian Rafinha to Inter Milan"

De Bruyne signs Manchester City extension

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has signed a contract extension with Manchester City keeping him at the club until 2023, the Premier League leaders said on Monday. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has been one of the stars of the season so far with City manager Pep Guardiola even describing him as “one of the best players” he’s ever seen. “I am really happy to have signed this new deal,” De Bruyne, who joined the Citizens from Wolfsburg in 2015, told mancity.com. “As I’ve said previously, my intention has always been to stay here at City, where I’ve felt at home from day one. “Not only are we winning, we are playing great football. It’s a pleasure to be a part of and I’m really excited about what we can achieve in the coming years.” De Bruyne has already contributed six goals and 10 assists in Continue reading "De Bruyne signs Manchester City extension"

Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Stoger issues Arsenal transfer ultimatum in Aubameyang deal

Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have been locked in negotiations regarding the future of the Bundesliga outfit’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Dortmund manager Peter Stoger has subsequently issued the Gunners a transfer ultimatum to abide by, if they’re going to purchase the prolific Gabonese hit-man. Aubameyang was absent from BVB’s match-day fold on Friday when his employers […]

Cologne on the trail of greatest escape after forcing Hamburg’s hand | Andy Brassell

Saturday’s win at their fellow strugglers sparked the sacking of Markus Gisdol and raised hopes of an unlikely escape Already, it threatens to be the story of the season. FC Köln were dead, buried and we were just waiting for the post-mortem. Following the worst start to a Bundesliga season in the competition’s near-55-year history – no wins and three draws in the first 16 games, which finished off one of the club’s greatest coaches ever, Peter Stöger – the patient hasn’t just woken up. They’ve put their best clothes on, left the hospital and gone out clubbing. Saturday’s vital win at fellow strugglers Hamburg, who Effzeh are now only three points behind, was their third in a row since breaking their season duck and has put Stefan Ruthenbeck’s side on the trail of what would be the greatest escape of them all, certainly in the history of German top-flight Continue reading "Cologne on the trail of greatest escape after forcing Hamburg’s hand | Andy Brassell"