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Manchester United star David De Gea does NOT have release clause in deal

Sports News 30th March 2017

Manchester United star David De Gea does NOT have release clause in deal and Real Madrid face huge transfer fee for Spanish keeper

• Man Utd news: All the latest from Old Trafford
• Reports in Spain had suggested that David De Gea has a £52m release clause
• But that is not true, and club would demand double the £33m record for a keeper
• De Gea is said to be settled in the North West and enjoying life at Old Trafford
• Missing out on the Champions League would cause him to consider a move
• Thibaut Courtois and Gianluigi Donnarumma are options for Real Madrid

Real Madrid will be made to pay astronomical figures if they firm up interest in David De Gea, who does not have a buyout clause in his Manchester United contract.

Reports in Spain suggested Real believe De Gea could be signed for £52million after the goalkeeper demanded a clause be inserted into the four-year deal signed in 2015.

But it is understood a fee of more than double Gianluigi Buffon’s £33m world-record transfer to Juventus would be required if he ever did leave Old Trafford.

That looks unlikely this summer, given De Gea is contracted for another two seasons, with United owning the option of another on top of that.

United are relaxed about his situation and their No 1 is understood to be very happy in the North West.

Jose Mourinho made sure to keep his No 1 close when taking over from Louis van Gaal and appointed De Gea’s former mentor Emilio Alvarez as the club’s goalkeeping coach.

Alvarez was crucial to the Spaniard’s development at Atletico Madrid and De Gea is thought to be more engaged during training sessions at Carrington than under Van Gaal’s team. The pair have regularly undertaken extra sessions together, despite the intense calendar.

The 26-year-old enjoys an excellent relationship with Mourinho – also represented by Jorge Mendes – and thrives off his manager’s anger in the dressing room following disappointing draws.

He shares the same vision as the Portuguese, having completely lost faith in Van Gaal’s ability to close the gap on their rivals last season.

Even though United still face a battle for the top four, De Gea is thought to be confident Mourinho is guiding the club in the right direction.

De Gea would consider a move if United missed out on Champions League qualification for the second year running, coupled with Real Madrid tabling an absurd offer which would be too huge to reject by his club.

But he is not mulling over his future and remains content with life in Manchester, with his family not hankering for De Gea’s return to Spain.

Real do want more Spanish players in their team and therefore the national team’ s No 1 would appeal, yet their sights have not definitely been fixed on De Gea, with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois and AC Milan teenager Gianluigi Donnarumma still options.

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Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits he enjoys the hostility of the Merseyside Derby

Sports News 30th March 2017

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits he enjoys the hostility of the Merseyside Derby… and he has yet to taste defeat against Everton

• Liverpool host Everton in the 228th Merseyside Derby at Anfield on Saturday
• Simon Mignolet has admitted he enjoys the atmosphere of the derby clash
• The Belgian has yet to end on the losing side in seven Merseyside Derbies
• He has only conceded one goal in the last three derbies played at Anfield

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits he enjoys the hostility of a Merseyside derby.

The Belgium goalkeeper has yet to be on the losing side since in seven meetings with Everton, whose last win in the fixture came at Goodison in October 2010.

Mignolet, who has conceded just one goal in the last three home derbies, is eagerly anticipating Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Anfield in the 228th encounter between the two neighbours.

‘It’s always a bit hostile but like in any other derby game, that’s something you relish – two groups of fans who are cheering their team on,’ the Belgian is quoted on liverpoolfc.com.

‘It’s a bit special, of course, in Liverpool because in some families you have got both Everton and Liverpool supporters.

‘Although it’s a derby I don’t think there is so much hatred between the two clubs.

‘In the time I’ve been here, we’ve always had great results against Everton at home.

‘It’s always a big fixture to look forward to. On the day itself, it’s nice to be part of it. It is pretty special.’

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Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum reveals intense preparations and rituals of a Premier League match day

Sports News 30th March 2017

Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum reveals intense preparations and rituals of a Premier League match day – forcing down meals and relentless ice baths in the search for glory

• The build up and aftermath of a Premier League game involves great detail
• Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed his specific regime
• The Dutchman admits he religiously takes ice baths and forces himself to eat
• Wijnaldum also opens up on how his stomach used to hurt after high-energy ties
• The midfielder has a very regimented diet… but admits he cannot cook
• There are nerves on a match-day… but only for his former clubs, not Liverpool

The match day of a Premier League footballer, both leading up to and the aftermath of a game, is usually much more intricate than the average fan would imagine.

Countless variables come together to construct what is the most important day of the week for an elite footballer, andLiverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has given a rare glimpse of just what it is like for a Premier League star.

Wijnaldum has fast identified himself as one of the most important components in Jurgen Klopp’s team this season, using his versatility and high fitness levels to cover a multitude of positions for the Reds as the season has progressed.

And, for the Dutchman, preparing to walk out at Anfield is the one thing his week revolves around.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Wijnaldum outlined his approach to a match-day morning, beginning with the source of his endless energy: ‘In the morning, I will eat bread with strawberry jam, bread and eggs, omelette or porridge.

‘I try not to eat a lot in the mornings because if I do, I will stay full and that makes it harder for me to eat a pre-match meal in the afternoon.

‘I have learned in my career, you have to find out what’s the best way for you personally to prepare for a game – and I realised it was better for me to have a small breakfast and then eat in the afternoon,’ he added.

As for nerves, the ever-smiling midfielder admits in a personal capacity he has none… though that doesn’t stop him worrying about other teams.

‘A few weeks ago, two of my old teams played against each other – Feyenoord and PSV – and I had more nerves for that game than our game that weekend. I don’t know why… they’re just two of my old teams and I support them,’ Wijnaldum said.

But when it reaches the time to enter the Anfield dressing room, the only thing on the mind of the 26-year-old is reaching a state of focus.

‘As soon as I go into the dressing room on match day, my phone goes into flight mode,’ he admitted.

‘I still want to listen to my music, but I don’t want to use WhatsApp or look at Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter because I am fully focused on the match. All that stuff is only for well after the game!’

Walking out to You’ll Never Walk Alone is a source of pride for Wijnaldum, but the midfielder admits that whatever the scoreline, preparation for the next match begins immediately as the full-time whistle sounds. And, on occasion, this can even involve forcing down food when an appetite isn’t present.

‘After a game, I also go into the ice bath because they say you recover quicker if you do that, so I’ll spend five minutes or so in there.

‘After a game, there is also food available for you to eat, so sometimes I will force myself to do so because although I am not really hungry, it’s important to eat after a match because your body needs the nutrients and energy again, so it’s important to get them in you quickly after a game.

But a lot of times it is difficult to do that, for me, because I am a person who doesn’t really get hungry, especially after games – maybe because I have a lot of adrenaline in my body,’ Wijnaldum added.

The Liverpool No 5 credits the majority of his dietary regime to the club’s head of nutrition, Mona Nemmer, who he reveals has helped him with a stomach issue which had occurred following high-energy games.

‘My stomach sometimes might hurt after games. I must say, since I spoke with Mona about it, I’ve had it less than before. Mona is aware of everything and she is always trying to find solutions to help your body go forward, and to change it for yourself,’ Wijnaldum said.

Despite not always being able to eat, the Dutchman acknowledges that replenishing the body is vital and, as a result, he is always very careful with what and how he eats… despite admitting he cannot cook.

‘What I try to do is eat breakfast, lunch and dinner because my body needs it. If you play at an intense level, you lose a lot of energy, so you need to fill it up again with food, drinks and shakes,’ he said.

‘My cooking skills aren’t great so I will take the food Mona has made home with me, or when my family come over they will cook for me. I can’t cook – it’s a shame,’ the midfielder added.

Wijnaldum will be hoping his preparation is spot on this weekend as the Reds return to action against fierce city rivals Everton.

Liverpool host the Toffees on Saturday, April 1, for a 12.30 lunchtime kick-off in which victory could lift them temporarily to second place in the table.

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Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal he wants to sign new contract and stay at the Emirates Stadium for two more years

Sports News 30th March 2017

Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal he wants to sign new contract and stay at the Emirates Stadium for two more years

• Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to sign a new contract at the club
• The Frenchman has come under severe pressure from dissenting fans this term
• Wenger informed the Gunners of his decision at a meeting last week

Arsene Wenger has informed Arsenal that he intends to sign a new, two-year contract.

Itemsgalore Blog understands the Frenchman told the club hierarchy that he wants to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium during a meeting last week.

The north London club are adamant that Wenger’s future will be resolved as a joint decision.

But last week’s talks are a major step towards the Frenchman continuing his stay at the club.

After having doubts over his future, Wenger is now determined to stay and transform the club’s fortunes.

Victory against Manchester City on Sunday would help Wenger’s cause. Mesut Ozil is expected to be fit for the clash after recovering from the hamstring strain that kept him out of the defeat against West Brom. The midfielder played for Germany against Azerbaijan last Sunday.

Forward Alexis Sanchez could be opening the door to a move — perhaps to Chelsea — after saying: ‘I am happy in London and I hope to finish my contract at Arsenal. I want to stay in a winning team and keep playing in the same city. I want to play in a team that has aspirations.

‘I’m 28 years old, I still have a lot ahead of me.’

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Manchester United want to kick off summer spree with £40m move for Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier

Sports News 30th March 2017

Manchester United want to kick off summer spree with £40m move for Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier

• Man Utd transfer news: All the latest
• Manchester United are eyeing a £40m move for Tottenham’s Eric Dier
• Jose Mourinho is an admirer of Dier and wants to sign him this summer
• The 23-year-old joined Spurs from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 for around £3m

Manchester United are ready to kick off their summer spending with a move for Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier.

Dier – valued at over £40million – has been earmarked as a potential replacement for Michael Carrick.

Jose Mourinho is a keen admirer of a number of Spurs players but is wary of how difficult it would be to take an asset from a club now seen as a direct rival.

United’s top brass are also well aware of the perils of going into business with notoriously tough negotiator Daniel Levy and the Tottenham supremo may well demand a price that the Manchester club are unwilling to pay.

Sportsmail understands United have a list of four players for each position they wish to strengthen lined up and will not be held to ransom.

The Red Devils have been linked with numerous player as the summer transfer window appears on the horizon.

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona star Neymar are names reportedly on Mourinho’s radar, but it would appear as though he’s focused on addressing his midfield issues first.

Carrick’s current deal ends this summer and as yet he hasn’t been offered an extension.

The 35-year-old said earlier this month: ‘I haven’t really had that much of a conversation with him [Mourinho] at the moment. Obviously that will happen, it’s going to happen at some stage, pretty soon I’d have thought. That’s something I’m really relaxed about. I’m sure he is as well.

‘[Retirement] almost depends on how long I’m here. I don’t think there’s many places I’d want to play, if any, after this anyway.

‘I probably would say yes – that would be it if I left in the summer.’

While he arrived at Tottenham as a defender, Dier has been converted into a midfielder by manager Mauricio Pochettino.

He played a key role in helping Spurs finish third in the Premier League last season, featuring in all but one of his team’s league games.

However, he is no longer guaranteed a starting spot in midfield following the arrival of Victor Wanyama from Southampton and has been moved back into defence as Pochettino switched to a 3-5-2.

Any move United attempt to make will mean negotiating with Levy once more – something they have found difficult in the past.

Former boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed in his book in 2015 that he found dealing with the Spurs chairman while trying to sign striker Dimitar Berbatov in 2008 as ‘more painful than my hip replacement’.

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Alexis Sanchez wants to ‘finish his contract at Arsenal’

Sports News 30th March 2017

Alexis Sanchez wants to ‘finish his contract at Arsenal’… but urges the club to develop a ‘winning mentality’

• Alexis Sanchez insists that he is happy in London and wants to stay at Arsenal
• Chile star has less than 15 months remaining on his contract at the club
• The 28-year-old has yet to sign a new deal and is likely to leave in the summer

Alexis Sanchez insists that he is happy in London and wants to finish the final 15 months of his contract at Arsenal.

But the Chile star fired a warning to the Gunners by claiming that he wants to play in a team ‘that has a winning mentality’.

The 28-year-old’s future at the club has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks, with Chelsea now emerging as a potential destination.

Sanchez looks likely to end his three-year spell at the Emirates Stadium this summer after the fallout of his demotion to the bench for the 3-1 defeat by Liverpool earlier this month.

Speaking on the Chilean website Publimetro, the 28-year-old said: ‘I am happy in London and I hope to finish my contract there.

‘I want to stay in the city and the team, but in a team that wins, that has a winning mentality.

‘I am 28, I still have a lot in front of me. I am a player who looks after himself a lot.’

Arsenal’s season hangs on a knife-edge as they prepare to return to action following the international break.

Having lost four of their last five Premier League games, Arsene Wenger’s side host Manchester City on Sunday and face an FA Cup semi-final against the same opposition next month.

Sanchez, though, will return to England as a man in form after netting in Chile’s 3-0 World Cup qualifier win over Venezuela on Tuesday.

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Arsene Wenger faces a career defining April

Sports News 30th March 2017

Arsene Wenger faces a career defining April: Arsenal could be back in the top-four and in an FA Cup final or out of Champions League contention

• Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal that he wants to stay for another two years
• His Arsenal side face seven season defining games over the month of April
• They could be back in the top four or tarnish the manager’s reputation forever
• Read: Alexis Sanchez wants to ‘finish his contract at Arsenal’

It may seem ridiculous, but even in the context of Arsene Wenger’s eventful 21 year reign at Arsenal it is hard to imagine him having faced as career-defining month as this coming April.

The Wenger legacy has become a topic for debate, argument and online YouTube series, but Itemsgalore Blog understands that he wants to extend his stay by a further two years by signing a new contract.

And, with Arsenal insisting it will be a joint decision, his and Arsenal’s April could go a long way to deciding whether he deserves a new contract.

Even with their relative travails in recent campaigns, Arsenal are at a low ebb. Once again knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage, they now seem at risk of missing out on a place in Europe’s elite club competition.

That would be a first for Wenger since he joined Arsenal in 1996, and a damaging blow to his reputation.

They are stuck in sixth, six points off fourth spot and even trailing Manchester United by two.

Arsenal do have two games in-hand on Liverpool, who are in fourth place in the top flight, but that is combined with a fixture pile-up that will see them play seven games over April.

They have a chance to close the gap to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who are third, when they take them on at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

The problem is that a defeat against City could see them finish the weekend as low as seventh in the Premier League. Everton travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday and a victory would see the Toffees leapfrog the Gunners and climb into fifth.

City are no scrubs – when the two teams faced one another in December, they fought back from a goal behind as Arsenal collapsed.

Guardiola’s side also tend to play better away from home. They have won 10 of their 14 away games this season, compared to seven of 14 at the Etihad, which means the advantage of the game being at the Emirates may have to be discounted.

They have to play them twice, and the FA Cup semi-final on April 23 could be just as important for Wenger.

A place in the top-four seems necessary, but combine that with a trophy and Arsenal fans would have to dampen down their criticism.

It’s not just City that Wenger has to worry about this month.

A run of games against West Ham, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough sees the Gunners face sides battling to either ensure or save their Premier League status.

Anything but a victory from all three, over a period of just 12 days, would surely see Arsenal’s top-four hopes fall to pieces.

The game against Leicester could be just as important. The Foxes are showing the spirit of last season’s champions under interim boss Craig Shakespeare and will be no pushovers at the Emirates.

And the month all ends with a north London derby at White Hart Lane, one that Wenger cannot afford to lose.

It seems inevitable that Spurs will end a 21-year wait and finish above Arsenal this season, whether or not they win the derby, but a damaging defeat would not be a good look for a manager that wants to stick around.

April will therefore be defining for Wenger. Arsenal could end it in the top four, having taken advantage of their games in-hand, and with a berth in the FA Cup final.

Or they could find themselves well outside of the Champions League places, with no possibility of catching up, and without silverware for the campaign.

Beware the ides of March? For Wenger, it’s more about being aware of the size of April.

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Lionel Messi claims foul-mouthed rant which landed him a four-match ban was not directed at assistant referee

Sports News 30th March 2017

Lionel Messi claims foul-mouthed rant which landed him a four-match ban was not directed at assistant referee: ‘My comments were made to the air’

• FIFA slapped Lionel Messi with a four-match ban following a foul-mouthed tirade
• Messi allegedly aimed abuse at assistant referee Emerson Augusto do Carvalho
• The Argentina star insists he was making the comments to himself

Lionel Messi has refuted claims he directed a torrent of abuse at an assistant referee, claiming he was speaking to himself.

The Argentine star was slapped with a four-match ban by FIFA this week after allegations he unleashed a verbal tirade during his country’s World Cup qualifying victory over Chile.

Messi was informed of his ban just six hours before his side were due to play Bolivia in La Paz and had to sit out the 2-0 defeat.

Argentina are in the process of appealing the verdict but the player is already openly protesting his innocence.

‘My comments were never directed at the first assistant, they were comments made to the air,’ Messi told La Nacion.

Messi said ‘la concha de tu madre’, which translates as ‘your mother’s ****’ — a common cursing phrase in Argentina — in the direction of Brazilian linesman Emerson Augusto do Carvalho at the end of the match after being harried and fouled by Chile’s Jean Beausejour.

The official patted him on the head and tried to calm him down but Messi continued ranting.

Carvalho said later he did not understand at the time what Messi was saying.

‘I only realised he was swearing afterwards on reading the press,’ he said.

As well as missing Tuesday night’s match, Messi will also be absent for an away game against Luis Suarez’s Uruguay in August and home matches against Venezuela and Peru in September and October.

His country are staring at the possibility of having to qualify for the World Cup finals via a play-off or perhaps not even make the 32-team tournament whatsoever.

They currently occupy the play-off place in South American qualifying.

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Manchester United to be without Paul Pogba for West Brom match

Sports News 30th March 2017

Manchester United to be without Paul Pogba for West Brom match as Jose Mourinho says four others will miss out

• Paul Pogba picked up a hamstring injury against Rostov before the break
• Jose Mourinho revealed that the midfielder is not likely to recover for Saturday
• A number of Manchester United’s top stars are not available against West Brom

Manchester United expect to be without Paul Pogba for Saturday’s game against West Bromwich Albion.

Manager Jose Mourinho has revealed the France international, who was withdrawn from his national team’s squad after pulling his hamstring against Rostov, has not recovered fully from his injury.

Central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have also been highlighted as likely absentees by Mourinho after picking up knocks while away with England.

That trio are joined by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera, who will both sit out the last match of their respective suspensions against Tony Pulis’s side.

‘So we lose four [players] and I think Paul Pogba is also out,’ Mourinho told ManUtd.com. ‘So we lose five.’

The likes of Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Sergio Romero are still travelling back from South America after playing for their national teams during the break.

Pogba missed the Old Trafford side’s Premier League game against Middlesbrough. Mourinho’s team won the game at the Riverside Stadium 3-1.

United go into Saturday’s game against West Brom knowing that a victory could see them edge to within a point of the top-four, should Liverpool lose the Merseyside derby against Everton.

They follow the game against the Baggies by hosting Ronald Koeman’s in-form Everton on Tuesday night before a trip to relegation threatened Sunderland next weekend.

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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante risked a long journey back from France duty as he joined Spanish team-mates following friendly defeat

Uncategorised 30th March 2017

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante risked a long journey back from France duty as he joined Spanish team-mates following friendly defeat

• N’Golo Kante faced off with Chelsea team-mate Pedro as France took on Spain
• The Spanish stars were celebrating after a 2-0 friendly victory in Paris
• Fellow Blues’ colleagues Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta were unused subs
• The quartet united to travel back to London ahead of the Premier League return

They may have been on opposing sides on Tuesday night but Chelsea stars N’Golo Kante, Diego Costa, Pedro and Cesar Azpilicueta put international rivalries to one side as they travelled back to London together.

Kante and Pedro were the only Blues players to get game-time at the Stade de France as Spain beat their hosts 2-0, thanks in part to the interjection of the video officials.

Unused substitute Costa played and scored in the win over Israel but Azpilicueta watched both games from the bench without making an appearance. Kante got through 180 minutes for France over the international break – beating Luxembourg before losing to the 2010 world champions.

France striker Antoine Griezmann had a goal ruled out for offside after use of the video while Gerard Deulofeu’s effort was allowed to stand after he had been flagged. David Silva had earlier opened the scoring.

The Chelsea quartet were all smiles as they reunited to travel back to London on Tuesday night. They will be back on the same side when they return to Cobham to prepare for Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Kante has been at the forefront of PFA Player of the Season discussions with his impressive displays helping Chelsea to a 10-point lead in the Premier League.

However, he insists that he is not getting carried away by the praise coming his way and told Canal+: ‘It’s always nice to hear nice things about yourself, but you have to step back, there’s still a lot of work.

‘When I’m in France, I see the careers and the prize list.

‘Of my team-mates, I think that I have not done anything in football, and there is no reason to take it for someone else.’

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