Man Utd keeper expects England to ‘have a right go’

Dean Henderson has urged England Under-21s to embrace their tag as one of the favourites to win Euro 2019.

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The Young Lions arrived in Italy on Friday afternoon ahead of the tournament and trained just hours after landing.

Aidy Boothroyd’s side face France in their opening Group C game in Cesena on Tuesday.

Manchester United goalkeeper Henderson is expected to start for the Young Lions and is relishing the challenge.

“Now we’re over here and seen the set up and everything it makes us want to cherish it and have a right go,” he said, having won promotion to the Premier League during a loan spell with Sheffield United last season.

“As soon as we reached the airport to fly out you could feel the excitement building.

“We’re all looking forward to performing on this stage and our mindset is about winning it.

“We all think we can do that, there are some players in the squad who have won a lot of tournaments in different age groups. There’s no reason why we can’t continue this here with the under-21s.

“People will look at us going unbeaten through qualifying and think we had an easy time against easy opponents but if you look at it there were some tough teams in that group.

“We had Holland and Ukraine and then of course there was a local derby against Scotland.

“But we stuck together and we came through those games and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same here.”

All 23 players trained at Serie D side AC Sammaurese’s Macrelli Stadium on Friday evening.

England also face Romania next Friday and Croatia on June 24.

Gossip: Man Utd eye seven, favourites for Fernandes and Lo Celso

SOLSKJAER LAST MAN STANDING FOR FERNANDES
Manchester United appear to be the last team standing in the battle to sign Bruno Fernandes. Because, according to the Daily Mail, everyone else has packed up and gone home.

It seemed like Tottenham represented the biggest threat to whatever hopes United held of bringing the Portugal midfielder to Old Trafford but Spurs have apparently denied any interest. Just like Manchester City did before them.

Sporting Lisbon have tried their best to build up a buzz around Fernandes, whose form last season was exciting enough. The attacking midfielder scored 32 goals and offered 18 assists, but even those ridiculous statistics haven’t been enough to whip up the bidding war Sporting were hoping for.

It seems United are the only side to remain open to the possibility of paying £50million for the Portugal international. Though they may redirect those funds to Spain instead…

 

BETIS MAKE UNITED FAVOURITES FOR SPURS TARGET
Real Betis are trying to kick off their own tug-of-war between Man Utd and Spurs with Giovani Lo Celso in the middle.

Mauricio Pochettino has been the favourite to land the Argentina midfielder but Betis are coming around to the idea that United’s interest in the 23-year-old is genuine. The Independent is quoting a report from Estadio Deportivo which claims that Betis vice-president and chief executive Jose Miguel Lopez Catalan travelled to England this week and their trip resulted in United becoming favourites for the star.

Lo Celso’s buy-out clause is said to be £89million but Betis have agreed that £67million will do the trick. Pochettino is said to be turning the screw on the Spurs hierarchy and Lo Celso reportedly prefers the thought of moving to north London, but Betis are trying to make life as difficult and as expensive as possible for Daniel Levy.

 

UNITED CHASING FIVE MORE
Here’s a round-up of the other United whispers because there are bloody loads of them…

Marca reckons Paul Pogba only wants to move to Real Madrid, despite Juventus’s interest. You best get Florentino Perez to cough up then, PP…

Mino Raiola is tied up at the moment with Matthijs De Ligt. AS, though, says the Ajax defender’s mum and girlfriend have been spotted looking for property in Paris.

United might not mind that De Lugt appears bound for PSG as they now reckon they can win the race for Harry Maguire. The Daily Mail claims Man City have baulked at Leicester’s asking price of £80million, though reports earlier this week suggested Ed Woodward was reluctant to pay up too.

The Red Devils will also have to fork out for Aaron Wan-Bossaka, though Sky Sports claims the Crystal Palace full-back is keen on the move.

There are widespread reports of United’s growing confidence of signing Sean Longstaff from Newcastle. The Daily Star says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the deal done before the Red Devils take off for their pre-season jolly to Australia on July 7.

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Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur claims United have been back in touch with Monaco regarding Youri Tielemans. Leicester are still hoping to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis but the Foxes hoped to have the deal done by now. It appears to be a straight race between Solskjaer and Brendan Rodgers.

One last thing: ESPN says Woodward is finally planning on getting around to making an improved contract offer to David de Gea. Get a wriggle on, Ed.

 

AND THE REST
Frank Lampard will be appointed the new Chelsea boss after Maurizio Sarri rejected a late plea to stay… Lampard wants Didier Drogba as part of his backroom staff, but not John Terry… Willian is set to sign a two-year deal to stay at Chelsea… Arsenal are still trying to shift Mezut Ozil off the books to fund moves for other targets… but the Gunners will offer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a new contract… Arsenal are preparing an offer for Flamengo midfielder Reinier Jesus… Ajax want just over £30m for Hakim Ziyech with Liverpool and Arsenal both linked… Aleksandar Mitrovic is on the verge of a move to Real Betis… Dejan Lovren’s agent is talking to AC Milan… Leeds will rebuff any enquiries for Jack Clarke and Kalvin Phillips… Gonzalo Higuain wants to end his career at Juventus… Lazio want £44.5m for goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha who has been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham… Brighton are keen on Genk captain Leandro Trossard… Leicester are confident of signing Luton defender James Justin.

Man United ‘very interested’ in hijacking £88.9m Spurs move

Manchester United are ‘very interested’ in hijacking Tottenham’s move for midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.

Lo Celso has emerged as one of Tottenham’s primary targets this summer, with the club already having one offer rejected by Real Betis.

The north London club will continue to pursue the midfielder, whose £88.9m release clause is proving inhibitive to any deal.

But Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo say United ‘are very interested’ in signing the 23-year-old, particularly if Paul Pogba leaves this summer.

They say that ‘the option’ of United came up during a lunch between Betis vice president López Catalán and general director Federico Martínez Feria earlier this week, during which the possibility of signing Aleksandar Mitrovic came up.

It is even added that ‘the negotiations could accelerate in the coming days’, although that seems unlikely with United chasing other targets.

The article is hardly watertight. Sport Witness have done a sterling job of picking it apart. But it is worth noting that United were mentioned as potential suitors late last month.

 

West Ham make ‘incredible’ Fornals second biggest signing ever

West Ham have announced the signing of Spanish attacking midfielder Pablo Fornals from Villarreal.

Fornals, 23, has agreed a five-year contract with the Hammers, which includes the option of a 12-month extension.

West Ham said Fornals had become “the second most-expensive signing in the club’s history behind Felipe Anderson”, the Brazilian having arrived last summer in a reported £34million deal.

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Fornals is set to feature for Spain at the European Under-21 Championship in Italy.

“I’m very happy to be part of West Ham,” Fornals said to the club website. “I feel very good, very happy and very grateful for the opportunity that has been provided to me.

“I want the club to continue giving opportunities to young and ambitious people, people who want to do well for the long term.”

Fornals, who has two senior Spain caps, is reported to have cost around £24m and worked with West Ham’s director of football Mario Husillos during their time at Malaga.

“I know about the loyal fans and the stadium, which is a beautiful stadium,” Fornals added.

“The fans fill the stadium every weekend and that is something admirable, especially with the passion with which football is lived there. I think it is important to play with the support of your fans at home.”

Fornals is also looking forward to linking up with Irons boss Manuel Pellegrini, who guided the team to 10th place in the Premier League last season.

He said: “Of course, Manuel was a big influence because in the end he is one of the best coaches in the world and who doesn’t want to work with people like that?”

Fornals made 63 appearances for Villarreal across two seasons, scoring seven goals.

Husillos is confident West Ham are getting a player full of potential, Fornals having made his LaLiga debut against Real Madrid when aged 19.

“He is a player we have monitored closely for some time, having seen him make excellent progress as a young midfielder in one of the best leagues in the world,” the West Ham director of football said.

“I personally have followed his career since he was a youth player with me at Malaga, and I know we have signed an incredible professional and an incredible character.

“He joins us a young player still with many years ahead of him, yet with strong experience and already proven at the very highest level.

“We look forward to seeing the impact he will have in a West Ham shirt, and believe that he has all of the qualities required to become a big success in the Premier League.”

Fornals becomes West Ham’s third summer signing, following the arrival of experienced goalkeepers Roberto and David Martin.

 

Man United ‘not put off’ by £90m valuation as City pull out

Manchester United retain an interest in Harry Maguire despite Leicester’s £90m valuation.

Maguire needs a transfer this summer after two fine years at Leicester, with both Manchester clubs interested.

United were convinced that the centre-half would be joining their bitter rivals but have been given a boost after City pulled out of the race.

The Daily Mail say City have ‘put a hold’ on their pursuit of the player after he was valued at £90m – a world record for a defender.

That price ‘is far in excess’ of what City want to pay for the 26-year-old, despite Pep Guardiola having identified him as Vincent Kompany’s replacement.

Having walked away from deals for Alexis Sanchez and Fred due to what they perceived as exorbitant fees, City are happy to let United feed off their expensive scraps again.

The London Evening Standard say that while United are reluctant to pay £90m for Maguire, they ‘have not been put off’.

They are ‘determined’ – there’s that word again – to sign the England international, ‘and will hope to strike a deal for less than £80m.’

 

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Neville brands Klopp, Pochettino, Guardiola nemesis ‘an egg’

Phil Neville has labelled Raymond Verheijen a “keyboard warrior” after the former Wales assistant boss criticised the current Women’s World Cup and male coaches working there.

In a post on Twitter on Thursday, outspoken Dutchman Verheijen said the standard of play at the tournament in France was “shocking” and that teams being coached by “clueless left overs from the men’s game” was among the reasons.

Verheijen said: “So far, it would have been better if the World Cup had been played behind closed curtains. The level of play is shocking. Like watching grass grow.

“One of the reasons is that most teams are coached by clueless left overs from the men’s game rather than by the best female coaches.”

England boss Neville was asked about those comments at his press conference ahead of Friday’s Group D clash with Argentina in Le Havre.

And he said: “He’s had a go at (Sir Alex) Ferguson, (Arsene) Wenger, (Mauricio) Pochettino, (Jurgen) Klopp. Every top manager in the world, he’s had a go at.”

He’s right. Verheijen has criticised:

Manchester United over Memphis Depay

Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino’s methods

Mauricio Pochettino in particular

Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte (in the summer before Conte won the Premier League with Chelsea)

Aaron Ramsey, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola

Jose Mourinho

Jurgen Klopp again

So yeah. He’s angry.

“That probably is aimed at me,” Neville continued, “because when I was at Man United (on the coaching staff), he used to have a go at David Moyes. He has a go at everyone.

“He is a keyboard warrior. He sits and talks a fantastic game, but I never see him working in top-level football. That is why he can’t get employed.

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“We can all talk a good game. Raymond – go out there and get a job. Go win a Champions League, go and win a Premier League. That’s what Wenger does, the people he is having a go at.”

He added: “It’s why he has an egg next to his name on Twitter.”

This just in: Phil Neville is the greatest person alive.

 

Lampard lined up as Chelsea finally secure Sarri compensation

Chelsea have agreed a compensation deal worth in excess of £5million for manager Maurizio Sarri to join Juventus, according to widespread reports.

The 60-year-old will reportedly sign a three-year contract to replace Massimiliano Allegri at the Italian giants, with an announcement expected as early as Friday.

Sarri only joined Chelsea last summer after three years at Napoli, replacing fellow Italian Antonio Conte.

He guided the Blues to third in the Premier League and won the Europa League, but still endured a tough campaign at Stamford Bridge with fans not convinced by his style of play.

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Chelsea also reached the Carabao Cup final, but lost to Manchester City in a match overshadowed by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted before the penalty shoot-out.

It appears Sarri has now opted to return to Italy and take over at Juve, the Serie A champions for the last eight seasons, who parted company with Allegri this summer.

Allegri, 51, had been linked with the Chelsea job but announced on Thursday that he would be taking a year off to “recharge his batteries”.

Former Blues midfielder Frank Lampard, who led Derby to the Sky Bet Championship play-off final in his first season as a manager, is favourite to land the role.

Should he get the job, the 40-year-old would become Chelsea’s first permanent English manager in 23 years.

 

Man Utd keen on Maguire but ‘reluctant’ to pay up – report

Manchester United remain interested in signing Harry Maguire despite baulking at Leicester’s demand for £80million.

United and City are keen on Maguire, with some reports earlier this week suggesting the Treble winners were leading the race.

But ESPN is reporting that United retain a desire to bring the England defender to Old Trafford – though the Red Devils are reportedly reluctant to meet Leicester’s valuation.

The story also says Maguire “would be open to a move to a top-six side if a fee can be agreed”.

United are also interested in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly if no deal can be reached over Maguire, while the Red Devils are also expected to return with an improved offer for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

 

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Raiola hits out over ‘fake news’ amid PSG links with De Ligt

Matthijs De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola has rubbished claims his client has agreed a move to PSG and insists he has never spoken with the French club about the £80m-rated defender.

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The 19-year-old defender has emerged as one of European football’s hottest properties this summer amid reports Ajax are prepared to let him leave for a fee of around €80m.

De Ligt’s future destination at this point though remains unknown, with links to all of Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

It was claimed that Raiola had met with PSG’s sporting director Antero Henrique to hold talks over a deal worth a reported €340,000 a week for the teenager in the French capital. French reporter Lassana Camara added fuel to the fire by then tweeting a photograph of Raiola allegedly being in Paris to ‘conclude’ De Ligt’s move to the Parc des Princes.

However, Raiola insists no decision has been made about the defender yet and branded the recent claims as nothing more than “fake news”.

“This is the classic example of fake news,” Raiola told Italian outlet ANSA. “The photograph of me and the French journalist in Paris? He asked me to take a picture together, but I did not know who this gentleman was.

“I have never spoken with him.”

Real Madrid star makes admission amid PL links

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has admitted he faces a decision regarding his future amid links with Tottenham and West Ham.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane is already planning for a big summer revamp at the Bernabeu having taken back the reigns following Santiago Solari’s sacking in March, and Ceballos is one of the players who is likely considered surplus to requirements.

Recent reports have suggested that Spurs are plotting a meeting with Ceballos’ representatives and are willing to pay €50m to land him, while West Ham have also been linked with the unsettled midfielder.

Liverpool have also been credited with interest in recent transfer windows, and now the player has given potential suitors hope by admitting his future is far from certain.

“Zidane has spoken to me, and he was very clear,” Ceballos told Onda Cero.

“I have accepted his explanations as to what he sees for me next season. However I do have a contract for four more years, and a high release clause.

“When I return I will make a decision. If I do leave, I want to play for a side that where I feel important.

“I want to show that I can play in any team in Europe. I am a young player that wants to succeed, and I cannot have another year of not playing.”

The midfielder arrived at the Bernabeu in a €16m deal from Real Betis, though he has struggled for opportunities under Zidane and has been widely tipped to leave.

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