Tag Archives: football

Alisson Becker’s Father Alledgely found dead

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Alisson’s father was found dead, confirmed by multiple outlets in Brazil

The Berker’s Family


It’s been confirmed by multiple outlets in Brazil that Alisson’s father was found dead. The fire department found his body after he was swimming in a dam located in one of their properties.


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Ramos Targets Madrid return

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The planned return date for Los Blancos’ captain has been set as the Spanish champions set some big goals for the final stretch of the season.


On 6 February 2021, Sergio Ramos underwent surgery to repair the damaged meniscus in his left knee. Real Madrid described the operation as “a success” and that he was expected to return to action between six and eight weeks. However, AS has found out more detail and the team captain is working on his recovery with two specific dates in mind.Ramos and Madrid are eager that he returns to the starting XI, his contract and future at the club after this season remain up in the air…

Sergio Ramos eyes return dates
The first date Ramos is looking at for his comeback is 13 March, as Madrid welcome Elche for the LaLiga match at Valdebebas. The second is three days later, on the 16 March, when Atalanta come to town for the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie, also at the Alfredo Di Stéfano. If the first one remains a doubt in his head to start the game, the second does not.

If Ramos, who turns 35 on the penultimate day of March, achieves this goal he will be advancing by a week the best of the deadlines set on the day of his operation. Any pitch time against Elche, as he is hoping, will see him return to Zidane’s side in just 36 days, proof, if it was needed, that the operation was indeed extremely successful.

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The Madrid derby: an impossible goal
When the captain realised that an operation was inevitable – the discomfort persisting after the Super Cup match against Athletic Club – the first thing he was hoping to avoid was missing the derby at the Wanda Metropolitano on 7 March. But the club’s doctors spoke to him and explained that if he pushed himself to be back for that game then he risked missing the rest of the season. That was when he changed his outlook.

His eagerness to be available for the business end of the campaign with Los Blancos – as well as being fit for Spain in the European Championship this summer – was the deciding factor in going under the knife.

Ramos to miss more key games
Ramos is currently going through his recuperation process in the gym at Valdebebas, as can be seen from the various photos and videos he uploads to his social networks. With the pain now subsiding, he is focused on gaining muscle strength in his left knee, with a relapse of the injury the last thing he can consider at this juncture.

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In terms of what lies ahead for the team, the next two league games – at home to Real Sociedad on 1 March and the aforementioned derby against Cholo’s Atleti at the Wanda on 7 March – will be faced without their influential captain. Likewise, Ramos will miss Wednesday’s game against Atalanta in Bergamo, where he will once again be replaced by Nacho, who is performing at an exceptional level.

Of course, while Ramos and Madrid are eager that he returns to the starting XI, his contract and future at the club after this season remain up in the air…


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Sterling’s first strike keeps Arsenal behind till ‘end of the match’

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The Belgium midfielder, who came off the bench in the win at Everton in midweek, tried to pick out Ilkay Gundogan but his errant pass betrayed a little rustiness.

Manchester City moved a step closer to the Premier League title as Raheem Sterling’s early goal gave the runaway leaders a 1-0 win against Arsenal on Sunday.

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Pep Guardiola’s side made it 18 successive victories in all competitions thanks to Sterling’s second-minute header at the Emirates Stadium.

With 13 games left, City are 10 points clear of second-placed Leicester, who had closed the gap to seven with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa earlier on Sunday.

City have equalled the club record of 11 successive away victories in all competitions, set from May to November 2017.

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They are the first top-flight team to win their opening 11 league matches in a calendar year.

Storming towards a third title in four seasons, City have won 13 consecutive league matches and are unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions since a defeat at Tottenham in November.

Incredibly, that was the last time they trailed in any league fixture.

Guardiola’s men weren’t even at their best on their return to north London, but they still had enough in the locker to hand Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal a third defeat in their last four league games.

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“It was hard like we expected it would be. We suffered a lot. It’s difficult to play against Arsenal and Mikel. That’s why I give the players incredible credit for this victory,” Guardiola said.

“People look at our run of wins and think it’s so easy. I didn’t expect it. I’m more than grateful for these players for what they’re doing, but winning these games 1-0 is what we need to do.

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“The last 10-15 minutes was brilliant. We know what we want to do. We want to make a big step.”

Borussia Monchengladbach have the next chance to stop City’s incredible winning streak in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday.

If anyone would have the secret to stopping City’s march to the title, it might have been Gunners boss Arteta.

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The Spaniard served as Guardiola’s City assistant before taking charge of Arsenal last season.

But Arteta had to make changes as several of his players were fatigued after their midweek Europa League draw against Benfica.

“When we conceded the first goal it put us in a difficult situation. It was tough. With the formation and the players they use they are really comfortable,” Arteta said.

“After that the team reacted really well, were on top of the game and created chances but we lacked the quality in those situations to score the goal.”

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Ruthless City

City ruthlessly pounced on the uncertainty in Arsenal’s reshuffled line-up as they took the lead after just 80 seconds.

Ruben Dias played a superb long pass to Riyad Mahrez and the Algeria winger lofted a cross into the six-yard box, where Sterling defied his diminutive stature as he rose above Rob Holding to head into the far corner.

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Sterling’s 13th club goal of the season was his sixth in his last nine appearances.

He should have had another moments later when Kevin De Bruyne’s pass split the Arsenal defence, but this time Sterling delayed his shot and Bernd Leno was able to save at the forward’s feet.

Mahrez was tormenting Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney and he danced past him for a shot that deflected wide.

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City’s De Bruyne was making his first start for over a month after a hamstring injury.

The Belgium midfielder, who came off the bench in the win at Everton in midweek, tried to pick out Ilkay Gundogan but his errant pass betrayed a little rustiness.

City nearly conceded against the run of play when Tierney’s volley forced a good save from Ederson.

They regained their momentum at the start of the second half and De Bruyne was just wide with an audacious chip from the edge of the area.

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Leno had to save well from Gundogan’s 20-yard drive before De Bruyne’s volley whistled wide.

Joao Cancelo nearly gifted Arsenal an equaliser when his high backpass was volleyed straight to Mohamed Elneny by Ederson, but the midfielder blazed just wide.

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Guardiola react after Mikel Arteta’s move to turn Arsenal into title contenders.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta, admitting the Gunners could soon find themselves battling for the Premier League title.

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Arteta spent three years working under Guardiola at City before taking the plunge into first-team management with Arsenal in December 2019, but his first 14 months in the job have been about as turbulent as they could possibly be.

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season but was tipped to lose his job just a few months ago, with the Gunners closer to a relegation battle that the top four, but he has managed to steady the ship and slowly lead his side up the table – something which Guardiola confessed had impressed him.

Pep Guardiola has huge faith in Mikel Arteta | Pool/Getty Images

“I did not inspire him,” Guardiola said of his former protegee in the build-up to the meeting between the two sides on Saturday (via Sky Sports News). “What he knows he knows for himself. I am not any influence. What he is doing, all credit to him and his backroom staff.

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“All I can say is the last months show me that all managers need time and he is not an exception. What I see in the last two months every game Arsenal played is better than the opponent.

“Tomorrow we will have an incredible performance. They have an exceptional build-up, they have quality and they have energy. They have [Bukayo] Saka, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and all the players with the quality in the middle.

“In the early future, they will be real contenders to fight for the titles. Most of the time [when Arteta and I worked together] we took decisions together and I took decisions with the influence of Mikel. I don’t know if I influenced him – he has to answer this.”

Arteta has also been incredibly complimentary of City, insisting that Guardiola has built the best team in world football.

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“The football they are playing and consistency of results, take all that in and it makes them the best team,” Arteta confessed (via BBC Sport).

“They have weaknesses like every team but at the moment teams have struggled a lot to find any of that because I think first of all defensively they have been really, really strong. I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment.”

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Thomas Tuchel takes blame for Hakim Ziyech’s poor playing time.

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he has not given winger Hakim Ziyech enough opportunities to strut his stuff since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

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After starting in Tuchel’s first game, the 0-0 draw with Wolves, Ziyech has not featured at all in the Premier League, instead being forced to settle for an appearance in the FA Cup triumph against Barnsley.

Ziyech struggled to impress against the second-tier side, and Tuchel admitted that it’s tough to find room for the Moroccan in a team which also features Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic.

Hakim Ziyech has struggled under Thomas Tuchel | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

“It’s my fault, actually. It’s not his fault,” Tuchel said (via Sky Sports News) when asked whether Ziyech’s poor form was to blame for his lack of minutes. “It’s my decisions. It’s the same for some other players – there were some hard decisions to make. This is a good thing – it means we have quality.

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“There are some decisions for other players that means Hakim suffers a little bit. I can absolutely understand and agree with that, so it’s my responsibility and my fault that he cannot show more of his potential. But when I look at the schedule we can be sure that we need all of our players.

“No matter how hard times are for you personally, I cannot say one bad thing for Hakim. He’s working hard and he needs to show that he’s ready because when the moment comes – I cannot tell you when the moment comes – but we expect the best Hakim Ziyech.

“This is not easy, I can admit, but this is how it sometimes is in a club like Chelsea with a squad that keeps winning. Sometimes you have to wait. Things will turn around if he takes care that he is in shape, in the right mood and ready when he’s needed.”

Ziyech wasn’t the only player under scrutiny as Tuchel also defended Pulisic, who is yet to make the kind of impact many had hoped he would under the manager who gave him his breakthrough at Borussia Dortmund.

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“He proved he has the level to be a Chelsea regular and have a big impact in this club,” Tuchel continued. “It’s the challenge now to improve and maintain the level.

“We are not concerned (by his injury struggles), the medical department is on that. The main thing for Christian is to stay positive, keep the head up and be ready, because he can have a big impact. There are absolutely no decisions made for summer – there’s simply no time for that in the moment and today there is no need.”

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“Signing Haaland or Mbappe will be HOT AIR” – Juan Laporta

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FC Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font was adamant that after the losses incurred by major clubs, the forthcoming summer market will be prohibitive for big money moves.


FC Barcelona presidential candidate Víctor Font was blunt in his assessment of major clubs talking about signing the likes of Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé as “irresponsible” due to the financial hit that all clubs have taken as a result of the impact of the covid pandemic.

Here at Barça, we can’t find a million and a half euro to sign Eric García, to talk about major name acquisitions is just ‘hot air’ and we need to treat our club members as adults. We simply won’t be able to make any big money signings this summer as the club has approximately between 150-200 million euro of new debt. Personally, I think Haaland is a wonderful talent and I speak as a fan. I can see things at Barcelona becoming slightly ‘Florentinizando’ as bolstering any team with the likes of Haaland or Mbappé is easy. It’s a trickier task to bring through young and unknown talents such as Pedri or Koundé. That would be our task ahead, creating the future stars of Barcelona”.

Font took a side swipe at Joan Laporta for the former president’s refusal to participate in open debates and deemed his actions as a ‘huge lack of respect’. Font also requested that club members avoid voting on whims and perceptions. He concluded by stating that he was determined in his task of convincing Leo Messi to remain at FC Barcelona and acknowledged that: “The result against PSG was a bitter pill and it showed up that, despite the good work by Ronald Koeman, we need to ensure there is a solid project at the club”.


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French sport minister: “Mbappe, we need you”

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The future of Kylian Mbappe is beginning to become a matter of importance at the highest level of French politics, with the country’s minister for sport suggesting that France needs the forward to stay in Ligue 1.


In the midweek Champions League clash against Barcelona, Mbappe showed both his importance to PSG and his value on the open market, in scoring a hat-trick at the Camp Nou.

PSG have already worked hard to secure Neymar to a contract extension at the Parc des Princes, but Mbappe really is the jewel in the crown, and it could be seen that they will find it far more challenging to come to an agreement with the World Cup winner.

“I tell him, Kylian, stay in France, we need you,” Roxana Maracineanu stated on Tele Loisirs.

“We want to continue seeing you play like this.

“The public needs you, PSG need you, young athletes and young footballers need to have role models and examples to look to.”

When quizzed on his own future after his magic night in Barcelona, Mbappe confirmed that he wasn’t even thinking about the contract dispute and a potential switch to Real Madrid.

“My future? It would be stupid to make a decision on that based on just one match,” Mbappe declared.

“This is something to think about in the long term.

“I’ve always said that I’m happy here and games like tonight make you very happy.”


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Mancity denies Messi!

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Despite his own insistence that no decision on his future would be made before the end of the 2020/21 season, Lionel Messi’s continuity at the Camp Nou remains in doubt, although Manchester City have moved to publicly deny reports they have made an offer to the forward.


Messi’s contract with Barcelona is due to expire in June, which means as per the Bosman transfer rules, he has been legally allowed to talk to non-domestic clubs since the turn of the year.

Whether or not this has happened remains unclear, and you would have to say it’s doubtful given Messi’s insistence that his focus was only on the remainder of the season.

With that being said, The Sun posted a story which suggested that Manchester City had made Messi an offer to sign with the club in the summer, however a spokesperson for the Manchester club has told MARCA that this isn’t true.

The information MARCA received was that Manchester City haven’t made an offer for Messi either last summer or within the final six months of his current contract.

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Paris Saint-Germain’s infinitely comfortable 4-1 victory over a poor Barcelona team on Tuesday all but confirmed Messi will not win the Champions League this term either, and this could well propel him closer to the exit door.

If this is indeed the case, you can see why Manchester City are eager to not be seen doing anything which could potentially damage their relationship with the Argentine’s camp, especially when they are likely to make their move in the summer.


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Suarez faces ‘Goal Drought’ as a major delima again

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Luis Suarez has arguably been the best player in LaLiga Santander this season, but he has hit his first blip of the campaign, having failed to score in his last two games.


The Uruguayan started 2021 as he ended the previous year, scoring decisive goals against Getafe and Alaves, before netting seven goals in four games.

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He is now without a goal in his last two outings, something that hasn’t happened since the start of the campaign after recovering from COVID-19, against Valladolid and Real Madrid.

His mini-drought is not down to any physical problem, as he has still been as active as ever inside the penalty area in his side’s last two games against Granada and Levante.

Dilemma

Luis Suarez_NRM_Adigun Daniel Ayomide


Suarez will be determined to help his side maintain or even extend their lead at the top of the table when they face Levante on Sunday.

However, the fact that the Madrid derby takes place after Atletico’s game against Villarreal which comes after Levante, Suarez could be tempted to pick up a fifth caution that would assure his availability against Zinedine Zidane’s men.

It remains to be seen what Suarez will do, although it is far from an easy situation given that Unai Emery’s side are no pushovers either, and Atletico will have to be at their best to defeat them.


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Benzema suffers Injury ahead Atalanta’s clash.

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The Frenchman has scored 17 times in all competitions this season and has netted in his last two consecutive matches.

Karim Benzema could miss Real Madrid’s Champions League game against Atalanta next week after Zinedine Zidane confirmed the striker was injured on Thursday.

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Benzema missed training on Friday morning and Zidane said he will not travel with the team for Saturday’s La Liga game away at Real Valladolid.

The club have not yet confirmed the specifics of the problem.

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“He won’t be with us tomorrow,” said Zidane in a press conference on Friday. “He has a problem and because it came up yesterday he won’t be there tomorrow. We’ll see for next week.”

Madrid might cope without Benzema against Valladolid but his absence for the trip to Bergamo in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday would be a huge blow.

The Frenchman has scored 17 times in all competitions this season and has netted in his last two consecutive matches.

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“We know what Karim gives us and how important he is for us,” said Zidane. “But we have to deal with this and get him back as soon as possible, like the others.”

Real Madrid have been plagued by injury problems in recent weeks with Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola, Fede Valverde and Rodrygo also likely to miss Saturday’s trip to the Jose Zorilla Stadium.

Madrid sit six points behind Atletico Madrid in La Liga, having played a game more than their city rivals.

Zidane was also asked on Friday about Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund, following the duo’s superb outings in the Champions League this week.

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In particular, Real Madrid have been regularly linked with a move for Mbappe, whose PSG contract expires in June 2022. “I watch all the games and I like to see great things like any fan,” said Zidane.

“They are both very good and very young, players of the present and the future. Whether I prefer one or the other, I won’t say, everyone has their own preferences.”

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Manchester City deny ‘offering’ Messi £430m long-term contract.

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Messi said during an interview in December that he would not be deciding his future until June and will not engage in talks with any clubs until that decision is made

Manchester City have ‘emphatically’ denied making any offer to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, or even opening talks with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner amid claims that they have presented him with a contract worth a total of £430m.

Messi is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season. He is yet to make his mind up about his future and it would not be a surprise to see him leave Camp Nou as a free agent.

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The 33-year-old wanted to quit the club last summer, only for Barça to block his attempts to trigger a clause in his contract what would have allowed him to leave a year early.

With his only option then to take the club to court, he chose to back down instead of force the issue.

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There are very few viable options for Messi outside Barcelona, but City have been most heavily linked alongside Paris Saint-Germain. Joining City would mean reuniting with mentor Pep Guardiola, while the sky blues have spent the last 10 years building their own version of Barcelona off the pitch.

Man City are alleged to have offered Lionel Messi a long-term contract | David Ramos/Getty Images

PSG haven’t hidden their admiration for Messi and magazine France Football even mocked up an image of him wearing PSG colours for a recent cover spread.

But a tabloid story this week that City have put forward an offer is thought to be wide of the mark.

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A report from The Sun alleged that City had presented Messi with a five-year contract worth £430m, including three further years of ambassadorial roles with the City Football Group. It is claimed that deal is down on a £600m contract Messi was supposedly offered last summer.

However, NoRM cites a City spokesperson who says there is no truth in the story: “There have been no offers made, either in the summer or since. And there are no talks.”

That version of events also ties into what has previously been reported on the developing saga.

Earlier this month it was revealed that City are taking the opposite approach to PSG and are being much more patient and distant than the noisy French champions.

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City have been tipped to delay making any sort of approach until at least or April, which could command greater respect from Messi himself, with the player said to hate the media circus that surrounds his uncertain future and that PSG are helping to fuel.

Messi said during an interview in December that he would not be deciding his future until June and will not engage in talks with any clubs until that decision is made, even though he is now already eligible to do so with a view to signing a pre-contract agreement.

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Mikel Arteta offers update on Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey.

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Arteta also revealed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has travelled with the squad, despite a video emerging on social media which appeared to show the Gabon international breaking COVID guidelines by getting a tattoo.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that left-back Kieran Tierney has travelled with the squad to face Benfica on Thursday, but midfielder Thomas Partey will miss the fixture through injury.

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Tierney hasn’t been seen since January’s 3-0 win over Newcastle United, missing no fewer than six games after picking up a leg injury, but he returned to training this week.

As for Partey, he was forced off during the recent 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa with a hamstring injury, and Arteta confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Thursday’s game will come too soon for the Ghanaian.

“Thomas didn’t travel. He’s not there yet, he’s still training individually,” said the boss (via the club’s official website). “Kieran has had one session with us and is part of the squad.”

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Arteta declined to offer any insight on Partey’s injury, but Goal’s Charles Watts revealed on YouTube that there is reason to be optimistic about his recovery.

“Thomas Partey is certainly not going to be involved yet, with that hamstring issue,” Watts said. “He’s still a couple of weeks away, although he’s supposedly, from what I hear, doing very well and pretty happy with the progress that’s been made. Still, he’s not going be involved this weekend against Man City.”

Arteta also revealed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has travelled with the squad, despite a video emerging on social media which appeared to show the Gabon international breaking COVID guidelines by getting a tattoo.

“Yes, he’s here,” Arteta bluntly replied when asked if Aubameyang had travelled.

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“Whatever we do with our players, we keep it internal. It’s true that a lot of the members of our squad have extended families at home and if a player does something that is not within the regulations obviously, the club acts immediately but always privately.

“We tried to advise every player and make sure that they know all the rules and that we have to stick to those rules all the time. If someone doesn’t do it, obviously we have to act immediately, so again, I cannot tell you who every player lives with, but we do and when somebody does something you shouldn’t be doing, obviously it’s going to get found out from us and there will be consequences. And if not, there won’t be.”

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Mbappe speaks on his PSG future after defeat against Barcelona.

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Real Madrid are targeting him, but Los Blancos would need to sell a number of players to raise the cash and may still have to finance some of any prospective deal with a loan.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe insisted he is ‘happy’ with the French giants following his Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona on Tuesday night, but he also left his future wide open by suggesting one game won’t influence his decision to stay or go.

Mbappe will have only one year left on his PSG contract at the end of the season and intends to decide in summer whether he wants to sign a new deal or pursue a transfer. Real Madrid are heavily linked with the 22-year-old, while Liverpool are also never far away from the speculation.

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“It’s very good, I’m happy, I’ve always wanted to give the best of myself with PSG. It’s a shirt that is close to my heart,” the player told French broadcaster RMC after his Camp Nou masterclass.

“It would be stupid to play your future on a game, good or bad. If we had lost, to say ‘I will not extend because we lost’, would have been ridiculous.

Kylian Mbappe scored a Champions League hat-trick at Camp Nou | David Ramos/Getty Images

“You have to let [speculation go]. I don’t listen to what people say. It’s a long-term reflection, not a game or two. I always said I was happy here, and with this kind of game I’m even happier.”

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Speaking about the process last month, Mbappe explained: “We are in discussions with the club to try to find a suitable project. I said I was thinking about it because I think that…if I sign it would have to be a long-term commitment to Paris Saint-Germain.”

The 2018 World Cup winner reiterated then that he is happy with the club. Any decision he makes is not because he wants to leave PSG, but because he wants to test himself elsewhere.

“I will need to make a decision soon but I am thinking about it. If I had the answer right now, I would give it. I don’t want to sign a contract and say a year later that I want to leave. If I sign it is to stay and that deserves time to reflect on my decision,” he said.

It has been rumoured that PSG could sacrifice Mbappe if they are to pursue Lionel Messi. Real Madrid are targeting him, but Los Blancos would need to sell a number of players to raise the cash and may still have to finance some of any prospective deal with a loan.

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Liverpool would also need to sell before they could think about an approach for Mbappe.

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed in the past he admires the player but was equally adamant that the kind of numbers involved could never work for the Premier League club.

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Liverpool ‘defied’ every expectations in win over RB Leipzig – Klopp.

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Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored in quick succession early in the second half, with Liverpool edging control of possession and also making a number of Leipzig’s top players look ordinary.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed people expected his team to carry their poor form into the Champions League against RB Leipzig this week and praised the Reds for rising to the occasion and coming away with a 2-0 win.

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Leipzig, having knocked out Manchester United in the group stage and Tottenham at this stage last year, were a dangerous opponent. But Liverpool are now in a commanding position ahead of the return leg next month thanks to their aggregate lead.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored in quick succession early in the second half, with Liverpool edging control of possession and also making a number of Leipzig’s top players look ordinary.

Jurgen Klopp said people expected Liverpool to lose again | Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

“It was the game we wanted, the game we needed. Leipzig can be a real monster. The way they play in the Bundesliga, they overrun teams, they are really physical, pretty much good in everything, and we controlled them in an exceptional way,” Klopp told BT Sport.

“You cannot build ‘mentality giants’ in one game. We were good and deserved to win. A lot of people were waiting for us to slip again and the boys didn’t.

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“For two years we’ve been really good and this year we have some problems. It’s absolutely normal that the talk starts. I have no problem with that, it is just that a lot of people expected us to slip again because of the situation. But the boys didn’t and that’s what I’m really happy about.”

The return leg against Leipzig is scheduled for Wednesday 10 March in three weeks’ time. In the meantime, Liverpool face a tough challenge against Everton in the Merseyside derby, as well as further Premier League games against Sheffield United and Fulham before the previously packed out schedule begins to slightly relax.

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Koeman reveals his ‘next line of action’ amid Barca’s defeat.

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Koeman drew further anger from Barcelona fans when he was spotted briefly laughing and joking with PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, a player he previously managed at Everton.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman quickly dismissed suggestions he could quit his job in the wake of Tuesday night’s 4-1 Champions League defeat at Camp Nou against Paris Saint-Germain.

Koeman had earlier said he was confident about Barcelona’s chances in the Champions League this season, insisting he didn’t think there any other team significantly better than his own.

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Instead, the Dutchman watched on as Barça were torn apart by PSG and Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick. It leaves the Catalans needing the kind of once in a generation miracle comeback they managed against PSG in 2017, but that looks far beyond this particular side.

Despite improved form in La Liga in recent weeks, Barcelona are still way off the pace in Spain. But the problems at the club are far bigger than just Koeman and he has no intention of walking away.

Ronald Koeman saw Barcelona embarrassed by PSG | David Ramos/Getty Images

“If I was someone who gets happy when we win and then after a result like today said I had no desire to continue, that would be crazy,” he is quoted as saying by ESPN.

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“I know where I am and what we have to change. We’re trying. We’re not at the end of the path yet, we’re halfway down it,” the 1992 European Cup winner added.

Koeman was honest that his team is still lacking in key areas, having made a concerted effort to bring through young players and refresh the squad since last season’s 8-2 Champions League annihilation at the hands of Bayern Munich which cost predecessor Quique Setien his job.

“You always have to aspire to win everything, but we have to recognise that we’re short in certain areas,” the 57-year-old explained.

“I have said several times that we’re on the right path, but we lack things. [Sergino] Dest at 20, in four years will be better. Pedri, at his age is already brilliant, but in five years he will be better than any PSG midfielder.”

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Koeman drew further anger from Barcelona fans when he was spotted briefly laughing and joking with PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, a player he previously managed at Everton.

Earlier this season, Koeman appeared to concede the title race in late December, which also didn’t sit well with fans as it gave the impression the club was giving up with half a season to play.

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Manchester United discuss Greenwood’s contract.

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The forward has endured a tricky 2020/21 campaign, notching just one goal in his 18 Premier League outings and subsequently slipping down the pecking order.

The January transfer window has barely slammed shut and already we’re being treated to thousands of column inches worth of speculation surrounding Manchester United’s potential summer business.

In truth it’s easy to see why there’s such a clamour for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add some stellar names to the Red Devils roster – drawing with Sam Allardyce’s West Brom will do that.

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Defensive additions are the hot topic of conversation, with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire’s partnership not progressing as many had hoped.

However, with the club’s pursuit of David Alaba, Sergio Ramos, Pau Torres and Franco Baresi on the backburner, rubber stamping a deal which secures the future of one of their brightest stars is as close to quality business as they can get right now.

Mason Greenwood has extended his stay at Old Trafford | Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

United have confirmed that Mason Greenwood has penned a new four-year contract which will see him remain at Old Trafford until 2025.

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The forward has endured a tricky 2020/21 campaign, notching just one goal in his 18 Premier League outings and subsequently slipping down the pecking order.

Greenwood has undoubtedly been a victim of his own success, with expectations heightened following his unbelievable form after Project Restart last season as his goals helped secure the return of Champions League football to United.

Such was the movement and the intelligence shown by Greenwood at the back end of last season, it’s easy to forget that he’s still just 19 years of age, and dips in form and confidence are to be expected from someone whose career is still in its infancy.

While he may not be the fixture in the team that he was six or seven months ago, Solskjaer clearly recognises the need to show faith in the young forward – though you would expect that from a former striker himself – and despite Greenwood’s barren spell, the 19-year-old has still clocked up 12 starts in the league this season.

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The United boss knows better than anyone the need to persist and keep plugging away as a forward, and the club’s decision to secure Greenwood’s future at the club may just be the confidence boost the youngster needs to help him rediscover his form of last season.

Say what you want of United’s transfer business over the past couple of years, but their decision to offer Greenwood a new deal not only makes perfect business sense given his undoubted talent, the timing of the move is very savvy.

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Real Madrid sights perfect Sergio Ramos’ replacement.

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Reports claim that Liverpool registered their interest in the Portuguese defender during the January transfer window, with AS noting that Braga and Liverpool failed to agree terms over structuring the finances of a deal for a defender.

Real Madrid are keeping tabs on Braga defender David Carmo as they continue to prepare for the possible exit of Sergio Ramos.

Ramos is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to agree terms to a new deal with Los Blancos, forcing the club into planning for life without their captain and drafting up a list of replacements.

Plenty of names have been linked with a move to Madrid as a result of the ongoing conundrum, including David Alaba – who has confirmed he will leave Bayern Munich.

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AS report that Real Madrid have been scouting Carmo at Braga and remain keen on the player, who has been heavily linked with a move to top European sides in recent months and is said to have a release clause of €40m (roughly £34.8m).

Carmo is currently nursing a fractured ankle, which he suffered in Braga’s clash with Porto on 14 February and is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. This hasn’t deterred Real’s interest however, nor will it warn off other sides from attempting to sign Carmo in the summer.

Reports claim that Liverpool registered their interest in the Portuguese defender during the January transfer window, with AS noting that Braga and Liverpool failed to agree terms over structuring the finances of a deal for a defender.

Braga were insistent on a loan deal with an obligation to buy for €25m, while the Premier League champions were only prepared to go as high as €20m.

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Ramos is currently nursing an injury of his own and remains unavailable for Real Madrid. He confirmed he had undergone knee surgery to alleviate a persistent problem, but reassured fans via Twitter that he would be back on the pitch soon.

Carmo had made 21 appearances in all competitions for Braga this season before his injury and would perhaps represent a more cost-effective defensive signing from the Portguese league compared to Eder Miltao, who set Real back by €50m in 2019.

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Sven Botman’s agent speak on Liverpool’s interest.

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Liverpool were reluctant to dip into the transfer market for defenders in January and had always targeted the summer of 2021 to set about finding options at the back for the long-term.

The agent of rumoured Liverpool target Sven Botman has denied any truth to fresh claims from France alleging the Lille defender has been sold to an unnamed Premier League club for up to £39m, branding it ‘fake news’.

Liverpool were persistently linked with Botman throughout December, although in early January reporterJames Pearce debunked such claims when he insisted the club were not considering a move and suggested the rumours of interest were artificial in the hope of building hype.

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As the end of the January transfer window neared and Liverpool’s centre-back crisis worsened, the 21-year-old Dutchman was again linked.

But the Reds went with a loan for Ozan Kabak and a small transfer fee for Ben Davies instead, rather than pay a vast amount for Botman.

Sven Botman has been heavily linked with Liverpool | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Botman has been a regular for Lille this season since joining from Ajax last summer, with the Ligue 1 club currently leading the way in France and determined to wrestle the title away from PSG.

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It was French broadcaster Canal+ that claimed over the weekend that Lille have agreed a fee with an-named Premier League club in the region of £35m to £39m.

Liverpool were not mentioned but the previous speculation was enough to focus the reaction on them.

However, agent Nikkie Bruinenberg has told Dutch outlet Voetbalzone that it is not true.

Bruinenberg, who works for the Muy Manero agency that represents Botman, described the French claims about a done deal as ‘fake news’.

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Liverpool were reluctant to dip into the transfer market for defenders in January and had always targeted the summer of 2021 to set about finding options at the back for the long-term.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are the other members of the Premier League ‘big six’ in the market for centre-back reinforcements this summer.

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Mourinho’s contract at Tottenham includes ‘no break.’

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Mourinho took over in November 2019 after the club sacked Mauricio Pochettino and to date, he has won 38 of his 73 matches in charge of the club, drawing 15 and losing 20.

It has been revealed that José Mourinho’s Tottenham contract does not include an early break clause, with the club in the midst of a torrid run of form.

Spurs were condemned to their seventh Premier League defeat of the season at Manchester City on Saturday, beaten 3-0 by Pep Guardiola’s table-topping side.

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The Lilywhites, who were top of the pile earlier on this season, currently find themselves ninth in the Premier League and knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton. Understandably, the pressure has increased on their Portuguese coach in recent weeks.

While Spurs are struggling for results at the moment, concerns over their negative style of play have led to increased frustration with the job the 58-year-old is doing.

Mourinho took over in November 2019 after the club sacked Mauricio Pochettino and to date, he has won 38 of his 73 matches in charge of the club, drawing 15 and losing 20.

Sacking Mourinho would be costly for Spurs | TIM KEETON/Getty Images

His current contract in north London is due to run until June 2023 and according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, there is no clause whereby the club’s hierarchy can part ways with Mourinho early unless he is sacked.

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Sacking the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss would mean paying him off, and given it’s rumoured he is on a very lucrative £15m-a-year contract, at a time like this – without the matchday revenue Spurs would earn under normal circumstances – Daniel Levy is likely to be even more reluctant to let his manager go.

So like him or loathe him Spurs fans, it looks like you’re stuck with him for the time being at least.

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‘I will come back way stronger than ever’ – Dani Cavajal

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Another period of injury recovery awaits for Dani Carvajal, whose return only lasted 25 minutes against Valencia on Sunday.


Despite suffering a new issue that could see him miss two months, the right-back is remaining optimistic and positive.

“I told some of my teammates that on Saturday night I had butterflies in my stomach and that I was anxious to come back to do what I’m passionate about,” he said as he shared a social media post on Monday, after it had been revealed that he has a muscle injury in his right thigh affecting the tendon.

“I had worked really hard over the past few weeks…

“Now, it’s time to deal with this latest setback and to start a new countdown to be able to return and have these special feelings.

“I just want to communicate one message: I will come back better and stronger than ever.

“Thank you for all the messages of support.”

Due to four different injury issues, the Spaniard has only been able to play in 12 official matches so far in 2020/21.


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Cavajal out to Hamstring injury and would miss Atalanta’s Clash

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Dani Carvajal to miss Real Madrid’s first leg against Atalanta due to muscle injury


25 minutes. That’s how long Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal could play after making his return from injury during Sunday’s match against Valencia. The defender suffered a hamstring injury which forced him to leave the game, being replaced by Lucas Vazquez.

The first reports from club sources indicate that Carvajal suffers a hamstring injury on his right leg and that he will undergo tests to reveal the extend of said injury today. The defender seems all but ruled out for Real Madrid’s upcoming clash against Atalanta in the first leg of their Champions League tie in the Round of 16 and it’s likely that he eventually misses the crucial return leg as well, given how tricky these injuries have been for Carvajal all season long.

With Odriozola and Militao also injured, Lucas Vazquez seems ready to be Zidane’s choice to play at the right-back spot, given that Nacho is playing well at the center-back position in Ramos’ absence.


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Risky enough? Pique to face PSG

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On November 21, 2020, Gerard Pique suffered an injury when he collided with Angel Correa during a match against Atletico Madrid and it immediately looked serious. However, he is now ready to return against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night.


A knee ligament injury is always a serious issue, but Pique’s ailment was clearly a painful one as the defender left the pitch in tears.

Initial reports suggested his season might well be over, but the official medical report of the club didn’t actually specify how long he would be sidelined for.

Pique has been sensational in his recovery, breaking all the records for rehabilitation time, with it initially estimated he could miss as many as eight months of action.

Yet, Pique is ready to play against the French champions and he hasn’t even been out for three whole months, which was the lowest estimated time of absence for his injury.

It’s known that training isn’t the same as competitive football at the elite level and that Pique is taking a risk by returning so early from such a serious knee injury. Yet he hasn’t felt any pain this past week and has been training since Thursday.

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He will be in the squad to face PSG unless a new complication arrives.

Ronald Koeman is acutely aware of the risk that comes with playing Pique, although, given the fact much of the club’s season hopes depend on the Champions League, the Dutch coach may not have much of a choice.

Eliminating PSG would mark an incredible turn of events after such a difficult season, with basically the worst possible pre-season preparation prior to it.

There will be no Angel di Maria or Neymar for Mauricio Pochettino, yet with Kylian Mbappe still present Pique is likely to have a difficult night.

If he’s at his best, though, then he could shut the PSG attacks down and that in itself is why Barcelona are on board with taking the risk on him returning early.


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Luis Suarez could leave Atletico this Summer

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When Atletico Madrid signed Luis Suarez last summer, the club spent time working on all the details of the striker’s two-year contract.


There are various clauses in it – such as the ones for bonuses related to goal tallies, with the player already having hit a target of 15 goals and just four away from another target of 20.

Yet one of the other clauses could actually affect his future, as there is a clause in the Uruguayan’s contract that would allow him to leave Atletico Madrid on June 30 for free.

However, the 34-year-old has no intention of triggering this because he is happy in the team and likes working with Diego Simeone.

As such, Atletico Madrid are not concerned about this clause. They’re just happy to have a world-class striker, one who seems motivated to prove to Barcelona that they were wrong to let him leave for a domestic rival.

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Suarez is enjoying an exceptional run of form and is determined to keep scoring the goals that will likely fire Atletico Madrid to the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander title.

As well as putting the ball in the net, Suarez has shown that he can be a leader of this team.

There is, therefore, nobody at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano who doubts that Suarez will stay for the second year of his deal.


The precedent of David Villa
Suarez’s campaign has been compared to that of David Villa, when he swapped Barcelona for Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2013 and won the title with Simeone.

Villa adapted well, scored goals and won LaLiga Santander, but he didn’t fulfil the full three years of his contract. Instead, he departed after just one year to join New York City.

Atleti, though, believe the ending with Suarez will be different and that he’ll ignore the clause that would allow him to depart in the summer of 2021.


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