Footy http://www.footy.to/ Your Daily Football NEws Source Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:34:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.15 Liverpool ‘close to completing deal for £9m-rated Real Betis centre-back Aissa Mandi’ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/liverpool-close-to-completing-deal-for-9m-rated-real-betis-centre-back-aissa-mandi/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/liverpool-close-to-completing-deal-for-9m-rated-real-betis-centre-back-aissa-mandi/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:34:18 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22536

Liverpool ‘close to completing deal for £9m-rated Real Betis centre back Aissa Mandi’ as Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his defence after selling Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg

  • Liverpool are close to completing a deal to sign Aissa Mandi from Real Betis
  • Reports suggest the Reds recently made an offer worth £9m for the defender
  • Mandi, who also has interest from Newcastle, can play centre back or full-back 

Liverpool are closing in on signing Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi, according to beIN SPORTS.

The Premier League champions are keen to bolster their defensive ranks and registered their interest in the 28-year-old last month.

Liverpool reportedly submitted a £9million offer for Mandi recently and beIN SPORTS claim a deal has almost been completed.

Liverpool are on the verge of concluding a deal to sign Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi

The Algerian international wants to join and only has one year remaining on his contract, leaving Betis in a precarious position.

A deal is expected to be concluded soon with few details left to iron out. 

Jurgen Klopp is in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer after selling Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg for £10.9m.

Liverpool are looking for a new defender after selling Dejan Lovren (left) to Zenit St Petersburg

Liverpool are looking for a new defender after selling Dejan Lovren (left) to Zenit St Petersburg

Mandi’s versatility is believed to be an attractive proposition for the Reds with the centre back also capable of filling in as a full-back.

Steve Bruce’s Newcastle are also said to be monitoring the availability of Mandi, who has been at Betis since 2016.

He featured regularly for the LaLiga side last season, making 30 appearances in all competitions.  

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Bundesliga ready to welcome fans back to stadiums next season if given green light from authorities http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/bundesliga-ready-to-welcome-fans-back-to-stadiums-next-season-if-given-green-light-from-authorities/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/bundesliga-ready-to-welcome-fans-back-to-stadiums-next-season-if-given-green-light-from-authorities/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:33:17 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22533

Bundesliga ready to welcome fans back into stadiums next season – starting on September 18 – if given green light from authorities… but there will be no away fans and no alcohol on sale

  • Germany’s first and second division clubs are prepared to bring fans back
  • The DFL CEO said the possibility of fans lies on the country’s political leaders
  • Bundesliga clubs are hopeful fans can return for new season on September 18 

Germany’s first and second division football clubs on Tuesday said they were prepared to allow some fans back into stadiums next season if the country’s political authorities gave the green light later this month.

German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert said the possibility of fans in stadiums depended solely on political leaders giving the go ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders,’ Seifert told a news conference.

German clubs on Tuesday said they were prepared to allow some fans back into stadiums 

DFL CEO Seifert said the possibility of fans in stadiums depended solely on political leaders

DFL CEO Seifert said the possibility of fans in stadiums depended solely on political leaders 

‘The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step (with fans in stadiums) when the time comes.

‘Priority is not full stadiums but the health situation. We should not take unnecessary risks but we should also not capitulate and just expect it to go away.’

The health ministers of the individual German states are due to meet next week to discuss the matter and the new Bundesliga season starts on September 18. 

The German Cup first round starts a week earlier. ‘Professional football can only come back in steps. There is no magic switch for politicians to give the green light for full stadiums. That will happen in steps,’ Seifert said. ‘We will have to reclaim normality in small steps.’

Health ministers of individual German states are due to meet next week to discuss the matter

Health ministers of individual German states are due to meet next week to discuss the matter 

Seifert said that if fans were allowed into stadiums there would be no visiting supporters at least until the end of the year to minimise the risk of infection, no standing tribunes and no alcohol sales.

‘No one at the DFL will demand a specific number of fans. That would be irresponsible,’ Seifert said.

The Bundesliga became the first major football league to restart its season in May after a two-month break, earning praise for its health and safety protocols that were subsequently adopted by other European leagues. It played out the season in empty stadiums in May and June.

The German government has banned all events with large crowds until October 31.

The country is fearing a second wave of infections and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 879 to 211,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by eight to 9,156.

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Former Bayern chief Uli Hoeness criticises CAS decision to overturn Manchester City’s two-year ban http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/former-bayern-chief-uli-hoeness-criticises-cas-decision-to-overturn-manchester-citys-two-year-ban/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/former-bayern-chief-uli-hoeness-criticises-cas-decision-to-overturn-manchester-citys-two-year-ban/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:32:15 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22530

‘The verdict was a clear slap in the face for UEFA’: Former Bayern chief Uli Hoeness criticises CAS decision to overturn Manchester City’s two-year Champions League ban

  • Ex-Bayern Munich chief Uli Hoeness is unhappy Man City’s ban was overturned
  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport found that City had not breached FFP rules
  • Bayern, as a traditional European power, were not happy with the decision
  • Bayern director and former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is also unhappy

Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has slammed UEFA for the evidence they provided that resulted in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturning Manchester City’s two-year Champions League ban.

The independent judiciary body found that Pep Guardiola’s side had not breached UEFA’s financial fair play regulations between 2012 and 2016 after initially being handed the punishment in February. 

Bayern, as a traditional European power, are often viewed as one of the prime supporters of Financial Fair Play and were not happy with the decision. 

Ex-Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has slammed UEFA for the evidence they provided

‘When I read the reasoning by the international sports court CAS why it withdrew this sentence, I have to ask myself what all this is about,’ Hoeness said to DAZN and Goal.

‘Ultimately, UEFA’s reasoning was simply weak. In principle, the CAS saw it the same way, but did not provide any solid evidence of Manchester City’s behaviour.

‘If the judges at CAS have come to the conclusion that UEFA did a poor job, one need not wonder what the result is. 

The verdict was a clear slap in the face for UEFA. We still have to do with Manchester City – and the club can’t help it if things are poorly prepared.’

The independent judiciary body found that Pep Guardiola’s side had not breached FFP rules

Bayern director and former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has also called on UEFA to strengthen Financial Fair Play in the wake of City’s victory at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Asked if Bayern’s task to win the Champions League would now be harder after City’s overturned their two-year ban at CAS, Kahn said: ‘Yes, that’s right, if we look at the Financial Fair Play issue it would be. We are very interested that this Financial Fair Play should be taken more seriously.

‘I don’t know the situation exactly now in Man City or Paris St Germain or other clubs but I think we should take this Financial Fair Play in the future more seriously, because if we don’t do that, we don’t need it. 

‘I think there is a lot of work to do and as you see from the competition in Europe, we need a clear structure and serious Financial Fair Play so that we get more-balanced competition.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has come under pressure following the decision

‘If in the future you only have the same clubs winning the Champions League or winning for example Bundesliga or Premier League or other leagues I think it’s getting a little bit boring. So, I think we should do everything to get really strong Financial Fair Play.’  

German newspaper Der Spiegel claimed they had fresh evidence that proves the Court of Arbitration’s verdict was wrong, but City have strenuously denied the new claims, saying they are a ‘cynical attempt to publicly re-litigate’. 

Manchester City, CAS and UEFA have been contacted for comment by Sportsmail. 

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Wolves 1-0 Olympiacos (Agg: 2-1): Nuno’s side seal Europa League quarter-final spot http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/wolves-1-0-olympiacos-agg-2-1-nunos-side-seal-europa-league-quarter-final-spot/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/wolves-1-0-olympiacos-agg-2-1-nunos-side-seal-europa-league-quarter-final-spot/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:31:15 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22527

After a European campaign spanning 13 months and more than 20,000 miles, Wolves are three wins away from one of the greatest days in their history.

Though they struggled for long periods against Olympiacos, Raul Jimenez’s eighth-minute penalty was enough to secure a 2-1 aggregate win – nearly five months after the first leg in Athens ended 1-1 shortly before the coronavirus pandemic caused football to be suspended – and set up a straight knockout quarter-final against Europa League specialists Sevilla in Duisburg, Germany on Tuesday.

At full-time, boss Nuno Espirito Santo gathered his players, coaches and other backroom staff in the centre circle to deliver a victory message. Long after the other players had left, captain Conor Coady wandered around the Molineux pitch speaking on his phone.

Raul Jimenez celebrates with team-mates after converting early penalty against Olympiacos

Nuno Espirito Santo embraces Ruben Neves after Wolves seal their Europa League progress

Nuno Espirito Santo embraces Ruben Neves after Wolves seal their Europa League progress

The club began their European campaign 13 months ago and have played 58 games

The club began their European campaign 13 months ago and have played 58 games

MATCH FACTS

WOLVES: Patricio, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny (Vinagre 17), Podence (Dendoncker 72), Jimenez, Traore (Jota 57)

GOAL: Jimenez (8, pen) 

BOOKED: Podence, Jimenez, Moutinho 

OLYMPIACOS: Allain; Elabdellaoui, Ba, Cisse, Tsimikas; Bouchalakis (Fortonis 46), Camara (Hassan 65), Guilherme (Cafu 82); Valbeuna, Masouras (Randjelovic 46), El Arabi.

BOOKED: Ba, Cisse, Tsimikas 

‘I told the boys that OK, the holidays must wait,’ said Nuno. ‘It was the last game of the season at Molineux and we miss our fans but they must be proud of the boys.

‘We started more than a year ago and everyone has to realise the effort of the players. We go to Germany to compete – let’s go and do it.’

Asked about his side’s prospects in Germany, Nuno added: ‘We are always confident we can overcome the next challenge.’

This was Wolves’ 58th game of a season that started on July 25 last year, when they beat Crusaders here in the second qualifying round. Fifteen matches later, they have the chance to emulate – or surpass – the 1971/72 side, who lost to Tottenham in the Final of the UEFA Cup. 

No wonder they looked tired here, and it remains to be seen how much strength they can summon for the last push with injury doubts over Jonny, Willy Boly and Matt Doherty after an exhausting match.

In the end, the two goalkeepers were decisive. Bobby Allain, Olympiacos’ second-choice goalkeeper with a Scottish mother, fouled Daniel Podence needlessly to hand Wolves their spot-kick. And in the closing stages, Wolves keeper Rui Patricio made a stunning save to deny substitute Ahmed Hassan. ‘Rui was massive for us, fantastic,’ acknowledged Nuno.

Olympiacos' back-up keeper Bobby Allain fouls Daniel Podence to hand Wolves early penalty

Olympiacos’ back-up keeper Bobby Allain fouls Daniel Podence to hand Wolves early penalty

Wolves were also grateful for a marginal VAR offside call that ruled out Mady Camara’s first-half strike for Olympiacos.

Jimenez might have given Wolves the lead inside a minute when he volleyed just wide from the edge of the box.

He was not to be denied in the seventh minute however. Allain was playing only due to an injury to Jose Sa and he made a ludicrous shove on Podence, who had nipped ahead of him near goal after the goalkeeper had taken a heavy touch. After a hop, skip and a jump, Jimenez sent Allain the wrong way from the spot.

Jimenez steps up to convert the spot-kick coolly and send Wolves on their way to progressing

Jimenez steps up to convert the spot-kick coolly and send Wolves on their way to progressing

The striker has been in lethal form for his club in Europe with his 10th goal of the campaign

The striker has been in lethal form for his club in Europe with his 10th goal of the campaign

Wolves suffered an early setback when Jonny fell awkwardly in playing a short pass to Ruben Neves, and was replaced by Ruben Vinagre, as Olympiacos found their stride and Patricio made a fine save to keep out a shot on the run from left-back Kostas Tsimikas. ‘It doesn’t look good,’ admitted Nuno of Jonny’s injury.

The Greeks thought they were level in the 29th minute when Youssef El Arabi picked out Camara, whose effort deflected in off Willy Boly. Yet following a three-minute VAR check, El Arabi was judged offside when he ran onto Mathieu Valbuena’s pass.

Wolves were still a threat on the counter-attack – and midway through the second half, Boly had the goal at his mercy when substitute Diogo Jota’s deflected shot came his way but the centre-back was confused by the touch off Ba and steered the ball wide. 

Jimenez attmepted an ambitious rabona effort from outside the penalty area

Jimenez attmepted an ambitious rabona effort from outside the penalty area

Wolves were handed a reprieve when Mady Camara's effort was ruled out or offside by VAR

Wolves were handed a reprieve when Mady Camara’s effort was ruled out or offside by VAR

With 27 goals this season, El Arabi was a constant worry for the Wolves back line yet he continued to let them off. In the 66th minute, the powerful Moroccan spun away from Conor Coady eight yards out only to miskick wide.

Podence and Jota squandered chances to make the game safe, with Jota particularly poor in his attempt to round Allain and score after Ba had presented him with the ball. Nuno was furious, Coady barked orders and Olympiacos demanded another penalty for what they believed was a handball by Romain Saiss.

Then Patricio, such a calm presence in goal, sprang brilliantly to his left to keep out substitute Ahmed Hassan’s powerful header from close range with time ticking away. 

Still later, Omar Elabdellaoui fired into the side netting and El Arabi accidentally left Nuno on his backside after a charge down the touchline – but it is Nuno and his team who are still standing.

Adama Traore did not enjoy an effective night out wide for Wolves and was substituted

Adama Traore did not enjoy an effective night out wide for Wolves and was substituted

Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis was pitchside in the build-up to the game

Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis was pitchside in the build-up to the game

Wolves keeper Rui Patricio produced a fantastic display to secure his side's progress

Wolves keeper Rui Patricio produced a fantastic display to secure his side’s progress

 Relive all the action below with Sportsmail’s live coverage.

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Inter Milan to announce permanent Alexis Sanchez transfer from Man United http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/inter-milan-to-announce-permanent-alexis-sanchez-transfer-from-man-united/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/inter-milan-to-announce-permanent-alexis-sanchez-transfer-from-man-united/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:30:12 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22524

‘We took the time to get him back on track, so it’s only right that we are now able to reap the rewards’: Antonio Conte praises Alexis Sanchez ahead of permanent Inter Milan move as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offers Manchester United flop his best wishes

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Alexis Sanchez will be leaving the club 
  • Manchester United had loaned the Chilean to Inter Milan last summer 
  • Now Sanchez, who is back in form once more, is set to move permanently to Italy

Alexis Sanchez has been showered with praise by manager Antonio Conte, who is preparing to unveil him as a permanent signing at Inter Milan.

Sanchez is poised to finally bring his Manchester United nightmare to an end this week and pen new terms in Italy.

A formal announcement of Sanchez’s switch is expected on Thursday morning, after the two clubs came to an agreement.

Alexis Sanchez has been showered with praise by boss Antonio Conte ahead of his move

Sanchez featured for Inter on Wednesday evening as they beat Getafe in the Europa League

Sanchez featured for Inter on Wednesday evening as they beat Getafe in the Europa League

Speaking ahead of the formalities, Conte admitted it has been a long process to see Sanchez get back into sharp form, but Inter are now seeing the fruits of their labour.

‘I think the Alexis Sanchez move is a great one made by the club. Considering the conditions we managed to get Alexis, it was a really good transfer,’ Conte told Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday evening, in the aftermath of Inter’s 2-0 Europa League victory over Getafe.

‘He had come off two years when he was really struggling at Manchester United, then he got this injury with us and we took the time to get him back on track, so it’s only right that we are now able to reap the rewards of that effort,’ he added.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Sanchez will leave, before giving the Chilean his best wishes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Sanchez will leave, before giving the Chilean his best wishes

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted his side simply had not seen the best of the talented Sanchez, but wished him well in his future endeavours.

After United defeated LASK to also progress in the Europa League on Wednesday, Solskjaer told BT Sport: ‘I can confirm that [transfer]. 

‘Alexis has had a good time over there, a good player, so we wish him all the best. We wish him all the best. 

‘He’s a top player. For whatever reason, we didn’t see the best of Alexis but he’s a top professional and we just wish all the best.’

Both United and Inter have now entered the latter stages of the Europa League, which is to be concluded in a tournament format in Germany.

Sanchez therefore could still come up against his former club before the season is out.

As for United, the shifting of Sanchez’s eye-watering weekly wages takes some strain off the purse strings, ahead of the club making a renewed bid for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho. 



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David Moyes reveals West Ham haven’t received any offers for Chelsea target Declan Rice http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/david-moyes-reveals-west-ham-havent-received-any-offers-for-chelsea-target-declan-rice/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/david-moyes-reveals-west-ham-havent-received-any-offers-for-chelsea-target-declan-rice/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:27:42 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22521

‘There have been no offers and we don’t want any’: West Ham have not received any bids for £65m Chelsea target Declan Rice, says David Moyes

  • David Moyes revealed West Ham haven’t received any bids for Declan Rice 
  • The England international has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea  
  • Moyes stressed West Ham’s determination to keep the 21-year-old

West Ham manager David Moyes has revealed that they haven’t received any bids for Declan Rice despite Chelsea continuing to be heavily linked with the midfielder.

Although West Ham were able to preserve their Premier League status, it has done little to quell speculation regarding Rice’s future.

However, Moyes outlined West Ham’s determination to keep the 21-year-old. 

West Ham manager David Moyes revealed the club haven’t received any bids for Declan Rice

Moyes told The Evening Standard: ‘At the moment there have been no offers for Declan and we don’t want any. There’s always interest but we don’t want to encourage it.’

Chelsea, who released Rice at the age of 14, have been monitoring his situation, with the England international having produced some encouraging performances towards the end of the Premier League season.

Moyes is determined to keep Rice, whose current West Ham deal is set to run until 2024

Moyes is determined to keep Rice, whose current West Ham deal is set to run until 2024

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is looking to strengthen further, with Rice a key target

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is looking to strengthen further, with Rice a key target

The Blues are reportedly willing to listen to offers for Jorginho in order to fund a move for Rice, who could cost £65million.

Chelsea have already brought in Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner ahead of the new campaign, with Frank Lampard eager to strengthen his squad further. 

Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz is another who could arrive at Stamford Bridge, and Rice would also help to improve their options.

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Robin van Persie returns to Feyenoord as coach http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/robin-van-persie-returns-to-feyenoord-as-coach/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/robin-van-persie-returns-to-feyenoord-as-coach/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:25:38 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22518
Robin van Persie worked with Feyenoord boss Dick Advocaat when they were at Fenerbahce together

Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has returned to boyhood club Feyenoord as a coach.

Van Persie, 37, had a final season as a player with the Dutch side in 2018-19 and will now work under manager Dick Advocaat to help the forwards.

“It is not an official position so it’s hard for me to give it a title,” said the former Netherlands international.

“It’s a win-win. I’ll find out here whether I like doing this and help the staff a bit.”

Van Persie, who was capped 102 times for his country, scored 35 goals in 98 Eredivisie appearances during his two spells with Feyenoord.

Since his retirement as a player last year, he has been working in the media in England.

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Manchester City sign Ferran Torres from Valencia for initial £20.9m fee on five-year contract http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/manchester-city-sign-ferran-torres-from-valencia-for-initial-20-9m-fee-on-five-year-contract/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/manchester-city-sign-ferran-torres-from-valencia-for-initial-20-9m-fee-on-five-year-contract/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:24:35 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22515

Manchester City confirm signing of Ferran Torres from Valencia on five-year contract for fee rising to £37m as Pep Guardiola strengthens attacking options in bid to reclaim Premier League title

  • Manchester City have announced the signing of Valencia winger Ferran Torres 
  • The 20-year-old attacker joins on a five-year contract from the LaLiga side
  • The deal is believed to be an initial £20.9million fee which could rise to £37m 
  • Torres becomes Pep Guardiola’s first signing of the summer transfer window 

Manchester City have completed the signing of Valencia winger Ferran Torres on a five-year contract.

The 20-year-old made 44 appearances for the LaLiga side last term, scoring six goals, and joins Pep Guardiola’s squad in a £37million deal.

Sportsmail understands the deal with see the Spaniard move for initial £20.9million with the rest to be paid in add-ons.

Valencia winger Ferran Torres has officially joined Manchester City for an initial £20.9million

Torres told the City official website: ‘I am so happy to be joining City. Every player wants to be involved in attacking teams and Manchester City are one of the most attacking in world football.

‘Pep encourages a really open, aggressive style, which I love, and he is a manager with a proven track record of improving players. To have him overseeing my development is a dream.

‘City have won plenty of trophies in the last 10 years and I hope I can play a role in continuing that success.’

Torres is City boss Pep Guardiola's (pictured) first signing of the summer transfer window

Torres is City boss Pep Guardiola’s (pictured) first signing of the summer transfer window

Torres was wanted by a host of top European clubs, including Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Juventus. 

But the young attacker, who can also play through the middle, opted to move to the Premier League and is Guardiola’s first signing of the summer transfer window.

It is understood the Spanish coach wants to add four more names to his squad before the transfer window shuts in early October. 

City are looking to take the Premier League title back from the clutches of Liverpool, who won the top-flight with seven games to spare in 2019-20. 

Torres made 97 appearances for Valencia, having been at the club since the age of seven

Torres made 97 appearances for Valencia, having been at the club since the age of seven

Torres came through the youth ranks at Valencia, having first joined the club at the age of seven, and is a popular player amongst the supporters of the LaLiga side.

His old club sent him a touching farewell message to recognise his 13 years associated with the club.  

The official Valencia Twitter account said: ‘You arrived at our Academy at 7 years old. 

‘We have been by your side through all this time seeing you grow as a footballer and as a person. 

‘At this point you have decided to separate our paths. @FerranTorres20, we wish you the best with @ManCity.’ 

Torres was a fan favourite at Valencia, who sent the 20-year-old a touching goodbye message

Torres was a fan favourite at Valencia, who sent the 20-year-old a touching goodbye message

Overall, Torres made 97 appearances for the Valencia first-team in all competitions, scoring nine goals. 

Speaking about the signing of Torres, City sporting director Txiki Begiristain said: ‘We have followed Ferran’s progress closely and have been very impressed.

‘He is young and still developing, but his technical qualities are exactly what we are looking for in a winger. 

‘He is quick, direct, can create space with one movement and is capable of producing match-winning moments.

‘I feel this is the perfect place for him to develop and with Pep in charge he can take his game to the next level.’ 

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Borussia Dortmund ‘working with Dembele and Aubameyang agent’ in Man United talks over Jadon Sancho http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/borussia-dortmund-working-with-dembele-and-aubameyang-agent-in-man-united-talks-over-jadon-sancho/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/borussia-dortmund-working-with-dembele-and-aubameyang-agent-in-man-united-talks-over-jadon-sancho/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:23:35 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22512

Borussia Dortmund ‘are working with the agent who masterminded £138m Ousmane Dembele and £56m Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sales on Jadon Sancho’s potential exit’… as United threaten to pull out of £108m deal

Borussia Dortmund ‘are working with the same agent who masterminded their mega-money sales of Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’ in negotiations with Manchester United over Jadon Sancho.

It comes as United threaten to walk away from the deal if Dortmund, who are demanding £108million for the 20-year-old England winger, don’t compromise with their asking price.

The Old Trafford club believe Dortmund are being unrealistic in their demands for Sancho given the current economic climate amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Borussia Dortmund ‘are using the same agent that masterminded their sales of Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’ as they negotiate with Man United over Sancho

Marco Lichtsteiner worked with Dortmund when they sold Aubameyang to Arsenal in 2018

Marco Lichtsteiner worked with Dortmund when they sold Aubameyang to Arsenal in 2018

The Swiss agent was also involved when Dortmund sold Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona

The Swiss agent was also involved when Dortmund sold Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona

But Dortmund are determined one of their star assets won’t be sold below their valuation and, according to German newspaper Bild, have enlisted the help of a man used in the Dembele and Aubameyang deals.

They report that agent Marco Lichtsteiner, the brother of former Arsenal and Juventus defender Stephan, is playing a central role in negotiations.

Lichtsteiner previously worked on Dortmund’s £56m sale of Aubameyang to Arsenal in January 2018 and Dembele’s £135.5m departure to Barcelona six months earlier.

Bild say the Swiss is well-regarded within the football industry and has enjoyed a good working relationship with Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.

Lichtsteiner has worked closely with Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc in the past

Lichtsteiner has worked closely with Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc in the past

United are apparently unwilling to meet Borussia Dortmund's 'unrealistic' £108million price

United are apparently unwilling to meet Borussia Dortmund’s ‘unrealistic’ £108million price

Lichtsteiner also has good contacts in England and has known Sancho’s intermediary Emeka Obasi for a long time.

United have drawn up a list of alternative targets – believed to include Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman – and will pursue those if a deal for Sancho can’t be completed.

United are also reluctant to be held to what they consider to be an artificial deadline of August 10 after Dortmund indicated that they want any deal completed before they leave for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland.

Sancho pictured in training with Dortmund this week as talks over his move continue

Sancho pictured in training with Dortmund this week as talks over his move continue

It’s also understood that United have not reached an agreement over the player’s personal terms.

United have been more disciplined since handing Alexis Sanchez an astronomical deal worth up to £560,000-a-week in January 2018, and are determined not to break their wage structure.

While United remain very keen on Sancho and hopeful of completing the transfer, the latest developments are a clear indication that they will not allow Dortmund to dictate negotiations.



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Manchester City have scored the most goals in Europe ahead of clash with impenetrable Real Madrid http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/manchester-city-have-scored-the-most-goals-in-europe-ahead-of-clash-with-impenetrable-real-madrid/ http://www.footy.to/2020/08/07/manchester-city-have-scored-the-most-goals-in-europe-ahead-of-clash-with-impenetrable-real-madrid/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:22:33 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=22509

It’s the heavyweight clash of the Champions League titans that we’ve all been waiting for. Manchester City welcome Real Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 showdown on Friday with a spot in the next round at stake. 

Both teams are likely to have envisaged themselves lifting the coveted jug-eared piece of silverware, but it is City who hold the most slender of advantages. Isco’s opening goal at the Bernabeu saw the 13-time winners edge in front, but Pep Guardiola’s tactical tinkering transpired to be a masterclass.

City have put countless teams to the sword this season, and can also boast about possessing Europe’s most prolific strike force. The pressure cooker environment that is Real’s home ground is the perfect breeding ground for tension and uncertainty – but Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne both netted to complete the comeback.

Manchester City welcome Real Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 showdown on Friday

Pep Guardiola's tactical tinkering at the Bernabeu in February transpired to be a masterclass

Pep Guardiola’s tactical tinkering at the Bernabeu in February transpired to be a masterclass

The feat was made even more impressive considering that City started the tie without a recognised No 9. 

Jesus was fielded from the off, but often found himself drifting into wide positions. It was De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, both blessed with enviable amounts of trickery, who took it in turns to lead the line.

It is this flexibility that has seen City top the scoring charts. But their task is far from over, of course. Real are a formidable force on the European stage and are more than capable of securing a result on the night in Manchester. 

Their triumph in the 2015-16 season, and their successful defence of the title for the next two campaigns, demonstrates that. 

The legendary Zinedine Zidane has recently presided over the continent’s most watertight backline – rendering this game the unstoppable force versus the immovable object.

But Real Madrid boast Europe's most watertight defence ahead of the crunch Manchester trip

But Real Madrid boast Europe’s most watertight defence ahead of the crunch Manchester trip

The sight of Guardiola clutching his arms behind his head after City were dumped out of Europe by Tottenham on away goals last year is likely to still haunt the 49-year-old tactician. He will be desperate to avoid a repeat.

But he will also certainly be aware that scoring again will further pile the pressure on City’s rampant Spanish opponents. Guardiola can be confident in his team’s ability to do just that. Their 102 goal tally in the league makes them the highest scoring team in Europe, outgunning Bayern Munich’s 100. 

And in all competitions this season, City have racked up a mammoth 146 goals, just ahead of Bayern’s 143. 

Despite losing out on retaining the Premier League title to Liverpool, City were able to comprehensively outscore the newly-crowned champions. The Reds found the target 85 times instead, laying bare the brutal reality that it is the Etihad outfit’s defence which failed them.

Their approach to attacking certainly differs from Real’s. Guardiola has not structured his attack in the knowledge that his team will be able to withstand pressure to claim invaluable points. 

Europe’s top scorers 

Top five leagues; In all competitions 

146 – Manchester City

143 – Bayern Munich

117 – Liverpool

115 – Atalanta

105 – Barcelona

Europe’s top defences 

Top five leagues; In all competitions

38 – Atletico Madrid

41 – Real Madrid

47 – Bayern Munich

50 – Inter Milan

51 – RB Leipzig

City are Europe's most prolific team after scoring 146 goals in all competitions this season

City are Europe’s most prolific team after scoring 146 goals in all competitions this season

The impressive tally from City's formidable strike force bettered Bayern Munich's tally of 100

The impressive tally from City’s formidable strike force bettered Bayern Munich’s tally of 100

Time and time again City have wilted at the back, and these collapses have cost them dearly. Instead, it is the club’s fearsome ability to score a hatful which has transformed them into a trophy-winning juggernaut. 

Raheem Sterling finished the top flight campaign as City’s top scorer with 20 goals. The England international, who was benched for the first leg in Madrid, has also been more than capably supported by his team-mates. Sergio Aguero netted 16 times, Jesus plundered 14 and De Bruyne bagged 13. 

The same players have guaranteed City goals season after season. Aguero will miss the return leg, according to Guardiola, but the man at the helm will not be too disheartened considering the choice of firepower at his disposal.  

Riyad Mahrez has enjoyed a new lease of life this season after a slow start following his big money move from Leicester. The tricky winger scored 11 in the league, part of the 13 hitmen from City’s roster of riches. 

Gabriel Jesus netted the leveller for City at the Bernabeu despite being field in a wide left spot

Gabriel Jesus netted the leveller for City at the Bernabeu despite being field in a wide left spot

The 23-year-old ace Jesus has scored five goals in total in the Champions League this season

The 23-year-old ace Jesus has scored five goals in total in the Champions League this season

Also among those to have beaten a goalkeeper this season after Bernardo Silva (six), David Silva (six), Phil Foden (three) and Rodri (three). 

It would certainly be fair to argue that whoever lines up for City on Friday will be more than capable of popping up with a potentially tie-defining moment of brilliance. 

Jesus and Sterling have scored five times in the Champions League this season and both will play a key role once again in ensuring City’s progression to the next stage.

But the defensive woes that have dogged them far too often are a stark contrast to Real’s heroics and solidarity at the back. 

Zidane’s men pieced together a winning streak of 10 games to wrestle the LaLiga crown from arch nemesis Barcelona by five points. However, it is arguably their steadfast nature in defence that has paved their path to domestic glory.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois clinched the Zamora Trophy, the gong awarded to the stopper who has the lowest goals-to-games ratio. 

The Belgian international shipped just 20 league goals in 34 games, leaving him with an impressive average of just 0.59 goals shipped per game. This is the third time he has won the award, and he bettered Unai Simon and Jan Oblak to claim it.

In front of him, Real have been similarly superb. Ferland Mendy has proved one of the best signings of the season at left back, and Dani Carvajal has fought back from the brink to restore his spot as one of the league’s finest defenders. 

Thibaut Courtois won the Zamora Trophy after having the lowest LaLiga goals-to-games ratio

Thibaut Courtois won the Zamora Trophy after having the lowest LaLiga goals-to-games ratio

Ferland Mendy has proved one of the signings of the season and has impressed at left back

Ferland Mendy has proved one of the signings of the season and has impressed at left back

The duo are supported by one of LaLiga’s most impenetrable defences. Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane has fronted up to countless threats and dealt with them with consummate ease. The former has even chipped in with 10 goals from centre back, a niche but all-important reason behind Real’s eventual title win.  

There can be no denying that the fine margins at stake in the Spanish top flight have become even more pronounced over the course of the last 11 months or so. 

LaLiga games have become centred around tactics and are a war of attrition, meaning clubs need a solid and reliable blueprint to guarantee success.

Real are blessed with just that. They allowed in a mere 25 league goals this season, which equates to 0.66 goals per game. This record betters that of city rivals Atletico, who have built their reputation under the stewardship of Diego Simeone on their watertight defensive antics. 

French stalwart Raphael Varane has formed a formidable partnership alongside Sergio Ramos

French stalwart Raphael Varane has formed a formidable partnership alongside Sergio Ramos

The composure on show from Ramos and Varane is unparalleled. Both are capable of building up attacks from the rear and they are also renowned for their ability in the air. 

The prime example of their ability this season came against Barcelona in March. The 2-0 victory for Real strengthened their title tilt, and both defenders starred by marshalling and nullifying their world-class opponents.

In addition, the full backs possess the dynamism and sheer will needed to hare up and down the flanks for 90 minutes. Both are capable of holding a strong defensive line, leaping into challenges or leading a breakaway down the other end to relieve the pressure. 

This dream back four, however, will be ripped apart on Friday. Ramos will be absent through suspension, a loss which has been made even more notable after the 34-year-old’s late-season heroics.

Man City scorers  

2019-20 season; In all competitions

30 – Raheem Sterling

23 – Sergio Aguero

22 – Gabriel Jesus

15 – Kevin De Bruyne

13 – Riyad Mahrez

8 – Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden

6 – David Silva

5 – Ilkay Gundogan

4 – Rodri

3 – Nicolas Otamendi

1 – Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko 

Real Madrid scorers 

2019-20 season; In all competitions

26 – Karim Benzema

13 – Sergio Ramos

7 – Rodrygo

6 – Toni Kroos

5 – Casemiro, Luka Modric, Vinicius Junior

3 – Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Isco, Raphael Varane, Lucas Vazquez

2 – Luka Jovic, Marcelo, Nacho, Federico Valverde

1 – Dani Carvajal, Brahim Diaz, Eden Hazard, Mariano, Ferland Mendy, James Rodriguez

 

Ramos has chipped in with 10 goals from centre back but he will miss the game at the Etihad

Ramos has chipped in with 10 goals from centre back but he will miss the game at the Etihad

The 34-year-old skipper's suspension hasn't prevented him from jetting in with his team-mates

The 34-year-old skipper’s suspension hasn’t prevented him from jetting in with his team-mates

He has once again been let down by his tendency to collect bookings like they are mementos. And his rash nature may cost his team dearly. 

Real’s last three big Champions League fixtures without their captain have all ended in heavy defeats. They also conceded 10 goals in the process. 

Ramos has missed six European games for the club over the last two years, and five of those resulted in losses. It comes as no surprise that the talisman has jetted to Manchester alongside his team-mates to deliver an all-important pep talk before the game.  

Real, of course, will be relying on that little bit extra motivation to carry them through what will certainly be an enthralling and nervy affair. May the best attack, or defence, win.

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