Reports: Manchester United willing to allow benched star to leave as Premier League rivals and Ligue 1 giants circle

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly hasn’t enjoyed much game time at all, in between injuries and not being able to usurp Victor Lindelor and Chris Smalling as the team’s first choice pairing.

As a result, a report from L’Equipe suggests that the English club is willing to listen to offers for him, with Lyon interested in securing his services. The Sun reports that the Ivorian is also a target of Arsenal boss Unai Emery as the Spaniard looks to orchestrate a defensive revamp at the club.

Bailly, 25,  has only managed 17 appearances this season and last featured under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Paris St-Germain in the away tie of their Champions League round of 16 clash.

Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City Data Review

His game time had been in the decline even under previous boss Jose Mourinho.

The report from the Sun suggests that Manchester United have to agree to a cut priced deal for the Ivorian defender in the region of £20m, should they hope to get a deal done with Arsenal.

Speculation regarding Bailly’s future emerges on the back of a torrid run of results for Manchester United that has seen them lose 7 of their last 9 games, leaving boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deeply contemplating the composition of his squad ahead of next season.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 3/5; Bailly can’t seem to get much game time and perhaps it’s best for him and the club if he’s moved on at the end of the season.

 

Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo wants Juventus to replace Max Allegri with Barcelona legend

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly wants Juventus to replace manager Max Allegri with former Barcelona and current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola next season.

Diario Gol reports that Ronaldo is of the mind that Massimiliano Allegri should be replaced next season as the manager of Juventus after failing to guide the team past the quarterfinals stage of the Champions League.

Instead, he wants former Barcelona and current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to take over the reins.

Guardiola’s penchant for ‘conquering’ leagues and moving on is well known and he would be willing to test himself in Serie A next season, according to the report.

On the other hand, Max Allegri doesn’t appear as though he is prepared to walk away from the Juventus job and even confirmed so when he was quizzed about his future following their Champions League exit.

Ronaldo and Guardiola have been on the opposite ends of the battle many times in the past when the Portuguese star was playing for Real Madrid and the Spanish coach was managing Barcelona.

However, the report states that the opportunity to work with a consummate professional like Ronaldo would smooth over any such concerns of them not being able to work together despite their adversarial past.

 

 

Breaking: PFA announces the Premier League Team of the Year 2019

PFA has announced the Premier League Team of the Year 2019 as voted for by the players in the league. And it is a list heavily dominated by Liverpool and Manchester City.

Ederson pips Liverpool’s Allisson to the goalkeeper spot having kept 18 clean sheets in the season, including in a pivotal 2-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Unsurprisingly, the Liverpool fullback duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson occupy the right and left back spots respectively while PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk is a shoe in for one of the center back spots. He is partnered by Manchcester City’s Aymeric Laporte.

The midfield is an all Manchester affair as United’s Paul Pogba partners up with City destroyer Fernandinho and Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva.

The forward line comprises of the irrepressible Sadio Mane, the evergreen Sergio Aguero and PFA Player of the Year runners-up Raheem Sterling.

This is also the first time the PFA team of the year is only comprised of players from just three teams.

Notable absentees include Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Ceres Negros overtake JDT in AFC Club Rankings; close in on ASEAN No.1 Buriram United

Footy Rankings are reporting that Ceres Negros have closed in on Thai side Buriram United as the number 1 ranked ASEAN team, after having leapfrogged Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).

As of the current AFC club rankings on Footy Rankings, Filipino side Ceres Negros have overtaken Malaysia’s JDT and are a stone’s throw away from usurping Buriram United as the ASEAN region’s top club footballing outfit.

This comes of a strong showing in the AFC Cup 2019, where Ceres sit pretty on top of Group G with 12 points from 4 games; the last one a thrilling comeback 3-2 victory over Persija Jakarta on 23 April.

JDT and Buriram, on the other hand, both lost their respective AFC Champions League 2019 ties on Wednesday against Chinese sides Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guoan.

Both the clubs also find themselves on the bottom of their respective groups in the tournament, with JDT having picked up one point from four games and Buriram having picked up three points from four games.

It is highly likely that both JDT and Buriram will get eliminated from the tournament. On the other hand, Ceres Negros are certainly through to the ASEAN Zone semifinals and will likely see a further bump up in their AFC club rankings – allowing them to possibly overtake Buriram as the best ASEAN side in the very near future.

PHOTOS: Cristiano Ronaldo unveils brand new stunning boots in Juventus training session

Cristiano Ronaldo may not be in the running for the European Golden Shoe, but he certainly does have fantastic taste when it comes to his own boots.

The Portuguese sensation broke out his brand new boots, with ‘CRISTIANO’ boldly emblazoned on them in yesterday’s training session with Juventus.

Ronaldo has been in fine form for Juventus in his debut season, though not up to his usual ridiculous goalscoring standards. He has scored 26 goals and assisted 13 times in 39 appearances so far.

However, he lags behind considerably in the European Golden Shoe rankings, with arch rival Lionel Messi on top with 33 goals and 66 points, closely followed by French sensation Kylian Mbappe who has 30 goals and 60 points.

Ronaldo doesn’t even make the top 10, with just 19 goals to show in Serie A so far. Those numbers were more than enough, though, for Juventus to comfortably canter to their eight straight Scudetto with 5 games still to be played in the season.

However, the Italian side crashed out of the Champions League in the quarterfinal stage after being well beaten by Ajax, despite the Portuguese marksman finding the target in both the home and away legs of the tie.

Ronaldo has since confirmed that he will stay on at the club next season as well, in their bid to finally land their first Champions League trophy since 1996.

 

Reports: Zinedine Zidane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to go head to head for €180 million worth wonderkid in the summer

Zinedine Zidane is a fan of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and has urged Florentino Perez to make a move for the fleet-footed winger in the summer, Bild reports.

As it’s been well documented now, Sancho is also a priority target for Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who sees the young Englishman as the ideal solution for the club’s right winger issue.

Sancho, 18, has been in stellar form in what has been his break through season at Borussia Dortmund, notching up 12 goals and 18 assists in 39 appearances.

However, the report states that Dortmund are in no compulsion to sell the player in the upcoming summer transfer window, unless one of the bidding clubs match their €180 million valuation of him.

Zidane hails Benzema’s ‘best season’ at Real Madrid ahead of Getafe clash

The report also states that Real Madrid may have the edge over Manchester United in that regard because Florentino Perez is on good terms with the CEO of Borussia Dortmund, Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Both Solskjaer and Zidane have been tasked with a summer overhaul after taking over late in what has been disappointing, trophy-less seasons for both clubs.

As such, it would be intriguing to see them go head to head for the services of Jadon Sancho.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 4/5; Although the price may look too high on paper, igniting a bidding war between two financial powerhouses is exactly what serves Borussia Dortmund well.

Reports: Real Madrid superstar unwanted by Premier League teams; only receives interest from China

Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale is most likely on the outs at the end of the season but may not make a blockbuster return to the Premier League, as none of the big clubs in the league seem interested in him.

According to Edu Pidal of Radio Estadio, the Welshman isn’t in demand among the Premier League elite even after it looks increasingly likely that he will depart Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Zinedine Zidane’s return to the club has coincided with strong rumours of the winger’s departure as the French coach has never really rated him.

However, according to the report, the only interest in Bale has been registered from China.

One of the reasons why Premier League clubs could be reluctant in moving for the multiple time Champions League winner is to do with his dodgy injury record. And he also turns 30 this year, meaning that they would have little to no resale value even if they choose to spend big money on his transfer fees and wages.

Real Madrid training: goals galore for Gareth Bale and co.

Manchester United has been keenly interested in the winger for a number of years now and even made a play to sign him from Tottenham when he departed for Real Madrid, but aren’t interested in bringing him to Old Trafford now after the Alexis Sanchez debacle and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s preference to target youth in the transfer market.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 4/5; It is quite likely that Premier League teams are reluctant to splash the cash on an almost 30 year old with a dodgy injury record and little resale value.

Reports: Manchester United star only non-Manchester City or Liverpool player to make it into leaked PFA team of the year

The Times have leaked information that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is the only non-Manchester City or Liverpool player to be part of the leaked PFA team of the year.

Despite being criticized extensively by pundits and, infamously, by former manager Jose Mourinho, the fellow players in the Premier League apparently rate Paul Pogba highly after Times confirm that he will be part of the PFA team of the year.

Incidentally, he will be the only non-Manchester City or Liverpool player to make the team, with the usual suspects like Virgil van Dijk and Raheem Sterling also expected to be part of the squad.

Pogba has enjoyed a resurgence to his goalscoring form after current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in December ’18, despite tailing off in the last few games when the team has been on a losing streak.

Who Stays, Who Goes at Manchester United?

The World Cup winner has contributed 16 goals and 11 assists this season, in 43 appearances in all competitions. Of that, he has scored 13 goals and laid on 9 more in 31 Premier League appearances.

He is also the center midfielder with the most goal contributions in the league this season, perhaps explaining why his peers have reportedly voted him into the PFA team of the year.

The PFA player of the year award winners were leaked yesterday, with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk rumoured to take pole position, followed by Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.

Reports: Real Madrid to pay €20 million extra to break Barcelona’s agreement with striker target

Real Madrid are willing to spend over the odds to ensure that Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic will end up at the Spanish capital next season.

Diario Gol reports that Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has an unofficial agreement with the player’s representatives in order to bring the player to the Catalan club next season and groom him as the long term replacement for Luis Suarez.

However, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly willing to offer an extra €20 million to the Bundesliga side to help them breach their gentleman’s agreement with Barcelona so the player can move to the Spanish capital.

They had initially been convinced to shell out 60 million euros for the player but will entertain spending up to 80 million now, as a result.

Real Madrid training: goals galore for Gareth Bale and co.

The player himself, it is reported, is more favourable towards a move to Real Madrid as he feels that he is more likely to receive gametime competing against Karim Benzema rather than against the likes of Lionel Messi or Luis Suarez at Barcelona.

The commitment towards Luka Jovic by Real Madrid is said to stem from Zidane’s appraisal of the player, who he sees as solid option to lead the attacking line at the club going forward.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 4/5; Despite it sounding far fetched, pricing out Barcelona in a transfer move seems to be a very Real Madrid thing to do.

 

Reports: Liverpool superstar to leave club and sign for Real Madrid in the summer even if they win the Premier League

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has reportedly fallen out with manager Jurgen Klopp and will entertain Real Madrid’s offer at the end of the season – regardless of which way the Premier League title race swings.

Reports emerged in Spain that Mohamed Salah and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp were not on the best of terms and that it could spell the end of the Egyptian’s tenure at the club.

Real Madrid’s interest in the player has spiked on the back of that as the pacy attacker is of great interest to Zinedine Zidane as he looks to overhaul an ageing squad with a number of key signings in the summer.

However, the Mirror understands that Liverpool are not willing to part with the player, despite him wanting to leave the club regardless of them potentially pipping Manchester City to the Premier League title.

Should he be allowed to leave, however, he will possibly join the likes of Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen after Zinedine Zidane is touted to be granted a massive transfer kitty in the summer.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 2/5; Despite these reports making it out to seem that Salah and Klopp have fallen out, I just can’t see him leaving the club especially if they win the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals why Manchester United won’t win Premier League title next season

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to the press before the Manchester derby and outlined exactly why he thought his team wasn’t up to the task of challenging for the Premier League title next season.

United are currently embroiled in a heated four-way race for the two realistically remaining spots in the Champions League positions on the league table, and take on title contending Manchester City in what could be a pivotal clash for both teams.

Speaking before the clash at Old Trafford, Solskjaer spoke about his expectations for his team next season and whether they could challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the title.

“I don’t think we’ve got the consistency to do that,” he said of a potential title challenge.

Everton 4-0 Manchester United – humbling defeat exposes poor season

“Over the last 18 games, we’re not far away from them but it’s doing it over the course of a season. We’ve done it for half a season now. Let’s see. You can never say never.

“You cannot expect things to happen overnight and we know that. It will happen gradually and we have to be realistic enough as a club that we have to take it step by step.

“That’s not changing 10 players now and bringing 10 players in. It’s slowly, slowly but surely. It has to be the right quality, right personality, the right standards to get us back to where we want to be,” he concluded.

United would hope to pick up all three points against City as it would boost their chances of finishing in the top 4. However, they may end up giving arch rivals Liverpool a clear path to the title should that happen.

 

 

Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo wants underperforming Juventus player to be replaced by Barcelona star in order to destabilize Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo has understood that Juventus need to ring in the changes if they should challenge for the Champions League next season and wants underperforming goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny gone for that reason.

As a replacement, the Portuguese forward has reportedly asked Juventus to sign Barcelona’s standby custodian Jasper Cillessen according to Diario Gol.

The report states that Ronaldo is extremely unhappy with Szczęsny as he feels the Polish ‘keeper hasn’t at all filled the shoes of club legend Gianluigi Buffon. In fact, the Portuguese forward apparently feels that Juventus had the worst ‘keeper among all the teams that qualified to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Messi continues to lead European Top Scorers list

His reasons for targetting Cillessen are also twofold in the sense that he wants to deal arch rival Lionel Messi and Barcelona – which is on track to win a treble this season – a body blow by depriving them of their stand in option should Marc-Andre ter Stegen get injured.

Cillessen, a 30 year old Dutch international with 48 caps, has been relegated to just 7 appearances this season with none of them coming in La Liga.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, has also reportedly drawn up a six man wishlist – including the name of countryman Joao Felix – that Juventus should sign in the summer transfer window.

FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 4/5; Cillessen is too good to just play second fiddle to ter Stegen and it is true that Juventus could do with an upgrade for Szczęsny as well.

Serie A center midfielder trolls Lionel Messi for not scoring as many goals as him

Atlanta center midfielder Marten de Roon brought up his 100th Serie A cap in style, after he added in an edit about how he’s got 5 goals in the league – which is still 5 more than Lionel Messi’s tally.

de Roon, a defensive minded center midfielder, recently brought up his 100th game for Serie A side Atlanta when they sprung a shock 2-1 defeat of league runners up Napoli.

An infographic had initially been created by his club to commemorate the occasion.

However de Roon, who has been capped 10 times by Netherlands, added a tweak to the infographic to include the stat about him scoring 5 goals for the club in those 100 Serie A appearances – and made sure to mention that his record was still 5 goals better than that of Lionel Messi’s scoring stat in the league.

Having played for Barcelona throughout his career, of course Lionel Messi hasn’t had the chance to ply his trade in Italy so as of now, de Roon’s statistic still stands.

de Roon has turned out 37 times for Atlanta this season, with 30 of those appearances coming in Serie A. He has been a fixture of the Italian side’s engine room ever since he joined from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2017.

WATCH: Southampton’s Shane Long breaks 18-year-old record for fastest ever goal in English Premier League history

Southampton’s Shane Long broke the record for fastest ever goal scored in English Premier League history with a goal just 7 seconds after kickoff.

It came in Southampton’s away match against Watford and while it was the home side who kicked off, Long charged down Craig Cathcart’s attempted clearance and dinked the ball over Ben Foster to score the goal.

Opta then went on to confirm that Long’s goal was indeed the quickest goal ever scored in Premier League history. Long’s not had a stellar goalscoring season so far, as the Saints have flirted with relegation for the most part.

However, they have managed to hit an upturn of general form under former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, with Long generally preferred up front rather than target man Charlie Austin.

Speaking after the game, Long admitted that he had no idea that he broke the record for fastest goal when he had scored it.

“It’s nice. I didn’t find out [about the record] until after the game and I didn’t know what the record was before.

“In every game you want to show your intent from the first kick and put them under pressure.

“Mainly it’s just to force that long ball so they’re not quite set. Luckily I blocked it, it dropped nicely and I took a touch across Craig [Cathcart].

“I know Ben [Foster] from West Brom and he’s an amazing keeper. He spreads himself so well and from watching clips, I knew the dinked finish was my best option of scoring. Thankfully it came off,” he said.

Long ended up breaking an 18 year old record held by former Tottenham defender Ledley King, who scored in 9.82 seconds against Bradford City way back in 2000.