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Manchester United ‘agree personal terms with Jadon Sancho

Manchester United have reportedly agreed personal terms with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.

The England international has been the subject of a protracted transfer saga following his performances in the Bundesliga this season, with Sancho registering 17 goals and 17 assists in the German top flight for Dortmund during the 2019-20 campaign.

Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast, Ian McGarry has claimed that United are set to offer Sancho a lucrative contract as the Red Devils attempt to pry the 20-year-old away from the Westfalenstadion.

“It is our understanding that Sancho has agreed in principle in the last two weeks a five-year contract with Manchester United which will pay him initially £140,000 per week but increasing to around £200,000 per week over the course of that deal,” McGarry said.

“The player’s agent has recently been busy doing other deals, notably with Bukayo Saka’s new deal with Arsenal but is still hopeful that United will be able to agree a fee with Borussia Dortmund.

“Manchester United have been rather robust in a briefing this week that they will not pay any more than £50m for Jadon Sancho which of course is at least less than half of Borussia Dortmund’s original valuation of the England international.”

Dortmund have seemingly won the race for another English protege as a recent report claimed that Lucien Favre’s side are close to securing the signature of Birmingham City youngster Jude Bellingham.


Manchester City, Manchester United and Wolves facing no summer break

Manchester City, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly all facing the possibility of missing the start of next season and having no summer break due to their delayed European campaigns.

Premier League clubs will meet next week via a video conference to discuss when the 2020-21 season will begin and confirm dates for the new campaign.

The Sun reports that there are three realistic options that the Premier League are considering, with the weekends of August 22 and 29 as well as September 12 being discussed.

Several Premier League clubs are understood to prefer the September date, which would give them more time to prepare for the new campaign after a congested post-lockdown fixture list, and it would also make it more likely that fans will be allowed back into stadiums, giving clubs a greater income boost.

However, Premier League referees have been alerted to the likelihood that the new season would begin on the first provisional date in August, which could lead to City, United and Wolves not being able to restart their domestic campaigns along with every other club, if their respective Champions League and Europa League runs go all the way.

UEFA plan to host the Europa League final in Cologne on August 21 and the Champions League final in Lisbon two days later.

This would mean the Premier League trio having to play catch-up from the very beginning of next season, with no possibility of their players having any rest period between seasons, which could lead to significant injury repercussions as the new campaign progresses.

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Alvaro Morata double leads Atletico Madrid over Mallorca in Liga

Atletico is one of the hottest teams as La Liga ticks down before it shifts focus to the Ch

Alvaro Morata scored twice to lead Atletico Madrid to a 3-0 win over Mallorca and extend its strong finish to the Spanish league.

Diego Simeone’s team has long been out of the title race being disputed by leader Real Madrid and second-placed Barcelona, which they trail by eight points.

But Atletico is one of the hottest teams as La Liga ticks down before it shifts focus to the Champions League final eight to be played in Portugal next month.

Champions League final eight to be played in Portugal next month.

In March when the league was halted, Atletico was struggling to secure a Champions League berth for next season. It is now well on course to finishing third.

Atletico has remained undefeated in seven matches since the Spanish league resumed following a three-month stoppage for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were in a complicated situation before the stoppage, but we have been playing well since we got back to playing and have been playing with a great attitude,” Morata said.

Simeone’s side dominated the relegation-threatened Mallorca from kickoff.

Morata earned a penalty when he was pulled down by Aleksandar Sedlar in the area.

Goalkeeper Manuel Reina blocked his strike, but a video review helped the referee order a redo of the spot kick after Sedlar entered the area too early.

Morata stepped back up and on a second try rifled the ball into the top corner in the 29th minute.

“Missing and then getting back up and trying again is part of football,” Morata said about the penalty.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid striker was back on the scoreboard in first-half injury time when Jorge “Koke” stole the ball and played Marcos Llorente clear to reach the end line, where he found Morata at the far post to tap home.

The goals were Morata’s 10th and 11th of the season in league play.

Mallorca could not muster a comeback and Renan Lodi hit the crossbar for Atletico before Koke scored in the 79th. His shot deflected off a defender to give Reina no chance to save.

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Chelsea move back into top four with comfortable win over Watford

Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ross Barkley struck to sink Watford 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and limit Chelsea’s fall from the Premier League’s top four to less than five hours.

France’s World Cup-winning striker Giroud angled a fine effort for his third goal in five Premier League games, with the 33-year-old showing renewed sharpness.

Brazil forward Willian tucked away another nerveless penalty: his third in as many league matches, after his spot-kicks in the 2-1 win over Manchester City and Wednesday’s 3-2 loss at West Ham.

Former Everton midfielder Barkley then capped another industrious performance with a smart strike in stoppage time.

Chelsea’s demoralising midweek defeat by the Hammers, coupled with Manchester United thrashing Bournemouth 5-2 on Saturday afternoon had seen the Blues drop out of the league’s top four for the first time since October.

But Frank Lampard’s men jumped straight back above United to reclaim fourth spot, with a commanding Saturday night victory in west London.

Lampard had demanded atonement for Wednesday’s shock loss at West Ham, and his focused Chelsea charges delivered against an admittedly-limited Watford outfit.

Stamford Bridge has been awash for weeks with talk of a summer signings revolution, but here it was the old guard who came good for Lampard.

Giroud recently signed a one-year contract extension, but he will face extra competition next term in the shape of £53million RB Leipzig recruit and prolific Germany hitman Timo Werner.

The 31-year-old Willian continues to hold out for three years on a new deal, whereas Chelsea only want to offer him two.

But the 70-cap Brazil star now boasts 11 goals in all competitions this term, and three in two matches after his brace amid that galling loss at West Ham.

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Paul Pogba to sign new contract at Manchester United

Midfielder Paul Pogba is reportedly happy to extend his contract at Manchester United.

Since revealing in June 2019 that he wanted to take on a new challenge, the World Cup winner has been continually linked with an exit from Old Trafford.

Although United are in a position where they can extend the 27-year-old’s contract until 2022, it has been suggested that club officials are yet to decide whether there is value in keeping the France international at the club.

However, according to ESPN, Pogba is increasingly content with life in the North-West after recently returning from a long-term absence.

In his most recent outings in the Premier League, the playmaker has linked up well with January arrival Bruno Fernandes, adding a different dimension to United’s play.

That appears to have swayed Pogba into looking to commit his future to United, rather than pursuing a switch to either Real Madrid or Juventus.

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Bayern Munich have signed Leroy Sané from Manchester City. £54.8m fee

Bayern Munich has ended a long pursuit and finally signed Germany winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

The Bavarian powerhouse said Friday that the 24-year-old former Schalke player has signed a five-year deal through June 2025 and will start preparing for the upcoming season next week.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says, “He is an outstanding player who has proven his qualities over the past few years, especially in the national team. Our goal is to gather the best German players at FC Bayern and the signing of Leroy emphasizes this goal.”

City was already resigned to losing the pacey forward, who had one year left on his contract with the Premier League side. Coach Pep Guardiola said Sane had rejected “two or three” offers to extend his contract.

Bayern is reportedly paying 50 million euros ($56.3 million) for the player, less than half what the club expected to pay last year before he sustained a serious knee ligament injury in the Community Shield against Liverpool on Aug. 4. The injury put a hold on the move and Sane only returned for City as a late substitute against Burnley on June 22. It was his only league appearance since the injury.

Sane is Bayern’s third reinforcement for the new season after the free transfers of goalkeeper Alexander Nubel from league rival Schalke and 18-year-old defender Tanguy Nianzou Kouassi from Paris Saint-Germain.

Sane has five goals in 21 appearances for Germany since making his debut in 2015.

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Real Madrid beat Getafe with team spirit, says Zidane

Captain Sergio Ramos converted a late penalty, sending Real four points clear of title rivals Barcelona with five games left.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side used their team spirit to finally break down and beat a resolute Getafe side 1-0 at home on Thursday to inch ever closer to winning their first La Liga title for three years.

The league leaders created scant chances against their gritty neighbours but finally got the goal they craved when captain Sergio Ramos converted a late penalty, sending Real four points clear of title rivals Barcelona with five games left.

“We can be very happy today because we did an incredible job today against a side who caused us loads of problems, but we got the victory because of our team spirit,” Zidane told a virtual news conference after his side won their sixth game in a row.

“Me and the players have been suffering a lot because we have had to work so hard in all of these matches. It’s not easy to do what we are doing. You can’t achieve anything without suffering.”

Real knew victory against Getafe would give them a cushion over Barca, who drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and have dropped six points since the campaign returned after the coronavirus stoppage.

Zidane’s side, meanwhile, have been on a relentless run and defender Dani Carvajal, who earned the decisive penalty, revealed the coach had set the team the target of winning all of their matches when the campaign started up again last month.

“The coach’s message after the break was that we had 11 finals left and we had to try and pick up all 33 points. We’re on the way to doing that,” Carvajal said.

“It was clear that this was not like any other game and we had to make the most of Barca’s slip-up. Today was like a final for us and we treated it like one.

“Getafe put us under a lot of pressure but we produced a serious performance and proved we are a real team.”

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Manchester City honour Liverpool, then hammer them

Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday — and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium.

Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday — and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium.

With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool side who showed far from their usual levels of intensity but the loss, just their second of the league campaign, was an emphatic reminder that City will be desperate to regain their crown next season.

Klopp was quick to defend his team’s attitude, rejecting any suggestion they had taken the game lightly.

“I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw fight. We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago. We lacked fluidity. And in some 50-50 situations they were quicker than us,” he said.

“Man City are incredible. I saw their season, they didn’t play a bad game even when they lost,” he said.

After the guard of honour, which included City manager Pep Guardiola, the visitors started brightly and Ederson had to be alert to keep out a fourth-minute effort from Mohamed Salah.

Salah then struck the post after a clever pass from Roberto Firmino, whose hair was coloured red, but if Liverpool thought they were in for another night of festivities, they were in for a rude awakening.

Joe Gomez could not cope with Raheem Sterling’s twisting and turning in the box, pulling him to the ground before Kevin De Bruyne converted the penalty in the 25th minute.

Sterling doubled the lead 10 minutes later when after a swift break, Phil Foden found him inside the box and the ex-Liverpool forward cut inside Gomez and slid the ball home.

The 20-year-old Foden made it 3-0, firing past Alisson after a swift exchange with Kevin De Bruyne.

City were showing an unusual willingness to play long balls and after Rodri launched a pass deep to De Bruyne, the Belgian found Sterling inside the box and he slipped the ball goalwards, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s outstretched touch only turning it into his own net.

It could have been even worse for Liverpool with Riyad Mahrez’s fine solo effort in the final moments but VAR spotted a handball by Foden in the build-up.

“We beat the champions, an extraordinary team,” Guardiola said.

“We tried to play football, take risks against the best team I have ever faced in my life at high pressing,” he added.

“They drank a lot of beers this week but they arrived here with no beers in their blood which is why I give us a lot of credit.”

The loss was the joint-heaviest defeat by a side already crowned Premier League champions. Arsenal were beaten 4-0 at Liverpool in 1997-98 in the game after they clinched the title.

Klopp and Guardiola defend Liverpool’s attitude after 4-0 loss

Juergen Klopp and Pep Guardiola insisted that Liverpool had been fully focused and hadn’t taken their foot off the gas, despite Manchester City’s comfortable 4-0 win over the newly crowned champions at the Etihad on Thursday.

City looked sharper and hungrier for most of the game, taking a 3-0 lead by half-time, while Klopp’s Liverpool were well below their usual levels of intensity.

Liverpool had previously lost only one league game this season, leading some observers to suggest last week’s title win – their first in 30 years – and subsequent celebrations had affected play on Thursday.

But manager Klopp was having none of it.

“If you want to lead this story in the direction that we we’re not focused, then do it,” Klopp said. “I liked my teams’ attitude – I saw a brilliant attitude – I saw boys who were fighting with all they have.

“It has nothing to do with last week, to be honest. It hurts like defeats hurt. What I wanted to see tonight was a team who is ready to fight against Man City, who obviously had a point to prove,” the German said.

If there is a team in the world that can smash us like this, it is probably City but we will come again. Make a few things better and it could look differently, but for tonight that is it,” he added.

City manager Guardiola said there was no question of Liverpool having suffered any kind of ‘hangover’ from their title win.

“I think they drunk a lot of beer the last week, but they were here with no beer in their blood and to win this game,” the Spaniard said.

“I saw a team with incredible focus, with energy and a desire to win the game, and I saw from the first minute they were focused to play hard,” he added.

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Lionel Messi’s return to Newell’s Old Boys ‘not impossible’, claims club vice-president

Although Lionel Messi is expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona, Newell’s Old Boys vice-president Cristian D’Amico is not ruling out the return of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Amidst growing tensions at Barcelona, Lionel Messi has been tipped for a return to his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina by the club’s vice-president.

Messi left the Argentine club at the age of 13 when Barcelona came calling in 2000. Although Messi is expected to sign a new contract with the Catalan club, Newell’s vice-president Cristian D’Amico hopes that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner can make a comeback in the future.

“I don’t know if it’s impossible. It’s a decision exclusively made by him and his family. We have to have the best possible context to help make a decision,” D’Amico told TNT Sports.

“When [Diego] Maradona came to Newell’s, nobody thought that he would come either. I hope that something similar can happen with Leo.”

“Obviously we shouldn’t be making things up, this is a delicate subject. What Newell’s doesn’t dream of seeing the world’s best player in their team’s colours? Time will tell maybe, we have to stay calm.”

Ex-Liverpool and Atletico Madrid forward Maxi Rodriguez, who returned to the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa in 2019 for a third stint, called on his compatriot to pick up the pace in coming home.

“I hope he comes at some point. It would be a dream for fans. There’s a family behind him and that can be tricky. But if he is coming, he’d better make it soon or else I won’t be able to play with him at Newell’s!” the 39-year-old joked.

Messi scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday in Barcelona’s 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid but witnessed his side handing the title initiative over to rivals Real Madrid with the third draw in the last four outings.

F1 Sports News

Formula 1 season starts 4 months later in a different world

There will be no fans on hand at the remote Spielberg track in Austria, with the coronavirus still creating uncertainty over how many races can actually be held and where.

Four months after the opening race was called off at the last minute, the Formula One season finally gets underway this weekend on another continent and in a different-looking world.

There will be no fans on hand at the remote Spielberg track in Austria, with the coronavirus still creating uncertainty over how many races can actually be held and where.

That may not be the only unusual sight, as drivers are discussing whether to take the knee together on the grid before Sunday’s race in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton has been an outspoken supporter of the movement and will be competing in an all-black Mercedes car instead of the usual silver as a statement against racism.

“It is so important that we seize this moment,” said Hamilton, the only Black driver to become F1 champion.

The truncated campaign kicks off with back-to-back races in Austria, as part of a hastily reworked schedule. It was meant to start nearly 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) away in the Australian city of Melbourne.

But the fast-spreading impact of the coronavirus pandemic led to the Australian GP being canceled on March 13, two days before the scheduled race, while people were still queuing for the first practice sessions. Several other races, including the showcase Monaco GP, were also canceled.

A rescue package with eight European races squeezed into 10 weeks, culminating with the Italian GP on Sept. 6, was scrambled together. F1 still hopes to rearrange some of the postponed races in order to finish the season with 15-18 of the scheduled 22.

There will also be two consecutive races at the British GP. If the season continues beyond Europe, it will end with races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.

We actually don’t even know the amount of races we are going to do,” McLaren and future Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr said.
“It’s an unprecedented scenario.”

Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring, cut off from major towns or cities, offers a reassuringly secluded feel amid coronavirus fears.
But strict health and safety measures have been put into place.

Everyone entering the track, including a greatly reduced number of media representatives, must have tested negative for Covid-19 and further tests will be carried out every five days. F1 teams are not allowed to mingle with each other, on or off the track, and media have no access to F1’s paddock area.

Drivers would normally have faced a barrage of questions in a news conference room, but health requirements dictate that drivers hold news conferences via video link and with questions sent in advance.

And, of course, Spielberg’s 4.3-kilometer (2.7-mile) circuit will be largely empty. It is normally swarming with tents, camper vans, makeshift barbecues and tens of thousands of orange-shirted Max Verstappen fans.

The Red Bull driver, hugely popular back home in the Netherlands, has won the past two races here.

The track is among the shortest in F1 but also one of the most aggressive. Drivers spend about 72 per cent of the time at full throttle, second only to Italy’s Monza track with 77 per cent.

That’s perfectly suited to Verstappen’s bold and abrasive racing style. Last season he chased down the leading trio before making a typically brazen overtaking move on race leader Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

The 22-year-old Verstappen showed last season that he is closing the gap to Hamilton in terms of wheel-to-wheel driving. Red Bull’s car also made a considerable jump in speed, while Ferrari’s faded, and Verstappen is emerging as a major title threat to Hamilton.

The 35-year-old British driver is chasing a record-equaling seventh F1 title to equal Michael Schumacher’s record, and only needs to win eight more races to beat Schumacher’s mark of 91.

Aside from Verstappen and possibly Valtteri Bottas Hamilton’s improving teammate at Mercedes, the other main challenger is Leclerc.
The 22-year-old Monaco driver is extremely quick and impressed observers in his first season at Ferrari with seven pole positions, two more than Hamilton, and two wins.

He is now Ferrari’s No. 1 ahead of four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, whose star has faded after he wasted mid-season leads in 2017 and 2018 and lost those titles to Hamilton.

The German veteran is leaving at the end of the year after failing to agree on a new contract, and his future in F1 is uncertain.
Like so many other things this season.