Ex-Napoli sports chief Pavarese: Sarri wants Chiesa at Chelseaby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Napoli sports chief Luigi Pavarese can see Fiorentina striker Federico Chiesa moving to Chelsea.Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is a fan of Chiesa, who has been linked with a move to England this season.Pavarese told RMC: “I believe along with (Lorenzo) Insigne and (Federico) Bernardeschi they are the true talents of Italian football, he is already proving it at Fiorentina.”We are aware of his qualities and he can do much better than his father. But the important thing is to keep his feet on the ground, but Chiesa is destined to grow.”He will certainly be watched by many clubs, not only Italian, but I hope that he will remain in Serie A, even if Sarri really likes him, and at Chelsea he could do very well, I’m afraid that the Premier can steal him.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Huddersfield chasing Tottenham youngster Jadon Brownby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town are chasing Tottenham youngster Jadon Brown.The Mirror says Huddersfield are trying to convince Tottenham to allow teenage left-back Brown to join their relegation battle.Huddersfield need more attacking energy and see Brown as the type of player they need.The 19-year-old only has six months left on his deal and his future seems unsure. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bristol City boss Johnson admits big interest for Liverpool, Man Utd target Kellyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBristol City boss Lee Johnson admits there’s growing interest in England Under-21 defender Lloyd Kelly.Liverpool are among Premier League clubs keen, along with Manchester United and Tottenham.Johnson said, “Of course, there is (interest).”If you’re a Premier League club and you’re not interested in Lloyd Kelly, you’re not doing your recruitment right. Twenty years old, playing for England and can play multiple positions.”Whether someone pushes the button on it is a different matter. I guarantee, statistically and with the eye, every Premier League club would’ve had a look.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rojo: I’ll fight for my place at Man Utdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Marcus Rojo has revealed how his injury hell has tested his mental strength to the limit.The Argentine ace has returned home for further treatment on an unspecified problem he first suffered in the World Cup that forced him to miss the first 20 games of United’s season.United have no idea when he will be back and Rojo, who has endured fitness problems for the past two campaigns, said: “The worst thing about it is that it is the second year running I have not been able to have a full pre-season with my team-mates.“These kind of things can happen in football.“That’s the game of football. It can happen to anyone and this time it happened to be me.“It’s all about being strong mentally. I am strong mentally and it is now about turning it around and starting again. I’m always going to fight hard to earn my place in the side.”
TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Man Utd vs Chelsea kids? Why there’s no (& unfair) comparisonby Chris Beattie19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: Not good enough. They’re just not up to it. These Manchester United kids. They’re not United standard. Just look at what’s happening at Chelsea. There’s simply no comparing…Which is right. There is no comparing the youngsters Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is trying to bring through at United and what Frank Lampard has on his hands at Chelsea. And nor should there be. Indeed, those ex-players scrambling over eachother to condemn Solskjaer and the talent he’s working with should know better. And instead of drawing the irrational comparison with Frank’s Blue Babes, they should be informing the public of why the stark difference.Because the answer is simple. Easy. And could actually lead to a decent debate about the differences between the two clubs regarding youth development and the use of the loan system.It’s stating the bleedin’ obvious and this column apologises to those whom have already sent their remote or shoe through a screen. But the thing about comparing the kids we’re seeing at Chelsea and what’s coming through at United is that there is no comparison. The lads making headlines today: Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham, have also made headlines elsewhere. Mount had an outstanding year in Holland before last season’s spell with Lampard at Derby County. Tomori also is no sudden star. His time with the Rams, which culminated with the club’s Player of the Year gong, was actually his third loan spell after stints with Hull City and Brighton – where he didn’t exactly pull up any trees. Which the same can be said of Abraham and his time with Swansea City. A period when many on the outside were encouraging the club to cut the lad loose. Again, like Tomori, it’s taken Abraham three different loan spells away (Bristol City and Aston Villa included) to reach the level of what we’re seeing today.In contrast, the youngsters Solskjaer has turned to – Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong – are all in the middle of their first real experience as senior players. Yeah, they’ve had bits and pieces over the last two seasons. But this is the first time in their careers where there’s an expectation of them as members of a senior squad. Something Tomori and Abraham were getting to grips with three seasons previous. Even Aaron Wan-Bissaka was only making his first team debut with Crystal Palace less than 18 months ago – just as Daniel James was doing as a Swansea City player. Indeed, amongst this United group, it is Axel Tuanzebe who boasts the longest time involved as a senior prospect.So comparison? There is no comparison. But what is worth exploring is United’s attitude to the loan system. An approach which is more about protecting and cultivating a saleable asset than any serious plan to develop a youngster for a first team future with the club. Tuanzebe aside, those youngsters earmarked as having the potential to be a United first teamer aren’t risked to the loan system. Instead, they’re kept in-house. The long-held view, dating back to Jose Mourinho’s time in charge, is the most gifted are better served training with – and being around – the first team. If Reece James had accepted that offer from United 18 months ago, there’d have been no season with Wigan Athletic. Nor a Latics Player of the Year award for the Chelsea fullback. So are United missing a trick here? Well, there is no hard and fast answer. The success and failures of youth development are always a slow burn. But the progress of Scott McTominay does offer United some hope that they’re on the right track.No-one saw the emergence of McTominay coming – outside of Mourinho, of course. Now a Scotland international and first-choice for Solskjaer, McTominay never came close to being capped at youth level by Scotland – nor England. But into his third season as a senior player, no pundit would dare claim he doesn’t deserve his current status. Which wasn’t exactly what was being said about the midfielder after his first season under Mourinho.”McTominay, when I watch him, I’m not sure he’s actually good enough on the ball to be a Man United midfield player,” questioned former United captain Gary Neville. “Is he sharp enough on the ball to be a Man United central midfield player?”But today – or at least last week – after McTominay’s goalscoring performance for the draw with Arsenal, Neville was saying, ahem, something slightly different: “I have to say, he [McTominay] steps up every single game. He’s always there and wants the ball every single time.“He might give it away but he wants it again – and sometimes it’s about having the temperament to play for a big club – and I think he’s got that.”What hasn’t yet been acknowledged is that McTominay’s progress has continued since the change of manager. Indeed, this column would argue it’s accelerated since Solskjaer and his staff have grabbed hold of him.Which could be the same that awaits Greenwood and co in the coming seasons. So long as the club is patient and those making irrational comparisons are ignored.
GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 15: A view from the end-zone as the Tennessee Volunteers take on the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 15, 2007 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Tennessee 59-20. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)This past February, five-star defensive end recruit CeCe Jefferson put Florida fans through the wringer by waiting a number of days to sign his official Letter of Intent to play for the Gators. Well, it looks like Jefferson, who cited coaching changes as the reason for his holdout back then, is all-in on Florida now. Friday night, he got a tattoo of his school and his class – the #UF19 hashtag that Florida freshmen-to-be have been using.Newest ink pic.twitter.com/XDt2kJd44A— C (@cecejeferson7) March 14, 2015Jefferson is considered one of the most promising recruits in the entire 2015 class. We have a feeling that UF fans will forget all about National Signing Day if he turns out to be as advertised.
247 Sports Ohio State Florida StateOhio State’s 2016 class is shaping up to be a great one. Austin Mack, a four-star wide receiver out of Indiana, committed to the Buckeyes today. With the 6-foot-1, 200-pound wideout’s commitment, Urban Meyer’s program now has what some consider to be the best class in the country for 2016. Ohio State has the No. 1 class in 2016 according to Scout. Ohio State moves back to No. 1 in @scoutrecruiting rankings with today’s pledge from Austin Mack #Buckeyes— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) June 7, 2015On Rivals.com, the Buckeyes have the No. 3 class, but have the highest average star ranking at 3.93. Rivals.comAnd on 247 Sports, the Buckeyes have the No. 2 class, trailing Florida State by a mere 1.61 points. This could be Meyer’s greatest class, ever.
Antonio Valencia will remain Manchester United captain, caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.Valencia wore the armband for much of last season but officially took on the role on a permanent basis when Michael Carrick retired to move into coaching.The Ecuadorian has struggled for form and fitness this term, amid rumours of a fall-out with previous United boss Jose Mourinho, and has not featured in Solskjaer’s two games to date as he fights to return to peak condition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? However, the Norwegian head coach has backed the veteran defender to win back his place in the team, while stating that he will retain the captain’s armband for the foreseeable future.”He’s the captain. When he’s properly fit and playing he’ll wear the armband,” said Solskjaer.”He’s going through a couple of tough sessions now to get him ready for the tough period coming up. There aren’t many better right-backs going forward with his abilities.”Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms @Anto_V25 will remain #MUFC captain: “When he’s properly fit and playing, he’ll wear the armband.” pic.twitter.com/OSWaN5Y5bs— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 28, 2018Solskjaer has made a stunning start to his interim spell at Old Trafford with a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City, followed up with a convincing 3-1 defeat of Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day.United’s next test comes at home to Bournemouth on Sunday and the Norwegian is hoping to maintain the feel-good factor.He added: “Whenever you win games everyone is happy. So let’s keep that run going.”We’ve got to focus on our performance against Bournemouth and getting three points there.”These two games, yes, it’s been fantastic… [we need to] keep that momentum going against Bournemouth. When you lose a game I don’t think you’ll see many smiles about.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
West Ham are confident that Marko Arnautovic will not engineer a January transfer by going on strike, while Javier Hernandez is expected to remain at the club.Speculation regarding the futures of two key figures at the London Stadium is building during the winter window.Arnautovic is expected to be among those on the move before the deadline passes, with the Austria international having a lucrative offer on the table from China. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini claims a decision on his next move will be made shortly, with no definitive calls made as yet.He told reporters: “How is his mood? When you have such a high offer everyone wants to leave.”He has a contract here, we know what will happen about that in the coming days.”Everyone is talking about his future. He knows what is the best option for him. We will see what happens between the clubs.”West Ham have found themselves in a similar position before, with another key creative influence having forced an exit in January 2017.Dimitri Payet ruled himself out of contention for selection as he waited on a return to Marseille, but Pellegrini is not expecting Arnautovic to follow that lead.He added: “I don’t think he will refuse to play.”While it appears likely that Arnautovic will eventually leave the club, the Hammers have no intention of losing another attacking player.That means Mexican striker Hernandez will be staying put, with the 30-year-old back in training and pushing for regular minutes amid ongoing talk of a potential switch to La Liga side Valencia.Pellegrini said of the former Manchester United and Real Madrid frontman: “There are so many rumours about players coming and going from West Ham.”Javier is part of the squad, he, unfortunately, has had two long injuries but he will continue to be an important player to us.”It remains to be seen who will be available this weekend, but West Ham are due to be back in Premier League action on Saturday when they play host to Bournemouth – in a game which will see Pellegrini’s side trying to build on their impressive 1-0 derby victory over Arsenal last time out.
When Juventus presented Adrien Rabiot on Tuesday, they were confirming the signing of one of football’s most in-demand free agents. Rabiot is a player who had been on the shopping list at one stage or another for clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona, but who nonetheless chose to take his talents to Turin.The ex-Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is the latest in a long line of high-class Bosman transfers conducted by the perennial Italian champions but there is an argument to be made that he is not even the best one picked up this summer. That honour might well go to Aaron Ramsey, the ex-Arsenal man, who will add some much-needed dynamism to the Juventus midfield under new coach Maurizio Sarri.But neither will be the biggest incoming arrival. The best is yet to come. That will be Matthijs de Ligt, whose €70 million transfer from Ajax should be announced imminently. His status as the most promising defender of generation grows by the day. His decision to choose Juve confirms that he believes the club to be the best fit in terms of his development. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare There is no doubt that Manchester United and PSG could compete and perhaps even outstrip Juve in terms of salaries and other payments but it speaks volumes about where Juve are right now that they can jump the queue for a player like De Ligt.Working with Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and returning goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will give De Ligt a postgrad in defending and leave him well equipped to tackle the challenges the next stage of his career will bring. Those three players – not to mention promising full-back Luca Pellegrini – represent probably the finest business done at any top club this summer.Real Madrid no doubt top the list in money spent but the Juve business looks to be the smartest and all for a fraction of the sums spent on the new Galacticos like Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic.Juventus have got here – eight straight league titles, two Champions League finals, a brand-new stadium – only 12 years after re-emerging in the top-flight following relegation. They are leading the way in how to do business on and off the field in Italy and serve as a template for any club to follow.They do not lurch from one potential solution to another, with little or no regard for what comes after, like is happening at Old Trafford. There is sustainability and clear vision and it flows into every aspect of the club.While Sarri may well be consulted for his opinion on incomings so long as he remains at the helm, the Juventus coach is not the one signing players. Deals for players are conducted elsewhere in the business with Pavel Nedved and sporting director Fabio Paratici considered the power underpinning Juventus’s transfer market strategy.Paratici – in particular – was reckoned to be the driving force behind signing Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, when former CEO Giuseppe Marotta had reservations over the sky-high fee.Marotta left last season and is now in charge at Inter alongside Antonio Conte, who he signed to coach Juve during his time in the Turin hotseat.And Juve are not finished. A deal for Merih Demirel, a 21-year-old Turkish centre back who plays for Sassuolo and is highly-regarded, is expected to be confirmed shortly although he may yet go on loan for the upcoming campaign.Cristian Romero, another defender, could also see his arrival from Genoa finalised in the coming days. Again, he could develop elsewhere next season before making it to the first team with Juve.But the big target -and by no means an unattainable one – remains Paul Pogba, a free transfer signing sold by Juventus for a €100m fee in 2016. Although he is under contract at United and heavily linked with Real Madrid – Juventus have not given up hope.They expect to make some money this summer, with Sami Khedira, Joao Cancelo, Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain among those who could be looking for new clubs. With any significant sums raised, Juve could go back into the market for Pogba. Even Mauro Icardi, of Inter, cannot be discounted as a potential arrival.This summer marks the continuation of a very effective Juve transfer policy, one which identifies the club as one of the most organised and forward-thinking football enterprises anywhere on the continent of Europe.While clubs like United struggle to get deals over the line – even in the pursuit of technical directors – Juve plot their course with precision. It could be argued that they have beaten United to the punch on Rabiot, De Ligt and even for Pogba himself. They are, literally and figuratively, in a different league despite a turnover gap of a little under €300m between the two clubs.Off the field the are taking care of business. But although they are dominant in Serie A, there is work to be done to fulfil their potential on the field.At times last season, Juve looked one-paced and pedestrian with their lack of urgency being exposed fatally by Ajax in the Champions League. Their €100 million man Ronaldo pulled his weight in Europe – being the only Juventus player to score in the knockout rounds – but elsewhere there were holes.Outgoing coach Max Allegri was culpable, with an inability to rouse his team from dark spells and to make any significant impact from the bench. Serie A has less and less posed any kind of challenge for Juventus and they look to the Champions League as the true test of their capabilities.Taken as a rough barometer, it has shown Juve to be a little off the pace. They have earned two final appearances in the past five seasons but need more consistency in their performances in that competition to be regarded as truly great.That will be Sarri’s big challenge but he has been given every chance to get it done thanks to another summer of smart business from a club at the top of their game.