David Moyes arrives at Carrington

David Moyes hires staff from Everton on first day at Manchester United

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David Moyes began his first official day as manager of Manchester United by arriving at the club’s Carrington training ground at 8:00am and appointing Steve Round, Chris Woods and Jimmy Lumsden to his coaching staff.

Moyes arrived at the Chevrolet-sponsored training ground driving, not surprisingly, a Chevrolet, marking the beginning of a new era at United and putting a definitive end to the 26 year tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

The former Everton manager’s first bit of business on the day was confirming the appointments of his backroom staff, all of whom follow him from Goodison Park. Round replaces Mike Phelan as United’s assistant manager, Woods takes over as goalkeeping coach for Eric Steele, and Lumsden replaces Rene Meulensteen as first-team coach.

Speaking of the hirings, Moyes noted his work with the three and his delight at their decision to join him at United. “They bring great qualities in their respective fields and I know that, like me, they feel that this is a challenge to relish,” Moyes said. “I have great faith that together, we can build upon the success this club has enjoyed over many years.”

With the easy work put aside, Moyes now faces some legitimately difficult decisions, beginning with the Wayne Rooney conundrum.

Whether the 27 year old will stay at Old Trafford depends on his appetite for United and Moyes’ appetite to deal with a potential cancerous situation. Rooney is not known to be of primadonna ilk but he has shown a desire – most notably during the fall 2010 rumors that Rooney wanted to be transfered to Manchester City – to have his head patted.

How much head patting Moyes will do remains to be seen.

The so-called ‘crunch talks’ are slated to begin this week and with Robin van Persie’s domination as the outright striker and Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck all available for deployment in and around Rooney’s space on the pitch, it could be time to send the Wazza on his way.

The decision to keep Rooney will have a significant effect on whether Moyes makes a marque signing in the summer transfer window. It is entirely possible that he keeps the player and brings in a whale, although the later increases exponentially if Rooney departs.

A significant summer capture could provide Moyes with career defining moment. The departure of Ferguson makes Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential revival at United drastically less likely although a younger, less narcissistic, winger by the name of Gareth Bale is by no means out of Moyes’ reach.

A more realistic signing could be that of Leighton Baines, who Moyes brought to prominency at Goodison Park after sniping him from Wigan in 2007. The projected £20 million ($30.5m) it would cost Moyes to bring Baines to Old Trafford, however, could prove too much for a club that already boasts the likes of Patrice Evra.

The United midfield is another issue that Moyes will need to attend to. Easily United’s weakest quality, the retirement of Paul Scholes, Anderson’s failure to develop and the long-standing illness of Darren Fletcher means that the most pressing need is for a midfielder to compliment Michael Carrick.

Thiago Alcantara would be add creativity and skill while a player like Marouane Fellaini could provide Carrick with a marauding counterpart who will score goals while releasing pressure for the English pass-master.

A final issue that Moyes will need to work on is maintaining (and building) the familial environment that Ferguson worked so tirelessly to create at United. It is that environment that defines United, separates them from City and puts fear into the heart of opponents when the match is on a knife’s edge and injury time rolls around.

Report: Chelsea making first waves in $88m Bernardo chase

MONACO - NOVEMBER 22:  Bernardo Silva of Monaco  during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC  at Louis II Stadium on November 22, 2016 in Monaco, .  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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Monaco has slapped a massive price tag on Bernardo Silva, and The Times says that isn’t stopping Chelsea.

Antonio Conte is trying to land the 22-year-old Portuguese attacker according to the report, which says that the Blues are already chatting up the Ligue 1 outfit.

[ MORE: Wenger’s Sutton pitch worry ]

Silva has six goals and seven assists in France’s top flight this season, adding another three in the UEFA Champions League. He did not appear at EURO 2016 thanks to a hamstring injury, as Portugal won the Henri Delaunay Trophy.

Chelsea is ready to spend $88 million on the right winger, who can also play in a attacking center mid role. From The Times:

Monaco would like to secure a minimum of €80m (£68.4m) for Bernardo, who is comfortable operating on either the left or right wing or as a number 10. With Barcelona, Real Madrid and both Manchester clubs also expressing their interest Monaco, who play Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, believe a money-spinning auction may develop.

Transfer prices can be hard to predict, but is Silva the sort of talent that will tempt nine figures? We’ve been surprised before, and at his age it’s possible, but color us skeptical.

AEK Athens beats Greek league leader Olympiakos 1-0

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) AEK Athens defeated Greek league leader Olympiakos 1-0 in an ill-tempered game on Sunday that saw 12 yellow cards and two dismissals.

[ MORE: Messi brace rescues Barca, Pescara earns second win of season ]

Astrit Ajdarevic scored the only goal in the 34th minute with a free kick that deflected off Olympiakos defender Manuel da Costa.

Olympiakos’ athletic director Francois Modesto was sent to the stands for protesting about the lead-up to AEK’s goal. His team’s central defender Alberto Botia was dismissed after a second yellow card in the 75th for pulling an advancing AEK forward’s jersey.

Despite the defeat, its second of the season, Olympiakos has a 10-point cushion over second-place Panionios, which beat 10-man Iraklis 1-0.

PAOK, a 4-0 winner over Veria, remains in third place, one point ahead of Panathinaikos, which beat Asteras 5-0 on Saturday. AEK is joint fifth with Xanthi.

PSG drops points against Toulouse days after massive UCL win

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 14:  Julian Draxler of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona at Parc des Princes on February 14, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Just days after its massive (and somewhat unexpected) beatdown of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain failed to close the gap on league leaders Monaco.

[ MORE: Messi brace rescues Barca, Pescara earns second win ]

PSG settled for a 0-0 draw on Sunday at the Parc des Princes against eighth-place Toulouse, leaving the Parisian side three points behind Monaco through 26 rounds of action.

[ MORE: Bielsa returns to Ligue 1 with Lille ]

Despite holding the visitors to just three shots (one on target), Toulouse managed to contain a rampant PSG attack, which posted four goals midweek in their rout of the Blaugrana.

PSG’s first strong chance came in the 14th minute when Lucas Moura’s effort was saved in the bottom corner by goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

Meanwhile, Edinson Cavani may have had the game’s best opportunity to break the deadlock when the Uruguayan attacker struck the post from inside the penalty area.

Unai Emery’s group will be back in action on Feb. 26 when PSG travels to Dimitri Payet and Marseille.

Wenger worried over Sutton’s pitch heading Monday’s clash

SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - FEBRUARY 16:  Pundits Paul Merson (4L) and Matt Le Tissier (2L) take part in a training session alongside Paul Doswell manager of Sutton United (L) and players during a Sutton United FA Cup media day on February 16, 2017 at the Borough Sports Ground in Sutton, Greater London. Sutton United are due to face Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup Fifth round on 20 February.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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The story of Monday’s encounter between Arsenal and fifth-division Sutton United will be whether the minnows can overcome the mighty Gunners.

[ MORE: Mourinho pleased with United’s “attitude” against Blackburn ]

However, Arsene Wenger already fears a bigger challenge within the game, one that concerns his players’ safety.

Sutton’s 5,000-seat Gander Green Lane features an artificial surface, which is largely uncommon for English and most European venues regardless of club standing.

“First of all the pitch. Secondly their enthusiasm. Thirdly that we are not ready mentally for a big fight and think subconsciously that it doesn’t matter,” Wenger said ahead of Monday’s FA Cup meeting in South London.

In preparation for their meeting with the U’s, Wenger had his side train on their own indoor artificial field on Friday.

“Look, ideally we would like to play on a normal pitch. Competition is as well to deal with what you face, and we’ll face an unusual pitch and we’ll have to deal with it,” he said.

“We practice inside [on Friday] because we have an artificial pitch. It’s not the same as it’s a dry pitch, and at Sutton I’ve heard that’s a wet pitch, they water it before the game. So it will be much quicker than what we have.”