Besiktas

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Report: Man United likely to sell Fellaini to Besiktas in January

Leave a comment

Jose Mourinho appears set on adding some new players this winter in order to compete with cross-town rivals Manchester City, but first he’ll have to sell off a few parts.

[ MORE: Premier League Power Rankings

Mirror Sport is reporting that Manchester United is prepared to sell midfielder Marouane Fellaini in January to Turkish side Besiktas for over $10 million.

Last week, Besiktas executive Metin Albayra confirmed the club’s interest in the Belgium international, and it seems as though a deal will be struck for Fellaini’s services.

Fellaini has scored three goals in seven Premier League matches this season, and was recently singled out positively by Mourinho following United’s defeat to Chelsea.

However, it appears Fellaini’s days at Old Trafford are numbered.

Besiktas exec confirms interest in Man United’s Marouane Fellaini

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jose Mourinho has made his feelings known about keeping one of his veteran midfielders, but that hasn’t stopped one club from expressing their interest.

[ MORE: Spurs duo Kane, Winks out for England’s friendlies ]

Turkish side Besiktas has made it known that they are interested in the possibility of signing Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, with the 29-year-old’s contract at Old Trafford expiring next summer.

Besiktas is third in the Turkish Super Lig table through 11 rounds of play, trailing leaders Galatasaray by five points.

[ MORE: Swansea coach Makelele takes job with Belgian side Eupen ]

Metin Albayra — an executive with Besiktas — says Fellaini is one of several players the club is currently attracted to signing in 2018.

“Fellaini is on our list, we have made efforts to sign him but not just him,” Albayra said. “He is not the only player we scouted, our scouting team watched 20 games live this week.

“Transfer plans never end, we are always working. We are keeping tabs on several players.

“The club has plans for Turkey and Europe, there are negotiations. We want to make the signing for the winter transfer window or for the end of the season.”

Fellaini has been with United since joining the club in 2013 from fellow Premier League club Everton. The Belgium international has made over 100 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils, and has scored four goals in eight matches this season for the Manchester giants.

Surprises, disappointments halfway through Champions League group stage

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
1 Comment

Clubs have met each of their group mates once, giving us an imperfect but workable sample size for the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Five groups have a side boasting a 3-0 record, while four clubs have yet to seize a single point.

[ CHAMPS LEAGUE: Tuesday | Weds. ]

Some of the strugglers, like 0-1-2 Maribor and 0-1-2 APOEL, are not surprises. And it’s no shock to see Manchester United at perfect 3-0 given its draw.

Others? Well, that’s not the case.

Status down 

While Manchester United is a perfect 3-0 in Group A, raise your hand if you figured Benfica would have just one goal and zero points through three matches. Benfica’s also played two of its three home ties, making the knockout rounds a dream.

Atletico Madrid has found the UEFA Champions League Final in two of the last four seasons, but finds itself with work to do moving forward. Atleti’s Wednesday draw at Qarabag leaves it three points behind Roma and five back of leaders Chelsea. Diego Simeone’s men still host Roma and Qarabag, so points are out there.

Serie A play has been gorgeous for Napoli, who has failed to bring that momentum to Group F. It’s worth noting that a missed penalty by red-hot Dries Mertens could’ve earned the Neapolitans a point at Man City on Tuesday, but as it stands Napoli is three points back of Shakhtar and could be six back before the Ukrainians visit on Nov. 21.

It turns out you can’t sell everyone and expect the youth to come through shining. Monaco is at the bottom of a very winnable group, having lost at home to Porto and Besiktas. Still just three points behind RB Leipzig, they’ll need to win at Monaco and/or Besiktas to have any hope of the knockout rounds.

Borussia Dortmund got a rough deal from officials when it visited Wembley Stadium, but losses to Spurs and Real Madrid can happen in a group stage. Tuesday’s draw at APOEL Nicosia, however, is close to a backbreaker.

(Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images).

Status up

Spurs draw at Real Madrid may have been aided by a huge performance from Hugo Lloris, but goalkeepers — as you know — are actual components of a team. This is in fact a group of death, but the North Londoners are holding a scythe. If Mauricio Pochettino can lead a home win over Real Madrid at a raucous Wembley on All Saints Day, well, look out!

Cenk Tosun has gone from sleepy transfer target to the tip of many gossipers’ tongues, as Besiktas is a perfect 3-0 including wins at Monaco and Porto. Anderson Talisca and… wait for it… Ryan Babel (!!) have also starred for the Turkish powers who will almost certainly see the knockout rounds.

[ MORE: JPW sits down with Ederson ]

Pep Guardiola‘s done this Champions League dance, you know, and Manchester City has weathered all storms. That includes conceded two penalties — one was saved by Ederson — as a down performance versus Napoli still ended with a home win. If City can win at the Stadio San Paolo on Nov. 1, Pep can sleepwalk into the final two matches (though that’s not his style).

Roma has a classy draw at Chelsea and has gathered five points including four away from home. Mimic that mark and i Lupi will be a challenge in the knockout rounds.

Neymar was best pals with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez last season at Barcelona, but having a less-than-perfect relationship with Edinson Cavani hasn’t hurt a thing in Paris. Paris Saint-Germain is for real, scoring 12 times and yet to concede in wins over Bayern Munich, Celtic, and Anderlecht.

Grey area

Liverpool leads its group and advancing is really the only goal, but there’s something off-putting about the home draw against Sevilla. The 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow looks better now that the Russians hammered Sevilla 5-1, but a return visit from Maribor next should help the Reds buttress their stock.

Be careful how finely you analyze a club as accomplished as two-time reigning champs Real Madrid, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s men don’t look so hot. Still well-positioned to move on, keep a close eye on how they look at Wembley in a few weeks.

Holding pattern

Chelsea‘s 3-3 draw versus Roma today was its first real stumble of the UCL, but there shouldn’t be too many alarm bells considering their injury problems and Roma’s desperation. Consider their status even, especially given their clever win at Atletico Madrid.

Jose Mourinho is doing a fine job with Manchester United, but it’s really hard to praise the club too much for doing what’s expected in a glorified Europa League group. Clearly Sir Alex Ferguson was involved in the icing some of the draw balls again…

UEFA Champions League wrap: Tables turned on wild day

AP Photo/Paul White
Leave a comment

One clean sheet in eight Tuesday matches certainly helped the entertainment value of the UEFA Champions League, and the group ramifications follow suit.

Borussia Dortmund whiffed on a chance to take advantage of Real Madrid’s home draw versus Spurs, while Sevilla was waxed in Russia, and Besiktas continues to strut in UCL play.

Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham HotspurRECAP, VIDEO

Raphael Varane’s plans to mark Harry Kane were subverted by the French defender’s unwitting legs, but Serge Aurier chopped down Toni Kroos in the 42nd minute for a yellow card and penalty that Cristiano Ronaldo sent beyond the reach of Spurs backstop Hugo Lloris.

It was Lloris’ outstanding day, along with a couple timely Keylor Navas saves, that kept the score line 1-1 after 90 minutes. The backstops will likely match wits again come Nov. 1 at Wembley Stadium.

Manchester City 2-1 NapoliRECAP

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus scored in the ninth and 13th minutes as City has been an unwelcoming host for the Neapolitan side. Ederson stopped a Dries Mertens penalty, adding insult to Napoli’s twin concessions, but Napoli would get a second penalty kick and pulled back a goal courtesy of Amadou Diawara.

Monaco 1-2 Besiktas

Reported Newcastle United and Crystal Palace target Cenk Tosun scored a pair of goals as group-leading Besiktas came back to beat Monaco after Radamel Falcao made it 1-0 to the hosts.

Feyenoord 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk

Similar story in the Netherlands, where Ex-Watford man Steven Berghuis gave the Eredivisie hosts a lead only to see a Bernard brace lead Shakhtar at De Kuip.

Spartak Moscow 5-1 Sevilla

Liverpool’s score line was a bit surprising, but this one raised eyebrows even given Sevilla’s long road (or flight path) to Russia. Quincy Promes scored twice to make Sevilla consider its Europa roots (though plenty of time remains in the group stage).

Spartak’s Luiz Adriano scores past Sevilla’s Sergio Rico (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Maribor 0-7 LiverpoolRECAP

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds are sent their finishing demons off a cliff. It was 3-0 after 20 minutes, 4-0 at half, and when all was said and done there were braces for Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah to go with single markers from Philippe Coutinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

APOEL Nicosia 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

A significant step backward for BVB, who would’ve done well to take advantage of Real and Spurs drawing at the Bernabeu. The Germans even trailed for five second-half minutes before Sokratis Papastathopoulos provided the equalizing goal.

RB Leipzig 3-2 Porto

Five first half goals felt like the start of something special, but the upstart Germans held on through a scoreless second half to claim their first UCL win.

Why Leipzig’s Timo Werner asked to be subbed off at Besiktas

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Confusion surrounds why Timo Werner was subbed out of RB Leipzig’s 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat at Besiktas on Tuesday.

During the game Werner could be seen holding his ears in distress and was also handed ear plugs to put in with the incredible noise from Bestiktas’ supporters in Istanbul said to be causing him a problem.

After the game Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed that German international Werner asked to be substituted.

“Timo no longer wanted to be on the pitch because of circulation and breathing problems,” Hasenhuttl said. “But he feels better again.”

Leipzig’s manager also went on to discuss the intense atmosphere in the stadium as Besiktas have no won their opening two UCL Group G games and are on course to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first-time in club history.

“We lost against the atmosphere in the first half,” Hasenhuttl added. “We could not handle it. That was definitely the main problem at the beginning. Such an atmosphere in our first away match was a bit too much for some of our players. It’s a deafening noise. It provokes stress. How can you prepare the lads for it? It’s not possible. It’s an experience you need to make. It’s hardly surprising it happens in our first Champions League season.”

Wow.

Below is a look at the atmosphere inside the Vodafone Arena after Besiktas’ victory against Leipzig as the game was also delayed following a partial floodlight failure.