If even a fraction of this summer’s transfer interest is real, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has taken every precaution against his biggest 2017 enemy: scheduled congestion.
Mourinho was a regular critic of United’s schedule last season in the run-up to its UEFA Europa League title win over Ajax, and is building his roster up for the UEFA Champions League.
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The manager already had plenty of attacking options, and has added Victor Lindelof to his stable of defenders while reportedly flirting with PSG’s Marquinhos, too. Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic is also a reported target (as are half of the world’s elite footballers).
And now, a wry smile from Monaco’s Fabinho hints that Mourinho may be making progress with another target.
‘‘It’s a tempting invitation. … I would first talk to my agent, Monaco too, to decide everything right. But it’s a great club, sure enough I would think well about it.”
Fabinho played mostly right back in 2014-15 before splitting time between that position and defensive midfielder the following year and seeing most of his time at CDM last season. Mourinho has lavished praise and given a contract extension to right back Antonio Valencia and has Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Paul Pogba at CDM (though the latter can certainly operate higher up the field).
It was the summer’s first transfer rumor-turned-real-story-turned-never-ending-saga that seemed to refuse to cross the finish line, but it’s finally come to pass: Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool player.
Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool took so long to complete that the club’s poor social-media manager probably never wants to read the words “Announce Salah” for the rest of his/her life.
The deal will cost Liverpool something in the neighborhood of $50 million — a new Liverpool club record — and completes the utterly terrifying attacking quartet Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to unleash on the Premier League come August — Salah on one side, Sadio Mane opposite, Philippe Coutinho in the middle, and Roberto Firmino at striker. Salah, by the way, will take over Firmino’s no. 11 shirt, with the Brazilian switching to no. 9.
Multiple reports claim Crystal Palace has offered its managerial position to Dutch boss Frank De Boer.
Palace has been without a manager since Sam Allardyce retired after the season. The Eagles finished 15th in the Premier League, five points behind eighth place Southampton and seven points clear of the drop zone.
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An accomplished defender at Ajax and Barcelona, the 47-year-old De Boer led Ajax in his first managerial stint before spending less than three months at Inter Milan last season.
De Boer twice won the Rinus Michels Award as the top manager in Dutch football, and would become just the second Palace manager from outside the British Isles.
He would inherit a very good group of attackers with Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, and Andros Townsend. Palace also has a talented midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Yohan Cabaye to go with marauding Dutch back Patrick Van Aanholt.
Pep Guardiola could be one step closer to reuniting with one of his former pupils at Barcelona, and the Manchester City manager has Juventus to thank for that.
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The reigning Serie A champions confirmed on Wednesday that the club will release outside back Dani Alves, clearing the veteran defender’s path to join Man City this summer or another club.
“We’re not talking about a breakdown in the relationship, it’s motivation that is fundamental for players,” said Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta.
“Alves has realised he has a desire to try a new experience, so we’re trying to reach a mutual termination of his contract and we wish him good luck.
“There’s certainly sadness because of what’s been said, but I can confirm there’s been no breakdown in our relationship.”
Alves signed a two-year contract with Juve last summer after previously playing for Barcelona since 2008, however, the winners of six consecutive Italian titles are willing to let the Brazilian walk away without acquiring a transfer fee.
Man City appears to be the preferred destination for Alves, who turned 34 in May.
PL champions Chelsea have also been linked to Alves’ services, but it’s more likely that the right back will reconnect with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
Two Premier League giants are reportedly in the market for Robert Lewandowski, however, his current club isn’t having any of it.
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Bayern Munich has threatened repercussions from FIFA after Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly made contact with Lewandowski’s camp recently over a possible move to England.
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The 28-year-old goalscorer is said to be displeasured with the Bundesliga champions after having a falling out with manager Carlo Ancelotti towards the end of the 2016/17 season.
Despite the alleged uncertainty between player and manager though, Bayern has no intentions of allowing their prized striker to leave.
Below is the statement released by Bayern to Sky Deutschland on Wednesday amid the speculation.
“Robert Lewandowski is under contract at Bayern and only recently renewed his deal until 2021. Bayern Munich waste no thought on a Lewandowski move.
“There are no talks with other clubs, and there won’t be any. If other clubs negotiate with players who are under long-term contracts, they risk FIFA punishment. The agent also confirmed to us that he has not held any contract talks.”
While Bayern would clearly be losing a key asset if Lewandowski were to exit this summer, Chelsea and United are two clubs certainly in the market for a striker.
The reigning PL champions are expected to cut ties with Diego Costa in the lead up to the 2017/18 campaign after the Spaniard showed a text message exchange with manager Antonio Conte displaying the Italian’s disinterest in bringing back the striker.
Meanwhile, United released Zlatan Ibrahimovic after this past season following a devastating ACL injury that he suffered in April.