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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Ashley Young to Inter

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Manchester United is offloading captain Ashley Young, with multiple reports in both England and Italy claiming the 34-year-old is set for a medical at Inter Milan on Friday.

According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth $1.7 million, netting Manchester United a small sum of money before Young’s contract was set to expire this summer. Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport is also reporting the move. It was reported a few days ago that Young was nearing a deal with Inter through the summer of 2021.

Young has made 12 Premier League appearances for Manchester United this season, but it was unlikely the club would offer him a contract this summer, and he has been slowly phased out of the squad as Luke Shaw began to earn the lion’s share of time at left-back.

He will have plenty of familiar faces at Inter, with Former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku and on-loan playmaker Alexis Sanchez both currently playing at the San Siro. It is unclear where Young fits in at the Italian side, with Antonio Conte favoring a three-CB system and Young’s skill set more defensive-minded, not exactly suited for a wing-back role.


According to The Guardian’s Nick Ames, Arsenal is paying special attention towards Paris Saint-Germain full-back Layvin Kurzawa, hoping to secure a deal this winter.

The 27-year-old has made 11 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG this season, sharing time with Juan Bernat at left-back. Kurzawa’s contract at PSG expires this summer and he has made just 90 appearances since joining from Monaco in 2015.

Kurzawa would be of special interest to Arsenal given the massive amount of injuries suffered by the Gunners along the back line this season. Kieran Tierney remains sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, with surgery keeping him out through March, while Calum Chambers begins ACL rehab, and both Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac work their way back from thigh injuries.

The Guardian report says the clubs have made contact but a deal is still “some way off.”


Tottenham is desperate to find a short-term replacement for injured talisman Harry Kane, which is proving more difficult than believed as the team looks to convince a player to join knowing they are only needed for a few months.

However, with Gedson Fernandes having already signe don, asking a player to agree to a switch is not the only problem they have reportedly faced. 28-year-old Porto striker Ze Luis is a target for the club according to a number of reports, including the Evening Standard. Unfortunately, it appears work permit issues are at the heart of the holdup.

Portuguese publication Record reports that Ze Luis does not possess a European passport, and as a Cape Verde international, it would seem unlikely that he would be set to earn a British work permit. Cape Verde was ranked 75th in world by the latest FIFA release, and the Premier League usually only considers players from top 50 countries.

After joining this past summer from Spartak Moscow, Ze Luis has scored seven Liga NOS goals in 12 appearances for Porto this season, earning the majority of minutes to this point before sitting the last two games in favor of Brazilian striker Tiquinho Soares.


According to The Guardian reporters Ed Aarons and Paul Doyle, Aston Villa is “close” to a deal for Genk striker Mbwana Samatta in a deal worth $11.1 million.

The deal was likely spurred on by an injury to Villa striker Wesley who suffered a knee injury that is set to keep him out the rest of the season.

Mbwana, a 27-year-old Tanzania international, has seven goals in 20 Jupiler Pro League games this season – although he has just two since the start of September – plus three more in Champions League play. He was the top scorer in the league last season, with 20 goals in 28 appearances, including a streak where he scored 10 goals in nine games through the winter.

He will also need a work permit to complete the switch, which could be an issue given Tanzania is ranked 134th in the world by FIFA, but he has 51 international caps and could be eligible for a special exemption. His status as top scorer last season, earning him the Soulier d’Ébène award as the best African player in Belgium, could be enough to trigger that exemption.

How will Liverpool, Man United line up?

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Liverpool host Manchester United this Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Premier League leaders wlcome their bitter rivals to Anfield.

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With Jurgen Klopp‘s side 14 points clear at the top of the table, Man United would love to play the role of spoilers and they are the only team to take points from Liverpool so far this season as they are in a battle for a top four finish. And, just leaving this here, Man United have only lost one of their last 11 Premier League games against Liverpool…

The big team news surrounding this game is whether or not Marcus Rashford will be fit after coming on as a sub in the FA Cup replay against Wolves, then injuring his back and having to come off 16 minutes later.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big decision to make as it is certainly not worth risking Rashford’s long-term fitness, even for a game as important as this one. With Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay injured, United’s midfield will likely be manned by Fred and Matic, with either Jesse Lingard or Andreas Pereira playing ahead of them and Mata starting in place of Rashford on the left. In defense it will be interesting to see if Brandon Williams gets the nod over Luke Shaw as he continues his impressive rise, while the rest of the back four picks itself.

The big worry for United is that if Rashford is out injured, they will lose a lot of their pace on the counter as their plan will likely be to sit back and look to hit Liverpool on the break. The gamble will then be whether or not it makes sense to play Mason Greenwood in attack to replace Rashford, with the teenager showing huge potential but an atmosphere like the one at Anfield may be too risky.

As for Klopp, things are very straightforward for him. Liverpool Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren back in training after their lengthy absences but it is unlikely the two center backs will start given Joe Gomez looks steady once again after a run of games alongside the silky brick wall that is Virgil Van Dijk. Oxlade-Chamberlain will play alongside Henderson and Wijnaldum in midfield with Keita and Milner out injured, while Fabinho is also back in training but is unlikely to be rushed back. The front three and full backs pick themselves.

Below we share our potential starting lineups for both teams for the intense battle at Anfield this Sunday.


LIVERPOOL (4-3-3)

—– Alisson —–

— Alexander-Arnold — Gomez — Van Dijk — Robertson —

—- Henderson —- Wijnaldum —- Chamberlain —-

—- Salah —- Firmino —- Mane —-


MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1)

—– De Gea —–

— Wan-Bissaka — Lindelof — Maguire — Williams —

—- Fred —- Matic —-

—- James —- Pereira —- Mata —-

—– Martial —–

Watford stun sloppy Man United

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Watford picked up just their second win of the Premier League season as Nigel Pearson has lift off as the new Hornets manager.

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They beat Manchester United 2-0 at Vicarage Road on Sunday as David De Gea‘s howler allowed Ismaila Sarr to make it 1-0, then Troy Deeney scored a penalty kick moments later as United imploded.

With the win Watford remain bottom but are now on 12 points and are six points from safety, while United lose further ground in the top four battle after a lackluster display.


3 things we learned

1. United’s final third movement not there: United have now lost five games this season. They’ve lost to Watford, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Crystal Palace and West Ham and in all five games they were handed plenty of the ball but didn’t do much with it. Teams know they are dangerous on the counter so why let United play to their strengths? This is a worrying theme for the Red Devils as a lack of movement and creativity in the final third makes them too easy to defend against.

2. Watford make the most of United mistakes: Pearson has a had a huge impact in his two games in charge as Watford looked well-drilled and tough to break down at Liverpool last week and then against Man United. Their two goals were handed to them on a plate, but Ismaila Sarr and Gerard Deulofeu had plenty of cutting edge and there is real hope the Hornets will now stay in the Premier League as they are only six points off safety.

3. Pogba makes a difference: He came on for the final 25 minutes with United 2-0 down and Pogba made a difference on his return from injury. His passing, runs and efforts in and around the box prove that he will have a big part to play in the second half of the season. United have lacked creativity in the final third and Pogba’s return will provide that.

Man of the Match: Ismaila Sarr – Scored one and won a penalty kick, Sarr gave Luke Shaw a torrid time out on the right. The Senegalese winger is really coming into his own in recent weeks.


Anthony Martial had the first big chance of the game as he started a counter but dragged his shot wide of the target after good work from Daniel James.

United had plenty of the ball as Watford sat back and soaked up the pressure and then launched counters, as Luke Shaw brilliantly blocked Troy Deeney’s shot from one breakaway from the Hornets.

Jesse Lingard was then played in and was clean through on goal but his dink over Ben Foster landed on the roof of the net as a glorious chance came and went. Abdoulaye Doucoure then flicked a header just wide as Watford continued to be a threat on the break.

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Watford took the lead in bizarre circumstances as Sarr’s weak effort on goal somehow slipped through De Gea’s grasp as the howler from Man United’s star goalkeeper gave the Hornets the lead.

Moments later Wan-Bissaka gave away a penalty kick as he slid in on Sarr and Deeney stepped up to smash home to double Watford’s lead.

Late on Scott McTominay had two efforts for United as Paul Pogba came on to try and spark their attack into life.

Watford looked more likely to grab another goal than United getting back into the game as Gerard Deulofeu and Deeney both had efforts blocked.

United did have a flurry of late chances as Harry Maguire headed in on goal but Foster saved, Pogba then forced Foster into a fine stop, Mason Greenwood lobbed over and Foster then denied Rashford.

Greenwood leads Man Utd to Everton draw

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Manchester United found its equalizer but not a winner, as Everton claimed a point from Old Trafford in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

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A controversial Victor Lindelof own goal had the Red Devils down 1-0, but Mason Greenwood scored as a super sub to split the spoils.

United slips sixth, a point back of victorious Spurs, while Everton’s second result under interim boss Duncan Ferguson has it 16th. That’s still just three points above the drop zone.


Four things we learned

1. The Natural delivers fitting finish: If you draw up a goal scorer’s goal, the seeing-eye shot Greenwood struck to beat Pickford and score a 1-1 draw for the hosts sure delivers the goods. Greenwood turned 18 on Oct. 1, and already has six goals and two assists for the senior side. His finish through traffic was food for thought as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tries to find the right mix of attackers to fit with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

2. Digne injury a big concern: One of Everton’s lone season-long positives has been Lucas Digne, who’s possibly the best left back in the league (If he’s not, 1 and 2 are on Merseyside). But he had to leave the match with injury, and backup Leighton Baines is experienced but the author of less than 600 minutes of playing time since the start of the 2018/19 season. The goal came on his side, though Greenwood’s shot was well-taken.

3. More improvement from Everton: We’ve detailed Everton’s strength in giving up few shots, but dangerous ones. The gaffes weren’t there on Sunday, with Pickford having to make one big save and Greenwood squeezing a very professional shot inside the near post. Duncan Ferguson has shown the Toffees to four of six points from Chelsea and Manchester United and will helm a League Cup quarterfinal versus Leicester City on Wednesday at Goodison Park. He’s giving the Toffees the opportunity to be patient in finding a permanent boss, and himself the chance to build up his lore even more.

4. VAR finds nothing clear and obvious on Everton goal: The Toffees will be counting themselves fortunate that the Lindelof own goal wasn’t pulled off the board, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin came across David De Gea in a bid for a corner kick and made contact with the players’ face. De Gea should’ve done better either way, but it’s as hard luck an own goal as you’ll find when it comes to the Portuguese center back.

Man of the Match: Mason Holgate was Everton’s best player but less effective in the second half. Scott McTominay was again solid for Manchester United, as were their backs, but Greenwood gets our nod.


Jesse Lingard had a first minute chance to score but mishit his point blank chance wide of the near post.

Mason Holgate had a speculative try from distance that caught David De Gea off guard, sending the keeper into his goal post following a slap over the bar. He’d sting another shot to De Gea in the seventh minute.

Marcus Rashford wrapped a shot around the goal in the 10th minute, and Daniel James drilled a low shot across goal and out of bounds a minute later.

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Pickford was briefly fooled by a 26th minute Rashford free kick, but reacted well to palm away the swirling effort.

Everton took the lead via a Victor Lindelof own goal, which arrived when David De Gea failed in a bid to poke the ball away. He wasn’t helped by a hand to the face from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but VAR didn’t see a clear and obvious error in a foul not being given to the forward.

Luke Shaw fizzed a shot through traffic that was well-saved by Pickford at full extension, the game then stalled by Lingard’s apparent head injury.

James turned to hit a ball to a prone Pickford in the 69th minute as United pushed for an equalizer.

Greenwood found the leveling goal in the 78th minute, James’ square ball setting the youngster up for a shot through traffic that defied Pickford’s dive.

Player Ratings from Man City 1-2 Manchester United

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It was even closer than it looked, but Manchester United held on to defeat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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It’s a significant jolt for the Red Devils and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who bewildered City’s backs with lightning quick counters.

Were it not for Ederson, it might’ve been the sort of result that raised worldwide eyebrows. Heck, it probably is, anyway.

Here’s how the players fared as City out shot its guests 22-11 and held onto 71 percent of the ball only to lose the match.

Manchester City

Ederson — 7 — Kept City in the match early, but would’ve liked to have gotten his paw to Martial’s goal.

Kyle Walker — 7 — Quite effective at both ends, including a great intervention in the first half.

John Stones (Off 59′) — 6 — Not involved in either conceded goal before leaving with injury.

Fernandinho — 5 — Not his day.

Angelino — 6 — Lively, but will have wanted to do better on Martial’s goal.

Rodri (Off 86′)– 7 — City’s best player, with four interceptions, more tidy passing, and decisive wins in some big 50-50 challenges.

David Silva — 7 — Four key passes and two shots on target as a promising part of the attack.

Kevin De Bruyne — 7 — A fairly brilliant performance that would normally have netted an assist or two; Five key passes to go with 117 touches.

Bernardo Silva (Off 65′) — 5 — Conceded a poor penalty to Rashford; Won some duels but didn’t manage shot on target.

Raheem Sterling — 6 — Lively, but not his starring self.

Gabriel Jesus — 5 — A pretty terrible day filling in for Sergio Aguero.

Subs

Pep’s subs made a difference, led by goal scorer Nicolas Otamendi (59′). who gets an 8.

Riyad Mahrez (65′) — 7. Ilkay Gundogan (86′) — N/A


Manchester United

David De Gea — 6 — Four saves, one of them great, but failed to claim the corner that became Otamendi’s goal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 8 — United got it right when they splashed the cash to bring this one from Crystal Palace. Might’ve saved a goal off a bad Lindelof giveaway.

Victor Lindelof — 7 — A couple of very dicey moments including a bad giveaway, but overall played his part.

Harry Maguire — 7 — Eight clearances, three interceptions, two tackles, and a blocked shot but to blame along with De Gea for the goal.

Luke Shaw (Off 89′) — 6 — A little wobbly and weary as the match wore on, but credited with six clearances.

Fred — 7 — Had a banner day offensively, dribbling well in tight spaces (4-for-4). Amazing he kept his composure while being racially abused and pelted with objects. Reprehensible.

Scott McTominay — 9 — Outstanding. Won 12 of 15 duels, drew five fouls, and made three interceptions to go with three tackles.

Daniel James — 7 — An efficient day, with some early moments of attacking power.

Marcus Rashford — 7 — Coming into his own.

Jesse Lingard (Off 89′) — 5 — Did very little on the day, one of the only odd and unrewarded decisions from Solskjaer

Anthony Martial (Off 74′) — 7 — Did well to get his shot away for United’s second goal, but that really his only moment of influence on the match.

Subs 

Andreas Pereira (74′) — 5 — Pretty poor from the Brazilian, who had a petulant foul or two on the day.

Ashley Young (89′) — N/A; Axel Tuanzebe (89′) — N/A.