Speculation over Harry Kane’s departure from Tottenham has intensified in the British press.
The latest reports claim that Spurs coach, Jose Mourinho, has asked club chairman Daniel Levy not to sell Kane to another Premier League team, which would rule out Manchester United, who have been heavily linked with the England international for quite some time.
If Levy were to fulfil Mourinho’s reported wishes, that would push the English striker towards PSG or Real Madrid, the only two European clubs with the financial muscle to undertake such an operation, which would likely exceed 200 million euros.
However, for the moment, Real Madrid is not considering signing the Spurs striker, although nothing can be ruled in a transfer market that can take many twists and turns due to the current coronavirus crisis and the uncertainty it has created.
While Kane would come at a high price, he makes up for it in the fact that he is still just 26 years old and guarantees goals: 25, 41 and 24 in the last three seasons. But the player’s personality is the major deterrent for Madrid bosses, who are more swayed toward the profile of Erling Haaland.
“I’ll always love Spurs but I’ve always said if I don’t feel we’re progressing as a team or going in the right direction, I’m not someone to stay there for the sake of it,” Kane said at the end of March.
“I’m ambitious, I want to improve and become one of the top, top players. It depends on what happens as a team and how we progress.”
If Kane moves on, as he has himself suggested with his latest declarations, then PSG could prove to be a more likely option than Madrid. The Parisian club is going to wave goodbye to veteran centre forward Edinson Cavani in the summer, while loanee Mauro Icardi is also set to return to Inter Milan after one year in the French capital – which would leave a space for Kane.
Another factor in any decision to sign Kane, of course, will be whether PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, expects to lose Kylian Mbappé in 2021, something which remains unknown at this point.
Welcome to today’s football news update. Here are the top stories and big rumours about your favourite players, teams and coaches.
At this midway point of the January transfer window, The Daily Mail reported today (17.01.2020) that Jose Mourinho‘s contract has a bonus through which he’ll earn 2.3 million euros if Tottenham finish in the top four by the end of the Premier League season.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, there could be a loan swap deal between AC Milan and Roma, with Suso and Cengiz among the players said to be involved.
Inter Milan‘s quest to strengthen in this winter window remains one of the top stories in Italy and it is continuing to dominate the front pages. Karl Toko Ekambi could complete a move away from Villarreal this weekend. According to France Football, a deal has been agreed with Lyon for the player to move for 20 million euros plus a percentage of any future sale.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United are pushing to sign Bruno Fernandes and have offered 70 million euros to Sporting CP.
Barcelona are keen for the B team to win promotion this year and they’ve gone after players in the transfer market who can help with this. Barcelona have set their sights on Barcelona B winning promotion to LaLiga SmartBank this season, which is why they are looking to strengthen their team in this January transfer window.
A mix of players, ranging from promising talents to slightly more experienced names, will be brought in with the hope of raising the level of Xavier Francesc Garcia Pimienta‘s side in an attempt to fight for the playoffs in the Segunda Division B.
The recruitment department at La Masia have been working for months on different deals from around the world that are about to take place.
Led by Patrick Kluivert (the director of youth football) and Jose Mari Bakero (the technical secretary of Barcelona B), the Blaugrana are set to sign:
Albacete‘s Albanian striker will be the first to arrive. His signing will be made official on Friday, a great addition for Barcelona B, given his experience and level, which is above that of the Segunda B. At 22, Manaj has scored three goals so far this season in 10 games in LaLiga SmartBank. His journey is remarkable, despite his youth: Cremonese, Inter, Pescara, Pisa, Granada and Albacete.
Manaj arrives from the Estadio Carlos Belmonte in a deal that has the intention of improving Barcelona B‘s threat in front of goal.
Santiago Ramos Mingo
A centre-back named Ramos is about to sign for Barcelona. The Blaugrana are on the verge of bringing in the 18-year-old left-footed defender, with Ramos Mingo set to replace Ronald Araujo, who will be promoted to the first team after the departure of Jean-Clairo Todibo to Schalke.
Boca are upset with Barcelona‘s conduct with the move, however. “We’re going to get tough on this issue,” their president said.
“Obviously we’re going to have people responsible, both inside and out.”
Jun Nishikawa was one of the players who caught the eye at the last Under-17 World Cup, recording two goals and two assists in four games.
He is a midfielder who can also play on the flank, preferably on the right as he is left-footed. One of the next stars of Japanese football, he plays under Miguel Angel Lotina at Cerezo Osaka and would not arrive until February, when he turns 18. The deal for Nishikawa is at an advanced stage, and at Barcelona B he would be able to play alongside his compatriot, Hiroki Abe.
Another deal in progress and close to completion is an exchange of players with Juventus: Alejandro Marques will head to the Bianconeri while Matheus will go the other way to Barcelona. The Brazilian is a left-footed attacking midfielder who can also play on the left wing and is currently on loan at Dijon in Ligue 1.
Matheus‘ situation is set to change dramatically, though, going from the French first division to the 80-team regionalised third division in Spain.
After leaving Corinthians‘ youth academy, he was picked up by Empoli at the age of 18 and a year later he joined Juventus. Since then, he has been on a series of loans, while this season with Dijon he has played in 10 games to this point.
In fact, Matheus was chosen by The Guardian in 2015 as one of the 50 most promising youngsters in the world.
Mourinho said he had not yet contacted his friend Mauricio Pochettino, who was sacked by Spurs last week.
After Mourinho’s unveiling to the media on Thursday, he had his first game 48 hours later at West Ham, which Spurs won 3-2, and is now preparing for a Champions League clash with Olympiakos on Tuesday.
“I needed that little bit of space to process things when I left previous clubs,” said the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss. “It does not take just five or six days to be open again.
“You take a little bit of time to process things and understand and to think and rethink. You speak with people and in a couple of weeks he will be fine and I will call him.”
Part of Mourinho’s remit at Spurs is to do one thing that Pochettino could not do – win silverware.
“I love the competition (Champions League) as much as everyone in football,” said Mourinho, who won the trophy with Porto and Inter Milan.
“It’s something that everybody dreams about, to win it. Not everyone has the privilege to be a Champions League winner, which I was happy enough to do twice.
“Do I want to win it a third time? Of course, I would love it but I know the difficulties of it.
“But with these boys, I will never be afraid of any Champions League match that comes into our faces. I repeat, we need to qualify, that is the focus. I always say that.”
Jose Mourinho says there is “no chance” of Tottenham signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the veteran forward was linked with a move to the club following his exit from LA Galaxy.
Mourinho worked with Ibrahimovic at Inter Milan and Manchester United but said signing the 38-year-old would not make sense with Harry Kane at his disposal.
“You are right about the connection, we have more than a connection,” Mourinho said when asked on Monday whether he would be trying to sign the Swede.
“I would say also passion and understanding, an amazing player and an amazing guy, but I would say ‘no’. No chance.
“We have the best striker in England, we have one of the top two or three strikers in the world, it doesn’t make any sense for a striker of Zlatan’s dimension, obviously in his late 30s, but still a striker that can play in any club in the world.”
It has been a hectic first week for Mourinho at the Spurs helm following his appointment last week.
After his unveiling to the media on Thursday, he had his first game 48 hours later at West Ham, which Spurs won 3-2, and is now preparing for a Champions League clash with Olympiakos on Tuesday.
Tottenham, who reached the Champions League final last season, would qualify for the knockout stages with a win or if they drew and Red Star failed to beat Bayern.
“Maybe I get the opportunity to apologize for not answering 500 of them that I couldn’t answer. I have 700 but only had time to answer 200.
“But it was curious to see, from my last club, so many people showing me that respect, empathy and feeling. It was nice.
“All of them were special. The first one was from [United managing director] Richard Arnold. The third, fourth or fifth was Ed Woodward. And they were my bosses.”
Mourinho’s relationship with Woodward appeared to be strained at times over a disagreement on transfer targets, but he is not expecting that to be an issue with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
“I think we will get on well,” Mourinho said. “He explained to me the vision for the club and I embraced that. It was one of the most important reasons I accepted. So, when I did that, it’s a very good start.”
Pep Guardiola welcomed José Mourinho back to the Premier League by predicting the “incredible manager” will do a good job at Tottenham.
Mourinho and Guardiola clashed unforgettably while in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively at the start of the decade.
Their renewed rivalry failed to catch fire in Manchester, however, as Guardiola stormed to back-to-back Premier League titles at City while Mourinho endured an increasingly torrid United tenure that culminated in his sacking 11 months ago.
Mauricio Pochettino’s shock Spurs exit this week gave ex-Porto, Chelsea and Inter boss Mourinho an unexpected route back to the Premier League and it is one Guardiola expects him to grasp with both hands.
“I think you know him better than me,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City’s game against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
“He was many years here in different clubs. Welcome back. He’s an incredible manager. I’m pretty sure he will do a good job.”
Throughout his trophy-laden City tenure, Guardiola has certainly come far closer to meeting his match in Pochettino.
Spurs dealt the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss his first defeat in English football and Pochettino’s men also dramatically knocked City out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage last season.
A failure to win silverware at Tottenham has been voiced as a criticism of Pochettino in some quarters, but Guardiola feels it is important to look at the Argentinian’s full body of work.
“Mauricio has done an incredible job. All the managers are judged for the titles you win, but it’s not the truth,” he said.
“At the end, it is the job you have done and in the time he was there I think the club was better.
“Always the manager, when they leave, it is to know if the club or the team are better than the moment you took over these players or this club.
“I think it happened. But decisions are made and there’s nothing else to say.”
Victor Lindelof admits he misses his former manager Jose Mourinho being in football, following his departure from Manchester United last season.
Mourinho has been out of managerial work since being sacked by United in December 2018, after he oversaw the club’s worst start to a campaign in 28 years.
The Portuguese, 56, has been linked to various roles in world football since then and Lindelof, who won the Swedish Golden Ball award for the second consecutive year this week, says he would like to see him back managing at the top level again in the future.
“He is, after all, one of the world’s best coaches and he is supposed to have a job at one of the biggest clubs. I miss him in football,” Lindelof told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
“He’s a great coach and a great person, whom I owe a great deal. It was he who gave me the chance here, who brought me into everything.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho was critical of Lindelof’s performance in United’s 2-0 defeat away at West Ham in September, claiming that the defender can be “bullied” by attackers and is weak in aerial battles.
The centre-half, who Mourinho signed from Benfica for £30m in 2017, was unfazed by the comments at the time, and maintains that he owes his ex-manager a debt of gratitude for bringing him to the Premier League.
“I have all the respect in the world for him and appreciate everything he has said and done for me, from scolding to a hug.
“Even if I did not agree, at the time… he has very great charisma, you had great respect for him.
“He’s won everything. When he says something, you listen.”
Jose Mourinho has admitted that people have rights to call him horrible names depending on their level of understanding and reasons for being spiteful.
Mourinho, who experienced tumultuous outings with Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United, said he understands why some of his players would call him a “bastard.”
The Portuguese attracted huge criticisms for speaking arrogantly, getting into fights (verbal and physical) with fellow coaches, and falling out with some key players in the teams—an attitude which his critics believe makes him the most hated coach in global football.
Mourinho holds no apologies for his desire to stay undefeated. He also recognizes the fact that this “greed” makes him a target of envy and unnecessary attacks.
‘This urge to win all the time makes me unbearable,’ the former Real Madrid coach said.
Unarguably one of the best coaches in global football since the 21st century, Mourinho has enjoyed a trophy-laden career. However, his recent disappointments in the EPL makes him a loser of some sort.
During Mourinho’s recent interview with DAZN, he admitted that recent events in his once-blossoming coaching career have tainted his image.
‘Some of the players I’ve coached would describe me as a bastard,’ he jokingly said when asked what his players’ candid opinion of his personality would be.
Mourinho added, ‘Clubs—big clubs—come for my signature because they know I have a winning mentality…In fact, I always ask my employers if their main objective is to win. We can only start negotiations after this is confirmed.
The 56-year-old said he is loaded with ideas, workable strategies and big dreams that—along the line—weighs him down.
‘It is common for me to get frustrated when these objectives are not met,’ Mourinho said.
‘I can be a terrible person when I’m losing matches…It gets worse when my players don’t share the same ambition with me.
‘Of course, I am a quality coach…I bring quality, experience, character and limitless goals as a coach. This is why they say I’m too emotional.
‘I don’t think much about what people say about me. It’s wrong for them to judge me they don’t even know me. What my unrepentant critics fail to understand is that Jose The Coach is domineering, intelligent, pragmatic and focused. It’s either everything or nothing for me.
‘To me, I love Jose as a person but it’s a shame that most people don’t see or feel things like I do…I forgive them for their ignorance,’ he added.
The Special One said he’s back in London but warned that the Premier League won’t be his next stop. The famous Portuguese coach isn’t expecting big deals in England.
‘My past records speak for themselves. They are a guarantee of my extraordinary abilities and future success—even my critics find it impossible to forget my contributions to the development of football.’
Mourinho continued, ‘It’s barely 18 months since I won my last trophy—the Europa League…It’s unbelievable that some people think its already over 18 years. My last final was about 8 months ago and—at this time—I’m focused, ready and preparing for the future.
‘The fact that I have no coaching contract at the moment doesn’t mean I’m hopeless. I’ve been an active coach for nearly 20 years…Sometimes, when things are going well, you don’t always have time to think where it could go wrong but after this break, everyday has been useful in many aspects of my life and career.’
With Santiago Solari’s time on the Santiago Bernabeu apparently at an end and suggestions claiming the Argentine may not see out the season as first team coach grow, the shadow of José Mourinho lurks as a replacement with English daily The Telegraph claiming that: “Jose Mourinho will be back at Real Madrid with almost 100% certainty”.
The outlet doesn’t state if this return is anticipated this season or whether the Setubal-born coach will be on the bench for the 2019-20 campaign.
At present it appears that no contact has been directly made with Mourinho however The Telegraph claims that an initial sounding process has been established between the club and the managers representatives.
The other strong favorite been linked with a Bernabeu return is Zinedine Zidane but complications still exist in the Frenchman coming back to oversee a squad he felt he had taken as far as he could when he called time on his career on the Chamartin bench in May 2018.
Sources have revealed to AS that Solari is close to being given his marching orders from the club with the board of directors adamant that the team strive to claim second place in the league to stake a place in the new Spanish FA Final Four Super Cup competition which launches in August 2019 as a season opener.
Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho left Old Trafford in disappointment—and with a heavy heart—but the Portugal international knew there’s always time for everything. He has dreams and one of them is: a return to Inter Milan.
Speaking in public for the first time since leaving United, he revealed to Correio do Manha that it would be an honour to sign a contract with the Serie A giants.
‘A job with Inter?’ Mourinho grinned in excitement. ‘It’s always beautiful and positive when a player or coach returns to his former club…It’s a reminder of previous achievements and could be a second chance for something more challenging.’
The former Real Madrid and Barcelona coach continued, ‘At this time, I have no plan to relocate to Portugal—I don’t want to work at Benfica now…’
Mourinho, 55, explained that getting an offer from Inter means they appreciate his past performance and understand his worth as a football manager.
He continued, ‘This is a time for me to relax and privately assess my performance…I need to do a self-criticism on my experiences in recent years. And I need peace of mind for the next phase of my career.
‘Without the right frame of mind, it’ll be impossible for me to accept an offer from any club—even those that are closest to my heart,’ the Setubal-born football icon concluded.
According to the Daily Mirror, Mourinho has been a pundit for beIN SPORTS since leaving Old Trafford. During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he worked for state-funded television station RT.
Manchester United has announced former player Ole Gunnar Solskjær as their new manager barely a day after Jose Mourinho’s sack.
Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Solskjær will serve as the club’s caretaker manager for the rest of this 2018/19 season.
Solskjær, who spent most of his football career with the Red Devils, scored a total of 126 goals in 366 appearances for United. His career at Old Trafford started in 1996 until 2007. He also played for the Norwegian national team between 1995 to 2007. In 2008, he was appointed the club’s reserve-team manager, before taking the managerial role at FC Molde in Norway.
A statement from United reads, “Solskjær will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager. He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.”
Speaking on his new appointment, the 45-year-old Norwegian football icon said: “Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,”
United’s Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward, described his relationship with the former striker as cordial and heartwarming, adding that Ole is a club legend with huge experience both on the pitch and in coaching roles.
“His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back,” Woodward said.
“We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.”
Solskjær is expected to successfully manage United’s disappointing form and boost their confidence ahead of the second EPL phase for the 2018/19 season.
The Red Devils are sixth-placed with 19 points behind league leaders, Liverpool, and 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Current results from Mourinho’s first 17 games have been adjudged the club’s worst performance in 28 years.
On Tuesday, prior to United’s official announcement, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg celebrated Solskjaer’s new appointment on social media, describing it as “a great day for Norwegian football” and wishing him good luck at Old Trafford. The tweet was later deleted.
On 18 December, 2018, the Communications Department of Manchester United publicly announced Jose Mourinho’s exit as head coach of the English Premier League giants.
Image: Jose Mourinho
Mourinho’s unexpected sack came barely two days after the Red Devils lost 3-1 to league leaders, Liverpool. The nervy game at Anfield trashed United’s hope of joining EPL’s Top 4 before the Christmas break, a result which leaves them with the worst performance since the 1990/91 season.
Michael Carrick was appointed interim coach for United and he will oversee the club’s training sessions at Old Trafford until a temporary or permanent agreement is reached with a new football manager.
A statement from United reads, “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.
“A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men leaped to the first spot after winning their last five matches, including the outstanding victories over Bournemouth (4-0), Burnley (3-1), Everton (1-0) and Watford (3-1). Manchester City are second with 44 points from 17 games, just one less from Liverpool. Tottenham Hotspur (39) and Chelsea (37) are in the third and fourth positions respectively.
Arsene Wenger, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Laurent Blanc, Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane have been tipped as Mourinho’s possible replacements at Old Trafford.
According to RT, Paul Pogba, the France international footballer and World Cup winner who has reportedly been at loggerheads with Mourinho, posted and deleted a cryptic tweet in the aftermath of his master’s disappointment. The sacked Portuguese coach
Manchester United settled for a goalless draw in Saturday’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace, and coach Jose Mourinho thinks his side missed a “big” chance to leap on the league table.
Image shows Jose Mourinho apologizing to United fans after a loss
The disappointing 0-0 draw with Palace came at a time when Mourinho expected a consolatory win after dropping points against Manchester City barely two weeks ago. The Portuguese coach had hoped to join the Top 4 before Christmas break but Roy Hogson’s side sprung up surprises at Old Trafford despite losing three matches and managing a draw from their last four games.
An aggrieved Mourinho fielded top players Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata to add height, pace and power to their strategic game plan but failed in all attempts at goal.
Speaking to Manchester TV in a post-match interview, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid coach said: ‘That’s not a match. It’s a very bad result…We lost two points from the game even though we had hoped to recover in these eight matches between now and December…This game would have helped our objective to join the Top 4 but we lost it.’
The 55-year-old continued, ‘We were sluggish in attack. Although the players showed skills, they often lost possession of the ball and allowed the Eagles some chance to recover, regroup and attack us.’
United are currently 7th on the EPL table after playing 13 matches.
League leaders, Manchester City, are first with 35 points following their 4-0 drubbing of West Ham United on Saturday. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have 33 and 30 points respectively.