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Back pages | Anorak - Part 33

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Premier League news. Stories from the newspapers and BBC sport – sports news from tabloids Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star, the Guardian, Daily Mirror, the times, daily telegraph

Manchester United: David De Gea decides on Real Madrid transfer this Wednesday

Having declined to join Real Madrid from Manchester Untied last summer, David De Gea is once more being tipped for a move to Spain. The Sunday Times leads with news that the United goalkeeper “faces an ultimatum” this Wednesday.  That’s when an “exit clause” in his contract says he can join Real Madrid for £47m.

The story goes that De Gea was mentally winning Champions’ Leagues with Real when the a mix up with fax machines and deadlines caused him to sing a new four-year contract with United and eye next season’s Europa League.

de gea

Now we read that De Gea is even less decided than he was last summer, thinking that the arrival of new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho could make the Red Devils a better team than Louis Van Gaal’s army. On the other side, Real’s president Florentino Perez wants De Gea has asked Madrid’s Spain national team players to use the country’s Euro 2016 campaign to convince De Gea to move.

Whichever way De Gea falls, he will surely kiss that club’s badge and tell everyone he has made the correct decision – until next summer…

Posted: 12th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United chase Bale with reasons

Transfer balls: The Daily Star says Gareth Bale will join Manchester United this summer. Bale, will – get this – leave Real Madrid, where he’s won two Champions’ Laegue medals and seen his star rise, to play for United in the Europa League.

United will pay Real £94.6m for Bale who is – get this II – “keen to return to England”. Colin Harvey adds, Bale will be “United boss Jose Mourinho’s marquee signing this summer”. A marquee is a large tent. Bale to United is a fantasy.

The Star’s scoop is a rehash of a report in Spain’s El Confidencial. Over there we learn from Kike Marin (via Google translate):

Gareth Bale is back in the crosshairs of Manchester United , but this time in the offices of Old Trafford are convinced that his move is feasible…. the Welshman is eager to return to the Premier League…

It is known that Florentino Perez feels predilection for the Welshman, who has always seen as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo, although Bale asks him to return home, neither will be easy for the president to keep him…

Is Marin right? His report contains no word from anyone. His track record is a little mixed. And then there is the Star:

 

Bale Manchester United

 

Oh, and this is what Bale said on May 26th:

“I feel much more comfortable this year, it’s true. You can notice that on the pitch. I feel more integrated, I have more personal relationships with my team-mates and that always gives you more happiness and that reflects on my game. I’m enjoying myself a lot in Madrid and I hope this continues for many years.”

He’s chomping at the bit.

 

Posted: 11th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United’s David De Gea and the sex crime he didn’t commit

de gea sexA Manchester United “ace” is embroiled in a “vice probe”. The player is David De Gea, the Man United goalkeeper. The Sun says he “faces calls to be left out of Spain’s squad for Euro 2016”. The Times talks of “Spanish turmoil”. The Star cranks it up and leads with news that De Gea is “linked to child porn probe”.

But Spain’s manager says De Gea is going nowhere. What turmoil? What calls? As the Guardian notes:

“I think De Gea has given all the explanations he had to give and he has made it clear that he has nothing to do with this issue,” said the Spain coach Del Bosque. “He said that to the whole squad too. We all met up and the lad, calmly and sincerely, has explained that he has nothing to do with this issue. The squad is here to support him at all times and to give him the affection he needs at these times. Everything is normal and we’ll carry on.”

De Gea is not going home. Spain are calm.

So why is “Spain’s main man between the sticks” in the news ?

In “‘IT IS ALL A LIE’ Man Utd star David De Gea denies organising underage sex parties for footie pals”, the Sun delivers the facts.  “De Gea has been named by a protected witness in court documents which claim he contracted a prostitute against her will.”

He says it’s all nonsense.  “It is all a lie,” the Sun quotes him as saying. “I feel even stronger about staying with the national team… it is all false and it is in my lawyers hands. I never thought about leaving. It gives me more strength to train even harder.” The Sun adds:

Spanish website El Diario reports the stunning allegations were part of evidence given to prosecutors in a high profile case that saw porn baron Torbe, real name Ignacio Allende Fernandez arrested. The pot-bellied director was remanded in custody in April after being accused of running a prostitution ring and using under-age girls for his shoots.

You can read more on El Diario. Or you can read parts on the BBC:

Torbe was remanded in custody in April charged with offences including sex attacks, sexual exploitation and child pornography. The protected witness, who claims she was forced into the prostitution ring, said she was taken to a Madrid hotel and introduced to another girl and two footballers.

Once in a room with the other girl, the witness – known in police interview papers as TP3 – said that she was told by Torbe that she had to comply with the sexual demands of the two Under-21 internationals. When she said she did not wish to take part, she claimed to police that Torbe “grabbed her forcefully by the arm”.

The Times says Ignacio Allende Fernández is also being questioned into alleged money laundering and extortion. We get a few more facts:

According to newspaper reports, a witness has come forward to police — who is known only as TP3 — and claimed that she and another woman were taken to a Madrid hotel and forced against their will to take part in sex acts with Iker Muniain, the Athletic Bilbao striker, and another player, who has not been identified, and were victims of both “physical and sexual abuse” at their hands. She claimed the meeting had been arranged by De Gea and Fernández. The 25-year-old former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper was not alleged to have taken part.

Muniain denies any wrongdoing. The other alleged player is unidentified.

Neither De Gea nor Muniain has been accused of any offence or called to give evidence by police or the judge investigating the case, but the police unit conducting the investigation — codenamed “Universal” — say she shows “a high degree of credibility,” it is claimed. They have ruled out the possibility that she is trying to discredit the people concerned for “economic or personal interests”. She has alleged that neither woman was paid for the encounter, although Fernández was.

It’s all a very nasty business.  De Gea is accused of having committed no crime. It cannot be good for his morale and focus to be linked to such vile alleged crimes, but to say the entire Spanish team is in turmoil as a result of the case is baseless.

 

Posted: 11th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


The Sun balls: Alen Halilovic is a ‘rising star’ in his living room

The Sun asked its football experts to pick their stars and winners for Euro 2016. Martin Blackburn was on it. For his “new star” he picked Alen Halilovic (Croatia). That’s the Croatian whose on Barcelona’s books, but spent last season on loan at Sporting de Gijón.

 

Alen Halilovic

 

It’s the same Halilovic who appears in the Reuters story: “Ivan Rakitic shocked by Alen Halilovic’s omission from Euro 2016 squad as Croatia prepare for opening clash with Turkey.”

Yeah, the Sun’s new star isn’t at the tournament.

 

Posted: 10th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United ‘favourites’ to land £78 Pogba who wants Real Madrid

As the summer arrives so too does the newspapers’ obsession with Paul Pogba, the former Manchester United player now starring for Juventus and France.

The Daily Mirror says Manchester United “must” pay £78m if they want Pogba back at Old Trafford. The Mirror says news United manager Jose Mourinho wanted Pogba when he was at Chelsea last season. But Chelsea and Manchester City baulked at the £71m asking price.

The Sun spots the Premier League’s “scramble” for Pogba. The clubs need not bother. The Sun says Pogba’s “dream is to play in La Liga for Real Madrid or Barcelona”.  The Juventus player is “waiting on Spain’s big two before making any decisions”.

Not so says the Manchester Evening News’s Rob Pollard: “Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been linked with him in the last 18 months – but it seems the path has cleared somewhat and United are now clear favourites to land him.”

 

manchester evening news pogba

Manchester Evening News 

 

So United will pay £78m? No, says the Express : “JOSE MOURINHO will offer Matteo Darmian as part of a deal to try and land Paul Pogba.” The deal is Darmian plus £60m cash.  So says the Express, which has also told its readers that Pogba has agreed to join PSG and Barcelona.

 

Pogba Barcelona Man United

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 10th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Benteke ‘warns’ and ‘threatens’ Liverpool as Klopp reaches for the bullet

Transfer balls: The Sun says Liverpool’s striker Christian Benteke has “warned” Jurgen Klopp: “Pick me regularly or I’m off.” Benteke has issued a “Kop Threat”.

Klopp must be fretting. Will Benteke, who scored ten goals in 42 games, leave the club unless he gets more chances to score? The Belgian striker started eight league games after German Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager in October 2015,

Will Klopp take kindly to being threatened?

What Benteke said was far from threatening:

“I still have a contract at Liverpool and I’d like to stay there, if I remain in the coach’s plans. If that’s not the case, it will become difficult to stay… When Klopp arrived I saw that I wasn’t in his plans. That was frustrating because I knew that during my first season at Aston Villa he wanted me. But we had several discussions together – I respect and I understand his decisions. I’ll think about if after the Euros.”

Not exactly a warning, then. More resignation that if Klopp doesn’t rate him, he’ll be on his way.

And the Sun has been trailing Benteke’s departure for months.

Jurgen Klopp’s Kop clear-out: Liverpool boss ready to ring the changes at Anfield this summer. German boss wants to overhaul the squad at the end of the season. The main casualty will be Christian Benteke after the £32.5million summer capture from Aston Villa – The Sun, Feb, 2016

Liverpool transfer news: Reds flop Christian Benteke set to be offered lifeline by Italian giants Juventus – The Sun, March 2016

Dean Sturridge reckons Christian Benteke will not be a Liverpool player next season. Uncle of Reds striker, Daniel, claims Belgian is not part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans – The Sun, May 2016

He’s been warned.

Posted: 9th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Chelsea: Dr Carneiro is ‘disgruntled’ but Mourinho is just ‘Jose’

Dr Eva Carneiro turned to the courts when Chelsea failed to take a stand against her co-worker Jose Mourinho, who publicly humiliated her. Having rejected the club’s offer of £1.2 million to shut up and go away, Dr Carneiro continued to sue for justice.

Yesterday she settled her dismissal claim against Chelsea on confidential terms. She had claimed constructive dismissal against Chelsea. In addition she reached a discrimination settlement against Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea said it apologised “unreservedly”for its treatment of its former first-team doctor.

“The club regrets the circumstances which led to Dr Carneiro leaving the club and apologises unreservedly to her and her family for the distress caused. We wish to place on record that in running onto the pitch Dr Carneiro was following both the rules of the game and fulfilling her responsibility to the players as a doctor, putting their safety first.”

Mourinho, who denied calling the medic “daughter of a whore” (she alleged that he did) never issued a public apology. The Chelsea statement merely noted:

“Jose Mourinho also thanked Dr Carneiro for the excellent and dedicated support she provided as first team doctor and he wishes her a successful career.”

But why should Jose says sorry? The Manchester United manager (£15m a year) remains good ol’ Jose in the Mail, whereas the victim is a moody woman who got lucky:

 

dr carneiro sexist

 

Revolting.

Posted: 8th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Jamie Vardy Watch: ‘Snubs’ Arsenal, ‘stuns Wenger’, says nothing

vardy snubs arsenal

 

“VARDY SNUBS GUNNERS,” declares the Daily Star. Can it be that Jamie Vardy has gone back on his verbal agreement to join Arsenal?  Jeremy Cross says he will: “Jamie Vardy will snub a £20m move to Arsenal.”

How Cross knows this is unsaid. Readers are just expected to take it as fact. But Vardy has said nothing in public. He has not signed for Arsenal, which means he remains a Leicester City player.

The Sun says “Vardy is a stop Gun”. Charlie Wyett says Vardy will decide on his future after Euro 2016. We’re told that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was “stunned when Vardy did not  immediately jump at the move”. Well, if Wenget gets his news in the Sun he must be surprised with Vardy’s circumspection. The Sun told everyone Vardy had his Arsenal medical last weekend and would agree to join Arsenal before the England team flew to France. They flew. Vardy said nothing.

In the Mirror, Vardy has “delayed” his decision to stay or leave Leicester. Vardy wants to “focus on England”. John Cross says Arenal must decide whether to wait for Vardy or go for another striker. Why wold they? The Mirror said Vardy’s agent approached Arsenal. But the Express agrees, writing that Arsenal will look at “alternative targets”. The paper says the Gunners are in a “sweat”. Why would they be? They made an offer. If the offer is not enough they will either offer an improved offer of look elsewhere.

Vardy will either earn more cash at Leiecester with an improved deal, or more cash at Arsenal with a big signing-on fee.

There are problems – and then there are Premier League problems.

Posted: 8th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal and the mysterious £25m Mahrez bid

Are Arsenal “close” to signing Leicester City star Rihad Mahrez? Yesterday, the Sun had an “exclusive“. It said Arsenal were in for the Premier League’s top player last season. Sadly, the scoop contained not a single fact. In fact, it got the one fact in the story wrong: Vardy has not had an Arsenal medical:

England striker Vardy reportedly having medical today and Premier League-winning Leicester team-mate could join him

Daniel Cutts added:

The Gunners have been shocked that Mahrez’s release clause is so low…

If the Gunners have seen the clause, you might wonder who showed it to them and why?

A few hours later, the Mirror told its readers that Arsenal and Mahrez is a non-starter: “Arsenal are NOT interested in Riyad Mahrez.” John Cross stated, “he will not be moving to the Emirates.”

But the Indy had heard different. “Arsenal transfer news: Gunners in talks to secure Riyad Mahrez transfer in Leicester City double-swoop,” stated Jack de Menezes.  “Arsenal have activated Jamie Vardy’s release clause but are also being linked with his Leicester team-mate Mahrez.”

In talks or linked? Jack merely says he read it in, the, Sun.

As did the Metro’s man in the know, Sean Kearns, who said: “Arsenal clear to sign Riyad Mahrez as Leicester City winger decides to leave the Foxes.” Are Arsenal “clear to sign” the top player because no other club are after him?

It was way back in April that the Mail told us: “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger rules out move for Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez.”

But today’s Express states: “Arsenal submit £25m Riyad Mahrez bid.” This it know because one Tancredi Palmeri tweeted: ” @tancredipalmeri Arsenal, before bidding for Mahrez, had several meeting with the player’s entourage and the player is open for moving.”

He also tweeted this:

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 21.07.14

 

There has been no confirmation of Ibrahimovich to Manchester United.

Posted: 7th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Jamie Vardy agrees Arsenal move then waits for wounds to heal

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier LeagueJamie Vardy is in “transfer turmoil,” says the Sun. The paper, which stated Vardy would join Arsenal yesterday, says the Leicester City and England striker is torn between remaining with the Foxes and joining the Gunners.

A “source” says Vardy “does not know” if he will join the Gunners for £120,000-a-week and any bonus form a £20m transfer fee. The paper says Vardy is “prepared” to wait until after the Euros in France to make his decision”.

In the Mail, the advice is “SORT IT VARDY – England manager Roy Hodgson wants decision on star’s Arsenal switch”.

But the Mail notes that the decision has been made, stating that Vardy has “verbally agreed a three-year deal with an option of a further 12 months“. Add to this the Mirror’s claim that Vardy’s agent instigated the Arsenal move and you have player not exactly “in turmoil” and “tormented”, as the Mail’s mind-reading expert Matt Lawton says he is.

Is is really such agony to be deciding between playing for Leicester, the Premier League champions where you are adored, or moving to one of Europe’s biggest clubs for an extra £4o,000 a week? Come on. Vardy must love it. If Vardy has given his word that he will join the Gunners, this waiting for an official announcement looks like a PR job.

Is Vardy the right man for Arsenal?

Ian Wright tells Sun readers “James ticks all the boxes for Arsenal”, save for the bit of the form which says “sign here”. Wright reminds readers he joined Arsenal at 28. Vardy is 29. Wright was magnificent at the Gunners. He says Vardy will be a hit at Arsenal because he’s “clever” and can change his game.

Dave Kidd tells Mirror readers “Vardy to Arsenal makes no sense”. Kidd says it is the “most un-Arsenal transfer move  imaginable, making neither footballing no economic sense.” Vardy is the Football Writers’ player of the year. He is a proven winner. At 29 he is the same age Robin Van Persie was when he joined Manchester Untied and made them title winners. The Arsenal fans will love his work rate and desire to win. But Kidd says Vardy doesn’t score goals the Arsenal way (after lots and lots of passing). He says Vardy will be on the bench as Arsenal’s Plan B.

Stop Press: The Guardian says “Jamie Vardy set to make Arsenal decision after European Championship.”  Or as the Leicester Mercury puts it: “Leicester City transfer news: Vardy decision to come in next few days.” They don’t have the foggiest.

Posted: 7th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal transfer balls: desperate Wenger buys Leicester glory

Anyone want to play for Leicester City? As news of Jamie Vardy’s apparently imminent departure to Arsenal fills the news media, the Sun says the Gunners are also keen on Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez.

Vardy has taken his medical at Arsenal, and, one assumes, passed it. It’s not known what the Arsenal medical involves but given their annual injury crisis, it could amount to a man in a white jacket asking he player, “How’s things?” as he rubber stamps the health insurance certificates.

The Sun’s exclusive contains not a single source, quote nor fact to support it.

Over at ESPN, the news is that Mahrez is not an Arsenal priority. The headline states:

Arsenal prioritise Henrikh Mkhitaryan over Riyad Mahrez

Readers are told that “signing Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is Araenalk’s priority this summer”. Again, readers get no facts. 

Meanwhile, Anorak readers can recalls the Sun’s report from February 2016. The headline ran: “Arsene Wenger reveals he rejected chance to bring Riyad Mahrez to Arsenal because he thought Leicester sensation was too CHEAP.” Mahrez joined Leicester for £400,000.

“We live in a strange society. If I sign a player for £400,000 before he plays people will say, ‘What is that, that is not serious for Arsenal’. If you say we signed a player for £40million they will think he is really good.”

As Wenger treats fans as fools unable to know a good player when they see one, we remind him that Lionel Messi cost Barcelona nothing in transfer fees. And the Barcelona fans are largely happy with his efforts. Every player was cheaper at one point in their careers and looking for a big break. The difference now is that with Wenger towards the end of his career, he’s desperate to win the title and will pay to do so.

Posted: 6th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Transfer Balls: Vardy keeps Arsenal and Leicester waiting for the inevitable

Transfer balls: Has Jamie Vardy told Arsenal he is joining them? The Sun said Vardy told the Gunners of his decision before 11:30am this morning, when he and the rest of the England squad jetted off to France for the Euros.

Why he needed to make his move before the flight left is moot point. surely in France there are mobile phones?

 

Jamie Vardy the sun arsenal

 

The Mail says Vardy never did make the call, declaring: “Jamie Vardy jets off to Euros while still thinking over £20m move to Arsenal as Leicester try to keep star striker.”

Is it all PR, making Vardy look torn? After all, the Mirror claims Vardy’s agent instigated talks with Arsenal. The Mail notes:

Vardy, travelling with England, is not believed to have put a time limit on when he will make a final call and any announcement may take longer than another 24 hours.

The Leicester Mercury adds:

Mercury sources have stated there is no decision imminent as the player has much to contemplate.

After all, the Mail did report:

Leicester hero Jamie Vardy commits future to Premier League champions as he looks forward to competing in Champions League

Surely he’s already made his mind up.  More money in his weekly wage packet plus a huge signing-on fee and life in London with Arsenal.

 

Posted: 6th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Jame Vardy’s agent asked Arsenal for transfer

Vardy to ArsenalJamie Vardy to Arsenal is one of the Sun’s lead stories. The back page has Olivier Giroud, the Arsenal striker, saying how much Vardy wants to join Arsenal.

Readers learn that Vardy, 29, will tell Arsenal if he wants to join them before 11:30am today, when England board the plane to France. Will he accept a four-year, £120,000-a-week deal to play for the Gunners?

The Mirror says Leicester will make a “last bid” to keep Vardy. If that fails the Foxes will move to buy Watford’s Troy Deeney. Deeny had best call his agent. The Mirror says it was Vardy’s reps who made contact with Arsenal a month ago. Arsenal mulled it over and now want the player.

But will Vardy work well for Arsenal?

Writing in the Express, Matthew Dun says Vardy at Arsenal is  “mismatch”. He says for Vardy to perform well at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger will have to “rip up his two-decade -old playbook” or Vardy would have “about three weeks  after the Euros for a crash course in the Arsenal way”. Dunn reasons that whereas Leicester play long balls to Vardy to run on to, Arsenal play short passes around the opposition’s box. He can’t see Vardy being a hit at The Emirates.

Tony Cascarino disagrees. In the Times he says Vardy to Arsenal makes “complete sense”. It is the “perfect fit” for player and club. Cascarino says Vardy can have the same impact Robin Van Persie had on Manchester United. Alex Ferguson paid Arsenal £24m for the 29-year-old Dutchman. United duly won the Premier League title. “If Vardy had been at Arsenal last season,” says Cascarino, “they would have won the league.”

Cascarino  lists Vardy’s benefits to Arsenal. Vardy works hard, “harder than Giroud”; “Mesut Ozil is the perfect player to  thread chances through to him – the German will love having a player like Vardy in front of him”; and Wenger know “Vardy will fight for everything”.

He will. Vardy is a battler. Would Arsenal fans pick him or Theo Walcott for drag the team across the finish line.  No contest. Vardy is a proven winner.

 

Posted: 6th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Vardy takes his Arsenal medical today as fans turn on Rebekah

More on the Jamie Vardy’s £20m move from Leicester City to Arsenal story. ESPN says Vardy will take his Arsenal medical today.

The Sunday Express says the Gunners are fearful that unless they sign Vardy before the Euros they might not sign him at all. But the Sun says Vardy’s mind was made up when he spoke with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

In Italy’s La Gazzetta dello SportLeicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says he is resigned to losing his star striker to Arenal.

Sky hears Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud says he knows Vardy wants to join the Gunners.

The Sunday Times lead with news that Vardy’s wife, Rebekha Vardy, has received nasty messages on twitter. Leicester fans have accused her of instigating her husband’s transfer. She calls one fan “pathetic” and tells others to “calm yourselves down”.
Of course, those same fans can recall Vardy telling them on May 9th:

“There will be names thrown into the hat all summer, but the group of lads we have, winning the league and having Champions League football next season, you hope it keeps everyone together… I am happy here.”

Vardy’s leaving. Leicester fans must wonder who else is looking for pastures new.

 

Posted: 5th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Celebrities, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal tipped to beat Liverpool to Vardy before Euros

Arsenal have made a £22m bid for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. The Star says the Gunners have offered Vary £120,000 a week, a big hike in his current basic pay of £80,000-a-week.

The Times says West Ham United  have also made a move for Vardy. They are offering £100,000 and a step down from Champions’ League football with Leicester and Arsenal.  Liverpool , have told Vardy he can earn £140,000-a-week at Anfield – a sum Arsenal are willing to match or better.

The Express says Vardy is to join Arsenal in next 24 hours for £20m on a four-year deal. The Mail agrees, saying this is a “shock”. It is. Vardy is 29. Arsenal are not in the habit of investing big money is older players. But with Walcott fading and Welbeck injured, they need a sharp striker with pace.

But Arsenal fans should be war, ads the Times. Manchester City are eyeing Hector Bellerin and Jack Wilshere. Pep Guardiola, the new city manager, fancies the Arsenal players and wants to continue The Citizens habit of Gunners names.

The Times says Bellerin may see his future with Barcelona, for whom he played as a boy, and Wilshere is now down the Arsenal pecking order below – get this – Francis Coquelin. He isn’t. Wilshere is class player who given a long run of matches will surely earn a starting berth in the Arsenal first team.

 

 

 

Posted: 4th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United offer £48m for £75m Pogba, who joined Chelsea for £69m

pogba manchester unitedTransfer balls: Manchester United want to invest £60m in Paul Pogba, the France and Juventus midfielder once on United’s books. The Sun says Jose Mourinho has “sanctioned the bid”.

The only things standing between United and Pogba are: Juventus trying to trigger a bidding war for their star player; Barcelona; United’s failure to appear in next season’s Champions’ League; Barcelona; any other big team with pots of cash; Manchester City; the fact that the bid is actually £48m plus bonuses, which values him less than Manchester City paid for Raheem Sterling; and did we mention Barcelona?

On the plus side, the Sun “understands” that Pogba likes Mourinho and his plan to make United “great again”.

Of course, we have read news of Pogba’s movements before in the Sun. There was the time he was joining Chelsea:

CHELSEA have agreed a stunning £69million deal to sign Juventus’ Paul Pogba. – August 2015 

PAUL POGBA is ready to snub Manchester City and extrend his deal with Juventus. The Frenchman is wanted by a host of top clubs but would come with a huge £75million-plus price tag. – March 2016

Paul Pogba ready to snub Manchester United, Real Madrid and Manchester City as he aims to cement his legacy at Juventus – May 2016

CHELSEA are in constant contact with Juventus star Paul Pogba over a possible £76million transfer – May 2016

Manchester United target Paul Pogba ‘buys house in Barcelona’ as Jose Mourinho looks set to miss out on Juventus star – June, 2016

Such are the facts.

Posted: 3rd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Ilkay Gundogan agrees Manchester City move (Arsenal and Manchester United disagree)

Transfer balls: Manchester City and not Manchester United are “set to sign” Ilkay Gundogan, says the Times. New Man City manager Pepe Guardiola has learnt much from his time at Germany’s all-consuming Bayern Munich, where the club’s recruitment policy hinges on buying the best players from the Bundesliga’s second best team, Borussia Dortmund. (Bayern have just agreed to take on Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.)

Gundogan, 25, is expected to join Manchester City for £20m. Although the Star says the figure is £30m. And there is the Mirror, which says Ilkay Gundogan is “set for a Jurgen Klopp reunion” at Liverpool. Klopp, of course, was Gundogan’s manager at Dortmund.

Of course this is Transfer Balls, a look at dire reporting in the mainstream media. We spare a thought for the Express readers told that Gundogan has signed for Arsenal and Manchester United.

 

Gundogan agrees Arsenal

 

Gundogan agrees Man United

 

Over in the Star, however, Gundogan plays for Bayern Munich:

 

Gundogan Bayern agrees

 

Posted: 2nd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: Chelsea and Man United in race to stop Arsenal getting Morata (again)

Transfer balls – a look at iffy reporting in the mainstream media. News is that Arsenal are still after Alvaro Morata.

The Mirror says “Arsenal and Chelsea could go head to head in the race to sign 23-year-old Juventus striker Alvaro Morata.” So only two clubs are in for the striker. It is a head-to-head race.

The Mirror adds:

Alvaro Morata has sparked an auction between Arsenal and Chelsea after admitting he believes the Premier League would be a “great destination.”

Or as the player wanted by PSG (source: The Mirror) and who has an agreement to re-sign for Real Madrid should they want him says:

 “Hopefully everything will be resolved before then, because it is uncomfortable to be helping your country with phone in hand. My wish is to succeed in Madrid… There are some offers from England that are tempting, not only because of the contract. I think my characteristics mean the Premier League would be a great destination.”

If Real don’t want him, then maybe he’ll look to the PL. It’s a head-to-head-to-head race – and one club has a massive head. As Spain’s AS put it:

Alvaro Morata wants a return to Real Madrid

In other news:

The Evening Standard and Manchester Evening News saysManchester United have added their head to the race – and United have a real bighead in charge:

 

Morata Manchester United

 

Morata Manchester United

 

 

And the Liverpool Echo say Liverpool want him:

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 16.02.48

 

Of course, Morata already plays for Arsenal. The Daily Star told us that:

 

Morata Arsenal

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Higuain Watch: striker demands Chelsea, wants Liverpool, shuns Manchester United, signs for Arsenal, moves nowhere

Transfer balls: every summer a familiar platoon of players feature in tabloid stories telling of their imminent moves to the Premier League. One of that number is Gonzalo Higuain, who, as you will recall, signed for Arsenal on July 6 2013. Well, so said the Sun

 

higuain-arsenal the sun transfer

 

For anyone who missed that scoop, the good news is that the story of Higuain to Arsenal still features as fact on the Sun’s website.

ARSENAL last night smashed their transfer record when they agreed a £23million fee for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain… Higuain, 25, has been given permission by Madrid to fly to London following weeks of negotiations. And boss Arsene Wenger has made it clear he wants the powerful goalscorer on board when Arsenal head for their tour of the Far East next Thursday.

The deal, which has been confirmed by the player’s father Jorge, comes as a huge relief for Wenger… The Gunners’ previous biggest signing was the £16.5million they paid to sign Santi Cazorla from Malaga last summer and propels the club back into the big time. Now Wenger wants to build on Higuain’s imminent arrival by pressing ahead with negotiations for Wayne Rooney and Julio Cesar… Wenger believes that the capture of Higuain will convince other world-class stars to join.

And so to todays news in the Mirror that Higuain, who plays for Napoli, has made a “plea” to join Liverpool.

“The former Real Madrid striker, who has attracted interested [sic] from Arsenal previously, is  keen to come to the Premier League would would like to play under Kop boss Jurgen Klopp.”

 

Higuain Liverpool

 

So. It’s Higuain to Liverpool. Or not. These other news facts from the Sun:

 

Higuain Chelsea

 

May 4: “Chelsea target Gonzalo Higuain wants £42million move to the Bridge… but only if Diego Costa leaves”

 

Higuain Manchester United

May 22, 2016: Higuain not move to Chelsea, Manchester Untied nor any other Premier League club.

Manchester United and Chelsea dealt massive blow as Gonzalo Higuain will NOT be making a Premier League switch in the summer

More on Higuain to come…

 

Posted: 30th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool balls: Nathaniel Clyne didn’t say England’s defence is a ‘major weakness’

Clyne liverpool

 

DID Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne “admit” that England’s defence, in which he plays, is a “weakness”? The Mirror says he did, thundering: “Clyne admits ‘defence is a weakness”.

John Cross begins his story by telling readers more about the Liverpool player: “Clyne has admitted England’s defence is a major ‘weakness’.”

This is what Clyne actually said: “We analyse the  games and we see where we can do better. We can definitely do better defensively . It shows us our weaknesses.”

He didn’t say the England defence “is a weakness”. He said the players can be better and are working hard to reduce errors.

More of what Clyne said appears on Sky Sports:

“There are players fighting for positions all over the pitch when they get an opportunity to show what they can do and that is healthy. I think it is good as it keeps everyone on their toes and keeps everyone fighting for positions – everyone wants to be hungry and has a determination to get themselves into the squad… England have a strong team and hopefully they can do well at the tournament.”

Clyne and Spurs’  Kyle Walker are battling to be England’s first-choice right-back.

Posted: 30th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United, Ronaldo and the vanishing facts

Transfer balls: Is Cristiano Ronaldo, hero of Real Madrid, scorer of the decisive penalty as Real won their 11th European Cup, heading to Manchester United to play in the Europa League?

No, says the Mirror’s Ed Malyon on May 27:

Manchester United’s long-term interest in Cristiano Ronaldo would hit the buffers were Jose to be hired. Their relationship soured hugely at Real Madrid and, with Paris Saint-Germain having pursued him for so long and so persistently, the move to Ligue 1 would make the most sense

Yes, says the Sun’s Neil Ashton on May 23:

The budget is so big this summer that United already have their beaks into Cristiano Ronaldo, yet again. Real Madrid have quoted £80million for the winger. Meet that and Ronnie returns. Mourinho’s frosty relationship with Ronaldo, exposed at Real Madrid, will be set aside if the deal is done.

That Ronaldo news follows other Sun news from April:

Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent sensationally agrees verbal deal for former Manchester United superstar to leave Real Madrid and join Paris Saint-Germain

To which Simon Rice tells Indy readers on May 27:

Cristiano Ronaldo rules out Manchester United return despite Jose Mourinho arrival

Which brings us to the trusty BBC, which says on May 28:

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United XI – Bale, Ronaldo, Pogba, Zlatan?

No. No. Maybe – but why? No.

Posted: 29th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United go hot and cold on Ibrahimovic

Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his way to Manchester United? The Swedish striker, who says age is just a number, turns 35 in October. Why would United want the ponderous player when they have Martial and Rashford? This week, the Times has been telling its readers that Zlatan to United is very much on. Each of the following quotes are from separate stories that appear on the paper’s website:

May 25: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the 34-year-old forward, is set to become Mourinho’s first signing”

May 26: “United want to use Ibrahimovic as bait to draw stars to Old Trafford”

May 27: “Manchester United believe appointing José Mourinho and signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic would attract yet more star names to Old Trafford…  [Jose Mouirnho] is expected to make Ibrahimovic, the Sweden forward, his first signing… it is understood that United, who are ready to offer him a one-year contract with the option of a further year, are his preferred choice.”

May 27: “United hope his arrival, and that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Sweden forward, will attract other leading names to Old Trafford.”

May 27: “…the 34-year-old looks set to move to Old Trafford to be reunited with Mourinho — the man who coached him for one season at Inter Milan.”

May 27: ” Ibrahimovic yesterday increased speculation that he will join United by endorsing the appointment of a man with whom he enjoyed one successful season at Inter Milan. “I believe he is the man to bring [United] back to the top,” Ibrahimovic said.”

Which brings us to todays news in the Sunday Times:

While Mourinho has explored the possibility of bringing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Premier League, conversations with the out-of-contract Swede are understood to have led him to look elsewhere for a younger ‘top striker’.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 29th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal spend, Ozil keeps cool, newspapers agitate

Transfer balls: a look at reporting on Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s German star.

In the Times, Matt Hughes says with two years remaining on his current deal, Ozil “is unwilling to discuss signing a new deal” until after the summer’s European Championship. Ozil “is happy at Arsenal and not agitating for a move.”

Arsenal are willing to make him the highest-paid player in their history by offering a significantly improved salary of £200,000 a week, but Özil’s main concern is ensuring he will be competing for the biggest trophies after winning just two FA Cups in his three years at Arsenal to date.

The Metro reads Hugh column and twists it to:

Mesut Ozil has again declined to open talks with Arsenal over a new contract despite being offered a wage rise. The Gunners are being made to sweat over the German’s future, as well as that of Alexis Sanchez after a difficult season.

Mark Brus omits the part about Ozil being happy and waiting until July to begin talks over a contract extension.

He also omits to note what Ozil said on 19 November 2015

“My contract runs until 2018, that is for another two and a half years. There is no need to hurry. There are no talks at the moment but I can only say that I am very happy in London and that my decision to come here from Real Madrid was the right one.”

And as the Mirror pit it back in March: “Mesut Ozil quashes Arsenal exit rumours.”

Sweating, indeed…

 

 

Posted: 29th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment


Without his perfume Jose Mourinho will fail at Manchester United

jose mourinho perfume

 

What does new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho smell like? The Star reports on “Chelsea’s ban on Jose aftershave”. In the changing room, yes. Unsettling for new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to contend with the Portuguese winner’s legacy without picking up his essence as John Terry splashes the masking Jose for Him and Her all over (spoiler alert: Revenge by Jose smells of top notes of silver polish over base notes of bile, pith and whicker basket).

This story turns to the essence not of Jose’s scraped and diffused bed linen, rather to the story of who owns what in football. Do Chelsea or Manchester United own the rights to sell Jose Mourinho perfumes, suntan lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash, lipstick and nail polish? Which of Chevrolet (sponsors of Man United) and Jaguar (sponsors of Jose Mourinho) get to market the official in-car scent?

And can you ever own someone if you don’t possess their smell?

After all, in Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer the killer who smelled of nothing “succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting… Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.” Scent is “the invincible power to command the love of mankind.”

Get the smell of Jose or get nothing.

Meanwhile, at Chelsea, Conte may care to invest in odor-eaters for all staff, install a wet basset hound in the Chelsea dugout and refrain from washing his hair for months.

 

Posted: 28th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea image rights in detail

In March 2005 Chelsea secured the legal rights to Jose Mourinho’s trademark for 20 years. This means that should Manchester United hire Mourinho, a move that seems as certain as Katie Price sleeping on her back, the Red Devils will be unable to stick their new manager’s name on such items as teddy bears, aftershave, computer games and all manner of tat. But how important is the Jose moniker?

In an “exclusive”, the Times says Chelsea’s ownership of the Mourinho trademark “will not delay his appointment at Old Trafford”.

 

Jose image rights Manchester United Times Chelsea

 

Or as the Mirror puts it: “Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Manchester Untied  manager is being delayed because Chelsea still own his signature.”

Not so, say the Times, which states: “Until recently Mourinho’s former employers [Chelsea] also owned the rights to reproduce his signature, but that ten-year trademark expired earlier this year…”

The Mirror then says United “face a six-figure bill to secure the rights to his signature and name”.

The Times says Chelsea could demand “several million pounds”.

The Sun says United will have to “£1million -plus” to use the name Jose Mourinho on merchandise.

 

Jose image rights Manchester United Mirror Chelsea

The Mirror – not an exclusive but not all correct, either

 

The Mail says the 20-year licence Jose signed with Chelsea in 2005 expires in, er, 2013. That Mail says it’s between 2013 and 2015. The Times says it’s 2025.

 

Jose image rights Manchester United Mail Chelsea

The Mail wonders about timing

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, manchester united, Money, Sports, Tabloids | Comment