Manchester United in danger of losing Ander Herrera to PSG and Juan Mata to Barcelona

Manchester United in danger of losing Ander Herrera to PSG and Juan Mata to Barcelona

Manchester United are in danger of losing Ander Herrera and Juan Mata to two of their biggest European rivals this summer – and both on free transfers.

Herrera has agreed terms to join Paris Saint-Germain and Mata is in talks over a move to Barcelona, Sky Sports News understands.

The Spain internationals have been free to speak to foreign clubs since January 1, with their United contracts expiring at the end of June.

The Spanish duo have been free to speak to foreign clubs since January 1
The Spanish duo have been free to speak to foreign clubs since January 1

The club have been in talks over new deals with both players for a number of months and, as far as United are concerned, discussions remain ongoing with nothing yet decided.

But during the recent international break, Herrera, who was a target for Athletic Bilbao in January, admitted he “knew something would come out” about PSG and described initial reports of discussions as “logical when you have three months left on your contract”.

“I’m focusing on playing football in the remaining month and a half of the season,” he said. “The rest I leave to my agent, both a possible contract renewal with United and talks with another club about my departure.”

Mata, who had a year-long extension clause activated by United last season, pondered a return to Spain in January in an interview with a Spanish newspaper, albeit when he was one of a number of players unsettled under previous boss Jose Mourinho.

A number of players were reportedly unsettled under Jose Mourinho
A number of players were reportedly unsettled under Jose Mourinho

“I’ve been in England for a while. It’s true that at times you miss home, your family, your friends,” he said. “But I don’t know if I’ll return to Spain in the near future. I’m calm, I’m at the fantastic club that is Manchester United, one of the biggest in the world.”

Barcelona are long-term admirers of Mata and are understood to see him as potentially another shrewd free transfer, having surprised many with the signing of Kevin-Prince Boateng in January and with doubts over the future of Ivan Rakitic.

The Catalans are also understood to see a smart free transfer or two as a way of keeping funds free for more ambitious targets this summer such as the highly-rated Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong, whom they have already agreed a deal for, and potentially his Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt.

Both Mata and Herrera have been among several United players discussing new deals this season, with new boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s impact extending beyond the pitch to help persuade Anthony Martial commit to a new long-term deal, and Marcus Rashford indicate his readiness to do the same.

David de Gea's future at Old Trafford is still uncertain
David de Gea’s future at Old Trafford is still uncertain

Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young have also signed new contracts, but the futures of goalkeeper David de Gea and captain Antonio Valencia remain uncertain with only a year left to run on their deals, while Matteo Darmian and Andreas Pereira’s contracts also expire this June.

Inter Milan 0-1 Lazio: Big win for visitors

Inter Milan 0-1 Lazio: Big win for visitors

There’s always a major battle for Champions League spots in national leagues across the continent, and that’s particularly true of Serie A. The big teams often seem to go quite hot and cold during any given season, which adds an extra sense of intrigue into the campaign from start to finish. Two such contenders this year are Inter Milan and Lazio, with the latter coming out on top during their meeting this past weekend.

Efficient and brimming with confidence

Heading into this game it always felt like there was a potential banana skin moment coming for Inter, as the pressure of being at home against a team of Lazio’s quality came through to the surface. Lazio looked more confident from the word go, and they were able to take the lead pretty quickly through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s great header. The midfielder’s stock has risen substantially in recent months, as the big European clubs continue to sniff around.

Lazio had a variety of opportunities to add to their lead, but it was clear to see that Inter were going to have their fair share of chances too at the San Siro. They weren’t about to go down without a fight and controlled the possession and tempo of the game (for the most part), but they just weren’t able to translate that into an equaliser.

Getting the job done

Inter’s opportunities came and went as Lazio, defensively speaking, continued to impress. They had a clear game plan when they went to Milan and they were able to execute it better than anyone could’ve imagined. They knew that a loss would be seriously damaging to their hopes of playing Champions League football next season, and despite scoring quite early, they didn’t let the occasion get to them.

The Serie A table certainly makes for interesting reading now, with Inter being situated in 3rd place with 53 points – with AC Milan on 51 and Lazio on 48. Lazio have a game in hand and will next play away at SPAL on Wednesday, whereas Inter will turn their attention towards a very winnable clash against Genoa.

Moral of the story: great defensive work wins titles.

Match Report

Inter Milan: Handanovic (7.5), Asamoah (7.5), Skriniar (6.5), Miranda (6.5), D’Ambrosio (6.5), Brozovic (6.5), Valero (6.5), Perisic (6.5), Vecino (6.5), Politano (7), Keita (7), Mario (6), Candreva (6) Nainggolan (6.5)

Lazio: Strakosha (8.5), Felipe (7.5), Acerbi (7.5), Bastos (7), Romulo (7), Milinkovic-Savic (7.5), Leiva (8), Alverto (8), Lulic (7), Correa (6), Immobile (6.5), Parolo (6), Caicedo (7), Durmisi (6)

Referee: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni

Goals: Milinkovic-Savic

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Chelsea fined by UEFA over fan trouble in Malmo in Europa League

Chelsea fined by UEFA over fan trouble in Malmo in Europa League

Chelsea have been fined £11,100 following fan trouble during the Europa League clash at Malmo in February.

Maurizio Sarri’s team were charged by European football’s governing body over pitch invasions by their supporters.

Chelsea and Swedish club Malmo were both charged with the throwing of objects.

Malmo were hit with a £49,000 fine because of their fans’ conduct which also included setting off fireworks.

Chelsea won the last-32 first leg 2-1 and won the second leg 3-0 to progress 5-1 on aggregate.

Virgil van Dijk launches ball out of Anfield after Liverpool’s late win

Virgil van Dijk launches ball out of Anfield after Liverpool’s late win

Watch as Toby Alderweireld’s 90th-minute own goal sparked wild scenes of celebrations at Anfield, with Virgil van Dijk’s actions in particular causing a stir.

Liverpool’s breathed life into their Premier League challenge with the most dramatic of late victories against Tottenham on Super Sunday

Upon clinching that crucial three points, Van Dijk collected the ball out of the Spurs goal after Liverpool’s winner had trickled over the line and jogged towards the corner flag to join in with his team-mate’s celebration before punting the ball up and over the Main Stand at Anfield.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba happy at Manchester United despite Real Madrid comments

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba happy at Manchester United despite Real Madrid comments

“He [Pogba] answered a general question about any player would like to play for Real Madrid,” says United boss; watch Man Utd’s Premier League clash at Wolves live on Sky Sports on Tuesday

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has played down Paul Pogba’s recent comments about Real Madrid and insists the midfielder is happy to remain at Old Trafford.

Pogba fuelled speculation about his long-term future after describing Madrid as a “dream” club, while on international duty with France.

The midfielder also expressed his admiration for Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane,  who in turn suggested that Pogba could one day join him at the Bernabeu.

However, Solskjaer has played down talk of a summer move for Pogba and insists the France international wants to remain with United for the foreseeable future.

When asked if he was planning to build his team around Pogba, Solskjaer told Sky Sports News: “Definitely. I said that a few years ago as well.

“Paul is happy here, he is playing well. There was talk about the international break and what kind of issues that causes.

“One of the issues is, the players are always available for the press. They are open, and he answered a general question about any player would like to play for Real Madrid.

“He didn’t talk about himself, he is happy here.”

While Solskjaer is confident of keeping Pogba this summer, questions remain over the future of a number of first-team players.

Spanish duo Juan Mata and Ander Herrera are both out of contract at the end of the season, while David de Gea is yet to commit to a new long-term deal.

Solskjaer is confident Pogba will remain with the Red Devils next season
Solskjaer is confident Pogba will remain with the Red Devils next season

However, Solskjaer believes talks will progress quickly now his own future is secure at Old Trafford.

Everton investigate video allegedly involving Jordan Pickford in a fight

Everton investigate video allegedly involving Jordan Pickford in a fight

Everton are investigating an alleged incident involving one of their players, believed to be Jordan Pickford.

It relates to a video posted on social media which appears to show the England goalkeeper in the middle of a scuffle in Sunderland on Sunday night.

Everton said in a statement: “The club has been made aware of an alleged incident involving one of our players and we are looking into the matter.”

Pickford came through the youth ranks at Sunderland, before leaving to join Everton in a £30m deal in June 2017.

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