Real Madrid president Florentino Perez admitted the LaLiga giants have chased Robert Lewandowski and Paul Pogba.

Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski has been linked to Madrid previously, while they have also targeted Manchester United star Pogba.

Speaking on Wednesday, Perez said Madrid had chased Lewandowski and were experiencing similar in their pursuit of Pogba.

"There are players who do not sell," he said, via Spanish media.

"For Lewandowski, we have gone for several years for him and nothing because he has no clause and they don't sell him.

"There is no way and that has happened to us with Pogba. When certain players are sold, we can go for them."

Another player Madrid have been linked to is 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Perez was coy when asked about the France international, who is widely regarded as the best young talent in the world.

"Of course we like a Frenchman that they say out there and we'll go for him," he said. "But they don't sell him."

Ajax chief executive officer Edwin van der Sar has rejected speculation linking him with a return to Manchester United.

The former United goalkeeper is reportedly a target for the Premier League club as they seek to appoint their first sporting director.

United have struggled in the transfer market since the 2013 retirement of managerial great Alex Ferguson, under whom Van der Sar played.

Van der Sar has helped mastermind stunning success for Ajax, who won the domestic double last term as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

But a move back to the Premier League does not appear to be on the cards for the 48-year-old, who was asked about the links to United after playing in Vincent Kompany's Manchester City testimonial on Wednesday.

"No, I'm focused on my job as chief executive at Ajax," Van der Sar told reporters.

"We had a fantastic year in Europe last year, also won the league in Holland.

"We want Ajax at a higher European level and making sure we get back to the elite. That's what we're working on.

"I'm enjoying my time at Ajax. We touched the top level last year and we have to make sure we have the best opportunity to stay there."

United have only won one of their opening four Premier League matches this season following a 1-1 draw at Southampton prior to the international break.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United welcome unbeaten Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Patrice Evra has started work at Manchester United as he bids to complete his coaching badges.

Former France defender Evra announced his retirement from the game in July, having last played for West Ham.

Evra signalled his intention to pursue a coaching career and he is already on the path.

Posting on social media on Tuesday, Evra revealed he has teamed up with old club United to work on his badges.

"I can't describe how I feel right now!!!" Evra wrote on Instagram.

"Just wearing that training coach kit made me one of the most happy man thank you @manchesterunited for helping me to complete my coach badges!!!

"Day one done."

Evra has become almost as famous for his exploits on social media as his football career, with his bizarre Instagram posts including putting the leg of a raw chicken in his mouth during a video he claimed was meant as a Thanksgiving message.

Christian Eriksen – the name that will not go away, even with the transfer window closed.

Eriksen wanted to leave Tottenham for a new challenge as Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter reportedly circled.

A move did not materialise, much to his disappointment, but a transfer could be on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID LOOK TO ERIKSEN AMID POGBA DOUBTS

Sky Sports News claims Real Madrid will make a move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen at the end of the season if Paul Pogba extends his Manchester United deal.

Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to reinforce his midfield, with Tottenham's Eriksen, Pogba and Ajax sensation Donny van de Beek linked to the Santiago Bernabeu.

While Los Blancos remain keen on Pogba, they are eyeing a move for Eriksen – whose contract expires at the end of the campaign.

 

ROUND-UP:

- According to Tuttosport, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham are set to go head-to-head for Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala in January. Both clubs were reportedly interested in signing Dybala prior to the transfer deadline, and with Dybala set to struggle for regular game time PSG and Spurs are poised to fight it out.

- Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is close to finally signing a new £290,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford, claims The Guardian.

Inter are keeping tabs on Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze, says Welt. Gotze is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations over a new deal are reportedly not progressing.

- The Serie A side, meanwhile, will not sell star defender Milan Skriniar in January. That is according to Tuttosport amid growing speculation Manchester City are targeting the Inter centre-back.

- According to Sky Sports News, Wolves are still interested in signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie. Wolves tried to prise Kessie from Milan before the transfer window shut, but the 22-year-old knocked back the move.

Arsenal could make another attempt to sign Belgium international Yannick Carrasco from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, reports The Sun. The Gunners have long been linked with Carrasco and Dalian's supposed interest in Napoli star Dries Mertens could make a deal possible.

Juventus star Douglas Costa branded links with Manchester United as "baseless" after an agent claimed the Premier League club tried to sign him.

An English newspaper published an interview with agent Giovanni Branchini on Monday, in which he claimed United had held "strong" interest in Costa but Maurizio Sarri did not want to sell him.

But in response to the reports, Costa has issued a strong rebuttal and insisted Branchini, who worked as an intermediary in Costa's move to Juve, is not a representative of his anymore.

Writing on his official Instagram, Costa said: "I'm writing to deny the baseless news published today, which said I was in negotiations with some clubs during the last transfer window.

"Since the start of this season, I've been clear that I wanted to stay here to win trophies and give blood for the Juve jersey.

"Junior Mendoza is my only agent and the only person authorised to speak on my behalf."

Manchester United held a "strong interest" in Juventus winger Douglas Costa but Maurizio Sarri was adamant he would not be sold, according to the Brazilian's agent.

Costa, 28, only played a bit-part role under Massimiliano Allegri last season, starting seven times in Serie A as injuries hampered him.

The Brazil international had been linked with a move away from the club due to his decrease in playing time and his agent revealed United were interested in bringing him to Old Trafford.

United have been linked with Costa numerous times over the course of the winger's career, but Sarri was unwilling to see him depart, with the former Bayern Munich attacker starting both of Juve's first two games of the season.

"I sincerely say that Allegri and Sarri have never thought of letting him go," agent Giovanni Branchini told the Daily Mail.

"The interest of Manchester United was strong, a club that has always been interested in him. They were not the only club, but in England they were certainly the most active team on the trail of Douglas Costa.

"He had countless health problems. Last season he was very often injured. He is wanting to recover with great professionalism after standing still. Juventus never intended to sell him despite the big pressure from United."

While Costa is in no rush to leave Turin, his agent does not rule anything out in future, convinced the player can adapt to any surroundings.

"Douglas is a 'cool' professional in the best sense of the word," Branchini said. "He is able to adapt to everything. Just think of how well he did in Ukraine, in a country totally different from Brazil.

"He loves Juventus but is able to adapt to every reality. The Premier League is a beautiful championship, but for now United have failed in all their attempts to convince Juventus to sell him. The player remained in Turin and is a champion."

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has finished a 10-day injury treatment programme at Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.

The Portuguese full-back arrived in Shanghai on August 29 to undergo rehabilitation on a hip problem with physiotherapist Eduardo Santos, SIPG confirmed.

Santos gained prominence in 2015 for his work with David Luiz, then of Paris Saint-Germain, and now heads up SIPG's medical department.

Dalot has not featured in a competitive match for United this season but a statement on the CSL side's website described his rehabilitation as being "successfully" completed.

"Although it is a long journey, it is worthwhile for me," Dalot was quoted as saying.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month suggested the 20-year-old would be ready to return after the international break, potentially putting him in the frame for Saturday's Premier League match against Leicester City.

England boss Gareth Southgate expects Marcus Rashford to continue best serving club and country as a "wide raider" rather than as a central striker.

The Manchester United forward started on the left of a three-man attack and won a penalty as Southgate's men eased to a 4-0 victory over Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

Harry Kane struck a hat-trick in the Wembley win to underline his status as England's premier centre-forward amid United's attempts to use Rashford in that role.

The 21-year-old started through the middle against Southampton the previous weekend but failed to fire as his Premier League goalless streak stretched to three games.

"Although we have for a long time almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a nine, I'm still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work," Southgate said.

"A lot of his development at United was as a wide raider and he isn't as strong as Harry with his back to goal and holding play up.

"A lot of his best work is in that inside-left channel, coming in off the line, and I don't think that's a problem.

"I just think we have to be aware that's probably his profile and to get the best out of him they are the areas of the pitch that we need to get him into regularly."

England captain Kane is enjoying a more prolific start to the season, the Tottenham talisman having netted six goals in five competitive appearances for club and country.

The World Cup Golden Boot winner is up to 25 in 40 games for the Three Lions and Southgate thinks he could threaten Wayne Rooney's all-time record of 53.

He said: "There's a reason that only Bobby [Charlton] and Gary [Lineker] and Wayne have got [to around 50 goals], because it's such a hard challenge to stay fit, the number-one choice, focused and motivated for the long period that you need to be able to get the games and get those goals.

"But if anybody has that strength of mentality, it's Harry."

Lionel Messi's Barcelona contract is making headlines.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed Messi has a get-out clause in his deal.

Now, a move across the pond could be on the cards for the Argentina superstar…

 

TOP STORY – MESSI CONSIDERING MLS

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi could leave Camp Nou for MLS, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Messi has an annual exit option in his deal and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner could swap Spain for the United States.

It comes as the Catalan giants look to offer Messi – who has been linked to David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise – a lifetime contract.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is set to sign a new contract, reports Il Messaggero. The Serbia international midfielder – contracted until 2023 – was linked to Manchester United, Inter, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window. However, Lazio are looking to include a release clause of at least €100million.

- Tuttosport, meanwhile, says Inter are targeting Milinkovic-Savic and Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa.

- According to AS, Real Madrid are lining up Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for the 2020-21 season. Van de Beek was heavily linked to Madrid prior to the transfer deadline but a move did not materialise.

Manchester City continue to be linked to Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar. Tuttosport says Pep Guardiola wants to sign the star defender in January following Aymeric Laporte's knee injury.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Dries Mertens could move to China, Belgium or the USA on a free transfer when his Napoli contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to the Daily Star, Adidas played a crucial role in keeping Paul Pogba at Manchester United. Reports linked Pogba to Real Madrid and Juventus but the Frenchman remained at Old Trafford.

Virgil van Dijk is set to remain with Liverpool until the end of 2025.

Netherlands international Van Dijk, 28, headed to Anfield from Southampton for a reported £75million in January 2018, signing a deal until 2023.

But the superstar centre-back is rumoured to be ready to recommit to the reigning European champions.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DIJK AGREES SIX-YEAR LIVERPOOL DEAL

Van Dijk has agreed a new contract with Liverpool, according to the Mirror.

The defender will earn close to £200,000 per week with his new deal, up from his current £125,000 per week wages, the report says.

It comes just a month after Van Dijk lost his title as the world's most expensive defender when Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City for a reported £80m.

ROUND-UP

- David de Gea could be set to leave Manchester United. Coming out of contract at the end of the season, the goalkeeper has told friends he is willing to turn down a deal from the Premier League club, according to The Sun. The Express reports Serie A giants Juventus want to sign De Gea on a free transfer at the end of the season.

- Paulo Dybala almost left Juventus in the close season and the playmaker is set to be at the centre of talk again in January. Paris Saint-Germain want to beat Tottenham to the signing of Dybala when the transfer window reopens, according to the Express.

- Edwin van der Sar could be set for a return to Old Trafford. The Mirror reports the former Netherlands goalkeeper and Ajax chief executive is on Manchester United's list as they search for a director of football.

- Staying at Old Trafford, Manchester United's stars are happy Alexis Sanchez has left on loan to Inter, according to The Sun.

- After the emergence of 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati, Barcelona have set up a plan to look after the teenager. Sport reports the LaLiga champions consider Fati a first-team player and want to protect him as he gains plenty of attention.

The worst part for Abbie McManus was she knew what was coming.

England defender McManus, formerly of Manchester City, made her debut for United in Saturday's Manchester derby before a record Women's Super League crowd at the Etihad Stadium.

Casey Stoney's top-flight newcomers had the better of the first half, with Ellie Roebuck forced into a remarkable point-blank save to deny Jane Ross – another of United's ex-City contingent.

Then, in the 48th minute, Caroline Weir collected a loose clearance 25 yards from goal, sized things up and let fly left-footed.

"The shots from distance from Georgia Stanway and Caroline Weir we knew about but, unfortunately, on that one goal, we didn't get tight enough to her," McManus said, thoughts of training sessions past undoubtedly having flashed through her mind.

"It was an unbelievable strike by Caroline Weir."

The vast majority of the 31,213 in attendance rose to their feet as Weir tore away in celebration, soon subsumed by her team-mates. Ideally, all big sporting events need their moment, and City's matchwinner provided it when securing a 1-0 victory.

These are buoyant times for women's football in the UK, following a World Cup where England captured the imagination of millions on their way to the semi-finals.

"It's a great moment for women's football coming back off the successful World Cup. It's a turning point for women's football," Weir said, in acknowledgement of the bigger picture despite her VAR-laced heartache during the group stages with Scotland.

"Support is coming from all places. It's about pushing on and improving at all levels."

The Football Association has shrewdly looked to grasp the sense of positivity by staging showpiece fixtures at some of England's premier venues on this opening weekend of the WSL season.

The Manchester derby crowd was a six-fold improvement on the league's previous best attendance, although the record will not have a chance to dry in the books before a near-capacity crowd watch Chelsea entertain Tottenham on Sunday.

Steph Houghton, City and England captain and the lynchpin of a defence placed under greater scrutiny than they might have imagined at the Etihad, knows these are changing times to be seized.

"We played here a few years ago and there were only 2,000 people," Houghton said, recalling the 2014 Continental Cup clash with Everton, where the attendance actually failed to breach 1,500.

"To get a record-breaking crowd and attendance, and for us to make sure that Manchester stays blue, it was unbelievable.

"There are a lot of big games going on this weekend. I think it's important that we get bums on seats as much as we can."

Houghton is hopeful plenty of those who revelled in derby delight will follow the team back across Alan Turing Way to their usual home at the City Football Academy.

At that stage, when sunlit September afternoons become an inevitably bleak English winter, the domestic football season reverts to a slog that feelgood factors and a sense of novelty alone cannot sustain.

The good news is the evidence in Manchester and beyond is of sport repeatedly capable of capturing the imagination on its own terms.

Before the derby, lifelong City fan Keira Walsh said with relish that she wanted to "absolutely smash" United and her calm, crisp passing granted early control to Nick Cushing's side.

However, the brilliant Netherlands midfielder Jackie Groenen turned the contest in United's favour and, when the visitors seemed to have faded as an attacking force inside the final 10 minutes, she bundled against the base of the post.

In between heroics from Roebuck and Weir, Groenen found herself briefly squared up to the City goalscorer – a late tackle having touched a calf and a nerve. Every one moment stitching new storylines on to the tapestry of a grand old rivalry, with threads everyone involved will be itching to pick up next time.

"The style of football we've just played and both teams have put on, it's a good show," McManus added.

"I hope it's not classed as women's football anymore and I hope that we get the men's fans in now.

"It's getting bigger and better and the crowd make it a little bit more exciting for us. We hope to see those fans back."

Caroline Weir was the derby hero for Manchester City as her spectacular strike sealed a 1-0 win over Manchester United on a record-breaking day for the Women's Super League.

A crowd of 31,213 at the Etihad Stadium smashed the division's previous best crowd of 5,265, for Arsenal's title-sealing win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium in April.

It is likely to be a short-lived best mark, though, with a crowd close to Stamford Bridge's 41,000 capacity expected for Sunday's London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham.

Staging showpiece games at some of England's biggest grounds is part of the WSL's drive to capitalise upon the national team's run to the semi-finals of this year's World Cup, which culminated in an estimated audience of 11.7million tuning in to watch Phil Neville's side lose to eventual winners the United States.

Five of England's World Cup stars featured for City on Saturday, but it was United – only re-established last season and newly promoted from the Championship after their women's team were wound down in 2005 – who looked the most threatening before half-time, as Ellie Roebuck made a stunning close-range save to deny Jane Ross.

The hosts resumed on the front foot, however, and Weir sent most of the history-making attendees into raptures by arrowing a stunning 25-yarder into the top corner after 48 minutes.

United almost levelled seven minutes from time when Netherlands star Jackie Groenen – one of six debutants in Casey Stoney's starting XI - scrambled against the base of the post, only for a rattled City to hang on.

Jesse Lingard has been ruled out of England's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo through illness.

The midfielder was not named in the squad for Saturday's visit of Bulgaria, with the Three Lions confirming soon after that he will return to Manchester United.

Lingard has endured a difficult start to the season with his club side, failing to make an impact in the Red Devils' opening three games before being dropped to the substitutes' bench for the draw with Southampton last weekend.

No timescale has been put on his return, but he will hope to be fit for United's Premier League clash against Leicester City next Saturday.

Marcus Rashford said he tests himself against Harry Kane during England training sessions in a bid to improve as a striker.

England take on Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday, with Rashford seemingly likely to start in a front three alongside Kane and Raheem Sterling.

The 21-year-old Rashford got his Premier League campaign off to a fine start with two goals in Manchester United's 4-0 victory over Chelsea, but has failed to score since, missing a penalty in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

With Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez having left United, the onus is now on Rashford and Anthony Martial to lead the line, though former Red Devils forward Michael Owen believes the academy graduate may not have the desire to become a top goalscorer.

Rashford, however, refuted Owen's claims, insisting he is always aiming to improve, and uses England captain and Tottenham star Kane as his benchmark.

"If you watch training, then you'd see how it all works," Rashford said in a news conference.

"I could use Harry as an example. He's one of the best finishers that I've played with and whenever we do finishing, in my head, it's about being as close to him as possible.

"So if he scores six, you want to score six, if he scores seven, you want to score eight. Little things like that are the bits that people never see.

"Even though we're fighting for the same position, or to be in the same team, we really do drive each other on and it's very important that you have that sort of atmosphere within a team.

"He [Owen] can only go on what he sees. Whereas the people around me [know]. Especially when I was younger, the reason why you started playing is because you see things that you like and for me, it was goals and watching exciting people doing exciting things with the ball.

"So, the important thing is I know what I want, what I want to become and what I will become if I keep my mind on it."

Rashford acknowledged missing chances plays on his mind but he was adamant he feels no extra pressure due to competition for places within the England squad.

"Yes, it haunts you, it's the same for when you score and you know you've had other chances in the game, you're looking [at] what went wrong," Rashford said.

"Here, it's a bit more simple because Harry's record is unbelievable. That's a way for him to get his goals and the squad support that.

"I don't think it's something to fear, I think you need it. If you don't have [pressure], it's difficult for motivation to improve. You need the players around you to push each other."

England and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is at a loss in the battle to stop racist abuse, convinced "nothing changes" regardless of how many players speak out.

Rashford is one of several high-profile players across Europe to be subjected to abuse over the last month, with the forward targeted on social media after missing a penalty against Crystal Palace.

United team-mate Paul Pogba was the victim of similar abuse after he also failed to convert a spot-kick five days earlier, while monkey chants could be heard when Romelu Lukaku – who left Old Trafford for Inter in pre-season – scored from the spot against Cagliari on Sunday.

Rashford recognised the importance to speak out about such matters, but the 21-year-old feels helpless, convinced people will continue to be disrespectful as long as they are protected by anonymity and urged those in power do more to clamp down on offenders.

"It is disappointing. It seems to me that things are going backwards rather than forwards," Rashford told reporters on Friday ahead of England's match against Bulgaria.

"All around the world people are standing together and that is all we can do. We have to rely on the campaigns to deal with this. Our voice only has so much power.

"Social media is a big problem. For me, it is too easy to do what you like on the internet. Anyone can go on and write what we want.

"It is easy to figure it out. There are hundreds of thousands who use my profile and they can write what they want [in reply to tweets]. There are a lot of things that need to change.

"I've never been a big fan of social media. I try and stay away from it, but it's important for me to say my part. There's been other people too, Romelu, Jadon [Sancho] did a good speech the other day.

"I have always said, the more we speak about it, it doesn't have an impact. There are examples where people have spoken out and nothing has really changed.

"To see it spike in the last couple of months is unbelievable. We want to nip it in the bud."

It was mentioned to Rashford that Twitter plans to monitor the accounts of 50 leading black players in an attempt to tackle racism, but the United youth product is adamant it will make no difference.

"That doesn't change anything," he continued. "What I said before, the number of accounts out there is ridiculous.

"The way to control it is for everyone in the world who use these platforms only have one account. They use dummy accounts, so their identity is never seen."

Page 3 of 128
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.