Barcelona sanction Andre Gomes loan to Everton

By Sports Desk August 09, 2018

Andre Gomes' Barcelona nightmare is set to be put on hold for a year after the Catalan club confirmed they have reached an agreement for him to go on loan to Everton for the 2018-19 season.

Gomes joined Barca from Valencia in 2016, costing the club a reported €35million, but he has struggled to hold down a first-team place.

Many Barca fans were against Gomes' signing even before he joined after a somewhat underwhelming second campaign at Valencia, and he has never been able to rediscover his best form at Camp Nou.

The Portugal international recently opened up about his battle with depression during his time at Barca.

The 25-year-old described his spell with Barca as "a kind of hell" during a candid interview in March, adding that he does not "feel good on the pitch".

Hoping to get back to the level he showed in his first season at Valencia, Gomes will play on loan at Goodison Park for the season, with Everton paying Barca €2.25million for the right to take him for the campaign.

Everton are not thought to have a purchase option on the playmaker, who has a contract at Barca until 2021.

The news follows that of Barca and Everton reaching an agreement for defender Yerry Mina in an initial €30.25m deal, while Bernard has arrived on a free transfer after his terms at Shakhtar Donetsk expired.

Along with bolstering their first-team squad, Everton have handed Kieran Dowell and Callum Connolly three-year deals to keep the England internationals with the club until June 2021.

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  • I have nothing to say - Mourinho muted on Manchester United exit I have nothing to say - Mourinho muted on Manchester United exit

    Jose Mourinho had few words for reporters the day after his Manchester United sacking.

    The 55-year-old was dismissed at Old Trafford on Tuesday after two-and-a-half-years at the club, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed on an interim basis 24 hours later.

    And while much of the football world has been discussing United's decision and what the future might hold for Mourinho, the departed manager was not entertaining questions as he appeared publicly for the first time since the news broke.

    Trailed by members of the media as he left his house in London, Mourinho responded to queries by saying: "Let me walk. I have nothing to say."

    With United sixth in the table at the end of Mourinho's tenure, Solskjaer's reign will begin with a trip to former club Cardiff City on Saturday.

     

     

  • Solskjaer to United: Cardiff stint not relevant to Old Trafford challenge, says Berg Solskjaer to United: Cardiff stint not relevant to Old Trafford challenge, says Berg

    Henning Berg is not concerned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's failed stint at Cardiff City, believing the new interim Manchester United manager faces a very different challenge at Old Trafford.

    Solskjaer was appointed as United's caretaker boss on Wednesday, replacing Jose Mourinho until the end of the season, but his previous experience in the Premier League was not successful, overseeing Cardiff's relegation in 2014.

    However, the former Norway forward twice guided Molde to the Tippeligaen title, which compatriot and former team-mate Berg believes will prove more relevant at a giant like United.

    "I look at [Cardiff] as an experience for him, where he has tested himself in this league, but with a team that is fighting relegation and not a team that is looking to compete at the other end of the table," Berg told Sky Sports.

    "Those are two completely different things. When you have players winning one game out of four, compared to teams that are supposed to win three games out of four, the mentality is completely different. I don't think that will have too much impact on the job he does at United now.

    "I think the job he did at Molde [winning two titles] was much closer to how he would like to work as a manager at United, in terms of how he worked with the players, how he played offensive football, how he handled the squad, how he needed to rotate sometimes, how he found the different tactics.

    "When he was at Molde, of course teams played more defensively against him, against a good team. He needed to break it down. He's been successful in Norway, in two terms now, and I think he's got good enough experience to do a good job with United until the end of the season."

    Jaap Stam, who won the treble with United alongside Solskjaer and Berg in 1998-99, is also confident the new man is a good fit, believing he can get the best out of the likes of Paul Pogba who struggled under Mourinho.

    "He knows the culture of the club, the fans like him as well," Stam said. "Ole is the type of manager, as far as I know, who wants to play attacking football, he wants to go forward.

    "I think Ole's personality is good, he can work with young players, talented players, giving players a certain feeling as well, what they need.

    "We all talk about players being bought for like £100million or £150million but a player needs to have an arm around his shoulder and needs to hear sometimes 'you're a good player, you're a great player', that gives them a great feeling, or 'you're needed to do well for the club'.

    "I think Ole is very good at doing that, he's got a football brain and he knows tactically what to do."

  • Manchester United's on-field results must improve to maintain commercial strength - sports finance expert Manchester United's on-field results must improve to maintain commercial strength - sports finance expert

    Manchester United's on-field results must improve if they are to retain their status as the world's highest-earning football club, according to a sports finance expert.

    United, who are sixth in the Premier League table and 19 points adrift of leaders Liverpool after 17 games, sacked Jose Mourinho on Monday and have hired former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a caretaker basis for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign.

    Though they face a battle just to secure qualification for the Champions League next season via a top-four domestic finish in this campaign, United will still hope to once again come out on top of the Deloitte Football Money League - which ranks the world's biggest teams based on revenue generated - when it is released in the new year.

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    "All the research we've done here at the university would suggest that financial performance and sporting performance are inexplicably linked - you need to maintain that sporting performance to drive the revenues forward," he told Omnisport.

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    "The club were just not performing on the pitch and that's what we come down to here; we can't separate the two. They are linked. Whatever you do on the pitch will have a huge bearing on what you do off it financially."

    Mourinho is not the only one who has been criticised for United's current predicament, with the board having come under fire for their transfer dealings and managerial appointments since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

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    "Let's not forget that the brand of Manchester United is still strong, they're one of the biggest clubs in the world. Despite all these on-pitch performance issues, we have still seen the brand grow."

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    "Let's say conservatively it's £30-50million if you don't qualify, that wouldn't be a huge problem for Manchester United to miss out on that for one season because their revenue profile is strong," Plumley said.

    "If the club continually miss out on Champions League qualification then the value of the brand reduces, the attractiveness to sponsors reduces.

    "Despite it being Manchester United, that is still the pinnacle of Europe. People want to be associated with that competition and the clubs within it, that's one of the biggest factors."

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