Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Tahith Chong can have a "bright future" at Manchester United after the winger signed a new two-year contract.

Chong's previous deal was set to expire at the end of the season, with Barcelona and Juventus reportedly interested in securing his signature.

But after his agent announced an impending agreement with United, the club confirmed Chong had committed until 2022 with the option of a further year.

Solskjaer, who gave the player his debut last January, was delighted to secure the 20-year-old's talents.

"Tahith works extremely hard every day and he is constantly improving," the manager told United's official website.

"His performances this season, whether for the first team or Under-23s, are testament to his hard work, dedication and to his character.

"We are pleased with the progress he has made since he stepped up from the academy and are looking forward to continuing to develop his talent.

"Tahith has great potential. Given his age, ability and work ethic, we can see that he has a bright future at Manchester United."

Chong - a 2016 arrival from Feyenoord's academy - is likewise looking forward to continuing his work with Solskjaer, for whom he has featured 10 times this season.

"When I joined Manchester United as a youngster, it was a dream come true," he said. "It is an honour every time I pull on the shirt and represent this club.

"I am working hard every day to improve and I know this is the perfect environment to develop my game.

"The opportunity to learn from the manager, his coaching staff and the world-class players here is fantastic.

"I am delighted to sign this new contract and really grateful for the chance to prove myself here for many years to come."

Manchester United winger Tahith Chong has agreed to sign a new contract at Old Trafford, according to his agent.

The 20-year-old's existing United deal is up at the end of the season, and he has been linked to a host of Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus and Inter.

But Chong has decided to remain in Manchester, where he has made 10 appearances for the Red Devils this season.

Agent Erkan Alkan said, in quotes reported by Algemeen Dagblad: "There was a lot of interest, we talked to big clubs.

"But Manchester United came up with a good plan for Tahith. He likes to stay with the club that brought him from the Netherlands."

Alkan had previously suggested in January it was time for Chong to "look further" with a different club.

Chong was handed his senior United debut early in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign against Reading in the FA Cup in January 2019.

He subsequently featured in the team's stunning 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, before making his first start at home to Astana in this season's Europa League.

Casemiro admitted Real Madrid's loss to Real Betis could cost them the LaLiga title.

Madrid were stunned in a 2-1 defeat on Sunday, leaving them second to rivals Barcelona in the table with 11 matches remaining.

Casemiro said it could be the result that denies Madrid, who are two points adrift of Barca, the league title.

"They were superior and played better, there is no excuse, football is simple," the midfielder said, via the club's website.

"In LaLiga every game is difficult. To win LaLiga we have to play well in every game and we didn't play well.

"We have to keep working hard, we have not been up to the task and we have not played like we did against Barcelona.

"We are human too, but it could cost us the league title. We have to look at Eibar now."

While Karim Benzema's penalty cancelled out Sidnei's opener in the first half, Cristian Tello scored an 82nd-minute winner for Betis.

Madrid defender Raphael Varane urged his team to continue fighting late in the campaign.

"We lacked a lot of intensity, especially in the first half. We didn't play at the pace we wanted to and we let the opponents have the ball," he said.

"We're dropping important points, but we're confident we can fight until the end.

"We're trying very hard to get back to the top of the league and today was a drop in quality from everyone.

"We still have a lot of games left to play and we're confident we're going to get that intensity back."

Zinedine Zidane took responsibility for Real Madrid's "worst game of the season" after a 2-1 loss to Real Betis in LaLiga on Sunday.

Former Barcelona forward Cristian Tello struck in the 82nd minute as Madrid stayed two points behind their rivals, despite having triumphed in last week's Clasico. 

Zidane accepted blame for the result, which came despite Karim Benzema's penalty cancelling out Sidnei's opener in the first half.

"I blame myself for everything. I am responsible," the Madrid coach said.

"I will not explain what has happened but it has been our worst game of the season."

With 11 games remaining in LaLiga, Madrid – whose last league title came in 2017 – are two points adrift of Barca.

While backing his players, Zidane also said they would be made aware of their deficiencies.

"I will defend my players, if I have something to say I will tell them," he said.

"We have lost many balls, which never happens to us and that has been our problem."

Sergio Ramos insists Real Madrid will not "drive ourselves mad" after following up their Clasico win with defeat at Real Betis, but he acknowledged Sunday's match in Seville represented a huge missed opportunity.

Madrid took pole position in the LaLiga title race with victory over rivals Barcelona last week, only to fall back to second with a 2-1 loss at Betis after the Blaugrana's triumph the previous day.

Zinedine Zidane's side struggled to break down Betis and were fortunate to be level when Sidnei, the scorer of a brilliant opener, conceded a penalty that Karim Benzema dispatched.

However, Cristian Tello–  formerly of Barca – netted an 82nd-minute winner, meaning Madrid have won just one of their past five matches in all competitions.

Ramos recognises there is a long way to go in the season, with 11 matches remaining, but he is keen to see his side rally to ensure there are no further setbacks.

The captain, who acknowledged Madrid "didn't feel comfortable at the back", with Betis wasteful prior to their winner, reflected: "This is football.

"When things don't go the way you want them to, when things you've worked on all week don't go the way you planned, that's how it can be. We weren't decisive enough in certain phases of the game. It wasn't enough.

"I thought we deserved the draw, but we have to now be self-critical. There's nothing good to take from this game, but there's a lot of the season remaining.

"It's a blow. We wanted the leadership back but we weren't able to claim it.

"We're not going to drive ourselves mad. Of course, we won last week against Barca. After dropping three more points, we know there are still a lot of points still to play for with 11 games remaining.

"But we know if we want to be champions, we can't give up chances like this. We know this is a difficult place to come and Betis are a difficult team to play, but we can't drop points.

"We have to put this behind us and come back even stronger.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing is the spirit of the group. We have to gain confidence and that's the objective of the week to come."

Real Madrid missed the opportunity to return to the top of the table in LaLiga as they fell to a late 2-1 defeat at Real Betis on Sunday.

Zinedine Zidane's side had climbed to the summit with their Clasico defeat of Barcelona last week, but they slipped back below their bitter rivals after Quique Setien's men triumphed on Saturday and could not reclaim first place following a below-par display in Seville.

Indeed, Madrid would have been fortunate to emerge with even a point, as Betis enjoyed the better of the contest and led through Sidnei, only for the defender to swiftly concede a penalty at the other end that Karim Benzema scored.

Former Barca winger Cristian Tello netted with eight minutes remaining, though, and Los Blancos' have now won just once – against the Blaugrana – in their past five matches in all competitions, with Betis picking up their first win in seven top-flight games. 

Manchester City could let Sergio Aguero leave at the end of the season, according to a report.

City were handed a two-season Champions League ban last month over Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, although they are appealing the ruling.

However, that could lead to a big-name exit at the end of the campaign.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY COULD LET AGUERO LEAVE AT END OF SEASON

Manchester City are willing to let Aguero go if they fail to overturn the European ban, according to The Sun.

The report says the 31-year-old Argentina forward would be allowed to leave if he indicated he wanted to do so despite being contracted until 2021.

Aguero is the Premier League club's all-time leading goalscorer and is enjoying another fine campaign, netting 23 times in 29 games.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luka Jovic has struggled at Real Madrid and could be set for a switch. AS reports Napoli are considering a move for the 22-year-old forward, who has scored just twice this season after joining Madrid for a reported €60million from Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Chelsea seem ready to move on from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Daily Express reports the Premier League club have been alerted to the potential availability of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is said to be weighing up his future at Barcelona. The Mirror reports Chelsea are monitoring Dean Henderson, who has impressed on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United.

- Also at Stamford Bridge, The Mirror reports Tammy Abraham has rejected a contract offer from Chelsea. Abraham – who has 15 goals this season – has a deal until 2022 but reportedly wants fresh terms similar to the club's other stars before recommitting.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Manchester City are prepared to spend £80m (€92.5m) on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to the Daily Express.

- With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang perhaps set for an Arsenal exit, CalcioMercato reports Inter are considering a move for the forward, who played for AC Milan's youth team but never made an appearance for the senior side.

- Everton are eyeing a move for Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin in the close season, according to The Sun.

Barcelona coach Quique Setien insisted he was happy with Frenkie de Jong's form, but said the LaLiga giants were perhaps asking for too much from the midfielder.

De Jong has faced some criticism for his performances since arriving at the club from Ajax for a reported €75million ahead of this season.

The midfielder, who has scored two goals and provided three assists in 37 games this season, played 90 minutes in Barca's 1-0 LaLiga win over Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Asked about De Jong afterwards, Setien said he was satisfied with the 22-year-old Netherlands international.

"I see Frenkie in quite a good place," he told a news conference.

"This doesn't just apply to Frenkie, but if you analyse all the players down to fine detail you'll always see some things that certain players can improve on, or every player can. Some decisions can have an impact on the game. As long as it's a good technical decision, that's what's important. That sometimes happens where a decision can be the wrong one or not.

"Frenkie gives us a lot. He helps us out a great deal. It's true that perhaps we might ask a little bit too much from him, as we demand excellence from our players and it's never easy when you're facing a team like we did [on Saturday]. It's not easy at all.

"Our players' characteristics are not really designed for an intense high press compared to Real Sociedad and that's what we struggled with and when they managed to play to their strengths they made us suffer. But that also happened to them.

"At the end of the day, in general I am happy with how the team played and how Frenkie played."

Barcelona moved top of the LaLiga table, two points clear of rivals Real Madrid, who visit Real Betis on Sunday.

Left-back Jordi Alba was disappointed to hear jeers among the Barcelona supporters as they struggled to break down Real Sociedad, prompting a response when he appeared to have scored.

Barca ran out 1-0 winners at Camp Nou as Lionel Messi's late penalty ended La Real's six-match winning run in all competitions.

Sociedad are one of LaLiga's form teams, but there was little patience with the home side as they toiled for a time.

Alba noted prominent early whistles from the fans, and so the Spain international stuck his fingers in his ears as he found the net in stoppage time, only for the goal to be ruled out.

"I respect the fans but the fans have to respect me," he explained afterwards. "Nobody likes to be whistled, and less so after 15 minutes at 0-0.

"It's true that we have to improve a lot of things but the attitude is good."

Head coach Quique Setien, nodding to La Real's quality, added: "The team have not lost confidence at all, but the fans do not contemplate that the opponent can dominate you.

"I give La Real a lot of credit. We have done many things well. We have had more chances than them.

"You end up being in the lead because you're better, but it's getting more even. La Real have three or four players who could play perfectly in Barcelona."

Barca moved top of the table at least until rivals Real Madrid face Real Betis on Sunday, although Setien suggests victory for Zinedine Zidane's side is not a given.

"We overcame a difficult game and now it's they who have a difficult game in Seville," Setien said.

Gerard Pique has defended Barcelona assistant Eder Sarabia for his foul-mouthed rant in El Clasico and insisted the players welcome his intense approach in the dugout.

Barca returned to winning ways with a 1-0 triumph over Real Sociedad on Saturday, six days after their desperately disappointing LaLiga loss to rivals Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu.

Ahead of the clash with Sociedad, head coach Quique Setien described the focus on Sarabia's outburst against his players during the Clasico as "a bit embarrassing" and urged his assistant to show control.

Setien also apologised to the squad, but Pique stressed that was not necessary after playing the full match at Camp Nou.

"The assistant coach is full of adrenaline and intensity which manifested itself in this way at the Bernabeu, but it is all completely normal for us," Pique said after Lionel Messi's late penalty gave Barca victory.

"All the players discussed it in the dressing room. The boss apologised and we told him that nothing had come from us; if anything it [the controversy] related to the image of the club.

"What's more, we like that there's intensity in the dugout and they are living [the game] too.

"When the club is weak, these types of things come up. A few weeks ago, the talk was about the players not having a huddle before the game because of the change of coach, then it was the warm-up was different.

"It's the same thing. It's another story that happens after a defeat and you always have to go out and deny it. [Sarabia's behaviour] is completely normal."

Pique was relieved to get the job done against a Real Sociedad team who had won six straight matches coming into the clash.

"We knew it was going to be very tough because we are coming from the defeat at the Bernabeu and they are having an exceptional season and they've reached the final of the Copa," said the Spain defender.

"It wasn't going to be easy; they play good football, we try to, and the game was decided by the small details.

"Some hands inside the penalty area have given us the three very important points that are going to help us fight for the title."

Sarabia had also addressed the topic prior to the match and insisted he will remain passionate in his approach.

"My spirit will never change," he said to Movistar. "It's more about ways [of doing things] than the substance.

"It's true that we have to set an example for lot of people, for children. We have to be careful with certain things.

"But I'm going to keep experiencing football intensely, I'm proud to be the way that I am and I'll keep it up, keep working and keep going."

Reinier scored his first goals since arriving at Real Madrid as he grabbed a double in Castilla's 4-0 victory over Coruxo on Saturday.

Madrid shelled out a reported €30million to sign the 18-year-old from Flamengo, and he has started his career in Spain with the second team in Segunda B1.

Reinier got off the mark by guiding home the game's opening goal from 12 yards after Miguel Baeza cushioned Fran Garcia's left-wing delivery in the ninth minute.

After Alvaro Fidalgo and Antonio Blanco increased Castilla's advantage, the Brazilian volleyed home a cross in the 91st minute to round off the scoring and secure the win for Raul's side.

Lionel Messi scored a late penalty as Barcelona shook off a post-Clasico hangover and edged to a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

Having lost first place in their defeat to rivals Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu six days ago, Barca took the chance to return to the summit, albeit in an unconvincing Camp Nou victory on Saturday.

Messi came into the contest having failed to score in six of his last seven games but he converted the crucial spot-kick with nine minutes remaining after a VAR review adjudged Robin Le Normand had handled a left-wing cross.

Madrid now trail by two points but have the chance to reclaim top spot in Sunday's match against Barca head coach Quique Setien's former club Real Betis.

Atletico Madrid fans jeered Diego Simeone's decision to withdraw Joao Felix during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sevilla but the coach explained he was under instruction to be "careful" with him.

Los Colchoneros missed out on the chance to usurp Sevilla and go third in LaLiga, as they struggled to break down their visitors after a thrilling first half.

Alvaro Morata's penalty and Joao Felix's deflected effort cancelled out Luuk de Jong's well-taken opener, before Lucas Ocampos' spot-kick – which he won – just before half-time earned Sevilla a deserved point.

With Atletico chasing a late win, the previously lively Joao Felix was taken off for former Sevilla winger Vitolo in the 80th minute, and the home fans seemed unimpressed by the alteration.

But Simeone stressed he felt it to be a necessary decision.

"We can't tell people that he felt overloaded in his calf," Simeone told reporters when asked to address the whistles that accompanied his withdrawal.

"The doctor told me to be careful with Joao because he was getting cramps, that's why the change came.

"That he scored a goal to make the people happy is normal, because he's from Atletico."

VAR attracted much attention during the match, as the two penalties came after lengthy reviews – Simeone felt the outcome of both incidents was fair.

"It ends up being more fair than unfair," he said. "I am far away from the play of the first penalty and very far for the second, so I cannot enter a summary.

"I don't think that the defining factor of the match was the VAR. It has been a good duel with two teams fighting for very high goals.

"We were two teams that have competed very well, and that will surely compete until the end for the Champions League [places]."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui was less impressed by the use of VAR, however, particularly in terms of how long it took for the final decisions to be communicated.

"I believe that the VAR should intervene when situations are white or black," he added. "If you are waiting three minutes to see if you are going to review the decision or not, then that play is not very clear.

"There are many browns [rather than black or white] in football. That is what I meant. It should only intervene when it is black or white, because it cannot take so long, also because of the rhythm of the match, it stops too much.

"It was a very nice match. He [the referee] can't stand around for four or five minutes."

Atletico Madrid missed the opportunity to usurp third-placed Sevilla in LaLiga as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Julen Lopetegui's side at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Diego Simeone's men were hoping for a positive result that would have taken themselves back into the top four ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg with Liverpool, but Sevilla claimed a commendable draw as Atletico failed to capitalise on their chances after half-time.

Luuk de Jong put Sevilla in front, before an Alvaro Morata penalty and a deflected Joao Felix effort turned the tables, but the visitors did go in at the interval level thanks to Lucas Ocampos' spot-kick.

Atletico attacked with increased intensity in the second half and crafted some presentable chances, but Diego Costa and Yannick Carrasco were both unable to capitalise as a Sevilla held on.

Sevilla began with the greater intent and deservedly went ahead 19 minutes in, Stefan Savic unable to cut out Joan Jordan's pass in from the right and De Jong finishing clinically after a fine first touch.

Atletico levelled from the spot through Morata – Diego Carlos penalised for an apparent handball following a lengthy VAR check.

Joao Felix then then put the hosts in front in the 36th minute, his left-footed shot taking a massive deflection of Jules Kounde before looping over the helpless Tomas Vaclik.

However, Sevilla equalised just before the break.

Ocampos converted the game's second spot-kick after another protracted VAR review adjudged Kieran Trippier to have caught the Argentinian.

Valik produced a wonderful save to deny Carrasco just past the hour-mark, reacting to claw the ball away after it had taken a hefty deflection.

The Belgian forward went close again soon after, blasting over from the centre of the box with what proved to be Atletico's final clear-cut opportunity.

 

What does it mean? Atletico happy to avoid defeat

While a draw will frustrate Simeone, he is probably grateful to avoid defeat above all, as that could have been a major blow for their top-four chances and dented their confidence ahead of Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Sevilla might feel irritated they did not do more to put Atleti under pressure in the first half when they were the better side.

Joao Felix provides a bit of spark

It has not been a great debut season at Atletico for Joao Felix, but he certainly showed flashes of his undoubted ability on Saturday. The Portugal star created three opportunities, second only to team-mate Trippier, had three shots and got himself a goal – even if he needed help from Kounde to beat Vaclik.

Suso's so-so

Much of the creative burden should have been on Suso for Sevilla, but the January signing from Milan was very quiet as he failed to create a single chance.

What's next?

Atletico turn their attention to the Champions League now, as they go to Anfield 1-0 up against title-holders Liverpool, followed by a trip to Athletic Bilbao. Sevilla host Roma in the Europa League on Thursday, then welcome bitter rivals Real Betis to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan three days later.

Zinedine Zidane accepts there is no long-term security as Real Madrid coach, though he denied being approached by his former club Juventus about a return to Serie A.

A report emerged on Friday claiming that Juventus, for whom Zidane played between 1996 and 2001 prior to joining Madrid, want the Frenchman to replace Maurizio Sarri.

Such a move to Turin would see Zidane reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zidane only came back to Madrid 12 months ago for a second spell in charge of Los Blancos, and last weekend's Clasico win over Barcelona took them to the top of LaLiga ahead of the latest round of fixtures.

However, while things may be rosy now, Zidane is realistic about the state of his profession.

"I am lucky to be able to live my passion, football, in this club," the 47-year-old said at a news conference on Saturday to preview Madrid's trip to Real Betis.

"It is a pride and I take every moment that this team gives me. The players are part of this story, they write something every day.

"In football there is no continuity of knowing what you will follow, the most important is the day to day.

"Sure I feel backed by the club, here we all go in the same direction, but then I know how this works.

"Now I am the coach of Real Madrid but tomorrow it could change.

"I am here and it is a joy. [Juventus] have not contacted me.

"There are many rumours circulating, but I haven't received any offers from anyone."

Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard flew to America to have an operation on his ankle this week after fracturing his right fibula in the defeat to Levante on February 22.

Zidane remains unsure if the Belgium international will return to his squad before the end of the season, though he described Hazard as being in a more upbeat mood following surgery.

"I think he feels better now, the operation went well," Zidane said. "Right now, he will have to work on his recovery, obviously.

"We can't tell you when he will be able to return. We don't know if he will return before the season is over, but of course we would love to have him before the season is over."

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