What the papers say

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Read the latest Manchester United news, transfer rumours, match reports, fixtures and live scores from the Guardian
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Football transfer rumours: Tottenham to bid £17.5m for Schalke's Max Meyer?

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:15

Today’s fluff can see the sky is blue

Sadly, only one British national newspaper has led this morning with a transfer-gossip story, and even that is more of a repackaging of existing rumour than actual freshly-picked organic gossip. Still, here at the Mill we take what we’re given, which is the Sun’s assertion that Chelsea are “closing in on a £100m double swoop for Juventus stars Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro”, with Antonio Conte “ready to pounce” on £45m-rated Bonucci as well as the Brazilian left-back. Although we read elsewhere that Real Madrid, as they so often do, might come blundering into this happy picture and mess everything up.

Liverpool are still secretly working on a deal to sign Virgil van Dijk, but Sky Italy now insist that Chelsea have submitted a formal offer to Southampton and are very much in the driving seat, though it seems unlikely that even someone as deep-pocketed as Roman Abramovich wants to spend £105m of his soft-earned fortune on two new centre-halves when he already has three perfectly good, title-winning ones (indeed, the Guardian believes Chelsea’s interest is in landing either Bonucci or Van Dijk, but not both). One of Chelsea’s other targets is Monaco’s Tiemoué Bakayoko, for whom they have now agreed a fee of £35.2m, according to the Mail, while they’re going to sell Bertrand Traoré to Lyon for £16m.

Related: Mohamed Salah may have flopped at Chelsea but he can fly at Liverpool | Jonathan Wilson

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Bayern Munich warn off Robert Lewandowski bids by issuing Fifa threat

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 16:18
• Polish striker linked to Chelsea and Manchester United
• ‘There are no talks with other clubs, and there won’t be any’

Bayern Munich have warned rival clubs not to approach the unsettled Robert Lewandowski, with the Bundesliga champions prepared to seek Fifa sanctions if their message goes unheeded.

The prolific Polish striker has been linked with a transfer window move to Chelsea or Manchester United, amid reports that initial talks over a deal had begun.

Related: Liverpool to seal Mohamed Salah signing from Roma for £35m

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Fifa clears Manchester United over Paul Pogba move but acts against Juventus

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 00:01
• Fifa said in May it was looking into world-record deal for midfielder
• Reports had claimed agent Mino Raiola earned £41.3m from transfer

Manchester United have been cleared of wrongdoing in the transfer of Paul Pogba but Fifa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Juventus.

Related: Manchester United manager José Mourinho accused of tax fraud in Spain

Related: Gianluigi Donnarumma staying calm as Milan transfer tension rises | Ed Aarons

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Manchester United manager José Mourinho accused of tax fraud in Spain

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 12:01
• Spanish prosecutors file claim for €3.3m from Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid
• Cristiano Ronaldo will testify in court over his own tax case on 31 July

Spanish prosecutors said on Tuesday they had filed a claim against the Manchester United manager José Mourinho on two counts of tax fraud in 2011 and 2012, when he managed Real Madrid.

Mourinho, who is Portuguese, owes the Spanish tax authorities €3.3 million euros (£2.9m), a Madrid prosecutor said in a statement, adding it had presented a claim to a local court.

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Florentino Pérez describes Cristiano Ronaldo’s situation as ‘very strange’

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 00:52
• Real Madrid president plans to talk to player in next few days
• Portuguese forward linked with return to Manchester United

The re-elected Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, has described the uncertainty surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future as “very strange”.

Related: ‘Outraged’ Cristiano Ronaldo puts Manchester United on red alert

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Football transfer rumours: Gianluigi Donnarumma to Manchester United?

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 09:20

Today’s rumours are melting in the middle

Cristiano Ronaldo has always loved Manchester United. We know this because
he left the club to spend his peak years elsewhere, and now that they are
over, is looking to return. The likelihood is that three Champions Leagues
and three Ballon d’Ors later, he has at last come to acknowledge the famous
saying that “when you leave United, the only way is down”, and as such has
instructed Jorge Mendes to negotiate his back passage; strike that, reverse
it; his passage back.

Related: Milan’s Donnarumma has fake money thrown at him in Under-21 match for Italy

Related: Chelsea to step up efforts to sign Alex Sandro and Tiemoué Bakayoko

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The transfer hunters: how Premier League scouting set-ups compare

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 11:00
As the transfer season hots up, we look at the recruitment structures at the 20 clubs who will be playing in the 2017-18 top flight

Arsenal’s chief scout is one of the club’s longest-serving employees. Steve Rowley’s reputation was forged when he spotted an 11-year-old Tony Adams while scouting part-time. Rowley went full-time when George Graham was Arsenal manager, and was promoted to chief scout when Arsène Wenger arrived in 1996. He heads a global team and the scouting department has been influenced by the data analytics company StatDNA that Arsenal bought a few years ago with a nod to the Moneyball principles that had been successful in the US. Arsenal’s scouting is under scrutiny with last summer’s main arrivals – Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Pérez – all enduring difficult periods in their first Premier League campaigns. Amy Lawrence

Related: How computer analysts took over at Britain's top football clubs

Related: What do scouts look for in young players – and why are they not more venerated?

Related: Football Manager 2017: the game made by 1,300 scouts in 51 countries

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‘Outraged’ Cristiano Ronaldo puts Manchester United on red alert

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:38
• Source close to Real Madrid striker says he wants to leave Spain
• Former United man said to be furious over tax allegations

Manchester United are watching the Cristiano Ronaldo show with renewed interest after the Real Madrid striker made it plain he is “outraged” at what he feels is unfair treatment by tax authorities and is now determined to leave Spain.

The 32-year-old feels he is being singled out for disproportionate treatment after prosecutors accused him of defrauding the authorities of €14.7m. A source close to the player claims the “outraged” Portugal international “feels great indignation” following the public speculation about his tax affairs and a sense of “injustice” at the allegations – which he contests – and he has made a decision to leave the country.

Related: Cult of Cristiano Ronaldo distracts from Real Madrid’s brilliance | Barney Ronay

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José Mourinho and Mike Tyson are the heavyweights of counterpunching | Barney Ronay

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:00
The Manchester United manager’s tactics mirror those of boxing’s former world champion: get your retaliation in first

Mike Tyson has an interesting new book out called Iron Ambition. In it he talks about his violent childhood, explores his relationship with his late coach, the great Cus D’Amato, and kicks the whole thing off with a passage about wandering around his old Brooklyn neighbourhood, marvelling at the gentrification, tourists and, above all, the sight of people taking selfies all over the place.

Like many other grouchy middle-aged men Mike hasn’t, you sense, fully engaged with the selfie craze. “Imagine trying to do that with the people I was hanging out with in Times Square,” he writes. “‘Hey man, let’s take a selfie!’ Motherfuckers would start beating on you and leave you in a coma in the street.” We can never go back, of course. But in many ways, happier, wiser times.

Related: ‘Iceman’ Victor Lindelof can bring calm and class to Manchester United’s defence | Jacob Steinberg

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Football transfer rumours: Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United?

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:06

Today’s fluff is reaching into the night

The front page of today’s A Bola carries shock news that will send Europe’s biggest and richest clubs into a frenzy: “Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Spain!” they squeal. “The decision is irreversible and he has already told the Real Madrid president”. It seems the player is “outraged” by the charges of criminal tax fraud that have landed on his doorstep this week and is planning to take his revenge by personally snubbing their country of origin. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain could both be interested in sealing a – deep breath – £157m deal for the 32-year-old.

ABOLA - 16/06 #RealMadrid pic.twitter.com/iAt1viuWgD

Related: Everton kick off spending spree with Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen signings

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Premier League pre-season 2017: a full list of all the clubs’ friendlies

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 15:30
From Tanzania to Tennessee here is a rundown of the 20 clubs’ friendly fixtures before the season starts on 12 August

All dates and kick-off times BST. All information correct at time of publication

Related: Stadiums of the future: a revolution for the fan experience in sport

Related: Premier League fixtures: full club-by-club list for the 2017-18 season

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‘Iceman’ Victor Lindelof can bring calm and class to Manchester United’s defence

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:48

The Swede has gone from Benfica reserve to hot property in 18 months but his leadership and coolness under pressure marked him out from a young age and he and Eric Bailly should form a partnership reminiscent of Vidic and Ferdinand

When Luisão says that there have been times when he has mistaken Victor Lindelof for a player in his 30s, the gnarly Brazilian who has never held back in his role as the leader of Benfica’s defence is paying his young colleague the highest possible compliment. Although it could be mistaken for a dismissive observation about Lindelof’s cumbersome movement, instead it is Luisão’s way of expressing his admiration for a blossoming defender whose eerie composure explains why José Mourinho was so determined to bring him to Manchester United.

Luisão is not alone in regarding the 22-year-old as mature beyond his tender age and it is that very quality, that ability to stay cool under pressure and take everything in his stride, that has allowed Lindelof to develop from a Benfica reserve into one of the hottest young talents in Europe, all in the space of 18 months.

Related: Manchester United complete £31m signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica

I think he can handle the pressure. Mentally he is very strong

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Manchester United confirm signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica – video

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:48

Manchester United have signed Swedish defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica, the club confirmed on Wednesday. 22-year-old Lindelof is José Mourinho’s first signing of summer and makes the move to Old Trafford for a reported fee of £31m. He made 32 league appearances in 2016-17 as Benfica won the Portuguese title

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Manchester United complete £31m signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 19:41
• Sweden defender signs four-year deal at Old Trafford
• 22-year-old is United’s first summer acquisition

Manchester United have completed the signing of the Swedish international defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica on a four-year deal.

The 22-year-old centre‑back arrived at Manchester United’s Aon Training Complex on Wednesday morning after the two clubs agreed a fee understood to be €35m (£31m).

Related: Football transfer rumours: Arsenal target Chris Smalling amid Emirates exodus?

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Premier League 2017-18: West Ham unable to play at home until September

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:11
• Stadium will not be ready after World Athletics Championships
• Chelsea start title defence at home to Burnley, while Spurs begin at Newcastle

West Ham United will be unable to play their first scheduled home match of the season against Southampton on 19 August because the London Stadium will not be ready after hosting the world athletics championships this summer.

The athletics finish on Sunday 13 August and West Ham confirmed after the Premier League fixtures for 2017-18 had been released that their first home game will be against Huddersfield Town on 9 September. Restoring rows of seats moved to accommodate the running track will take too long to allow the match to go ahead.

Related: Premier League fixtures: full week-by-week list for the 2017-18 season

Related: Football Supporters’ Federation warns against disruptive kick-off time changes

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Manchester United to sign Benfica defender Victor Lindelof for £30.7m

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 23:36
• Defender becomes José Mourinho’s first signing of summer subject to medical
• Swedish international has 12 caps for his country

Manchester United have reached an agreement to sign the Swedish international Victor Lindelof from Benfica for £30.7m (€35m). With Champions League football secured after the Europa League was added to their EFL Cup and Community Shield triumphs, attention quickly turned to reinforcements.

The centre-back is now set to become José Mourinho’s first signing of the summer after United struck a deal with the Portuguese champions.

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Manchester United release confirmed by Premier League

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Manchester United release confirmed by Premier League

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 16:28
• Striker among players released by clubs who played in 2016-17 top flight
• Ibrahimovic suffered serious knee injury in April aged 35

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure from Manchester United was confirmed on Friday when the Premier League published the list of players released by the clubs who were part of the top flight in the 2016-17 season.

Ibrahimovic suffered a serious knee injury against Anderlecht in April and is expected to be out until early 2018, by which point he will be 36. United decided not to take up an option to extend his contract by a season.

Related: Manchester United close in on signing of Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid

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Manchester United close in on signing of Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 16:28
• Spain striker has informed European champions he wants to leave
• United negotiating fee with Madrid for Morata

Manchester United are increasingly hopeful of completing the signing of Álvaro Morata after the Real Madrid striker informed the European champions that he would like to leave Santiago Bernabéu this summer.

After confirmation that last season’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be offered a new contract at Old Trafford, United have acted quickly to secure his replacement and have offered around £60m for the 24-year-old Spain international. Having refused their opening offer of £52m earlier this week, Madrid are holding out for a fee closer to €90m (£79m) but could now be willing to accept a compromise after holding talks with Morata’s representative, Juanma López on Friday.

Related: Riyad Mahrez: a creative, mooching trend-bucker English football should cherish | Barney Ronay

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Football transfer rumours: Manchester United battling Milan for Andrea Belotti?

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 08:53

Today’s fluff is strong and stable

Apparently Liverpool are going to keep plugging away at this transfer negotiation lark until they crack it or land themselves a full-scale ban. But judging by the latest names being linked with them, the feast of new players that Jürgen Klopp was hoping to find waiting for him at Anfield is pie in the sky and he’s been told to make do with whatever he can find at the service station on the way home. His old muckers at Dortmumd might help him out by lending him the 19-year-old schemer Emre Mor for a season and there’s chat in France about grasping for Bordeaux’s sprightly forward Gaëtan Laborde. Mmmm...meh.

Klopp might also be waving goodbye to Divock Origi, whom Marseille are hoping will be fascinated by the prospect of forming a strikeforce with another of the club’s summer targets, the much-maligned Mario Balotelli.

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United after club decide against deal

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United after club decide against deal

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 23:09
• United decline to take up option for second year on striker’s contract
• Cruciate ligament injury has ended Ibrahimovic’s time at Old Trafford

Manchester United will not offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic a new deal when his current contract expires at the end of the month.

The 35-year-old had an option for a second season at United – following his influential first campaign in English football – but a cruciate ligament has finished his career at Old Trafford. The Swede will be 36 by the time he next plays, with the knee injury expected to keep the striker out until early 2018.

Related: Chris Smalling vows to prove Mourinho was wrong to question his bravery

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