Thiago Alcantara has bid an emotional farewell to Bayern Munich as he closes in
on a move to Liverpool.
The Spain international is expected to have his medical on Merseyside on Friday.
He is set to complete the formalities on a four-year deal,
for an initial £20m fee, later in the day.
“I have made the most difficult decision of my sports career,” said the
midfielder in a video posted on Twitter.
SMS Message: Utd should only splash the cash if it’s for an upgrade on what we have. We need genuine quality to challenge for the league and panic buying won’t get us anywhere fast. from Jim Flair
Utd should only splash the cash if it’s for an upgrade on what we have. We need genuine quality to challenge for the league and panic buying won’t get us anywhere fast.
BBC Radio 5 Live
Back to transfer talk now, and Tottenham legendGary Mabbuttsays Gareth Bale’s return to Spurs is “the obvious move for everyone”.
But the 31-year-old may take a while to adapt again to the demands of the Premier League, he told BBC Radio 5 live.
“I’ve been watching him a bit with Wales and he’s lacked match fitness,” said Mabbutt.
“Gareth has been training extremely hard, constantly. It’ll take Gareth a few weeks to get back into full match fitness but we’re looking forward to some great times ahead.”
Mabbutt has spent two hours a day
since the pandemic began calling vulnerable Spurs fans to provide some company.
He is now nearing 1,000 calls.
Great effort, Gary!!
Sounds likeDean Hendersonis givingDavid de Geaa run for his money and his battle to become Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper after returning from his loan spell with Sheffield United last season.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I’m not going to tell
you the team today but the goalkeeper training has been fantastic to watch,
“It’s the highest possible quality you can imagine. I know the goalkeeper coaches are
enjoying working with them and the stuff they do, some of the stuff is
fantastic. It’s going to be an interesting thing for many to
“I know it’s great to see [Spain coach] Luis Enrique talk about David the way he did
after the internationals. Coaches who work with players have got the respect and he
shows his respect, when he talks about it being nice if the press talk about what a
great goalkeeper we have, but Sergio [Romero] has not come back yet. He’s had some extra time.”
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that strikerMason Greenwoodwill be involved in their first Premier League game of the season.
“Yeah, he’s part of the group,” he said. “With the testing and Covid protocols, he trained by himself for a little while and as soon as possible he’s a
big part of this group.
“This is where we feels at home. It’s not comfortable, we
challenge him. But we’ve got people looking after him. We had a plan with him throughout the
season and it worked really well. He needed a rest. He’s an 18-year-old kid who needs managing.”
Although Manchester United did manage to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van be Beek, their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has dragged on. BossOle Gunnar Solskjaergave nothing away on where they’re up to with that though.
“Of course, we’ve done some business with Donny,” he said. “We’re delighted to get him in, he’s an exceptional, smashing lad that’ll give us something.
“I can’t say anything about other clubs’ players, I can’t speculate. We understand
to get further we need to develop what we have and strengthen the team, but
let’s wait and see if we manage to bring anyone in. I’ve been in dialogue with
the club, we’re always discussing, and let’s see if we can bring anyone in.”
Some Manchester United fans have grown frustrated at the lack of summer signings so far.
ManagerOle Gunnar Solskjaersaid: “Fans will always want the best possible team to watch, the best
possible Man United team, and that’s the passion we want and the history we have. We
can look back 10 or 20 years and you look back at the great players we have and,
for me, going forward, since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left we’ve been averaging fifth.
season we got third, which was a big step forward. Everyone saw development – Bruno [Fernandes] coming in, Harry [Maguire] being captain and showing leadership skills, Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] did
well. We want to take a step forward and we can go into the new season with
confidence, but we’re looking to give the group a boot and we’re working on it.”
In his first full season in charge,Ole Gunnar Solskjaersteered Manchester United to a top-three finish and hopes to build on that.
“I think we can go into the new season with confidence with
the way we finished last season. That showed what we’re capable of,” he said.
developed throughout the season and need to keep on and show potential. We need
more consistency but, with a year more experience, we should be getting that
consistency. It’s a group I don’t really want to say what they cannot do. They
can go as far as they want themselves.”
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also said that new signingDonny van de Beekhas “settled in really well” since arriving from Ajax.
“He’s a smashing boy,
great personality, coming in with loads of energy and a big smile every day,” said Solskjaer. “He played well against Aston Villa [friendly last Saturday] so you’re likely to see him but, of course, I’m not
going to name the team here today. ‘ll have to do that to the boys after
Copyright: PA Media
Meanwhile, Manchester United’sHarry Maguirewas given a suspended prison sentence on the Greek island of Syros after being found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts of bribery.
The England defender maintains his innocence and has appealed against the decision, which nullifies the conviction, and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaerlast week confirmed that he will remain the United captain.
“The process will keep on going,” he said. “Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart
but naturally, as a human being, it will be in the back of your mind what’s happened this
summer, and apart from that you have just got to see how it develops with
“Personally, I think he will be able to focus on his football but then who
am I to … you can’t predict how people will react but so far he’s trained well,
he’s been focused, so hopefully that process will just go on and, of course, we
know it’s something that will go on in the legal department over there.”
Copyright: PA Media
Here’s what Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to say when asked about teenage strikerMason Greenwood, who was handed his first senior call-up for England’s Nations League game against Iceland before being sent home for breaching Covid protocols.
“Yeah, of course I’ve spoken to Mason,” he said. “What we speak about and discuss will be
between the two of us. The kid had a fantastic season, he’s just come through,
I’ve worked and the club has worked and all the staff here have worked really
hard to – when we gave Mason enough time on the pitch, when we gave him
exposure in the media, then you come to the end of the season and we’ve had
less than two weeks off and he’s called up to the national team.
“I have to be
honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer, at the
club we asked specifically and pointed out he should have had a rest. He needs
it mentally and physically after that season he had and the first thing that
happens is one, he’s called up and two, he’s right there in the press.
done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know when
he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him he’ll be
In apiece I wrote for the BBC website yesterdaylooking ahead to the start of Manchester United’s season, I mentioned that I expectedOle Gunnar Solskjaerto adopt the same strategy as Sir Alex Ferguson when it came to dealing with the controversies surrounding Mason Greenwood and Harry Maguire in today’s press conference.
I was correct with that. He defended them both.
What I wasn’t anticipating was the additional condemnation of the Football Association in picking Greenwood in the first place.
Of course, this completely avoided discussion about Greenwood’s conduct but it underlined to the striker who is on his side and who isn’t.
It was a tactic Ferguson used throughout his illustrious career in order to gain trust from his players. A classic ploy.
Is this what transfer windows have now come to…
We’ve gone from flight trackers to checking tee times at local golf clubs?!?
Or maybe not. The give away?
Tottenham’s chief scout is Steve Hitchen, not Hitchin, as it appears on the booking. Also, Hadley Wood Golf Club have tweeted this…
One of you said earlier (9:06) that Gareth Bale is rejoining Tottenham to play football, not golf.
Well, this may take you by surprise then as Bale and chairman Daniel Levy appear to have a tee-time booked for today at Hadley Wood Golf Club in Barnet…
Copyright: Getty Images
Remember Gareth Bale holding this flag? Well, you ranked it as number eight among Bale’stop 10 iconic moments.
Bale never had a tight relationship with the Real Madrid fans and was criticised for being fit for Wales’ pivotal Euro 2020 qualifier with Hungary after missing seven weeks of club football.
Wales fans have turned the mantra ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid’ into a chant and, after qualification was secured with a win over Hungary, Bale was front and centre as the squad paraded a Welsh flag echoing that sentiment. What you can’t see is that the flag also said ‘In That Order’ on the bottom.
It was a response to former Real striker Predrag Mijatovic, who said: “I think Gareth Bale is a very particular kind of person… he comes across as a bit strange. The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid.”
SMS Message: I love Bale and I am so excited to see him returning! Unfortunately it’s going to take more than his arrival to make us a force again. The first 2 games of the season show just how lacking in attacking creativity or inspiration we are. Problem is we can’t defend either and need to replace Dier at the back. from Grahame James
I love Bale and I am so excited to see him returning! Unfortunately it’s going to take more than his arrival to make us a force again. The first 2 games of the season show just how lacking in attacking creativity or inspiration we are. Problem is we can’t defend either and need to replace Dier at the back.
Copyright: Getty Images
Gareth Bale will make Tottenham a dangerous attacking proposition, says former Spurs bossHarry Redknapp.
“No-one likes criticism but his record at Real Madrid was
incredible. He’s not an out and out centre forward but to score that amount of
goals, you couldn’t ask for much more. He really has done it on the big stage,” Redknappp told BBC Breakfast.
“It’ll be interesting to see how Jose plays him. He’s got Son
– who’s an incredible player – and Harry Kane in the middle. I mean them three
in a forward line really is exciting. That would send fear through any defence
in the country.
“He’s worth the money. If things don’t work out, and I’m sure
they will, it’s a loan for one season. Daniel Levy is a very shrewd operator
and I’m sure he’s done a very good deal.”
Manchester United managerOle Gunnar Solskjaeris about to do his first pre-match news conference of the season.
There are quite a lot of issues to discuss, including the recent controversies around Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood, whether David de Gea or Dean Henderson will be in goal for Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace and what the latest is with United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho.
United are starting their season a week late after being given additional time off following their run to last season’s Europa League semi-finals.
It’s all over… Riga FC claim a 1-0 victory at home to Tre Fiori so Celtic will be off to Latvia next week for their third qualifying round tie.
After that early start in Riga, they can all get themselves back to bed now.