All posts by Adii Noble

Born to be Successful 🔥🔥🔥 ...It's all about sport... Football lover Adii 10

To secure Barca stay, Setien needs to defeat Napoli

Advertisements

It’s been 13 years since Barcelona failed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. The last time it happened the coach survived. The same thing is unlikely to happen if they are knocked out by Napoli on Saturday night.

Frank Rijkaard’s team was eliminated at the last-16 stage by Liverpool in 2007 but the Dutch coach had delivered the league and Champions League in 2006 and kept his job for one more season. Quique Setien has no credit in the bank and will depart if Barca fail to get past Napoli.

He knows it, although he smiled at the question in Friday’s press conference saying: ‘I knew you were going to ask me that one. At no time has the thought entered my mind that this will be my last game.’

Sergio Busquets was slightly more vague when he said: ‘It’s not a decision the players will take. We have to concentrate on what happens on the pitch and if Setien continues then that is a good sign for everyone because it will mean we have done well and, why not, even have won the tournament.’

There is money at stake too, lots of it, and at a time when Barcelona need every financial injection they can get.

Based on last year’s payments the difference between winning the final and getting knocked out at the round of 16 stage can be as much as 43m (£38.9m) euros. There was a 10.5m (£9.4m) euros prize for reaching last season’s quarter-finals, 12m (£10.8m) for reaching the semis, 15m (£13.5m) for reaching the final, 4m (£3.6m) for winning it, and a further 3.5m (£3.1m) for competing in the subsequent European Super Cup.

Avoiding the soap opera of looking for the club’s second new coach inside nine months, and missing out on the kind of money that would enable them to buy half of Lautaro Martinez (it’s a start) makes this the biggest game the club has faced for a long time.

They don’t usually fail at home in this competition – they are on a run of 35 games at the Nou Camp without losing. Not since they were beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in 2013 have they lost at home in Europe. But there will be no supporters in the Catalan cathedral of football this time and that is not the only thing making them slightly nervous.

Barcelona’s midfield is three men down. Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets are suspended and Arthur Melo, sold to Juventus although still available for Barcelona, will take no part.

Setien will have to patch together a midfield made up of Frenkie De Jong, Ivan Rakitic and 20-year-old Riqui Puig.

That will put the emphasis more than ever on the forward line. Lionel Messi tends to score in the round of 16. He has 19 goals in 14 games and as ever Barcelona will need him to be at his best.

This will be his 142nd game in the competition taking him past Ryan Giggs and level with Raul. He still has three players in front of him but Xavi (151), Cristiano Ronaldo (169) and Iker Casillas (177) are all in his sights.

This is the competition that for two seasons now he has pinpointed as the priority. Barcelona need him to be at his best and for Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann to be 100 per cent alongside him.

Griezmann, whose first leg away goal gives Barcelona the slight edge, knows a big performance will also save his own first campaign at the club.

Advertisements

He has endured a tough first year with criticism that he has not repaid the 120 million euros (£108m) spent on him last summer. Much of that criticism has been harsh. His goal against Napoli in February was one of 15 he managed in his first campaign and not only does that tally match Neymar’s in his first season at the club but it also leaves Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard in the shade. The forward, signed from Chelsea last summer, has only scored once.

Griezmann may not have hit the heights he reached at Atletico Madrid where he scored 21 goals in his last season under Diego Simeone, 29, 26 and 32 in the three previous campaigns, but he has scored important goals. One on Saturday night would be another in an awkward first season marred by the struggle to get on Messi’s wavelength.

Griezmann’s team-mate Suarez, with whom the Frenchman has developed a friendship off the pitch to the point where Suarez published on social media: ‘Always positive and always looking forward’, in support of Griezmann, will also be a crucial cog.

Advertisements

Suarez rushed back from knee surgery to compete in the run-in. He hobbled off into a mini-break as soon as Real Madrid were crowned champions. Now the test will be to see if he comes back at his best.

If he doesn’t then with Martin Braithwaite unavailable having only been registered for La Liga it will be the 17-year-old striker Ansu Fati who Setien has to turn to.

Whether it’s the youngest Champions League goalscorer in the competition’s history (17 years and 10 days when he scored against Inter in December), the old fox Suarez, the eternally questioned Griezmann, or Mr. Reliable Messi, coach Setien will not care.

He just needs his team to get over the line (having drawn the first leg 1-1) and into the final eight in Lisbon so he can prolong his spell in charge of Barcelona and keep alive the club’s hopes of boosting the finances and saving the season.

Must Read

Solutions to Barca’s problem as illustrated by setien


#NobleSports

Who will score the first goal in today’s Barca Napoli clash

Advertisements

Barcelona will face Napoli in a few hours. Which striker will score the first goal in this clash?

Must Read

Mancity demands £31m from Barcelona for Eric Garcia

#NobleSports

Ronaldo’s sister slams teammate


Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister Elma Aveiro has criticised Juventus for their Champions League exit to Lyon on Friday night.

The Serie A champions beat the French side 2-1 as Ronaldo scored twice but it wasn’t enough as his side crashed out on away goals (2-2).

Maurizio Sarri was sacked as a result and Elma thinks Ronaldo’s team-mates let him down.

‘You did better than anyone, dear brother,’ Elma wrote on Instagram. ‘I’m proud to see you play and to see your dedication but unfortunately you can’t do everything alone.

‘You know that football is like that, but you also have to think that you did your best and that you are still the best.’

Despite leading the Turin giants to a ninth straight Serie A title, supporters and the club’s hierarchy have been left unimpressed by the veteran 61-year-old Sarri.

The official announcement was released on Saturday following a crisis meeting held between members of the club’s hierarchy – and it has been reported that Mauricio Pochettino has already been contacted to replace Sarri.

Advertisements

It is believed that the 48-year-old, who remains out of work after his Tottenham dismissal, would have accepted Juventus’ approach through an intermediary. It is expected he will become the first candidate to be formally interviewed.

Club chairman Andrea Agnelli fronted up the decision to replace the man in the hot seat. Long-standing servants Giorgio Chiellini and Gianlugi Buffon would have been informed about Sarri’s sacking first, and also given assurances over a potential successor.

The decision to bring an early end to Sarri’s reign may cost the club around £27million, should the tactician be unable to find a new role during the 24 months that were left on his deal.

It was decided during crisis talks held soon after Friday’s game that Sarri was no longer deemed the man capable of helping lead Juventus back to continental glory.

Must Read

Chelsea latest transfer rumour


#NobleSports

Juventus makes Zidane first choice to replace Sarri

Advertisements

Juventus have made Zinedine Zidane their No 1 target following the sacking of manager Maurizio Sarri on Saturday afternoon.

The Italian champions dispensed with Sarri after just one season in the wake of their dismal Champions League exit to Lyon on Friday night.

And Juventus supremo Andrea Agnelli has already targeted former midfielder Zidane, the manager of Real Madrid, to succeed him.

The former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is the Turin club’s second choice behind Zidane.

Talks with Real president Florentino Perez over Zidane are imminent as the Spanish champions also lick their wounds following a Champions League exit on Friday.

Agnelli will do anything to bring Zidane back to Juventus, the club he represented with distinction as a player for five years between 1996 and 2001.

Advertisements

And star player Cristiano Ronaldo would like to work under Zidane again following their success together at Real Madrid.

In the wake of Real’s last-16 exit to Manchester City on Friday, Zidane said: ‘We will see what happens next season. Now it’s time to rest, I’m here and I’m the Real Madrid manager until something happens.’

But their failure in the Champions League means Juventus may be able to prise Zidane away this summer. The Frenchman enjoys very good relations with Agnelli and they are frequently in contact by phone.

Zidane has always wanted to coach Juventus while Agnelli has promised the three-time Champions League winner the job sooner or later.

Advertisements

Zidane still spends time in Turin for family and business reasons and even uses the same taxi driver from his time there as a player.

He has also often praised Juventus. In 2016, when inaugurating the Z5 Sports Center, he said: ‘Juve made me grow as a football and as a man. It’s always an emotion to come back here as I played five years in Turin.

‘With Juventus there is something special: It was important for me. One day I could coach in Turin, you never know.’

The sports complex was opened by Zidane following others in Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and Madrid and features a five-a-side football centre and restaurant.

Must Read

‘Sarri changed me, but Gattuso is the Perfect Coach’ – Mertens


#NobleSports

All is fair in UCL defeat but Hazard gets injury yet again

Advertisements

Eden Hazard had a night to forget at the Etihad Stadium on Friday as Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League.

His selection in the XI came as a surprise, with him managing an injury.

But Zinedine Zidane chose him over Vinicius Junior on the left in a gamble that didn’t pay off.

Hazard ended the night with ice strapped onto his ankle as he spoke to the press.

“The first half was good and we deserved more,” the Belgian said.

“They scored and so did we, but when you play for this club you want to win everything, especially the Champions League.

“But because of the way they press it became difficult and that’s why we made mistakes.”

Must Read

‘Madrid shirt too heavy for him’ Legend Fabio mocks Hazard


#NobleSports

David Silva bids farewell after Madrid’s clash

Advertisements

David Silva has bid farewell to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium after 10 years of loyal service to the club, as Pep Guardiola’s side capped off their star man’s goodbye with a landmark victory over Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old will leave the club once their Champions League campaign reaches its conclusion, having won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and five EFL Cups during his spell in Manchester.

Guardiola couldn’t find a starting place for Silva in tonight’s mammoth Round of 16 tie with Madrid, but the Spaniard was involved in the second half, replacing Raheem Sterling in the 81st minute.

His thirteen minutes were his final moments on the Etihad Stadium turf, and he went close to capping a fairytale farewell as he saw a free kick whistle just wide of Thibaut Courtois’ post.

The diminutive midfielder helped his side see out a 2-1 win that booked City’s place in the quarter finals against Lyon in Lisbon. After the game, he was seen waving goodbye at the camera as he left the pitch.

Advertisements

And Silva took to Twitter with a poignant image showing the Spaniard spending a moment to himself looking out on the pitch, reflecting on what has been a decorated spell with the club.

City team-mate and England international Kyle Walker replied to the tweet with a blue heart emoji.

Silva’s next move remains unknown, with recent reports suggesting the midfielder could be on his way to Italy, with Lazio frontrunners to secure the services of the 34-year-old.

Fernando Silva, David’s father, has said that his son likes the Italian league and would enjoy playing in Serie A, amid rumours that Lazio have offered Silva a two-year deal as well as a luxurious mansion and a private jet’ for good measure.

Must Read

David Silva joins Lazio


#NobleSports

Zidane lost his first UcL tie

Advertisements

Zinedine Zidane experienced something new at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

With a 2-1 loss against Manchester City, Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League and Zidane, for the first time in his coaching career, lost a knockout tie in the competition.

Prior to their trip to Manchester, Zidane’s Real Madrid had won nine knockout rounds and three finals.

Advertisements

Roma, Wolfsburg, Man City themselves, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern again have all fallen at the hands of Zidane’s Real Madrid.

The three final wins came over Atleti, Juve and Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola, then, has become the first coach capable of bettering Zidane in Europe.

Must Read

Youngsters to fill Barca squad next season


#NobleSports

Not juve, Ronaldo knocked out of UCL by Lyon Once again

Advertisements

Lyon again proved Cristiano Ronaldo’s nemesis in the last 16 of the Champions League as Juventus were knocked out on Friday.

Cristiano Ronaldo had been an ever-present in the Champions League quarter-finals for 10 years, but Friday’s exit to Lyon might have felt a little too familiar.

Ronaldo’s Juventus crashed out on away goals – despite a 2-1 second-leg victory – as their number seven could only score twice after Memphis Depay’s penalty doubled Lyon’s aggregate advantage.

Advertisements

The result brought an end to the Portuguese’s streak of appearances in the last eight of the competition, yet the tie was surprisingly similar to his previous round-of-16 exit.

When Ronaldo last fell at this hurdle in 2009-10, Real Madrid – then enjoying his first season in Spain – were also dumped out by Lyon.

The French side, as this season, built on their 1-0 advantage from the first leg at home and a Ronaldo goal proved only enough for a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo has now scored against Lyon for three clubs, but he might well be keen to see the back of this particular opponent.

Must Read

Final score: Mancity 2-1 Madrid (4-2 Agg) City knocks Madrid out of UCL


#NobleSports

Final score: Mancity 2-1 Madrid (4-2 Agg) City knocks Madrid out of UCL

Advertisements

Manchester City capitalised on two Raphael Varane errors as they made it through to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-1 win over Real Madrid (Agg: 4-2).

Match Events


9′ GOOOOOAAAAALLL!!! CITY 1-0 MADRID!! The visitors have been a little too keen to pass out from the back early on and have paid the ultimate price. Courtois rolls the ball to Varane to his right and the centre-back is caught in possession by Jesus, who squares for Sterling to guide it into an empty net.

28′ GOOOOAAAAALLLL!!! CITY 1-1 MADRID!! GAME ON! Benzema plays the ball to Rodrygo and continues his run into the middle. Rodrygo, having knocked the ball down the line to himself, crosses towards the edge of the six-yard box and Benzema gets to it ahead of Fernandinho to head in.

68′ GOOOOOAAAALLL!!! CITY 2-1 MADRID!! ANOTHER VARANE HOWLER! Or should that be double howler?! Varane misses the initial header and is then short with his attempted headed pass back to Courtois. Jesus intercepts and beats Courtois from the angle with a fine finish to surely seal a quarter-final spot for City.

Advertisements

Line-ups


Man City XI: Fernandinho, Walker, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sterling, Cancelo, Laporte, Ederson, Jesus, Rodri, Foden

Subs: David Silva, Bravo, Otamendi, Mahrez, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Eric Garcia, Harwood-Bellis, C. Palmer, Bernabe, Doyle

Real Madrid XI: Modric, Benzema, Kroos, Hazard, Courtois, Casemiro, Carvajal, Varane, F Mendy, Militao, Rodrygo

Subs: Marcelo, Isco, Areola, Nacho, Vazquez, Jovic, Asensio, Valverde, Brahim, Vinicius, Javi Hernández, Altube.

Must Read

Mancity Vs Real Madrid starting Xi’s revealed


#NobleSports

Final score: Juventus 2-1 Lyon (agg 2-2) juve knocked out of UCL

Advertisements


Lyon advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon after beating Juventus on away goals despite defeat in the second leg.

Match Events


12′ DEPAY SCORES! It’s a confident spot-kick from the captain as he gets his side an important away goal. Szczesny dives to his right but Depay goes straight down the middle with a panenka. 1-0 Lyon! (2-0 on aggregate).

43′ RONALDO SCORES! It’s a confident run up from Ronaldo and he sends Lopes the wrong way as he sidefoots his shot into the bottom-right corner to pull one back for Juventus. 1-1! (2-1 Lyon on aggregate).

60′ RONALDO SCORES! It’s a brilliant finish from Ronaldo as he gets the ball on the edge of the box and he curls his shot around the Lyon defender. Lopes gets a hand to it, but there’s nothing he can do to stop it finding the back of the net. 2-1 Juventus! (2-2 on aggregate).

Advertisements

Line-ups


Juventus XI: Ronaldo, Bonucci, Higuain, Szczesny, Pjanic, Cuadrado, Sandro, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Bentancur, De Ligt

Subs: Buffon, Matuidi, Chiellini, Ramsey, Danilo, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Dybala, Demiral, M. Olivieri, Simone Muratore

Lyon XI: Marcelo, Anthony Lopes, Marcal, Depay, Ekambi, Cornet, Dubois, Denayer, Guimaraes, Aouar, Caqueret

Subs: Tatarusanu, Rafael, Traore, Mendes, Tete, Andersen, M Dembele, Adelaide, Jean Lucas, Bard, Cherki, Diomande.

Must Read

Juventus Vs Lyon starting Xi’s revealed


#NobleSports

Juventus Vs Lyon starting Xi’s revealed

Advertisements

Juventus vs Lyon Line-ups: Higuain & Ronaldo lead, Dybala & Ramsey on Subs

Starting XI: Szczesny, Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro, Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo.

Subs: Buffon, Ramsey, Danilo, Muratore, Matuidi, Dybala, Pinsoglio, Demiral, Chiellini, Olivieri, Rugani.

Starting XI: Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal, Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet, Toko Ekambi, Memphis.

Subs: Tatarusanu, Andersen, Dembele, Traore, Mendes, Rafael, Reine-Adelaide, Diomande, Lucas, Cherki, Tete, Bard.

Must Read

Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal tracking Lyon Midfielder Houssem Aouar


#NobleSports

Mancity Vs Real Madrid starting Xi’s revealed

Advertisements

Man City vs Real Madrid Line-ups: Hazard vs Sterling, Marcelo & Mahrez on Subs

Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Eder Militao, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Hazard, Benzema, Rodrygo

Subs: Areola, Altube, Nacho, Marcelo, Valverde, Lucas Vazquez, Jovic, Asensio, Brahim, Isco, Vinicius Jr, Hernandez

Man City : Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Jesus

Subs: Bravo, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Mahrez, Otamendi, Garcia, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer, Bernabez.

Must Read

Mancity demands £31m from Barcelona for Eric Garcia


#NobleSports

Europa league continues…

Advertisements

With continual fixtures and logs not yet confirmed, Europa league sets to officially continue advancing to the round of 8.

Just after Sevilla eliminates Roma and Getafe got eliminated by inter, uefa to decide the continuation.

Must Read

Sevilla reaches New heights in Europa league


#NobleSports

Uefa Champions league resumes

Advertisements

It’s the second leg for first set of teams…

Madrid to clash Manchester City at ethiad stadium.

The old ladies (Juventus) to face Lyon at home too .

Must Read

Szczesny fires warning to UCL rivals saying ‘Ronaldo is in our Midst’


Three Mid-ranked team wants Lingard

Advertisements

Manchester United are prepared to sell Jesse Lingard this summer, with the midfielder himself hoping to convince interested parties with his Europa League displays.

The 27-year-old England international has seen limited game time this season and only has one year left on his £100,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford.

But while it is believed Lingard is not pushing for a move, The Times report that the popular academy product is likely to leave Old Trafford, with interest in him from clubs across Europe, including Serie A side Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany.

And with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expected to play a weakened team in next month’s Europa League, the report adds that Lingard is hoping to get an opportunity to showcase his talent to his potential suitors.

Newcastle have also reportedly expressed interest, but the Magpies will wait until after the Europa League campaign to make a decision over his future.

The report claims United do have the option to extend his contract by a year next season, but claims a move away is more likely.

Advertisements

Lingard has not started a game for United since their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on New Year’s Day.

But he did come off the bench and scored in the win against Leicester City on the final day of the season, which ensured a top-four finish and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

United are also open to selling him this summer because they are in contention to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, who play in the same position as Lingard.

United play LASK Linz in the round of 16 on August 5 with a 5-0 aggregate lead over the Austrian side from the first leg in March.

Must Read

Lingard explains the difficulty in this season for him


#NobleSports

Mancity demands £31m from Barcelona for Eric Garcia

Advertisements

Manchester City have named their price for wantaway defender Eric Garcia after he refused to sign a new contract at the club, according to reports in Spain.

On Thursday, City boss Pep Guardiola revealed the 19-year-old did not want to stay at the club beyond the expiration of his contract next summer.

The Premier League club will therefore cash in on the teenage defender, who was deemed to be a future first-team star at the Etihad Stadium.

And several reports in Spain claim that City have set a £31million price tag over Garcia’s head, with one report saying that Barcelona are close to landing the defender.

The deal would be an initial £20million fee, with the remaining £11million to be paid in add-ons.

A move to Barcelona would see him return to the club that nurtured him throughhis developing years, with Garcia a product of the famous La Masia academy that has produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas.

Advertisements

The 6ft defender, who was born in Barcelona, joined Manchester City as a 16-year-old in 2017 during Guardiola’s second season in charge of the Premier League club.

Garcia made his first-team breakthrough in Guardiola’s side this season, featuring 22 times in all competitions during the 2019-20 season due to an injury to first-choice centre-back Ayermic Laporte.

The Citizens lost just twice out of the 13 matches in which Garcia featured in defence.

Guardiola revealed in his news conference ahead of Friday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid that the club tried to get Garcia to extend his deal, but the teenage defender has his heart set on a move away.

Advertisements

The City boss said on Thursday: ‘He announced to us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City.

‘He has one more year and after that, he doesn’t want to extend. We want it but he doesn’t want to, so I imagine he wants to play in another place.’

The 2019-20 season is not over for Manchester City yet due to their Champions League commitments, with Guardiola’s side holding a 2-1 aggregate advantage ahead of their second-leg tie at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

If the Citizens progress to the quarter-finals, they will face the winner of Lyon vs Juventus, who also play their second-leg on Friday night. The French side lead the Italian champions 1-0 ahead of their showdown in Turin.

Just click

Ac Milan discusses contract extension with Ibrahimovic and Donnarumma


#NobleSports

‘It’s obvious Thiago wants Liverpool move’ – Hansi flick

Advertisements

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has discussed Thiago Alcantara’s transfer situation – and hinted that he wants a Liverpool move.

Alcantara has been linked with a £30million switch to Anfield to link-up with big admirer Jurgen Klopp.


The midfielder was in contract talks with Bayern before withdrawing and declaring his desire for a new challenge.

And Flick has now confirmed he wants a Premier League move, where Liverpool are the only club with which he has been linked.

It remains to be seen whether the Reds will fund a move for the Spaniard, but Flick has no hard feelings over his desire to depart for pastures new.

Advertisements

“I can understand when a player is concerned,” Flick told NobleSports.

“Thiago played in Spain for FC Barcelona and in the Bundesliga for FC Bayern Munich.

“If he wants to try again in the Premier League now, I totally understand. But it would be a shame because Thiago gives our game that certain something.

“That’s why I would like to have him as a coach on the team for the next few years, but that’s life. It would go on.”

Advertisements

Asked if he feels extra motivation to win the treble with Thiago before his departure Flick added: “I have this feeling with every single member of the team.

“After the double, everyone is really hot and motivated to hit everything in them again in the next few weeks.”

With attention turning to a replacement for Thiago if he departs, Flick declared: “I’ll discuss the squad planning with Hasan Salihamidzic and his team. We are in close contact.

“Currently the focus is only on the Champions League. I therefore do not want to submit any water level reports.”

Must Read

Pulisic helps equalising, Giroud seals Chelsea’s victory against Aston Villa


#NobleSports

Man utd heartbroken ‘Mancity signed Ake’

Advertisements

Manchester United were interested in signing Nathan Ake before rivals Manchester City beat them to land the £41million defender, according to reports.

The Dutchman completed his move from Bournemouth to the Etihad on Wednesday but United were also in the market for a left-footed centre back with Ake fitting the bill perfectly.

NobleSports report that the Red Devils needed to raise more funds before launching a bid for the 25-year-old with most of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s transfer budget dedicated to the chase for Jadon Sancho.

The club have so far failed in their attempts to sell Marcos Rojo, who has not made an appearance since November 2018.

Advertisements

Chris Smalling’s proposed move to Roma also appears to be off with the Serie A side unwilling to meet United’s asking price.

Ake has already racked up 146 Premier League appearances, with Hector Bellerin and Luke Shaw the only defenders under the age of 25 with more.

The United boss appeared to cheekily tap up Ake during his side’s 5-2 victory over Bournemouth in July.

Solskjaer gave the defender a fist bump as he walked off the pitch and said: ‘Good luck’.

Advertisements

After he replied, ‘cheers, thank you’, the 47-year-old appeared to follow up with: ‘We need a left-footed centre back so keep going.’

Ake’s versatility means he can also fill in at left back, another area United are short on with young Brandon Williams currently filling in for the injured Shaw.

City have had defensive difficulties of their own with injuries to Aymeric Laporte forcing Pep Guardiola into playing Fernandinho at centre back on various ocassions.

Ake described signing for the blue half of Manchester as a ‘dream’.

Advertisements

‘City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade,’ the defender said.

‘Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.

‘Pep is a manager admired across the world – what he’s done in the game speaks for itself. The success he’s had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.

‘I know I’m going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that’s what I’m here to do. I’ll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware.’

Must Read

Officially: Mancity signs Nathan Aké


#NobpeSports

Lingardinho out? Man utd to listen to any offer

Advertisements

Manchester United will listen to offers for Jesse Lingard this summer, according to reports.

The 27-year-old midfielder has been on the fringes of the first-team since the emergence of Mason Greenwood and impressive form of January signing Bruno Fernandes.

NobleSports report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an admirer of Lingard, having coached him at United’s academy, but is desperate to raise money to fund a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

Lingard has scored in his last two United appearances, following up his goal on the final day of the Premier League season against Leicester with a strike in Wednesday’s Europa League clash with LASK.

Advertisements

The midfielder was visibly frustrated when he was substituted in the second half of the match but his reaction was defended by his manager who insisted he is a great character to have around the dressing room.

I’ve known Jesse since he was a little kid and I know there’s a good player and a great personality to have around,’ Solskjaer told NS after the match against LASK.

‘He knows what we want from him and he knows he has to stand by the manager whatever decision he makes. I would be disappointed if he was happy coming off.

‘He’s growing in confidence. He’s worked really hard on his finishing, especially lately, and I’m happy for him to score.’

Advertisements

The England international struggled for form earlier in the season and would have even more competition if Sancho arrived at Old Trafford.

United are in pole position to sign the Dortmund forward but are struggling to negotiate a fee with the Bundesliga side demanding as much as £108million.

The Red Devils have saved around £50million in wages by agreeing to give Alexis Sanchez a £9million pay off to exit his contract early and sign for Inter Milan.

But club may have to decrease their wage bill further to raise the extra funds needed to buy Sancho with Lingard said to be attracting interest from Newcastle, Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Must Read

Downgrade or Upgrade? Three Mid-ranked team wants Lingard


#NobleSports

Arsenal will close in on Willian transfer – Rudiger

Advertisements

Antonio Rudiger says Arsenal will be signing one of the few players in the world who “dictates the game” if Chelsea winger Willian joins the FA Cup winners.

The Gunners are closing in on signing Willian on a£150,000-per-week, three-year deal, with the Brazilian’s Stamford Bridge contract set to expire this month.

It has been suggested that the 32-year-old could miss Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Saturday ahead of his expected free transfer to the Emirates.

And Chelsea defender Rudiger says Willian will be a big miss if he does leave the club – comparing him to former teammate Eden Hazard in terms of the impact he can have on a game.

Advertisements

“Since day one of coming to Chelsea, he and David Luiz got me into the team and helped me out in the first couple of months because it was not that easy,” Rudiger told Mail Online.

He is a great guy and a really, really good footballer.

“He is calm and humble and it will be sad if I don’t see him again as a team-mate.”

Rudiger said Willian does his talking with his feet – just like Hazard, who left Chelsea for Real Madrid last summer.

“He is not the type of player who talks that much,” Rudiger said. “He does his thing on the pitch, just like Eden Hazard. By playing, he shows what he is about.

Advertisements

“He is a guy who dictates the game and not many players in the world have this type of quality.

“He is always training [hard] and practicing free-kicks after. He is someone who always wants to improve.”

Chelsea will need to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Bayern on Saturday if they are to reach the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League.

Rudiger and his teammates last week missed out on what would have been a first piece of silverware for Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager when they were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

Must Read

Arsenal offers Willian ‘three years contract’


#NobleSports

Arsenal latest transfer possibilities

Advertisements

Arsenal are looking to bolster their squad ahead of next season as Mikel Arteta looks to build on last weekend’s FA Cup triumph.

The news that 55 members of staff will be made redundant hasn’t gone down well, although the Gunners are still investing in recruitment – but they may have to sell players to finance some deals.

Arsenal are reportedly confident of tying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down to a new deal, with they have other targets such as winger Willian and defender Gabriel Magalhaes on their radar.

Advertisements

Here are the latest Arsenal transfer rumours.

Emery hopeful of Guendouzi deal
Villarreal boss Unai Emery has reportedly called Matteo Guendouzi as he steps up his efforts to sign the Arsenal midfielder.

Guendouzi was ostracised by Mikel Arteta following a display of ill-discipline during the defeat to Brighton in June.

The midfielder’s future at the club has been cast into doubt and Emery wants to be reunited with him in Spain.

According to Foot Mercato, the former Arsenal manager has contacted the 21-year-old in a bid to persuade him to swap the Gunners for Villarreal.

Advertisements

The Spanish side could explore a loan deal with an option to buy, but Arteta and the Arsenal board might prefer a straight sale.

Arteta’s Smith Rowe transfer stance
Emile Smith Rowe will be part of Arteta’s first-team squad for the 2020/21 campaign.

The attacking midfielder impressed during a loan spell at Huddersfield Town in the second half of the 2019/20 season.

Football.london understands the Gunners have told the youngster he will be integrated into the first-team group next term.

Arsenal believe Smith Rowe is a long-term option as a No10, while he can also play as a No8 in the 4-3-3 formation Arteta intends to use going forward.

“I am excited to work with him,” Arteta said of Smith Rowe last month.

“I have been talking with him and I have followed him during his spell on loan. I think he’s someone who can be pretty impressive.”

Advertisements

Gunners lead Gabriel race

Arsenal have emerged as favourites to sign Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes, according to NobleSports.

Napoli were previously thought to be in pole position to land the 6ft 3in defender, who enjoyed an impressive season in Ligue 1.

Everton has also been spoken of as a potential destination for the Brazilian, but Arsenal now lead the race.

The 22-year-old is reportedly keen to join the Gunners and will make a decision at some point this weekend.

With William Saliba set to arrive at the Emirates this summer after spending 2019/20 on loan at Saint-Etienne, the future looks bright for Arsenal’s backline.

Advertisements

Willian agrees Arsenal terms

Chelsea winger Willian has agreed a three-year contract with Arsenal worth £100,000 a week, according to NobleSports.

The Brazil international is set to leave Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s clash with Bayern Munich this weekend.

Willian was also linked with Tottenham, but Arsenal are now set to sign the experienced winger.

The move will be announced before the end of the month as Arteta continues with his revamp of the Gunners squad.

Willian has scored 11 goals and provided nine assists for Chelsea in all competitions this term.

Must Read

Willan agrees and joins Arsenal on free transfer


#NobleSports