Man United’s 12 live transfer situations to close gap on Liverpool & Man City – Gary Neville

Gary Neville on Man United & Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

In his latest Sky Sports podcast, Gary Neville has discussed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment at Manchester United.

Lats week the Red Devils confirmed that Solskjaer is the club’s new full-time manager.

OGS has been rewarded for his excellent record since taking over from Jose Mourinho.

The Norwegian has signed a 3-year deal with Man United.

For Neville, the timing of the appointment made perfect sense. That’s because Neville believes Man United have twelve “live situations” to deal with within the next three months with regards to recruitment.

Closing the gap on Liverpool & Man City: ’12 live situations’

Neville has analysed what Man United have to do to close the gap on rivals Liverpool and Man City.

For the record, Man United currently have 61 points on the board. Man City have 77 while Liverpool have 79.

The former Old Trafford right-back believes Man United have 12 deals to negotiate in the next few months:

There are four or five players (Man United) want to keep who are out of contract.

There are four or five players (Solskjaer) will need to bring in. And there are probably four or five players he needs to get out.

Over the next two or three months there are 12 live situations… and that needs a good wheeler-dealer behind the scenes.

When it comes to the in-house deals Man United need to get done, top of the list is locking down David De Gea.

The Spanish goalie was linked with PSG over the weekend in the latest round of tabloid transfer news.

It’s also worth noting that against Watford last weekend, four of the five players in Man United’s defence were signed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Also see: Good for Man City: Liverpool’s tougher tests than Tottenham revealed by Gary Neville.

Injury update on Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool 2 – Tottenham 1.

Bielsa delivers positive injury update about ‘very important’ Leeds player

Bielsa delivers positive injury update about 'very important' Leeds player – originally posted on Sportslens.com

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Marcelo Bielsa has revealed to the Yorkshire Evening Post that he expects Kemar Roofe to be available for training this week.

Leeds have moved into second position in the Championship following their pulsating 3-2 victory against Millwall on Saturday.

As the Whites prepare for their trip to Birmingham City, the potential return of Roofe to the squad will serve a massive boost to the side.

The Whites have been without their top scorer Roofe since the middle of February, after he suffered a knee injury in the 2-1 win over Swansea.

The 26-year-old, who has netted 14 goals this season, could now return to strengthen Bielsa’s hand at St Andrew’s.

“It’s possible that Kemar will come back into training this week. It’s a possibility but it’s not definite or concrete,” Bielsa told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“We hope that he will because he’s a very important player.”

It was previously thought that Roofe would need surgery at one stage. However, those fears were allayed by the club’s medical staff.

Leeds bounced back in style after their 1-0 defeat against Sheffield United, and now will be looking to keep the momentum going with another positive result against Birmingham on Saturday.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Guillem Balague explains why Madrid won’t make move to seal £500million Pogba deal

Guillem Balague explains why Madrid won't make move to seal £500million Pogba deal – originally posted on Sportslens.com

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has always been routinely linked with Real Madrid for what seems like forever now, and the French star has fanned the flames after admitting “Real Madrid is a dream for anyone” during the international break.

With the summer transfer window approaching, the rumours are bound to start doing the rounds all over again, but Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has explained why the La Liga giants won’t be interested in sealing a deal for the United man, claiming his agent Mino Raiola is only trying to be in the news and make something happen.

“A lot of rumours have started suggesting that Real Madrid want Pogba. Clearly, Zinedine Zidane admires Pogba and Pogba has been flirting with Real Madrid. When that happens, it’s because somebody wants something to happen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen,” Balague said on his official YouTube channel.

“Pogba has backed [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer, Manchester United don’t wanna get rid of Pogba and the money that he will cost Real Madrid is something that, at the moment, Real Madrid are not willing to pay. Now it’s interesting because Real Madrid are actually trying to get new investors to bring into the club new money by sponsorship or bonds, and the suggestion is that they’re looking to do that in the States especially. Money that will allow: number one – to rebuild the stadium, but also to give the facility of Real Madrid using money to get new players coming in.”

“To do the big changes that Zidane wants to do, big in terms of some of the names that are involved but not big in terms of the number of players that are gonna come in or out, it’s not gonna be a massive, massive change. Count on three, four new players for Real Madrid and that’s all – and they won’t be the big names.

“We’ve dealt with Pogba. I don’t think it’s going to happen even though the rumours are going to continue. It’s Mino Raiola, after all, who runs the professional life of Pogba and he likes to be in the news constantly. But it’s not the kind of investment some people [think]. £500million is what it will cost to bring Pogba to Real Madrid. Not just in terms of a transfer fee, but wages as well. Forget it, it is not something that Real Madrid are contemplating right now.”

The 26-year-old has two years left on his current deal at Old Trafford, and it doesn’t seem the Red Devils are in a rush to go into contract extension talks at the moment.

While a future move to the Santiago Bernabeu can’t be ruled out for Pogba, it doesn’t look like anything will happen anytime soon, and it is hard to see Madrid budgeting around half a billion just to secure his services.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

‘I would snatch it’ – 21-yr-old forward desperate to join ‘amazing club’ Celtic in summer

'I would snatch it' – 21-yr-old forward desperate to join 'amazing club' Celtic in summer – originally posted on Sportslens.com

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Celtic attacker Oliver Burke has revealed that he would love to join the club permanently.

The WBA player is currently on loan at Parkhead and he has been in great form for Celtic. He has scored 4 goals in 6 Premiership starts for Celtic so far.

Burke is clearly enjoying his football at the Scottish club and staying on would benefit all parties.

The highly-rated attacker revealed that Celtic is an amazing club and he would join them if it was up to him.

He said (via Scottish Sun): “If it was down to myself, I would snatch it right up. I think it’s an amazing club and I’m very happy here and enjoying my football, so why wouldn’t I want to stay here? But right now, like I said, it’s totally out of my hands. We just have to see at the end of the season what comes of it.”

He is not a key player at West Brom and he is unlikely to play regularly with them. At this stage of his career, he needs to play week in week out.

Celtic can provide him with that platform. He has formed a solid attacking unit alongside Edouard and he is well settled at the club.

The Hoops must look to break the bank for him in summer. The 21-year-old is keen and Celtic still have the proceeds from Dembele’s sale.

It would be a no brainer for the Scottish giants.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Good for Man City: Liverpool’s tougher tests than Tottenham revealed by Gary Neville

Liverpool 2 – Tottenham 1

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League on Sunday beating Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield.

Once again Liverpool won a league match in dramatic style without playing too well.

A Hugo Lloris mistake ended up with Toby Alderweireld’s own goal in the 90th minute. That handed Liverpool the win.

Previously Roberto Firmino opened for the Reds after 16 minute, while Lucas Moura levelled for Spurs in the 70th.

Liverpool move above Man City

As a result of beating Spurs, Liverpool moved above Man City in the table.

Man City are two points behind the Reds, however they retain a game in hand.

Gary Neville on the title race

Gary Neville was joined by Jamie Carragher on his latest Sky Sports podcast after Liverpool beat Spurs.

In an eyebrow raising comment, Neville expressed his belief that Liverpool still have tougher matches to come than the Tottenham game:

I don’t think today is the toughest game for Liverpool.

I think Southampton away, Cardiff away, even Newcastle away, could provide tougher and sterner opposition.

It’s those games that can sometimes freak you out a bit, especially as a couple of those teams are in relegation battles.

We are at Southampton on Friday [on Sky Sports] and Liverpool will start as favourites, but those games can be tougher than this type of game, when everybody is up for it, the fans, the players, and it’s an obvious difficult opponent.

I don’t see Tottenham and Chelsea at home as the games that will catch Liverpool out. If they are going to have a problem I think it will be those away games.

I also think City have an advantage in the next four games as they play in front of Liverpool. I think it’s always an advantage to play first so they can get the points on the board and put pressure on.

Also see: Injury update on Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool 2 – Tottenham 1.

Tottenham fans take aim at Hugo Lloris after Liverpool.

Jamie Carragher’s brilliant reaction as Liverpool win thriller vs Spurs

Jamie Carragher's brilliant reaction as Liverpool win thriller vs Spurs – originally posted on Sportslens.com

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Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher burst out in excitement after the Reds snatched a last-gasp winner in their Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds took the lead in the first half when Roberto Firmino scored from a header from a delicious cross by Andy Robertson.

However, Spurs produced a spirited performance after the break, and equalised through Lucas Moura.

A draw would have dealt a huge blow to Liverpool’s title ambitions. However, an injury-time own goal from Toby Alderweireld saw them emerge victorious and grab all three points to move back to the top of the Premier League table.

Carragher, who was commentating on the game on Sky Sports, was overjoyed after Mohamed Salah’s header went in, with help from Hugo Lloris and Alderweireld.

“Mo Salah you little dancer!” he shouted, as quoted by The Mirror.

Worryingly, Liverpool were not at their best once again, but they did just enough to pick up all three points which matters the most at this stage of the season.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Newcastle preview: Let’s pick up where we left off

Well, here we go. It’s been 22 days since our last Premier League game, it feels like longer than that, and we’re off into the final stretch of the season as we face Newcastle at the Emirates tonight.

As difficult as it usually is to predict Unai Emery’s team selections, we usually have a little something to go on based on our previous game or two, but because there’s been no Arsenal for three weeks, it’s pure guesswork today. My suspicion is that he’ll be keen to pick up where we left off before the Interlull, and as such will go with a strong team this evening.

Over the course of the next few weeks his big challenge is going to be keeping his squad fresh with so many games in such a short space of time, but that’s not really a consideration for this evening. We didn’t have too many players away on international duty, the ones who stayed behind enjoyed some warm weather training and team bonding in Dubai, so hopefully the batteries are well and truly recharged and we can kick off this run of fixtures with a win.

The only considerations tonight might be the injuries sustained by Aaron Ramsey and Grant Xhaka during the break. Emery sounded relatively confident about them both when discussing them on Friday, but if there’s any chance that tonight might just be a bit too soon for them, he may well decide not to risk them for fear of aggravating anything and leading to a longer spell on the sidelines.

Assuming they are ok though, I really wouldn’t be surprised to see the same team that started the 2-0 win over Man Utd. We played three at the back, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac were attacking wing-backs, and then we hit them with our biggest guns: Ramsey, Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang. Not only was it strong from an attacking point of view, it illustrated that playing with three central defenders isn’t inherently negative, and with five our eight remaining Premier League games taking place away from home, I have a feeling Emery will be looking at this formation as one that provides a bit more defensive solidity. It does mean a lot of our firepower is on the pitch at the start, but there’s also Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan from the bench, and if Ramsey, for example, doesn’t make it tonight, the Armenian is more than capable of filling that gap.

One of the most promising things about the little spell before the Interlull was a sense that Emery was throwing off the shackles a little bit. He has been conservative at times this season, but as he’s come to understand his players and squad better I think he realises that our strength lies very much in the final third, and until such time as we can address some of our defensive issues via the transfer market then he should focus a bit more on that end of the pitch.

He’s been rewarded for that bravery in recent weeks, and I hope tonight can add to what is a strong record at home in the Premier League this season. Of our 16 games we’ve won 13, drawn 2 and lost 1, with a goal difference of +25. If not quite the stereotypical ‘fortress’, it’s still a place where we feel comfortable, play well and we’ve beaten some big teams in that run too. Newcastle will be well organised and tactically secure, as you’d expect any Rafa Benitez team to be, and Emery is the last coach to underestimate the opposition, but we have to make sure that tonight kick-starts our season because what happened in the Premier League this weekend has opened the door for us.

Leaving aside the absurd officiating which allowed Chelsea to take three points, Sp*rs being Sp*rs means that a win tonight will see us go two points clear of them and into third place. Just a few weeks ago they had 10 point lead over us, which shows just how Sp*rsy they’ve been recently, and what was a three-way fight for one place in the top four has now become a four-way scrap for two spots. It’s so tight, the quality of the opposition is high, which is why at this point of the campaign there’s very little margin for error.

It’s something Emery is clearly very aware of, and he views this month as one which will define our season:

In April, we are playing in a lot of matches and it is the key for our season. We finished very well both in the Europa League and Premier League before the international break. But in each match, we need to give a big focus and every player must be ready to give their best performance for us. We have a big possibility to play next season in the Champions League.

The next month really is quite daunting. Even if the calibre of opposition on paper looks relatively kind, the sheer number of games and the frequency is going to really test the manager and the players. I am reminded of something Arsene Wenger said about how when you’re winning and things are going well, fatigue never seems to be a problem. Momentum can carry you through, but when you have a bad result, the legs get very heavy very quickly. I think it’s inevitable that during this run not everything is going to go our way, and we’ll have to cope with that, but hopefully it’ll be something that slows us down rather that stops us in our tracks, and if we can get going again tonight then that will be a great start to this crucial period of the season.

As ever we’ll have a live blog for you later on, check back later for a post with all the info on that, or simply bookmark our default live blog page and updates will begin automatically. We’ll have all the post-match reaction, report and stats over on Arseblog News later too, so join us for that.

Catch you later for the game. Speaking of which, if you’re tired of searching for streams, we have a special offer from NOW TV.

You can watch Arsenal v Newcastle tonight with 25% off a Sky Sports Day Pass from NOW TV. Use the code ARSEBLOG or click here: http://tidd.ly/383b4dd7