Monthly Archives: July 2017

Jose Mourinho: signing Cristiano Ronaldo is “mission impossible”

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has played down any chances for Cristiano Ronaldo to return to the Red Devils, citing that it was “mission impossible” to signing his Portuguese compatriot.

There had been reports that Ronaldo had been furious after being accused of tax fraud by Spanish prosecutors, with sources close to the Portuguese captain claiming that the player intended to leave Spain.

Amongst his possible destinations was a move to United, whom he left for a then world record £80m in 2009.

The question was about the possibility of a Manchester United return for Ronaldo was finally put to Mourinho publicly, after his side had beaten LA Galaxy 5-2 in the first match of their pre-season tour of the United States on Sunday, but the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager labelled it as “mission impossible”

“We have never thought about it because he is such an important player for his club, of great economic power,” he said. “I am not a defender of my club once you waste time on players who are mission impossible.”

“We have not been able to find any reason that could have made us think that Ronaldo could leave.”

Mourinho also conveyed disappointment as he believed that Alvaro Morata, another Real Madrid player that he targets, will also be remaining with Los Blancos for the foreseeable future instead of making a move to Manchester.

“It is a question for Florentino (Perez, Real president),” he added. “He (Morata) belongs to Madrid. Madrid has decided and we have not come to an agreement. It is simple.”

“It is a shame. It is a player who made it to the first team with me (when Mourinho managed Real). We have a special liking for (him), he is someone special. I enjoyed watching his evolution in Juventus and Madrid. It is like that. I don’t think he can end with us.”

Juventus defender Bonucci to join rivals Milan in shock move

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Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci is set to join the Bianconeri’s fierce Serie A rivals AC Milan in a shock move after 7 years playing alongside the Italian Champions.

The Italian international is currently in advanced talks with the Milanese club and is hopeful of concluding a deal before the weekend.

Although regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and an important part of Juventus’s own BBC trio alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, Bonucci has not always seen eye to eye with the Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri.

According to reports, the pair had been trading insults during a game against Palermo last season, with the defender subsequently being dropped against Porto in the Champions League.

Regardless, Milan could be forced to pay a fee amounting to €40m (£35.2m) for the 30-year-old, who has also won 70 caps for Italy, and would continue an incredible summer of investment by the new Chinese owners.

At the time of this report, Milan have already spent more than £100m on new players, including Andre Silva (from Porto, £33.5m), Ricardo Rodriguez (from Wolfsburg, £13.2m), Hakan Calhanoglu (from Bayer Leverkusen, £22m), Andrea Conti (from Atalanta, £21.1m) and Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal, £15m) among others.

Bonucci, who started his career at Milan’s city rivals Internazionale, has won the Italian top flight with Juventus for six years in a row and claimed the Italian Cup three times in his seven years. He has also reached two Champions League finals during his time in Turin albeit losing both, against Barcelona in 2015 and against Real Madrid last month.

Everton to increase bid after Swansea reject £40m deal for Sigurdsson

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Everton will be increasing their bid for Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson after a the Welsh club rejected £40m deal for the signature of the Icelandic playmaker.

However, Everton’s chances of signing the player was buffed significantly after Sigurdsson, 27, returned to Wales after pulling out of Swansea City’s tour of the United States less than an hour before the players were due to leave their hotel in London on Thursday.

The Icelandic international was present in Swansea’s friendly at Barnet, where he wore the captain’s armband in the second half of a 1-0 defeat against the League Two club.

Swansea manager Paul Clement spoke afterwards about Sigurdsson’s situation, explaining how he wanted the player to stay but highlighting how “there’s a business side to football as well”.

Sigurdsson’s decision to opt out of the pre-season tour took Swansea by surprise and has seemingly made the possibility of a move inevitable, with Everton set to press ahead to try to complete a transfer in time for the midfielder to join them in the Netherlands next week.

Nonetheless,the Toffees need to make an improved bid after their initial one in the region of £40m was rejected as it did not meet Swansea’s £50m valuation of the playmaker.

Still, there is a high chance that Everton, who have been tracking Sigurdsson for a long time and they were never going to be discouraged by Swansea’s £50m valuation.

While Everton most definitely believe Sigurdsson is worth that sum — they are fiercely determined to do what it takes to sign a player directly involved in 22 Premier League goals last season — it was believed that they had merely hoped that a deal could be struck for in a bargain price of less than £40m.

Ajax’s Abdelhak Nouri suffered brain damage after collapse

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Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered serious and permanent brain damage after collapsing during a friendly, the club have officially announced.

Nouri, 20, required emergency treatment from paramedics on the field and then was airlifted to hospital after collapsing with around 20 minutes remaining against Werder Bremen in Zillertal, Austria, on Saturday.

On Monday, the club had said tests showed his “heart is functioning normally” and brain scans did not detect “any anomalies” — but new tests revealed the extent of the damage.

“Ajax are deeply saddened by the news that Appie Nouri has been diagnosed with serious and permanent brain damage,” the club wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones in this difficult time.”

Nouri will be transferred to a hospital in Amsterdam for further care.

The club statement added that the chances of recovery from the damage is nil, and that “the diagnosis was made that a lot of [his] brain is not functioning. All this probably occurred due to a lack of oxygen supply.”

Nouri had made 15 appearances for Ajax’s first team last season, including three in the Europa League, and scored on his senior debut in a 5-0 win against Willem II in the KNVB-Beker.

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar told the club’s website: “This is the worst possible news. It’s terrible. We feel enormously for his parents, siblings and other relatives.”

“The blow is also hard for Ajax, although we knew we might have to consider this scenario. These have been uncertain days, and lots of people in different way have sympathised with his situation. That is greatly appreciated.”

“Abdelhak has such great talent, but unfortunately we will never know how far his star would have reached if this had not happened to him.”