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Phil Jones banned, Daley Blind fined over breach of UEFA doping rules

Published in England Premier League
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:40

Phil Jones has been banned for two matches and Daley Blind fined by UEFA after the Manchester United pair were found guilty of breaching the governing body's doping regulations after the Europa League final in May.

Jones was understood to have been verbally abusive towards a doping control officer after he was requested to attend drug-testing after the final in Stockholm on May 24, and will now miss the UEFA Super Cup match against Real Madrid next week and United's first Champions League group stage match in September. He has also been fined 5,000 euros (£4,450).
It is understood Blind was reluctant to take a test as requested because he wanted to celebrate with his team-mates, whose 2-0 victory over Ajax ensured their qualification for this season's Champions League. He was fined 5,000 euros (£4,450).

United have been fined 10,000 euros (£8,900) over the rule breaches.
There is no suggestion that either player was guilty of doping.

The club are understood to be aware of UEFA's decisions, and have three days to appeal against them. However, they have not yet indicated to UEFA whether they will or not.

Manchester United finally sign Nemanja Matic

Published in England Premier League
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:37

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Nemanja Matic for a reported £40 million, bringing an end to a lengthy transfer saga.

The Serbian midfielder, 28, has signed a three-year deal.

The move reunites Matic with boss Jose Mourinho, who brought him back to Chelsea in 2014, and takes United’s summer spending to over £140 million following the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof.
"Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player," Mourinho told the club’s official website.

"I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31."
Matic won two Premier League titles under Mourinho during his second spell at Chelsea.

He will be primarily tasked with freeing Paul Pogba, who has only shown flashes of brilliance since his world record move to Old Trafford.
"I am delighted to have joined Manchester United. To work with Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down," Matic added.

"I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them.

"This is a very exciting time for the club and I am looking forward to playing my part in creating more history for this great club."

Manchester United transfer rumours: Serge Aurier, Nemanja Matic and more

Published in Football Transfers
Monday, 31 July 2017 07:37

The latest Man Utd transfer news and rumours from across the British and European press on Monday.

Jose Mourinho's vision persuaded Romelu Lukaku to join Manchester United

Published in England Premier League
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 11:57

Romelu Lukaku could not turn down the chance to join Manchester United after hearing Jose Mourinho's plan to "rebuild the club".

Romelu Lukaku could not turn down the chance to join Manchester United after hearing Jose Mourinho's plan to "rebuild the club".

For much of the summer it had appeared that the 24-year-old was bound to leave Everton for Chelsea, only for United to swoop in and gazump his former club.

Mourinho was in charge when Lukaku was given the green light to leave Stamford Bridge, but three years on he now sees the striker as a key piece of the jigsaw at Old Trafford.

United forked out an initial £75million for the Belgium international, whose mind was made up by his manager's plans rather than the persuasive powers of close friend Paul Pogba.
"We were just on holiday together," Lukaku said of the United and France midfielder, who he was away with in Los Angeles as the move was completed.

"At the end of the day I had to make my own choices. It was the conversation I had with the manager that really convinced me the most, the plans and how he wanted to rebuild the club and he wanted me to be part of it.

"I am grateful for the chance."

Lukaku has big boots to fill following the exit of injured top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the club's all-time leading marksman Wayne Rooney.

However, the 24-year-old's impressive ratio for Everton suggests he is ready to step up at Old Trafford - and the striker is clearly raring to go.
"It feels great (to be a United player)," Lukaku said in Washington. "It is something I always wanted.

"I always wanted to play for a club of this stature. Now I am here I want to take my chance and try to deliver as much as I could for the club.

"I don't want to talk about personal ambitions. I just want to work hard on a daily basis and win as many games as I can."

Lukaku has certainly been made to work hard during United's American tour, training with his new team-mates for the first time within an hour of his move being made official.

Mourinho has praised the new boy at nearly every public appearance after a promising start, following up his first goal in a United shirt at Real Salt Lake with a stunning effort in the 2-0 derby win against Manchester City.

"It has gone well for the team," Lukaku said of the build-up to the 2017-18 season. "Everybody is well prepared.

"We are working really hard and delighted to be here and we need to keep going."

Sergio Romero signs new Manchester United contract

Published in England Premier League
Monday, 17 July 2017 08:36

Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero has signed a contract extension, tying him to Old Trafford until 2021.

Romero, 30, joined United on a free transfer in 2015 and has largely featured as David De Gea’s understudy.
However, the Argentinian was selected ahead of the Spaniard for the Europa League final triumph over Ajax in May and has now committed his future to the club. He told United's official website:

"Who wouldn’t want to be at the biggest club in the world? We have great goalkeepers here and we are always learning from each other. Of course, it was a very proud moment for me and my family to be part of the Europa League final, and I am looking forward to helping the team build on last season’s success in 2017/18."
Romero has played 28 times for United, with just six of those appearances coming in the Premier League.

"Sergio is a great goalkeeper and professional. He had a good season and outstanding performances, especially in our Europa League success," United boss Jose Mourinho added.

"Sergio deserves his contract, and for Manchester United to have Sergio and David is amazing in such an important role."

Real Madrid are reportedly primed to make another bid for David De Gea, although United are likely to rebuff their advances unless a suitable replacement becomes available.

Ivan Perisic on verge of joining Manchester United as Inter chase Balde - reports

Published in Italy Serie A
Monday, 17 July 2017 08:34

Manchester United are inching towards a deal for Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, according to reports.

The Old Trafford club have been monitoring the 28-year-old over the summer but the stumbling block has been the valuation of the player, with Inter believed to have an asking price of around £50million.
However, the Nerazzurri now look to be swooping for Lazio start Keita Balde as a potential replacement for Perisic.
The 22-year-old is no longer at Lazio’s training camp and will not play any part in the upcoming friendly against Top 11 Radio Club.

If Inter are able to secure a deal, then Perisic could then be free to join United.

He would line up alongside Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku in Jose Mourinho’s squad, with the latter set to benefit from the Croatian’s accurate crosses and wide play.

Jose Mourinho reveals Zlatan Ibrahimovic could still be offered Man United contract

Published in England Premier League
Saturday, 15 July 2017 10:48

Jose Mourinho has revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could still play for Manchester United next season.

The 35-year-old was Manchester United’s top scorer last term, grabbing 28 goals in all competitions before his season was brought to an abrupt end due a knee injury sustained in April.
Prior to the injury, it was rumoured Ibrahimovic was to extend his United deal a further 12 months, but the damage to his cruciate ligament was significant enough that it was thought he wouldn’t play for the club again.
It was revealed that the Swede would continue using United’s Carrington Training Complex for his rehabilitation, but the possibility of him running out at Old Trafford once again seemed doubtful.

However, news earlier this week suggested that the former Barcelona, Juventus, Inter, Milan and PSG striker was recovering at an impressive rate and could be back ahead of schedule.

The club are on their pre-season tour of America while the striker remains in England, but United boss Mourinho has since shed light on Ibrahimovic’s current situation.
"It's possible. He is open. We wanted to be honest and open and give everything for him to make a decision, in case his desire was to leave.

"So there was not a new contract, there was a space and time to think, feel, decide and, from his point of view, he wants to play still at the highest level.

"He didn't want to hide behind such an amazing injury. He was not happy with the way he finished the season, of course with his first European trophy, but not playing. So he wants to challenge himself and keep playing still at the highest level.

"Obviously we leave the door open for him to recover with us. Old Trafford, Carrington is open for him to recover and be one of us and, at the same time, let's make a decision that will make us all happy.”

Manchester United agree £75m deal for Romelu Lukaku - reports

Published in Football Transfers
Thursday, 06 July 2017 10:46

Manchester United have agreed a £75m deal with Everton for Romelu Lukaku, according to numerous reports.

Manchester United to use Wayne Rooney as Romelu Lukaku leverage with Everton

Published in England Premier League
Thursday, 06 July 2017 07:14

Manchester United are said to be ready to use Wayne Rooney as leverage to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton. 

Why Manchester United are better with €90m Morata rather than Griezmann

Published in Football Transfers
Thursday, 06 July 2017 07:05

The Spaniard might not have been their first choice to lead the line but, unlike the Frenchman, he is exactly what Mourinho's side need in attack

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