Tags Posts tagged with "Old Trafford"

Old Trafford

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Real Madrid have intensified their efforts to sign Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea by offering Spaniard Keylor Navas as part of a cash plus player deal.

De Gea has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu all summer and thus Manchester United have refused to let him go. They are believed to want no less than €40 million for Spain international but Real are unwilling to pay so much for a ‘keeper.

Real’s efforts have become the longest and most interesting transfer saga of the summer and the ten-time European Champions have now included the Costa Rican ‘keeper Navas, along with €25 million, in the hope of persuading United to let the Madrid born de Gea go.

 

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Champions-League

Manchester United have been drawn against Belgian side Club Brugge in their Champions League Third Round Qualifier.

United return to Europe’s elite tournement after not playing in it last year due to their worst ever Premiership season in 2013/14 when they finished 7th. Louis van Gaal guided them back with a 4th place finish last season, meaning that a play-off is necessary if they are to play in the Champions League proper in September.

The three-time European champions will play the first leg at Old Trafford against the only Belgian side to ever reach a European final- the 1978 European Cup final which they lost 1-0 to Liverpool.

Other significant drawings have seen Valencia play Ligue 1 side Monaco, while, in what is probably the tie of the round, Bayer Leverkusen will play Lazio.

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ASMIR BEGOVIC

Chelsea’s bid to sign Asmir Begovic could be scuppered by Manchester United as the 20 English league champions look to replace the outgoing David de Gea.

The current Premiership champions are hoping the Stoke City goalkeeper will fill the space left by the legendary Petr Cech- the 33-year-old joined Arsenal for £11 million.

ChelseaNews24 have frequently reported that Chelsea want Begovic as their second choice ‘keeper, and it appeared that they were close to signing the Bosnia and Herzogovina international only a few days ago. it now appears that, according to reports in the English press today, that Manchester United have made a late bid with the promise of first team football for Begovic.

Should he join Chelsea it is highly unlikely that Begovic will get much of a chance in Chelsea’s goal on a regular basis as the club already has one of the best ‘keepers in the shape of Thibaus Courtois. Chelsea had a bid of £6 million rejected earlier this summer and were reportedly quoted a minimum of £8 million. Stoke City also want Victor Moses, who spent last season on loan at the Brittania Stadium, on a permanent basis.

Begivic turned down a move to Stamford Bridge in 2010.

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STAMFORD BRIDGE

The architect behind the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge has said that the new stadium will be unlike any other in Europe, and based on the design of Westminster Abbey. 

Chelsea have decided to rebuild Stamford Bridge after failed attempts to buy land for a new stadium, and have commissioned architects Herzog and de Meuron to give them a new home that is modern but at the same time respectful of the stadium that the club has played its home games in since its founding in 1905.

Speaking to the Guardian, Jacques Herzog, one of the named partners of the renowned Swiss company, has said he wants the ground to be unique and iconic, similar to other grounds in England.

“We have tried to make it a place where people will really feel at home,” he said.

“I’ve never had that feeling so strongly, as when I saw my first games in Liverpool and Manchester, how much you have this sense of a club’s identity in the stadium in England – more than anywhere else in Europe.”

The new Stamford Bridge will feel like “a castle, or a medieval walled village … something you wouldn’t find anywhere else. It is beyond beauty or ugliness. It’s about creating something unique. Like Anfield – that is certainly not a nice stadium, but it has this amazing tradition.”

The new stadium, which will likely take three years to build, will have a similar appearance to the Bird’s Nest stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, but be straighter, with concessions to the gothic architecture of London’s past. It will certainly be unlike anything else in Europe, and completely different to other great, recently built stadia in Europe, such as the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Herzog dismisses any concerns of the ground having an ugly or brutal outlook, saying that elegance or refinement, more common on the Mediterrenean, would be “absurd” with Stamford Bridge.

It is likely that Chelsea will play for a season at Wembley or Twickenham during the rebuilding.

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Manchester United have been told they must break the British transfer record in order to sign Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, according to reports in the Spanish press.

Ramos, 29, has become United’s top transfer target in recent days as the 20-time English champions seek to rejuvenate their weak defence. Manchester United’s back line was often reliant upon goalkeeper David de Gea, who is almost certain to be going in the other direction this summer, and Ramos appears to be the perfect choice to lead their team into what they hope will be a title challenge next season.

Both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, the rocks behind their dominance of English football in the last few years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, have left in the past two summer transfer windows leaving the Red Devils hopelessly weak in defence.

Should Man Utd buy Ramos they will have to pay a British record transfer record €90 million, roughly £64 million, breaking the fee they paid Real Madrid for Angel di Maria last summer, then £59 million. That fee would also break the record paid for a centre-back- Chelsea received €50 million for David Luiz from PSG last summer.

 

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Harry Kane has been handed his first England start

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has said he is happy where he is despite speculation linking him to Manchester United.

Kane had a superb last season, scoring 31 goals in all competitions for Spurs, including two in a 5-3 defeat of Chelsea on New Year’s Day, probably the champions’ worst league performance last campaign. However, the Blues had their revenge two months later when Kane failed to find the net in the League Cup final and the trophy went to Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2007.

He has been linked with several big clubs from around Europe, including Real Madrid, albeit briefly, with Manchester United being the most persistently rumoured destination for the England international. However, Kane says he is content with life at White Hart Lane.

The BBC quotes him as saying:

“I am happy at Spurs and I look forward to the future with Spurs.

“I have seen there is interest but that’s all I know. It is flattering for other clubs to maybe be interested.

“We’ve (Spurs) got a bright future and I can only see us moving forward. We’ve got a young squad who gained a lot of experience last year. Hopefully we can progress and get into the top four.”

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Radamel Falcao is set to turn down a move to Chelsea and join Premiership rivals Liverpool, according to the Daily Star which quotes French magazine Le10Sport.

Falcao had a terrible season at Manchester United having gone to Old Trafford on loan from Ligue 1 club Monaco. Jose Mourinho has suggested very recently that a deal to take the Colombian to Chelsea, either permantely or on loan, was close following weeks of speculation.

However, reports in France suggest that the deal is a long way from being done and may be scuppered for good with the former Atletico Madrid and Porto striker joining Liverpool for the greater amount of playing time he will receive.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is desperate to bolster his front line in order to improve on his side’s disappointing season last campaign, during which the Anfield side failed to get close to their form of 2013/14, probably due to the injuries of Daniel Sturridge and the poor form of Luis Suarez’ replacement Mario Balotelli.

Liverpool tried to sign Falcao last summer but pulled out due to his wage demands, believed to be roughly £265,000 a week. The Colombian is reportedly willing to take a cut to his salary to force a move through.

 

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Former Manchester United full-back Phil Neville believes the Red Devils need to spend in excess of £100 million in order to challenge champions Chelsea next season.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal spent over £150 million last summer, including £59.7 million on Angel di Maria, a British transfer record, but another surge of investment is needed according to man who represented the club for ten years.

Speaking to sport website BreatheSport, Neville gave his thoughts on how van Gaal’s side can overhaul the 17 point gap between themselves and Chelsea next term.

“Supporters will want more next year. Man United still needs to spend £100 million to have a chance next year.

“As a previous coach, all the old players leaving, Sir Alex Ferguson leaving, I understand the job that needed to be done.

“It was the biggest rebuilding job in a long time.

“This coming season is the season Van Gaal will be judged.”

Manchester United have been linked with a number of players such as Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba.

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Manchester United defender Daley Blind believes his side are capable of overturning the deficit on Chelsea and winning the league next side.

The Red Devils finished in fourth place and 17 points behind the champions, but Blind believes that under the stewardship of his compatriot Louis van Gaal, it is possible the gap can be bridged. Blind is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying:

“I think we’re not far off. If you look at the end of this season we’ve done well and we’ve picked up a lot of points, even though the last few games were difficult, but I think we have a good chance next year.

“If you look at the games we’ve played against the top teams, we’ve won a lot of points and a club like Manchester United will always aim to win the title. Next year, we’re going to do that.

“I think in a lot of games this year we’ve carried on fighting until the end and got some points because of that.

“It comes from the players and the dressing room is really great, everyone gets on really well with each other.

“We want to fight for each other, on and off the pitch, and that’s where the spirit comes from.”

Blind, 25, was bought by van Gaal from Ajax last summer.

 

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VAN GAAL MOURINHO HUG
Van Gaal and Mourinho hugs in Old Trafford in October 2014 © Francesca Ceciarini

Louis van Gaal has praised Chelsea for the consistency that has brought them to within one win of the Premiership title but warned that his Manchester United side will improve next season.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s football, van Gaal accepted his side haven’t been good enough to keep up with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea and described his former understudy’s team as being “far superior.”

The Dutchman is quoted by the BBC as saying:

“This year we have not challenged Chelsea but we are very close to second position. Chelsea are far above the other clubs. Next year it can be different. Next year we shall be better prepared.”

Manchester United are currently fifteen points behind Chelsea and are in a battle to finish in the top four and thus qualifying once again for the Champions League. At no point this season have the Red Devils appeared likely to challenge Chelsea for the title but have played well in recent weeks.

They have recorded victories over Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as only going down 1-0 away at the soon-to-be champions of England in a spirited performance a fortnight ago, raising hopes that next season could the one where they return to the glory days of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Whether or not they do will depend on how they strengthen an already talented but unbalanced squad; the beginning of the summer transfer window will no doubt be the first struggle between Chelsea and Manchester United with both clubs linked to more or less the same players.

 

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